Profile For Chris L

Chris L's Info

  • Location:
    Gouverneur, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 months, 4 weeks ago

Chris L's Bio

Retired Military 23 Years on Active duty, Former School bus driver, Currently a Rookie Solo Driver 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:  2 days, 23 hours ago

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Had my Six month evaluation this morning

This morning I sat down with the manager of the dry van division for my six months performance review. Everything was positive no major issues. Said I'm doing well no customer complaints overall safety and compliance no issues. I got a raise in my millage pay which made Momma happy. I asked him about the company health and if the company is moving more or less freight than a year ago at this time. He told me that the volume is about the same but the quality of the loads are not as good but we are still very busy. I also asked about moving over to the flat bed division and it's just a matter of following up with the flat bed division manager and see if a position is open or opening soon. I plan to follow up when I get back to the terminal. Overall I'm pleased with my performance so far I continue to learn something new every day.

Posted:  3 days, 21 hours ago

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Handicap reserved parking spaces

I shut down at the TA in Jessup Maryland last night and while I was heading over to get my parking receipt I noticed that there are three Handicap reserved parking spaces for Big Rigs near the maintenance shop. That got me thinking. Most disabilities disqualify a person who is trying to obtain a commercial drivers license. Are there certain disabilities that do not disqualify or can be waived? Who determines what would be acceptable and what is not. I'm assuming the Feds and the States determine this... but in this political climate we are currently in some states pick and choose what federal law they will follow. So if the Feds determine that disabilitie X disqualifies a person from obtaining a commercial drivers license theoretically a State could ignore Federal law and grant a state CDL to that person with that disqualifying disabilitie. These are things I think about when I'm at the shipper getting loaded.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Who should go first!

Every one talking about CB's the one I have in my truck right now I've had for about 10 years it's a Cobra 29 I originally had it in my old pickup and I never put in my new one so it sat in one of my old deployment boxes on my porch in hot and cold weather of Northern NY for the last 10 years before I installed into my truck for work I think because it has sat in the hot and cold for so long I think there might be damage of the circuit boards because I can only transmit and receive a short distance I pretty much have to be right next to some one so they can hear me. Also my Freightliner doesn't have an actual antenna there is an antenna cable my trainer told me that the whole truck is the antenna. I'm planning to invest in a new CB at the beginning of the New Year Of course that is if Momma will let me...lol.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Who should go first!

I had an interesting situation yesterday when I was heading into the TA Truck stop in Columbia, NJ. I was making a left turn into the truck stop to get fuel and park I was facing west oppsite me was long nose Peat that was stopped and waiting no blinker on. The in the entrance was a while Kennworth waiting to turn right. Since the Kennworth need to turn right and I was effectively blocking him from making a wide right turn so that his Tandums wouldn't clip the curb. As some of you that are familiar with that truck stop if you get off the exit heading east you cross the bridge and road curves to the right and you can't see the entrance till you are almost on top of it. I didn't see the Kennworth until I was almost even with the entrance if I have I would have stopped short so he could make the turn. So I figured since the Pete was stopped and the Kennworth couldn't turn till I got out of his way I made a wide left turn into the entrance and that gave the Kennworth enough space to make his turn. As I was turning I waved to the Pete driver just to say thanks for letting go in front of him. Well Mr D@#sh bag Pete gets on the CB and starts cussing me out because I turned in before the Kennworth got out. I guess D#@shBag Pete stopped to let the Kennworth out. Since the Pete didn't have his turn signal on I wasn't sure what his intentions were. I figured I got clear then traffic wouldn't be held up and the Kennworth wouldn't run the risk of clipping his Tandums on the curb. Well I got into the fuel pumps but not after exchanging some choice words with Mr. D#@sh Bag Pete. I guess my question would be who should have gone first? I was thinking the "Right before Left" rule since I was to the Kennworth's right I went first. Or should I have just stayed put and let the Kennworth turn and he possibly clipping his Tandums on the curb? Oh and since the Kennworth was already in the entrance the Pete couldn't have made the turn into the entrance without him clipping the curb on the left side.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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My tightest backing yet

0319511001567164260.jpg0214480001567164321.jpg0473798001567164361.jpgI So this was my challenge this morning the Consignee wanted me into door 10 since there wasn't any manuvering next to the trailer at the end I couldn't do a see side back. So I figured that I would swing down close to the trailers and loop up towards the fence and get it close as possible to do a straight line back. Well it worked perfectly if I could back into door 9. Then I spent about 15 minutes trying to get lined up with door 10 it got frustrating I'm either cutting the wheel to soon or way to late. On thing I have learned is no matter how difficult the spot I have to back into I'm the only one who has to do it! I might fustrate the shipper or consignee whose door I'm backing into because it takes me a while longer but I know that will start getting better.

Posted:  1 month ago

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A moment of shear panic

So this morning I was conducting my pre-trip inspection as I came around to the back of the trailer I noticed that the seal was missing I was like "Oh Schnikes someone got into the trailer!" I was kinda panicked for a split second then I realized that my trailer was empty. I think I need a vacation.....lol

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Rough week of a drop and hook nightmare and more!

Chris, did you read the thread about Murphy's law? "If something can go wrong it will"? You had a Murphy's WEEK!

Bruce true enough! this week couldn't end quick enough for me. Good thing I took today off.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Rough week of a drop and hook nightmare and more!

Well I've had a bit of a rough week this past week. It's started out with what I thought would be an easy Monday morning pick up at North American Beverage in Rochester NY. I was supposed to do a drop and hook head out for a Tuesday morning delivery in Richmond VA. So I get to NAB drop my trailer and head over to the shipping office to get my paperwork and hook up the loaded trailer and head out. Easy right? Well I check in and the guy tells me that the order didn't get loaded because they (NAB) didn't have the product on hand so I have to be live loaded. I go into the que at 12:00 P.M. 10 hours later I get a door and backing a 53' attached to a sleeper tractor in the door sucks those of you who have had to pick up at NAB know what I'm talking about. I finally get loaded and head out at 12:30 A.M. I basically run hard to Richmond to make my 11:00 A.M appointment time I was late by 19 minutes but the warehouse guys got me in and unloaded. I was supposed to pick up that afternoon at AB in Williamsburg VA but because I burned up most of my drive time getting down to Richmond I had less than an hour on my drive clock I wouldn't be able to get down there hook up and get to safe haven before my time ran out. So a call to my DM explaining my situation and my plan shut down and pick up after my 10 was up. My DM concurred with my plan so I got to the Love's on 64 east and shut down. My plan was to get up at 22:30 and head out to AB. I overslept and woke up at 00:30 ugh!!! I headed out as quick as I could got to AB at 2:00 A.M. I dropped my empty trailer and hooked up to the loaded one I had to scale twice because the AB guys won't let you out until both your drives and tandems scale under 34,000 I got them dialed in and it was off to Penn Beer in Hatfield PA. So I ran 64 to 95 and headed straight up through Washington, Baltimore, and Philly. I've never driven to Penn Beer going South to North by the time I get to Hatfield I'm close to my 09:00 A.M. delivery time and the route that my GPS plotted had my going down Big Truck restricted roads so I had to re-route and the detour cost me time and I went into HOS violation a mile and a half from Penn Beer. I got lucky because when I got to Penn there was no other trucks waiting to unload so even though I was 20 minutes late they got me into a door. I sent a message to my safety explaining what happened with the HOS violation. After I got unloaded I headed to The Home Depot DC in Cranbury NJ for a load of Cardboard to bring back to Syracuse . I had Two hours left on my drive clock so my plan was to get up to either the Pilot or TA at exit 7 on 78. By the time I get up there both truck stops are pretty much full so I continue to head to the Penn Jersey Truck stop hopeing there are some spots but I miss a turn and head off into the Jersey country side I actually ended up turning around at a power generation station if I didn't come across that place I'd probably still be driving around the Jersey country side....lol. well because I got lost I went into HOS violation again! Twice in one day I figured my truck driving career was over. By the time I got myself un-F@#$ed and got to the last Truck stop I was originally heading to was also full so I had no choice but to get back on 78 and find a place to safe haven. When it was all said and done when I shut down I was 2:45 minutes over. That prompted message and a long phone call with Safety. It was more of a lesson learned call than a butt chewing. As they say hind sight is 20/20 the route we take the Turn pike from Cranbury and get off and take 287 north to 78 west. I should have stopped at the service plaza just north of Cranbury and ate the 2:00 hours of driving time this would have avoided the other problems.. Like I said lesson learned. I just got my assignment for next week beer going to Carlstadt NJ Oh WHAT Fun!!

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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I made a little guys day

Last week I was driving on the Ohio back roads towards Wabash Indiana. I had just picked up a load of scrap paper from the Republic recycling facility in Oberlin Ohio and I was heading west on Ohio Route 6 as I passed this farm house there was a little guy who couldn't have been more than 4 maybe 5 furiously pumping his arm up and down. Who couldn't give him a toot so I pulled the coord and gave him a nice long horn blast! I hope I made his day.... Come to think about it I can count on one hand how many times I've done that. Funny thing was that afternoon after I got loaded up at Paperworks trying to head out of Wabash the local cops were re-routing big trucks due to an accident I went by three adults standing outside yell to me to blow my horn had to ablige. I guess we all have a little bit of kid in us

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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It's been a while since I posted

So I'm sitting here at the TA in Binghamton, NY heading out tomorrow morning to deliver soda to Port Logistics located in Dayton NJ . This week has been busy started out delivering Paper Rolls to West Rock ironically in Dayton and then a back haul of Coffee from RPM in Edison. I was able to get down and back with 10 minutes to spare on my HOS clock. Then it was off to Elkhart Indiana to deliver more paper rolls then down to Wabash to pick up another load of paper rolls that I brought back to Baldwinsville NY. I got back this afternoon dropped off that trailer and pick up the one I have now and headed out again. Hopefully tomorrow I can get unloaded early and I'll have my back haul set up so I can get back to Momma tomorrow night. It's been a long week I can't wait to get finished.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Freezpak, Clifton NJ

G-Town I've skimmed through your post I plan to give it a good look over this weekend. I already have my load assignment for Monday and I'll be headed back into the Lions Den so to speak I'm delivering to USTC in Edison and then probably a back haul of Coffee from RPM.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Freezpak, Clifton NJ

Update I'm currently sitting at the TA in Columbia, NJ it took so long getting me unloaded that I only had time to get to Secaucus drop my empty trailer and pick up the loaded one and get up the road before I ran out of hours. I sat a Freezpak from 11:40 to 2:30 because there was a descripency on what the vendor thought was ordered and what I brought down. What I had in the box matched the BOL so I was good. But the vendor wouldn't release me till he reconsolided the descripency with the supplier. So another missed Friday night with the wife! This will cost me big time! Flowers and a Pedi aren't going to cut it this time..... lol

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Freezpak, Clifton NJ

It's been a while since I have posted to TT. I've been keeping busy. Well anyway I currently getting unloaded at the Freezpak warehouse in Clifton which is located on Delawanna Ave. Has anyone had the pleasure of driving to this place? And tried to go east on Delawanna Ave? Yaha ya can't get to the place that way!!! The railroad bridge is 12'9" so you have to go in the opposite end of the Street and that's also deceiving because it's a residential section and Freezpak is located down the street. Well I went in from the western end of the Street and got hung up big time instead of staying on the Delawanna Ave I went up a side street and that's where the nightmare began!!! It took me about Twenty-five minutes to get my self out of that mess driving down streets I shouldn't be. There is a landscape business at the end of this one street and the guys working there were helpful giving me directions to un-f@#k myself they told me driver's get stuck up there all the time. When I finally got over to Freezpak the drivers told me that happens all the time. The Irony is I did my planning and did my recon with Google maps ( I like using the Arial view) and I checked my Atlas this particular bridge is not listed at all. I had both my Garmin and Qualcomm GPS running and Ms Qualcomm sent me down the wrong side of the road. My Garmin sent me the right way but I thought it had screwed up because it had me turn down and drive through a residential section to get to Freezpak warehouse. Oh and my Company didn't have any directions for me either I think I'm the first driver to come here. Now I'm waiting for them to finish unloading me so I can get over to Secaucus to do a drop and hook and get home.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Going from a school bus driver to a tractor trailer driver

Rob R wrote:

I’ve been a school bus driver, in upstate New York, for several years. Now I’m thinking of getting my CDL-A. If I attend a company sponsored training program, will the training be any shorter/easier since I already have a CDL-B?

Thanx,

Bob

The one habbit I've found difficult to break was transitioning from Push - Pull steering to plaming the wheel to steer especially when I would make a turn or when I back up spinning the wheel fast enough when I need my tractor to chase the trailer. I'm either too slow or too fast.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Tough local backing for a newbie

So this was my challenge yesterday I was at the RPM Warehouse in Edison NJ picking up coffee. Normally I load on the other side of the building but there was construction going on on that side so they sent me to the other side. The door was second to the end and there wasn't much room to pull up and get the trailer close to the slot. So I had to pull forward and down the back road and get as close to the Orange trailer then basically do a jack knife to get the trailer to kick right into the slot all the while making sure I didn't hit the gate or the curbs. Of course all the traffic is also coming in that way because the other entrance was closed do to the construction. One thing I learned is New Jersey drivers are not very courtious especially Dump truck drivers. 0162994001561815956.jpg0524368001561816139.jpg0688599001561816204.jpg

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Delayed for the dreaded quality control

Well I did get a new assignment I currently have a load of Bud that I have to deliver to Deptford, NJ tomorrow morning. I'm currently shut down at the PA Turnpike rest stop just passed the Allentown exit. I'm about 60 miles away so I'll get up early and beat the Philly morning traffic and get into New Jersey as quick as I can. Only problem I have now is my AC unit for my bunk is crapping out I'll have to have maintenance check it out when I get back home tomorrow.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Delayed for the dreaded quality control

So yesterday I head up to AB to pick up a load of beer headed for Hatfield PA. I get the trailer hooked up and head down to the scale get there and they (The AB guys) that the load has been flagged for QC. So I have to take it back to the lot and drop the trailer. I drop the trailer and head to the warehouse and talk to the shift manager basically there is a problem with some of the labeling on the bottles so the trailer has to be unloaded and sorted out he wasn't sure when that was going to to happen. Loading of trailers heading out have priority. So I checked again this morning at 05:30 A.M. the load is still flagged! Now I'm waiting on my FM to decide if I'm going to wait for this load or get reassigned. I know what the QC problem is that there was 22 Pallets of Non Latrobe brewed Rolling Rock Beer on the back and Pennsylvania is having none of that......lol

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

Allot of good suggestions I'm heading in later this afternoon for an assignment / load my Tractor is having it's quarterly service done so when I pick it up I'll ask the mechanic for some spare glad hand seals. As for pulling over on the highway as they say lesson learned I was more focused on possibly getting another HOS violation so I took the chance on the side of the road. I'm still in my 90 day probation period so I'm leary of not staying within the regulations. I talked with my trainer about the situation and he recommended that the next time I get into a situation like that is to continue to drive till I can get to a safe haven which I will do next time.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

I take a thirty in the last half hour I’m at a shipper or consignee. This gives me 8 hours to get wherever. If your leaving someplace and 30 minutes later sitting in traffic sweating your 30 you got to get with the program. If you got loaded with 2 hours left on your clock in a big city location then you need to pray they got someplace onsite for you to take a ten. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could switch all that on duty loading to sleeper and take a 6 or 7

It's not so much of losing drive time it's the HOS that's getting me. When I get to either the shipper or consignee I put myself in a a "On Duty status " either loading or unloading once I finish checking in I go on break and save my driving hours. Of course the drive clock stops but the HOS continues to run. So if I don't get a door right away and sit waiting when ever I get started back up again. What ever clock has the shortest amount of time left then that is what I get. In both situations I still had and hour and a half of driving time but my HOS was less. So that was the time I had to work with.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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My progress so far week Six solo

It's been a while since I did and update on my progress. Well I just completed my 6th week of solo driving it's been educational to say the least. So far I've had two HOS violations the first one happened as I was pulling into a truck stop in McGraw, NY just as I pulled in my clock hit zero and Ms. Qualcomm started to scream at me while I was looking for a parking space. A quick message to the safety department explaining the situation resulted no further action or retraining. The second time I was two miles from the yard. I had just dropped off a load of cardboard at West Rock paper in Solvay, NY I had 35 minutes left enough time to drop, fill out paperwork and Hook up an empty trailer to bring back to the yard easy enough but as I was hooking up the empty trailer I couldn't get the Emergency supply line to stop leaking I connected and disconnected the gladhand four times before I found the sweet spot. I lost about 5 minutes of my time so now I have about 20 minutes to get to the yard long story short I got cought in slow traffic and ran out of time 2 miles short of the yard got to the yard and dropped the empty trailer I was about 15 minutes over. So another message to Safety explaining the situation and again nothing came of it. In situations like that it's good to have GPS on the trucks since it shows the actual position of the truck when you go into violation that I wasn't trying to BS them with my location. The very next day I almost got another situation where I almost went into HOS violation again I was back in New Jersey and got caught in a late afternoon traffic jam I lost about 45 minutes of time in the bumper to bumper traffic. I finally made it past the weight station on the north bound lane I just pulled over on the side of the highway and shut down. I wasn't going to have another HOS violation on two consecutive days. So park I did figured a ticket was better than getting another HOS violation. There were a couple of other drivers pulled over so I figured safety in numbers. As soon as my 10 hours was up I'd get back on the road I got lucky and I was not bothered. In both cases I still had ample driving time but getting delayed at either shipper or consignee burns up HOS. I swear every minute of real time is equal to 5:00 minutes of HOS time..., lolrofl-3.gifrofl-3.gif. I'm still working on time management this past week I had to pull into a open lot next to a Family Dollar in Preston, West Virginia after I had picked up a load of Charcoal from the Kingsford plant up the road. I actually got a call from my Manager because I went "Out of Route" heading to the Kingsford plant but that's another story for another time. The Irony is the load of Charcoal I just picked up was going to the Family Dollar DC at Rome, NY. So I figured if the Family Dollar manager gave me any grief I'd just tell him I had his charcoal in the back.., lol rofl-2.gif other than these couple of incidents it's been a good time I always try to learn something new every day.

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