Comments By Troubador222

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Posted:  10 years, 2 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:  10 years, 2 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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:  10 years, 3 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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