Comments By Pat M.

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  • Pat M.
  • Joined:
  • 5 years, 5 months ago
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Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Wow. I'm surprised that it isn't someone in the Pilot car controlling it... Or, someone riding it (I've seen it done before). Must be hard having to steer 2 things; One is hard enough!

You just have to take things slow. You really have to trust your pilot to let the m steer. I did trust him but these short beams it is just faster if I do it myself.

Now on longer beams with the 6 axle dolly I am more inclined to have the pilot steer because there is more that I have to watch and sometimes you can lose signal and t he dolly quits responding. Oh and those trailers liked to go random directions when certain traffic lights changed.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Learn from others

A few years ago we had a member here roll his truck within 30 miles of his pickup. He had just loaded rough cut lumber.

A week ago my second truck picked up a load of lumber. The driver calls me and tells mer he just left and casually mentioned that it was rough cut lumber.

I asked him how far out he was from the pickup. He said about 10 miles. I said pull over now and check the straps and explained why and we hung up.

He called me about 30 minutes later and told me he got 6 notches on every strap. That is in 10 miles folks. Stop more often when you pick up rough cut lumber.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Here is a video that my pilot took 2 summers ago of me making a right hand turn from 3 lanes onto a 2 lane. There is a car in the left turn lane.

I am using a 3 axle steerable dolly to move this 109 foot long beam. It only weighs about 55k. I am steering the dolly from the cab with a wireless remote.

https://youtu.be/8bauAyr5sdk

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Been a while

Thanks all. It has not been a bed of roses but I did know that going in. Some day I will have to write about it.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Been a while

Its been a while since I have bern here. It has been a very busy few months. My truck is doing awesome, never drops below 30 mph going up the west side of Homestake pass at 88k gross.

I have 4 direct customers now that are going well. Every load has paid very well, even the broker loads. I have two trucks on the road now. Only took me two drivers to find a decent one. I have had no issues with a new MC like you hear about.

We now have 3 flatbed , one belly dump and we just acquired two extendable pole trailers. These have like log bunks front and rear and they extend to 70 feet long. Great for moving pipe, power poles and long steel or concrete beams.

Just about to convert an old dump truck we have to a tractor to put under the belly dump.

Lots and lots of paperwork. The telemarketing calls are out of control. Especially with the eld mandate.

Hope all is well with everyone. Have a happy thanks giving.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Is this fishy or normal?

Well put sir....Two words I learned a long time ago...Yes ma’am

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In my short life if there's anything I have learned over and over again is that the wife is always right.

Disregard everything we have said. Your wife is right, always has been, always will be.

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You forgot... I'm sorry and You're right

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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It's official

She's purty. Did you give her a name yet? Every truck just has to have a proper name or it won't be happy. Those older Freightliners were great trucks, I know I loved building and working on them years ago. I'm also glad to see you're doing well.

Lol, I have done nearly all the work myself getting her ready so right now it woild be @#$%ing pos.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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It's official

Pat, just out of curiosity, where do you mainly run? I swear I saw a truck with Elkhorn as its name just a week or so ago. Trying to remember where I exactly saw it. I remember the name; because it made me snicker. But I mainly run back and forth between the Midwest and southeast. I was thinking your gig was mainly up in the northwest.

Mainly Montana but will have one back east shortly.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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It's official

Nice. Can we blow up your phone now? lol

Everyone else is. From irs scams to student loans to factoring companies.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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It's official

Congratulations! I can't believe you didn't keep that cool paint job, though. It was very 80s.

Lol, that was the first thing that had to go. Along with the drums and shoes all the way around.

We channeled our inner jew and really beat him up on the price. Even with everything we have done to the truck, we are still under 10k for the truck and that includes the 4 new tires that still need to be put on.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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It's official

Second truck is just about ready to go. This is what it started out as. 20170812_075439.jpg This is what it looks like now. 20170905_195521.jpgAnd my numbers are now on both trucks 20170901_184133.jpg20170901_172812.jpg

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Amusing Myself At The Truck Stops

Well Old School, since I live in the Elkhorn Mountains....

1503290058.3289.jpg

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Oops, messed up on a delivery! [Gas Tanker Edition]

Well, last night I delivered my diesel compartment into the wrong tank at the gas station!

This particular gas station, located in the heart of the ghetto, has 4 underground tanks. They have a Regular 87 Tank, Premium 91 Tank, and X2 Diesel Tanks.

The first Diesel tank is Branded and the second tank is Unbranded. Branded means that the Diesel is the store brand (additives) and the Unbranded means the Diesel is from a different supplier (different additives).

They have two different pump islands for the Diesels. They have the gas station pumps which draw from the Branded tank and they have a fuel island off to the side that the commercial trucks use that draws from the Unbranded tank.

When I recieved my paperwork for my loads yesterday I noticed I was the unlucky one who is going to be constantly sent back and forth to the worst, most dangerous parts of town all night. Perhaps dispatch thinks I get along with these people?

I notice this load first, and on my paperwork it stated that the Diesel on this load is Unbranded. Unbranded has their own supplier numbers/accounts, as does Branded, so its really easy to know where its going. I call dispatch for the supplier numbers they want me to load the Diesel off of and dispatch gives me Branded numbers. "Strange, my paperwork says its supposed to be Unbranded," I said to dispatch.

Dispatch doesn't have a clue so I get them to call the customer. Per dispatch, the customer says its Branded.

And off I went. I loaded using Branded accounts and then got to the station and dropped the Diesel into the Branded Diesel tank.

The next day I get to work and everyone is asking me what happened with me not having a slight clue about what they're talking about. 10 minutes later I finally register what they're telling me (smelling these gasoline fumes has killed my brainpower) and I tell them my story.

Since I start later in the day my terminal manager has had enough time to conduct an investigation into what happened. All phone conversations are recorded in case something happens.

The result, I am innocent because I was following directions given by dispatch and the customer. Something was very off with this load, and instead of risking it I let someone above me make the decision. That decision was apparently wrong, but the price tag of the error isn't on my head.

--------------------------------------------------------

How does this relate to your life as an OTR trucker?

Do not allow yourself to be put into a "He said- She said" situation. Use the Qualcomm as much as possible so that everything is documented. In a reefer, if there's confusion about the loads temperature do not leave the facility. Get the shipping clerk/manager to write down the desired temperature with a signature and get their name.

Take no risks, always cover your ass.

Like this?????

carlosTurqBl_1.jpg

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Wisconsin to Montana

There are several hills but nothing major. Lookout is clear across the divide. Y ou will have Bozeman hill, cardwell hill and homestake pass before you get to butte. Then you have lookout, 4th of July and Snoqualmie passes before you get your feet wet.

Oh, and this time of year you only really need to worry about fires.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Flatbed drywall load

Yep. I get guys complaining all t he time. Just today as driver was complaining about me coming in and grabbing a loaded trailer and he had been there all day.

Clean you take a 12'8" wide load?

No, I don't have permits.

I do. See ya later.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

It sounds like you're using old equipment and doing the work yourself? I'm assuming that means engines with older emissions standards? Would a change in the emissions laws like they've done in California throw a gigantic wrench into the plans? What does that situation look like for you?

Actually, this does not concern me. California is actually changing their tune due to issues caused by the DEF fluid.

Emission standards have been changing for decades but they do not affect vehicles already on the road.

Smog pumps in cars started in California but every one else removed them, then the feds made those standards nationwide. You can still see vehicles from the early 1900's on the road.

Loads do not pay more because you have new trucks. Only carriers discriminate based on the are of the vehicle.

My truck is 24 years old and makes the same money as the guy driving the 2016 Volvo. I get to take home more money than him because my fixed costs are lower. A buddy of mine is still running a 1975 359 peterbilt and emission standards have changed a lot since then.

I wouldn't say that. Part of the reality when assessing the situation means that you'd be making $60,000 per year of pure profit as an experienced company driver, correct? So anything you make in profits below that number would be considered a loss overall. Making $30,000 in profit your first year would amount to a $30,000 loss for you personally. That has to be considered in the final tally

Just because I am not putting the money in my pocket does not mean that I have lost that money. That money is still there but earmarked for rainy days. If I were to shut down the money does not go away.

The main reason that so many fail is because they do not save for those rainy days. When I bought this truck I literally had $10 in my pocket. Now I have 14k in the bank, 18k in receivables, 20k in trailers and a truck that is just about paid for at 20k.

It is a capital intensive business. And takes some investment. I had 5k in startup costs before filling the first tank. All of that and all fuel has been paid back. I have also activated my own authority which is yet another startup expense.

Do I expect to become a millionaire? Hell no. I do expect to be comfortable.

One truck operations can make a comfortable living. 2-9 truck operations struggle more than one truck. Once you hit that magical 10+ trucks things get easier. Most throw in the towel before they get to that point though. This is just from observing others. Ears open and mouth shut.

I do agree that leasing is a bad idea. Equipment is a necessity not an investment except as a tool.

Another friend has 6 trucks. 3 of them do not run because he bought the wrong truck for the work he is doing and his lack of preventive maintenance. He is struggling because he probably could not change a glad hand seal.

Once I have 50k in the bank I will relax some. That will be my rainy day fund that could even replace the truck if I had to. Each truck will get the same money stashed away. It does not mean that money is lost. It would be just like you putting part of your pay in a savings account.

Oh, that $30,000 is after all expenses. Just like I said in the previous post, that includes driver pay.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

Pat, I hope you know we are all pulling for ya!

If you can do 10% over and above your salary that's great, but you indicate that you are paying yourself very conservatively. That's smart, but doesn't give you a true number in that profit column.

That is why I sated the first few years are irrelevant. You need 3- 5 years to get more accurate numbers.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

Just 6 months into owning my own truck and some replies are laughable. Especially the one about reapair costs on older trucks.

3 u joints and carrier bearing $300 Steering box $700 Broken torque arm bolts $200 Front shocks $150 Air governor $28 Steer tires $1200 That's all folks. I have spent other money upgrading a few things but I did not have to do those. Those were elective.

By the end of this gig the truck will be paid off, just purchased 3 flatbed trailers $20,000. Going to add another truck soon.

I have just about enough saved to replace anything on the truck.

The first year or two YOU must make sacrifices to stock the pantry. If that means you personally take less home then that is how it is.

While I agree leasing a new truck is a bad idea, asking for numbers needs to wait until after the pantry is stocked around the 3-5 year mark.

Since I am on a dedicated run here is my breakdown

Gross 2511 Carrier -376 Fuel -600 Insurance -90

= $1445 per load

I get 2 loads in every 5 days. There are some other minor expenses and I don't live in Chicago or any other expensive place.

Even at a very conservative $500 profit per load (I don't pay myself $945 per load), that is 19.9%, not the 3% you like to quote.

I will say that all the repairs except one I have done myself. General run of the mill trucking may be that way but you cannot make blanket statements about all trucking.

Have a friend that is running for $2 a mile loaded and empty and is having issues because of his truck payment and repairs. He has warranty and a 2014 truck but between the down time and 5k in repair costs it almost put hhim under. When I bought the steers, it stung but I did not hesitate and ask myself if I can get by longer. Tires were just wearing funny.

If you have a family to support then stay company, if you are single then you can do but it will take sacrifice on your part.

I tell people that the truck will eventually feed itself but you have to stock the pantry first.

Old School, respect your opinion but from my understanding you hauled your own freight. Big difference over contract or spot market.

Brett, your 3% profit margin you like to spout off all tyhe time is an average. All that means to me is some make more and some make less.

I have learned from observation of others that you should be able to profit 20-30k per truck per year after ALL expenses. That is right around the 10% mark.

As far as my numbers, until I finish the third year they are irrelevant.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Pics of my truck.

Looks awesome! I'd like to see what it would look like if the black tank covers and front bumper guard were white to match the truck. That would be cool. Looks awesome though.

Years ago the Anchorage police department would order the police cars with matching bumpers, then the news found out it was costing another 2k per car over the regular black bumpers.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Why not to start out in an automatic truck

A 10 speed was built so you would appreciate every other transmission that much more.

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