Profile For Kevin K.

Kevin K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Milwaukee, WI

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:
    Kevin K. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    1 year ago

Kevin K.'s Bio

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Kevin K.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Just When You Think You've Seen It All...

Ah, fun with fire extinguishers...

A couple years ago at my prior job I'm driving a straight truck down an interstate. The fire extinguisher is installed on the left side of the driver's seat. The sun is setting, I've got the cruise on, and I'm deadheading back to the terminal after delivering my load. I kick my left leg back to stretch it a bit and... kick the handle of the fire extinguisher which does not have its pin in place (proper pre-trip amen).

The whole thing promptly empties itself out, spraying that sticky funky powder all over the cab. I roll down the window to let some of it out, doing my best Cheech and Chong impression. I still have an hour left of interstate to go before home...

I stop at the spot where we leased our trucks to fuel and clean it up as best as I can. I've got the power spray hose and gobs of shop towels and still what a mess! Months and months of cleaning the same spots over and over again... the stuff goes into every nook and cranny and is nearly impossible to completely get rid of.

Don't neglect that extinguisher during your pre-trip!

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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@#&$! That trucker just cut me off!!

If the car was merging slowly, and the ramp was short, why did it require a split second decision?

It's one of those ramps that loops down and around from an overpass. I misjudged the speed of the car and the length of the merging lane. I thought they had more time and room to get up to speed.

If given the same situation as you were in, I would have slowed down allowing the car to complete the merge.

It was also my hesitation in making a decision that caused it to become a split-second decision if that makes any sense! Instead of hesitating, I should have immediately and gradually slowed down when I saw the potential of a problem.

Situational awareness is perhaps one of the top 3 skills a truck driver needs to operate safely

What's the other two?

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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@#&$! That trucker just cut me off!!

Also, I think many truck drivers change lanes to avoid cars far too often. Each lane change is a risk...don't change lanes any more often than you really need to.

Most of the time, changing lanes causes more problems than it solves, and then there is that increased risk for no good reason...

I drove a non-governed straight truck for many years and am now driving a tractor trailer governed at 65. What a difference this has made! I used to have the power and maneuverability to easily pass the packs of tractor trailers I encountered. Now I have no passing power and am twice as long. I am still adjusting and learning that in almost every situation the best thing to do is stay in your lane and slow down.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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@#&$! That trucker just cut me off!!

I had to make a split-second decision last night. A car was slowly merging on to the interstate from a short on-ramp. I was in the right lane and had a UPS doubles truck on my left. My only choices were to brake hard or maintain speed and leave it up to the car to brake and yield. I maintained speed. I was in that no man's land where no decision was a good one. I'm sure the other driver felt as though I had cut them off. I wouldn't blame them if they felt that way. It was my fault for having put myself in that position - alongside double pups and approaching an on ramp where traffic merges slowly because the ramp is so short.

Anyway, it got me wondering how often drivers call in truckers who they feel have done them wrong. What is usually the company's way of handling this? I'd be interested if anyone has received a complaint about their driving and what consequences they faced because of it.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

I was tempted to post the definition of schlep...haha

The backpack on wheels might be a good idea. I may end up laying over in motels a couple nights a week so I could do a personal bag and a truck bag if you will. Two bags that can be moved in one trip but one left behind in the truck, one taken in the motel.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

It's tough when you slipseat day cabs to lug all this stuff back and forth to work every day but it must be done!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

Shim [shim] n. [[< ?]] ✩ a thin, usually wedge-shaped piece of wood, metal, or stone typically inserted under some part so as to level it or make it flush with another part vt. shimmed, shimming to fit with a shim or shims

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

I've had to spread apart the prongs a bit with a screwdriver before but the whole thing popping out was a new one.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

Dang it! A zip tie would have worked like a charm. I'll start carrying some from now on. Thanks Chris.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Trailer Socket and Pigtail

I pulled a trailer last night with a loose cover for the trailer socket. I assume it was a bad spring. The pigtail would not stay connected. I wedged a little something in between the plug and the socket and it stayed put until I got to my destination but I was worried it was going to pop out again. I was constantly checking my mirrors to catch a glimpse of a trailer light. Is there an good and easy fix for a loose cover like that?

Posted:  2 months ago

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I bet you wont click... 1st time posting.

Thumbs up on the tech school. Just some tips if you don't know:

Ask your instructors which companies hire right out of school. Some recruiters from those companies might visit your class.

Apply before you graduate if you find a couple you like.

Concentrate on getting a high GPA. Some companies ask about it on their job applications.

LTLs like Old Dominion hire students too if you want to stay local.

You might be surprised at how the doors will open for you. Good luck.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Returning to work after worker comp injury

In order to prepare for my company's orientation physical, I purchased 80 lbs. of hand weights from a sporting goods store, put them in a milk crate, and practiced lifting it. When the day came I knew I was ready.

Try to mimic the physical as much as possible on your own time. Have a friend spot you if you're worried. Be safe and good luck.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Truck Stop Trailer Swap Etiquette

I'm a linehaul driver. I do a meet and turn with another driver at a small truck stop that has become a popular place to swap trailers. By the time we get there, the place is pretty much full up with trucks parked for the night and R+L, UPS doubles, Averitt (that's me), etc. doing their meets. A few random four-wheelers pull in before they know what they're getting into.

It's something of a mess. The word cluster**** comes to mind, but after my fellow driver used the vulgar, hilarious, and completely appropriate term "circle j***" to describe it I can't think of it any other way. It's also unsafe and rude in my opinion to the owners of the business. I doubt many of us go in to patronize the convenience store and the fuel isles are usually vacant.

The safest and easiest way to drop my trailer is at the fuel isle. I only do it when at least two other lanes are still available. Sometimes the other driver will drop his there too. We make the switch, I run in to use the restroom, come back out to do my pre-trip, and get out of Dodge. I feel like a dink though. I'll buy a soda and a candy bar or a bag of chips once in a while but still none of this feels right to me.

I could make this my new fuel stop to justify my presence and ease my guilt but I prefer to fuel at the end of my run. Any experienced drivers who could chime in with some do's and don'ts for this situation would be appreciated.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Can You Spot The Impostor?

I'm a rookie driver who still struggles with backing. Thankfully, I'm a linehaul driver who only has to do it once or twice a day. If I want to get some backing practice in, I can always volunteer to switch trailers for an hour before my scheduled run.

It isn't just the ability to back into a tight spot like a pro that makes one a "real" truck driver. It's also the skills that aren't always so easy to spot, like always using the Smith System, doing a proper pre-trip, showing common courtesy to other drivers around you, etc.

The backing will get better with time. For now, I take pride in being a safe and efficient driver who respects my company's equipment, the customer's freight, and my fellow drivers.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Help! I’m the worst in my class at the reverse lane change!

As Susan said, the offset is basically two steps with minor adjustments. It may help to GOAL a couple times to see where your trailer is pointing in relation to the lane you are backing into. If the angle of the trailer looks too extreme you are oversteering.

If your tractor has power mirrors, back slowly and adjust the mirror so you can keep an eye on your trailer tandems. This might help you get a better perspective on where that trailer is pointing and heading.

If you've only been at it two days that's nothing. Don't lose confidence in yourself.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Merch?

...I always forget the "GO!"

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Posted:  4 months ago

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Merch?

I thought this was the logo?

It would look sharp on black caps and shirts....

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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I need some advice, please!

1. Recruiters are known for ad-libbing stuff just to get you in the door - that's kind of their job.

2. Backing is one of those things that develops over several months and maybe years for some of us.

3. Expect to feel rushed. Expect to feel stressed. Expect to be nervous. But also expect to succeed.

1. I learned this the hard way.

2. I am STILL learning this the hard way.

3. I hope I NEVER stop learning this.

Thanks, Old School

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Burning Bridges

I wish you well in your new position

Thank you.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Burning Bridges

double-quotes-start.png

Well that phone call I just had with him was certainly short and to the point lol. He didn't seem too happy. I can't blame him. I just wasted four weeks of the company's time.

double-quotes-end.png

No longer your issue, brother! You acted like a stand-up guy (very telling for your character that you were concerned about this) and you took appropriate action. However he took it, you did what you were supposed to do. And if it didn't go over well, that's just more proof that you made the correct decision with the company you chose. You deserve a kick-ass weekend, hope you have it!

Thank you. I've got a good 20+ years left in this industry. I hope this new job is my last job and I won't even care about switching.

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