Comments By Grumpy Old Man

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Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

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I take a thirty in the last half hour I’m at a shipper or consignee. This gives me 8 hours to get wherever. If your leaving someplace and 30 minutes later sitting in traffic sweating your 30 you got to get with the program. If you got loaded with 2 hours left on your clock in a big city location then you need to pray they got someplace onsite for you to take a ten. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could switch all that on duty loading to sleeper and take a 6 or 7

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It's not so much of losing drive time it's the HOS that's getting me. When I get to either the shipper or consignee I put myself in a a "On Duty status " either loading or unloading once I finish checking in I go on break and save my driving hours. Of course the drive clock stops but the HOS continues to run. So if I don't get a door right away and sit waiting when ever I get started back up again. What ever clock has the shortest amount of time left then that is what I get. In both situations I still had and hour and a half of driving time but my HOS was less. So that was the time I had to work with.

Yeah, that 14 hour clock sucks. :)

The best change I could think of for HOS rules is to pause the 14 at shippers and consignees.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

Good to read your update. Keep plugging at it, learning each day, and moving forward.

One thing I read was really frightening. Don’t ever park on the side of the road. Take a HOS violation. If you’re delayed for mechanical issues or traffic tie ups, that can be explained because it’s beyond your control. If a motorist runs off the road and runs into your rig after you parked illegally, YOU are liable. Lawsuits are expensive and jury’s hate big trucks. Not worth that risk. good-luck.gif

Agreed. I am never allowed to stop on the side of the toad, not even on an on ramp.

One of our drivers parked in a spot where there was at least 2 truck widths past the shoulder, so they were 15 to 20 feet off the road. A drunk woman hit them somehow and the company lost the lawsuit.

If I park on the toad and something happens I will he fired. Possibly even if nothing happens. they weren’t even happy when I broke down and parked on the side of an on ramp.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Ok to run with no brake lights or turn signal on trailer.

I’ve had to spread the pins on the electrical connector on the trailer that get lights to work before. They were squeezed together and weren’t making connection

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Ok to run with no brake lights or turn signal on trailer.

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Wondering here, can a driver carry along some spare bulbs to replace stop lights etc

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Yap, most definitely. Some of the lights, like trailer lights, are pretty cheap and easy to carry around. Some of the lights like headlights have gotten pretty expensive.

Sometimes you can ask the mechanics at your company shop for some spare bulbs and fuses. They may give you some, they may not. If a company has 8,000 trucks and they hand out spare parts, it's going to cost them a fortune. So it may depend on the mechanic you speak with or the company policies.

I always carried around at least one spare headlight and a few trailer lights.

Wolding gives every driver a kit to carry with spare bulbs, etc.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Job Search and Training NOT GOING STALE Update!

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So when are you scheduled or trying to get scheduled to head out?

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TBD. Looking like early to late July. At this point I think I will wait for PSA test/results/Dr. visit. Also have an upcoming court thing (Plaintiff not Defendant!) Will probably lead to another date... just need to see how schedule plays out. Classes start every Tuesday so except for the "we need to have an open position" thing I believe they will be happy to take me whenever the dates work out.

My training was about 6 weeks. You can drive already, right? You just need to learn procedures and Qualcomm and clock management.

You’ll be fine.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Question about functional external light inspection.

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Hi everyone,

'm only asking because I can remember reading how it is not good to apply the service brake while the spring brakes are engaged.

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Is there any truth to this? I have always put my foot on the service brakes before releasing the parking brakes.

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It’s called “compounding”; meaning too much pressure is applied simultaneously to brake components on the axle(s) with spring brakes installed, that from extended misuse and/or from an excessive amount of force to the pedal,... can cause damage.

Since most newer and well maintained systems are self actuating, it’s less likely to occur with contemporary engineering.

When I first drove heavy 10 wheeled and tri-axle dump trucks in the late 70s, two things were beat into my head while learning; never pump the brakes and once the parking brake is set, never apply any pressure to the service brake pedal.

Even so I would not be make it a common practice. I mean “why” is it necessary to do this? Can’t think of any logical reason.

When you consider how we were all taught to perform the in-cab brake test, my recommendation is NOT to introduce service brake air to a “set” parking/emergency spring brake. Unnecessary. Use chocks for an auto-shift to secure the truck during the bleed-down test.

I meant when I am ready to start moving. And I don’t press hard, don’t need to just to keep it from rolling.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Question about functional external light inspection.

Hi everyone,

'm only asking because I can remember reading how it is not good to apply the service brake while the spring brakes are engaged.

Is there any truth to this? I have always put my foot on the service brakes before releasing the parking brakes.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Cannabis Testing, Swift, NYC Ban on Cannabis Testing

Oops, that should be a vape pen, not cape

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Cannabis Testing, Swift, NYC Ban on Cannabis Testing

“My qualification for Swift was just reversed since I explained to the recruiter that I used marijuana under Doctor's advice for just a few days. ”

He is full of it right from the beginning anyway.

In NY, medical marijuana is not marijuana. It is an oil, a pill (capsule), or a cape pen, with the component that gets you high supposedly removed. I say supposedly because it does still have THC at some level, though maybe just not enough to get you high.

You all may remember I was sweating the hair test because after I broke my ankle, I went on the MM program in NY. It fid not make me high, but it also did nothing for the pain. I gave up on it and stopped using it.

It was a good 6 months before I did my hair test and I apparently passed, since I am employed.

So no, he did not use marijuana “under doctors orders” in NY. He is full of crap.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week

Looks like this guy avoided it as well

Trucker flees inspection

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week

I successfully avoided the entire thing. I’m home safe now. Lol

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Challenging dock for a newbie.

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I hadn’t seen that. I’ll check it out.

At least I’ve gone from being terrified at the thought of having to dock to just being mildly anxious. Lol

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That's how I was. I used to be staying up at night wondering if I'd have a really bad dock in the morning, and if I'd be able to get it in without hitting something. I don't even worry about it now, I know I'll get in even if it's ugly! 😂

I’ve actually done way better than I thought I would. I didn’t get a lot of backing practice with my trainer without him guiding me, since he had to bring me back for testing 2 weeks earlier than he wanted because his truck needed service.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Grumpy - hourly questions

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In case I wasn’t clear, driving and live load/unload are all on duty, and paid. DOT inspection also. Fueling, road construction, traffic, etc. All paid.

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That's awesome. I like the idea of hourly pay but it limits us on what we COULD earn.

I’m not so sure, at least with my company.

The most I could get is 42.5 cents as a new driver and that includes the highest mileage bonus (over 29,750 miles/quarter)

In the last 8 days I ran 2531 miles and 68.75 hours. Mileage would have paid 1,075, hourly pays 1355

The first day was 3.25 hours/77 miles so it wasn’t a huge difference.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Grumpy - hourly questions

In case I wasn’t clear, driving and live load/unload are all on duty, and paid. DOT inspection also. Fueling, road construction, traffic, etc. All paid.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Grumpy - hourly questions

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Grumpy—It’s been over an hour. Are you going to answer?

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Grumpy is too busy looking for an empty trailer.

Sorry. Was driving, now I am live unloading.

I am paid for anything except off duty and sleeper berth.

That having been said, I have heard they are cracking down on paying for repairs, because drivers are milking their clock.

I was broken down on the side of the toad. Logs Dept told me I had to be on duty. My dispatcher said a few days later he couldn’t pay me hourly, that he would get me breakdown pay. I didn’t argue, I just said that Logs told me to remain on duty, that given s choice, I would have gone SB. I was paid and never heard another word.

Last week, I had a trailer with an air leak. I remained on duty until the shop told me I could leave. I voluntarily put myself off duty. I have no reason to believe Zi won’t be paid. Other drivers would have stayed on duty.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Why does this offer come now?

Grumps wonders...

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You aren’t doing the new truck delivery any longer?

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Very similar to what TT says about owner operators - to make money you can't stop driving. I guess I didn't have the hustle needed.

And being required to stay in hotels, a few times I was delayed, meaning an average of $70/day in added expenses while I sat for weather and delivery scheduling.

I do agree with Rick for drivers - stay with that first job! But Robsteeler's opportunity is to a non-driving job. In that case drivers might feel better if their boss has held an 18" steering wheel for a while.

In Robsteler’s case I agree he should at least listen, and decide from there.

Sorry to hear your gig didn’t work out, it sounded like an interesting job.

I am extremely happy with my choice, and as long as nothing major changes, will probably retire there.

I’ve driven for 10 weeks solo for a total of 542 hours, so I am averaging 54 hours a week. That works out to $1084 a week for a newbie, and hopefully as I get better I will get even more hours. My low was 46.15, my high was 68.24. At least 80% and maybe more is drop and hook.

A lot of people in our drivers Facebook group are whining they aren’t getting hours. But those same drivers were complaining that I should have sat for 6 hours for a trailer inspection and take a chance my 3 loads would be cancelled and given to someone else. I said that if I kept the trailer until I got to another truck stop I would get it done. If not, it still had 28 days left. Those guys are perfectly willing to sit because they get paid.

I am convinced they run me like they do because I do everything possible to avoid live load/unload. If it is somewhere we have empties I always drop and hook. The ones complaining they aren’t getting loads are constantly posting about spending 7 or more hours unloading and never look for an empty.

If it were your company, who would you give the load to?

I got the trailer inspected by the way.

I did 62 hours so far this week, and that includes 24 hours of sitting due to schedules ( 3 times at 8 hours). I have 7 hours left on my clock, a 2 hour drive and possibly a live unload, then home.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Challenging dock for a newbie.

Yup you did the best under the circumstances. If the road ahead is unfamiliar and seems a little dicey, be real careful if you're not sure you can get your 75,000 lb, 13'6" through that situation.

I had posted a series I called "Backing Practice™" showing real docking situations. This should be a link to the Backing Practice™ Table of Contents

I hadn’t seen that. I’ll check it out.

At least I’ve gone from being terrified at the thought of having to dock to just being mildly anxious. Lol

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Challenging dock for a newbie.

I delivered to a place yesterday where I had to back what looks like 1/4 mile but is probably less, then after I got in the dock it looks like about 30 feet in front of my truck.

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The best was the entrance. I was following the company directions when I was suddenly confronted by a 12’ bridge. I looked to the left and saw a street that led to a couple of houses and an apartment building.

Panic started to set in, then I noticed the street sign was the street I was looking for. I thought “no way that is correct”. But at that point it was turn, or back up over the hill I just went over, or sit where I was and likely get rear ended. It turned out to be the correct street. I don’t have a picture from the toad, but I did take a picture on the way out.

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Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Not completely trucking related, but...

That’s nearly as large as some of the holes on I-65 going through Indiana.

Lol

NY and MA as well.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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3 week with out talking to my dispatch

Talking with, as in on the phone or in person, or on the Qualcomm?

I haven’t spoken with mine since my second week, and even then only twice. I chat with him on the Qualcomm all the time, we have a pretty good relationship.

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