Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years 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:  5 days, 9 hours ago

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Im sure its been asked countless times lol

Are there new sensors that can pick up the hard braking and sharp turns now? I don’t know if that was a thing when i drove. I guess if it was I just didn’t know anything about it.

Yep. Sensors that detect lane position alerts, rapid braking events, stability events (lean during turns due to speed), speed over limit based on GPS in EOBRD, following distance events, and likely some that they don't tell us about (NSA phone call monitoring for example? rofl-1.gif ) can all be monitored by the company safety / compliance staff. Those folks have no sense of humor, don't want excuses, and are NOT shy about notifying you and your driver manager of your transgressions.

Posted:  5 days, 9 hours ago

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Cooler recommendations? (Best way to keep salad ingredients cold)

One warning about the iceless coolers is that they only take the temperature down about 35-40 degrees from room temperature. So if you leave it in a turned off truck in the sun and the inside temp gets to 100 your food will be at 60 degrees or more.

If you run your AC high, to keep the cab cool, that 35-40 degrees can result in temps in the 25-30 degree range. I've ruined more food by freezing it than I have by letting it get too warm. Just keep an eye on it in the winter, and summer as well. I have had an Igloo for 7 years, with a solid five years of use on it. It's is time to replace it, doesn't seem to be cooling as well as it used to, but I'm gonna tear it apart first to see if it's got goop on the Peltier fins. I buy the Aldi brand bagged salads - cut it open along the long side of the bag, drop in a can of chicken or tuna package for protein, and then eat right from the bag. Easy clean up.

Posted:  5 days, 9 hours ago

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Wanting to become an Owner/Operator

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This topic usually generates a robust discussion. I'm sprinkling some Meat Church BBQ Holy Voodoo on the popcorn tonite... rofl-3.gif

Posted:  5 days, 10 hours ago

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CDL Local Jobs

I wanted to work local so I could be home every night after doing my initial OTR work. I had a kid in HS, and missed the family tremendously. I got what I wanted, and discovered that if you're busy you're likely working right up to the 14 hour mark most every day. If you pick a place, try to get as close to your terminal as possible, because most local drivers are tied to a regular start time, and if you work 14, they'll likely still expect you back for your regular start time. So, your ten hour break includes travel home, food, SS&S, and drive back to work. Did it for two years and went back to regional OTR - my drive home was only about 3' long, and I could get much better sleep.

If you're doing lower 48, maybe a switch to an outfit that does regional OTR. You may find yourself through the terminal once or twice a week, allowing for home time. Some outfits are regional, with a five day work week, M-F or Sun-Thurs.

Good luck.

Posted:  5 days, 10 hours ago

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Change of career from law enforcement to CDL driver

Nobody told you this but you’ll be just as stressed as a truck driver

Leeva804 (and Sean): possibly, and possibly not.

Sean, thanks for doing that thing you're still doing.

I've been driving for over 7 years after doing 28 as a road cop. There is NO drama with the driving job, unless I choose to make it. The stresses are, like LE, most often things that you have NO control over, so they don't count. I was a trainer, force instructor, academy adjunct staff, worked a stint in admin and training - I specifically told my new outfit that I had no interest in being a full time trainer - I rode with trainees for 12 years, no desire to go back there everyday. No stress. No drama. I will acknowledge that my willingness to NOT engage in the drama is possibly a result of having a pension, and I don't overlook the importance of the financial security. That could be a potential challenge if you're considering wedding the love of your life. This job is probably HARDER on a young marriage than coppery is. My wife and I wed when I was 5 years OTJ, so our situations are similar, with the clear lack of the post-44 grabasstification. That said, however, coming into this field after being a cop, you have skills that many of your truck driving coworkers will likely lack, including self reliance, poise under tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations, reliability, integrity, knowledge of and respect for statutes, and possibly most importantly, the ability to work with people from all walks of life and all backgrounds.

Brian O is giving you perspective that I respect. GTown provided you a link for OTR relationships. I will tell you, even with a low stress approach, the first years on this job are going to likely be rough on a new bride, but possibly less stressful with the frequent phone contacts that are possible in driving that may not have been in your previous life. And, make no mistake, you will be leaving one lifestyle job, and taking on a new lifestyle job. You won't succeed in driving if you don't fully embrace the new lifestyle and do everything you can to become the best truck driver in the company you work for. You're ability to forget the circus, and remember fondly the clowns, will serve you well if you move forward into this world. If you still love doing the cop job, deep inside, and you leave it for a completely different line of work that will mandate separation from your family, you may come to regret the choice. As for close supervision, you are likely to deal with MORE micromanaging in the early days of driving than you ever did on the job. And on a daily basis, everything you do is monitored on the ELD - speed monitoring, in-cab cameras, lane position monitoring, rapid braking monitoring, following distance monitoring, and your exact location at any given moment. If you are late, they know, if you are taking too long to take a dump, they will know. If you stop to grab a cat nap because you're exhausted or have a massive headache, they will know. And you're always compared to the clock. If you thought being a cop garnered over-supervision, very little occurs in a modern CMV that is not monitored, or capable of being monitored, by a safety department that NOT be shy about letting you know if you transgress. How you handle that will be instructive on how well the job is going to suit you, and vice versa.

Wishing you well in the decision. If you go this route, and immerse yourself fully into it, you can accomplish this. You are a cop.

Posted:  5 days, 10 hours ago

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Made a little change

Chris, Good Fortune to you as you move forward in all the new chapters!!!

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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5 th wheel position

Short answer? No. Except maybe if you get a Volvo. They have (at least used to have) about the tightest turn radius for a twin screw road tractor. When compared to your single screw unit, the frame length on a sleeper tractor is going to add quite a bit of turn, and if you've got a twin screw (twin drive axles) you're going to have an even wider turn radius. Good question by Anne - you need to know if you're going to a single or double axle, but if you're getting a sleeper, I've gotta believe it's a double drive axle unit.

I have driven both day cabs with single and double screws, Volvo road unit with sleeper, Freightliner Cascadia with sleeper, and a Freightliner FLD with sleeper. Of all of those, the FLD was the absolute worst for tight work - turned like the USS Ronald Reagan CVN, but rode like smooth silk sheets on the highway from that long frame length. The best was the single screw day cab. Moving the fifth wheel plate to shorten the overall length doesn't give much relief on a double, or at least I never thought so.

Good luck.

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Out of the Truck

Three months post op. MD remains confident in hardware placement and my progress. Still a wooden left forearm and pins and needles tingles in the fingers, but he's not worried about that yet - could be as much as a year before the nerves settle in, and even then there is possibility that there was enough damage to the nerves that I will always have the tingle or numbness in the forearm. Better than the excruciating pain, so I'm at peace with it.

Got what I have been craving, referral to Physical Therapy / Occupational Work Hardening Therapy. I have a 30# weight limit, which is a 10# increase. Frustrating, but I understand his perspective - it's about finishing the race, not running fast until I break myself.

Gave my terminal manager a text with the details. He told me that he is anxious for me to come back, that they have been experiencing some career dissipation on drivers' parts. Sorry to hear that they are running short, but happy that I'm truly sought after. Maybe kinda like Kipling's "Old Man Kangaroo"?

In any event, hanging in there. The OT order was a good thing today - it makes me feel like MAYBE there is a light at the end of the tunnel on the return to work.

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

So I am glad I have tools and realize I need better ones.

Papa, you'll likely be one of a very few that carries any kind of power tools. Three years ago I bought with my Christmas money a Ryobi 1+ bundle with impact driver, recip saw, regular drill, and a circular saw. Added the leaf blower. One full battery charge is enough to do three full passes on three trailers (9 passes total) on 53 footers. The recip went with me everywhere as well - one time getting an intermodal flatbed with timber bracing with no way to safely leverage the boards with a pry tool made it obvious that stuff needed cutting. Good on you for being willing to do what needed to be done, and being confident enough to make the call for the right way to do it. And Kudos to your outfit for having someone that could give you the info!

Posted:  1 week ago

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Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

PapaPig, your comment "be known for your work ethic" should be painted, boldly, everywhere drivers congregate. There's an old timey phrase that I use often. "Ride for the Brand."

For those not familiar with the term, this from CowboyAccountant dotcom "...cowboy poet Red Steagall summed it up best in one of his poems that earned him recognition as the Official Cowboy Poet of Texas, “Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own.” .... In the old west, when a cowboy rode for the brand, it meant that he had signed on to the mission, goals and aims of the ranch owner. It meant that he was committed and that he was a dedicated team player. It meant, in the words of Red Stegall, that he gave his promise to protect the brand as though it were his own."

If you ride for the brand, you're making your OWN brand. And its priceless

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Freightliner Cascadia started getting check in when goes up the hill

Sounds like my 2015 Cascadia. Turned out that they needed to install a "DEF Tent (?)" in the system. DEF was vaporizing and crystalizing on the inside of the DEF system box. Three visits to shops and two tows to resolve it.

Good luck. After treatment issues suck.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Time flys

Congrats, Bobcat!!!

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Happy Birthday, Rickipedia ~ !

Thanks all. The big 6 oh. Feeling old.

Rick

Rick, many years ago, in a different lifetime, I had the realization that I would not likely live to be 60. Having since retired from that high stress life, last year when I turned 59 I informed The Beloved that I was NOT going to live to have a 60th birthday. I invoked "Bill Gates' Microsoft Numerics for Birth Anniversaries" mode. I mean, if Gates can just change the number on an obsolete operating system using the same cruddy hardware, why can't i? I turned 59.1 in August. Next year 59.2, etc etc etc.

In any event, Happy Day To You!!!

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Changing jobs I have question.

Go to your choice of MD. Get a legitimate sleep study done. They will use EEG, heart monitors, etc to determine your sleep pattern. You will know afterwards if you have or don't have OSA. I use a CPAP every night. Even while in the sleeper berth. I've been on CPAP for over a decade, probably closer to 20 years than 10. Comparing my health / alertness pre and post sleep study, I'm convinced I would be dead by now if not for the apparatus. YAMMD.

If memory serves, you are required to give explanation for the answer about a short duration card. The affidavit you sign says something about information being true and complete. Leaving off the information about a three month card would be where you get into trouble with auditors if a blue hair drives under your trailer tandems and takes a dirt nap. Again, your actual risk tolerance mileage may differ.

Good luck.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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New driver failed drug test

If you haven't throttled him already, maybe you can get your "Friend" to prepare a notarized affidavit that you could present in an effort to keep your job. Being a probationary, thought, I'd doubt they would allow that. Otherwise every dope smoking hippy wannabe truck driver would have a drop affidavit right next to their drop bladder.

And who has a going away party and serves up a big bowl of Haribo? wtf-2.gif Really... if I was at a party with a bunch of adults, or people pretending to be, I'd be suspicious as all hell when 'bowl o'gummies' shows up...

Good luck.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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A Trainer's Dream Student!!

Anne A - You're referring to Schoolhouse Rock, correct? My favorite will always be "I'm Just a Bill..." smile.gif

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Driver appreciation week

Here's my Driver Appreciation Week saga:

Got a letter yesterday from the insurance carrier telling me that they extended by Short Term Disability through the 28th. Nice of them, since that's the day I get to go back to my MD for followup visit. Also included in the letter is an ever increasing list of things they need in order to consider extending it further. Not bit ching, the outfit has been good to me throughout this process. MD won't let me go back to work without restrictions yet, and work won't take me back with restrictions, so I'm staying at home and losing my mind.

So, for all yall out there doing that thing for me and mine (hauling all of the stuff that keeps the world turning, whatever that stuff is that you're hauling it's keeping the world turning) "I appreciate what you're doing!"

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Out of the Truck

2 months post op: md still happy with tje hardware. No pt yet, home exercize regimen to strengthen the trapezius and other top end stuff. Nerve pain / tingling almost all gone. Next md appt a month out. Not sure what he going to say about back to work, i know what i want to hear...

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

Al Pastor with cilantro and lime on corn tortillas!? embarrassed.gif Yer Killin' Me! Keep posting, I am enjoying the read. It's kind of my vicarious trucking experience.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Parking in my driveway

Joe, PackRat is giving good advice, check with the local agency, and get a name of whom you speak with. Cars parking don't attract the same amount of attention, and disdain, that a 53' van trailer will. Worse yet would be a reefer unit that is running because it has to maintain temp while you're on your 34. Many of the uninitiated just despise the sight of trucks, and will do everything they can to make life miserable for anyone that dares bring a truck into their neighborhood. Good Luck!

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