Profile For Chief

Chief's Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 6 months ago

Chief's Bio

Retired Navy (2006). Tried teaching brats for three years, went back to work for the government for three years before deciding to return to trucking.

I did about 8 months OTR (reefer vans) back in '89 between enlistments.

Driving for a tanker outfit in FL hauling mostly chemicals, some jet fuel every now and then.

Page 1 of 5

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Driving a tanker

I don't see how backing a tanker can be more difficult. Maybe the spot might be tighter but with a tanker you have so much more visibility and you're 5 feet shorter.

I never stated it was more 'difficult', just that backing up a chemical tanker could rival practically any backing up situation with a box trailer. Until you've actually been inside a chemical plant and can see first hand some of the places you have to back into it's very difficult to understand.

Granted there may be more visibility width and height wise on a tanker but it's the same concept. You're backing up using the edge of the trailer and having to feel where the other side is. Many times there are poles, pipes, catwalks and the such that you have to be aware of that you won't find at a food distro warehouse.

Anyway, the whole point to my reply to the OP was that just because you are in a tanker doesn't mean you won't be backing up much. That's all I was trying to convey, not that any specific type of trailer is more difficult than others.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Driving a tanker

I've been pulling chemical tankers for a year now. I agree with just about everything posted here except part of Daniel's response to #4.

For fuel tankers, which are typically local hauls, it pretty much is a pull-through type of driving. Most fuel depots are set up so you pull-in to the loading racks and then pull straight through when you're done. Same when you offload, pull into one side of the station and out the other side. Some airports can be different, just depends how the fuel farm is set up.

Can't really say much about food grade as I have never done that or been anywhere where food grade loaded/unloaded.

Here's where I differ from Daniel's response. I can't think of one single place I've been where I didn't have to back up or do some creative maneuvering to get loaded or unloaded. Most chemical plants are VERY tight on space. In my experience (and I have pulled reefers) backing up a chemical tanker can and usually does rival any spot you would have to stick a box.

So...just because one drives a tanker doesn't necessarily mean you won't be backing up. I would just recommend keeping that in mind.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Reefer, Flatbed, or Tanker

If you take the time to read Brett's book he talks about the various kinds and some of the things associated with each, good and bad. I would suggest reading it. It helped me a lot. I'm leaning towards tankers. I have experience in the chemical manufacturing business and loading sulfuric acid onto tankers, so I know what is involved. I don't know how quickly Prime moves drivers into hauling tankers, but I'm not concerned about that. First it's learn to be an excellent driver and learning the ropes of the industry. When it happens, it happens.

FYI, Prime's tanker division is geographically restricted. Meaning they only run their tankers (food grade only) within a specific triangle. Last time I checked (just a few months ago) your (and my, Panama City) area was out of the triangle. Might want to give them a call if Prime tanker is what you are considering.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Panic button...

GWAD! I have a button on my truck computer that is red. It is a triangle with ! on it. I want to push it so bad to see what it does. I have been scared to do it though. Your story made me laugh so hard. Now I want to push that button even worse!

Are you sure that's an actual button and not just an indicator? If it's the one I'm thinking of it lights up when you have a very important message...such as, you are about to commit an HOS violation!

Seriously though, we use the Qualcomm 110 units. There is no such button. It is just an indicator that reminds you when you have 1 hour, 30 minutes and 15 minutes of drive time left. The actual message has to do with a potential HOS violation.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

TruckingTruth is getting a new layout

Looks fine on mini IPad.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking....Should I?

Hi Aaron.

My two cents worth. Not only will OTR driving be a big change for you, it will also be a very big change for your wife and children. My advice would be to share everything you learn with your wife and also encourage her to do her own independent research of the industry. She can also sign up on the website and find lots of useful information in the ladies section plus there are several experienced women on here that could share their experiences and wisdom with her.

Whatever you decide to do, it should really be a shared decision, as well as commitment, by both of you.

On a separate note, living in FL is a tough place to get a start in trucking. The freight base can be very specific and limited. While it's not impossible, it just severely restricts you options for starting out.

Best of luck!

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Weird sightings in Texas

No picture to post, but a wayward steer had I-85 N in GA (somewhere around the 136) shut down for a bit. At first I thought it was an accident then I saw the angus just ambling around like he owned the place. The strange things one sees out here.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Got into an accident today, do you think this will be going on my record?

I was in Shreveport today just entering the on ramp to i49 south. I was still speeding up when this flatbed comes along besides me and his load tips over to the right, and right into my truck and trailer. Neither of us were in each others lane or anything. It is just that there was a slight curve going left and he took it fast enough that these big old john deer pieces he was carrying tilted over far enough that the things hit me.

Problem now is he either did not notice it or he purposely just kept going. I did not get his number or even his company, he was too far ahead to see anything after I got enough sense to look. My jb hunt truck was governed at 61 mph and his was not so there was no hope to catch up with him.

There was no damage to my truck, just a big scrape on the trailer, nothing too serious. I called my company's safety department and they had me file a police report for the hit and run. I have another load tomorrow so I am still employed and all but was not told how this will be classified. Even if it is considered as a non preventable accident I still do not even want that to go on my record.

Anyone have an experience like that? How did it end up?

Based on what you've stated it is not a DOT reportable event and as long as you weren't issued a citation it should not show on either your MVR or your CSA score. How JB Hunt decides to classify it in their files and on your DAC is anyone's best guess.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Blind siding it...

There is a company (can't remember which one) that puts cameras on that side of the truck specifically for blindside backing.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Mid-America Trucking Show

I drove by it headed south on 65. Does that count?

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What Is It Like Pulling Chemical Tankers?

double-quotes-start.png

Actually, most chemical tankers are smooth bore (no baffles) as are food grade

double-quotes-end.png

Apparently this has changed quite a bit in recent years because back in the day most chemical tankers had baffles. The fuel trucks sometimes have baffles and sometimes have compartments so they can carry different grades of fuel.

But when I used to get my tank washed out the workers always preferred food grade not only because of the obvious safety factor but because we didn't have any baffling of any sort. But I never drove a chemical tanker so that's all I know about em.

None of our chemical tanks ( which is primarily what we haul) have baffles. I'm sure there are some out there though. Other chem tanker drivers I talk with say the same, mostly no baffles. We have some fuel trailers that are one compartment with baffles and some multi-compartmented trailers as you mentioned.

Washing chemical tanks is not a job I would want smile.gif

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What Is It Like Pulling Chemical Tankers?

Another thing to think about with tankers. The difference between chemical and food grade tankers is, generally the chemical tanks have baffles in them helping to reduce liquid surge. With food grade tanks, they don't have them. You would have to fight the truck while going down the road more than you would be fighting traffic. That's where the extra OTR experience that Brett mentioned comes into play, learning to fight the truck and win.smile.gif

Actually, most chemical tankers are smooth bore (no baffles) as are food grade. It's the fuel haulers that typically have baffled tanks.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Tips for Time Management

Organization.....a place for everything and everything in its place. You can waste a lot of time looking for something you need right now.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

The way it used to be....

Six Days On The Road (and I'm gonna make it home tonight)

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

1 YEAR EXPERIENCE DRIVES, R U HAPPY WITH COMPANY CHOSEN?

Guyjax is totally correct. You have to prove to your dispatcher's and managers you are a go getter and team player no matter what. I'm currently on a load taking me home but my central dispatcher called me half way there and asked if I could help out one of our terminals in LA that is short on drivers and do some regional dedicated runs for them for a couple of days. Of course I said sure because #1 it is work which equals money and #2 I will make sure to remind him of it when I find out about nice long, juicy back hauls in the future.

I am fortunate though that I drive for a medium sized company so all of the central dispatchers and many of the terminal dispatchers know who I am and they all know I will not refuse a load or diversion unless it's a family emergency.

But the same principal applies to all companies. Show them you are a safe, dependable, can be counted on driver and the good loads will come your way and you'll be treated fairly (probably even better).

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

How do you keep in touch with family members while on the road?

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Just so you know the definition Of distracted drving concerning cell phone.....if you have to touch the phone at all....that means ANY part of the phone regardless if you have bluetooth or not it's considered distracted driving and will cost up to $2750 fine and a $11000 fine for your compqny. Yes they give the drive AND the company the fines.

You may have known this Chief but this is mainly for those that did not know.

Touching the phone means any part. If you touch it to bring it out of sleep mode it's illegal. If you just look at a text even though it's still in the phone holder on the dash.....big fine. If an officer sees your hand go near it he will assume you touched it and he will get you.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Hopefully everyone in the industry by now knows there are severe restrictions on mobile phone use by commercial drivers. Not to come off as argumentative, but for the benefit of all others on this website, what you are stating Guyjax, is not technically correct. FMCSA's website lists the conditions under which a CMV driver may use a mobile phone: 1) it is located in such a way the driver can use it while properly restrained 2) the driver uses an earpiece or speaker function 3) the driver uses voice activated or one button touch features to initiate, answer, or terminate a call

As for texting, it is defined as MANUALLY entering alphanumeric text into or reading text from a phone.

So, touching a phone while driving is not forbidden, just severely restricted (one touch allowed). By using the setup I have I can actually do way more with my phone than is allowed by law. I choose not to. Truth be known, I dislike talking on the phone while driving and usually wait until I'm stopped somewhere to do my business.

Again, I didn't respond to this to be argumentative. I feel it's important for drivers (and potential to-be drivers) to truly understand exactly what the laws and regulations governing this industry are.

But I digress from all of that. Using a phone in any capacity, while driving ANY vehicle is extremely distracting and should be highly discouraged.

double-quotes-end.png

Chief I was not stating what the fmcsa says because what you posted was correct. I was referring to what the officer can and will do. Ya see he can't see exactly what you are doing except touching the phone. In his perception you are distracted therefore getting a ticket. You really won't be able to argue with with about it. Distracted driving is not just texting and driving it also includes looking else where into the cab of your truck instead off out the window where you should be looking and that is what he will get ya on. The words Distracted Driving is an umbrella term to cover everything.

So while the law is very specific on cell phone use while driving it in no ways controls the officers perspective and judgment call and that is what the judge will go by also.

I understand your perspective Guyjax and agree with most of your points. I wonder how many truck drivers have been given unwarranted tickets for distracted driving? I know there are those out there that deserve them, I have seen it as I know you have. I would think LEOs are pretty selective in issuing distracted driving citations in the gray area.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

How do you keep in touch with family members while on the road?

Just so you know the definition Of distracted drving concerning cell phone.....if you have to touch the phone at all....that means ANY part of the phone regardless if you have bluetooth or not it's considered distracted driving and will cost up to $2750 fine and a $11000 fine for your compqny. Yes they give the drive AND the company the fines.

You may have known this Chief but this is mainly for those that did not know.

Touching the phone means any part. If you touch it to bring it out of sleep mode it's illegal. If you just look at a text even though it's still in the phone holder on the dash.....big fine. If an officer sees your hand go near it he will assume you touched it and he will get you.

Hopefully everyone in the industry by now knows there are severe restrictions on mobile phone use by commercial drivers. Not to come off as argumentative, but for the benefit of all others on this website, what you are stating Guyjax, is not technically correct. FMCSA's website lists the conditions under which a CMV driver may use a mobile phone: 1) it is located in such a way the driver can use it while properly restrained 2) the driver uses an earpiece or speaker function 3) the driver uses voice activated or one button touch features to initiate, answer, or terminate a call

As for texting, it is defined as MANUALLY entering alphanumeric text into or reading text from a phone.

So, touching a phone while driving is not forbidden, just severely restricted (one touch allowed). By using the setup I have I can actually do way more with my phone than is allowed by law. I choose not to. Truth be known, I dislike talking on the phone while driving and usually wait until I'm stopped somewhere to do my business.

Again, I didn't respond to this to be argumentative. I feel it's important for drivers (and potential to-be drivers) to truly understand exactly what the laws and regulations governing this industry are.

But I digress from all of that. Using a phone in any capacity, while driving ANY vehicle is extremely distracting and should be highly discouraged.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

How do you keep in touch with family members while on the road?

Except texting while driving...no matter the reason why is a bad idea. And since you have to be stopped to text you might as well call. It's more personal.

Yea face time is great except for signal strength. The data signals are almost most places but there are more than a few really weak spots if you use at&t. Especially west of the Mississippi river.

Heartily agree on both points. Texting while driving is a very bad idea. I would never advocate it. I do however have software on my phone that actually lets me select, compose and send a text with one push of a button on my Bluetooth earpiece. Everything is voice activated and I never even have to look at the phone.

Signal strength is definitely a factor in mobile communications. I used to have Sprint and it really wasn't that good. Ever since I switched to Verizon I have had virtually zero signal problems.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Pre-trip preparations....

It will make a whole lot more sense when you are actually standing in front of the truck, can see the different parts and have them explained to you and have the pretrip demonstrated. Any CDL school worth its salt will have you practicing pretrip daily.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

E-logs and paper logs

The D.O.T. officer will give you the fax number of the nearest chicken coop and they will look it over and confer with him concerning it, but you will find that most of the time when a D.O.T. officer finds out that you are using e-logs that he will just not even take a look at your logs. They usually don't even want to bother with it. In ten months of driving I have been stopped or checked at weigh stations approximately 6 times, and only one out of those times did the officer go ahead and look at my logs once he found out that I was on e-logs.

Ditto. Once they see the Qualcomm and ask if you're on elogs they usually don't look at it. But paper is another story. Btw, for the person that asked, you'll never get a paper log to match an elog exactly (unless you're managing your elog like a paper log and good luck with that!).

Page 1 of 5

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More