Comments By Heavy C

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  • Heavy C
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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can anyone confirm or deny this? 12’ 7” & 12’ 9” clearances on I-95 near I-87 (Bronx)

Welcome to the Bronx!

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That's rough OS. I remember getting stuck for almost 5 hours because if a fatal accident on the GWB. They had the shut down both North and South bound sides. There NJ turnpike authority said it was the worst traffic jam they've seen since 9/11.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can anyone confirm or deny this? 12’ 7” & 12’ 9” clearances on I-95 near I-87 (Bronx)

IDK I don't mind that area. You just gotta hit it at the right time. As long as there's no accidents or construction it usually keeps moving. The main thing to remember about NY is to stay off Parkways. Interstates and most other major routes are normally ok.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Would like some advice please from everyone

My thoughts are if you have no other reason to leave your company besides that and you can afford the market insurance then do that. Another thing you can do is just poke around to other companies to see what their rates would be. If they don't or can't tell you, talk to some of there drivers. Hope you figure it out

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Xpo Questions

Hey Brett. So the previous guys gave pretty good descriptions on LTL. I just figured I would chime in as someone who worked for Old Dom. A similar LTL company to XPO. The job is difficult. No lie. If you're doing P&D there's not telling what kind of situations you'll find yourself in. OD even did residential deliveries. Let me tell you how much fun that was lol. You're gonna have to deliver freight of all kinds. I've delivered things from 55gallon barrels of resin to a shipyard. Snowblowers to a person's home. Pallets of ammo. Furniture. Long peices of sheet metal. A church steeple. The list goes on.

Going local isn't recommend for a new driver. I went local right out of school for the same reasons you're thinking of now. My family was too important to me. I did well with my first local company and moved on to OD. I screwed myself with OD because I had an accident during my probation period. Luckily it didn't cost me another job but it could have. So use that as a cautionary tale. It's a great job. Especially for a guy who doesn't want to or can't leave his family. But it doesn't come without risks.

Sorry I can't speak to the company personally, although I've heard good things. Actually thinking about applying to a spot that just opened up near me. So I'll just say this. Do your due diligence and research all your possible options. If in the end the XPO program fits your situation best than go for it. Just be warned that it's not an easy job and the likely hood of having an incident are going to go way up which could result in you screwing yourself in this job entirely.

Best of luck to you

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Dry Van, Reefer,Advantages and Disadvantages

On a windy day, if I am pulling an empty, make it a reefer. I pulled reefer with Swift, and I pull both, at Hummer. I prefer reefer. For some reason, it's probably just in my head, but it seems that a reefer pulls smoother.

It makes sense though. The additional weight pushing on the drive tires limits the bounce back from bumps and such

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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When Written Directions & GPS unit BOTH fail?

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Don't over think.

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I'm not making light of your advice... But this seems to be a recurring piece of advice I get, lol.
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Up

It's like back in school when you took a test. You read the question and you usually have the answer in your head. But then as you look through the other choices you question yourself. You second guess. So you choose a different answer which ended up being wrong. There's actually science behind this idea.

We'll just refer to backing since that's normally gonna be the most difficult thing you'll do, outside of handling weather. You get to your destination and get your door. You drive by and see your door. You've got a sight side back between two other trucks. Well you know what you need to do and how to be safe. So just do it. More than likely you start second guessing your set up or how much to turn the wheel your gonna end up being wrong. Just go with it. I mean you could be wrong to begin with. So then you have to start over. No big deal. Over thinking just seems to cause more problems than it solves.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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When Written Directions & GPS unit BOTH fail?

Like the old adage " I put my pants on one leg at a time"

Doesn't matter if you've got 10 days it 10 years experience. You just have to take one moment, one turn, one back at a time. Don't over think.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Dry Van, Reefer,Advantages and Disadvantages

From what I've read (and I'm just a rookie dragging a dry wagon) flatbed can involve a bit more of, er, let's say a hands-on experience. Setting up your trailer, supervising the load, securing the load, and tarping the load (maybe multiple times from various angles.) A little bit extra to do... And probably some out of the way delivery points.

Some companies pay their drivers for tarp-time, other drivers are just creative with their hours. One thing for certain, flat bedders are a different category of truckers.

Something you didn't ask about is tankers. And probably a good thing you didn't ask because if you think flatbeds aren't for rookies, tankers REALLY aren't for rookies! 😎

Jeremly, tankers can certainly be tricky and probably wouldn't be recommended for rookies. However just about every job that involves tanker I've seen has required a couple years experience.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Dry Van, Reefer,Advantages and Disadvantages

Yea hauling refer is certainly unique. They're loud for sure. I've heard some guys say though that eventually it just becomes white noise to them. Some even go as far as to turn it on even when MT just to go to sleep. On top of the additional maintenance, there's other things to consider. First you'll be hauling mostly food products. So there's the sanitary conditions of the trailer. Your responsible for doing trailer wash outs. I've known a few shippers through my work that won't load you unless your trailer is washed out. Second is temps. Pick up and drop off temps usually have to be perfect. I've had shippers refuse to load unless the refer was already running and at temp. Same with delivery. Most receivers take temps before they unload. If it's not within the tolerances given they refuse the loan and your stuck with a trailer full of parishables. Then there's the possible trailer fire. You better learn how to properly keep it maintained it something like this can happen. ..

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Dry van is just a lot easier for all the reasons mentioned above.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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16 hour rule

I've had to use it a couple times. It's a nice backup for those heavy days but I try to avoid it at all costs. Mainly because it pushes back the next day like Rob mentioned, especially if it is early in the week cause it pushes the rest of the week back.

Side note. Heavy C, do you still drive for Olympia? I worked for them for many years before switching to driving.

No I left Olympia a while ago. I enjoyed the job but the pay just wasn't where it needed to be. As a former employee I'm guessing you understand that part haha. They were notorious for not paying well.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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When Written Directions & GPS unit BOTH fail?

I don't think you did the wrong thing in taking the east exit. Generally speaking when there's two exits the road is still connected. I also wouldn't worry about the GPS calling out with restrictions. Depending on when it was updated or when the town have that information it could be way outdated. If it's not posted physically on the road then you should be fine.

- Call the local Highway Patrol or State Police. I actually had the Vineland NJ Police ecourt me through a residential area to detour around a parade. Take no chances.

What's funny about this G-Town is I had almost an exact thing happen to me in NJ. My company gave me directions to a new store opening and I had to come north from the Philadelphia area. The directions lead me to an exit that was going to bring me north through Princeton. Well along the highway there was a sign saying my exit was closed but didn't give a detour route. Well because I looked at Google maps prior to leaving I knew the exit before also went through Princeton and joined up with the road I was supposed to be on. So I took it. Well a few miles down the road narrowed and eventually I was at a for way intersection where each direction was posted for no trucks over 4 tons. No where to turn around so I kept straight. Ended up at a posted one lane bridge. So I pulled over and called the local police. They sent a cruiser out. The cop said they have trailers cross the bridge all the time, so he escorted me the rest of the way. It's hard when you're not familiar with an area and can get in trouble quickly. Pull over and use all the resources available. Sometimes it even helps to ask passersby. Not the most reliable but if you're already in a pickle at least they can give you a general way to go. Also if it's a state highway and major construction, the state DOT may have information on detours so you can call and ask them as well.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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16 hour rule

It's a rule that allows us local guys to extend our day by two hours from 14 to 16 once between resets. We can only do it if we return to our home terminal every night. We still only get 11 hours drive time, but generally we don't have a problem with that.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

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My first load delivered to a Walmart distribution center in San Antonio. I pulled in and had to wait on a guy backing into what seemed like the only available spot, and he had to set up in a way the looked like he was jackknifing the rig to get it in. No pressure or anything! I found one and tried to get it in for something like an hour and a half. Finally a yard guy came along and seemed to take pity on me, and told me to drop it at the end of a row for him to take. That day felt like the first day of basic training at infantry school, where it's all screaming and pushups and holding everything you own over your head until your arms get numb, except it's a truck and I couldn't figure out the pivots and mechanics of that maneuver.

Since then I've pulled mostly doubles, but I did pull a tridem axle flatbed for a while and that thing can be a beast when you need to back it up with a load on it. If the pavement isn't pretty smooth and level, your trailer could react in undesirable ways and make a backing maneuver kind of frustrating if you don't have the luxury for a straight-in back.

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Yikes! I feel like on every back I currently attempt. 😲

I thought about the doubles and triples endorsement when I first went for my CDL, but having no actual training with the things I passed on that idea.

Do you find turning or backing with doubles more interesting than a 53 footer?

I pulled double pup trailers with OD. So much fun and so easy. You generally don't back when you've got both hooked though.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

G-Town in case your interested here's my personal YouTube channel. I uploaded a number of videos when I was with my last company Olympia Sports. I did this as a courtesy to the company to help new drivers navigate to stores. Some of them are pretty fun. Sorry no sound. The dash cams microphone was pretty terrible so I turned it off.

HeavyC's YouTube

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

The description for the dock setup was great. And looked great. Sometimes I can find that perfect angle when trying sneak into a parking spot, but most times I still need to wiggle around a little bit before I get a decent line-up like that.

Funny thing is, I can picture the mechanics of the whole thing. I can even accurately describe the setup and execution fairly well. But in no way does my mental picture ever translate to my execution.

That really is the key Jeremy. Set-up. If you get the setup right, any back can be "easy" or "smooth". You get that setup wrong and your gonna spend an hour trying to fix it. Knowing how to properly setup each individual back will come with time.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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16 hour rule

You wanna know how I know when a day has gone to crap. When I have to break into the 16 hour extension on my logs. Oh boy what a night lol

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

Hey Heavy C...I was hoping to amuse with that!

Yeah that one I shot is the Baby Pool version. There are others with 5 points and two lanes. Pennington 202&206 is fun during rush hour. My favorite (tongue-in-cheek) is on 322 through Rowan University. Impossible to get through it without running on the sidewalk. Lots of fun on a Saturday morning in the spring.

I’d like to see some of your spots. We too have stores where a 48’ Wagon is recommended...that’s as far as it gets. The WM 48’ vans are for running NYSTW doubles. I’ve only been under them 6x in over 5 years.

I’ll send the second set of video tomorrow. Thanks for commenting.

Below is a shot of our Bar Harbor store. If you have a 48' with a day cab you can hug the outside wall like I marked in the picture. If you don't stay far enough outside then you won't make it. Some of our outside carriers that deliver for us, go up in sleepers. They have to blind side in from the road. Which during the summer months can be ridiculous because of pedestrians and cars parked on the side. It's definitely one of our least favorite stores

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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

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G-Town I had to watch that first video. You said Jersey Circle and I was like WTH is that. Then I realized it's a Rotary, Traffic Circle, Roundabout. At least that's what we call them in New England. I swear they are turning every intersection up here I to one of those. They really aren't hard to navigate. Most of them anyway.

I really need to get a new dash cam. I'd love for you to see a couple of the stores we gotta back into. Bar Harbor is probably one of the worst ones. We can't send anything larger than a 48' trailer because larger wouldn't fit.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Backing practice.

I mean using Google maps and street view it looks like the easiest way is to come in the 10th St entrance and site side in beyond the fence. Unless I'm missing something from the info I have it doesn't look too bad actually. Pictures can be decieving though...

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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Trip planning

Honestly I've found the Google maps app with it's traffic setting is pretty accurate when showing delays and closures. I use it every time I'm heading south of Boston to see of going threw the city will be ok or if I need to go around. Most often than not it works well.

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