Profile For Garth M.

Garth M.'s Info

  • Location:

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

Garth M.'s Bio

Retired Carpenter, was driving for Contrans Flatbed Group out of Hagersville Ontario Canada now starting up with TTK transport in Goderich Ontario

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Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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A walk on the ‘Darkside’ - working for a small company

I moved to a 12 truck company, driving a 2006 pete pulling vans and flatbeds. I told my boss I wasnt a mechanic and left it at that, if I find something in an inspection or something comes up I let him know. So far they fix the defective and out of service stuff, smaller items may take a few weeks, like my airconditioner but thats been a month with only a few trips to Texas and Georgia so far. I miss my old larger company, newer well serviced equipment and better pay and they always managed to get me home on weekends. My new company manages to get me home a few hours before I have to reset, the good part is I live 5 minutes from the yard.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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A slight change

One thing I forgot to mention is my old company used peoplenet the new one uses qualcom. They arent the same thats for sure and the only person who seemes to know how to work it is the girl friend of one of the other drivers. Hopefully I’ll nail it down before I get into a transmit logs situation.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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A slight change

After driving for my first company about 20 months I found a new one in the same town I live in. The move will save me about 6 hrs weekend time and lots of gas money. I can ride my bicycle to the yard. This company is only 10 trucks so quite a bit smaller and not as much maintenance support but they do seem to stay on top of things. The biggest change is they mainly haul to the USA and previously I had only hauled in Canada, mostly in Ontario and a few times to Quebec. I had previously hauled heavy with the truck licensed for 132,000 and am looking forward to now driving half empty lol, the difference being the variety of loads I will now have. So far I have had 2 trips to Wisconson and one to Pennsilvania all with reloads. Getting used to the different speed signs and the location of truck stops has been trying. My Garmin was set to avoid tolls but it would also try to avoid going over the bridges at the border and so I have had some interesting rerouting going on which has cost a few hours to say the least. It was iteresting reading another post on flatbedding here because I just finished a load of well casing, I had hauled square tube and I-beams, coils, slabs, billets and angle iron but that round well casing was as scary as anything. I put more straps and fed belly straps and still it moved, I guess thats why they use stakes. I have never tightend straps as much as this load and stopped as often to check them. On the other hand I also had my first load of insulation board. Stacked to the rafters so throwing straps was a good workout but then what? I never put a twist in them and I think the vibration caused them to compress the material and loosen so I climbed up on top at a stop and repositioned the corners then added some twist. I usually have had a pole to do this with but conveiently left it at home in the garage, its in the truck now. Anyhow looking forward to seeing more of the USA.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Six weeks

Trucking brings out the masochist in me too. Your lucky to have Rainy as a contact, I have found her posts to be excellent and they have really helped keep me on track.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Stratgeic, money-making, trucking how to : ????

I would say try to drive regional then you would have less variety to have to contend with. As you gain experience dealing with conditions in your area becomes easier and you can roll with the punches so to speak and earn your maximum.

Posted:  9 months, 4 weeks ago

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Boot suggestions

They should be fine, I found that I hated laces so I bought a pair of cowboy boots steel toed and great sole but they gave me a heat rash so I’ll save them for winter. I’d worn out the heels in record fast time which I couldnt figure out with all the walking I do, I had taken them with me on vacation so I could get them repaired and forgot them in the rental car at the airport. My brother picked them up for me but I needed some new ones and since laces were out I was looking at Blundstones but they were expensive and looked like old peoples shoes, luckily the store had a house brand 6” slip on boot for less so thats what Im wearing now. I wish I had thought of that style sooner could have saved a lot of money on those western boots. Comfort and convenience beats vanity.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Truckers pay - minimum salary

I was just looking at my last pay stub, I cleared $2084.50 for the previous 2 weeks. I will probably average $900 clear a week over the year by my best guesstimate. This past pay period was the busiest I have ever been, Almost 70hrs elogged in 5 days and if you count the time before logging in and after logging out I am close to 90 hours. I was totally bagged and looked forward to a good payday so believe it or not I was disappointed with the last pay. I must have jumped a tax bracket lol. But looking back at that time It was a good week and I felt the most satisfied with my performance since I started driving. Mileage is a luxury, I find reloads and mutiple drops to be a large portion of my pay so I look at how many hours I’ve put in to determine how things are going and 70 hours in 5 days is common though my elog does’nt show them. I’m going to celebrate my cdl 1st anniversary on June 6, I’ve been with this company since June 12. I am generally satisfied with my career choice and can see my driver abilities improving consistently which keeps me motivated. I wouldn’t be able to make near this money working for an employer as a carpenter and its all about the money right now.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

Yeah, I had that figured out. I wanted to get the facts from a Canadian driver from Canada with a Canadian commercial license.

My trailer had 5 axles and was permited for 92,000 cargo, that seems to be what most of our trailers are. I haven’t been doing this long enough to pick up on all the rules so I call the office when ever Im in doubt. Our company has some 6 axle trailers but Im not sure what the max is for them. This load was only the 3rd 90,000 one Ive pulled. Its surprising how much difference every couple thousand pounds make to the handling the higher you go.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

I hauled a load of concrete block on Thursday, my first load of this type ever. As I was starting to be loaded I asked what it weighed and was surprised to hear 96,450, wow so I stopped them and explained the max is 92,000 for this trailer and I wouldn’t try it without a scale handy. So after some deliberation involving my company the, the consignee and the consignor they lightened the load but I was still at about 90,000. I only needed to go 25 miles but it was into the middle of Toronto so like a fool without further thought off I went. I had’t been there for about three months and forgot that the street I was to go on was having a subway put under it so the intersection I needed to turn on had no left or rights allowed, the street was narrow with lane shifts, concrete barracades and lots of hills and intersections and I couldn’t get off for several miles past my turn. It was a tough drive and took me 3hrs to make the trip, lots of horn honking and a few very curtious drivers were required to make the 7 or so mile detour through some of the older residential areas I passed through. I made it unscathed and was consoled by the customer that the previous 4 loads the had came by the same route. I didn’t make any money but it was an enriching experience.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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HOS for new people

I never thought of not being covered if I was hurt while being logged off duty, that would be dirty. I do as much load securing and tarp handling as possible while off duty, I wouldn’t be able to get the work they want done if I did it any other way.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Beds and sleeping

I was given a new mattress for my truck 4 months ago its thin and already showing signs of compressing at the edge where you sit and I have rotated it a couple times already. A foam topped mattress would be nice as long as it didnt take too long to warm up in the winter.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Enjoying Yourself as an Over The Road Driver

Into my seventh month I’m finally getting used to the daily grind and not as exhausted from concentrating on the driving, not getting lost or injured etc. It seemed that this life style was not compatible with good health and trying to cram all my living into the short weekends, I was getting frustrated to say the least. Now its getting easier and repeat customers more plentiful I can find the time to enjoy the drives and explore the stops, my diet is improving lol and I find myself making a lists of the possibilities when I get my trip info. Parking, truck access and how far I can comfortably walk figure in to enjoying the weekdays. With the coming spring I’m planning how I can secure my bicycle to the truck. Having an understanding girlfriend helps and since absence makes the heart grow fonder my weekends are short but intense which Is a good thing. I wouldn’t want to give that up by quitting now lol.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Looks like the worst of winter is over

Snow isn’t what concerns me as much as below 0 deg F. That makes it hard, for me that is.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Looks like the worst of winter is over

At least in Canada that is, January and Frebruary are always the coldest. I managed to survive and improved my tarp handling greatly in fact I got to the point that I dreaded switching to roll kit flatbeds that would make me soft between episodes of tarped loads.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Flatbed company for student driver?

Have you tried Maverick, I see some of their flatbeds hauling into Canada, thats not far from you lol.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Day or night driving

Most of my first deliveries of the day are for 6:30 or 7:30 and I may have to drive 4 hours to make them so its dark when I start and light when I'm done for the day. Less traffic is the best part of starting that early if I have to drive in the city, but if its raining then thats a different story, I don't enjoy driving in the dark in the rain, especially if I"m on a road I haven't driven before.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Flatbed or Dry Van

I started training with a flatbed company the week after getting my license. I was hired for their heavy division and had six weeks of training before being sent out on my own. I am glad I chose flatbed so far, I get a bit of fresh air and exercise every day rain or shine lol. I'm still not sure if I can do the job in bad weather, throwing straps and pulling tarps is hard work in the rain and the thought of winter has me worried. Safe work practices are a must with this job, plenty of ways to get hurt.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Why all the hate...?

As a rookie I find the E log my company uses to be very confusing and slow. I wish company orientation spent more time teaching the procedures but after meeting the people responisible I have decided to relax and learn as I go. Luckily for me a couple of my dispatchers actually drove for a while so when they've seen I have been putting in 16hr days the piling on slows down. I am responsible for most of the time waisting that goes on and I know that preplanning is the key to getting better, I have called several customers ahead for directions into their location and thats a habit I need to aquire. My situation is every morning when I find out the trailer I'll be pulling is to set up the air suspension and run it over the scales hoping that it passes and the system is working proerly, oh for designated trailers, unfortunatly things don't go that smoothly and I have to start my day about an hour before I log in and then sometimes its still not early enough. These past two weeks I've put in my 70hrs in 5 days and although its possible its not sustainable and when I'm tired the mistakes realy start happening. For me its all about the money, I should be able to easily make more at this than at my previous job as a carpenter even if I have to work twice the hours so I keep trying to apply what ai learn here to my situation but its hard to when getting enough sleep interferes with doing my job. I have lost all shame when it comes to backing my trailer and I don't count pullups anymore but then there is the correllation with how tired I am once again. Allmost all of the drivers I meet are very helpful and usually have a few good words of advice which says alot about the quality of people in this industry. I guess I've said too much but up north here I haven't experienced negativity that is reffered to in this post and just watching most other drivers working to do their best I wouldn't want to fall into the judgment trap, lifes too short.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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My condensed saga from CDL school so far

I finished one week hauling steel coils and slabs, it was all local but that just meant loading and unloading up to three times a day so lots of practice. My trainer was a woman and I hope that someday I will be able to work as quickly as she does, I lost every race chaining and unchaining even though I'm sure she didn't know I was racing lol. This time i drove a 13spd and hauled some heavy stuff, 96,700 was the heaviest and negotiating in town made for some excitement but I learned a lot. Thankfully the trainer was very tolerant about my mistakes and positive about my overall ability so by the end of that week I knew I could work through anything she told my recruiter I was ready to go. After taking a week and a half off for family stuff my recruiter put me with the second trainer for the last two days to make sure and this coming Monday will be my first day on my own, I'll be driving locally using trucks of who ever is on holidays till the end of August as far as I know then hopefully I'll get my own truck. So far its been a challenging adventure for me overcoming my fear of failure after staking so much time and money to get to this point. I think back even only a month ago anout how nervous I was about some of tje simplest things and smile.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Vee Boards

We use a paint roller handle as well on a long broom stick or extendable pole no more than 6 feet. I don't have a picture but we remove the roll holding assembly and don't bend the wire, leave it as is it works great for the wooden edge protectors we use or the plastic ones as well. The wood protectors are made with 2 pieces of 3/4 inch plywood held together with 2 lengths of old strap with about 1-1/2 inches apart, the boards are about 6 or 8 inches by 12 inches. place the protectors on the ground and pick it up with the tool and slip it under the strap on the hooked side first then go to the winch side and pull the slack out of the strap and put the edge protectors under the strap then tighten.

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