Comments By Dave Reid avatar
  • Dave Reid
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Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Will these medical conditions prevent me from being able to truck drive? Can any compromise be made?

Most companies will not allow the anti-seizure med period. Your best hope would be some company that requires just a DOT medical nothing else. A DOT examiner that isn't working for the company would likely accept a letter from your doctor stating something like the you don't have seizures and are fit to drive commercial vehicles. They where to go? Maybe local dump trucks, trash trucks, buses...that's a start.

Hello everybody! I've never driven a truck in my life but I have begun to fall in love with the idea of trucking and I want to give it a shot. However I have a few medical problems that I think will prevent me from doing trucking. So I need a weigh in on advice from you more experienced folks to help me determine if I can make it despite these issues.

Importantly what I would also like help determining is that, in the event that I cannot do trucking if there are other jobs involving driving large or uncommon vehicles that you guys think I could try instead. And I would really in that case love help in determining where to get schooling for these jobs and also like help in figuring out exactly what other jobs involving vehicles there are out there aside from trucking. Because I've tried searching quite a lot already but I can't find much outside of maybe construction vehicles.

So what is it that I have? Well three things that are of relevance.

1. Sleep apnea. Basically I need a sleep apnea machine and a mask to let me breathe well while I sleep

2. Some form of REM behavior disorder. What happens is that when I sleep it is possible that I might wake up, scream at the top of my lungs and then run as fast as I can away from my bed. Yikes! It happens a few times a month. I don't think I can do OTR with this.

3. I'm on an anti seizure medication. In the medical regulations I am reading something about this type of medication disqualifying somebody from being able to drive a truck. However the tricky part is that I do not actually have seizures myself. I am taking the seizure meds for a secondary issue that the seizure meds just so happen to treat really effectively as well. So since I do not actually have the seizures would this allow me to bypass this rule and drive despite taking them?

Thanks a bunch guys.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Clock Management and 34 hr resets

I can't count either. That's part of why I like to run recaps. I don't even have to take my pants and socks off to figure out my hours

Me neither...and when you go from east to west you GAIN time not lose it.

normally you would gain an hour going from eatern to central, but the DLST cancels that out. it doesnt put you back 2 hours.

im confused.

it seems like you have 0530 to 2100 to run 465 miles... 15.5 hours.

Im lost

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Double clutch struggling in lower gears 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th!

Make sure that you are not pushing the clutch in too far. A tiny depression clutching out of gear then a tiny depression clutching into gear does the trick. You only need push the clutch in far (to the floor) if you're at a dead stop and it won't go into 1st or 2nd otherwise. Also, make sure you're getting completely off the fuel while shifting, albeit very briefly.

Once you get the hang of it, you may find that you don't really need to clutch at all, especially in high range.

Practicing in a car (with a synchronized trans) is useless.

If you're having trouble making the small depression, you might want to try putting the seat back further and/or up higher.

You'll need to develop a feel for what works best (rpm, shifting speed) under varying conditions of weight, road speed, and terrain. Shifting going uphill @79,999lbs is a lot different than level ground @50,000.

Some have suggested shifting slowly. This may vary with the truck, trans, rears, etc. I've used 9 spds, 10 spds, and now a 13 EF with a Cummins ISX15. I don't remember too much what the others were like, but my current ride doesn't like dawdling...prefers quick shifts, especially if heavy and/or uphill.

My instructor telling me to shift at 1500rpm for 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th gears, but when i try to release my clutch, i have to be really slow letting it go completely , like wait about 2 seconds(like about taking off from 2nd gear, we always start on 2nd gear when come to a complete stop). or if i let go of the clutch to soon the engine will sound like i am(downshifting & sound like engine breaking)

Is my RPM shifting is too high? or the problem is just in me. and i dont think he ever shift on 1500rpm on low gears.

He even told me to find someone with a manual transmission car and practice to it whenever im off from training. ' Does it really help practicing on a car?

I really feel down and frustrated right now.

Thank You for reading.!

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Easy live unload

You can also just back up really fast then slam on the brakes. Might have to do it a couple of times, still, it shouldn't take long

I've delivered to landfills before, but had not seen this, machine picks up trailer and dumps load, they call it a "tipper"

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Why do some truckers try to avoid a 34-hour restart?

As we see from the responses to this question, different drivers have different preferences as to what strategy works best for them.

Sometimes the best strategy changes depending upon what is going on. for example, even though I normally run on recaps, this week I am busting it hard and trying for as close to 11 daily as I can get because a) last week I had a load with extra time on it, so I pushed it the first day and then had 34+ off before delivering on Monday am, and b) I am taking off for a two week vacation starting tomorrow night so I'm trying to jam as close to 70 as I can get into this M-Sat. But, normally I run recaps.

To further clarify, if you limit your logged driving/duty time to an average of 8 hours and 45 minutes daily, you can run forever and never run out of hours, so you can take time off when you want to but you'll never *have* to.

Depending upon your dispatch, this may or may not work for you.

I think it likely works best for certain types of freight too, but I only have personal experience with reefer, dry van, and biological cargo.

To answer another question posed in another post on this thread, no, most companies aren't going to deduct from your home time allotment because you got a 34 on the road, but then again in one way of looking at it you might be losing income because of it.

Drive for a while and find a strategy that works for your lifestyle, your wallet, and very importantly, your dispatch. Just be sure to develop a real strategy that works for you. As has often been said, hoping for the best isn't a good business plan. Whatever you're going to do, do it on purpose, and *with* purpose.

Dave Reid, that was a very good comment on this subject. My trainer suggested I do what you do and I understand it, but I'm not sure all the beginners here understand what you are suggesting. Maybe you could explain the 8:45 per day aspect and just what it accomplishes. That would be very educational especially for those in school trying to learn HOS.

Also, many consider the 34 reset as a 24 hr. reset because it is almost always taken in combination with a 10 hour DOT break.

If Dave doesn't chime in here, maybe one of the other HOS experts can explain the 8:45 trick.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Looking For Feedback - Would You Guys Like To See Today's Trucking News Headlines? Give me some ideas

You could post it to FB the way you do the weekly one

We have a section on the website for trucking news articles and we post 3 times a week. The articles we're posting are mostly longer, more involved articles about important topics in the trucking industry.

However, I know a lot of you guys follow the news in the trucking industry and like to know what's going on right now. Would you guys like to see daily news headlines, maybe a list of the top 10 current news stories that truckers would care about? It could be weather related, accidents, trucking-related government headlines, ongoing DOT enforcement checks, black smoke matters rallies - anything and everything related to trucking, but mostly focused on short term stuff that only matters right now or is happening right now, as opposed to longer, deeper dives into important topics.

So the question is, would you guys like to see "today's trucking headlines" and if so, where? Would you like us to post a topic in here each day with a list of headlines? Would you like to see a list of headlines on the main forum page somewhere, like maybe below the list of conversations so it's not in the way all the time but still easy to find?

We're trying to figure out if this is a feature you guys would like to see, and how would you like us to implement it?

Thanks so much!

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Why do some truckers try to avoid a 34-hour restart?

Maybe, but probably not.

If you are going to be home for 34+ weekly and are young and energetic and can handle busting out 11/14 hour days 6 days a week, great - so long as your dispatch can actually arrange 525-600 mile days for you every day that you work.

For old farts like me, doing 8:45/14/12 hour days many days in a row is much more sustainable. Heck, I did it six months straight once. Currently, I'm doing about 75 days straight, but then this Saturday I'm starting a two week cruise. I'd rather log 8:45 daily a couple of months and then have a sweet vacation than do 70/34 over and over, and I'll bet we can earn more that way too, on an annual and lifetime basis.

But, whatever suits your schedule...what works best for one isn't always best for all.

What's the benefit of spreading your hours through the week? You'll get about the same amount of miles whether or not you take the reset, right?

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Would you have stopped sooner?

1). What Rainy said. 2). Get someone to explain how IFTA works to your company so they'll drop the idiotic prohibition against fueling in Georgia. The States charge tax by miles driven in them, not by where the fuel is purchased. The only States that do something a bit differently are Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Started my clock around 7:30 a.m. for 8:00 a.m. pickup Apt. Did my pretrip and rolled in the yard at 8:01. Secured the load and pre tripped the new trailer. Load going to Wilmington NC by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. 620 miles. Easy right? Got out of there around 9. I had planned to take my 30 and fuel at the pilot on I20 east of atl. While trying to fuel my card was declined because we are not supposed to fuel in GA due to high taxes. Was told this in orientation but didn't retain it for some reason. Needless to say that caused a delay but they let me get 50 gal to get out of GA. So by this time I'm trying to figure out if I can make it to my intended stop outside Wilmington with enough time to take a 10 and still make my appt. Well, I made it with literally 30 seconds on my clock and 10.5 hrs till my apt. I'm 20 minutes from the customer. As a matter of fact as soon as I pulled the brakes and took my seat belt off it chimed at me.everything worked out but I feel like there was a better way to do this so I'm not stressed for the last 4 hours constantly checking my clock. Any suggestions? This was my very first load solo and I'm stressed the heck out now lol.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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No good deed goes unpunished...

At least Little America has good food, great showers, and a nice little TV room....lots of worst places to get stuck :-)

As for the rest of your story, well, you know I think you flatbedders are crazy rofl-1.gif



Hey Rich, I got a driver that needs to get home in NY by the 7th, and your load to MI will get him close. His load was going to SLC, and I'm not sure I can get him back in time. Can you swap loads with him? It'll turn your 1800 mile run into 1600 miles but I'll throw some extra $ in to make up the difference.

Sure pal, no problem. Whatever you need.


Good deed, right? Well, first you gotta understand that I beat feet outta Utah just yesterday to get ahead of that storm going through WY. Now with this repower I had to turn around and drive straight back into the storm, while also trying to squeeze in a needed reset to ensure my own hours will be there to make it to my own upcoming hometime in FL.

Met up with the other driver in NE, and went through the unpleasant process of untarping/retarping and unsecuring/resecuring our respective loads. This took some time of course, but hey this a rare event so no biggie.

I spent the night right there and got up at 0200 to head off into the storm, intending to make it as far as possible before the weather shut me down, then staying wherever that may be for 34hrs to get that reset I need. I'd finish the trip early Mon and still make delivery on time.

I wasn't long into the trip before noticing the load just didn't feel right behind me. It felt real heavy to the rear, and I began to suspect the balance was off, so I hit the next cat scale. My drives were at 25k and my tandems were at 37k!! Of course this is legal on a spread axle, but still not how I'd like it. This guy loaded the trailer completely off-balanced, and now here I am having to run it through a snowstorm.

I've been to the shipper where he loaded this, and I know the driver determines load placement there, so the fault is all on him for not centering the load.

Well, I'm glad to say I made it safely through the storm, and got as far as Little America in WY where I'm currently sitting out my 34. As planned I'll get up early Mon and finish the 2-3 hrs to the receiver. Yes I could have waited out the storm, but this gave me my best option for success going forward towards my own home time. I never reached the point of feeling unsafe but I certainly felt the off-balance of that load and adjusted my driving accordingly.

So a nice easy weekend run turned into a PITA. That's what I get for my good deed. Not that I'm really complaining. I'd do it again tomorrow if my dispatcher asked me to. He takes good care of me for stuff like this.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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The gym membership would like be a waste as you won't be able to get to them.

Some drivers carry weights and a bench and mat in their truck.

Many TAs and Petros have little fitness rooms.

Walking/jogging/stretching always an option.

It it particle to have gym membership to keep healthy or do you have other ideas of workout routines that work in the trucking life style ?

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Looking for local opportunity in my area

Try to stay at least a year where you are if you possibly can. At that point ask if they have an opportunity to keep you close.

If that doesn't work out for you, local gigs are usually advertised on Craigslist.

Food service, fuel delivery, and the like usually have local delivery opportunities, but best not to get into those until you have more experience.

I have been working a Midwest regional route for the last three months. This is my first driving job. I am in Northern Illinois (McHenry County) and am wondering if anyone out there is also from here and knows a good local company that offers home daily jobs. Thanks in advance.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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VA Slow Roll Sat. 3/2: I-95 Doswell Truck Stop to Downtown Richmond at 11 a.m.

Ticking off the public by impeding traffic isn't going to accomplish anything, and very likely most of these clowns don't even know what they're hoping to accomplish...they just know that they're angry.

I traveled to Ecuador often for 10 years or so. There, the truckers often protest their circumstances by piling thousands of tires on the highways near cities and setting them ablaze. That really endears the public to their predicament as well.

My feeling is usually this:. if we don't like our work, we should find something else to do, and/or endeavor to improve the matter by raising issues politely, constructively, and in the proper forum - never by inconviencing innocent bystanders.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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How Old is Too Old?

You're too old when you cannot a) fog a mirror, and b) pass the DOT physical without the doc recommending a wheel chair for you.

66? you're more than welcome in this business!

So I'm thinking driving would suit me fine but I'm 66 years old and have doubts about getting a job. Don't want to pay for training or head off to a company training site to then get told no thanx, you're not qualified or whatever when the real reason is I'm too old for their tastes. Any advice?

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Seeking advice from drivers dealing with asthma and sleep apnea

That is sad...makes no sense. Zyrtec is a modern non-sedating antihistamine similar to Claritin. I couldn't work without it.


take a Zytec and use Flonase daily as a preventative


My safety department said we arent allowed to use ask your company first

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Seeking advice from drivers dealing with asthma and sleep apnea

I use a CPAP even though my sleep apnea is very mild. I used a special pillow, and sleep at least part of the night on my back with a fat cushion under my knees. I take a Zytec and use Flonase daily as a preventative. Works for me.

So, brief backstory I have been off the road for about 6 months having asthma and sleep apnea checked out. My apnea is apparently very minor and I don't require a mask, at least at this time. My asthma is mild and infrequent. I have an albuterol inhaler that I use only in emergencies. I take Breo/Advair in the morning and Singulair at night before bed to manage the condition. My doctor has given me clearance to return to work, and I feel I can do so without limitation. I submitted the return to work forms to my company to review and I expect they will want a new physical and possibly a second opinion from their this could very well be rendered moot depending what the review board decides.

I know there are drivers out there, including flatbedders, who function perfectly fine with asthma and allergies that are much more severe than what I have. I'm curious to hear any advice or tips. What precautions do you take to avoid triggers and prevent an attack? Situations drivers have to deal with everyday like being stuck in gridlock or being parked at truck stops and shippers/receivers or dealing with hot weather, etc when your limited in what you can do to avoid triggers. I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of. Your experiences are welcome!

Obviously, I won't know for sure how my body will respond until I get back out on the road and am actually in those situations. If my condition worsens in any way or I can't keep it under control then I'll need to find a new career, and I can accept that. I worked hard for the opportunity to be a truck driver, and if my doctor sees no reason to pull me off the road then I'm darn sure going to try and make it work!

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Sleeping in a moving truck is impossible!

I didn't like it but got sort of used to it after a couple days. I have a CPAP machine, so I would set the a/c to freezing, and borrowed down completely into a sleeping bag, then used the CPAP as a snorkel.

When I was a trainer, I put us on 12/12 shifts, having the student work during the same hours daily. If I were to team long term, that's what I would want to do, unless with an SO in which case I'd like to do 8/8/8 and both sleep at the same time.

10pm started, Got sent to a store near Madison Wisconsin and then a backhaul near Sheboygan. Due to it being over 800 mile round trip and having an extra driver today they ended up sending me and the other driver lowest on seniority out together. They sent us in a sleeper so we could make it back in one day. I burned up my clock first while he logged sleeper and due to backhaul taking a couple hours he rolled out of the backhaul with a fresh clock. Were both being paid all hours from today which will be about 17 but I can not nap! I thankfully don't have the uncertainty of being with a stranger as it's one of my friends that followed me here from our previous employer so I'm comfortable with his driving ability its just so dang hard to sleep in a bouncing truck! Definitely give credit to those who do this on a regular basis whether its training new drivers or being a team driver. I definitely couldn't do it.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Where's the Love for Swift??

Funny video!

But here's what I want to know:. why are fingerless gloves so often ridicule? I've been wearing them while driving for many years. Before cell phones, I wore baseball gloves for driving but switched to the fingerless with the electronic devices these days. Otherwise, I would get sunburn on the backs of my hands due to my very light skin.


C.T. is right: the largest Truck Load freight company has the most trucks on the road, so by the numbers, "Swift wins". They also hire and train so many new drivers, and you know they'll make boo boos like any other rookie will.

Makes for an easy target.

Maybe this will help your understanding:

Why Hitler Hated Swift

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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24 Hour CDL "Training" as an option?

Don't do any sort of rushed training. That sounds like the scuba industry "resort course", except there you only kill yourself, not folks on the road

You're largely correct that most licensing schools are primarily about getting the CDL, not the real world; still, you'll learn a lot of foundational stuff to build on in a good 160 hour program

Regarding the company GYCDL programs, some of those that are operated by company staff at their facilities are really good and between that and their transition into OTR training, they help you prepare well.

Hi all,

I'm here seeking advice. I'm going into trucking when I return home to the US in June. Recently, while on a FB page for a company I'm applying for CDL training through, I saw a guy who was taking an approach I hadn't seen mentioned before. I'm ready to be ripped apart for this, but I am looking for honest feedback. Hopefully you won't be too hard on me.

Because the wait is about 2 months from acceptance at the company to starting training, he inquired about doing this "24 Hour" CDL training locally. From what I've found, they want you to come with your Class A permit in hand, they "train" you 1-on-1 for a day, then you test in the afternoon. You are driving a 6 speed synchro transmission truck with a 30' flatbed trailer. The cost is $550 for the "guaranteed" package, meaning they will retrain you and take you for testing as many times as it takes to get your license. This covers pre-trip and road tests. I'm not under any illusion that this will be "training," I suspect it will be an intense cram session.

The guy who made the post inquired with the recruiter at the company, and they confirmed this would be valid and they would even reimburse the expense of the training. The recruiter said he could expect to spend a bit more time on the trainer's truck to get him up to speed. They have had people with them who never did any training and just got a CDL on their own by renting a truck.

This looked like a possibility to me for a few reasons: - From everything I've read, the more expensive CDL schools and company CDL training all have the same goal: just get you your license. - I don't waI'nt to actually submit any application until I'm back in the US, because I don't think they'll take me seriously yet (I've had one rejected). - Because of the above point, my waiting time once I get back will be significant. - I'm confident I can study to pass the permit tests on my own, and at least acquaint myself with all the pre-trip points. - The company I'm looking at uses automatic transmissions, and I wouldn't get the restriction on my license if I tested in this easier manual. - The wait for orientation if I already have a CDL is MUCH shorter.

This seems like a not-terrible approach for someone who is motivated to learn on their own, and I am. But I'm obviously inexperienced with this stuff, so I'm thankful for any advice or questions you may have about my thinking.

Also, where does the DOT physical fit into this? Do I need that before getting my CDL, or is that a separate thing?

Posted:  7 months ago

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Music Time...

I have an Amazon Echo Dot plugged into my aux jack and use nothing but that. Amazon Unlimited Music is about $7/month for the DOT and there is no better deal on earth than this because now I have complete hands free ability to play anything and everything and control the volumn by voice also. No distractions. I play all kinds of stuff. Sometimes I will hear a song I like but don't know the band's catalog so I'll ask Alexa who the band is and then ask her to play a bunch of their songs. I also use it to control my audio books. There is just nothing else that even comes close to being as good as this setup. I used to run coast to coast so would lose Internet sometimes in the west. I kept a few CDs around for that time, plus some downloaded books and music. These days I'm roaming the eastern 37 so very rarely lose Internet and if so not for long. I have a signal booster so that is probably helping some.

*Jersey speak* Wadda yous listen to while driving?

Or... If you have Sirius XM what are your 5 most-listened to stations. Personally, I go with:

Channel 6 - 60's (easy access to 70's and 80's too). Channel 23 - Grateful Dead Channel 40 - Liquid Metal Channel 82 - Mad Dog Sports Radio Channel 120 - BBC news (easy access to other news channels too)

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Getting out of trouble

Your technique could be, or could seem to be, the only option....but one must be extraordinarily careful. It takes lot longer to get our 70'ish vehicle clear of the intersection then we think it will, and the entire time we are putting other potential motorists at risk.

If I had to do that, I would put on the 4 ways, set the brake, walk to the back and check all around, return to the seat while keeping an eye that no one is getting behind me, blast the horn, carefully back up to the corner far enough for no one to be able to turn in behind me, check every which way again, blast the horn, slowly back into the intersection checking left/right/both mirrors constantly and watching to be sure nothing small is sneaking up behind me, then once blocking the intersection I'd speed up and back out of the intersection....very carefully. However, this is truly a last resort and only for if out in the middle of nowhere. If there is any way to enlist help of others, that would be better.

Probably any company safety official or really any sane person would tell us NOT to do this though....If we hit something doing this or if someone else hits us....goodbye career and pray no one is hurt. If there is no other way, the standard advice is to call the police and enlist their assistance.

What I would do first is stop away from an intersection, put on the 4 ways, and pull up Google Maps in sat view and look around and try and find a path to safety without having to back up. Usually there is a way. If we have to drive an extra 10 or 20 miles to accomplish it, that is better than putting others, and our career, at great risk.

Here is what I've done. Go to the first crossroad. Turn left onto the crossroad and get straightened out. Stop. Most of these rural roads are lightly traveled so make sure there is no one coming from either direction. Back straight up across the road until you are behind the intersection. Then it's another left turn and you can go back and get on your route. What are other techniques to get out of self imposed trouble?

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