Profile For Pianoman

Pianoman's Info

  • Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 11 months ago

Pianoman's Bio

A supervisor a few years back suggested I consider a career in truck driving, since I enjoy driving and it pays well. I thought about it but thought I couldn't since I have insulin-dependent diabetes. Long story short, I decided to actually start looking into it and discovered I could get a federal exemption. Eight long months later I finally finished going through the tedious process of getting an exemption. After a few months of thinking about it, I finally took the leap and signed up for company-sponsored training with Swift. The rest is history!

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Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Caught a unicorn

Autos are fine but I’m back in a 13 speed for the first time in years and I just love the amount of control I have in this truck. It’s funny though, my truck was in the shop last week and I was in one of the auto daycabs all week and I caught myself several times this week trying to shift into drive with the trolley valve on my manual 😂

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Backing Tips

The third item, might get more new drivers in trouble than anything else. Being self-conscious about backing. Very important to avoid that mentality.

My gf (who is new) struggles with this when she’s backing and I 100% agree with you BK. Just the other day she was frustrated because she was struggling to back in a DC she regularly goes to and has backed well in several times, and one thing she kept mentioning was how she must look stupid to the other drivers there. I think she was probably a little too focused on what the other drivers were thinking and that affected her backing so I encouraged her not to worry about them and remember she’s still new and even experienced drivers have days they look hella green.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

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Lmao best one yet!!

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Trucking Company Requires Driver to Drop Truck Off At Terminal

Yep that’s what I usually do

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Backing Tips

Practice, practice and more practice. It’s the best teacher by far! Although our friend Moe backs only when necessary, if you really want to improve, don’t miss an opportunity for additional reps.

About the 6-9 month point of experience, things will get easier and smoother. In the meantime, take your time, GOAL before you commit to a setup and avoid the temptation to over-steer when making adjustments (smaller is better).

I’m of the Turtle School of thought when it comes to backing… all feel. But keep in mind… repetitions, hundreds of them is what it takes to get to that point.

Good luck.

I completely agree with G Town about practice. I know safety always says don’t back up unless you have to, and while that’s all well and good when it comes to things like setting up for a dock or parking for the night, I disagree when it comes to practicing backing. My first year when I was OTR I would make a point to back into a spot at least once a day. I’d minimize risk by picking a spot at the back of the truckstop away from other trucks in the middle of the day but I’d make sure I got that practice in and it paid off by making me more comfortable backing when I actually had to.

BK and Drew, about that King soopers DC in Denver, the extra distance from the spot I was talking about during setup is mostly applicable with tandems forward. With tandems to the rear you don’t need as much and may in fact NEED to take less space depending how much area you have to work with. That extra space is mainly to correct for overhang so you don’t perform a grill removal operation on the truck on your blind side lol.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Backing Tips

In addition to the great advice others have offered on here, I’m going to take a wild guess (sorry didn’t read all the comments so maybe you already said this) that part of your struggle is when you come in too close to the truck on the sight side your trailer overhang gets you into trouble. If that’s the case the problem isn’t that you’re coming in too close to the truck on your sight side but rather that you’re too close to the spot when you initially drive by it for your setup. It depends on where your tandems are but if your tandems are pretty far forward you need some distance from the spot when initially driving past it. If your tandems are further back or all the way back you want to be closer to the spot when driving past it. It took me a while to learn this. Either way with the proper setup it’s actual better to be as close as possible to the truck on your sight side (when backing up not during setup) because it lowers the risk of striking the truck on your blind side.

Hopefully that makes sense. I always have a hard time trying to describe backing without being able to demonstrate

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

The more I drive, the more I love night driving.

My favorite trucking schedule I ever had was when I was working for American Furniture Warehouse and I’d start around 1 or 2 and be done around noon or 1. Half of my shift was in the dark and then I’d get my second wind when the sun came up. I also loved watching the sunrise in the mountains…just beautiful.

I’m pretty much a day driver now since I do local concrete and most places don’t start receiving til around 6 am but I typically can get away with starting around 2-3 am so I’m done by 3 or 4 usually

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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When not driving, what do y'all do to pass the time?

How big is your TV in your truck? Very interested in this aspect of it.

I had a 32 inch tv in my Kenworth t680. It was a little big for the mount and I had to bend the mount a little to make it work and it didn’t yuck back 100% the way it was supposed to but it worked fine. I had my Xbox and laptop with me in the truck too and used my Verizon hotspot on my phone and it worked great

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trucking Company Requires Driver to Drop Truck Off At Terminal

Totally depends on the company and the fleet you’re on within that company. Always gotta ask the recruiter and then later your driver manager/dispatcher after being hired.

I’m a local driver with a yard less than 15 minutes from my house and I still park at home sometimes. In fact just last night I was really tired and knew I didn’t need my car so I parked at home.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Switching DMs without hurting feelings and went down a road with a 9 foot bridge, no U turn.

Hey you noticed your mistake and fixed it way before you got to the bridge. That’s a win. Sure, make sure you’re paying attention and not missing signs but you did well I think. Out of curiosity where was that bridge? There’s a 9 something foot bridge close to one of the places I unload at. For ****s and giggles I took the truck bobtail under it one day when there was no traffic to see if I could clear it (I got out and looked before driving under it to make sure I wouldn’t hit it) since I don’t know exactly how tall our trucks are. Our trailers are too tall but now I have a better idea how tall the truck is

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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The long anticipated ride-a-long began today

Bruce,

I will be in Denver/Commerce City on Friday. Maybe we can meet up. I deliver at McLane in Commerce City at 1930 😝 Hope your grandson will enjoy the trip.

Laura

I do local in the Denver area so I’m around all the time too! I’d be thrilled to meet up with either one of you anytime

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

0665797001660271597.jpg

Not to offend. Just a funny pic that brightened my day!

Hahaha that’s hilarious

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Can’t hold me back..

Here in Colorado you need the med card before you can get anything else but not sure about other states. Med card is a good place to start anyways in my opinion even if you don’t have to.

Most training companies don’t provide one. The company I’m at now has CBs in all their trucks but I don’t know how common that is

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Bored to tears.

I got really bored a few years ago while I was still doing dry van. Try specialty freight like flatbed, tanker, pneumatic (dry bulk), cattle hauling, end/belly/side dump, or probably others I’m not even thinking of right now. Sooooo much more to do in trucking than the same routes over and over again just swinging doors. I’m not bored anymore

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Steering wheel covers

I think it depends on the cover. I’ve never used a steering wheel cover until this truck I’m in now and I think it helps because it has ridges in it and isn’t slippery like the steering wheel is when it’s clean

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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So you Want to run local???

Haha thanks Anne! We run some good equipment here, all Western Stars and Peterbilt. This one looks older than it is..still has less than 200k on the odometer. Although, we do have some brand new Western star daycabs and I don't like them. They're identical to the new freightliners in the cab and we're already having prohlems with some of them. The one I drove yesterday is already having intermittent transmission failure... At only 26k miles. Nuts.

Lol anyways no I am in either the cab or the office depending on location while getting loaded. And it just goes straight in, usually a 10 minute load time or less

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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ALMOST dropped my trailer!

Good save lol. I made it over four years without dropping a trailer but didn’t quite make it to five. When I was still working for System I dropped an empty one time. I was doing a simple drop and hook but in flatbed you also have to drop some equipment with the empty so the shipper has something to secure and tarp it with. I was still new to flatbed and did my process out of order and dropped my equipment before fully uncoupling. I always point and say out loud “lines, landing gear, fifth wheel” before I get back in the cab but I forgot this time. Thankfully I pulled away slowly enough it dropped really slowly and didn’t do any damage but it would’ve been a different story if it were loaded. A couple people saw it but since there was no damage no one reported it thankfully.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

So you Want to run local???

That looks terrible lol. I'm local now but I've gotten spoiled doing cement powder. Most places are wide open and easy as hell

This is actually one of the tighter places because we have to do a little blindside to get in the spot and even then it’s easy

0199475001659833322.jpg

And getting loaded is just pulling onto a scale and stopping under the spout 0907946001659833483.jpg

Have fun with that tight reefer stuff lol and nice job navigating that mess

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Taking right turns into parking lots and driving test

I know you may not see this before your test but honestly the answer to how to get in there is really do whatever you have to to get it in there safely without curbing it. If you have to buttonhook, then do that. But if there’s enough room to get in there without buttonhooking, then do that. Might sound like a copout answer but you learned how to make right hand turns on the road and this isn’t really much different. Good luck!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Got a ticket before school started

Just tell them. They are fully aware as you are that it doesn’t show up on your record until the actual conviction date but they still need to know or they’ll let you go as soon as they find out

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