Profile For David L.

David L.'s Info

  • Location:
    Clearwater, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 2 months ago

David L.'s Bio

I'm a retired USAF MSgt (E7). I've been married for 35 years and have three sons. I looked at trucking back in '93 when I first retired from the service, but it wasn't a good time to go on the road. Now, at 62, it's looking pretty good. Driving and teaming with my eldest son. We are with SLT. Currently live in the Tampa Bay area.

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Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Hourly or by the mile

We are paid a flat rate per day every day we are out...7 days a week rolling or sitting and get a small mileage "bonus" for all loaded miles. Bottom line is I make nearly double the weekly take home pay that I got as a software support analyst. Granted, I miss the weekends off and paid time off, but even though my "hourly" rate would come out lower I'm taking more money home. I've never minded hard work.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Swift

I went to Millington last year then to Columbus, OH, for road training when Ocala, FL, was short of instructors...I then got priority in Ocala...I got my permit in FL and then did my DMV road test in FL after time in Columbus.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Company list who provide Paid training while obtaining cdl? Help.

Check to ensure the company you choose has a passenger policy...some don't.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Air Brake test

Have you had a chance to sit in a truck and run the checklist? That helps a lot. Also, at school you will spend lots of time practicing pre-trip and air brakes.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Ghetto shut down locations

The shadiest place I've ever stopped was in Fresno, CA. The Fifth Wheel is technically a truck stop. But they are really stretching the definition.

I was stuck there for two nights cause the receiver wouldn't take me, and Swift wouldn't let me T-Call it. Which in turn caused me to miss my home time date, which sucked since I had plans that had required reservations and money put down.

Moral of the story...don't park at the Fifth Wheel in Fresno.

The drop yard in the cattle feed lot was pretty special, too. Parked on the shoulder of the one lane drive...with permission of course...and yeah, it smelled like cows!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Swift AC

When we were with Swift, as a team, we often got congratulated for fuel savings...but our truck was only shut down at the fuel pumps or when we parked for a meal. I think our miles compensated the idle time. We don't use the bunk heater much as we are either driving or one is sleeping and the other attending our load...sitting up all night or day gets to be a drag. Both of our KW T680s have rear bunk controls so I'll be driving with the temp at 70 or so and Sean will be sleeping with it as cold as he can get it! Or vice-versa! Something we found that helps is to tuck a blanket along the edge of the top bunk and it hangs down for a second curtain...helps with heating/cooling and blocks more light that leaks through.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Hurting Hands, Hurting for Advice

My hand pain is different as I'm developing arthritis in my thumbs and other fingers. I use Motrin (Advil) and just suck It up. In your case, I think the guys nailed it...too tight a grip. I move my hands around and will change primary grip from one to the other...also, using a stress ball or gripper is good. I found that a few minutes using the gripper during a night run actually helped refresh me...not like a nap or coffee, but I didn't need to stop!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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New Swift Automatic Trucks

Sean and I have been running a 2015 KW T680 with auto 10 speed since August. It takes an adjustment period to learn the quirks of the collision avoidance system and the adaptive cruise...sometimes the radar and/or computer lose their minds! We picked it up with 22 miles on the odometer and are around 85K now. They main time we miss the clutch is backing...with the computer running things it's difficult to finesse it on a difficult or rough surface...gutters, gravel, cheesy ramps have led me to smack the dock pretty hard...Sean uses his Jedi mind tricks and doesn't seem to have this issue! And schools won't see automatics very soon...you train with road warriors, especially with Swift. Not knocking them...I'm a Millingtin alumni.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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I'm back in the truck with Trucktographer

Thanks for the reception. It was one of those things 99% of guys over 60 are going to contend with sooner or later! I'm glad to be back at work.smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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I'm back in the truck with Trucktographer

I was out of the truck for almost eight weeks with a medical issue that developed over New Years weekend. We'd had a great home time in El Paso with family for Christmas. We got into Indianapolis for the New Year weekend. I wound up in the ER on 1/3/16 and let's just say I now had an appliance attached and needed to get home to see my doc and a urologist. SLT was great. I could have flown home but they routed us south and Sean dropped me at the house the next weekend. It took a few days to get to the doc and a referral. Surgery was a week or so after that and then recovery. I got some honey-do chores done and Sean got home mid-February for an extended home time. Our DM stayed in touch and was great about letting me say when we were ready to head out. I wasn't earning a paycheck but never felt my job was at risk. It's good to be back! Sean has shared his experience running solo for a team company! SLT treated us with respect and concern and I appreciate that.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Going solo in a couple days. Overwhelmed, i need to understand Next time available.

When we ran with Swift their system worked, but then we had a fabulous DM. With current co. we enter available time with our empty call. We don't get stacked loads very often with SLT...so we enter the ETA and head for a truck stop.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Team driving with most home time for cdl grads

We ran 3-4 weeks with Swift and had a lot of coast to coast. With SLT we are out 5-7 weeks...5 is normal...most of our runs are under 1000 miles but our latest is 1900...running team is a lot different than solo...

Posted:  4 years ago

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Driving vs Animals

I had a deer (maybe-it left hair on my left side rear shock) take out my airbag linkage. We were driving a KW T680 on I-80 in WY...it was a real long downgrade and I was geared down pleasantly using the jake. A truck about 1/4 mike ahead apparently nailed the critter and it went down and other his rig. I never really saw the body but felt a bump. As a result my air bags deflated and screwed up my drive train alignment...the truck ahead pulled over at the bottom so I assume he had damage. I stopped at Little America and found the broken linkage...I don't know why KW sets up the control linkage like they do but it is vulnerable. Anyway, got the linkage repaired at the SLC Swift terminal but the truck was real noisy from then on. Sometimes you just can't miss the critters. I had good following distance on a long DARK grade with speed holding at 55 and never did see it!

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Another CB question

We mounted ours in the factory mount and run it through the stock antennas on our Kenworth. We picked up a Unidentifiable handheld for spotting. Some shippers use CB to notify you when your load is ready and Little America in WY use channel 1 for their scale...

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Swift Academy - Memphis Tennesse 7/11/15

Hang in there! I went through Memphis/Millington last January...the new setup is much nicer...the motel in Millington really sucked but Walmart and Kroger were nearby. I've been in and out of the terminal several times the last few months but haven't seen Tony or any of my instructors. The goal at the academy is to get you prepared to pass the skills part of your state exam. Road training will get you ready, sort of, for the road test in your state and you will continue to work on skills. One note: if you have a decent mentor the first thing you'll change is how you setup your alley dock! The only advice I can give is suck it up and stick it out...being on the road will NOT necessarily br easier...running team since March I've personally logged nearly 85000 miles...we feel lucky to get 2-3 showers in a three week run! The pay is good but the lifestyle can be pretty grueling. Good luck.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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United Refrigeration

The guy was a tool. He started by going all passive aggressive on me: "You're late. Where you been? Sleeping?" I gave him the raised eyebrow...yeah, tool is as far as I'll go. My response was "I'm not late, we Te scheduled for 1:15. And, I just picked up your trailer an hour ago and have been sitting in traffic on I35W for the last 30 minutes".

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Well, It's the ole "Am I too Old" question again...

I'd say go for it. I'm almost 63 and started training in January. I've been teaming with my son since March. We run hard but I haven't found anything I can't handle. Remember, too, there are lots of driving jobs besides OTR if you find that's not your forte.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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State/Fed safely push

Haven't seen it mentioned, but there is a big inspection push right now. Check your permits, medical card, etc. and expect to not get the Pre-Pass green very much over the next few days. Coming into Greer, SC, yesterday we were light and got pulled in three times. Didn't get stopped but didn't get the Pre-Pass either.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Where have you stopped?

If you like old cars I strongly recommend a stop at Russell's Truck and Travel Center, exit 369 on I 40 near Glenrio, NM. I stop there every time I pass and when I have the chance to take my 10 hr break its incredible just to see the sunrise or sunset. To me its just amazing to witness the beauty this country has to offer just riding along.

We enjoy Russell's, too. Iowa 80 is cool. I stopped there for an "emergency" fuel stop the other night. Too bad it was 2AM!! Found a nice little summit stop on the last CA run...they are still working on it but it's got a good view, a coffee shop, and short order kitchen. The Hopi truck stop is interesting and they have a real knife shop! Not the cheap junk. We like Loves on I40 in Amarillo...easy in and out and the Big Texan steakhouse is a short walk away...it has some truck parking, too. Can't leave out the state operated stops: Ohio has some great ones with showers. FL Turnpike stops are ok, too. We haven't gotten to play tourist very much as out team truck is often scheduled pretty tight. Traffic in Atlanta and Dallas cost us some good scheduled down time a few weeks ago! Some regular truck stops are interesting for the people watching!

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Lumpers and Lumper fees

I've only dealt with Lumpers twice and both were last week. We had one load with two drops. $65 at one and $135 at the other. We use ComChecks and its a bit of a pain but has to be done. This seems to be most prevalent in the grocery biz.

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