Comments By Dave H.

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  • Dave H.
  • Joined:
  • 5 years ago
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Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Truck Driver Training Stabbing

I can see it now. Now someone is going to want to ban knives.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Learned a lesson.....the hard way.

I had something similar happen to me a couple weeks ago. Had someone helping me out some things in the cab, and when he closed the door, it hit the lock button.

Had to revisit my macguyver days. I opened the door with a metal knife and a plastic spoon. Engine was running the whole time too. This coming from a guy who in the army broke into my barracks room with a broom handle and toenail clippers.

Now I remember why I always leave the window open just a little when I step out. Learned that as a mechanic because it happened alot!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Everyone should get a kick out of this!

My great grandfather drove a truck like that. I forgot about those! I'd like to drive one just for the experience, but I'm fairly happy with my 13 speed.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Information on railroad crossings

The ones that annoy me the most are the ones I stop at, then realize they paved over the tracks because they no longer use them. But they leave the signs for them up!!! So I have to stop traffic deep in rural Georgia, 4 ways on, to check for a train that will never come because they never pulled the signs. The whole time, old ladies are passing me, giving me the finger lol

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Has anyone ever picked up the wrong load ?

LMAO yeah I remember thinking that too. Then it dawned on me. Ah, crap.

Fortunately I didn't go more than about a mile and a half. Loading site is very close to the terminal.

Now if it was like 200 miles...I probably wouldn't have posted that :p

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Asking all drivers

Alley docking and downshifting were the hardest to learn. This is where effort, concentration and clarity pay off big time. It's nothing you CANT learn. Some people WONT learn them though because they are allowing something (fear, etc) to control THEM. Now some people need more help than others, I understand that, but its a very attainable goal.

If you want to do it, then go do it! That whole 'you have nothing to fear but fear itself' is BS. Fear of driving a big truck? Fear is nothing you couldn't man up and face head on. Do what you gotta do and just get it done! Most youll need is to not give into fear of failure and a positive attitude!

Same kind of fear you face when you go off to basic in the military. Without the yelling and BS that goes with that.

Never be afraid of 'what's most difficult' or whatever. You control it and make it work FOR you, or let your emotions control you and you effectively screw yourself. Take control. It's this simple: if you want it, do it!

I haven't been in this business for long. I actually came from the military, combat arms. I can tell you, while that didn't directly help me much in life, the lessons I learned have helped a ton. In this business, every day is different and unpredictable. Fear of the unknown has no place in this job in my eyes. Just do the job, do it smart and do it right...everything else will work out with ease after that.

After 4 combat tours, I can tell ya, this is a great job. I smile every day I leave the yard and enjoy chatting on the cb with whoever is out there. Nobody peering over my shoulders or micromanaging me. Nobody is shooting at me, etc...I've been thinking as I've been headed home from Iowa, how good of a fit this job seems to be. Why didn't I do this earlier?

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Ouch! I just got put down hard

You have wise old men, and grumpy old men. You'd be wise to ignore the grumpy ones and learn what wisdom you can from the wise ones. Applies everywhere in life, not just trucking.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Has anyone ever picked up the wrong load ?

I left the yard once to load, arrived at the loading facility, then realized I didn't have the trailer at all...I was in such a hurry to get rolling that I left the damn trailer. Doh!

Lesson learned: its never worth it to go THAT fast.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Can you have a small hatchet or small machete in truck?

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But a machete? What else could you use it for?

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When your truck breaks down in the jungles of Nicaragua and you have to go traipsing thorough miles of thick undergrowth to the nearest Love's for parts, you'll be glad you brought that machete along.

As much as I like my job, I'd quit before I'd allow that one lol Roofing hammer is also a good idea for FB. Some companies allow weapons. Problem is most shippers and receivers do not. If DOT finds a firearm, they know you were most likely heading to or from a shipper or receiver that prohibits them, and will grill you over it. Can they do anything to you if you are caught with it off their property? I don't know. But until I do, I'm not looking to find out. Then there's the whole 'ammo and magazines' deal if you do not have a CWP.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Can you have a small hatchet or small machete in truck?

Alot of what they can give you a hard time about is all about interpretation. If they see something you have as a weapon, they can and more than likely will treat it as such. Something like a tire thumper, on the other hand, is far less likely to attract that kind of attention. I carry the rescue axe...god forbid I ever need it...in case I come across or am involved in an accident where I need a tool to expedite my escape or someone else's from a vehicle. The tire thumper is self explanatory.

My axe has a smaller blade, stays in a sheath, and has cutouts in the blade to shut off gas lines and turn on or off fire hydrants, much like the personal ones some firemen carry. That way there is no confusion as to its intended purpose.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Can you have a small hatchet or small machete in truck?

Machete? Doubt it. I carry a small rescue axe in a sheath, and a tire thumper. I think it comes down to practicality. If you can justify having it more as a tool than a weapon, I doubt anyone would give you a hard time. But a machete? What else could you use it for?

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Class b please

Do yourself a favor and go the extra 1/4 mile and get the class A. I had a class B and it was almost useless except for dump trucks and concrete. I agree with Brett. At a minimum, in this economy, it makes a great fallback, if nothing else.

I did it as a backup plan and found out I love yankin tanks.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Shifting the truck....AAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Also, wait until the RPM's come way down before you try to downshift. Get them down in the 1000 RPM area (or even lower) and then downshift. If you're downshifting with the RPM's too high you really have to kick the RPM's up sky high to get it to shift into the lower gear. At higher RPM's the engine wants to lose RPM's more quickly so your timing has to be more precise. At lower RPM's it's a little more forgiving.

So try letting those RPM's drop really low before downshifting.

Took the words out of my mouth. At around 1000 rpm you need to kick it up to about 1400-1500 depending on transmission type to go into the next lower gear.

If it doesn't go into a lower gear, just tap the gas and try again from neutral. Don't force it though. You can tell without jamming it if it will go into gear or not.

Don't sweat it. Persistence pays off. Just a few month in and I'm driving the thing like a pro. Double downshifting and splitting up and down with no problems. Keep at it and you'll get to the point where you don't even need the tach anymore.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Tanker Division of Prime

Just because a company says they want 2 years or OTR or whatever means that they require it. From what I've seen, a company:

A) will say what they want (especially in a Craigslist ad) to minimize the risk of hiring a new driver but they are still hiring new talent B) stipulates what the prerequisites for employment are, and therefore are not flexible, or C) may not advertise jobs at all (burned on Craigslist too many times maybe)

Or they can advertise they hire new drivers, but from what I've seen, the loads are more inconsistent and the pay is lower in this case (starter companies)

I'm sure I didn't hit them all, but the bottom line is, if you are interested in a company, call them and ask. Make an excuse, tell them you were told they needed drivers and were top notch and you didn't know the prerequisites to be hired.

I found a job that fell under A, and was advertised as needing 2 years experience. I had NONE under my CDL when I was hired. One driver never even drove a 10 speed and was hired. All I had was school and military drive time with a skateboard years ago, but I could drive.

I never had to go through a starter company and now I drive tankers. Hiring criteria is always between what the company wants and what insurance will allow them to do.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Reflecting on my last two weeks running solo...

Steven, I didn't include all of you. I said, 'for the most part'. Some people are really good about not 'invading' my space around me while I'm driving. However, most people don't seem to care, and some amaze me at how lousy they are at it. I don't expect it to dawn on someone who has never driven a tractor trailer to understand these things like a truck driver does. Common sense would tell any driver to leave more space, but common sense isn't all that common anymore either. That's why there are signs and diagrams on the back of my tank that say this. I guess some people don't read those either.

Yes, it also annoys me to no end when people just ride along side me. Sometimes it's almost like they do it on purpose. I started using my turn signals too for that as well. I'm always looking to have an out.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Reflecting on my last two weeks running solo...

So no ****, here I am, shut down on the side of the road in SC. Normally I make it back to my terminal at night, but this is one of those nights that didn't happen. Gives me time to look back on what has happened over the last couple weeks.

Learned lots of things this week. Everything from what gears my truck likes the best when pulling a load up a grade with a tank, how to judge weight when loading, trip planning and HoS regs. For the most part, its been pretty smooth.

Only had one scary moment. Had a lady on 95 cut me off last week right as it started to pour hard. She ended up spinning out in the road right in front of me. Remembering what I was taught (not to swerve with a load), I layed into the brakes, fully expecting to punt her into next week. Fortunately, she ended up sliding off the road just in time for me to miss her. However, right about the time I got hit with the surge from the tank, I noticed I could now see all of my driver side tandems. I supposed I lucked out, as I hit the trailer brakes lightly and it slid back into place on the wet pavement. That had the potential to be very ugly. Had it been dry, I might have rolled the tank. I think I loaded my drawers on that one!

The biggest thing I learned this past couple weeks is that 4 wheelers don't respect you...or your space, at all, at least for the most part.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Need some quick clarification on the 30 minute break with hazmat

Probably late to mention this, but the majority of the trucks we have, including the one I've been in, are day cabs. Very few sleeper cabs here. Maybe that's the reason...?

Either way I have no issues logging it as off duty or whatever. Just want to make sure I do it right.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Need some quick clarification on the 30 minute break with hazmat

So I started driving recently. My company hauls caustic out to paper mills as a big part of their customer base. Most loads are hazmat, 1824 or 1993 or something similar. I've heard when you are hauling hazmat, and you take your 30 minute break, if you are loaded or carrying residue (that is placarded) that you never log your break as 'off duty' and you should log it as 'on duty, not driving', since you have a responsibility for physical security of the truck, even during your 30 minutes. It goes on to say that if you have a clean tank or you are in a secure location, you can go ahead and log it as 'off duty'. I've also heard that it should be logged as 'on duty, not driving' regardless. I want to make sure I'm doing this correct and start on the right foot. I haven't found my answer in my reg book like I was hoping for. Maybe I was just having an off day, I dunno. We run logs 100% legal, as I am, I just want to make sure I'm not being taught to do something in a way that is based on old information, someone's wrong interpretation, etc... Just want to make sure I have this down right.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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New driver landed awesome job thanks to ...

I've found this site to be a great resource. I just started driving recently too, and I got a great job as a tanker yanker making great pay right out of school. These people are more than happy to teach me, are safety oriented and are very pro-driver. They were willing to work with me since I had military driving experience. I can thank those who left their advice here for helping guide me towards this job. Now I'm finding myself refreshed, motivated and getting well paid for my efforts without having to start at one of the big starter companies. Glad to know there are people out there willing to help with advice, and willing to tell it how it is. Makes a difference, doesn't it?

I was about to go LTL, but between getting older and wanting to drive a tanker, I just went for it. Glad to hear you got hooked up!

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Someone's LAST Bad Day!! (Wreck)

I've had one of those. Great cars, light and strong. That one looks a whole lot lighter now though.

As light as they are, and as fast as they can stop, tells me that the guy was not just texting, but completely oblivious of his surroundings. AND he went through the ICC bar.

Here on I-16 near Savannah we've already had 3 major accidents in the last month. It wasn't until I started driving a rig recently when I got a better idea of how stupid some drivers can be around trucks or in general. Just. Friggin. Amazing.

Kind of disappointing. Corvette owners are *usually* fairly responsible. Goes to show it only takes a brief stupid choice to have permanent ramifications.

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