Profile For K.R.

K.R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Los Angeles , CA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 6 months ago

K.R.'s Bio

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Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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What If Question - OTR Hot or Cold

I'll take warm and hot any day, although there's a very important question that no one's asked yet, which is if that over 90ºF includes humidity or not. Being from the west coast, I'm firmly in the arid zone and humidity is an evil invented by someone who needs to go shove off.

I'm the opposite, anything under 50ºF and I'm miserable. And cold makes my bones hurt.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Happy New Years!

The other thing that I've noticed is that after almost a month out by myself, things are starting to get easier. Not easier as in I'm overconfident, just easier as in I'm no longer having the moments where I think to myself that I can't do this, that I made a mistake, that what in the actual world was I thinking.

I'm still having a lot of times where the backing is challenging. Had one dock at a delivery in Texas that frustrated me just about to the point of tears— but here's where the difference lies. When I catch my breath and get out and look now I can see what I need to do, and I just take it slow and do it. I'm incredibly grateful to the various other truckers who have taken time out of their day to help me when I get stuck and frustrated; but now that help is mostly for the reassurance of knowing that there's a second set of eyes on that tight turn rather than not knowing what to do and needing guidance; and I definitely hope that I'll be able to pay that forward eventually in the future.

I also run my day relatively early. I try to start driving before 5 in the morning wherever I am, so that I can shut down at a reasonable time in the afternoon, and by shutting down at a reasonable time in the afternoon I avoid frustrating parking situations and very often get to either pull straight through and into a spot, or back into a spot where there's no one on either side of me. That's nice, especially because tired at the end of the day is NOT the time that I want to be trying a challenging backing. (As an aside, I was at a truck stop the other day and had someone else doing that right next to my truck and at one point I had to pull my horn at them because they were dead set to do a 90º backing… right into my front bumper. So I've gotten to kind of see it from both sides, and I definitely don't want to cause someone else that kind of stress either.)

I finally got myself a cooler, one of the compact vertical ones which nicely enough fits right between behind my driver's seat and my cabinet. I also got myself one of the lunchbox stove things, which are nice for heating up a frozen burrito or whatever, and doing so without it getting soggy or ick. Hopefully the combination of this will allow me to cook a little bit more and eat out a little bit less. My pocketbook will certainly appreciate that.

I'll probably make another response to this thread in a bit, because I know there's a few more points of things that have either happened or that I've learned that I'd like to share.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Happy New Years!

I know I'm a little bit late, but I figured I'd provide a brief update and well-wishes.

I had requested hometime for Friday and New Years, rather than Christmas, because I know that doing so allowed some people to whom Christmas was an important family thing to get home.

And then of course, I ran into pretty much every possible delay in getting myself home. Going from Ohio to Texas I got a very light loaded trailer and combined with rain and wet roads and wind it took a lot of very careful driving and several times of shutting down earlier than I had necessarily intended to and put probably an extra day into getting to Texas. On the other hand, better an extra day and getting there safely than ending up in the ditch somewhere, every time. After all, I had plenty of food, found safe places to park, and the delay was annoying rather than anything else.

Had to wait in Texas a bit for them to put a new screen on my Qualcomm, which had fallen in two pieces somewhere around Texarkana.

Got another load from Laredo over to Tuscon, deadheaded to Nogales, and shut down Friday evening in Rio Rico in order to have enough time on my 70 hour clock to be able to make it home after I dropped off the load in Fontana.

Saturday afternoon I got home with about 40 minutes to spare on my 14 hour clock for the day and about an hour on my 70. Although I did get to use personal drive time, still always better to play it wholly safe.

It's been nice to be home. My mother cooked one of my favourite foods, and my cat has been just about glued to my shoulder the whole time. Turns out he missed me. Yesterday my father and I drove back to Fontana so that I could take my car home, and today I'm getting the last of the various errands and stuff done and getting ready to head back out bright and early tomorrow morning.

I also bought myself a new iPad pro for the holidays and picked it up, in hopes of having a better computing solution while over the road. Although I do have a power strip inverter in the truck, a lot of the time getting out my laptop and turning it on and waiting and all of thatis more work than I have energy for at the end of the day. This is great so far and I'm getting used to it, and it should let me do most of the things that I want to do without having to get out my computer.

So yeah. Hope everyone else had a nice holiday, and drive safe out there.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

How to handle sickness on the road ?

Do note that grapefruit anything can interact badly with a lot of medications, including some relatively innocuous medications. So be careful, and check with a pharmacist.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Almost there!

I'm going to check with the shop next time that I'm through one of the terminals where Werner has the Freightliner parts.

There is a net on the bottom but it's not movable, so.

Anyway. I took a load from Fontana down to Fullerton today. Live unload, unbeknownst to me until I got there. Dock setup that I hadn't seen before, too. Three goes around and an owner op who is there too takes pity on me and helps walk me through a different method of backing, using the available space to the dock as well to be able to do the alley dock successfully. Guy comes up and tells me to unhook from my trailer. Thirty minutes later his boss comes up and tells me to rehook that they don't unhook at the dock there. But there are forklifts and people still inside, so as a compromise I got the fifth wheel under the trailer and waited for them to be done to hook up.

Went five miles away to the next shipper where my second trip was at.

The space assigned for me to drop the empty was tight, and at the end of a parking lot with a fence, so I had to pull around and make a u turn to be able to do it. That time I didn't wait for someone to take pity on me, but walked up and asked one of the other guys nearby if he had a moment to spot me, and with the knowledge that there was someone there got it in the hole no problem, ninety degree backing with my tandems all the way to the back.

Went to pick up my loaded trailer and it had been dropped super high. So the next half hour was spent fighting the landing gear, then hooking up. Then even more time to slide the tandems forward to be California legal and get them to lock. That came up to Wheeler Ridge/Lebec, where I waited an hour and then some for the Dollar General DC to find a place for me to put the trailer.

And that's where my luck at being able to back ended. An hour later of still not being able to get it right, less than two hours left on my fourteen. and I asked one of the yard guys if he could help and he had me drop it and then took it to a door somewhere else. Then there was no empty for me to take, and I was getting tired and a little bit frustrated. I called the night dispatch and called it a day, I have a preloaded trailer tomorrow and I'll find an empty in the morning.

I got to do laundry. I was able to get a shower because someone else had an extra shower credit. I'm exhausted but I didn't hit anything or anyone, I got my feet wet, and I get to do it all again tomorrow. And I'll get the hang of backing again soon. The different wheelbase between the Freightliner and the Kenworth and just the rest of first day nerves added up, and I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Goodnight, folks. Slee well or drive safe, or all of the above.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Almost there!

Upgrade was a piece of cake. Drive around the block, back into the parking spot without crashing, Managed it even though the truck they use for testing is an older Peterbilt and the wheelbase was throwing me for a serious loop there.

That was yesterday. Had to wait until this morning for a truck, got it and put it immediately into the shop to fix the driver's seat and the fairing that holds the steps on the driver's side.

That took most of today, and then I got myself moved in. The truck is a 2017 white Freightliner evo, and it's lovely and starting already to feel like home. Only thing I don't like is that there's no cargo net for the upper bunk so I can't have it stay down and use it for storing things. Luckily for me I'm on the shorter side, 5'4", so I have plenty of storage available at the foot of the bed.

Now to get some sleep, morning will be time for my debut into this whole matter and my first load.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Werner training - looking for opinions

Techa:

One, you should probably start a new topic with your experiences.

And two, if you're having that sort of problems with your trainer you should contact either your trainer's fleet manager, their supervisor, your recruiter, or safety. Or the student department for that matter. I believe some of them are out of Allentown, PA. I'm currently finishing the training process at Werner and although I've had challenging experiences I've been able to get issues resolved. If the first person that you discuss the problem with can't help you, go up the chain until you find someone who can. I'm not as familiar with the personnel out of the Texas terminals because we didn't spend much time there, but you can always call Omaha and talk to somebody there.

All of these phone numbers should be on the back of your badge, or in the contacts section of your drive Werner app.

Any and/or all of the above will be able to help you and get things sorted out.

Please do start another topic and let us know how things are going!

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Almost there!

Hoo boy I'm tired.

Anyway though, so. After a long and hectic month and a bit with my trainer, I reached the required hours etc for promotion to solo. There were speedbumps along the way and some… interpersonal challenges but I got through them and reminded myself that when I get done with this, I get to go solo which is the entire reason I'm doing this in the first place.

Better yet, we were able to get to Fontana and I was able to pick up the new pair of crutches that were waiting for me in the mail there. They're neat, although I definitely need some stickers or something to decorate them with because they're black and that's not as distinctive as teal.

We got to Fontana in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Ended up having to limp my car over to the fuel island to put some air in the tires because I came back to a flat (which I'll be getting fixed tomorrow morning). Got my stuff off of my trainer's truck, hung around for a bit until safety was in, found out what etrainers I still needed to complete, talked to them a bit and then the best part of this: I got to come home. I could have stayed in the hotel for the weekend but home's not far and it's been a while.

It's nice to be home after 41 days (yep, I was keeping track) since the last time I was home.

I've gotten to do laundry, and ended up washing pretty much everything because most of my stuff had a lingering smell of the air freshener that my trainer liked to use, which I… don't so much like as much as tolerated. My blankets are in the wash now, except for the wool one that's just hanging on the line. I had dinner yesterday evening with a friend of mine who came down since I'm in town, hung out until way too late, and then slept all night with my cat nearby.

Now I'm re-packing things to go back to the terminal tomorrow in the morning. It's a process of going through what I had with me and thinking if I used it, if I wore it, if I did was it comfortable— if the answer to those things is no then it's not going back with me.

I'm also packing differently this time, because being solo I'll be able to have the space more as I want it, and without needing to have everything that I take with me be soft-sided I can take my rolling suitcase and duffel bag. I've also got a few dairy crate type things which I'm using for other things, like one that holds my toiletries and such for transfer in and out of my shower caddy to take with me, lotion because dry skin gets painful, ibuprofen and sudafed etc. Winter does mean that I have twice as much clothing but I know also that it gets bitterly fecking cold up there and my tolerance for cold isn't great.

Anyway, that's the more or less of things. I still have some more packing to do, but it's moving right along! (Hey, this means I get to say I'm a rookie driver pretty soon, right?)

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Disabled Veteran: Need Advice

Call Werner. They'll give you the number to their school, roadmaster, and they're significantly good at working with people with disabilities and as I recall they have a commitment to working with veterans as well.

There was a guy in my class at Roadmaster who was a right arm partial amputee, and he got through and is doing this.

As far as other things you've mentioned you'll have to figure those out, but I cannot speak highly enough of Werner and Roadmaster in terms of them being accommdating and empathetic. They also train on automatics if you so need to; I did because I have some issues with my legs and such.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Who's Making it Home for Thanksgiving?

Still out with my trainer. We're dropping off a load at the Exel in Laredo, TX. then we'll see what from there. I'm pretty close to go to sleep time and my trainer and I don't much socialise, so we may not do anything tonight. Did make a video call to the family when I finished driving about an hour ago.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Living with your Adaptive Cruise Control

On the Kenworth t680 that my trainer has, the seconds show regardless of cruise control being active unless something has gotten lodged on the radar sensor. I believe they call it the collision mitigation system.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Iowa 80 truckstop

Yeah, we'll be out of here by seven in the morning to make our appointment, but I'll definitely try to get back here sometime that I can take the time to see the museum.

And I guess luckily for me I don't really have a sense of smell right now. We have been going back and forth and almost every time going through Missouri... and I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to Missouri. Or at least to the pollen. I have no sense of smell left, and I'm quite certain I sneezed part of my brain out.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New Avatar Image Uploads

Ta-da!!!

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Trucking with a disability: a few questions.

As a note, I've had an excellent experience so far with Werner with their ability to accommodate as I've needed, and no one has blinked twice over the fact that I use a crutch to walk with. Talk to them, they have training programs in several areas of the country and it might work out for you?

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Iowa 80 truckstop

I know it might be super cliché, but I'm really excited that we're going to be shutting down tonight at the big Iowa 80 truckstop. It's one of the things that I've heard about and kinda wanted to see.

Anyway, things have been going pretty good today. Previous frustrations are working out and we're rolling again instead of waiting around and hunting the ever elusive empty trailer. So that helps too.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A New Favorite Spot For 10 hour Break

That sounds really awesome. I've marked it on trucker path so that I can remember if I'm ever that way I'm no personally religious but I definitely respect the religious beliefs of others and find that people with sincerely held beliefs are often kind and generous.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New Avatar Image Uploads

Testing to see for my face now shows up! and awesome, Brett, thank you for this.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Off the cuff comments

I haven't even mentioned the gender stuff to him at all. which I guess is part of it. there's no way he'd have known that the comment was going to make me uncomfortable.

it's not a big deal but in the same way it can be. I dunno. I'm just going to stick it out and if he makes the same comments again maybe I'll do the, "this makes me uncomfortable because" bit and such.

you're great and people who accept people for who they are are great but when that my gender identity is nonstandard and hearing someone go on about how gender identity is bull****? makes it feel like a big deal.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Truck Fleets with automatics transmissions

And, even if you leave it in automatic mode in most of them you can also force a downshift or upshift. Same way that you would shift it in manual mode. I've been using that sometimes while we're hauling a fairly heavy trailer (45330 lb) to force it to downshift a little earlier during a grade.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Mean Yours Might Be Too High Now

FMCSA regulations are usually a little while behind this sort of stuff, in my recollection? But I'm sure there will be new guidelines at some point.

Also, while they're saying lower is better there's also a very real thing such as too low, so what they're doing is effectively narrowing the window of "normal"?

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