Profile For Skar Hed

Skar Hed's Info

  • Location:
    Miami, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 8 months ago

Skar Hed's Bio

I flipped a nickel once and it landed on its side.

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Left training. Need Honest input on next step.

Absolutely go to a non company affiliated school. That's what I would tell anyone if they can afford it. Pay for a service (CDL preparation and instruction) and be assured of getting it, and of being treated respectfully. Once you have a CDL you can then deal with potential employers from a stronger position.

'' If I had a really difficult time handling the quick aggressive pace of Company Sponsored Training Academy and the screaming and yelling by instructors (although they were pretty cool with me because I was struggling so much), could that be an indication that perhaps I'm NOT meant to to be a truck driver ''

That by itself is just an indication that you weren't meant to be in their training academy. Nothing more. That training academy ain't the job.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Funny Rookie Mistakes?

SkarHed wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

I don't know if the guy was a rookie or not but a few months ago someone forgot to set his parking brake at one of our terminals and totaled the truck. Here's the funny part. He was promptly issued another one and sent right back out to work.

double-quotes-end.png

Sorry but this is very difficult to believe (unless there is more to the story) and at least to me, not even close to being funny, more like ridiculous. This could have killed people as the truck silently rolled and flattened everything in it's path. Why your employer would ignore this and put the driver in a truck and back on the road is irresponsible. If the driver was that "checked-out" for this to happen once, it could happen again. Furthermore, your company's insurance provider is likely to take issue with this and force them to release this driver. Someone has to pay for the wrecked truck and that would include the reason it happened and holding said driver accountable.

No need to apologize..believe what you like. I am very tolerant of dissenting views. Yes I suppose there was more to the story. There usually is when the story is 3 sentences long.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

In Cab cameras on the driver

Really surprised at the acceptance of driver facing cameras here. Is there ANYTHING we won't put up with to ingratiate ourselves with the nannies and busybodies of the world ? All I know is the day one gets put in my truck is the day I stop driving it. Surely I needn't explain why. And no the fact that the 7-11 or the bank or the federal building has one doesn't make it ok for me. I don't live in the 7-11 or the federal building. I've seen two somewhat conflicting lines from people on this, sometimes from the same people... A.) that companies are phasing them in slowly to gauge the benefits and what not and B.) that they are inevitable and you the driver better bow down and accept it or get your malcontent behind out of the business.

Well, I know A is true. I know there are many times more trucks without driver facing cameras than there are with them. And I have a pretty good idea how to make B not come true. And that is if any driver who was assigned a camera in his face and was opposed to the idea simply refused to work under those circumstances. You quit if they don't back down, and you get a job with any one of the hundreds of other carriers not using these insidious devices the very next day. And probably, as is the nature of the business, get a two cent raise and a signing bonus out of it.

The time to discourage this sort of thing is now ...or maybe a year ago...I had never heard of these things then, or even six months ago but I'm not here much or talking to other drivers in person....anyway....it's a trend that could have been (still could be ?) and should be strangled in the crib.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Tips and worst cities?

Places besides NYC metro that I hate going thru or to

Denver.....the absolute worst for parking...forget about getting a spot at a truck stop after 3 pm. Or maybe even getting out of your spot at 5 am without banging on the door of the jackass that made his own spot blocking you in.

Philly area....very bad for parking and traffic. I wouldn't even want to be rolling near the place at 4 pm with less than 2 hours left on my clock.

Nashville....the worst traffic by far for a medium sized city. I've almost never made it through Nashville without some big slowdown, even at 1 am. Plus I just hate looking the place while I'm stuck there going 3 mph. That god awful Titans stadium . How ugly is that thing.

Cincinnati...maybe I was wrong to say Nashville by far. But at least here the awfulness seems confined to one route. If you're crossing the river at 75-71 here you want to do it between 10pm and 5 am.

Hartford always seems to take forever to get through. I like Pittsburgh but not driving a truck there.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Funny Rookie Mistakes?

I don't know if the guy was a rookie or not but a few months ago someone forgot to set his parking brake at one of our terminals and totaled the truck. Here's the funny part. He was promptly issued another one and sent right back out to work.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Advice for Rookies?

I was terrible at backing when I started out and got no help from my trainers...they hardly even let me try. I was sent out solo completely unready. I dreaded every pickup and delivery and rest stop. Here's what helped me.

Small as possible movements on the wheel. Everyone will tell you that. Don't get any more bent up than you have to be.

If you're absolutely sure you are not up to backing at an extremely tight or crowded or irrationally laid out location (like the tractor supply in east wareham, mass. to name one) without busting up your truck or something else, simply don't do it. If it's a truck stop, go somewhere else. if it's a customer.... Call dispatch and just say no. A starter company won't fire you...they will send another driver to back it for you, four days later no one will remember or care, and you won't have the preventable accident on your record.

Whenever you have time, get into the far corner of a huge petro or TA where you can't possibly hit anything and just roll around backwards. Make some half assed backs with no eyes or pressure on you. get a feel for what your input on the wheel does to the truck.

Have your tandems all the way back whenever possible when backing while you figure out what you're doing...or at least have them in the same consistent location when you back. It takes one variable out of the equation. I liked all the way back because then you didn't have that big trailer overhang on your blind side to worry about and you can just watch the wheels, get them in the right place.

And keep in mind that however bad you are, within two or three months of doing it every day in a sink or swim type situation, you will be more or less as good as the rest of us. It will eventually just click in.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Garmin vs Rand Mcnally

I have a Rand McNally 530 for about 18 months, it's the only GPS I have ever bought, I like the features, or am satisfied and accustomed to them, but have nothing to compare it to. But as a piece of hardware, as an appliance, it is an absolute piece of junk. I have exchanged it twice for a replacement model.

I expect this third one to completely fail eventually. Meanwhile the screen will freeze up now and then, on off switch won't work, it will get stuck in 3d view, it will change skins and settings all by itself, it won't charge with anything but the charger that comes with it, which is also a piece of junk, it won't charge with the charger plugged too far in, or too far out, it has to be juuuust right, it will routinely delay for thirty or forty seconds to execute the simplest request...I can't even remember all the ways this GPS has annoyed the crap out of me. If I could get even a third of the cash back on it I would take it and buy the cheapest Garmin truck GPS for 100 bucks or so. Find out how crummy THEY might be.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

I need some opinions on what I can to get my backing where I need it to be.

You're probably going to feel the same way after you've been hired and out with a trainer for a month or six weeks. What would have helped me was a few hours a week in a big empty lot just backing up into nothing to see how the truck actually reacts to your input on the wheel. But there was no incentive for my trainer to spend his time that way and will probably be none for yours either. As far as backing at shippers and receivers, if you are decent at it, a trainer will probably let you do it as often as you like. If not....not. So the people who need the practice the most get it the least.

When I was sent out solo I was woefully unprepared and I knew it. Dreaded what I would find for a dock or a space at the next stop the whole time on the road. The good news, finally, is that after about two months that feeling was gone.

Try sliding your tandems all the way back when backing when you can. This at least gets rid of the big trailer overhang and you can focus mainly on the position of your back wheels. It helped me.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Experienced Drivers, did I make a mistake?

Went to bed about 930 pm last night. Got a call from a DM at 1145 asking if I wanted this load. I would have had to have left at midnight on 2 hours of sleep to drive 400+ miles to pick it up. Then it was from Oregon to Pennsylvania. I know the miles would've been GREAT, but I really didn't feel it was a good idea to push myself to drive 8+ hours on little sleep. DM said it was ok if I didn't feel I could safely drive it in low sleep, so I passed. As a rookie, should I have graciously accepted, or did I make the right call?

The only thing I might have done different would be not taking the phone call.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Will the trainers take the wheel durning training?

All depends. They could do half the driving, they could let you do all of it while they watch porn videos in the sleeper berth.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

The talk here about $300 to keep students in school, or any policy that rips a driver off for work done, is just truck stop BS from dissatisfied drivers. If you haven't noticed on TT, the real pros - moderators and others - are happy with their work

Good example of the attitude I was talking about. Any information that does not paint the tireless, noble, hard pressed trucking company executives, their underlings or their policies in a favorable light....it's ''truck stop BS''. Negative information about your fellow drivers...the lazy, lying whiners...that's very believable though. It's a wonder those heroes in the corner office put up with us at all.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

I'd say they are doing their job, and that job includes withholding portions of employee pay and returning it only if the driver discovers the ''error'' and can correctly state his case for the money. Like I said, it happens too often, at least 3 of 5 checks, and is always in favor of the company. It could only be the result of purposeful action.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What makes a load "Good"?

Madness. Popeyes is too spicy, they charge too much and most importantly, no pot pies. I'm all about the pot pies.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

I have to disagree with this. Sure you might get shorted some of the time, but overall I think it would tend to balance out. If you go to a drop that is 10 miles past the zip code mileage, but your next pick up keeps you going in the same direction, you will gain those 10 miles back.

No, because your mileage for the next trip would start at the far end of the zip code. So you're gonna drive another , say, ten free miles in that direction. Drivers lose EVERY time with these mileage arrangements. That's their purpose.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

Ugh. Just in case anyone reads it, only the first sentence in the post above is a quote from someone else's post...the rest is my response to it. Can't seem to find an edit option here....

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

double-quotes-start.png

Well you guys are spouting the typical "truckers against trucking management" and "business owners versus employers" stuff which, as usual, holds very little water.

I have noticed that any such comments along these lines hold close to NO water with a sizeable contingent here, almost regardless of the details. It's all just whining to some.

But there are rather common business practices in the trucking industry that would be almost unheard of and unanimously condemned anywhere else. For example. I would say 60 to 80 percent of my paychecks are in error, and that error is ALWAYS in favor of the company. I'm talking about expenses for which proper forms have been sent not being reimbursed, empty miles for a run simply not paid, dispatcher approved layover time not paid, 4 days spent filling in on a dedicated run, paperwork scanned immediately and three paychecks later I have yet to see a penny from it, trailer spots and pickups not paid, sent to a shipper on a Saturday, a shipper that is closed all weekend, and paid nothing for the time spent waiting to find a drop location nor for the miles to take it there, miles sent to a Hazmat pickup despite not having Hazmat not paid. Detention pay...forget about it. I know drivers with 7 years in the company who have never received it. I have sent in mac14s as one of the steps in qualifying for detention pay...almost invariably the company simply denied receiving them. Layover pay....50 bucks ? For being on call and available for dispatch, while securing/guarding a few hundred grand in company equipment and customer freight for 24 hours ? Breakdown pay....fifty bucks for twenty four hours spent at a company location at least nominally overseeing necessary work done to company equipment, and maintaining availability for dispatch ?

And on and on. I am told that these and other variations on the theme are very likely to be found at my next company too. And the one after. Most of these issues are eventually resolved but only after sometimes lengthy calls to dispatch and payroll, pleading my case for money that I rightfully earned, and that after getting through the almost always lengthy hold times. And usually on the first call to each, action is simply avoided by payroll saying talk to your fleet manager @ that, and the fleet manager saying get with payroll on that.

This is not accidental, these are for by far the most part not 'mistakes'...if they were I'd have had at least one in my favor in 100 weeks. They are deliberately shorting drivers on pay and hoping they don't have the intelligence to decipher their paycheck and spot the 'errors' , the assertiveness to speak up about them, the tenacity to stick with the tedious process of having them corrected, and the composure to clearly, politely and succinctly state ones' case while doing so. ( I actually prep for these phone calls...write a little script of sorts...because I (a truck driver) have to be every bit as on top of these numbers and policies as the (accountant or bookkeeper) in payroll is, or I'm gonna get snarkily dismissed.

A driver is lacking in any of the above, and the petty theft is successful. If that's not business owners against employees, I don't know what is.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Health insurance

Oh God, don't get me started. The steady proliferation of health insurance is exactly what has enabled the medical industrial complex to suck up one out of every six dollars in the economy. And yet everybody still thinks more insurance is somehow going to bring the costs down.

The cheapest policy my company offers is 55 bucks a week. I really don't see why this should be called a benefit any more than my lunch or my pack of Pall Malls, which I also pay for myself, but that's beside the point. What it covers or doesn't cover, how much are the deductibles, I didn't even bother looking because I wasn't the least bit interested.

55 bucks a week for 52 weeks is 2860 dollars. That's about 15 doctor visits...one every 3 weeks or so. I haven't gone to the doctor 15 times since 1980 for f***s sake.

OK...oh, what if you get pancreatic cancer or something, Skar Hed? Well, if I get pancreatic cancer, I really don't think I'm gonna be on my hospital or deathbed saying...thank God...at least I can pay for this. At least Healthsouth is gonna get their twenty dollars per aspirin tablet and two thousand dollar a night for the ''semi-private'' room. No. In fact I would feel better knowing they were gonna get stiffed on the obscene bill. So I go without health insurance, as I have done my entire somewhat long life. Have yet to ever say I wished I had it.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What makes a load "Good"?

You pick up a preloaded trailer , no extra stops, final is a drop and hook. Load is somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 lbs. Very little driving off the interstate at either end. Distribution centers rather than retail locations or factories. Outside of the Northeast or California. About 1400 miles, with sixty hours or so between PU and delivery, but you can bring it in early. No rude hostile obese middle aged women at either the shipping office or the receiver. A KFC chicken pot pie and a Dairy Queen available every 250 miles along the route.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Random shower question

I favor taking them whenever I do laundry, that is to say upon each change of season.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Team Driving

double-quotes-start.png

I'm running teams at Celadon to fulfill my contract. I'll assess how I feel about it and decide what to do after the contact is done. If I go by the average miles Celadon uses, it's only about 75-80 bucks more a week. I'll have to really enjoy teaming to stay for that much.

double-quotes-end.png

Must be nice to scoff at a free/extra $4k/year.

Having had a little experience with teaming I find it easy to scoff at a lot more money than that.

I would need about 6 times that before I even considered teaming with someone I didn't know, like and trust very well. That's a pretty small group of people, none of which has a CDL.

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More