Profile For Doug K.

Doug K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Reno, NV

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 6 months ago

Doug K.'s Bio

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Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Just a short post

Well its been two years now an it is still a blast. Crossed the 250,000 safe miles mark just recently and did a little jig at the truck stop. Feeling kind of proud of myself for not having run over somebody or caused any traffic issues.

Be safe on the road and keep rollin'!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Paying your dues..... Not even close.

While trucking offers you the chance to gain an incredible amount of life experiences, making a lot of unique friends and see a lot of sites you would never have the chance to see otherwise it can also be the most frustrating, lonely, unforgiving, thankless job in the world.

So why have I chosen to do it for 16 years? Because......

While trucking offers you the chance to gain an incredible amount of life experiences, making a lot of unique friends and see a lot of sites you would never have the chance to see otherwise it can also be the most frustrating, lonely, unforgiving, thankless job in the world.

Amen!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Paying your dues..... Not even close.

Screw up and you might as well be a rookie fresh out of school because you again have to prove yourself all over again on the next run.

Boy. Aint that the truth.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Bad Endings

I just read a GREAT article by Becky P. about how some days are just to be forgotten. Good writing Becky. I enjoyed it and I have one of my own days to add to that.

I was in Tulare Ca getting and "A" service done on my truck. Normally you need an appointment but they got me in and out in 50 mins. Guess it pays to be nice to people. That was the only part that was good.

I got an assignment to pick up an Ikea load out of Lebec CA. Ok. 88 miles empty. Pick it up. Fuel and deliver to Lancaster Ca at 7:30am. The other half was to Oxnard CA at 2pm the same day. No problem. Left at 3am. Picked up the load, fueled in Bakersfield CA and headed for Lancaster. Got there with plenty of time and they unloaded me right away. So far so good. Ahead of schedule.

Took off to Oxnard CA. On the way dispatch calls me with a load that will take me home for a much needed rest. Send me the info and I will get on it. Turns out it is a drop and hook at Georgia Pacific in Chino Ca.. Whoo hoo. Easy peasy lemon squeezie. Another 100 miles empty and then on the way home. Asked if they would have it ready by 2pm and was told yes. It will me ready.

Got unloaded in Oxnard as soon as I got there with no waiting. So far things are looking great. Still way ahead and lots of time to get the load going home and would still have some time to get at least the 46 miles to Hesperia CA pilot to shut down with an easy drive to Reno the next day.

Head to Chino. Got to the shipper and here is where things go south real fast. I have 4:45 on my clock. Cool. Well maybe. Go the shipping office and let them know that I am there. They say your appointment is not until 2pm. I say I know but I am here and will wait for the pre-load. Bombshell time. NOT a pre-load. Live load at 2pm. I was told pre-load and ready between 2pm and 7pm. Nope. Get into the dock and we will load you.

It is 1:30pm and I am in the dock. They didn't start loading until 2:45pm and did not finish until 5:15pm. Bad news. Clock ran out at 4:45. Called dispatch and raised the roof. The only reaction I got is we have a yard 15 miles away just get there asap even though you are in violation.

I did get there without incident and left the next morning and went home. Needless to say I was fit to be tied that EVERYONE from marketing to dispatch and also the receiver KNEW this was a live load but LIED about it all along. I really get irritated when I am lied to. I am home for a few days now and that is probably the best place for me.

After eighteen months I am right at 200k miles with no tickets and no incidents. Yikes. Still having fun though even though there are some really weird and inexcusable things that happen.

Be safe and have fun! Life is too short to let all of the nonsense get to you.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Cooking on the Road

I tend to be a picky eater and I do love the junk food but junk food is just that. JUNK! Bad for you. I have a small 12v cooler in my truck. Not really expensive and doesn't kill my battery. There are bigger ones but space is a consideration for me and I don't like the clutter. When I go home I cook up some stew (chicken, beef and pork), home made chili and any thing else that I like to eat. Put it in freezer containers (reusable) that are big enough for one meal and pop them in the freezer. They take about two days to thaw in the cooler.

When I am ready to have one of my "home cooked" meals I break out my 12v "oven" that I bought for about $30 bucks. Drop my meal in it and have a good eat in about 30 minutes. I can pack in about 6 meals in my cooler along with my milk and a couple of cans of fruit juice and they will keep for as long as I am out. Sometimes I am out for a five week run and have had no problem with spoiling. Don't use zip lock bags. They will leak and make a mess.

I also keep plenty of soups, cracker, and peanut butter(the kind with the honey already mixed in) on hand for those days when you just don't feel like waiting. Sleep is calling faster than the oven can get something hot. A half gallon of milk will make it for about three days (I love milk) and the dry cereal will last about a week. Wal Mart is everywhere so a quick stop there will save some money rather than buying is truck stop.

I keep five one gallon containers of water and I have a small hot water heater the I bought for I think $20. It will heat about 2.5 cups of water pretty fast and if used right I can clean my pans with that. I refill my water when I get to a terminal but I have taken them in the shower with me and filled that that way.

I take one bowl with me from home and that serves me well for all of my eating and is quick to clean up. Oh yeah. LOTS of paper towels. four to six rolls. Light and easy to store.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Shifting is really hard!

I had trouble in school also. Got through it an thought I was good to go until..... I got in a good truck and was with a trainer. The first day he was so on edge because I was having so much trouble shifting he asked if I could float the gears. I said sure. Been doing that since I started driving farm equipment as a young boy. I have not used the clutch since except of course when stopping and on the occasion it is needed to downshift. Get through the school and the test as best you can and then float, float, float. Once you get the hang of it you won't go back to the clutch.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Chains Optional

This is a GREAT idea and would work in all but Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, California*, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona. Theses states require the chains on the OUTSIDE drives. Also, California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada require drag chains in some configuration on at least one trailer tandem. Most are two OUTSIDE trailer tandems.

This would be a great system to have installed in the rest of the country. I would use it. I love new technology.

One last comment. Drivers CHOSE to be overweight. It is NOT a job requirement even though there are some that believe so.(please don't flame me for saying this. Just my opinion and observation.)

*California can require all front drives in a MAXIMUM configuration.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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A Driver Compliment

Just a quick note. I had the opportunity to ferry a fellow company driver to another terminal to pick up a loaner truck. Some idiot from our company had totally misjudged a turn and took out the front of his 2012 Volvo. Yikes! Any way, I picked him up at our home terminal and we took off. I asked him if he knew that he was riding with a driver with just a years experience. He looked at me totally shocked and said it didn't show. Wow!

As we were tooling down the road we had good conversation and I enjoyed his company(no team thoughts. I am a SOLO driver and that is all) All of a sudden he got real quiet. I paid little attention as I was driving in the mountains at night and it takes all of you attention to do that safely. A while later he stirred and said that he had taken a nap. Oh my. Another driver napping while riding. He told me that he was completely comfortable doing that as he felt I was a good and safe driver and trusted me.

Well my ego just got a real boost. I found out he had been on the road for ten years and didn't go to sleep with just any driver. I guess I must be doing something right to have deserved the ultimate compliment from another driver.

Be safe and enjoy the drive

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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On the way

Thanks for the encouragement. The one thing that I have always done is to find the positive in any negative. I guess that comes from having had so many years working with technology. Positive and negatives abound everywhere and it is our job(s) to find a way around or through the negatives. If you don't you will just end up a basket case with a plethora of physical and mental problems to deal with. There is ALWAYS a way through or around the negatives.

Be safe and happy

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Being on the road....

Getting hooked up with the right mentor makes all the difference. Mine was the same way. No yelling or screaming. Just good coaching. The two biggest lessons I learned from him were 1)watch your signs and 2)go slow. Both have been instrumental in keeping me safe and getting lost only once my first year on the road. Got into a residential area by mistake. Good thing the cop that stopped and talked to me had a good sense of humor. He got me in the right direction and made sure traffice got out of the way Whew!!

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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On the way

Well it has been one yea now with a company and it will be one year a solo driver on December 6. I have 110,000 miles in 10.5 months and I have to say it has been a real eye opening experience. Not a bad experience just eye opening.

I guess for me it was a little more difficult to go from management to employee but not that difficult. I am just sitting here on my break at home thinking about what to do next. I do enjoy this but there are things about it that are really frustrating. Not to the point of walking away but just frustrating and I am sure that the same things will be there even if I do go with a different company. Time will tell.

I don't post here very often but I do read almost everyday. One thing I do know about this work is that you have to WANT to do it. It is not something that can be taken lightly as there is a lot to learn even after you start driving and you continue to learn all the time. If you didn't/don't learn something new each day you are probably just spinning your wheels but that is true no matter what a person does. Knowledge is power.

Be safe out there everyone and above all have fun and relax.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Re how long to wait for job offer

I know exactly how you feel about none to many. Within five minutes of posting my availability on the internet the phone was ringing and I have five companies wanting to talk.

Posted:  9 years ago

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First year

Wow. I am approaching the end of my first year as a driver. Oct. 22 is a year with a company an Dec. 6 will be my official firsy year as solo. What an interesting and exciting time I have had.

Been across the country from Cali. to Georgia an from Texas to North Dakota. I have for the most part enjoyed every mile I have driven.

I am looking forward to finding out what othrr opportunties await me as I do plan on doing this or some time. I guess the best advice I can give is just about the same you will get from others here with more experience than I have. Just be patient and safe. Roll with the punches and don't let it get to you.

There is good and bad in anything that a person chooses to do. The long hours inthis just seem to make things seem worse. They aren't. Just keep moving forward and always remeber to have fun no matter what.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Will age be a factor?

I'll toss in my comment here. I'm 57 years old, with 35 years experience in the computer field. I was kicked to the curb a couple years ago, perhaps because of age, perhaps because of my job being outsourced to India....I'm not sure.

I spent a couple years trying to get continued work in my field, but my search was evidently narrow enough (my local area) that I wasn't able to find anything.

At the end of May I enrolled in a month long school, and am currently finishing up my 10 day orientation with a trucking company.

Age is not an issue at all. Go for it!

Basically the same thing happened to me. I am 58 and I got 5 offers within three days of getting my CDL. No age factor for me.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Driving so many miles

I thought with the new regulations, drivers are suppose to stop every 2 to 3 hours. Am I wrong on that or do I misunderstand the regulations?

The new regulation is that you have to take a full continuous 30 minutes in the first 8 hours of driving. It's not that hard to do. I thought it would be a pain to schedule it but I try do a 30 after five hours and I am good. You have to have at least four hours driving before you take the break or it won't give you the rest of your driving day. A little confusing but after you figure it out it's really no problem.

Driving long days does get easier as you gain experience. I have only been solo for about 8 months. I go out for 5 weeks at a time and take my five days off. At the end of the 5 weeks I am burnt but it works for me. You will have to find out how much time works for you. Everyone is different.

Be safe and above all be patient.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Goofy three days!

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Don't apologize for being frustrated, man...us rookies need to know what we are going to encounter out there..good thing we can see that there will be days like this..so we know that EVERYONE has them...it's easier to handle when you know that there are other people out there who can feel your pain...

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As a soon to be rookie, I am curious. Did you get paid for all those miles driving to pick up / drop off nothing? Detention pay? How does all that work?

Got regular miles for all of it plus the extra 15bucks for the pick ups. I was just annoyed at how it happened. Good thing that I have LOTS of patience and also that IS really do LOVE this job. Oh yeah. One more thing. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Dangerous. Be safe and above all, relax.

Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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Goofy three days!

Man!. I have just had the worst three days since I started to drive. It all started with a rock in my windshield just North of San Bernadino Ca. I was on a load that I was to drop in the yard and pick up one going back North. Really don't enjoy Southern Cali at all. Bad roads, bad drivers and it was HOT! Got the windshield replaced in a couple of hours but by then my load(s) had been reassigned. Now I am dead in the water.

My DM got me a load out of SoCal the next day. I was to pick up a load at the Port Services yard and take it to Hayward Ca. It was already two days late when I picked it up but I thought 59 miles to pick it up and 381 miles to Hayward. No problem. Should be 7-8 hours with traffic. WRONG! Spent two hours bobtailing to pick it up. Half an hour in the yard waiting for some nut to get out of my way so I could leave. Got going and headed for Hayward. Well when I get to the area, 805 North just outside of San Jose Ca, the traffic is backed up but still moving. However it takes two hours to travel the last 20 miles. Grrrr! Calm down. Get it done and move on. Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that while I was on the way to Hayward my next load got changed 4 times. Yeeeesh! Nice planning.

I deliver the Hayward load and I have 1hour and 24mins to get to Sac to pick up the next load going to Clackamus OR. Ok. Could have done it but there is an accident on the freeway that has all 4 lanes blocked. Needless to say there was a violation on driving day. Just five minutes which I thought was a damn miracle.

Well I get the load and the planner calls me wondering if I am going to make it to Clackamus Or by the delivery time(midnite that night). I almost crashed laughing so hard. Not a chance. 780 miles. Not enough hours in the driving day to get there even IF I didn't stop to pee. They had me relay it to another driver in Weed Ca and I took his load.

The next day I take that load to Sac Ca and drop it in the yard(wasn't due to deliver until 7-8). Pick up a local to get an empty. Drive to Modesto Ca. 72 miles away and find out that the receiver is CLOSED for a long weekend. Thanks for the info planners! Take it back to Sac Ca yard and get an empty.

Drive back to Tracy Ca, another 77 miles to Crate and Barrel to pick up a pre loaded trailer bound for Delta BC. I get there. Go to shipping. The door is open but nobody around. By now my clock has and hour and a half left before the 14 hour expires. I call dispatch and they say well it should be there. I tell them I can't wait and head to the Flying J in Ripon Ca to stay overnight. Twenty miles. Got there with 30 minutes to spare.

Get up in the morning and call dispatch asking what am I doing? They say go back to Crate and Barrel and pick up the load. Ok. I go. I get there and check in only to find out the the market manager at my company has CANCELED the load. Thanks for the info! Would have been helpful YESTERDAY!

By this time my patience, which I have have wells of, is running a little thin. The dispatcher asks me if I want to go home for a rest or go to Clackamus tomorrow morning and take my rest there. DUH! Home is only 230 miles away and I need a decompression.

So here I am at home for my 34 reset. Will be ready to go Monday and hopefully things will go a bit smoother. This is pretty long. Sorry. This all started on 7-3 and ended (I HOPE) today 7-6

Be safe and patience!

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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I think I made it

Thanks for the great info and encouragement on this forum I don't plan on stopping this for a while. Having too much fun. It would take something earth shattering to get me out of the truck. Off to Utah in the morning.

Be safe and enjoy the journey

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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I think I made it

I just passed my 6month mark and I still really love doing this. Even though there are times that I question my sanity I take a little rest and realize that this is what I am supposed to be doing right now.

Got assigned a NEW truck. A Volvo 670. Only had 24 miles on it when I picked it up. What a difference! My other truck was just beating me up all the time(it had 446,000 hard miles on it). Especially in Calif. I think they have the worst roads I have been on. Been from the west coast to Ohio and North Dakota to Texas and Have loved every minute of it!

Sitting in Ripon Ca. right now waiting to deliver a load I brought down from Lewiston Id that is going to Winco Foods. Getting used to the weird hours and the stupid things people do on the road. That doesn't mean that I don't pay attention any more! On the contrary. I pay attention more now! Seems like you can never really anticipate what some one will do on the highway.

I am usually out for a five week run. My choice. Company says 2-3 weeks but I really feel good about five. Longest was a seven week run. Don't want to do that EVER again but it will probably happen. My DM loves it when I am out because I will run hard and get the load there on time. I am batting 98% right now on my loads being on time. Can't complain about that I guess.

For the new drivers, stick it out for at least 6 months before you make the choice about OTR. I know that there are those that want/need to be home because of family issues and that is OK. But, if you have no real hard ties this is a great way to go.. Other than that just be safe and watch out for the nuts on the road.

Posted:  9 years, 5 months ago

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Gotta hate this moment

I think the dispatch did ya the bad deal...I always demanded the receivers phone number, and we dealt with them personally. you'd be suprised what you can get done that way...

I thought so too about dispatch. Turns out that Safeway is just that way. Talked to other drivers that were there and it is ALWAYS a re pain in the butt. The phone call would work but not with Safeway, in Tracey Ca anyway. If a driver calls them all you get is delayed more. It all worked out ok. Got detention pay and a rest. The next load was to Dallas Tx so I was a happy driver :)

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