Profile For Turtle

Turtle's Info

  • Location:
    Upstate, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 9 months ago

Turtle's Bio

Currently driving for Walmart private fleet, and probably will be until I retire.

rtlang69@gmail.com

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Posted:  3 hours, 21 minutes ago

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CFI and cameras

I can see the reason for the forward facing cameras, however they don't activate until there's an involvement into the accident which is already in progress. It doesn't show what lead up to the accident

One thing about forward facing cameras:

When triggered due to an event, they actually save the footage from 8, 10, 12, or more seconds before the event occurred, and several seconds after the event as well. The footage will clearly show what led to the event.

So if a driver cut in front of you and jammed on the brakes, triggering an event, the camera will show you were not at fault.

Posted:  1 day, 17 hours ago

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Questions for flatbedders

Does that lift axle have brakes on all trailers?

Yes

Posted:  1 day, 22 hours ago

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Questions for flatbedders

Yes. With only one axle down, you want to be very careful with the Jake brake.

Why? Jakes affect the drive axle, not the trailer. A lifted axle will not cause a loss of traction to the jakes. Rather, it will increase Jake traction, since more weight is shifted to the drive axle.

However, the lifted axle could affect the service brakes of the trailer, as you will have one less axle applying brakes to the ground.

Posted:  3 days, 19 hours ago

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Questions for flatbedders

Do you back up the spread axle trailers differently than a dry van?

The mechanics are basically the same, but yes you have to be aware of how the front axle turns at a different radius than the rear. The weight on each axle will also be different at times, putting more torque on one axle or the other (usually the front). This is most often noticed when backing a loaded trailer into a tight turn, such as a 90° back. The angle or pitch of the roadway will often cause the trailer to bind up too for the same reason. It definitely takes a little practice, but isn't too difficult to figure out.

How long does it take to learn load securement and is something I'd learn in training?

It's hard to put a timeline on how much training one should receive. The more important thing would be for someone to receive well-rounded training in a variety of circumstances that you'll find out on the road. Once you figure out the mathematics of how much securement is needed for x amount of weight, you can apply that knowledge to all the different types of product you'll be securing.

You should definitely receive some kind of securement training before being put out on your own. I'd like to see at least a month of on the job training.

Do you have to drive differently because the trailer is different, especially in tight technical areas,?

Yes. Due to the nature of a spread axle, the front axle will often slide sideways in a tight turn, instead of turning like a normal tandem axle would. If you've ever looked at your tandems in a tight turn, you've noticed the front axle slides. That effect on a spread axle is multiplied. Slide that front axle over a curb, and you can even roll that tire right off the rim. Again, it just takes practice.

How dangerous is it compared to say construction?

I wouldn't say it's any more dangerous. The biggest danger is in tripping or slipping. Great care should be taken when on, in, or around a load. Setting tarps, straps, and chains in slippery, windy conditions can be a little dangerous if you aren't paying attention.

Posted:  5 days, 15 hours ago

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Hours of service rules

Here goes, the condensed version:

Once you start your clock at the beginning of a shift, your 14 starts ticking. Once you're 14 starts ticking down, it doesn't stop (except for a couple other circumstances which we'll skip for now to lessen confusion).

So now you've started your clock. Within those 14 hours you're allowed up to a maximum of 11 hours of driving. That's it. Once the 14 has ticked down to zero, you must stop driving. That's when you take the required 10-hour break, which resets your 14 and 11 clocks. Then you start a whole new shift.

There are other nuances and circumstances that come into play to change things around, but that's the nuts and bolts of it.

I don't have much time at the moment, but someone will certainly be around to explain further.

Check out the Hours of Service section in the High Road CDL Training Program for a detailed tutorial in all of the HOS rules.

Posted:  6 days, 20 hours ago

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Log book quiz

A 2 mile move is certainly inconsequential, and hardly worth mentioning. But if someone were to ask me if it was legal, I'd have to answer no it isn't, technically. That's just an inescapable fact based on the literal translation of the law. Would I make that 2 mile move? Absolutely. But that wasn't the point.

The only disagreement I have is when someone deems something as ok or not when the law clearly says differently. I feel the need to add the disclaimer that technically it is or is not legal. The individual can then make their own decision based on accurate info from both sides.

Of course, those stinking gray areas spark the most confusion and controversy. I sometimes wonder if that's done intentionally to allow the officer discretion. The final answer will almost always come down to LEO's interpretation, and will sometimes even depend on what mood he or she is in. That brings up Robert's last statement, which is absolutely true:

Opinions are just that if we’re going to stick with the guidance and the only interpretation which matters is left specifically up to the officer. Nobody can predict that, but an individuals attitude can definitely impact the outcome. It’s best to just stay cool.

Great discussion. Again, thanks for following up on the Packrat scenario, Robert.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

If you search around enough, you're bound to find plenty of sites with their own answers and interpretations to support whatever argument you want. I prefer the official FMCSA site, with their guidance.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

I never said it was required, just that it mattered since the load was not advanced or enhanced. That was more the point of what I was saying, and that it has nothing to do with moving to the closest available parking, as you said. Two completely different things.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

With the most recent changes to PC, returning from the starting point no longer matters and the recent guidance only mentions moving to the closest available parking, the direction doesn’t matter.

But the "closest available parking" thing only applies when it's work related, such as finding parking when you're out of hours. It doesn't apply to personal matters such as finding a shower, or going to get something to eat, or going to see a movie, or anything else of a personal nature. Returning to the starting point does matter in these instances, so that you are not advancing the load or enhancing the operational readiness of your truck.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Another Round of "Is it legal"

This would rarely happen as well, but what if that cone got stuck up between the tandems, then somehow found its way over to the brake lines, ripping them out and giving the driver a preventable on his record? Just a cone?

Posted:  1 week ago

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Another Round of "Is it legal"

Probably less than rarely.

But still an honest question deserving a proper answer.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Another Round of "Is it legal"

Look at this in simplistic terms:

Are the cones the personal property of someone or some entity? Yes

Do you have the right to destroy someone's or some entity's personal property, even if it's in your way? No

Whether it's "just a cone", or a car, or a construction worker, you don't have the right to run it over If it can be avoided. Try to recognize the fact that you may not be able to make the turn before actually pulling into the intersection. Do the right thing.

That's my take on it.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

Let me ask this:

Would you agree that it's ok for a driver to bobtail under PC to a laundromat or restaurant and back? Because the law clearly says that's ok.

If so, then it stands to reason that going to a terminal for the same reason is ok too. Am I wrong in this? Maybe, but I just don't see how. Simply being a Crete terminal shouldn't change the fact that he's only using it for personal reasons in his example.

I think a clear distinctions here should be made between the "normal work location", and "work-related" duties to those not.

By the letter of the law, I see what he's doing as perfectly legal.

This will be another good question for your family member LEO. I suppose, just like many other FMCSA laws, this can be open to interpretation.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

But it's not really being positioned. It's simply leaving the start position to go somewhere else, then returning back to the original start position to start a new day. No advancement or gain was made.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

If he received his dispatch from the terminal, then I would agree with you. But as a dedicated driver, his dispatches come from the DC. The terminal is no different than going home for the night, which is legal.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

How so, Robert? Everything starts and ends at the DC, not the terminal. He completes his work related duties for the day, bobtails to the terminal, and bobtails back to start his next day.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

Read my reply above, Grumpy. Then reread the example you cited above. Packrat is a dedicated driver for a Walmart DC. His normal work location is that DC ie: the location he's dispatched out of.

In this case, his terminal serves no different purpose than a laundromat, or a shower, or restaurant, etc. All are perfectly legal under the PC guidelines.

However, if he picks up paperwork at the terminal, or has his truck worked on, or performs anything else work related, then no that drive time can't be logged as PC. He indicated nothing of the sort in his example.

This site is supposedly to teach younger drivers.

No, that's exactly what this site does, and that's exactly what this discussion is doing. You not agreeing with the answers doesn't change that fact.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

May a driver, who drops his or her last load at a receiver’s facility use personal conveyance to return to their normal work location (i.e. home or terminal?)

Grumpy,

In Packrat's case, the DC is his normal work location, not the terminal. He's legally allowed to PC from the DC to the terminal and back for a shower, food, or anything else non-work related.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Log book quiz

Thanks for following up on that and clearing it up, Robert. It's always fun to bring up pop quizzes like this. I always enjoy the conversation and occasional debates these quizzes spark.

Failure to log an activity as on duty is most definitely an area where LEO can ding a driver, but they would have to prove the driver did in fact perform those activities. At the very least they could hem a driver up, scrutinize his logs and generally be a PITA. Or they could easily shut them down if they don't believe his story. The safe and legal way to handle that scenario is to utilize the 14 pause or split, as Old School brought up. But that's a whole 'nuther lesson for another day.

For the purposes of keeping the quiz simple, I didn't bring up the on duty part. That's an area where drivers will always try to skirt around the edges of what is legal, and Leo will always try to ding him for it. Prey and predator.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

Gregg,

Chief Brody is on home time, and likely didn't see your questions. I'll answer the ones that I can.

When you get home time are you expected to drop the truck (and/or trailer) at the terminal , or do you take the truck home?

You can take the truck and trailer home as long as you have a safe, secure place for them.

Even though you've been strictly flatbed, do you have any sense of how easy or difficult it is to switch to a different fleet - say tanker

It's very easy to switch divisions. Prime wants to keep you as a driver, even if that means putting you in a different division.

or a regional position?

That may be slightly more difficult in flatbed, depending on where you live, and how many openings are available in that regional fleet. There's Northeast regional, Texas regional, Western 11 (I think they still do that), etc.

What's your feeling about the equipment storage on the trucks and trailers?

Can't help you there. The headache racks were different in my day. The interior of the racks is smaller now, but still adequate. Chief will have a better answer for you there.

Related to that how often do you change trailers, and what does that entail?

It's a crapshoot. Sometimes you'll have the same trailer 3 weeks in a row. Other times you might change trailers three times a week. There's no gear stored in the trailers, other than maybe your tarps up on the deck. Typically you'll only switch trailers when dropping an empty and picking up a pre-loaded trailer at a shipper.

What extra equipment did you add to the standard list, and why?

No help for you here either. The standard gear issued today is different than in my day. I added things like different/larger edge protectors and moving blankets to prevent tearing of my tarps. Besides those things, the standard gear issued covers most bases.

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