Comments By Robert B. (The Dragon) yes, I breathe fire and other sideshow tricks

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Posted:  3 months ago

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Question about Tractor

One thing so many fail to address is the rear end gears. Many companies spec their trucks for fuel economy and will go with a rear end gear that will cruise down the highway at a nice low rpm with the engine putting forth little effort. The trade off is the truck falling on its face when it hits a hill but there's really no way around it and you just deal with the fact that you'll be crawling all the way to the top.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Flatbed weight distribution

Neek, I apologize and wasn't trying to confuse you with my reference regarding coils because they're different than a normal loading procedure. You mention the location of your stake pocket with 14 being right at the light. If that light is truly the center of the trailer then it would work. The best way to find true center is a measuring tape and a can of spray paint to mark the deck. Say you're loading 12 pallets of brick. 6 in front of center, 6 in back will usually get you pretty close. If not, then move it around, front or back to find the balance point. Once you find the sweet spot, you'll quickly learn where you'll want everything to sit based on whatever weight you have. Loading heavy on the trailer tandems will cause the front of the trailer to lift even on a flatbed and will cause you to have more weight on the steers. I honestly wouldn't worry so much about your steer weight, it's not that high and certainly not dangerous.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Flatbed weight distribution

The coil packages on standard otr trailers are normally set just behind the center. The reason behind it is that we can load more weight to the rear because of the spread but that's not always the case depending on the manufacturer. Many companies will have a sticker which stays top place coil here.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Flatbed weight distribution

Ok I'm gonna try that next time. I'll let you guys know what the scale says. But I have a sneaky suspicion that the sticker that says "place heavy loads here" is not the true middle point. I feel like it may be to the front a little bit.

That sticker usually indicates that the trailer has a coil package and is reinforced in that area to deal with having the 40÷k weight of a steel coil all being situated in roughly a 3'x5' area. The easiest way to find center of the trailer is a measuring tape or use the center light as reference. The center light may not be exact but a pretty good reference point in most cases. Do remember though, the trailer center in regards to weight balance is different when the axles are open vs closed.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Going To El Paso TX

El Paso is great. If you park at the J near the back, you can walk up that hill and get a great view of Juarez and if you listen closely at night, even hear some gunfire lol.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Flatbed weight distribution

Another thing I forgot to mention which applies specifically to flatbed is that with a better balance, you'll find backing to be much easier without that constant fight with the trailer trying to push back when you get it at a tighter angle.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Imagine driving this beast

He doesn't haul anything with it, it's just a giant advertising unit. The fact that it's a very rare Diamond Reo is what attracted me to it.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Flatbed weight distribution

Split the weight more evenly. Adding more weight to the drives will actually relieve a bit of the weight on the steers and unless that steer weight is really up there, you'll rarely have to worry about it. When loading the way you've been doing it, it's lifting up on the drives and putting more weight on the steer tires, plus it feels like you're dragging the load rather than pulling it. If you get your balance a bit closer, the steering won't feel as heavy and it will ride much better.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Magnum Logistics out of North Dakota

I shot the breeze with one for a couple hours on the radio a while back when I was headed out west. He was familiar with the company I drive for and I have seen their trucks running up in the western areas quite a bit. He has been with them for several years and really seemed to enjoy it. He also wasn't a newer driver when he started there but apparently liked and still likes what they had to offer.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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SPE Cetificate in Mississippi

Does anybody know where I need to go to get a SPE Certificate in Mississippi? I have a prosthetic left leg and have already got all my medical forms filled out. I have already passed all my tests and had my CDL license. I then tried to get a job and found out I didn't have a SPE certificate and needed to talk to someone in my state (Mississippi) about getting one. All the companies I have talked to about a job said I to get a SPE certificate.

Definitely use the link and call the representative who manages your state. It looks as if you'll be dealing with the folks in Atlanta. They'll send out the packet in the mail and then you have to fill out all the information, along with making the required doctor appointments so they can also fill out their portion. Once finished, send it in and wait.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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SPE Cetificate in Mississippi

I certainly hope your representative is easier to deal with than mine. She has a horrible attitude and takes forever to do anything. It’s taken almost a year to get my temporary driving certificate.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say you're dealing with Ms Leslie in the midwest center and you're absolutely right.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Average Rate in the Current Market

I'm pretty certain that Solo is referring to rates on loads, not driver pay.

Agreed, he's making roughly $.50cpm when you break it down.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Concealed carry permit, reciprocation.

Rob T. For military bases, you simply declare the weapon when you arrive. They will fill out a couple quick forms, secure the weapon while you're there and then return it to you when you leave.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Owner Operator

In regards to the OP, as Old School mentioned, it's all about the contract. If it doesn't state that maintenance account monies specifically stay with the truck, then they should be refunded. However, be prepared because upon their inspection on return, they will compile a list of "repairs" which will wipe out that maintenance account although in reality, they won't do a thing to the truck. It's yet another part of the scam where they will get over on a driver.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Owner Operator

My only disagreement Old School is your claim about maintenance and repair. As most folks here know, I've done the lease gig, not because I wanted to try to prove any point but rather to take the risk so that I could be a credible witness as to how they work. Some companies may require it, like Prime or Knight but that's not the case with all. I was free to take my trucks wherever I chose for repairs and the only authorization was to make the company aware so they could apply my maintenance account to whatever the repair costs were. I was not in any way limited or required to go to any specific locations for work done. I know several others playing the lease game at other companies and they have no restrictions either. Warranty items were obviously covered at the dealership but non warranty can be repaired anywhere.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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LOW FREIGHT---IS THIS TRUE?

The tariff game absolutely had an impact and it started last fall with overseas shippers front loading the ports ahead of time before the first round of tariffs hit. Both Freightwaves and CCJ published articles covering this very issue. Those loads went out quickly assisting the spot market last fall but didn't provide any carry over through the winter into this spring. This year has been slower with lower rates partially due to the slower pace in the ports as a result of fear in the global market and has effected freight nationally. The overall numbers up until this month though have been comparable in regards to number of loads but last year was so busy and rates were so high, companies added equipment which is now in jeopardy of sitting because it isn't growing like last year and the spot market is all but non existent. All of this information is out there for everyone to read and it's important, even as a company driver, to pay attention to because it also effects freight lanes and miles for many drivers.

Posted:  3 months, 4 weeks ago

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11000 lbs one piece

That definitely should not be in a van. The only way would be if it were securely mounted to some kind of custom built frame similar to how Caterpillar ships their engines. There's nothing securement wise that you can really do to make sure all the potential variables are satisfied to keep that from moving

Posted:  4 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

You guys deal with all that, I'll stick with swinging my doors. I contemplated doing flatbed work but I would likely drive myself crazy always second guessing the way the load is secured. flatbedders are definitely a different breed.

Ahhh but that's exactly what would make you good at flatbed. Complacency will get you in trouble but second guessing, double and triple checking even changing things out en route and constantly learning is what keeps you safe and on top of your game.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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ATS? Good company or Not?

They're a very good company. They pay well, run solid equipment and have an excellent training and follow up program for flatbed securement etc. They also have a program which works you up in over dimensional freight that can fairly quickly work you into their specialized division running 4 axle trucks and multi axle trailers.

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