Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 9 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:  2 hours, 50 minutes ago

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Is this job a scam?

You're already expressing doubt. You know the decision to make. If you ask yourself "Is it a scam?" you can bet the answer you'll give yourself after getting shafted is "Yeah - it WAS a scam. What was I thinking?"

Walk away. If he calls back, thank him and tell him that you've decided to go a different route. Then block his number. Did you apply using one of the online services, or did you give your name / dl / employment and address history to someone? If so, keep an eye on your credit. Just sayin'....

Posted:  2 hours, 59 minutes ago

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Manual transmissions in Illinois

My outfit has disabled the manual shift component of our Cascadias. They are all straight up automatic transmissions. They are fine except for backing up an incline, or driving in inclement weather. You can't clutch to stop wheel spin, and they tend to want to run at the RPM that generates spin (at least for our trucks)... so I've become absolutely icy weather adverse - if I have even the start of ice forming on my mirror, I'm off the road until conditions improve. They are, however, a godsend when driving in Chicago area rush hour traffic - i've had my left knee cut twice, and cartilage is a thing of the past there...

Posted:  3 hours, 8 minutes ago

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Thinking about career change from law enforcement to truck driving

Appreciate all your help as many of you know how stressful this decision is on family.

DannyB - I retired after 28 years municipal as a patrol dog: truck enforcement, FTO, Rangemaster, supervision, Training Sgt and Admin Sgt. I can tell you with certainty, there is MUCH less drama in this industry than the one you are contemplating leaving. Unless you want drama, then you can make as much as you want, and the people surrounding you will doubtless assist you with it. The first year or so is tough if you have kids, or a spouse or sig-ot that wants you around a lot. I worked pm's and nights, so my wife and I were used to not seeing each other every day. I did miss my high school aged son's entire junior year which was tough. I spent 15 months OTR with my first outfit, and was glad to go to local day cab work. Until I started to get into my wife's routine.

OTR is rough for the family, but the opportunity to learn, and develop good driving habits is better if you run the 14-10 clock out of a sleeper berth. On the plus side of the circle - your interaction skills will play well in the industry. If you treat every interaction as an opportunity to practice your street persuasion skills, before long you'll be a star player for your outfit. The self reliance, basic willingness to follow rules and policies, and integrity that our background entails are positives to a company looking for talent.

Good luck, Brother, and Stay Safe until the big day gets here!

Posted:  3 hours, 24 minutes ago

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Log violation on inspection

Is it listed as a form and manner violation on the record of inspection? If so, those are 1 point violations... if memory serves correctly.

Posted:  3 hours, 34 minutes ago

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Requesting some assistance...

Got a warning citation in Iowa for 6 over, US 30 just west of Stanwood. Thing stuck with me for three years. Get one of these by email every month from our safety department, it was nice to get one that didn't show points on it.

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Posted:  3 hours, 57 minutes ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Cancelled my sirius when I got out of the truck in May. Hoping to see a link to the show on the retro...

Posted:  4 hours, 9 minutes ago

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Jump to Local

Well, I'll chime in with 28 years on the enforcement side. You may think you're good to go in a day cab, but if you are off the truck route, you can be stopped for an investigation of being off route. And, yes, that is a legal stop. You then will need to prove that you are taking the most direct route to a delivery or pickup, from the nearest truck route. And just because the non-truck route is a good shortcut from one truck route to another, or saves you time because of traffic, you're susceptible to get a citation. I know, as I have cited drivers for it. We had a 4 lane divided roadway, a parkway, that was a snazzy quick bypass of the truck route, took you from one truck route up to the other one, and saved about 3 miles of driving. Posted 8000# weight limit, and "Not a Designated Truck Route".

First thing off was standard introduction "Is there a reason that you're driving off the designated truck route?" If answered in the affirmative with making a pickup or delivery, the next question was the clincher - "What is the address you're going to?" Citations for "Disobeying A Traffic Control Device" (Illinois considers a sign a device, a signal is "Signal"). If you want to chance it go ahead. The cops in the towns you're in will know if there is a location for food or rest on the route you're taking. I don't recommend running overland thinking the day cab is going to screen for you, but then, that's the old cop in me.

Some departments and the guys and gals in them care about that kind of stuff. I know, wtf-2.gif , right?

That said - demeanor on the stop is everything. It can get you a warning and a copy of the route map regulations, or it can generate a handwriting exercise fit to make the nuns smile.

Posted:  3 days, 8 hours ago

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New Guy Questions

Got a little bit of couple uncouple, the front of the trailer should be about 1/2 to 2/3 of the up the plate to prevent damage to dolly legs if it wasnt a perfect hook was our training. Actual time doing it was probably 25 min (6 or so cycles) in the yard.

5th wheel plate condition was part of our tractor pretrip inspection protocols, had to have it committed to memory with all the rest of the steps...

Posted:  5 days, 12 hours ago

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Out of the Truck

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So, I saw the surgeon monday, he is happy with my nekkid photos. Six weeks before next visit, starting on small movements of the neck, hourly stretch, no assist, very limited. Still at 5-10# lift limit, so I can go back to helping in the meal prep area for my wife, she's been a wonderful helper but I'm not enjoying asking her to wait on me... I know - wtf-2.gif right? Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Melody the Wonderpup is annoyed because I don't frequently enough bend down to greet her and give her what she believes is the appropriate amount of worship, so she discovered that she can jump up onto the recliner and lounge on top of me while I'm there. There could be worse things, though, I guess. 0235436001593716198.jpg In all, staying the course. Probably no updates from here going forward, presuming that all goes according to treatment plan. PT should start after the next office visit, and still on track for mid-Sept return to the seat. Thanks for taking the time to read this...

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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Delivered my first load safe no accidents

Moe, you've learned the one vital skill that many in our industry just won't. Don't let their bad day give you one, and smile and use palms up gestures when talking to them, and arch your eyebrows when you are meeting someone. It works about 90% of the time , they will smile back as well. Learned those interaction rapport building skills and honed them in 28 years as a cop. Same stuff applies no matter the profession - people (most anyway) want to feel appreciated - you likely made Sam's day, and she'll remember you next time you're in there... it's pure human interactivity majik!!!

Keep us posted! I'm enjoying your thread.

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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Training what’s the hardest part?

For me, the hardest part is watching and not doing for them. I was a one on on in the car trainer for over half of my previous career, and have had an occasional trainee in my new career. Routine that worked for me: Tell them. Show them. Let them do. After every run, "what did you correctly, or approximately correct with that... ?" followed by "What, if anything, would you do differently next time?" Let them frame it, and own it. You can then go in and fine tune their observations, or add in things they may have missed - pro AND con. Even the biggest lugnut has likely done at least ONE thing right. And they will respect you for allowing them that, especially if they stick around.

The extra money is not worth it if you value your solitude. I've not had OTR trainee, only local, so there are likely other challenges with that.

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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GIFTS!

A decent barn coat / Carhart style would be nice. Our company offered a cheap fleece (kind of ironic, huh?) jacket at one year employment as a driver anniversary, the barn coat was a $30 upgrade from the fleece one that they were offering. I bought the barn coat and haven't been disappointed.

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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Staying regular OTR

Moe, I carry 2 Gold Peak 1/2 gallon iced tea bottles in my truck (they have the screw on orange lids). I drink a lot of water due to medications that I take (about 3 liters per day). I use that bottle on ramps, road sides, or in docks where there are no facilities (became a VERY frequent and annoying Korona issue) while standing behind the curtain in my sleeper. I empty it and rinse it with a bit of dish soap and water when I take my 10. I, unlike so many of our disgusting truckdriving bretheren, refuse to throw it out alongside the road.

My total time for a ramp relief into bottle averages about 2 min, including the stop and start up. Not drinking enough water can lead to significant health issues as RobT indicated with his pop, and the 120 BibBubba cooler mug filled with Mountain Dew isn't going to help due to the caffeine.

As for the other issue, Walmart and several other stores sell beans with poptop lids. I mix a can of green beans (drained), a can of black, cannelini, garbanzo, mayacoba, or just about any other high fiber bean drained and rinsed, a can of poptop chicken, and a dash (or twenty) of hotsauce into a gallon ziplock. Fiber. Protein. Flavor. Not a lot of fat, fairly high in carb, but it is the good carb (type 2 nutritionist approved meal option). It's not pretty, but living in a 640 cuft box isn't pretty either. And best part is nothing requires refrigeration, and you can nuke the product as long as you don't get it too hot and melt the bag.

Good luck!

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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I've had two accidents and I'm having trouble finding work. Which second chance trucking companies will hire me?

Uncertain, since you are in IA (not sure where) you might take a look at Gully out of Quincy, IL. They took me when no one else would, but that was a while ago. They run midwest regional, I ran from MN to TX, PA to KS. Nice people, at the time older equipment. Don't know what they are like since ELD mandate came on board.

Good luck!

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

Nice... isn't it great when you are trying to back and it's JUST not happening... all the while you're thinking "Cmon, Man. Yesterday you backed into XXX, you can do this" which only makes it more frustrating...

Keep us posted, and keep up that attitude. Your load planners will doubtless be taking note of your work ethic!

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

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When in doubt check again. Get that warm and fuzzy

Chris, congrats on passing that one year mark!

I'm glad that you worked through the issue to a successful outcome.

I always pop under the trailer after hook and tug to make sure that the trailer actually has a FULL kingpin, that I can see the kingpin below the locking bar. I used to rely on the sound and tug, but dropped a trailer in the yard while backing and turning into a tight sight side 120degree spot. Fortunately I was only slightly embarassed, the trailer slid out over the side of my 5th wheel but didn't drop off...

I have made a visual inspection a 100% portion of my pre-trip and intertrip. I thought I was saving time, but the 25 minutes it took me once, and the potential for a pink slip were it on the road with a load, makes it work the time now.

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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Help me find my forever trucking home

Scott - are you looking at Sharky out of Quincy, IL? They are, as you have said, a long term carrier. They are also conglomerated with SisBro? and one other line as well. Seems that's kind of common with the Quincy outfits. Good luck in your search. I can understand the disappointment with missing out on 12%.

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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Wow first time seeing this happen in person and probably wont be the last

Saw the same thing in about the same place last summer. I was E/B I-74 on the west bound side, in the single lane jersey barrier divided construction zone. I was moving along at the speed limit marveling at the pace that 18 in front of me was running, continuing to pull away. All of the sudden every light on his trailer blasted red, and big clouds of smoke billowed from his trailer sets. Then, i see a pickup truck with utility trailer bouncing out of traffic in front of the 18 into the median, and three of four cars in front of me went into e-brake mode... Already braking at the trailer lights, so Jakebrake took care of me -(seems all the super-truckers hate when you go the speed limit and maintain a follow distance in the construction areas, but a sure payoff sometimes). Turns out he clipped the back corner of the utility trailer and buried his left steer into the Jersey. Indiana Highway Patrol were not pleased, less so when the dude in the beater Taurus drove around everyone and passed us in the median... they ended up hooking him up about 1/2 mile up the road - great theater for us stopped by the mess.. Fortunately, injury to the pickup driver were not severe. Had a brief chat with the trooper on scene, thanked him for doing what he was doing. Total time down, about 1.5 hours... got my sleeper berth time in tho... ready for another 8!

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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Titan Transfer Inc

Congrats, Bubbles!

Exciting times - just remember not to get discouraged at mistakes. Just learn from them and drive on!!!

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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New Guy Questions

Mike - I respect your decision not to name your employer, I'm a firm believer that ALL bridges are necessary to maintain, if only for our personal ability to say we never intentionally burned one (or unless HQ tells us to give it a splash to mess with Ivan or the ChiCom). I started this after a different career as well, and was well into my 50's. I had a stale CDL, meaning I was a year out of school before I started with my first outfit. I went for a week long refresher, but like your experience the actual wheel time was brief. Backing was always the worst part for me - for the first 10 months or so I always put my hat on before starting to back. It kept the sweat out of my eyes...

rofl-2.gif

In any event, whatever decision you make will be yours to make. You will, as soon as you take that wheel in your hands (with or without a trainer), become the defacto "pilot". You've had the responsibility before, so you know that of which I speak. YOU command the vehicle, and you take on the burden of responsibility for it. I don't envy you in making this decision. I am earnest when I say "Good Luck, Driver".

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