Profile For Pete B.

Pete B.'s Info

  • Location:
    VA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Pete B. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 7 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:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Machinist going trucker

First, the respirator… Only once in the 4+ years I’ve been working have a ever had to put on a respirator, and that was a full face respirator that I had to sign out and put on specifically for one job. I sat there in the cab wearing the respirator while I was getting loaded. The respirator was to protect me from the vapors of the chemical they were putting into my trailer. When I made the delivery I don’t remember if I was escorted to a waiting room or again stayed in the cabin during the offload, but I did not offload the chemical myself. Chemicals that toxic, you won’t get to touch. The plant’s and refinery’s staff will offload the really toxic inhalation hazardous chemicals for you. The respirator is there for you in case there’s some sort of emergency at the plant or refinery.

The chemical suit, worn on a semi-regular basis, can get hot. However I’ve never felt like I was going to pass out or near any loss of cognitive function. My only issue had been sweating profusely, with the perspiration dripping onto my safety glasses; I fixed that problem by wearing a bandanna under my hardhat, which I do now all the time anyway because it’s more comfortable. After offloads I’ve made wearing the chemical suit, before I drive off I’ll step into the back of my cab and strip down, changing into a clean, dry set of clothes. Because everything I’ve had on under the suit gets saturated with perspiration.

In summary, the respirator is a non-issue, as is the chemical suit. In the wintertime, the chemical suit is a bonus to have. The jacket, because it doesn’t breathe, traps your body heat, helping keep you warm.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Machinist going trucker

Hi Keith, I’ve been an OTR bulk driver with Schneider for a little over four years now; I don’t know anything about the vet apprenticeship program, however. And, thank you for your service. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. -Pete

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Schneider

No, Schneider won’t fire you over these two preventable accidents. When you sit down with an OSR to talk about what happened, just be humble and don’t make excuses. Don’t make excuses such as, “it was dark,” or, “ the tandems were slid all the way back.” You’ll do some slow maneuvering around the lot or a course, and after that you’ll be back on the road. The majority of accidents happen at slow speeds, and this does seem to be your weakness. Slow your pace. As Donna pointed out, make better use of your mirrors. As long as you are watching your mirrors, these types of accidents should never occur.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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Check your nuts boys and girls.

So many jokes, so little time...

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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Another example of U-turn gone wrong.

He definitely didn’t come out smelling like a rose after that stunt.

Schneider also has a ‘no U-turn policy.’

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Its been one of "those" days

I feel your pain re: the cruise control going out… I hate it when mine isn’t working. It’s nearly impossible for me to maintain a steady speed. And I can always tell when the truck in front of me doesn’t have it, because the driver’s speed is constantly going up and down within 3 to 4 mph. It’s very irritating.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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2021 dash cam recommendations

Velcro wouldn't work as i switch trucks daily. I ended up just buying a cheap $30 dashcam with a suction cup that I put in the lower portion of my windshield. I didn't need anything special I can save it then upload to my computer in the event I need to.

I am guessing it uses a memory card to save the videos… I recommend going to Walmart and buying the card with the largest memory capacity… That way if something happens at the beginning of your shift 14 hours later you will still be able to access it, it will not have been recorded over in the loop.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

OTR life... didn’t have time to use the dryer, so hanging ‘em up in the truck tonight...

0911108001622515552.jpg

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Quick intro and a few questions regarding Roehl

You’re not seeing the forest, David. The recruiters can’t tell you you are going to make what we are earning. They’re going to give you minimum wage type of numbers because that’s what Bare Minimum Guy makes. And everyone starting out is that guy. You have to prove yourself, to yourself and to your company, to do better and earn more. I took this job and within four months was earning more than a 20 year vet in this company; he was that content, Bare Minimum Guy. I am not going to discredit your numbers, but I will argue that you are not beholden to them.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Quick intro and a few questions regarding Roehl

No, PackRat, I'm not trying to talk myself out of trucking. I started researching the trucking industry because I did not understand why trucking company recruiters were burning up my phone trying to give me a job. I have six months of recent experience driving a straight truck. That's it. I have far more experience in other professions that require graduate level education and years of experience, which I have, but no one is calling me back for those jobs.

Now, I have a much better understanding of why OTR trucking companies are constantly looking for new drivers. Basically, the carriers need drivers who can learn quickly and drive safely for low wages, and most importantly, the carriers need drivers who can tolerate being on the road, living in a closet for weeks or months at a time. In order to compete successfully and profitably in the OTR market, carriers must accept the 94% turnover rate because, first, most Americans are not going to accept those working conditions at minimum wage pay for a long time. The turnover rate for non-OTR trucking is much lower, somewhere around 11% per year. That's where most experienced drivers want to go.

Second, I do not believe that driving an 18-wheeler is something that just anyone can do. My guess is that driving a big rig takes a great deal of skill, which a person cannot acquire after just two months of training, but probably requires more like two years minimum. I have never tried to move around a 53' trailer, but considering all the blinds spots in a beast of a vehicle like that, I cannot imagine that it would be easy to do or that just any person can learn how to do it in two months. Nevertheless, the fiercely competitive nature of the OTR trucking market has forced companies to churn through new drivers at ferocious rate in order to find the 5% who have the rare skills to drive a big rig safely, the tolerance to live in a truck cab for weeks and months at a time, and the patience to work 70+ hours per week at minimum wage until they have enough experience to demand a living wage. So, I'm not trying to talk myself out of a trucking job. I'm trying to appreciate what it will take for me to make it in an industry where 95% of the people do not make it.

David, I take issue with your comments about OTR drivers only earning minimum minimum wage. Hi have to admit I don’t know what the minimum wage is, I think it varies from state to state, but in any case if a driver, and OTR driver, is only earning minimum wage, then he/she is simply not trying. You can be a slacker in this profession; you can set your own snails pace and as long as you don’t hit anything or are late to appointments, your company will keep you on. They won’t rely on you, but they’ll keep you. You won’t get the high mileage loads, you won’t be offered dedicated routes that offer guaranteed pay, or any of the other perks that may be financially rewarding as long as you under perform. Those are the minimum wage earners. i’ve met some of them, and they’re nice people. They like having insurance, and job security. And then you have the others, who have different motivations and goals. If you read deep enough you’ll figure out who those people on this site are. I haven’t worked for minimum wage since I was 19. I am an OTR driver, and there are many others here who like me do a whole lot better than minimum wage. In one recent post Old School mentioned breaching 100k. Doesn’t sound like minimum wage to me. Hear me now and believe me later, the opportunities are here, you just have to want it and push yourself to go get it.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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I 40 Bridge, Mississippi River / AR and TN .. anyone?

The secret passage NB is near Robinsonville. Watch for the sign for I-69 and go right. I-69 cuts directly over to I-55 The road is MS-713.

Thanks for that, Errol. I took it this morning. One stop sign, one traffic light, and one set of railroad tracks I had to stop for; much smoother than following 61 all the way into Memphis.

BTW, at approx. 8:45 AM this morning, there were absolutely no delays westbound across the I-55 bridge; the backup eastbound, however, was miles long and the complaints on the radio longer.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Quick intro and a few questions regarding Roehl

I’ll contribute with another reason why the “churn and burn” theory is crap. Nearly every day everyone in the Schneider fleet receives a safety message summarizing the previous day(s) incidents and accidents, whether they involved driving the truck or working outside of the truck. 99.9% of those found in these reports are drivers with less than one year’s experience. Their violations are costing Schneider a great deal of money, as well as negatively affecting Schneider's CSA scores. Do you know what happens if your CSA score falls below an unacceptable level set by DOT? ... ... “If you have poor BASIC scores, your carrier is at risk of being investigated by FMCSA as an unsafe carrier. Many shippers also regularly review a carrier’s BASIC scores and some won’t give business to carriers with elevated totals. Insurance companies also will review BASIC scores as part of their evaluation of a carrier’s overall fitness and risk profile. Higher CSA scores can lead to higher premiums, deductibles, or even denial of coverage.”

I ask you David, in what universe is this a profitable business model?

When I was going through tanker training with Schneider, at some point during those four weeks the instructors pleaded with us to remain with Schneider for at least a year before considering other opportunities. Everyone in the industry knows Schneider has some of the best tanker training available. If your “churn and burn” theory was correct, why on earth would the instructors implore us to remain with the company for at least a year? That theory is a myth, an old wives tale, a conspiracy theory, promoted by those who don’t understand the industry and by others making excuses for their poor performance. Be better.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Can a drop lot be completely empty?

The Flying J off I-10 exit 283 is about a half-hour away. Across the street is a secure lot for truckers, but there is a fee; I don’t know what that fee is. It’s a secure, gated lot. Perhaps Roehl could reimburse you for the expense? If you didn’t have to leave your car, and could get a ride, you could leave your truck parked at that Flying J. They’re not very diligent about policing trucks parked there long term.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Dash Cam

I bought the Rexing DashCam V1/V1N off Amazon... four years ago, it runs 24 hrs, still ticking. I highly recommend it. Video quality is excellent.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Can a drop lot be completely empty?

David, where in Houston do you live? You don’t need to share your address, but maybe the nearest intersecting streets; one of our o.c.’s is in Houston, and we have numerous shippers and consignees there as well. I may be able to help you with your parking situation.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

I 40 Bridge, Mississippi River / AR and TN .. anyone?

Last Friday afternoon heading west into Memphis, took US 61 south to rte. 49, crossed the river on 49. Only issues I had were the multitude of stoplights on 61, heading out of Memphis. Traffic reports on the radio said the back-ups at the 55 bridge in both directions were loooong, but it was Friday afternoon.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

A CFI update 2021

Congratulations Scott, your rise through your company is well-deserved and inspirational! It’s great that you’ve become such a positive influence on this industry.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Probably the best way to improve backing skills :-)

Congrats Andrey, sounds like you’re doing great! In some ways a shorter trailer is more difficult to back; it will react quicker/Is more responsive to movements of the steering wheel. Keep up the good work!

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Tanker/Hazmat

P O, I’m aware of only two carriers who offer tanker training to new drivers, Schneider and Prime. As previously stated, Schneider hauls liquid chemicals to include hazmat, while Prime hauls food-grade liquids. However, if you are a new driver, I do not recommend you begin your career pulling tankers. Driving a big truck is a challenge all on its own; pulling tankers increases the challenges of driving a big truck tenfold. I implore you to pull dry vans, reefers, or flatbeds for a year before considering tankers.

I’ll add that if you’re in Schneider’s tanker division, you’ll get paid the same whether you’re hauling Elmer’s School Glue or some really fun acid. Please, first learn the nuances of driving a big truck before considering tankers. Schneider has a wonderful dry van division with excellent training, and would make the transition from dry vans to tankers very easy for you.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Tanker/Hazmat

Schneider does have a tank division however their history has kinda been up and down.

PJ, I’m curious... please elaborate.

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