Profile For Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue Angel)

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue Angel)'s Info

  • Location:
    WV

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 9 months ago

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue Angel)'s Bio

I have been driving OTR for a little over a year now.

I am with my second company. And they are as different as night and day.

They don't mix words about driver safety or comfort. So far as I can tell they really put the driver first.

I don't have to wait for hours for an answer to a question. Or hours/days for my next load.

If it keeps up the way it is now, I will be here for many many years to come.

I am ex Navy. High school grad with a little bit of college.

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Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Long-haul driving and boredom

I don't know if there is a possible correlation between "trucking in space" and travelling this nations highways. I've never been bored for a single moment. This is a job that requires intense concentration, and personally I think that those who don't possess that ability probably don't last long at it. There is so much to see and be aware of as you are traversing the roads in an 80,000 pound vehicle that is about seventy feet long and bends in the middle, that boredom would be detrimental to your safety and well being. A professional driver has got to be constantly aware of all the different spaces around him, including above and below him, and constantly trying to anticipate what others around him are about to do that the only way boredom is going to overtake him is if he's slacking up on his responsibility to be on the alert.

Now, I'm not going to be critical of those who enjoy books on CD or stuff like that, but for me it is just too much additional stuff for me to process at the same time when I'm driving. Those type of things actually wear me out more quickly. Maybe I'm just a person who is "all in" when I'm committed to doing something - I'm intense about my work and adding in the additional things to process at the same time just has a tiring effect on me.

AMEN Old School.

If you get bored while driving, then it is time to stop and take a break. If boredom becomes a problem, maybe it is time to hang up your keys.

Yes, there are times, especially going thru places like NE, ID, etc where when you see miles and miles and miles and miles, etc of nothing but corn, yes it does get a little boring.

But that is scenery. Scenery does change, eventually.

To me that is the biggest point against night time driving. All you see, unless you are in a populated area, is black. Maybe stars if it is a clear night. That, to me, after enough miles is more boring than all the rows of corn I see traveling the north mid-west.

When I get tired of looking at corn, I start looking at the cars more closely. I used to be pretty good at cars. Types. Models. Year, make, etc. Now that they all look the same, it is hard sometimes to tell a Ford from a Chevy. So I have been trying to get better at car makes and models.

That also helps if one runs you off the road. Hoping that never ever happens to anyone. But it is a perk of my "game".

Audio books. I have tried them. I am usually so concentrated on my driving, which everyone should be, when I do have a book in, I can drive a 100 miles and have no idea what the book was about. Because I didn't comprehend it.

Just like the radio. I can have it on all day and barely remember a single song that has played. It is on for noise usually.

And the talk radio. I am like the other driver. I try to stay away from it. Nothing I have every heard ever seems to agree with my view points, so I stay away from it.

If you get bored, change something. Get out and walk around. Change the road you are traveling. Something. Anything to involve a change.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Sirius satellite radio question

If you have a smartphone, you can download the SiriusXM app for free and stream your subscription on your mobile device. No need for a receiver or antenna. I just plug my phone headphone port into the truck radio auxiliary port and it works great.

One less thing to mount or remove and re-install if you switch trucks.

Using your cell phone is one option. And if you get All Access, you get a lot more channels than on an actual Sirius Radio. However, there is one big difference.

If you don't have cell phone coverage, you don't any music.

With Sirius Radio, you almost always have coverage. If it can see the sky, you have music.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Cabbage and The Grapevine. Are they monsters or horrors?

I stand corrected about the length of the Grapevine. I was going by what my trainer had said after we came back across it back into LA.

The one I am talking about starts near Bakersfield, CA.

Nice country and beautiful views.

And as far as I 68. I have travel that road so many times I almost know it by heart.

I know the hill you are talking about. It has the scale house on the EB side. It is a little tricky. But I have smelled more rubber burning on Sidling Hill than anywhere else.

Great point to put out there about learning without the engine brake. But all in all, all winter driving is different than summer driving. Not just going down hills.

Keep it safe out hear, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Cabbage and The Grapevine. Are they monsters or horrors?

Actually, I traveled both directions.

Had a drop in LA. Went north for a pickup which ended up cancelled when we arrived. Came back to the Flying J and had to do a 34 while waiting on another load.

Both trips across were empty, and while that changes how you cross a mountain, it doesn't change the mountain.

I have crossed many mountains that had at least 2 runaway ramps on them on one side or both.

Can't remember where it was, but I traveled one a while back that had three runaway ramps on the side I went down. And it was very curvy. Curvy and steep. Probably why it had three ramps.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Cabbage and The Grapevine. Are they monsters or horrors?

For those of you that don't know, these are two nicknames of sections of roads. Both happen to be in the west. I have heard horror stories about them both. And told to fear them.

One is in California, (The Grapevine), and the other in Oregon.

I have been across both. The Grapevine I crossed while I was in training. And didn't even know it till I was on the other side. My trainer asked me what I felt about The Grapevine. I asked them where that was. He said, you just crossed it. I said, it was a hill. Like all other hills. Just a bit longer is all.

While you should respect them and be totally aware of them, I don't think fear is needed.

I have been across The Great Wolf Pass at 10,865 feet. I have been thru the Eisenhower Tunnels at 11,000 feet. And other mountains not so tall.

While all of the above mentions sections of roads or places should be respected, there are other sections of roads (In my opinion) in this country that are much more dangerous. And to be aware of.

While a driver should keep roads and places like The Grapevine, Cabbage, Eisenhower Tunnel (I-70 West of Denver, CO) and The Great Wolf Pass in his mind and be aware of them. There are other roads that will bite you a lot faster if you are not paying attention.

The 4 that I mentions, while very tall (except for Cabbage), they don't have a real steep climb or downgrade. The trick with Cabbage is it's curves. LOTS of them.

Great Wolf Pass has a 6-8% grade. I-70 that climbs to the Eisenhower Tunnels is 6% at the most. Some places much less. And the Grapevine is 7% at the worst.

Like I said, what makes these sections so rough is how long they are. But steep and short roads will bite you just as bad and much faster.

I traveled a section of road today that everyone needs to be aware of and concerned with.

I-5 in California. From just south of Mt Shasta area to well into Oregon.

It is almost constant up and down, up and down. The least grade I hit was 6%. And it went as high as 12% grade. Now if you think that is not steep. Try climbing it with 43,000 lbs.

I was down in 6th gear a lot.

No, the grades are not as long. But many of the down grades had a sharp curve at the bottom. Most were 1-2 miles in length. Some upwards of 4 miles. Not like the 12 mile downgrade on The Grapevine. But just as dangerous if not more so.

I think the highest altitude I hit on that road was 4,012 feet. Far below the 11,000 feet of I-70. But no less dangerous.

I think I have found a road that will give the up and down hills in the east a run for their money. rofl-3.gif

No matter the hill. Where it is at. If it has a nickname or not. Always. Always, keep your head about you and use your engine brake and downshift.

Don't worry about other trucks if they are passing you.

There is an old trucker's saying. It has been posted here several times.

"You can go down a hill too slow as many times as you want. You will only go down too fast, once. "

What roads have you been on that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up? smile.gif

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Celadon

I went to school thru Celadon and spent all total about 15 months with them.

I started off making 27 cpm till my 120,000 miles were done then I went to 33 cpm.

Shortly there after I move to another company.

I was lucky in the 15 months there if I got 2000 miles in one week.

I have had paychecks of 100 dollars to just over 500. And that was a very long week.

I sat for days and days waiting on a load.

Each company hauls freight and that is their job. Each company has different ways of doing things but moving freight is their jobs.

You have to find a company that fits you and what you like. But in my opinion and my opinion only. I would not recommend Celadon to anyone.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Is this a phase that happens from time to time?

Is this a phase that trucking goes thru or is trucking going down hill?

Here lately, maybe over the last 2-3 weeks I have heard more complaints from drivers than I have ever heard.

I have been in shop status for almost a week now. I won't go into details. Actually rather boring. Since I spend so much time in the shop as it is.

Anyway. For the last three nights the company has been putting me up in a local hotel. From the people I have seen there are several companies represented there.

Except for the new drivers going thru orientation, I have not heard one single good thing about any company.

Well, maybe that is being to specific. Not companies really. Just the trucking industry period.

How drivers are being treated by shippers and receivers. (With that I wonder how the driver treats the shipper/receiver). But even I have seen it. And I really try to be pleasant with everyone. I have always believe in the old saying, "You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar".

But I have never seen such disenchanted drivers or employees in my life.

I have heard the whole line of complaints. Setting too long at a shipper/receiver and loosing money. Held up in traffic for hours because dispatch made the drop right at rush hour. And tons and tons more.

Does this run in cycles or is trucking getting worse? Or is it the heat?

Breakdowns seem the worst. Like I said, I have been here since last Friday getting my truck worked on. Everyday, I see some of the same faces, but also see some new faces. Every shop I have visited is always days and days backed up.

I know you have those drivers that are "lounge lizards" and don't care if they actually drive or not. But there are many like me, that hate setting. And after a dozen times of your truck breaking down, it does get a little disheartening.

Is this a phase or is trucking going down hill?

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

The most important piece of equipment.

an atlas is really important to what are you gonna do if gps fails in any of the ways possible? you could lose sat signal / phone signal, maps could be outdated, could give incorrect info or not be able to find an address, could break... batteries die... all kinds of problems an atlas though will always work out for you, although it would be best to buy an updated one at least once a year in case rules change or roads change.

Absolutely an atlas is the most important thing to carry.

However. When you get into a city, unless it is a very large city, an atlas is just about useless. Most don't have detailed city maps, so trying to find a city street without directions would be real fun to do.

A GPS does have just about every city across the country mapped out. Therefore it has the streets to show you. Even the smaller towns that an atlas barely even shows. And believe me, you will be put there. I have been more than once.

You are totally right about batteries going dead. Or the GPS just up and die on you for no reason. That is why it is pointed out here to PREPLAN, PREPLAN, PREPLAN.

Always, always, ALWAYS preplan all of your trips.

If you are using Qualcomm all, or at least the companies that I have worked for, have customer directions that they can send you. I ALWAYS as for the directions.

Even in remote places. Because the directions might tell you of weight limit roads or bridges that the GPS or your atlas knows nothing about. And they are out there.

Keep it safe our here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Friendly reminder (the trucker wife's version)

Being a trucker's wife isn't easy. Far from it.

There is a shirt I got my wife from a Flying J. It says, the only thing stronger than a trucker is a trucker's wife.

I got her the wrong size therefore she doesn't wear it, but she does like it. And when I first gave it to her, she said, that hit the nail on the head.

I am ex-Navy and now into trucking. Thru two different marriages.

The DOD had a huge medical department from some big name university (I can't remember which one) do a study. Why is there such a high divorce rate among military families.

The study took 4 years and of course many millions of our tax dollars. But they came to a simple conclusion. The divorce rate is so high because the family is apart so much of the time. There is no real family unity.

DUH. Everyone in the military could have told them that and saved millions of dollars. But just as with out government. The DOD refused to agree with their points and said it has to be deeper than that. And they dropped it.

There is not much difference in trucking except you are not gone so long at a time and you are still here in the US. Usually just a phone call away. But it is still a split family.

As far as keeping the conversations light. I have been in the military and now in trucking. In my opinion, I think that is total hogwash.

I want to know what it going on at home. That is my home too. Do I need to know all the "messy" details. No. But I still want to be kept in the loop.

My wife called me the other day. We had a water leak under our house. I am almost 2000 miles away. There is nothing I can do about it. But I am still glad she called me.

I told her to turn the water off outside. (Which her dad had already done it). Then get on the phone and call a plumber or a contractor.

All in all, she helped her dad look around in the garage and they found stuff to repair the leak. Is it something I needed to know? No, not really. But I am glad she told me.

I might be 2000 miles away at times, but I am still her husband, partner, and friend. I am still a part of the family.

She has called me complaining about her job or something that happened at work. And I do the same to her. That is what families do. They lean on each other. And yes, even from 2000 miles away you can still lean on your partner's shoulders.

Keep it safe out there, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Illegal immigrants in trucking??

Why do they have to be illegal?

There is a program set forth by our wonderful government that allows drivers from Mexico to legally driver here in the US.

For those of you that are going to school with Celadon or work for them. Before I moved on from there, they were moving their yard in Laredo, TX to make room for a school to teach driving. And one of the requirements for an instructor was they had to speak Spanish.

When I still worked there, they put messages out to their long time drivers. For anyone that spoke Spanish to contact either the main office in Indy or the offices in Laredo.

I was told later by a driver that he was offered a job teaching in Laredo.

He turned them down.

And as far as being caught.

There was a story on the news a few weeks ago. A driver was driving thru PA and got off at the wrong exit. He went right thru a town with a weight limit road of 10 tons. He was stopped. He didn't have a CDL. He could hardly speak a word of english. He blamed the wrong turn on his GPS which only spoke english. Which he did not understand.

The load he was carrying was mostly steel pipe for the oil field.

They called a tow truck company to tow the truck to impound. The wrecker that they sent was having a hard time pulling it. The DOT weighed the truck. It weighted out to over 90,000 lbs. The tow company brought in their BIG wrecker.

The driver was fined 17,000 dollars. He tried to call the company he "worked" for but the number had been disconnected as the story went. The driver was put in jail. He was there for 7 days before someone bonded him out. Maybe the family, the story didn't say.

Well he missed his court date and hasn't been seen since last I heard.

Yeah you might get caught. But how many don't?

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

GPS?

I have used Garmin for years.

My first one was the nuvi 550. Then I went to a Nuvi 650.

I loved them both. I would rate them 5+ stars.

My 650 finally gave up the ghost a few years back and I couldn't find it anywhere. So I went with a Garmin 465T.

The very first actual trucking GPS. Until I started using my 465, I didn't think Garmin could be beat.

It was terrible. I can't name all the mistakes it made. Wrong turns. Would not recognize on ramps to interstates. Plus many more.

Well I eventually broke down and bought the Dezl 760. I had read all the reviews. Read all the hype. And I was really looking forward to it.

I am very very disappointed in Garmin. All they did was take the programming from the 465T, with all of it's mistakes and wrong turns, and put it into a bigger body. With more bells and whistles.

It makes the same wrong turns that my 465 did. It gives me some of the same wrong "directions" as the 465T.

I have sent message after message to Garmin. I have made phone call after phone call. And nothing has changed. And for the money I paid. This thing should program it's own route. I bought it new from Pilot.

It doesn't have even half the truck stops listed. Mostly just the big ones. Love's, Pilot/Flying J, and Petro/ T/A.

Not very often does it have the "no name" truck stops listed.

As far as the directions, (actual mapping directions) yeah they are correct. More so than the Rand's. (Both my trainer's had Rand's so I know how they work) It has never sent me thru a residential area. The Rand's would on a regular basis.

It has never sent me on a truck restricted route.

It's the other problems that it has that has me upset with it.

One of the worst things, to me anyway. For no reason, my Garmin will recalculate a route while I am driving. On the route suggested.

There have been times that I would plot a route. Check it will my atlas. And confirm that was the route I wanted to go. While enroute, the GPS would change my route for no reason. And it doesn't always tell you when it recalculates.

Just day before yesterday. I was on a 2 lane road in MA. I had pre-planned my route. I was going down the road and all of the sudden, I was passing my turn off. I pulled off the side of the road at the first chance, looked at my GPS. It had changed my routing and I didn't know it.

Everything turned out OK. I just went thru downtown which I had not wanted to do.

With my Garmin, there have been times that I would leave a truck stop wanting to go south on the interstate. My Garmin didn't recognize the south bound ramp and would want to send me north to the first exit and then go south. It has done that several times.

For the money I paid for it, I have to keep it for now. But sometime in the far future, I will have me something better. Not sure what yet, but I doubt it will be another Garmin.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My first run-in with the HOS brick wall

I have been with companies that use paper logs. I am now with a company that uses the electronic logs. My second company matter of fact.

Brett was smart when he used paper logs. He used them to a smart advantage.

But I have also known drivers that used them to their advantage just because they wanted or needed a bigger paycheck.

One log truck driver I used to know drove 20 hours a day 7 days a week for almost three weeks because he had a 17,000 dollar truck repair bill that he had to pay.

One of the companies that I used to work for would work us 20 hour days during their "busy season". We were told that if we wanted to work, it was either that or hit the road, they would find someone that needed a job more than we did.

It wasn't unusual for me to drive or be on duty 15-18 hours, drop a load at one shipper, change log books, head off to another shipper to pick up another load. And maybe get 2 hours sleep on the bench seat of my vehicle.

On one trip I drove 935 miles in one shot. Because I was told "It had to be done".

Do I agree with all of the HOS rules? No. They could be better. Much better. And I agree with Brett. I hate the 14 hour rule.

But something had to be done. #1, To make sure the "crazy" drivers out there became safer. And #2, to stop making companies "force" drivers to drive outside there limits and not be safe.

Do some changes need made? Yes. But each driver can't have their own set of rules. They have to TRY and do what is best for the majority.

I have had drivers tell me that they have sat at a shipper for 4-5 hours and they were fresh and the hours shouldn't count against the driver.

Well, maybe that is true for some people. But I sure can't get any good rest when I am having to set in the driver's seat to watch that little green light come on.

Maybe if I were allowed to catch some sleep, then yeah maybe. But I have been to very few shipper/receivers that actually come out and tell you that you are ready to go.

Most have told me, keep an eye on the light. When it turns green, come and get your paperwork. And that can be anywhere from an hour to 8 or 9 hours later.

As far as 70 hours in 8 days. I have no idea how in the world they came up with that figure. I guess they had to come up with something.

How many hours a week do you want to work? 80? 90? 100?

Now the 8 day figure has me really puzzled. Why not 70 hours in 7 days??? That would make more sense.

The only thing I can figure, and this is only a guess. Was to try to MAKE driver's take a longer break at the end of a week.

I have been around trucking for many years. I started in high school working on a dock loading trucks. Things are not like they used to be. In the "good ole days" you could get by with a lot more than you can today.

Traffic has increased 100 fold in the last 10 years. Maybe even more. And truck traffic. I won't even try to guess how much it has increased over just the last few years.

So yeah, something had to be done. Is it perfect. Heck no. Not by a long shot. Will it ever be perfect? Not as long as politicians have anything to do with it.

So, we only have one choice. Work it to the best advantage that we can and go from there. Till it gets better.

There is only two things in life that you can bet on. Death and change. The rules will change one day. But it may not be for the better. We just have to live with it and move forward the best we can if this is the lifestyle that we want.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Wifi for the truck

I have Verizon and have had for many years.

I have been from Vermont to CA. From WA to GA. Very few places that I have not have 4G. Usually, when I don't have 4G, I don't have phone service at all.

USUALLY. There have been a few places, not many, but a few that I was limited with 3G. And it is true that when you only have 3G, you have to choose between using your phone as a phone or using it as a tether point. But most times, if you only have 3G, you don't have a strong enough signal anyway to use major data.

Such as watching TV or tethering to a laptop.

Since I have been with Verizon for so long, I have been "grandfathered" in with unlimited data. And it is great. If it ever gets taken away for any reason, Verizon will loose a long time customer.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

HOS Question

I have been told that this is a "glitch" in the Qualcomm system. I have noticed mine doing the same thing. When I asked about it, I was told that something in the system reads that you have had your break.

To really know if your clock has been reset is to look at the "summary" tab on the screen. It shows your total hours.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

Daniel, I deeply appoligize if what I said came across snippy. That was not my intention.

The post started going down a path that was never my intention. I started it with the intention of running nights and talikng about that.

Then it headed way off track and things were being assumed that were not actually mentioned.

I wanted to clear the air and get things back in line. I am sorry if it was snippy.

In a couple of the posts, I was trying to politely say what Indy said in his post. This should be a site to help new truckers get a good start in this lifestyle. Not to teach how to break the law and get fined or loose their license right off the bat.

Old School, Daniel, Brett and many others here have learned the ropes because they have been out here a while. They know what they can do and not do only because of experience. New comers don't. They can't "hide" things yet. One day they will, but not right out of school and in their first truck.

Again Daniel, I appoligize. But this post was going down a path that I felt it shouldn't have gone down.

Some will say that is not my call. I say yes it is because I started it.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be a loved one.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

Excuse me Brett. I stand corrected. Yes I did mention how I long things. I am sorry, I used the wrong wording.

I should have said, I never mentioned what times I used when I log items on my log.

And yes. You caught me again about following the laws. I should have said, I am not perfect. I bend the rules from time to time. Maybe I don't follow them fully, but I try to work my clock to my benefit without totally ignoring the law.

I didn't know that this website had become an english class and english lit. From now on before I post anything, I will make sure I put it in a way that everyone can understand.

I won't make the mistake and "assume" that people can understand a point I am trying to make.

I do appoligize for this outragious mistake.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be you own.

I mean, watch you speed, don't take chances by running "too" illegal. Watch all othe drivers. Watch out for danger. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Just be safe in everything you do.

I hope that doesn't confuse anyone.

The Blue Angel

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

Daniel, I am not sure what you are referring when you say I am shooting myself in the foot.

In none of my posts have I mentioned how I log things. All I have said is that I always log on duty when I am working for the company. Do I long it all? No. Everyone seems to be jumping to conclusions and assuming things.

When I arrive at a shipper or reciever I log 15 minutes on duty then hit the sleeper or off duty.

When I am doing a D/H I long 30 minutes. Because that is what Crete requires.

I do a 15-20 minute pretrip. Post trips are no longer required unless you have a problem. Again because that is what Crete requires.

When I get fuel, I am on duty because Crete and DOT require it. When I scale my load, I am on duty because Crete requires it.

I have done many things "off the clock" to save time. But, at one point in time, I was on duty because I was doing work for the company.

For example. I had a trailer a few months ago that had all 4 tires very low on air. I have an air hose with me. I aired up all of the tires myself. It took almost an hour. But I only logged 15 minutes on duty.

When I do a repair on my truck or a trailer, it is logged on the Qualcoom. Because that is the way Crete would like to have it done. That way all repairs has a "paper trail". And when you show work on the Qualcomm, you better show some time doing it.

You assume I don't have the hours to drive because I don't cheat the HOS regulations.

I just finished a 2000 mile load that I did in just over 3 days. Tomorrow I will finish an 1100 mile load. In just over 2 days. How is that loosing time and money? 3000 miles in under 6 days.

And I got those miles without having to cheat the HOS.

A couple of days I got up very early, as Brett has talked about. And one I drove very late. But so far, I have not had to drive thru the night.

FMCSA has just or is getting ready to at least double the cost of fines given out. False log fines have gone from 500 dollars to 10,000 dollars each offense.

If I have to lie and cheat the system so bad that it could cost me my license and my livelyhood, then I don't want anything to do with it.

If I have to lie, cheat and break the law to make a living in the trucking industry, then I need to get out now.

One other point I would like to make. Everyone is so freeked out about me telling my dispatcher how I liked to run.

I don't know how it is with where you are working, but we were told to do that during orientation. At our first chance contact our dispatcher. Introduce ourselves. And let them know what we are comfortable doing or not doing.

Somethings may not be possible, but you get info to your dispatcher. That way she/he gets to know you in a way.

So that is what I did.

Maybe some questions need asked sometimes before jumping to conclusions.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

Let's just say that I finish out a load in Connecticut at eleven in the morning and they send me a message to pick-up my next load in Pennsylvania at nine o'clock that night. (that is not an uncommon occurrence) I started driving at four in the morning, and I arrived at my delivery location at ten, I'm empty, and my tarps are folded and put away by eleven. Now I've got close to a 5 hour drive over to the pick-up location, which puts me there around four in the afternoon, and my eleven hour clock has run out now. So, I force myself to bed while parked in the shippers parking lot to get some rest until my loading appointment. I get loaded and secure my load (I'm driving a flat-bed) then I go back to sleep. From the time I arrived at this shipper I have had my electronic logs on the sleeper berth. You do not want to waste your all important drive time by logging unnecessary "on duty" time which will eat away at your ability to turn the miles during your work week. Not everyone agrees with the way I work my clock, but the guys who are making some real money at this do it this way.

Hope that helps a little!

Each driver has to find their own way to do their job. Old School this works for you. But I have to ask. Isn't some of the things you mention that you are doing illegal?

While I don't agree with some of the HOS rules, they are there. We as commercial drivers are suppose to follow them. The "on duty" rule states that anytime you are actually preforming work for the company you are to be on duty.

Anytime I am actually working, I am on duty. Counting the pallets as they are loaded. Getting scaled at a truck stop. Etc.

Yeah, you can call it wasting time or loosing money but if you are ever caught, you will pay the price.

I didn't used to do that. I used to do almost everyting while I was "off duty" until a few months ago. You ask, what changed?

A few months back I had the pleasure of being stopped at a weigh station in CO. The one north of Denver on I 25. I guess DOT had some tickets to catch up on, they were checking just about everyone.

I was pulled in and stopped along with about 7 other drivers. When I went inside, the counter was full and I was second in line.

For some reason I looked up at the first driver at the counter. He looked like he was about ready to die. Then I heard the DOT agent say, Is your load tarpped or strapped? The driver said Tarpped. Then the DOT agent said, "Your log shows you were off duty during this time. Who covered your load for you? Did the shippper do it while you were sleeping?"

That is when I stopped listening. When I was done and went outside, I ran into the driver I was in line with. He was shaking his head. He said that driver is in trouble. I did the same thing about a year ago when I ran flatbed. I got caught too. Cost me 2000 dollars and a 7 day safety violation. A very expensive lesson. He said, now days, ANYTHING I do work wise is on duty.

Laws are there for a reason. We may not like them and wish we didn't have to follow them, but we are no different than anyone else. As every commercial driver knows. We are held at a higher standard. Because we are suppose to be professionals.

Am I perfect and always follow the rules/laws. Heck no. If I am in a 55 mph zone and out in the middle of no where with no one else around, Do I stay at 55? Not on your life.

Then again, usually, USUALLY, police over look slight speeding on rural roads. But when it comes to off duty time and sleeper bearth time, that is something they don't over look.

A driver, still has to deside what is best for them. But no matter how they would LIKE to run, there are laws that are suppose to be followed.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

There is an old saying. If you like what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

Trucking is not a job it is a lifestyle.

I like to drive and I love to travel and see our beautiful country. That is one of the main reasons I got back into trucking.

I didn't refuse to do nights. I told her that I tried to stay away from nights as much as possible. She wants me to do nights all the time or at least a large part of the time.

If I have to start treating this lifestyle like a job and start running nights 2, 3, or 4 times a week then it becomes a job to me. It no longer becomes fun and enjoyable to do. I start not liking what I am doing.

If that has to happen, I can go home and drive a trash truck for 20 dollars an hour. Have every weekend off. Be home every night. And make better money than I am now.

I didn't get into trucking for a "job". I had a "job" before I came back into trucking.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Trick Drivers Running Nights

Old School,

I am no longer with Celadon. I moved to Crete just after the first of February.

Still having some "growing pains" here. I like the company itself. But things are not what I was promised.

Good money. Good benefits. Home time, not so good. And the big kicker. Miles. They are really down. And it is not so easy to change dispatchers here.

If things keep up, I am going to have one more talk with her about my miles and if that doesn't work, I don't know what I will do.

I have run into two other drivers that have her and they average 3000 miles a week. Both run nights. She wanted me to run nights when I first joined her fleet but I told her no. She didn't like it so I think I am paying the price.

I am averaging just over 2000 miles a week.

But we shall see.

Hope we can meet up. I am in a big red Freightliner now. 34807 is the number. So if you see me, throw a rock at me or something. LOL

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel

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