Profile For Fatsquatch

Fatsquatch 's Info

  • Location:
    Tacoma, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 8 months ago

Fatsquatch 's Bio

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Posted:  3 days, 3 hours ago

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The bonus I wasn't supposed to get

It came back to “hunt” you and you don’t expect to “live.” 😆

If we’re not careful, that autocorrect can really tell an interesting story.

Your honesty is great AND the read is entertaining. Nice job on both counts.

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Driving with chains

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However in certain conditions and areas chains may well be required if you want to continue moving.

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I agree with this. Chuck said he's running the Western eleven. Those guys are going to be chaining up at times. Most OTR drivers can avoid it if they want to.

One thing you have to consider when using chains is that your speed is severely reduced. So, if you're earning 50 cents per mile and you can only average 15 mph while in a "chain zone," then you're making $7.50/hour. Plus you've got to calculate the time and frustration to "throw iron" and then remove it. That's why many drivers will take a break, let the roads get cleared, and then roll on without chaining up. Of course there's a few passes out West where you might wait six weeks for things to clear up! In those cases your options are really limited - so you throw the chains and move on.

I run the Western 11, and I generally park when I see the chain law(s) go into effect. It's just not worth it to go clanking and sliding around on the hills in this part of the country. Better to wait until the storm passes and the crews can get out and make with the cleaning. The only time I'll actually sling iron is if it's an actual emergency. Example: last winter I was on my way to Oregon from central Cali, and as I was coming out of Redding it was snowing, but the chain law was not in effect. However, a semi lost it and jackknifed across both lanes of I-5 a couple miles south of Castella. By the time they got the truck moved enough snow had accumulated ahead of the wreck that they put the chain law up from Redding to Weed. Unfortunately, I was already caught in the backup behind the wreck, and had to chain to get out of there and up to the nearest place to park and wait for them to drop the chain law again...which was in Weed. Circumstances like that are the only exception to my "NOPE" rule when it comes to chains.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Don't Be Fooled By Owner Operator Math - Old School's First Podcast!!

Here's something to chew on: if these lease/lease purchase plans are so amazingly lucrative, why do companies have to try so hard to sell them to the drivers? If it's such a screaming deal, there should be drivers lined up out to the street begging to sign a lease, but there isn't. Instead, there are people in the office practically begging drivers to come in and sign.

Funny, that.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Don't Be Fooled By Owner Operator Math - Old School's First Podcast!!

One big thing that nobody ever seems to want to talk (or think) about is taxes. As an O/O, or any other small business owner for that matter, there's the little detail of the Quarterly Estimated Tax. Every 3 months, you have to guess how much money you're going to make for the *next* 3 months, and send the appropriate taxable amount to the IRS. If you overpay over the course of the year, you'll get a refund, but if you guess wrong and underpay? Be ready to write another big, fat check in April.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not too keen on playing guessing games, especially not where the IRS is concerned.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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What are the longest lasting working gloves?

I've become a fan of Bellingham Wonder Grip gloves. The ones I use are fleece-lined, so they're great in winter. They're nitrile-coated on both sides, so they're waterproof, double dipped for durability, and very grippy. Theyre fantastic for chaining up, because your hands stay warm and dry while you're wrestling with cold, wet, slippery metal, and they'll last upwards of 9 months before you get any tears in the rubber. I usually get mine at a workwear store near my house for around $7 a pair.

Posted:  2 months ago

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20 Signs You Might Be A Serious Truck Driver

Dial it back there, Captain Stereotype. You're completely off the mark across the board.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Driver appreciation

I'm sure as most of you know, this week is truck driver appreciation week. Well a heads up for those coming up into Maine if any of you are. The State police are holding a free lunch for drivers at the northbound scale house on I95 in York, ME. Unfortunately it's only from 11:00am to 14:00, so it's a fairly small window.

If anyone else knows of any spots to get some stuff. Coffee, breakfast, shower, whatever. Go ahead and post it in here. Let's get all the perks we can.

TA/Petro is offering a free coffee coupon. Swipe/scan your Ultra One card at the kiosk to get the coupon. Far as I know, the offer is valid at all their locations.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Just When You Think You've Seen It All...

One fine afternoon I was cruising along the turnpike westbound through Gary, IN. I'm clipping along at 60, just kinda maintaining my spot in the herd, and out of nowhere like it was fired out of a cannon comes this can hauler in the hammer lane. He had to be doing at least 80. But that wasn't the real eye-opener. His chassis had not one, not two, not even three, but EIGHT blown tires. There was not a single actual tire left under that can. And no matter how many guys got on the radio to advise him of the situation, he just kept romping along, throwing sparks and bits of rubber allwhere.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Why run from CRST??

Another reason to shy away from racing straight to driving teams is simply you dont know if you'll be able to sleep in a moving truck. You'll find out in a helluva hurry once you're out with a trainer. I discovered in my first week on my trainer's truck I could never run team because I simply cannot sleep while the truck is bouncing and jostling down the highway. Every little bump and crease and pebble on the road would snap me wide awake. I think I might have gotten a total of 40 hours of sleep in that 5 weeks.

So yeah, I'd advise against committing to an all-team outfit until you're certain you can do it.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Equipment

Lemme tell you a little story. Once upon a time, I drove for a company that had many, many International ProStars in their fleet. They had bought a glut of them because they were much cheaper up front than the Volvos and Freightliners and Peterbilts they had been buying.

At first, things were fine. And then, mysteriously, about 18 months later, the company's maintenance and breakdown expenses started rapidly increasing. It took them a little while to figure out what was happening, but it eventually fell into place. All of those wonderfully inexpensive Internationals were suffering frequent breakdowns. Parts were failing prematurely at an alarming rate. Sensors, turbos, bearings, fan hubs, compressors, you name it. In just 24 months, maintenance and repair costs had gone up 25%, and it was all the Internationals.

They went away as fast as the company could unload them after that.

The moral of the story is, when it comes to an International, don't walk away. Run. Run fast. Run far.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Transgender Trucker

Part2: Electric Boogaloo

As far as challenges medically, that's never been a huge issue for me. I've simply scheduled my doctor's visits for my home time, and take my medication on the road with me. I used to do my injections when I'd go in for a shower, but now I just yank the curtain and do it in the sleeper. Being solo helps, but even someone running teams could just stick their supplies in their shower bag like I used to. The biggest medical challenge would be a medical emergency, but that would be a challenge even without trucking. I will say that I've had a few instances where I've been on the road and needed to visit an urgent care clinic and had to disclose to the providers there, but aside from the *pause* *blink blink* *head tilt* "Okay then..." reaction I always get, it's never been an issue.

I can't really say definitively one way or the other whether any one person should absolutely wait to start training until a certain point. Everyone is different, everyone's ability to cope with stress and not get overwhelmed is different. I would say that it's probably going to be a bit easier once someone has been on HRT for a few months and their levels are more or less stable. But let's face it, there are a buttload of cisgender people with perfectly stable hormone levels who don't make it, so there are no guarantees.

I dont know of any resources specifically geared towards transgendered people in trucking. I know there are a few trans subreddits, so that might be a place to look. All the old Livejournal communities I belong to are basically dead, and I don't do Facebook at all, so I have no idea if there would be anything there.

For me personally, the biggest thing that helped in the beginning, and continues to help, is a strong support system at home. I'm extremely lucky, in that I have an amazingly supportive family and group of friends at home whose attitude when I came out as trans was "Um, DUH." Many many many MANY trans people have the exact opposite experience, so I'm beyond grateful for that.

So, um, yeah. Now that I've written The Great American Novel here...

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Transgender Trucker

Fatsquatch, can you please.post some informative links? i just looked and most statistic articles are a few years old and some dont have dates.

several mimicked the same stat that transgenders are 3 to 4 times more likely to suffer depression and said this about suicide.. (National Assoc on Mental Illness)...

"Suicide The LGBTQ community is at a higher risk for suicide because we lack peer support and face harassment, mental health conditions and substance abuse. For LGBTQ people aged 10–24, suicide is one of the leading causes of death. LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely and questioning youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm than straight people. Between 38-65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation "

Those are really scary and sad statistics. So my honest and non judgmental question to you is this:

What advice would.you give a transgender entering trucking? Would it be more benficial to wait until after the hormone levels even out or one is fully transitioned? What challenges medically would someone face while OTR as far as shots, doctors visits etc? Are there any trucking articles/resources that could help prepare one mentally so that they can adjust to both training and transitioning?

just my two cents... i hate the term transgender. once someone transitions they should be man or woman. otherwise it seems as though they are continuing to stigmatized themselves which one article called an internal discrimination. the person struggled for years and decades to be the opposite sex once there, the term transgender deprives them of their accomplishment.

thanks in advance for.answering any of the above.

I have a whole bunch of links to various studies done in recent years by universities in different parts of the world, on everything ranging from quality of life pre/post transition to actual brain scans measuring brain structures of trans people versus cisgender people, but they're all on my laptop and my phone's version of Chrome doesn't remember them. Le sigh. Technology's GREAT...when it works.

Generally speaking, the overwhelming majority of cases of depression and suicidal ideation in trans people is experienced pre-transition and is largely related to social stigma and ostracization (or fear of it) from friends and family. Discrimination in employment and housing are also major hurdles faced by a huge number of trans folks. Those who are, for whatever reason, prevented from accessing resources to transition are most at risk of depressive and suicidal behaviors, and in particular access to HRT is hugely beneficial to trans people's stability and mood. Hormones are funny things. It's amazing just how much they control our mood and general outlook. Just look at what happens to women during PMS or after childbirth. Post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis are entirely caused by the sudden and dramatic changes in hormone levels in new mothers. But I digress. There have been a couple of studies recently that have focused on physical brain structures in trans people that have shown key parts of the brain more closely matching their gender identity than their biological sex, and it's believed that HRT stimulates these areas of the brain. Obviously more research is needed and ongoing, but science is learning more and more towards Gender Dysphoria being a physical trait in line with intersexed conditions than a psychological condition.

As far as advice? Whoo...um...that's a toughie. Obviously it can be done. I did it, others before me have done it. I guess the biggest obstacles would be how far into transition someone is and/or how well they "pass" (god I hate that term) as their "preferred" gender (that one too), and how thick their skin is. If someone is very early in transition and is frequently misgendered, they're going to catch a lot more grief than someone like me who is many many years post-transition. And being able to, when called out, say "Chuck you, Farley. If you're so smucking fart go in your own jack yard and back off!" is not always easy, especially without someone to back you up. Self-confidence helps too.

To be continued (hitting the character limit)...

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Transgender Trucker

Completely agree with G-Town on this one. You have some things to work out first.

But I don't agree that you'll get better when you're "done". Statistics prove otherwise actually.

You seem to go back and forth a lot, I can almost feel the pain and insecurity through the text.

Either way theres an underlying issue here and I don't think any feeble attempt to change your gender will solve it.

I wish you the very best!

This is far and away the most grossly offensive, ignorant, and uninformed comment I've read on this entire forum in the 7 years I've been a member. You very clearly have zero knowledge about what it means to be transgendered, or what numerous studies have shown regarding the well-being of transpeople who have transitioned versus those who are unable to. I would strongly encourage you to do a little research on the subject from reputable sources such as the AMA and APA...but somehow I doubt you will.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Transgender Trucker

As a trans man myself, I can understand his apprehension about sharing a confined space with a complete stranger 24/7. I was extremely nervous about going out with a trainer I'd never met before and had zero knowledge about. I'm fortunate enough that I had been on testosterone for 6 1/2 years by that point, and nobody challenged or questioned my gender. Even so, the whole 5 weeks I was on my trainer's truck all my antannae were up and at full power, looking for the first sign that this guy could present a danger if he were to discover what was or was not in my pants. Training by itself is exhausting, especially with a trainer who believes his trainer should do all the night driving. Training while on permanent Yellow Alert? I'm amazed I survived.

So yeah, I get why he's hoping for a co-driver who's at least LGBTQ friendly, if not ***** themselves, especially with the current political climate. Why he got super defensive and bailed? That I don't get.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Do not ignore that pain

Never ignore pain. Pain means one of two things:

You are doing/have done something you're not supposed to.

Something is wrong.

Either way, pain is your body's way of saying "um, excuse me, but please stop this."

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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A fun little exercise for the rookies.

Okay, I think it's time for the big reveal. Here's how I do this thing.

First off, approaching the gate.

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Two reasons for coming in this way. One, you have to wait in the street for someone inside to open the gate, so staging in the suicide lane means you're not blocking the universe waiting for what can be upwards of 10 minutes. Two, turning left into the gate gives you a wider turn and more room to maneuver.

Once the gate opens, the real fun begins.

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First off, you're going to want your tandems all the way up for all of this. You want as tight a turning radius as possible because there just isn't much room to maneuver in here.

Step 1: once the gate opens and you get a hole in oncoming traffic, pull in as close to the right side (top in the image) of the gate as you can. As soon as your tandems clear the gate, turn hard left and go about 15 or 20 feet down into the empty space at the bottom, then crank it back hard right to bring yourself back around and straighten out by pulling up as close as you can to the break area at the top.

This is usually a good time to pull the brake and track down the guy with the clipboard to get checked in. Once you're cleared to back in, on to step 2.

Step 2: straight back as close as you can get to the pallets and dumpsters at the other end of the lot, aiming for just left of center.

Step 3: pull forward and to the left until the nose of the truck is just at the edge of the wall, and then crank it hard right and pull up to the gate. Once it opens (which it does by itself from the inside) and there's a break in traffic, pull out into the street just enough to get straightened out again, and proceed to the last step.

Step 4: straight back to the door. Stop and open your trailer once you've gotten back far enough to allow the gate to close, and aim for the door closest to the alley.

The biggest key to all of this is to go S L O W. Not only will this allow you to stop and makes corrections/adjustments as needed, but there's a lot of foot and fork truck traffic in there, and the last thing you want to do is squitch somebody whose face is buried in their phone on the way to the can.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

I'll usually do both, actually. I'll put a strip of gorilla tape (maybe two, depending on how loose the connection is) on the underside of the plug, and then zip tie the sucker together. Putting tape on the plug is also a good quick fix when the problem isnt the socket, but a worn plug that doesn't like to make a good connection on it's own. That'll get you through as many loads as you need it to before you can get to the shop and have it replaced.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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A fun little exercise for the rookies.

Are we still doing "rookies only"?

I think at this point it's safe to open it as a free for all.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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A fun little exercise for the rookies.

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TBH Heavy, I was thinking same thing. Rather back in off the street and tee off the locals then get myself stuck in a bad situation. Then again I can care less if I tee off a bunch of 4 wheelers. They can sit there honking their horns and letting me know I am number 1. They will just have to wait.

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From the question, I assumed that wasn't allowed. That was my first thought as well.

Two problems with that plan of attack:

One, Chambers Way is a busy 2 lane arterial with a suicide lane, and finding a hole in traffic in both directions big enough to block out your path would be nearly impossible.

Two, the gate isn't left open during business hours. Someone has to trigger it from the inside, and by the time you got yourself set up, it'd be closed again.

So no, you're going to have to pull into the lot to do your setup and back.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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A fun little exercise for the rookies.

In your second picture, are there normally cars parked where the red box is drawn above?

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Cars? No. Cars are generally only parked in the narrow white areas around the edges. There could potentially be the odd truck waiting his turn there, though.

Also, where that dropped trailer is, there is almost always a trailer of some type dropped there. Yesterday it was a pup tanker. And there is occasionally a vending machine vendor truck refilling machines right by the break area at the top.

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