Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Cordes Junction, AZ

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 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 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:  1 week ago

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A new turn on my winding road

<. But if you go to youtube, it is just wow :-)

Youtube is where the perpetually offended garner support for their self-declared victim status.

I also could not find work (private school on my own and a stale CDL). One outfit gave me a shot, and no one else would. I won't badmouth them to this day, i left after 13 or 14 months to go a different direction. They had a different business model than I wanted to work on, and that's okay. Taking the job with Western Express is your opportunity to continue to learn, to improve your skills, and prove to the company that you ride for the brand. Glad that you landed on your feet with a new outfit, good luck!

Posted:  1 week ago

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Queen of the Road winners named by REAL Women in Trucking

From the day I first logged into TT and started reading the posts by other drivers, it was readily apparent that Rainy was the real deal. The handle may have changed, but the Excellence has not. Well deserved, Kearsey, WELL deserved! Sending out a tip o' the bowler to you!

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Real Drivers vs Fake Drivers - a recruiter speaks

Tammy, your company shop will have your power unit on a PM or Preventive Maintenance schedule. It will also have a sticker affixed to the side that is an Annual Inspection certification. Generally, however, shop staff are busy as get out, and wont have time for routine inspections. You, believe it or not, become the professional inspector on a daily basis. All of the comments here, especially the oil on the back of the cab, are examples of something that looked wrong. Thats what a cop will often start from in determining how involved to make an inspection. Did something look wrong. I did coppery for 28 years, I understand the thought processes. They would rather, generally, inspect something they suspect is in NEED of a Level3 than L3 a unit that is going to have no defects. They want to "Get Rid Of Road Rex". Great thread you opened with your questions though!!

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Western Express 3-4 weeks training sufficient?

You need to be careful with earbuds while driving. Many states, for certain ILL, oulaw the use of "headset receivers" defined as inputs to both ears simultaneously while driving. Your blueparrot etc are ok because only one ear is affected.

Would that trooper know? Probably not. Only if you get in a wreck and they do a forensic reconstruction of what was going on with your electronic device at the time and leading up to impact.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Western Express 3-4 weeks training sufficient?

Garrett, you just articulated the "Hey, Man. I'm a bit short on cash, and the Evil DB's I work for won't give me another advance on my pay while I sit here and play video poker waiting for my next load. I have a couple of these binders and chain sets that I don't use any more since I'm working reefer. Can you buy them from me so I can get a sixer, some roller grill dee-lites, and a pack of squares to get me through the next couple days?" reasoning for many of the things we see companies do. smile.gif

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Big T Checking In from Memphis

Big T, that is an awesome thing! My favorite part of driving (well, one of them anyway) was being tapped by my DM to help with the guys or gals that need a bit of extra coaching. It's a great thing to see the light bulb come on and the performance improve.

I was an anomaly in the way I trained - I used a technique taught by Coach Bruce Sokolove at Field Training Associates (ya, that kind of field training) "what did you do correctly or approximately correctly" after each significant portion of the work day. It was a throw off for some that were used to being chewed on for mistakes. They usually knew the mistakes, and if not, the follow up question was "what, if anything, would you do differently next time?" They get to self identify error, and then I could come in and prompt recollection of anything else. I got a couple of "thanks and good luck" text messages from some of my formers when I left the outfit in April. That was reward in and of itself.

Good luck on DOT Examiner training. You'll never be out of work!!!

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Real Drivers vs Fake Drivers - a recruiter speaks

Fighting the data stream issues that seem to plague 'rural' residential locations, so I can't watch his video at this time. If Errol says it's good, I'm certain it's worth watching.

Tammy A. you asked about knowing how to tell if the brakes are ok. That is a great question! Depending on where you get your training, you'll either learn by reciting, or you will learn by doing and seeing. I have posted some photos before of brakes that are DEFINITELY not safe, but you have to get down on the ground and look underneath the equipment, upward and inside the wheel drums to see the conditions of the S-cams, the brake push rods, and the brake lines and shoes/linings before you'll really know. The big failing that many drivers have is a resistance to getting down on the ground and looking. Much like the US Secret Service training agents to identify counterfeit money - they never show them bad bills, only the real thing. You should see the right thing over, and over, and over, every day a couple of times a day for weeks, and when something is wrong, if you actually look, you'll spot it pretty quickly.

Broken brake shoes, with chunks of lining missing. S-cam brackets missing hardware or with loose hardware (grab it and pull/push/jiggle). Brake lines rubbing on frame components. Push rods that are over or under the 90 degree angle (think finger gun if you're not sure what a 90 is - met some guys from CPS that had no clue what a 90 was, but they knew that they were supposed to look for one because is what their trainer told them and missed a bunch until I got to crawl under a container chassis with them). Front bell of the brake housing rotted out, with brake spring visible through the holes. Broken brake springs inside the front housing under that rubber cap (broken spring means no braking impulse on that wheel set if the pressure drops out). Lots of things that will look wrong, but you first have to be down there to look at them. The time it takes to inspect these may add four of five minutes to your pre-trip. But not going to prison for a fatal that involved brakes on YOUR equipment is worth that five minutes. In what The Beloved calls "Mr. Curmudgeon's World", anyway.

End of my "Do the Pre-Trip and Post-Trip!" rant.

Good Luck to you as you move forward!

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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DUI Hit & Run

Oz, dash cam, gps etc are your friends. Sorry it happened to you, but glad you're ok. If no tows due to damage and no injury, it shouldnt affect you or your outfit CSA or SAFER as a reportable. Your company may have a convo with u to see if you could have done anything to prevent it, they have to for the insurance carriers. Be cool about it, factual, and don't sweat it. You got rear ended. If you were on one of.the interstates ISP is probably on the report. If they didnt run u thru the wringer, you're gonna be good.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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ATRI survey points to the need for a nationwide truck parking availability system

Shocked Face.

Or... My "Who paid for that fancy study? Captain Obvious?" face.

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Proper Order for Hazmat Bills

Welp, made it. Skipped two questions that required me to havr memorized the hazclass numbers (placard has the color and image on it, fer cryin out loud) and finished the 30 question test in 25, having achieved the 80% point.

Chemtrech supplies TECHNICAL info in case of leak, spill, or incident. They dont do any coordination of responses... my bad!

So... if any of y'all know an outfit that seeks a part-time ( 3 day a week ) CMV driver with solid record in the Prescott / North Phoenix, AZ area, drop me an email. I updated my profile.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Best company's for long mile and high pay ?

Hi, Kristopher, welcome to the TT, and to one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers in North America.

As you read thru the links G13MomCat gave u above, you will note frequent references to YOUR responsibility in getting long miles. As you master your environment (the truck and the techniques of being efficient with a finite number of available hours) you will increase your potential for long miles. If you work for a regional outfit, you may only work m-f or m-s, with a forced terminal bound 34. That may reduce your mileage potential, unless you tell them you are willing to stay out and take the 34 in the field. The weeks i did that maximized my trips and miles (I was paid hourly, but the result was the same).

Good luck to u going forward. It's a fun, gut wrenching, frustrating, immensely rewarding, and life long journey you're embarking on. Again, Welcome!!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Logbook legalities

Your logs can DEFINITELY be used to put you in a proximity of an event. The driver signs them asserting they are true. Any LEO authorized to DOT inspect can demand ti see your paper logs. ELD with GPS is easily recoverable by a simple download to email. No warrant requirement, driver has no 'Expectation of Privacy" in those records, especially once the company copy is turned in.

And for the "i can outsmart them on paper" folks, the first thing any LEO is going to be doing in the event of a serious (read fatal or bad haz) CMV crash is subpoena cell tower pings and seize any gps equipped device (including the phone). Theyll ask consent to inspect, but if refused will seize and get a warrant. The phone contents are easily destroyed, the seizure pending warrant would likely be permissible just so no search of contents occurred.

We live in an electronic age. Our footprints are everywhere. Did you know that many states now, internally anyway, spit back how many times q plate has been run in the past 10 days when a copper runs it? ILL , one of the least forward thinking states that way, has been doing it for at least 10, probably closer to 15. Including LPR tech... no hiding from it.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Top 10 things you absolutely have to have in your truck

Chewing gum. Several packs of it. I call it "Wrigley Weld". Perfect seal for small holes in trailers that might otherwise get you bounced from a load (rivet shears, gaps or holez in floorboards, etc).

I also carried a caulk gun and a tube of brown, combine it with duct tape and you've done a 29 minute trailer fix vs. waiting 5 hrs at t/a

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Proper Order for Hazmat Bills

Thanks Penn99...

Ive had my haz for almost a decade now. I always use the EGR and geeen or burgundy book when in doubt. The tests should be, imo, reference material allowed. But, then, I'm not KoTW.

Yet smile.gif

Oh... King of THIS World.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Proper Order for Hazmat Bills

Thanks, Big Scott! So ISHP seems to be correct

Stuff that wakes me at 0330 MST..

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Proper Order for Hazmat Bills

Greetings! I'm getting ready to take my haz skills test in the morning (transfer the ILCDL to an AZCDL), doing some late night cramming. I always thought "ISHP" was the acronym to use, but looks like maybe it changed? I learned it ID number, Shipping Name, Haz Class, Packing group. The testing info here shows the name first. The internet, of course, is fully divided on the topic. The arizona handbook shows an example following the ISHP format.

I'm completely befuddled... (which The Beloved will readily validate!) by the mixture of information on this topic. Probably best to follow the info in the AZ booklet, at least that way if I fail I can try to get a review and dispensation...

Side note - does AZ offer the "Skip a Question" option on their testing? I know ILL_noize did, up to a certain number of question skips.

Thanks all...

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Refusing delivery

double-quotes-end.png

Mr. 'C'mudge ..this was a GREAT answer, to an 'ignored' (sadly) thread, by the O/P ..

ANYWAY, how the heck are YOU?!?!?

It's been a MONTH (or more?) and this site 'cheergal' wonders!!

Hope all is well, good sir & hope you get the email ... !!!

~ Anne ~

Anne, thanks for your comment and for asking. I'm doing ok.

Miss the circus AND the clowns that constitute being a professional driver. All. Three. Rings. The Beloved and I have almost completed our Arizona relocation to I-17 @ 262 (yep - the Loves and PFJ place) with a minimal amount anxiety. Had to drive back to the state south of Wisconsin to pickup one more load of 'must have' items that will likely go to St.Vincent DePaul or Salvation Army in the near future (2200sqft ranch + full basement +attached 3 car +30 years of gathering to a 1300sqft manuhome is a challenge for sure), and are getting settled in. Once we finalize the move, and get the house in "the state that shall not be named" on the market, I will be transferring registration plates and get my CDL-A transferred, as we are residentially still straddling the Might Mississippi. Was actually back into the online haz training stuff to refresh, as I will have to take a skills test again to get the endorsement here. Life is good, just gotta decide what my third career is going to be.

As before, profanity and sarcasm are not marketable skills in the private sector.

rofl-3.gif

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Refusing delivery

Dan, in a previous life I was tasked with pre-employment background screenings. The advice here (speak to the company, get specific direction as to how to resolve the load to avoid an abandonment tag) is sound. While many refer back to gaining a driving job in the future, there is a bigger issue that looms. You sound like you're done with this as a career, and there is no shame or judgment in that. It's a rough go. However, If you dump the load and walk, no matter how justified it may seem, the company is likely to enter a negative note in your DAC file. Their personnel records will reflect load abandonment. And any job which entails an in-depth background check conducted by a serious practitioner of that craft will likely come up with that abandonment. Not many employers will readily grasp onto someone that has a history of abdicating their responsibilities.

I wish you well.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

I Am A 58 Year Old Woman Who Wants To Be A Long Haul Trucker

Tammy, your description of five or six stops in a day sounds like local work, or day cab work. As OldSchool said, your best bet is to hire on with a company that will pay you to train with them for your CDL, and give you a job driving Day One when you get the approval from the inspectors. Enjoy this adventure - it's a lifestyle unlike most others. I spent 28 years doing one thing, retired, and started driving after that.

I miss driving more than I miss the other job.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Anybody join the army and got experience as a Truck Driver in the army

Ryan, ... here's the Curmudgeon's 2 cents worth (US, probably valued more Canadian) If you are able to enlist, do it. The likelihood / possibility of a deployment is a definite, but you will be trained for that. The self confidence, ability to function in a high stress environment, self discipline, and make-it-happen attitude that military service (no matter the nation) can develop in a person will serve well in later life, whether you drive a big truck, a fire truck, a squad car, or an office chair.

I'm a believer in serving your country. It's what keeps the free world free.

*Off my splintery falling apart wooden box and returning y'all to your regular programming*

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