Profile For Last Shadow

Last Shadow's Info

  • Location:
    Cape Coral , FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 3 months ago

Last Shadow's Bio

41 years old military veteran (19K) 12 years, married with 4 children two are teenagers and attending the university of Debuque, currently reside in Florida.

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Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Today marks 1 year in trucking

Good to hear that first year is out of your system, I’ve been a rookie driver for almost 2 years now, congratulations.

Congrats. May you have many more successful years to come.

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Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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These Strong Winds

Serah, be safe out there, and yes praying does help.

First hand experience last evening. Was driving on US-287 from Amarillo to Wichita Falls with 43+k lbs. A mile before l got to the Quanah Loves, l was hit by a gust of wind and pushed to the middle of other lane. Thank God there was no other vehicle or truck beside me at the time.

Just prayed to reach the Loves in one piece where l shut down and sent a macro for late delivery due to "bad weather". It never crossed my mind that this could happen with such a heavy load.

Don't try to be a super hero. Stay safe out there. Its going to get worse.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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From OTR to Midwest Regional During Winter

UC, that is one of the smartest thing a truck driver can do, I applaud your decision, I am green myself with less than two years and I am also taking the same approach, with me I will take a hit on my miles but I rather take that than go into a ditch or have an accident due to weather conditions from my end or some other driver out there, I plan to drive for a long time till I retire, and I won’t be able to do it if I don’t have my license or confidence, keep trucking my friends.

I personally decided, being that I'm still relatively green when it comes to driving a rig during the winter months, to return to being Midwest regional during the upcoming winter season. I messaged my DBL of my intentions, and he said I'd have to take a 2 cpm pay cut, assuming to get me down to the standard Midwest regional rate. I'd rather build up my confidence at least one more season of winter driving before feeling confident enough to tackle the eastern mountains in such conditions.

While I do have experience in winter conditions from last year, my career was very much in it's infancy at that point, so I feel this is the best decision for me right now. I'd rather take a pay cut and run with less risk/stress. Plus, it's only a few months out of the year; I have plenty of time in the warmer months to run my happy little *** off and recoup the overall loss.

Thoughts on my choice?

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Balance weight in trailer

Thanks Brett, like always your money bro.

I always felt it was very important for all of those reasons, but mostly because of safe braking. You really want a pretty even amount of weight on all axles so that no one set of axles is so light that it wants to lock up the wheels under braking.

If you can get your drive tandem and trailer tandem within about 2,000 pounds of each other you'll be fine. If one is going to be a little heavier than the other, I would prefer the drive tandem to be a little heavier than the trailer tandem for two reasons:

1) You want to make sure you're heavy enough on the drive tandem to get good traction under acceleration

2) If one of those tandem sets does break loose under braking, you'd want it to be your trailer tandem. A trailer jackknife, caused by your trailer tandem locking up, is relatively easy to notice and correct and it happens rather slowly. A tractor jackknife, where the tractor spins around because your drive tandem locked up, happens almost instantaneously and there's almost no chance of coming out of it once it starts. You're also in total control of the vehicle during a trailer jackknife, but you'll have no control of the vehicle after a tractor jackknife.

So locking up your drive tandem under braking is infinitely more dangerous than locking up your trailer tandem.

The tire wear and fuel mileage thing will come into play a little, also. So it's helpful to have good balance for those reasons too. But for me, safety under braking and traction under acceleration were the big reasons to have a good balance.

Also, you absolutely want to make sure you have as close to 12,000 on the steers as possible once you're above roughly 72,000 pounds. Most trucks are set up this way already. Losing traction on your steer axle during steering or braking can also be catastrophic, of course. So you want to make sure that your 5th wheel is as far forward as you can have it and still remain at about 12,000 pounds when loaded real heavy.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Balance weight in trailer

Well it's been almost 2 years since I became an OTR driver, everyday I still try to learn something that will make me more productive and safe, so question for all of you old timers, how important is it to have a well balance trailer, for the miles per gallon, to wear and tear on tires, to also include the effects of braking during winter, thanks please even if your new to the industry and know facts or experience share so we may learn or informed ourselves, I have been thinking about this subject as I see tandems placement on trailers as I roll down the roads, thanks.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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What's in your sleeper?

My wife send me with a microwave, I didn't wanted cuz I thought it would take to much space, well now I have hot coffee and my meals are always hot, man I guess is true what they say, you ain't a real man until you have woman telling you what's good for you, lol

That 12v box oven Steve mentioned has been a workhorse and provided many tasty meals for me. Love that thing!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Stupid Bumper Box

You need to have the memory of a cornerback in the NFL when they get burn on a play and forget about yesterday, you're not the only one the has failed the first try, so keep going, you got this.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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What is a day off?

It don't always work for me, but usually I take my 34 hours reset at a terminal so the shop can look at my truck if needed, do laundry, go grocery shopping, it works to perfection sometimes, but that's what I considered a day off, home time is sacred not to be confused.

Hopefully a day off is a 34 hour reset. Unfortunately it can be a maintenance problem instead.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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I-476 planned closure in PA.

Thanks for the info G-town.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Forcing your body to sleep?

I use a rain on tin roof app, it takes a while sometimes, but it always puts me to sleep, maybe I'm just old.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Worst week of my life.

Sorry for your loss brother, my prayers are with and for your family.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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OTR as a family man

Aaron, welcome brother, I know that for most of us making the decision to go OTR is not easy, when you have to leave family for weeks at a time, however I have 4 kids and been married for 21 years I'm 42, and as supportive as my wife and kids are 2 are in the university, the younger 2, 10 and 12 years old, it gets tough at times but to me it's worth it, I did 12 years in the Army and I would like to say that you get use to it, some drivers say they do, but I'm not there and I don't think I will, but I've been driving for 11 month now and let me tell you, knowing that I'm supporting my family is what keeps me going, plus I love my rig and the open road, I do 3 to 4 weeks out and it's working for me, hopefully it will work for you as well,, Roelh is a good company or so I hear, you definitely got the right attitude, so now its all about determination, personal goals, and sacrifice, good luck brother, a prayer for direction it's due as well.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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A lesson in patience

Kat, I'm going to take a page off your book, I was just assigned a new DM, and things are not going as good, I will wait and see how these week works out and than use my smooth talk.

Last week, my FM went on vacation. He was out Friday a week ago until today. Our payday cut off is Tuesday. Anyhow, right after he left, I started getting awful loads...short miles, way too much time on them, plus lag time between loads. Had 3 of those back to back before I pleaded with dispatch to have pity on me, explaining nicely that I just finished the week with a whopping 1300 miles. I don't know if it was my approach or just nobody noticing what a serious run of awful I had gotten, but things sure turned around. I am finishing this pay week having run just over 4000 miles. Barely had time to sleep, shower and eat, but man it's been fun! Absolutely everything was on point. I had committed loads pre planned before I even reached the 90 for every single load and was able to manage my clock so that everything clicked into place. Was very glad that my guy was back at the helm today and let him know I would like more weeks like this one. LOL

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Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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What kind of duffel?

I took my Army issue duffel, it was all I needed plus my back pack to carried shower items, DONT forget your shower shoes.

How long should i get a duffel if i am to do company training in someone else's truck, over the road. I am going to training in missoula, mt for jim palmer in about a month. I have read and obtained most of the stuff on the list off the site, i just need to know how big my bag should be. I am looking at a 26" duffel currently.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Laredo Texas freight

Well I pull a reefer never had to wait more than 4 hrs max out of Laredo, don't loose your cool brother weekends are slow for most, here is what I do, Thursday or Friday I communicate with my regular DM to set me up for success with a good long weekend load, it works most of the time, good luck.

What's everyone's experience with getting freight out of Laredo? When I was given my load to Laredo, I was good with it because I had heard from other drivers that it was a good freight area. I didn't expect to have to wait for a load. I dropped my load at one of the many transfer facilities here, and bobtailed up to the truck stops hoping to get a load assignment shortly.

That was over 24 hours ago.

I've been sitting at the TA here on 35 since 11 am local time yesterday. I've been in contact with my fill-in DM and the after hours and weekend crew. I was told once that "they're working on it" meaning the planner. I was told later that they were waiting on loads to come across the border. I asked if I should bobtail across to our terminal to get an empty trailer or if there was anything in the yard there to get me rolling and was told to "sit tight".

Now I've been very patient and understanding, very polite in my qc messages, but I'm starting to get a little agitated.

Is there something going on at the border that I don't know about? I've watched what seems like thousands of trucks come and go here just this morning and keep wondering what I'm missing. Did I get fed a load of crap when I was told this is a good freight area? It seems to me like it would be but this is the first time I've ever been to Laredo.

I made it clear in my last qc message that I'm not trying to be a pain but I'm getting antsy. Layover pay is not what I'm after. I want wheels rolling!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Backing Practice Dallas,TX style

I smell a challenge-- challenge excepted, no not really, man I probably would taken an hour or more to get the trailer in.

I delivered at Desoto Janitorial Supply on the south side of Dallas, TX.

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The street on the right side of the pic is a one way street with the flow of traffic heading towards the bottom of the screen. The side street on the bottom left of the pic is a 2 way street.

The dock is on the right side of the bldg (front) near the bottom (side) of the bldg. btw, there is a 'telephone' pole at the corner of the parking lot and is in line with the right side of the dock.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Federal sleep apnea regulation killed

That is so funny it makes sense.

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people who aren't apnic to the degree that might require a CPAP are still at risk to fail these sleep studies because a lot of healthy people are apnic when asked to sleep on their backs

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You know, I was just thinking about that myself. I don't think anyone snores when they're laying on their side or stomach, do they? It seems it's most prevalent when you're on your back. So instead of a CPAP machine we'll have to outfit people with a round cone on their back so they keep rolling over onto their side.

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Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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First Year Completed, 127,028 Miles

Good job brother, keep it rolling.

I'm home for a couple of days. When I go back out, Monday, it will be the first day of my second year being solo with Millis.

During my first year, according to my pay stubs, I was paid for 127,028 miles. Because we are paid based on practical miles, I likely actually drove a few more or less than that number.

During the year, I took off two full weeks (paid vacation, I get 3 weeks) and took 3-5 days of home time every 3-5 weeks.

To those of you concerned with how many miles you will get... if I can do it, you can do it. Just work hard/smart for your dispatch, don't whine/complain and keep your left door closed.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Should I stay otr?

Question, so you lose miles by going regional?

Split the difference? Regional home every week? Better than being a mailman (my opinion) But it does become a bit routine. I mostly run IL to MN, but get the odd TN, NE, PA thrown in the mix. COM is much better, but my average run is only about 500mi.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Reefer or Dry Van

No, not bi-weekly, im OTR with a year under my belt now.

Shadow, are you on a bi-weekly fleet? I thought your cpm was a bit low for Shaffer. I do know they pay less for other options besides the national fleet.

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