Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 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:  1 month ago

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Job Search and Training NOT GOING STALE Update!

Define "drive"! rofl-1.gif

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You know. Drive. Baby.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Coil almost killed me

"I was unable to adjust the chain links accordingly.. Any tips?"

Brett - put this at the top of a thread at the top of the site with the title - "How NOT To Alienate Everyone on TT"

Danielsahn - that last sentence indicates you're going to do well in this profession. We are all still learning stuff, and seeking the expertise of the folks here is the way to learn, and gain many tools to put into your toolbox. While there are likely to be many similar resposnses, someone may have an alternate that is legal, practical, and efficient.

Well Done, and glad you survived that fall. We lost a driver to a massive elbow and arm fracture falling off the side of a deck. Fortunately he was wearing the hardhat, and that kept him from a rear head crush.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Question about functional external light inspection.

Mike, if you're in a school, follow the steps as instructed by the school. They will have a pretty good handle on what the inspectors are going to look for, what order they want, etc. If you're getting OJT, then get a copy of the state's "PreTrip Inspection Protocol" for Rhode Island, probably available as pdf on line. Follow that, if you're asked by the feller/gal in the hat why you went that way, you can tell them you followed the outline provided by Rhode Island in "(insert name of document here)". It will show that you're following a protocol rather than winging it...

Using the acronyms to remember stuff is a great tool...

Keep on keeping on!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

My progress so far week Six solo

Most lightbulbs are an easy swap, which will save you a bunch of time.

My go kit includes a spool each of black and white wire, a stripping tool, tape, butt connectors, at least one each of all the lamp assemblies, a couple of spare pigtails (led style and incandescent) and a spare headlamp. I've saved myself lots of time by doing quick repairs, putting in a new pigtail, changing bulbs, etc. As for HOS - my rule of thumb is 15or so minutes ONDTY Not Driving, and then I go into OFFDTY status. If your log people don't beef it, you're giving the feds 15 min for the load or unload, and then you are taking a break. Just be sure to go ONDTY Not Driving before you relocate to avoid flagging a lat / long change indicating movement of the tractor. Our log folks lose their minds when I forget... they don't beef the OFFDTY.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

Thanks for update. Your last sentence is the best omen of all. If you keep trying to learn something new, you will. And that attitude will carry you further than you can imagine!!

As for the HOS stuff, the elog makes things tough, especially in large urban areas. If you get caught in traffic and run over, do you put a notation in your log as well, explaining "Traffic disturbance, unable to safely park until current location" or something like that? If you get caught up in a log check three days later, it also helps to explain to the guy / gal in the unusual hat what was going on. They'll see the violation, and absent the "safe legal harbor" stuff, everything you say may or may not hold water if there's no contemporaneous notation.

That's how our log folks have told us to deal with those occasions.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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

I carry wire, butt connectors, tape, strip tool, spare pigtails, and spare lamps. I've saved myself tons of time by being willing to make a field fix rather than wait for mobile service, or worse, take a chance that I'm not gonna come to the attention of the folks with the unusual hats.

If you don't know how to do it, no worries. I do know, so I fix it if I need to. I'll always DVIR after the fact to have my work redone by mechanics with heat shrink connectors etc. Field expedience...

On a side note - submitted a DVIR for a lighting issue - trailer corner lamp opening bent when trailer got bunged up, lamp would not stay in the grommet in the hole. I fixed using duct tape and some pallet scrap. I put in comments "Marker light ass'y not secure in trailer, Driver repaired using Field Expedients". Got a oh-crapoh-gram from the shop to the effect of - "Did you pay for that service out of pocket? We don't have a repair contract with Field Expedient, don't see them listed. Will need contact information. In the future, we will provide you with contracted service rather you getting your own mobile." I laughed loudly. Then called and explained with a "FE" was....

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Finally Gunna get started @ this new chapter of life

For those interested in my sourcing and the science - refer to this link:

LtC Dave Grossman (Ret) Killology Research Group

This man has made a study of the physical and psychological effects of combat and deadly force use in the military and law enforcement sectors. I have seen it work for a guy immediately post shoot. The real deal. It works.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Finally Gunna get started @ this new chapter of life

Stevo, one technique you can use to help on the bp test is to do "autogenic" or combat breathing. As they are hooking up the cuff, begin with an inhale thru the nose over 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, exhale four seconds through your mouth, hold 4 seconds, then do the cycle at least two more times while they are testing. This stuff works, it's also good to help overcome the effects of an adrenaline dump. I do that every time I have my bp taken (I take meds for hypertension and have for 15 years. The breathing thing brings the bp down significantly.

Day cabs and 35' may be what they use to avoid crunches in the "small graveled lot". As long as you take the DOT in the unit youre training in, you'll do ok once you master the skillset. As you are no doubt aware, the 35' / daycab combo turns and backs all different than a 53' with a sleeper. Not insurmountable, but you're going to have a learning curve when you get to the real world.

Sounds like you're making progress, keep that good attitude and recognize that these are the beginning steps of a long rewarding journey!

Good luck

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Fed Med Expiration looming

I ran into a similar situation last summer. My Med card was rapidly approaching expiration, but I couldn't renew it because I was on restricted duty and splinted. The good folks at the IL SOS office said that if I self reported as "intrastate exempt" (pretty sure that was it) I would not go into disqualified status, and that all I would need to do is get my med card and come back in and re-report as "Interstate non-exempt" and I'd be good to go to get back into multistate operations.

I haven't followed the other threads on this, but I know there was a discussion a while back with a number of us that use CPAP. If you haven't tried it, you should. It DOES make a difference in your everyday life. Or, it did for me. I had gone over 8 years without ever getting to REM sleep.

Not sure what the rules are in your state, but your local DMV CLD facility should be willing to help you out.

Good luck...

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Shafted again

Some companies have prohibitions on drivers calling customers. Apparently, not all of our peers share our ability to make nice on the phone or internet (shocked face :) ) - not to mention in person.

I don't call customers only because I've been instructed not to. We have a process that we're expected to use for late notifications. As for getting there early, the load planners usually have information on the arrival rules that are included in dispatch notes available to the dispatchers.

Most (probably 80%) of our runs are to repeat locations, and the drivers communicate back to dispatch with those details for inclusion in the system.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Stinky Trailers

ADM in Decatur requires clean, dry, rust and odor free containers for food export. If the container is meets the first criteria but stinks, they use Febreze in them. Spray on the walls and onto the floor, close up for a bit, then open and air out and the offensive odor is gone. These are mostly industrial odors tho, not decayed food.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Cannabis Testing, Swift, NYC Ban on Cannabis Testing

What a hilarious stream of commentary..

If we are in a free country, then we can use what is legal here, what is inexpensive, what works, what is natural, what is our choice-- when we are not working. Alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis-- period.

Thanks so much for your time.

DP, life is about choices. Choices have consequences. Your opinion may be enough to sway the FMCSA and other regulatory bodies into a change of policy and rule. It may happen. But, it won't happen in the time I have left remaining as a driver, I will be willing to wager.

Bottom line, your position has merit, because as a citizen you have a voice. You could be bold, and try to become the case that goes to the Supremes for adjudication. After a conviction, and an appeal at the Circuit level. And a denial at the District level. And that still doesn't guarantee that the Supremes will grant certiorari to your case ( the rate of petion for all certiorari success in 2017 was only about 3%, attorney submitted cases are about 6%). Or, you could focus on not raging against the machine and avoiding circumstances that would lead you into feeling the need or desire to use a regulated substance for relief of your medical symptoms. The rules are the rules, at least for the timeframe in which we work.

Good luck as you decide which course of action to take.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Cannabis Testing, Swift, NYC Ban on Cannabis Testing

double-quotes-start.png

she got popped for a dirty urine teat and sent home.

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shocked.png

Whew!!! Glad I'm not the only one that laughed at the typo. Presuming, that is, that Rainy didn't actually INTEND that spelling...

rofl-1.gif

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Reserve parking

Lebanon, IN is one of the places that is horrible. I paid, got there, and the two nice ladies behind the counter told me that they couldn't go knocking on doors due to "issues" from the past where the police were called. Meaning, some @$&&*# threatened them or something causing them to fear. So, they set me up with a parking space along the curb in the auto fueling side. Not easy to get into, but much quieter, and didn't smell like urine.

They even refunded my premium cost.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week

I-55 near Lexington Illinois, mile marker 178. Wolf packing in a big way, 6 Troopers working trucks on the ramps. Looks like the full line inspections, hoods open, Creepers out..

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Not completely trucking related, but...

Saw this on my news feed over Memorial Day weekend, then saw additional information on it today.

Not sure how not spending $200,000 is a fair offset to the cost to rework the road around it... but then, I'm no civil engineer. In fact, mostly uncivil...

No Boulder Removal, At Least This Year

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Preventable

rofl-2.gif

Oh, BTW, don't hide your spare key on your trailer. If you need to know why, maybe you shouldn't be a truck driver.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Concealed carry permit, reciprocation.

Politics aside, this is another thread that carries high level of potential for drama and name calling.

Remember that in most states, a violation of property owner bans on carry will likely carry a criminal sanction potential. This includes a ban on carry inside company property, and the courts are likely going to consider the truck a continuation of the company property. In my opinion, going to jail in general population is not conducive to a long career as anything other than victim.

Your actual mileage may vary.

Peace.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week

Illinois State Police have been inspecting the beejeezus out of rolling stock in the area of I55 - Arsenal Road (244MM). They are sitting on roadside, facing into traffic, watching trucks negotiate the sweeping left turn onto the Arsenal Rd throughway. Bad suspension will reflect itself here quite easily, it's a downhill, left curving off camber section of roadway. In the past three days (I'm terminal bound due to injury) they have been in the accident investigation area non-stop from 0600 through about 1500. No shortage of customers, four troopers - no waiting for a space on the porta scale / inspection pad. All inspections have been open hood. Yes, they started early... the cheaters... lol

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Parkland coward during shooting

This thread proves why politics and religion belong on political and religious forums. Lets stick to trucking!

smile.gif

I worked as a customer service doorman at a local Irish pub for a year. We had a rule for staff discussions. No Politics. No Religion. If it works in an Irish Pub (some of the most politically charged and religiously impacted people on the planet) it probably should work here. I like the idea of archiving with a heading "Thou Shalt Not Open This Box of Pandora"

smile.gif

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