Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 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.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 2

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Posted:  1 day, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Thought I was going to die

Grumpy, well played! Making DIYODS repairs to continue and complete the mission safely is another hallmark of the professional driver. I created a sheet of equipment for new drivers. "Must have, nice to have, completely unnecessary but other drivers will be amazed". Torx bits were in the must column....

Posted:  1 day, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Out of the Truck

Mr. Curmudgeon, you will make a big mistake if you come to Texas looking for B-B-Q and fail to make a stop at Snow's. I warned you - you have got to get some Brisket from Snow's!

thank-you.gif Old School, that's what i have heard, but they only run saturdays, So, we're guessing the next seven days are fairly likely to be a "Texas Tornado" - swirling around in a brisket fueled frenzy, waiting to land in Lexington on the 30th. Sure miss my sleeper tho... smile.gif

Posted:  2 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Out of the Truck

Jan 18 was not bad news, and I guess passably good news. Things look stable. If no further regression of the screw-heads, MD will give me a no-holds-barred return to work authorization Feb 15.

Until then, it is more of the same. So... The Beloved gave me to green light to go BBQ Walkaboo. A buddy of mine for over 40 yrs and I are taking our "20 year old guy epic road trip". It's Mick Dundee's "Walkabout". But it's BBQ. And catching up with family and friends / coworkers I've not seen since I retired so many years ago. Much like that old dude's band, we are ALSO "Ten Years After (Times Four!)" We are shipping out of Beaumont, TX in another few minutes, already over 2200 miles into it. Heading for Central TX by way of Houston, then Galveston (fresh shrimp and seafood), and Lindale/Tyler/DFW to look for the perfect brisket. So far, Rodney Scott in Charleston, SC has pulled pork for the win! Baked beans and jalapeno cheese grits from Smoke Pit in Concord, NC. May have to hang around until NEXT Saturday to try snows, but Austin is calling, as is Kerrville, and Fredericksburg, and... you get the picture.

If I can get an app in before Feb 18, I should be good to go for a reinstatement. That is if I don't have any get another "screw loose".

Safe travels in the west and midwest this weekend and early next week folks, looks like Mom Nature is trying to stifle my run into the Canyon and back to Cawker City, KS for the biggest ball of string!!!

Peace to you all!!

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Posted:  6 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Thinking about a career change

Robert, Welcome!!! I did 28 and retired to drive. I was 52 when I started, and love what I do. I miss the clowns, but SURE dont miss the circus. I was OTR regional with my first company, left there to go local, and went back to OTR regional after about 1.5 year. The things we lived as cops are HUGE benefits as a driver. Self initiative, reliability, working without immediate micromanaging supervision (once you get settled and show what you are), ability AND willingness to follow rules, policies, and laws, ability to process situations and make reasonable decisions in a short amount of time. Personal accountability and pride. While this job is unlike anything you've done in your previous 28, it is loaded with opportunity for you to "ride for the brand" of the outfit you work for, and be a star.

The only drama that you will be forcwd to deal with is the drama you create or invite. If you ever got Verbal Judo / Tactical Commo training, you will find that stuff works well on all of the people around you. Nodding your head, arching your eyebrows, smiling, and palms up gestures are your friends in trucking as much as in policing, with the distinct difference that you truly ARE their to help them and solve their problem (and most fundamemtally understand, even if they seem unyielding) - moving freight. I enjoy the lack of drama immensely.

I was a self pay for my CDL. The recommendations here to go thru a company's cdl training are sound. You learn the mechanics of driving while also learning the nuances and culture of your new outfit. And while you may have a contract to fulfill, you'll want to stick around for at least a year before even thinking about leaving. It will take you at least that long to develop true efficiency and proficiency.

The desire to go local is understandable. However, as a local driver, u will likely be on a fixed start time, and you may work right up to the 14 hour point every work day. If so, you have to be back to your truck ready to roll ten hours later. Including travel to and from home and food, sleep, and family time. I found it to be as fatiguing as four consecutive 13 hour shifts. If you're not a young man, it could wear on you quickly. I actually got better sleep when my bed was 3 feet away, rather than 35 minutes away.

Good fortune to you, keep us posted on your progress thru the decision making process, and your training!!

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Out of the Truck

Hoping you all had a great Christmas, and that this update finds you well and 'Rona free. Also, wishing all y'all safe travels in the snow mess going on tonite up here in the Midwest. Hopefully you'll all find a place to safely park and rest.

Monday the 21st was NOT what I had hoped it would be. Imaging reveals that between September and December, the screws in my C3 vertebrae broke, mid screw. The heads are in the process of backing out. I go back in January for additional imaging, to see if there is continued regression of the screw heads.

The MD said that if I told him I absolutely had to go back to work, he would put me in a hard collar and give me a return to work note. Ya. Not happening - doubt I could get that past a DOT Medical Examiner. Not too sure I would WANT too...

I'm not much of a church guy, but if y'all are spiritual in any way (Allah, Dagda, God, Moradin, Odin, The Great Tree, etc) I sure could use some positive energy sent this way.

Wishing you all a productive and prosperous New Year. Peace!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Out of the Truck

Well, for the second time in my working life, and "59dot1" years of life, I'm gonna get fired from a job. The word they use is "Terminate". The last job I got fired from was Tellabs, Inc. on June 4, 1982. In that case, I went from drinking and partying with the guys, to being in charge of the guys. Didn't make the transition to supervision well, and ultimately transitioned to the unemployment line. My fault, and as the tattoo says "No Regerts". Met the love of my life at my next job, six years later came to realize that fact and we're still happily married, career as LEO for almost 30, and then on to this life of wonderment and delight.

My neurosurgeon is holding fast on the six month (minimum) timeline before I can be 'restriction free' for a return to work. That means mid-December. My FMLA and authorized leave time-frame is up in 10 days. That will be my last day with the outfit. That really sucks.

The bright side is that they have told me that 1) if I'm declared restriction free within 90 days of my termination date, and 2) I reapply for employment through the normal process, and 3) I "check all of the boxes" (drug screen, MVR, CQH, background, medical) they will consider me for reinstatement. No loss of benefits. No reduction in pay. It'll be like I never left. So, I've got that going for me.... which is nice. My terminal manager is emphatic that he wants me to come back - demonstrating those things I learned from my dad about working for someone and what you do as part of that contract, riding for the brand if you will, pays off. Yet, I'm unhappy.

I'm not unhappy that they'll take me back if the MD says "Good to Go". I'm just unhappy that I've gotten to this point. How did I get this old? wtf-2.gif

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

New CDL holder, need some suggestions.

Hi, Daniel! First off, thanks for doing that thing you did for ten years. You'll find quite a number of us on here are Vets, and darned proud. As for companies that have pet policies AND offer VA OJT benefits, Apply For Truck Driving Jobs is a good place to start. Schneider, Prime, and Swift are a few that I know of from previous discussions here that have VA benefits, and also have pet policies. The DUI's are always going to be an issue that they will ask about, but a lot of the outcome (especially with the time separation) will be in your responses to the questions. You served for 10 years, and if you have a clean abstract, your decision making and maturity can be part of the discussion. You may not be able to take the pibble with you until you get done with training, so perhaps a family member or friend can watch him/her for a while to allow you to learn the ropes and go solo.

If you reach out to the big outfits, many of them will be more than happy to talk to you about what they offer for veterans, pet policies, and benefits. Make a bunch of applications, that will give you a bunch of options.

Good luck, and welcome!!!

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

SBTC denied request for HOS and ELD exemptions when pets are on board

4 years Goofball was on my truck...and he never once complained about being fatigued or unloved/ cared for.

And slept whenever he wanted. Driving or.not

"Goofball"? Hey, wait. Mrs. Curmudgeon may get jealous if she thinks I rode with for four years. All this time she thought Goofball was out and about on his own... rofl-3.gif

Too many people trying to prove to the world how specially they need to be treated. My outfit has a no pet policy. We've had local driving candidates come along wanting their "emotional support animal" allowed. Not a service dog (different dealio in my mind), just an "I'm lonely and want to have company" animal, or maybe an "I can't leave my dog at home for the 14 hours, it's gonna need to potty" animal. They were not veterans, they were never deployed into the maelstrom. Just persons that needed. They were not allowed their 'cuddle buddy'.

Sorry if I sound judgemental. I have a dog at home. She IS my emotional support animal, especially now that I'm not permitted to work. She is my cuddle buddy. I have one. And I will leave her at home when (not if) I return to work.

Flame away.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Sort of a rant, maybe I need to find another employer?

I will be blunt and uncaring in my response. Not disrespectful, just b****.

When some blue hair drives under YOUR trailer tandems at sunrise because your 73280# unguided missile came at her out of the sun like Mitsuo Fuchida at Pearl, YOU are the one that goes to prison for Reckless / Negligent Homicide. Not your boss. Not the uncaring customers. YOU!

You know the rules. You are choosing to break them. The simple facts that you're reporting, and saying all of the self incriminating things about sleep deprivation and disabling the eobrd on a public forum guarantees your fate. Park the truck.

Don't walk away.

RUN.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Best company to get CDL with 4yr old dui

Another good resource (thanks, Kearsey)

https://www.truckingtruth.com/wiki/topic-55/trucking-company-policies-on-drivers-with-dui-dwi

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Company holding me hostage

Hostage?

Wow.

Which outfit? Please do let us know, e'er anyone else get trapped in that Shelob's Web.

[sar-font]

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Who will hire w/ 3 DUIs 21-15y old

It is unfortunate that you are going the school then job search route, rather than the Paid CDL Training Programs route. Hiring on first would have guaranteed a smoother transition into this career. All is not lost, though.

If the three deweys are 15 years old, and you've got a demonstrated history of life change that will satisify skeptical hiring people, you MIGHT find a spot with a carrier. Stick with them once you find them. Prove to them, and the rest of the industry that you are reliable, steadfast, and sober. After a couple years as an "upper case p" Professional Driver your opportunities will like increase.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Mechanical issue

Sounds like an aftertreatment issue beginning. Do you have a DD motor? My 2015 Cascadia was doing that for about 2 months,off and on, before i staryed derating due ti DEF crystalising in the exhaust system..

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Does getting stuck count as an accident?

Bobtail with a tag-axle driveline while winter driving in the upper Midwest winter makes NOT getting stuck an art form. Got drifted in one night while on my 10-hour. Learned to check weather for wind direction and position accordingly going forward from that.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Jobs for a Dodge Ram 2500 with 8 foot flatbed ?

Hey, Joe.

Fella that I know, a firefighter with every work day a Friday, used to hang around the lot in the local Lowes and Home Depot, looking for people needing a hand with hauling things too big for the store owned rental trucks. Flatbed with open side might work well in that environment. He never got beefed because he had "an understanding" with the store's GMs. Maybe something similar is an option for you?

Good luck.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

New Here and need help?

Hey, Josh.

This Apply For Truck Driving Jobs is a good resource. These are outfits that have been positives for people on here, and given your experience you'll likely be able to get a solid look from most. Due to the lengthy absence (over ten years) there is a strong likelihood that you may have difficulty with insurance company acceptance from many outfits - JRod ( https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Comments/User-41391/Page-1/ ) would probably have a better handle on that given his status as a driver recruiter. Good luck to you getting back into it!

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Out of the Truck

Was out in the garage yesterday, and saw a forlornly sad sight. My well used and paint worn fifth wheel handle puller hanging on the front of a shelf.

It was kind of a self portrait, in a very obscure way. For all y'all that have been through injury and rehab process, wanting to get back to the normal / regular / working life, you'll know what I mean.

That said, I'm staying upbeat. The physical therapy is doing (in my opinion anyway) EXACTLY what it is supposed to do. I'm sore, badly achy, and muscularly tired. Aaaaand, the range of motion measurements have all increased by about 10 degrees in the two weeks I've been doing it.

Got the word this morning that a coworker of my son tested positive for the 'rona on a quick test. Boyo and I were out for lunch on Friday. He was tested via nasal swab two days ago by the NIU Grad School as part of their normal process. Waiting to see what his results are...

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

I second the motion for PapaPig's "Family Dollar Debacle Diary"... oh, wait.. it's called something elseshocked.pngrofl-2.gif . All jokes aside - there are very good learning points being raised by the guy that is learning them. That is priceless in these times - someone that acknowledges that there may have been a better way to do something, and then saying what they think that better way may be, all based on their actual performance of the task.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local driving/Rookie/hours/LADY TRUCKER

...you can try LazerSpot. Its a yard dog/shuttle position. They require you to have a class A. They train. It requires a lot of backing but if your comfortable with that then you would be ok.

LazerSpot in the chicago metro area supposedly pays pretty well for yard positions. Seems "not a lot of drug free, felony free, work ethic possessors want to work in the spotting industry". A direct quote from a LazerSpot driver trying to recruit me out of my big rig 7 years ago while I was waiting at a dock in Skokie, IL (as a new driver) griping about how bad my OTR life was. But you will likely be working at least a ten hour day, possibly a 12.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Current address on driver's license for DOT physical

Sorry - my previous posting went live before I finished it. If, as an IL CDL holder in IL, you get asked about address by an enforcement authority and what is on your printed card is not the same as your actual license, be aware that you could get cited for a driver's license violation. I am speaking from 28 years of practical application of that law for both CDL and non-CDL holders. Each state may have different rules. Ill-Noize? Ten days to notify, 30 days to get a corrected issued to you. If you don't follow that guidance, and if the copper has no sense of humor (like one or two I know) you could wind up holding a sheet of paper in your hand that you'll need to 'spain to your DM.

Check your state's CDL licensing authority for the correct answer on this. I suspect the FMCSA may have some commentary as well, I'm just not in the mood to search thru US Code for answers right now.

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