Profile For Frito

Frito's Info

  • Location:
    MS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 3 months ago

Frito's Bio

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Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Need to find a new company, any suggestions?

I did not ask, nor do I feel I need your permission nor anyone else's to disagree, but thank you. I tried to do it as politely as possible but got the initial response I expected in the same short order I expected.

I hesitated to even respond because I know just how quickly people with different opinions or even the slightest subtle suggestion of a complaint are immediately excoriated or become suspect on here. I haven't visited for well over a year for this very reason and the only reason I have recently is a renewed interest in the training materials (which are great) for a friend I'm helping get into the business.

I've done lots of things. As an airline pilot I was compensated for canceled flights, down time and maintenance delays. As an RN on the night shift once the patients were medicated and asleep I was paid to "sit and watch TV" at times. This is what businesses/professions that value and want to retain good employees do. I'm an accident free, on time, generally non complaining, self motivated, self reliant, trustworthy 600+ mile per day driver that is respected by both my company and my coworkers. I know at least a tiny bit about "how it works". If I'm delayed, I value my time and expect to be compensated. I make no excuses for that nor do I feel it reflects negatively upon me. I'm not even close to being bent out of shape over the 3 hours of detention I was paid fairly, on time, without hesitation or argument last week that pushed the take home to over $1000. Ive made my point and have no plans to visit the subject again nor argue further about it.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Need to find a new company, any suggestions?

I respectfully but strongly disagree with Brett's assertion that detention pay should be dismissed or that expecting it somehow potentially makes you look bad. As an OTR driver out for weeks at the time there are numerous instances of uncompensated work associated with this profession. HHG miles, for example, rarely if ever seems to work in my favor. I have been allotted an unknown number of minutes in my lifetime and have chosen to sell some of them to a trucking company in exchange for money to provide for myself and family. Hundreds of miles from home, sitting alone in a vehicle I'm expected to operate safely and on time on behalf of the company, I don't think it's out of bounds to expect compensation for delays out of my control that affect my income, especially at locations that have poorly motivated and unsupervised staff that through their inefficiencies and incompetence are perpetuating my delay. Any assertion otherwise I believe diminishes the worth of both the driving profession in general and the driver specifically.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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New Journey begins. Retired Paramedic

Hey Terri. I'm encouraging a friend of mine to look into the same school you are planning to attend. He lives in Cary. We are considering teaming. I've been driving a bit over a year. Might you know the typical class size and if there are slots in the October session? We will be researching the school more in depth the first of the week. Can't beat the tuition. The training materials here will certainly help you pass all required testing. Best of luck.

Posted:  3 years ago

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OTR salary at 5 year mark.

My company starts you at .37/mile, max at year 5 would be 45.5/mile I believe. Obviously an 8.5 cent difference. We are all driving the same average miles per month so the math is easy. I must admit I've never worked in a field where they increase your pay by 1 cent and expect you to feel like something important has happened.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Pre planning

Averitt has a large operation in the Dallas metro. No pet policy but an above average company IMHO worth considering.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Bridge law chart.. Rand Mcnalley

I feel confident I've got this figured out even to the point of being able to explain it. Throw the mathematical equation out. It's not necessary as the chart in the atlas makes it very simple. First realize the word/term bridge has two meanings here. The first, which probably most readily comes to mind, is a structural man made bridge, for instance, the Golden Gate. The law was inacted to protect these man made structures from damage potentially caused by excessive concentrated weight. The amount of concentrated force exerted to the man made structural bridge as you drive across it varies with the span of distance between you axels. Axels close together equals lots of concentrated weight, axels spread apart equals lesser concentrated weight and therefore less potential for damage to the man made structural bridge below. The second meaning of the word "bridge" applies to the truck. The standard semi-truck has 3 bridges, two internal and one external. The "truck" bridge is defined as the span between any two sets of consecutive axels. As suggested, a standard semi has 3 bridges. The external bridge is from the centerline of the steer axel to the centerline of the rear most trailer tandem. The two inner bridges are A)from the centerline of the steer to the centerline of the rear drives and B) from the centerline of the front drives to the centerline of the rear most tandem. So, to " bridge out " your truck you need to know the distances between these three separate "truck bridges". Let's say the distance of inner bridge A) (the centerline of the steers to the centerline of the rear drives) is 16 feet. You enter the atlas chart and go down to 16 feet then across to "three axels" because that's the number of axels within this bridge ( the steers, the front drives and the rear drives). With this distance and number of axels we see that 48000 pounds is allowed on this one of three "truck bridges". You would look at your CAT scale ticket and add together your steer weight and your drive weight and need to be less than 48k to be legal. The next bridge to check is inner bridge "B", the distance between the centerline of the front drives and the centerline of the rear most tandem. Let's say that distance is 40 feet. Enter the chart at 40 feet, go over to "4" axels because that's what's in this bridge ( front drive, rear drive, front trailer tandem, rear trailer tandem) and we see that in this case 68500 is allowed. You would look at your CAT scale ticket, add together the weights of the drives and the weights of the trailer tandems, and need to be less than 68500 to be legal. Obviously since our max on these axes is 34k each for a total of 68k, we better be good. The last "truck bridge" to check is the external bridge... The long one between the centerline of the front steers and the centerline of the rear most tandem. Let's say this distance is 51 feet. We enter the chart at 51 feet, go over to "5 axels" because that's what's in this bridge ( the steers, front drive, rear drive, front trailer tandem, rear trailer tandem) and see that at this external truck bridge length we are good for 80,000 lbs. So in other words, to have your truck at gross weight, 80k, the distance between the steers and the rear most tandem must be at least 51feet. Have I gotten out of the truck with a measuring tape yet? No. But I now feel like if a DOT officer ever engages me about the bridge law I won't simply offer him/her a blank stare.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Bridge law chart.. Rand Mcnalley

Thanks, yes I see that... The complexity of the calculations goes far to explain the blank stares and shrugged shoulders I've been getting when asking fellow drivers. Again, thanks. Your insight provided much more clarity than some perhaps more scholarly responses.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Bridge law chart.. Rand Mcnalley

I just figured it out and it jives with our mathematicians calculations earlier in the post...if the distance between the center of the front drive axel and the center of the rearmost tandem axel is 39 feet with that being a set of 4 axels then 68000 is allowed. Shorten that distance to say 34 feet then only 64500 is allowed. It's getting clear as mud. I wonder if the safety dude that blew me off will let me borrow a measuring tape.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Bridge law chart.. Rand Mcnalley

I think Rand Mcnalley has tried to make it easy with the handy chart/graph in the front of the atlas. I'll figure it out eventually.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Bridge law chart.. Rand Mcnalley

Editor's Note: We have an excellent resource that will help you understand The Bridge Law and Axle To Kingpin Spacing so check that out.

So I visited one of our company cookouts today and attended the safety meeting offered. I approached the safety guru after the meeting to gain some clarity on the bridge law versus the states kingpin spacing requirements. While asserting that they were two different concepts and seeking advice on just how to affirm that post scale I am " bridge law legal" he got short with me stating that the kingpin distance and bridge laws were the same thing and that if I wanted to give the concept so much thought perhaps I shouldn't have gotten into trucking. I'm seeking advice on how to apply the chart on page A15 of the atlas to my standard semi-trailer set up. I'm finding it a bit confusing. When I pop off the cat scale I want to be able to quickly reference this chart and my 41' mark and be able to say with confidence... Yep I'm legal. Thanks for any insight/advice.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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No Recent Experience, Want to get back into trucking. Averrit Express

I can't say whether dedicated is better than truck load or not. I think it depends on the driver and his/her expectations and the particular account itself.

I had prehire letters from several other companies, some you mentioned, but frankly at this point in the game, and in retrospect, wouldn't work for anyone other than Averitt. After a year, we will see.

Averitt equipment is parked on company property, it's not taken home. 150 miles is a long way and some positions have limitations as to how far away you can live.

Averitt doesn't pay a "per diem".

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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No Recent Experience, Want to get back into trucking. Averrit Express

I was hired as a regional driver. What does that mean? I've been all over the Averitt "map". Wisconsin to Florida, Pennsylvania to Deep South Texas.

Certain shippers that are security sensitive require a TWIC card. I've been to one that required it and since I didn't have one I was led around with an escort.

If it's not drop and hook, yes it's live load or unload. The experience can be quick and painless or a dragged out nucience where everyone seems to be either moving slowly, not at all, or slightly backwards. Invariably I personally seem to arrive at break time or shift change and more often than not it seems the latter. Perhaps you have engaged the recruiter about a dedicated account that is all drop and hook?

Free driving is when the load is going from say Memphis to North Chicago and the "Averitt HHG" miles are 475 and the actual gps miles are 525... You drive 50 miles for free... These are hypothetical numbers but it happens.

Night driving for me has primarily been petsmart loads... Arrive Dallas mid morning with a load... Get a multi stop petsmart assignment with a pickup at midnight with deliveries in south Texas at 3am , 6am, and 8 am ( who knew people unload dog food at 3am?). Procedure: transition to the Walmart parking lot in Ennis Tx near the D/C, reset your clock then start driving at 11:45pm. Sometimes you have to do that which you do not like. Any load could require all night driving to meet a delivery schedule. The benefit... Less traffic and closed weigh stations.

Your statement, "6-8 weeks to learn the route" sounds like a dedicated account... I've had no "route" per say although I've come to the realization that you are in fact running the same interstates when you begin to recognize the animal carcasses you saw days earlier, minus what the buzzards have enjoyed.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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No Recent Experience, Want to get back into trucking. Averrit Express

As I understand it, and there may be some latitude in this, after a year in a given position as a new hire you can subsequently move about open positions within the company every 6 months. Supposedly current employees are given preferential consideration for an opening. This being said, I was able to change my initial domicile to a different domicile while in training with a single Qualcomm message.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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No Recent Experience, Want to get back into trucking. Averrit Express

Regarding drop and hook... It happens... Often... But " mostly"? Not in my experience.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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No Recent Experience, Want to get back into trucking. Averrit Express

I've been with Averitt about 6 months... Here are the highlights of the experience so far: Hired out of CDL school into Averitt truckload. Orientation was organized, professional and informative with paid double occupancy hotel and good food. If I remember correctly they paid about $400 for the several days which included a physical/drug screen.

OTR training is paid at $600/wk for 6 weeks followed by a week of finishing/backing school. I was issued a 2013 international (270,000 mi) that had several bumps and bruises, smelling like a cross between a homeless shelter, a nursing home and an ash tray. I have since cleaned it up and worked out its mechanical issues. I like the truck though it runs heavy on the steers... I'd rather fill up n run but have become careful about fuel management due to weight considerations. All the trucks are automatics with APUs and inverters. I wouldn't have it any other way.

You are issued a transitional fleet manager for a couple weeks to hold your hand ( figuratively speaking) until he/she is convinced you can fly with the group.

Starting pay is .37/mile with typically a $1500 sign on bonus paid in part at 90 days, balance at 6 months. .38/mi at 90 days, .40/at 9 months with further progressive raises. They pay HHG mileage in truckload which in my opinion is a total rip. You drive many miles for free. This will likely be the variable that sends me elsewhere once my year is up unless I find a more suitable position with the organization. Not all positions pay HHG. They have breakdown, unload and layover pay as well as detention pay which often requires weeks to receive. I don't like the delay in detention pay... As I see it I work for Averitt, not the consignee/shipper... If they need to recover funds that's their problem not mine.

I've been averaging about 2000 miles per week, sometimes more, sometimes less, which works out to taking home around $600/ wk after my deductions. Not a lot of money for what really is a lot of work. The benefit package is considered "good". Be ready to drive nights and have disruptions to your sleep cycle. I had a telephone powwow with my fleet manager expressing my frustration with some of the unpaid company sponsored camping trips I've been on ( sitting around). He knows I bust my butt to move this truck and don't stop to fart around at truck stops. My trips have since picked up and have become longer consecutive leg segments. Hopefully this will continue.

The Averitt service centers are great. Some are bigger/better/cleaner/friendlier than others but rarely if ever do I go more than a day without a shower and have only fueled off site a few times. The mechanics are generally accommodating/competent and efficient.

There is a lot if trial by fire, frustrating and criptic Qualcomm communications, sometimes less than helpful/informed weekend/evening dispatchers and absolutely no consistency in the security operations/procedures at the various service centers but all in all I think Averitt is a decent company to start out with and perhaps for the right person to make a career with. They have done essentially everything they've told me they will do. They work hard to see that you get some weekly home time which I know is important to many. You need to be a self starter, an independent and confident thinker and a hard worker and you should be fine here. All in all I'm happy with my decision to join the company and will be glad to answer any further questions.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Orientation With Averitt Express

Beginning on Thursdays it is both my understanding and general experience that dispatch begins working hard to start routing drivers towards their home domicile for their weekly home time. So yes, I was afforded the opportunity to get home each weekend during training. This being said, there were times where a Sunday departure was necessary or times where I preferred to stay at the truck on the home yard rather than drive the 1.5 hour home. Again, this was my choice. Further, your home time will likely be determined to a degree by your trainers choices... Perhaps he doesn't want to be home each week. I see that as unlikely. Speaking of the home yard and the Averitt service centers, I have yet, after 3 months, to fuel, shower, sleep or hardly step foot into a traditional truck stop with the exception of paying for a scale ticket. All the above has taken place on company property which is typically gated and secure. There is some variability in the sparkling cleanliness of some of the facilities but all have been acceptable. My truck is currently suffering a major malfunction some 1200 miles from home but I was promptly offered a comfortable hotel and $140/day. I'd be happy to answer any further questions either here or via PM. Again, best of luck and have fun.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Orientation With Averitt Express

Having completed orientation with Averitt in October, I think you will find you have made a good decision. The experience in Cookeville was well organized, welcoming, professional and fairly comprehensive. The food provided was great and the hotel accommodations were adequate and clean. I had a great OTR trainer that made me feel at home and comfortable in his truck. The backing/ finishing school at week 6 was helpful but maybe could have been made a bit more challenging. I would encourage you from at least day 3 or 4 of OTR training to ask your instructor to allow you to make all the real world backing maneuvers regardless of how challenging or long they take. It will build your confidence. Overall my personal experience with the company has been positive. There is some trial by fire to be had as a new guy and you will have to be a self starter and an independent thinker in many regards (some qualcomm messages are nothing short of criptic and dispatch is not always the comprehensive, quick and efficient source of helpful information in my view they should be) but it's my belief the company wants you to succeed and with some resourcefulness on your part will provide you with the tools to do so. Relax, have fun and enjoy. Averitt seems to be a good organization to work for.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Cross wind component...Max?

I've been driving a very lightly loaded trailer across the open roads of Texas the last few days, areas with wind advisories for high profile vehicles. What 90 degree component/ velocity do you experienced guys see as becoming unsafe? Nothing about this was discussed in training. Gusts to near 40 in narrow construction zones with that snug concrete barrier beside me was kinda harrowing. There has to be a point where it's just best to stop. What does it take at 90 degrees to turn one of these things over?

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Teams and sleep

I don't see how you could possibly sleep... Bad lane control and poor eyesight. I considered teaming early on and quickly came to the conclusion adequate rest would be next to impossible for a variety of reasons, the inate desire for self preservation first and foremost. I see a new team driver who you trust implicitly as the only true solution. I don't care what they pay, ending up in a pile of twisted metal and fiberglass isn't worth it.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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APUs

In mine with the truck turned off and APU off the inverter converts d/c battery power to useable a/c to run the fridge. When apu senses low battery it starts to charge them. Start the apu manually when main engine is shut down to run heat or A/C or if in " comfort mode" it will start on its own. Once you start the truck, the apu shuts down automatically and engine driven alternator charges batteries, effectively taking over where the apu left off.

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