Profile For Pete B.

Pete B.'s Info

  • Location:
    VA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Pete B. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 2 months ago

Pete B.'s Bio

Striving to be a safe, productive, and courteous driver, and living up to my bobble head proclaiming that I’m my “Wife’s Greatest Hero.”

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Posted:  21 hours, 6 minutes ago

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Is four weeks really enough?

TTS, the truck driving school will be spending four weeks preparing you to pass the CDL exam: Pre-trip, backing, and skills test (on-road driving with DOT examiner). At the end of the four weeks, after you've passed the CDL exam, received your diploma and new Class A license, you still won't know much about driving a big truck. You'll have learned the basics: shifting, backing, not taking out light poles while making a turn, but the vast majority of learning will come from McElroy as you ride with one of their trainers for several weeks and tens of thousands of miles, and then on-the-job training/learning as you evolve into a solo driver. So, don't look at it as you have to learn everything you'll need to know about truck driving in four weeks; those first four weeks are more or less an introduction. The real learning comes after. And never really stops. Don't worry, you'll do fine.

Posted:  4 days, 2 hours ago

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MAJOR Changes with me but definitely for the better.....:

Congratulations MM, your quick rise to the top is very inspirational! You’re a credit to your company and to trucking.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Eye Candy

But check her out— she’s staying hydrated— she’s got smarts real good.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Page Turners?

Check out this one Pete: "Churchill's History Of Ungentlemanly Warfare" by Giles Milton. WW2 military history non-fiction.

Packrat, thanks, I definitely will. Have you read “No High Ground,” by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey? Awesome account of the development of and events surrounding the dropping of the two atomic bombs. That one WAS a page-turner. One more... “A Bridge Too Far.” Also unputdownable.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Page Turners?

I go back and forth, between fiction and nonfiction. I love a well-researched book having anything to do with WWII. Right now I’m into “The Pentagon’s Brain: An uncensored history of DARPA, America’s top secret military research agency.” It’s definitely NOT a page-turner, but very interesting nonetheless. It references Operation Paperclip, which, if you don’t know much about post-WWII, is quite appalling.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Hey PackRat, I've Got A Question

An older cabover passed me on the PA Turnpike yesterday; he had a large air filter mounted on the platform between the cab and the trailer. Definitely did not appear to be stock. I was thinking that guys driving those must love to wrench on their trucks.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Hey PackRat, I've Got A Question

Susan, your age is showing, dear. That Freightliner is red, not white.

smile.gif

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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We Had A Major Truck Accident

That’s awful. Very sorry to hear that. I hope your healing & recovery goes well.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Canyon Fatigue

I love the scenery inside the canyons, the rock formations, the weathered rock walls, seeing the striations of the earth... there’s one where the rocks/boulders all look like they’re blowing like trees in the wind in one direction as you enter. I think my favorite is along I-11 near the Hoover Dam. I have to struggle to stay in my lane because I’m constantly looking around!

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Buuurrrrr, It's Cold Up Here!

I'm kinda disappointed your bed isn't made. Just saying...

Maybe there was somebody still in it!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Advice on making tight right turns

When you take your 10 again, read up and/or Youtube “buttonhook turns;” it may help you prepare for your next tight right turn.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Advice on making tight right turns

First check out the scene using ‘satellite view’ on Google maps; you’re looking for an alternative to making that right turn. If none exists, I’d tackle it this way: approach the turn very slowly, slower than usual. Creep as far left as you can get in your lane, without impeding traffic traveling in the other lane/ opposite direction. You may even be in the other lane, just don’t block it entirely. Before you turn right, steer your tractor to the left, keeping eyes on your driver’s side mirror so you don’t hit anyone, then turn right. This should give you enough room to make the turn. Go slowly, so everybody has the opportunity to see what you’re doing and will hopefully give you time and space to complete the turn. Don’t forget to check your passenger side mirror in case someone tries to squeeze past you on that side. Good luck!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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$650k in Lobster Tails Missing from Load

There was a seal? Maybe he ate the lobsters.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Second day otr no experience

Frank, it sounds like there’s something else on your mind; what are you feeling, that you are driving more hours than what you’re comfortable with, or that you’re not driving enough?

Posted:  1 month ago

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I've opened up a whole can of... Pickles. Want opinions re: tanker endorsement

Yeah, what Brett said.

A ‘women in trucking’ FB group, still haven’t come to a consensus, 100 posts later? Come clean, Susan... is it really 4 or 5 ladies who have changed their minds 20-25 times?

:)

Posted:  1 month ago

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Help your fellow driver

That’s a great story, Turtle. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back until your arm falls off. You deserve it. That was exemplary behavior. I’d pat you on the back if I could.

Posted:  1 month ago

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My student upgraded!

I’m sure there’s a truck there somewhere amongst all those devices.

Congrats on your student’s upgrade, I’m sure his training was top-shelf.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Here Is What It's Like Pulling A Tanker

Uncanny timing for this post CWC... earlier today I was thinking along these very same lines, that pretty much all of the discussion re: tankers is very doom-and-gloom, unlike reefer/dry van and especially flatbedders, who all seem to really enjoying talking about the particulars of their jobs. But that's the nature of this business. Then I thought about what it is that I really like about pulling tankers, and I've realized it's not so much pulling tankers as it is driving a big truck. There are aspects of tanker life that will keep me in this line of work until I'm done driving. They include, in no particular order: it's soooo much easier parking my 48' trailer than the 53' vans and flatbeds. I have gleefully backed into many-a-spot that the longer rigs have bypassed because they don't have the room in front to swing their tractors around to get backed in. Some spots are shorter because there is a light post or some other obstruction at the rear of the space, but just the right size for me. I also love backing in between two longer rigs... I back up all the way into the spot, so that the front of my tractor is recessed, behind the two on either side. Makes it near impossible to get the front of my truck clipped by some idiot that we've all seen on Youtube.

Additional parking options: I'm able to park at nearly every shipper and consignee that I visit, which allows me to get loaded or unloaded off the clock, saving precious hours. Because so many of the sites I travel to are in secluded areas or on the outskirts of towns/cities, there's almost always a dirt or paved lot for us trucks, or a parking lane of some sort that can be used. And again because a high number of facilities I go to are usually on the outskirts of towns, and near travel lanes, there is quite often a truck stop located at the exit I need, and close enough to get to the site off the clock. In 20 months of driving, I've had to pay to park only once. The tank washes provide parking as well, which CWC has already mentioned. I haven't been to the tank wash in East St. Louis, but I have been to the one in Kankakee, IL, where they always have barbecue prepared in a crock pot. There are several tank washes that provide towels with the showers.

I don't slide my tandems or my 5th wheel. They're fixed. That I can't do anything about the weight, however, has caused me some stress. For instance, I recently picked up a pre-loaded trailer from a shipper; the trailer was supposed to be filled to 45,000lbs, but it was closer to 46,000. While taking this load from Pennsylvania to California, I only had to scale once at a weigh station... I crept along the lane very slowly, letting a long line of trucks build up behind me. When I got onto the scale, I braked harder than was necessary, putting the liquid into motion (in this case, 'surge' was a good thing!) The weigh station staff didn't have time to allow the surging liquid to settle to get an accurate weight, which would have taken 4-5 mins., so I immediately got the green light to continue back onto the interstate.

I see box trailers swaying in the breeze during windy conditions; yes, I feel the wind too, but my trailer has a much lower profile and is more turbulence-friendly with the curved sides of my trailer.

Familiarity: this is what I know. I've developed a comfort zone now, and don't see myself leaving it. And besides, the 53' dry vans and reefers just seem so dang big!

I get mixed reception at the shippers/consignees/tank washes... I'm always early, which has been appreciated and sometimes gets me loaded early and on my way. While the majority of consignees are happy to see me, I have been to a few that weren't expecting me, or didn't have room for my product and turned me away. That's probably not worth mentioning, it's happened less than 10 times out of hundreds of deliveries. A benefit of working for a large company like Schneider is that I have not experienced the wait time mentioned by CWC; we have an abundance of trailers at all of the tank washes. In fact, I've never had to wait to get one cleaned. Today, for instance, I dropped my dirty trailer, drove around and found the clean & empty assigned to me for my next load, hooked up to it, and gone. That's the way it usually works out. On occasion the assigned trailer I need is still dirty, so I call in and simply get another trailer assigned, one that is ready to go.

I never let the contents of my trailers bother me... the really harmful HAZMAT chemicals, the lethal stuff, I don't touch anyway. In those cases I'm always instructed to just stay in my truck. I've been issued all the PPE I need to off-load the milder HAZMAT chemicals, the flammables and less corrosive materials. Additionally, the chemical suit works great as a raincoat, and the FR coveralls help keep me warm when the temps are well below freezing.

So that's about all for now... just realized what time it is and I need to get some sleep. More for later. Thanks for starting this CWC!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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New food tanker driver

Schmeltz, that's really great to hear. You're absolutely correct, the tanker jobs will be there waiting for you. Whatever else you decide on your first year, do it safe, do it well, enjoy the experience... you've shown a great deal of maturity, flexibility, and humility with the ability to listen to our collective voice and decide against something you spent time looking into and had pretty much made up your mind with. Those traits will serve you well in this industry!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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New food tanker driver

Navypoppop, thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it. Unfortunately I think we've lost this one; he's disappeared from this thread. He has used words like "researched" and "challenge," which sound familiar, because ironically enough I used those same words before I became a tanker driver, and I think at least one moderator tried to sway my opinion as well, but no amount of research or willingness to embrace new challenges can prepare you for the demands and tests of driving a tanker. I just think it's irresponsible for companies to put new drivers behind the wheel of tankers, with no prior experience of driving a big truck. Patrick B. listened; hopefully others will too.

Grump Old Man, weaving in the lane and swerving like you described will not be caused by the surge; that's distracted driving right there. You'd be well-served to stay clear of that type of behavior; make a quick pass or back off...

Patrick B., thanks for reading this thread, I'm really glad it helped you with your decision!!

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