Comments By Gary A.

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  • Gary A.
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Ticketed for Idling?

I saw a post on CDL Life's Facebook page about drivers being ticketed for idling. EXCEPT if you have a pet in the vehicle. So, HOW are drivers supposed to keep cool/warm without idling while waiting to load/unload/etc? There were a TON of comments such as:

"How many drivers have died because they where told "No Idle of trucks!" I know of 5. They where on there 10hr and went to sleep, never woke up! Coroner said they died from over heating."

"As for the companies that reprimand their drivers for idling...You are not to drive fatigued. But how are you to sleep when it is so hot and humid you can't breathe??? I for one, am not sleeping with my windows down and inviting trouble!"

"I have asthma and I don't have an APU. If it's humid, hot and have bugs all over, forget what the date law says. I'm idling...aaaaaaahhhhh.....A/C"

"I am laughing at the ppl whom say to just roll down the windows...seriously? Not only is that unsafe (would you leave your house windows open?) but, it definitely doesn't keep you cool enough and come on, people, it's not possible to get a hotel room all the time...."

Thoughts?-I personally will walk to a hotel somewhere if it's THAT hot..I'm lucky enough to be able to afford a hotel as needed, every DAY if I have to, so it's no issue for me..I just wanted to hear your thoughts guys....

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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A Different Perspective...

Now that I am about to start a new career in trucking Tuesday, I have found my whole perspective as a driver and future trucker has changed. I drove from Atlanta to Gastonia, N.C. to visit my Aunt and was amazed how RUDE 4 wheelers are to truckers. I saw them cut in front, follow WAYYY too close, switch lanes with NO BLINKER at all, speed around them like they were an "annoyance"...I followed a Swift driver (at a respectable distance) for quite a while just to see how he managed.... I-85 in Greenville S.C. on a Friday afternoon is nuts, I watched people run up on him, cut RIGHT in front of him with NO blinker whatsoever, whomp on the brakes RIGHT in front of him...None of which affected this driver whatsoever. He maintained his speed, lane control, obeyed all traffic restrictions, used his signals perfectly, signalling way before he made lane changes, kept up with traffic flow, and was completely professional...Now I am the first to admit, I have done the SAME rude things in the past, but this trip has taught me that truck drivers have to be amazingly patient, safety minded at ALL times, and disciplined in all aspects of driving. SO beside learning how to shift, back, turn, pre-trip, etc..I'm gonna have to learn to deal with morons...y'all pray for me!!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Starting a new career at 56

Yep, me too. 20 years in I.T. and suddenly I'm unemployable. Been trying to find a job for 20 months now.. I think it IS ageism..I'd go to job fairs here in Atlanta and see NO ONE (well, very few) under the age of 40. HUNDREDS of people my age or older. LUCKILY I was able to get a bit of a pension from my last job and that helps. Still, at the ripe old age of 56 years old, starting OVER in a new career is a bit intimidating and unsettling for sure, although I feel like trucking is IDEAL for me at this time of my life. Since I'm single, with no kids or NEED to be home. I did local driving for quite a few years here in Atlanta, and it was a BLAST! although I only made like $6.00/hr. Still, the FREEDOM of NO BOSS walking around, or meetings, or project updates, etc...Sounds good to me!!!

Anyway, I can TRY trucking, school starts Tuesday... see how it fits..No one's holding a gun to my head, if for some reason trucking doesn't work out, I'll get a job doing something somewhere-I met a guy at my supermarket who was about my age, he was a bagger, and he was happy to do it...I was a security officer for a while, LOTS of hours available if you want to work them (I used to work 38 hours in 3 days)...Too old to rock n' roll. too young to die....

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Solo driving

I have come to realize that in my driving adventures, I have never driven solo. I worked for a home entertainment company delivering TVs, etc for 8+ years, and always had a partner. I drove all over the Midwest with a team, 7 days a week for a while as well. SO in this aspect of my upcoming career, I am looking FORWARD to training with a trainer for as long as possible. I am not sure how I am going to handle being alone, since it's going to be new territory. I've always had someone to talk to, share driving/navigating, and keep me company. I'm sure it's just something I'll need to get used to. I would consider teams, but don't want to work around someone else's home time. How do y'all manage the many long hours alone? CB?? Phone? I know I'll miss the time I'll have with my trainer, I get along well with everyone and like to have fun, laugh and goof around, be hard to do that alone. Gonna be different for sure....

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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The bottle....

Oh no, I had that checked recently. This is just a habit I got into when I was working out everyday. Guess I just need to get out of that habit or get one of these: http://www.oneonthego.com/Bags.php

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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The bottle....

This is kind of a weird question, but I haven't seen it addressed..I tend to drink A LOT (8 glasses of water a day) and find I have to go at least once an hour. Now there is NO WAY I can stop every hour, SO I'm thinking about ways to take care of that issue, and the only thing I can come up with is like a soda bottle or something, (or stop drinking so much) but that's a bit dangerous to do while driving, unzipping, etc.....What do you guys do????

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Driving a tanker

I don't know why, but over the past couple of weeks, I've taken a liking to tankers. Maybe it's all the valves and tubes, etc plus the interaction of loading and unloading. ANYWAY, a few questions:

1). Do tanker drivers drive coast-to-coast? Seems like most tankers I see are local guys.

2). Do tanker drivers have to be hazmat certified? (I will be anyway, just curious).

3). I seem to see VERY few accidents involving tankers, most every accident (and there's at LEAST one a week here in Atlanta) involve flatbeds, reefers and box trailers. Are they easier to drive? Or are tanker drivers required to have more experience??

4). Do tankers ever need to be backed in? I can't imagine there would be a need to back a tanker (other than truck stops).

Like I say, I just think they're COOL..Saw a couple of guys operating the valves, hoses, etc and that sort of appeals to me, to be "involved and active" at my stops. Know what I mean??

Sorry..maybe this is easier to read..

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Driving a tanker

I don't know why, but over the past couple of weeks, I've taken a liking to tankers. Maybe it's all the valves and tubes, etc plus the interaction of loading and unloading. ANYWAY, a few questions:

1). Do tanker drivers drive coast-to-coast? Seems like most tankers I see are local guys. 2). Do tanker drivers have to be hazmat certified? (I will be anyway, just curious). 3). I seem to see VERY few accidents involving tankers, most every accident (and there's at LEAST one a week here in Atlanta) involve flatbeds, reefers and box trailers. Are they easier to drive? Or are tanker drivers required to have more experience?? 4). Do tankers ever need to be backed in? I can't imagine there would be a need to back a tanker (other than truck stops).

Like I say, I just think they're COOL..Saw a couple of guys operating the valves, hoses, etc and that sort of appeals to me, to be "involved and active" at my stops. Know what I mean??

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Any musicians here?

Just wondering how many of you guys play an instrument of some sort. I've been playing guitar for 40 years now, and plan on taking my gear with me-So if you're parked at a truck stop and hear a lot of racket, it's me! (I'll have headphones for the electric anyway)...

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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On the road fitness

Thank you sir! Excellent article!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Just realized...

Wow, great story Freightdog! I had to share it with my friends..You should've been a WRITER!! anyway, I think I'll be ok. I'm actually kinda looking forward to it (I'm weird that way)...Thanks!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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High end gaming laptop/desktop power inverter

Once I get settled into a steady job, I will be purchasing one of THESE bad boys for my rig:

Alienwares' Steam Machine

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Do y'all get enough sleep????

I've always been a huge fan of taking a short nap or two during the day to revive. Works wonders.

But I think the 14 hour rule keeps a lot of people from taking a break when they'd really like to. I mean, once that clock is ticking you have to roll. If you have to spare, great! Grab a nap. What bothers me is when people have 4 or 5 hours left to drive and only that much time left on their 14 clock. You can stop - but you're not going to get to the destination before that 14 hour clock runs out. If it wasn't for that 14 hour rule you'd stop, take an hour nap, and finish up your last few hours safely.

Without a doubt - nobody is "making" anyone do anything out there. You don't have to drive when you're tired. And most people won't when they know they shouldn't. The problem is when you're "on the fence". You could probably push through and finish up the day, but it's going to be hard. It would be a lot easier and safer if you could just grab a quick nap and then finish up your day but you simply don't have time on the clock. Do you park the truck, tell your company you can't make it on time, and take a service failure? A couple of those in a 6 month period and most companies will fire you. Do you push through and just try to be extra careful about staying awake? Your flirting with disaster and threatening a lot of lives, not just your own.

I think the 14 hour rule puts drivers in a tough spot. I think a lot of drivers wind up pushing through when they'd feel much better if they had the time to take a nap.

Ok, so it's really no different than 4-wheelers, on long trips I would usually "push-through" (I used to live in Chicago and drove straight through from Atlanta few times-about 14-15 hours). I was TIRED, but not sleepy-tired, if ya know what I mean..Just GLAD to get there..my problem is getting out of routine, where I'm used to going to bed at a certain time and getting up at a certain time.If I get out of THAT, then I can get pretty drowsy come time I usually go to bed. And THAT is my biggest concern, however, when I take the mandatory 30-minute break and nap fro 20 minutes or so, I'll be fine...

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Do y'all get enough sleep????

The local TV station here in Atlanta was interviewing big riggers about drivers getting enough sleep and rest after the Tracy Morgan accident, and there was a guy saying "you don't get NO rest on this job-Can't make no MONEY if you rest!!!"

I call B.S.-I personally can take a 10-20 minute nap ANYTIME during the day and feel refreshed totally..I know sleep patterns may be out of whack sometimes, but that's why you catch a nap when you can..Am I right???

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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High end gaming laptop/desktop power inverter

I luv you guys! Gonna fit in well with y'all!!!!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Got a bike for the road!

I was passing a rig on my way home and saw a bike VERY similar to the one you have strapped on the tractor! I was thinking "now that's SMART!- I'm gonna get ME one!"Of course I don't suppose they're much good in winter weather...But if ya wrap up good enough, why not?dancing-dog.gif

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Just realized...

Hmmm.That's what i get for watching YOU TUBE! That's where I heard that driving big rigs on ice was like driving a tank..thanks guys! I guess I'm overthinking all this stuff, I'm a smart guy and feel confident that I can trust my instincts. I REALLY want this career, and just have to go with my training and lessons I learn from y'all and stop reading so much into it...Thanks!!!!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Just realized...

Thanks guys, you've taken a HUGE concern off my mind. I will refuse to do anything I consider unsafe. Even if it costs me my job.

I'm no wimp, Like I said, I drove all over the midwest between December through March, recovered from several skids, etc and have a reasonable idea of how to handle icy roads, just not in 40 tons of truck!!! I know a rig's weight makes them easier to handle than other vehicles, as long as they're loaded heavy, and I have YOU guys to lean on, when I get scared stupid!!!!!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Just realized...

IF everything goes according to schedule, and from some of the posts/blogs/diaries I've been reading, by the time I'm on my own rig, after all training is done, it will be early to mid November. RIGHT BEFORE WINTER!!! A rookie with a couple months behind the wheel going into winter driving...sheesh..Best to get it over with eh??? I'll be the most TERRIFIED, MOST WHITE-KNUCKLED driver not to mention THE SLOWEST rig on the road for sure.. Seriously, I HOPE I'll have a good feel for my rig by then, and will know the ins and outs. I drove a van all over the midwest on icy roads before, found out that waiting for and following snow plows is a MARVELOUS thing, not to mention driving VERY slowly and carefully....I suppose the good thing is that if I survive the winter, I'll be feeling pretty confident. Have any of y'all started your careers this same way??

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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CDL school question

Thanks y'all..I've been reading some of the CDL Training diaries ( a lot of 'em as a matter of fact) and got a pretty decent idea of what's coming. I did drive deliveries for quite a while here in Atlanta, but that wasn't semis, just delivery vans. So I have a little experience driving for a career, but realize that NONE of that will matter going into it. I actually went to a private truck driving school for 1 day a long time ago..Got to back a BIG RIG for the first time! Did it by myself and pegged it right in the hole..THEN they told me tuition was like $8000.00 and I said "Man, I can pay for 3 semesters at COLLEGE for that!" so I didn't go back...

The HARDEST part is the waiting..school doesn't start until July 2nd, and I think that's only for one day before the holiday..I've been studying the training materials, and will probably go through the whole thing again while waiting...Just want to get STARTED!!

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