Profile For Mark B.

Mark B.'s Info

  • Location:
    WI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 9 months ago

Mark B.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Page 1 of 2

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

My understanding of the split sleeper berth rule

Pretty good way to sum it up, Susan.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Shifting patterns while approaching a Stop Light. PLEASE HELP!

Thanks CWC I really do appreciate your input. Please humor me, I know you don’t know the truck etc but in a 9 speed as I’m approaching the light what gear should I be in. Instructors have said 5th. Or should it be lower say 4th? And if I’m in 5th coming up to the stop and the light turns green, I should downshift I’m guessing correct?

In a 9-speed, personally I would downshift to 4th for this reason. It should still take off in 5th if the wheels were still moving, but it might be rough and you would have to ride the clutch pedal. I assumed you were testing in a 10-speed.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Shifting patterns while approaching a Stop Light. PLEASE HELP!

The short answer is if the wheels are still turning, and you are still in 5th gear, leave it in gear and gently let the clutch pedal back out. Feel for the clutch to grab without letting the engine stall - don't dump the clutch. Assuming you are driving a late-model truck, you should have more than enough torque at idle to continue moving with an empty/light trailer with little problem in that low gear. If you take it out of gear at that low of a speed, just clutch and move the selector stick directly to 4th or 3rd - you don't need to rev the engine to match road speed if you are only moving 1-2 mph. Taking a grind is worth one point, stalling the truck or impeding traffic is an auto-fail.

On the exam, keep it simple, and don't forget to breathe! 😃

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Going to CDL School soon and nervous about backing a trailer!

Chris, they should ease you into the backing exercises. You'll start with learning to straight line back, how to back around a corner (a 90 deg back, but in a wide open area), how to serpentine back (through a cone slalom), and how to do a 45 deg back before you get to the maneuver skills exercises. Crawl it - the slower your trailer moves, the easier it is to see and correct problems. When you get to your training location, keep your phone in your pocket and forget about YouTube - you didn't sign up for the YouTube CDL school - they will have a way that they want you to do things. Watch your instructors, ask for examples, ask questions. When you aren't backing, observe your classmates and ask yourself "what are they doing right", "what would you be doing differently" if you were in the hot seat right then. Ask for a couple of chances to back between trailers, not just the cones!

Simulators are a great tool for certain tasks - perfect for teaching the basics of shifting or winter driving - but you'll need to be in and around the truck to get the perspective you need to build your backing skills.

Also, don't run the cones over unless you want an angry instructor. Cones are actually pretty expensive. If it doesn't look right, just stop the truck and check your position before you continue your back.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

My understanding of the split sleeper berth rule

double-quotes-start.png

When you get to the wash rinse repeat what do you mean. You made a nice easy to understand example but what will your clock look like at the wash rinse repeat.

double-quotes-end.png

So this won't be as simple, but really nothing about Split Sleeper is simple... While you must get 10 hours of break time, with at least 8 of those hours in the Sleeper, you don't strictly have to do 8/2hrs working, there are other ways to split it up. Notice that I do not take a 30 minute break. It can get really complicated, this is just an example.

E.G., starting a fresh shift following a 10hr reset:

1st 8 hours total working ; 1 hr spent On-Duty, 7 hours driving ; remaining 11hr clock -> 04:00 ; remaining 14 hr clock -> 06:00
1st 8 hour break ; After 8 hours consecutive Sleeper Berth, my clocks reset to the times remaining when I made a status change to "SB"
11hr clock -> 04:00 ; 14 hr clock -> 06:00 to start the next stint.

2nd work period is 3 hrs Driving ; remaining 11hr clock -> 01:00 ; remaining 14 hr clock -> 03:00
2 hour break ; 2 hours Off Duty + SB

At the end of the 2 hour break, because I have completed a total of 10 hours off duty, my clocks gain back everything since the end of the first 8 hr break period. Basically, whatever the time was at the end of that first 8 hour break, my 14hr clock now starts from then. Since that time, I have used 3 hours of 11hr clock and 5 hours of 14hr clock (the 14hr clock is not paused by the short break).
I could start a new 8/2 cycle beginning with 11hr clock -> 08:00 ; 14hr clock -> 09:00 and repeat the 8/2 split.

You can take the long break (8 hours SB) or the short break (2 hours Off+SB) first, doesn't matter. But again, without a teammate I would break the cycle with a 10hr reset. I only run "Eights & Twos" when I have a weird appointment time and I triple check my HOS before I end my breaks.

If this seems like word salad, I get it. The best explanation/examples of this that I have ever seen is in that $5 J.J. Keller "HOS" manual that you can buy at most truck stops.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Terminated by Schneider

That's pretty much it, Bruce. Drivers are the only ones in the company that actually make the money. Everyone else is an expense. If you can't retain good drivers, you go out of business. We've all known plenty of bad managers, but it is very difficult to recruit good drivers, and there is real incentive to try and retain decent employees in trucking.

The entire O&T department were experienced drivers. We never made a decision to terminate a driver or a CDL trainee lightly because we all knew that for many people getting their CDL is a such life changing event. I saw drivers that had made some really bad decisions on the road get a second (sometimes a third) chance simply because of their humble attitudes in the aftermath. The ones that made excuses and blamed everyone else generally had a history of disrespectful behavior or complaints in their driver diaries, and they didn't last past the time it took to process the paperwork for dismissal.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

My understanding of the split sleeper berth rule

double-quotes-start.png

When you take an 8 hour break, you get back exactly what you had prior to said break. You drive for a while and take the 2 hour, you get back the remainder, correct experienced drivers?

double-quotes-end.png

Sounds correct to me. Make sure that the 8 hour breaks are logged as 8 consecutive hours on "Sleeper Berth" - no "Off Duty" time will count toward this reset. When you take a full 10hr break, it will reset your 11/14hr clocks to their normal start times and break the cycle.

A good way to run this is:

  • 8hrs On Duty + Drive
  • 8hrs consecutive SB
  • 2hrs On Duty + Drive
  • 2hrs SB+Off Duty

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

You could technically keep doing this until your 70hr clock runs out, but I wouldn't recommend it. It gets tiring. Split Sleeper works best for coast-to-coast team operations where two drivers alternate shifts to keep the truck rolling as much as possible. Also, communicate with your DM/FM about what you are doing because it can confuse your load planners when they try to predict your availability for future loads.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Terminated by Schneider

New drivers, just like Brett and the Mods said, I wouldn't believe a word of this story. I used to work as an Orientation & Training Supervisor at a large company (~2,400 drivers and a large CDL training program) before I decided to go back out over the road. When drivers were referred to us over critical events requiring intervention, most took ownership of their behavior and really wanted to improve their skills. But every now and again I would get a "Christian T" sent to us from the Operations department. Even in cases where the issue was purely behavioral - like this one - that company still made an active effort to retain every one of its drivers.

Schneider and other medium to mega carriers keep extensive records of our events, conversations (both phone recordings and QualComm/PeopleNet/TruckPC messages), and telemetry/videos. If HR decided it was time to terminate this guy, they had more than enough evidence to protect against a lawsuit and an unemployment claim. I pretty sure they talked to every staff member that interacted with Christian from the operations department to the training department before they made the decision. I'm willing to bet there was a documented history of behavioral issues. There usually is. It's actually really difficult to fire drivers in this industry; company owners are very sensitive to driver retention losses and don't want to be sued for wrongful termination. The company has to have its ducks in a row before terminating a driver.

I don't know exactly how Schneider does their DAC reporting, but this sounds like he was terminated for insubordination. That's most likely what will be on his HireRight report. Probably not going to impress many recruiters with that.

If you end up getting called back to a terminal for some additional training, swallow your ego, be willing to jump through a few hoops, and get something positive out of the experience that makes you a better driver, and move on down the road. If you don't understand why you are being coached by the office staff, tell them as much. Ask for additional training! Throwing away a career instead of seeking mentorship is just foolish.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Driving Manual??

The biggest thing to keep in mind when you are learning to operate a manual transmission is to cut yourself some slack. You are going to grind gears and miss shifts and stall out. That’s okay, the equipment is tough. Don’t panic, take a breath, and begin again. Keep at it - with some time and patience, it will become easier and easier.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What is your money maker?

All of the above replies are great, and I want to mention one more thing that may not be as obvious to a new driver as it sounds: learn the ins and outs of your company’s pay scales/system and policies. Even if you are in a fixed-annual increase system, there may be other special pays and bonuses available that you will want to know about.

My company uses a merit-based pay increase system where we can see pay increases after a productive calendar quarter. It’s a fairly complicated system, and there is a transition period from a student’s initial training pay onto the merit system that many of our first-year drivers didn’t take the time (or just didn’t know) to learn. Performance during and after this period can mean the difference between an industry average annual income and a reasonably comfortable one at the end of the first year, and it makes a world of difference in the second year.

Understanding my company’s system informs how I run and helps me set myself up for long term success. The biggest benefit is that I don’t have to kill myself to make a good paycheck.

Page 1 of 2

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training