Profile For DaveW

DaveW's Info

  • Location:
    AZ

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 4 months ago

DaveW's Bio

After sitting behind a desk for most of the 33 years I was in a newspaper journalism career I decided in 2011 at the age of 60 to take a 180-degree right turn and get behind the wheel of a big-rig truck. As most Trucking Truth regulars would guess, this site played a big part in me deciding to hit the road. Long story short, I went through truck driving school, got my California CDL, and drove for a little more than a year for Gordon Trucking, Inc., out of their Lathrop, CA, terminal.

The lure of retirement was too strong, however, and a few months after I turned 62 I said a final "10-4" and made that last home-time trip a permanent one.

Since retirement I've engaged in a number of "side hustles" to bring in some additional income; among them a short stint as a freight agent, and dabbling in professional real estate photography. Currently, I manage a couple of stores as an Amazon and eBay seller and, most recently, have joined with Brett at Trucking Truth to use my writing and driving experience to bring news to the website.

I reside in sunny Arizona with my wife and daughter, and worry about my son who is a captain in the U.S. Army currently deployed to Afghanistan, where he is flying Apache helicopters to bring hurt to the Taliban.

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Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment

TuSimple, the San Diego-based company that also has operations in China, announces that United Parcel Service has made arrangements with them to test the viability of using autonomously-driven tractor trailers to haul packages within its UPS network.

UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment

Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finally published its long-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking on changes to hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes

Posted:  6 days, 8 hours ago

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Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions

During my short career on the road I actually enjoyed the process of shifting, especially once I mastered floating gears. I was a manual shifter very early in life and used to go nuts in my high performance '65 Mustang four-on-the-floor. Later on, I had forgotten how much fun manual shifting was until my son bought his first vehicle, a '96 Toyota 4-Runner, and I had to teach him how to drive it. (He's now an Apache helicopter pilot flying in Afghanistan, by the way, so he wins the "fun factor" contest hands down.)

Two caveats to my "enjoyed the process of shifting:" The first truck that GTI gave me to drive was an old Freightliner Columbia that had the manual clutch. That clutch was so dang stiff that by the time I had done a tricky backing maneuver my left leg was cramped up and spasming. When I got a newer Cascadia with the hydraulic clutch it was like dying and going to Heaven.

The second caveat was in traversing the LA Basin during rush hour, creeping along at 0 to 10 mph. One time I decided to count the gear changes getting from here to there and lost track after several hundred. That gets old fast.

Do I think the AMT is a good thing? Sure, it's a win-win for retention of older drivers and recruiting of new drivers.

Do I believe it will take the fun out of driving? Yep. Absolutely. My fondest memories of driving always include remembering pulling out of a rest area and running up the gears down the on ramp, floating the gears, hitting that beautiful sweet spot perfectly each time and slipping it into 10th gear as smooth as butter. An automatic couldn't have done it better, and it gave me great satisfaction.

Posted:  6 days, 10 hours ago

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Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions

Today, beginning drivers and grizzled veterans alike will appreciate that there is a new technology called AMT, automated manual transmission, that is becoming increasingly integrated into commercial fleets as well as driving schools' lesson trucks.

Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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CVSA asks for new truck crash study

Citing frustration by truck industry decision makers in having to use crash data that is almost two decades old, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is asking the U.S. Senate to add to the 2020 transportation bill funding for a new study of commercial vehicle crashes.

CVSA asks for new truck crash study

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination

Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions are still under OMB review, Legislators introduce an AEB bill for trucks, and Koch & Sons is sued for sex discrimination.

Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race

Kodiak Robotics, Inc., another startup in the autonomous trucking industry, this one being only 16 months old, claims a first with its commercial freight business hauling middle-mile highway routes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes

City of New York spokespeople, fed up with an increase in cyclist fatalities involving large trucks, are calling for the New York Police Department to target oversize trucks, and especially trucks driving outside of designated routes.

New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav

In this Friday Short Haul CRST awarded $15.5 lawsuit against Swift, OOIDA opposes legislation hiking insurance rates, and UPS has an in-house navigation system that saves millions a year.

Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity

While the big rig driver shortage has been getting all the press these days, there's another truck industry-related labor shortage that has been flying under the radar – diesel mechanics and technicians.

Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure

Infrastructure projects in 19 states are proposed to receive $856 million in grants from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program, Elaine Chao, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, announced last week.

DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure"

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs

In this Friday Short Haul the DOL writes an opinion on sleeper berth pay, UPS set for nationwide drone deliveries, and Geowiz offers no-fee, FMCSA-compliant ELD logging.

Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers

Very interesting. I think if people are honest this will be an eye opener to alot of folks.

Thank you PJ, that was interesting. And I agree that FMCSA is going to get an earful.

The stories that will be the most tragic are the ones where a female trainee suffers abuse, like you illustrated, at the hands of a male trainer but feels she has to hold her complaint for fear of failing the training and possibly losing her chance to drive. I put the blame squarely on the companies that want to turn a blind eye to the issue. On paper, virtually all carriers take a strong stand against workplace abuse, but in practice many would rather not know what's going on. Predator trainers know this, and that's why the problem is so prevalent.

My solution is twofold:

Do not put a female trainee with a male trainer in a position to be living together in an 8x6 box for weeks on end. Period. It's just not right.

Or, barring the difficulty in that because there are no or few female trainers, the minute the male trainer makes the least little gesture or comment that makes the female uncomfortable she should report him. The company will probably blow it off the first time with a warning. But the female should complain time and time again until the company gives her a different trainer. Then the next female that ends up with this trainer should do the same thing. Eventually the company would finally get the message and pull his trainer status.

Do this enough times, and the trainer/trainee dynamic within the industry would change ... for the better for the female trainees, as predator trainers would get weeded out.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a notice into the Federal Register yesterday announcing the agency will be undergoing an investigation to "understand the prevalence, seriousness, and nature of the problem of harassment and assaults against truckers."

FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.

"Snitches get stitches". Not advocating violence against the rat-bastids who are outing idlers. It's just fun to make a rhyme sometimes.smile.gif

Maybe I'm just a crabby old b*****d in my old age, but writing this article got my dander up.

I learned my lesson living in California when a gun "safety" law resulted in the murders of two children of a family that was in our homeschool group, and whose children our children used to play with. Search "Carpenter family pitchfork murders" for the tragic story. After that happened I immediately made sure my guns were loaded and available for use at all times -- and the state of California could just go to hell.

If there are any SJWs here who are shocked, shocked I say, at me having loaded, unlocked guns in the home, my wife and children were well acquainted with how and when to use them. And they knew I had three firm, unbreakable rules for their use: Safety, safety, safety.

I also became a firm believer that no legislature can legislate away my God-given right to safety and health. That's why if I needed jakes even though I was in a town that prohibited jakes, I would use the jakes. Similarly, if I'd had a truck that didn't have an APU I would not have hesitated to idle for the AC.

At this point, I'd be perfectly willing to challenge in court any law that forces me into an unsafe or unhealthy condition. I believe I'd win.

And I agree. I thoroughly hate any kind of snitch. Where I live, there are people going around in the HOAs regularly spying on and reporting their neighbors for the smallest of infractions. I think those people are the lowest of the low.

Told ya I was crabby.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.

CDL Life, a trucking news and entertainment website, underwent an experiment recently to illustrate the danger for truckers of anti-idling laws.

It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans

In this Friday Short Haul Utah experiences a rash of truck rollovers, new truck designers consider aging driver population, FMCSA permanently bans human-trafficking drivers.

Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire

One thing that caught my eye under the Don't list was

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Hire any drivers under the age of 60

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That's strange, any idea why that is?

The tone of the article, and the rest of the website, was mildly snarky. I didn't want to get involved in it in my article, but the folks at Sparks seemed to come across as confrontational. I'm guessing that the age 60 thing was a sarcastic comment about making the public believe that what Sparks is doing couldn't be bad if old guys are agreeing to do it.

I don't know for sure. I could be wrong.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire

The city of Key West might be the first in a wave of jurisdictions nationwide to severely regulate or outright ban LED advertising trucks.

Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire

Posted:  1 month ago

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Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills

We all know that for learning truck driving skills nothing beats being in the driver's seat with a qualified instructor sitting in the passenger seat. And while there are a number of YouTube videos offering instruction as a second-best choice, none have the thoroughness and realism of those produced by YouTuber David Crowley of My Trucking Skills. He has taken his instructional technique to a higher level – literally.

Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills

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