Profile For Banks

Banks's Info

  • Location:
    North East, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 5 months ago

Banks's Bio

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Posted:  5 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Best company with CDL training to start with?

Rear end collision with another driver is the #1 killer of drivers. #2 are rollover crashes.

I see tons of Fed Ex trucks tailgating daily, so don't think you're the first.

The meeting did have an impact on my driving. I made a conscious decision to increase my distance today. I was on 84, which isn't as bad as 95, but I made sure to work on it and improve. The drive back was maybe 20 minutes longer than it normally is.

It's a mind issue for me and I'm working on it. I fall back 7 seconds and a bunch of cars jump in front of me making me have to fall back again. I realized I'm still moving forward, as stupid as that sounds.

The cameras did what they were supposed and I improved because of it.

Posted:  5 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Best company with CDL training to start with?

I got called into the office today. When I walked in I jokingly asked "what'd I do?"

My supervisor hit some keys on the keyboard and turned the monitor so I can see it. It was a video of a run I had a couple of days ago.

He told me the truck flagged an event and he wanted me to watch it. I saw me following another truck. He said I was maintaining a safe distance and after a certain amount of time the truck flags the video. At the bottom of the screen it said how fast I was going, my RPMs and the distance.

He told me that from the video he can see that I have no space on the left, no space on the right and I can't see further than the truck in front of me because the road is straight and level. I told him it's 95 and that was a 560 mile run. 95 is always jammed packed and I want to make it back before I run out of hours.

He was understanding about that and he followed up with some other points. He said worse case scenario if I increase my following distance is I park and wait for a rescue or get an extension. Worse case scenario if I maintain the distance in the video is the guy in front of me crashes or stops suddenly and I have no where to go but into him. Now, it's all taking longer than a rescue would and I have a DOT accident on my record.

Fair points. He told me not to worry about the triggered event. It's the first one I've ever gotten and it's just something to improve on.

When I walked out of the office I instantly thought about this thread and figured I'd share my first camera story.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Covid and Trucking

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Mike, the first six months of 2020 have been my busiest ever. I'm making more money driving a truck during this "pandemic" than I've ever made as a driver.

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Good to know Old School. I got recently got accepted to TMC and I’m thinking about my start date. With COVID cases increasing daily and a possible “spike” in the fall, should I be concerned about not having the opportunity for miles/money?

Should I start now or wait?

I don't know much about the business side of things at TMC, but I'd be willing to bet that if they're hiring they have the work. I see TMC trucks all-over the northeast everyday. They seem to have plenty of work.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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One of those bad backing days

You should have reported it, what happens if the next driver takes that trailer and reports it damaged so they come looking for the last guy to pull it?

At OD you wouldn't be in trouble for the minor accident but definitely would be not reporting it.

Same at FedEx. I worked with a guy that was doing a residential delivery and he took out the customer's mailbox. He didn't report it and returned on the weekend to fix it. He bought them a new mailbox and installed it. Monday morning the customer's called the hub to compliment the driver. He doesn't work here anymore.

An integrity offense will always get you terminated. Preventables and accidents will be looked at case by case.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

just can't help it. With all the times I've heard guys pulling doubles being referred to as part timers I just had to join the fun 😁. Before taking my current job I thought very hard about looking into linehaulbut the idea of pulling doubles in the wind and snow/ice terrifies me. The stories our drivers that did doubles at PFG had about that rear trailer wanting to swing out on any ice were enough for me to say heck no!

I haven't dealt with bad snow yet, but FedEx has no problem shutting down in inclement weather. If it needs chains, shut it down. The wind is another story. I've dealt with wind that intensifies the crack the whip effect. I change lanes and my rear trailer sways back and forth for longer than I want it to before falling back in line. I've gotten better at controlling it, but it's still scary when it happens.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

Wow, that's a low blow, I thought us day cabers stuck together.

Obviously not. It's ok Bob, we still have each other.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

Btw Banks and Bobcat. Just remember real truckers pull 53's not those puny little PUP trailers. I've pulled bigger trailers with my minivan 

First of all, we pull 2 of them. You're just jealous that we don't have to back up and they bend in the middle rofl-3.gifsmile.gif

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

Very true Banks. And I didn't mean to come off as critical of line-haul drivers. The beauty of trucking is that there are so many types of jobs available to us. I happen to enjoy all the variety and challenges of the OTR lifestyle. Others enjoy, or require, a more structured schedule. Truck drivers are extremely diverse, and there are jobs available for all of us.

No offense taken Old School, Just friendly back and forth ribbing. We all have positives and negatives, but we all do our best and love what we do.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

You line-haul drivers crack me up talking about your "start times."

Here's my "start times" from the last eight days...

2130

1645

1445

0615

0430

0500

0330

0030

My days start all over the place. I'm currently on a JIT load that they didn't even have ready at the proper time. Now it's up to me to figure out how to cover for the shipper's mistake! I flip my days and nights every week, but they pay me well for doing it.

My dispatcher begged me to take this JIT load. He dead-headed me 968 miles just to get me near the shipper. He said, "You're the only driver I've got who understands how to make this happen. When I try to explain to these other guys what they'll need to do, they just say you're crazy - I'm not gonna do that! I need my rest!"

Understanding the HOS rules and how to do things like an 8/2 split can really help you manage things on these multi-stop flatbed loads I do. Being versatile and willing to make sacrifices of what others consider convenient schedules can push you into some serious productivity. That's where the money is in trucking. Being productive, safe, reliable and willing to do what it takes, translates into a solid and rewarding trucking career.

You have some decent start times in there lol.

8/2 split? What's that? You OTR guys have it made. Pull over into any rest stop area and take a nap in a bed. I wonder if FedEx would be willing to put a bed in some of their trucks so I can pullover and take a nap... Nah they need their trailers to be back at the building by the estimated arrival times.

To be fair, I'm willing to take any start time that keeps me in a truck and off the dock. There's nothing wrong with options or preferences smile.gif

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

Banks unfortunately you're just paying your dues but the time will come that you bid on a run. How many more guys are above you before you could bid a run?

Initially it was looking like about 2 years, but there are a lot of new factors that can make it sooner or later. There's an expectation of some of the furloughed guys not returning. My hub recently began a project to expand the building. These things can make my move to linehaul a lot faster.

The ultimate deciding factor would be freight levels. It depends on what's normal once the dust begins to settle and we determine what the damage is.

I find myself to be much happier when I can sleep till after midnight, I know 9 pm is only a few hours ealier but it makes a huge difference to the way I feel at the end of the day. At least the sun is coming up early so it won't be dark for my entire day which helps

I like my 2 AM start time. Anything earlier leaves me feeling exhausted especially during the summer when it's lighter longer than it's dark.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

How is your year going?

I'm not thrilled with the YTD numbers, but it's been a rough 3 months.

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lost dedicated route

We will have to agree to disagree. If you have someone home who is in a higher risk group or if you are yourself that is about all you need. As far as an employer not allowing it, in this time where most are trying to get by not many would fight on this since it will cost them nothing.

You cannot connect unemployment (in most states) if you don't work because you're afraid of contracting COVID.

You can if you tested positive, are caring for someone that tested positive or due to lack of childcare for schools being closed. Good luck with that being a truck driver that's gone all the time at the end of the school year.

I can't speak for all employers, but FedEx will dispute unemployment claims that are not eligible. You can stay home if you're worried about contacting the virus and your job will still be there when it's time to come back, but that's voluntary and they're disputing the claim. They have been approving partial claims and the claims for those that have been furloughed.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Lost dedicated route

Not to argue but the unemployment rules during this "virus paranoia" are very different. The unemployment you draw will not count against the employer and there are many other conditions that allow you to receive it. He will have little trouble meeting the criteria to receive benefits.

In Pennsylvania, the only difference in unemployment is that people normally not eligible (independent contractors, business owners, insufficient work history, etc) are now eligible. Otherwise, the application process is exactly the same and they waived the waiting period. Otherwise, your employer has to verify that your loss of work or hours (for a partial claim) are through no fault of your own.

For partial unemployment you have to be making less than your claim amount plus 30%.

Let's say the OP wants to claim partial unemployment for lost wages. The first thing we'd have to look at would be how much would his unemployment compensation be. Generally speaking, it's half of your gross wages based on previous earnings capped at a certain point.

So if he made 1,000 a week, he would qualify for 500 a week in benefits. If he's still working, they would grant 30% in partial benefits which brings it up to 650. If he makes 500 a week at work, they would pay out 150 dollars. If he makes 400 they would pay out 250 and so on. If he makes 650 or more he's ineligible for that period.

The biggest part to all of this is that the employer has to say it's through no fault of his own, which isn't likely to happen here.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Air Leakage Tests

Just so there's no confusion... This is from the High Road program!!!

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You need to know this for your state exam. The brake test is one of the parts that allow no wiggle room. It's pass or fail, not points. If you miss this detail, they are likely fail you.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lost dedicated route

I would be fairly certain you could draw unemployment during this virus scare as long as you show that your job or hours were reduced due to it. The one problem is if you want to stay working for this company or another trucking company it would be far better to keep driving than to try to milk unemployment for every last dime then trying to reenter workforcr.

That's up to his employer. Unemployment will verify the application with his employer before accepting the application. If his employer says they're offering work, they will likely deny the application.

As far as partial unemployment goes, the employee has to have reduced wages through no fault of their own. If his company says they're offering work and he's refusing because he doesn't want to do it or go OTR, it will also get denied.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Lost dedicated route

Like Susan said, unemployment laws vary from state to state.

AFAIK, you can't file for unemployment if your employer is still offering you work.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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First solo week. I did NOT anticipate the amount of stress!

I’ve been stumbling my way through the last three months. I promise you it gets better. I don’t know when or how, but it does. Each day you learn a bit more and then presto, things that were a huge pain become second nature.

Hang in there. Keep a great attitude and ask a ton of questions. You’ll get there.

This is the truth. I've had lots of days when I wanted to quit and I don't drive everyday. But things get easier with time. As long as you don't quit and you learn from your mistakes you'll be great.

For example, I bet you'll never leave the terminal without your paperwork again. As you familiarize yourself with where you're going, you'll get better at navigating the roads.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Went Left When I Had to Go Right

This time I went right, when I should've went left. I had to go to Pittsburgh, the directions were take 80 to PA28 to I76. Sounded simple enough. It was not. I didn't know that I had to be on PA 28 for about 50 miles and that it was a regular street with 2 lanes, 2 directions of travel, speed limits ranging from 25 to 55 and a lot of hills.

When I reached my exit on PA 28 to get on I76, turns out I76 was to the left and I turned right. I blindly followed a detour sign and I paid for it by going through a lot of small streets. I got lucky again with light traffic and I was able to take up the entire road, but I know one day that luck will run out. I realized I made the wrong turn when I left the destination terminal and got back to the same intersection.

The hills of 28 were also stressful. I had my first experience with spongy smoking brakes. I was given an international tractor. I've never driven an international, so I wasn't familiar with it. I couldn't use engine retarders because it was raining heavily and I didn't know how to downshift that truck. I had to rely on stab braking and it was becoming less and less effective. When I started smelling burning rubber, I pulled over on the side of the us28 to check it out. It was light smoke. I decided to take my 30 on the side of the road to let the brakes cool and to figure out downshifting an international.

I figured it out and it wasn't as responsive as a KW. I decided to use the engine retarders on the lightest setting and maintain my speed 5 MPH under the limit. The drive back wasn't as bad because I learned from my mistakes on the drive there. I downshifted and used light engine retarders without depending on it exclusively. I used light braking with it to make sure it worked the way it was supposed to. Since I was driving back with different trailers, the brakes started out cool as could be and that put my mind at ease.

I ended the day with 590 miles and 30 minutes of drivetime on my clock.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Got mu CDL in WA state today!!!

Congratulations Moe, I'm really happy for you. More bananas for you

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Went Left When I Had to Go Right

Great learning experience you didn't panic 

I absolutely did panic, but I managed to contain it lol

My trainer said the week before I started training with him his usual route was closed for construction so he tried to turn around in a warehouse and couldn't for so he had to break the set and maneuver the trailer individually.

I've heard a bunch of those stories. I'm usually able to call somebody and get info on a terminal before I go, but not too many of us have run for ground so that isn't really an option. Breaking down a set is a plan B I hope I never have to use, but in this instance it wasn't an option because that road wasn't big enough for me to turn a single around. Making a u turn bobtailing would've been a PITA.

"My stomach dropped and I felt sick." This is the absolute worst feeling out here with these giants.

It definitely is and if I ever feel it again, it'll be too soon.

Wow I bet you needed a new pair of pants when you finally got where you wanted to be! 

The worst part is the terminal was closed so I couldn't use the bathroom wtf-2.gifrofl-2.gif

One thing I learned the hard way is to always attempt to use Google Street view to familiarize yourself with the shipper/receiver during trip planning. 

With FedEx, it's not uncommon for the address and entrance to be at different places, that's why I didn't think much of it initially. I'll definitely be better prepared on the next one.

It's a good learning experience, great job getting out of it without creating damage. Just imagine if the parking lot was full 

I would've been SOL if the parking lot was full and security may have denied me access if it was. I'm glad it was empty and security was cool about letting me turn around.

He said it was hell trying to find somewhere to turn around.

I usually go places where I can make a u turn with a set with little to no issues, especially since I go out at night. This was something completely new to me.

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