Profile For Errol V.

Errol V.'s Info

  • Location:
    Olive Branch, MS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 11 months ago

Errol V.'s Bio

A school teacher for eleven years. Now I'm getting out of the classroom!!

A trucker for three years. Then Oops! I've become a Driving Instructor! ... Now I'm back in the classroom!! (Or on the backing range)

Errol V.'s Photo Gallery Group 1 of 17

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Posted:  2 days, 1 hour ago

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Update 3months down and doing well

Amber isn't sure on which way to go:

One question I've had is we have had our in cab computer say the opposite of what the lighted signs say about whether to bypass a weight station or not and we haven't known which to listen to??

First, if you aren't sure, it's safer to pull in to the scales. Bypassing the scales just might get you in trouble. If they didn't signal you in, you'll probably simply either go through the scales or get the green arrows to bypass the chicken coop.

I've been confused a few times. This is what I do: If I pass one of the signs that say "Trucks follow in cab signals", I follow the in cab signals. If I don't see any sign and my Qualcomm computer says green light or whatever, it's probably safe to pass (the signal won't come on randomly). But if the computer sits silently looking at me as I come up to a scale, and the road sign says "OPEN", I'll follow rule #1 above, and pull in.

Anyway, if your load is not close to the 80,000 lb. limit you don't have anything to worry about.

Here's a video posted on the forum five years ago:

How Does A Florida Weigh Station Work? (35 minutes)

Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

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Hire with accident

Well, Antonia, with such phrases as "[I] was taken into a ditch." your first post sounded like you had no part in that accident. But now you sound better. I hope you had the "my fault" attitude in your safety meeting (if you had one). As for "bad" trucking companies, first, think of a trucking company. Any trucking company. Now, fill in the blank: "________ sucks! They screwed me and all my friends, too!". You can find this thought anywhere people can post trucking "reviews". No tucking company can survive long by messing up their drivers! Now you still will have some 'splaining to do, but make sure your prospective employer knows you are a better person/driver for it. To open up your options, use the link Rob posted for applying for jobs. Aside from the current Virus conditions, most people who go through that application get phone calls the same day. Just think - you could actually be able to say "No" to some job offers!! Now that's being picky!

Posted:  2 days, 12 hours ago

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Hire with accident

Not having much luck finding a job which isn’t surprising, other than Western Express calling me which I’d rather avoid. But I’ve got a family, so I can’t be too picky.

This is a contradiction. If you're not too picky, what's wrong with Western Express? We recommend WX as a company that will give many people the chance they need. Ask one of our main mods, Old School.

Another thing: whose fault was your accident? The wind? The road you chose? Your boo-boo is classed as a preventable accident, meaning most of the responsibility goes to the person holding the steering wheel. Wasn't that you?

Your best approach here is to take ownership of the incident, admit you made some bad choices in how to handle a light load on a local (probably narrow) road and you learned something from it. I assume you're new at this, It's almost expected that newbies will have at least a fender bender or two in their early years.

I dented things three times my first year with Swift. They pulled me into the terminal (the one on Brooks Rd here in Memphis) gave me a finger wagging talk, and sent me on my way.

Posted:  3 days, 13 hours ago

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Tina, the chances are very high you will learn and drive an auto-shift truck. Clutch models are going away as companies update their fleets.

The transmition is still the clutch type but you don't have to dance your left foot in the pedal, a computer does so that for you. No more "grinding a new gear" or having to stop in the road just to start up in first anymore.

On downhills the engine retarder (Jake brake) will automatically kick in to help manage your speed.

Some people claim they "lose driving control" because they can't choose gears any more and/or its not safe. Trucking companies wouldn't go that way if they didn't save money. They are obviously interested in improving MPG and reducing maintenance. Above all, auto shift trucks are safer or you wouldn't be in one.

There's also the CDL license restriction of "automatic only" you'll get. But if manual shift trucks are going away, that shouldn't be a problem. I learned in a manual shift truck then drove them for three years. When I was issued an automatic, I got spoiled. I like 'em.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

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Thinking about Swift

I did something similar at Swift's Academy in Memphis, TN. No problem to go home nightly. Keep in mind it will be unacceptable to be late in the morning, so plan plenty of time for traffic.

Make it clear at registration your not staying in the hotel, you should get something off the tuition. I took $500 off my commitment.

Living in SoCal you should be used to hour (or more) commutes anyway. So take the two hours for both ways out of your life.

Posted:  4 days, 23 hours ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

I forgot to add this link. "How a virus can spread".

Ulimate Chain Reaction - presented by Pepsi MAX. (2:22)

(The video is more about ping pong balls and mousetraps, but the action is very close to spreading disease.)

Posted:  4 days, 23 hours ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

My brother is an MD in California. He teaches at Loma Linda University (teaching) hospital, and is in charge of a pediatric rehabilitation facility. He has many regular contacts with county public health offices. He has no reason to be anything but straight with me on things medical. Dave told me that this edition of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is particularly contagious through those "respiratory droplets" (sneezes, coughs, and wiping your mouth with a hand). I'm not interested in finding this out for myself.

The idea of having everyone stay home/6 feet apart and such is to prevent the spread of the virus. People who do contract the virus might feel fine for several days before they "come down" with it. In those five days the chances jump up for its spread, even though the "sick" person still feels fine and doesn't realize they might be helping to spread the virus. So the effort to get people to say inside is a way to eliminate one way the disease gets transmitted. Yes, staying home means stay home from work (earning money) and most places you spend it, like restaurants and theaters. "Closing down the economy" is actually a result of everyone stopping earning and spending.

The over reacting part is because of the effort to keep people away from each other.

I posted earlier that because of the way OTR driving works, drivers are pretty much keeping to themselves, and aren't likely to spread it as much as, say flight attendants might.

In the final part of my diatribe, a fact: the only person (by office) that can actually compel (legally tell) you to stay home is the Surgeon General, down to local public health officials. The police can't, State Troopers can't, the Army or Marines can't. But the authority of the Public Health office or Surgeon General can. (Keep in mind Law Enforcement can work under orders from the Public Health people.)

So to prevent the spread of a contagious and more deadly than usual disease, hunker down. The economy needs to stop non-essential things. But people will still need utilities, and food and stuff. But for now they should put off buying new clothes, going to movies, and stuff. Plants (wheat, corn, etc.) will still grow and be taken to market. If people stop going to restaurants, they still need to eat. That's why grocery stores have empty shelves - more people are eating at home, and fewer are mixing it up in restaurants. (If you get pizza or other delivery from a restaurant, tip big.) Truckers are what will keep the U.S. going. Don't get sick yourselves.

If you expect to pass through Memphis (that's I-55 and I-40) and have time only to pull through a truck stop, contact me for a free face mask.

Posted:  5 days, 5 hours ago

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Listen to Errol he is more than a pretty face. I made his device back when I had to slide randoms and it worked pretty well.

What are you sayin' Bobcat?? rofl-3.gifrofl-3.gif

Thanks for validating my idea.

Posted:  5 days, 17 hours ago

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I posted this about 3 years ago:

Home Depot shopping list:

* 2" x 8-10" galvanized pipe nipple
* 2" ell

Comes in at less than 10 bucks. Assemble.

Calculate the holes to move. Count it that many "open" holes and put the pipe into it, the ell sticking out toward you.

Release tandems, slowly move the truck till it bumps the pipe. (Move the truck a teensy bit in the other direction to un-pinch the pipe). Get out, remove pipe, close tandem lock. Et voilà! Tandems adjusted!

Ten bucks or fifty bucks. You decide. (And what do you do when you lose your Magna Stop?

Posted:  6 days, 7 hours ago

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Mountain Grades

Yes, use the transmission (that lower gear} to control your speed. Brakes are for stopping, not controlling downhill speed. The best thing to use is the engine retarder ("Jake brakes").

If you see a "TRUCK SPEED LIMIT" sign on the downhill leg, that's your speed limit (yes, even 35 MPH on the interstate). Remember the "Mountain Driving" party of the CDL manual:

Proper Braking Technique
Remember, the use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low gear, the following is the proper braking technique:

  • Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.
  • When your speed has been reduced to approximately 5 mph below your “safe” speed, release the brakes. (This brake application should last about 3 seconds.)
  • When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat the first two steps.

Regardless of how fast or slow other trucks might be rolling, you drive your truck the way you are comfortable. Even a little respectful fear is a good thing.

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

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Hair Follicle VS. Urine

As an added fact, the hair follicle test only looks at the last 90 days of hair length. The use of hair testing is not, of course, up to you. But it is also not the required test by FMCSA. The Feds are still requiring the urine test for CMV drug testing. However, using other methods of drug testing is up to the company, and the hiring decision is strictly up to them.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Home made face masks will work

Here's a video explaining how face masks, including home made ones, are effective in reducing the spread of the Corona virus:


Starting next week (after April 9) I'll deliver to any Memphis truck stop (Loves, Pilots on Lamar or F-J at exit 6 on US-78 south of town). They are free, and any cash you care to donate to will be sent to Truckers Against Trafficking.

Text me with a day or so's advance notice (written in a way to reduce web page scraping):
(Memphis area code*) + two I tree + eighty-ate oh five

In the meantime, I know OTR truckers' resources are limited on the road. Here's a suggestion, mainly aimed at the guys (I just couldn't resist posting this. Sorry.):

Máscara Fácil Contra El Virus

*Memphis area code is 901

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Need help with offers I’ve received

... starting pay.

How many years do you plan to be "starting", Marcelo? One way to look at starting pay is that you are, in a way, paying for more training. It's great you have that full CDL-A license. But truly there's more to trucking than HOS rules and backing a trailer. Once you get in with a company you should be sent out with an experienced trainer for a few weeks to learn the finer points of the business.

So, once you've got the starting part done, you'll do much more time as an experienced driver. In talking with recruiters, do ask how long the training program is, and what's involved. But focus on benefits over the long term. Here's some reading we have for newbies:

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses

I didn't know there was such a thing as a DMV in Mississippi?

Tru 'nuff, Packrat, there ain't no "DMV" in Mississippi. But DMV is more understood than "DPS".

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses

I wonder if I should get my med cert renewed around this time since it comes up in July. But they don't automatically send it to the state, you have to right?

Yer probly right, there, Yuuyo. Down here in Mississip, ya git yer new med card then ya take it to the DMV (no charge) or go online and submit a pichur ($2.50 but ya save a trip).

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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1099 company driver responsible for fuel?

I did work a "legitimate" 1099 Independent Contractor job a year ago. The company paid a whopping $3000 to go from Virginia to Washington state. However, i was expected to pay all fuel and tolls from that. (Though they did cover the anti-gel - I was delivering the truck power units.) And if I didn't want to make a given run, that was OK.

But I agree with Greg and Turtle. If your company requires you to do the work they assign, and you have no option to do the job or not, you are most probably being employed in an actually illegal way (not illelgal for you, but it is for the company to do you that way.)

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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How to ensure to be “LATE” at the alley dock?

Roberto, the thing about the landing gear "K" is that it's a landmark to get you started in that trailer bend. Your question about "late" is the most important question in that maneuver.

It's way too easy to get "early" and feed your tandems that inside cone. It's much harder to open the turn up and get "later". Make your first objective to be an imaginary spot about 10 feet out from the box. Since it's harder to open up your turn to be later, just go later first. Then when you see the moment, a twist of the wrist to the right only for a little bit will get you into the spot.

The alley dock you do for your skills test is the only time you have to sweat out a turn that way. But a bending back into a target spot, between trailers, or a dock door is one of the most common things you'll have to do at a warehouse. But in the real world you can do as many pull ups and GOALS as you want!

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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CCW Reciprocity for truck drivers now?

Few, if any, trucking companies will put up with setting up training and certification for drivers desiring to carry weapons in THEIR equipment and for L/Os with THEIR NAME painted on the side.

They have enough going on already, dealing with "big truck" lawsuits and such, and aren't interested in the ramifications and liability of unmanaged firearms associated with their company.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Vacation days for truck drivers

Keep in mind that if you don't roll the wheels you don't get paid. So (my guess) when you take off six weeks you don't get paid for six weeks.

And as Rob explains, you must clean out your truck then get a new one when you get back. And I wouldn't be surprised if you have to take another drive test, minimum.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Vacation days for truck drivers

Vacations days are different from the one week/one day thing.

It's been too long for me to give current information, but Swift drops extra payment ($1,000??) on your yearly anniversary. As for actual time off, that can be arranged any time, as long as you make these arrangements with your Driver Manager.

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