Profile For Farmerbob1

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Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Utah: flatbed truck runs a state snowplow off the road

You are right, Paul. The "enough time" depends on speed. Also, the ability to take any turn in any weather condition depends on speed also. (Coincidence??)

The f'ing flatbed super trucker was going too fast.

The follow-up news article that plays after the video linked here explains that the flatbed driver may have been blinded by the rooster-tail of snow from the plow when he tried to pass on the right, and that may have caused him to lose situational awareness of the road while on the curve.

I am NOT disagreeing with you that he was going too fast. In conditions like that, going faster than the snowplow in front of you IS going too fast.

The hidden reason for the wreck might be something that wasn't obvious in the video. The possibility of being blinded by snow from a plow is something I am definitely going to consider when I think about passing plows, even if my lane seems relatively clear.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep apnea

Thanks Farmerbob1 and Old School. Do you know how I could get a CPAP machine and do you know which company would hire a drive with sleep apnea?

Thanks again

The trucking company can probably provide one, and deduct it from your pay in installments. That's what Stevens did for me.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Have CDL But No Experience, Where Do I Start?

Got my Class A CDL on my own, but have no CDL driving experience. I've been working as a non-CDL required commercial delivery driver the past few years (FedEx Ground). Would Swift or Stevens make me go thru their academy or would they put me straight on the road with a trainer?

Stevens driver here. My understanding is that to get on the road with Stevens, you either have to go through their 160+ hour CDL program, or attend a CDL school that Stevens recognizes, which provides you with a 160+ hour CDL school certificate.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep apnea

You can be a truck driver with sleep apnea, though there might be limits to the severity of the apnea that they will accept.

A lot of truck drivers have CPAP machines.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

FarmerBob pointed out the OP wants to know how we feel about the camera. I agree, he is right...the OP did ask that. This is not a conversation or debate for me...not interested in having one or trying to change anyone's mind on this. This is how I feel.

I feel as though there is far too much emphasis placed on compromised privacy, perceived or otherwise at the expense of safety; my life and the lives of everyone else around our trucks. The camera is there for safety. Period. I know this for a fact. I will not buy-into any other theory or covert reason. All BS. Safety...

The privacy of the driver (especially a novice) does not trump the importance of my life or anyone else's. I have lived with this technology for over four years...never once have I felt as though my privacy was violated or compromised. A good driver, operating and behaving within the law should have nothing to hide, especially while they are driving. In fact I want Swift to know with proof I am performing safely. It has made me a habitual safety conscience driver. Besides I have far more cameras on me while I back into a Walmart dock than in the truck, and they are a real-time feed, not event triggered. I so much as drop a gum wrapper on the ground and my DM gets a call.

Put in a different way, consider this:

Without this technology there is no way of proactively evaluating the safe and prudent operation of a driver. Thus, many times the first piece of tangible evidence of unsafe operation is what?

A citation or worse, a preventable crash that on average costs our employers $180,000 per incident, if there are no injuries.

With the camera there is finally a foolproof method of objective evaluation of how a driver is operating. It is also the best way to rid ourselves of chronically unsafe drivers and an opportunity to adjust bad habits and behaviors before it becomes too late with a new driver.

My feelings on this are strong, I inderstand how the camera functions, been part of several beta test shakedowns/reviews and have seen firsthand how they have reduced accidents at my DC. This converts to better performance and safety scores for our team and hitting the SLA Walmart has in place. Our customer is far happier now than they were before the camera systems were fully implemented because of less delivery failures, property damage and equipment loss. In affect a continuous improvement process of driver performance that's tracked and graphed. This absolutely does trickle down to the driver in a positive way if for no other reason we keep the account.

Put the emotional aspect aside, these are the best, arguably only proactive teaching tools we have.

I respect the privacy concern. However it doesn't concern me personally because I know exactly how the camera functions, the event review process and the reletively low percentage of time a triggered upload occurs, on average 1% during an 11 hour turn.

Compromised privacy pales in comparison to the importance of safety and teaching a new drivers safe habits early on when they are best apt to adjust. For the accidents this can prevent and the elimination of chronically bad drivers, for me privacy is a mere footnote and not worth the angst it has caused on this thread and previous ones.

For anyone you have a choice...you have the freedom and right to choose a camera free company or choose a company that puts safety ahead of everything else. That's how I feel about it.

Good response that I can respect, G-Town. My problem with the safety enhancement concept is that a driver has already been through training, and there are other sensors on the truck that would help identify potential backsliding into unsafe driving.

If a driver has multiple hard braking incidents in a month, or is regularly setting off the proximity alarm or lane position sensors, put a driver-facing camera in the cab. That would be the safety department saying "fix yourself." If the driver is rarely setting off alarms, not generating complaints, not getting in accidents or incidents, then they are doing their job right, and the company should leave them alone, provided they continue being a non-problem.

Putting a driver-facing camera in every truck doesn't benefit every driver. Companies have the right to require drivers that wish to remain employed by them to agree to camera monitoring, but they may lose drivers like me who do not care to live the 'Truman Show' for Big Brother.

If it becomes law, and every truck is required to have driver-facing cameras, well, then I'm in the same situation that I'm in when I go to Disney World or Best Buy. I simply won't have a choice if I want to continue driving a truck. But if I do have a choice that allows me to keep driving without costing me too much income or benefits, I'll chose the option that preserves more of my privacy.

Your final line is a bit heavy-handed. I prefer to state it differently, which is, I admit, a bit heavy-handed the other way. "You have the freedom and right to choose a camera-free company, or chose a company that will sacrifice every driver's privacy because of a few bad actors."

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

I was sent home from Celadon Academy...

I've seen a couple people scoffing at 28 degree temperatures being dangerous. While I was not there and I do not know the whole story, I do know that 28 degree temperatures can be dangerous, especially if you do not dress properly for it.

Wind was mentioned. A stiff breeze at 28F can have a huge impact on weather danger.

Being overdressed when indoors, getting a bit sweaty, then stepping out into windy cold conditions can be VERY dangerous.

The person's size and body mass have a huge impact on how long they can retain heat. I'm 5'8" 260 and carry a lot more fat than I should on top of what used to be a very muscular body. I can hang out in shorts and a T-shirt in a breeze at 28F for hours if need be, but I'd not like it much. If the OP is a small, slender person carrying little body fat, she could easily die in temperatures that would only annoy me, if we were protected with similar clothing levels.

Did you know that you can die from hypothermia, sleeping in a waterbed in a house at 72F, if the water in the bed isn't heated?

That said, I have to agree that there are symptoms associated with hypothermia as extreme as what was described that a medical professional would have noted, and hypothermia that bad isn't treated with a cup of cocoa and a blanket. We're talking about organ failure level hypothermia here.

What I suspect happened is that the OP was wearing too much clothing inside, got sweaty, then went outside into the windy cold. The sweat, temperatures, and wind worked together to make them utterly miserable and perhaps even put them into legitimate first stages of hypothermia.

They sought shelter, and unconsciously recognized that their clothing being moist with sweat was part of the problem, and started stripping down, not fully aware of why they were doing it. This is different from paradoxical stripping, because there is a reason for it. The brain is working, and reporting a real problem. Wet clothes are friggin' cold. I wonder if anyone bothered to check to see if the bottom layer of her clothing was wet with sweat before too much time passed and it dried out.

Body energy reserves are also critical to cold weather hardiness. I have never 'juiced' before, and don't know if that particular diet can cause issues with cold weather hardiness.

All in all, I find it unfair for people to be criticizing the OP for experiencing a severe cold reaction which may in fact have been completely legitimate.

I will leave aside the other aspects of the thread.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Private school teachers.

Well, I was thinking of refrigerator for the first year then going flatbed after I learn the ropes. Should I just jump in and do it?

Reefer or dry van is a good place to start. Load securement complexity is FAR less than flatbed load securement. Center of gravity issues are typically less complex with dry van or reefer as well.

Some new drivers do start as flatbed drivers, but it's going to be a steeper learning curve.

Another flatbed company that hires new drivers is TMC.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

What the heck more questions

All of it depends on who you work for.

At Stevens Transport, I get paid three business days after I submit trip paperwork. If I do a trip a day, and report every trip as I complete them, I get paid every day. Once a week, on the first pay date after Tuesday, they take weekly deductions, which can roll over if I didn't make enough money to cover them.

Stevens, and most other larger companies from what I've heard, do not want drivers doing major repair work. Like Rick said above, topping off fluids, etc., is normally the limit of driver self-service expectations. Replacing mud flaps might be expected, or some other minor, simple jobs. I am an experienced steel mill mechanic and am comfortable doing more significant quick fixes, but I draw the line at touching complex parts. A belt is in my comfort zone (depending on how it is tensioned) if I had the tools for it (which I don't currently) but I'd probably get told NO by Stevens if I offered to try to replace one.

A mom and pop truck operation might expect a driver to change their own oil, replace belts, filters, etc. Mid-sized companies could go either way. I'm sure more experienced driers could give examples of companies that expected or had no problem with drivers doing service work more complex than topping off fluids.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

FBob, yes, I read all your arguments about privacy. You are slicing things as thin as in second Amendment discussions.

When you are on duty, doing the assigned tasks, you have no privacy with respect to your employer. They have every right to use cameras or human observers to make sure you are operating the truck in a safe manner.

On the other hand, in your off duty time, your company has no interest in just what you do. When Swift rolled out the cameras, they always explained the privacy issue, and told us we could cover/ block the driver-side camera. Still, many drivers were nervous with the mini-HAL 9000 watching them.
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Obviously most companies that roll with driver cams have gone over this with their lawyers, who are more than, and get paid better than any lawyers you can rustle up.

You read it, perhaps, but you do not seem to fully understand it.

The rights of the government and/or a company, via law or waiver, can legally require me to accept a violation of my privacy.

Making a violation of my privacy legal doesn't stop it from being a violation of my privacy.

You appear to be confusing legal privacy rights with individual privacy desires. They are not the same.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

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However, even when I waive my privacy rights, it does not change the fact that my privacy can be and is violated. If, in my personal opinion, I am being required by my company to waive too much of my personal privacy, then I can act to address my loss of privacy. You have absolutely no say in this matter.

At this point in time, driver-facing cameras have insufficient benefits (for drivers) for me to consider them worth the invasion of privacy that they represent for me. This may change in time as camera technology improves, but it is my opinion, at this time. You have absolutely no say in this matter.

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I'm hearing you here FB. And the board has gone "round & round" on this topic a number of times (kinda why I stayed off this one).

But what it comes down to - is that YOU are not the one who gets to decide if the camera has a benefit to THE COMPANY. The camera is NOT THERE TO BENEFIT THE DRIVER. If the driver happens to derive some benefit (by a CYA in the event of an accident), great - but that's not why it's there.

It's a statistical fact of human behavior - that we BEHAVE BETTER when we think/know we are being observed.

You only get to decide, if you are willing to "waive" that privacy right, in order to obtain/remain employed by a company that chooses to use them FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY CHOOSE.

What you THINK about it - is actually the way you FEEL about it. Which is the crux of the topic (and that's just fine) - but not the REALITY OF THE SITUATION (which is also just fine).

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What it comes down to for me - is I have to weigh if ALL THE OTHER BENEFITS of working for an employer that uses these camera's - outweighs the fact they might see me picking my nose (or eating an oreo) while I am OPERATING THEIR EQUIPMENT.

Rick

My first trainer's truck had a camera in it, because he was part of the pilot program for Stevens cameras. My second recovery truck, which I kept for a week while my first truck was in a shop, had a camera in it. Both camera units recorded the driver.

Now that I have been a Stevens employee for a year, with a good driving record, I have options. One of those options is to choose companies to work for based on the pros and cons of what they offer and require of drivers.

As one might imagine, based on my historical discussions about how much I can't stand the idea of being a trainer because that would mean living in a 10x10 box with a trainee, and my historical comments about how hard training was for me because of being cramped with another person for so long, I am very sensitive about my personal space and privacy.

If I have an option between a company with driver-facing cameras, and a company without driver-facing cameras, the difference in benefits would have to be very large for me to choose the company utilizing driver-facing cameras.

I drive no differently with a camera than I do without. I've done both. I didn't cover the cameras in my trainer's truck, because it wasn't my truck. I did cover the camera in the second recovery truck, but only when not driving. If a camera was put in my truck permanently, I would cover it with tape at all times, and start looking for a job with another company.

My opinion may change over time, if cameras start providing useful, active, real-time functions for the driver. I certainly wouldn't mind an eye-closure/head-loll sleeping detector, though getting tired behind the wheel is something I've experienced very rarely. Make that a feature of a driver-facing camera, and I will accept it, because it might just save my life, and my life is worth losing some privacy.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

Friends, this is Brett's sand box and he can determine who gets to play in it, and whose comments get deleted. Sometimes he may "feel" you guys are invading his privacy.

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You have absolutely no say in this matter.

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Nobody but me has any say in what I believe. Anyone that is willing to have an intelligent conversation with me can feel free to try to change my mind, but you won't do that with insults.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

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If you feel differently, great. I respect your opinion, even if you don't respect mine.

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It's not that. The problem is that everything you said is either unfounded rumors or has already been debunked a hundred times, like the 'invasion of privacy' thing. I can understand if people don't want cameras or aren't comfortable with them. But all of your statements have "that's only vague scuttlebutt", "I've heard they may", or "It is my understanding".

Are you familiar with the name of our website? Been around 10 years now. It's not TruckingRumors, TruckingBaloney, TruckingAssumptions .......stick with sharing the facts you know.

If you do not agree to read this entire post before responding, don't bother reading it.

First, anything that violates personal privacy is an invasion of privacy. By definition. Period.

Second, your rights to personal privacy are limited, in many cases, by the rights of others to monitor their property or person, whether by waiver or law.

Third, even if others are legally allowed to violate your privacy, it doesn't change the fact that violating your privacy is STILL an invasion of privacy.

Fourth, when you acquire a CDL, you legally give up a great deal of privacy rights via implied consent. Even if the truck is your home, proper authorities of the government have a right to search it at any time, without a warrant. If you drive a company truck, the company will certainly require you to sign waivers limiting your privacy so they can monitor their equipment.

Fifth, again, the fact that you have given up the right to privacy does not mean that your privacy is not being violated when the government searches your truck, or your company mounts a driver-facing camera.

Do not confuse invasion of privacy with waived privacy rights. I get to chose what I consider to be an invasion of my privacy. Nobody else does. Period. The government, my employer, banks, ATMs, the internet, etc., can force me to waive some aspects of my privacy rights in order for me to go places, be employed, use services, or whatever. This is legal fact. Period.

However, even when I waive my privacy rights, it does not change the fact that my privacy can be and is violated. If, in my personal opinion, I am being required by my company to waive too much of my personal privacy, then I can act to address my loss of privacy. You have absolutely no say in this matter.

At this point in time, driver-facing cameras have insufficient benefits (for drivers) for me to consider them worth the invasion of privacy that they represent for me. This may change in time as camera technology improves, but it is my opinion, at this time. You have absolutely no say in this matter.

As for your concerns about the name of the website, I would like to draw your attention to the title of the thread. "How do you feel about driver facing cameras." What I have said about how I feel about driver facing cameras is both a fact and the truth. You have absolutely no say in tis matter.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

I quit Swift Transportation voluntarily but they wrote I was involuntarily fired on my DAC for safety policy

Sounds like lawyer time to me, for a possible libel case. Your lawyer asks for discovery in preparation for the case. If Swift somehow provides proof you were wearing headphones and acting unsafe in the truck, and you cannot prove your last delivery date is after their fire date, then you're likely screwed. If they cannot provide proof of that safety violation, or you can provide proof of driving for them after they say you were fired, then I'd think a small claims court could force them to correct the record to at least improve your chances of rehire by another company. If you can address BOTH issues and have them removed, then you should not have any issues getting a rehire.

In my personal opinion, in no case should you personally try to force the issue again. It's time to let the guys and gals in suits win this one with smiles, words, and implied threats of a libel case.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

Wow, Farmerbob. That might be a new record for the most rumor, heresy, and false science I've read in such a short comment. You didn't waste a word. I'm not even going to bother to quote any of it or respond to any of it other than to say it mostly belongs in the trash bin. None of it was fact, none of it can be counted on, none of it was factual, and the one thing you did state as being a fact is clearly your opinion, and it's already been debunked a hundred times.

But this thread was almost doomed to the trash bin the moment I read the subject line. I knew we'd get all kinds of baloney.

If driver-facing cameras actually start implement eye-tracking, and active safety features, rather than simply being a way for companies to bash drivers, I might reconsider their utility. That doesn't stop them from being an invasion of privacy, but they could become an invasion of privacy that is worth accepting. Maybe. Right now, they are not, IMHO.

If you feel differently, great. I respect your opinion, even if you don't respect mine.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Trainer in need of insight

Hey all I have started training for my company I have had around 6 or 7 students all caught on and have upgraded to first seat drivers. A week ago I got a student that just doesn't seem to catch anything. I have tried to show him things like backing. He can do a straight back just fine however when I have him try to setup for a 45 or a 90 he has no concept of what the trailer is doing or which way to turn the wheel over a week practice for 7 hours one day and then a minimum of at least an hour a day and still just as bad as day 1. I hate to say it but I have no idea how to handle this student any thoughts anyone

Honestly, I'd send him back to the yard and tell the training team he needs backing training. There's only so much you can do. If you don't hve that option, or if you like them and hate to give up, it won't hurt to keep trying different things.

Remember, you have been a good enough instructor that 6 or 7 other students learned.

Some people just can't get it. As an example, I had a fellow trainee in Basic Training who was so spectacularly unaware of his own feet that he couldn't stay in step with the rest of the platoon during marching drills in formation.

Your current student might have a similar issue. They might simply not be able to properly connect their physical actions to the world around them in an orderly fashion. Sure, they can probably explain it, what they should be doing, if they think about it, but when it comes time to DO it, all the understanding in the world fails them.

If he ends up truly being hopeless, and never gets it, think of it as something like dyslexia, except interfering with coordination, not reading.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

Driver-facing cameras are definitely invasions of privacy, however, they seem to becoming more popular. It is my understanding that Stevens Transport has stopped installing driver-facing cameras because they were losing a lot more experienced drivers than normal. I've heard they may begin installing traffic-facing cameras soon, but that's only vague scuttlebutt.

Traffic facing cameras can benefit the driver and the company, driver-facing cameras, in most cases, can only hurt the driver and benefit the company - possibly at the expense of the driver.

If I have a driver-facing camera installed by Stevens, I have tape, and I will use it. Probably won't happen though, since my plan is to leave Stevens in the next couple months, and the camera install program as been stopped, at least temporarily.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Neat adaptations

I feel let down more people haven't chimed in on this... I was hoping to find new things to do and also wanted to hear about some of those redneck engineering things with duct tape that make you cringe.

Oh, you want redneck engineering?

I have used an entire roll of duct tape to hold the cowling together on a reefer unit.

I have used rope to tie up the exhaust pipe of an APU so it wouldn't drag the road.

I have used Romex wire to build replacement trailer door retention chains.

I have used a load lock bar and some rope to bend a trailer mud flap holder back into shape, so it would be legal after a new mud flap was put on.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Dedicated route possibility, for a beginner: how uncommon?

Regional or local driving work is possible for a new driver, but uncommon. Most training companies want 6 months OTR, post-training experience before they take you off OTR driving. Most non-training companies want six months or even a year experience driving before they even hire you.

There are exceptions, but if you do decide to take the plunge, go in with your eyes open. Expect up to two or even three months straight away from home before your first home time (initial training.) After that, expect one weekend per month for six months to a year.

Once you get a year into the business, the opportunities really start to open up. If you learn quickly, work hard, and get recognized by your DM as a go-getter, you could be offered regional or local work faster with the training company. I was offered a position on the Perdue account at Stevens at six months. I turned it down because I like OTR. I, however, do not have a wife and child.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Neat adaptations

I used bungee cords and a CB radio mount to make an internal mounting place for my satellite radio antenna, so I didn't have to run the wire out of my cab.

I also mounted deer whistlers on the truck. They apparently bother cows at least a bit, as I have noticed that calves tend to move away from fences at a trot when I drive by, near them. That's something I rarely saw before unless I could also see farmers putting out food. Now I see it al the time. Older cows and bulls rarely react to it visibly, but I imagine they have heard whistlers, a lot.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Example of a really annoying week.

Reading your original post made my head spin. I hope timekeeping when you're in a truck is easier than when you're just reading about it.

If you learn the 8/11/14/70 hour clocks and live with them a while, it gets easier. Until recently I didn't understand the 8-2 split completely. Now I do, and I'll be using it more often.

The first post example was a more annoying than usual week. Just like every job, all weeks are not equal.

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