Profile For Chiefmac

Chiefmac's Info

  • Location:
    Powder Springs, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 4 months ago

Chiefmac's Bio

My name is Eric McDaniel and I live in Powder Springs, GA. I retired from the fire department in 2011 after 33 years. Being a firefighter was my dream from a very young age and I am blessed to have made a successful career and achieve the rank of Deputy Chief before hanging up my helmet. Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, the only other thing I wanted to be was a trucker. Two of my uncles were truckers and the fathers of most of my friends were truckers and most of those friends went on to do the same...now it's my turn. I studied at Chattahoochee Technical College in Acworth, GA and drove OTR with Crete Carrier for a bit. I'm now employed by Innovative Driver Services and mostly drive local and southeast. I also drive for Atlanta CV Drum & Bugle Corps and the McEachern High School Band. All great gigs for a retired guy.

Stay safe.....

Chiefmac's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Noticed my air tank hanging

I'm sure the "letter of the law" tells the DOT to give you a shutdown and tickets; however, if you notice any of the hundreds of POS trucks passing you on a daily basis you'll see that there is a lot of leeway and gray areas.

If I was said DOT officer, I'd commend you on doing as good a job on securing it as you have instead of just rolling on like so many others.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Boredom on the Road

Audio books. Great way to learn something new or just be entertained.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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How do OTR drivers manage to stay in good health?

On the subject of health, check out Kevin Rutherford's website Letstruck.com and his show on XM Radio's Road Dog Channel.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Sleeping on ramps

I agree that you should not plan to stop; however, the real world sometimes dictates differently, such as, you are falling asleep (to me, way more dangerous than parking on a ramp) and aren't near a suitable rest area or truck stop. At least do it as safely as possible by using the get on ramp instead of the get off ramp due to slower speed of passing vehicles. Parking as far to the side as safety allows, watch for embankments or holes. Leave your marker lights on, turn your headlights off. If you still feel uncertain then trust your gut and find another spot. Don't park on the shoulder of travel lanes unless you are broke down. You create a hazard for yourself and others.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Tips, Tricks, And Techniques For Rookie Drivers

Sidewalk Chalk and Dry Erase Markers...steal some from your kids.

Chalk- Great for marking holes on your tandem rails and the ground so you can gauge how far to roll. Nice thing about this is the marks are easily removed to avoid confusion the next time you slide. I always mark my starting point with a > and my target with an X. Also good for marking tire problems temporarily (get a good tire marker or paint pen for a more permanent mark), leaving notes for dock workers, marking locations for freight on the inside of your trailer or customer names for split loads, and other things your imagination can dream up.

Dry Erase Marker- great for leaving a wipe off note on your window, or windshield. Sometimes I'll put exit numbers or route numbers on the upper left side of my windshield for quick reference, or reminders that I'm chocked, or something like that.

Posted:  2 years ago

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Bright Green Dock Lights At Night

I adjust the mirrors very low so that the tandems are in the upper portion instead of the lower portion of the mirror. Raise or lower seat if needed to make an angle where you can see lines on the ground but you can't see dock lights unless you crouch or stretch to an unusual position. This technique minimizes those bright lights actually reflecting from mirrors to eyeballs.

Excelent! thank-you.gif

Posted:  2 years ago

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Bright Green Dock Lights At Night

I find sometimes a police car on the side of the road at night will seem to have ridiculously bright lights that make it hard to see past it.

I agree, they seem to be more of a hazard when they are that bright.

Posted:  2 years ago

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Bright Green Dock Lights At Night

Well, as we all get older, our sensitivity to light may change. Some docks have super green LEDs and no other ambient light making a huge contrast. Now throw in some precipitation and it can really change the game. The amber glasses or in some cases clipons sound like they may work. Any other "helpful" tips?

Posted:  2 years ago

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Bright Green Dock Lights At Night

What are some ideas for handling the blinding green dock lights when backing at night?

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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An observation...

I was with Crete through my training, now I drive for a couple of private groups. It doesn't much matter what company is represented as the fact that you will not get more accurate info from a wide range of professionals anywhere else.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Backing Practice™ 16

The funny part wasn't the technical terms. The funny part is that I mentally translated and did indeed know exactly what you were talking about!

rofl-3.gif

Love it, so did I rofl-1.gif

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Backing Practice™ 16

Here goes...left into gate 3, left to the scale; out gate 1 and left onto road; left into gate 3; between buldings; right turn parallel to dock; left to set up spot; back to dock; left out from dock; between buildings; right to scale and papers; out gate 1 and right onto road. Figure 8s and roundy rounds...lol.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Fear/anxiety with the big rigs

In areas with crosswalk signals, especially ones with countdown timers, you can tell what's going to happen by watching the one for your direction of travel.

If you see the "white man walking" you are good to go. If you see the "orange stop hand" slow and be prepared to stop. Caveat- if there is a timer, the light will turn yellow when it reaches zero.

Still pay attention to indicators like a line of cars, or pedestrians waiting, and always scan the complete intersection. Hope this helps.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Driving for the high school band

I'm just checking to make sure I understand any possible differences in Hours of Service reporting, or load documentation, or any similar issues like scales, inspections, or other requirements.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Driving for the high school band

I've been asked to pull the marching band trailer to competitions for the local school this fall. Mostly Friday nights and one Friday through Sunday out of state gig. If anyone has had any exposure to this type of operation, please chime in.

Tractor is rented (Ryder), trailer and contents owned by the school district, insurance is through the school but I am not an employee. Everything is paid for by the band booster organization. Most of the trips are well under 100 miles and the out of state trip is 650 round trip.

My question; and what I've been looking through the FMCSR for, is: "Would this be considered private/ non-commerce, personal use, or something other?"

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

It is possible that occasionally you may use a truck for personal reasons and not for commerce. You may be moving your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby you may be taking your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity is not in support of a business, you are not operating in commerce. If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

33 years in the fire department with the US Air Force. Retired in 2012, and in 2014 I decided to do the only other thing I wanted to be when I was a kid. Loving every minute of it.dancing-dog.gif

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Really old guy career changes

Never too old. Fifty-three year old retired firefighter sitting in a restaurant in TN before day 2 of orientation. Go For It!good-luck.gif

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Daylight Saving Time

Instead of an hour forward, then an hour back, why don't we just move it 30 minutes and forget about it from there.rofl-3.gif

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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What would you do? (Flatbed Edition™)

No experience whatsoever here but I'll take a swing at it and at least see if I can make contact:

I'm going to be late no matter what so I'll need to call my DM but before I do, I'll go inside and see what my options are for adjusting the cargo. Depending what they are able/ willing to do, I call my DM and work out a plan to get a new delivery window with an adjusted and legal load.

On the "dark side" however; I guess you could spread your axles and run until you hit Indiana and then depending on where you needed to go you may not hit a scale. If you have to continue up I-65 you'll have to either take a chance at the scales near Seymour or find a way around them.

There are still a bunch of other things to consider as far as when you can get it there but, this is my thought on the weight.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Weights & Balance Spreadsheet PLUS "Brain Teaser"

Thanks Rick for the brain teaser and the spreadsheet. I started doing a spreadsheet the other night but was not as complete as yours. Below are my answers and I hope that we get some more questions like this one. It is really helping me see the real world applications of the stuff in all the books.

trucking brainteaser weight spreadsheetthank-you.gif

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