Profile For Sheffield Mick

Sheffield Mick's Info

  • Location:
    Marine City, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 3 months ago

Sheffield Mick's Bio

Originally from England (married to a home sick American). I had been working in a car dealership for two years in St Clair when I felt the need to go and explore.

Over the years I have seen plenty of America through taking vacations and work. But I could think of no better way to see this beautiful country than going over the road, truck driving.

I research the hell out of anything I do before I make any decision and the pitfalls in trucking were scary.....but for me that was a good thing. I didn't have any wild expectations and I knew to expect long hours and plenty of stressful times ahead.

This website helped allot and couldn't have made my decision to drive a truck without it. Thanks guys.

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Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Message for Old School

Thanks Big Scott.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Message for Old School

Hi old school, I’ve not been on truckingtruth for some time. I used to work for Swift for about four years pulling dry van I’m now a Flatbedder at Gypsum Express......I noticed in your photo of you folding your tarps you have a Gypsum truck in the back ground. Is that who you used to work for? I’ve been a flatbed driver for nearly a year now and I love it 😎. I’ve always admired your posts and your love of trucking

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Got through my test at Swift.

Hi Paul....I'm glad you got something out of this old message that I posted three years ago. My update is that I'm still at Swift....three years later. I now run mainly Canada...because of my location to the border. I get home most weekends....and sometimes during the week. I just got a new truck two weeks ago.

I now know everybody in the office and they know me. I can't say that I haven't thought about quitting a time or too in the past three years....but I believe that every truck driver goes through that. Now that winter is nearly out of the way, I can look forward to the summer. I did three thousand miles last week which is not every week I have to admit, but it helps when I can run on Canada time (Legally) which is 13 hours.

I wish you the best of luck at Swift.....the good thing is that there are different divisions within Swift that you can move too.....that's if you don't get on with your Driver Leader or what ever. Just sayin.....be safe and take care.

Mick

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Wages and tax's for drivers

Hi Robert, I'm also from the UK. I've been truck driving (OTR) over here in America/Canada for three years. I've lived in the USA for over five years now. This was the deal for me......You do need a sponsor to get your green card (my sponsor was my American wife whom I met in the UK). I also had to take a normal car test before I could drive a car legally over here, even though I held a European Union license for over thirty years. I live in Michigan.......it could well be different in other states. I also needed to drive a full year before they would let me go and take my CDL. All of which was well worth it. I wish you luck.

Mick

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Anxiety/panic attacks

Hi Paul, I've not written on here for a while....but I know all about panic attacks as I used to get them allot. I was in business to business sales for 30 years before I started truck driving. I found that I I couldn't catch a flight one time, as my panic went into overdrive. For me I did have to seek out professional help, but I my main save was using relaxation tapes to help me unwind. The good news is that I don't get them anymore.......trucking probably did the opposite for me.......it help settle my nerves and anxiety. I love being alone and yes I can get lonely, but I know this will pass. We are all different and I hope that you can find what is best for you to get you through it. Take care my friend.

Mick

Posted:  4 years ago

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What's In Your Tool Bag?

All of the above......spanners, screwdrivers, pliers, lump hammer.....for hitting the tandem brakes when there frozen. And WD40 for spraying the same to loosen them off.....if needed. Spare lamps for trailer and tractor......and fuses.

Hope it helps.....take care,

Mick

Posted:  4 years ago

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Hmm, back to Volvo

Hi Rolling Thunder...........I like your message and can relate to your truck changes. I'm the same as you with two years driving,........started out with a very beat up Volvo (they don't seem to trust rookies with new trucks). Like you, somebody hit me in a truck stop.....but bless the guy he owned up to it. My own moves over the two years follow a similar pattern to yours: started out with the Volvo then into a Freightliner then into a KenWorth T660. I liked the T660 the best of all and didn't want to turn it in......that was my truck, like I owned it. I also very rarely turn jobs down......I run as best I can and try and be as polite as possible to one and all. With good attitude and work ethic I've now been put into a 2016 KW T680 automatic. I guess if the company are willing to put me into a new truck from the crappy falling apart Volvo that I started with......then I must be doing something right. I'll keep rolling and see where the road takes me. Take care my friend,

Mick

Posted:  4 years ago

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Is trucking going towards all automatics?

I just got my new truck, its a 2016......T680 Kenworth.....and its an automatic. Yes the fuel consumption is allot better........but truth be known, I prefer my old stick shift. I'm getting used to backing it in to docks and under trailers now and also the slow start even when bobtailing......but for me it takes some of the fun out of driving....just saying.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Five Things Your Drivers Don't Know About Roadside Inspections

Good stuff Anchorman.....I just had an inspection done.......and more by luck than judgement I actually passed.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Random shower question

I prefer to shower straight after my driving shift........that way If I do get up too late I can just drive and not risk missing out on my shower.

Mike

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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How to get a truck driver job in USA for a foreigner

Hi Mažvydas, I'm also from the European Union (England) and I've been working over here in the US for four years now and for the last two years truck driving. Daniel is right, you have to be able to drive for one year on a normal drivers license before you can get your CDL. But before that you will need to get your Green Card. I got mine through being married to an American whom I met in the UK.....allot of years ago now.

Gerrit......I think I might be right in thinking that America and Germany have an agreement on the normal drivers license. You just trade yours for an American one. You would have to pass your CDL again if you wanted to come back and drive the rigs over here.

Wish you both luck with it all guys......it is worth it when you get here.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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SWIFT in cab cameras

Hi Attila.....you had me worried for a minute there. I've just watched the Swift video again......please watch it again and take in more of the detail. The camera's......both inside and out.....only switch on and monitor an event......around twenty seconds at a time. Which means that the camera is not on all the time. Good news eh.......nobody will be watching you full time.......and I agree with what has been written earlier......what a boring job that would be.

The camera has a green light and a red one, which lets the driver know when it has been switched on and its recording. All in all its a good tool if they want to show this as evidence in a court case. Give Swift a chance to explain all of this too you by your DM and then give it a month with it before you make any decisions on Swift or if you wanted to give up trucking.

Take care my friend.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift changing to Automatics

We had a recruiter from werner come to class a couple weeks back. He said a lot of their newer trucks were automatic, and if you get your license with an automatic you'll have a restriction.

I did my training with guys that only knew automatic trucks and they had to re-train on trucks with gears......that could be a further problem for guys coming into the industry.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift changing to Automatics

I drove a KW 600, 680 and T-700 all with Eaton Autos for TransAm trucking. I have been all up and down steep grades, with all kinds of loads, the auto can handle it. An auto trans is like any piece of equipment, you just need to learn how to use it, how to use the accelerator to trigger the auto to shift for the smoothest performance. IMHO, it is the right tool for the job of OTR trucking.

Thanks Mike, its good to know.....beginning to warm to the idea after reading these positive responses.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift changing to Automatics

It had a Paddle shifter on the right side of the steering wheel with a slide switch to select auto or manual (which you still would use crossing RR tracks) when I was anticipating climbing hills/mountians I'd put in manual, that way the computer would let me cheat an extra 200 to 300 rpm higher on the shifts. Also you can just leave it in Auto and paddle shift up or down in anticipation of a down grade, it would just beep at me if it was too far out of range (RPM) for for the gear I selected ( I would be slowing and put in a down shift, but the trans was already downshifting, so it wouldn't double shift). The computer liked the 1100 to 1400 rpm range, and would auto shift up or down to maintain that range.

The transmission was a basic Eaton Fuller 10 speed with the gearshift tower removed and replaced by a Top cover with X and Y Servo's, plus an added speed sensor on the imput shaft. A standard clutch with the clutch Cable removed and a Servo motor used to engage and disingage the clutch. At Idle, the clutch stays disingaged untill you step on the accelerator, the the clutch engages, and stays engaged thru all the shifts untill you come to a stop.

It Floats the gears, once you get the truck rolling you can just put the peddle to the metal and watch the Majic happen. without lifting the accelerator, when you get to 1400 it brakes torque and drops rpm to 1100 rpm and Float shifts to the next higher gear including the splitter and automatically reapplies full power. When you're slowing down, it's the reverse process.

As I topped a hill, I'd slow down to my safe speed and paddle a down shift for the proper gear, if the trans has'nt done it yet. Also if it was dry out, I'd have the engine brake on ( pre armed as it did'nt come on till you come all the way off the go peddle) . It has 3 levels, and if I noticed it was'nt holding speed, I'd give the Brakes a wake up stab to engage max engine brake,,, the system would drop another gear so the RPMs would be in the 1800 to 1900 rpm range for Max engine braking.

I delivered to one Oil well by West Virginia that had a 1 mile 15% grade !!! 80,000 lbs up and 35,000 lbs down ! And it was twisty 2 lane Narrow, without guard rails. (Yes it was Scarry) I did'nt know the grade was coming up, when I hit it, I was paddle down shifting as fast as I could, almost killed the engine. Ended up pulling up in 1st gear, and the same going back down, truck wanted to run a way until I paddled down far enough for the Max engine brake to engage, I didn't need to use the brakes again until the stop sign at the bottom of the Hill.

Winter/snow, How about the MN and ND Blizzards I drove all last winter, snow, ice and a 100 miles of Frost covered road one early morning (Ya that was Scarry To).. As I think about it now I feel it shifts Safer on bad roads (assuming you back off the power some) The shifts were always exact and smooth and if you worked the accelerator right, it shifted without big torque differences to the Drives.. I think I have pictures of the snow last year in ND on the picture gallery here,, To bad I didn't get a Video of the WV trip,, I'm still taking that one off my Bucket list,, Turbo Dan

Thanks Dan........and the rest of you guys for filling in the gaps.......I really don't know what to expect. I might not get an automatic for a while yet, but at least your giving me the confidence to see that you guys are dealing and getting along with the new technology ok. Might just be a winner by the looks of it.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift changing to Automatics

Drove an Auto Shift Tanker for 6 months last year (2014 Freight Shaker), It was a Dream not having to Double Clutch, having just gotten out of Truck Driving school, sure made it easier to concentrate on Not hitting anything. As a truck mechanic, I can see the companies side of things by not having rookie Drivers breaking transmissions, But the real reason is Fuel economy because the computer now controls what gear your in for the best Milage $$$

What about going down steep mountains with a heavy load Dan....is it any good? Snow and Ice is something else to consider if you get stuck.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift changing to Automatics

I know this was just a rumor when I first heard it on here.......but now its official. Swift are changing their fleet to automatics with front sensors that automatically slow you down if your too close to the vehicle in front. The reaction at work has been mixed to say the least. Personally I like working with a stick truck, but they say that the new automatics have vastly improved over the past couple of years. If Swift are going for it I would imagine allot more company's will be looking at it and possibly doing the same.

What say the forum to this new development within our industry.....and do we have a choice?

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Swift experienced driver road test

Hi Josh....I tested out nearly two years ago with Swift after my six weeks training with a mentor. I did go on the highway for a few miles then turned around and came back to the terminal.....had to back the trailer between two other trailers....both driver side and blind side. I failed the blind side. With that I got sent back out with another mentor for a further two weeks to practice my blind side backing. Came back and passed. Then I got my own truck. Swift need drivers Josh......they won't let you go unless your a danger to others on the road......a few problems on gear changing can be sorted out over time. Hope it all goes well. I'm happy at Swift.

Mick

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I left school and went straight into an engineering apprenticeship which lasted seven years.....then in my early twenties I went into technical sales (engineering) for an American company working all over Europe......company car, company credit card and loads.....and loads.....and loads of stress.

I got used to packing my bags on Monday morning and unpacking them on a Friday night.....which ended up costing me my first marriage. Great money and life style and you get to see places you wouldn't normally get to see.....does this sound familiar. I loved that part of it and did it for thirty five years. I met my American wife in England (where I'm from).....cut a long story short we moved over here. I tried selling cars for a living when I got here....but then I seen that the trucking industry said it was desperate for drivers and would accept you at any age (I was 56 at the time) I jumped at it. I've been working for Swift now for almost two years.....not as much money as I used to earn....but allot less stress.....which I'm more than happy with. Loving this link by the way.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Hauling sod

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Hi Toby, I don't haul sod on a regular basis, but I do get the odd load of sod from over in Canada and have to bring it back to Michigan to deliver to the local garden centers. Always right up there on the weight......we weigh out before we leave their yard.

I've met a few guys that do nothing else but haul sod and they seem quite happy doing the job.....its a regular run for them.

Mick

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we don't have any scales been caught overweight many times

Hi Toby, the suppliers do try and push me to the limit......even loading more on if I'm under weight.....or taking some off if I'm over. The times that their scales where not working....which can happen allot......I headed for the nearest scales I could find.....not worth the hassle or the fine if I can get caught over weight. And the other thing is I now know by looking at how much should be in there for me to be around the legal limit. Hope you can find away to stop being over weight as it gets expensive.

Mick

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