Profile For Chris L

Chris L's Info

  • Location:
    Gouverneur, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 5 months ago

Chris L's Bio

Retired Military 23 Years on Active duty, Former School bus driver, Currently driving for Gypsum Express LTD which is based out of Baldwinsville, NY Regional haul Eastern Seaboard, and Central region.

Chris L's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Here's A Funny Story

Hopefully he will recommend a bump in pay for you. lol

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Cat Scales

I was sitting in the fuel line at the Binghamton NY Loves waiting to pull up so I could air up my left number one drive tire (got a slow leak) I was sitting in the fuel lane closest to the Cat Scale while I was waiting to move up another driver entered and drove right over the scale like it wasn't there! While I was in line about 4 trucks in a course of a few minutes just went over the scale without slowing down or stopping. It got me thinking that it can't be good for the scale and I wonder how much of the accuracy of the scale is compromised. There is no bypassing the scale and the fuel island if you enter from the road so in stead of driving down the extra 50 feet (if that) to the other entrance these guys just go over the scale. Oh and there are no posted sign prohibiting it either so I guess ignorance is bliss.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Western Express Contract?

In your initial post you stated that you started with Western Express in June '19 and then Ieft to do "National Guard" stuff... I'm assuming you mean your annual training commitment? Did you notify your FM that you had this training coming up or did you just not show up for work? You have also stated that you are currently still doing "National Guard" stuff are you currently holding an AGR slot in your unit? If you had this obligation prior to getting hired by Western Express you should have let it be known either when you talked to the recruiter or when you on boarded at orientation. I'm sure that Western Express supports their employees that are in the Guard or Reserve but the caviat to this is that you should have been upfront and let them (Western Express) know you had this commitment on day one. Remember they investing their time and money in you. Communications is always key to a good relationship between you and your employer. Yes you are most definitely on the hook for what ever money Western Express invested in you be fortunate it's a small amount most drivers that go through a full training program and break their contact end up paying back tens of thousands of dollars. Remember just like the guard you signed a contract and made a comment! Be a professional and reach out to Western Express and I'm sure you can come up with a solution to your situation. Good luck.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Lumpers: Highest You Had To Pay

I just left US Foods in Manassas VA for a drop and hook. But we still have to pay a lumper fee which was $369.00 to unload the trailer I dropped. While I was there the guy in front of me not only paid the lumper fee but also he got socked with a $250.00 reschedule fee. Plus US Foods is also shut down their docks to drivers so everyone has to use the Lumper service.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Lumpers: Highest You Had To Pay

I'm heading down to US Foods in Manassas VA with a load of food containers it's always a drop and hook but the Receiver always has my back the loaded trailer into a door and pay a lumper fee which usually runs between $375.00 and $400.00. I message my FM and he sends me a Comcheck number and I pay hook up the empty and head out.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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First Week Experience

Dean don't give up just yet. If you haven't yet approach your tainer and talk with him and clear the air so to speak. Find out what his expectations are for you and what's the plan for you to meet those expectations. You said in your post that basically your Training is all OJT so your company is expecting that you get the required training before you go solo. Since you have zero experience in load securement your trainer should be taking you through it step by step that's what the company is expecting from him. In the service your Drill Instructors didn't issue you a rifle Monday morning and have you sending rounds down range that afternoon. You learned the basic marksmanship fundemantals, disassembly, assembly of the rifle before one round was loaded and fired. So basically crawl, walk, run the same philosophy should apply to load securement. My back ground is training I've trained U.S. ,Iraqi, and Afghan soldiers and each took a unique approach to train some could master and task very quickly some took a bit longer but in the end I could confidently say that all met the required standard. There are good trainers and bad trainers out there no doubt about it. Remember back to Boot Camp you had good Drill Instructors and bad Drill Instructors the good ones would Teach, Coach, and Mentor the bad ones would not. I'm sure that you are not expecting your current trainer hold you by the hand and treat you like a 6 year old but be a professional and teach you the tools of the trade so you can become a successful flat bed driver. Yelling and screaming is nothing but counter productive! Again my perspective is from the training angle I'm not familiar with the particulars of flat bed side of the house. I'm sure some of the regulars on this forum with flat bed experience will chime in. Talking with your current trainer about your concerns will help you through your training time. Good luck and stick with it.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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How Does An Owner/Operator Take A Vacation?

Maybe Teddy Bear is still on the airwaves.... He could answer the riddle!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Truck Parking; Carpe Diem

I'm very leary about another "stimulus package". Unfortunately we have allot of incompetent politicians in power that are incapable of "doing the right thing" for the American people! This proposed package is supposed to be for infastructure and it will be touted as such but it will be loaded down with pork projects that have nothing to do with fixing our nation's roads and bridges! Do we need better roads and additional parking you bet! Will we get it? Maybe - but not at the scale required! A prime example is California which raised the fuel tax to pay for infastructure and how much has actually gone towards infastructure? The legislature has already raided the fund to pay for other projects! Drivers who drive in California correct me if I'm wrong on that. The bridge fell into the gap.. but that protected class of people now have a grant to put on their SJW Pantomime performance of "Orange Man Bad" Remember they (The politicians) are way smarter than us common folks.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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The "Boogey Man" Virus

Talking about Shippers and Receivers have become overly cautious last week I had a pick up at Clorox in Aberdeen Maryland and their protocols are drivers back to their assigned door, stay in your tractor once your loaded / unloaded only then you can go into the office and sign the BOL of course after you sanitize your hands. The irony is this is a bleach factory....

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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That dreaded surprise

So I'm currently sitting at the local Pepsi distributor in Asbury Park, NJ getting unloaded I'm actually ahead of schedule because I was not supposed to be unloaded until tomorrow. Usually we get here and shut down and wait for morning. But tonight it was different the night guys were ahead of schedule so they came out and told me I could unload tonight. So I go through the gat and the warehouse guy verify the seal and cuts it off and I open my trailer doors and what do I find 2 that's right TWO pallets of water bottles had fallen over!!!! DOOH!!!! I thought my load straps were close enough to the pallets to keep them from moving but no. Luckily no bottles broke open it was just a matter of picking up and re-stacking the product. One of the night warehouse guys helped me out. Of course Iesson learned is before I fully pull away from the door is to attach the load straps on before I fully pull away I if I can't get the straps tight I'll back it back into the door and have the shipper guys adjust the pallets. Ideally I would be able to put the load straps on before I sign the BOL but this Pepsi bottling plant won't let drivers on the dock especially now with all the COVID-19 protocols in place it makes it much harder. I'm also planning to scrounge up some load bars at my home terminal when I get back tomorrow it wouldn't hurt having a couple of those to use in a pinch. At least I already have my assignment for tomorrow so I'll be on my way home to Momma earlier than I expected also I'll still be able to shut down and get my 10 here after I've been unloaded.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Going solo!

Good luck remember yesterday was the easy day.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Reached my first milestone. 1 year safe driving

Congratulations Grumpy! Isn't amazing when you look back back at the year and see how much you have accomplished and it only seems like you just started yesterday. Keep the wheels turning and the shinny side up my friend. Again congratulations on your milestone.

Posted:  2 months ago

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What is the Best Trucking GPS?

I have the Garmin DezlCam 785 I like it the only complaint I have is Satellite view is not available map layer otherwise it's a decent GPS unit. Before my company did the Qualcomm software upgrade to ELD I also used the GPS feature that was available sometime both systems would contradict each other on the route that I would take. After the upgrade I only used the Garmin. Speaking of that I should bring it home with me this weekend and check for software updates.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pennsylvania is shutting down rest stops!

I just came down the turnpike (476) south from Scranton and the Hickory Run and the Allentown service plaza were open for fuel, parking, and rest rooms; but the fast food places were closed. I'm currently shut down at the Delaware welcome center rest stop the main building is closed but the SUNOCO is open.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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PennDot reopens select rest areas

Well I guess some common sense has finally registered I see nothing about the Turnpike.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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My first full year is officially in the books.. and I have a golf shirt to prove it!

Today I'm officially off Rookie Driver status this marks my first full year driving. So to celebrate this milestone I'm currently getting unloaded at the Costco DC in Monroe Township New Jersey. This past year has been filled with high - highs and low - lows. I've learned something new every day and I feel more confident in my skills as a professional driver. This job is tough and challenging there is no doubt about that and how you rise to the challenges is what makes you a professional! The best advice I can give new drivers out there is: You are going to have really good days and really bad days it's how you roll with the punches on the bad days will set you apart from your peers! It will get better. I used to tell my Soldiers this: " There is never ENDEX Just Change of Mission" What ever assignment you get take it and make it happen it will pay dividends in the future. Of course there would be no way I could have gone on this crazy ride if it wasn't for my Beautiful wife She has been my rock! That calming voice when I'm having a real s$!tty day and I'm having second thoughts about this career and I'm bouncing off the walls. She keeps me grounded. Her understanding when I don't make it back in on Friday night and I have to spend the night on the road. What does the future hold for me.... The sky is the limit I'm still interested in moving over to the Flat Bed side of the house maybe with this company maybe with another I'm keeping my options open. I wouldn't trade this last year for nothing both the good and the bad. So drivers keep the shinny side up and I'll see you down the road!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pennsylvania is shutting down rest stops!

Noob Driver posted:

One of our drivers mentioned the facilities are closed but parking still available with port a johns. Is that not the case?

The PA welcome center at the state line and the rest stop just past Exit 219 on I81 South Bound were totally blocked off both the entry ramp and exit ramp. I80 east bound past the I380 interchange was the same.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Pennsylvania is shutting down rest stops!

It seems that the Pennsylvania DOT has closed all the rest stops on I81 between the New York state line and Scranton. Also the rest stop on I 80 east bound just after you merge from I380. I'm not sure what the logic is in that. Pennsylvania just created a parking shortage for allot of drivers in the future. I'm also assuming that Pennsylvania has also closed the service areas on the Turnpike as well.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Prime Orientations Postponed; COVID-19

Rob. D. Posted

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Sorry to hear that Rob.

In PA, they keep closing the dmv offices. It's getting harder to test for permit. I just shot a msg off to Swift about their status and training. I'll keep TT updated what I find.

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If more companies postpone training, maybe Brett will want to change this thread title to more a general one.

BTW, when I spoke with my recruiter, she said they learned about 15 minutes before she called me.

It's like being back in the Army.

shocked.png

I live near Ft. Drum I'm half expecting the 10th Mountain Division Commander to put the entire Division out in the field for NBC Opportunity Training.... Your know the "Good Idea Fairy" is floating around and dreaming up some kind of training to keep the Troops occupied..... lol

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Poke holes in my plan, please

Auggie 69 posted

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Hey, all-

I currently have no CDL and no experience hauling freight, and I want to go from zero to own-authority hot shot trucker this year. I need some help determing whether I'm being smart or stupid about this. My motivation is that I need a career change, I like to drive, and I like to make money. So here's the plan:

1) Get a CDL. I understand you can hotshot without one, but that most of the money is in >26,001# GVWR hauling. Guess I'm going to trucking school just to drive a dually 2) Get a rig. Right now I'm thinking an F450 with a 40' gooseneck. Take CDL exam and pass 3) Get authority. Sounds like it's just paperwork. I've already got a corporation (I own an RV park) based in CA. Bring on the fees. 4) Get insurance. I'm expecting to pay around $2k per month as a new driver (41 y.o., clean record) 5) Find a broker or dispatch service that will give me work. This sounds like maybe the biggest challenge I'll face starting out. 6) Hit the road. With my insurance being super high, I'll need to do a lot of miles to pay the bills. $2k per week gross income sounds achievable based on what I've read and that's the goal. 7) Adjust. Once I get some stick time, I expect more loads will be available and insurance rates will drop. Tweak the business accordingly.

My timeline for this is 4 months, zero to hero.

So, what am I missing? There's always something. Got any other advice?

I appreciate your time.

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As an aside, anecdotal evidence says that everytime DOT runs their hit operations they ALWAYS target the pickups with the goosenecks.

I strongly concur whenever I have rolled through a DOT check point I've only seen Box Trucks and "Hot Shotters" pulled in for inspection by the DOT cops of course it's still anecdotal but that's just what I have observed. If there isn't much in the way of regulations that covers the "Hot Shot" industry now give the government time and they will come up with something.

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