Profile For Ken M. (TailGunner)

Ken M. (TailGunner)'s Info

  • Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 3 months ago

Ken M. (TailGunner)'s Bio

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Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

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Just go to flatbed immediately, you will be way, way happier. It's kind of a whole different world from reefer and dry van.

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Hi, I am in CDL school currently and starting to zero in on companies to apply to. Can you explain why someone would be way, way happier with flatbed?

I don't wanna start any arguments, but in my opinion, there is a lot less waiting around with most flatbed loads. Also there is 99.9999% of the time no hand unloading, your freight goes on and off with a forklift or crane. Yes, there is securing and tarping, but you get good/fast at it after a while. You'll never have to re-stack cases of anything that has the wrong number of them on a pallet. There are no grocery warehouses. No lumpers. Most of the time, you'll be able to drive in wind that keeps van trailers parked. Flatbed generally pays more than vans.

There are drawbacks to flatbedding that you don't get with vans. Tarping and untarping in the rain/cold/wind. There will be times, as with anything, that you want to leave it all beside the road and go home. But those times are very few, all things considered.

Posted:  5 days, 20 hours ago

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Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Just go to flatbed immediately, you will be way, way happier. It's kind of a whole different world from reefer and dry van.

Posted:  5 days, 20 hours ago

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Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Gypsum Express bought some of the real estate and hired employees from my old company when it went under a few years ago (Tandem Transport) They were based in Michigan City, Indiana, where the main terminal & service was. They also acquired a few of their smaller terminals. The freight manager, traffic manager, and several of the sales people, dispatchers, etc. still work out of Michigan City for Gyp Express now. I'm sure they also ended up with Tandem's customers also.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Upset Mother

I do not think anyone will be dropped off beside the road. But it may be a "motivational tool" of that "trainer".

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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This question may have no definitive answer

It has to be affordable cell phones. When I started driving flatbed in 1995, almost nobody had a cell phone on the road with them. I had one, but it cost so much to use just in my local area it was ridiculous, let alone "roaming". Couldn't afford it. Now you can talk all day if you want to. Anybody else remember the long-distance prepaid phone cards sold at all the truck stops? Then waiting to use a phone to call home in the long rows of pay phones?

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Maverick Transportation

Check out this video a driver made https://youtu.be/OTBI29X0RTk

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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For the trainers: Did I Cross a Line?

Wow I guess I haven't been paying attention. Last I knew if you had to do shots you couldn't have a CDL.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Bunk windows. Safe at idle?

It's Carbon Monoxide (CO), not Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Tarp or no tarp?

I used to load lumber in Windsor, Ontario that they picked up out of 18 inches of standing water/slush/ice/mud that had to be tarped. Made no sense to me, but I had to do it.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Got To Get A Sleep Study Done

I got my cpap machine 2 years ago, a ResMed Airsense 10 Autoset. And the ResMed Airfit P10 Nasal Mask. When I had my sleep study, I averaged 77 events per hour. Yeah, I was getting like NO good sleep. I could fall asleep during the day anytime I wasn't actively doing something. It's a world of difference once you start using the cpap. The mask I have is the 4th one I've tried, and it's the best so far, it's so light it's like it's not there.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Game: funny town names

I didn't read through all of these, I hope these are new!

French Lick, Indiana

Knob Noster, Missouri

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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CB for slip seat

You can buy the vise-grip antenna mounts on amazon very inexpensively, and I used to see them at truck stops.

Posted:  11 months ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

So just how slow were you going if they were able to write on the back of your trailer?

I had stopped at a small truck stop Friday to use the restroom....when I came out this is what someone had written in the snow on my trailer.....

0303455001514736260.jpg "Swift Of Food" I'm assuming I made someone mad i was driving slow in the snow /ice. How could somebody be so cruel shocked.png

Posted:  11 months ago

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What the heck are Fusees?

Flares.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Flatbed company for student driver?

Hey Paul,

If Eugene welding is still there, look and see who is loading there. I used to load pallet racking there several times a year. Also, Roehl would be who I would go for in Michigan. Also, Celadon has had financial problems and recently filed bankruptcy. Roehl's school is supposed to be one of the best.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Cold weather gear for flatbed drivers

I always rotated 3-4 pairs of gloves, when they get wet. I would put the wet pair(s) on the defrosters to dry while I was driving. And you're right about fueling, keep a separate pair for fueling, they get nasty. I would just use long underwear, jeans, and an arctic lined carhartt jacket or coat. That was good enough for me, even loading in Northern Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

A quick tip: If you have a high load like styrofoam insulation, that gets loaded up to the 13'6" max, and it rained on it since you moved last, or snow/ice is melting, when you pull the tarp by the corner to pull it off the load, that makes a nice trough for all the water on top to rush right into your face. So look out.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Truck Versus Car Incident - Who Was Wrong, & Could It Have Been Avoided?

Mark time with the white lines in the center of the lanes, and try to decide if the driver sped up or not. I don't think so. He just wasn't going to have his toes stepped on by another 4 wheeler that day. Also, what is the legal safe following distance?

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed

Roehl also has a fleet of Curtainsides.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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A little advice please

Or how about another Swift truck from Ft. Wayne to Chicago or wherever you're heading next?

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Three Swift Swifts Parking Follies

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That is a worry of mine, that I will have that much trouble backing. embarrassed.gif

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Everyone does. You'll have one day where you'll nail it all day long. The next day people will think Helen Keller is behind the wheel. As some here know, I drive in NYC all the time, it'll force you to have your head on a swivel and give you challenges you really don't want. The key is to be safe and never give up.

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Robert the Dragon took the words right out of my brain! Yes, when you get out of school and pass the CDL test, you are closer to Helen Keller for backing than to supertrucker. It comes with practice. I've been driving for COUGHSwiftCOUGH for ten months. One time recently I couldn't back into a dock for the life of me (45-90 degree alley dock). The very next day, in a similar situation, you could use my back-up in an instruction video on how to do it. Do not be nervous, Get Out and Look more than you really want to, and, above all, do not hit the fender of another truck!

That last line just gave me another thought about the Three Swifties - we do not see how full that parking area is. That original "parking here" picture is empty, but when the action starts, you do not know how much space there is. Still, I laughed at some of the antics.

You can see in the reflection on the trailer when it's crossways in front of the camera that there's quite a few trucks in there.

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