Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year 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, 2 weeks ago

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I made a little guys day

My former outfit ran lotsa freight from Western IL to KC. Rrquired route was US36, from Quincy across MO to I35.

Probably 1/2 of my daytime summer runs, same 6 or so year old kid, same farm house, running towarf the road pumping his arm for he was worth. Rural. Seldom other traffic. Dump probably 15-20 psi thru that air horn, until he was out of sight in the mirrors.

Reminded me of elementary school along rte 59 in Plainfield, il back in the 60s. Whites, Hendricksons, Macks, Petes, Diamond REOs. We'd thrash them all for air horn. And, we played truck tag. Stoop and call the name of a truck brand to avoid a tag. No tag backs, and no immediate repeats of what was just called.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Following distance

The BEST answer is shadow. The rear of the vwhicle in front will have a clearly defined passage, anything off road is going to have some fudge going on due to inrerpretation of the angle of passage. Zipperlines also work if there is a decent shadow from the vehicle to use as reference...

Just my $.03. ( It used to be $.02, but Im just THAT good... )

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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The Proper Way To Merge?

So, kind of on topic (or should i new thread this?) a while back i had to relocate a new fancy Freightliner with all of the bells and whistles. Including, to my dismay, the accursed "slow you down because somebody does something in front of you" apparatus. My question for the group is this, at what distance does that trigger? In other words, if I'm passing you, and your truck has that, when is it safe for me to move over in front of you without causing you to have the speed reduction?

There are so few drivers these days with radios to communicate, and many choose not to give you any visual indication of clear....

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Crooked Lines

Sunday night, Columbus OH, i would have GLADLY taken crooked lines. No lighting, no lines, 11pm delivery time. The only light was the anemic flashing green. Until I asked them to open the dock door. Nice big square, and easy to line up to...

Whobsays old dogs cant learn new trix? 0064242001564624899.jpg

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Crap Companies

Sorry, "six to the front and three to the rear, thats the way we do it here" was a marching cadence taught to me very early in my 4 years spent at ftmclellan, alabama (from 5/1983 through 9/1983 - seemed like years anyway).

It was just one more way the instructors reminded us that there was one way they wanted things done while we were in their charge.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Game: Have a Trucker Pet? Pics please

Dave, i used to have that problem too. Then I found I could buy a leash for them...

Only took one time leaving a window cracked in a truckstop before a flatbed loaded with hides parked next to me to learn both lessons. No windows open in truck stops. Always keep fly paper on board.

Had a pet fly for a short time. Opened the window and it escaped. We'd only been together for a short time but miss the little one. *sigh*

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Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Oil Field experience

Edwin, Frack is a cruel mistress. My brother did it for about three years. When she is busy, she's bustling and cozy, and keeps you all warm. Buuuttttt, when the booms slow, she drops you like a golddigger spying Howard Hughes.

Good luck if you stay this course, the contract outfits will tell you they need drivers, but many will have a large stable of units, and many are idle. Always hiring, not always utilizing. His experience was that "Sandbox(?)" was one of the busier outfits, and Slumberge(?) ran a pretty tight ship if you can contract on with them. This experience was from 2 or so yrs back

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Lettering on the back of cabs

A couple that stick ou in memory...

"Play Time"

"Ain't Nothing But a Thang"

"Don't Tread on Me"

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

G-town,

When i read his question, I added the sarc font and it made more sense. Personally, it took me a while to figure out how to use the smileys, maybe Hayley wanted to use this one....

rofl-3.gifrofl-3.gif

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What did your lawyer say about it?

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His lawyer? This is a 6 month old thread.

The accident was clearly his fault. There is no lawyer.

What is the basis and context of your question?

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Crap Companies

Not to beat that dead horse, but every company is going to have its own "six to the front and three to the rear, thats the way they do it here"

Videos from unknown sources pertaining to driving manuevers have the potential to arm you with information that, while achieving the same outcome, may not coincide with that company's proven (or maybe just preferred) methods. You work for THEM, let THEM instruct you in the way, Young Jedi...

In my previous career, as both a Field Trainer and a FT Supervisor, I encountered many idealistic young men and women that had formed opinions and routines based on tv, youtube, and college classes. Some of them were unable to adopt OUR "six to the front..." and went the way of the career dissipation process.

If you need to learn, the sources here are great, wish id had them 7yrs ago. The Pre-trip documents provided by YOUR state's dot are golden. Everything else? Leave it on youtube until youve got you first year under your belt. If you wear suspenders, I cant help you... smile.gif

My two cents, your mileage may vary.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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.

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