Profile For Rick S.

Rick S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Rick S. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 4 months ago

Rick S.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 year ago

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Technical Advisor whereabouts

Sorry for the scare there guys.

Had a somewhat minor health issue to resolve. Then I got super-busy with my IT business projects (and other personal projects/obsessions).

For folks who know me a little better - I was suffering from pretty decent burnout/depression for quite awhile. Found the cause, worked it out (or in the process of working out). Getting better, my mind is working right (or right-er), and I'm no longer spending days (months), parked in my cave, in front of my computer or TV.

Funny thing is - a number of folks have my phone number & personal email contact info - kinda surprised my disappearance didn't cause a few phone calls to be made. The concern over my absence was brought to my attention by a long time lurker here

At any rate - I am OK. I was just advised to spend more time outside of my cave, moving around - and less time parked in front of my computer.

Life is about balance, and I'm trying to find mine - which will include my continued participation here in TT. For folks that have been here as long as I have (the few), I've been known to drop out of sight for extended periods of time, then jump back in.

As a "technical advisor", I'm aware that my participation was large contribution here, along with the other long-time members/mods. No disrepect was meant to the board for "getting promoted", then bugging out. The huge amount of time I spent on the board up until recently, was due to the fact that I had a lot of time on my hands. My time is being occupied by other things, so I've pulled back (or out, for the moment it appears). But I still love this place, and the industry (even if I can't get myself out there with y'all on the road).

Still working some stuff out here - so we'll see what the future brings.

Again - balance - I'm still trying to find some...

Regards to all...

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Question on random drug tests

"Random tests" - as required by DOT, "should be" urine, as HFT is still not a "DOT Accepted Method" of testing. The typical hair test, is a preemployment drug screen, although most companies do not test urine also as mandated. DOT kind of lets the companies slide on it.

Your typical random, comes a message on the QUALCOMM, because they know exactly where you are, they will give you the address to the nearest testing center, and you must go drop immediately, or it is considered a refusal.

If anyone works for a company, that does hair tests as random, and not "under suspicion" as random, it would be interesting to hear about it.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

3/4 and 1" drives are insane in price. I know from considering at one point using my permissions to test for my FAA A&P licensure. That and from being an Aircraft mechanic for 13 years. The Snap On truck used to make its rounds to each hangar once a week. I have priced tools. TQ Wrenches are insane. Especially once you get into the foot lbs ones. The 0-30 in lb dial indicating, the 40-200 in lb and the 150-750 in lb aren't really all that bad. A few hundred a piece.

Try the friggin digital torque wrenches. A buddy of mine down here is a snap on distributor, he is a very wealthy man.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

PLUS - if he got into heavy diesel mechanics - his SnapOn guy would own his firstborn (if he doesn't already). You think the 3/8th & 1/2 stuff is expensive - wait'll you get into the heavy stuff.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

With your auto tech background I'd think about truck mechanics - desperate need for those as well.

Some people just don't want to get dirty, work in a hot environment, etc.

My first real job at 16, was for a volkswagen shop. Loved the work, until they found out how old I was, and that insurance wouldn't cover me if I got hurt.

I've done it as an "extreme hobby" - mostly for my own cars and motorcycles. Do my "heavy work" at a friends shop - sweaty, dirty - don't genuinely know that I'd wanna put 40 hours a week in there (I can barely make it through an oil change before hitting the A/C).

His mechanical aptitude will serve him well in a trucking career - even if he never twists a wrench, bangs up his knuckles, or spends 20 minutes with a scrub brush and GoJo getting the embedded grease of his hands.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Terminated from CR England

That makes it a bit more clear, but it would still be nice to know the circumstances. For some info on what England's policy is on line five, you have to get approval from your DM, call logs BEFORE you start, log off duty personal conveyance(as in line 4 with a flag, not line 5) for long enough to make it stay on the ELD, then drive on line 3, and go back to and do off duty personal conveyance on line 4 again, then call logs again when you arrive. Then the same when you go back(which you ALWAYS do in accordance with the law, right? ;) ).

They try to avoid it whenever possible, and I generally don't bother. Logs is a business hours only department too, so if, let's say, you get all the approvals and start driving at 17:00 MST, you best hope you don't meet any bears that want to look at your logs as they won't be changing until Logs opens back up. I have done it before, even without asking permission first, and got a talking to not fired. So I think we're still missing something or she made a habit of doing it without permission.

Better off calling a CAB (or Uber). Better off hitchhiking.

That's a PITA policy. Might was well just not all Line 5 AT ALL.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Forced Retirement

On-Guard...should come with a bumper sticker; "I brake for overpasses".

I wish I could say you'll get completely used to it, tolerance is the best you can hope for. 98% of the time not bothersome...

You KILL ME!

boys-accident-clutch-brake-accelerator-accident-brake-brake-brake-desifun-20828738.png

(sorry Rainy)

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Med card questions

Thank you all for the help. I know why they gave me a 90 day card, he said i need to have my fam dr fill out some paperwork if i need a sleep study. Dot examiner said my neck was too big.

I was only curious to see which card to give at next interview wasnt sure if they each belong to that specific company.

Any light shed to the bad of a driveaway company?

Most "company physical" Med Examiners - are going by the (supposed) guidelines of: over 17" neck and/or over 35 BMI. This has never actually been made an FMCSA REGULATION - because it is VOODOO SCIENCE. As many people UNDER the guidelines HAVE OSA, as people OVER the guidelines DO NOT.

This would be one of those cases - where I would say, go to the DME that did your last card - and get a NEW ONE (unless the driveaway company makes you use one of their docs too).

if you were talking about BP or some other condition - that would be another issue. OTOH - if you ARE HUGE, then there IS A CHANCE that you actually do have OSA.

WORD OF WARNING THOUGH - the current DOT Med Long Form, asks if you have ever gotten LESS THAN A TWO YEAR CARD. Because these ARE UPLOADED, you will "legally" have to answer YES to this question. In the explanation - you can put that ME wanted a letter from your PCP, regarding OSA, before issuing a 1 or 2 year card.

To play it REALLY SAFE - I would get a letter from your family doctor, to the nature of - "patient in my opinion does not require OSA testing", answer the question HONESTLY, and present the letter to the DME.

Some DME's are PITA's about the BMI/Neck thing - most ARE NOT. Most company DME's (Swift/Prime/et al), will require a SLEEP STUDY (which the company will gladly pay for and deduct from your paycheck) and odds are the clinic the the company uses WILL DETERMINE that you have OSA - at which point the company will gladly pay for your CPAP machine (and deduct it from your pay).

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Med card questions

I need some help im very new to trucking. I live in pa and I received my med card before i started school for 2 years. I got hired on with a company that made me get another med card this one is only 90 days. I did not stay with this company longer than a week, too unsafe practices from trainer. Now must i use my most current med card for my next job? Is it stored in a database? I have an interview tomorrow with a driveaway company and im not quite sure which med card to give them if they ask. Thanks for any help.

Typically - there is a MEDICAL REASON WHY a 90 day card is issued (versus a 1 or 2 year card).

YES - there are uploaded by the Medical Examiner to FMCSA's database (prevents DOCTOR SHOPPING).

The question I have is - WHY did you only get a 90 day card? You can go to your local Medical Examiner - BUT - if there was a condition that prevented you from getting a FULL 1/2 year card - and you DO NOT DISCLOSE IT to the next examiner, there's a good chance it will show up.

FAILURE TO DISCLOSE on a DOT Med Application, is a FEDERAL CRIME.

Before they computerized the records, folks would "doctor shop", until they found one that would give ANYONE that was breathing a card. Not so any more.

The MOST RECENT EXAM/CARD, is considered to be the "current one". Better hustle up and get a new one, and get it uploaded to your state DMV, before the current one EXPIRES.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

CDL Requirements - need help

F-250 7,000lbs Trailer 7,250lbs Load 8,750lbs

Total 23,000lbs

You describe "trailer & load". Is the load ON THE TRAILER - or split between the trailer and pickup?

Commercial: Class A: Combination vehicles, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 26,000 lbs., towing trailer over 10,000 lbs. Class B: Single or Combination vehicles, GVWR over 26,000 lbs., towing trailer under 10,000 lbs. Class C: Vehicle under 26,000 lbs., transporting hazardous materials or carrying 16+ passengers.

Now - if you go by THE LAW - a Class C - doesn't allow you to tow a trailer. A Class B doesn't allow OVER 10K on the trailer.

If you normally tow UNDER 10K lbs COMMERCIALLY - and that is the KEY - if you are towing YOUR HOUSE/RV/TRAILER - NO CDL REQUIRED. If your BUSINESS is towing a mobile office trailer for BUSINESS PURPOSES, then "technically" - is IS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE, and will require some class of CDL (B at the LEAST).

If you are towing OVER the GCWR of the truck (GVWR + Tow Capacity) you are OVERWEIGHT for that class (and could get an overweight ticket). If the GROSS WEIGHT of the truck, trailer and load exceeds weight classification of your CDL - then you are driving with the WRONG CLASS OF CDL.

The SAFEST BET - is to just get a Class A - which will keep you from EVER having an issue (at least with LICENSE CLASSIFICATION).

I have a buddy that transports motorcycles for a shop he works for down here (Harleys & Indians). 20' Trailer, name of the shop on the side of the truck. NO CDL in-hand.

He got pulled by a trooper in MD, doing Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. He let him slide THAT TIME - but told him if he ever saw him again, he'd better have DOT NUMBERS on the side of his truck, a CDL-A in his pocket, and a log book (or logging device after 12/19/17) in his truck. By the weight of his truck and on his trailer - HE IS A CLASS A RIG. His employer SWEARS they aren't - but that won't keep him from HANDCUFFS for numerous violations, if he's not in compliance and gets pulled.

You can get away with this WITHOUT the proper numbers and license classes 99 times - and that 100th time will leave teeth marks on your butt.

Sadly - you will have to test for a Class A - in a full tractor/trailer rig.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Air horn ettiquite

Remember - air horns are HIGHWAY HORNS - not really supposed to be using them in the city.

A quick "double toot", if you want to be nice, but not long enough to freak out other cars around you.

We're not choo-choo-trains.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Adding Endorsements: Would I need to retake the Class A and C tests?

Sorry - kinda vague.

No you do not need to take your Class A (written or skills) or Class C tests. But your Class A ALREADY COVERS Class C commercial vehicles. Class A is the highest class of license, and covers all classes of vehicles below it (B/C).

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Adding Endorsements: Would I need to retake the Class A and C tests?

Nope - written tests only.

Hazmat will require fingerprints & background check - around $100. Takes around 30 days to come back.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Just got my CDl but a big question please

First off - THANKS FOR YOU SERVICE. My biggest regret in life was being a dumbazz stoner kid in '82, and not staying in. I could have been retired full-boat, over a decade ago.

As others have mentioned, OTR isn't a "part time job".

So the notion of "doing a drop, then taking a couple of days off", isn't likely to happen. Hometime (such as it is for the homeless trucker), still has to be scheduled in advance.

BUT - the flipside, and the REAL BENEFIT of the hometime thing (especially for the homeless trucker) is that you can take your "days off", pretty much ANYWHERE YOU WANT (within reason, and close to your company's freight lanes).

Want 3 days in VEGAS? Put in a hometime request for Las Vegas (a couple of weeks in advance). While you may not get there, the EXACT DAY you want (typically +/- a day). Gives you a great opportunity to make mini-vacations all over the country (again, within reason and in a places where the company runs).

And I (personally) wouldn't want a slip-seat gig for OTR. I'd want my truck setup the way I like, and not have to deal a different truck when I come off hometime.

Best of luck to you - keep us posted.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Driving with expired DOT med card?

All that not withstanding - how did he get all the way into TNT - with a soon to be expired Med Card?

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Driving with expired DOT med card?

I'm not mad at your trainer, I'm not mad at your dispatcher. But I'm really mad at you. This is your livelihood, how the heck do you let this happen? Prime is kind enough to track your expiration and send you a reminder and you still forgot?

I mean com'n, there's guys that are willing to run to the moon and back to be in your shoes and you somehow couldn't keep track of one thing. The one thing that your entire license hangs on.

Yes, your trainer could have kept up with it. Yes, dispatch shouldn't say that. But this is your responsibility and only yours.

I'm not yelling at you like Rick is. But this has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of a TNT student at Prime.

I wish you luck my friend. Don't drive until its fixed.

LOL - I wasn't yelling at HIM - I was yelling AT EVERYONE. Because this is one of those SUPER IMPORTANT THINGS - that sometimes "slips through the cracks".

I sacrifice the last month on my card, and go do my Med Cert exam 30 days early. That way, if something negative comes up in the exam - I still have that month to remedy the situation and get a new cert on file.

You CAN get a 3 month card, if your blood pressure (or other situation) fails you - to get that condition under control enough to pass.

What I don't understand is - how this guy is in TNT - and his CARD EXPIRED? EVERYONE gets a physical at orientation - so he should have at least a 1 year card (if he's on BP meds for example) or a 2 year card if he passed with no medical conditions. The ONLY THING I can think of - is he got a shorter card for Sleep Apnea, and they were waiting to verify CPAP Compliance, to issue him a 1 year card.

So - I'm REALLY CURIOUS how Christopher is in TNT, and didn't have a recently issued card FROM ORIENTATION?

Your mommy, dispatcher, safety, doctor - NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE for keeping a Med Cert current EXCEPT THE CDL HOLDER.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Driving with expired DOT med card?

Actually - it's WORSE THAN THAT.

While not 100% of the states have caught up - your DOT Med Card is "supposed to be" on file with your licensing state. "Technically", if is is, you aren't even REQUIRED TO CARRY IT. Your DMV CDL Record is supposed to have an additional entry on it, that indicates a current DOT Medical Card

Here's the rub though. The DAY YOUR CARD EXPIRES - YOUR CDL BECOMES A REGULAR DRIVERS LICENSE. AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADE, until you get a new card ON FILE WITH YOUR STATE. That is not just - until you get a new card - but UNTIL YOUR STATE DMV KNOWS YOU HAVE IT.

Yes - I'm yelling, it's THAT IMPORTANT.

IF - you get pulled over, and your state has downgraded your CDL - it is "Operating a CMV without a CDL" (which in many states is DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE), and lord forbid you are UNDER A PLACARDED LOAD. You can END UP IN HANDCUFFS.

EVEN IF YOU RENEWED YOUR MED CARD - if the STATE DOESN'T GET IT ON FILE - YOU DO NOT HAVE A CDL in your wallet - you have a regular old operators license. Some states will even SUSPEND THAT LICENSE, if you do not come in and TURN IT IN.

Now - ALL STATES are supposed to be in compliance with this by now - it IS A FEDERAL REGULATION.

Most states (if not all) have a section on their DMV websites - where you can just upload a picture of the DOT Med Card - and they will review and approve its entry into their system. In Florida - my last one took less than 24 hours before I got the approval notice in my email. The state DMV's know that OTR Drivers may not get back to their home states soon enough to show up at a DMV office, or they may renew their cards out of state.

People should check this out WAY BEFORE their card expires, so they know what they need to do - to be in compliance. Don't wait until THE DAY YOUR CARD EXPIRES - to get a new one.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Upgraded

Congrats

dancing-banana.gif

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Tractor Issue

I did a daycab run a couple of years ago for a friend, Fort Lauderdale to Delaware and back, to pick up a piece of equipment.

Yes you are paying for a room. Yes you are giving me a meal allowance. I did it for a day rate - just to get some wheel time.

Companies will pay for the room, if you are overnight away from the terminal. Might not be the Marriott though.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

The Daily Vent - Divas, Primadonnas, and Trolls

The point I was making, it could still be everything Trucking entails, plus being shot at. If you don't mind adding being shot at to the mix, and being away from family for a year at a time, you can make 6 figures driving truck in a war zone as a civilian contractor.

What kind of 6 figures? The problem is, most drivers that are just drivers, can't shoot back. And a lot of this stuff runs without escort (I have friends that have done contract protection work over there).

We risk our lives with the dummys in 4 wheelers here enough - without adding IED's & snipers to the mix.

Rick

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