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:
    11 years, 6 months ago

Rick S.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  1 hour, 29 minutes ago

View Topic:

Tanker drivers

Hi there Everyone!

I have a question. What is pulling a tanker like? Can anyone tell me anything about Bynum? If you don’t suggest Bynum which company would you suggest? Right now sitting down here at the TA in Pioneer, TN.

Have friends that drove for them. They're food grade. Run a lot of concentrate from McAllen TX to Florida (and other places). Dairy from the NE/MW.

My friends ran as hard as they wanted to. Obviously Food Grade requires washouts and the like.

They have nice equipment. My friends had no complaints.

Food grade tankers are smoothbore, and you're gonna get "surge", which will push you around - so it requires a great deal of finesse to not get pushed around.


Posted:  1 hour, 34 minutes ago

View Topic:

Mental Health DOT Physical Pains

No I am not trying to hide anything. I just felt this particular physician was very judgemental and extremely conservative compared to those in the past. None of my meds are narcotics or anything on the "no" list.

FMCSA has a "list" - and certain companies have additional meds they don't like. Mostly for the safety department.

If this is a "kid doc" (and as WE GET OLDER - young docs look like kids to us) - he may actually want to research side-effects and potential interactions (as it sounds like you're on a bunch of meds).

Sadly - the way FMCSA runs it's new Medical Examiners/Drivers database - you can't go "doctor shopping", if you get a result from one doc that you don't like (like a 3 month conditional card), and just go to another doc that's more lenient. Example: the doc that does my cards, if you're breathing, not p-ing sugar or protein, can read a chart and not spiking a BP - good to go.

As long as your prescribing doc, documents your prescription history and gives an opinion that you are OK to drive - then it should get you cleared.

But keep in mind - the doc that ISSUES THE CARD - bears any potential liability (especially for meds), if he clears you - you have an accident, and some jag-off attorney (can) tries to tie it to the meds THE DOC CLEARED YOU TO DRIVE ON.

If the doc is new (a kid doc) - he may be more cautious than an old timer about meds, hence him wanting to "research".



Posted:  7 hours, 12 minutes ago

View Topic:

Can I remove the manual transmission restriction on my CDL

Would also need a CLP in order to practice and test

This is merely the process of removing a restriction from your current CDL. I can't see a learner's permit being required for that.


Technically - if you have a manual restriction on your CDL - you are not permitted to drive a manual transmission.

Pretty sure you won't need a CLP (though I'd check with your local DMV), but you would likely need to have a driver with an unrestricted license in the cab with you.

This is one of those "weird things".

You can't necessarily get a CLP without downgrading your current CDL (something you likely wouldn't want to do). Though I wouldn't want to try and explain to a cop if you get pulled over (though they would probably let you slide).


Posted:  12 hours, 44 minutes ago

View Topic:

Past Employment and Getting on with a Paid CDL Company

Here's the thing.

First off...

Documentable employment history (3 years for non-previous drivers / 10 years for drivers) is a FEDERAL REQUIREMENT. So there's really no way of getting around it. For people who cannot PROVE EMPLOYMENT via W-2's and references - affidavits from witnesses as to what you were DOING during those periods. This is mainly a security thing (like you weren't in Syria in an ISIS training camp), but it REALLY IS MANDATORY that this info is provided. Some people (for example) have taken time to care for a sick/dying relative - and have this documented by affidavits.

They want to know WHAT YOU WERE DOING - if you didn't have a regular job. If you were doing stuff like odd jobs/handyman - affidavits from people you did work for, etc.



Private CDL Schools CAN NOT GUARANTEE YOU A JOB UPON COMPLETION. Their purpose is to TAKE YOUR MONEY AND TEACH YOU ENOUGH TO GET YOUR CDL. If they can help you get a job - all the better - but NONE CAN GUARANTEE YOU ONE. And due to your difficulty getting on with a company that will TRAIN AND HIRE YOU (because basically, if you get through orientation and initial training - YOU HAVE A JOB ALREADY) - if you SPEND THE MONEY (take out a LOAN) to go to a private school, but STILL CANNOT GET A JOB - then YOU OWE THE MONEY FOR THE CDL SCHOOL LOAN BUT STILL ARE UNEMPLOYED (or at least not, driving a truck).


Applied to Prime & TDI...

As you pointed out - TDI is a private school. TDI - WILL GLADLY TAKE YOUR $$ - their purpose in life is to get you your CDL, and they will do this (assuming you have the basic coordination to learn how to handle a truck and pass a skills test). ANY PRIVATE SCHOOL THAT GUARANTEES YOU A JOB (absent a WRITTEN OFFER FROM A COMPANY - called a "Pre-Hire Letter") is just FLAT OUT LYING. And even a pre-hire isn't a guarantee - it is merely an offer to come to orientation (absent any other issues that might arise - like say, EMPLOYMENT HISTORY).

This year - with COVID-19 is going to be a very weird one to document, with so many people out of work due to shut-downs - documentable history is going to be hard to obtain.

So again - to reiterate - I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND GETTING A LOAN FOR A PRIVATE CDL SCHOOL. If your work history or other issues are preventing you from getting on with a company that will train you - those same issues will prevent you from getting on with a company that takes "recent graduates".



Posted:  1 day, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Can I remove the manual transmission restriction on my CDL

Short answer - yes.

You would have to road test in a manual. But you better practice. You HAVE TO DOUBLE CLUTCH. I got so good at "floating gears" in school - that I FAILED MY FIRST ROAD TEST ON SHIFTS.

So practice your double-clutching so you have it down before testing.


Not sure what would happen - if you did something else (running up a curb,etc. ) that would be an AUTOMATIC FAIL - if that failure would jeopardize your currently valid CDL.

Good question though. Maybe someone here who has ACTUALLY DONE another road test to remove the restriction, can chime in.

Also curious (for folks here that have gotten their CDL's recently) - since pretty much EVERY TRAINING COMPANY is now running and testing with AUTOSHIFT TRUCKS - do people that are currently going through the process end up with an AUTO-ONLY restriction on their CDL's?


Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Is Western Express a good place for a rookie?

As I suggested in your other thread - you also might want to consider just going in somewhere as a PLAIN OLD ROOKIE.

It's obvious you were not taught the requisite skills, well enough to pass an orientation driving test. Even if it means getting a CLP again and starting from scratch.

Yeah - I get it - you spent time & $$ getting your CDL. But if it can't get you across the STARTING LINE - then you won't get NEAR THE FINISH LINE.

That being said - despite WE being considered a "2nd chance company" - many drivers have gotten their start there - including some of our longstanding members here.

At this point - GET IN WHERE YOU CAN GET IN - if you want to being a career in this industry.



Posted:  1 day, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Can CBD pop positive?

Thanks for your service.

Unless you're running with the incredibly expensive/incredibly purified CBD (and even then) there will ALWAYS BE TRACE AMOUNTS of THC.

Depending on how much CBD you were using, perhaps even enough to trip a hair test (though maybe not enough to trip a urine).

Due to a relatively small amount I'd think IF they had any THC you'd have metabolized it by now.

THC metabolites are stored in fat cells (and released from fat cells). Which is why most substance abuse (narcotics) are clear in urine after 72 hours - and weed can show up for 30-60 days after last use (depending on quality & quantity used).

I only took 4 and that was almost 2 weeks ago.

I would venture to say, if that is TRULY ALL YOU DID - then you are likely to be OK. Between the minimal amount - and the minimal amount of HAIR GROWTH in that amount of time - EVEN IF THERE WERE TRACE AMOUNTS in the gummies, there likely wouldn't have been enough AND enough TIME for them to have metabolized into hair.

So you are "probably OK" - but I GUESS WE'RE ALL GOING TO FIND OUT SOON - AREN'T WE?

"Only too 4, wo weeks ago" - sounds kinda sketchy. Did you take them for PAIN or some other condition? DID THEY WORK?


Despite the PROVEN MEDICINAL VALUE of CBD AND THC products (aside from the fact that being stoned is fun, and safer than alcohol) - it will NEVER BE LEGAL FOR PEOPLE IN FEDERALLY REGULATED SAFETY SENSITIVE POSITIONS.


A little off-topic current events...

Interestingly - Nazi Piglosi's COVID Relief Bill (The M.O.R.E. Act) would federally legalize marijuana - and would ALSO TAX IT. They get two things out of this. Make all the stoners happy (and voting for them) - and MAKE $$ VIA TAXATION. The feds are JEALOUS OF THE STATES that are deriving TAX REVENUES from legal weed. And in all honesty - it really is sad, the number of people who are lifetime felons due to marijuana prohibition laws. Of course - hooking it on as pork on a COVID Relief Bill is atrocious.


Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

I passed my permit exam! All thanks to High Road

A perfect score wasn't required for the air brakes portion?

None of the writtens require a perfect score.

A few things on the skills are an INSTANT FAIL. Air Brake test is one of them.

One of my classmates missed a gear going up a hill from a start - had to stop and grab first again in the middle of the street/hill. Instant Fail...


Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Friday Short Haul -- TCA's Fleet Safety awards, truck drivers' vaccine, Volvo electric semis

Can your Employer Force You To Vaccinate - Interesting Article

Short answer is yes - but there are a few wrinkles.


Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Drug Testing history question

I'm old but new to truck driving. This is a great forum.

I'm flat out going to judge your decision making. Did uou decide, six weeks ago you wanted to become a truck driver?

To not know the drug testing regulations is poor planning on your part and will possibly bite you in the hind end.

Acting like being clean for six months is an achievement shows a lack of understanding and bad judgment so I wouldn't act too cavalier about it to a prospective employer.

I wish you luck, but this is a high risk career so you might take it more serious, going forward.

Actually - had you read his post - you would see that he failed a pre-employment screen for a construction job. After he legally partook in substances in a state where it was legal to do so.

NOW - he is considering getting into trucking - and asking questions as to whether a NON-TRUCKING FAILURE will affect his chances at a start in this industry.

I'm kinda old too. And I celebrate TWENTY YEARS SOBER next week (and over 30 years from hard narcotics). As a recovering addict/alcoholic - SIX MONTHS CLEAN FOR SOME IS A MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT. I know many who CANNOT EVEN PUT TOGETHER SIX DAYS. And with many of the support groups unable to meet, due to COVID restrictions - I've seen way too many people relapse and DIE. So don't be too quick to judge another man, until "you've walked a mile in his shoes".

So the guy partook and went to a non-trucking test after 60 days and failed. Surprising - but not uncommon - especially with the potency of todays weed products. But it doesn't sound like he was snorting rails of a strippers butt yesterday, and wants to drive tomorrow.

Most of us HERE - have no problems with other people smoking weed or drinking - but have to REMIND PEOPLE THAT THIS IS A ZERO TOLERANCE INDUSTRY.

The man came here looking for TRUTH - no reason to jump on his lack of commitment, when you have no idea what his LEVEL OF COMMITMENT IS.

Remember our motto: " empathize, encourage, and inspire" - not to judge, criticise and ostracize.

The man asked a legitimate question - and was given legitimate answers. No need to criticise a lapse of judgement from someone who seeks to enter this industry, and is asking questions on whether PAST MISTAKES will jeopardize his future in this profession.

NOW - had he failed a screen in ORIENTATION - our responses may have had a different tone.



Posted:  3 days, 1 hour ago

View Topic:

Friday Short Haul -- TCA's Fleet Safety awards, truck drivers' vaccine, Volvo electric semis


Considering the EU's position on GMO's - and the fact that this vaccine is potentially a DNA altering genetic construct - I'm surprised they just jumped on the bandwagon there.


There is no potential for a vaccine to alter human DNA.

When you're throwing out a vaccine that uses DNA/RNA constructs - do YOU TRUST IT? If you go along with the fact that this was NOT a naturally occuring virus - and it escaped from a lab (likely unintentional - but...).

I go with X-Files - TRUST NO ONE.

Certainly not something that was rushed through trials - has reported nasty side-effects. Now - all virus's have potential side-effects - but this one appears to have enough that medical professionals are concerned with people following up with their second dose.

Either way - considering most of EU's issues around genetically modified organisms - a genetically altered vaccine is creepy.

But you go ahead and get yours - and let us know how it works for you.


Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughts? Lawsuit in bridge-tunnel truck driver’s death

For those following the case, here’s the latest update from day 1 of testimony: Rick though I agree that the CBBT is not liable in this case, and while conceding I’m not an expert on tort, I don’t think every dime of an eventual award would be footed by the taxpayers.

The CBBT has a notorious history of impropriety and has been investigated repeatedly for fraud (I.e. artificially inflated tolls, writing extravagant luxury vacations off for the Board as Operating expenses, etc.). In the unlikely event of an award, there’s probably money hidden somewhere. I have no evidence for this conjecture 😂, at least I’m admitting it lol

Impropriety has nothing to do with the case at hand.

The argument of the "secret wind policy" - has to do with whether we're talking "steady winds" (which is what they use to determine bridge use) or "gusts".

And the fact of the matter is that MANY TRUCKS made it across the bridge that day. Supposed testimony of a "co-worker" in deposition - the guy said he saw the back of the trailer lift up. While testimony of others, say he was attempting to pass, cut in, in front of a 4-wheeler and (with wind being a potential factor) over-shot onto the curb and through the guardrail.

Even if the wind policy comes into play - testimony will demonstrate "contributable negligence" on part of the driver (assuming the entire burdon isn't placed on the driver). Wish there was a way to better monitor this case. Since there is testimony going on, as to the negligence claim - then the judge either ruled on the sovereign immunity motion - or took all the motions under advisement, pending the rest of the evidence.

I'd be surprised if the widow got anything - but with what's going on in today's world - NOTHING SHOULD SURPRISE ME ANYMORE.


Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Drug Testing history question

As OS has noted (good to see you posting there old man) - it depends on whether or not you choose to be honest on an application.

And some of that depends on how it's worded. Some apps I've seen, specifically ask for a DOT Drug Test failure - some just ask for a failure (any).

Getting caught LYING - is a BAD THING. I've never heard of a FEDERAL PROSECUTION for lying on a trucking employment application - but it WILL GET YOU BLACKLISTED IF YOU ARE CAUGHT.

Now - I assume you didn't get the job - so you don't have to list THAT EMPLOYER as a "previous employer" in your work history?

Was the test HAIR OR URINE? 6 weeks post using - must have been some SUPER STRONG stuff it if was urine (which typically only detects 30 days) - HAIR testing will show up longer (depending on whether or not they follow protocol and ONLY TEST THE LATEST 1.5").

RATTING ON YOURSELF - will likely PRECLUDE A HIRE - unless you've done a SAP - and even that will cause companies to STEER CLEAR OF YOU AS A NEWBIE.

OTOH - again - we would NEVER TELL SOMEONE TO LIE ON AN APPLICATION - your test will NOT BE in the FMCSA Drug Clearinghouse Database - so you might get away with it.

Have you EVER FAILED A DRUG TEST - oh, you mean like the one I (allegedly) failed on probation THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO? Yeah - I'm not disclosing THAT ONE - I'll take my chances there.

A big issue arises with the legalization of weed, in many states - as well as the MEDICALLY CERTIFIED USE (which could or could not fall under ADA/HIPAA regs). Suffice to say - even if it were FEDERALLY LEGALIZED, it's INCREDIBLY UNLIKELY THAT IT WILL EVER BE OK for truckers, pilots, railroad employees - anyone in a "federally regulated safety sensitive position".

Again (for the third time) - not TELLING YOU TO LIE - but...

Also - you REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN PASS ANY TYPE OF DRUG SCREEN BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY. If you popped hot on a urine 6 weeks out - you will pop hot on hair, likely SIX MONTHS OUT.


Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Friday Short Haul -- TCA's Fleet Safety awards, truck drivers' vaccine, Volvo electric semis

Well, it may come to pass needing to be vaccinated or not be able to fly internationally GRRRRRR Just came across news about this , not surprising really.

Quanta's airlines is working towards that end, and other airlines are also talking to do the same!! Having people to next have a passport or digital proof showing you've gotten the vaccine

More NWO controls in the works it seems. Going to hell in a hand basket

Recent articles on the vaccine studies show that docs are worried that people won't do the full two dose regimen, because of side effects.

First shot makes you ill - second shot makes you so ill they recommend taking the day off work after the second dose. You ain't gonna find a whole lotta people that are going to WANT to take this shot - or at least the second one.

Good new is - today the UK authorized the Pfizer shot - so we get to use the poor Brits as our guinea pigs to see the side effects on a mass scale - and whether or not you actually get immunity.

Another Doc I spoke with, told me he's already hearing in his circles, about a huge potential market for "counterfeit vaccination certificates" - and unless the vaccine includes the (conspiracy theory) RFID chip - or leaves a visible mark (dye or other "mark of cain" style) - that enforcement is going to be difficult.

Considering the EU's position on GMO's - and the fact that this vaccine is potentially a DNA altering genetic construct - I'm surprised they just jumped on the bandwagon there.

The other rumor is that ticketmaster won't sell tickets to an event (after vaccines become widespread) without proof. Billboard Magazine: Ticketmaster Vaccine Plans

If we move to a model where TRUCKERS are going to be required to be vaccinated and show proof - that's going to be an UGLY THING.

BUT - since we've proven as a society, that we're willing to go along with anything a (supposed) "expert" tells us to do. "Believe the science" says PA's Health Secretary - the guy posing as a woman. So much for "credibility".

I wake up every morning, hoping this is all just a bad dream - but it's turned into a WAKING NIGHTMARE...


Posted:  3 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:


As far as "reportable accidents" go - what companies are referring to in their applications are DOT REPORTABLE ACCIDENTS.

The accident being marked as "reportable" in the case of a NON-CMV-INVOLVED wreck - usually means it gets forwarded to the State DMV (not FMCSA) as a matter of record. Accidents where the cop did a FULL REPORT (versus the one page driver notification report), are pretty much always submitted to the state DMV, and will show up as an accident on your MVR.

In a nutshell - DOT Reportable Accidents - are ones where a vehicle has to be towed from the scene - and/or - someone leaves the scene in a ambulance.

If the accident didn't involve a Commercial Motor Vehicle - than it is NOT DOT Reportable.

A "major accident" is similar - meaning significant damage to vehicles - and/or - life threatening injuries.

A "major accident" would obviously also be DOT Reportable - but differs in the nature of serious injuries or damage to the extent that a vehicle will likely be totalled (versus minor fender benders, clipping a mirror off, etc.). But would also apply to non-CMV accidents.

Trucking company applications are generic and assume the applicant is already a driver - and there are things that DOT REQUIRES (such as 3 years verifiable history for a non-truck driver, and 10 years for a driver).

Most companies look at accidents at a 3 year interval. A big factor is FAULT. In a he said/she said - where no citations are issued - which the LEO can't really do in absence of an obvious violation (failure to yield, etc.) and if the cop didn't actually witness it and there are no witnesses to testify to it - then the citation usually gets thrown out (FIGHT EVERY TICKET).

Since companies are "leery" of accidents in the one year mark - and there were no citations issued with the anniversary of the accident a couple of days away - you could also WAIT until afterwards to apply.

As everyone pretty much said - APPLY EVERYWHERE - GET IN WHERE YOU CAN. Get some safe time behind the wheel - and more/better opportunities will become available down the road.

Best of luck - DO keep us posted on your progress/results.


Posted:  3 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughts? Lawsuit in bridge-tunnel truck driver’s death

There are waivers for sovereign immunity.

I. Dangerous condition of government's property that was a) caused by a government actor or b) known to the government actors

2. Operating a motor vehicle.

so plaintiff's case most likely alleges the wind was a dangerous condition of CBBT's property and bridge operators knew it.

also generally in a bench tried case unless its really clear issue of law the judge will " take up the motions with case." Because he or she is deciding the entire case they'll just take it all in and decide based on all evidence and law. that way they can pick the best basis for the judgement which is always the facts..

This ^^^^

Not sure what the status of the case is.

But typically at the opening, there will be pre-trial motions made and argued (motion to dismiss based on a claim of sovereign immunity would be a pre-trial motion) and the judge would check the case-law, and render a decision on the motions. Then, the arguments of the case itself would proceed (witnesses, evidence, etc.), assuming motions to dismiss were not granted. The case would also be held up if appeals on motions were made.

An argument for sovereign immunity would be made right at the start, because of the judge determines it applies - the rest of the case is moot. OTOH - either way - the motion could be appealed to a higher court if one of the parties disagrees with the ruling. In the case of CBBT - if they were ruled AGAINST - they would most certainly appeal, as it opens the door to a flood of lawsuits.

Sovereign Immunity also (typically) doesn't remove ALL LIABILITY in some cases. It limits it. For example: here in FL - if you sue a municipality and get a judgement in excess of $200K - the state legislature must decide whether or not to pay the excess judgement out of a liability fund.

In the case of Virginia's "Tort Claims Act" - the plaintiff must prove GROSS NEGLIGENCE - not just "simple negligence". As long as CBBT exercised "reasonable care" in re-opening the bridge at Level 1 (which it appears they did), and have been "historically accurate" in their decisions to do so in the past - it's unlikely there's going to be a finding of "GROSS negligence". If I was sitting on the jury - unless the plaintiff could prove INTENT (they opened without regard to potential dangers) I'd find for the defense.

And actually - #2 - "operating a vehicle" - runs along similar lines. Operating a vehicle would apply if an "agent of the state" was operating the vehicle - and again - GROSS NEGLIGENCE would apply also.

that degree of negligence which shows an utter disregard of prudence amounting to complete neglect of the safety of another. It is a heedless and palpable violation of legal duty respecting the rights of others. Gross negligence amounts to the absence of slight diligence, or the want of even scant care.” Frazier v. City of Norfolk, 234 Va. 388, 393, 362 S.E.2d 688, 691 (1987) (citations omitted).

Based on the VA standard case law for "gross negligence" - I cannot see how it would apply in this case.

The fact that CBBT went to Level 1 - and the driver proceeded under Level 1 conditions - was it the responsibility of CBBT to know IN ADVANCE that it would go to Level 2 AFTER the truck was already on the bridge? (playing devil's advocate here). Are they supposed to have a crystal ball? Keeping in mind a Level 4 storm had the bridge closed earlier and had passed already.

IF CBBT LOSES the case (based on losing their sovereign immunity), and I were them - I'd just CLOSE THE BRIDGE TO ALL AT RISK TRAFFIC.

Dear Drivers: Since CBBT is unable to accurately predict weather conditions that may change at a moments notice, in an abundance of caution, we find it necessary to leave the Weather Condition at Level 4 until such time as our ability to predict random weather events improves.

Being that Route 13 (the CBBT) isn't part of the Interstate Highway System - no problem making the route truck restricted.

Again - not that I lack sympathy for the drivers wife. What weighs against him is his "decades of experience", and the fact we push on EVERYONE HERE that - despite ANYTHING ELSE - THE DRIVER IS THE CAPTAIN OF HIS SHIP - IS THE LAST WORD ON DECISIONS TO DRIVE OR NOT - AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OUTCOMES OF THAT DECISION.

Truck was nearly empty (reportedly 6Klbs) - not sure how many of us here would run an empty wind-sail, across an open bridge in 40+MPH winds. I get how he sat in the parking lot - waiting for CBBT to come down to Level 1, then made a mad dash across.

I'm not a lawyer - I don't play one on TV - and I NEVER STAY at a Holiday Inn Express.

And what it comes down to is - if they get a $6 mil judgement - it comes out of the TAXPAYERS POCKET. This is an old bridge and that $$ would probably be better spent on maintenance and upgrades to the infrastructure. Not sure if CBBT made an offer to settle. Even though such offers include wording that the offer is not an "admission of guilt" - a jury would see it as one anyway.

COVID and the lack of juries made the take the bench trial - they would have had a much better shot at a sympathetic jury - than a TRIER OF FACT.


Posted:  3 days, 12 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Tanker Drivers..?

Out of curiosity - why the desire to switch to Tanker?


Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Well my career in trucking is over before it even started

A suggestion, if I may be so bold.

It sounds like the CDL Mill you went to did NOTHING TO ACTUALLY PREPARE YOU to work - they just got you your CDL.



Ask Prime/etc. - if you can come in ON THE BOTTOM - and do their entire training - or at least do Phase II (TNT) and actually get some REAL EXPERIENCE under your belt.

It really "urines me off" (LOL) - when these (supposed) "CDL Schools", sell people a bill of goods BUT DON'T TEACH THEM JACK.

The 9 week course I did, at the County Vo-Tech - DID LOGS, extensive yard skills (backing/offset/parallel/alley dock - 3 weeks worth), and did 1,000 miles on city streets and interstates.

APPLY - tell the recruiter YOU DID NOT GET A WELL ROUNDED COURSE at your CDL School - and you are more than willing to sign on as a trainee, commit to the "contractual obligation", and GET TRAINED THE RIGHT WAY. You might even have to DOWNGRADE YOUR CDL AND RE-TEST. But even if you have to do that - HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO DRIVE?

I may be Mr Technical Advisor - have held a fully endorsed CDL for over a decade - but if I ever got off my butt and made it out there - I WOULD HAVE TO DO THE SAME. And honestly - I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. As much as I know the rules/regs, as much as I go out and drive a friends truck every once in awhile just to keep my hand in - THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD ENTER THIS INDUSTRY FOR REAL - WITHOUT RE-DOING A FULL TRAINING.

You've overcome a bunch.

YOU KILLED A CONE - NOT A PERSON. And you didn't BLOW A DRUG SCREEN. So you still have a number of opportunities to get behind the wheel. But you OBVIOUSLY NEED MORE TRAINING. And there's no shame in admitting that, both to yourself - AND PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD. I'm actually JEALOUS AS ALL HELL of all you guys - because so many different things have kept me from making the leap. And every time I solve one issue - two more come up.


Best of luck to you...


Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughts? Lawsuit in bridge-tunnel truck driver’s death

Way More Information From An Article In The Virginia Pilot

Based on what I'm reading in this article - which has way more detail - I don't think they have a case.

According to police, he was traveling in the right lane of the southbound span, around the 15-mile marker, which is closer to the Eastern Shore side. A car was in the left lane. Another truck was ahead of Chen, in his lane.

"He went to pass the tractor-trailer," Spencer said. "He cut over in front of passenger car, and once he got over in the left lane, he ran up on curb and through the guard rail."

Assuming they're doing the SPEED LIMIT on the bridge (55) - he would likely have been SPEEDING to make the pass.

At 7:30 a.m. Thursday, as the storm rolled into the region, the bridge-tunnel was operating with Level 4 restrictions, meaning winds of at least 60 mph had been detected. Only passenger-type vehicles with their lower profiles were allowed.

Chen waited it out on the Eastern Shore side. By 12:30 p.m., when he headed across, restrictions had dropped to Level 1 – 40 mph-plus winds, with semis allowed.

So - when he got ON THE BRIDGE (after waiting for awhile) - it was at Level 1 (which would have been safe for a light trailer, though you'd have to have some balls to run empty in those winds). If it went to Level 2 AFTER he had already gotten on the bridge - then it was a judgement call THE DRIVER MADE - and I'm not seeing where CBBT would have ANY NEGLIGENCE. Unless the plaintiff wants to argue that even Level 1 was unsafe for a lightly loaded TT. And even then - there can be testimony that thousands of TT cross without incident at Level 1.

The report also noted NO SKID MARKS - which increases the likelihood that he got a gust while passing (irresponsibly), and just lost it while making the lane change for the pass.

Keep in mind - accidents resulting in DEATHS are investigated incredibly thoroughly. I hit a drunk pedestrian while I was riding a motorcycle (ran right out in front of me - there was no way to avoid it) - they had the road closed for 5 hours - and I got a 150 Page Traffic Homicide Report. The guy WHO WAS WITH THE DECEASED, went on his wifes "uninsured motorist" policy and got $10K from her insurance company - for which they SUED ME (and he wasn't even injured - he was just SCAMMING). I represented myself - and got the case dismissed. They wouldn't show up in court - because they KNEW I was going to beat them (after I sat down with the senior partner of the firm) and wanted to spare themselves the embarrassment of getting their butts handed to them by an amatuer). Summary judgment of dismissal for the defendant. OTOH - I work for lawyers, so I did get a little help.

At any rate - this accident was INVESTIGATED THOROUGHLY. I'm surprised CBBT didn't make an offer (didn't want to set a bad precedent so anyone who had an accident would sue them - most likely). Just as I'm surprised the plaintiff would take this to trial - even more so - a bench trial, where they can't "play on the sympathy" of a jury to get an award.

I'm just not seeing a good case here.

1 - The driver waited until Level 1 conditions allowed him to proceed (versus re-routing). Conditions were Level 1 when he was allowed to enter the bridge. No negligence on the part of CBBT for allowing him to proceed at that moment. 2 - The driver was executing a pass around another TT, which would likely require him to break the speed limit to complete. And if you cannot make a pass without speeding - it is NOT LEGAL to make the pass. You would hope the other guy would slow down and allow you to make the pass - but we all know this isn't always the case. At any rate - he made the lane change FOR the pass - and ended up in the drink. 3 - An extensive investigation came to the conclusion this was DRIVER ERROR, with witness statements of "speed too fast for conditions".

The plaintiff has to prove "based on a preponderance of the evidence", the CBBT was negligent in allowing the driver to proceed. The storm that created the Level 4 condition earlier had passed. CBBT can only go by CURRENT WIND SPEEDS to establish which Level to declare for the bridge.

I've been through that way, a couple of times - on Grateful Dead tour in my trusty VW camper. That bridge scared the crap out of me. Almost as much as the bridge on 275 between St. Pete and Bradenton does (Sunshine Skyway Bridge).

He was going southbound. There's a lot of truck parking on the north side - likely where he hung out until they went down to L-1. Depending on where he was coming from - I can see using 13 to avoid the mess of the I-95/495 parking lot coming through Balto/DC.

Feel bad for the wife for her loss. But he made a bad call on the pass. I'm just not seeing negligence on the part of CBBT here.

There are pull-offs - but they can barely accomodate a truck, and there really isn't a place to build a "wind shield" there. This is a 60 year old bridge - not part of an interstate. I don't see them throwing a bunch of $$'s at it for improvements.


Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Thoughts? Lawsuit in bridge-tunnel truck driver’s death

In addition, a CBBT police investigation concluded Chen was at fault. Several witnesses said he was going too fast for conditions and lost control when he tried to pass another semi.

It's going to come down to a couple of issues.

If WITNESSES TESTIFY that he was "going too fast for conditions" - which is very subjective, then a case for "contributory negligence" can be established - either lowering or negating any potential settlement.

They also opted for a "bench trial" (Judge Only) - where a jury can be "emotionally swayed" into being sympathetic in order to avoid a decision based purely on THE FACTS PROVEN AND THE LAW - a bench trial with just a judge is going to be more objective.

There's also a claim of "sovereign immunity", which would negate the suit IF the formation of the bridge authority as a sovereign entity can be established.

Civil Cases have a "lower standard" than criminal (beyond a reasonable doubt - versus - a preponderance of the evidence). The preponderance of evidence standard comes into play when the plaintiff satisfies the burden of proof by offering evidence that demonstrates their claims have a greater than 50% chance to be true. In other words, if a claim can be demonstrated to be more likely to be true than not true, the burden of proof is met.

So the plaintiff only has to convince the judge that it is "more likely than not" - that there was negligence.

As for you point "should have known, being an experienced driver" - WE think it should count. BUT - if there were PUBLISHED RESTRICTIONS, and the bridge operators allowed him on the bridge - there would potentially be a claim for negligence (absent sovereign immunity).

Much would have to do with what the winds were IN THE TIME PERIOD PRECEDING his entry onto the bridge. Example: if there were "a couple of puffs" in excess over the span, before he went on - there would have be AN ESTABLISHED STANDARD OF WHEN A CLOSURE IS ACTUALLY ORDERED. So if it wasn't bad enough to a closure WHEN he got on the bridge - and happened to catch a 50MPH blast WHILE HE WAS ON THE BRIDGE - who is at fault?

Another article on the case from CDLLife

Here's what the restriction reads:

The following types of vehicles will not be allowed to cross the facility during Level 2 wind restrictions: motorcycles; large pick-up campers; camper trailers; house trailers; anything being towed; vehicles with any exterior cargo; empty tractor-trailers, not to include empty tanker trucks*; small six-wheel trucks such as moving vans, rental trucks, school buses, etc. Tractor-trailers must gross 15,000 pounds payload in addition to the weight of the rig and six-wheel trucks must gross 15,000 pounds payload in addition to the weight of the rig in order to be allowed to cross the facility during Level 2 wind restrictions.

So what this comes down to is HOW MUCH WAS IN THE BOX. He was carrying PALLETS. Was he CARRYING 15Klbs in pallets? Did he SCALE? Was he ASKED - or are there POSTED SIGNS (usually lit verbal signs with restriction specs)? Was the bridge UNDER LEVEL TWO RESTRICTIONS at the time he "was allowed to enter"?

They don't SHOOT YOUR TIRES OUT if you try to sneak by - and I doubt they scale you at the entrance.

So - if the WIND RESTRICTION WAS POSTED ON SIGNS - it was the DRIVERS RESPONSIBILITY to know what his gross weights were, and whether they fall under the restriction - NOT THE BRIDGE OPERATORS.

So I got 10K in the box - but the restriction says 15K - do I want to u-turn and take THE LONG WAY AROUND - or TAKE MY CHANCES.

This guy likely didn't bother scaling his load - he wasn't worried about a load a pallets making an axle overweight. Chances are, aside from his BOL, that he didn't have a clue what was in his box.

If CBBT can PROVE by his BOL - that he was OVER 15K in the box - and they were at level 2- his wife HAS NO CASE.

CBBT Weather Restriction Page

From the information in the articles - the wind didn't hit 55 - so they were at a Level II.

It is THE DRIVERS RESPONSIBILITY to know how heavy he is - and if I were on a jury - I would find for the DEFENDANT.

A jury can be made to cry - and would likely give up some $$. A judge cannot.

They will likely LOSE THIS CASE AND NOT GET ANYTHING. Though their lawyer will fight hard - because if they lose - HE GETS NADA.


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