Profile For Susan D.

Susan D. 's Info

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

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 5 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 week, 3 days 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:  1 week, 3 days 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:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Upgrade

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

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Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day 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:  4 weeks, 1 day 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:  4 weeks, 1 day 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:  1 month 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.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

Chris, if you're ever on a 2 lane with no shoulder when it's been raining recently, you'll want to stay off that white edge lol.. blacktop can get soft and it can get ugly quick.

@Errol. At least you weren't eating oreos too. The crazy places they send us lol. I'll see if I can dig up a photo of the road I had to take to an amish lumber company that made oak pallets..

Posted:  1 month ago

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Safety Saturday...

Excellent, Rob. You nailed it.

Actually this scenario happened to me on I-69 in Indiana around the 96 mm out in the middle of nowhere on Friday afternoon. I was hauling 43,580 pounds of the tall paper rolls out of the Henderson, KY paper mill headed to IP at Eaton, OH.. they're standing upright and sitting on thin rubber skid mats.

I managed to slow the truck enough by downshifting and very sparingly using the brakes to be at about 30 mph by the time I reached the bridge and got stopped on the right shoulder just past the rail of the bridge.

I miraculously managed to keep the nose of the tractor up and my truck on the pavement. There was no damage to the truck or the rim. What was left of the belts protected the rim when it dropped to the pavement upon stopping. It was my left or driver's side steer tire. The entire tread had separated from the tire and remained intact but stuck under the truck around the steering components. Had an angel looking out for me.

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Posted:  1 month ago

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PreTrip Wha?

I second BobCats suggestion of flash cards. That 2 evenings a week makes it tough to get the repetition you probably need to get it down.

The cdl school I attended made up folders that had photos and the exact verbiage that the DOT officer expected to hear. It was 20 pages or so because the pictures were fairly big. Every day at class I'd get there early and just start pre tripping on my own. Then we (the very few serious students) started "grading " each other on our pre trip. I'd repeat this at the end of each day. At night before I fell asleep I'd read that folder out loud, put it up and go to sleep. That worked for me.. passed mine with flying colors.

It's a whole lot of repetition really. If you can adequately pretrip under the hood, that's the hardest part and if you can do one truck, you can do them all. Things might be in slightly different places, but a compressor is a compressor, its either belt or chain driven. A wheel is a wheel.. and there's 18, so lots of repetition. An axle is an axle.. generally 5 of those, so trust me, it's not that difficult.

A good list of pretrip items to check is also listed in a commercial vehicle atlas.

Get in the habit of performing your pretrip in exactly the same order every time, when you practice, say it out loud as you would with an examiner and physically touch each part as you describe it, so its obvious you know the various parts that you're checking and why you must check them.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Safety Saturday...

Only the bridge has no shoulder.. the rest of the highway does. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that, Delco. But yes, if you're ever disabled and obstructing traffic lanes for any reason. certainly call law enforcement.

Anyone else? Remember, you're going on a downhill curve with a VERY heavy load, say 44,000 pounds or so, approaching a bridge that has no shoulder.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

Lol I've driven on roads like this and they were indeed truck routes.. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc. anyone? Luckily for only a very few miles to access a customer location.

I'm going to be going slow with my 4ways on in curves and taking enough of the opposing lane to make sure I don't lose my tandems off the edge of the road. If a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction in a curve, just take it on a case by case basis. Usually they're used to it when a busy customer is nearby and will stop to let you get around the curve and back centered in your lane. One place I went to.. OMG you were praying another truck wasn't coming on that winding mountain road in and out of the plant. The people there just laughed about that road and remarked it had been widened recently :-0 it would make your butt pucker bahahaha.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Look what I brought home today...

She's wonderful. I keep telling her mommy that I'm going to "babynap " her and take her with me on the truck lol.

Been so so much going on lately that I've been MIA for a while.

The last several weeks I've been filling in on a dedicated home every other day run, so I've been getting lots of new granddaughter time.

The plant I've been hauling out of is now closed until mid January. I don't know if I'll continue this run when they reopen or not.

The plus is its great miles, i know my entire schedule a week in advance, and I get by the house often but the downside is its boring as all getout and not sure it would be good to commit to since I plan on moving to Tennessee eventually. I do love adventure and my Florida runs on occasion also. I like variety.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Safety Saturday...

This is for the rookies and soon to be rookies ;-)

How would you handle a steering tire blowout?

You're hauling heavy unstable freight and coming down a fairly steep hill and in a curve. You're on a 4 lane divided roadway (2 lanes each direction). Oh yeah and there's a bridge at the bottom (with no shoulder.. just the 2 lanes and a rail) before another ascent uphill.

Experienced driver's please hold back responding to let the newer drivers try to figure it out first. Thanks.

Posted:  1 month ago

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What status should we use in stopped traffic?

Driving. The truck is running, you are at the wheel and you are on a roadway. Doesn't matter if a snail could move faster. Its driving and any DOT officer would agree.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

My company expects drivers to have good lane control. If you can't keep centered in your lane at all times, you won't pass a road test there. If being passed by another large vehicle, simply scoot over a little to give more space between trucks.

You shouldn't be bullying cars by hanging on the yellow line, and if you hang on the white line, you'll be doing what is known as "sandblasting ". You'll be picking up road debris from the edge of the roadway and slinging it all over vehicles behind you. It's quite rude and inconsiderate.

Posted:  1 month ago

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How is alcohol consumption related to being in the truck?

My company's policy regarding alcohol is exactly the same, except you must be HOME.. not in a hotel, but they do allow us to drink at our annual awards celebration because we stay at a hotel and the trucks are parked across town at a terminal.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Multi-stop load

I generally do lots of multi stop loads. The forklift dealers are only open from 7am to 4pm for deliveries so it makes timing and parking critical. I also suggest calling each location to see if they'll allow you to park.. they may have a locked gate or something where you can't get in there if they're not open 24 hours or close late in the evening etc. Use Google satellite view and check out the area for possible parking too. Think outside the box. I've parked at gas stations.. yes those meant for cars only lol. Just have to be diligent about knowing where those awnings are at all times. Casino's often have truck parking, as do some motels. You might have to slip a motel a few bucks to use their parking. If you have any delay whatsoever, let your dispatcher know as soon as you realize there's a problem and likewise, if things go real smooth and you see you'll be finished earlier, then let them know that too. Be sure to take an 8/2 split if that will benefit your deliveries and maximize your time.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Failed drug test at trucking school

Since I don't know where you live, not sure if this will help, but maybe try PTL (Pascal truck lines) located in Murray, Kentucky. Or TransAm in Olathe, Kansas. I know they're both a second chance company also.

Good luck

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Is it at all possible to be a trucker in the USA coming from the UK?

At my company we do have a brit who is a driver. He's been here for quite a few years and the company does indeed get him a work visa. It's quite rare though.

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