Profile For Chris L

Chris L's Info

  • Location:
    Gouverneur, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 2 months ago

Chris L's Bio

Retired Military 23 Years on Active duty (U.S. Army MOS 12B40), Former School bus driver, Currently driving for Gypsum Express LTD which is based out of Baldwinsville, NY Dedicated Flatbed hauling Metal Coil From Oswego NY to Middletown NY.

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Posted:  1 day, 23 hours ago

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Had my first adventure tarping a load of lumber and re-tarping! Hopefully I'll get the Old School, Turtle, and Rob D " Seal of Approval"

Since this was considered a local pickup I was only 30 miles away from the maintenance shop. So it was a quick run back and swap out the tarp if I had been on the road it would have been more of a challenge. I've been spoiled by having a Roltight lol... This load was also a split drop so another driver would be taking it to it's final destination since I didn't get any complaints I guess the tarp job I did passed.

Posted:  2 days, 14 hours ago

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Had my first adventure tarping a load of lumber and re-tarping! Hopefully I'll get the Old School, Turtle, and Rob D " Seal of Approval"

I tarped my first lumber load today I picked up 9 bundles of pine rough cut lumber - so fresh the sap was still seeping out of the ends of the wood! Once bundles were loaded I started to roll out my first tarp the yard guy suggested that I should strap down the lumber before I tarped since it was my first time doing it I wasn't too warm and fuzzy with that advise so I gave my mentor a call and he told me either way would work so I strapped the lumber down before I tarped but I kept 4 straps and threw them over the tarp once I got everything covered and bungeed up. I got the back half of the load covered with no problem. I started working on the front of the load and when I got the front tarp opened up I discovered the front apron was ripped at the seams all the way across. I got everything secured as best as I could and headed to our maintenance facility to see if they could hopefully fix the apron and spare me a re-tarping job unfortunately the tarp was beyond repair so re-tarp it was! It took me about two hours to pull the damaged tarp off fold it up and put a brand spanking new tarp on the load. One positive note was the machanics had a open bay so I did the job inside out of the elements. Now I'm tired and dirty getting cleaned up then off to bed..

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Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Driver stranded in Texas / South the Scammers are out

So I was just listening to "Road Dog Live" on Siriusxm and a caller somewhere in Texas had called in and said that there are scammers running around finding stranded drivers and offering to re-fuel them at an exorbitant price. The Scammers pump a couple of gallons in the tank and then book! So be aware drivers! Take care and Stay safe. Chris

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Any Federal Law for Right on Red?

Packrat wrote:

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We need a brave member to go out state to state to performan an experiment to see which states allow what.

Hey, Anne! If your not doing anything...😁

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Challenge NOT accepted by me. Rarely do I perform the Right on Red option. My main reason is all those weasel attorney billboards we see along many of our routes around this country. "Evil Truck Is Always Guilty Of Malicious Driving." Normally, I'll wait the 30 seconds it takes for my green light to appear.

I concur with Packrat I always wait for the green light to turn even if right on red is allowed. It's basically a habit that I pick up from my School Bus driving days. In New York School buses are not allowed to make a "Right on Red" turn you must wait for the Green light.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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I passed

Congratulations. dancing.gif dancing-dog.gif dancing-banana.gif

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

2/1/21 Since the storm shut down just about all of South Eastern New York My Monday night Middletown load was cancelled. So it was just local stuff I pre-loaded coils on two Rolltight trailers which was great because no tarping. The first load I had to take down to the tandem drop yard next to the New York State Thruway Exit39. At the time I didn't realize that you couldn't make a left hand turn out of the drop yard and back on to the main road. So if you have to go back in that direction you now have to get on the Thruway and go to another exit get off find a place to turn around safely and head back to X39 to get back on your intended route! Leave it to New York to make something such a P.I.T.A. After that adventure I picked up a Dry van at the main terminal and dropped it at Patterson warehouse in Fulton NY. Then back to the mill to load another coil and finish out the night.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

1/31/21 Started out with my normal Sunday night load of coil to Middletown. I got loaded really late in Middletown because I spent most of Sunday afternoon fighting to get my Snow Dog Snow Plow mounted to my pickup. (Minute mount my A$$ - yah if you are on a paved level surface in the middle of summer - (as per their installation video!) Not sunk in unlevel frozen grass)! Arrived in Middletown around 2:00 A.M. Monday morning The other driver who delivers to Middletown arrive just after me so I let him unload before so he could get back on the road and get home before he ran out of hours. (He lives near Binghamton NY and he parks out at his house. More to follow....

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Duty Status during interstate closure

Emily R wrote:

So he could have continued past his 14 hours if he had logged the on duty part as an accident ? He ended up sitting for 8 hours on the interstate and then also took his 10 hour reset. So technically he was not driving for 18 hours. I guess my question is if there was anyway around that 18 hour stop?

From your post I'm assuming that your husband still had some Drive time / hour of service time left on his clock to get off from the interstate to either a truck stop or rest area to safe haven and complete a 10 hour reset? When the delayed occurred and he put himself into "On Duty" status while the road was shut down he could have added in the remarks "Traffic accident - Highway shut down" or something to that effect if he didn't put an explanation he can still edit his logs to reflect the situation. I recommend him contacting his Company Safety / Compliance section to help him adjust his logs. Again I'm assuming he was in contact with his FM advising of the situation and since he stopped and took a 10 reset than he started out with fresh drive and Service clock. His Safety and Compliance section is the people are the people that can help him to make sure his logs will be correct and accurate.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Been itching to get on the road again

Harvest how did you make out with letting your FM know about the accident? Have you been able to get a copy of the accident report yet?

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Grumpy Old Man: I See you are at West Rock

Grumpy Sure enough as soon as I got unloaded this morning dispatch already had an assignment for my. I'm back in Oswego loading coils. Since crossing over to Flat Bed I don't get over to West Rock that much.. Safe travels.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Grumpy Old Man: I See you are at West Rock

Grumpy I see you are at West Rock. When are you getting loaded? I'm across the lake in Liverpool shut down waiting on a early (07:00) unload. If you are still around in the morning and can spare a couple of minutes maybe we can meet up? If not Safe travels my friend.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

Old School wrote:

That looks like fun Chris! I'd rather haul coils than sheetrock any day! I never liked hauling sheetrock. It just seemed like I couldn't really secure it the way I wanted without crushing it. I always felt like my securement was compromised just to protect the product from damage. I drove extra cautiously while hauling sheetrock. I had a fear of having to hit my brakes really hard and causing sheetrock to shift and slide forward into the back of the cab.

I hear you not a fan of Sheet Rock! Even though I have a Rollight cover it doesn't make securing it any easier! My Primary trailer is being repaired so I have my spare and I think it's going to be the death of me...lol Every time I have to fight to get the clips for the load straps through the rubber flap that is under the chain wells it a huge P.I.T.A. and of course when I get the straps through and throw them over the load the straps always twist. UGH!!!!

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

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Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

Here is a picture of my typical Middletown load each coil weights just over 12k. Getting ready to head to Buchanan NY to pick up a load of Sheet rock.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

Navypoppop wrote

Chris L.,

Great thread! I love reading about the adventures of current drivers since I've been retired for over 9 years after 45 years OTR. Keep up the good work and always keep safe, healthy and prosperous. Also I almost forgot to thank you for your service. Your avatar shows what I believe is a Blackhawk? I'm not good at Army things. I was Navy as was my daughter, my son is 18 year Navy Senior Chief Mineman and my son-in-law is retiring 22 year Army Blackhawk pilot. God bless you and the USA.

That picture was taken in Afghanistan I was working as a contractor back then I just realized it's already been 9 years since I went on that adventure.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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A week in the life of a Gypsum Express Dedicated Flatbed driver

Since allot of members have posted about their weekly activities I thought I would share a typical week for me. 1/24/21 Sunday picked up a load of five coils from the Novelis, Oswego NY mill to Ball Metal can in Middletown NY (For you Coors Light Drinkers - You are welcome) smile.gif An easy 233 mile run down to Middletown arrived at 23:00 and unloaded and back on the road by midnight heading back to Baldwinsville NY. 1/25/21 another load from Novelis for a Middletown delivery and then a follow on reload of Joint compound from U.S. Gypsum Corp in Avenel NJ. Arrived at Middletown at 22:00 then back on the road by 23:00 heading down to Avenel. arrived by 0100 and shut down till 08:00 when I can get in to get loaded I got lucky and was able find space on the entrance side of the warehouse to shut down so I wouldn't have to creep as far.

1/26/21 Started getting loaded around 09:00 18 pallets of 4.5 gallon buckets of Joint Compound. By 11:00 I was on the road heading back up to Syracuse for a 07:00 Wednesday Morning delivery. While I was heading to Syracuse my tractor kept losing electrical power it would cut out then turn back on again it happened 6 times while I driving. When I got to Syracuse I dropped my trailer at the receiver and headed over to our Maintenance shop to have them look at the problem. It turned out to be one of the control modules was bad so the Mechanics changed it out. I headed back to the receiver and hooked back up to my trailer and got the load unstrapped and shut down till 07:00.

1/27/21 Unloaded and back on the road by 08:00 and heading back to our Oswego Yard to refuel and wait for my Middletown assignment. My FM called me while I was in route to Oswego my FM calls to tell me that after I deliver to Middletown I will move empty from Middletown to the Rietnhour trailer factory in Birdsboro Pa and drop off my trailer for repair work and pick up a repaired trailer down there.

Once I got back to Oswego I had to take all the equipment that I wouldn't need off the trailer headed for repair and cross load it to my spare trailer. Once I got the extra equipment cross loaded My Middletown assignment came and I headed to the mill to get loaded up and then headed out since it was still early I tried to get my delivery window pushed up so I could get a jump on heading down to Birdsboro. I could not deliver early so I stopped at a rest stop about 50 miles from Middletown and shut down for 8 hours. After I delivered to Middletown I headed for Birdsboro with a projected arrival time of 04:30. My routing had me driving from Middletown west on 84 towards the PA state line then heading down Route 209 to I80 west to PA33 South to I78 West to PA222 to reading PA. The only problem is Route 209 from the I84 exit to I80 is off limits to Commerical Vehicles. So after about a half hour discussion with the night dispatcher I had to drive "Out of Route" and take I84 west to I380 South to I80 East to PA33 south to get back on route.

1/28/21 With the re-route I arrived at the Rietnhour factory at 07:30. I swapped out trailers and cross loaded the securement straps that I used on the coils earlier. I got my next assignment and had to head south to Hoover Specialty Wood products located in Oxford PA to pick up a load of fire retardant lumber and take haul it to Whitesboro NY. I get to Oxford and start to get loaded the yard guy started to load the trailer from the back to the front when he gets ready to load the front I go to release the front curtain and it won't release the switch is bad so I have manually open the front curtain from the inside and the turns into a big fight but I finally get it open and the yard guy finishes loading the wood. Of course the wind is blowing so every time I try to throw a securement strap the wind catches them and they get all twisted or just slid off the lumber pallets so my morning continues to be a big frustration. I finally get the load secure fight again with closing and securing the front curtain and get on the road.

1/29/21 I arrive at the receiver around 08:00 check in and get unloaded again I have to fight with the manual release for the front curtain. The week is done _ or so I think - I get back to the Oswego Yard refuel and cross load equipment (for the third time) onto my spare trailer. As I finish up and drop off the trailer my FM calls me and asks if I could load a coil from the hot side of the mill I said sure so I got to hook up to a open flat bed but its so cold the grease on my 5th wheel had thickened up enough that every time backed underneath the locking bar would not slide across the kingpin to lock it in I finally just pushed on the release handle and the locking bar slid over and locked in the king pin.

I get over to the hot mill shipping side and check in and back into the loading area and start to set up flat bed to receive the single coil weighing in at 30k. I go and grab one of the chains and the hook falls off the end of the chain so now I have to scrounge up a cotter pin so I can reattach the hood to the end of the chain I get that fixed and get the coil loaded and start to secure the coil next problem I have is on of the chains that I grabbed is to short so I trade my short chain with a Western Express driver for a long chain. I finish up securing and covering the coil and get back to the yard and finish out my day and head home!

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Good footwear

I still wear my old combat boots with Army issue wool green socks. Very comfortable.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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I was involved in a non preventable accident in my personal vehicle, how will this affect my trucking career?

I would call your fleet manager and explain what happened. Let him or her give you guidence for the next steps of reporting it to the safety / compliance department. Especially since you were injured and went to the hospital you may have be checked by your company's doc before you can get back behind the wheel. Make sure you get a copy of the accident report when it's filed just to double check you weren't cited also. When in doubt report it.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Been debating trying lease op with Western Express.

I'm sure some are familiar with Kevin Rutherford's show on the " Road Dog" Trucking channel on SiriusXM. When he gets a caller asking about Leasing. He always responds with - (I'm paraphrasing) " Why do you want to drive for a company for free?" i.e. you would be paying the company to work for them through the lease payment. I've noticed that Rutherford has his supporters and critics. Since I drive mainly at night sometime I'll catch the reply of his show when I can't find anything else of interest to listen to. Being a Owner Operator or Lease Owner - Heck even a small trucking company- is going to become tougher in the next couple of months / years.

Posted:  1 month ago

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How long would I have to do TNT if I went back with Prime?

When you were hired on at Western Express are you obligated to complete a full year? If you are obligated and quit before you complete a full year WE might come at you to recoup the cost of your training. How many actual months driving for WE do you have under your belt? My recommendation is to complete your obligation to WE and then move on. Prime will still be there.

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