Profile For Minnis B.

Minnis B.'s Info

  • Location:
    Chapmanville, WV

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 8 months ago

Minnis B.'s Bio

Just a dirty ol' coal hauler taking it a load at a time.

Minnis B.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Switching to Dump truck driving

I pull a 38’ triple axle dump trailer daily. They are tons of fun. No 2 loads are the same just as in OTR. That being said, please do yourself a huge favor and make sure to get adequate training in whichever you try a hand at. A lot of your loads in a straight dump truck are extremely top heavy and dangerous especially on curvy roads. There’s also a high likelihood of being put in areas of little or no traction. Can be challenging at times. As far as the dump trailer goes, the most important rule is when dumping make sure you are 100% level. These things will turn over in half a heartbeat. On our 38’ trailers, being one inch off level with the bed on the frame equals out to being six inches off level with the bed fully raised. You get 40,000 lbs of material over 40’ in the air, it doesn’t take much more than six inches off center to topple you. It’s even more dangerous in winter and your load freezes to your bed.

I know all that sounds very daunting but honestly with proper training and time on the job all these things will be like just another day at the office. Keep your head on a swivel when dumping, use reference points to make sure your bed is going up straight and don’t worry about a single other thing than the load you’re trying to shake off and you will be fine. If you do get into this niche and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I generally lurk 3-4 nights a week.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Eye Candy

Well the other day the boss man decided he wants a show truck for parades and such. She needs a little love to get back to her former glory but meet Big Sexy.

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Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Dump Truck Driving

A few questions about driving a dump truck.

What is the upside/downside of driving a dump truck all day compared with driving a tractor trailer? Are the issues of being an O/O any different in the dump truck world? Any less risky? Is driving dump truck harder on the driver's body? Is the sleep apnea/CPAC issue the same? And HOS regulations are not applicable to dump truck drivers, correct?

Yeah I got a couple years experience on both sides of the fence. I’ll answer what I can for you.

1. The upside of the dump truck is it’s much easier to maneuver in tight quarters, that’s pretty much it. The downsides are you are much more top heavy which in my opinion makes the truck harder to control on narrow 2 lane roads. You have a much higher chance of being overweight as most quarries/asphalt plants etc will load you to 80,000 lbs gross and have your truck listed as a tractor trailer in their computer system to avoid direct fines. Dump trucks also ride much more roughly especially empty.

2. I wouldn’t recommend O/O with a dump truck. As was already mentioned it can be very seasonal but also you’re very limited to what you can haul ie dirt/sand/gravel/coal/asphalt and that’s about it. At least being an O/O with a tractor you can hook to pretty much any kind of trailer and haul pretty much anything you like. Of course I don’t recommend going O/O in any truck.

3. I do feel like the dump truck was much harder on my body personally. Imagine being in the ring with mike Tyson for 12 hours a day. That’s pretty much how I felt.

4. I’m not sure on the CPAP issue because I’ve never been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

5. As was already said yes you’re exempt from keeping a detailed logbook BUT we have a sheet of paper that covers an entire month that asks your start time, your stop time, total hours worked, and how many total hours were driven. Also asks for company headquarters.

If you have any more questions I’d be more than happy to help ya out.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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New truck day

This is the truck I turned in. I never put it on here I don’t think. 1989 Peterbilt 379 with the 400 big cam Cummins, a 13 speed, and 46k lb axles on spring suspension.

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Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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New truck day

Keep plugging along and maybe the next one will have a sleeper.

Actually the last one had a sleeper, I just never posted pictures of it lol

Congratulations on the new rig!

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Keep plugging along and maybe the next one will have a sleeper.

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Why would he want to down grade?

That’s what I’m saying lol

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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New truck day

Well a few may have seen me mention in other threads I’d been having some health issues preventing me from driving for a few months. I returned to the job last week in my old 379 Peterbilt. Got a surprise yesterday evening when the boss called and told me to bring my truck in and said that he was taking it from me. Now this kicked me into worry mode trying to think of anything I’d done wrong. I get to to shop and he tells me to clean the ol girl out. I get it cleaned out and walk in the office prepared to call a ride home. We talk a few minutes then he gets a big grin and throws me a set of keys and says walk out back. I walk out to the side of the shop and there sits a beautiful KW W900L and a shiny Alfab tri-axle trailer. Turns out while me and my coworker was hauling coal all day he had went and bought a new (to us) truck with the intention of giving it to me. I have to say y’all, I’ve been blessed with the best boss/owner in the industry. She’s an 01 model with the Cummins ISX, an 18 speed, and 52k lb axles on air ride suspension (which is a first for me, I’m accustomed to springs). Here’s a picture for everyone’s visual enjoyment.

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Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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W900 peeper window

Pretty sure you can CAREFULLY pop the outer one out with a screwdriver. Did it on my pete 379 all the time and a KW is a very similar truck. I just traded my 379 for a W900L yesterday. If I get the chance I’ll check it out and report back.

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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By the numbers 2020

Congrats fellas. Those are some serious numbers. Making me rethink my line of work lol. This year being an election year the coal industry was severely slow as it is every election year. So with all the time off, reduced hours,and slow going plus being sidelined nearly a month for some health issues I got in the equivalent of roughly 9 months of work in a good year. Pulled in just shy of $41k gross for my 3rd year in a truck. Not too shabby for 50 hour weeks or less.

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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Which truck would you chose and why

That's a beautiful truck Minnis!

Also, it's great to hear from you! I'm glad to know you are still out there getting it done!

Thanks Old School but like you I’ve been sidelined for a bit now with health problems. I have to have 6 teeth removed on the 15th. They keep getting infected causing abscesses which is causing a great deal of pain which in turn is sending my bp up to the 180’s over 100’s. Me and the boss man mutually agreed I shouldn’t be in a truck until it’s resolved. Just waiting on an appointment now. Also, I check in several times a week I just don’t post more often than not.

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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Which truck would you chose and why

Kinda already have my dream truck. Currently driving a 1989 Peterbilt 379 flat top sleeper with the 400 big cam Cummins and 13 speed trans. I know what I do is much different than over the road but for heavy haul these are the trucks to have in my opinion. The only way it could be better is if that 13 speed was a 15 speed.

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Pic because it’s gorgeous and although me and the truck are the same age, she has fared much better lol

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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M Restriction

I had the exact same license you have now before getting my class A. You can drive any class B vehicle. The M restriction only disables you from driving articulated buses. That’s the way it was explained to me at least.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Safety Saturday...

I'll add one more thing the old timers around here have taught me. If you need to get stopped a little sooner than what is possible by downshifting and using your brake pedal sparingly, grab a little bit of the hand spike (trailer brake). Loaded heavy like that assuming the roads are dry the chances of locking up your trailer tires are slim to none and you still get additional braking without using brakes on your steer axle. Worked wonders for me a few months ago coming down a 6-7% grade grossing 124,000 lbs and the steer tire popped.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Question for the experienced drivers hug the yellow or the white

Not sure about the newer aerodynamic trucks but on my old 379 Peterbilt I've found if I keep the base of the hood ornament on the inside edge of the white line I'm near perfectly centered in my lane.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Views From the Office Window (Post Yours Please!)

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Sunrise on the Condor surface mine in Logan WV

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A coworker took a shot of me dumping a load at the Fanco Prep Plant in Man WV

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Sunrise at Bluestone Energy's K2 Prep Plant in Pineville WV

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Tried my hand at flatbedding today

So the coal market has taken a slight downturn lately and work has been slow. This morning a friend who owns a small building supply company called me and said his driver had called in sick and asked if I could help him out. I agreed and set out in my trusty Chevrolet. I get to his store and he says he's sending me to North Carolina. Come again? This ol coal hauler has never been past northern Virginia. Oh well, I'll figure it out. So he sends me south in a 2017 Ram 2500 pulling a 28' Big Tex flatbed. Nice. I could get used to this. End up in Morganton NC at R&R Ironworks picking up 3 bundles of steel roof trusses and a few pallets of concrete mounts. I must say I have a newfound respect for those of you slinging straps every day, it was pretty rough. I feel I did a decent job strapping the load down though. 5 hours after tightening everything down there wasn't a loose strap to be found. Of course I checked them a few times en route but they never loosened. I'll chalk that up in the W column. All in all it was a great trip, decent weather, no real excitement. Just kicked back, cranked up the Creedence Clearwater Revival and cruised along. Maybe this OTR life wouldn't be so bad after all.

Pic of the loaded rig for everyone's enjoyment. Who doesn't enjoy truck pics?

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Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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What was hardest for you to get used to?

After being in a tractor trailer for 6 months or so now I still have trouble at times judging distance behind me through my mirrors when backing up. Especially when I'm backing up against another truck or fixed object. If I have something on the ground to reference I'm fine though. It's getting easier but still annoying.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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I Got Some New Wheels Today - Brand Spanking New

Nice! That's one sweet looking ride

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Lettering on the back of cabs

Oh man almost all the trucks at my last company had saying on the back. A few of my favorites were:

Cadillac $tyle

Black Magic

Prisoner of the Highway

Papa's pad when Mama's mad

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Eagle Rider for Motorcycle Rentals

Awesome! Always loved those Ultras. I currently have a road king and though I like it I think soon it will be time to upgrade to a road glide.

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Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Starting a new chapter

Thanks everyone. All I do is what was instilled in me while I was young, dirty hands make clean money

Great story, very upbeat.

I'm curious about the trailer you haul. Obviously it's a dump trailer. What are the differences you have to take into account when dumping a semi-trailer as opposed to a regular dump truck?

Bruce, dumping the trailer is much more dangerous. Due to our overweight permits most of us can haul roughly 41 tons of coal. That fills these trailers pretty full and if it's cold or rainy coal LOVES to stick to the aluminum. Having said all that, the trailer is quite a bit longer than the bed on a straight dump truck so when you raise it, it goes much higher which raises your center of gravity. A straight dump you can be leaning quite a bit and still raise the bed because by the time it gets up high enough to affect your center of gravity, the majority of your load is already on the ground or in the bin and what's left is at the main back so it's not going very high in the air. The trailer on the other hand has to be pretty much perfectly level. More of the load goes higher in the air which affects your center greatly. A general rule is if you're out of level 1 inch with the bed on the frame, once fully raised you're 6 inches off center. If you're hauling dirty coal (coal mixed with mud, dust, slate, usually freshly mined) you don't want to be out of level more than an inch or you risk flopping onto your side. Now if you're hauling clean coal (coal that has been ran through the preparation plant and is 100% pure coal) it doesn't stick nearly as bad so you can be leaning a good bit more with minimal risk. It's just one of those things you have to get a feel for and comes with experience.

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