Profile For Daniel N.

Daniel N.'s Info

  • Location:
    Johnson City, TN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Team Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 5 months ago

Daniel N.'s Bio

Just your old average Joe. Not old really. I've still got pep.

Daniel N.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Five months solo. Thanks to you all.

So, tell us some more of your stories of being a solo driver, such as how you felt in any situation faced or what sorts of cool things you saw. I've been solo since I upgraded to a regular driver with PAM (almost a month ago), and I have to say, driving solo has really gave me a boost of confidence and has eased my worries big time.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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First week solo....oh boy!

Well dang, that sucks you've had a bunch of chain events happening, one right after the next. I always say trucking is very burdensome due to the millions of things to worry about and focus on. Don't worry too much, I've had some very crazy times myself when I began solo a few weeks ago. I will say this, though, when you miss a turn, panic comes in hard, because you have absolutely no idea where the next area is ahead where you can turn around at. that's a very big issue with driving coupled with a trailer. Bobtail, however, is no big deal, its the trailer that hinders you.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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My experience with trucking so far...

It has been a while since I posted a topic on here, but I felt like I need to get some things off my chest here, as many of you can relate, having been in the trucking field for a good while or more. I "upgraded" to a regular driver on January 6th. Got a rental car from the company and drove down to Atlanta, Georgia to pick up the truck I was assigned to. The truck was dirty and messy on the inside, but it was drive-able at the least. I managed to do a few loads before being able to come home recently for a few days. But what surprised me was that PAM Transport is a company that focuses on team driving, mainly, but when I upgraded, I had to go solo due to there being nobody near where I lived within 100 miles. I would just like to say that I was constantly freaked out and frightened throughout my experiences being solo. Even after my training, there were THOUSANDS of questions going on in my mind and so many things that I just didn't know anything about, ranging from proper use of other macros on the Qualcomm to good choice-making in general, like finding a proper spot to park without getting in anyone's way. I've felt like I went through hell these past few weeks, and it really has given me some crazy little nightmares that constantly wake me up several times during the night. The fear of the unknown is what really scares me. So not only have I been stressed about route planning and getting to the shipper/co-signee on time, I've also been trying to figure out how to make things happen, such as going to a shop to fix up this truck or how to handle certain situations that arise. Too many things are wrong with the truck now, some of which has came up within the past week, like the Engine Break not working half the time and ABS light/Triangle lit up randomly. There's a million and one things we, as truck drivers, have to focus on, and there's so many things that work against us, making our experiences with trucking anything but pleasant, at least for new drivers like myself. I've had to make many tough choices within these past few weeks of driving by myself. I guess being solo has its rewards also, but for this company, the pay is not one of them. Parking is pathetic at the later hours of the day, backing is always tricky if not downright impossible, shippers/receivers take forever to get you going, often times finishing right before or past your 11/14 hr clock, and numerous places where parking is illegal, whether you're out of hours or not. It is crazy. All this I've faced, no paycheck has been above $300, so it is like hell but without the good pay.

This is how I feel about the trucking industry/this company ever since I got out to drive on my own. I know it is very rewarding if you give effort, but I try my best and I still can't quite go an hour or two without worrying about something. Thanks for reading my little rant.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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My Experience with P.A.M Transportation to start...

So, just recently I "upgraded" to a main company driver for PAM, so now I get to be paid by the mile instead of a meager $246/week. The upgrade process was quite a pain in the rear as the Orientation instructors at the yard I went to were neither kind nor straightforward. I, as well as a few others, constantly asked ourselves "What did he just tell us to do?", and that happened just about all day long. After the upgrade, I was tasked with picking up a rental car from the nearby airport, to which I did. Me and one other person drove down to Georgia to go pick up our trucks, but due to time constraints, we had to go get a hotel room in Mississippi. We woke up the next morning and started down the interstate heading towards Georgia. After 1600, we get there and there are two nasty and run-down 2013-ish International trucks waiting for us. My partner's truck had a bad battery and it was very disgusting on the inside as well as it needed an oil change. Mine was a little better but it still needs some interior cleaning, BADLY and it needs Wiper fluid. So, we slept in the trucks that night and boy was it cold and very rainy. There are no APUs or Inverters installed, and there is little fuel in the truck to keep it idling for a long period of time so I slept in a powerless and cold sleeper. Just recently, I returned the car to the nearby airport and now I'm back in the truck stuck here in a "secure" trailer lot, having a few receipts to transflow in. I was also told to put in some time off days, so I assume that is to drive the truck home and get everything prepped, cleaned, ect. Weekend and Night-Shift dispatchers don't have any power over anything I need, and nobody else is working until Weekdays. This has been a very bum and disappointing start to the actual job. Not only that, but I don't have any idea about my co-driver. I honestly don't feel comfortable going solo, especially with pay going $0.21/mile solo drivers.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What do companies mean by 'Home time'?

I do NOT want to be away for so long. I do not want to break the bond with my kids by being an absent mother.

I'm sure you're a great mother, RebelliousVamp as well as having a great daughter also. Trucking sadly isn't 100% dependent-friendly, but if you wouldn't mind being out for a while at a time, try a dedicated route or like a couple said earlier, try for your Passenger endorsement and go for a bus job, Greyhound sucks BUT a driver told me every station is HIRING for drivers, and that's all you need!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

Those of us who were in the Navy and lived on ships, should have no difficulty with living space-management with just a small locker and a coffin rack.

~scott

Scott L., that's right! The ships were just...Oh man, I couldn't even dare to walk through even the P-ways without bumping into a shipmate most the time LOL ...so, Imagine the truck. solo is no problem, but if you have a co-driver, well, that makes it all the more tight. But being in the Navy, we have had a lot worse, in fact, a truck is a huge relief from it!

But RebelliousVamp, I think you'll be fine. I'm sure you know what to do if in fact things don't get as comfy as you had liked to, can't hurt to try you know. I always keep the bare essentials if I'm traveling somewhere, like on a bus. But you look like you have tons of small things to keep up with rofl-1.gif

If I had a wife or a significant other who came along also, I'm sure it'd have its own set of problems. lol

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Downshifting

What helped me was to stop trying to rush the process. If you wait until you are too close to the stop sign for example, its much harder. Start downshifting WAY WAY WAY before a stop sign or red light. It takes time to let the gears slow you down and then downshift again. Apply light braking each time to lower rpm also helps. But try leaving a lot more time and distance. Its not a race to get to the stop. Its a long slow process that will gradually get better with time.

That's a good point. Slowing down ahead of time is VERY important because other regular drivers just haven't been taught how semis and air breaks work. they think we can stop on a dime but we can't. Screw others and slow down comfortably. Like I always say, "Slow and steady beats fast and dready!" I am understanding that going from 10th down to 7th or 6th does work the breaks more though because you're having to use them to reduce your speed to get into those gears. If you go down one or two gears, then you're relying somewhat more on natural speed loss and not so much breaks, but like me, if you're holding your brakes down from 60 to 25 (for example), then there's more reliance on the breaks and the engine is still in 10th gear, so what happens if you have to suddenly accelerate? You have to downshift regardless. I'm kinda learning a thing or three from this forum LOL

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Downshifting

Thank you G-Town. Completely agree with your post. While skipping a gear may be necessary at times, there is a reason for 1-1 downshifting. Remember you are using the engine to slow the truck down. I barely use my breaks until coming to a complete stop. Slowing down enough to skip several gears at once puts a lot of wear on the brakes and you have very little engine torque to help.

I thought about that and you're quite right. I'm going to be honest, I don't go down in gears because sometimes I feel like it is unnecessary, especially if you don't have the time between you and the object coming up to do so. Now, I will go from 10th to 9th or 8th, then if I still need to slow down after that, I'll use the break pedal or the engine to help get to the speed I need then shift to the appropriate gear. So, coming up to a yellow light, 9th, 8th, come close then by the time I hear the engine chugging, i'll range select down, clutch to neutral, then idle shift to 3rd, 4th, or 5th depending on if I'm bobtail or have a trailer loaded or not.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Does Having An APU/EPU Really Matter?

1) Do you have an APU? -Yes, as far as I know, all of PAM's fleet have APUs as well as Inverters too, lucky lucky

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like? -From all I've done, I put range selector up, neutral, set breaks, and press on button for cruise control, then after the engine shuts down, we go to bed and do whatever we want to do all the while staying nice and comfy.

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount? -I don't think it does cost us anything, I've never heard of such a thing happening in PAM

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? -Yes I do. APUs are perhaps the most convenient for a comfy experience in the Sleeper. I either get way too cold or way too hot, it's just me really, lol

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

Well, with what I have now, it isn't much, but it does make any break tolerable, especially when being at a dock that you've waited over an hour before finally being unloaded. Internet is a big issue too because with it being 2016, everything is online. Even if you're an old-fashioned trucker, Internet is inevitable. So far, it's just a laptop and the mobile hotspot for me, electronic-wise. I do have a phone also, but I don't really have anyone to talk to during my free time, so it barely needs to be charged. all that unlimited texting going to waste rofl-1.gif

I'd say portable devices would be a better investment due to better energy saving and more mobility. Having a gaming system or a desktop computer hooked up, you'd have to really make sure they're unplugged when not in use.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Parking or Pulling Over for Rest

So, one thing that concerns me a lot is the choice of where to park the truck for the night to rest (or any reason at all). So far, in my month's worth of driving, it has been Walmart lots, rest and truck stops, and shippers/receivers (at approval request). Aside from trying to find an adequate, legal place to park, you also have to worry about any obstructions, dangers, size of parking lots, and permissions. What are some tips on finding a good spot to park or how to even set yourself up for a good park?

Also, I'd like to share a pic that happened within the past 2 weeks relating to parking. I know that this is a big No-No, as there is mud and rain involved, but the driver did so anyways. Plus, his trailer was sticking out halfway in the driveway to a Caterpillar Warehouse. Swift truck parked in the mud and rain with trailer sticking out in the road

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

It all depends on what the company allows. some companies have idle shut off after 5 minutes and will fire you for putting inverters in their trucks....no inverter means no gaming system, no tv, no fridge, and definitely no microwave. and when its 90 degrees in your house and the engine shuts off every 5 minutes, your little fan blowing hot air around makes you want to quit. nothing worse than waking up sweating your butt off. JUST MAKE SURE YOUR COMPANY HAS THESE THINGS< even a APU can help you through that. sleeping bag, pillow, 1 month worth of clothes and soap for washing them and showers, tooth brush, toothpaste, tv, ps4, cell phone, hotspot wifi, firearm, fridge.....thats all you need besides groceries.

From what I've seen, PAM Transport has APUs and Inverters installed, all they really ask is that you keep it clean and maintained properly. I could be wrong though.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Downshifting

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I find that in the 2015-16 freightliner cascadia, it downshifts best around 1500 rpm

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You sure about that? Cascadia I drove was limited and would barely hit 1500. Should be downshifting closer to 1000-1200 at the most.

Yep, also driving 2015 FreightShaker, downshifting between 900-1200 rpms on average for smoothness.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

It's ok! I'll make it work with whatever they give me! :))

That's the spirit! I hated getting on the bunk with my trainer. You have to have some decent fitness to lift yourself onto that and then get back down! Urgh.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

I'm not much of a decorator. I have a lot of books at home so I have one cabinet in the truck dedicated to being my mobile library. I switch them out with different books as I finish them and I get a little bit of that old book smell in the truck. I love it. Smells like home!

Well if I still didn't have any lingering fears and frights about Trucking, I'd definitely try to go solo, it's more of a privacy issue than anything really. But that's a great idea though, taking a lot of books with you to read when you're Off-Duty or in Sleeper. Then again, with it being almost 2016, eReader Tablets are the new way to read books because they're so much more convenientrofl-1.gif

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

That's living the life right there! I'm kinda surprised how you made it, being how it's a heck of a lot smaller than a normal bedroom, so there's a bit less to work with room-wise. Are you an owner-op? Just curious.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

So, I've heard many stories on what Truckers will do to their berth to make it as home-sweet-home as possible. What have you all seen so far? Me, personally, there's not much I could do being as a team, but I've invested in a Verizon mobile hotspot, so that internet leaves open a lot of things, like setting up a game system, Netflix, ect.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Downshifting

Let me say this, Downshifting was my biggest issue, and still to this day, I have some crazy problems with it, but, don't let anyone try to fool you on it. During CDL School, I always thought that you had to downshift gear-by-gear when really, it's just whatever speed you're going. I'm in 10th going 60 and I have to slow down to about 15 mph to make a quick merge or a turn. Just slow down to that speed, clutch it to neutral, give it a small ""vroom"" and clutch it down to 6th. If you instead give it a "vvvrrrroooooooooommmm!!!!" where it comes up to like 1900 rpms, let it drop down to about 15 and then watch it slip right in. The worst thing that can happen when you try to downshift is you grind it a little, but that would kinda tell either to 1) give it a little rpm boost, or 2) look at your speed/rpms and figure out which gear corresponds to that. Trust me, it's not uncommon to be coasting in neutral, lol ...what's such a panic is trying to get it back in gear if you happen to make a turn while in neutral so you don't end up slowing down to a crawl..

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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A person wanting to learn more on Trucking & what comes with it.

Hey everyone, the name's Dan. 21 years old, just your normal single guy, no dependents or debts to worry about. I've been having a lot of trouble landing a traveling job that I felt would be right for me, or heck, a job at all! Then I got to thinking about Truck Drivers. My father used to be one himself, but due to having me, had to quit. He's told me about some good things and some bad things that he went through. I'd like to get some input and a little bit of wisdom from you all, and help to see if driving a hefty truck around is right for me. I was initially wanting to go for just local delivery jobs of sorts like Fedex, UPS, ect., but even these positions aren't needed much. The local mail & freight jobs required CDL, so I was out of luck with them.

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