Profile For TommyGun

TommyGun's Info

  • Location:
    Central, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 4 months ago

TommyGun's Bio

If the nature of trucking isn't a philisophical way to describe life, I don't know what is.

TommyGun's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

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Don't forget your landing gear

Eeeek.

Least it wasnt Hazmat. xD

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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A Summary of My 1st Year in Trucking And Why I Returned - article by MillionMiler24

My first year summary over the road:

"OHGODWHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO?!?"

:)

Good write up.

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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Schneider trucks cooking/food storing help!!!

I run a dorm fridge that starts at 700 watts and runs 180 watts continuously. I have a 1500 watt inverter in my truck and thats what I use. Its strapped to my top bunk.

Also keep a microwave in as well.

You might need to run on an ice cooler at first and use canned fruits.

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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May Trucking Company pay options: CPM (0.35 for me as a rookie) vs. $105 daily minimum with 90 day extra pay based on miles.

They are going to run your ass off. It's in their best interest to run your ass off because they want that truck to make money.

Take the CPM and run your ass off. ;)

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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

Yeah, on I-95 in NYC, a 13'6" will pass through.

In the northeast, they measure at the shoulder, not the actual road.

First time doing that I went "Oh ****" until I saw a truck do it right in front of me.

The Chesapeake Bay Tunnel though, I have to be loaded with 20k to not trigger the overheight sensor, lol

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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Your Favorite Truck Stop

There is a Walmart in Fernley, NV that has truck parking on I-80. Casino and buffet within walking distance.

Anytime I'm nearby, I always stop on Iowa 80. Its just straight awesome.

Penn 80 is good, one of the few locations that still have a Flying J Resturant.

The Big Texan in Amarillo is a steak place with truck parking in the back.

Sky City in Acoma, NM is a great, large truckstop with amenities with a casino/hotel attached.

Theres a few more, but some of those are secret places you won't find in a truckstop atlas or Trucker Path. ;)

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

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Music For The Road

As it states. Great feeling starting your day, jamming to some tunes.

List five, plus one thats truck related.

1.) The Chase - Georgio Moroder 2.) Sober - Tool 3.) Ghost Wave - The Verbtones 4.) Dreams - Molly Hatchet 5.) Shout At The Devil - Motley Crue

Trucker Song: Truck Drivin' Man - Lynard Skynard

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Heaviest Weight You've Hauled...?

79990. Tandems near the way back. 3/8 tractor fuel, 1/2 reefer tank.

Meat load, unsurprisingly.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Before this?

I was a meter reader for a water utility company for 3 months, and was fired because the guy who left wanted his job back.

Before that I was a range officer for a shooting range. Was very good. Best pistol shot out of all the officers. So much so, I was starting to draw smiley faces on sillouettes and splitting playing cards with a 1911. I'd even offer my time for free to help local law enforcement become better shooters.

They wanted me to stay as a range pro, but I heard from a friend how great an oppurtunity working in utilities was; so I left.

Before that I was a pawn broker for seven years; hated it.

Before that I was a paramedic working in Miami for three years.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Retiring Teacher - Is a trucking career for me?

Well, since you have 33 years experience in dealing with whiny, sniveling, immature kids; that automatically gives you a leg up when you pull into a truck stop and step into a drivers lounge. ;)

Is it worth it?

I'd say yes, if you're strong enough.

Good luck in your endeavors Sir, whatever you choose. :)

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

My first run was from Chicago to Hunts point in the winter.

I found very quickly what I was made of. xD

Listen, the first six months I was out on my own, I was scared to death and drove like 98 year old. As well I should. I had an okay trainer, but I had to learn a lot on my own; and still learning to this day.

Now I drive like a 60 year old. I am getting better. ;P

My orientation, we started with 35 people. About 11 made it through training. After my first year, 3 guys were left, one who I knew personally and became a contractor/trainer.

We met up recently at the yard. He started out in dress shirts and jeans. I dressed nice for orientation as well. He now dresses in overalls and grew an amish beard. I wear A-Shirts and jean shorts with Simpson racing shoes.

We looked at each other for the first time and laughed our asses off. We talked about our experiences, what we learned, how each others families were doing.

Now I drive a 18 T680 Kenworth, 12 speed auto, got it with 250 miles.

But, sometimes I miss my '14 T680 9 speed. 500k, burned a gallon of oil a week, vibrated like a Catholic Sorority House on Saturday night. But it gave me a special feeling I when I drove through Nevada Highway US-50 for the first time.

A truck doesn't make the man. A driver makes themselves; through the choices and experiences, through their life.

Sorry, getting wax poetic.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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GPS Dependancy Is Bad

I agree with most things. There's one thing I forgot to mention and one I completely dropped the ball with...

One, we get written directions on the QC, along with a "fuel solution" for suggested fuel stops. First I write down the pay#, the miles, shipper, pick up date/time, consgnee, drop off date/time, and other relevant data o may need. And on back of that paper, I write down the written directions that planning sends us. I didn't mention written directions because its just routine information that I really couldn't do anything else without - I just assumed everyone did it the same way. Both of my trainers showed me essentially the same way to write this info down in case the QC died. Maybe it's just a company trend of doing it this way.

But where I really dropped the ball was the advice about calling the places I'm headed... Worse, I've read it at least twice, from Brett's Book and from an article he wrote, Rookie Drivers: Time Management Tips And Mileage Goals.

I read both of those and thought to myself, now that's some damn good advice. Yet, it still doesn't occur to me put that wisdom into use. That's really sad on my part. Having great information and putting that information to use are clearly two different things. One means you can read and one means you can think!

But once again I stand by having a full toolbox - including GPS. It's not the ultimate tool, but it has helped a few times lately very nicely.

As for electronics being able to fail, etc. Well, I'm a big believer in that.
0455012001530900019.jpg

That's a little notebook called Write-in-the-Rain. It's pretty waterproof. And it sits in my wallet with phone numbers, addresses, and other important info from my phone - written down just in case something happens to my phone.

Not trying to be a smartass with that. Just wanted to point out that I believe electronic things can fail and I believe in writing things down. 😀

As for not using the advice about calling places... Yeah, I simply have no excuse. That was just poor performance on my part. And I will remedy that soon!

To be fair, sometimes you'll get bad advice even from the Shipper/Reciever.

I call them on occassion, when it looks tricky, or when Google Satelite imagery isn't very clear on how I get into/out of shipper/reciever.

Even then, its advice I put in the back of my mind. (Okay, thats what THEY said, but we'll see.)

I use a hard backed journal to keep my active loads, fuel stops, weight, pcs, seal #, etc.

Instead of looking at the bills over and over for reference, I use my load book to keep correct references. As for turn by turn handwritten instructions, as stated above, I only do that when its tricky, unknown, or a heavy metropolitian area.

Like going to Hunts Point. Been there several times. I go 95 GWB, 87 Maj Deegan, Exit 1 Brook, Bruckner, Leggett, Randall, Food Center.

I have every turn memorized into and out of that place.

...I still look at the turn by turn, directions and verify my route via Google Maps. NYC is a place I hate going to, so I don't screw around.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Nikola Truck

We should get of all gasoline engines and go diesel only. Long term it would be cheaper and better for the environment.

Diesel has proven to be high performance on the track as well.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Is it appropriate to give your fleet manager a gift

I've bought mine pizza from Papa Johns when I was on the yard.

Hes a genuinely nice guy, so I don't mind at all taking care of him; he takes care of me.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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GPS Dependancy Is Bad

Valuble tool; shouldn't solely rely on it.

I have a Rand McNally Atlas, a Truckstop Atlas, Google Maps, and a backup Truck GPS if/when the Qualcomm fails.

If its a route I'm very familiar with, sometimes I don't even bother with the GPS.

Still do turn by turn analog in NYC and other clustered metropolitan areas. GPS simply doesn't work in those areas.

With the interstate driver, there is absolutely no excuse. He had plenty of external warnings before he even got to the beach.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Excited about summer! Worried about winter.

Go slow. If that doesnt work go slower. Then stop if that doesn't work.

Pay attention to weather reports. Pay attention to road conditions. Know state chain laws (even if your company forbids you to use them).

Preparation is crucial during the winter months. Keep plenty of antigel in the truck.

They should understand that you cant run like you can in the summer, so it'll take longer to get there.

No load is worth your life.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Downshifting

Ah downshifting. What a weird feeling is it to manually rev the engine to slow down.

Advice from guys above work great, but I would rev a bit higher, say 1550-1600 rpm on your test. Why? Because you might be a little slow double clutching. Revving a bit higher will ensure you dont miss.

But thats my two cents.

When you get out on the road, you'll eventually get good to shift according to the sound of the engine.

Don't worry about skipping or floating.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Hard work was rewarded

Happened to me four months ago. Got into a '18 KW T680 with 250 miles.

New truck smell.

I didn't know what to do with myself. Took it out the first time, and it hit me how quiet it was. Almost thought something was wrong.

Nope. I was just used to driving trucks with 500k, shaking themselves loose, purting a gallon of oil in them per week.

Good on you. :)

Posted:  1 month ago

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Question: Residential Areas

It happens. Even if you preplan, sometimes you'll miss a turn, and end up in a residential area getting turned around.

Thats usually when the flop sweat comes out.

Don't hit anything, and go slow.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Automatics for Millenials?

When I started a year and a half ago, I was on a 9 speed. About 4 months ago, I was put in a brand new T680 12 spd auto.

I remember qualifying in a 10 speed at school, and out of the class of 16, I was one of five who wanted the ten speed.

Maybe I'm a bit old school, but I preferred the manual. I didn't overheat clutches, I could slow gradually in a corner without worrying about an upshift from the auto that would break the drive tires loose, and I felt I had more tactile feel when backing.

But Stevens went full auto, and I work for Stevens. Besides, complaining about getting assigned a new truck is like complaining about Scarlett Johannson wanting to go to bed with you; but she has bad breath.

xD

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