Profile For Troubador222

Troubador222's Info

  • Location:
    Cape Coral, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 5 months ago

Troubador222's Bio

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Posted:  4 years, 12 months ago

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Do y'all get enough sleep????

It's not that you can't get the miles or turn them safely with the 14 hour rule in place. The problem is it takes away your flexibility. Flat tire, accident, construction, delays at customers, or needing a quick nap - a million variables everyday. Without the 14 hour rule you would have a lot more flexibility to run when it makes sense and shut down when it makes sense.

There are a lot of little things affected by the rule also. For instance, without the 14 hour rule more people would be running overnight which would help alleviate some of the daytime traffic. I used to like starting my day at like 2:00 a.m. Well I couldn't do that very often with the 14 hour rule because it isn't often you can shut down for the night at 4:00 p.m. So more people are running more standard hours - like 7:00-9:00 - and it's bottling things up more than they might be otherwise.

I just love having flexibility. Tell me what you need done and when you need it done by and I'll handle it. Maybe I'll run all night and sleep half the day. Maybe I'll break it up into one hour increments. Who knows? Every day is so completely different out there that I want to make my decisions based on all of the various circumstances, not just the time on the clock.

My experience is, I never get a break. And, ya know, I am the KING of working on hours coming back. But the whole restrictions on getting the 34, means my company knows I can manage my hours and I work weeks on end. I often get lay overs that cut me just short of that 34. Now, I have to work it and my student often gets one. That restriction, both total hours, and the 1 to 5 thing, means our company rarely gives us a break. We just never stop, of we can work the hours. The idea it gives you a break as a driver, is total BS! It means working to being fatigued.

Posted:  4 years, 12 months ago

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Have Not Been In

Because I live in SW Florida, there are very few trucking companies that hire out of here. CRST does, and CRST got me a CDL, and allowed me to pay off that contract period and do well. CRST is a big company and you are a number. But CRST did everything they said they would do. That is the long run, but,............. you want a CDL, willing to go team........... CRST will put you to work. The pay aint great starting, but it goes up at 3 months, then 6 months. 6 months into your contract, you are making 32 cents per mile with a performance bonus. That is tiered to milage driven in months with 1,2 3 4 possible to miles as a bonus.

Old School, long stories and life.......... Good to see you, just graduated my 3rd/!st student! I held out for a while lookiing for FB work and no one out of where I live was hiring. SW Florida is the bane of truck driving jobs. And Knight did not work out. I wont bash them here and no reason. It all is what it it is, I am in my 50s and I go with the flow!!!!!!!!!!!!! And God Grant me the Serenity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still looking for that FB job. One day, when things are right!

Posted:  5 years ago

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Do y'all get enough sleep????

I generally drive nights. I do that because I have students that I start out driving during the day, and then move them to gradually driving at night. Sometimes I do not get enough sleep. I will stop and take a nap too, if I get too tired.

I was on the NJ TP that night and saw the Tracy Morgan accident. They had all 3 lanes shut down, and had diverted traffic to the emergency lane.As I worked my way past it, I knew something was up, because they had a line of people standing shoulder to shoulder to block the view from cars. Of course us being higher, I saw what they were trying to stop people from seeing,and that was a body bag laying beside the over turned van. I also saw the Walmart truck involved with his front end destroyed. It is not something I really wanted to see.

Traffic on the TP was really light that night, except for the back u at the wreck site. And after we passed, traffic spread out again. It stayed light, over the GWB and through NY on up to RI. Easiest transit I have ever experienced going up there, other than the wreck area.

Posted:  5 years ago

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Have Not Been In

Woops, double post. Dont know how I did that

Posted:  5 years ago

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Have Not Been In

Hey all! Have not been in, in a while. Just kind of busy and not on line very much. I finished my contract with CRST, left and went to Knight for a while, was not happy with Knight, so I ended back at CRST, where I am now working as a lead driver/trainer. My first two students did not make it. 1st one broke down in tears, screaming and crying and left me stranded in the Mojave desert for 8 hours waiting on my time to come back. He just had a massive anxiety attack. Second student's mother had a heart attack after he had been out for 2 weeks. He was not a contract student, so he left to see about his mom. He had been doing very well, but I understand why he left. Family comes first. My third student is starting his 4th week, and is just doing great. It is a pure joy to teach someone who wants to learn.

Glad to see everyone here and that things are going strong!

Posted:  5 years ago

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Have Not Been In

Hey all! Have not been in, in a while. Just kind of busy and not on line very much. I finished my contract with CRST, left and went to Knight for a while, was not happy with Knight, so I ended back at CRST, where I am now working as a lead driver/trainer. My first two students did not make it. 1st one broke down in tears, screaming and crying and left me stranded in the Mojave desert for 8 hours waiting on my time to come back. He just had a massive anxiety attack. Second student's mother had a heart attack after he had been out for 2 weeks. He was not a contract student, so he left to see about his mom. He had been doing very well, but I understand why he left. Family comes first. My third student is starting his 4th week, and is just doing great. It is a pure joy to teach someone who wants to learn.

Glad to see everyone here and that things are going strong!

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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And then there was Cali

Heh. our joke was never eat the free BBQ on Donner Pass.

Something else about California roads, they are strict in some areas about enforcing the limited trailer truck length restrictions. My co driver got a ticket for an over length combo on a road our GPS took us on. It was a no points violation but he still ended up paying 250 dollar fine.

Also some of the loop exit ramps are the tightest I have ever seen and you have to seriously slow down. Right there where 40 ends at 15 in Barstow, there is an exit where all the truck stops are. The on ramp to 15 N is super tight and I have seen several trucks laying on their sides at that ramp. And you approach it through several red lights, so its not like you are trying to slow down from the interstate.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

I couldn't stand going to Love's cause they were way too tight. You definitely have to be on top of your backing there. Give me a Flying J or TA, they were always big and had plenty of parking.

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As to general public using truck stops, something I have been seeing more of is people parking motor homes in truck stops. That is a minor peeve with me. They can go to RV parks. We cant.

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Had that happen to me a few times. You think you're going to pull into a spot, sike! Random motorhome is just chilling right there! And they always park a little further back so you don't know it happens until you pass right by the spot, or are about to set up to back.

I saw a motor home come the wrong way through the fuel aisle and block a truck about to pull in. It was at a Pilot and I was in the pull through area and starting to leave. And the driver of the RV was clueless, just got out and started to fuel his RV. I was able to make out the face of the trucker starting to pull up, and he had his mouth wide open just staring. I think that was in SC. I just went on down the road. Thing was, the RV was towing a car, so I am sure it was not easy for him to back out. rofl-1.gif

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

Loves is certainly the best on their points system. They were a major fuel stop for us at CRST and I always had platinum and that was with me and the co driver splitting the fill ups. When I went over to Knight, I had almost 50 dollars of points on my Loves card which I used to pick up a couple of items I needed for the truck.

As to facilities for the drivers, the TAs, Petros and Flying Js always have the big driver lounges. I know of one Loves with that and that is the one in Des Moines.

I discovered something the other day about parking. I was nicked on my front fender at a Petro the other night by a truck leaving. Nothing serious, just a little jagged scrape on the bottom. (I was inside eating at the time and did not notice it until the pretrip the next morning.)Anyway, the next night, I nosed in. And wow, talk about a quiet night. I may start doing that more often. Plus no one came up to the truck begging for money. That has been over the top this last month. Worst was a girl banging on my truck at 2 AM one morning looking for money. I am afraid I was not very pleasant with her.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

I'm not fond of that one in Wamsutter either, but mostly because it was always full with a line at the fuel aisle and CRST had that as a regular fuel stop for us. Always took a long time to get in fueled and out. That, and all their water faucets at the pump leak and in cold weather it could be really icy right around the pumps. I ended up on my backside there one cold night.

I've noticed one problem with Loves, Pilot and Flying J in general. They also cater to the general public and that can make getting in and out a problem. Petro and TA all seem to be more driver oriented in general. Not that you wont get the tourists in those, but for some reason it always seems less crowded. Plus they have more parking and I have used their reserved spots a few times when I could find no other parking.

As to general public using truck stops, something I have been seeing more of is people parking motor homes in truck stops. That is a minor peeve with me. They can go to RV parks. We cant.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Weird elog and qualcom experience

I started the week with a load from FL to MA without enough hours to get it there. Plus they give me a load out of MA to IL that is to pick up before I can even get the other load there. I have been behind since I was sent to pick up the first load and really busting my butt with 3 14 hour days in 4, with loading and unloading delays, not to mention the 2 hours it took to get from NJ across the bronx, and then gridlock in the NE. I got a new truck and got a working qualcom, so I am on elogs.Well 2 nights ago, my 30 minute break vanishes off my logs, and I am driving along and get a message I am 30 minutes from being in violation. I figure I did something wrong, so I took another break, and went on for a few more hours. Today trying to get this load into Dekalb, if everything goes right, I have a chance in 11 hours. Well, today the same thing happens again. Except this time, I get alarms saying I am in violation of the 8 hour rule. I had requested my logs after going off duty this time. Took it at my fuel stop and it shows on duty for fueling, and my change to off duty. I note the time, take my break, with the truck parked and off. I called safety and finally got ahold of someone, and at first he didn't believe me, but he was able to call up the truck info and sure enough, my logs were saying I was driving while the truck was parked. So, he did what ever he does and tells me it's fixed, and I go off down the road. Well, fog, and traffic lights slowed me down on US 30 and I had kept track of my time, and I see I have about 1:20 left with 118 miles to go. I call night dispatch and tell him, I am going to run short of hours. He tells me I have 1:44 left, with 140 miles to go, and I can make it. confused.gifrofl-2.gif I did not argue with him. No sooner did we get done that I get a message saying I am in 1 hour of being in violation of 11 hours. Now I dont know what to do. There was a petro about 30 minutes up the road, so I went there. I requested my logs and now it is saying I have 1:10 left with about 90 miles according to my GPS. Tomorrow I am going to keep paper logs too. I shut down at Petro.The load will be late. I have a pick up tomorrow in WI I can pick up at anytime. If I get in trouble, I get in trouble, but I am not going to run in violation and now, I cant trust the elogs system. Part of the trouble is, I am just flat out tired. I need to rest to think straight. I am also a little miffed night dispatch would hang me out to dry. I am skirting Chicago in US rtes going through small towns and slow speed zones. According to my GPS and exit book, there is nothing near there if I get in trouble.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Made a change in plans

I am working dry van. I am told I can do 3 weeks on with 3 days off, so that is what I am planning on. If you take more than 4 days, they slip seat you. They have some part time options like 2 weeks on a week off, or 21 days on with a week off. I need to make some money, and that week off does not seem that good to me to make money.

I am actually in a reefer division truck. The truck they issued me on Friday had some issues and needs to be sent to a dealer for repair. Someone ran it without DEF. The gauge is stuck at around a quarter tank. We never let our DEF tank get below half at CRST, mainly because it takes so long to fill.

First day was a what can go wrong will go wrong day. They issued me the second truck late in the day, and everyone went home. Well the qualcom is out. I had a load that picked up at 1AM Sat heading out to Ft Worth TX. So, I started paper logs. My trailer I parked in front of, when I was pretripping to go get the load, had a flat. I had to call night dispatch and then run all over Tampa to find an empty. I was late for my pick up, but it was no big deal. Delivery is at 11:59PM on Mon. I went back to the terminal after I picked up, to see if anyone could deal with the qualcom on Saturday. No one could, so I am on paper logs until I find out what is up tomorrow. I shut down at 6 tonight with bad weather, and freezing fog predicted in north central Tx. I am 6 hours out. Highs of 40 tomorrow and this will shift me back to days. I should still deliver early by 10 to 11 hours. Good load for my rookie run with Knight. close to 1200 miles.

Paper logs are no big deal. I just make it a point to do them at every duty change Only takes a few minutes. I can see how if you are not on top of them, it could make you behind in a hurry.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Made a change in plans

When I posted a few weeks back, I was going to Werner. I ended up having to postpone that because I had to get the meds for my BP adjusted to where they kept my readings steady. No point in going off for orientation if they are going to send you home for high BP. Well I got that under control with a med that works for me, but while I was delayed, I kept looking around. I ended up going to Knight Transportation.

Werner had been offering me a sign on bonus, but because that money was kind of bright and shiny, it was making me overlook somethings I have since decided were not as good. I called Knight last week, they got me in orientation this week right here in Florida. We finished yesterday. Then when it came time to meet my DM, he asked if I would mind going to Ft Myers and pick up my truck from a shop. Heh, I live in Ft Myers. So in about an hour, my wife is going to take me up to the shop, I will pick up the truck and head back to the terminal. I am glad I chose Knight based on my experience of the last few days. Everyone is just great!

Word of caution to you folks just getting started. We had a class of 9 going into orientation. 2 guys left because they got offers from local companies. 1 guy was let go yesterday because he had some misdemeanors he did not disclose. Nice guy too. He had just graduated from school and was working really hard to get in. Make sure you tell them everything up front at the company you go to. I had the impression Knight could have worked with this guy, if he had disclosed to start with.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Questions from a newbie.

Because of where you live, I think you will find you have a lot of choices about who to go with. The company I trained with ran a lot of freight in and out of Minneapolis. This site has a lot of tools including a lot of information on both companies that sponsor schools and companies that hire new grads. When I made the choice to go out for driving, I made this site my number one resource and it made the process very easy. Look around, read your local work ads, and dont be afraid to contact companies and ask about who they hire. If you have the resources to go to a private school, that will give you more choices when you graduate, and you will not be in the position of having to work out the contract all company schools require. You will also find a lot of companies that pay a tuition reimbursement if you go the private school route. If you do end up having to go OTR for a while, make sure you understand and your wife understands that it means you will be away from home for weeks at a time. Because you do not have children, that will make it easier on you and your wife, but it still means being separated and your wife is going to be stuck with twice as much work at home. At the company I worked for with my contract, one of the biggest reasons I saw people fail is they and their families were not prepared to handle that separation. I think there is a TA there. Go out to the truck stop, and into the restaurant. You will find a lunch breakfast counter where it usually only drivers. Sit down and ask them about the lifestyle and anything else you can think of. Most of them will be more than happy to answer your questions. Best of luck and best wishes!

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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How often do you lube the 5th wheel of your truck?

I have heard of people who had their own trailers who never unhooked, and in every case they were flatbedders, who never greased theirs and had to end up replacing the 5th wheel. Ours were greased every time we had service on the truck, so we did not worry about it.

One of our instructors in school told a funny story about how he never greased his for a while and on a turn, his tractor did went straight because the trailer hung up on the 5th wheel, and he took out a mailbox. The mailbox was one of those ones that the owner had fixed up to look special and was like a mini windmill. He talked to the owner and offered to pay right away of course, and the owner wanted 1000 bucks. He said every other mailbox on the road was just the old cheap type you can get from Walmart for less than 50. The important thing he was stressing though, is it can cause problems like that if it is never lubed.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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GPS Question

In my former career I used GPS equipment that is used for engineering purposes, and started using it back in the 1990s. The units for cars, or the trucks, as far as GPS is concerned mainly locates where you are in real time on the earth. That's all it does. Pretty much everything else involves meshing that real time location with maps that have been programed into the unit. So your route is only going to be as good as the maps. Most of them are really good, but sometimes they are going to cause problems. We were sent to a shipper just north of LA, and it turned out to be the right company but the wrong facility. So we programed in the correct address and headed off to the right place, and we were pulled over for being on a route that did not allow trucks and trailers over a certain length. 250 dollar ticket, but no points. My co driver caught that one, and only because I had run out of hours at the first place we stopped. Our Rand TND 510 told us it was the proper route.

This is anecdotal, but we had a problem with ours where the the plug in for the power cord got loose and vibrations from the truck would cause it to lose connection. My trainer and several other people we talked too had the same problem. I have noticed on the 520 and the 20, they have made the outer plastic case a lot more sturdy. I still have my 510, and the fix is kind of simple,just means I have to curl and hook the cord so it stays in the right spot and it gets a charge. I just have to keep half an eye on the little red light. I plan on milking it for a while.

I noticed on the Loves store ad for Dec, they have the 5 inch Cobra on sale for really cheap.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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George Washington Bridge

I've seen this mentioned several times now including Old Schools great story with his over-sized load. I crossed it on my second load with my trainer. I also did it twice later on running loads. The last time I was supposed to cross it, we actually ran out of route to avoid it, coming out of RI. We paid a small toll crossing from NY into PA, but it was still cheaper than the approved toll going across the bridge, and we figured we saved about 2 hours and got the load in early. I hate it. I was lucky though and never had problems and never had to cross it at rush hour. If I could stay out of the NE, I would be a happy camper. I will take the winter driving in the NW over the NE. I am also not very fond of coming through or around Baltimore and DC. I have been in and around LA in CA a bunch of times and been in horrible rush hour traffic there, but I will still take that over the NE.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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Blood Pressure

Thank you for the encouragement! One of the many reasons I want to go solo is to be able to start and maintain a good work out. Being in that team truck, we just never stopped. I love to walk, and that is something I am planning on doing as a solo driver, plus I plan to get a set of dumb bells. I also have been reading a lot of good articles in various trucking magazines about good workouts. I plan to lose another 20 to 30 lbs and that will put me in great shape. If I can get down to around 230 to 220, I will have very little fat left. I am a naturally big guy and will never weigh below 200. I would have to lose too much muscle for that. I am also a smoker, and very soon, that is on my list to take care of. I did not want to try and do that while I was teaming though, because........... I was afraid I would have run my co driver away. I might have bit him or something. embarrassed.gif

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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Triletter Update - A year after CDL school

Just read through this thread. Congrats on getting the Melton gig! I have been really interested in getting into flatbedding, and Melton was a big pick of mine, as they do run ads on job boards in my area, (SW Florida.) When I called them, they told me they did not hire south of Tampa. Right now the only choice I have is CRST Malone, which is their flatbedding division, but they are lease or O/O only. So that dream is on hold for a while.

I can tell you all I have heard about Melton is good, from talking to other drivers. They seem to have a lot of happy drivers working for them. In my humble opinion that says a lot. Anyhow I enjoy reading your updates and also hearing all the advice from the other flatbedders on here. One day........

And the reason I want to go there? That whole sense of community that flatbedders seem to have! I like that.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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I PASSED

Hey!!!!!! Congrats!!!!!! When I originally tested, we did it at the school. I was in IA and they allow the school to test out the students. But....... they also audit each class and pick 3 students to go to the DMV to test with them. You guessed it, i was picked for the lottery. I ended up doing the backing skills test with a DMV observer. I dont know how they do it in other states, but we had a system that gave us points for missing certain things, with 11 points being the maximum to still pass. I got ZERO points with the DMV test. Dont know how, because in practice, and the testing at the school, my best was 4. I just got in the truck, took a deep breath and did it. But also, the school had allowed me hours of practice before I did it, and even a few hours before I had to go down and test.

Funny how now that seems like ages ago, and in a few months you will think the same thing. Best of luck to you in your new career, and be safe out there!

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