Profile For Chris L

Chris L's Info

  • Location:
    Gouverneur, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 months, 3 weeks ago

Chris L's Bio

Retired Military 23 Years on Active duty, Former School bus driver, Looking to move up into the field to become a Class "A" Driver.

Chris L's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

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My Morning challenge!

0287487001558010124.jpg This was my first challenge this morning. I'm currently in Williamsport, PA getting newsprint rolls off loaded. Basically I had to back at an angle to the blind side with a 53' on the back with a line of trees and a telephone pole on my left and Darrell's and another loading dock on the right. I pulled up and got myself set up as best I could. I jumped out my GOAL started out by getting the back end towards the building back to the dock and jumped out to check and I was still too far over to the driver's side. Pulled up and adjusted and backed it in right where they wanted it. It's amazing how you can have a big challenge that initially freaks you out. Then you take a breath settle down and think about what you have to do an make a plan. Of course also take your time slow and smooth.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Trailer parking break out when parked not at a door

NeeklODN wrote:

If we aren't meant to use both when parking, then why do they both pop when you pull the tractor brake? Seems pretty obvious to me. I can only speak for the trucks I've driven.

From what I've seen from the videos posted the driver will hold the trailer parking break down with their thumb and pull the tractor break. Some are real ******y about it talking like they are the smartest truckers out on the road. That's why I referred to them as "Super Truckers" in my initial post.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Trailer parking break out when parked not at a door

Chris M wrote:

I never pull the trailer brake when I park. And I'm not a "super trucker" to use your words.

Exactly how do you think the tractor brakes would all fail at the same time, causing the truck to "careen down the hill in to a home filled with widows and orphans"? When your brakes are set, it is a mechanical brake. You would need each of the 4 springs (1 on each set of wheels) to break, before the truck would start rolling.

Also, did you know that in wintertime, truck drivers are encouraged to not set the trailer brakes, due to the brakes freezing? Why would it be OK in the snow and ice, but not OK at other times?

Chris I was not trying to offend you or anyone so my apologies for the "Super Truckers" Comment as for the comment about the tanker careening in to a house full of widows and orphans is just a bit of humor. I'm just bringing up a topic for discussion. I've have and always will use every available safety device that's available to me. You are right a secenario where the mechanical break and fail is highly unlikely but then again Air planes are not supposed to crash but sometimes they do.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Trailer parking break out when parked not at a door

Rick Said Wrote

Both ALWAYS.

When you are parked for awhile - the air will eventually bleed down, the brake (trailer air supply) will pop anyways. The "emergency line", provides pressure to the spring brakes - releasing the shoes from the drums.

While one would HOPE the spring brakes on the tractor only would keep the entire rig from moving, why would anyone want to take that risk?

Likewise - I wouldn't just pop the trailer and leave the tractor pushed in while parking.

I was always taught you pop both, and leave the tractor in gear (for manual trans - and obviously with the engine off), and the rig isn't going anywhere.

Rick

Rick I totally agree with you I always pull both! When I first started driving a school bus I forgot to pull out the parking break and the bus started to roll back. Scared the hell out of me. From then on I always check at least three times I've pulled the parking breaks before I get out of the tractor.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Trailer parking break out when parked not at a door

Ok so there is a social media video platform called Tic-Toc some may have heard of it some maybe not... Well anyway some truckers on that forum have been posting videos showing that the trailer parking break should not be engaged when you are parked (Not at a door or unloading) because it says on the button "Not for Parking"! So they (Super Truckers) say only pull the tractor parking break. The way I Interpret it is don't use the trailer parking break alone I.E. pull the trailer break leave the tractor in. In the military just about every system has a safety redundecy so two safety systems are better than one. If you pull both breaks when parked if the wildest scenario happens and your tractor parking break fails the trailer break should hold or slow the movement of a out of control tractor! Hey that would make a great start to a disaster movie. A tanker truck filled with hazardous materials parked on a steep hill the brakes fail and the tanker careens down the hill in to a home filled with widows and orphans. So what does the TT community think both parking breaks pulled when parked or just the tractor? Discuss!

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Snapped Tandem Handle

Pack-Rat wrote

The handle broke into separate pieces, or the pin disconnected at the linkage, and it fell out? I’ve never seen a rod or handle break.

The part that snapped was the steel connecting rod that goes between the handle and the rod that rotates and pulls the pins back so the tandems can slide.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Snapped Tandem Handle

So I'm currently waiting at AB to swap out trailers for the load I'm picking up. The first trailer I hooked up to that was loaded when I went to pull the Tandem handle to release the pins the damm handle broke off and I fell on my ass.... A major loss of cool points! The Irony I was in the middle of my Pre-Trip when it happened. Better here in the yard than on the road. Hopefully the trailer swap will be quick so I can get on the road.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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First week of Solo finished with Flubs and all - and there were allot of Flubs! Part II

Part II: Thursday Morning up and early I headed out with another trailer full of sparkling water beverage to a distributor in Nottingham, Maryland. I made it down to the distributor with about an hour left on my 8 hour clock it took about two hours to unload so I had 3:55 left on my clock and I had to get to Elkton, Virginia for my next assignment So I planned my route out and the easy way to get from Nottingham to Elkton was to get on 95 south and go till I hit 66 West then 81 south to the exit I needed to get off for Elkton! pretty easy Right?

So I plug the address into the GPS and head out every thing is going ok till I get to the interchange for 95 and 695 there is two signs for 95 one says 95 to New York and DC the other says 95 South express way So I'm like good I'll take that route since I did not see any signs that prohibited trucks on that section of the expressway I would take that. But of course the Qualcomm started to tell me I need to make a U-Turn so I missed the turn on the expressway.

So now I' driving down this three lane road and Qualcomm is telling me to make a U-Turn well I listened to it and Guess what you can't make a U-Turn with a 53 foot trailer on a four lane road with a median in the middle of it! It took me about 15 Minutes to unscrew my self from that disaster once again I got lucky it was mid afternoon and traffic was light I finally got onto 695 look which got me to 70 which I followed out of Baltimore to Frederick then the Qualcomm had me take US 340 South and run the back roads meanwhile my clock is running out I finally get back to 81 and finally make it to the Pilot at exit 291 with 33 minutes left on my clock. Since I took the back roads and burned up my time I had to call my Fleet Manager and tell him I would not be able to pick up and would have to pick up in the morning. he was cool with it and would reschedule my delivery appointment.

So Yesterday Morning I left the truck stop at 5:00 A.M. sharp and headed down 81 to Harrisonburg where I had to exit to get to Elkton once again I was confused and I got off at the wrong exit and I had to find another place to turn around this time it was a shopping plaza on the left side of the road so as I made a left hand turn I'm looking at my trailer and it's super close to the median / curb I'm like I can't catch a break I got by that and into the plaza parking lot and then back onto the road in the correct direction towards the Miller - Coors plan in Elkton. I get there with no additional problems and I go to drop off my empty trailer and then pick up the full on I'm taking back to Syracuse.

As I go down the assigned row of empty trailers I find the row I'm supposed to drop on and the spot for the trailer. The space was the third spot from the end where the pavement ended and it was on my right side It would have been to tight to try a blindside back so I did what my trainer advised me to do when you can always make a U-Turn and do a see-side back. So I did just that I had to back up a bit because I was about 5 feet away from the parked trailers on my right and I need to be closer as I made my turn I back up and the pull forward to start making my turn as I made the turn I looked out and I see my trailer has lined up with the slot I have to back into WIN FOR ME!!! so and easy back into the slot with a couple of adjustments and it's off to pick up my loaded trailer.

I secured the load, scaled out under weight on all the axles and it was off to Syracuse. The week was long and I learned allot. The week was long and exhausting but I did learn a couple of takeaways from the week One: Get a better GPS and also consult my Road Atlas and Directions and do better planning. Also I'm going to make myself a departure checklist so I will remember things like sliding the Tandems forward after I'm finished unloading, and of course better time management. Next week begins soon I can't wait to see what challenges I encounter!

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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First week of Solo finished with Flubs and all - and there were allot of Flubs! Part I

Part I. Well I made it through my first week solo and boy it was a long week! I did a quick post about my fist day Monday already so I won't rehash that experience. Tuesday morning had me heading to Evendale, Ohio for my first delivery My appointment was at 10:00 A.M. but I was able to get to the distributer by 08:00 A.M. even though I was early they took me in. So I went out to my truck slid the tandems back and started to back up to the dock. First Challenge:Tthey originally wanted me to back up to a dock between a trailer and another truck that was unloading at the time I was having trouble getting lined up into the slot after a couple of tries the guy who was to unload me came out and directed me to another door that has open space around it the guy actually opened up the door so I had a better target to aim for. I got it backed into the door and the unloading began I had 20 pallets of that sparkling water mixed with alcohol (I'm not sure of the brand name) after I was unloaded the guy that unloaded my trailer came out and gave my the signed BOL I apologized to him about taking so long to back up told him I was a learning and I haven't quite got my backing up skills dialed in yet he said "No problem it was better that I could have done"! So I pulled away from the dock and closed the doors and sent in my Macro and headed out to my next assignment. Of course I for got one big thing... I for got to slide my tandems forward before I took off "DOUGH"!!! Yaha I realized that as I drove over the curb leaving the distributers parking lot. So I had to find a safe spot to pull over so I could slide them forward so as I was looking for a safe spot to pull over I found a place on the road side that I should have pulled into but my Tractor and Trailer would have been crooked and I didn't feel comfortable trying slide the tandems forward at that spot so I continued on (Hindsight I should have done it there at that spot off the road) Well I continued on while looking for a place to slide the tandems and find my way back onto the main drag I started to drive up a steeply curved ramp to the right as I was going up there was a driver coming down the ramp with a extra long Low Boy (Three axles on the rear) Crossed over into my lane and I steer myself to the inside of the curve and my tandems brush the guard rail!!! "DOUGH-2"!!! again luck was with me because now one was behind me so I jumped out and check behind me to see if it was clear and I backed the trailer off and swung out to the high side of the curve and got off the ramp. I finally found a Wal-Mart Parking lot where I could safely slide my tandems forward- Oh the only thing I could see was I rubbed the tire on the guard rail luckily I was only going about 10 MPH on the ramp. After I stopped shaking I started off to my next assignment to pick up paper in Wabash, IN I'm currently using the GPS feature on the Qualcom and this thing had me basically running the back roads in both Ohio and Indiana to get to Wabash When I finally got to the paper mill and got loaded (Yes I remembered to slide my tandems forward!) I had about three hours left on my HOS clock to find a place to stop and shut down. So off I go the easiest way to get out from the paper mill and to a truck stop is to head straight up US 24 towards Ft. Wayne easy right? Well Ms. Qualcom has me take a tour of the back roads of Indiana long story short I finally make it to the Loves on 24 with 36 minutes left on my clock. The next day I have to take the load I have back to Baldwinsville, NY and drop it in the yard so I can pick up another load and head back out. I got back to the yard with and hour and a half left on my clock.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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First day Solo

Noob Student wrote:

That beer distributor in Rochester didnt happen to be an indoor ridiculously tight dock did it?

Yes it's NAB luckily I did a drop and hook.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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First day Solo

Well my first day solo is in the books! I'm currently shut down at the Pilot truck stop in Marengo, Ohio I'm about 150 miles from my delivery destination. The day went ok on a whole I did have a couple of hick ups. My first load was to pick up an empty trailer in Baldwinville NY, and take it to a beer distributor in Rochester NY do a drop and hook then head out to Evendale OH. So to make sure I was ready to go I headed from my home to the yard where I hooked up an empty 53' to take to Rochester I did a quick light check after I hooked up all was good. So I bedded down for the night. This morning I start my full Pre-Trip inspection find out the right directional light is in op. So I had to swap out trailers. Got on the road made it to Rochester to drop and hook. I found the trailer I was talking to Ohio as I stated to back up the trailer looked a little high.... It was! As my Tractor went under I stopped to check if the King pin was lined up with the 5th Wheel. The King pin was on top it missed the slot completely! Good thing for air bags!!! I pulled out the tractor and the lowered the trailer down. Finally got the trailer hooked up and I was on the road. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Midweek update

I’ve never hauled a beer load that was “light”. 44,000 and up.

The BOL had 25 pallets of Bud Light King cans and the weight was listed at 45,000

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Passed second road test! Now I'm on my own

We got called in early from the road this morning so I could take my second road test with the safety director I passed and as of 12:00 P.M. I'm now a Rookie Solo Driver! I'll be assigned my first load on Monday. I'm looking forward to it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Midweek update

Sorry AB is short for Anheuser Bush they have a Brewery in Baldwinville, NY and my company dose allot of hauling for them.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Midweek update

Currently sitting at Penn Beer Distributor waiting for a door. The week started out Sunday evening with a trailer pick up of Beer heading to Deptford, NJ. This was my first time going over to the AB plant and picking up my trailer by my self. Got the load secure, slid the tandems forward with no problem. First time through the scales my drives scaled at 34,820 went around and slid them forward more. Trip two through the scales drives scaled at 34,540 again moved the tandems forward as far as they could go scaled at 34,160 so close. On the advice of my trainer I took it back up and had the load reworked scaled in at 33,480 on the drives. Much better. I initially went over at 8:00 P.M. to pick up the trailer by the time it was all said and done I got back over to our yard at 10:30 P.M. and I had a 3:00 departure time So lesson learned: Go over early to AB in case you have to get your load reworked. The trip down to New Jersey went well not much traffic going around Philly. After we unloaded at Deptford it was up to Cranbury for a cardboard back haul to Solvay NY. Yesterday it was more beer down to Hatfield, PA scaled high again 34,240 slid tandems up two marks scalled again and drives were 33,700. So we headed back out and headded south I had my first Trailer tire blow out left inner dual the retread came off and it blew. When I did my pre trip looked at the tread, side walls, and inflation all good. Next lesson learned also check for possible tread separations especially on the trailer tires. Every day I am learning something new. After this unload it's back to Cranbury for another back haul of Cardboard.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Going from a school bus driver to a tractor trailer driver

I was in the same boat as you at the beginning of the year. Since you already have your Class "B" CDL the only permit test you have to take is for combinations NYS DMV waves basic knowledge and Airbrakes. The test costs $5.00 and you only pay when you pass the test. You can also take additional endorsement test if you want for an additional $5.00 per test. Once you get your Class "A" permit it will only show your "P" & "S" endorsement. Once you pass the Class "A" road test then it will list all your endorsements. Also you will get a pro-rated on the license fee depending when your current license expires. I think I paid $16.50 when I upgraded. Review the High Road CDL training program here on TT it covers all the endorsements that you can take. Good luck.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Second Week Solo / Shadow Training is in the books

Well my second week of Solo driving with my trainer shadowing me is in the books! It has been a long week! The week started early Sunday with my trainer and I driving bobtail from Baldwinsville, NY out to Lafayette Indiana to pick up two spanking brand new 53' Wabash Trailers from the Factory Daw Yard on Monday and what a better way to break in the trailers but to get them loaded up with 42,000 lbs of Paper rolls at the paper mill in Wabash proper.

When we arrived at the paper mill my trainer loaded at one loading dock and I went to the other side of the mill to load up. The first problem I encountered was I could not find the handle to release the locking pins so I could slide the tandems back. The new trailer uses an air system to release the locking pins I got lucky there was another driver waiting to load up and he showed me where the switch was to unlock the pins. That was the easy part getting the tandems to slide back so I could back into the loading dock and get loaded up. The challenge was getting the pins to pop back out when I slid the tandems up.

The trailer frame was coated with rust inhibitor that thick rubbery kind so even though the pins were lined up with the holes they would not pop back out because of that crap. After a bit of convincing I got them to pop out. Then we headed back to Baldwinsville, NY and dropped off the trailers in our yard.

Tuesday, we headed to Auburn, NY and did a drop and hook and picked up two trailers bound for Orangeburg, NY Then it was up to Newburgh, NY for a backhaul of cardboard to Solvay, NY.

Early Thursday morning was a load of beer heading down to Hatfield, PA. Ironically, I had a pallet of Rolling Rock that was brewed and bottled in Baldwinsville, NY and I was bringing it to Pennsylvania (Those of you from Pennsylvania will get the Irony). We got delayed by a traffic accident that shut down the road for an hour and a half which made us miss our scheduled delivery time the guys in the warehouse were cool about it and got us unloaded quick. After that it was a short run up to Cranberry, NJ for another backhaul of cardboard to Solvay, NY which we dropped off Friday morning. Then we picked up a couple of empty trailers and headed to a local paper company to get a loaded up with more paper rolls which we dropped at our yard. That ended our week.

On a whole I'm getting more comfortable driving and my skills are improving I still have some problems backing some days I'm nailing it and other days it's total crap!!! As I do more, I'm getting a little more confident. I'm also still working on my shifting coordination especially down shifting I'm either hitting the brakes too hard or not enough to bring my speed down to the proper speed range to shift to the lower gear. This coming week will be more shadow training so I can continue to smooth out the rough edges.

Posted:  1 month ago

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First week of Solo / Shadow training is in the books

My Tractor number is 16311 Red 2016 Freightliner

Posted:  1 month ago

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First week of Solo / Shadow training is in the books

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Grumpy wrote

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Grumpy wrote:

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Did you live unload at Solvay? That is a sort of challenging back.

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Yes it is. Usually we drop in Lot "B" but yesterday we had to drop across the street in Lot "C" I've been lucky so far I haven't had too much of an issue backing the trailer into a slot. Though the other day I was backing in and I kept thinking that I was crooked when in fact it was the trailer next to me was. I pulled up twice trying to get myself straight.

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I haven’t had to live unload there yet, but I see a lot of trucks backing in with scars on the right front from that guardrail. Lol.

Watch out for the mud hole in front of the building as you are leaving. I hit it idling in 3rd the other day and everything in my overhead bins bounced out. Holy crap!

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We are lucky since we are local we just drop loaded ones and hook up the empties and head out no live unload. Though we have gone in and dropped but there were no empty trailers to take back to our yard.

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What company do you work for?

Gypsum Express

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise

After that tragic School Bus crash in New Jersey last May an investigation turned up the same thing where a New Jersey DMV worker was taking bribes to issue fraudulent licenses here is the link: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/crime/2018/06/15/rodman-lora-ringleader-lodi-dmv-scandal-sentenced-seven-years-prison/705526002/

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