Profile For Eddie F.

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    11 years ago

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Posted:  7 years, 1 month ago

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Bad idea to claim state disability benefits for a psych injury?

Thank you, Jan. You're right that it takes a long time for the government checks to start coming in. It's just that I could still claim them for a few weeks, after the delay ends.

The subject of someone (anyone) snitching to DMV's Driver Safety department is pretty common practice - I have heard that divorcing spouses (both CDL drivers) report each other to DMV out of spite. I just don't want this situation to bite me in the butt, if possible. Thanks again,

Posted:  7 years, 1 month ago

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Bad idea to claim state disability benefits for a psych injury?

Hi folks,

I am at present driving a small bus for a social service agency close to home. Because of three near-collisions in the bus yard between buses and people on foot, I took myself off work on 30 days of "stress leave". The company asked that I get a psychologist to sign me off for the leave, and I did so.

(I should mention that the three near collisions were NOT due to mental lapses ("brain farts") on the drivers' parts, but due to their bad attitude - they would see a person standing clear on the opposite side of the yard, yet drive towards him, and stop very close to him, as if he wasn't even there.)

The question now is: should I also claim State Disability Insurance benefits? If I do so, I fear that would become available information to prospective employers, and ruin or greatly damage my driving career. Also: some "over-eager beaver" in the SDI office could even report me to the DMV, who could demand that I be re-examined - or even suspend my license as a "nut case", or something similar. For that reason, I have held off on filing for SDI benefits.

Please give me your thoughts on this question. Thanks very much.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Fear/anxiety with the big rigs

Thanks very much, Bud.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Fear/anxiety with the big rigs

Thanks very much, Sue D., G-Town, and Pat M.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Fear/anxiety with the big rigs

Thanks very much , Rainy and Worrywort.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Fear/anxiety with the big rigs

Hi all, I am comfortable driving straight trucks, but for some reason, the big rigs scare me. My fears are specific: getting a red light ticket after the "point of no return" has been reached when the traffic light turns yellow. I also have the fear of truck scales: the cops giving me (and every other driver) the close look, to see what they can write the driver up for. I also have fear of, say, a tire blowing that could cause an accident in which another person (or myself) could be killed or badly injured. The shrinks might call this "social anxiety" or "situational anxiety", or "fear of humiliation" (with cops writing me up), I'm not sure. Surely many of you have had these fears/anxieties as well. Please let me know how you dealt with those thoughts and feelings. Thanks very much.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Watch out for this at your next DOT physical

Thanks for the helpful answers, Jessica and Tyler.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Watch out for this at your next DOT physical

Hi folks,

I just had my DOT physical exam. First thing I noticed was a wide range in costs for the exam - I received quotes ranging from $39 to $139. No joke. The $39 clinic was over 100 miles away, so I took the next lowest price, $65, a half-hour drive away.

I was told I had to bring in my previous long form to the exam. It looks like they want to track your condition over the years.

The doctor asked me if I had sleep apnea, so I truthfully replied, no, I didn't have it. He then made a speech how many drivers will have sleep apnea and not know it. Fortunately, he didn't push it any further than that. I saw that a driver on another forum also had the sleep apnea question, and the doctor required him to have an overnight sleep apnea test (cost $500) before he would sign him off.

The doctor asked me if I took any other meds besides insulin (I am a type 1 diabetic, and carry the Federal Diabetes Exemption). I replied that I took Lisinopril. He then said, "Oh, so you have high blood pressure". I replied (truthfully) that i did not have high blood pressure, that I was prescribed Lisinopril as a kidney protectant medication. This fellow was a chiropractor at a truck stop, so he had only a $50 home blood pressure wrist cuff, not the professional versions found in doctor's offices. The cuff indicated a blood pressure of 155, then on a second test, 138. When I told the guy that my blood pressure was higher because of my nervousness, he replied that truck driving is stressful, and that an examiner would want to see the driver's blood pressure under stressful conditions (!!!!).

I was signed off for a year, but this fellow said that he could have only given me 3 months. Then he has the nerve to say he is a "driver's advocate".

Bottom line: it looks like the exam is getting more rigorous, and there are more ways to flunk a driver (or only give him 3 months). I would say it's best to throw out your previous exam's long form, and don't volunteer ANYTHING to these characters.

Posted:  8 years, 10 months ago

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Hauling medical hazmat - possible hours of service issues?

Hi folks,

I was recently offered a job to be a Hazmat driver for a medical courier company. I would keep the company vehicle (an SUV) at my place, drive to the airport to pick up the cargo (which includes radioactive (!!) materials for deliveries to medical facilities. They told me that the radioactive stuff is packed in lead containers, so as to minimize leakage (I hope that makes it safe!)

I would be required to keep a logbook. I would have to leave at 3:30 AM for a 6:00 pickup at the airport, and might not return home until around 3:00 or 4:00 PM. I'm thinking I might run into Hours of Service issues here (more than 11 hours drive time) - assuming I start the log at the time I leave my place.

Please let me know your thoughts on these questions. Thanks.

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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They make you work as a contractor

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Hi folks,

I saw a job that I think would be perfect for me (ferrying tractors (no trailers) from point A to point B, and returning to point A in a different tractor). No forced dispatch, work only when you want, etc.

The only problem is that they make you work as a contractor, not as an employee. Which means twice the social security tax, no workers' comp insurance, and worst of all, potential liability - (they require that you post a $1,500 cash bond, but I was unable to find out just yet how much worse it could get).

The big question is: this may not be legal: the IRS has laid out steps to employers to determine if an employee could, or could not, be considered a contractor. The fact that the driver will only work for this carrier, plus the fact that the carrier controls what the driver does, argues that the driver is really an employee rather than a contractor. The IRS could come back on the carrier and demand that they pay employment taxes, etc. (I saw this article on Legal Zoom, which gives additional detail on the subject: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/employee-vs-independent-contractor-what-employers-need-to-know

The quick and dirty solution is just to find a job with someone else, where the driver is considered an employee. But I was wondering if the contractor status could be challenged somehow, with the State Department of Labor or others.

If any of you have thoughts on this situation, please let me know. Thanks.

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It sounds like you are confusing working contract with working 1099. A contractor is an employee of the company that pays you and this company is required to pay/deduct all payroll taxes just like any other employer. Contractors are usually hourly workers, some call them temps. If you are 1099 you can consider yourself working for yourself and you are the company. Normally, 1099's invoice the company for payment and are responsible for all taxes, insurance, etc. You would normally submit an invoice to the company to be paid.

Thank you, Annee. This company advertised on Craigslist, and said that the employment type is "Contract". They pay 50 cents per mile plus fuel surcharge. They give the driver a fuel card, and place an estimated amount on the fuel card necessary to fuel the tractor for the trip. They don't want the driver arriving at the destination with more than 4 inches of fuel in the tanks. The driver is responsible for submitting receipts to the company.

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