Profile For Dan E.

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    3 years, 1 month ago

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Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

Pulling doubles scares me more than pulling a tank to be honest. there have been a couple times where i have missed a turn or drove past a shipper/receiver. i had to back up(nobody around) but dont know how i would do that with 2 trailers. once you over commit, you can jack knife the trailer and only way to correct it would be to pull up again i think. do you guys back up to a dock or just drop it off on the side of a lot? im also curious about why i see so many double trailers right next to toll booths. there is usually a huge lot as soon as you go through one of the toll booths. is that just a storage area?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

What are some places you want to visit

what are some places that you would like to visit from just driving by but couldn't because of time restraints?

for me its charleston west virginia. i remember driving through there at night about 3 months ago and thought it was so beautiful, just the way the city and road was structured and the hills near by. i love taking road trips on my time off, one of these days im gonna head down there and check it out.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Internet In Trucking

In my experience the truck stop wifi in the parking lot is bad unless you are parked right next to the building and most of the time those are the first places to be occupied. however the wifi inside the building is pretty damn good and fast. if i recall correctly its 20 dollars for a month of premium wifi at the big truck stops(flying j/petro/ta)

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

Got served some humble pie. i've been with prime now for almost a year and a half and these last 6 months or so have been going pretty well. no accidents of any kind, been on time for most of my loads and my driving skills have gone to a new level. i now feel like i can navigate even the toughest terrain with the proper trip planning. i drive mainly northeast and ontario, and while traffic sucks and you have to be alert 100% of the time, i feel comfortable behind the wheel. im relaxed and at a good place.

i really enjoy prime, they treat me well and they let me do my thing without asking questions which is really nice. however the one thing they dont offer is more hometime which is why i put in an application to a local company offering hometime every other day and a full weekend. pay is 20 hour so about the same as im getting now, maybe a little less but it will be more consistent. they hire new graduates and my friend who graduated with me from cdl school started with them. i've talked with their recruiters and feel like this is the place for me. just yesterday i got a reply from my application saying i was denied because of a minor accident over a year ago(backing, hit another trailer) and one 10 months ago where my truck rolled into another trailer. both incidents caused minor damage no police, no witness, except me telling my company what happened. i put it on the application because i didnt want them to find out while i was at orientation and send me home. i asked why it was denied and the lady said because of those 2 incidents. that really brought my confidence down quite a bit. they will hire a newbie but not an experienced driver. i was getting really excited about them because everything i have read said they are an excellent company.

not sure what im going to do next. i could look harder for other local jobs, but so far have not found anything quite like them. or i could stay with prime, like everything about them except for the hometime. the longer im out on the road the more i miss the normal things in life.

anyways on to other things, more specifically trucking things :) i had a really proud moment about 4 months ago. was driving along in the midwest and came along a sign saying accident, expect major delays. im thinking crap im gonna be late, so i stopped on a off ramp and checked google maps. sure enough there was a loooong red line covering maybe 5 miles from where i was to the accident scene. figured this might take an hour or 2 so i winged it and drove through some back roads and made it on the other side of the accident in 20 minutes. cant know for sure, but im guessing i just saved my self quite some time and passed some more experienced truckers.

on the flip side, a couple months ago i was driving down i75 in kentucky and there was an accident ahead of me maybe 20 minutes earlier. wasnt able to find a way around, but i did get a nice 2 hour nap right on the interstate lol.

been reading this forum quite a bit and have noticed how different the experience is with reefer/dry or flatbed vs tanker. both good and bad. for instance the good for a tanker is that we dont have tandems to worry about, our load is always balanced heh. also our trailers are shorter 46' vs 53' not to mention we hardly ever have to scale at a truck stop. 95% percent of our shippers or receivers have a scale for us to use, or go by what they had in their tank before and after they put it in our tank. we also dont back in a dock whith 5-10 other trucks in a very tight situation. most of the time it's only me or maybe 1 other guy near me. 50% of the time no shipping office to deal with, just a guy who comes knocking on your door asking for the paperwork.

but the bad side(or good if you like to be active) is that we have to supervise our unload, whether we pump or the customer pumps. averages to about 2 hours from start to stop. so less time in the sleeper to sleep which i like to do lol. not to mention in the freezing cold we still have to be out there. granted you dont have to be staring at the connections the whole time, but you do need to keep tabs on it and constantly checking up on it. also on occasion the pump can give you headaches and you might have to use a torch to heat up the pipe in extreme cold temps or replace a seal because its leaking. i had to use my torch once this winter. we also have to go to tank washes after every load. sometimes its a drop and hook, but other times its a long wait,2-5 hours usually.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Crossing to and from Canada

Im going to quebec tomorrow, about 1 hour north of montreal. bonjour?

i hope the receiver speaks a little english. might have to bring out google translate lol.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

How Often Do Drivers Make Pitstops

Im just wondering how often you stop during a day ,for how long,and what kinda miles do you normally get with that routine?

i was taught in private school to take a break every 3 hours or 150 miles. i feel like it works for me since i get tired pretty easily and my body gets stiff. is nice to go for a short walk and feel the fresh air if just for 10 minutes, plus i have tb lol

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Anyone have information about prime tank

I actually just pulled up my last 20 loads because i was curious myself. 18 of the 20 were delivered during the day. only 2 were not between 6am-4pm. both were at 5am

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Anyone have information about prime tank

most of the delivery appointments are during the day.6am-4pm. there are ocassional times where ive had to deliver at night but not many.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

I need to decide between Prime, Schneider or Maverick

Im currently with prime now in the tank division. the reason i started out with that is because i felt it would help me get a foot in the door should i decide to do hazmat fuel in the future. 11 months in , i dont think im gonna go hazmat, just too dangerous. those youtube videos frighten me.

here are some things ive learned than may help you with your decision. prime tanker mainly runs east of mississippi. a lot of loads out of the chicago area, port newark new jersey area, and savannah georgia. i used to be over the road which consisted me driving as far north as quebec canada, as far west as waco texas, as far south as savannah georgia and as far east as lewiston maine. i ran decent miles for a tanker as otr driver. anywhere from 1500-3000 miles but probably averaged closer to 2200 miles.

im now a regional driver in the northeast, mainly pa, ny, nj, ontario, and sometimes new england. i avg about 2000 miles. i do get paid good though, i think i make 49cpm. as a regional driver i take 34 hour reset every weekend. most places we deliver to are closed on the weekends. as a otr driver you dont sit quite as much on weekend because you might get a load that pushes through sat and sun.

prime has a terminal in pittston pa which comes in handy for me since its only a couple hour drive from port newark, where most loads get going.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

Another update!!!

im now on month 14 with prime and 11 solo. since my last update everything has been going well. Ive only been late once, was at the shipper and had 2-1/2 hours to go 29 miles! easy right? nope, i was going to brooklyn!!! man you need to leave yourself 3 hours to get through there and the traffic. stop and go for a good 2 hours, and i thought the george washington bridge was bad.

when i first started driving a truck i was so scared of it and all the gears you have to shift. hills were like my kryptonite. but now its second nature, very rarely do i grind a gear now, even up hill. for everyone nervous about driving a stick, dont be, in time it will be like riding a bike.

id like to apologize to 6 strings rhythm for not answering your question, i live in upstate ny. im currently now a regional driver mostly new jersey, pennsylvannia, new york, ontario canada, and the new england states sometims.

i really like my fm, she tries to keep me in a rhythm and give me loads i have done before. i usually pick up a load in port newark nj on sunday and head to ontario for a monday delivery. i get back on tuesday and do short runs till friday and have saturday and sunday mornings off most of the time. sometimes ill get another ontario load on thursday for a friday delivery and on the way back go by my house for a 34 hour reset.

on the flip side there are times i get depressed, ive had depression symptoms since a child and there are days where i feel down, but not really anything to do with prime, just life issues ya know?

im almost at 100k miles which im very proud of. think ill get it next week, so 11 months and 1 week, not bad.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

Wow, time flies. its been 5 months since my last post. anyways just wanted to give an update of my current situation.

first off, i have learned soooo much in the past 6 months ive been out on the road. the biggest thing i have learned so far is always always be alert and be ready to react in any situation. when you get tired and carless or in a hurry is when you make mistakes. ive had 3 incidents all of my own doing that has been negative and could have been avoided with proper rest and not being in a rush.

1) i was in port newark nj at a receiver for a dropnhook. easy enough except that i was in a rush to get hooked up and find a place to park for the night. i ended up not goaling and damaged another one of our trailers. wasent bad damage but enough to have to report it to road assist.

2) had 14 hours on my clock but was super tired( for some reason i didnt sleep much, dont remember why). got a load from port newark nj to st albans vt. was about 340 miles to the receiver. i knew i was going to struggle to make it but i tried my best. d rove straight to st albans about 3 hours early and found a rest stop about 5 miles from the receiver, i was like sweet ill take a nap for a couple hours before i have to get there and unload. well i ended up sleeping for 5 hours. when i woke up i immediatly knew i was late because it was sunny out and i was suppose to be there before there was light. i felt really embarrassed, but i explained it to dispatch and apologized. he never said anything to me about that.

3) i was in port newark nj getting ready to hook up to a loaded trailer and i was super tired as i had to drive from stratham.nh down to here with my clock winding down and little rest. well i got out of the truck to unhook my clean empty trailer and as i tried to get back in i had this big sinking feeling in my stomach. yes i locked myself out of the truck. had to call a locksmith to get me in. that took 3 hours and i ended up being late to my receiver. now i have a spare attached near my drive tires.

the conclusion i have come to realize is that i make mistakes when rushing andor tired. btw all these incidents happened between midnight and 2 am. so i try and avoid to do anything other than sleep or drive during those times.

so please do not rush yourself, i have to remind myself of that all the time. also whatever amount of sleep you need to function and be alert, please get it before starting what you need to do.

like a lot of the good drivers here, to make good money and be at or near the top you need to hustle and ive noticed you need to manipulate your hos logbook. for instance, you arrive at a receiver and immediatly log off duty so when your done you have a head start on those who log on duty unloading. however when i do that i usually end up with a nice load only to be a little sleepy and only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep even though your logbook says you got 10 hours. i want to be available to my dispatch as much as possible but its tough to work like that all the time with less sleep than normal.

ive been with prime 9 months, 6 solo and did put an application in to howolding for their short haul gig. they said 20$ hour/ 50-70 hours a week home every other night and weekends off. i did the math and it seems like i could make a lot of money while being home more often, but do not get unpaid time off, so the most days i coukd take off in a row would be 2 on the weekend. with prime i can take up to 4 days in a row, but i would need to be out 4 weeks in a row. i really enjoy my free time and is one of the reasons i have looked into leasing with prime,. they let you take hometime whenever you want, and a couple of the prime drivers that lease that i have talked to said they make about 300 more per paycheck than i do. but i dont want to make a convo about leasing here.

i still really enjoy trucking and i feel like i could do this for the rest of my life, but at the same time the time on the road by myself for long stretches is getting to me. im a loner at heart and i love bejng alone, yet its tough to me. i respect the guys who make otr a living a lot.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Any parking recommendations in City of Industry, CA area?

Can also check out rr&m truck parking. no idea what it is or if you have to pay, but looks like there is a lot of parking available according to google maps.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Any parking recommendations in City of Industry, CA area?

Maybe the parking lot of the truck stop health clinic. I looked on google maps and see a truck with trailer parked in the parking lot, there is room if you look along the tree line by the sidewalk. Also if a police officer questions you, you can say you need to get some supplies from auto zone which is right next door.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

I went with company driver because I didnt feel like i knew enough about trucking to go all on my own. Prime was good about it too! My FM asked me if I wanted to go Company or Lease, I said company and that was it and the end of it. Ive heard of some companies that push you to lease... I have seen a lot of prime tankers that are lease. Im not sure if they are doing good or bad, haven't talked with any of them about that yet.

I started as a B seat. I went to a private school to get my CDL License, I just felt like it would be easier since it was close to home. Prime does hire new tank drivers with no experience! Im proof of it lol.

Today I got up at 3:30am and started my pre trip, usually 15 minutes just going over the truck and trailer. Was about 90 miles to the receiver(Kerry Ingredients/Vesper, WI) and was a nice easy drive. The nice thing about small companies and companies that are stationed in small towns is that there are no tight turns getting there and very little traffic once there. I got there around 6am and was the only one there, the office wasn't even opened yet. They have a nice big dirt lot to turn around and park overnight if you are out of hours. So i got out and just walked around to see if i could find anyone. Didn't so i went back to my truck and took a nice nap. 45 minutes later a guy came to the truck, I gave him my papers and he told me to pull into this big garage with 2 ends. Nice, I don't have to back at all. Once inside i asked him if he needed any help he said no and I got back in the truck. 1 hour later he knocks on my door, and gives me a signed copy of the bill of lading and off I went.

That was one of the nicest receivers to go to. easy drive to get there, lots of parking, just pull through a garage, and wait 1 hour. Its not always this easy and relaxing but its not uncommon either. Once I get a load that I have to use the pump ill try and explain how that works.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

I claim 2 exemptions on my taxes. Here is a breakdown of the exact pay from my last 2 settlements.

4) 2167 miles, 834.29 gross, -59.27 federal, -63.83 fica, -35.05 state = -158.15 total, + 173.36 per diem, - 35 for tanker tools that i need and -1 for fuel card charge. 813.50 net

5) 1055 miles, 406.17 gross, - 8.59 federal, -31.07 fica, -8.89 state = -48.55 total, + 84.40 per diem, -35 for tanker tools and -1 for fuel charge card. 406.02 net

cents per mile is 46. I was told by payroll that i get paid 38 cents per mile taxed and the rest non taxed.

I also do not have medical/dental/vision with Prime. I had it before starting with them and it is good till september then I will have to buy a plan with Prime. The benefits lady told me it starts around 65 dollars per week for just yourself. So you will have to add that if you do not currently have a plan.

At Prime they give you 1 day off for every 7 days on the road, and a maximum of 4 straight days. I took 3 days off last week, im not sure what will happen in the future, i guess it depends on how much I make and how much I miss home....

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Life of a tank driver

Hey there! my name is dan and i would like to share my experiences(very little) of what you do as a tank driver as well as other random observations. I am currently with Prime Inc. and have been driving solo for a little over a month so i'm a newb at this but i hope you will be patient with me.

Prime tankers haul food grade liquid, mostly oils. So far i've hauled coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, and apple juice. I've never driven with a box trailer behind me except for cdl school so I cant really compare but i do find the prime tanks are pretty hard to drive smoothly. Accelerating was super difficult for me starting out and is still a bit rocky. Even the slightest bit of acceleration makes the truck rock forward then backward like 1 or 2 seconds after pressing the accelerator. Ive learned that when double clutching you have to wait a few seconds while in neutral or else i grind the gears and have trouble putting in in the next gear. Stopping is a little easier you just have to be really smooth and gentle with the brake pedal.

Most of the time i have carried at or close to full capacity. when loaded id say about 95% of the time i weigh around 78-79 thousand pounds. Only 1 time in virginia was i nervous i would get inspected, i was close to 80k and they had me wait on the scale for a couple minutes :o. When you get empty tankers have to go to a tank wash to get the trl washed inside. Not at the blue beacons but at local tank washes all over the country. I've found that most of them are nice and friendly. The nice thing about washes is that all of them have overnight parking and most have showers(albeit some i wouldn't wanna take a shower in them if you know what i mean) and laundry on site. My favorite so far has been the one in Kankakee near Chicago! They cook you nice hot food for free! (well technically not free since you are paying for the wash but you know what i mean). I've run as far north as Quebec Canada, as far south as Savannah Georgia and as far west as Eau Claire Wisconsin. BUT my next load has me going to Waco Texas, am excited about that. Not excited about loading in downtown Chicago....

Some random oberservations so far out on the open road. Yesterday in Ohio on the turnpike a trucker honked the air horn at me as he was driving by. A little background, it was snowing and the visibility was less than half a mile. Granted the roads were not slick but still I was shocked when the guy/gal did that, first time it happened to me. I was going 50, so yes i was a snail, but i thought the conditions called for it. Today i was on i80 heading towards Chicago and on that road the limit is 55 but seems like everyone is in a hurry. all going 65 and all(i mean 99% all bumper to bumper). I was going 55 and everyone kept passing me I kept saying smith system, smith system so i wouldnt join in on the fun, but sometimes its nerve wracking and frustrating seeing this chaos. Prime trucks are known to be one of the slowest trucks on the road and i make it worse sometimes trying to get my fuel bonus by staying at 57 all day even in good weather and speed limits of 65-70( ive heard that going too slow is a danger to other drivers). I feel like sometimes i am the loner, the only trucks i pass are when im going up a hill empty and on the side of the road!

Ill try and update this as much as possible with news observations and pics.

Here are my paychecks so far as a newb.

1) 2307 miles, 938.19 gross, 898.37 net 2) 2953 miles, 1353.90 gross, 1244.80 net 3) 2514 miles, 979.38 gross, 944.13 net $) 2167 miles, 834.29 gross, 813.50 net 5) 1055 miles, 406.17 gross, 406.02 net

For anyone interested Prime is a great company, and the tanker division is a nice way to start as well if you are interested in tanks.

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