Comments By Wilson

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  • Wilson
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Parking a Truck In The Northeast

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There are a few spots I'll never disclose, NOT even to my own mother, if she were a truck driver.

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So good truck stops are like good fishing holes?

I have found that you can skip any of the big 5 chain stops (Pilot/Flying J, TA/Petro, Loves)> They are nearly always full at night. Use an app (I have Trucker Path) and read app reviews of non-chain stops. I've found some great, easy access stops and some knockout diners that way.

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I had an idea years ago to build an app for unlisted parking locations exactly as you guys are talking about. There are thousands of places all over the country sitting nearly empty every night that would make for great parking - fast food places, smaller truck stops, abandoned factories, mom-n-pop diners, regular shippers with gigantic lots, etc. But none of them are listed anywhere. I live in a small town of about 3,000 people and I could give you about a dozen great places to park a truck overnight that aren't listed anywhere.

We could literally solve the entire truck parking problem if we could organize the unlisted locations. There's plenty of parking but nobody knows about it.

What do you guys think? Is this an idea we should explore? I think it would be immensely valuable.

I think that would be a marvelous tool to have at your fingertips. But I have my doubts about how you would collect the data needed. If there were such an app, I would use it for sure.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

One of my favorite type loads are air conditioners. They are light, easy to secure and unsecure (usually 2 straps per) and no tarp.

blue flatbed melton truck loaded with industrial air conditioning units strapped to itblue flatbed melton truck loaded with industrial air conditioning units strapped to it

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Glass loads were mentioned in another thread and I thought of this load I had out of Laredo. The center triangle was very difficult to tarp as you had to climb up there (with that 100lb tarp) and unroll and drape it. Needless to say, it was not an easy job.

Melton flatbed trailer loaded with crated glass ready to be tarped and strappedMelton flatbed trailer loaded with crated glass tarped and strappedMelton flatbed trailer loaded with crated glass tarped and strapped

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Maverick vs TMC

While in CDL school I looked closely at Maverick and TMC. I found they were pretty good companies. That's why I drive for MELTON! smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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First thing you should do before going to school.

High Road Training Program is *the* way to go!

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Just quit trucking school

Ok so i get to school which is completely paid for by someone else. First day of school I jumped in the truck and took it for a joy ride down the freeway and was loving it. Get back to school and instructor just smiled at me for stealing the truck and showing initiative. I then tell him I won't drive for them unless they give me more money. I told him I want at least 53.00 a hour plus mileage at .95 cpm. He looked shocked but said ok no problem. I also said I want paid holidays and 12 weeks vacation. No problem as well he said.

We continue through the day and head back for a company paid dinner. I get my food and ask for ketchup. They bring me a bottle of hunts ketchup. I was like oh hell no .... Bring me Heinz ketchup. They say we don't have Heinz ketchup. So I quit.

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Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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You know you're at a bad truck stop when..

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When you see the fuel pumps are all torn out, craters for pot holes in the dirt lot, and signs on the door that say "restrooms are for customers only."

Oh yes, and you have to pay to park there. rofl-3.gif

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Hey Wilson, how have you been? Haven't seen you post in a while and was wondering about you!

Oh I've been running hard lately. I had my 17yr old nephew from France come to visit this summer. I took him out in the truck with me for about 3 weeks. He loved it! Now I am running hard again. Oh yeah, I recently went over my 1 year solo anniversary. Now I am an experienced rookie! smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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You know you're at a bad truck stop when..

When you see the fuel pumps are all torn out, craters for pot holes in the dirt lot, and signs on the door that say "restrooms are for customers only."

Oh yes, and you have to pay to park there. rofl-3.gif

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Salt Lake City

Joe Smith?

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Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Talk about a sticky situation

There might even bee a lawsuit or two.....

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Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Buffalo and elk. I was going to say, I didn't see a fence in that picture with the buffalo in it. That had to be one nice run!

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

On topic, do you or the shipper decide which direction the coils are going to face? I was watching a youtube video of two different flatbeds being loaded side by side with the same product and one trailer was loaded suicide and the other had the eyes parallel to the trailer.

Ah! A very good question. You see, you are starting to think like a flatbedder! I had that very same question. Coils can be loaded suicide, eye to the sky, and shotgun. So that was bugging me as well. Why not just load it the same way? The thing that drives that train is the customer receiving the coil. The consignee may only be able to unload the coil with a forklift. Or, he may only be able to unload the coil with an overhead crane. The one buying the coil tells the shipper how it has to be loaded so they can unload it.

Makes sense, doesn't it!

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Did you need any additional straps across the front of the forward most coil or a bulkhead?

The "eye to the sky" coils normally require three straps each. Occasionally, we will run a chain in front of the front skid to act as the bulkhead. The chain would prevent the skid from............... skidding! smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Wifi at the truck stops

Why not just pay the $20/month with Verizon or ATT & buy the jetpack or whatever it's called? That gives you high speed internet on its own line, not shared with the cell phone, & you have when & where you want.

I'll have to check in to that. I'm already paying some pretty high rates for what I have. . .

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

It's finally official!!!!

..., Smith System, ...

Hey! We use that at Melton, too. Good stuff!

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Here is one of my trips to the Alcoa plant. They want you to position the trailer close to the wall as they do a side load. There is fall protection on the driver's side. Those strap pads are a hot commodity. I try to collect as many as I can as they have many uses!

flatbed trailer getting loaded with steel coils at Alcoa plantflatbed trailer getting loaded with steel coils at Alcoa plantflatbed trailer getting loaded with steel coils at Alcoa plantflatbed trailer loaded with steel coils and strappedflatbed trailer loaded with steel coils and strapped

I also had to tarp this load, but I guess I didn't get a picture of that.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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More Questions About Trip Planning

Well, I'll throw my 2 cents in the ring.

As a general overview as far as trip planning, I look at it this way. You either have a load day, an unload day, or a travel day.

The load day naturally depends where you are when you load/hook. If you are close to the Interstate, you treat it like a travel day. If you are out in the boonies, you will have to do a meticulous plan asking yourself how far can you get with the time left on you clock for that day. Your clock is the variable. I get out Google maps and look at where I will appox end up and see what is available. If I can't get to the Interstate, I look for places like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. There are other places as well. You have to have a place to park; you don't want to 'paint yourself into a corner' with your clock. If you can make it to the Interstate, there are the truck stops, rest areas, welcome centers, etc. along the way. Again, your clock is the variable.

The unload day is similar to the load day only in reverse. You will really have to take a look at how far your destination is from the closest parking spot at the end of that travel day. Ideally, your destination has overnight parking. But not all delivery places have overnight parking. For example, the load I am on right now has a Home Depot 2 blocks from where I deliver. I originally planned to park there. Especially since it was right off the exit of I76. However, on my way down, I discovered there was a Flying J just 8 miles from that exit. So that is where I parked at the end of my last travel day. The trick here on the unload day is to know you can get to your destination from your last parking spot without trouble. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not.

The travel day is what I consider Interstate travel. You are on the Interstate all day long. I will usually drive 500 to 550 miles on a travel day. Now naturally, depending on your destination, that may not be the case. But for the most part, it will. Travel days take the least amount of planning in my book as there are normally truck stops, rest areas, welcome centers, etc dotted along the way. Some parts of the country have more than others and you will have to take that into consideration. But normally, I just take off on a travel day and when I get an hour out on either my clock or when I've decided to stop driving (that means if you do not want to use up your entire 11 hours of legal driving time), I get out my little truck stop book and look up which truck stops are around the spot I will be in an hour. Sometimes it will be right on the money, sometimes before, sometimes after. That is when you will have to decide where you will stop. If the stop is after or a little more than an hour, your will have to determine if you have that extra time to get to the one further away or not. If not, then you take the earlier one.

This is all pretty generic and are driven (no pun intended, heh heh) by variables. This is how this rookie does his planning. It has worked for me and I have almost never been late for an appointment. The times I have been late have not been my fault.

I once shared a story with another trucker about the time I rolled up to the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp that was a couple of blocks from the truck stop I wanted (had to) stop at. I had one minute left on my drive clock. At the stop sign, I went to "off duty" mode and then I drove less than 25 MPH to the truck stop. With e-logs, if you are going less than 25MPH, the computer will not switch you to "driving." Well that trucker told me he never has *that* problem. I asked him how that could be. He said, "Simple. I'm on paper logs!"

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Wifi at the truck stops

That's not the way to go. Just go with Verizon or AT&T. Unless you need Internet 100% of the time without exception and you're willing to pay a ton of money for it.

Yup. That's what I thought. And that's what I have; Verizon. I get a 4G+ Internet connection using a wifi hotspot with my phone. It's really wonderful. It is the problem of things like You Tube eating my data like there is no tomorrow that I am trying to remedy.

The free wifi at certain locations *is* an alternative when it presents itself. The free wifi at our Melton terminals is always pleasant, as well.

At least I got to rant a little.....

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Wifi at the truck stops

Well I would like to hear from those of you that have rented wifi time at the truck stops. How good was your service? Did your pages load quickly? Were you able to watch You Tube or anything similar without it stopping to buffer??

Anyway..... [rant on]

I can't believe the quality of the wifi at these truck stops. Granted, I've only tried two so far, but I am beginning to believe it will NEVER be any more than that. I rented a 24-hour block yesterday and I couldn't even get the IP to resolve. Hence, NO INTERNET. So giving them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps I wasn't parked close enough to the building, I tried again today at a different truck stop. Whoopee!!! I found a parking space right next to the building! I got all signed up and paid for another 24 hours. I can't believe this rip off! A simple web page takes about 3 minutes to load (or more). Here I thought since You Tube eats up my data from my phone hotspot, I would be slick and just rent the wifi. Almost NOTHING works. How in the world can they call this "high speed Internet"?????? Bah!!! I just can't believe this. How do they get away with a scam like this?????

[/rant off]

I feel better now.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed physical

Oh ok. So the cdl skills test is that done with a flatbed if that's what you've been training in?(Training at prime)

Now the CDL skills test will vary from company to company. At Melton (when I went through), the skills test was a guy from Safety taking the candidates out in a truck for a test drive. To me it wasn't much of a drive. It *did* have a load on the trailer which was something new to me. In my school, all the trailers that we pulled were empty. Now don't get me wrong. The driving test wan't just a rubber stamp or a check mark. There were some that failed and were sent home. The way I see it, if you do what you were taught, you should be just fine.

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