Profile For Keith A.

Keith A.'s Info

  • Location:
    Denver, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 7 months ago

Keith A.'s Bio

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Keith A.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Carriers encouraged to hire more entry-level drivers

I'm iffy about kids my age (21) when I started driving these -- it isn't until the last year when I turned 26 I've started settling down and learning better risk assessment... I'm shocked they let me in the seat of a truck at all most of the time.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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5th wheel position and backing

So.. quick question. Does the positioning of the 5th wheel affect turning radius and how the trailer backs?

A little bit, although in the vaaaaaast majority of situations you'll never move your fifth wheel. Since the vehicles are articulated any shift in position of your linkage point would affect your backing.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Hi everybody. We just started KLLM driving academy last Yhursday

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From what I understand most of the larger carriers are converting to automatics.

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Most of the smaller companies are also. I left a company with 45 trucks, all automatics and the company I'm with now has 30 trucks...all automatics. Most of the Idaho companies are automatics. Now, if I were to change jobs, I'd go to Crete, even tho their trucks are governed at 62, but they have manuals :-D Well, I might have to think more on that...I prefer to drive faster ;-)

Laura

If you weren't in Idaho the USPS contractor I work for now is all manuals. :P (and basically all the trucks run up to 70)

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

This sounds like a practice problem across the board. If a year from now it still takes you two hours to back that would be inconceivably weird, but you've just started and have almost zero solo experience. I also think Davy's on to something, in conjunction with Bobcat and what you said: you're in your head. Unconciously overthinking, as much as that might be an oxymoron. Unless I've missed a thread somewhere, you haven't hit anything, and your Titanic moment was only a close call -- you didn't need a towtruck to get you out or anything, ja?

When it comes time, with all your management/training experience -- include that. You haven't hit anything. You just need time to get used to doing this on your own, without supervision and without resources to fall back on (where Davy's points are the strongest.)

You've struck me as nothing but capable with all of your posts. I think you just need time to get this figured out the Authentic Way, In The Real World.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Terminated during training, no verifiable OTR experience. Any company advice?

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If for some reason you can't get A-class work -- try looking at B-class companies. They may be willing to overlook more flaws than an A-class company might while you get some time between you and your accidents. I did that after picking up a careless driving ticket in 2016, drove a trash truck for almost two years after Knight let me go for that ticket. (I had acquired my CDL through a private school so they had no skin in my game.)

This may not be applicable without that certificate, so if it isn't disregard this, but it might work out for you.

Best of luck.

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I was considering some other options, a few buddies have worked at Class B companies that they can get me on with, but most still require OTR experience.

I at first attended a private CDL school, but I couldnt get my CDL through them for at minimum 2ish months because covid. So, the recruiter from TMC called me and I got my CDL through them.. I appreciate the response. I've been looking at Indeed and Ziprecruiter the last few days.

It's definitely not a perfect solution -- whenever you go back A-class if this is the route you go, you'll have to go through the required training period with your company, but it keeps your CDL fresh and (at least this is how I found it) a lower stress, lower risk place to learn the decision process necessary to avoid stuff like being run off the road by other semis -- not laying any blame on you, just the learning curve is really steep and B-class softens it a little bit.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Terminated during training, no verifiable OTR experience. Any company advice?

If for some reason you can't get A-class work -- try looking at B-class companies. They may be willing to overlook more flaws than an A-class company might while you get some time between you and your accidents. I did that after picking up a careless driving ticket in 2016, drove a trash truck for almost two years after Knight let me go for that ticket. (I had acquired my CDL through a private school so they had no skin in my game.)

This may not be applicable without that certificate, so if it isn't disregard this, but it might work out for you.

Best of luck.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Covid 19 Vaccine Unavailabe to Drivers

Speaking of unavailability to drivers... I have my first dose scheduled this coming Thursday, and the second on April 22nd. (The irony of getting my first dose on April Fool's Day is not missed.)

Unfortunately, because I'm a truck driver, I had to run over three innocent civilians to get a slot... oh, wait, nope, I just kept refreshing a website every few days and making sure all of my information was entered correctly. :)

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Stocks and trucking: Have you guys ever researched or purchased sticks based on hauling more of a certain type of product recently?

I've never actually looked closely but I'd figure there's a lagtime on the freight we haul and economic/manufacturing trends that would have led one to want to invest in a given company. Not impossible, maybe, but also not sure how you'd be able to stay on top of the timing necessary to actually take advantage of it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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I Need Help With Trip Planning

That's awesome, thanks for the tips. I am in service work and frequently use directions. Just not in a huge truck where mistakes sometimes can't be reversed without many negative conseques. Plus I am driving in somewhat familiar terrain, and dont have to worry about turning around, low bridges, or missing a turn ect...lol

I like your like your technique...simple but very detailed. It has already helped me in that respect, plus given me some more important things to consider. I appreciate you taking the time to post the photos, and explaining why you do it this way...Makes a lot of sense

That's another advantage to this imo -- same as everything else really. You can note possible low bridges, weight restrictions, etc. on that sheet next to the relevant street or highway.

For general intents and purposes, any distance you travel across mixed terrain you can calculate around an average of 50-55mph. I don't know if it applies to all cities but I found in LA things tended to average about 30mph. Anytime you're in the mountains, cut your average speed in half (even if you're empty -- it's always better to over budget time.)

Are you going to be running Northeast regional, or the full 48?

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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I Need Help With Trip Planning

Sorry if that was too much of an infodump -- let me know if you have any other questions. :)

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

I Need Help With Trip Planning

This is the trip following my delivery at the Lowes store in Farmington, NM -- same principle applies in the upper right.

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Finally: a standalone trip where I've got my order of things written down refined -- my trailer and seal numbers have moved to where they should be, underneath the BL#. "Knight Aurora" was just my shorthand for the Knight terminal in Denver. I spent almost a year as a local driver so there was less need to specify addresses of everywhere I went. When it was somewhere new like the Costco store you see on the bottom though, I went back to my old OTR method. (FA= follow around, RS=right side, LS=left side.)

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Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

I Need Help With Trip Planning

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Hopefully this is neat enough to understand -- on the left side is that company's assigned trip number (Knight), the shipper, their address, city/state, phone number, scheduled pickup, and any other numbers necessary for the pickup. By this point I was intimately familiar with Lowe's process, but when you're just starting out, any number that looks useful in whatever your company uses as load info, write it down.

Following that on the left side is the consignee/receiver, and all the same information (underneath is the seal, but after I'd gotten my act down that goes underneath BL (Bill of lading).

On the upper right are my directions from my previous consignee or origin location (in this case it would have been the Knight yard).

The bottom right location is the stuff most useful to you: that's a turn-by-turn/junction-by-junction order of every single street or highway to get to my consignee (including notes, where you can see I wrote possible alternatives I may need to use when making my final approach). I get all of the highways from the atlas, and then I pull those notes using google maps, but I am very strong proponent of writing all of this down for a variety of reasons: first is simple tech common sense. If your GPS unit breaks, you have a handy fallback. Second is this means you pay more attention to all of your turns. I treated it as a game to remember as much of my directions as possible without referring to my notebook. Third (never ideal, but happens), makes it feasible to grab the notebook and double check your interchange as you're approaching a highway junction without fiddling with any tablets or computer settings. The fourth (and the one that made my life SO much easier): it has ALL of your pickup/dropoff information there, so when you get to your customer and you go check in? You are always ready to go whether you're checking in at a warehouse or DOT wants any of your information. Makes you look real professional. :)

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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I Need Help With Trip Planning

Trip planning is tougher than I thought. I Really want to learn the old school way using the atlas, and not rely on a gps or technology. I have taken several routes suggested by the gps and just followed them or tried to on the atlas and have really struggled, to say the least. You have to have a good memory and good eyes lol jumping back and forth through the states.

I will just keep practicing and hopefully it will get easier with time. It is a skill that is for sure.

I kept a steno pad on hand so I could write out customer information on the left side, and all my directions, interchanged, and even intersections on the right side -- take notes as you go.

The human brain finds it really easy to skip up or down as you scan left or write, so that was how I tried countering it, by writing each step as I identified it on the atlas. After getting the initial framework on the atlas I'd double check via Google maps and satellite, making any final notes about hidden intersections, hard to spot driveways into facilities, things like that. I could take a photo of my old work if you'd like.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Covid 19 Vaccine Unavailabe to Drivers

Right, I'm sure there was absolutely no issue with a glitchy website, no human error whatsoever. It's not like basically everyone and their grandmother isn't trying to get an appointment at the same time you are. But go right ahead and continue acting like you're being persecuted, it's super appealing. :)

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Covid 19 Vaccine Unavailabe to Drivers

Yeaaaa screwing up your own zip code doesn't really instill me with a lot of faith as to your overall reliability

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Serious question on OTR trainers ....

Ok, ok... Seems like all I read or watch on the YouTube are these crazy stories on mentors, trainers, etc from hell- trainers screaming, cussing, freaking out, force driving, and today - even punching someone in the face.

Come on- is this for real? If this is for real, I have a couple of comments:

1. I need to become a trainer and mentor for new drivers some day-

2. Make no mistake - that’s not ever going to happen with me and my trainer. Especially - punching in the face and you just what.. keep driving ??? Heck no-

3. I would like to hear - did anyone have positive experiences ?

I would think or maybe I’m naive - that if you’re a mentor/trainer/ or whatever for new drivers you are experienced, you have been trained to train- you want to help new people in this industry.

I promise you- screaming, cussing, and hitting this guy.... simply won’t fly.

This can’t be real ?

For a positive story for you... I talk to my trainer from Knight two or three times a week still, and I left that company almost a year ago. He's been more or less a second father figure in my life (my dad's p cool, don't get me wrong, but it's sometimes hard to get what I need from him). My trainer kept with it after, and out of about 30ish students, has only had maybe 2 or 3 who were problems, and one to be frank basketcase.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Newbie Trucker Dad Giving Advice - and Stories

I will furthermore add that, should he not choose to join us for personal reasons and you are not willing to communicate our collective knowledge accurately... that you encourage him to network with experienced drivers.

Failing that? Simply take a step back. As others have pointed out, essentially all of your vocabulary reflects very little actual individual will from the source of your son.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Newbie Trucker Dad Giving Advice - and Stories

I think the fact you're involved and attentive to your son is pretty cool. Up to a point I'd probably argue over attentiveness is better than under.

You keep making excuses or dodging the point as to why he doesn't join us here himself. Get that information first hand... and this place doesn't really count as social media as such. It's by and large an educational resource.

I consult my parents frequently (sometimes three or four times a week) but they encouraged me when I was younger to always verify information, and after a few years of not listening that stuck. Even if you are relaying anything we say to him with 100% accuracy (which I doubt)... you are doing him absolutely Zero favors. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

This is not a field for people who are, fundamentally, incapable or unwilling to seek out information first hand. Contacting customers, checking directions via multiple methods, multiple weather apps. I have at least three drivers I can contact personally (to say nothing of this forum) who have been driving as long as I've been alive (give or take five years). Relying on my parents to relay information about a field they are inexperienced in, when the information I can access directly impacts my paycheck, that's not a sound business strategy. You claim you're a successful businessperson... would you sit there and take make-or-break information from a person unfamiliar with your field?

So, TL;DR: to go all the way back to your first paragraph of your first post? Your advice is not sound. It has, through probably a combination of luck and a little common sense, not fatally damaged his career, but that's a long game to try playing when there are established methods for success, communicated through this forum on a daily basis.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Newbie Trucker Dad Giving Advice - and Stories

That your son has made almost a year already is a feat in and of itself. My advice? Have him come here. Why you didn't point him here yourself if you've known about this forum for so long is absolutely beyond me. He is exactly the sort of person we are all here to help.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Rookie doing Power Only as O/O?

This sounds like a lot of work to kinda sorta try holding on to a job you're not even sure you want to keep.

How are you going to school your kids if you move around like this?

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