Profile For Susan D.

Susan D. 's Info

  • Location:
    Central (I-65 corridor), KY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 8 months ago

Susan D. 's Bio

Been around trucks all my life. Worked in healthcare almost 20 years and I'm over it! I love road trips, always have and ready for some adventure. Im currently a driver trainer for West Side Transport.

Susan D. 's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 4

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Starting hotshot?

Ny nephew was an OTR driver with Steven's and loved it. My brother in law (his uncle) who works for the Florida department of agriculture, had started a portable building business on the side. When it grew to more than he could handle the deliveries in his spare time, he gave my nephew a 3 year guaranteed contract, assisted him in setting up an LLC, getting his own authority, and he left Steven's and leased a hot shot setup.

He's staying so busy that they're renewing that contract since the 3 years is almost up.

Because he's in a niche market, he's doing well with it, but that's not the norm and competition in hot shots, just like traditional trucking companies is fierce. Having a guaranteed contract is what makes it feasible for him. He leases his hotshot rig so doesn't have to worry about maintenance either... 3 year leases to match the 3 year contract.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Is OTR an addiction?

Absolutely! I too get antsy if I'm sitting too long. A day or 2 at home and I'm climbing the walls ready to go. Crazy, huh.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Who’s cards to use while on trainers truck?

I used to let trainees use their cards if they were the one on duty, but I had too many quit and end up leaving me having to pay for showers on occasion, so I stopped doing that. The last few days, I'd let them use their card so they'd have some shower credits. We generally don't go under a half a tank, unless in a remote area with no truck stop, so if their doing 500 miles a day, then generally they're fueling every day so they should be fine going solo.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Do you carry a jug of engine oil?

At West Side Transport, we can buy all that stuff on our fuel card, pay for it ourselves and get reimbursed, or get containers filled at any terminal from their bulk supply.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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How dangerous is a Jake Brake in poor road conditions?

*leaning not cleaning. But my truck definitely needs cleaning now.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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How dangerous is a Jake Brake in poor road conditions?

I was in PA on I-80 too yesterday. My truck is an auto shift, and my company, in their infinite wisdom, has locked out the manual mode completely.. cant even paddle up or down a gear. Such fun, but yeah, just take it easy and use your service brakes only.

I loaded in Williamsport to get me home today. The dock area was muddy (big mud hole right in front of the dock I needed in) and I got stuck when trying to dock. Thought I was actually going to have to call for a pull out, but with the drives locked in and some well placed rocking I managed to get unstuck.. this time. Another truck was in the dock beside me and there wasn't any room for sliding around lol but I somehow managed to keep the mudding activity and severe trailer cleaning, away from his truck.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Got stuck on a dock hook this is how my day went

Omg I'm so sick of rain.. I'm currently in SC after being in sunny (and dry) Florida for a few days. Storming like crazy here.

Anywho, some states will let you fix the weight and not ticket you and others aren't so kind. My company's policy is to scale every load. If we're very concerned about weight issues, we let either Dispatch or safety know and West Side will "cover" us to the nearest CAT scale, (pay the fine for us, should we get ticketed) because you just never know, DOT has been known to bring out the portable scales and weigh you right on the side of the road or in a rest area, even.

Now, if we don't get a certified scale (could be from a customer who actually prints the weights, or a CAT Scale.. whatever, and get an overweight ticket, oh they'll pay it, but take it out of your paycheck. Just ask my other half lol. He had a load that only weighed 22k, went thru the scales in Chicago on I-80. He hadn't scaled the load because it was so light, but they claimed he was overweight with an $1100 fine. He couldn't argue it because he hadn't scaled the load. Naturally DOT scales could NEVER be wrong. I still get a chuckle out of that. The entire load must have been sitting on the tandems?

Lesson here is a CAT scale is cheap insurance. Our company pays for all scales (we use our fuel card, even with the app) so we have zero excuse for not scaling a load. My current load, I was told weighed 40k lol. I thought no way, scaled it and my gross was 44460 lol so maybe 10k or so. My other half picked up a whopping 52 pound load.. yes only 52 pounds. Truck scales the same both empty and loaded lol.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Best companies to work for as a new driver?

Being from South Florida is going to make things more difficult in finding a company to train you.

For companies to hire you, you have to live in their hiring area. My company, based in Iowa actually has 1 driver who lives just south of you in Sebring lol.. he had been with the company for quite a few years and moved down there, but he stays out months at a time voluntarily.

The first thing I'd do, honestly, is transfer your cdl to a different state. Then it would be easy to find a company that will train you and give you a chance. As you've probably figured out, companies down your way want at least a year or more of experience.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Brand new driver, need some advice

The best company to go with is different for everyone. You should go with the company who meets your personal needs the best, and with your large family, and need to be home more often, it sounds like swift may be the better choice for you.

In trucking, regarding pay, you get out of it what you put in. It's strictly performance based. Being prior military will help you succeed because you have the discipline to "get it done "and swift seems to really love veterans. Idk all the perks they offer to veterans, but I hear it's an excellent deal.

BTW, thank you for your service.

Posted:  2 months ago

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EFS Fuel Cards Glitch

A friend of mine who runs a daycab for MLS had problems fueling with her efs card. they actually asked her to pay for the fuel herself and submit for reimbursement... boy was she po'ed about that lol. They have a terminal at Glendale, KY right across from the pilot.. cant believe they don't have their own fuel pumps.

Posted:  2 months ago

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What to do?

I've been crazy busy with my granddaughter. Currently in Florida with a load of forklifts. Made 3 drops today.. Savannah GA, Jacksonville, Orlando and final in Tampa in the morning. Last week filled in on one of our dedicated automotive runs and didn't have time to sneeze..

Posted:  2 months ago

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What to do?

If you know you're going to a city you aren't familiar with, look at your atlas before you get there to get a quick familiarization of the layout of various interstates, highways, and major street names.

A cb helps if you can get someone to respond. Around indy, that's actually a good possibility that a local driver will reply.

Also understand how interstate systems are numbered. A 3 digit beginning with an even number is a loop around the city. A 3 digit beginning in an odd number is a spur off of that interstate. Even interstates go primarily east-west and odd numbered ones are primarily north-south... same goes for state and us highways.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Pneumatic Tandem Pin Retractors

Amicus, the pins are always out or locked unless you pull the button by your tandems when your trailer brakes are set.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Choosing A GPS System

Recently I got a company supplied garmin 780 that has our new blue tree elogs on it. I used it once, wasn't impressed, and haven't used it again. I'll stick with my Tomtom. And as far as blue tree goes.. I REALLY dislike that too.

Yes a Qualcomm will sometimes randomly reboot if its doing an update. I never had any trouble with omnitracs and I sure miss it.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Total Transportation of MS

Some of my best trainees came from Schneider. Like you, they felt that they needed more than the week with a trainer. The thing is, their skills were actually pretty good for a brand new driver, they simply didn't have any confidence and didn't believe in themselves and it showed.

I told them, whether you think you can or can't do this, you're absolutely right! You HAVE to believe in yourself and the training process. Once they began to believe they could really do the job, they did fantastic. I simply played cheerleader.. they had it from day one at my company.

Maybe Schneider is hesitant because you're not showing much confidence? I think that's why my gals struggled there.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Upgrade

Congratulations Ryan! Great job. Now the real challenge begins.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Safety Saturday...

The big thing is to not panic which is really difficult to do because you KNOW it could be really ugly really fast.

I've played this what if scenario of steer tire failure repeatedly since I was in CDL school. My dad used to talk about the horrors of one and often the driver didn't make it so this situation has been one of my biggest fears.. that and a rollover. Some drivers will never experience one in a very long career, but if it happens you have to know exactly what you're going to do.

Very often drivers can lose control, leave the roadway, roll over, etc. with catastrophic results.

The tire didn't "blow" in my case, so the wheel didn't do a hard jerk. The entire intact tread separated off the base of the tire and ended up on the inside of the wheel. Absolutely mind boggling but certainly a manufacturing defect.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

I've had trainees actually tear up and quit soon after when they realized some of the roads we must navigate.

It's not all interstate or wider highway driving. It's also not this screwed up most of the time either, but you need to be mentally prepared for the certainty that you will operate a big rig on roads like this.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Favorite truck stop chain?

I'm all about the Kwik Trip in the rare case I get into the upper midwest near one.

I think Love's has hands down the best rewards program and the easiest parking overall but because they tend to be smaller and all parking is free, they tend to fill up the earliest.

Pilot/Flying J has awesome showers, more parking spaces than Love's but sometimes the parking is tighter than Love's and you can reserve parking ahead of time at most locations if you're running later.

TA/Petro has the worst rewards program, the tightest parking setup, but the largest truckstops with easily 100+ to 350 parking spaces. Restaurant quality is hit or miss depending on location. Some have up to 5 restaurants/choices of food and some have completely closed their restaurants. They have the highest number of reserved parking spaces. I only park at one if it's the only place I know I'll be able to find parking OR I need minor repairs to my truck or trailer on my 10 hour break, since my company has a national account with their repair shop. They're an authorized freightliner service point.

My favorite.. no rewards or perks for me because as a company driver I'll never be able to fuel at one, but generally inexpensive showers, great home cooked meals, and plenty of parking.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

Look up Yoder and Sons at 1639 Slanesville Pike, Points, WV. That road is a beast. I was there one year ago. It's horse and buggy narrow but trucks use it daily.

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