Profile For Simon D. (Grandpa)

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Info

  • Location:
    Goldsboro, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 months, 2 weeks ago

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Bio

Newbie.... well....sort of....... here we go again! :-)

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 weeks ago

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You Might Be A Super Trucker If...

You might be a Super Trucker if you're a:

Rootin tootin, smoke shootin, gear grinding, rev winding, eatin from a microwave oven, bottle peeing, Lizard lovin.

Left lane huggin, coffee chuggin, get in my way and I'll be buggin. Faster better never tame, got a belt buckle that says my name.

Blind siding, log hiding, on your ass you'll find me riding. Got my foot up on the dash, I wonder where I got this rash?

Yeah I'm cool you know it sucka, can't touch me I'm a Super Trucka!


Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

What Does It Take To Be The Best?

I think this thread is highly relevant and important, at the essence of what we strive to do here.

The list will likely continue to grow and remain interesting for quite some time. As I read, reread current, active threads and past topics I see a recurring theme. One that may not be so obvious to the casual observer/member. We work in an industry that is top-heavy with initial schooling and training. It's highly selective and intense, overall does barely an adequate job of preparing new drivers. We all know it can always improve, the people/personality element being the greatest challenge to overcome. But it works to get us started.

The focus is and always has been on all of the schooling and initial training, 90-95% of training is over and done after 3-6 months. Unless you happen to be a high-risk driver, accidents HOS violations, most of us receive very little organized, purposeful training beyond year 1. Even the mission of Trucking Truth is not too far removed from that concept; get students and drivers through the very difficult and challenging first year. Then what? Do we know-it-all at that point? Something to think about as this list evolves into a model with much greater purpose.

In keeping with that theme I'd like to introduce the top performing driver trait of "Coachable" or "Coachability"...

Here is a great definition:

Coachability is the willingness to be corrected and to act on that correction accordingly. When we are Coachable, we are prepared to accept our mistakes and withstand a high degree of candor needed to correct them.

Kind of like accountable, but much more than "just that". Take that all in for a moment...

If you take a cursory look at all of the notable successful stories and top performing drivers on the forum, they all have this trait. I guarantee Old School (as a great example) will never be above learning something from others; be it instructors, more senior drivers, management or even a rookie on this forum for that matter. It's the willingness to never stop learning and the attitude that although, having reached the pinnacle of our profession; always exercising great humility when it comes to accepting input, learning from others and putting it into practice. None of us should ever be so high and "all knowing", that we place ourselves above this very basic ingredient of the initial wins and long-term success. Especially drivers eclipsing their first year, headed into the sophomore path of their career. There is so much more to be learned and experienced beyond year one, only the very tip of the iceberg.

I honestly think being "Coachable" separates the bad from the good and elevates the "good" to "great" and is the key component required for consistent and sustainable performance.

Begs the question many of us are likely asking right now... "Am I coachable?" Is it something you want to be, or think you need to be?

If you flat-out, honestly can say; "no", then I sincerely suggest focusing on "that" above everything else listed as traits of a top performing driver. As a student, absolutely critical to your success. Just take a look at the commonality of students who although get past the drug test, ultimately fall on their sword...their traits are many times hardheaded, rigid, ego-driven and emotional; thus un-coachable leading to imminent failure. As an experienced driver, not that much different, still vitally important, possibly lifesaving.

"Coachable" really should be on the list, perhaps at the very top. Looking forward to see where this goes...

Great word!! Exactly what I was looking for the other day when rambling on about teaming!

As I've said before on this site; "I'm definitely stealing that!".... it's a perfect summation of a highly important way of thinking when considering one's own thoughts and actions in response to any given situation. Especially when seeking/needing advice.

Brilliant G-town! 👍😀

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Local food service as a rookie

Hey Rob 👍

I am still loving these diaries!! But man; just reading them wears me out....I think I need a nap!! lol

Kudos to you. Keep up the great work!



Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CRST Specific Questions (and general Team Driving Questions)


Hey Brett? Is it ok if I nominate Simon here to be a Moderator on this site? This is some great stuff here


It's absolutely amazing stuff but he's just been out there a short time. He needs to get a little more experience under his belt. I'm thinking we may ask him to start writing articles for us though!


Hey millionmiler24 😀

Thanks for the vote of confidence....I am seriously flattered. But Brett, as ever, hits the nail right on the head! No surprises there, hey?

I love this site and it's unwavering stance on "The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"..... and the truth is, Brett is exactly right. I don't consider myself to be experienced enough with the trucking industry here in the good old USA to feel confident about putting out hard facts and figures...especially when some of this is soooo critical to newbies and rookies. When it comes to that sort of stuff, it is critical that it is correct. As, I am still in what I consider to be the "learning while earning" phase of my own second career, I would be really hesitant to impart vital, fact based info; especially, as I said, to the 'new kids on the block.'

As, I'm sure you're aware, my posts tend to be a bit more on the philosophical side (for want of a better description lol) and I am happy to ramble on about the impressions I get, the effects of various situations and life OTR in general.

I don't mind jumping in when somebody spouts obvious 'hogwash' about situations that I am somewhat knowledgeable about i.e Life as a Stevens driver or teaming etc.

So, once again, thanks for the vote of means a lot.

At some point in the future, I would love to contribute more cogent, fact based observations. But, for now, i am more than delighted to let the Masters and Gurus of the site educate us all.....and occasionally to jump in with posts saying basically, "Yeah...what he/she said!" I continue to stand in awe of the depth and breadth of their combined wisdom. I learn something every time I visit the site!

In the meantime, I shall continue to ponder and ramble on in my own peculiar way about the vagaries, trials, tribulations and experiences of this life we lead and that I love.

Cheers and continue to be safe.

Simon (Gramps) 😜👍

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CRST Specific Questions (and general Team Driving Questions)

That was fantastic Simon! What a real gem.


With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them.


Man, would you please??? We would love that. I'd love to publish that kind of information in our blog. Shoot me an email if you have any questions or want to talk over specifics -

Lord have mercy... I'm blushing!! lol

But, many thanks again. Will get to it asap! And will be in touch about specifics on posting with references to previous blogs etc. 👍


Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CRST Specific Questions (and general Team Driving Questions)

Wow,... *like !!!

Simon this is really great information and I think an article is an excellent idea.

Team driving is an important topic and deserves the level of attention you are qualified to provide.

Thanks! Really good stuff GrandPa !!!

Lol 😜👍

You are more than welcome. I will get to it as soon as I can.

As stated, the biggest learning curve for me has been about myself. It's amazing to me that, at 58 years old, I have learned so much about my own character....many hours in the bunk as Chris drove, pondering my approach to situations and, I guess, life in general.


Hopefully it has made, and will continue to make, me a better person.

I would just like to add that I still love it! 👍

These young 'uns can learn a lot from us 'Gramps'....... And, importantly...... we can and should learn from them. N'est pas?


Grandpa 😜👍

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CRST Specific Questions (and general Team Driving Questions)

Hey Jeremy.

Teaming....where to start? Hmmmm.

Well; as ever, Rainy pretty much nailed it!👍😀

So, I'll just add my $0.02 worth to hers.

My team mate and I are in exactly the situation you describe. He is a total newbie with only the experience gained during his OTR company training. I have, give or take a little, 9 to 10 years experience; although admittedly, mostly in Europe. Sounds like it could be an almost perfect set up right?

Well; in many ways it is. Chris has the almost boundless enthusiasm and eagerness of most young men and I have a love for the job combined with, hopefully, a little wisdom earned the hard way; by "getting 'er done" through the years.

However; this set up is not without its pitfalls and traps for the unwary.

My experience so far has taught me a bunch of stuff that, frankly, I was unaware that I needed to learn! lol And, in all honesty, most of it has been about myself! I believed that as a former Airline Pilot, well versed in multi-crew operations, I was ideally equipped to 'team drive'. Wow! Talk about Hubris! And thus began my education!....

😮😜 lol

First and foremost, you absolutely must, I repeat, MUST set out each others ideas and expectations with regard to the training/learning situation. I wrote an earlier post on the site about "Where do I draw the line and when do I cross it?"...find it if you can...and was given much sage advice by Rainy, Susan, G-town et al. And boy oh boy, have their words of wisdom ever been proven! lol

I have found out that my much professed love of teaching combined with my tendency to strive for perfection can be a great asset....But, and it's a BIG can also lead to irritation and even even anger on both sides if not combined with equal amounts of understanding and the ability to step back and really analyze any given situation. I have learned rapidly that I can be a real PITA about things that may not really require so much coaching and maybe need a little more relaxed approach in order to facilitate the ever present learning process.

With Brett and all the other Moderators blessings, I would love to write a long article detailing some of our trials and tribulations and how we have dealt with them. Right now I am just back from 10 days off and preparing to hit the road, so have to end this here. Forgive me.

Let me just close for now by saying that, in many ways, teaming is really great...insane mileage....decent pay...lots of laughs along the way. But it definitely comes with some stresses and strains that, if not dealt with professionally and with a degree of humility, will test your character and also your friendship and relationship with your team mate.

If you have any specific questions, I am more than happy to try my best to answer them.

In the mean time, may I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

Be safe.



Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Some Confusion About the Use of Sleeper Berth at Shippers/Receivers

P>I was actually sorta aiming that at Chuck and his misunderstanding of the 8/2 split versus the team rest provision... lol

There is NO misunderstanding in this rule. Instructors at school explained it and to each their own. The DOT rule also states that the rule needs to be used consecutively. 2 hours not in sleeper and 8 hours in sleeper. You can do it any order but they must run consecutively in order to fulfill the 10 hour rule.

Ok... all the multi-year 'vets' on here are're right....

To quote one of my favourite movies...

"Son; your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash! "


Good luck with your career. All the best.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Some Confusion About the Use of Sleeper Berth at Shippers/Receivers

"Young jedi.... listen to the masters you must....know what they are talking about they do. lol

Very true. I'll Take G-Towns advice and work more on the pre-trip and the practice tests links he provided. I do want to mention I am not ignoring pre-trip or those things that I will use immediately while in school. I have been watching pre-trip tutorials on YouTube I learn best with visual demonstrations, but I'll focus more on the information in the links.

Turtle, Thank you for your very detailed explanation on the 8/2 split. Sure, I don't need to know this now. but your reply is a perfect example of why I come here.

Hey Don.

I was actually sorta aiming that at Chuck and his misunderstanding of the 8/2 split versus the team rest provision... lol

You sound a lot like me; I too wanted to learn all that I could before school. 😜 Its no bad thing.....knowledge never hurts, hey? 👍

I believe this desire to understand will stand you in good stead once you get to experiences with my team mate have led me to believe that a little more thirst for knowledge on his part at school and again at orientation would have done him some good!! lol But it's also been great fun helping him learn and watching his confidence level grow....this is why I believe that I will end up training at some point; I absolutely love it when comprehension dawns and I can see the 'lightbulb' come on.

Anyway, best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll do really well!

Cheers and be safe.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

How I Poisoned a Terminal Rat

Proof that you made an excellent second career choice! Had you chosen Pest Control as your next career, I don't believe you would have been nearly as successful as you are now. I can't imagine for one second Truly Nolen calling an ambulance to help any 'rats' that they had dealt with!! 😜

Can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you didn't consider, even if only for a microsecond, feeding her a couple more egg rolls? 😜lol

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Some Confusion About the Use of Sleeper Berth at Shippers/Receivers


My apologies if I stated the 8/2 rule incorrectly, but it does seem to better suit teams versus solo. Plus the last time I read the rule it states that it needs to be consecutive, plus that is how they relayed it to us in school.


i agree he should be concerned with getting the CDL and stated that. i corrected the misinformation and explained for anyone reading who is interested. Simon is correct that teams do not need this because one always has hours, and they can often do rolling 34s to replenish the 70 clock.

heres an example of how it can help a solo:

i parked near my customer at 1500 and went into sleeper. My appointment was for midnight. I drove 10 miles to the receiver after 8 in the sleeper. it took 2 hours to get me unloaded which completed the 8/2 split and i rolled out with an almost full clock less the 15 min it took to drive and check in. otherwise, i would have had to park much further away and anything can happen.

another example;

i got to the customer at 2200 for a 0700 pick up. my trailer turned out to be loaded already had a flat. i called for the tire change but it took 4 hours to get it done. i went 8 sleeper and rolled out at 0600. instead of waiting for the full 10 hour break or rolling out with a very limited clock and then taking another 10 break. that 14 hour clock is always ticking, but you can pause it with the 8 consecutive in the sleeper.

in the above situation, i did not need a full clock because i had one when i rolled in. but the waiting caused the 14 to eat my drive time. usomg the 8 sleeper allowed me to get back my clock minis what i drove to get into the customer.

i hope this helps

Perfect examples...... This is the sort of stuff that helps immensely to clear up the areas of operation that initially can appear somewhat confusing to 'newbies' and even slightly more experienced rookies like myself (being used to the European HOS system).

The flat tire situation is on of those 'screwy situations' I mentioned where we may also have considered doing a split, if only to extend the working week and not waste those valuable hours, so to speak.

Brilliant stuff as ever, Rainy! 👍😁

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Some Confusion About the Use of Sleeper Berth at Shippers/Receivers

I was only simply stating that right now the least of the issues for him should be whether he should use the 8/2 rule or not which is not really helpful in my opinion but that is me. I prefer to keep things simple and concentrate more on the issues that are more complicated or deserve more of my attention. Learning these rules at this point where Don is at isn't something that one should really be concerned with. My apologies if I stated the 8/2 rule incorrectly, but it does seem to better suit teams versus solo. Plus the last time I read the rule it states that it needs to be consecutive, plus that is how they relayed it to us in school.

Young jedi.... listen to the masters you must....know what they are talking about they do. lol

The 8/2 split is less useful to us team drivers than solo operators in general. We have very little reason to use it unless something really screwy goes on with our day. One of us is always logged into sleeper berth if the truck is moving.

Since we basically have a never ending clock (unless we burn up our 70 hours) we would rarely need to extend a team mates' day by using the split option. In general, once my team mate or I run out of daily hours or stop in order to limit the hours we have used, the other driver takes over and the wheels keep turning.

Figure this out once on the road with your trainer you will....

Confusing other learners must you stop!

Enjoy your training. it's a great life!


Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

40,795lbs of kisses!

That's a whole lot of Romance! lol

Gotta love those Hershey loads. 💕

Palmyra, PA to Edwardsville, IL.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Arams diary!!

Ok....absolutely last words on this particular thread.

No more advice...

Just a friendly request.

Please prove that you are 'not a quitter'....your words. Please do not 'quit' this site. While we may have had a disagreement...there was/is nothing personal in any of it..whether you believe that or not.

So...stay with us. And; please document/blog your experiences with Total.

a. It will be interesting and informative to everyone, 'old hands' and 'newbies' alike.

b. We will all learn something about Total.

c. I would bet that any of the guys are still willing to help should you come across a situation where you feel some advice may be useful.....It's what they do!

Can you see past the disagreement and still contribute and even possibly learn?

I sure hope so. 👍

Again; I wish you all the best.


Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Arams diary!!

Read what I wrote, I said........

...... I don't mind staying at a job to avoid red flags on my resume that says I can't persevere. But I left before doing that. you didn't! That's exactly what you did do! First red flag now raised.

You obviously have already secured another position that you believe will suit you better...that's truly excellent! And; again, all of us hope it is so!! BUT....the whole point of what is trying to be put to you is that, whether or not you accept it or like it...that flag is there. Should you have a similar experience with Total, you may not find it so easy to get another position. Why would another company believe that " third time's the charm"?

There have been no personal attacks...only justifiable questions about your motivation and tenacity....which to be fair, you answered.

I love to see new guys succeed...In many ways i am one myself. I love to teach and attempt to pass on what little wisdom I have accumulated, if any. I believe this holds true for the others that responded to your posts.

Go back and reread all of your posts on this site...I did....You started out requesting help and profusely thanking Brett. Rainy, OS, G-town et al for their help and collective wisdom.... Nothing's changed about that...except maybe your perception.

My last words on this subject are another piece of friendly advice. Feel free to disregard this also...but I would politely suggest that you try to be a little thicker skinned and not believe that everyone that disagrees with you is involved in some sort of personal vendetta.

Best of luck to you. Truly 👍

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local food service as a rookie

Great ever 👍😊

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Arams diary!!


Brett beat me to the punch!!

Priceless!! rofl-2.gifsmile.gif

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Arams diary!!

Aram...calm down for goodness sake! Nobody here is attacking you personally.

Simply put, and in my judgement, you have made a pretty classic rookie error. Therefore, my advice was, and is, based upon trying to help you see that and to help you not to make the same error again. I can't speak directly for the other much wiser souls than me on here...but I do believe that this is their intention also.

You have stumbled across a true gem of a website here, if you only choose to use it wisely. Sometimes, 'the truth' is hard to accept...but facts remain facts...and like it or not, you will get 'the truth' here.

From your last post, you obviously have a work ethic and personal standards. The advice here is only trying to get you to use your ethics and standards wisely.

Let's look at what you said...

. I don't mind doing tests online and watching videos to an extent, but call me crazy, but I would much rather be learning how to trip plan, how to manage my time and learn to read what's ahead of me.

Don't you think some of these videos may have covered some of that very information?

Do you believe that any company will allow you to study only what you consider to be relevant?

I thought you guys always adviced "pick a forever company." And yall making it sound like recruiters tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and that ya'll have never been lied to.

Again, due diligence on your part would have shown that the advice to 'pick a forever company' is nearly always accompanied by advice, in the strongest of terms, that if the first company does not end up being all that you dreamed it would be, then stay put and get at least a years worth of experience before jumping ship!

There are also many many threads advising rookies and newbies to take recruiter promises with a pinch of salt, talk to actual drivers....research, research, research! Recruiters are notorious for painting rosy all industries, including the military. Do they tell you the nitty gritty tough stuff....hell no! Again; the truth behind the glamour can be found by that one word...research!

So yall really think I'm just gonna quit when I haven't even got a in a truck and driven a real paid mileage yet? I left Steven's before I got in the truck, because if I did get in the truck I would've roughed it out for 6 months

This actually made me asked and answered your own question in two sentences!!!

So, did exactly what you asked us if we thought you would quit before driving a single mile!! lol

You gotta admit...that's actually quite funny?

Look....everybody here wants to see you succeed. But please, please don't make the mistake of asking questions, if you only want pat answers that fit your inexperienced view of how things should be. I came to this website with several years of European truck driving experience, but asked these guys loads of questions about how to deal with being a rookie in this great country. I was and am willing to take their advice for what it is...years and years of combined wisdom distilled into a few lines on a page....That, in my opinion, is priceless!

As stated before and by the other folks... I and they only wish you the very best. But please do not make what is an incredibly tough lifestyle choice even more difficult by making avoidable errors of judgement and then being outraged when folks try to steer you in the right direction.



Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Arams diary!!

I don't think that you are dumb....never said nor even meant to imply that. Apologies if that is what you understood from what I said.

They weren't honest with just me....they were totally open about pay policy with the entire great detail!

And yes, there is indeed a test that has to be passed with a score of 100%. But; every single question on that test is from the tests on the previously mentioned videos. Therefore you would have previously answered the very same question correctly before. Amazingly, every single Stevens truck out here is driven by at least one driver that managed to pass this same test. In the case of team trucks; both drivers!

What I was attempting to convey is that these simple videos and multiple choice question tests are a very minor obstacle to overcome compared to the realities faced on the road every single day. If a small task like completing these simple video tests is too daunting for you; how will you deal with the harsh realities of the OTR lifestyle?

Proper research and due diligence prior to signing up with the training program is astoundingly simple. While there are indeed vast numbers of 'terminal rats' and 'trolls' online, willing to trash any company that doesn't meet their personal requirements, there are also huge numbers of current employees very willing to openly discuss the truth about pay and conditions. I know because I did serious amounts of research prior to signing up and knew exactly what I was signing up for ahead of time. Do you honestly believe that your 10 hour rest period is sacred and that you will be able to slumber peacefully for a solid 10 hours straight between on duty periods? This is why I was wondering whether you were suffering from a little bit of wishful thinking. Ask any of the experienced drivers on here about the realities of 'managing your clock'.

If you are not prepared to invest a total of a few hours study and testing this early in your career, just what amount of effort do you expect to have to actually put out in order to succeed? Are you one of those that believes the ' There is a shortage of drivers - therefore holding a CDL entitles me to be treated with 'kid gloves' myth?

Don't take me at face value, especially if you think I'm just defending Stevens...ask any of the more experienced hands on here just how much effort they put into being a 'top tier driver'! In fact; it is one of the leading topics on this amazing website. There are hundreds of posts on this very subject. Do yourself a huge some of them.

To earn the sort of money you were mentioning early in your posts, is indeed possible. But it will require significant efforts on your part. Almost everyone has a 'buddy' that says they are making big bucks with 'xyz' company...but, weirdly, when asked to produce paperwork with hard evidence of said 'big bucks', most seem to disappear into the ether!

I don't wish to discourage you. Indeed I hope you find everything that you wish for. I do believe you may be slightly naive and uninformed of the realities of OTR living, if the thought of a few tests and videos is enough to make you 'change horses midstream'.

Anyway; as I also said, I wish you only the best and hope you do well. I fervently hope you prove me wrong.

All the best,


Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

The Web Of Lies And Misinformation

Excellent stuff! This cannot be preached too often!

Nice one G-Town. 👍

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