Profile For Larry E.

Larry E.'s Info

  • Location:
    Middleville, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 5 months ago

Larry E.'s Bio

First career: paid to break things and kill people. (Retired Naval Flight Officer)

Second career: paid to mentally abuse young children. (Retired middle school teacher)

Third career: terrorizing the highways of North America. (Flatbed driver in 48 and Canada).

Larry E.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

Old School,

Absolutely zero complaints. A certain amount of luck and a whole lot of hard work made retirement a reality recently (Dec '16). Was really happy with Melton and I think they were happy with me. Have a couple of jackets for top mileage and another for becoming a Melton Blue Knight. They even thought enough of me to give me the 500,000th KW off of the Chilicothe line that was provided to Melton. Loved my work and was OK with being gone. But when you have checked the boxes and the accounts say you don't have to, then it was time to be home. Intended to drive part time, but after putting my brewery together in the pole barn, decided full retirement was sort of nice. I brew for me and my friends, mountain bike and trail run so I don't compete with the Goodyear blimps for advertising space. Can visit the kids and grandkid(s) when I want, too.

I can't help it, but I always critique flatbed loads when I'm out on the road and am as courteous as I can be for all those guys and gals that are keeping America supplied.

You (and any other flatbedders from here) that are in West Michigan, drop me a line since I lurk here and get notification of updates on this thread. I'll buy you a cup of joe or, if you have a reset, treat you to something a bit stronger from Airedale Brewing.

Life be fantastic. Live it without regret! Be safe out there.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

This thread might've scared me right out of flatbedding I was thinking of TMC or Maverick some of these pics are overwhelming!

Flatbed is the only way to go. 1) You have to think about what you are doing, 2) you get a workout which is helps keep the weight off, 3) in general, the hours are better, 4) you go to places most others don't go; fields to major plants that are bigger than small cities. Melton is another option you might look at for excellent training. I think flatbedders are still more of a cadre working to help each other. It is a challenge and can be pretty strenuous. The rewards are there. Fear is something to be overcome with education and experience. GO FOR IT!

Posted:  3 years ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

I lurk from time to time and I follow the flat bed thread. But I find that at the end of the day, after catching up with the family on FB, I don't have too much left. I have been working hard and enjoying my time out here on the road. I even got lucky and made driver of the month a while back, so Melton thinks I am adding to their bottom line; which is good for both of us. I haven't been to a SAPA plant in quite a while, but I will be looking for that Knight truck the next time I hit one.

All in all, life be good for this one!

Posted:  3 years ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

Hey Scooter,

I've been with Melton now for 2 yrs. I am certain that Melton would snap him up in a heart beat. If he doesn't have recent OTR experience, then he may have to go out with a trainer for a short period. With his driving background, he would basically be getting some experience with securement, working the logs and general procedures. They won't give any credit for military truck experience, to the best of my knowledge. For veterans, they do have a sticker that goes on the truck.

I have found Melton to be a great company. Everything that I was told by recruiting has been spot on. Great health insurance a good 401K and performance bonuses. They do respect their drivers and have a variety of ways to show that appreciation. It really is like a big family. They will tell you that you can expect 2000-2500 miles a week average. That is going to be lower when you are going home or coming off of home time. If he has hazmat endorcement and a passport, then there is extra money to be made, too. It is OTR, so there is a lot of time away, but if that works for your situation, it is a great company.

Let me know if either of you have specific questions and I will do my best to answer them. Mind you, all of this comes from a Navy guy, so as long as that isn't an issue....smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Part time?

Depends on what you mean by part time. I worked part time as a rookie while transitioning careers before going OTR. I worked weekends, holidays and summers for a small regional outfit. Hopefully, I can do the same thing in reverse in a couple of years. I would work as many weekends (out Friday evening/early Saturday morning and back on Sunday midafternoon) as they need me and would make my self available for when drivers go on vacation. They had one driver that was in his mid 70's doing the same thing. Allows the company to earn some extra $$$ while I do the same and still have plenty of time to be home. It may take a little work to find a company like that, but they are out there.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Looking for a company that allows big dogs and has apus

Melton has a flag system that lets the planners know who has a pet and/or rider. That being said, I picked up at a steel place where there were no riders allowed. The Melton driver who arrived before me kicked his SO out while he loaded. Didn't realize that or I would have offered her a place out of the wind and cold while I waited for my appt time. Having those "restrictions" may make an impact on your earnings since the planners have to work accordingly.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

How about gut/belly wrap the ends with alternating pull and a regular strap (or two) over the middle? The belly wrap should prevent the twisting since the alternate pull would tighten with any shift pressure. Issue might be the length of the strap, but then you could use two straps hooked together.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Help ... I suck at backing

Split axles are bit more difficult because they tend to respond a tad slower. You also have to be careful about how sharp a turn you are making. It puts a lot of pressure on that front tandem and when loaded can make things real difficult. You'll get it without too many problems. I drive by the hole/mark and turn hard to the right until 45* to the spot and then bring the tractor back to parallel or farther until I am set up. It looks different for a 48' and 53'. First day of switching from one to the other is interesting. Some days I can do it without a pull up and others I just have to laugh at my self. Don't let a spread worry you.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

Been there several times myself, Wilson. Have to be careful and follow the signs otherwise you will be pulled over by the locals. By the way, how do you like your new truck? I have, for the first time ever, a drop and hook flatbed load. Reading truck bodies that they secure with special straps and no tarp from Reading, PA (without the ice) to Albuquerque, NM. I am certain the load gods will pay me back for such an easy load.embarrassed.gif

I'll keep an eye out for you.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Retired Naval Flight Officer (E-2C Hawkeye). Thought mentally abusing young children would be fun, so taught middle school math and science for 18 years. They thought I was costing them too much so they paid me to leave. Running skate boards for Melton last 18 months and loving it. Don't get on here as much as I should. More lurking, but the job keeps me busy.

Nice new look, Brett.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

Melton is a great fit for me. Runs are from 500 to 2500+ and I avg 2700+ miles a week. They cover all 48 and Canada. You stay out 2 wks min if east of 35 and 3 wks west of. I stay out longer(6-8) wks and grossed $57K last year. You get tarp pay @ $40 and stop pay @ $25. Good ins and 401k plans with 3% match vested after 3 yrs. One year experience is $.47/mile empty or loaded.

Run mostly KW's with 10 spds. APU with 1500wt converters, A/C.

They treat you like family. Never been told anything but the truth and never any pay issues or reimbursement problems.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Home For The Holidays

Outstanding Old School! I am glad the new gig is working out for you. I have even been through Delhi to live load out of there a couple of months ago. I did a little planning and saved enough time (and $$$) so that I could be home Christmas Eve and not have to go back out until 5 Jan. (They actually got me home 2 days early which doesn't count against hometime!) I almost don't know what to do with myself for this long of a time off of the truck. Spent a bit of time with the eldest daughter/husband/ grandson, saw the #1 son and will visit the middle child/daughter at the New Year. Momma even seems to enjoy having me home! Don't get on here as much as I should, but Melton is keeping me busy and I am still enjoying what I am doing, immensely. I have a few more years here and then I am planning on my 4th and final career. Got plans for a nano-brewery with the wife producing artiesian cheeses. Going to kick back an enjoy the hippy life stye!

Here's to you and yours in the New Year!!!!!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Rain Gear

I have a high quality reflective coat like police and EMT workers wear and a pair of rain pants. That and a good wide brim hat seem to work pretty good. Depending on the temp, I still get just as wet as being in the rain from sweat. Depending on the situation, water will run down your arms from your soaked gloves. The fun just never stops. Flatbed - where the real truckers thrive. smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Holidays and Truckers

My company guarantees Christmas hometime if you request it. Last year (my first with them) I got home on Christmas Eve about 7 in the evening, under a load due for a Monday delivery. Being retired Navy, I have missed so many holidays ( 3 Christmas' and uncountable birthdays and anniversaries), it really doesn't factor in for me. Just another day.

confused.gif

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Observations and Musings of an Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driver (Part 1 & 2)

GuyJax,

Thanks for the feedback and no offense was taken. In fact, you just reinforced the reason I put this on paper. It bored you since you have "been there, done that", but the audience I am targeting are those that haven't a clue as to what the job/life style is really like. I know that when I entered this arena that what I thought didn't exactly reflect reality. There are some personalities that take to this profession like a duck to water, but others may not. I tried to paint a bit of a picture that someone could use in their decision making process. There is nothing worse than getting into something and then realizing that it isn't what you thought it was. No sense in spending hard earned/loaned money and theng being unhappy with the job. I think we have enough unhappy drivers out here.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Observations and Musings of an Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driver (Part 1 & 2)

Dave, Colleen and Mikki,

Glad it was helpful. It is just one person's perspective. I could write more having thought it all through, but I can't remember it at the end of the day. I guess that is why I lurk here more than post. Lots of fine people and information, too.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Healthy eating for truck drivers

A refrigerator and a microwave have worked for me. Yogurt and cheese are staples. Fresh fruits and vegies are easy to store. I try to make a WallyWorld stop every 10/2weeks. Sometimes I will get the fruit/vegies at the truck stops, but they tend to be pretty expensive. Because of the flatbed workout, I have some "not so healthy" foods that work for me; Beefaronni and ravioli in the microwave containers. Hormel makes some pretty good single serving meals, too. ChickenBreast, Dressing and Gravy, Beef tips and mashed potatoes in gravy, etc. I only drink water and coffee so I don't have to worry about the extra calories with soda and other drinks. Works for me and this old man metabolism.

As for recipies, StarCar had a whole bunch on another thread. Check out the "womens" section and you may find it. That goes for the guys, too, since Star has lots of good info about a lot of things.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

How are yall doing?

Every time I see a WEL truck, I look for any pink. If I do, I'm going to go see if it you. Sounds like life is going well for you. Hats off to you for becoming a trainer. I sometimes have issues with me in the truck, so I don't think I could handle a total stranger for an extended period. Not even sure about the wife being with me for short periods.

Stay safe and take care!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Having trouble deciding what to haul

If you want to go flatbed, then do it. As Old School said, companies hire and train new people with no prior driving experience, all of the time. I had some part time dry van experience, but not really OTR, per se. That being said, that first 3-6 months is a killer on the ego and confidence. After that, it all gets better. As for the weather, it is what it is. I don't sweat, I just melt and have to really concentrate on hydration. The brutal cold of last winter (my first in flatbed) wasn't too bad except for my fingers on occasion. Either way, you can't hesitate to use your truck to cool off or warm up when under extreme conditions. Flatbed requires you adapt to the situation - probably more so than other areas.

Good luck and have fun, whatever route you go!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Observations and Musings of an Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driver (Part 1 & 2)

Part 2

On the other side, you may have too much time to think. If you have any perceived weaknesses then you have to be careful to not dwell on them. That can drive you insane and potentially reinforce the lack of confidence. Just have to learn to move on, as hard as that may be. This time can also lead to a certain paranoia. This can be especially true early on when you are just learning the processes and procedures of the company. You are learning about your DM and we have all heard that you will be “tested” to see what you are made of. Now couple that with the amount of time you have to just think and the paranoia can kick in big time. You start second guessing yourself and wondering what they are going to do next to screw with you, etc. Be careful of getting into that thought process since it can cause issues. If you continually think that you are being messed with then you may start to not trust your DM and start questioning what they are doing which could lead to conflict. The last thing we need is conflict or lack of trust with our DM. Try and remember, no one wants to see you fail; there is too much money and time invested for that. Are they watching to see how you handle yourself? Of course they are. That means keeping your paranoia at a minimum and ask questions in order to understand the situation or provide your concerns with possible alternatives for you, your DM and company to be successful. Finally, if you mess something up, come clean and don’t try to hide it or make excuses. That will lead to mistrust and get you into more trouble than a simple acknowledgement of the mistake. Let’s face it, at the beginning we are basically expected to make mistakes. The real goal is to not repeat the mistakes or variants of them, if possible.

I guess the biggest thing I can take from my first year on the road is that it is a significant adjustment. The phone or messaging is not a substitute for seeing and interacting with an individual. You have to be very comfortable with who you are and what you are doing and having almost no feedback for improvement. You can’t let all of that time by yourself impact your relationship with people. You have to listen to what they are saying and not hear what you want to hear. Or maybe read too much into something because of the time you have to parse and dissect, adnauseum. In order to be successful you will have to be patient with yourself and others while keeping a positive attitude along the way. It is possible to have a long and happy career in trucking, but you will have to work at it in order to improve and not turn into a curmudgeon.

I think I have adapted to this unique life style. Sure, there are times I am bored out of my mind and wonder why I’m not at home with those I love. But then there are those wonderful sunrises, clouds enveloping mountains, wild life that most will only see on TV or in a zoo. I don’t know how long I will do this, but things are much easier than a year ago. I am still learning, but now it less intense and more of the “Why didn’t I think of doing it that way sooner?” or “oh, wow, that’s neat!” All I can say now, is that I am immensely enjoying this part of my ride through life!

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