Profile For My CB Handle is Frank

My CB Handle is Frank's Info

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    Rookie Solo Driver

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    1 year, 10 months ago

My CB Handle is Frank's Bio

My name is Frank. I wear a big hat and I drive a big truck.

My CB Handle is Frank's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Company Stopped Dispatching Me After Getting Sick

Since you weren't able to drive, your team truck became a solo truck. Your co-driver was being dispatched solo loads and getting solo pay. The paperwork, fueling, etc was their job. They were compensated for it already by receiving solo pay so the company isn't going to you pay for it and pay twice.

I'd be more inclined to ask about editing that on duty time so you can get a rolling 34 in. You'll make a lot more money driving with a fresh 70 than nickel and diming the company over paying for some paper work.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bad Coupling Pics

In this particular case it would have been fine. As soon as you raised the landing gear, the gap would have closed and it would have been just fine. I know because I've done this before in both a semi truck and a yard spotter. But it never hurts to be extra careful and rehook.

Thanks. I'd been pondering that and I thought that's what would probably happen. I wasn't comfortable with finding out though.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bad Coupling Pics

Wow, I just can't go down the road worrying about something like that possibly happening. I have to check for my own peace of mind.

The result of something like that can be devastating. had to pay a 1 million dollar claim in January because the driver did not do what you did and the trailer got loose .... so you can imagine what happened to the lady that was behind him,,,,.....may the Lord bless her

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bad Coupling Pics

I thought you were Captain Obvious'ing me lol. Yeah, it's definitely a good thing for people to know and a detail that's so small, it gets overlooked more often than it should. Thanks.

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Oh I know that. I was saying a few things that I didn't include here while a was cranking it on low for about 300 turns. Lol

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The driver who dropped the trailer previously to you, cranked the gear way too high. The landing gear pads should barely touch the ground when spotting a trailer.

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I know you know that...meant for those in the forum who may not know that.

Great job catching it!

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bad Coupling Pics

Oh I know that. I was saying a few things that I didn't include here while a was cranking it on low for about 300 turns. Lol

The driver who dropped the trailer previously to you, cranked the gear way too high. The landing gear pads should barely touch the ground when spotting a trailer.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bad Coupling Pics

Here's some pics of a bad coupling I had to do-over a few days ago. I backed in, heard the "click", did the tug test and everything seemed fine until I saw this. I don't know what would have happened if I went down the road like this but I wouldn't want to find out either.

It was on a dirt lot that was wallowed out under the nose of the trailer where other trucks' wheels had been. They had the trailer jacked up about 4 inches higher than my fifth wheel so I backed in close to the king pin and lowered the trailer until the apron was flat against the fifth wheel and backed up. My wheels sank into the ruts more than I anticipated though and it ended up like this.

Not really a nightmare high hook but hopefully this helps some people know what to look for. The pic of the hook around the kingpin actually doesn't look too bad but I know my truck and could see that it didn't look right.

ryArhX9.jpgPpFGKQ1.jpgBNq1jH4.jpg

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

A More Realistic Article on Automated Trucking in Bloomberg

Yeah I thought it sounded like it might be an interesting project to help out with until I got to the part about the wind gust.

The "cup of coffee" comment should have set off some BS detectors as well. I don't think you need to be a coder to know that's not how computers work.

I finally just read this article. I'm still completely unimpressed. This company is attempting to set up a system where the trucks are driven remotely instead of having a driver behind the wheel. But as I've mentioned before, these algorithms are way, way less capable than the software industry would want any of us to believe, because they're trying to raise huge funds, develop some software that seems reasonably promising, and then sell the company for incredible amounts of money to one of the bigger players in the game. The company in this article is named "Starsky":

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Of course, Starsky is a for-profit business, not a truth and reconciliation commission. It’s one of a handful of companies trying to seize a piece of the trucking industry’s $700 billion in annual revenue. Starsky has raised $5 million in seed capital from, among others, Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley venture fund and incubator. Its competitors include Embark, which is also backed by Y Combinator, and Otto, a startup that raised no outside capital and had fewer than 100 employees when Uber Technologies Inc. acquired it for $700 million. (Otto is the subject of a lawsuit that claims its co-founder stole technology from Alphabet, Google’s parent.) A fourth company, Peloton Technology, has raised $78 million to pursue adding some autonomous capabilities to conventional trucks.

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So no one is accomplishing anything at this point other than to write some software, get some patents on it, and then sell it for massive amounts of money to Google or Uber or GM or one of the other bigger players. So their entire existence is based on hope, and so is their economic future.

As I've pointed out in previous articles, the software is really primitive. Read this and tell me you're impressed:

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In the meantime, there are still lots of problems to solve—like wind. Not long into our drive, a gust hits our left side, and the truck lurches toward the shoulder; the wheel turns left, over-correcting and sending us drifting into the next lane. The experience is terrifying, although Runions and Keogh seem unfazed.

“It’s got to adjust, that’s all,” Runions says, explaining that the combination of wind and weight—today’s load is 20 tons, more than in other tests—represents a novel challenge. He keeps his hand on the blue switch and his eyes on his side mirror to make sure we don’t cut off anyone. He looks tense, but the truck finds the right lane after a few seconds.

Keogh says everything is normal. Starsky’s software is written to determine how hard the wind is blowing, he says, and then to steer against the wind and stay in the lane. But early on in a session, the computer isn’t fully calibrated yet. Runions offers a comparison: “You know how you are in the morning before you have your coffee?”

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So a simple gust of wind on a flat, dry stretch of highway sent the truck off onto the shoulder and then careening into the hammer lane.

Are you serious?

And then the part about, "You know how you are in the morning before you have your coffee?"

Man, what a fresh, steaming pile of BS. That useless algorithm could have just caused a huge wreck and killed people over a simple gust of wind. One of Tesla's cars that has features that are supposed to detect problems on the highway failed to detect a tractor trailer that was completely across the road and did indeed drive the vehicle straight into the truck, killing the driver of the car.

Your algorithms are sent careening all over the highway by a simple gust of wind and you expect me to believe you have anything worthwhile at this point?

Be serious.

These gigantic corporations have spent billions of dollars over more than a decade developing this software and it still can't reliably detect a tractor trailer sitting sideways in front of the vehicle or maintain its lane when hit with a simple wind gust.

At this point this is nothing but marketing hype. Everyone is trying to convince investors to keep pouring funds into these companies to fund their research and then hopefully pay hundreds of millions buying the company outright one day.

Can't compensate for a simple wind gust. Good grief.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bloomberg article on Blue Collar Student Debt

So why would you not educate others so they could do the same?

Anybody who signs a contract without understanding the implications of said contract is an idiot. I would not work for a trucking company that required a non compete. There are plenty of other companies that do not require one. I've heard people say that they were so rushed through the paperwork, there was no way to understand it. BS. I told them I needed time to look through the contracts. And guess what, time was provided.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Forcing your body to sleep?

The most helpful thing for me to learn to fall asleep and take a nap during the day was learning that just lying down and putting your feet up while relaxing can be just as restful as a short nap. Once I learned that, I started relaxing so much instead of stressing over falling asleep that I actually started catching myself falling asleep.

Now I'm a champion napper. There's not much I'm good at but I'm good at napping!

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

OTR as a family man

I have a feeling you might have researched this one already but one other possibility is working on ships in Alaska for the Winter seasons. I worked one season up there on a processor ship. It's definitely lots of work for low pay. There would be a lot of possibilities up there for you with your background though.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bloomberg article on Blue Collar Student Debt

I drive for Prime (where I'm happy contracts and all btw). It's my understanding that most of the other major carriers are doing the same now. This is where start getting into rumorville though since the contracts are supposedly trade secrets and it's hard to find out the details. Anything to clear these up would be very helpful.

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The non-compete clause is a separate contract saying that after you leave the company, you can not go to work with a company in direct competition for a period of 1-3 years thereafter depending on the company who is issuing the contract without paying a large fee first. This is regardless of whether you have completed the terms of your training/employment contract and have thus effectively paid off.

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I am not aware of any companies out there that are forcing drivers to sign a non-compete contract that states you can't go to work anywhere else even if you're fulfilled your training obligation. Can you give me the name of a company that's doing that? I would love to look into it and ask them what that's all about.

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You just don't know what you're jumping into with a smaller company though and I'm even more leery of them with less information and transparency available.

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This I agree with completely.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

OTR as a family man

Well if you're really all in, good luck to you and learn as much as you can while on the road. There is a lot that you can listen to while driving about managing money and creating different streams of revenue that might help you diversify if you decide trucking isn't for you after you've completed your contract.

At the end of your contract, you will either want to continue OTR or you will have a lot more options and knowledge than you started with. Good luck.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bloomberg article on Blue Collar Student Debt

They are not one in the same. The non-compete clause is a separate contract. (I know because I've signed both an employment contract as well as a non-compete contract). The non-compete clause is a separate contract saying that after you leave the company, you can not go to work with a company in direct competition for a period of 1-3 years thereafter depending on the company who is issuing the contract without paying a large fee first. This is regardless of whether you have completed the terms of your training/employment contract and have thus effectively paid off.

No one is denying that there are sound and fair business reasons to issue such a contract. Nobody should be hit up with such a potentially binding contract without having a chance to research it first though. When you've already quit your job and travelled cross country to go through CDL training is not the time to present a contract to anyone no matter how fair the contract is.

Beware of certain major carriers? Never said it. Beware of ANY carrier especially when signing a contract. If anyone takes what I wrote that way, I will say that I worked on a dock before driving that had mostly independent drivers or drivers from small companies come in and I personally saw some of the worse of the worst drivers regularly in some of the worst equipment. We contracted some Swift drivers for awhile and I was like "man, these guys are pros!" They were so much better and more professional than the usual drivers we got in there. I had no clue about the company's reputation then and was surprised when I learned of it.

I'm about to complete my rookie year with a large company and have been looking at other possibilities. You just don't know what you're jumping into with a smaller company though and I'm even more leery of them with less information and transparency available.

I'm saying the same thing you guys are saying. To do your homework using the tools on the site here and choose your company carefully. You need to be prepared for any contracts you may have to sign to do so though.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bloomberg article on Blue Collar Student Debt

I think you're referring to the employment contract to work off your schooling which makes perfect sense. I'm talking about the non-compete contract which says you are not allowed to work for another trucking company for several years even after fulfilling the terms of your employment contract.

Students are told about the employment contract but not the non-compete contract until they often quit their jobs and travel to their CDL schools. Then they are handed the contract and told to sign or not sign on the spot without having an attorney look at it or to do any research on it.

Any contracts need to be discussed with transparency before students make a decision to go through a company's training.

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The non-compete contracts are also a dirty secret that I think are not discussed enough and job seekers who are stressed out and desperate are not adequately prepared to be hit by them.

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Ok, let me give you a scenario, turn things around a bit.

Say I came to you one day and said, "Man, I'm totally broke. I'm getting to the point of depression. My family is getting ready to lose their house. I can't find work, I have no real marketable skills, and I could really use some help."

You, being the nice guy that you are with quite a bit of money in the bank and a solid trucking career with stable finances decide to help out. You say, "Yeah, Brett. I'd love to help you out. I'm in a great position to do so, too. But you're not my child, you're a grown man, so I'm going to lend you the money and once your career is established I want you to pay me back."

Me, being desperate and at a dead end in my life, agree wholeheartedly and I'm thankful for the opportunity.

Fast forward two months later and my trucking career is going strong. I have my CDL, I've completed training, and I'm out there running solo making $45,000 my rookie year. But the thing is, I'm not as concerned about you as you were about me and I decide I'm not going to pay you back. Screw you. Life is too short and if you're too dumb to hang onto your money then you must not need it like I do. I'm all about me.

So I keep your cash and I keep the fat paychecks I'm making with the new career you just financed for me and I don't lose a wink of sleep over it. You hear through the grapevine that I'm mocking you behind your back to everyone I come across, talking about what an idiot you are and how I pulled one over on you.

Now how stupid does it sound to have someone sign a contract to repay money.

If you own a house, aren't you under contract to pay back the loan?

If you get a loan for college, aren't you under contract to pay back the loan?

As a business owner, if another business hires you to do work for them, wouldn't you expect to be under contract to complete the work for the money they're paying you?

Please, explain to me in greater detail how it's a "dirty little secret" that a company would expect you to work for them in return for financing your new career for you. Because obviously there's something about this agreement that I just don't get. Help me out.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

A More Realistic Article on Automated Trucking in Bloomberg

Just some interesting reading I thought I would pass along. This article seemed to be a little more realistic on automated trucking research and had some interesting stuff of the coders working alongside truck drivers.

I thought the idea of driving alongside a coder with an entirely different background would be pretty cool despite the article's portrayal of the "typical" truck driver (a mythical creature who seems to appear in a lot of these articles but who is seen about as of as Bigfoot or a unicorn). I was less interested when they got to the part about the sudden crosswind though. That driver was definitely more seasoned and calm about it than I probably would have been.

I also thought that "driving" a real truck in one of those remote control stations for 40 hours a week would require a lot more energy and concentration than driving a real truck 70 hours a week. I don't know if I could maintain the same level of focus and intensity looking at a screen as I do driving a real truck hands on. You wouldnt get to see the same sights or have the same stimulations either so 40 hours a week with frequent breaks would be plenty.

One more takeaway is that after reading this I thought people who are already in trucking would not lose jobs and could possibly benefit from automated trucking. However it would make it harder for new people to get into the industry with fewer opportunities for new "steering wheel holders".

This is all just interesting speculation. Hope some of you will enjoy the article as much as I did.

Bloomberg article on truckers working alongside coders

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Amusing Myself At The Truck Stops

I like the Zig Zag truck, especially when DOT pulls him in for an inspection and lets me go by lol.

Posted:  9 months ago

View Topic:

Bloomberg article on Blue Collar Student Debt

Well I have to disagree with the consensus that this article is merely a smear piece and say that it's a good fair warning to do your homework before making a commitment to any company. There are valid reasons to choose CR England or CRST but any time you see a company offering shorter contracts, bigger sign on bonuses, and shorter training times; you need to ask yourself why they are making such offers and what the cost is to you.

The non-compete contracts are also a dirty secret that I think are not discussed enough and job seekers who are stressed out and desperate are not adequately prepared to be hit by them.

Just do your homework. Sometimes when people are desperate and making emotional decisions about a new career, some harsh anecdotes will grab their attention more than than logic and data will. We can't crawl inside the author's head and know her true intentions but if she makes people pause and think before making a career leap, that's not a bad thing.

Personally, I'm about to complete a year with my company after going through company paid training and I'm happy with my decision. I'm glad I did my research before though. Different companies are definitely better for different people and the job is definitely not for everybody.

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Prime drivers fueling question

Has anyone ever gotten in trouble for siphoning gas out of their tractor tank and putting it in their reefer?

(Not that I've ever thought about doing such a thing.)

Posted:  11 months ago

View Topic:

The actual tools a driver needs to carry on the truck

Hammer
Pliers
Cutters for wire seals
Screwdrivers
Duct tape
Zip ties
Grease gun

These are the things I probably use the most on my truck. You'll probably get a list or some more advice once you get into your own truck.

Posted:  11 months ago

View Topic:

Eye problems

I get the same thing when I travel. I have some mild allergies that aren't that noticeable when I stay close to home but they rear their head when traveling. I usually just take my contacts out and tough it out. I did go to the doctor for it once though and he prescribed some eye drops that drained my eyes and sinuses really well.

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