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

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Posted:  1 month 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:  1 month 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:  1 month, 1 week 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:  1 month, 2 weeks 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.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mileage Pay vs Percentage Pay - Which Is Better?

I truly see your point. I just wanted to add into the conversation that percentage isn't such a horrible thing and a driver with 18 months to 2 years under their belt can easily move into this area. From here, the possibilities become pretty much endless. There are several drivers on here who fit that criteria but may not be aware of the potential and while you personally couldn't justify it, not every driver is you.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mileage Pay vs Percentage Pay - Which Is Better?

I just looked through the permits on this particular load to verify again but in the seven states it's going through, 24/7 travel with no daylight restrictions. Yes, it is more work depending on the load and where you're at but the vast majority of open deck transport is daylight work so I personally don't mind not having to drive at night in the middle of a snow storm.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mileage Pay vs Percentage Pay - Which Is Better?

Define headaches? Yes, this is an over dimensional load which requires permits but the routing is exactly the same as a legal load. I spent the majority of the winter above I80 pulling mostly legal loads in horrible weather just like everyone else. Today was a 630 mile day that I started at 0700 and finished just before 6. It doesn't seem so horrible to me lol. Open deck work is the same whether it's a permit load or not and when you're getting into working with pilot cars it's not that much of a hassle, just more logistic work with significantly better pay which is neither cpm or percentage.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mileage Pay vs Percentage Pay - Which Is Better?

What has always made me laugh about this discussion—I’m a second year driver working for a “starter” company that hauls general flatbed freight, while getting paid by the mile. I too gross over $2k weekly and am on track to make over $85k this year. How odd is that?

I'd say you're doing great and have proven yourself to be doing a damn fine job. I am curious as to how many miles you're turning a week. The reason for my comparison wasn't to try and brag because if you ever met me, you'd know I'm definitely not that type of person. The reason was to show that there are other options to make solid money without having to rack up tons of miles in freight that doesn't get effected as much by the market while still running percentage. If I can make just as much as someone else turning significantly less mileage on fewer loads, why wouldn't I?

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mileage Pay vs Percentage Pay - Which Is Better?

The company I work for is based on percentage and I wouldn't have it any other way. For the majority of companies, high miles and cpm works out better but when you gather experience and can work your way into something a bit more specialized, percentage has its perks. We don't haul what most would consider general flatbed freight. In fact, we don't haul anything under $2 a mile and the vast majority, even right now with freight rates being lower, are closer to $3. I'm currently on pace for around 85k or better this year, averaging 2300-2500 miles per week with low deadhead miles. In regards to knowing what the load pays, they will send the actual rate-con for each load, so I know exactly what I'm making.

An example of oddball things we haul. I picked up a 5,000# generator for Ziegler Caterpillar power generation division on Thursdayand delivered to another one of their locations 240 miles away. That "in house transfer paid just under $5 per mile. I left there, went 12 miles to John Deere in Ankeny Iowa and picked up an oversized implement going to Washington for a Monday morning delivery. 1640 miles paying $3 per mile to the truck after permits and everything else.

My total miles for this week including my other load I dropped off on Wednesday will be around 2450 with my gross being roughly 2100 for the week.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Buying truck... flat bedders advise

Above and beyond everything else is the truck itself. By the time you figure in interest, the total payoff on that truck is pushing 100k. Current trade in value on that truck is roughly 55k. Once that truck goes out of warranty in a year, it drops to around 35k and then you'll have to deal with all the problematic crap attributed with modern emissions systems. Today's trucks are disposable, not like they used to be where a million miles on a motor before an inframe were common as long as normal maintenance schedules were adhered to. You also have to add in that many drivers used to work in their own trucks when needed and now you have some folks who can't change a light bulb. Toss in the fact that the market is absolute garbage right now and you're making a mistake that you'll likely not recover from.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Best and Worst looking Tractor Fleets?

I'm gonna have to nominate the company I work for, Kivi brothers out of Duluth Minnesota. Our Pete 567 Heritage, KW W900's and 990's along with the Volvo 780's (only a dozen of those) are probably some of the nicest and well optioned trucks out there.

Posted:  2 months ago

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2019 Kenworth/ 2016 Freightliner

It's not as much about the horsepower as it is the rear end gears when you're talking about climbing hills. A short gear will climb better than a tall one but the taller gear will give improved fuel economy on the long flat stretches. The vast majority of your company trucks are set up for overall fuel economy, they'll do great running down the road but fall on their face in the hills but it is what it is. It's almost a bit frustrating at times to have someone try to pass at the base of a hill in a truck that doesn't climb well, only to get mad because the truck I run climbs quite well and I don't lose the speed they do.

Posted:  2 months ago

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2019 Kenworth/ 2016 Freightliner

The only way you'll know horsepower settings is if someone in the shop hooked up to it with a computer to show you what they had it set to. Most larger companies tweak them or order them to their specs, generally lower than factory settings.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Truck Crash Colorado - With Videos

At this point, it's still all speculation until the investigation is complete and the report is available. With no smoke or fire coming from the wheels. I'll agree with others that brakes didn't seem to be the issue. As far as engine braking goes, don't forget that engine brakes are still optional equipment and not every truck has them but the driver still should have been in the proper gear regardless. If I had to guess, I'd say distracted driving or lack of experience, **** poor training and panic when the truck got away from him. The driver is only 23.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Hey old school or other flatbedders

I'm going to agree with what others have already mentioned in regards to getting comfortable, becoming more efficient with securement etc. I'd definitely start asking about some longer runs though as you prove yourself along the way. I personally don't run a ton of miles because we're paid on percentage and the freight we haul pays more than the majority of what you'd call general freight so I can make more on fewer miles.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Air compressor tank for air tools?

The cfm is there but the storage capacity isn't near enough. The compressor would be constantly running and would tax the dryer system pretty hard trying to keep up. It would work but I wouldn't advise it as an all the time idea.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Clean tarps?

If they're covering a load and can get to them fairly easily, I wouldn't imagine they would charge much.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Volvo D12 coolant temperature sensor location?

It's on the underside of the coolant reservoir. Many times the issue is a dirty tank causing the sensor to send a false reading to the ECM. It's not a guarantee but a good place to start.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Clean tarps?

If I had the ability to wash my tarps, I would.

Have them spray them off next time you roll through a truck wash.

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