Profile For Errol V.

Errol V.'s Info

  • Location:
    Olive Branch, MS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 10 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. The Oops! I'm become a Driving Instructor! ... Now I'm back in the classroom!!

Errol V.'s Photo Gallery Group 1 of 16

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Posted:  14 hours, 44 minutes ago

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Tandem release pins

Yes, the big hammer and WD-40 come in handy.

One other thing to try is to move the trailer on the tandems just like you're making the adjustment but without pulling out the pins. Maybe a pin is stuck against the rail and needs to be moved away just a tad.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

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Swift offer

The first person to ask is your DM. Mainly because they probably sit in the same room as the other Driver Managers, including Dedicated ones.

Another possibility is Shuttle, where you drive the same route every day, 4 on and 2 off.

I've done both of these (including Swift OTR).

Posted:  2 days, 7 hours ago

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Use a Driver facing camera (your own!)

Many companies are backing down on driver facing cameras. The drivers don't like the assumed invasion of privacy, and getting caught eating Oreos or something might get you in finger-wagging trouble.

But....

The great benefit in the CYA department is if you ever do get into an accident, a video of you being attentive to driving will go a long way in your defense. So ... get your own dash cam, and point it at the driver seat. The recorded files will be yours to delete, and if you ever need proof that you are a professional driver, not given to eating or texting while driving, you have the video to prove it.

Walmart has a really good one for less than $50.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

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Regrets

One "happy medium" that I had for a while was regional. Many of these types of programs have you drive through the week, and you get home on Friday night/Saturday.

Also, if you have the chance to drive "your own hours". If you start your day very early, you can pull in around 3-4pm when you have an empty truck stop parking to pick any spot.

Posted:  4 days, 7 hours ago

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Leave of absence

Bruce, the DOT eye exam basically covers these points:

  • distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses
  • The color vision requirement is met by the ability to recognize and distinguish among red, amber, and green, the standard colors of traffic control signals and devices.

Look here for the details: Eye Exam & Vision Requirements For DOT Physical

The whole DOT physical is here: DOT Physical - The Complete Guide

Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

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Question about working for my father...

Another "work for someone else" vote. The main reason fits with the rule "never be the one to teach your child how to drive". You will both end up in frustration and anger.

Also, as a new driver, the resources of a large company will help you get started better than relying on your old man for equipment and training. Once you have a few 100,000 miles under your belt, then talk to your father about driving together ... and with the experience issue out of the way, your drive insurance will be way less than as a rookie.

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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Elog review by DOT

Most large companies have already put the Cheat Sheet/Quick Reference Card/Cab Card into the permit book. Go look for it now.

The DOT officer probably won't suggest that you look for it, but if you know where it is, you, too, can surprise a DOT officer!

BTW, while you 're looking in the permit book, another gotcha is out of date permits. Check 'e all! The up-to-date permits are available at your nearest terminal.

Posted:  6 days, 9 hours ago

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Seeking advice regarding first purchase of truck

Welcome to Trucking Red!

First off, this web site focuses on getting brand new drivers up to speed in their new career. Second, TT doesn't generally recommend owning a truck in the first place.

Two reasons come to my mind right off the bat:

You are investing your capital (your own money) in a $60 - 150,000 machine when a company will let you drive theirs "for free". You will be responsible for everything from windshield wipers to clutches. (A secret: companies buy new trucks, then sell them when upkeep costs start to hurt the money-making of that truck.)

And in doing your research, you have listed many other things a company driver doesn't have to worry about. I'll put all that into one word: headaches.

So my suggestion is to be a company driver and let the company take care of their equipment. Overall, an O/O's and a company driver's bottom line will not be very far apart.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Upset Mother

Lisa, I hope you can get back to us here. Your first post leaves out a lot of information. Training? Hitchhiker? Is your son the driver or (ex-)passenger? What other ciurcumstances would lead the driver to pretty much kick the passenger out?

As for just getting someone out of a truck, I beleive there's no law or company rule that says you can't, as long as the location is safe.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Manual or Automatic?

I currently deliver new tractors right from the factory (Volvo, International, and Mack). All the new ones except for three were Auto-shift. The manuals were all Eaton Fuller 13 speed.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Hourly Pay vs Mileage Pay

Morgan, the Trucking Truth philosophy is that a rookie driver should stick with their first company for at least one year. Other companies aren't excited about hiring job hoppers.

As for pay, only local jobs pay hourly. OTR is paid by the mile. And your daily maximum drive time is 11 hours. That means you'll do good to roll 600+ miles/day. That won't be every day, anyway.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Companies with Good Equipment

Any decently large company will be most interested in having the most efficient tractors they can get. "Looks" are down list for must haves.

The Roman nose trucks are more aerodynamic than nose. Automatic shift transmissions have a better fuel mileage. The horses under the hood will be ok to pull 45,000 payloads up a long hill at 40mph, not 55.

As for your experience, and the jump from intrastate to OTR, you have good reasons to move on. Start looking down the list of companies. Good luck!

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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How Old is Too Old?

Yeah, OK. I was born in 1951 - you do the math. I took my CDL school five years ago. Still holding onto that steering wheel!

Maybe you want be old and sit on the porch to pass the days. Well, a driver's cab has a comfortable seat, and the scenery is always changing. Don't let big age numbers stop you!

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Newb Questions About CDL Training And Qualifications

Some additional thoughts on Paid CDL Training Programs:

You have already heard about the money. It is true that you are on the hook for tuition, even on a company sponsored program - but a company will automatically finance you, and probably interest free to boot! That's where that one year (or so) commitment comes in.

Now if you do your research on which company is "best", you might find that you have a large list of OK companies. The difference is in the details, like APU, pet & rider policy, terminal locations, etc. So, most companies that offer "paid training" will work out for you.

Another thing about the company training: you are all but hired the day you first sit in the classroom. No real job yet, but the sponsoring company figures you just might make it to Driver status. This pre-check will include any medical considerations, and you should have a chance to correct anything that needs correcting. Going to a private school (re-read Brett's list of "why's") is ya pays yer money and ya takes yer classes. "Employment assistance" is all you get from the school. And you still need to pay, either from your bulging bank account or back to the loan company.

Finally, terminal location: once you get in a truck, terminals, offices and even your home location don't mean much. On a daily basis you are driving around the country. If you need to do something at the terminal, you can probably swing by any terminal to take care of business. And for home time, once you let the DM know, arrangements will be made for you to get back to the fam for a few days.

And finally, placing a new driver costs a company a few thousand bucks. If you go to a company school, they are very interested in you getting it right, not just in getting past the CDL tests. No secret: in my opinion, company sponsored school is the way to go.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Differences in free time between the kinds of freight hauling

Here's a question to help clarify things: Do you need your free time to be in one "chunk" - say 2 hours so you can concentrate on your second job, or can you take 15 minutes here and there through the day?

As for daily schedule, I try to start my work day around 3-4am, then knock off about the same in the afternoon. This works for me. You may have fixed appointments for picking up and delivery that you will have to work around. But in Truck Load dry van, many times you can show up any time during the day, or in large "after 2pm" type slots.

Remember, by FMCSA rules, you will have at least 10 hours per day to be Off Duty. (Your daily "shift" will run a maximum 14 hours after you start working, and that leaves 10 hours required before you can do that again.) It is up to you to be rested, refreshed and ready to start the next day. As long as you get your rest in, the balance of that ten hours is yours to squander as you see fit.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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AMT asking for double trailer length increase from 28' - 33'

PackRat queries:

How do you dock a trainer?

Use a better spelkl check, and proof read anyway! rofl-2.gif

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Rollovers

Rob draws a conclusion:

double-quotes-start.png

Driving any load requires judgement on both safety and driving with prudence to protect the cargo.

double-quotes-end.png

If I understand correctly, it means that, regardless of who loaded it and how the cargo was loaded, the driver is expected to deliver the load on time and undamaged. And consistent with the theme that I am learning on this forum, taking personal responsibility as a driver. The attitude of the failures in trucking would try to excuse a rollover with "the load shifted on me, because they didn't load it right."

I'm struggling, but am I starting to "get it."

I second G-Town's thoughts.

As you stated, "... the driver is expected to deliver the load on time and undamaged." Go to the head of the class! An easier and more general statement is "Guess who's holding the steering wheel?" On the road, whether it's because of your speed, the way you drive the truck, the weight of the axles or total weight, this is all on you. That's why the Pre-Trip inspection, your routing, and knowing the weight of your load and truck are so important for your career.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Rollovers

Grumpy says:

Spoke with my trainer yesterday. He said speed on off ramps depends on how heavy and how high we are loaded. He has coached me on ramps differently each time.

Dave (formerly a Know-It-All) posits:

Rule of thumb my trainer taught me was 5 to 15 mph under the on/off ramp speed.

To add to this collection, Swift recommends HALF the ramp's advisory speed.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CDL B DRIVER GOING FOR CLASS A

Rhyan wants to stretch things:

I know it might be a stretch but is it ANY way possible I can get trained for my Class A without going OTR?? I just had a kid & cant be gone for days at a time...

You have two issues here: the Class A CDL and OTR experience. Yes, it's no big deal for the state to issue you a CDL-A, as long as you have a medical card and you pass the skills + road tests. BUT, most big companies want to see the 160 hour training certificate you get from driving school. That's Part 1.

Part 2 is the OTR experience. Again,most companies know that even with a freshly printed CDL-A license you can't really handle a truck/trailer on the road at all, much less Over The Road. You will still be in training as you ride around the country with a trainer for a while (various requirements as to time and/or miles). So, regardless of your desires and future job assignment, chances are high that you will be away from your new baby for a few months, at least.

I'm a Grandpa, and I have had a few grandbabies. I know the first few months are intense, even more then enough for Mom & Dad to handle by themselves. Maybe you should delay your truck school till more into the summer.

Remember to check out these companies:
Paid CDL Training Programs
Apply For Paid CDL Training

Company sponsored programs will make it easier (less out-of-pocket) for you to get into trucking.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CDL AUTOMATIC RESTRICTION

Not to worry. Nearly all new tractors are coming out automatic shift. Most big fleets are moving the manual shifts out and "everybody" will be in the automatics in only another year or two.

You can whine about "driver control" all you want, but the economies of the auto-shift speak loud enough for fleet owners to switch.

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