Profile For TailGunner (Ken M)

TailGunner (Ken M)'s Info

  • Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 3 months ago

TailGunner (Ken M)'s Bio

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Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Tarping

Probably the most helpful thing I can tell you, is if you are loading anything high off the trailer deck, like lumber, osb, drywall, styrofoam especially, If the person loading doesn't offer to, ask them to put your tarps on top of the load for you. One tarp at the front, and one at the back. This will save your butt from having to try to figure out how to get them up there. The rest of it comes with experience and practice. Your trainer I'm sure will be showing you the rest. It's also a timesaver to connect your bungees to the D-Rings on your tarps and bend the hooks so they don't come off. That way the bungees you need nearly everytime are already there, hanging down waiting for you to secure them.

I could fill a couple pages about tarping probably.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Locked myself out twice today

Lockout kit = big rock.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Flatbed

There are loads that don't require tarping, but it depends on what company you drive for. A flatbed Co. that hauls mostly building materials and steel will have you tarping almost everything. Except maybe rebar and *some* building materials.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Maverick Transport

From their website: "We are now offering sponsored CDL training with a partner driving school in Arkansas, more details to come soon!! Call to inquire, limited availability!"

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Does Having An APU/EPU Really Matter?

1- yes I have APU. And I love it. Having the APU allows for a refrigerator instead of an electric cooler. All trucks also have the 1500w inverter. So I can cook and stuff without running the engine. Not sure that I would go with a company OTR and not have APU.

2- Melton really pushes for us to idle as little as possible. Also the trucks shut down after a bit. I think it may be 5 minutes of idle before it shuts down. Which only applies if you are in neutral and brakes are set. But if your APU is broke down you can idle if needed. I believe as long as you don't set the truck brake it will run longer. Not to sure about that though.

3- Our MPG is calculated on a 90-day average. So you have to do pretty bad before you are penalized. I'm not sure exactly what the penalty is though. Apparently I left the paper at home. I do know we are supposed to keep mileage above 6.0mpg average. So you'd have to do pretty bad to be lower this that over 90 days. For keeping it at 6.8 and higher we do get a mileage bonus. Starting at 6.8 you get $0.01 with another cent for each tenth.

I can't remember how much fuel the APU saves but it is a significant amount. I'll give an example. When I took my home time for Christmas I parked the truck Thursday night. It stayed parked until Sunday morning the following week. So 10 day with the APU cycling on and off. When I parked the fuel gauge showed just barely touching the 1/2 mark. When I left it was sitting pretty much on the mark.

Probably would have used less if I had turned the climate control off, then it only turns on to keep the batteries charges. But my kids wanted to camp out in the truck every night.

I let my truck run all weekend before, and the gauge didn't even move. The average fuel mileage did go down, but when I went to leave Sunday night, it was warm and ice-free.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Downshifting

Drive an Eaton Super 10, you only need to clutch (or float) every other gear, i.e. between the evens and odds. It's a sweet transmission.

I forgot, you don't need to move the stick in between them, either.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Downshifting

Drive an Eaton Super 10, you only need to clutch (or float) every other gear, i.e. between the evens and odds. It's a sweet transmission.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Truck washing

If your Company doesn't pay for a truck wash, don't pay for it yourself, unless they will reimburse you for it. Keep the inside clean where you live, but the outside is their responsibility. And if they won't pay for it to be washed, I would look for a different employer.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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What do companies mean by 'Home time'?

If you look around, you can find any number of companies that are home weekends.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Engaging air brakes in winter/freezing conditions

There is no need to put the trailer brakes on when you are parked, unless maybe you're on the side of a cliff. And the brakes can/will freeze up in cold weather, and you'll wish you hadn't had them on. The air dryer/alcohol injection keeps the air pretty dry, but not 100%. Even getting loaded, unless they require it, the 6 brakes on the tractor are enough to hold, along with the tire chocks.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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How "concrete" is a pre-hire?

I was at an orientation where a prospective driver was asked to leave because they didn't like his attitude, he bi#c#d too much, and could tell he was gonna be trouble, so they ejected him.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Flatbed Question

Generally you will find that the forklift drivers will put your tarps on top of the load for you. Just check with other drivers or the loader on what to do with your tarps. Usually you can throw them on top of part of the load before they set it on your trailer, or you just set one tarp on the dock at the rear of your trailer and one at the front, then when they are done loading you they will lift them up on top one on the front and one on the rear, right where you need them.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Rough First Day = $30,000 Damage

His first day and last day were the same day.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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So I'm really bad at tarping

I know I'm kinda late on this, but if you have a situation like the pics Old School posted, I take my lumber tarps and lay them across the front of the steel tarp and strap them down. That keeps the wind from getting underneath and keeps out rain and snow etc. as much as it can.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Con-Way Freight

I would do some more research on this. I haven't, but I don't think this is exactly correct. Joplin is where CFI (Contract Freighters Inc.) was from, a company that Con-Way bought, and it became Con-Way Truckload, several years later, you still see CFI trailers being pulled by Con-Way tractors. Con-Way Freight is the LTL portion of the company. They are headquartered in Ann Arbor Michigan. I used to drive for them (Con-Way Central Express). But I do think they hire without a CDL, but I think they do it at all of their LTL Terminals, not just one. You have to find a job listing for Driver-Student. Here is a description I found:

The Con-way Freight (LTL) Driver Sales Representative Student (DSR Student)Program is an intensive twelve module training program consisting of classroom education and hands on driving experience. The DSR Student will work as a dock worker for a minimum of 30 days prior to the start of classroom training. There is up to 90 days of classroom training in the program. If successfully completed, the DSR Student will be eligible to test to obtain a Commercial Drivers License with hazardous materials endorsements and doubles/triples endorsements, and upon meeting all other company requirements the DSR Student may be eligible to be offered a Driver/Sales Representative position.

Driver/Sales Rep is what their drivers are called, due to all of the contact the driver has with the customers, you act as a sort of sales rep also. Check out their website under careers. They have options such as start out on the road with Truckload, then you can transfer to LTL.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Taking A Look At Securing A Flat-Bed Load

The round spools between the rail and the trailer deck are designed to have the chain wrapped around them. They are intrinsically stronger than the stake pockets, by the fact that they are round, and welded all the way around on both ends. The stake pockets tear easily when a load is placed on them, like from a panic stop, or a long cheater bar and a snap binder or ratchet binder. Our safety dept. got a clarification on this from the East Corp.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Skateboarding with Western Express: The life of a flat bedder.

Yeah, in the summer you can get a 24' tarp rolled up the size of a sleeping bag. Then in the winter you can get it about the size of a Mini Cooper.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Flatbed Vs Dry van

Yeah, Old School must have picked up some of those big rolls of paper. Pre-loaded and already tarped, I assume?

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

You should ask them what transmission is in the truck. There's no way they could expect you to know in advance. Or look around inside for the label/shift pattern. On the dashboard, or over the drivers door. A single axle Sterling could be a city tractor, with a 5 or 6 speed synchronized transmission, no double clutching required. If it doesn't have a splitter lever or button of some sort on the stick, it most likely is.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Shifting questions....

I usually try to wait until I'm done for the day and in the shower room at a truck stop. I'm not much for tcob public bathrooms. ;)

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