Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Cordes Junction, AZ

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 4 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 and profanity aren't really marketable skills in the private sector, but DRIVING? That I did pretty much all day, every day. 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 for 32 hours (add in one hour each way to terminal). 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.

The outfit I work for is G&D Integrated, based in Morton, IL with terminals in Joliet, Morton, Champaign, Decatur, and Montgomery, Illinois, with additional footprints in Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina. No job or outfit is perfect, but I've been with these folks for long enough to know it's where I will finish out my career, as they're a good outfit.

After about 8 years in the driver seat, I was forced to retire from driving. Three titanium spacers where disks used to rest and a sensitivity to vertical vibration resulting in gradually increasing nerve pain in the left arm resulted in my Neurosurgeon telling me I should find something else to do, as the vibration was going to hasten the degeneration of the other disks in my cervical spine. Paralyzed / lack of control of the arms vs. doing what I really like to do? I opted to give Mrs. Curmudgeon her due - and not intentionally cause injury to myself so that I could keep driving.

We moved out of Illinois to Arizona, and are happy living in the country.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 3

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Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Pros and cons

James, I went the private route, paid my own way. The primary reason is I was in a situation where I wasn't ready to start driving immediately. That was a mistake. My studio was a year old when I finally started looking for work, and I was able to land a job, but it was with a last chance outfit.. They gave me a shot, I appreciate it, and I stayed with them for 14 months.

Were I to do it again, I would find a company that wanted to get me my CDL, train me, and get me out on the road all in one continuous run. If you need to stay with them for a year to complete the schooling contract, that's just a continuation of the learning process, you need to be at least a year or longer OTR to truly learn the critical aspects of this profession.

And I use the term profession specifically, it's not just a job, it's a profession. If you go into it thinking it's a job, you will likely fail.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Sleeper Berth...on a customer site?

The correct response to "do you have a hotel receipt...?" is clearly... "Sorry, Sir / Ma'am. A gentleman / lady doesn't ask their 'newly acquired companion' for a lodging receipt. They were, however gracious, kind, and infinitely passionate."

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trucking and Unionization...

Brett, the interesting thing is the OP referred to possible federal involvement in encouraging unionization. The "why" of that has faded away in favor of pro or con on unions, and now a discussion on whether unions are or are not good for lower and middle class entities.

The current majority of congresscritters stand behind, and in support of, multiple socialist agendas and candidates. The data is in your everday news. Everything from govenrnment is free, or should be according to the majority. Why do corporations resist unions in our modern OSHA / DOL / OGA alphabet soup regulated society? Because they increase costs to the company, which affect profit. That results in a need to balance the income / expense stream, or become less profitable and less able to withstand unforeseen spikes ($4.40 fuel, 30%+ increase in meat pricing, etc). Raise prices?... . Reduce employment costs...? Who, then bears the brunt of that, the higher paid union member? Or, perhaps the non-union low to middle class worker? I submit that in our modern society (USA only, I won't pretend to care about our northern, southern, or across the pond neighbors) the ones most affected by union driven cost increases are those who choose NOT to live on the dole, to try to pull themselves up on their own.

Do I have links from Wikipedia, Google, The Guardian, US News & World Report, some federal GSA study? No. But I do have 60 plus years of life in this world, with the ability to see and extrapolate from what I see. YAMMD. Peace.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Safe wind speed

On topic, regionally specific: NWS Flagstaff just put this out. Seems I40 will be quite sporty this today and overnight.

0147020001639491878.jpg

The G-Town (Welcome back, Sir, by the way!) chart was laminated and always in reach...

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trucking and Unionization...

Brett, I need to disagree with your assertion that we can't blame unions for lazy people. I have been in a union, as a line worker, where I was told by multiple other union members (including leadership) that I needed to slow down, not be so active, that I was making others look bad. I have been in a supervisory role over Union employees, and seen the lengths that they go to to prevent the turds from being held accountable. Arguing that identifying someone who " allegedly " doesn't pull their share of the load is "micromanaging, heavy-handed, unfair, clearly an anti union tactic." I heard all of them. The contract was simply there, in their minds, to extract pay and benefits from the employer, and to keep a lid on accountability for lazy individuals. The Borg Collective became my private moniker for it.

I have also been told by an IBT recruiter, directly to my face, at a meeting where the Teamsters were trying to organize my former employer's drivers, that the teamsters protect their own members, even if they are hassling another that produces more output. "You have to be a moron to get fired from a Teamster job" which clearly indicated to me that 1)they know that there are worthless shirkers in their membership, 2) they will continue to collect money from said shirkers, and 3) they are going to do nothing about people that don't work and fully support peer pressure to bring all workers to the same mediocrity level (which they encourage, because bottom line is the union line, which (in my experience) is the lowest common denominator.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Pneumatic Tanks?

I did a search, only found one topic started by Amish Country (not sure if he's still around) some four years ago.

So, here goes. Anyone on TT currently, or recently, running pneumatic tanks? I've got a couple of outfits nearby that are hiring local drivers for pneumatic. My brother did, but he was hauling frac sand on an OTR basis to get to oilfield worksites. This would be day cab / local work, something I've done with intermodal and dry van. The terminal / power-unit parking area is about two miles from the house, so it's attractive from that perspective.

If you have recent experience, I'd be interested to get your input on it. I know it's dusty / gritty / dirty work, but looking for the other aspects. How difficult is it to get a handle on the nuances of pressure and valve use? Load pay, mile pay, or hourly? Any other pros - cons?

Thanks in advance, folks. Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving. I know I'm thankful for y'all!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Any recommendations for an unlimited data cell phone plan?

Northern AZ is NOT a good place for TMobile or for sprint. Have sprint, it's garbage. Swapping to verizon on the advice of countless neighbors and co-workers.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Schneider National kept my employment record for over 10 yrs

.... maybe the interview didn’t go well. Did they ask you about this safety violation at the interview?

Given most of this interaction, I would guess they did, and got the same tired responses we have. Rationalization does not go well on your interviewing for a job. Acknowledge it say I should have gotten out and looked, or whatever the buzzwords are, and move past it proved to them that you're not still going to follow the same unsafe habits.

Your job (manufacturing I think you wrote) in the interim was not a CMV driving job. Different worlds. Your 11 or 12 years of interim employment counts for employment time, but it proves nothing about your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle in a safe and effective manner. Of course Schneider isnt going to roll over like a pibble waiting for a belly rub, all warm and fuzzy that you've returned to the fold. You left trucking for 12 years, after what you have described as being fired for a safety violation. I'm not sure about Orange, but I've met some drivers that have done some pretty dumb unsafe things that kept their jobs. Dropping trailers off the plate, dragging a trailer 2miles with brake lock, pulling an IM chassis with a wheel set missing spindle gleaming in the sun... i could go on. In each of these cases it was less the violation, and more the driver's response to THEIR actions, that kept the driver working with the outfit. I guarantee, a BFA was not part of their succesful employment retention plan.

Any monkey can work assembly, I know, I did for two years. It is rote and sometimes mindless adherence to a process. Being a safe Professional Driver requires more than memorization, including a decent amount of humility.

As to why your comments are allowed by the moderators without blocking, yet your assertions are mostly rejected... all I can surmise is they are enjoying the s***show.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Schneider National kept my employment record for over 10 yrs

If you were getting paid $9.50 \ hr to fix electronics for the USAF, does that mean you were enlisted, or a contractor?

If you were enlisted, then it surprises me not that your pay, by the hour, was $9.50. But your housing, medical, dental, and meals were paid. If you wanted to accept them.

My first twelve months in the driving career I averaged, gross, about $575.00 per week. That's using about 60 hours each week on duty / driving. About your USAF money, but my meals werent paid for by Uncle. It was a rough year, fortunately my bride stuck with me. I did it knowing that I was making an investment in my SKA. Knowing that "paying my dues" would pay off. It did. Based on much ofnthe comments you've made here, I couldnt in good conscience refer you to an outfit, even one I didn't like.

I truly hope you find happiness in a career, but am willing to go out on a limb and predict it wont be as a driver, because everyone else is either wrong, or has it in for you. The bad attitude you talk about, and are so proud of? In my previous career, those folks were called opinions. There are already too many bitter, know it all, "time to dump these dodoes" drivers, why add any more.

Hospitality and Restaurants are losing 3% of their employees per month. Maybe look there for the pot of gold?

Good luck. This thread has set my head to spinning with the rationalizations, justifications, and prevarications...

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Sleeper AC without key?

Speaking from 28 years as a cop, there are nuances that YouTube lawyers dont discuss. The terminology in most state statutes is along the lines of "drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination to such a degree as to impair...". Keys in the vehicle have been held by MANY appelate courts to constitute APC. Keys in your pocket? Easier to prove, and intent is NOT an element here, for the most part these are considered per se offenses. Once again, Pack Rat is right on target. Leave alcohol for home time. Read your outfit's alcohol policy carefully, you may find some surprises in the fine print...

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

16 year olds driving big rigs

I was at OSUT, USAMPS Ft. McClellan in 1982 with 16 and 17 year old DEP MP's driving Deuce and a Halfs. I've seen 70 year old super truckers that were less mature than some of the PV1 and PV2's I was there with. Properly trained, supervised, and vetted (read Military Heavy Truck Driver), I guess why not.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is there hope for my Trucking career?

Anyone able to weigh in on the medical information sharing that has become prevalent? If you get a drug screen at a doc in the box, and fail, you have a medical record. While HIPPA should preclude sharing with private entities not of a medical nature, when does that info become available to a medical professional through the medical Clearinghouse of information, completely without regard to the dot Clearinghouse? If you wonder what I'm talking about, read the fine print on many of the medical facility admission forms for patients. I have begun opting out on everything.

I suspect, and I could be wrong, as I have been known to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist and privacy advocate, the information in all of our medical records has likely been digitized and downloaded. Everything has a medical code, a numeric representation. If you trust that something that was a medical record from 30 years ago is not digitized into the medical sharing information, I think you are fooling yourself.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

RVer Fueling in the truck lanes question.

Thanks, PackRat. The comment justifying using the fuel island as legit parking space for a 30 is flawed and inconsiderate of other drivers.

I've had many times to sit in a fuel line, done and ready to roll, waiting for a steering wheel holder to mosey on back out with their week's worth of rollergrill and Dew. They casuallt wander over to their tractor, never acknowledging the driver behind them, climb ohsovery casually up into their tractor, and then disappear from mirror view for five or six minutes (napping, storing, watching videos.. who knows?) before moving. (Flying J in New Haven, IN is one that is horrible.for this!)

Be a "Capital P" Professional Driver. Get your fuel. Pull forward to the stop line. Go inside for a pee, purchase and pay. Move like you have a purpose BACK to your unit. GTFO of the fuel line. Park in a space, or make your own, just dont use the fuel line for your 30. PLEASE!!

I was going to say something along the lines of "If you haven't figured out how to work your clock better, so you don't have to take your 30 in the fuel line, then you need to find a new line of work." But that would be disrespectful and inconsiderate of new people. So I'll simply say, "Please, just don't do it."

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Please help me decide between 2 companies

Bumping this. Jerad, did you go with Ace? What is your impression 5 months in. I am looking at trying to get back in the saddle on a short week basis if they'll consider it, and you're the only driver here that I have been abke to come up with in a search.

Thanks!!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Home Kit or Self Lab test in preparation to pass actual Drug Tests?

If you were a heavy user, you will need to wait more than a month for an acceptable sample. I would recommend waiting at least six months.

A failed test will ruin any possible driving job before you even begin.

THIS is sage advice. Side note: If I were a recruiter, and a candidate showed up asking me which technique we used for our pre-employment testing, I might be inclined to suspect someone's gonna show up with a fake bladder... just sayin...

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Time For A Change - Local maybe?

One thing to be aware of about local (day cab) driving. If you're going to your home terminal every night, you are likely on a set start time. The hours of service allow them to push you to 14 every day. When I was local, they did. Your outfit may not have the load volume / expectstion of 12hrs plus, and thats a good thing. I didnt argue, because I rode for the brand. But when you go off duty at 14, and have to be back in 10, and have to manage a drive home, eat, sleep, S-cubed in there, it can get stressful.

Make sure you have a discussion with those who are important to you, and to whom you are important, about those potentials. If you're the innaugural driver for a new account, the service expectations are high, and the reputation rewards are as well. Good luck in your decision.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Help With DOT Compliance

There are MANY ways of being DOT compliant. Are you referring to compliant within the boundaries of hours of service (HOS), inspections, transporting Haz, cargo securement, general rules related to CMV operation, etc etc etc.?

If you went through a training program, dig out the training manual and start reading it. Again. Front to back, or focus on question areas first. I spent 26 years out of a 28 year career before this one as a hands on direct trainer, or as a supervisor of those training and being trained. My #1 rule for every recruit officer was "Get a copy of the Criminal and Traffic codes. Put them on the top of the tank at home. When you're so engaged in constitutional, read that. Not G&A, not People, not a skin mag.". Here I would say "Get the state CDL manual from the Internet for the state you're licensed in. Read it, front to back. Look up, in that annoying green FMCSA pocket rag, the statutes that are referenced in the manual. Don't play xbox, or watch netflix, or partake of the pleasures that only exist in truck stop lots (YUCK). You'll learn a lot." Avoid YOUTUBE videos, unless you get a rec from one of the moderators or significantly experience drivers here. Every jackwagon in the world has their opinion on there, but is it factually and legally sound?

Good luck. That FMCSA manual is actually a complete listing of all the things you need to know. It's gleaning the applicable nuggets to your situation that are key.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

And So It Begins... Just Gave My Notice

Great another Illinoian taking their money else where. How are we going to fix the roads now??

Well, he DOES live in "Wheel-ing" - he's just taking their municipally sage advice...

smile.gif

Congrats, Matt! Enjoy the new challenges - you're gonna find some things that just baffle you andleave you wondering "How can they stay in business this way?" Roll with it, nod your head, and just go keep smiling. Keep us posted on your future adventures!

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Will You Take The Jab?

I have read this thread with a good deal of interest. I'm not a fan of either of the past three prez-guys, so my comments are NOT based on politics of who is in what was once The People's House...

I had the 'rona in Feb 2020, well before the vax was even a real thing. I lived. I think that there is much duplicity in the messages being sent. Like others, I've noticed the sudden embracing of a vaccine that was (prior to an innauguration) despised. A significant portion of our Nation was extremely vocal with respect to making choices for their own medical processes. Now that has been subsumed, imo, in an effort to ensure the legacy of a prez-guy who campaigned on making America healthy again.

I won't be taking the vax. My wife and I have already cancelled travel plans to a country that would have required us to prove that we have gotten a shot. In my old career, the presumption of guilt was on a list of things very taboo... I'd like to add 'presumption of contagion' to that list.

I shall remain "Vaxxed, By God (or whiche'er deity you ascribe to here)". I am working for a Native casino in AZ, and they have not adopted the over 100 rule yet. When that happens, I shall likely wander into another field. Ontario, Canada was reported on NPR recently to be contemplating eliminating the need for proof of vax within about 12 months. If THEY can do it, hopefully the need for international commerce will drive our government in a direction of sensibility rather than sensitivity.

YAMMD. Peace.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Firearms?

Mountain Matt - they gave specific instructions from the shipper and my dispatcher that if anything seemed suspicious to notify dispatch. I didn't know it was pharma, I thought expresscrips was a check printer ( DOH!!). Thought it odd at the time, but wasn't too worried (it's freight). It wasn't until I spoke with Andre out on the coast that I figured out why they weren't too concerned. I don't think these guys were worried about a hijacking, they were moving in from Cinci to StLouis... with whatever that might imply. Watching for tailing vehicles has always been part of my SOP anyway, still do it... late night rural driving makes it tough for someone to close tail, and easy enough to shake...

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