Comments By Errol V.

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  • Errol V.
  • Joined:
  • 6 years, 4 months ago
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Posted:  6 days, 10 hours ago

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Can anyone tell me if the Knob you add to the Steering Wheel is illegal

Susan knows what she doesn't know:

I really don't know. My company doesn't want them in their trucks.

Keith, your first stop is your company - maybe your DM knows. My guess is you are a company driver, so it's their truck.

Posted:  6 days, 11 hours ago

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Geocaching.

Notice the age of the post before yours (3 years ago) . GC isn't a hot topic here.

So, are you 100% ride along, or will you also drive team? Either way, read the posts on this forum, and look through blog entries for teams.

Any questions/thoughts about living in an OTR truck, bring 'em!

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

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Geocaching.

Chelly, sorry for your frustration in Caching. Trucking Truth really isn't the forum for this topic. My thoughts from 3 years ago still hold: OTR trucking and geocaching are not a good mix.

About I still have that Trackable!
shocked.png

Get the geocaching app, and check out the Geocaching Forum.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Jake Brake?

This could e nerve wracking, but this practice plays into keeping you safe:

Every once in a while, imagine if the car in front of you stops quickly, or you start to skid, or some other terrible thing happens.

What do you do?

The imagination game will keep you on your toes, and you will be more mindful of actually what you should do.

Posted:  1 week ago

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In truck driving school, need some clarification on up shifting and downshifting for test

Jake overthinks:

To avoid stalling out from a stop in say 3rd gear, would I hold the brake pedal and ease off the clutch until I see the tractor lean right, then let off the brake and then ease on the gas while I slowly let off the clutch the rest of the way?

I know when you're starting out in shifting gears, you need to follow steps and try not to mess up. Sooner or later, though, it becomes seat of the pants. You'll feel & hear the engine speed and learn to do what's necessary for smooth operation.

There part I quoted here is actually simplicity. At the stop (brakes engaged, clutch in), first do let off the clutch till you feel/hear the engine slow that tiny bit. Once the engine has it, right foot moves from brake to accelerator to take over. Left foot off the clutch, till the next shift point, and so on. You got it!

Posted:  1 week ago

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Getting paid to visit my daughter.

I've used that "Relative Express"® Card myself a few times. Great way to visit friends, as well as family.

My regional route did not include Florida, and my mom lived in St. Petersburg. Occasionally I'd ask my DM to arrange a Florida trip through a DM that covered Florida. Bingo! A weekend with my mom - no extra charge.

The key is, as you found, is to remember to add your daughter into your route planning.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Jake Brake?

These guys are right. Wet roads have less traction available. The problem with engine retarders ("Jakes") is they only work to slow down the drive axles. The other parts of your truck only slow with the brakes. So if there's a difference in traction between the axles, you're just asking for a jacknife.

Here's a principle to keep in mind on wet/slippery downhills: it's harder and even dangerous to slow down, so be careful about speeding up.

I personally play this mind game: I imagine what my maximum safe speed should be, then start out too slow. I try to manage my speed so I'm finally at my imaginary maximum speed at the bottom of the grade.

Finally, if you are going "too slow" for other trucks and they keep passing you, let 'em. First, better safe than crashed. And the time "lost" by going too slow won't add more than a minute to your total drive time. It's insignificant in the bigger scheme of things.

Posted:  1 week ago

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In truck driving school, need some clarification on up shifting and downshifting for test

It's sad when instructors can't stay consistent with each other. (I can say that - I run a small CDL school.)

Keep in mind the one person you need to keep happy is the CDL examiner. And don't really sweat that, they really do want you to pass the test. My version of answers point in that direction.

1) Start in lower gears, even first. Do what your instructors ask while you're with them, but starting in low gears keeps you from stalling out. (Stalling on your test may fail you out.)

2) Be careful in skipping gears. "Losing" your shift so that you have to stop in traffic to get into a gear is a no-no also. Also, during your test, -> ALWAYS <- double clutch. So-called gliding gears can also end your test. (That's not using the clutch at all - it's often done on the road but never do it in a test situation.)

3) As with Q#2, the main thing is to not lose track of your shifting. The quick shifting you describe should not come up during your road test.

Posted:  1 week ago

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1 year DL requirement

If you ask a recruiter, the worst that could happen is they'd say "No".

Actually, if everything else looks good, your recruiters (I hope you get several) might just say "Come back in a year".

Also, if you must wait till next summer, start studying for the CDL test (it's how you get your CDL learner permit) now but don't take the test till you're ready to make your move. Study using the High Road CDL Training Program linked above.

And be sure to hang out on this forum, and check out the CDL Training Diaries so you don't have any surprises.

Here's a YouTube v-log to follow: Truckin Along With Kearsey. Kearsey shows up here as Rainey.

Rainey has written tons of articles that are worth your time to read. Though she has cut back her forum participation a bit, read her stuff. That's an assignment for you.

Posted:  1 week ago

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1 year DL requirement

Hello, Tee, welcome to Trucking Truth.

First, a little real-world fact: getting a CDL and getting a CDL job are different animals. You can get a CDL if you are 18 (this requires a CDL road test and a regular driver license to get the CDL license.)

The other part of your question (a job) is different. If you're under 21 (are you under or over 21 now?) you can only drive within your state, no interstate driving. Few local companies would hire you anyway.

Once you have that CDL, and are over 21, and if your driving record and your work experience are clean, many interstate trucking companies that hire brand new drivers would like to talk to you.

Here's some questions from us that will help us better answer your questions:

* Are you over 18? Over 21?

* Do you have a "regular" driver license now, with a clean record?

What have you done to prepare for being a "big truck driver"?

Here are a few things we offer new/potential CDL drivers:

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Trucking days for new driver

Hi, Luke, welcome to Trucking Truth. Unless your step dad has trucking experience, the learning curve to run a truck as owner operator, not to speak of the responsibility of several trucks and their drivers, is brick-wall steep.

Brett mentioned "commodity". Think UPS, FedEx, or USPS. All three will get a package from A to B for about the same price. Why choose one over the other? (All the differences are minor.) Is there a difference between buying a gallon of milk from Kroger, Walmart or Hayes Grocery? Not really. Commodity business fight for every fraction of a penny they get because their profit margins are pennies on a dollar of revenue.

Let me also introduce two of the posters here. Old School of one of the most knowledgeable members. He has owned several trucks at a time, though now he is happiest as a company driver. He speaks from experience.

Brett is the "owner" of this web site. You can read his story in the book the wrote, Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving.

Stay active on the forum. Ask questions here and you'll get answers from people who do know what they're talking about. Prepare for CDL school by getting your CDL permit ahead of time. Study for the test here: High Road CDL Training Program.

Good luck!

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Coleman 12V cooler

I bought a Coleman. It conked out (fuse). I called the company, they sent me a new one. After a while, it conked out (fuse). I called the company, they sent me a new one. After a while, it conked out (fuse). I called the company, they sent me a new one.

I kept the four "conked out" ones. Bought a package of 25 fuses, replaced the blown ones and packed some extras in a Baggie for each cooler. Sold two @ $50, gave one away and kept one.

It seems Coleman would be better off shipping fuses out instead of whole coolers!

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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CDL Permit Exam - Brain Dead

For a regular CDL, you need Combination, but not doubles/triples. Can you put that one off till later?

I have taught middle school as well as actual CDL permit classes. I'm pretty good at gaming multiple choice tests. If you need it, I will post some suggestions here.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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American Central Transport/ACT

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Jerry. First, one suggestion: don't waste your time looking for posted opinions (Truckers Report, Indeed, etc.), they are mostly bad. The people happy with their jobs are busy enjoying their lifestyle and don't have time to post the glowing stuff.

Being a small outfit, probably not many TT members have personal experience. One place to look is the FMCSA Company Snapshot for American Central Transport, which says:

307 Power Units but 287 Drivers! In the last 24 months, DOT inspections put 10.4% of their trucks Out Of Service (Industry wide is 20.72%) and 0.8% of drivers (Industry: 5.51%). Compare that with Prime: 7,099. Inspections: power units & 8,610 drivers. Truck OOS: 11%, driver OOS: 1.2%

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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School bus to truck 160 Academy in Illinois with Swift

Errol V said:

double-quotes-start.png

I taught two experienced Greyhound drivers how to do the straight line backup. (Note, this wasn't an assignment, just luck of the draw.)

Both did their best. Couldn't make the grade. I don't say it can't be done. But in my observation of two motor coach drivers, I recommend that other bus drivers take extra care over the motor skills they already possess.

double-quotes-end.png

Errol, our trainer at RIST also had two coach drivers who couldn't back up. In my group all three of us were school bus drivers. None of us had any issues. And a new trainee, also trained at the same school as two of us, is having no backing issues. Maybe because there is some backing of school buses, tho minimal.

I think what your comment might support is that whatever a person has driven before doesn't make any difference. Neither does anything else in backing except the brain and hand/eye coordination of the person sitting in the driver seat. Like the old saw about double clutching: newbies that only drove automatics have a better change to "get" double-clutch than those who drove (synchromesh) manual cars. Same idea of old and set habits.

That I would agree with you.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Game: Why do you love trucking?

Brett called it:

Adventure!

You go places you've never been to. Prickly pear cactus flowers along the road in West Texas in summer. Watching thunderstorms across the prairie in Kansas. Late March in Vermont, when the land is thinking about thawing out. Driving a 2-lane highway across Georgia and just breathing the history.

Making a delivery into the Radford Army Ammunition Plant and driving by the Nitrocellulose Office . Stopping at a small truck stop in Colorado, and watching the prairie dog town in a field behind your truck.

Making sure your schedule will get you to your destination with time for a few miles before turning in. Listening to the rain on the cab as you close your eyes for the night.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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A Bizarre Conversation With A New Driver

This is not a "bizarre" conversation. OS was having a normal chat with an individual that had the bizarre notion that a new member of a group had any power to pull a Spartacus move with the drivers at SAPA.

OS learned this himself 3 years ago when he butted in on a conversation (meaning he had no credibility with the other drivers). Check this out: Me And My Big Mouth! (How To Start A Fight At A Terminal)

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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School bus to truck 160 Academy in Illinois with Swift

I also got my start driving school buses. Moved to motor coach tour buses.

Years later got my CDL with Swift. No problem for me in that "transition". But as an instructor in Swift's Academy, I taught two experienced Greyhound drivers how to do the straight line backup. (Note, this wasn't an assignment, just luck of the draw.)

Both did their best. Couldn't make the grade. I don't say it can't be done. But in my observation of two motor coach drivers, I recommend that other bus drivers take extra care over the motor skills they already possess.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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DOT Physical for UPS driver

Yes, I took the UPS Package Carrier Road Test. Next step for employment is DOT Physical. Concerned about my meds & treatment histroy. Driving a UPS truck is no where near as dangerous as what you all do.

At any rate, we have some articles that may answer your question: DOT Drug and Alcohol Policies & Testing

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