Profile For ButtonUp

ButtonUp's Info

  • Location:
    Indianapolis, IN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 9 months ago

ButtonUp's Bio

Started with blogs on TruckingTruth, went to school, got my CDL, and am now living the dream!

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Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!

Not sure what that is above the Crack, looks like a balance weight, but not sheets they usually go, maybe some kind of reinforcement.

I would request a new wheel.

I'm sure it's fine for now, but I would request a new wheel myself, and document it so you can show the request is pending if you get inspected.

If that thing above it is some kind of repair... I would find that out.

If I found something like that on my steer wheel the company would replace it.

Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

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3 Years Today

Lol well...

Just had my 9th year in September with the company, June will be ten years since I got my cdl. Been training about 3.5yrs now. I'm 100k from my million miles, but if I hadn't been training I would have already had it.

I think about you all often, but I don't visit enough.

Just changed my status to experienced. 😉

It took a few years to feel experienced.

I'll try to get back more often.

There's a lot of good people here.

Until next time!

Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!

When I find a nail in a tire, what I do depends on the situation.

If I'm picking it up to drop it off at a terminal or yard that has a shop or is generally serviced, I roll with it. Once I get there I try to pull the nail out with a pair of needle nose pliers. If I'm successful and it doesn't leak, that's that. If I can't get it out, or it starts leaking air, then I write it up to be repaired.

Tires get nails all the time. If I'm picking the trailer up at a yard or terminal and I find it on the pretrip, i do the same thing, then request a different trailer if needed/ possible.

A cracked steer wheel is a different story. I would write that up as soon as possible.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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3 Years Today

Hey everyone,

I always mean to get on here and report in, but it never happens, so I stopped myself in the middle of Jack Ryan and forced myself to boot up the pc and post this.

In June it will be 8 years since I got my CDL.

The time has really passed.

I'm still on the same account I've been on over 7.5 years as it's really suited me.

I think about this forum often, and how much a part of my CDL training, and even later on with Hazmat, it was.

It was not easy to learn to drive a truck for me, and I started backing hay trailers in with the old pickup when I was 8. There is some debate as to whether experience actually hurts when learning for the first time, but I think it just takes getting used to, like most things in life.

I started training a little over a year ago, and it has been interesting, to say the least. I wanted to support new drivers in a way that wasn't there for me when I started. I basically just sacrifice my time to let them practice themselves, keeping an eye on things, and interceding when needed, but I don't stand at the door and tell them what to do, I stand next to the spot, and watch what they're doing, and once they get it spotted I'll offer feedback on what I saw, then have them do it again. It works very well, except when the trainee doesn't understand what I'm saying, and I can't understand them. I'll leave that... at that.

If there is one thing I mention for new drivers regarding backing, it should be this: You are not steering the trailer... you're pushing it. The trailer will turn on its own once it starts to go that way. At that point it's all about getting your tractor back in front of the trailer so it doesn't get away from you. If it starts to turn too much, stop, then pull up just enough until it feels like it's back on track. Repeat.

I asked one of the safety guys at the terminal about backing once, and what he said to me was frustratingly simple but true. "Backing is one of those things you just get better at the more you do it."

Anyway, good luck to those of you starting out, and an inadequate Thank You to those of you that have sacrificed so others could have a place here.

Thanks, Brett.

I'll try to keep in touch more often, but you know how it can be!


Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Trucker vs. Computer programmer? Two jobs lined up.

I've been meaning to post my annual message, but keep forgetting. I wanted to chime in on the pay, though.

In training, I made nothing until I got my cdl, then got 25 a day until I got assigned to a trainer. I can't remember exactly how much it was at first but I remember i was bringing in about 400 a week for a few weeks until I went to the next phase of training, where I got 12 cents a mile for a few weeks, which wasn't bad, I'd bring home between 400 and 700 depending.

After I went solo I made 35k My first year and about 40 my second. Been about 44k a year after that. Would have been more this year but I've taken a lot more days off than usual.

Posted:  7 years, 1 month ago

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Need advice about Marijuana testing for CDL drivers

I skipped most of the pages on this post, but decided I should add my comment anyway.

There are a lot of jobs one can get away with drug use. Including trucking. The problem is, if there's an accident, it is very possible one might find oneself in prison.

I was in trucking school with a guy who had a friend who was involved in an accident and went to prison because they found weed in his system.

Is it worth it?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Humbled by shifting.... :)

Basically what I was going to say. It's required because you need to know how to do it, not because it's always necessary. I tend to double clutch more when downshifting, rarely when shifting up. But there will be times one needs to get it in gear and blipping the throttle either won't work or isn't practical for the situation.

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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3 Years Today

Today is 3 years since I passed my CDL test on the second try. After a few months of training, and switching companies, I have over 2.5 years with my current company and will be with them 3 years in September.

I got the driver of the month last month, which was kinda cool.

Just wanted to jump on and say thanks to Brett and everyone who was there for me when I was starting out. TT was a big help when I was in school and wondering if I could pull it off.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

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Any thought on Werner Trucking

I've been with them 2.5 years and love it. As with any company, the key thing is to find a position that benefits most from your talents and abilities. There are a lot of unhappy drivers with any company, but as Brett said, the abundance of opportunities allows one to find a position in which they can flourish. When the time is right, I can change it up to make more money or get more hometime, depending on my needs and wants. Right now I'm home daily and it's more like a regular job than a lifestyle, which suits my needs as a single parent.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

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Amateur Radio Operators (Hams)

I saw a central driver with a multiband antenna on his driver side mirror. I asked him about it on the cb and he told me it was good for ten to 160 meters. I have often thought about getting a multi mode-band radio. Yaesu used to have one for about 750 bucks, and I believe it had a antenna tuner as well. I got my general class license in 2000 (when you still had to pass a code test).

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Am I wrong?

My truck had the same problem yesterday. Changed the fuel filter and today went fine. Lots of drivers on the CB going through a lot of fuel filters. The shop said it was probably the fuel starting to gel, but I am religious with antigel so I dunno about that. The guys on the radio blamed it on the quality of the fuel.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Freezing Diesel

Diesel gels at 17 something degrees, so I add antigel at 19. Cummins engines without the new modification get a bottle and a half per tank. I add a bottle per tank every time I fuel if the temp is twenty or below, and/or forecasted to go that low that night, so the concentration is pretty high. I have a Cummins as well. Company pays for my antigel so no big deal for me. I just picked up a case of twelve as a matter of fact.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Jerks at truck stops

I see EXPERIENCED drivers, owner operators, you name it, look like idiots trying to back ALL THE TIME. It's NOT just the new drivers!

Experienced drivers will tell you, "You'll sometimes nail the spots you think are trouble, then struggle spotting a trailer that seems easy."

My best advice is to get out and look if things aren't going the way they feel they should when you're inside the truck. A lot of times getting out and getting the big picture makes it a lot easier and alleviates the over-steering and over-correcting. Wow, all I have to do is keep the wheels straight and I'm right in there! Whereas, from inside it seems like you got to crank all the way from the space, all the way toward the space... does it ever end?

The key thing to remember is that ANY driver after running out his or her clock, fighting fatigue, trying not to pee their pants, and steaming over the jerk that just cut them off, can find difficulty backing if they don't learn to rise above the emotions and execute.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Frustrated isn't the word for this new truck driver!!!!

First, I am stealing that joke!

Second, enjoy your time with your family!

Thirdly, as a veteran driver tells me often, things in life happen for a reason. Some choose to believe it, some don't. But, perhaps you avoided a deadly accident, or were there for your family at a time they needed you, because you were where you were when you were.

Enjoy your time with your family!

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Hold the mail or bill pay?

Yup, I paid bills online through my smartphone. When I needed to send a check, I used the banks bill pay on their website. I had my mail held at the post office.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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I just completed my first solo run!

Totally awesome! Congratulations!

I agree that once you go solo it makes it easier to improve in MANY areas of driving. I don't know why instructors and some trainers decide to tell you everything to do, and not tell you why or tell you why in a sufficient manner. I think if they were more patient and had you get out to look at the situation from outside every few steps it would make it easier to understand what is going on. As a new student or driver, the view from inside the truck can be deceiving.

I feel I had to self-train myself due to trainers that didn't understand how to do their job well.

There's a guy that works the same shift and route as myself... yesterday we got back to the terminal at about the same time, and when I got out to look at my setup before backing in, he came around the corner of one of the trailers looking all flustered. He had tried to blind-side back into a spot, and someone had parked their bobtail blocking part of it. There was a row of bobtails on the opposite side, and he'd found himself stuck in-between the bobtails! I spotted him to help him get out of the predicament, and he kept steering the wrong way. Even after telling him "all the way right!" he would start turning left. What he perceived from inside the truck didn't coincide with what was going on outside. This is an older guy that has been driving longer than I have. It can happen to anyone. Which I mention to strengthen my point as regards students and new drivers. I am not a trainer, and I wasn't trying to train him as I was really trying to help him get out of the situation before the yard supervisor came over... which was mainly to save him some embarrassment... I did briefly try to explain WHY I was telling him to turn it the opposite direction, but the goal was to get moving quickly. I can see how trainers just want to "get it over with" and give directions instead of instruction, so to speak. My instructor in school when teaching the parallel park, for instance, just walked me through the steps, "turn left, turn right, there you go, now get out and admire your work." Well, I had no idea what I just did, really, because I was just following instructions, and when I had to do it on my own the next few times it didn't work out as well. I failed the evaluation at school, then failed my first test due to the parallel park. It wasn't until I spent much time thinking and observing to break it down in a way that made sense to ME that I passed with a perfect score the next time I took my test.

I write all this to basically say AWESOME JOB in support of your effort.

Backing in at night stinks. I have found getting out to look an extra time or two helps, I've had to get out with a flashlight to see that I actually wasn't going to hit anything because I couldn't see anything in my mirror. Also, when you are backing, if you ride your brake just a little, you'd be amazed at how much the brake lights will light up the area so you can see behind you, and even between the trailers on your sides.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Caffeine Nap

When I was in training I would usually stop at least once during the night for a 15 minute nap. I tried everything else... coffee, jogging around the truck, you name it. For all the effort it took to pull off in a truck stop and get some coffee and what not, I would still be tired after I hit the road again. It didn't matter how much sleep I had beforehand... and I always drove nights. I always started to feel it come on about 3-4 in the morning. The 15 minute nap solved the problem every time. I might still feel "tired," but was not fighting the urge to nod off at the wheel anymore. I drink caffeine in some form pretty much constantly, anyway.

A 15 minute nap is a quick and effective fix for a very dangerous situation!

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Training wheels are gone

Looked over into the passengers seat and no one is there,,,,,,,, reminded me of when back in 1978 ,, when I left the ground Solo the first time

I don't think any of us will forget the first time we drove solo!

Or, when we passed our CDL test.

Except... 1978... did you even need a drivers license back then? rofl-3.gif

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Difficulty with Prime trainer. Please advise.

OMG!!! I thought i had it bad. The fact that this guy is on the road is scary. He is a threat to everyone and needs to be stopped. I cant believe how much dangerous behavior i see on the road. I will come up on a semi losing its lane and driving erratically and as i pass them i see feet on dashes and cell phones in hand, texting. Crazy **** and it ****es me off.

Report it to their company. After enough complaints come through their safety department won't be able to overlook it. A lot of the idiots are owner operators though... I will admit, I have called 911 to report a few drivers as being impared. It may not get them off the road, but maybe it will make them think twice about what they're doing after they get stopped and inspected a few times.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Met my mentor today and he already lied to me


Hope under no circumstances are you supposed to pay for showers. You really need to talk to someone about this. Im a trainer and my trainees shower every day. That is how its supposed to be.

LOL! That's because YOU want to shower every day! I got to shower when my trainer wanted to shower, or when he wanted privacy in the truck to do... "things."

I had to pay for 1 shower. When my trainer left me in the truck so he could do some unscheduled hometime. I drove the truck by myself, which isn't supposed to happen BTW, and got a overweight ticket at a scale because the trainer didn't scale the load. Can you imagine being a STUDENT and getting pulled in a scale, by yourself, and being overweight!? Luckily the paperwork was in order. Needless to say, I needed a shower after that, and I didn't have any shower points. But, under the circumstances, it was ten bucks well spent.

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