Profile For Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty Dog)

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty Dog)'s Info

  • Location:
    Chesapeake, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 9 months ago

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty Dog)'s Bio

Born & raised on a dairy farm in WA state, did 20 years in the military, spent most of the last 19 years since retiring from the military doing computer work.

I drive for Prime Inc., and have been having the time of my life since I started driving in Oct 2011. Changed to Barr Nunn in March 2014 but they talked a good game but did not follow through with what they preached. From Barr Nunn I went to JB Hunt on one of their dedicated accounts.

After being gone from Prime for 2 years, I have been back since Feb 2016. Time will tell just how long I'll be driving since I had medical issues the summer of 2015. Some minor complications, but not anything I can't manage for the time being.

There have been lots of days when I wonder, why did I do this again? But all kidding aside, would not trade this for the world.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty Dog)'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Weight Question

Pretty sure those are both referring to the same thing. Load and cargo seem to be interchangeable for those two examples.

Jeremy,

You are correct, they are the same thing. Just 2 different ways to say the same thing.

Ernie

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Companies that offer true OTR driving

As it has been mentioned, reefer fleets usually have the long haul runs more so than other types of freight. But keep in mind that it also depends on how your dispatch works as to how often (if at all) you get to go coast to coast. You may have to take several short runs to make it, but it can be done depending on how your carrier works it's loads.

I drive for Prime and get to go west quite often (but again that depends on your dispatch). An example of what I mean, recently I picked up a load in Laurel MD and took it to Bakersfield CA as a solo driver. Now that doesn't happen all that often, but it again depends on how much time you have to get from 1 location to the other.

But if you decide to try switching to a different carrier, don't expect that something like that will happen immediately (because it probably won't). So give this some thought and ask questions of your current carrier, then make your decision as to make a move to another carrier or not.

Ernie

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Descending steep downgrades in an automatic

When I was driving a lightweight Freightliner with an automatic, I found that if I set the jake on stage 3 and the cruise 5-7 mph below the speed I wanted to maintain, worked great. Never had to touch the brakes going down the grade, the combination of the automatic & jake kept me at or below my desired speed all the way to the bottom. Yes, the rpm's shot up to about 2000, but the jake works best at about 1800 rpm.

Just something to think about.

Ernie

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Should I keep my personal car after beginning OTR?

One additional thought, unless you know your Aunt/Uncle will be starting the car and drive it around at least every couple of weeks, disconnect the battery. I have one of my cars at Prime's Springfield terminal, have been doing that very thing and never had an issue with the car starting when I am at the terminal.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thank you to all the Lazy drivers !

Diver

When you talk about the inspection, was it HOS inspection or vehicle? Sorry for the noobish question.

Thanks

As a company driver, he gets $25 for every clean inspection (doesn't matter what level).

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thank you to all the Lazy drivers !

Good for you. Like you, I don't mind doing these little things because it does end up getting you some extra cash.

I have been known to stop short sometimes just so I can get a trailer fixed that some other clown was too lazy to get done. Yes it cuts into my 10 hour break, but I know when I head down the road I have a trailer that is safe.

Keep up the good work. Good on you driver......

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Newbie questions.

Andrew, as Old School told you with his reply, not need to worry about heat/AC. Most of the large companies either have an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) for power when the engine is not running, or they have optimized idle that will start the truck as needed to keep the batteries charged and for heat/AC and run your electronics.

As far as refrigerator/microwave, that's on your dime. Now as for me, I mostly have some sort of snacks on the truck that don't require any kind of refrigerator or microwave to cook them, but when I started out that's how I did it. Not all that glamorous, but it works. I use a 12 volt cooler that holds 6 drinks I got at the truckstop to keep my drinks cold. I still use that cooler today, that way I have cold drinks during the day. I do have a refrigerator and a microwave. As time goes by and you can afford to upgrade your needs, that's the way to do it.

Just some thoughts as to how to get started on a minimum amount of cash.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Moving to JB Hunt

I drove for JB Hunt for a year as a company driver in 2014 - 2015 until I got sick and had to come off the road for a few months.

I was on the Georgia Pacific account going mostly through the mid Atlantic/Southeast/lower midwest. They treated me pretty well. I was out 7 - 9 days, home for a 34, sometimes 48 hours before starting all over again.

If I was to consider going back to being a company driver, would go back to JB in a heartbeat.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What was key to making the jump?

Funny that your name is Old Salty Dog, I'm currently on a ship now (Civmar) and have been looking at this path for awhile. I'm in the deep creek area but only home every so often...trucking would actually get me home more and I can take my kids and pets. LOL!

I live in Deep Creek as well (Culpepper Landing). I live in the apartments to the left as you come into Culpepper Landing.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

What was key to making the jump?

Hello to all, I remember reading a very lengthy post on here about what people did before they did trucking. That would be great if it could be reposted. More than anything I'm interested in what made you personally decide to take the leap and just do it. Rainy (apologies if I misspelled your name) Your background story peaked my interest as I will be turning 41 this year and thinking that it is also time for a change in career. Why did the company training appeal to you? Was there a straw that broke the camels back moment? If anyone started this as a single parent I would love to hear from you as well. (I do have help, so not alone.)

I'm presently on my hometime. As you can see, I live in Chesapeake VA as well. If you have questions, or would like to see one of Prime's trucks up close, let me know.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

Welcome back Stranger!

Thanks PackRat......

It seems time just gets away from me when I'm out on the truck. Here of late, I get on here while I'm on my home time.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

Glad you are ok.....

Thanks.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Scared of that Perverted, Creepy Trainer? - an article by Rainy

I just read the article. Great information.......Rainy hit the mark AGAIN.

As she said in the article, you have to decide what you will/can put up with for the short term. You also have to decide what is/isn't important & appropriate for you and the situation.

Ernie

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

I know this isn't my latest load, but for sure my lightest.

Picked up 1 pallet (about 1500 lbs) in Laurel MD going to Bakersfield CA. Picked up on a Thursday, delivered the following Monday afternoon. Great fuel mileage, had so many drivers looking at me like I had a funny hat on as I cruised by them @ 65 MPH up hills in a Prime truck. Keep in mind I pull a 53' reefer trailer.

Did this about a month ago.

Right after this load, I was up in Twin Falls ID to pick up a load. I was thrown about 20' when the wind caught my trailer door as I was opening it before I could secure it. I ended up crashing against a concrete trash container and turning it around 45 degrees. Only injury I got was a big goose egg bump/headache and scratches behind my right ear. Was put out of service by the Dr for a day (this happened on a Monday and I couldn't drive until Wednesday).

I know I'm late posting this, but I don't take/have much time while I'm out here of late to look/post as much as I used to.

Ernie

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Jack style load bars

The problem I'm having is that it won't release. I've sprayed the heck out it with lubricant, but it still gets stuck.

I'm thinking the issue is because when not in use, they are out in the elements and that is the root cause of failures. Unfortunately because as drivers (yes, even the company drivers) here at Prime, we have to buy our own equipment, it's up to us to keep our equipment in good working order.

So far, I haven't found a way to prevent the failure of this style of load lock. When I do, I'll try and remember to share that knowledge.

Ernie

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Sexism In Trucking From A Woman's Perspective

Outstanding article Rainy.

One day we will have to meet. My wife is also from NJ, you 2 I'm thinking would possibly get along great.

OS, the main reason I'm on FB is because when I started this adventure I had lots of folks wanting to know where I'm at, etc. So I decided by using FB (most of the folks that wanted to know are on FB), that way I have only 1 place to update instead of repeating myself numerous times each day.

One of my favorite sayings I use almost daily, "90 percent of anything you do in life is ATTITUDE".

Have a safe day everyone.

Ernie

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Just learned something interesting about retired people who want to get into trucking.

double-quotes-start.png

James,

Ask your recruiter if you can get a few letters from family/friends notarized verifying your retired status? Did you show them your retirement pay stubs? Never hurts to ask. The answer is no, they won't accept that if you don't ask.

Ernie

double-quotes-end.png

Prime recruiter didn't care, she pretty much said 'no' and that's it, policy is policy.

Prime probably has tons of people applying.

I emailed other carriers but haven't heard back yet.

That's a shame, I know of other folks that has similar issues and was able to do just what I suggested. I guess they have more applicants than they can handle right now. Just goes to show what having a great training program can do for you.

Ernie

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Just learned something interesting about retired people who want to get into trucking.

James,

Ask your recruiter if you can get a few letters from family/friends notarized verifying your retired status? Did you show them your retirement pay stubs? Never hurts to ask. The answer is no, they won't accept that if you don't ask.

Ernie

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Prime vs Knight vs Jim Palmer/Wil Trans

Ronald M.,

Prime has a drop yard in Fontana. Hopefully that will make your decision a little easier. I don't get out to CA too often here of late, but maybe that will help with your decision knowing that little piece of information.

Ernie

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Prime CDL transfer

Sorry for another post but I'm coming up with more questions!

I currently live in Illinois and by what I understand if I go to Prime in Springfield, MO I'll have to get my permit and CDL there. Then after that transfer it back to Illinois, which per the Illinois DMV website requires another fee, retaking written and driving test. Does this sound correct? Is there anyway to get around that? I just don't really want up have to retake all test again.

Thanks

As I understand it, Illinois is the only state that requires you to re-take the written & driving tests.

Ernie

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