Profile For andhe78

andhe78's Info

  • Location:
    Buffalo, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 4 months ago

andhe78's Bio

Former Maverick Flatbedder

Currently running around New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ontario pulling tri axle, quad axle, and b-train tankers full of petroleum products (gas, diesel, oil, propane, asphalt, wax, etc.)

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Posted:  1 week ago

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Tank trailers get approved for an additional pulsating brake light

I’m not poo-pooing more lights. While I’ve had two people not notice them, I’m sure others have and were warned. I know our brakes come on with our jakes and that keeps people off our rears a lot. There’s just a segment of the population that will not notice any type of light show in front of them. Also, night, city drivers see a ton less traffic, but what little traffic we do see is much more likely to be impaired.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Tank trailers get approved for an additional pulsating brake light

Honest opinion? Lack of lights is less of a problem than distracted driving (cellphone). The last batch of gas trailers my company bought are garishly lit up. No joke, I can pick out one of our rigs a mile away in the dark, that’s how ridiculous they are. Yet I’ve personally had two instances this past year pulling into a station with one of these trailers and having a four wheeler go careening off the road because they “didn’t see me until too late.” The second time was even with my flashers and side work light on to hopefully be more noticeable.

More lights are fine, yet I watched someone today pass a stopped school bus with all it’s flashing lights.

This is going to sound really dumb, but reading Anne’s article and the line about lights illuminating the entire outline of the trailer-we’ve got a “ring of fire” we call it, illuminating the rear outline of our new tanks, and some drivers are starting to worry about it because the pretty lights seem to draw drivers in like a moth to a flame. It gets weird out here at night.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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So much for a short day!

I'm in a smaller terminal than you guys-25 drivers, 18 tractors. Assigned tractors for us just means that the same truck will be available for you at the start of the shift. If you're off, the tractor goes in the pool, and if it's needed and will be back in the yard at your start time, then someone else will be driving it on another shift. We haul our personal stuff out of the cab at the end of every shift. Tractors are assigned for two reasons: longevity-all six of our 20+ year drivers have an assigned truck, and flexibility-not all our tractors are rated or permitted for all the weights we haul or are setup with the equipment to load/unload every trailer, so for the three of us in this terminal who are trained to haul all our load types and all our trailers, we have assigned tractors so that we don't get stuck not having the right truck available if a specific load pops up (saves dispatch a lot of headaches.) My truck still goes out though when I'm off. It will just be guaranteed to be there when I start my next shift.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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So much for a short day!

This morning I couldn't find the truck I was assigned (I slip seat due to low seniority) for the day so I looked at a sheet they put out daily with trucks that aren't assigned that day. Apparently someone goofed and put an assigned truck that was going out at 1pm on there so I was asked to come back to the yard because that driver was being a big baby and refused to take a different truck. I'm irritated at this point but I don't let it show.

Lol, I feel your pain on this. One of the big surprises to me coming into a local, slip seat outfit, is the drama over trucks. All our senior guys have their own trucks, and weirdly I do too-it's because I'm the flex guy who comes in early whenever needed, to haul everything we handle, so need a truck that's always available, is outfitted to pull all our trailers, and is permitted to pull everything both here and in Canada. Plus, it's a new automatic with all the safety features that was just sitting around because none of our drivers wanted to change their driving habits to not set the warning buzzers off, so the company was more than happy to give it to some one who wanted it. Anyway, last week, had a driver get hung up that I was doing a preload for that night. Because we are so heavy, we don't drop loaded trailers, so I offered to just load on my tractor, he could take it the next day, and I'd run my second load that night with his tractor. I even offered to load it on one of the other manuals, too. You'd have thought I'd asked him to commit suicide. He went screaming to dispatch and the company ended up paying me to sit for three hours till he showed up then paid me to sit another two hours at the rack since I missed my appointment and they had to squeeze me in. Needless to say, the terminal manager was less than pleased. There are now rumblings that there are going to be no more assigned trucks. Should make for some interesting drama.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Company Sponsorship or Paid CDL Training W/Pet-FRIENDLY Policy?

You also have to smell farts, and share public bathrooms, and go though a bunch of requirements and rules.

Lol-sounds a lot like life over the road as a truck driver. Sure you want to try it?

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Local driving/Rookie/hours/LADY TRUCKER

Honestly, the petroleum job is a pretty good idea. Propane season is starting here and I’ve always thought the peddle guys have a pretty nice little gig. Get some lp experience over the winter, then see about hauling something like asphalt in the spring.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Roehl/TMC/Maverick

What are your positives and flaws with Maverick?

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Anyone know what this was

X-ray machine. We go through them often at the Canadian border.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Tarping Tall Loads

When you get your truck, have the shop guys put a ladder hook on your headache rack. It allows you to carry a stepladder between the headache rack and the back of the cab. I carried a four foot that allowed me to get on top of everything I needed to, but I know guys who carried a six foot back there.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Just getting started and already it's bad.

How is this Trans Am's fault? They told you the truck would be ready by 7pm. You didn't even wait that long, but just decided on your own to leave at 6:30pm. Then you didn't even have the gumption to at least be there when the doors opened the next morning. Stories like this annoy me-for someone whose back is against the wall, you sure aren't doing what it takes to succeed.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Your latest thoughts on automatic or manual transmission? // Team or solo driving?

The biggest problem people have with automatics isn’t from the automatics faults. It’s because the people don’t understand how an automatic makes the decisions on when to shift.

Automatics have also had years to have their bugs worked out and are getting better all the time.

And in rush-hour traffic my knees don’t hurt anymore.

This is exactly my thought on the subject. Love the 30 year drivers who complain their knee and shoulder hurts from shifting, but refuse to learn how to drive an automatic. My auto even does a good job heavy, with trains, and unbaffled tanks which are the biggest reasons I hear people prefer a manual.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Tank Wash? Trailer Wash?

Wonder why our trailers always had a fair amount of heel, and yours don't? Does the 'type' of asphalt matter, ie: different viscosity, perhaps? We hauled mainly 6122 and 3257, in the same trailer(s.) The HZ loads were in a different trailer altogether (non asphalt, 1999) and I didn't get to go on those runs.

Could be a few reasons. We're a local outfit, so it's rare a load sits in a trailer for more than twelve hours before it's delivered-thus it's had no time to cool down at all. On the same track, we run tri axles at 107k pounds so more mass than a tandem trailer stays hot longer and thus flows better. We also go out of our way to make sure the trailer is positioned to get a good drain. All our trailers have a valve to drop the suspension which gives us a good eight inches of drop in the rear. Also, many of the places we unload at have us park on an incline, or if no incline is available, have ramps we can back our drives onto to lift the nose of the trailer. When I'm unloading off the back, I'd be surprised if there was more than five gallons of product left in the trailer when done. Viscosity may matter some, but the polymer I mentioned is the thickest, stickiest stuff we haul, and that drains pretty good too-just takes longer and leaves a bigger mess in the valves. Any slugs (cold hardened asphalt) in our lines gets handled with a torch and heat application.

On the subject of tanks, I know our gas trailers are fascinating. We often get asked why we don't wash out between different loads like gas and diesel and not contaminate. I had no idea the engineering that went into these things before I started here. We can gravity drop 12500 gallons of product, and as long as we're not on a ridiculous incline, there will be less than a gallon of product left across the manifolds when done. Our compartments are usually dry by the time we reload. The drain is amazing on these things.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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What would you do? Almost sideswiped.

I'm kind of surprised two replies include personally confronting an offending driver. With the types of psychos out there, seems like a good way to end up stabbed with a screwdriver.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Tank Wash? Trailer Wash?

I pull three different types of tankers-lp, gas/diesel, and asphalt The only one that gets cleaned out on rare occasions are the gas tankers, and that's only if we're hauling something like aviation fuel. We have a wash bay and attendants, so to wash out a trailer consists of us just dropping it off and picking it up the next day. Our asphalt trailers haul nothing else, and seriously never get washed out. One reason being that even a small amount of water in an asphalt tank is extremely dangerous. My company is strict enough about preventing this that we can't even wash the outside of our asphalt trailers when they are empty. You've got to leave the thumb down on our older trailers to break the seal on the dome lid when empty so the vacuum doesn't lock it down, and because it's no longer an airtight seal, water can trickle in during an aggressive wash. Our trailers are also set up to get a really good drain, so the "heel" your talking about never materializes for us. The miniscule amount of product left over melts the next time a load drops in. The only "washing out" we do for asphalt is running diesel through our valves and pumps to keep them clean. Also, after hauling polymer, we like to run a couple regular asphalt loads right away to flush that goop out.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Crossing the border with spouse? Is it allowed?

Should not be an issue coming into the US with a valid passport or passport card.

Going in to Canada from the US is more difficult. From what I've heard on the radio, certain US felony convictions will prevent a border entry.

I’d be willing to bet it would be an issue right now. I cross the border daily, and it’s still shut down to nonessentials. And I can attest personally that if you have a rider in your truck, they’d better have some kind of paperwork as to why they’re in the truck with you. Both sides have gotten a lot tighter since the coronavirus started.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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New to the industry and looking for help in Northwest Louisiana

Soooo, would you be implying that I was lied to by the Maverick recruiter who said they would be more than willing to take a person who obtained their CDL on their own?

That does surprise me. When I went to Maverick, if you already had your cdl, it needed to be from an accredited school with the 160 hour course. They actually checked.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jump to Local

There certainly is a different vibe as a local driver.

Got to agree with Daniel, though. Hauling fuel, we are both overweight and hazardous. If we followed the rules, half our stations would be unreachable. I’ve put 117k pounds down five ton roads, gone through non hazmat tunnels with a placarded load, have pulled hazmat through residential areas, and broken all kinds of rules, simply because that’s the only way to reach a station. “Local delivery” will forgive a multitude of sins. Really, the only restrictions we’ll pay attention to are bridge weights, for obvious reasons.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

I'm with the teamsters, and honestly don't get the hype about unions.

First off, I did not take the job because of the union, it just offered me the exact same shift and days off my wife have, so was a good fit when I wanted to come off the road and spend more time with the family. This job is also different in that all drivers do the same work for the same pay, so there is no bidding for routes and seniority means absolutely nothing.

The only good thing about the union is the health benefits-extremely good benefits and very cheap for the drivers. There is no pension, and we have many 20+ year drivers whose retirements were ruined when it went bankrupt. We now have a 401k offered through the company (and while the company match is the best I've ever seen, that has nothing to do with the union.) Also, while the pay is good, it's not all that much more than what non union guys are making in the same type of work. Back in the day, the union may have been a powerhouse that could get workers higher wages, etc., but now days it seems to be more interested in collecting dues and politics.

The downsides for me: since we're paid hourly, guys who milk the job can actually make more than those who work efficiently (so annoying that there are guys who cannot do a ten hour run in less than fourteen hours, and there's nothing that can be done about it.) The grievances that are filed with the union over petty things can get way out of hand too.

The long and short of it for me-I'm very happy where I'm at, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the union. I'd never take another union job.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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How's Everyone Doing? How is Freight? Not Many Posts Lately

With everyone staying home, fuel hauling slowed right down. My company offered voluntary layoffs for anyone that wanted it, which a bunch of the senior guys jumped on after the $600 increase. Fortunately, we’re diversified enough that they had work for anyone who wanted it, so I’ve been enjoying the change of pace. Spent a couple weeks hauling propane and butane. Then a while hauling asphalt, a couple days of wax, then some carbon black for a week. Just picked up a new contract for storage on the other side of the state, so the last week have been turning and burning across the state-don’t even have to load, just jump in a new tractor and go. Finally managed a 700+ mile shift for the first time in my career the other night. I’ve hit my 70 every week since this has started. Life is good (although I am looking forward to getting back to 55 hour weeks.).

Posted:  6 months ago

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Parking does anyone else care?

A couple blocks under the drives of one side or the other can help a lot. But yeah, there were truck stops I’d refuse to park at because there wasn’t a flat spot in the entire lot.

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