Profile For Dave H.

Dave H.'s Info

  • Location:
    Savannah, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 2 months ago

Dave H.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  1 year, 1 month 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:  2 years, 4 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:  3 years, 10 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:  3 years, 11 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:  3 years, 12 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:  4 years 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:  4 years 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 hygiene...baby wipes, dry shave, go commando and rotate your socks to get more use out of them...lol

Posted:  4 years, 2 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:  4 years, 2 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:  4 years, 2 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.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Tanker Driver Dies Swerving To Avoid Hurting Motorists

If you swerve hard, you will probably clear the road before it goes over, but it depends on a lot of factors. You most likely wont keep it right side up though.

You can see in the video that he swerved, got over to the guardrail, and then tried to save it after clearing traffic. You can also see that he got it straight, but the surge kept pushing the tank towards and over the guardrail so the tractor had no choice but to do the same.

Swerving is a last resort. It's really not even considered an option if you are loaded. If you have the ability to at all, you keep it straight and hit those brakes.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Do any of you use an app to help you placard your cargo correctly?

Agreed. Get the placards at the shipper before you head out. you just need the check your load and BOL and make sure your placards match up, for the most part. Don't be afraid to use your books as a reference if you aren't sure about something, or if you aren't sure you are placarding correctly.

I would also ask for a spare set of placards if you are planning on going through significant weather. Just a good idea I figured I'd pass on. I have had placards get so wet that they literally found their way out of the placard holder on the trailer and flew off. Fortunately I found it before DOT did when I stopped for my 30.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Tanker Driver Dies Swerving To Avoid Hurting Motorists

You cant even do that. I pull a tanker; a tanker is a different animal as it is a live load and the fluid in the tank makes it a challenge to drive (shoves you down hills, pulls you back up hills, makes it hard to shift (depending on the weight and viscosity of what's in the tank) and most important, it is VERY easy to roll over. The surge you get used to, but if you stop hard enough and aren't expecting it, the surge can be enough to shove you through the brakes into an intersection.

Best thing you can do in that situation is hit the brakes and pray. You can certainly swerve, but even if you do get it under control, the side surge will probably put you on your side. There is a small chance if you think about it fast enough you can get it straight and hit the brakes to change the direction of the surge before it knocks you over, but nothing I would risk a rig on.

As a tanker driver, I would say he knew the risks, and was trying to save lives. You know if you swerve at speed that it's over.

I find when I'm driving, I always ask myself 'what if' questions and try to keep that following distance open. 4 wheelers make that difficult sometimes though, they don't understand the risks around them. Asking those questions help you react quickly in an emergency.

For what it's worth, I would do the same thing. If I was out of options, I would rather make myself an exit and only put myself at risk rather than drive right into traffic hauling any sort of hazmat, especially anything flammable. Its a risk that's more elevated by pulling liquids. I personally feel if you can't see the logic in that, you have no business driving a tanker truck.

This is tragic, but I commend the driver for saving lives by sacrificing his own.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Sometimes the Grass is Not Greener on the Other SIde .........

I was taught how to simply mark down that 30-minute break and continue beating the batteries until you couldn't deliver any more for the day. Then, just add that 30-minutes to the end of the day! My trainer said, "The break is when you are driving from location to location." What? I was tired!

You were taught wrong. Some guys do that to maximize time but you better be careful with that. If you get audited, there are ways DOT has to find out if you did that. And if you did...it's all on you. Stop and take a legitimate 30 minute break. Don't log a break unless you are actually taking one, and if you are driving, you better be logged as such.

If you cant make a decent wage doing that, you either have the wrong job or are living beyond your means.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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XM radio opinions

Dave is looking for a:

double-quotes-start.png

double ended mini RCA (or whatever it is) cable

double-quotes-end.png

The cable connecting your audio device (phone, tablet, iPod - if you still have one, etc.) is a 3.5mm Stereo plug/patch cable. Now it's being called a "AUX cable".

I-TEC-3.5mm-Stereo-Cable-4ft.jpg

That's what I got. I ran into one at a pilot I've been using. Kind of a pain in the ass to change stations on the move, but it'll work for the time being. I would rather have a stereo to change the stations and whatnot, but this'll do for now.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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XM radio opinions

Really? hmmm...I'll have to check that out then. I could be wrong there, in which case, I'm set.

Only question for now is then, can I find a cable like the one I mentioned at a Pilot or a Loves? Or am I SOL on that one? I'm about to head out to AL here pretty soon.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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XM radio opinions

My 'new' truck is an '08 KW with 350k miles, vs the 900+ on my current '06. I doubt it has XM in it.

I could always swap the deck with an XM capable deck and take it with me. My company is pretty cool with things like that.

Maybe I should stream for now until I get situated with the new truck with it's own equipment? That would be fine if I could find a double ended mini RCA (or whatever it is) cable. My current truck for whatever has a mini headunit out of a freightshaker in it. Don't know why.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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XM radio opinions

OK, so I've been driving enough that I think it's kind of dumb to have XM in my car and not in my truck. I'm getting ready to get a 'new' (to me) truck, and trade in my '06 KW for one that isn't about to roll over a million soon. It'll also be a T600B, and doesn't have a Cat ACERT engine, which is fine for me. I just hope it has a 13 speed too. Anyway, I already have an XM account in my car and the wife's car. Curious if I should stream off my phone, or if I should just buy the little XM box that you see at truck stops and use that, though I'm sure I'd have to pay for a third line if I did that. I'm mostly worried about eating up my data, since I use that to do school work for those times I'm not at home. Also, is there any issues with delays or whatnot when streaming on a phone vs using the XM box? Thoughts?

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Questions about twic

The process for a twic card is pretty much the same as applying for hazmat. It's done through the TSA. You don't need hazmat to get it, but I always recommend everyone get both to expand the range of jobs you can apply for.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Been keeping busy

That's basically the same kind of stuff I do. House projects or car projects. I find myself alternating between them and it can get kind of tedious.

I'm hoping to find another decent place that could use some TLC to fix up to rent out, to help supplement my income as a driver and diversify my portfolio so to speak.

By all means, if you have the skills, use them! If not, its wasted talent my friend. Have fun on your downtime. I'll be doing the same tomorrow while I'm taking my 34.

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