Comments By Dutch

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  • Dutch
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Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Waiting on shippers

Welcome aboard to the both of you!

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Waiting on shippers

6,

I have been with Crete almost 2 years. I have pulled reefer for them in the past, just to help things come together for them, but I run Southeast dry van most of the time. I did get a load out of the house in North Alabama to Idaho recently. Even though I am technically regional, they throw me a bone from time to time that can be hard to refuse. They ain't tried to run me to Boston yet though! sorry.gif

I remember being told once when I first came to the company, that they really cater to their reefer teams, and give them a lot of extra perks. I'm pretty sure that includes the best loads, and much higher paychecks. I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk to any Schaffer drivers at length though, while I have been at a terminal or truck stop.

As impressive as the company is, I have been told by some of the veterans that it used to be even better.

The thing I like best about them, is that they seem very sincere in doing everything they can for us, to improve our overall driving and working experience. That sincerity is important to me, because I feel that when things aren't ideal in a particular situation, that they are usually always doing the best they can.

My terminal manager in Marietta, GA. is really good to work with, and has helped me on more than one occasion, when I needed an assist.

One of the best things I like about them, is they leave me alone for the most part. I always keep moving, making OTD, and they rarely ever leave me sitting waiting for a load. In fact, sometimes they try to get me to take 3 at once, and I have to ask them to calm down, if the loads aren't drop and hooks with delivery windows. It makes me shake my head sometimes, at how efficient the load planners are at doing their job.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Firefighters battle 3 alarm blaze at Flying J Truck Stop

Now it should be even easier to get your hood taken off at the Pilot across 465. good-luck.gif

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Waiting on shippers

Juan, Crete/Schaffer is really good about paying us our detention just like they are supposed to. Just make sure you send in your #16 macro after 1 hour, and be sure to fill out your transflow paperwork to match the times your macros were sent. In a lot of cases, the customer will say they cannot sign any detention papers, so in that case, just write "refused to sign." Payroll still pays us our detention whether they sign or not.

Also, they only require us to log 15 minutes unload time, so if you can get inside or outside the customers property before you shut down, you can get your reset and not have to worry about burning any of your 70 hour clock while you are waiting. The load planners do a fantastic job, so they will almost always get you under another load shortly after sending your mt call. In fact, in most cases, they will send you a preplan before you even send your mt call.

In some cases, I have had a customer waste a lot of my time, and when that happens, the load planners will work to try to get you a higher mileage load, so that you finish out the week with good miles before the Friday night deadline for transflow.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Too much time on load

Theron, there is a lot concerning this scenario that you mention, dependent on a company's resources and organizational skills.

If the company has the resources to purchase a lot of trailers, and leave them on the company's property, as well as offer them a discount for pre loading the trailer, it can make a huge difference in keeping drivers moving instead of waiting for live loads.

For instance, some companies I service, give me a passcode to their gate, so that I can pick up a preloaded trailer after hours. I go into the shipper, go to a designated area where they leave multiple bill of ladings for different companies. I locate the one that belongs to me, I fill it out, and do a quick drop and hook and I am on my way.

Same goes for making deliveries early. If the company you work for has you involved in virtually all live loading and unloading, once you get some driving experience, you can start applying to companies who have better resources and capital, which allows them to keep their drivers moving much more effectively.

Having said that, even the best of companies can find a driver in a location, where freight is scarce. In that case, I pick up the load, and see if I can t-call the load or relay it with another driver, where we swap loads. In some cases, dispatch can make this scenario work so that it is beneficial to both drivers, and allows a load to be delivered on time that otherwise would need to be rescheduled.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Best driving schedule to maximize miles

Steven, first of all let me try to simplify the 70 hour clock for you.

Take your calculator and divide 70 hours by 8 days. That should give you an 8.75 hour average per day. DOT only wants you to work, (drive, fuel, drop and hook, etc.) for 8.75 hours a day.

However, they will let you borrow time from your 70 hour clock, if you need to work say 10 hours one day in order to make on time pickup or delivery, but now you have borrowed 1.25 hours from your 70 hour clock. Any time you work more than 8.75 hours in a day, you are continuing to borrow from your 70 hour clock. If you continue to do this, you eventually run out of 70 hour clock, and are forced to do a 34 hour reset.

To simplify this, take a piece of paper, and number lines 1 through 8. On each line, write 8.75 hours. Now, look down at the last line which is number 8, and the number in that box is the amount of time you will earn back, that will be added back to your 70 hour clock tomorrow. This time will vary in box 8, depending on how many hours you worked 8 days ago. I just told you to write 8.75 on each line to simplify the learning process.

As for the best driving schedule, prime time is generally 6am to 6pm, because more customers are open for pickups and deliveries during that window, however prime time can vary from company to company, depending on the freight being hauled.

Also, the best way to maximize your clock, is to drive at all times of the day or night, and sleep at all times of the day or night depending on what you need to do to make on time pickup and delivery. If you are the type person who can work a swing shift, and constantly change what time of the day you sleep and work, you will be able to maximize your clock to maximum benefit for the largest paycheck.

Here is an example. Let's say I am 2 hours away from my receiver, and I am supposed to deliver at 7am. I will do a pre-trip, and start driving around 4:30am. Once I drop my loaded trailer and pick up my empty, it will be around 7:30am. If I don't get a load immediately, I can go off duty, and if I stay off duty until 5:30pm, I have stayed off duty for a period of 10 hours, giving me a fresh 14hr clock. (Remember being in off duty status or sleeper berth status will earn you back your 14hr clock after 10 hours.) If at some point during the day, the company offers me a load that picks up at 7pm, I will be able to pick it up and run all night with it or deliver, until my clock runs out at 7:30 in the morning.

The trick, is to get some sleep during the day while you are waiting, so that you can stay up and run all night. You may run that schedule for a few days, but anytime the customer makes you wait, or dispatch doesn't get you a load immediately, you may find yourself back driving during the day and sleeping again at night.

This type of swing shift driving is necessary when you work for certain companies to maximize your paycheck, but not necessary if you work for a different carrier, running a different type of freight.

There isn't much that can be done about customers who leave you sitting and waiting, but good load planners working for companies with good resources, will keep you moving with little downtime, which equates to a consistent sleep and work schedule.

As they say, "If the wheels aren't turning, you're not earning," so you need to be as flexible as possible to keep the wheels turning.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Over before it started

Sam, there is so much red tape involved in these processes, sometimes it can make you feel like a lot of the process is totally out of your hands even when common sense tells you that you should have zero problems.

I remember back during my 3rd week at C1, they called me into the office, and started questioning me about my unemployment period prior to attending training. I explained to them that I had told the recruiter that after being laid off, I had been drawing my unemployment during that time. Then they wanted to see all my unemployment check stubs, or something equivalent. I told them they were back at home, and I could have brought them with me, if they had only let me know. I had listed "drawing unemployment," on my application, and asked the recruiter if I needed to bring proof of it, but over the phone he didn't make an issue of it.

So I asked them would it be possible for me to go to the unemployment website where I filed weekly, and make a copy of my record of received payments. At first they said yes, but then the next day they said that it would need to be mailed from the State of Alabama. So I got on the phone, to request a copy from the State of Alabama, and was told I could get what I needed, but it would take 6 weeks to process it.

When I went back and told them that they replied, "Never mind, just forget about it."

All this uncertainty took about a week to play out before I could forget about it, and go back to concentrating on passing my tests.

Looking back on it now, it was just a sample of what was to come down the road. If you are the type person that gives up easily, trucking ain't for you, that's for sure.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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In serious need of a pep talk...

Chickie, successful backing is all about having your trailer "pointed" correctly. If it's not pointed correctly, you will struggle to back in. Even when backing up bobtail, you will begin to understand the concept of getting your drive tire pointed correctly, in order to slide under the trailer and be lined up properly.

When you begin to understand when you aren't pointed correctly, you will immediately know when you need to stop trying, do a pull up, reposition, and begin backing up again.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Just another low bridge strike after following GPS

I was in Michigan last year and saw on of those, if you hit this sign you will hit the bride ahead, signs hanging over the road. I thought to myself what a stupid sign because the bridge height is clearly posted on both sides of the road.

Now, I realize how much money the DOT is/could be saving.....

Those type of signs are targeting a specific type of truck driver. It reminds me, of a sign entering the shipping and receiving office of Kimberly Clark in Owensboro, KY. When you enter, there is a door directly in front of you, with a sign that reads, "Please use the other door." Then to the left, there is another door with a sign that reads, "This is the other door."

Cracks me up, every time I visit them.rofl-3.gif

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Carrying a Weapon in a CMV

The real answer to this dilemma, is to be choosy where you park, and be especially careful not to park anywhere, where no witnesses are present.

If I am a thug, and I have you all to myself with no witnesses, the process is pretty straight forward.

I knock on your door, and when you get out of the bunk and stand, I know that you are standing in a space roughly 4 feet by 3 feet. It doesn't take a genius to figure out, that if I send a volley into the sleeper and cab of the truck, I will probably end up with a dead truck driver. He can swing that tire thumper all he wants inside the truck, but my .357 or .45 has a little more reach.

Once the driver has expired, gaining access to the truck by breaking a window is simple. Ditto on taking my time to go through their personal belongings, and cherry picking what I want, when no witnesses are present.

If Mike Boeglin had been more selective in where he parked, he might still be alive today. Remember, never allow dispatch to send you into a situation, where you feel your personal safety is at risk. Safety is safety, and my life is just as important as anyone else's.

Trucker Found Shot Burned in his Truck in Detroit

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Truck Stop Parking Fail

I have a question that's not related to the accident, but kind of related in that it's about T/S parking.

In the video the bobtail that was hit was parked in a full size spot. The lot wasn't full, and may rarely fill up, or there just may not be any bobtail spots, whatever. My question is this, if you have to park bobtail in a full size spot is it best to park as if you have a trailer - by the front of the spot, in the middle of the spot - like the victim here, or deep in the spot - as if your tractor was the rear of a trailer?

Anytime, I am bobtail, I like to back 1/3rd of the way in to a designated parking spot for 3 reasons.

#1 is because my company will charge me with a preventable accident, should I get hit parked in an area where I am not sitting between 2 yellow paint marks that indicate designated parking. If it is designated bobtail parking with yellow paint, then I will leave the full size spaces for drivers pulling trailers.

#2 is because if I am 1/3rd of the way in, there is less chance I can get clipped by someone's trailer, especially if I am parked in an "end of the row" parking spot.

#3 is because if I go deeper into the spot bobtail than 1/3rd, some Einstein will show up bobtail in the middle of the night and back in directly in front of me, preventing my exit when I get my clock back. This situation will always require me to preform a "cop knock," and I don't want to start my day cop knocking.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Just another low bridge strike after following GPS

With all these drivers taking out bridges that their rig clearly won't clear, I am starting to think maybe they are all members of an Al-Qaeda cell.

Seriously though, I think the answer to the question of why do they continue ahead, when the bridge is clearly marked, has to do with them simply being afraid to stop in the street.

Sure, you can get a ticket for impeding traffic, but most law enforcement officers would rather catch you out of your truck with your hazards on, surveying the situation, than to call them because you took out a historic bridge like that moron did in Paoli, IN.

Drivers should never be afraid to stop and turn on the hazards if need be. Ditto on using the entire width of the road, to swing wide or square off. DOT spends millions of dollars to make the roads as wide as they do, and they do that for us, so we won't clip a light pole, or roll over someone's hood.

These drivers seem to think that once they are in motion, they simply cannot stop, but are forced to continue on. Yeah, they are driving a vehicle that is as long as a 7 story building is high, but it is still a vehicle with a parking break and a set of hazard lights.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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How to lower blood pressure before DOT physical

I agree with what Rick has stated above. I suppose if a doctor specifically wanted to target a particular patient, to check to see if they had something in their bloodstream, they could test for that, but it isn't likely. 99% of the drug tests, check for drugs that either have resale value, addictive chemicals, or both. Since blood pressure meds are some of the cheapest meds available, even without prescription, it is highly unlikely a test for any of them would be performed.

The drugs they habitually check for, for a variety of reasons, fall into 2 categories. The first category they are checking on, is to see if you are actually taking what you are prescribed, if that drug has a potential resale value (such as pain meds.) If you actually need the drug, but it's not in your system, there is a good chance some or all of it is being sold on the street. Some drugs like oxycodone can kill someone the first time they take them, because the person has not been gradually introduced to the drug, the way prescription drugs are prescribed. This is the reason they want to stop the resale activity pronto.

The other drugs they are checking for, are illegal street drugs that are not available at all, without prescription. Most offenders will end up getting caught eventually, if they are not taking what they are prescribed within that realm, or partaking in the other category for recreational use.

Until you hear about people being able to chop up blood pressure meds and snort them for a high, I seriously doubt you will ever see someone blood or urine tested for them.

Also, what Rick said about blood pressure meds needing to be monitored by your GP is absolutely true. For instance you could double up on your blood pressure meds, and have all sorts of side effects, such as your ankles and feet swelling up to the point you can no longer put your shoes on.

The only reason I mentioned aspirin, is because it is over the counter and will definitely thin your blood, and in turn drop your blood pressure.

Also, blood pressure meds build up in your system, so what Rick said about needing to take it longer than 2 days to get results is true. My GP told me that my BP med will take a full 3 weeks for it to leave my system, were I to run completely out of my prescription.

Also, he told me that running out for a week is no big deal from a health standpoint. He said the danger is keeping high blood pressure week after week, month after month, year after year. The cumulative effect can set you up for a stroke, and strokes are serious business. He told me that years ago, the medical community thought what is now considered pre-hypertension was a safe level, but now they know it is not, and they begin to prescribe mild high blood pressure meds now for pre-hypertension, to prevent the long term cumulative effects that lead to stroke.

The reason I point this out, is that aspirin is only extra insurance to help drop your pressure before a test, but that's about it. You need to consult with your GP for safe long term treatment for high blood pressure.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Driving at night

Theron, Rick mentioned vitamins, and it is possible that you may have a Vitamin A deficiency. You can have blood work done by your GP, that will give you a list of any vitamins you are deficient in.

Also, sometimes prescription meds can strip all of a particular vitamin out of a persons body, so if you were to find out that you are taking something that is making it harder for you to absorb Vitamin A, that could be the culprit.

An example of this, is the Nexium I take for acid reflux. This particular drug is really hard on calcium absorption. Most folks need 750 to 1000 milligrams a day, but because I take Nexium, I have to take 5000 milligrams a day, in order for my body to absorb the 1000 it needs.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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How to lower blood pressure before DOT physical

Another trick for lowering blood pressure before a test, is to take aspirin. Prescription blood pressure meds thin the blood, as does aspirin. I usually start putting aspirin in my system every 4 hours, starting 2 days before I am going to be tested. It always drops my BP quite a bit lower, than my prescription BP meds alone.

This can also be a good solution to help you pass your test, until you can get back in to see your doctor for a permanent solution to getting it below the threshold. I have talked to some guys who were stuck at the company terminal, and not allowed to drive, until they were retested and able to pass.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Help, Quick!

Be sincere, honest, and authentic. Remember, one of the best things you can say to any interviewer, is "I am looking for a company I can stay with!"

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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What I heard...

G-Town, great advice in the chess game that is trucking. Not all companies are set up to take advantage of the driver, but certain employees can always be of that persuasion no matter where a driver works.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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A PSA for those considering Prime Inc.

While it is true that the DOT 10 Panel Drug Test is mandatory for all company standards, each individual company has their own company policies concerning a wide variety of topics, including prescription medication.

Large corporations hire law firms to protect their assets, and they take the advice given in most cases, because that's what they are paying for. If their attorney tells them, that drivers on certain medications are difficult to defend in cases involving fatalities, that could be all it takes to make certain medications off limits according to company policy.

If another company non trucking related were to deny an employee employment because they had a certain medical condition, that might be grounds for a lawsuit. However, when it comes to trucking, the companies have so much liability involved, including criminal as well as civil suits, they have a legal right to deny employment for certain job descriptions for a variety of reasons.

Add to that, attorneys are always reviewing current cases, which set new precedents in the U.S. courts. When a certain case swings a certain way, it can affect the outcome of other cases that are similar in nature.

Bottom line is, they don't have to get specific and give you a lot of detailed info, when it comes to certain issues. If you present a high risk to a trucking company, they simply pass you over for another candidate who presents less issues for them during the hiring process.

Like I always tell people, trucking companies and truck drivers are a dime a dozen, but exceptional trucking companies and exceptional drivers are not.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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A PSA for those considering Prime Inc.

Also, here is some further reading, which I posted around this time last year on a pipe smoking forum I frequent, which will give further food for thought.

How to Become a Full Fledged Curmudgeon in 14 Steps

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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A PSA for those considering Prime Inc.

Abso-freakin-lutely Pixel! Not only can a curmudgeon be any age, they can also be any gender. Here is a link that will help you turn another corner, and send yourself in a curmudeonly direction.

How To Become a Curmudgeon

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