Comments By Dave Reid avatar
  • Dave Reid
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  • 3 years, 8 months ago
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Posted:  1 month, 4 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:  1 month, 4 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:  1 month, 4 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:  2 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:  2 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?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Top 10 things you absolutely have to have in your truck

#10 really should have been #1, along with some Buck Owens.

10) A Merle Haggard C.D. - no self-respecting truck driver hits the road without taking the Mighty Merle along for the ride!

just make sure it has "Ramblin' Fever" on it dancing.gif

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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State / National Truck Asociations:

I don't know of any trade associations that have any significant benefit for company drivers. O/Os may benefit from OOIDA and/or NASTC.

Hello all, new committed driver to the industry with 1.5 years and at least 9 more to go. I greatly appreciate the community here and info.

I was curious as to what and how the seasoned drivers feel about these associations. What do they really do, and if you recommend joining within a certain time line or whether or not ( if not both) as a Company Driver or Owner Operator.

Thank you for any input, Steven S.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Tramadol will cause a positive on the drug test so don't take it ever without a script, and even with the script you cannot take it and drive for a period of time - I don't know if there is an exact time specified but a day should be can't be in your bloodstream in any significant amount. But with a script, if it causes a positive on a hair follicle test at a later day, you'll be able to clear it up by furnishing the script to the DOT medical examiner.

Been super busy working on new house and also packing and doing my landscape business. Somehow I have managed to pull a back muscle or something in lower right back. My sister gave me a tramadol last year in May for a similar back ache and it made me drowsy as hell at work. I have not taken dot physical yet or anything, so before I take it before bed tonight will that show up on a drug test or dot physical? Don't want to take any risks before possible Friday test.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pulled by DOT

This might vary with the inspector but when I've had a Level 1, they got under the truck in a pit and at times had me push or release the brake pedal so they could check the travel. I've also had techs do that when getting an inspection in a shop.

When you have a DOT inspection, how do they check to make sure the brakes are in adjustment? Do they pull the push rod like we are instructed to do in school? Talking about the tractor brakes here. I always do a thorough pretrip every morning. I ran into a situation today where it seemed as if my front brakes were getting very hot. I pulled over and could not pull the pushrods very far on the rears. I looked at the drums and it seemed there was a small gap between the shoes and the drums. Does this always mean they are out of adjustment? Trying to make sure I stay compliant when I get out OTR. I probably should know this already.๐Ÿ˜ณ

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Does living near a terminal allow for more hometime?

Some drivers who live near a terminal and own of personal vehicle will park their POV at said terminal, making it convenient to grab their car when at the terminal either for days off or just for a night.

But for the most part, it is irrelevant and needn't factor much into which company you pull for.

When I worked for a one-terminal company, I was seldom I'm with a company with zillions of terminals and drop yards, and seldom go to any of them...haven't been to a terminal in months.

I live near a terminal with a carrier I am considering becoming a driver for. Does this give me the opportunity to make it home more often? If not, what are the advantages of living near the terminal?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Jake brake question

I'm driving an LT625 now also, Rainy. I find it useful to vary that selector by weight. Light load, 1....medium, 2....heavy...3. Sometimes change to higher even with lighter load if in mountains.

My FLs had Hi and Lo. My international has 1, 2, 3. I only use 2.

I leave my jakes on at all times weather permitting. So when slowing at an intersection, taking a ramp, etc, im already slowing just by lifting my foot off the accelerator. It feels weird to me now if they aren't on.

In the event the jake isn't holding going downhill, i simply service brake then downshift and the jake holds. In my FL manual, i put it in 7th gear and rode the jakes down Monteagle without ever touching my service brake. In this autoshift International, I did the same on Cabbage. In bad weather without using the jake, I downshift 2 more gears.

The whole point of the jakes if to not burn up your brakes....going downhil and constantly riding them will smoke them or worse....cause a fire.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Need advice on getting back after the fall...

It varies by state. Michigan is 7 days. Some are 3...some 14, etc. Some pay back to day 1 after the wait period, some don't. Michigan does.

It has been a few years but I believe there is a waiting period of 14 days for WC. You get back pay, but you have to miss 2 weeks to be eligible if I recall correctly

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pallet fell over

A driver can get seriously injured if a pile of stuff falls against the right door when you open it. I learned of a safety technique from shipper International Paper. They require a safety strap attached between the doors when opening them. Thinking that a great idea, Iooked at a truck stop and sure enough they sell them there. I now have one in my side box....if there is any doubt, I use it if I have a live unload. An extra 15 seconds might save your @$$

While I just got to a big lots store not to long ago to deliver this load near Gary, IN. First it took me a good 15-20 minutes to get the lock off the trailer water froze in the key slot, then once I got my key in there after banging it with a hammer... Then the key wouldn't turn, the manager suggested using hot watet, which we did and it worked. I was trying to use a lighter at first but since it's so windy here, it didn't work of course. rofl-1.gif

Then I go to open the trailer doors to my surprise, one of the pallets fell over in the trailer and some of the water bottles were frozen but they never mentioned water being on the load, nor did I really know what was on there as the bills just had a lot of numbers, etc.


Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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3 minutes to spare!

At least you've got the cool mini-terminal right there...comes in mighty handy in tha area. I wish there were more of 'em.

Ever have your plans ruined by traffic but keep pushing because you think you can make it? I did today. Left Ohio this morning and made it over to North Bergen, NJ. Dropped trailer, and picked up an empty. Then I ran over to Tunkhannock, PA and like I said, I ran 10 hours, 57 minutes! I hope I never have to do that again! Total of 591 miles for the day. Iโ€™m going to sleep! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Gps guidance

I've tried many. I prefer Garmin products..currently using the 785 and love it.

I was wondering if someone could recommend a good trucker the garmin dezl 580 recommended

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Phone networks/types for OTR drivers

The best national coverage footprint is the Verizon network.

If you don't need a lot of data, the least expensive good program is probably Google Fi.

Lots of other options these days.

If you're running in the eastern 37, you'll have coverage most places with nearly all of the providers...some dead spots in real rural areas. I found one in Alabama today, even with Verizon...but it was only for about 10 minutes. Nearly anyplace you'd stop for your break/sleep, you'll have coverage with about all of them. But the absolute best is the Verizon network....probably also the most expensive.

Hey i was wondering what kinds of phones you OTR drivers are using? More importanty,which network(s)? I need a new phone soon,but also planning to start driving school in next few weeks. With all the stress to get into school lol can u please lend me your advice? Nobody wants to roaming charges all over the country right๐Ÿ˜‚ or maybe thats how it goes, i have no clue! I usually buy unlocked phones, does that work? Is phone company contract better choice? How expensive is it? Does it cost more than being in stationary location; like most normal people๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Whatever else we do, we must always always always look for, read, and abide by the signs.

Last Spring I had a student that wouldn't stop staring at the nav unit....turned onto the wrong street despite my telling her not to....drove right past a big NO TRUCKS sign and got us stuck in a small residential parking lot. It was a lot of fun getting out of there....I had to call in a helicopter crane.

Gps was a bad boy today, tried putting me on a restricted road, made me read the signs๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Any recommendations on Roehl?

Roehl is a first-rate operation in every way. Many home time options and many regional options, if that is a concern.

Extremely safety conscious. Roehl spelled out is Rolls Over Every Hill Last.

Their road training time is very short - only suitable for very quick learners and best paired with their Get Your CDL program.

I recentlyngot my cdl permit herein south Alabama and been researching the best companies to go on board to train with or get cdl on my own and go out. Roehl has been recruiting me hard. Anyone tell me anything about their company? I also have a 12 year old daughter I want to ride along. Thanks.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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The Guys Who Do The Most Complaining Put In The Least Effort

yeah, hit the nail right on the head Old School.

Unfortunately, this applies to every walk of life....the crybabies are rarely effective producers of much.

But....drivers tend to be more difficult to deal with than most other folks. The only group more obnoxious on average would have to be salespeople.

We've got several complainers on our fleet. I've been fighting this Polar Vortex mess all week. My dispatcher called last week and asked me if I'd take a load up here because the gentleman he had assigned it to suddenly became sick. Rather than just saying I don't want to take that load, he was suddenly stricken with some sort of unrelenting malady. Once he found out I was going to handle it for him he called the dispatcher and was feeling much better. It's funny though, the dispatcher made the decision to give him a couple more days to make sure he was over it. There's nothing like three days shut up in a sitting truck to adjust your attitude. rofl-2.gif

I finished up this load and my pay period this morning. It was a tough week, but I turned in 3,686 miles. Another really good solid week. I kept my focus and got it done just like I do every week. It's not always easy, in fact this week could only be described as really tough. I didn't sign up for this because I thought it would be easy. I live for the challenges of it. I get some really great satisfaction from conquering the challenges and then moving on to the next thing that lies ahead. It may be easy sailing or it might seem impossible, but if you can consistently handle it like a professional you'll reap the rewards.

Earlier this week we had some new "know it all trucker" in here who called me a liar when we were disproving the foolishness he was proclaiming about how these big companies mistreat their drivers and don't pay well. I reluctantly posted a pay stub to shut him up, and we haven't heard from him again. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words after all. Maybe he's too busy trying to get hired on at one of the mega carriers now to come back and visit with us. smile.gif

But seriously have you noticed that the biggest complainers are the least effective drivers. They complain about not getting enough miles yet they refuse to try and accomplish the tough assignments. Then they start complaining about how the guys who take up their slack are getting all the great miles. This job takes a lot of Commitment. It takes passion and tenacity. It takes a lot of effort, and I've noticed the guys and gals that are really getting it done don't seem to complain along the way.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl GYCDL Contract

A lot of companies will require assuming responsibility for repayment of training costs if a driver quits within a specified amount of time.

there will be no liability if he doesn't go

There will only be a problem if he goes but then quits before the specified interval....often it is a year but companies differ slightly on that.

The Roehl GYCDL program is a good one....very thorough....and some will like the relatively short amount of road training time required and that Roehl trains on a solo driving basis. For some, the road training won't be long enough but coupled with the GYCDL program, I think it is good so long as the person is a quick learner.

Hey all! My husband and I are doing his application to Roehl. Well, on the last page it won't let you finish the application unless you acknowledge and accept the loan. Is this standard practice? Could we be on the hook if he doesn't even go? Thanks in advance!

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