Profile For Kirk P.

Kirk P.'s Info

  • Location:
    KS

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 9 months ago

Kirk P.'s Bio

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Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Game: The longest you have ever sat in a dock.

I'm flatbed and was suppose to do a drop and hook in Indiana, dropped my trailer at the yard at around 2 pm and sat there and waited for my loaded trailer to come up from the plant. Long story short I ended up bobtailing to a convenience store down the road because I was going to be out of hours by the time they got my load ready, I came back in the morning and get the same trailer that I dropped and the BOL said they got it loaded at midnight. So what was suppose to be a drop and hook and take about 30 mins ended up taking 10 hours because they didn't even have one of our trailers already there.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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No APU

Ours have a bunk heater like Errol V. Was saying, it doesn't require the truck to be on. We can idle the truck if we want to but their is a idling bonus every quarter so I just open up the windows, might get one of those small fans that plug into a 12v port. It just depends on which company, they all have different policies and program their trucks differently.

As for in inverters, I think most companies will install them for you if you choose to buy it.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Braking and Down shifting

When I was in CDL School I usually down shifted nearly every gear when driving, didn't really need to but I was still learning and it made good practice.

Now my second week solo I usually downshift while braking with the jake on to 6th gear then I flip the jake off and use the brakes. Get it out off gear, flip the switch to the low side and put it in 2nd or 3rd while still coming to a stop. By the time I'm stopped I'm ready to get rolling again hopefully.

You normally want to get down to about 25 - 30 Mph before you turn the jake off, at least that's what I've been taught.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

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I've been to places with the "No Firearms" sign and I've also been to places where they don't have one, both shipper and receiver. Most of our receivers are hardware stores.

Where I went for my DOT Physical, they had a "Firearms Welcome" sign though.

I'm not cynical about it, I've got no problem leaving my firearm home, but honestly it shouldn't be that way. And there is a lack of law on the matter in my opinion.

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As I keep repeating - there are NO LAWS that specifically prohibit personal firearms in a CMV - neither state nor federal. STATE LAW applies to CMV's the same as 4-wheelers.

As far as laws allowing employers and property owners (shippers/receivers) to prohibit weapons on THEIR PROPERTY (and the truck IS their property), there is plenty of case law all over the country, to support this.

Florida (for example - since I keep up on home state law more than other states) passed a law allowing employees to leave their gun in their CAR on company property, but upheld the employers right to prohibit weapons in the workplace. And if an employer has signs prohibiting weapons, or it's in the employee/company policy manual and you carry onsite - you can be fired with cause (no unemployment).

Your employer (trucking company) has a right to search THEIR PROPERTY (your truck) anytime they want to. Any place that has "Vehicles Subject To Search" signs can search also - once you drive past that sign, you have given them "informed consent" to do so.

Vehicle searches get a little shady - depending on where you are. COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SEARCHES though, are pretty much a free for all, as LEO's are allowed to "inspect", including the interiors. There's no reason to worry about a gun onboard (as long as it is where it is PERMITTED by that states laws). States that are screwy about it (BLUE STATES for the most part, go figure) tend to also be screwy about bad searches too. And if you are rolling through NJ, and they find a firearm in the cabin - YOU WILL GO TO JAIL (unless you have a NJ permit).

NJ Supreme Court (awhile ago) found that GRATEFUL DEAD STICKERS on a car, constituted "probable cause" for a search (VA did also). LEO's would know when The Dead were on tour, and grab hippie-mobiles as they were passing through. In VA, when 95 had tolls - the TOLL BOOTH OPERATORS used to call ahead to the troopers to clue them. That's why I never had stickers on my vehicles.

There's a FEDERAL LAW called "Interstate Compact" that allows gun owners to travel through states where they are not legal, with the gun "securely encased" and inaccessible to the passenger compartment (kind of hard to do in an SUV or Tractor). Most states in the NE IGNORE THIS and WILL ARREST ANYWAYS (NJ, NYC, MA are FAMOUS for this). While you may (eventually) beat the charges, you still got arrested, towed (and you REALLY don't want to add TOWING to your company offenses - probably go down as "abandoned equipment" on your DAC).

There are so many different laws for each state - and SO MANY STATES we have to drive through, that are NOT GUN FRIENDLY - the risk of having a legal incident in ones of those states GOES WAY UP. Is it WORTH THE RISK?

There's a facebook group called: Truckers Lives Matter - that is trying to lobby for firearms reciprocity for truckers (which would be similar to CCW reciprocity bills that are currently in congress right now). Even if Congress did pass some reciprocity so truckers could travel from state to state without fear of LEO - THIS STILL DOESN'T CHANGE COMPANY POLICY.

And like it or not - the TRUCKING LOBBY is way stronger than a bunch of truckers. WHATEVER THE REASON that companies prohibit weapons (liability, safety, whatever) they are WELL WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS TO DO SO. And those rights as they apply to the 2A, are going to override OUR RIGHTS to possess firearms on the COMPANY PROPERTY WE ARE DRIVING (regardless of whether or not it's OUR HOME ALSO).

Rick

I'm not sure if it's worth the risk or not. All I do know is that it would sure be sad to die at a truck stop or on the side of the road somewhere when I could've survived. It's all statistics and probability until it actually happens to you or someone you know.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

Kirk wrote:

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Reasonable suspicion is a hunch without evidence and does not give an LEO the right to a search or seizure.

You might be thinking of probable cause or plain sight. Which would mean they have facts or evidence, something more than a hunch to believe a crime has been committed.

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That may well be true Kirk, however your "employer" can search their truck at any time, without probable cause because it's their property.

I know of no carrier allowing firearms on their trucks. I know of no shipper or receiver allowing firearms on their property. Have you ever rolled up to a shipper and seen a sign; "firearms welcome"?

Carry and conceal at your own risk. That's the bottom line; you know the rules, you know the law, and should know the inherent risks if you choose to defy all that is written.

I've been to places with the "No Firearms" sign and I've also been to places where they don't have one, both shipper and receiver. Most of our receivers are hardware stores.

Where I went for my DOT Physical, they had a "Firearms Welcome" sign though.

I'm not cynical about it, I've got no problem leaving my firearm home, but honestly it shouldn't be that way. And there is a lack of law on the matter in my opinion.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

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Then you get into the issue of DOT being able to specifically search through your things. Which I'm pretty confident that they can't but I couldn't tell you for sure. While they are allowed to inspect your truck and cab I want to think they can't go into the sleeper and open up a back pack and look through it, any clarification on this would be appreciated because I've never been able to find an answer.

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Two words: "reasonable suspicion." Any LEO, at any time, can stop you and search you, your home, your vehicle(s), your luggage, your grocery bags, or whatever just by uttering those two magic words. And there isn't thing one you can do about it, except to be as polite and cooperative as possible and maintain your composure. (Something I suspect the OP of this whole thread would be completely incapable of.)

Now, that's not to say that every time you get pulled in for an inspection the guy is going to get out the flashlight and nitrile gloves and start poking through your dirty underdrawers looking for contraband. Just that, if he wants to ruin your day for whatever reason, all he has to say is "reasonable suspicion" and he's got his Golden Ticket. Is it right, just, or fair? Of course not, but there are a whole lot of other things in life and in trucking that fall into the same category.

Reasonable suspicion is a hunch without evidence and does not give an LEO the right to a search or seizure.

You might be thinking of probable cause or plain sight. Which would mean they have facts or evidence, something more than a hunch to believe a crime has been committed.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

You know I asked the head recruiter and fleet manager in their office during orientation what the company policy is on weapons or firearms. They said that their policy is no weapons but then they said if you do decide to, no one should know except you.

Common sense told me that means they won't specifically tell me not to, but if I was to get into an incident involving me shooting someone while legally justified I would then most likely be fired for disregarding their policy. I know they are just covering their own ass.

I want to specifically have my firearm stored in the truck, in its case, locked and separate from its ammo and only to be used as a last resort. I don't plan on carrying it on me.

Then you get into the issue of DOT being able to specifically search through your things. Which I'm pretty confident that they can't but I couldn't tell you for sure. While they are allowed to inspect your truck and cab I want to think they can't go into the sleeper and open up a back pack and look through it, any clarification on this would be appreciated because I've never been able to find an answer.

I'm prior service and an MP. Spent some time in Iraq and I definitely don't feel right when I don't have my firearm with me. I don't know if it's just from carrying one for so long while deployed and while working law enforcement on base in the states. Or if it's just me wanting to be prepared for a worse case scenario. But while out with my trainer I left it at home and felt fine. Never ran into any problems with anybody, hell I don't think I barely even talked with anyone except maybe in the check out line at the truck stop.

Anyways, as a pro 2nd Amendment, prior service, cop I can tell you the best way to defend yourself is to avoid a dangerous situation and if you are ever in one to have a way out of it. Hell even as a cop, I always found the best way to approach any situation was to talk to someone as a normal human being and treat them with respect and I never had to shoot anyone for the 7 years that I was in that profession.

This is always a not so black and white subject from what I've read.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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I've made it!

Thanks for the replies guys!

I will either be in a KW t660 or t680, probably the t660 since I'm very green.

From what I've gathered they don't include anything in the truck but they will install anything that I buy. My trainer had a mini fridge and converter but it really seemed to take up a lot of room, so I was leaning towards an electric cooler. I guess I'll see if I have an actual spot for it and measure it when I get there Monday.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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I've made it!

Well my trainer gave me the OK! Monday I will head in to the main terminal to finish up some more paperwork and get my truck and start rolling.

I was curious what some of you experienced guys and gals would suggest for must have equipment and oddities, things that make life on the road easier or the job itself more enjoyable? My trainer has already suggested Sirius XM is a good investment.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What if I only want to drive locally?

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They want reliablility not a liablility.

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Beautiful statement Kirk! - Short and to the point.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Now, forgive my levity, but I will say that I could have spelled it a little better. We are not going to hold that against you though - I loved it!

Oh no! I didn't even notice, usually my autocorrect catches it, it is a little bumpy over here in the passenger seat!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What if I only want to drive locally?

500 a week is pretty low pay for driving job honestly.

Also bruce, McDonald's is always hiring. You'll be local and home every night.

That's another reason I didn't quit and go to that job $2,000 a month versus $4,000 a month? lol I want to make some money.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What if I only want to drive locally?

One of the guys I went to CDL School with landed a local gig right out of school. He hauls grain 2 hours down the road and comes back. Starts at like 6 am and home by 4:30 - 5:00 pm. He averages about 500 a week, which isn't bad at all. But it was basically one of those things where he knew a guy that knew a guy or something like that. I asked if he could see if they needed another driver but they didn't. Then I was in my second week of riding with my trainer with my company and he called and said they had an opening but I choose to stick with this OTR company instead.

So my point is, there are local gigs that you could find. Even local concrete and construction companies need drivers. But I made a tough decision and decided it would be better in the long run to at least get a year OTR and then start searching for a local job. It's been tough especially on the wife and kids but I've learned more in 3 weeks of training than I ever would have starting out local. Sometimes you have to make a little sacrifice and think about where you want to be a few years down the road. Make yourself marketable and get some OTR experience and then you will be getting looked at before they look at guys fresh out of school or no OTR experience. They want reliablility not a liablility.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What is your day to day attire when trucking?

A friend of mine laughs and says I always look ready for the golf course...which I am! 😆 But seriously, decent cargo shorts (or pants if required or it's cold) and a "breathable" shirt, collared or crew neck, and hiking shoes or my oil resistant work shoes.

I always take it as a compliment when a cashier says; "you don't look like a truck driver."

That's what I'm sayin! Take pride in yourself, right?

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Almost there, but...

Kirk, like Old School said, "You got this." Yes, your trainer is screwing you on your hours, but as he and Pianoman and you have said, you're almost done. Days away. Even if he becomes the most extreme corn hole in the world, just hold it in… a few more days… and you'll be off on your own. I imagine this is just one of the many aspects of the trucking lifestyle you encounter that will be disagreeable to you, so overcome this and move on, and you'll be the better driver for it. Chickiemonster posted a thread several days ago (Ta-Da) where she mentioned the peaks and valleys of her first year, the highlight of which was she couldn't be happier after her first year driving. That could be you; in our year you'll look back on this as just one of the many obstacles you overcame and are happy and proud to be a trucker. Drive safe!

Yea, I totally agree, 2 more days now and I'm home free! The good thing is though, my trainer isn't a ******* or anything like that, pretty laid back guy and I've learned a ton. I just wanted to see what you guys had to say, thanks for all of the replies. And I will continue to update my progress and ask questions in the forums!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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What is your day to day attire when trucking?

Still in training here but I've been wearing polo type shirts because they are very breathable and help me keep cool, plus they look nice, I've also recently discovered these wrangler jeans at Walmart that are made from sort of stretchable material, very nice investment I think. You can squat and climb and bend your knees and the material stretches so you don't tear anything and it's very comfortable for me. And a pair of regular work boots, since I'm flatbed I'm out a lot strapping and tarping usually in dirt and mud. I think I might get on board with G-town and get some bright reflective shirts so I don't have to worry about wearing a vest.

On another note I see a lot of truck drivers out here that dress like bums, And I think to myself wow are they not making that much money? Or do they just not care? Anyways, I prefer to dress somewhat decent or casual I guess you could call it.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Almost there, but...

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I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

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Just a few more days? You got this!! Do your best to just roll with the punches and get through your training so you can get your own truck. Don't worry if you don't know how to do everything when you get out on your own--none of us did.

As far as the different driving methods and techniques you've been taught so far, do what is safe above all else. For example, if your trainer wants you to tailgate before passing someone, don't do it because it's not safe. As far as coasting through turns...eh...let's just say there's more than one way to skin a cat. Personally, I don't like to coast through turns and technically you really should be in gear, but that's not a huge safety issue in my opinion as long as you are in control of the vehicle. The argument is that if you aren't in gear, you aren't in control of your vehicle. So, if you're going to coast around turns, that's fine, but don't put her in neutral--leave the truck in gear and push in the clutch to coast. Again, the main thing here is to control the vehicle--whatever you have to do to achieve control, even if it's not "conventional," is the safe and proper way to do things.

You also mentioned logging. The right and proper way to log is to log what you do. That said, "being awake" does not consititute being On Duty. Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but when team driving I believe you can legally sit up in the front Off Duty for two consecutive hours immediately following or preceding eight consecutive hours in the sleeper. Technically the rest of has to be On Duty. Not gonna lie, I broke this rule all the time in training because I enjoyed sitting in the front watching the scenery when my trainer was driving. Also when driving otr, I usually logged 10-15 minutes On Duty when I arrived at a customer and switched to Sleeper until about 10-15 minutes before I was going to leave. If I had stayed in the sleeper the whole time I was at the customer this would have been totally legal, but in reality I was actually backing into docks and taking paperwork in, planning my next trip, etc. So yeah, I "worked the clock" alot.

The important thing to remember is that the clock is there for your protection and for the protection of others on the road. If your trainer is requiring you to get up several hours before you drive and then having you drive a full shift, go ahead and log On Duty. That way you start your 14 hr clock so you don't still have available hours way past the point where you're tired. Once you're out of hours, you can't legally drive and no one can make you. If you're required to observe or study before you start driving, technically you should be logged On Duty for that. On the flip side, if you are getting up way before your driving shift starts just because you want to and then complaining you are falling asleep at the wheel, you simply need to manage your time better and not get up until it's almost time to drive.

Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck

I get what you're saying, but the thing is we are not suppose to be opperating as a team. We should both be on and off at the same times. But I'll give you today as an example. Both wake up at around 7 and he drives a few miles down to the shipper and we get loaded for an hour or so, he drives us to the receiver about 3 hours or so away and we unload for an hour or so. It's about noon and then he switches me over to on duty not driving so my 14 hour clock is now ticking. We go to get our next load took a couple of hours with strapping and tarping and we start heading towards our next drop which is about 7 hours, he drove one of those hours and then we switched and I drove the rest which was about 6 hours, get into the truck stop at about 11:30 at night. So I was basically up and working, learning, training for 16 to 17 hours on duty, but only drove 6 hours.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Almost there, but...

Yea well that's my plan so far, just keep my head down and get through it and then when I get my own truck I'll be perfectly content. I think maybe it's my military mindset that's getting the best of me, being told how to do something and then doing it exactly that way pretty much all the time, ya know? And then being told that I should do it this way instead when not even a week ago at orientation they told me a different way to do something just kind of blew my mind lol, but it's ok. I'll make it, just kind of wanted to share my experience with you guys and see what you think and thanks for your input!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Almost there, but...

I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Legit?

I went with one of the local community colleges in my area, come to find out it was a actual training company doing the training and they were just renting a room to have the class out of and they had some sort of agreement with the school. The school would see that they got students while they had their class there, I'm sure there was a lot of money involved in some aspect of it as well.

As sub-par as the training was all 4 of us in that class got our CDL. And they did have recruiters come in from various companies. Maverick, Schneider, U.S. Express, Keim TS and even the local concrete company came by looking for dump truck and concrete truck drivers.

But i do like the fact that I'm not in debt to a company or have a contract. But I was prior military and used my G.I. Bill so I know not everyone has that opportunity.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Need some help with shifting, TT

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I found what helped me a lot was just mentally thinking about it and planning it out in my head, watched some YouTube videos that helped and shifting was my biggest concern. 2nd day of driving and I was floating gears. Some of the other guys in my class were still having trouble shifting even at the end of class.

I also had the opportunity to come in on off days and work on it with just me and the instructor. I would ask about coming in on a Saturday or something if that's possible. It's really just one of those things that the more you do it the better you get at it and the more comfortable you become!

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Keep in mind - YOU MUST DOUBLE-CLUTCH for a DMV Road Test.

I figured out how to float early on in driving school - when it came time for my road test - I'd forgotten how to DC correctly (because I DIDN'T PRACTICE IT ENOUGH - I FLOATED INSTEAD). I failed my first road test ON SHIFTS. Never stalled or had to stop to find a gear - but I couldn't shift smoothly. I could float up/down 2-3 gears - but had difficulty making a regular old DC shift.

Floating COMES LATER - learn how to double clutch and don't worry about floating gears until you have your CDL in hand...

Rick

I was told the same thing until I found out my grader actually use to drive trucks for like 15 years, I floated and he didn't say a word about it. But yes double clutching is required!

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