Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 months ago

Mr. Curmudgeon's Bio

I joined this profession after 28 years in another profession. Knew it was getting time to retire, and started a skills assessment. What did I do daily that I could do when I grew up? Well, sarcasm isn't a marketable skill in the private sector, but DRIVING? That I could do. Didn't hurt that I had a brother doing this for over a decade that said "Hey, you could always drive a truck. I mean, if I can do it... "

Worked about a year and a half doing OTR regional, home every weekend. Learned, a lot. Missed my family, a lot. Got paid by the mile, NOT a lot. Ended up finding a gig with a company that hired me for local driving, home every day, paid by the hour, tractor and trailer shop on site for prompt and effective repairs. Jumped at the chance and haven't looked back. After two years of local work, I climbed back into a sleeper, and am running OTR Regional Midwest pulling intermodal and dry van loads. Happy as a clam again.

I do dabble a bit in training drivers that come over to our company, as a polisher / finisher for folks that need some extra one on one training time to get them fully smoothed out and ready for solo.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Why I Pre-trip. From UNDER the Trailer.

I was trying to add video, the really bad can had a hole on the other side as well, but cannot get it to load. My brother wrenched for upwards of 25 years before starting to drive. He says there is upwards of 3000# of compressive force in that coil spring - think 18" of automotive coil spring tucked into that itty bitty living space. This was a company trailer, gotta suspect the mechanic that put the fhwa sticker on there is looking for a new line of work, or at least a new outfit to be lazy no-account at. And y'all are correct - many, many opportunities for someone to find that and get it repaired. Leads one to wonder how infrequently people actually DO those steps they make you memorize for the DOT Examiner once they get out onto the road. I know, or at least hope, that anyone that seriously follows this site, and is considering this as a career will take the inspection steps seriously, and pre-trip, post-trip, every trip.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Tanker Jobs

The study portion for haz is not that difficult. Obtaining the Haz certificate requires fingerprinting and TSA backgrounding. Not difficult, as there are lots of places near major metro areas that will submit your prints for an $85 dollar fee. Many outifits will pay your app fee, by reimbursement, if you get your haz after you are hired. The advice here is sound. Gain driving experience in all seasons before jumping into tankers. Especially Haz tanks...

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Why I Pre-trip. From UNDER the Trailer.

Driver in the dock next to mine had to get a Sunday mobile service call to replace two brake chambers on a pool trailer someone else had dropped.

I'm not a mobile mechanic, but im guessing this cost his outfit well over a grand. Two hours for the job, at limely 350 or so per hour. The service tech let me take pics. Sad thing? Someone put an fhwa inspection sticker on this in February. This year.

Never trust your CDL to someone else's inspection. I've had other drivers, long in the tooth and short on moxy, tell me that if a trailet was federal inspected in the past three or four months they dont bother crawling around underneath it.

The fifteen minutes you save may represent the last fifteen minutes of someone's life. Maybe even your own.

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Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

$150 Rookie Mistake

As in every profession, there are Troopers who sometimes don't exercise the best use of discretion. Technically, the fact that the tire blew means that it was defective. If your discussion with the officer indicates to him that you knew the tire was in danger of going, then justifiable citation. Out of the blue, Tire blows, get a ticket for defective equipment, well, he was probably picked on in high school. embarrassed.gif

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

$150 Rookie Mistake

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Driving from Huntington WV to S. Carolina this morning. Brakes were good during the pre-trip but I noticed I was losing too much pressure when braking after I cleared the big hills. PSI never dropped below 120 but I was going to schedule service after my drop which was about 90 minutes away.

6 miles before my drop in BFE, SC a state trooper pulled me over for a random level 2.

Out of service, waiting for the mechanic. Pockets $150 lighter. Won't do that again.

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I'm confused on how you were losing too much pressure but it never dropped below 120. Those two statements are contradictory.

If your braking is Limited, the truck's air compressor will keep up with some pressure loss. The applied pressure test allows you to lose up to 4 PSI in a minute trauma on a combination.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Packed and ready to head out to Wolding.

Go git 'em, Grumpy! Best wishes for success and rapid acclimation as you, truly, embark on your new career!!

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Route 30 shutdown in both directions

Than rt 16 back to Huntington.

Idade! That grocery warehouse, south of town? Manny's a 10-hour break was spent in the dock waiting for the lopers to finish unloading and sorting the stuff I took their.. So glad we do not do grocery loads with my new outfit.

I was fortunate today, in that I went to Grand Rapids, and ran right between the two storm sections. Just a little bit of flurry activity early this morning. Stay safe this weekend to haul who are driving in the midwest, promises to be quite interesting.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Questions on getting on with a company sponsored driving school

It is, indeed, a walker Bulldog, m-41A3 I believe. The photo was taken at the first Division Museum, at Cantigny Park, in Wheaton Illinois. It was at my son's first professional orchestral performance, seated as assistant first horn. Quite a grand evening. Sitting in a wooded park area on a beautiful summer evening, surrounded by the conflicting concepts of classical music and Implements of Destruction. Very Germanic and quite Wagnerian...

If you are ever in the western suburbs of Chicago, and have several hours, I highly recommend that you oober over to the first Division Museum. It was put together by Robert McCormick, a first-division veteran of the first world war. It is a moving display. The Gardens are amazing as well!

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Questions on getting on with a company sponsored driving school

Ok. How do you deal with and control your self?

I recommend a book called "Verbal Judo" by Dr. George Thompson. The concepts are valuable in ANY career. They served me well for 25 years (the first few I wandered, lost in the desert of angst) in my previous career, and they are GOLD in this one

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Questions on getting on with a company sponsored driving school

"Idiot drivers"?

You only worry about things YOU can control, that's the best way to work through this career (and, if you'll allow me a moment of #NotesFromTheRoad philosophical mumbojumbo) and life in general. You will become the pilot of an 80k vessel capable of destuction and mayhem on a massive scale. YOU control that. Every second you are in that seat. Following distance. Lane position. Constant mirror checks. Speed management. And a daily dose of humility pills.

Nothing they do should rattle your composure or diminsh your professionalism. YOU are the professional driver. Demonstrate that to all.

THAT'S how you deal with idiot drivers...

My opinion only... good-luck.gifgood-luck.gifgood-luck.gif

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Lot Lizards.

". There are some exit ramps that I swear the same guy has been there for a few years, with the same cardboard sign: "Help Please! Need gas money".

Ya, for his 2018 Caddi Escalade parked around behind the adult video store...

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Questions on getting on with a company sponsored driving school

Sorry if i sounded harsh, but that is how companies will see it.

check out this article

Nope, not harsh. Blunt and realistic.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Questions on getting on with a company sponsored driving school

David, you do have a bit of a hot mess of a background and work history. Like Rainy said, there are issues that you'll have to overcome.

With that said, read the resources available on this site recommended by Erroll and others, related to felons, and just general Preparatory information on what the lifestyle of OTR is. Once you have invested that time and if you are still considering this as a career path, get a job. Keep that job. And start applying to places that have shown a willingness to hire on people with your background.

Make sure it is a place that will employ and train you through the CDL training process. That way you are not spending your limited financial resources on getting a CDL that may or may not do you good in the future. If a company takes you in and pays for you to get your cdl, you'll be well on your way to a new and worthwhile career. If you get turned down due lack of verifiable employment history, take that to heart and keep working and marking the time until you have sufficient work history. Use THAT time to study

High Road CDL Training Program and

Good luck!!

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Training Starts Monday At McElroy. I Need Advice!

Don't know anything about the company, but the advice I would give you going forward is like others have said, plus unlearn anything you thought you knew specific, except for the basics inspection, hours of service, and driving tactics. Embrace their culture, and give them 110%. It will pay off after the first few months. Wear a hat or a bandana when backing, it keeps the sweat from running into your eyes. Have a flashlight, amazing how many times you are going to need it, even in broad daylight. If you're uncertain, ask. Don't presume to know, that's why they have a training process.

Good luck! You will enjoy it, or you won't, and that's okay too. Sometimes the only way to discover whether you like, or can live, this lifestyle is to immerse yourself into it. And, immersion is the key for the first six to eight months.

Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Passed my CDL

Congratulations, Grumpy!

I was going to take a video of me doing the happy Slappy Dance like the bananas and the dogs and everything else, like everyone else on here has already done, but opted to Simply say congrats, good luck, keep on being safe!

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What are some hobbies you do?

Turtle, thanks. Never thought about doing cache hunts, I used to do that with my son when he was younger. We were Old School, actually using a Magellan Handheld. Im told that people now use their devices... what a change in the world as we know it. I first learned the skill in BSA as " Orienteering" followed up by Land Nav and grid coordinates courtesy of Uncle (lensatic compass with the radioactive logo anyone?).

It would be a great way to occupy sometime, and get in those steps that I otherwise might not... Thank you!

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

And now, for something COMPLETELY different!

Thursday afternoon, at the end of my work week (Sun - Thurs) got my Sunday dispatch, a rail chassis witn equipment type "FR" going to Ames, IA. I have never seen that abbreviation, it's not on the preload equip types in our peoplenet, so had to hook up and pretrip the pretrip.

It's a "flat rack" - sort of an IM container without sidewalls, or a flatbed that mount to the top of a container chassis using the pin and twist lock securement method. Very odd, but strangely cool looking apparatus. Just wanted to share the image.

The second photo was taken inside the shop, where it was moved to several issues. The load was 30k, gross puts me about 62k. The front axleslack adjusters were at different angles, right side badly overstroke, right side not up to 90 degree. The DVIR on this rail owned chassis was, lets just say, robust...

Never presume, or assume, that because it was dropped by an experienced driver it is good to go

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Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Decided to shutdown

Good, no, EXCELLENT call, Stephanie! I70, I72 and I74 thru lower Illinois are in the ice belt, as is I65 thru Indiana around Lafayette. If the prediction is for ice , believe it. In spades. Do you have the road condition web addresses and phone numbers saved in your device? Most states are automated, voice recog, and updated regularly.

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What are some hobbies you do?

I am going to bump this up. It's a couple years old, but still a valid question.

Me? I have taken up the penny whistle, have a book and cd that is used in my laptop during longer my 10's. On my 34, at home, i enjoy time with Mrs.Curmudgeon (the woman who rescued me from myself 30 years ago) and our rescue pocketpittie Miss Melody.

I also try to walk 1.5 miles a day at the end of my drive day. I have found that deliveries or loads into small town America are great for that, if the load or unload is going to be a slow one. I try to snap photos on my phone which capture the tone, and post them for family to see.

How about y'all?

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Truckers Against Trafficking

All of our outit's power units (day cab and sleeper) have the TAT sticker on the driver side vent window, with a text link listed. Not sure how many times, if any, my truck has been involved in helping someone out. One driver peeled it out, and was promptly rebuked. By other drivers. THAT, i thought, was sign that there is still humanity in our profession...

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