Profile For Spaceman Spiff

Spaceman Spiff's Info

  • Location:
    San Diego, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 5 months ago

Spaceman Spiff's Bio

Company flatbedder at Prime, Inc.

Spaceman Spiff's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 2

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Posted:  2 hours, 37 minutes ago

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Prime PSD take 2, December 20th. What to bring? What to expect?

Yo Jay, glad to hear you're cleared for training.

I started in the salt lake terminal as well March 2019. Some things I can bullet point:

-Bring all your papers. Like the world war 2 German sentries, they want to see "ze papers." Everything on the email list, yes including the social security card.

-The passport isn't mandatory. TWIC will be a step you take between PSD and TNT if you don't get it prior to shipping out to salt lake.

-The motel is basic but it is free. Keep your focus on training not amenities.

-Get on the first shuttle on day 1. Ask the clerk at the motel check in what time the first shuttle is. There are Prime shuttles and a motel shuttle. All go to the same place. Once in a while, the last morning shuttle will be late tho.

-The morning priority every day is getting the lunch orders scheduled. Free.

-Pack as if you were going to be standing outside for three to four hours at time... Cause, you know, you will.

-If you expect any verification of any kind will be needed, be it medical or a job history entry, locate and save good phone numbers before you get there. Some folks spent three days making constant phone calls for a tiny issue that they just hadn't found a good number for contact on.

-Do laundry at the terminal. You still need quarters for our machines. 50 cents wash 50 cents dry.

-Friday is pizza day. Free.

-Don't get distracted on your first day on the pad. If you and your pack begin watching the week two students backing practice, the instructors will make you do push ups. No, but they will snap you back to focus on pre trip. It's all you should work on first two days.

-Some trainers come and scout potential trainees on the pad. You are being evaluated.

-The mechanics may be short with you. They are short with us too sometimes. They are busy. Don't take it personally, they are great teammates and will take care of you later on.

-Food trucks come to the parking lot. The schedule is taped on doors around the terminal.

-coffee is free. It's downstairs in the driver's lounge, right turn after you enter the building. Enjoy.

What specific things do you still want answers to?

Posted:  5 days, 1 hour ago

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Two Dinosaurs Walk Into A Restaurant - Part Deux

And beards too!

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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Multi-Stop Flatbed Loads

Great pics Old School. Like pulling the bed sheets up for someone to hop in.

Your Hydro people were the last ones to give me a multi stop and it was good practicing, as I honestly don't run across it enough. I was ready at the first stop, un strapping the tarps on one side and after I moved to the other, the "nice" plant workers wanted to help out and two of them pulled the tarps off from the opposite side as I was walking around the front of the tractor.

But after re doing all that plastic and tarping I did get to perform your method at the next three receivers.

The tarps really do become a monster in your first few months before they work some useful seams and "relax" a bit. Then they become much easier to work with and are second nature.

As far as weight, you can always improve your ability to lift and safely carry or place similar weights before and during training. I would focus on squats, bicep curl, overhead press (unless you don't have a top tarp box to worry about eh?) and especially safe lifting technique from the ground up.

My first few weeks I was hustling and trying to put the alphabet of things I had to do in proper order while racing that evil clock. At one point I realized I was wrenching my back just bending over and lifting them quickly up and on to the flatbed to strap them down for transit. It made me consider how much money I would lose slowing down a few seconds and properly lifting carefully versus how much money I would lose for time dealing with a back injury.

In all things physical, be careful out there. Sometimes there will only be you and no cell reception.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Learning Aids (Got Mine. Post Yours Please!)

The recently discontinued "Prime Red Flatbed 18 Wheeler" model actually included the Turtle All-Star Action Figure, at no additional charge.

These are becoming scarce to find. Best bet is eBay or at local thrift shops and flea markets.

Apparently the current Turtle All Star figure will no longer include "strapping and tarping action" or come with winch bar accessory. Bummer.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Walmart Private Fleet

Great stuff Turtle, really becoming a legendary tale with you recording it all these last years. Bummed a bit that I won't be running into you randomly in Denver anymore but happy to see you movin' on up to the east side

Posted:  1 month ago

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Tarp practices

Yeah I did some stand ups recently from Kentucky that didn't want bungees either. I guess all in all I'm glad to have both options. I'll show the breakdown tomorrow in a couple pics when I get to Houston.

I've seen those guys too, looks real stressful but allot of their gear looks similar. Oh well. Thanks!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Tarp practices

Thanks Turtle, I agree about the multi stops. What a pain it would be. Ill keep an eye sharp for abrasions and cuts.

Interesting idea Rob, I may sketch that in my head for a bit and get back to you on feasibility from my limited experience. Be like a circus coming to town

CT, yes one section of line on each side. I'll add pics at the 90 when I'm tearing it down.

RD, These are fantastic colors, is your phone in Black or white or something?rofl-3.gif

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Tarp practices

For any of you thinking of flatbed upon entry into trucking, I'm adding one tidbit that I've picked up recently.

When tarps are required by a shipper, you'll expect to spend some extra time lifting, unrolling, shifting, folding and tightening down the tarps on your cargo, as well as some extra calories (yay). Typically, you'll be outfitted with bungee hook rubber straps to hook to the sewn on rings and pull tight to keep the elements out. The idea is also to avoid leaving the tarp loose, allowing the air flow to move the tarps constantly as you drive. This causes rubbing and will tear your tarps and can damage cargo.

If you're going a company sponsored route, worry about learning to achieve your CDL first. Pay attention to the strapping and tarping, but certainly focus most of your energy on the skills and pre trip stuff. During any ride along phases, you'll get enough chances to see it done and start working the angles in your head.

I recently picked up some battle cord in 100 foot lengths to work on keeping my tarps even tighter. I had used this "sewing" style with bungee rope, but it had always had a little bit of stretching movement no matter how hard I pulled the slack out. The cord is strong, at 2,650 lb test, but nimble and stows away in a tiny space. Also, this particular cord helps match my truck and tarps to a proper Seahawks theme.

Attached are photos of what the finished product looks like. The hooks at the rub rail are independent S hooks i keep in a bucket on my hip as I work down the side. At the front D ring, I tie a bowline knot with an overhand safety knot, and at the rear, I tie a bight and slip a bungee strap hook to it. Once that is strapped, I can work the slack out down the line from the front, and either stretch out the bungee more or tie another bight in if the first one slacks out beneath the rub rail.

My tarps haven't moved an inch. I check the cord when I check the straps and there's no room for the slack to return so once it's taught , it's taught. This generally follows some lessons on rope work that I haven't done much research in, but seeing the benefits to keeping the equipment from blowing around a bit like my bungee rope allowed.

Take this as food for thought. I am no expert flatbedder. To the expert flatbedders in here, what dangers or issues am I not seeing in doing this?

Also a congrats to Turtle, I didn't know wal Mart is getting a flatbed division!

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Hoping to train at Prime

Hi Tim, welcome to the forum!

Some answers for you real quick from a newer Prime driver (I'm at 5% battery)

1- great idea because a 35 percent bmi and neck circumference of about 16 inch or more does get the study last I remember. Debt is always good to remove! And forget about worrying on the pre trip. There are minor things they corrected on the hand outs on day one, specific details that you don't want to have committed to memory. By the end of the first day you'll have such a good grasp that learning it a year prior will seen silly to you.

2- that's feasible and plenty of folks do it. You can search for those topics here and find some great threads about really saving money and living minimal.

3- the decision for you to explain that to a trainer is yours to make. I could care less if it were my truck and I would say my initial feeling is that most trainers feel the same.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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When you get picked to go to the boss's house

Where's the basketball court? Or is it underground with the wine vault ? rofl-2.gif

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Flatbed Variety

Atlanta is an hour drive from Atlanta.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Flatbed Variety

Yeah it's not a blast to get tarped but the job site was pretty easy. The last Kone elevator I delivered was in TNT to Queens and I'll be happy staying out of there as much as I can.

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Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Flatbed Variety

That is too cool, I always wondered if it was a crane or some raised dock system that got those trailers on like that.

0842769001571368549.jpg

Here's a pair of elevators going to the University of Utah area for new construction installation.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Maintenance Times on different fifth wheels

Tim...Todd?

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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On food storage ideas for when you go solo

Hello all, Many of us use these on the railroad. Just put container of food in, plug it in and let it go for hours. Will reheat food, cook frozen meals, and cook meat from raw to ready to eat. Just an idea that doesn't take up much space. https://myhotlogic.com/hot-logic-mini/

Thanks Grit, that looks really cool, may have to send for one.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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On food storage ideas for when you go solo

Susan you have the sat tv too. I forgot that I'm adding a small TV soon as well, going to have to get creative.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Off to Prime to Start Training

No worries, 99 percent of drivers out here are very friendly and accommodating. Just keep your ears and eyes open and try to learn the CDL portion at first, not the entire job/industry.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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On food storage ideas for when you go solo

That Foreman grill seems space friendly. I should consider that.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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On food storage ideas for when you go solo

This was the truck I did PSD in. This is from the pride and polish event Prime does every year. You can find it on YouTube , it's Prime pride and polish 2019, minute mark 21:30.

He built out a lot of space maximizing equipment and containers. Up in the top bunk there is a shelf system for his students gear. Nifty ideas but way beyond my skill set.

No that is not champagne.

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Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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On food storage ideas for when you go solo

I do sometimes wish we could find the motivation well to cook, but it's just daunting to find a place to store the appliances and clean them etc at this point. Plus the last time I made a stew in the Crock-Pot, I ended up eating it in one sitting watching Archer. Not my proudest moment upon realizing the Tupperware was going back on the shelf, MT.

For those that cook, what's your regimen? Laying a skillet on the engine block for some eggs and ham? When do you have the energy? The cleaning time? My PSD trainer had a pack of baby wipes as his kitchen sink. Bleh.

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