Profile For Keith A.

Keith A.'s Info

  • Location:
    Denver, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 10 months ago

Keith A.'s Bio

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Keith A.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Not so fun dock

That looks like a slick parking job, well done.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Hey bobcat bob

Oh no need lol I’m pure 😂 thank u I will def do that. Hey I just had r&l call me offering me spot. Starting top pay seems. Tho he said it was paid off the run. didn’t fully understand it. $29 hour I think

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Don't forget to study!

Seriously congratulations!

Don't be afraid to ask any questions you have here I'll be more than happy to answer any questions no matter how dumb you think it is.

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$29 is great to start with. It's taken me three and a half years and three companies (my last one was bought out, so I'm not job hopping) to get up that high. If they bring you onboard, no more stale CDL. Six months+ and you'll start getting random texts and emails from companies wanting to headhunt you. XD

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Brakes just caught on fire and burned trailer.

As a professional dreamer still trying to get settled in in this industry: focus on that commitment. What are your long term goals with this? --- not in the sense of "Oh I wanna go back to hauling for quarries" but --- is this a stepping stone, something to get you out of the pits of retail? Is it a second career?

Focus too much on the short term, like you did with the prior company, and you'll shoot yourself in the foot. Again.

There are reasons beyond number we recommend starting as an OTR driver but you're more or less locked in for at least a few months to build some distance from your previous errors. I'm hoping for the best for you and look forwards to reading updates as they happen.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Game: Guess the State

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California, in the Mojave?

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Get on the road!

My meet got moved to a different truck stop because my meet driver is delayed so I went to one closer to her. This place is full I couldnt even find a legal spot to park, so I'm creatively parked in the lot just hoping someone doesn't tell me to move.

It's 7:30 am why are all these OTR guys still here?? Siesta? Sleeping off the long weekend?? Get on the road and make some room for the rest of us!

Or at least leave a few pull through spots open.

Long weekends? Who has those? XD

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Prime Inc is disabling Manual Mode on their trucks with the D12 Manual Automatic Transmission !

Alright everyone, just to be clear, I have no problem with the automatic per se. As I said in the post, I’ve gotten used to it after a few years of driving one. My problem is with disabling the manual mode. Just yesterday I was on a 6% grade about 5 miles downhill and I was around 60,000 lbs. So following the instructions for descent control given by Freightliner, I slowed down well in advance of the hill to about 35 mph ( truck speed limit was 45 mph) with my flashers on. I put the truck in 9th gear and engaged the engine brake to the middle position and I set the cruise to 35 mph. It did alright. I didn’t have to touch the service brake the whole way down and it maintained a speed of about 35-40 mph and the rpms were good. I even passed another truck that was going slower than 35. But it still wanted to downshift to 8th gear a few times which would rev the rpms, and I would adjust the engine brake and then it wanted to up shift to 10th gear a couple times which would increase the speed. And in those instances, being in manual mode would have been better to hold the gear and by working the engine brake, keep a steady speed and rpms. The name of the transmission is a Manual Automatic Transmission. They built in the manual mode for a reason. And I still haven’t heard anyone here explain how they control descent in the winter, besides the obvious slowing down and lowering the gears, when you shouldn’t be using cruise control and even the engine brakes.

The one time I've had to run without jakes down a grade was coming out of Medicine Bow towards Laramie, WY. Corners were slicked over and most of the road was wet. I did between 10 and 15mph down with ~25k in the box. When I hit the bottom I could barely smell my brakes (I basically had to stick my nose right next to them -- wanted to check on them when I hit the bottom.)

So, ballparking, I'd say take whatever you run x grade at with the jakes & weight and cut that speed in half to descend using only the service brakes. It miiiight be a little excessive but not being able to use jakes makes me incredibly nervous about my ability to respond to, say, a stalled vehicle in the travel lanes hidden behind a curve. I empathize with the frustration over them disabling that setting --- whether or not a truck can be driven safely without some functionality or other, under ideal circumstances that decision should be left in the driver's hands.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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In today's episode of "what makes people look down on truck drivers"

I'm going to play Devil's advocate here the point is if you think it is illegal than it probably is. I'm pretty sure that parking like the CR Driver is not legal in any state no matter the circumstances! Like I posted in my last post I should have added the caviot that the situation in Virginia was Pre- FMCSA HOS Rule change. I propose this scenario: What if another driver slammed into the CR driver who would be at Fault? I get it S##t happens and we all have had to park some place sketchy and maybe bent the rules but it doesn't excuse the fact that that CR driver is creating a potential hazard and breaking the law.

If the CR England driver was stationary and is hit, it is the moving vehicle at fault.

Risk control is one thing, and I agree, the CR England driver should have had an alarm set to check to get into a proper parking spot. I've done that before.

But at the same time, if he's parking that late, he's going to /remain/ parked into the daylight hours when, barring some really specific regions, there is always room for a truck to park.

This is really making a mountain out of a molehill, especially because if there's room for trucks to pull out of the spots in front of the England driver, there's room for trucks to back into those spots.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

That's positively fascinating Old School -- I'd still be willing to stand by my premise (for now, at least), but I had not considered the basic influence of /how/ that premise would influence my perception.

That was and is a lot of why I never liked spending much time around other drivers, because so few of them seemed concerned with actually attempting to reconcile their complaints with reality and find ways to address them or live with the reality of things. That being said a lot of this paper stems from my experience working for Knight and so there's definitely anecdotal fuel in my perspective, although I tried to make sure I had eliminated or countered for that in writing this paper.

I think that there's definitely a conversation that should happen about the... cultural element at play here: depending on your exact phrasing, it comes down to a nature vs. nurture viewpoint, individual responsibility vs. systemic assistance. I operate primarily from a nurture perspective, with a side-serving of wanting systems to be well constructed to assist people on their way towards being responsible. This might be a paradox or a dead end though, I'm not sure yet -- but it's based (again) heavily off my personal experience. Without the information and advice offered by this forum and the mentors I've found along the way when I worked for Knight, I would not be where I am now, and truth be told I'm not sure I'd have made the grade without their assistance.

With your permission, is it okay if I copy your replies into a word doc to use as possible sourcing/reminders for if/when I return to this topic?

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

Hey Keith, I just now got a chance to read this. I may not agree with all of your premise, but you did an excellent job of writing and supporting your thoughts. I write a great deal, and I will give you one tip. Don't count on yourself to be your own editor. I just recently helped Brett with a new section of the High Road training program. I had several folks look it over and critique it. That was both frustrating and beneficial. They pointed out things that I could not see. I did a lot of research and was proud of my initial product. It turned out very different in the end. I ended up making changes that were needed. Prior to my allowing others to edit what I had written, I was quite satisfied with it. Afterward, it was made better by the confluence of advice from several outside observers.

Don't let any of my remarks discourage you. I found it a fascinating read. You did a great job, and it shows you are a solid and logical thinker. I am glad you are getting to pursue your dreams of higher education. It seems to sit well with you. Best of luck to you in your future pursuits.

If you've got the time, Old School, I'd love to know where you disagreed -- I think this might be fertile ground for another paper as I move along in my classes and I'd love to have a wider and more thorough understanding of all the viewpoints. I don't just want to stand on a soapbox and share my perspective, I want to try being a.... respectable and balanced voice, to share this information with new drivers and people outside the field.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

Enjoyed it Keith. Really good!

Best of luck to you.

I appreciate that G-Town. Means a lot from you, I consider you and Old School as two of the strongest voices of reason here.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

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What degree are you working on? What's your eventual career goal? Very well written.

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Civil engineering is the planned degree path right now, still trying to get a bead on what exactly I'm likely to end up doing. Pie-in-the-sky ideal situation though is I get an engineering firm actually started that targets rural areas and tries to bring their infrastructure not just up to speed but preps them for the next couple of decades as well.

Either that, or I want to work on space elevators and other megastructures.

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Keith;

I know I'm not your 'favorite person' on TT (probably because I'm not yet a driver, just lived w/one for 22 years, aka: your age!) but I actually think your paper is EXCELLENT. Concept, spot on. Point, taken. Reality, indeed.

If you'd like someone to proof it for you (there are a few things, but I'm not sure how that will affect (yes, an 'a' not an 'e') your grade) please let either myself, Brett, and for sure, DaveW. or Kearsey know. She's hard to find, however!

The day you posted it, I'd asked Brett to read it as well; not sure if he's gotten to it.

All in all, you hit the nail . . . 'on the head & tail' as my dad used to say.

~ Anne ~

I got a grade back on it day before yesterday, all I got docked for was about two dozen spelling/grammar errors. So for this being fundamentally a first draft, I'll take it. XD The proofing is a part I enjoy, but making sure that any ideas I present are really solid and grounded is important to me.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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RVing on the road again

If you happen to float through the Denver, CO area it'd be fascinating to meet ya.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

Quality of road surface enters the conversation too: stick an empty trailer on a potholed driveway, then run the same one loaded -- my experience has been that you can keep more consistent pressure applied with the loaded trailer than the empty.

On brand new, dry, asphalt though, I'd take the empty trailer for stopping in a hurry.... I think that by sheer math the heavier you are the longer you take to stop, but after road conditions, driver comfort, driver attentiveness, and load weight there is only a general trend of more weight = longer time to stop.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

What degree are you working on? What's your eventual career goal? Very well written.

Civil engineering is the planned degree path right now, still trying to get a bead on what exactly I'm likely to end up doing. Pie-in-the-sky ideal situation though is I get an engineering firm actually started that targets rural areas and tries to bring their infrastructure not just up to speed but preps them for the next couple of decades as well.

Either that, or I want to work on space elevators and other megastructures.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trucking Paper

The Invisible Hands

Hey all! Been hammering away on this paper for a few weeks now but got the final breakthroughs on it today -- I'd love to know what you think if you have time to read. It may not be the first time I visit the topic so I'd love to be able to come back and add additional depth and nuance to things.

I tried to keep it pretty balanced, but I did overly emphasize some of the "negatives" about the job since I was writing this from the perspective of my audience being folks who are unfamiliar with the industry (and trying to sell my point).

There's also at least a dozen points where I had to gloss over points of nuance that if expanded may end up crippling some of my lines of argument, but expanding on them fully takes the scope of the paper far past what was intended.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 3 weeks 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:  3 months, 3 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:  3 months, 3 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:  3 months, 3 weeks 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.

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