Profile For Matt H.

Matt H.'s Info

  • Location:
    RI

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 8 months ago

Matt H.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Matt H.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  9 months, 4 weeks ago

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GPS- necessary or optional?

I <3 my gps. I store every customer in it, by state, via longitude & latitude coordinates right to their driveway. Also it makes parking way easier, rest areas, truck stops, scales, weigh stations, walmarts, etc. I've also started a separate folder for "off grid" parking locations. ( places I can park for a 10 hour break that don't show up in any searches). I have every terminal & drop yard stored as well. Basically it's not just for navigation.

Posted:  10 months ago

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What type of transmission does your company use? Making a master list.

Roehl Transport uses both 10 speed manuals and automatics. Freightliner cascadia's and international LT's, the older international's are prostars.

My OTR trainer had a freightliner with a 12 speed auto. I drove a loaner freightliner with a 10 seed auto. All training for their CDL program is done with 10 spd manuals. My first truck was a 2015 freightliner, 10 spd manual. Now I've got a 2018 international LT, also manual. I've told my fm that I prefer manual transmissions for any truck I'm permanently assigned. They seem accommodating of driver's preferences.

Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

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Dealing with Impatient Drivers

Crossing traffic is no joke. You're the professional driver if someone drives under your trailer while you're crossing their travel lanes it's your fault. I never rush because of the people behind me. They can wait. You've got a greater responsibility to safely get that truck down the road. @40,200 people died in car accidents in 2016. Forty thousand two hundred people....never got where they were going.

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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My First Flatbed Load

I see now. The stacks of dunnage chained down in between. I've never noticed anything like that before. I haul dry van. Also for Roehl. In my previous career as an Ironworker I unloaded many trailers of structural steel, rebar, precast, etc. I might try flatbed with Roehl someday.

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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My First Flatbed Load

I haven't heard the term "bulkhead" used with regard to securing flatbed loads. I'm assuming it's something in between the separate piles so they can't shift front to back?

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Cooking on the road.

I have a little 12v frying pan that I use to heat up stews or soup and make hot sandwiches. Big cooler that'll hold a case of water. I usually buy sliced turkey for sandwiches, canned stuff, tuna. I try not to buy much junk food. It's pretty easy to avoid eating junk food when you don't have any. I haven't had any real need for a microwave or any other fancier ways to make things. It's just me here. If I wasn't traveling alone I might put more effort into actually making more interesting stuff. I do enjoy BBQ. So any BBQ with truck parking I'll usually give it a shot.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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Help Choosing a Training Program: Roehl or Prime?

There's are lots of details I never manage to get into text. I studied this forum before I chose to make the jump into trucking. I'm grateful for all the people that take the time to share their experiences here. You all have profound effect and you're helping the industry by helping people make informed decisions. Thank you.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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Help Choosing a Training Program: Roehl or Prime?

My simple reasons for choosing Roehl over Prime was the hometime options and the duration of training. I need the flexibility Roehl offers in hometime and I didn't want to drive with another person for 40,000 miles. That being said, if your circumstances are different then mine Prime might be a better fit. I have no doubt that 40,000 miles with a trainer would leave you exceptionally prepared to go solo. I'm not trying to get rich. I had an opportunity to try something new and I took it. I'm here for the experience as much as the pay. I intend to complete my contract and then assess what I want to do. My worst case scenario was if I didn't want to continue driving and I broke my contract I would still have a class A CDL and I would only be out the $5,000 a private school would've cost anyway. Roehl does commit you to a 120,000 mile contract. If you break that contract you will get a bill for $5,000.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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Help Choosing a Training Program: Roehl or Prime?

1). I drive for Roehl. I went through their gycdl program in Conley, GA. 3 weeks of school, then 19 days with an OTR trainer. I've been solo for 6 months December 5th. I've done about 53,000 miles so far.

2) I was considering Prime also. I only applied to Roehl. If I remember correctly Prime has you drive 40,000 miles with a trainer? Roehl's hometime options are convenient. 10/2, 11/3, 18/4, ?.....31/7. I've done various combinations with no issues I simply tell my FM when I'd like to be home next and where. I do my hometime in ME or RI. Prime is obviously a solid company. You'd be fine either way. I've never driven a truck for another company.

3). All my instructors/trainer were professionals. My instructors in Conley (I essentially had 3 which isn't typical. There was a gap in classes so it freed up instructors) were each different. For example one was helpful with regard to shifting at lows rpms for fuel economy another wasn't as concerned about keeping rpms down but was very instructive about tight cornering. The third (head instructor) was very laid back but didn't miss ANYTHING. He would get you talking and let you relax a bit and mellow things out. They all expect to see progress and they all approach teaching from different angles. They want you to succeed. My OTR trainer was great. I wouldn't opt to share a truck any longer then I have to personally, but my trainer refined everything I learned in school while teaching the way the work actually gets done. He really helped with very precise backing moves. He followed the program and made sure I had experience with all common events I would run into on the road.

4). My OTR trainer was northeast regional so he parked every weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday at home throughout OTR training. It took longer to achieve 19 days but it wasn't a big deal to me. After finishing my 19 days of OTR training I traveled back to GA. I did a "check ride" with an instructor and ran through the backing course. Then I was issued a truck. I was dispatched the following morning and did 11/3 my first shift.

5) Start anytime you want. These companies are adept at what they do. The hiring process is no different.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Mexico, Alaska, Canada

I drive for Roehl. I've hauled loads through Canada a few times from Maine through Canada into Michigan. On two other occasions I was sent into Canada empty to haul loads back into the USA. We get $25 crossing the border, so $50 for in/out of Canada. Driving through (in transit) isn't much paperwork. Picking up in Canada and delivering in the USA is significantly more paperwork and involves phone calls and emails or faxes. I actually just ordered a printer/scanner for my truck to streamline that process. That's my experience with Canada thus far.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Overnight parking at rest areas.

A lot of rest areas are posted "no overnight parking"

Does this apply to trucks?? Just campers and cars?? What's the deal?

http://www.interstaterestareas.com/overnight-parking-rules/

Posted:  1 year ago

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Roehl OTR doesn't travel all 48 states?

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I'd share the map I have if I could figure out how. I've been solo for Roehl for almost 6 months. I'm from RI, my classmate was from TX. We both ended up mostly running Midwest. I've crossed the Mississippi three times and not by much. Lots of PA. Through IN past Chicago up into WI. Through Canada a few times from ME to MI.

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Hey, Matt H! I'm also from RI and plan to drive for Roehl upon graduating from NETTTS. One more week of school and then the road test whenever RI DMV works through their back log (apparently, there's a 1-2 month delay). If you're amenable and if possible, I would like to speak with you off line about your job. Thanks!

Of course. I'd be happy to. Email me your number? I'll be parked pretty early tomorrow I could call you then? If you prefer text/email just let me know.

mhowarth3@gmail.com

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Roehl OTR doesn't travel all 48 states?

I'd share the map I have if I could figure out how. I've been solo for Roehl for almost 6 months. I'm from RI, my classmate was from TX. We both ended up mostly running Midwest. I've crossed the Mississippi three times and not by much. Lots of PA. Through IN past Chicago up into WI. Through Canada a few times from ME to MI.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Roehl ?

Yes. I went through their "get your CDL" program. All of the training for that program is done on 10 speed manual transmissions.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Ex-Driver with no verifiable in the last 10 years

A gentleman in my class at Roehl was in the same situation. Driving since 1982 but nothing in the last 5 years. He did the "get your CDL program" at Roehl. Though he didn't actually have to test out with the state. After that he did the full 19 days OTR with a trainer. That trainer lucked out. 👍

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Hard Lesson Learned

Susan wrote:

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My company marks the side of the trailers, in feet, so we can easily tell how many feet the center of the 5th axle is from the kingpin. Much easier to know you're compliant with bridge laws.

I'm glad to see it explained.

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Bridge law? I think you meant kingpin law.

The federal bridge law formula (for example) for 80,000 pounds gross weight is 51' from the rear most axle of the tandems to the front steer axle of the tractor is the minimum legal distance for a 5 axle trailer. As the weight is less, the minimum allowable distance decreases. Relatively speaking; for a 53' trailer and a condo-sleeper, the one hole (tandems set all the way to the front of the rails, closest to the cab) is about at the 54'-55' mark. All but impossible to be non-compliant with bridge law for a 53' tractor and trailer combination. However in the one hole, many northeast states will cite for excessive overhang. You can be in compliance with bridge laws and be non-compliant with kingpin setting law.

Where bridge law becomes more critical and enforced is with highly dense, heavy loads in a short trailer, such as 45,000 pounds of gravel in a 30' dump. Typically this type of trailer is a tri-axle configuration because bridge law goes by max weight per axle and distance between each axle and/or a set of axles. It's complicated.

Bridge law was far more relevant when there was greater restriction in overall legal length, 1980s during the COE (cab over) era when 40' and 45' trailers were SOP, and 80,000 pounds gross combination weight was legal.

In addition not all companies mark their trailers like you mentioned, because kingpin law varies from state to state. Walmart does not mark 41' on center, but they do mark maximum hole settings by state that's relevant to kingpin setting law (not bridge law) on the side of each trailer above the tandem area. The maximum hole setting is furtherest from the kingpin to the rear of the trailer.

To be specific; in PA and NJ (where I spend the majority of my time) I can work with the 6-11 holes (I'll push to 12 if need-be) to comply with kingpin law, and get the load legal on the tandems and drives.

Each state's kingpin law is different and some states like Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut are very strict, known to use a tape measure for overhang infractions. This is why I originally posed the question to Unholychaos: "what states are you routed through?"

In my profile photo gallery I have two images relevant to state kingpin law. With a laptop it shoukd be readable, probably not with a phone though. For you Swifties, this information is in the drivers handbook and quick notes binder.

Can you elaborate on the overhang? Specifically with regard to 53' van trailers. I'm aware of the bridge laws (with regard to axle weights) and king pin laws (I'm under the impression that restricting the distance from king pin to rear axle is in attempt to control and manage the turning radius of trucks)

I haven't found any consistent information about why I shouldn't/can't run with the tandems all the way forward? If the weight permits I usually have them as far forward as possible. Is that also a problem in some states??

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Overhang and "did I do that?".

Actually. Come to think of it. If you've got room in a big parking lot, park right against a painted line, turn hard in the opposite direction, hold the turn for a bit then stop, get out and see where your rear bumper is. Try it a few times. Should give you an idea how close something can be beside you without it being a problem. 👍

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Overhang and "did I do that?".

I think you're talking about the amount of overhang behind your rear axle? I don't have any great advice. We've all seen videos of truck's dragging cars on their ICC bumper.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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A different kind of local job

Sounds like a great job. 👍

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Are Companies Putting Driver Facing Cameras In Their Trucks?

Roehl has announced that all trucks wil be equipped with cameras over the next two years. They record based on triggering events. 1) hard braking 2) roll over sensors (a pothole filled dirt lot will set this off) 3) Anytime you have less then 4 seconds following distance from the vehicle in front of you. (This one was announced recently as they began to learn how to adjust the camera software).

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