Profile For Unholychaos

Unholychaos's Info

  • Location:
    Ottumwa, IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Unholychaos On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 months ago

Unholychaos's Bio

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Hazards of truck stops

That's why I try to avoid truck stops unless the spot I'm in is surrounded by straight backs.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Distractions Can Kill Your Career, or Worse - article by Rainy

Great read! I'll add a little bit to the internal distraction side. Sometimes if I'm going to a customer that I know is going to consist of a difficult back (I know this ahead of time because I satellite view every new place I go to), I start to get that nervous feeling in my stomach. That alone can be a huge distraction cause you end up thinking about it before even getting off the interstate. Deep breaths to calm the nerves helps a lot for me.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Don't forget your landing gear

ALWAYS make sure the landing gear is touching the ground while coupling/uncoupling. Last thing to do while coupling, first thing while uncoupling.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Your Favorite Truck Stop

Flying J off of I-80 exit 77 in LaSalle IL. Reliable parking, nice hot showers, great area.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider trucks cooking/food storing help!!!

Schneider doesn't allow any decent sized inverter for company trucks so your options are limited. The road pro portable cooker (looks like a lunch box) is doable for small things as well as an ice less cooler. Honestly, I wouldn't pack more than you'd use between hometimes in the perishable department. Canned goods are your friend.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

That definitely satisfied my question G-Town. The biggest thing though, was your first paragraph.

First of all there is no perfect training solution. They all have their pros and cons and that can vary depending on who is considering it. More than any other thing we deal with, the training decision is personal. And the experience is highly variable form one student driver to the next. What works for some, doesn't work for others. That will likely never change.

The 1 week, or in my particular case 2 weeks, out directly supervised with a trainer was enough for me to get the basics down. My first trainer was a Chicago local based out of the Walmart DC in Hammond, IN. We would make pickups no more than 100m away from our terminal in Gary, IN and drop and hook at the DC. We had a lot of live loads; practically every pickup I remember was a live load. He also went home every day so my actual OTR training was completely nonexistent. He never taught me about setting ETAs, NAT (Next Available Time), or really any clock management. But I did get the experience of dealing with Chicago every day.

If I hadn't asked for a 2nd trainer and explained the situation with the 1st one, I'd have been dead in the water that first solo week.

Long story short, I needed 2 weeks to feel, in the very least, comfortable enough to know what I was doing. Backing still was horrendous, but it improved over time; I'm still learning tricks here and there as we all do. But I really don't believe team training, for me personally, wouldn't have made a huge difference afterwards. Yes that first week solo was extremely nerve wracking, as it usually is for everyone. But in my mind, learning the basics of everything then being set loose pretty much forced me to either improve as I go, or drown the deep end.

There's probably a point I'm missing somewhere as I tend to get rather rambly, but I do agree with you. What works for one, may not work for another. Schneider's direct supervision worked for me, swift or prime's team training method may not have (could be the whole "my life is in this stranger's hands" thing that I'm not comfortable with (reason why I'll never team nor train)).

No matter what path we chose to get there, we're all sharing the same roads now.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

No one can really relax and focus very well with someone looking over their shoulder critiquing every detail of their existence. It's nice to leave the student alone and let them do their thing when the conditions are pretty mellow.

I can definitely understand that. I was extremely nervous when I had to do an annual ride along late last year, even though I'm comfortable by myself even in congested Chicago traffic.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

Btw, I'm not knocking team training because it obviously works or else companies wouldn't be doing it. I just personally wouldn't be comfortable in either shoe; being a trainee with minimal road experience while the trainer is asleep and vice versa.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

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So essentially 5 days worth of solo driving then team? Other than the teaming aspect, what does the trainee actually learn from teaming that they can't learn without the trainer there?

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That's quite an odd question coming from an experienced driver. You can't think of any situations that a driver with one week of driving experience might not know how to handle?

My question mainly stems from the teaming while training aspect; that logic just doesn't click for me. I mean yeah you can wake the trainer up if you need help, but wouldn't it make more sense for them to just be awake the whole time?

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Nearing the end of week 24 of 2018!

I'm at home right now taking my week off. I'm kinda nervous about that first day back on the road after being off for a week. Hell, sometimes even just 3 days off rusts me.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

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Schneider may only have 1 week road training, but at least the trainer is in the passenger seat the entire time, not sleeping in the bunk while the trainee drives unattended.

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First 50 hrs of the student driving for Swifts mentoring is the same deal.

So essentially 5 days worth of solo driving then team? Other than the teaming aspect, what does the trainee actually learn from teaming that they can't learn without the trainer there? Legitimate question btw.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Why be so lazy.

Judging by how dark it is, I'm assuming the driver was thinking itd be full so, instead of circling the lot, they decided to be lazy and just park creatively so he doesn't have to walk too far to get to that double cheeseburger calling their name.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

Schneider may only have 1 week road training, but at least the trainer is in the passenger seat the entire time, not sleeping in the bunk while the trainee drives unattended.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Slow dispatch

marked off where my driveway needs to go so TDOT can approve the location and issue my driveway permit.

I assume this is for parking your truck at home? Do all states require a DOT inspection/permit for a driveway if the intention is to park a truck? Because we were thinking about the same thing down the line; extending our driveway back so I don't have to park my bobtail on the curb.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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How long did it take you to get good at backing?

Been driving for about 20mo now and I still consider myself a s****y backer. Some days are good, other days are just God awful, like it's my first day on the job again! To be honest, I tend to avoid crowded truck stops if there's not 2 adjacent spots or a straight back; I get overly nervous about that truck on the blindside.

Take a lesson from me: Don't be afraid of the blindside, GOAL as many times as you need, ask for eyes on the ground. If you're tired and your brain feels fuzzy, probably a good idea to hit the rest area or the wide open mom n pop down the road if you don't need a chain truck stop (free shower, fuel, etc).

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Backing - learning something new every day

Sounds pretty rough there in Lower Alabama, Dave.

Does LA stand for Lower Alabama, Lower Arkansas, Louisiana, or Los Angeles?

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Asked To Leave The Facility

And it has been greatly debated if "unladen" means bobtail as in not pulling anything including the trailer. others say unladen means not pulling freight. i asked 2 DOT cops and got 2 different answers.

Diver Driver mentioned the unladen wording has changed, but i never looked it up

any info on that guys?

Schneider company drivers are unable to use line 5 "Personal Conveyance."

Independent Contractors (our version of owner operators) can only use line 5 IF they are bobtail and do not have an assigned load.

Neither can use split sleeper.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Got my first ticket. Grrrr.

Those damn P+G loads and those damn MO scale houses. I was in a similar situation back in October. Picked up P+G in Kansas City, KS (pain to find), heavy as hell, felt fine pulling from a complete stop. Just like you, I was in a hurry; I only had about 1h to spare to get to our terminal in Edwardsville IL, considering St Louis rush hour, so I said, "it's Saturday, scales will be closed." NOPE!!! Got pulled in about 5m or so after I passed an area with a TA and Petro, both had scales. 1,500lbs heavy on tandems, about $150 ticket, officer claimed I wouldn't get any points.

Lesson learned: 5-10m to scale your load is WAAAAAAAAAAY worth it if you're heavy. And as G-Town put it, a helluva lot cheaper than an overweight ticket.

(Still made it on time without running out of hours (wasn't even worth it!!!!))

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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What Does It Take To Be The Best?

Squeezing every bit of clock out of the day. If I don't necessarily NEED a pilot/flying J for a shower in the morning, I'll opt for the mom n pop another 30m down the road. Easier parking, usually quieter, and it's 30m I don't have to drive the next day, leaving that much more time on my 14. Also, getting to your fuel stop the night before and fueling up while simultaneously logging your pretrip. This was going to be important for me last week as I was running VERY tight on my 70; had barely enough time to make it home after delivering the current load. Yeah it may have only been a difference of 10-15m, but when you're cutting it that close, every second counts.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Warm Engine Before Driving

What excessive idling will cause issues with is the emissions systems

I've noticed that more during the winter season when you pretty much have to idle to not freeze your fuel. Wake up in the morning with a check engine light, diagnostics saying a problem with the emissions systems. But my issue was also related to something about the EGR valve(?)

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