Comments By Dan R.

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  • Dan R.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 5 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 131

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Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Learning is fun!

It's all 'bout dem revs, man.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Rand Mcnally tablets?

The one I use is the TND 525. For the dedicated units all it really comes down to is how much more you want screen size than you want money.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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I laugh at myself and you can too.

I've been known to do things like that. Once I finally get parked, I step out of the truck, walk out in front and take a nice long bow.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Urine Nation

Urine is typical, but far from the worst you'll experience. You get used to it.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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I shut down and ruined my service record due to fatigue!

This is also why rules such as the no retaliation for safety complaints rule were such a fight to get in place. Stories just like this guy, 'drivers are going to use safety as a way to be lazy.' I've shut down a couple times for safety reasons other than weather, but if I've gotten 8 hours of sleep that would mean that I haven't gotten a load. Between getting the mind to quiet down and getting things like shower and meals done, if I get six hours that's a GREAT night.

The one big time I shut down was when I was driving and felt extremely dizzy. Dizzy enough I wouldn't have been able to walk. Ended up going to the hospital only to find out it was dehydration, so totally my own fault. I think the something that's kind of being passed over is that it's less about failing the load like you did, Werner, it's about your reaction to doing so. If you'd, for instance, come in here using the same story but from the approach of wanting to know how you can avoid it again, or do damage control with your dispatcher, something along those lines while admitting it was YOU that messed things up, not some mysterious 'I slept for 8 hours and am still fatigued' crap, the reaction here would be a lot different. Every single driver in here has messed up and would much rather help you avoid those kinds of problems or give suggestions on how to rectify the situation than waste their time trying to show you what the problem actually is.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Rand Mcnally tablets?

Https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rand-mcnally-road-atlas/id624882974?mt=8

The GPS will do all of that for you, though. Whatever floats your boat!

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Rand Mcnally tablets?

No, they work off the satellites just like any other GPS. You can connect them to wifi for more features, but... that's the least of your worries with the tablets. Rand McNally is definitely the leader in the industry, and for good reason. But unless this latest iteration of their tablet models have significantly improved, I'd steer clear and go with the dedicated GPS unit. The tablets use unnecessarily sub-par computing power, not enough to reliably run the device. As handy as a GPS is while driving, if the app crashes (which, again unless they've made significant improvements, it will... often) then you'd best hope you planned out your turn-by-turn route, as otherwise you're basically driving blind.

Not to mention from what I experienced using one, there's a difference in the program itself between the tablets and the dedicated units. At least once a week, usually more, the tablet would give me completely incorrect directions, even trying to send me down unsafe routes. With the dedicated unit I have now I've not once had that problem following the given route(though admittedly if I miss a turn or a turn is inaccessible for one reason or another, sometimes the re-route isn't good). The only problem I had with the dedicated units is that its got a small memory leak and you need to shut it down to clear the RAM cache every two to three weeks.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Are Companies Putting Driver Facing Cameras In Their Trucks?

My company also recommends backing up against a fence, the rear of another trailer, a wall, anything that will prevent the doors from being able to be opened. That, plus a nice lock and common sense, can make cargo theft pretty much a non-issue for you.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Six month clock started........

Need to be careful with near beer, too. It is not alcohol free, it just has significantly less alcohol. You get popped for a breath test while in the truck and having had near beer, you'll be just as out of service as if you'd had a regular beer or a shot.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Suicide by Truck

I was someone that would watch Sons of Anarchy religiously. One of my favorite shows! That is until the series finale when the lead, Jax, has this big dramatic 'heros death' by going head on with a truck right where his dad died. As much as I enjoyed every episode before that, the fact that they don't address how screwed up that is seriously tarnished my feelings about the entire show. At the time it wasn't because of trucking, but when I was on fire departments I got to see first hand that kind of physical an emotional carnage. We had an SUV with an older couple that crossed the center line, skidded sideways and met a dump truck, each going around 55. The truck driver wasn't from the area, but it would not surprise me in the least based on what I saw him going through if he ended up taking his own life.

I tend to be of the opinion that suicide is an extremely selfish thing to do. But completely messing up the life of someone who has no connection at all to you by forcing them to kill you, that takes the cake for selfishness.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Need Information On Passing DOT Physical

Whether the DOT examiner wants to see a release from the neurologist or not can vary widely, but as it sounds like he's headed to a different company, someone along the way is going to want to see a release as well as a recent report on the condition. They'll need to show it to in-house docs or their insurance docs, but in both cases it's to make sure insurance will give them the okay to take on the added liability.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Question for the seasoned ones. RE: parking space

I think that's the key. With my trainer it would always amaze me that no matter where we were in the country, he'd say 'there's a ________ up around the ____ mile marker, hit that place up." All that is is time, though. Knowing what places are good, what ones aren't. I'm starting to get there in Western Region myself. Like, my absolute favorite is the TA in Wheeler Ridge, CA. ALWAYS parking, options for food going from McDonald's to a nice sit-down place. Then there's ones like the Troutdale, OR TA or Loves next door to it that aren't even good for swinging by for a drink.

Part of my trip plan now includes looking up satellite views of the truck stops if I'm unfamiliar with them. The more information I can find out about where I'm stopping the better.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Nosing In. I still just don't get it!

Always someone worse, though. What drives me up the walls are the people that park along the curb perpendicular to the space. Basically rather than backing they're taking up as many as eight spaces. Nosing in kind of annoys me, too, but mostly because it reminds me of the time I'd stopped by the TA by my house on the way home and some fuel so I didn't have to worry about it after leaving home and had a super trucker O/O come up yelling about how "didn't you see me backing up?!" Yeah. I saw ya, which is why I kept my distance. But if you're relying on other people watching out so you don't hit them, no matter what you're doing in this, you're doing something wrong.

That said, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. If it's been a long, hard day(you know the ones), I'll certainly be a lot more likely to be lazy if I see a spot I can nose in that would take more effort to back into, if it's a set-up that's decent for getting back out. As I've gotten more experience, though, I realize those times are quite few and far between. The ones I'd usually pick are also ones that are ideal for straight line, with all the room in the world for set-up.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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CR England National going "Team Only"

No, PODS is a different animal. I'm not sure if it's considered dedicated or just completely different, but it's not part of national. There are solo folks in PODS as well as teams.

They absolutely have been doing forced teams for quite some time during their Phase II training stage, where you team with usually three or four different people before getting called to move to regional or dedicated. It's potentially worse than with other companies as England is one of the most lenient companies when it comes to hiring as they don't have to worry about what their insurance will allow as they're self insured, so they'll take anyone with a pulse at the school. Obviously they have the same standards for getting through school, but with so many people coming in, more people are going out and that leads to some real problem children getting in. The three folks I teamed with on my truck during Phase II were very hit or miss. First guy crashed the truck the first ten feet he drove(moving forward, bobtail, in a WM DC), second guy just... just didn't get it, though being a demanding little poop to dispatch would get things done faster but of course ended up with frequently sitting and waiting for a load he'd 'demanded' be sent right away. The last guy was great, though. The first seat I rode with had a booze problem. Never drove drunk, I made damn sure of that, but any time he'd take a 34 the first stop was a bar. There's never an excuse for having to clean a drivers booze vomit off the side of your truck.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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CR England National going "Team Only"

I suppose this is of note, and I did note it in a reply a few minutes ago but figured it kind of deserved it's own thread as it's quite a monumental change.

CR England is transitioning away from solo drivers in the national division. That division will consist almost entirely of trainers, true team(these are teams that pick each other, rather than being forced together), and drivers who have somehow messed up enough to get removed from another division(in mine, three driver failed loads in a year and you get put on national and forced to team).

They're also working, slowly, on adjusting their regional division. The idea, if they haven't abandoned it yet, is to transition from pure regional into a shipping lane set-up. Most will start or end at one of our terminals with the goal of the other end being 'home' if there isn't a terminal near home. I'll note that this doesn't seem to be catching on well as, despite my lane being OR/WA - SLC, I have yet to get a load that fits that description in either direction since the switch and don't know of anyone that has actually transitioned into their lane yet(save perhaps for the I-80 lane folks). So, who knows how that will go.

The change to team for national will drastically affect experienced drivers hired on I believe as the 'old' system was you'd go for refresher and/or orientation, get seated with one of our phase II advanced leads for on the road training, then play around on national OTR for a few months to meet the six month requirement that regional and dedicated divisions have. Now after that roughly two week training process will likely be followed by some forced teaming for a few months, though I have NOT confirmed that.

England does have a history of forced teaming. After school and your ~180 hours with a certified trainer, you'd upgrade to Phase II training which was essentially forced teaming of new drivers, as the first seat you'd be teaming with would typically have maybe a month more experience than you(the program was designed to support lease trucks as they had a HUGE turnover rate on lease contracts, far higher than other similar programs, but that's no longer what it's used for).

This info, save for the part about experienced driver, is information directly from my dispatcher.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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New-ish driver looking for advice.

CRE is transitioning their national division into team only. It'll be almost entirely filled with trainers, true team, and those who can't maintain on-time delivery or have other problems(essentially the punishment division, which is ridiculous). They've thrown their wait considerably behind their regional effort now, but with some changes in that instead of something like Western 11 like some companies have, they're moving to lanes. Technically I'm on the OR/WA to Utah lane, but in the couple months that I've been on that I don't think I've actually gotten a load like that in either direction.

What this means specifically for the original poster is that you've got a decision to make is that it will be team for a while. They'll tell you about six months before you can switch over, but that isn't entirely true so long as you show you're productive, don't cause problems, etc. Just make sure you put in for every solo position you could possibly want in CareerTrak(on driver.crengland.com or through the Toolbox app). Once you show a couple months of consistent good productivity, you'll start getting DM's calling you. OR look into training, that's where the real money is in the company

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Prime inc flatbed or reefer

Except it's not a $200 value as they shouldn't be charging you guys for it at all. I had no idea Prime made you guys pay for all that crap, but now feel a heck of a lot better they didn't hire me. That's just insanity. If you work retail, the employer doesn't make you buy the cash register. Hell, in the fire departments I've been on they didn't even make us buy equipment. We could get extra stuff(and believe me, we did...), but that's more to the tune of buying a nice GPS. An option, not a requirement to do the job.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Can I take a Harley with me?

I've been thinking about getting an electric scooter to take with me. One that folds up and is re-chargeable.

I suppose if you happened to get a truck with a stretched step deck you might be able to stick a Harley on there... I'd grab some nice flatbed straps to tie it down, though. That's not like a push broom or something where it doesn't matter a ton if it falls.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Working with a company that is a long way from home????

It depends on what you'll be doing, but if you're OTR it won't matter in the slightest. You don't have to go to a terminal to 'go home', just need to get freight going in that direction.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Schneider Whirlpool Dedicated

Knowing when to challenge yourself is important, though. If I'm going to practice backing, ideally it's going to be in one of our company yards between two dropped trailers, rather than at a customer between two O/O's who have poured every dime they've ever had into their truck. If I mess up, it's a lot better to rub a trailer than take out a fender.

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