Profile For Dave H.

Dave H.'s Info

  • Location:
    Savannah, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 9 months ago

Dave H.'s Bio

Army combat vet of 12 years. Reservist. Owner Operator.

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Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Why Some Drivers Are Treated Better Than Others - Article By Rainy

What it comes down to is making yourself valuable to the company. New drivers are liabilities in alot of ways...make yourself an ASSET.

Once I got better at running my truck, better at managing my time and more familiar with customers, I started noticing I was getting trusted more with loads...I even do yard checks for company equipment at one customer, and in return I usually get a pretty good load taking me there and a backhaul back out as well.

When you become known as a go getter that doesn't need to be babysat, that makes the company above average revenue, a driver that doesn't have run ins with safety, is proactive, doesnt abuse equipment and works for the company AND his/her own profitability, and they see that...they almost have no choice but to run you.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

I'm an owner operator. I started out on here awhile ago and I make a pretty good living now, but I also had to survive the meat grinder.

In order to be a successful owner operator, you need to ask yourself:

-are you willing to roll your sleeves up and work on the truck yourself? -are you more worried about profit or 'looking cool'? -are you willing to accept all decisions during your 70 and regarding your truck as a business decision and willing to do things you don't want if they are in your business's best interest? -are you being honest with yourself? -are you more worried in having the newest, shiniest truck, or do you want to truly OWN your own business compared to making payments? -are you willing to be proactive to not just stay off of a hook, but stay safe and profitable? -do you have a detailed and tailored business plan that doesn't entail relying on your companies promises and is geared towards maximizing your equipment life? -are you willing to slow down to reduce wear and tear? In most cases, mileage=longevity. -are you willing to research the details on taking care of your truck yourself to keep it out of the shop and safe? -are you willing to research companies and talk to drivers before leasing to a company? Do you understand the difference between a purchase plan and a lease or lease purchase with option to buy? -are you willing to devote your entire 70 every week into driving? That last load you don't take might be the difference between just paying the bills that week or making a profit. -are you willing to assume the ethical, financial and legal risks and responsibilities of truck ownership? -are you financially responsible and mature? -are you proactive or reactive? -do you understand that the industry's ideal O/O business model serves itself more than you and will more than likely leave you broke and at the mercy of repair shops?

Those are just SOME things to consider. I've already seen a number of O/O's fail and go back to being a company driver. I would be lying if I said I didn't almost fail either, but I was determined to succeed. So when my engine quit and my company left me in the dark, I took my rig home and did the engine repairs MYSELF, for 3 weeks in the wonderful summer sun in GA. Next month it will not only be in great shape with a good engine, it will be paid off, and she runs better than ever.

Their solution was a new truck. This was not in line with my business plan for multiple reasons, and would have most likely led me to financial ruin.

Being an owner operator isn't for everybody. It's for very few. I was able to succeed, but that's thanks to mechanical skills, a business background, common sense, financial maturity and an old infantryman's determination. It's no cakewalk, that's for sure, it's a burden that alot of people struggle to carry.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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What are your opinions on floating gears?

Correct. The gears in a semi are cut differently and non synchronized...YOU as the driver are the synchronizer. Bigger companies don't want you to openly float because they don't want you learning to float on their equipment and tearing it up. Guarantee you they aren't giving the experienced driver any grief over it. Why? He's not grinding and jamming the gears. I agree those gears were probably 'worst case scenario' kinds of gears, and the fact is you don't know who drove it and how its entire life. All things equal, two trucks driven a lifetime with never grinding gears at all, one DC and one floated, the one DC will have accelerated wear. Why? More clutch and linkage/cable wear.

Don't be too quick to believe what you are told. As with many things in this country, people are led in a certain direction by controlled use of information.

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Swift's best kept secret?

I've seen some odd Swift stuff near savannah. About a month ago I saw what appeared to be a UPS trailer pulled by a swift truck. I've seen a few Swift trailers pulled by other companies, and if I remember correctly what appeared to be a truck leased to Swift pulling a tank. Odd. Maybe has something to do with their recent financial troubles?

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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DOD jobs

I gotcha. The days where you can do that with KBR or another company are mostly gone though. You can still do it, though there are far less opportunities between the drawdown and the DoD using more third country nationals to deliver cargo for less money.

I can say this: as an 11B20 myself, I can tell you...don't. Certain cretains were targeting the tanks on the trucks for more boom just for a shot to kill the driver. Twice as bad if its a fuel tanker. Stay in the states. I drove some trucks in the sandbox for awhile too, and its not a pleasant experience driving what ends up being a huge moving target with deisel under the cab while looking out for bombs. Kinda takes the fun outta trucking.

First time I ever got shot at was in a rig. Smoking at a short halt, out of town, waiting to recover a vehicle, stepped out to eyeball everything and stretch real quick. Heard what sounded like a hammer hitting the side of the truck and I found two bullet holes next to me, in the door above the tank.

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Well, my day is just dandy so far!

So...where do we begin?

Normally I drive an 06 KW T600. I love that truck...its had issues, but at 900+k miles on it, its been pretty good to me. But ever had a day where nothing goes right at all?

To start, when I pretripped, I found a flat on my trailer. The shop was closed (smaller company), so I called for an after hours tire replacement. That I waited 4 hours on. Tough pill to swallow, but I have enough time to run my route. BUT...

...I find a huge puddle under my bonnet after I found the flat. My power steering reservoir cracked, and now I have no power steering. Bummer. So I dropped the trailer, since we were fortunate enough to have a truck on hand that was unassigned I could use as a loaner. BUT...

...I go to park my tractor to discover the service brakes locked in the engaged position. 40psi on the service brakes, no pressure on the pedal, but the brake lights are on and they wouldn't release. Mind you, I haven't even left the terminal yet. I drag the tractor out of the way and park it for repair while waiting for the tire on the trailer. Hey, I get to drive the new 'shaker though, so it can't be all bad, right? I have barely enough time now, but I can make it now that I just got a new tire on the trailer. BUT...

...I get to the pilot to fuel and fill the tanks in the new truck. Engine cranks but will not start. So now I'm waiting for a tow, in the fuel island at the pilot.

...all I can do is laugh.

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Taking a shower on the road

Yeah, I remember on one of my deployments we were doing rotations out to a patrol base...10 days no shower, 5 days back for a year. And when you got back you needed to hurry up and fight over the shower or there would be no hot water. Ah, the memories...

Worst I've had was a month no shower. All while running around sweating in the desert, body armor and all. Baby wipes are your friend, but I love each and every shower I take.

Yeah, infantry has it hard when it comes to wipes, dry shave, go commando and rotate your socks to get more use out of

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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Tanker Driver Dies Swerving To Avoid Hurting Motorists

He definitely should have kept more following distance. I see it alot, trucks way closer than they should be. I do see Brett's point in that he may have had more options if he had not been so close to the traffic he was following. Like I said earlier, that's why I make a point to adhere to the three second rule. I might annoy other trucks or have 4 wheelers take it as an opportunity to get in front of me, but it helps having more reaction time and room to stop.

I still think the drivers actions were commendable. I wouldn't quite go hero there, but I also agree this was somewhat avoidable.

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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Failed a Level II Inspection

I saw a guy about a month ago at a pilot in TN pull out and drop his trailer. The kingpin got caught on the rear frame member and was off of the fifth wheel. He was able to save it, but he found his kingpin lock pulled free. I think it helped that he was deadheading at the time.

From what I heard, there was some 'interesting' people wandering the truck stop the night before, and he denied services. For reasons like this, I try to make it a habit to ALWAYS verify the kingpin is locked when I hook up, and always eyeball my release when I am getting back into the truck.

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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Tanker Driver Dies Swerving To Avoid Hurting Motorists

I wouldn't do that unless I knew that I would probably end up seriously hurting or killing people. I'm not concerned about ruining their cars, that's what insurance is for. Otherwise I'd be using those brakes.

Someone said it on here before though... a lot of these issues can be avoided by allowing for the proper following distance. I understand that wasn't necessarily the case here, but it's something worth keeping in mind.

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