Comments By Chief

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  • Chief
  • Joined:
  • 6 years, 10 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 97

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Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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

Forget texting ,Facebook or all those other things. Simply pick up the phone and call. Way better than those other things.

I'll agree to disagree. With FaceTime I actually get to see my wife instead of just hear her voice. And we don't talk an exorbitant amount of time so it doesn't use much data at all. And texting is good for those situations where you may not be able or be in a position to talk on the phone.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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

I also use Verizon and have good signal strength virtually everywhere. Facetime, Facebook and cell phone are my primary communication tools with the family.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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GPS Question

I have the Rand McNally 520. It gives me a hazmat violation warning as soon as I get off exit 3 I-20 for the Flying J at Shreveport. (There is no hazmat restriction there).

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Hazmat is such a .....

Yea that's pretty normal in every state. You can take the haz mat test and pass it but it will not be add until you get the actual CDL license. I would suggest if you have the time do it now before going to a company.

In some states (i.e. Florida) you can't even take the hazmat test until you have the CDL first.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Hazmat is such a .....

From what I can gather you are going to a school in a state other than NC, getting your CDL there and then going back to NC and transferring your license back to NC. A word of caution about the hazmat endorsement. It USUALLY is the one endorsement that is NOT transferrable from state to state. Make sure you check with NC DMV to see if they accept the hazmat endorsement from another state before you go through the trouble and expense of getting it someplace other than NC.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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HAZMAT Endorsement and TWIC Card

Even though the background for each is conducted through the same agency it is two separate processes. The hazmat endorsement is done through your driver licensing office. You need to check with them for the exact procedure for your state since it can be different from state to state. The basic steps though, are to pass the written test, have your fingerprints taken and they send off for the background check. When it comes back good you will be notified to come in and get your new license or in some states it will be mailed to you.

TWIC is done usually at a port of entry. Find the government TWIC web page and you will get all the answers to your questions plus be able to find the nearest TWIC office and also preregister.

My advice would be to get your hazmat endorsement first that way you can get the discounted price on the TWIC. It does not always work going the other way.

Posted:  6 years ago

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JB Hunt?

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I had actually researched JB and considered going to them. They offered .48 cpm which is really good. The only problem is where I live. The position was strictly dry van OTR, out 12 weeks, in one week and $800 for the week I was home. No way my wife would be cool with that.

On another note, JB Hunt is by far the LARGEST intermodal carrier in the United States and a good portion of freight is starting to move that way. Every other company is now realizing this but they are way behind JB when it comes to intermodal.

IMO, getting on with JB Hunt is an excellent career move if you can find a position that fits you and your goals.

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I a week of paid time off every 3 months!? I'd take that in a heartbeat

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I should qualify my comment, I'm not married and don't care about home time, in my last driving job I stayed on the road for months at a time, swinging by the house every blue moon just long enough to empty my overflowing mailbox. and check that the place was still there. I'm in a good position as far as frieght lanes also (i used to live 4 miles and now I am 1 mile off of I-80 in western PA and spent my first 7 years running from here to NY, NJ, MA, CT, NH, VT, ME, VA, MD, and Ohio so I'm not afraid of east coast loads)so 4 weeks paid time off a year sounds too good to be true:)

Yeah, I had to actually ask her two more times to make sure I was hearing AND understanding correctly. With the kids out of the house, if I wasn't married I would be all over that deal in a heartbeat.

Posted:  6 years ago

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JB Hunt?

I had actually researched JB and considered going to them. They offered .48 cpm which is really good. The only problem is where I live. The position was strictly dry van OTR, out 12 weeks, in one week and $800 for the week I was home. No way my wife would be cool with that.

On another note, JB Hunt is by far the LARGEST intermodal carrier in the United States and a good portion of freight is starting to move that way. Every other company is now realizing this but they are way behind JB when it comes to intermodal.

IMO, getting on with JB Hunt is an excellent career move if you can find a position that fits you and your goals.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

Thanks for the info.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

You can mount stuff to your windshield but it must be outside the driver's sight line to the road, signs, and signals, outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and technically, items should be no lower than 6 inches below the upper edge of the windshield but I see stuff mounted on the sides and bottom all the time.

My cell phone holder is mounted top left corner, prepass is top dead center, and GPS is bottom dead center (dead area between the wipers).

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Trucking Queries from an Outsider (Part II)

Most company trucks have a device in their truck call a Prepass which allows us to bypass weight stations mostly if we get a green light. But there are always those few we have to pull into for one reason or another.

I-65 north leaving AL entering TN. I NEVER get a green light on that scale!

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

Why do I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be happening only because you're a truck driver and they don't care too much for us in the East?

And Woody, a dashcam is probably the best 80$ you can spend.

After that fiasco I would gladly pay $180 for a good dash cam. You can bet I'm getting one this next trip or as soon as possible. What brand and model do you use Daniel?

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

So the guy was doing something bad enough that the officer felt he needed stopped. In the process of being stopped the driver crosses 4 lanes and causes an accident. Then the officer decides no tickets are in order and no report needes to be filed? Unreal.

Did you get the drivers and officers info? I would imagine the insurance company at least would want to look into it farther.

The more I think about Daniel's dash cam, the more I think I might want one.

When it first started it was my assumption he was pulling him over for speeding since I didn't see anything else out of the ordinary. Your summation is correct except no report was written because that is Maryland law. It was obviously the trooper's decision to not cite him (or me which I'm sure he could have for something). He did fill out a driver information exchange form which also had all the MSP info including a case #.

That's the other weird thing. Without a report how do the insurance companies determine who was at fault and who's paying for what? Or, do they each pay for their own vehicles? My company is self insured and debt free so at worst repairs to my truck are paid by the company. I would have some serious heartburn if I found out the other guy's insurance company was blaming me and filing for damages.

And yeah, I'm already looking at getting a dash cam this next trip out.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

There was damage to both vehicles but, because neither vehicle had to be towed it didn't matter according to MSP.

In a nutshell...I was northbound on I-95 just south of Baltimore about 0230. Trooper comes out of hiding and goes after this guy in the #1 lane (far left). I was in the #4 (far right) doing about 60 mph. As soon as I see this I let up out of the throttle some to slow down a bit to see what was going to happen. Trooper finally catches up to this guy but he continues on in the #1 lane. I decided to keep going where I was and just get past them because honestly I thought the guy was probably going to pull over to the left in the paved median. All of a sudden he starts coming right so I start braking and check my mirror to move left. Next thing I know this dude is literally stopping in the #3 lane with the cop behind him. My closure rate was too fast so going left was no longer an option so I decided to just stay in my lane. Well the guy decided to come over anyway and even after I went right to the shoulder he came over there too. I ran out of real estate, tore up the left side of his pick-up which tore off one of my steps near the air tanks, scraped up the wheel and fender. My right side impacted the metal guard rail which shattered the fiberglass around the hinge point on the hood. Now the whole hood has to be replaced. I don't know the exact extent of his damage but it had to be something considering the impact ripped my bottom step off.

I called MSP the next day to find out how to get a copy of what the trooper wrote up and was told because the accident did not meet any of the previously stated conditions there would be no report. That's when I found out that the other guy wasn't even cited for anything which really surprised me based on what the trooper had said to me at the scene.

I just find the whole thing really, really odd.

Funny thing is, the same three basic criteria are cited on the FMCSA website for what constitutes a recordable accident involving a commercial vehicle with a GCW of 10,001 lbs or more. I would infer from that information this accident won't even make the database. Or will it? Who knows. I guess time will tell.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Need some assistance with tolls

Yep, I did fine and it wasn't too bad of a drive. Except that they can't drive 4 wheelers and can't drive forklifts either.

LOL. Wouldn't know about the forklifts. My tanker goes to chemical plants.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Maryland State Police - Accident report or not?

So, unfortunately earlier this week, I found out the hard way under what conditions the MSP writes up an accident report.

1. There is damage to state property OR,

2. Either vehicle has to be towed OR,

3. There is an injury requiring transport.

Unless one of those conditions is met MSP does not write an accident report and the at-fault is left to the insurance companies to hash out.

In my particular instance the other driver, who was definitely at fault (as inferred by the statements of the trooper made to me) was not even issued a citation.

Way weird and very frustrating. To me, this kind of situation just leaves a driver hanging out there at the whim of the company of how they want to report it on a DAC (if at all) and there's no documentation to prove otherwise.

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Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Need some assistance with tolls

When driving around/through NYC or the new England area in general, patience is the key. Don't expect to get anywhere in a hurry and don't expect any courtesy from other drivers.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Driver hi-tech needs??

I have both, a smartphone and an ipad. My company uses Transflo to submit our paperwork and I have apps on both of my devices for it. I use the ipad mostly because it's easier to see things on (for me anyway). My phone is pretty much for phone calls and texting.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting Over Again?

Those are pretty much company specific questions. For internet access, are you referring to personal access to the internet?

For my company, if I have to do a 34 on the road somewhere (its only happened once in 4 1/2 months) the first 24 are in the truck and then I can get a company approved hotel. Layovers in excess of 24 hrs are the same. You should check with Knight to see what their policy is.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Bobtailling

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I hear ya guys. I learned how to drive big trucks during the winter in Wisconsin back in '89 and then ran all over the midwest and northeast so winter driving is no stranger to me.

Slower is better in nasty weather and if it's too bad to drive then stop. If a company has a problem with that then I shouldn't be driving for them. Fortunately my current company gives its drivers a lot of latitude so I do not anticipate any problems there.

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How was '89? I wasn't born yet.

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Daniel, you are such a baby in this world (age wise), but very old when it comes to having a level head on your shoulders.

By the way, '89 was a so so year for me. Was stationed on a navy cruiser out of Norfolk VA. I could bore you with lots of sea stories, but that is for another time.

Ernie

Ernie,

I was on a cruiser out of San Dog and got out of the Nav in Sep '88. Went thru school and got into trucking November that year and ran most of '89 before going back in the Nav.

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