Profile For Donald M.

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    6 years, 3 months ago

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Posted:  6 years ago

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Walmart Truckers Score $100 Million Lost Wages Victory In Court

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Attila beat me to it... not understanding why you all begrudge other drivers wanting to be paid for all of the work they do...

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They are (or were) already making $80,000 - $100,000 a year with the best benefits you'll find anywhere, had simple job duties, drive beautiful equipment, and get home regularly. Like I said, this is the kind of stuff that gets the best paying jobs eliminated. If owning their own fleet and paying their drivers top wage becomes too much of a hassle they'll simply eliminate their high-paying private fleet and let the low-paying OTR fleets around the country bid on the work.

It's the same thing many of the unions did over the years. Even though they were way overpaid for their skill level and job duties, had the nicest benefits imaginable, and great job security they did nothing in the face of growing global competition to allow their companies to remain competitive so the companies either shutdown or moved out of the country. They never stopped pushing for more until they no longer had jobs.

So naturally a caveman would think, "Good for them! Get all the money you can get!" But of course that caveman is going to discover that when nothing is good enough to satisfy you then ironically you often wind up with exactly that - nothing.

It's not always about 'take all you can get'. In fact, it's rarely about 'take all you can get'. You have to be aware of your circumstances and the potential risk you're taking by constantly battling for more, especially when you're in a great position already and you decide to bite the hand that's feeding you. And trust me, at $80,000-$100,000 a year they weren't eating Ramen Noodles and Mac-n-cheese, but they might be soon.

In the end, Walmart has other firms haul their freight in CA, or pay the drivers. They don't have to change the practice anywhere else. Look for dropyards in NV, OR, and AZ soon littered with Walmart trailers. Maybe they can buy out CA city, and turn it into a shipping hub.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Stupid Question? Hope Not...

Weigh stations are there for the structural integrity of bridges (so drivers do not damage them).. At least that's why they were initially created.

As far as I know: You're given a citation for being over weight, are rendered inoperable until the issue is resolved. Of course: That is entirely up to the discretion of the officer.

I might be incorrect though. So don't quote me! :)

Nah.....its more fun to quote :-)

The truth is that weight limits are more than bridges. It's also wear and tear on the road surface, construction zone designation for size and weight, etc. An overweight, or truck going to fast can create additional wear and tear on the roads, and that needs to be factored into engineering estimates on the frequency of repaving.

Is 100lbs significant? Probably not. Is an extra ton going 80? You bet ya. Force = Mass times acceleration. Ask Newton.

Where does that force have impact? On the road surface as you brake, accelerate. The weight of the truck projected through all of this and of course the 4 wheeler when you can't stop quickly enough, receives roughly 97% of this on impact. Not to mention the excessive wear on the brakes, suspension, and it goes on.

Overweight is condition to be avoided when everything is 100%. If everything isn't 100%, it gets much worse, very quickly.

How are the brake shoes on your trailer?

This isn't a lecture, but is part of the thinking behind all that safety training.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Is trucking worth it anymore?

I've written a new article entitled Is Trucking Worth It Anymore? where I discuss my opinion on today's trucking industry and whether or not a career in trucking is worth doing any longer.

If you're considering a career in trucking or you haven't begun just yet, what are the major factors in making your decision?

Probably some of the greatest unknowns for me is pay. Driving something big for long miles is something I have little fear of, and following a lot of regulations is something I'm equally unafraid of. (And yes, I generally have 3 or 4 cameras at any given point in time in my current job focused on watching me, and that's boring too.)

But the concept of trying to believe a recruiter, unconnected to the company; try to give me a warm and fuzzy about pay is a bit unnerving.

Fortunately for me; I'm not compelled to make a decision yet; as I'm still gainfully employed; but trucking will be the next career path for me when this one ends. I look forward to getting behind the wheel again and letting the miles fly by. (Was a P&D driver many years ago.)

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

World's first self-driving truck

Never happen. The main reason being, it's still under control of a computer system. The first time that system goes down, you now have an 80,000 # missile at 65mph with nobody in control.

Or it misses basic traffic controls... like lane markings...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atq645S-bWQ&feature=youtu.be&t=46

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

An important Question for ALL the drivers

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Local police or DOT should only stop you if they have probable cause for something.

They can ask for your green card all they want. However, you have the RIGHT to politely decline their request. Your immigration status is none of their business. They are not immigration officers.

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Erm, there's the law, and then there's the practicality of being detained. A commercial truck rolling down the highway is a pile of probable cause to an officers. The sheer volume of regulations that are required to be adhered to by law for a CDL holder is amazing. One light out is sufficient for the officer to pull you over and ask for relevant identifying paperwork.

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Erm, the OP specifically asked the following question;

When you get pulled over for whatever reason, can they ask you for your green card instead of just drivers license?

My reply is valid and it IS THE LAW! Reading and comprehension is also very important for a Professional Class A CDL driver. Cole

However, the practicality of your advice is woefully short. I'm sure he's looking not to screw up his career to work a little before his green card; and I answered that need. He can certainly stand on his rights if asked and lose a few days driving or a job while they sort out why he's working without the right paper. Might only get fired.

I'm sure I'm not a lawyer, and only offer the advice from someone who has had to deal with this problem from other jobs I've had.

Be well.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

An important Question for ALL the drivers

Local police or DOT should only stop you if they have probable cause for something.

They can ask for your green card all they want. However, you have the RIGHT to politely decline their request. Your immigration status is none of their business. They are not immigration officers.

If they ask you for your driver's license you may give it to them. Your driver's license must be valid in whatever country you hail froM.

You have the right to be silent. Let them know that you are exercising that right If you chose. You have the right to ask them why you are being detained. You have the right to ask them if you are free to go.

Find out what your rights are for your county, local police, and find someplace where you can be educated about your Bill of Rights.

I am a former 911 dispatcher. My husband is an immigrant and we have two sons in their twenties. We all took a course about our Bill of Rights. We also found out what our rights are in reference to the county and local law enforcement. We role played different scenarios about encounters with law enforcement.

Welcome to the USA!

Erm, there's the law, and then there's the practicality of being detained. A commercial truck rolling down the highway is a pile of probable cause to an officers. The sheer volume of regulations that are required to be adhered to by law for a CDL holder is amazing. One light out is sufficient for the officer to pull you over and ask for relevant identifying paperwork.

Now to obtain a CDL, you must supply a birth certificate or green card. (Either are acceptable)

A green card isn't the only way to have permission to work in the US. You can (while in the application process) request to work for a period of 180 days while you're being considered. Or obtain an H-1 or L-1 visa. An employer is going to need one of those items documented before they hire you.

So my unlawyerly advice would be to NOT work in the US unless you have a Green Card, H-1, or L-1 Visa or have requested an EAC (while waiting for your green card approval), if you are a non-resident.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Female forced to train in sleeper with male?

Even verbal contracts are enforceable; but there had better be witnesses. My advice to you would be simple. Train in the other division with the stipulation that you be returned to your division of choice as a driver when finished. Get that in writing as a memoranda of understanding on the 6 month contract. It sounds like they're willing to accommodate you; in the best way they know how. If they are unwilling; then take a hard look at the situation; because all your going to wind up being is unhappy with the results.

With contracts its very easy for two parties to wind up with differences of opinion on what the legal jargon means without any documented history of conversations and notes. Even with simple at-will employment; the best you can do is take notes in any interaction with management and recruiters; and refer to those notes later on prior to signing a contract. If what's in the contract doesn't capture those notes; ask for an attachment clarifying those points.

Once that contract is signed; its VERY hard to amend. The employer has just as many rights as you do.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

So I've been waiting at this shipper for six hours...

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And got to thinking. Assuming the air horn literally uses air from the air tanks, how long would it take to empty them via blowing the air horn? This is what happens when I'm bored...

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Right! The pre trip when wqiting for six hours,

First Im going make sure its at at least 90 PSI then ill lay on my highway horn to see if the low air warning light and buzzer come on.

Hooooooooonk

Then ill check my cut out...

Then ill check my cut in by honking 1 little blast at a time then count ten seconds... Honk.

Next Im going to make sure the tractor protection control valve works.

Hoooooooooonk

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That's great!rofl-1.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-3.gif

Doing a tug test while locked on the dock would probably get some attention too....

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

VIDEO: “If you’re driving 80 mph, how long does it take you to drive 80 miles?”

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VIDEO: “If you’re driving 80 mph, how long does it take you to drive 80 miles?”

As Travis and Chelsea Chambers were driving through Idaho, Travis said his wife made a funny comment about mph, so he asked Chelsea, “If you’re driving 80 mph, how long will it take you to drive 80 miles?”

Chelsea tries to  explain how mph can vary, as Travis records the whole scene on his cell phone. It’s hilarious.

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Ummm.. It's been a while since college but, uhh... Let me take a gander:

Miles per hour... 80mph in 1hr = 80mi driven?

Aha! They can tell you're not a truck driver. The answer is 3 days in jail.

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Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

SWIFT in cab cameras

I heard those cameras have problems working properly. Hint hint wink wink. Just kidding. But if we can get every body art the same time to sing that song. It always feels like somebody's waaaattcchhing meeeeeee it would make a good you tube video

Luddite..

Throw your shoes at it. ;)

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Greyhound Baggage

Its a bit of self-discovery when you pack. How little do you need to function; and how little do you need to finish the task at hand. I've been around the world in all sorts of situations; and it took me a long time to get to the comfort level I'm at. I'm not saying that anything you're doing is necessarily wrong; but as you work your way through it; less is more.

I would suggest reviewing at times during your journeys what really sat in the luggage for the entire trip. Did you need to signal Batman? If not, perhaps the Million candle power flashlight was excessive. Did the hotel have a laundry and a soap dispenser? Perhaps packing the bag of soap was not worth the convenience of putting $2.00 in a dispenser. Maybe packing a Tide Pod would have been a better choice (and they could have been packed in the shoes).

There is no right; just what is needed, and what is excessive.

Good luck with your journey!

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Greyhound Baggage

While I'm sure you missed quite a few items, I'd like to suggest that you are guilty of overpacking.

Rule 1: Anything that can be bought on-site should be bought on-site. (deodorant, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc). I would pack a small toilet bag with a few of the 3oz bottles of shampoo/body soap a travel deodorant, the electric shaver and a toothbrush with a travel toothpaste. Packing laundry soap is flat out ridiculous. If a Wal-Mart or other big box is available I wouldn't pack more than one change of underwear and a set of thermals. Buying a pack of underwear on-site is fine.

Rule 2: Layered clothing is better than specialty clothing. A rain shell can be combined with a hoodie and be more functional than a 3 system jacket. I would rather have a few print Ts, a couple of polo shirts, a flannel shirt, a hoodie, and a rain jacket. Than what you've packed.

Rule 3: Less is always more. Lose the 3rd pair of gloves. Wear the running shoes or boots as your driving shoes (And yeah... I knew a bloke that did running; 99 shoes for every type of run. :) )

Rule 4: Consolidate tech gear. Having personally carried books, tablets, Ipods, smartphones and a 17" laptop; I've definitely found I don't need to lug all of it around. (It's heavy.)

Rule 5: Carry-on luggage ALWAYS contains the bare minimum; stowed luggage carries everything else. NO EXCEPTIONS. If your luggage gets stolen, lost, or misplaced; the carry-on should have everything you need to push off and hopefully run to a stored to replace the rest.

If you've heard anything, I hope you take away that less is more, and do try to remember; those sleeper berths are really only built for 1, and your going to be twp in that canoe for a while.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Suburban CDL

My choice was Roehl Transport, mainly because of home time, but also due to their close proximity to my home so I will have more work and better home time. I urge you to do more in depth research into company sponsored training and also not believe the rantings of disgruntled drivers in this industry. This career is what YOU make it, you will have bad days, but that happens in any industry. Good luck in your travels and in training. Please keep turning to this site for advice and some humor. And use the high road training tools available here, they are free and help so much. Good luck

Does Roehl run in the NorthEast? I live in RI, and would love to find a good fit with a company that dispatches along the I-84 or I-95 corridors. (Think Worcester, Providence, Quonset, Groton, or New Bedford)

And pay is always a concern with me. I'm not sure what their current CPM rates are and increases.... they have a funky rewards program.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Post Accident Drug Testing

Slipped on the step getting off truck. Told trainer. She decided I wasn't hurt. This was at noon on Friday. Finally got off truck Saturday night. Called coordinator Sunday n left message. One person claims said a test wasn't required. Other said it was. Had to go to my own doctor in Houston. Claim wouldn't be honored because not timely reported. Ended up driving back to Lancaster to do drug test and physical. They gave me a piece of paper to do a physical at another clinic. This really spooked me so I went home n let them know I thought I needed advice. I got a discharge for a DOT Refusal of drug test.

FMCSA 382.303(h)(1) is exception to post accident resting rule when "departing or alighting" parked motor vehicle."

Anyone run across this before?

Wish the admin at Swift could make up their minds. Looks like all the work, time and money was for nothing.

Can I dispute this?

Thanks for your help!!!

If you have been terminated you can follow the dispute resolution policies in your company handbook; but I suspect that you won't get any results.

Your claim is there was an accident; and the company most certainly has a call for "for cause" drug testing. Those policies ALWAYS have a termination clause for failure to comply.

The only real question is why have your own doctor do it. That's what confuses me. It's usually a testing company (Quest Diagnostic, etc)

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

School Choice Pay Comparison

I'm at Swift, and you need to re-do the math, Don.

The first mileage I got was at 33cpm, not two bits*. Also, FWIW, Swift is catching up with a 2¢ raise to 0.35 CPM.

* old-fashioned term for 25¢.

Thank you Errol! I figured some of the info on this site might be a bit out of date.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

School Choice Pay Comparison

I have a tendency to be hyper analytical, and really want to know the dollar value in choice; so I decided to compare two schools and what my year (Yes, its only 360 days long) would look like pay wise. We're going to completely ignore home expenses; and just look at income and school cost. This should in no way be taken as a bash against any company; just sort of a reality check:

The companies: Prime and Swift

Prime: School cost=3500; Out of pocket=1260 (if I can, I only sleep with my wife.); 30 days of my life; 90 days OTJ training @ 600/wk leaves me with 2954.29 in my pocket; 120 days of the year gone.

Swift: School cost=3900; Out of pocket=550; 21 days of my life; 42 days OTJ training @ 450/wk leaves me with -1750 in my pocket; 63 days of the year gone.

But that's isn't the story for the year; we sort of have to take a look at "What's in the wallet for the rest of the year." So we'll make a broad assumption the miles are the same, and modest. I set a simple target of 2050 miles per week. YMM (Actually) V.

Prime@90days solo(.39cpm)=10279.29; @180days solo(.39cpm)=10279.29 and for the balance of the year(.40cpm)=7028.57. Total income=$30541.43

Swift@90days solo(.25cpm)=6589.29; @180days solo(.26cpm)=6852.86; @270days solo(.33cpm)=8697.86 and for the balance of the year(.34cpm)=2688.43. Total income=$23078.43

So my question is this: Other than stopping at every WalMart in the nation, why choose Swift over Prime?

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Help ... I suck at backing

So I just started my driving portion of the PSD program with prime and I'm having issues with backing and I'm not really comprehending what my instructor is telling me...any tips or suggestions welcome

Go slow. Less is more. If it doesn't feel right stop. Watch BOTH mirrors. Think of pushing a ball with your nose. The tail of the tractor is the nose and the trailer is the ball. When it's online it goes straight. If the tail wags right, the ball goes left. In the worst case, pull forward and straighten it out; do it again.

Go slow.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Managed expectations (Looking for Big miles, little hometime)

I'm anticipating a career change, and have driven local box trucks (25 years ago :) ). I'd like to get my CDL-A and go OTR.

I generally am looking for a low-BS company. I have little or no desire to have a dispatcher breathing down my neck to break rules, or the law (I don't mind working with support people at all! Just not the unrealistic kind). I have a hard work ethic; and I have always felt that this is the simple key to any work career.

But I need pay. Optimally I'd like to be in a situation that I'm averaging $1K gross a week. I'd like to be able to bank my hometime and have a few days off the road with wife and family if I can.

If you work for a company with a driving school; and can recommend your company based on those above criteria; I would like to hear from you what you average in miles, and pay; and if there's something unique about your company that you'd like to share.

My thoughts ran toward PRIME and Roehl. Both seemed to have that feel.

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