Comments By Jonathan Bailey

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Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Radios, forklifts questions.

1. will truckers receive CB training in driving school? by the employer? who chooses the driver's handle? are modern CBs hands-free? Having seen mikes in the hands of truckers in many a Hollywood film, I feel it prudent to keep both hands on the wheel as much as possible.

I have to learn what all those TEN codes mean in talker (flip-flop) lingo.

2. I understand that some drivers, especially locals and regionals, may have to do some truck loading or unloading at some points during their careers. Does the trucking firm or the customer usually provide the Hyster? Will forklift operation training be provided by the driving school or employer? I have had some forklift experience in past jobs but need some brush-up. I have used pallet dollies and hand trucks too but it is so much sweeter and easier on the human spine to drive a forklift. I believe in the "work-smart" philosophy. I don't gather companies like workman's comp claims for back injury.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Will truckers on long trips ever be allowed to store personal items in the cargo area? That is inside the trailer.

It sounds like the trucking industry is in cahoots with Walmarts and truck stop businesses to try to force drivers to spend their money there.

Do many trucks stops serve low-cal meals? Is there a "health-nut" menu in some restaurants along a driver's way?

I would need some sort of stove top or portable electric burner for some of my things. Perhaps, a gas Coleman stove.

So, Patrick, you are saying there is absolutely no space to store a week's supply of pre-cooked foods and any number of coolers?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

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I do cook. Eating truckstop food is too expensive. I have a 12v Coleman thermo electric cooler. I use a 12v crockpot to cook with. Just fill it up, turn it on, and by the time your are done running for the day you have your meal. I take 1 day at home for every week on the road. So I will get 4 days. Nothing set in stone though. Sometimes it gets cut short. Then my next home time I will get home early. Or I might be ran close to home where I can do a 10hr at home while I am out. I usually will run near the house once a week, so.

Drive Safe and God Speed

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Ok, Patrick:

There's a slim possibility I could still make this whole damn thing work out. I was scared that you were seeing home only once per month. Your latest revelation inspires a little more confidence in me.

No, sir. I am not a habitual crock pot user. I use a PAM-coated skillet, a saucepan, a table-top gas barbecue, and a microwave mostly. For trucking, and me both, it would most likely pre-made stuff packed in coolers, the fridge and freezer made up for the entire road trip.

No candy, no chips, no junk food for me.

For breakfast, I have a bowl of oatmeal with skim milk and a half of grapefruit. Every other day, I will have 2 scrambled eggs with milk, 2 or 3 deli fried ham slices and sometimes hash browns from a baking potato I shred with my cheese grater. I use Pam spray only.

For lunch I hardly ever eat sandwiches. Bread is largely out of my diet. It is salad mix with a can of chicken one day or two cans of sardines packed in water another day, plain yogurt and a spoonful of mayonnaise. I use steak sauce and lemon juice on my sardine salads.

For dinner it is BBQ chicken breast, or hamburger patties with rice, fried potatoes, pasta, and/or polenta (Italian cornmeal bread pudding type product) with spaghetti sauce that I make in a saucepan or a skillet and frozen vegetable.

Once in a while it is tacos with Mexican rice and beans. Pizza is extremely rare on my diet. Not much hamburgers on buns, hot dogs and fries for me. Occasionally it is BBQ lamb chops or liver and bacon sauteed with yellow onion. Once in a blue moon it is Popeyes chicken.

For desert it is a smoothie made in a blender with fresh or frozen fruit and skim milk with a dash of vanilla. I might have to pack pre-made smoothies in large bottles for road trips. I also drink spring water from gallon jugs. I drink fruit juice and iced tea fro instant also. I put my 1 quart beverage bottles in the freezer with a third liquid in them so I don't have to deal with ice cubes. Truckers may have to deal with store-bought ice a lot.

For snacks, I eat rolled oats plain.

Yes, Mr. Natural, Ule Gibbons here.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

I do cook. Eating truckstop food is too expensive. I have a 12v Coleman thermo electric cooler. I use a 12v crockpot to cook with. Just fill it up, turn it on, and by the time your are done running for the day you have your meal. I take 1 day at home for every week on the road. So I will get 4 days. Nothing set in stone though. Sometimes it gets cut short. Then my next home time I will get home early. Or I might be ran close to home where I can do a 10hr at home while I am out. I usually will run near the house once a week, so.

Drive Safe and God Speed

Ok, Patrick:

There's a slim possibility I could still make this whole damn thing work out. I was scared that you were seeing home only once per month. Your latest revelation inspires a little more confidence in me.

No, sir. I am not a habitual crock pot user. I use a PAM-coated skillet, a saucepan, a table-top gas barbecue, and a microwave mostly. For trucking, and me both, it would most likely pre-made stuff packed in coolers, the fridge and freezer made up for the entire road trip.

No candy, no chips, no junk food for me.

For breakfast, I have a bowl of oatmeal with skim milk and a half of grapefruit. Every other day, I will have 2 scrambled eggs with milk, 2 or 3 deli fried ham slices and sometimes hash browns from a baking potato I shred with my cheese grater. I use Pam spray only.

For lunch I hardly ever eat sandwiches. Bread is largely out of my diet. It is salad mix with a can of chicken one day or two cans of sardines packed in water another day, plain yogurt and a spoonful of mayonnaise. I use steak sauce and lemon juice on my sardine salads.

For dinner it is BBQ chicken breast, rice and frozen vegetable.

For desert it is a smoothie made in a blender with fresh or frozen fruit and skim milk with a dash of vanilla. I might have to pack pre-made smoothies in large bottles for road trips. I also drink spring water from gallon jugs. I drink fruit juice and iced tea fro instant also. I put my 1 quart beverage bottles in the freezer with a third liquid in them so I don't have to deal with ice cubes. Truckers may have to deal with store-bought ice a lot.

For snacks, I eat rolled oats plain.

Yes, Mr. Natural, Ule Gibbons here.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Thanks, Patrick, for breaking down your work week.

You mean you get ONE weekend of hometime a month? Is that it? Are you serious?

It sounds like the truck stop "choke n pukes" act like your regular mess hall. I can't see how that schedule can accommodate a do-it-yourself meal cook who would pack his fully-cooked meal supply for an entire outing. They should have semitrailers pulled by some sort of a class-8 RV (motor home ala Winnebago with full-on kitchen ) and not just a tractor with a sleeper box on it.

Your truck must be your girlfriend or wife. I love the look of Kenworth classic hood trucks like W900 but could never be that affectionate toward THAT rig where I would want to spend every day but two days out of a month inside one.

One of my biggest concerns is having to deal with the food issue on the road.

I am still keeping my ears peeled for that local Idaho company on AM radio commercials that claim, "you will never sleep in a sleeper when you drive with us". I have yet to catch their name and check out their site. That "sleeper-less" stuff really excites me!

Patrick, you are probably giving me the WORST-CASE scenario for what a newbie might endure in terms of very LONG road time. But thanks for your down-and-dirty truth of the matter.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Please acknowledge that one trucker's work experience might not necessarily be another's same work experience. I have heard of the saying before: "one man's ***** cat, another man's tiger".

Every company has to conform to applicable state, local and federal laws. That is all uniform. Yes. But.....does every company under the sun have the same exact policy and treat their employees exactly the same way? I honestly don't know.

Teamsters members MIGHT have life a LITTLE easier. I don't even know that for sure. It is a rumor. My grandfather was a union Operating Engineer: heavy equipment. He praised his union. Did him well. Did his wife (grandma) well. Never had to draw social security on retirement.

If I MUST eat one bite of greasy truck stop food in a grungy joint, then, no, I 'd say to myself forget all about this business right now once and for all! I value my health much more than any money any job could fetch.

You must consider my PERSONALTY. Truckers must have a certain persona to be a good fit.

I am a very clean and tidy man. No smoking. No drugs. No alcohol. No caffeine. No speed or meth. I don't just wipe out a skillet with a snot rag and reuse it like some hobo. It goes through the automatic dishwasher or is hand washed in hot soapy water before I use it again. I don't use cast iron but Teflon. I am germ-ophopic. In the army on field maneuvers, mess personnel in tents prepared hot meals for us soldiers unless we were issued MRE's which are loaded with fat and calories. The mess sergeant adamantly ordered us troops to wash our hands in hot soapy water kept in 5-gallon containers before each meal at the mess tent so as not to catch any bad bugs. I understand trucking is one long series of long camping trips one week after the other. A driver lives "in the field" most of the time. It might take very clever meal preparation on precious few days off at home to cook at the stove all day long, wash last week's dirty Tupperware, do laundry, check the mail, prepare meals in advance for the next week, the next long road trip. I can envision lots of Tupperware for food storage. Plastic silverware might be as a common sight to a truck-driving man as a canteen is to a cowboy. The more expensive Chinette throw-away paper plates should do: not the cheapies. I don't fancy toting re-washable dishes and plates around in a rig. There can't be too much baggage to weigh a trucker down: 80,000 pounds is quite enough. I need to travel light enough but comfortable enough too. I don't know how the company sleepers are accommodated for living equipment and sanitary provisions to be exact. I don't know how much storage, freezer and refrigerator space is allotted for a driver's food supply for a road trip. Is there a small stove top in a sleeper? I can't imagine there is a dishwasher or even a sink with running water there. A sleeper probably is not even as commodious for living as a pickup truck camper just by judging the outside of them. I don't want to have to stop at Walmart everyday on the road for groceries. I would rather just have everything cooked in advance at home, put in Tupperware, packed in coolers including the hash browns, scrambled eggs and ham, and warmed over in the microwave for any given trip.

You see, its all about logistics and coordination. Wise use of time and resources available. I am a control freak too. How often will a trucker encounter working plumbing, running hot water, electricity, lighting, CLEAN toilets, CLEAN showers, CLEAN shelter for eating and CLEAN provisions for meal preparation on the go? Cowboys on the long trail drive had a cook, a chuck wagon and a campfire to support them on the range. I saw "The Cowboys" with John Wayne. I shave with an electric so that would be convenient for everyday shaving on the roll as I am clean-shaven always. As a solider (light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, 63B) I was supported by my unit's mess section who also took care of the field latrines. I'm sure a trucker can find an outlet to plug in a Norelco somewhere. Do truck stop plazas usually have a barbershop? I am clean cut as well. Taking care of bills and paying rent is easy for me since I do all my personal finances on line. Yes, there is a lot to think about in a transportation job with plenty of travel and little home time. Trucking could possibly even be tougher than my military life was. Soldiers have logistical support and teamwork from other personnel. I repaired their trucks and recovered their stuck vehicles from the mud. Others fixed my dinner and issued me trigger mittens from supply when I lost my work gloves out in the sticks one winter. Truckers in the private sector seem to be lone wolves having to do it all by themselves on the move and manage to MAKE time to somehow make it all click. I don't think a trucker gets the privilege of his own mess cook. What truck stops as a matter of industry should provide to drivers who do it themselves are camps with kitchens, tables and all kitchen facilities. Of course they would rather just sell their fatty cooked foods to clog arteries. I have been inside a T/A truck stop in Boise, ID several times and the cook wore a beard and that grossed me out. I don't even know if modern truck stops offer low-fat sensible meals for health-conscious customers.

I will still read the book like I said. No grudges held. Perhaps, that might put me in a much better position to decide if this COULD possibly be my life. It's too early too judge.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Mr. Brett Aquila:

No, I am no spring chicken and I'm getting no younger. I did not mean to brag upon myself either. I am sure there are many combat vets in trucking. I myself have not seen one single day in battle.

Now, I will be honest.

That fact is I DON'T KNOW what to expect from CIVILIAN trucking.

I have a steep learning curve ahead of me. What I wish for and what is reality are two different things altogether. I have had a couple casual friends in the past who were truckers at one time or another. One man told me that when you climb up a steep grade, always stay in the same gear going down as you were in coming up or you may never be able to get back into gear again once you get out of it and that spells a world of trouble. One time in the army I was driving a five-ton (5-speed manual) and made the mistake of trying to shift from second to third right after going over the summit. I was "locked out of gear" so to speak and the truck accelerated rapidly with the water buffalo I was towing. Luckily, I had very good brakes that day and the Lord was watching over my shotgun and I but the experience was a bit unnerving. I should have just stayed in second as that is what I climbed the hill with.

Back to expectations: I really have not a clue. Saying things is one thing but doing them firsthand is a whole other ball of wax. It sounds like it's something somebody has to dive right into and actually DO it to find out what it is really all about. It may or may not work out for me. I dove into military service when I was younger not having a clue what it was all about. I found it very hard at first with MANY NOT-SO-NICE SURPRISES but I eventually got used to it. I improvised, adapted and overcame. It sounds like any new career is like that: trucking, or otherwise. Then again I could try out trucking and it might actually grow upon me in a positive way. Don't knock what you haven't tried.

People here seem to have doubts about me. Perhaps a few here might not want new folks to come into this trucking fraternity and COMPETE with them for a job. American jobs are the Holy Grail. That I can understand. This might be a cut-throat business but I could be wrong. Some people sound overly loyal to their companies (not just freight hauling) and take offense to the term "slave". I call that being a bit servile if you ask me. The army called it brown-nosing. I can shamelessly say I was a peon too in the army, as a Specialist 4, and one staff sergeant in my unit even said that of himself. I can't imagine the reputable Teamsters' ever allowing their dues-paying members to be done wrong by whom they work for. I am for the working American in the trenches, not the corporate CEO. American unions are largely responsible for the abolition of being ill-used by one's employer. I do expect fair treatment from whomever I work for be it J.B. Hunt, Microsoft, the Boise Police Department, the State of Idaho or Starbucks Coffee: no more and no less. I get out of a job whatever I put into it, right?

I'm asking all the wrong questions? What should I be asking? I can't ask how to prepare yet since I have not positively decided to go for it at this point. I now believe I will have to read Brett's book cover to cover and I'd be in a better position to make that determination. The questions I were asking about dealt mainly in the day to day life of a trucker. How does a trucker manage his time or any pet animals he may have at home? How does he find (or make) time to wash clothes or even pay his bills? It is all about timing and logistics. Making everything you do have to fit on a calendar somehow. A day has but 24 hours in it. Before I ask how a 13-speed or 18-speed transmission works, I have to decide I want to drive in the first place. I am still undecided. Am I even physically, mentally and emotionally qualified for this job? I will have to find that out outside this forum. Sometimes I get road rage when I drive my own car especially when traffic is slow and I am in a hurry. I hate it when people get in my way.

No, Brett, I am not ready yet, but supremely interested still. I have much more to learn before I really decide if I want to "go for it". I will have to yet consult with my state's voc/rehab department to see if they would even support this career for me: pay for CDL driver's training and so forth. I just mailed them a letter yesterday to set up initial consultation. Remember, I am recovering from disability. Will my body even be able to withstand the rigors of driving? How might it affect me mentally and emotionally? All the human factors to consider. Drivers are people, not robots.

And Brett, just to appease you, I have started to read your on-line book yesterday. I have a ways to go but I intend to read it cover to cover. I promise I will make no more judgement here about this trade or its people until I have read your book cover to cover.

Yes, it is very clear to me now that I would have to make some serious personal sacrifices and make some serious lifestyle adjustments should I somehow land behind the wheel of a tractor. That is no longer a question in my mind.

The only remaining question is can I mentally, physically and spiritually handle this job? If I CAN then, yes, I am willing. I can either get busy living or get busy dying. I might be a greenhorn to CIVILIAN trucking for pay but I am no greenhorn regarding life in general. Yes, past work experience should count for something.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Jonathan, I'm thinking you still "don't get it".

My multiple degrees mean zilch, nada, zip, zero in this business. If I perform at a high level of efficiency, I'll be rewarded with-- more work. If I don't perform​ at a high level, my dispatcher would be upset, angry even, and he would reduce my work load... Starve out sub par performers as it were.

I fully expect to work 70 hours in a week-- that's the NORM! I'm WELL PAID for the work that I do and am a slave to NO ONE. Company culture means nothing to me. Why? Because the only person you'll deal with regularly is your dispatcher. That contact is generally through Qualcomm messages and sometimes by telephone.

I'm thinking a documentary would be some glossed over entertainment type of BS and would be unlikely to give real insight into our chosen profession/Lifestyle. We are telling you how it is but you appear to persist in not believing it. Trucking certainly isn't for everyone and there's no shame in that. Less than 5% of brand new drivers actually make it through their first year, and many "failures" are due to unreasonable expectations.

Personally I love the adventure, the freedom, the daily challenges, and even the solitude.

Miss Susan D.

I was an American soldier for seven years. Is MILITARY SERVICE for everybody? Is being a doctor, farmer, cowboy, baker, carpenter or plumber for everybody? Do you think I don't understand the meaning of TOUGH?

What don't I get, ma'am? Has any trucker here been in military service? Have you stood in a wet, muddy foxhole when it was freezing at two in the morning and had maybe had four hours intermittent sleep at best for every 24 hours of field maneuvers duty in a cold tent? Yes, I drove trucks in the army. Over 1,300 miles each way on one field maneuver. The five-tons and deuce-and-a-halfs top out at 50 mph downhill. They are geared for low off-road speeds mainly. The deuces had no power steering and I have sprained my thumb at least once in the field when the front tire caught a rut in the mud.

No cab air conditioning in the hot summer sun in White Sands, New Mexico desert. In cold icy Germany, my wrecker truck did not even have cab heat, for goodness sake!

What could be tougher than military service for making a living? I think service vets are probably the best candidates on the job market potentially for the commercial hauling field.

Our society has many different needful occupations including trucking. Somebody has to do each and every one of them. Everybody can't do them all. Trucking is a noble trade and so is being a nurse, mason or a fireman. Without trucks, I would starve to death. How else does my food get from the farm to my local supermarket? Many people frown upon large trucks as a danger and a nuisance to motorists on public highways. I once felt mad when a stone was kicked up by a semi I was passing on the left and pitted the windshield on my brand new Corvette 25 years ago. yes, I was much more affluent when I was much younger than I am now.

I am living on $1,075 a month, VA Pension benefit for disability, plus $37 in food stamps. About half my paltry income goes toward apartment rent and that is WITH a roommate here in little "poor" Idaho. Poverty is NOT my bag either. Yes, eventually I am going to have to compromise between being poor and having nothing but time on my hands at home and sacrificing personally to make a decent living somehow.

I miss the companionship of having a pet dog. When I was working as an automobile mechanic by trade, I had a local job and was off every evening at five to see my two hounds at home and walk them every evening or play ball with them. The onset of non-work-related disability made me poor and I could no longer keep the dogs. They went to new homes. Devastated, I was seeing a VA shrink because of suicidal depression for a while. I can no longer do that sort of work, bent under a hood all day long, due to back issues. I have hereditary arthritis. My father and his brother, my uncle, had it from an early age. I went to college for the past couple of years on a voc/rehab dept. program and got a computer information science degree but I understand that this field heavily discriminates against older Americans. I may get a state or other civil service job in IT or office clerical but then again may not. I am keeping trucking as a possibility on the back burner for now in case the occupations I desire don't come true.

So, you please tell me what I could do for a living?

Yes, trucking will put me in enough money to afford the costs of such companion animal, bu will rarely allow me to be home to enjoy that pet's company often. I would have to make arrangements for a professional pet sitter and deal with such expense accordingly. I have heard that Swift allows drivers to have dogs on the road but I do not want to coop a poor animal up like that.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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How dangerous is hauling hazmat for drivers? What are the risks of death or serious injury?

As far as I know I'm the only one that pulls hazmat gasoline tankers for a living. We are typically loaded with 8,600 gallons in 2 seperate tankers.

Its not for everyone. You sound like a good normal person so I would advice to stay away from it. If you're partially crazy and not fully sane then its a perfect job for you. But if you're going to panic because it can blow up then I would suggest hauling a box trailer since its 15 times easier.

I noticed we really dont talk about how dangerous it is at work. I get we just try not to think about it. You have to be aware of the dangers and constantly be vigilant. Theres a lot of security policies to prevent a terror attack since it literally is a bomb on wheels. We cant leave our trucks on lunch, we can only take luch in certain areas, we cannot tell anyone where we get the gas from, we cant tell anyone what we are hauling.

But honestly, it will ignite if you give it an ignition source. Dont let any ignition source come near it and you will be fine. The biggest risk is our deliveries because you have people driving around in cars (exhaust can ignite gas), and people walking around smoking. No cell phones or other electronics can be near the gasoline because believe it or not but cell phones can easily ignite gas.

Obviously the gas vapors are usually what gets set off since it "travels". So you have to know how gas vapors behave. Vapors sit on the ground level and go with the wind.

But honestly its not too bad. You just have go be serious at all times and keep your eyes open and always be alert. Know how to tell people to back away and not smoke. You are no ones friend and you cannot trust anyone. You go there, deliver, and get out asap.

I just found this report on the biggest danger culprit of American fuel tankers: WET LINES. They obviously should be outlawed by DOT or other motor vehicle authorities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdMj9LE4fqg

I imagine jet fuel is also highly volatile.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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How dangerous is hauling hazmat for drivers? What are the risks of death or serious injury?

In the past, I have heard of tank trucks loaded with gasoline and exploding killing the driver instantly. Is this a common occurrence still in 2017?

In the army I was once riding shotgun in a straight tank truck loaded with diesel fuel, 2,000 gallons, but I was not apprehensive since diesel is just flammable but not volatile like gasoline. Diesel is actually hard to set on fire. We did have a tank trailer, I think 800 gallons??, loaded with gasoline following the truck but I still felt reasonably safe inside the cab up front in case that blew up.

What other hazmat goods besides petroleum products pose serious risks for drivers?

Are there plenty of trucking positions for rookies that don't involve hazmat? I believe most OTR cargo is dry van or reefer anyway.

I don't want flatbeds as I get vertigo in high places. I don't want to be on top of a load where I could slip and fall.

Hauling a tanker full of milk seems much safer since it is not hazmat.

My personal safety is something I have to also seriously consider when pondering about getting into this big-rig business.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Jonathan Baily wrote:

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10 hours to do personal business a day. So, the other 14 hours is on the employer's clock?

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The 10 hours is the minimum required off-duty time required after driving the maximum of 11 hours. Can you take a longer break? Yes, as long as you can make your delivery appointment. Most of us the majority of that 10 hour period for sleep...you'll need it. "On-the-employer's-clock" is a concept foreign to most of us in the trucking business. It's your clock Patrick was referring to. We are paid to drive with either a CPM (cents per mile) rate or a percentage of the freight bill. There is a small percentage of drivers paid hourly. See this link for a detailed description:

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS)

The 14 hours you asked about is the maximum amount of on-duty hours allowed that you can drive 11 hours within.

Thank you, G-Town, I now see this more clearly. The more you deliver a month, the fatter paychecks get. So, this is a fluctuating pay occupation. No time clocks to punch. It sounds like this is a job where people learn largely by doing and not from a textbook. It would be nice to look at documentary films on truckers in the work place to see exactly how they live day to day. How they manage their time. How they get the laundry done even. Since it seems they are on the road most of the time, it is as if their truck is their wife they are married to. This seems a life for gypsies and monks. It seems as this occupation requires a lot of careful planning. Truckers are human too. They are not supermen. They, like army troops, have to eat, sleep, shave, sh_t, shower, go to the doctor on occasions, go to the dentist on occasions, wash clothes and manage personal bills and finances like everybody else. I am sure modern truckers carry notebook PCs and smartphones on the road these days.

I have heard that Swift drivers at least stay at hotel rooms not in sleeper cabs. That is nice.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

Well...... where to start....

Okie dokie, here goes.

1). ALL major carriers are big on safety. That simple. You can't grow a company if you are constantly paying fines and repairing crashes vehicles.

2) standard is 1 day home for every week out. There are some companies that will work with you more on home time than others. But this isn't the military and you are not salaried. If you are sitting on your butt at home you are just going broke.

3) You can be as sociable as you want as long as you make sure the freight is where it has to be on time and safe.

4) most companies will try their best to pair up rookies with a trainer of the same tobacco preferences. Once you are solo it is your house. You can choose to have it non smoking in your truck. However, you may have to wipe down the walls and febreeze the seats. There is a good chance whoever had the truck before you was a smoker.

5). No one is going to dictate your diet. If you don't drink coffee and soda; stock up all the water you can carry. You want healthy meals, make sure to pony out the money for a crockpot, lunchbox oven, and a 12v skillet. Don't forget the thermoelectric cooler. Remember you have 10hrs to eat, sleep, exercise, and conduct personal hygiene. Divide that time up however you want.

10 hours to do personal business a day. So, the other 14 hours is on the employer's clock?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

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A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

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Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands.

It's very irritating that I had to set down my fresh avocado half, drizzled in fresh lime juice, to respond to this. I am curious where you have gained all this superficial knowledge of our industry. Surely you know that you can't trust about 89% of what you read on the Internet.

I drove twelve hundred miles in the last two days, and will do another six hundred tomorrow. All of that in a "sleeper cab." During those three days I will have had three different break periods of ten hours each to sleep in. It is my responsibility to get the proper rest, not the company's.

I've had good fresh food available to me "on the job," because I took the initiative to keep it available in my truck. Let's see, how many Wal-Mart stores did I drive by today? Darn, I've lost track, but it only required a quick thirty minute break to stop at one of them to replenish my "healthy" grocery supplies for the following week.

We may be able to help you make a successful start at this career, but it's going to be an uphill battle. You have already poisoned yourself at the altar of "bogus research results." If you promise to hang around with us, and quit using your Google search bar as your moral compass then we might be able to re-program your grey matter in a direction that is helpful. My guess is that you found us a little too late.sorry.gif

Too late for what?

I have not been getting input from Google but radio and television.

First of all, I was hoping from input especially from local Idaho truckers. I live in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, this state;'s capital city.

Where have I been getting these ideas about American trucking? From a local Boise, ID radio commercial from a local trucking outfit stating that their drivers get plenty of "home time" and that they "have not one sleeper in their fleet". I did not catch their name but I am going to write their name down next time I hear them on my radio station, KBOI, 670 AM, Boise, ID that I listen too everyday. I get some of my ideas from listening to the radio.

I would like a 40-hour work week. Union-scale or better pay/benefits. Certainly, long haul trucking is NOT my bag at my age. I have to think short haul or regional. An associates degree on my resume should be worth something to a hiring company too. As a disabled American, I will be able to work with my state's voc/rehab department for job assistance. They may or may not support my getting in the trucking field. I will have to consult with them.

Some companies may give veterans preference for hiring too. A vet-friendly firm is "more the merrier" for me.

Is trucking right for me? Depends upon the company, the specific position, and its "corporate culture". That is what it all boils down to.

I am a man in my 50's. No spring chicken. I need my beauty sleep every night at my age. I am on disability right now but expect to be able to get back on the work force within one year's time. Those dry vans might be my best bet.

What is your company's CORPORATE CULTURE? This is the 21st century. I hope even the American trucking trade has caught up with the more enlightened modern era.

"Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands."

Then perhaps, it is those special few companies that I must seek. I won't dictate anything to a company. I have to know the company's policy and practices. It will either work for me or won't.

Are you a SLAVE of your company?

My lifestyle will be reflected in how many hours a week they will work me for, basically, and the days and times I will be scheduled for duty. The longer hours they work me, the less TIME I will have to provide myself a quality life style. It all boils down to TIME MANAGEMENT.

The company can say I have to do this and that as a condition for hire but I can take or leave the job being offered.

Do any companies hire by CONTRACT their drivers?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

double-quotes-start.png

A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

double-quotes-end.png

Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands.

It's very irritating that I had to set down my fresh avocado half, drizzled in fresh lime juice, to respond to this. I am curious where you have gained all this superficial knowledge of our industry. Surely you know that you can't trust about 89% of what you read on the Internet.

I drove twelve hundred miles in the last two days, and will do another six hundred tomorrow. All of that in a "sleeper cab." During those three days I will have had three different break periods of ten hours each to sleep in. It is my responsibility to get the proper rest, not the company's.

I've had good fresh food available to me "on the job," because I took the initiative to keep it available in my truck. Let's see, how many Wal-Mart stores did I drive by today? Darn, I've lost track, but it only required a quick thirty minute break to stop at one of them to replenish my "healthy" grocery supplies for the following week.

We may be able to help you make a successful start at this career, but it's going to be an uphill battle. You have already poisoned yourself at the altar of "bogus research results." If you promise to hang around with us, and quit using your Google search bar as your moral compass then we might be able to re-program your grey matter in a direction that is helpful. My guess is that you found us a little too late.sorry.gif

Too late for what?

I have not been getting input from Google but radio and television.

First of all, I was hoping from input especially from local Idaho truckers. I live in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, this state;'s capital city.

Where have I been getting these ideas about American trucking? From a local Boise, ID radio commercial from a local trucking outfit stating that their drivers get plenty of "home time" and that they "have not one sleeper in their fleet". I did not catch their name but I am going to write their name down next time I hear them on my radio station, KBOI, 670 AM, Boise, ID that I listen too everyday. I get some of my ideas from listening to the radio.

I would like a 40-hour work week. Union-scale or better pay/benefits. Certainly, long haul trucking is NOT my bag at my age. I have to think short haul or regional. An associates degree on my resume should be worth something to a hiring company too. As a disabled American, I will be able to work with my state's voc/rehab department for job assistance. They may or may not support my getting in the trucking field. I will have to consult with them.

Some companies may give veterans preference for hiring too. A vet-friendly firm is "more the merrier" for me.

Is trucking right for me? Depends upon the company, the specific position, and its "corporate culture". That is what it all boils down to.

I am a man in my 50's. No spring chicken. I need my beauty sleep every night at my age. I am on disability right now but expect to be able to get back on the work force within one year's time. Those dry vans might be my best bet.

What is your company's CORPORATE CULTURE? This is the 21st century. I hope even the American trucking trade has caught up with the more enlightened modern era.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

double-quotes-start.png

"Quality of life" variously means:

1. the company is highly safety and OSHA conscious 2. more home time for drivers 3. good social life for drivers 4. non-smoking environment for health-conscious drivers 5. job is conducive to good healthy lifestyle: healthy wholesome low-fat meals, no coffee or caffeine, proper amount of sleep and exercise to stay in trim shape

double-quotes-end.png

Jonathan, you will be the one who has control over all of those concerns, yes even home time. My company neither determines, or has control over, any of the things you mention. They never dictate what I should eat, how to conduct my social life, how much I should sleep, or even how much home time I should take.

They have a job that needs doing, and I get that done. They love a person who understands that principle, and let them determine all those periferal concerns you have.

Ok, they do have a job that needs doing but will they still accommodate a health-conscious employee? In other words, they don't STAND IN THE WAY of "quality of life"? For instance, they won't put a smoker in the cab of a non-smoking driver against his will, will they not? The company will strictly abide by the driver log and federal regulations? They will strictly follow OSHA rules? A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

What are your favorite local private-sector companies or government agencies to drive for?

Which ones give the drivers a high level of quality of life? I want to examine corporate culture.

"Quality of life" variously means:

1. the company is highly safety and OSHA conscious 2. more home time for drivers 3. good social life for drivers 4. non-smoking environment for health-conscious drivers 5. job is conducive to good healthy lifestyle: healthy wholesome low-fat meals, no coffee or caffeine, proper amount of sleep and exercise to stay in trim shape

Yes, a new-wave trucking company for yuppie/nerd/geek types maybe. I have an associates degree in computer information science but IT is a tough field to get into for a newbie.

I am an army veteran with near 7 years experience as a fleet medium diesel truck mechanic and have much military driving experience of class-5 vehicles including tractor-trailers with air brakes and wrecker truck operation for field recovery. See those recovery guys on The Weather Channel's "Highway Thru Hell" series for details.

All too often I hear on the media about the stereotypical unhealthy and depressing life of career truckers.

A job should benefit a human life and serve society and not degrade a worker's health. Military life was tough for me but it promotes good health too.

I am willing to seriously consider career trucking but don't want to incur cancer or heart disease from it. I am non-smoking and health conscious.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

How do health-conscious truckers cook meals on the go? (PLUS other newbie questions)

What on-the -go provisions are there for:

1. refrigeration? 2. cooking, kitchen, stoves? 3. washing dishes, pots and pans? 4. food storage?

This question is for long-haul truckers.

I don't know how often American long-haul truckers return home.

How often do short-haul American drivers usually return home by the way?

Would an older (50+) American military veteran have an easier time landing a short-haul position than a young person? A short-haul position would seem to be more favorable to older people especially pet owners. I can't take on any trucking occupation unless it can accommodate a healthful overall lifestyle. I hear all too often of American truckers in poor health. I care more of my health than what money can be made as a driver.

I am a lifetime bachelor and a dog owner: no family life. If I were to be away from home long time on the job, I would be stuck with the costs of a pet sitter. If there is no room for pet ownership in this trade, then trucking is not my cup of tea.

Frankly, I feel American railroads should haul the overwhelming majority of freight for the most miles over land and trucking should carry it up to perhaps the first or last 5 to 250 miles from and to the customers on the ends. Inter-modal, road-railers and piggy back is a boon for this.

The vast majority of on-road truck transport should be local or regional: between the rail/ship/air terminal and the end customer. This would also afford a better quality of life for most truck drivers. A lot of short trips during the work week, returning home virtually daily, and damn few coast-to-coast turnarounds. I say let the train men live on the steel roads like gypsies.

I also feel drivers for construction companies will be closest to home the most amount of time. These drivers haul heavy equipment and raw materials as dirt, soil, gravel, sand and concrete for civil engineering and construction projects. How tough are construction driving positions to land?

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Hello, from Boise, Idaho, America!

By SALARY I mean a flat monthly paycheck. I want an occupation with long-term steady pay to keep me in a middle-class lifestyle. I want to live the American Dream. A "Mayberry Street" house of my own and a new Toyota Tundra. A sound retirement plan.

I don't know the term DETENTION except for being kept after school as punishment.

I guess there is a steep learning curve to trucking.

I would want to work for a company that is safety conscious and abides by the rules of the "comic book" (and the law), seriously, not pushing drivers over legal hours.

I hope President Donald Trump makes life better for American truckers.

Better pay. Better benefits. Longer life. Better health. Less wrecks. Less clogged arteries from truck stop food. More happiness. Better R&R quality of life overall.

More job opportunity. More job creation. I would think an escalation in American infrastructure and construction should be a boon for American truckers. What about driving for construction firms? Dump trucks? Hauling earth movers on lowboys?

double-quotes-start.png

...Naturally, salaried pay, more so under contract, would usually beat hourly wages....

double-quotes-end.png

If you are hoping to get a salaried position, you might be disappointed. The vast majority of companies by their drivers by the mile. A smaller portion of the companies will pay you a percentage of the load revenue. And the smallest amount, will pay hourly, or salary. Most companies will also include extra pay, like detention, multiple drops, Tarping (if flatbed), and also offer bonuses for fuel savings, and safety bonuses.

If this is not what you meant, then I apologize for the assumption.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Hello, from Boise, Idaho, America!

Thank you, Miss Rainy!

It sounds like courier service positions should be avoided like the plague.

I remember the story on the news, late 1990's, about a UPS manager who was killed because union drivers were on strike. He drove the damn rig off an overpass bridge and was not even trained and qualified to drive if my memory served me correctly!

I am safety conscious. I don't court an early death from reckless driving. The army rigs I drove were geared down for field use and were lucky to break 50 mph on the highway. I even had a front tire (re-grooved) blowout in one at 50 mph once but still pulled her off to the side like a pro! Naturally, salaried pay, more so under contract, would usually beat hourly wages. If the company and equipment for driving is decent, I can overlook the lack of classic American styling.

Being a veteran, I can see if there are any civil service (state, federal, local) driving positions as well. I am also a college grad with an associates of science in computer information technology. I can even put a degree on my resume.

Most truckers prefer short haul over long haul but I gather those with seniority get short haul duty. Correct?

As far as my diet, can truckers cook their own meals on the go? I like barbecued grilled meats a lot. I understand today's sleepers are quite commodious. Yes, I buy my meats at Walmart.

As far as exercise goes, I was thinking of gym equipment at truck stops to work out on down time. What hard work is involved in flatbeds? Loading them? Tightening the straps? I once met a man who was a union trucker who said laborers did all the loading and unloading, not drivers.

Perhaps, a classic KW W900 could be a lifetime dream rig should I ever become an O/O. Some American company drivers go O/O later in their careers. I have have still yet to learn the advantages/disadvantages of being company vs owner/operator.

Perhaps, those classic chrome-laden KW's and Petes have a steeper retail price tag than the run-of-the-mill aero-style tractors and maybe that's why companies also favor them. I know Freightliner and Western Star also have classic-look trucks in their product lines.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Hello, from Boise, Idaho, America!

Are there any special career driving opportunities for American veterans? Federal, state, local government entities?

I live in Boise, ID.

Have I ever had a CDL? No. A Class A (CA) learner's permit? Yes. California in 1997. I applied to Swift in Stockton, CA but was passed over.

Is the prospect for a man age 52 getting into American trucking good these days?

I am an Army veteran with seven years as a (primary diesel) mechanic by trade. I have experience driving military vehicles up to 5-ton class including tractor/semitrailers.

Also, what truck makes/models are in the fleets of most American companies and government entities these days? I have a hankering and life-long dream for manning the wheel of a Kenworth W900. Perhaps, Peterbilts with classic styling as well. I, a baby-boomer old-schooler, don't like these new-fangled aero-look rigs that look like worn-down soap bars. Are most company trucks these days these insipid things without classic style? Is KW W900 reserved solely for the owner/operator?

What do you think of courier service semi driving as for USPS, FedEx and UPS?

What do you think of the Teamsters union?

Another thing, can today's American trucker lead a life in good health and physical fitness? I don't fancy eating greasy truck stop food. Will the trucking industry accommodate gear-jammers who are health-food nuts as well? My diet is comparable to that of the late fitness guru Jack Lalane and his brother. I don't smoke, drink or do drugs. Does today's trucker have the opportunity to stay trim and physically fit?

Having been a soldier for seven years, I am used to work that is inherently not easy. I feel American truckers must still lead a much better life than janitors and other minimum-wage unskilled laborers. Trucking for a living still must beat shoveling horse manure in the hot sun. I am a confirmed bachelor so that is a boon too.

I can't see driving's being any more physically demanding than being a fleet truck mechanic which was what I was by trade in military service. None of my army trucks had air conditioners and many did not even have cab heaters! I drove them on field maneuvers a lot come snow, hell or high water.

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