Profile For Muleskinner 6

Muleskinner 6's Info

  • Location:
    Durango, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 2 months ago

Muleskinner 6's Bio

Well lets see….

Many years ago I was 18 and graduation was just around the corner and my aunt came to me and asked me what I was going to do for a job after graduation. I been working most of my life either bucking hay in the summer, fast food during school, and I never thought about having to work year around. What do you mean I don’t get summers off? No Christmas vacation? I thought to myself “This s**t just got real“.

So I thought about college but decided against that, I have a high IQ and never struggled in school but college didn’t appeal to me. I came from a blue collar family and we all worked hard for a living. Since I came from a family will a long line of veterans I decided to go into the Army to sereve my country that I love. I spent the next 11 years as a track vehicle mechanic and specialized in rebuilding the M1 Abrams turbine engine.

After 11 years I decided to get out because life was happening, my wife was pregnant and I decided it was a good time to move on. So I then became a firefighter with a small town in southern New Mexico. I really enjoyed the adrenaline rush of being inside a burning building. After four years of doing that I was offered a job in Law Enforcement where I loved the job and excelled at it and had a great time. After seven years of "chasing the bad guy" I decided to resign because of personal reasons.

I have always been into some type of construction, I was flipping houses on the side where I made tens of thousands of dollars and I also lost my ass on a few of them. But when the market fell out I lost everything. After law enforcememnt I started doing custom high end granite work. For three years I worked rock and made excellent money but i am getting too old to pick up several hundred pounds and carry it into a house up a hill in two feet of snow. This old man needs something different.

Since most of my family either drives big trucks or works on them for a living I decided to get my CDL and go over the road for a few years to see if I like the life style. When i was in high school i would run with my uncle in his extended nose Pete and I loved being on the road and to see what was around the next corner or see where we would wake up the next day. Oh and I found out when i was 18 what a "Lot Lizard" was at a a truck stop called the Tin Lizzy. Yeah my uncle was a little upset but thank God he stopped me before anything happened. HAHA

I have always enjoyed being alone and making decisions on my own. So here we go…. Let the dice roll and see what happens.

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Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Giving up OTR to become a Coke Dealer

I came off the road about 6 months ago and got a job with a local company delivering high end chocolate.

After sitting behind the wheel for about a year just driving I had gained a lot of weight and became really lazy. With this job I have 51 stores in Nevada and California and I have to hand unload at each store. I got back into shape real fast.

But in the bright side I am on the road 7 days and home 7 days and I bring home twice what I was making OTR 6-8 weeks at a time with one of the big companies.

Good luck to you and keep us posted.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Starting my Training July 5th with Stevens

Carla I drive for Stevens now and went through their training so as far as your boots you don't need steel toes. Basically what they are looking for is ankle support so a decent hiking boot will be fine. The yard rules are "absolutely no open tie shoes". Every time I am on the yard I wear running shoes and nobody says a word.

As far as gloves go get a cheap pair of regular leather work gloves. You don't need anything fancy. I usually have a pair of Mechanix gloves that you get at wal mart in the automotive section for about $20.

Yesterday in Mesquite it was 104 so bring sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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I feel so dumb

I'm sure we can all tell stories for days about the mistakes we have made. My story is as follows. I dropped off a load in the Los Angeles area and was on my way to pick up another load with 2600 miles on it. That is when my DM called me and wanted me to repower another truck that was out of time and his load has 51 miles left on it. After a very long heated discussion with my DM I finally agreed.

I have a set routine I always do when I hook up or disconnect from a trailer. I always deal with the airlines first, landing gear second and then the release handle.

Apparently since I was so frustrated I disconnected the airlines and pulled the PIN and totally forgot about the landing gear. Thank God it was an empty trailer and it only took about 20 minutes to Jack back up to get under it.

But I have plenty of other drivers in the area come over and make comments about Rooky mistakes. But it's okay because we all make mistakes and we live and learn.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Question for the Veterans

My email has changed since I first registered with this site so not sure if Brett sent your email to there or not. Would really enjoy any information you could share.

Sorry Brett I didn't know it was against the rules of the site to discuss this topic.

Muleskinner i know were not supposed to really talk about this here. But Brett can give you my email and I will send you the numbers.

Brett can you please send muleskinner my email.

Thanks mpw

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Question for the Veterans

Ok I have been driving for about a year now and I have been try I got finish my college degree while on the road.

So I am writing a paper for my social economics class and hear it towards the trucking industry. My question is : As an owner operator who own his / her truckoutright how much on average do you make? What is your monthy operating costs like insurance, taxes, and any other applicable fees.

What is the average you make per mile and if you lease your truck to a company what do you make per mile average?

Tba is in advance for the help.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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Shouldn't the company supply these

The company that I work for required me to buy a map (because my laminated trucker map wasn't good enough), four load locks, king pin lock, & a trailer lock. And they took weekly payment installments out of my check to pay for the items.

One time I had to do a re-power and the driver that showed up didn't have any load locks to replace the ones I had in the trailer. So I broke the seal and took my load locks out and within minutes I got a call from the company stating they were going to write me up for breaking the seal. My defense was I paid for them so I took them.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Tandem Slide question

okay so I have been out on my own for a little while now and when I am at a truck stop or a shipper / receiver I have noticed a lot of people slide their tandems all the way to the rear before they park.

I asked one of the drivers why he slid his tendons of the way to the back before he tried to park and he said it makes it easier to get into a space.

so of course I tried it and to me it was a lot harder to do because it takes longer for the trailer to react to the input. the only advantage that I could see would be you can't control the trailer swing a lot better.

what are your thoughts?

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

I totally agree with Brett.

I was raised to pick your battles and fight for what you believe is right. You don't have to fight every battle to prove you are a man .

I think my trainer believed in his cause and he wasn't going to back down.

Choose you battles wisley and try not to bite the hand that feeds you, but remember the neighbor might feed you if you are hungry.

On a good note when we shut down today I only have 7 hours left behind the wheel in training. So Monday I should finish up and then by the end of next week I am hoping to have my own truck.

Good luck drivers and stay safe.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

Ok to finish the saga his DM kept arguing with him this morning about there was no freight moving east on I-10 or 20 heading yo the Carolina's. I pointed out three other company trucks we could see from our truck that had to be heading somewhere.

So then the produce manager called me directly and wanted to know what was going on between my trainer and I. I could tell he was agitated and this conversation wasn't going to end well. So being a smart ass that I am I told him nothing we are getting along pretty good, why did he say something different. Well he demanded to know why we weren't moving so I told him to call my trainer because hat was between them and to leave me out of it. Well I then handed my trainer my phone. Then I started regretting doing that because I had visions of my phone going out the window and bouncing down the asphalt.

My trainer handed me the phone and calmly said he wants to talk to you. The first phrase out of the managers mouth was somewhere in the neighborhood of threatening my job.

So as professionally as I could I made sure he knew I didn't work for him and not to threaten my job and I hung up.

My trainer told me to go eat something because he was going to Walmart to buy a huge suitcase yo pack his things.

I called me student counselor and explained everything to her and she was furious that they wanted me to drive the truck with or without my trainers permission.

Needless to say one of the other trucks in the parking lot had a load that was going to S. Carolina and we exchanged loads with that driver.

So crisis adverted and I am currently sitting in S. Carolina getting unloaded and we will be to his house in plenty of time to see his brother get off the plane in the morning.

Might be worn out but the end result is completely worth it.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

Sorry for the misspellings. Trying to type on a smart phone sucks when you have big fingers.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

Well the saga continues. Every two hours last night someone was calling trying to get hm to deliver the load. Buy hr just kept calmly saying he is going home on time and hr is not taking the load to Houston.

So they started calling me again too and I just said its between you and the driver, not me.

This morning the head of safety called and my trainer calmly explained that he has been reminding his DM everyday he Ned's to be home on Friday morning and she knew the situation. He explained that if he didn't have a repower by lunch he is driving the load to the terminal (we have to drive through Houston) and he is cleaning out the truck and he us done.

He has never once bad mouthed the company to me and every day he yells me how much he loves his job. He even told head of safety that he has nothing bad to say about the company and he really doesn't want to quit because he has so much time invested with them.

Lets see what happens next.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

I decided to go sit in the lounge and watch TV. DM called and I told her I was staying out of it.Her boss called and asked me to go tell the trainer to call him personally. I told him the same thing.

Yes I do have my CDL and I'm not going to leave him here. He is a good guy thats just going through a rough time. I will let them finish their ****ing contest and decide who has the bigger set of balls.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

This is just my opinion,

I don't see how you have the authority to take over the truck from your Trainer. The problem is between him and the company, not you. Your concern should be what they intend to do with you if this guy doesn't move. Let him fight his battle and let the DM fight their end.

As a veteran, I hope your Trainer gets to meet his brother. I cannot tell you how tough it is to return home and watch others be greeted while you aren't.

Good luck with the remainder of your training and your solo act.

As a veteran I totally understand too and I also understand the companies side too.

I'm not worried about him or the load. I just care about what happens to me. Right now he isn't talking at all. He is just sitting in the drivers seat with a "thousand yard stare"

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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My trainer just snapped

Evrtytime they talk it turns into a screaming match then she calls me ordering me to get the load to the destination. I'm not even going to start the truck because it is his truck that he is leasing. I know legally it still belongs to the company not him.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

My trainer just snapped

OK so what do I do?

My trainer has been driving for about ten years and training for half of that. He is really easy going and is a great trainer.

Problem is he usually stays on the road for three months at a time and never asks for time off. Since he lives near where we usually haul from he occasionally stops by the house for a night to do a reset maybe once every other month.

He asked his DM a month ago to be home this weekend because his brother is returning home from Iraq. Since last week his DM has been sending us further and further away from his house and can't tell what her plan is on getting him home on time.

So today he said he isn't moving and he refuses to answer his phone when she calls because she wants to send him to south Texas instead of towards his house. I know it is kind of childish but I understand his point point too. She said instead of having him home Thursday she might get him home Saturday or Sunday. But he wants to meet his brother when he steps off the plane. He said it is very important to him to be there.

But what do I do? His DM is calling me wanting us to head to Laredo. What do I do? Just leave him here and take the truck? Do I ask to get off the truck? She wants me to be the middle man and I'm not comfortable telling a grown man to put his big boy pants on and suck it up. I have 23 hours of drive time before I finish training. I can finish training in two and a half days but now I am going to be delayed.

He is a great trainer and very patient. He was nominated for trainer of the year last year. I feel bad for him but I Ned to do what I have to.

Advice?

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Starting Stevens Transport School 10/05/15

The closest drop yard Stevens has to NYC is Kearny, NJ which looks like it is right by the George Washington bridge which works out good because Stevens hauls a lot of product to Hunts point.

I just came out of Hunts point yesterday. My first trip to NY and its not as bad ad everyone says it is.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Stevens Transport or no?

I currently work for Stevens and so far I am happy. I am still with a trainer and i am getting around 3000 miles a week. (That's just the miles I drove)

They do have really nice equipment. I am I'm a 2016 Kenworth and yes it is governed at 66 miles an hour. But think about it from the companies perspective, do you really want to turn a rookie loose in a brand new truck that can do 75? I was like the other guy the first time I dropped off a steep grade, I was doing 45 and the pucker factor was through the roof. I swore I was going to roll over.

Their training program is really good. Students aren't put with a trainer to be "meat in the seat" to help the trainer pay his lease. During the five weeks out with the trainer you have to watch videos and take tests with a required 240 hours behind the wheel. You have to hit all five regions and bump a dock in the north east. You have to cross a minimum of three qualified mountains with a minimum of 25,000# in the box.

As far as their lease program they arent like other companies and try to force you into it. So far I have only had to sit through a 5 minute speech about the topic in orientation. You have to qualify to be considered. you have to have a high MPG rating, perfect on time rate, and no accidents.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Feeling like a rookie

Today I had three drops on my load, 2 in Los Angeles and 1 in San Diego. I got to my first drop and I should have back in from the street but I decided to nose it in and do a u-turn in a very small parking lot. I got it in the slot with only two pull ups. which I didn't think was bad with the amount of room I had to work with.

Second drop I waited in the staging area and my trainer told me he had been there before and I better hope I don't have to back into door number 8. Sure enough the guard came out and told me to back into door number 8. The best description I can give is it was a blind offset 45 with a building in the way. to my surprise I backed it in on my first shot with no problems at all.

My third drop was super easy plenty of room and no problem at all.

I was feeling pretty good until I got to the truck stop. All I had to do was a straight line back with a curb on the drivers side. Three pull ups later I finally got it in the hole. I was a little upset at myself.

But hey I got it in and didn't hit anything expensive.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Truckers are (blanks)

When I asked my trainer why he doesn't have a CB on his truck he asked me if I really wanted to listen to the super trucker wanna-be talk trash about me when I was trying to back up.

I just laughed and said I can only inagine what they were saying. I'm good not knowing.

You my friend are very lucky. Your trainer sounds like a real gem. Practicing your backing skills in a truck stop during off-peak hours is one of the better places to learn and I applaud him for taking his job seriously and helping you in this way. The true professional will not chastise a student when they are learning (we were not born knowing how to do this), and like you experienced, many will offer some assistance and/or encouragement. Your trainer is doing you a huge favor by forcing you out of your comfort zone. It will pay-off in spades when you are out there on your own, negotiating tight loading docks and congested truck stops.

Thank you. At first I didn't think we would get along but so far he is pretty cool.

This morning when we got up he told me to get some coffee because its going to be another long day if backing practice at the truck stop, since our load doesn't drop till tomorrow.

I am very greatful he is pushing me to learn instead of just making me drive.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Truckers are (blanks)

double-quotes-start.png

I was very appreciative that everyone wanted to help coach me and give me pointers. My preconceived notion that all drivers are rude and hateful was totally wrong.

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Well you're going to find that a small percentage of drivers are just "undesirables"......they have little or nothing of value to offer anyone, nor are they interested in doing so. You'll recognize the type before long and you'll avoid them altogether if you can.

Most drivers are at least decent to talk to for a while, as long as they don't get started on a complaining rant. You just have to steer them away from trucking themes and talk about something more positive.

One thing you'll find is that people are far more willing to help someone who is humble and is clearly giving it their best effort. It's a waste of time trying to teach someone when they're obviously not going to listen and learn. But when someone is clearly looking to get better and they're taking the right approach then an experienced driver knows the time they spend on that driver will be worth it.

Just completely ignore the jerks out there. Remember, the obnoxious ones are looking to get a reaction out of you so don't give them one. If they make fun of you, start ranting on the CB, or anything of the sort just smile and ignore it. Don't even respond. Any response you give is a victory for them.

But you'll find plenty of great people out there. Most drivers are decent people most of the time.

When I asked my trainer why he doesn't have a CB on his truck he asked me if I really wanted to listen to the super trucker wanna-be talk trash about me when I was trying to back up.

I just laughed and said I can only inagine what they were saying. I'm good not knowing.

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