Profile For andhe78

andhe78's Info

  • Location:
    Buffalo, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 11 months ago

andhe78's Bio

I’ve got gas.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Changing trucks: The unloading, the reloading

It takes me 3 minutes smile.gif

Lol, it's nice not having to carry your house on your back.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

I was at Sapa, Cressona Friday and was having fits tucking the plastic under the load, but then I remembered my hammer tacker:

I bought it to tack my plastic corner protectors to OSD loads, but it also works great to tack plastic to the wood dunnage surrounding the bundles of a Sapa load.

Nice, always carried one too. The other odd tool I had was a small handsaw, for cutting back dunnage if it overhung the rub rails.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Got my first informal reprimand but not for anything driving related.

I always find the topics about driving with the safety features humorous, because I'm such an odd duck, that I'm coming up on a situation most of the drivers here would give their left nut to be in, and I'm debating whether to quit over it. Current truck is an auto with the full safety suite and I love the thing-in two years I've never had it act up on me a single time, but I've spent my entire career in similar trucks and it has really forced me to be a better driver. By the metrics my company tracks, I've been the safest driver at my terminal for over a year straight now, and am usually top three in the entire fleet. BUT...unfortunately, due to driver complaints, my truck is literally the last auto and the last full safety package truck the company is getting. It's my terminal's time for new trucks this year and I spent the last week doing 600 miles days with one of them last week (big 250k service on mine last week-and our shop doesn't screw around, basically got a new truck back.) Anyway, they are super nice trucks, manual, 68 on the pedal, 70 on cruise, 75 on pass smart, forward facing camera, but that's literally it for safety equipment, I mean there is not even a spot for the bendix system. We haul either 107k or 117k every load so all our trucks are specced for heavy haul, but they upped the power, better transmissions, and rear ends on these ones-they'll pass most everything even fully loaded, uphill. However, I'm such a dum-dum, that I kind of don't like them and am not comfortable driving them-I like having the safety package. Call it a crutch, call me a bad driver, but even though I've never had the braking system activate, I like knowing it's there in case I don't react quick enough. Even though I'll go weeks without the lane departure alarm going off, I like knowing it's there to remind me when I'm driving erratically. I'm such a poor driver that even though I can go 70+, I'll cruise at 63, simply because I know our second most common accident are lane change accidents, and the slow speed lets me maintain a lane. In a couple years when my truck is retired and I'm given one of these new ones (that probably 98% of the drivers here would pay money to drive), I am wondering if I want to start looking for a new driving job with trucks I'm comfortable in. Crazy, huh?

Posted:  4 months ago

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Companies Not Requiring & Requiring the Jab

As of NOW, per MY research . . . none. HOWEVER, Companies that DO cross border (Canadian) crossings . . . might be having issues.

As of right now, my company is not mandating the vaccine. The drivers who have the vaccine are currently doing the Canada runs. However, this is our slowest time, and we are already falling behind on some contracts, so it's a good chance we are going to be losing work, which could mean some downsizing. So, good times.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Any Cross-Border Truckers?

Is anyone here being affected by the cross-border vaccine mandate Canada has going into effect?

Yes, my outfit is affected. The advice I got on this site when I brought it up was to get the vaccine or quit. Got the impression that since it affects such a small minority of drivers, it’s not a big deal.

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

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COVID Mandates and trucking companies

There are two very good reasons for that.

One, less than 5% of US CDL holders have a valid passport and drive into Canada. Most drivers are more focused on the mandates that will affect them.

Two, the January 15th mandate is Canadian. While the US mandates will likely be overturned because they're unconstitutional the US Constitution doesn't apply in Canada. They're a sovereign state and Her Majesty (Fun fact: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada and Head of State, NOT Justin Trudeau) can pretty much do whatever she wants with mandates.

While the US mandate requiring drivers entering the US to be vaccinated by 22 January 2022 is likely to be overturned it doesn't really matter for you. If you can't get into Canada without a shot it does you no good to be able to re-enter the US without one.

Oh, I'm sorry to bring up a mandate (which I stated is a Canadian mandate), that is going to cause hundreds of American drivers in just my one local American city to lose their jobs. Sure, cross border drivers are uncommon (at least in areas not near the border), but I didn't know we couldn't talk about a vaccine mandate that is actually going into effect and is actually going to affect American drivers, unlike the vaccine mandates this country is currently working towards. US drivers aren't losing their jobs due to American mandates yet, US drivers ARE losing jobs due to a Canadian mandate. Not sure why I got such a douchy answer from you-there are 75 drivers just in my company that will be affected by this and are wrestling with what to do. Sorry I bothered you.

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

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COVID Mandates and trucking companies

The one mandate I'm not seeing much talk about is Canada's that goes into effect January 15 requiring all truck drivers that cross the border into that country to be vaccinated. Doesn't look like that mandate will be going away. It majorly effects my terminal since all of us are in and out of Canada constantly. The company hasn't forced us to get the vaccine, but has said that if the only work they have is Canada work, and you're not vaccinated, then you're not working that day.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Amazon drop boxs

Small world, I’m delivering to that TA later tonight.

Posted:  5 months, 4 weeks ago

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Amazon Lockers

Amazon lockers work great and there are more around than most people realize, because they’ll also ship stuff to stores for you too, around here it’s Rite Aids that they’ll ship to and you can just walk in and pick up your box from the cashier-store shipping works good for the big packages. I literally have twenty locations less than ten miles from my house, and more keep popping up-alway surprised how many gas stations I deliver to have lockers.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Getting into fuel hauling?

Hey there. Just hit a year with my first company. I’m extremely happy with them in everything but the mileage. Dispatch is very understanding and receptive, and despite reaching out things have still been hit or miss. I make 0.515 for 7500-8000 miles a month. This month on the low end.

It’s been the same for my mentor and other drivers I’ve ran into. I was at the terminal recently and they said they’re having a serious issue keeping any drivers on our route. Dedicated paper hauling, getting many undesirable loads now. At the start of the year ~9000 was average.

I put out some feelers a few months back and got interest from a major fuel hauler in town once I hit one year. Local route. They advertised averages of 67-72k a year. I’m not hesitant about driving a tanker. Just wondering if the workflow is stressful due to very tight scheduling, delays, etc.

I’m almost never late to a delivery from my own accord and I do short hauls on regional. They used to have me running rampant and I loved it, but now I sit waiting. Maybe I shouldn’t complain about net 800 but life is throwing curveball after next.

I’m not particularly interested switching dry van carriers.

Go for it. I've been hauling fuel for over two years now and have no desire to haul anything else. It's a fantastic enough job, that I'll probably stay till retirement. Suicide jockey hit the high points, but I'll just throw in how my outfit works also. Every new (to fuel hauling, we require two years experience driving) driver starts nights, it's just the nature of the beast with every single outfit in the area. That being said, I love the night shift and have turned down several day positions. No waiting at the racks, no fighting with four wheelers to get in and out of stations, no dealing with customers, I literally have the run of the city at night. It can honestly be relaxing. We do slip seat several different ways, because we're pretty flexible with hours worked. Some guys do eights and share a truck with two other guys, some guys do twelves and share with one other guy, and some do fourteens (me) and the truck only gets shared on days we're off. We're also very flexible on days worked, it's 24/7, so it's not too difficult to get the days off you want (although new guys are going to work at least one weekend day.) So by my own choice, I work 4/14's, over nights, with the option to pick up any of my days off to finish my seventy-the only requirement is to make sure we get our 36 in (we cross the border regularly.) Pay is fantastic, I'm over 90k for this year, and that's only putting in an extra ten hours a couple times a month. Workflow is not stressful at all, I haven't had an appointment since I started the gig. Dispatch knows how long all the runs take, so I get fourteen hours worth of work at the start of the shift and just work my way down through the list. They're actually quite conservative on their times, so it's not hard to finish in twelve and ask for another load. If I do get hung up somewhere, it's no problem getting a load knocked off. What gets drivers in trouble is not the driving but the loading/unloading, you've really got to pay attention to what your doing, so the company would actually prefer you take a little longer and get it right, than hurry and put 12k gallons in the wrong tank-that can get expensive. Our equipment is awesome, my terminal has no trailers over four years old (we run three and four axle tanks at 107k and 117k lbs), and we would have had all new tractors by last year, but they are literally just this week starting to trickle in (new manual pete's, anne, they're pretty, will have to get some pics when the shop is done kitting them out.) I've also never worked for a company that is so easy to replace equipment with-need a new hose, etc., just got to stop into our main terminal and they'll actually run right out and switch in whatever new equipment you need, no questions asked. Gas work does slow down for us right around February every year but we are pretty diversified in what petroleum products we haul, so I've never not had my full shift, I just might be hauling lp, or asphalt, or oil, or wax, etc. instead of gas. The wintertime can actually be fun, because I'm hauling something different every night. One thing that did take a bit of getting used to with this company, is there is very little interstate driving, I've done over 500 miles in a night and none of it was on anything more than a two lane road-you want to have your driving skills down pat. Also, one thing that I like is the fuel hauling community here is small, we all know each other, and most guys, even from other company will go out of their way to help another tank out.

Anyway, enough bragging about my job, I'd definitely look into it if you're interested. There are some bad outfits, and you will hear a lot of "pessimism" about the work, but if you do your research and find the right outfit, it can really turn into a dream job. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, I don't frequent this site much, but I'll keep an eye on this post.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Personal life details

Here’s something to blow your mind, I’m white, my wife is very obviously not. In over twenty years of marriage, I have never had a conversation about my wife’s race with anyone ****il this very moment, on this site), even after a person has met my wife. My wife however regularly gets asked what she’s doing with a white boy.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Suicide Jockey, Tanker Yanker Division

I’ve debated saying anything in this thread, because with now two years hauling fuel, I lean more towards Mikey’s take on this. My experience has been radically different from what’s been outlined by previous posters here. This is the best job I’ve ever had-like the work, love the hours (1500-0500 four days a week), shockingly good pay, benefits, equipment, and bosses. I have every intention of staying here until retirement. I’m really surprised at the death rate at these other companies. We’re a small 140ish driver outfit, almost a century in business, and it’s been decades since our last death on the job (and that had nothing to do with the gas part of the job.) We’re even 24/7 in an area notorious for snow. We’ve got a hallway of retired drivers with 20, 30, 40+ years of service. There just doesn’t seem to be a aura of fear at this (or even other local fuel companies) that you guys describe. Never even heard the term suicide jockey before now. I’ve got to wonder what makes the difference. The biggest killer of fuel drivers around here is actually cancer.

However, that being said, Mikey is a bit wrong too. This job doesn’t just have the dangers of driving, but unloading/loading too. Had a situation just last week unloading, I did everything right, but a car decided to mow down my cones and wedge herself on my unloading gun, shearing the fill pipe right off. Could have been a newsworthy incident had things gone differently, but they didn’t, and odds are still better around here that I’ll die from cancer than a fiery explosion.

Posted:  8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

The key to the button hook is to stop, signal left, and wait until it's safe to make the turn. It's amazing how many cars will recognize what the truck is doing and courteously wait behind the truck in order to let the truck swing out into the second lane and execute the turn. Jonathan thinks this is a problem, but it's just another example of his lack of common sense.

Lol, no, around here, you'll be sitting there all day. I'm not sure you even know what we're talking about here-Jonathan and Banks are both right-I too was taught to back cars back over the stop line. Where Jonathan's trainers failed him is not teaching him what to do on the actual road test. In that situation, with the tester in the passenger seat, if you come to an intersection where a vehicle is far enough over the stop line that you can't make the turn, you stop, put on your flashers, and ask the tester what they'd like you to do. I ran into this situation twice on my road test, both times she had me start the turn and back the vehicle back over the stop line. The key is I asked the tester instead of just doing, what I'll freely admit, looks like a dangerous technique. On a side note, I have had two situations where the vehicle will not move until a cop shows up to see why traffic was obstructed-both times it wasn't me (who was stretched across the intersection) that the cop "talked" to.

Posted:  9 months ago

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Anyone know "Steerite" tri-axle haulers?

Aren’t you basically describing the running gear that is under hay and chopper wagons? Growing up on a dairy, they’re a pain to back unless you know what your doing (extra pivot point.). I’d also check the sway. Something else to think about, all your weight is off the tongue, so you need to make sure the truck is heavy enough to pull it fully loaded (traction.)

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trucking companies and COVID Vaccine

If you plan on delivering into Canada you’ll be required to have it.

Required by who? We’re across daily and Canada isn’t requiring the vaccine for truck drivers yet.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Making a major mover

Interesting, keep us informed of how it’s going. I too graduated from a cdl school and was always appreciative of the working drivers that would come in in their days off to help train. I see NTTS here in Buffalo is looking for instructors, and have been thinking about applying part time, as a way to pay it forward. I’m curious how it will go for you.

Posted:  12 months ago

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Brakes just caught on fire and burned trailer.

I've been thinking about this thread my last couple of shifts, because I haul this weight every day too. Honestly, if the only trailer you pulled before starting this job was an empty one you used to take the road test, then you don't have the experience to know whether or not you were using too much brake. You Were Using Too Much Brake. It's something that surprised me moving to overweight from flatbed-how fast your brakes can heat up, even with a couple extra sets on the trailer. All it took was a quick slow down on an off ramp and a few stops in city traffic, and I could smell them (but that's the thing-I know what hot brakes smell like, I can't believe you didn't smell anything.) I had to change my driving style-level three jakes all the time loaded, no playing the stale green game, looking further ahead to plan for longer stopping distances, etc. I honestly don't touch my brakes (unless emergency stop) until my speed is in the teens. My jakes are doing all the work. When I break over a hill, I am in the gear and at the speed I want to be in for the ride down. (Ignore cars behind you, put on your flashers.) If you're starting down a hill at 55 and brake down to 40ish when momentum has a hold on you, you aren't going to have enough brake left to stab on the way down (which I do very little of, too.) You're happy with 5-10 under the limit, but that is really nothing, I've got a couple hills I'm 40 under at that weight.

I also find it interesting the owner thinks you aren't to blame (wonder if he'll change his tune if you decide to apply elsewhere.) If I were to smoke a set of brakes tonight, I'm pretty sure my boss, my peers, and even I would believe it was my fault. And even if it was a mechanical thing, I should have noticed something wrong before reaching the ignition stage, or noticed it on a check. Did you do a check before leaving the quarry? Not that the weight is extreme, but I do a check every time I'm stopped and out of the truck just to help prevent incidents due to mechanical failures (our tankers have several more air line points of failure than most trailers.)

Disc or drum?

Posted:  12 months ago

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Please help me decide between 2 companies

I love my tanker job. I haul chemicals, not fuel but I really do enjoy it. It is not for new drivers. You need experirnce and to develop your driving skills before you tackle that.

I'll second this. Just finished my fourth winter driving, and had a shift a few months back with a 70% full smoothbore grossing 116k, where the weather and secondary road I was on was so bad, that I have no doubt I'd have been in a ditch or worse if I'd tried it in my first couple years. Don't do it.

Posted:  1 year ago

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They’re not legal in all the states. Here we do 107k on three and 117k on four. You’ll see a ton of multi axles in Canada.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Prime Inc is disabling Manual Mode on their trucks with the D12 Manual Automatic Transmission !

As a tanker I live by manual mode when taking off, especially when starting going up a hill. The economy mode that is default wants to skip shift because the way the liquid surges. This causes issues if it skip shifts from say 2-4 when taking off the truck will wont have enough power to move and you will come to a dead stop as the transmission finds the right gear now that the liquid has surged back onto the drives. Even Peterbilt has said “the way Prime has the ecm programmed for tankers is killing these trucks.” I’m l/o so I will still have my manual mode, but company tankers deal with chaos multiple times a day.

But what's interesting is, I run much heaver tanks than anything Prime has, every day with an auto Pete, and have never had these issues. It's drivers not willing to learn how to finesse an auto these days that's the problem.

And that's my unpopular opinion of the day.😊

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