Comments By Errol V.

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  • Errol V.
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  • 7 years, 3 months ago
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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Had A Minor Backing Accident

Sam, how long have you been driving? It's accepted that new drivers will bend or break something in their first few months. Not to say it's ok there, Sammy. But you will have to go into the office and talk to the Safety department. Depending on many things you may be told to go home for a while or something. But with the almost no information you have provided, I'll assume you'll be back on the road soon.

Your company will keep a record of your accident, so try not to let it happen again. In my first six months at Swift I had two fender benders that caused damage - once to a customer's building and once to my truck that needed a few days in the body shop. Each time I had A Conversation, explained how it happened (not making excuses) and said I'll try to better.

Should you get called in, no, when you get called in, make it clear you understand what happened and you are better for it.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trailer brake

Grumpy reiterates:

Yes, my question was how to test the service brakes on the trailer with no trolley brake.

You don't. The service brake is all one system, with the trailer service system added when you're hooked up. And as discussed here, that trailer brake control in the cab is actually an option for the buyer. I figure if it's optional, there's no real reason for a separate test.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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HOMELESS TRUCKERS?

Welcome Morris! A question first: are you new to trucking and want to know what living in your truck is like, or are you "homeless" now and want to compare notes? Many truckers do live on 3 axle "RVs". Are you one now?

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Truck driving classes in spanish?

G-Town asks:

Unless the DOT CDL examiner speaks fluent Spanish, how will they know if the person they are testing thoroughly knows the PTI? How will they verbally communicate instructions issued during the skills and road test?

This is true. But take a closer look at the DOT reg:

Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records;

These underlined things are the same ol' same ol'. They are the same words all the time. "Slack adjuster securely fastened, not bent or broken". How much vocabulary do you need to get through a guard gate or know which door to back into? This isn't a conversation about your favorite Transformers movie. Someone who barely knows English can probably still do a good job taking orders at a burger counter because the words are all the same.

In my time instructing new driver students at Swift's Academy, I had plenty of foreign students who sometimes could hardly understand what I said, and vice versa. But they made it through the class, got a CDL and started making OTR money.

I may have been a bit harsh on Louis, come to think about it. But you are correct, G-Town, On the other hand in six months Luis could hold his own at any Iron Skillet counter, for sure!

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Truck driving classes in spanish?

Luis, I'm sorry but using English is actually a requirement:

Section §391.11 General qualifications of drivers.

(b) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, a person is qualified to drive a motor vehicle if he/she—

      (2) Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records;

I do not know of any measure or test that will tell if your English ability is good enough, but I suggest that you learn to read these things without too much help:

The practice tests are at a level of English you'll need to read.

As you spend more time on our society, try to avoid using Spanish as much as you can - then when you find yourself thinking in English, you will be close to the required fluency. Luis, I am giving you this special advice as I speak from experience. I was born in California, (so I already know English) but in college I studied the Chinese language, I even traveled to Taiwan and stayed there eight months. By living there and speaking only Chinese, I was mostly fluent in about 6 months. Do the best you can, Luis!

One idea is to apply to the UPS or an LTL company (Like Old Dominion, Estes, or ABF). Most often these companies hire you to work on the loading dock (no license required), then you will be able to transfer to the trucks after some time on the dock.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Trailer brake

double-quotes-start.png

So how do you test your trailer brakes without it?

double-quotes-end.png

Trailer brake set (red knob out), release tractor brake (yellow knob in), then do a couple tug tests.

The trailer ("Trolley" or "hand") brake lever controls the trailer's service brakes. The red "Trailer Air Supply" valve runs the trailer's spring/parking brakes. So the basic tug test only checks the trailer parking brakes.

Here's a question from the CDL General Knowledge test bank:

Q. When should you use the hand valve to park a combination vehicle?
    a. To park at loading docks.
    b. To park on a grade.
    c. To park for less than two hours.
    d, Never.

The correct answer: "d." I tell students in class the best use for that lever is, as noted, a place to hang your sunglasses.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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What are your preferred hours to run?

I like to sleep late compared to Rob. Barring appointment schedules I like to start my day around 3am. When it's time to pull in 12-14 hours later (2pm or so, I have my choice of truck stop parking. And no wait for a shower.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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CFI / Crowder College

Hi, Kyle, welcome to Trucking Truth where your questions will be answered. First, put this word into your mind and don't let it escape:

Chill

The CFI people will understand and should get you a sample truck to practice on & with on Tuesday.

The trucks do have all the same stuff: air brakes, alternators, clearance lights and everything. Some things may look different or be like, on the other side of the engine, but you should be able to recognize the parts you're supposed to know.

The water pump and the alternator will be belt driven, the air compressor and power steering will be gear driven. Heads up: the air compressor is still hard to see, and you should make a point to find it before you head for the testing. If you somehow find disk brakes on the tractor, don't wig out - is still securely attached and not cracked. You won't be able to see the disk brake shoes/pads so you just tell the examiner about the lining thickness anyway.

Auto shift takes away the double clutching and fear of losing or grinding gears. Also you won't have to worry about coasting to a stop. You'll do all right.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Gonna be a OTR driver.....Soon.....I hope

Here's some stuff about the Not-Comfort-Inn just behind your driver seat. Yes, the sleeper:
You have some cabinets, and something you could maybe agree was a closet if someone told you it was. A place or two to write on (unless your lower bunk can turn into a table nook!)

These days you could even have a small built-in refrigerator (not a cooler - a real refrigerator with a tiny freezer) and either a TV or a place to hang a flat screen. No kitchen no sink no bathroom or toilet. Lots of 12v "cigarette lighter" sockets for all those 12v appliances (there is a 12v oven you an get at truck stops!)

Keep this in mind: the bed & mattress you will get is a XL Twin, so look for sheets that have XLT for a size. After a while you will have enough stuff tucked in there that when it comes time to swap trucks it will take you maybe an hour or so to swap into your new one.

Learn to love the Sleeper cab life!

Posted:  3 months, 4 weeks ago

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First Week Experience

Dean, check out our long running Flatbed Variety topic. This could be you sometime.

Posted:  3 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need recommendations for getting started

Hello Mr Shiznitz and welcome top Trucking Truth. It sounds like you have been researching this potential new career a bit. Great! First, here is our "starter kit":

The High Road CDL training program will be your first step - it gets you up to speed on the Permit test. Veterans often do get a bit of a better deal. I went to Swift who offers vets free CDL training (the deal means you drive for them a year but no payroll deductions to pay back the tuition. (note: this was 5 years ago, things may be a bit different now.) Other bennies may be a bump in Cents Per Mile or added "seniority" on pay levels. Your recruiters will be able to fill yo in on any given company.

Here is a set of links to help Choose Your First Truck Driving Job:

Any more questions, just post them on the forum!

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

AUTOMATED MANUAL TRANSMISSION

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

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 months ago

View Topic:

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 months ago

View Topic:

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Magnastop??

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:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Magnastop??

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?

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