Profile For Paul J.

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    8 years, 3 months ago

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Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Is anyone driving trucks to Alaska and back?

Thanks for the responses. I'm still heavily pondering the idea of going into the truck driving life and a nice, quiet run to Anchorage and/or Fairbanks on a regular basis would be decent.

For those of you considering a run to the North, be SURE and get a current copy of The Milepost book. It tells you where everything is, and I mean everything, along the Alcan or the Cassiar Highway. It changes every year too.. Different places shut down, that kind of thing.

Pay close attention to the little orange flags on the side of the road. Depending on how many there are, that how bad the bump in the road will be.

Here's an interesting tip. If you're heading North at the beginning of Summer, get your fuel on the North end of the town you're going to fill up in. For South bound late in the season, hit the most southern gas station in the area. Reasons behind thing? The traffic headed North in the early season is full of RV'ers and they're sweating bullets looking for gas, therefore, stopping at the first place in town and filling up. Hence, the station sells a lot more gas than the one on the North end of town and can charge a lot more for it.

When the rv'ers are headed back to the South, the opposite happens..

There's a LOT of wildlife and most of it comes out later in the evening when all the RV'ers have pulled over to camp for the night. Wildlife ranges from bears, to caribou, to moose..

If you don't stop anywhere else to relax for a few hours, the ONE place you'll miss is Laird River Hot Springs.. Just hope you don't mind smelling loke you've been eating nothing but hard boiled eggs until you can find a place to get a decent shower. On that point, the campground across the road has a shower available but, the water there smells worse than the hot springs..

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Is anyone driving trucks to Alaska and back?

I've driven the ALCAN 7 times during moves with the military, sometimes having the wife drive a 2nd vehicle while I pull a trailer full of my own stuff.

I recall seeing trucks going both ways but, never managed to catch a name of the company they're working for.

Are those trucks just supplying stores along the ALCAN up through Canada and back or are they hauling to Anchorage and Fairbanks?

I know household goods go by ferry or boat to and from Alaska and then loaded to trucks for their final destination.

Any information on running the ALCAN would be greatly appreciated.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Wife-school or company school

I live right across the Big Ditch from you up in 'the Couve. Just off I-205.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Wife-school or company school

So last year, I went to a School Bus Drivers training school (figured I could get my CDL started that way) and they mentioned at the start that if anyone didn't last 6 months, they'd have to pay for the training they received..

Day one of training consisted of filling out a few forms here and there. Then the "instructor" handed a stack of paper saying "Take one and pass it on.." for a total of 8 pages of text.. No pictures, just words..

Then he tells the person in the first seat to read the first 3 paragraphs out loud, and so on through the rest of the class and all the pages.

THIS was a major part of their training!

The next day, I called and said "I'm sorry but, I was offered a job and I'll be accepting that instead of driving a bus."

Some other things they mentioned was ways to get more hours... One was filling the fuel tanks on the busses or washing the busses... driving for football games or other sporting events..

I've been seriously looking at buying a 14-16' box van and doing moving with that.

CDL is recommended from what I read here but, not required.. unless you want to move up in the world of transportation. I want to drive something where I can take my dog with me to work and make my own wages.

I'm retired military and the VA has said they'd pay for me to go to a CDL training school but, is there any companies out there that will hire someone with a shiny new drivers license??

I'm up in the Pacific North Wet along the I-5 corridor and wouldn't mind running up and down that route.. Maybe the Western states if it comes to that. I've also driven the ALCAN to Anchorage and Fairbanks a total of 7 times and that would be a great run..

Any ideas or suggestions??

Currently I do floor plans and drawings for people wanting everything from outhouses to 4,500 sq ft houses.. I did Engineering work for 20 years in the Air Force, any time I had a chance, I was operating heavy equipment.. but.. I'm tired of sitting in a room in my house looking at a computer screen. You drivers have got the best screen there is.. You get to see the country every time you're behind the wheel.

I stepped out of engineering for a year or so and starting buying, repairing, and selling small engines (i.e. lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, etc), had a step van I picked up at an auction for $1,600 and drove it home. Had plans to make it my mobile shop.

Wife poo-poo'd all over that idea.. Sold the step van 2 years later for $3,800..

I'm thinking I'm going to get back into fixing them again. Gives me a lot more satisfaction than drawing lines on a screen..

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ok CB poll

I've got a Uniden 40 channel if I recall. I also run a Bearcat Scanner and an ICOM 706 vhf/uhf ham radio. The CB and the scanner have individual antennas while the Icom has a Hygain with multiple "stingers" I can swap out to work the different HF bands as well as a 2 meter antenna. So basically an HF antenna with 10, 15, 20, 40, and 80 meter bands and a 2 meter antenna for the HF side.

The 20 meter is the one I'm usually running on my truck when parked because it'll slap every bridge or overpass I go under because of the height of it.

The 706 gives you something to play with when you're parked. I was in Fairbanks, AK one time and hooked up a 20 meter dipole (wire) antenna between two tall trees and worked into Europe and had about 10 different ham operators trying to get ahold of me. Most of them are trying to work all countries/states and Alaska is a tough one to get.

In my AM/FM radio, I have a plug in where I can connect my cellaphone and I can listen to Pandora for free nationwide. Gets a little hard to pick up anything on the ALCAN because. well, basically they don't have a lot of cell towers up there.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Hey Powerball Winner. What will you do with that money?

I'm right there with you on that idea Robert. Take a look at this website and there's a ton of reading on there that will help with your ideas:

My idea is to buy a decent sized piece of land for an animal sanctuary. It'll have a "Night drop-off" pen out by the front gate for those people that are too ashamed about give up their friends for one reason or another.

I'll get as many disable vets to come work out there as I can find. I'll have a 5 or 6 man team taking down old barns and reusing the wood to build small cabins that they and other vets can live in while they're there.

I'll build at least one large barn to begin with so the critters have some place to stay dry and warm during the winter or rainy seasons. Lots of acreage with dog runs, pastures for horses, donkees (Great livestock protectors), sheep, goats, etc.. Decent sized Chicken Coop area for fresh eggs. Maybe a couple of dairy cows for fresh milk.

The Pit Bulls will more than likely have their own kennel area until I can determine if they're dog friendly with other dogs..

Absolutely No-Kill.

If someone wants to adopt a pet, the pet will be taken to their house by one of our workers to make sure they have adequate fencing and shelter for the animals.

I'll probably pick up a couple of horse trailers to help out on large rescue projects as well.

That website will give you a lot of ideas on how to raise money and collect donations for food for all the critters. It also talks about how to read what an animal is feeling, as in sad, happy, lonely, that kind of thing.

I've been able to download about 130 books on training and working with dogs and I plan to get involved with some of the organizations that take dogs and teach them to be assistance dogs. A friend of mine wants to do something along these lines but with her horses, allowing disable vets to come out and work with the horses and learn to ride them.. Horses for Heroes is a great organization to learn about that part.

Along with dogs being available, you can also get retired race horses from local horse racing tracks. They put them up for auction and if no one buys them, they load them into the meat trucks. Heck of a way for an animal to be treated that brought so much joy to so many people and is still capable of offering a great ride with a little bit of training.

Sorry to go on and on about this topic but, it's one that's very near and dear to my heart.

My tag line on all my emails says the following:

Saving just one dog won't change the world, But, it will surely change the world for that one dog.

Wife and I want to open a state of the art pit bull rescue facility. Indoor and outdoor play areas for when the weather is bad and I've designed a custom rig that I could use to go pick up vetted pitties from high kill shelters to give them a second chance at a real life.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Trucking?

Quick Update. Swift now allows dogs but, expect to pay $1,000 to have your buddy as your co-driver..

(I wonder how hard it is to teach them to back into the docks?)

Swift's policy is to not allow pets on board.

I know, Lewis' friend needs an ESD. Trucking is a rough business. I think one ESD on board won't be enough.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Truckers Anonymous

Well that's not too bad then. I had a shepherd/Husky mix many moons ago that ate the back seat of my Expedition. Luckily I found a guy on CL that had one the same color and he was just selling the seats. He was a great dog except for eating that seat.. Oh wait, he ate my Lazy Boy seat as well. He was still a great dog.

The pet deposit isn't lost. You'll get it back, as long as your pet doesn't eat the interior or soil the interior. It's just a security deposit.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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How long did they last in trucking?

I've noticed this forum has 1278 pages of posts, some going as far back as 5 years. I've read where most truckers don't make it through their first year.

It'd definitely be interesting if we could look at the names of the folks that have been posting all this time and see how many are still on the road.

Kind of figure out what the numbers are like on this forum.

We might find them a bit higher here because of the support and guidance this forum offers but, there's still going to be a good percentage that probably aren't around any more.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Any thoughts on this setup?

So I always cruise Craigslist and I've always love the old cabovers and found this setup.

It's a 98 FreightShaker and has a Detroit 60 motor supper 10 transmission drom 40 24 set of trailers may separate.

I'm thinkin with those two trailers, you could haul some pretty decent loads.. Maybe a few cars, lots of lumber, etc.. etc..

They're asking $28k for the whole setup. No idea on the status of the engine, miles, etc..

I'm sure I'd need a doubles endorsement to run this rig..

What are your thoughts?? I've included the link to the add as well. If one of you guys or gals jumps on it, that's fine. I'm just tryin to see if a rig like this would work. I see the old cabovers hauling connex boxes between Seattle and Portland almost everytime I get on I-5. Most of them look sadder than this rig.

Is that a good motor?? Looks like it has 2 large gas tanks on it. Anything else you see?

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Truckers Anonymous

WOW.. $1,000 to bring my little buddy along with me??

I may have you do some more searching on that one. I'd love to have him with me, we rescued him from a pound and I wouldn't give him up for $1,000 but, to pay that amount to have him ride with me is pretty steep.

Thanks for the info Rainy D.

I work for Prime and we have a western 11 regional. We also have a shorter contract for veterans, only 9 months, in exchange for the CDL training.

they take nothing from your pay, you just pay $155 upfront for paperwork and processing. stay the 9 months and you pay nothing for school.

You probably go to training in Salt Lake City, but that is just orientation for a week, then you head out on the road with your permit and make deliveries. After you get the CDL, you team drive for 30k truck miles before going solo.

taking the dog of less than 30 pounds will cost $1000.... broken down as one payment of $300 then $50 per week until paid off.

hope this helps

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Truckers Anonymous

Thanks for the info Brett, sounds a lot more convincing than what my wife said.. She's a HR type and they handle short busses for picking up seniors in the Portland, OR area and taking them to doctors, appointments, etc.

I've always had the idea of being a truck driver in my mind. When I was in the Air Force for 20 years, I was in Civil Engineering Squadrons and on one of my first jobs, I went along to do surveying of the site and act as on-site engineer.. I was done with my work one afternoon and saw an all terrain front end loader with a 5 yard clamshell bucket. Man was I impressed. The operator asked me if I'd ever operated one, I told him no and he said "Climb on up and strap yourself in.." He climbed up next to me, pointed at the controls and gave me a short explanation of how the bucket worked via those controls.

He climbed down and I said "What can I do?" He pointed at a tree stump and he said Roll your bucket down and open the clam shell as far as it'll go... Which I did.. Then he told me to lower it over the stump, then close the bucket around it. The bucked barely closed 6" but, I had the stump.. "Now what?" He just said "Raise your bucket." and then this massive.. and I mean MASSIVE stump just came right out of the ground..

He had me at "Climb on up." and everything else was just a bonus.

In my military career I took as much training as I could get and pretty much have several thousand hours of "stick time" using backhoes, Front end loaders, 20 yard dump trucks.. Even got trained on an Asphalt Paving Machine.. I did manage to get tractor trailer training at one time and had to move a VERY expensive satellite control trailer around our site and put it in position. The truck was way under rated for the weight of that trailer but, I was able to make it work.

I want to drive because I love seeing this country. I've driven the ALCAN 7 times and watching it change each time you went up or down it was very impressive. It's a nice highway these days. If I had a job running North and South on that road all the way to Anchorage, that would be fine with me.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on, I'll unkey the mike now and finish with a "Thanks" for making it seem like I can get into this career now. Be safe.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Truckers Anonymous

SO, my name is Grumpy and I'm a lurker.....

I've been doing engineering work for over 35 years now but, always wanted to drive a truck. I'm at the age where companies do the math on my resume and think "OMG (They're millenials, that's what they say), this guy is old enough to *Insert stupid comparison here*..

I did 20 years in the Air Force working in the Civil Engineering field and have got countless hours on just about every piece of equipment you'll find on an Air Force base.. Even got qualified on an Asphalt Paving Machine early in my career.

Now I present this idea to my wife who's an HR manager for a non-profit firm in Portland, OR and she doesn't think with my medical issues that I would pass the DOT Physical. This is where my question originates from.

Here's what I have: Sleep Apnea (Yes, I DO use the CPAP all the time) High Blood Pressure (Controlled by meds) Hypoactive Thyroid (Hard as heck to lose weight with that going on) Early signs of Pserosis of the liver (Never was a big drinker, it's just hereditary so they say) I don't do any illegal drugs I smoke a cigar just about every day

Does any of those problems disqualify me in a DOT Physical?

I could bring in my CPAP results, medical records, the works if that helps.

I know Swift has a Vet scholarship program but, closer to home is West Coast Equipment Training about 45 drive North of here. The VA gal at the job center said she has a few ways to get it all paid for by the VA.

I also heard that Swift now has a Dog policy. I've got 4 dogs and I talk to them more than I do my wife. I know which one I'd take along, he's a small guy. I'd love to take my female lab along but, she's 96lbs and I'd have to lift her all the way up into the truck all day long and help her out.

If I go through this and end up with a 2 or 3 day route, I'd definitely like to take my little buddy along with me. I wouldn't mind running a regional route maybe like Seattle to down in Cali somewhere as long as I can just drop and hook. Don't like Cali, never have, never will. It's bad enough living in Vancouver, WA, right across the river from Portland. Traffic there is a total nightmare.

So, what do you guys and gals think? Would I make it through the physical??

I thought about driving school busses but, being old, ya gotta pee a little more often and that's not an easy thing to do with a bunch of kids on the bus.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

TV service

My wife bought a couple of the Amazon Fire Sticks and sent them to my son and he did a jail break on them which pretty much gives you a ton more ways to find shows you want to watch. It doesn't take much to do the Jailbreak and you can probably find one for sale on Craigslist already broken..

If you have internet, they'll work by just plugging into a USB port on your TV..

Then again, I've got a ton of books on my tablet I'd prefer to read. I need to find a candle that smells like old books to make it feel like I'm really reading a book.

Is anyone using Pandora for music when you're driving?? I picked up a "jail broken" version of that and I've been using it for over 10 years now. On a drive from Vancouver, WA to Las Vegas a few years back, the only place I lost reception was near Weed, Cali.. It was running on my IPhone and basically, I lost service in that section of the hills as well. I usually just type in the name of an artist I want to hear and it'll play music from that artist interspersed with music that is similar from other artists as well. I've found a lot of artists out there I never would have known about.

Why did I get the jailbroken version you may ask?? Because if you don't, you'll get commercials every 3 or 4 songs.. and if you registered your legal version in California, that's where your commercials will be based out of, no matter where you're driving that day.. Mine hasn't had a commercial in 10 years now.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

CPAP Question

I've seen a lot of boo hooing about getting tested and whether or not you have to wear it, etc. etc..

I wear mine every night to get a good nights sleep. If a new recruit went to training, are they going to require him to take the sleep apnea test even if he already has medical records saying he has it and needs to use a CPAP? Then if he shows them the one he uses, does it have to have a printout meter on it so they can insure that he's using it?

I used to fall asleep working on drawings for an architect, then a few minutes later I'd wake up and there'd be about 15 lines of z's on my screen.. That's when I knew I needed to have the test done.

Why not just realize you have it, get the machine, and use it.

Posted:  5 years ago

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Nearly all truck drivers may be tested for sleep apnea

What's the big problem with wearing a mask and getting a good nights sleep?

I've been wearing one for about 18 years now and sleep through the night.

Will they not let you drive if you're on one? Or do they look at your machines log to see if you're using it every time you sleep?

I take maps without mine but, when I hit the sack for an all night sleep , I use mine 100% or the time.

Posted:  5 years ago

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What's in your sleeper?

Entirely too much stuff lol. Too many clothes, a portable freezer, an aroma cooker, 5 minute chef, pyrex bowls, cooking utensils, paper plates and bowls, a hodgepodge of paperwork, laptop, tablet, chargers, shoes, tv, satellite receiver, oh the list goes on and on...

Sounds like you need a larger sleeper. One of those van lines sleepers with the kitchen and everything is it. Man those sure look nice.

Posted:  5 years ago

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What's in your sleeper?

I'm thinking about things like 12v coffee pots, 12v crock pots, inverters for your laptops, that kind of thing.

Is there something you've come across that's a must have? Or perhaps something you bought at the Flying J was useless and didn't last until the next stop?

I'm working on setting up the back of my pickup truck and looking for ideas on how to use it for travelling and though "Who best to ask than someone who lives out of their trucks?"

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Fire Truck Contract work

I'm pretty sure this isn't part of but, I didn't know where else to start.

I'm in the Pacific Northwest and it's fire season here. I know there are agencies that hire contractors to spray water on fires and I was wondering how old a truck you can do this type of work with.

Looking at picking up a fire truck from an auction, hooking a camper to the rear bumper, and going where the fires are.

Does anyone know anything about this type of work?

I know it's not full time but, if it pays good enough, one might think you could make decent money doing it.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

I'm like Miss Vamp. I will have lots of little things to help me feel comfortable. Of course comfort is subjective, but I've already purchased a mattress topper, a ninja cooker (which cooks 3 ways in one machine), high thread count twin XL sheets, down pillows, a portable JBL speaker for hotel rooms and my bunk, a receipt scanner so I won't have extra paper.

For me, it's all about saving space and being super organized. I don't plan on going home very often, maybe once every couple of months to check in with the roommate and eyeball my material possessions. I've loaded my kindle with 100s of books. I've also loaded a device with 1000s of songs. I'll most likely be buying a gaming laptop so I don't have to haul a PC AND my consoles around. I'll have yankee candles because even when not lit they can fill a small space with scent.

Still trying to figure out the entire bicycle thing. I hear conflicting things about having it strapped to the back due to salt, dirt, and the elements. Not entirely sold on the folding bike idea, but you can get one on eBay for 160 bucks, which isn't too shabby in my opinion.

As for protection, I'm not sure what I'll have. I've read in FL that pepper spray over 2 oz requires a conceal carry license. I had originally been thinking bear mace (which is like 8 oz), now I'm unsure.

I picked up a really small folding bicycle at a yard sale for $10.00!! I'm a big guy and with the size of that bike and a red clown nose and I just need to learn to paint the clown stuff on my face. I forget who makes this one. I've got a Royce I bought when I was working in Ireland as well and it has 7 speeds. The little clown bike only has one speed.

Hmm, a Unicycle would fit in your cab as well if you can ride one.

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