Profile For Turbo Dan

Turbo Dan's Info

  • Location:
    Chi Town, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 10 months ago

Turbo Dan's Bio

I Drive Tankers from Chicago to Oil Wells from PA to Wyoming and in between. 30 + years OTR with my Race Car Rigs (search Chicago Rush Jet) almost 3 years in Big trucks and Rookie Tanker Driver since 12/6/13

Turbo Dan's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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How I Learned To Adjust My Brakes (And Clean out My drawers)

Just for the Record I ended up being a truck mechanic the day I got my CDL A, (long story) there isn't a part on a MACK CH or Vision truck that I havn't repaired, rebuilt or replaced.

After about 2 and half years of doing that our company picked up a contract driving tankers to the Oil fields so I sort of got Volenteered to go onsite to deliver product (12hr 10 days) they flew me up there and I road back with the driver when the job was done. I decided the days of pulling oil pans and getting my hair full of oil were over and that I was ready to drive. Before the second trip I went to the DMV and passed double/tripples Tanker and Hazmat (thank you TT). So I was legal to team drive as I still had an air brake restriction but had drivers permit for training to get that lifted. So my first OTR was driving 80,000 smooth bore Tanker.

Thing is I was one of the mechanics in the shop that was doing road calls (they sent out the young guys to change tires) I'm Qualified to do the AVIs (Annual Vehical Inspections), I do have my Brake inspectors Card, I was on the phone with the Trailer shop forman ( I wasn't happy), I was just doing my Job.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Damage on truck. I am fine with the truck Just do not want to be blamed.

Everything thats been said about documenting the cosmetic damage needs to done of course, I would add on your first Pre/trip before you drive it, that you make sure there arn't any Safety problems or things that wouldn't pass a DOT inspection. Document everything on your Pretrip form, get the problems fixed before you hit the road or else your name will be on the CSA score.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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How I Learned To Adjust My Brakes (And Clean out My drawers)

Hi Dave, Knowing how to adjust Brakes is something most of the new Drivers won't get to do. I'd have to check the Regs as to what year Self adjusting Slack adjusters became manditory on tractors and trailers.

The reason the companies don't want the Drivers adjusting brakes is because if a modern Brake needs adjusting, then something else is broke, readjusting won't fix the problem. Most likely the automatic slack adjuster went bad, or worn out S cam bushings, cracked brake drum, ect.

The reason a mechanic has to do it is he has to find out what needs replacing and Document what was wrong on the repair ticket. He cannot wright down that he just adjusted the brakes, think of him as the same as an Aircraft Tech, if there's a wreck, the paper work leads back to him also.

If you get DOT'd and you get put out of service because your slack adjusters have too much travel, the driver isn't allowed to adjust the brakes anymore. A mechanic has to make a service call to the truck to adjust the brakes and even he can't do it in front of the Trooper unless he has his Brake certification card on him.

I think that Knowing how to adjust the brakes is still a good skill to have as it could get you down the road in situations like you had. When I was hauling tankers to Williston ND from Chicago, one of my trips they had a driver meet me with a full tanker at the Wisconsin border for me to swap out and save me 6+ hours on my trip back to Williston. After I hooked up I did a tug test on the trailer, good thing I did, all the brakes were replaced the night before and someone messed up as I basically had NO trailer brakes. So I had to get down in the snow and mud and finish adjusting all the trailer brakes so my 80,000 load would stop. Yes I did have my Brake certification card on me. :-)

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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What defects are ok to ignore?

You could overlook minor things, but they will go on your company and your CSA score even if you aren't put OOS... I've seen DOT right ups for High beam burnt out, and out of windshield washer fluid on Sunny Days,,,,

Of course you want to get down the road,,, But here's the Deal,, the DVIR is a legal Document, so if something needs to be fixed, write it down on post trip, so it gets fixed.... The truck/trailer is not supposed to go back on the road until the problem is addressed.

If and Airplane crashes, the NTSB goes back in the maintenance records to see who they could blame. It's the same thing if a truck hits a school bus. Even though a truck mechanic isn't licensed like an FAA A&P, he is still responsible to Sign off (Legally) on any work he says he performed... I never signed off on something I didn't repair or wasn't safe. The records are maintained for a certain length of time, so if they sent the truck back on the road with something that wasn't addressed, then it's on the company, If you accept a truck in the morning that doesn't pass Pre Trip, then it's on you..

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Steer tires

Also do you have an APU, the added weight could put you over on your Steers and/or your 80,000,,, there is a weight break exception for the Added weight,, but I believe it depends on State by State :(

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Flat spot on tires - please explain

Like Sue D said, check your drives and also your Trailers as you start to roll, If you roll up with the brakes wet and warm and it's below Freezing then they could freeze and lock if you set them. If given some time to get cold before you set them, then shouldn't be a problem.

I had a lot of experience with locked up brakes as a mechanic in Chicago in the winter and as a Driver in ND oil fields, see if you can get themto break loose by going forward and back.

If they still won't break loose, then the trusty short handle 2Lb sledge is you friend,, get down and dirty and beat the offending Brake Shoe loose with a couple of well placed Hits.. :)

Also sometimes Water would get past the Dryer so we would Pop the trailer air supply line and por Alcohal (Methanol) into the Trailer air system to thaw out any frozen Brake Air valves as you pump the brakes.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Am I too tall to be a driver?

A 6'6" Driver Will have a problem if he ever gets a Local Job and ends up driving a "Mack Vision" Day Cab

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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GVWR

Phil, you're right it's clear as mud, weight stations would normally be looking at single and tandum max weights.

One thing that happens with smaller trucks is they get caught with lower registration Plates than the load they're carrying, say they buy tags for 12,000 lbs and get caught weighing 16,000lbs in a 16k GVWR truck. Lic Tags are sold buy GVW, and its legal to buy Tags under your GVWR as long as you don't carry more than the Tags you paid for (TAX),,get caught pay $$$.. Most States don't allow you to Buy LIC Plates above your GVWR, but I could'nt find anything on Google about the FMCSA having any rules on this. Did find , State Trooper could write you up for Unsafe overload, IE, truck leaning,tires squished low ect.

What level of Lic Plates is on the truck now , over 66k ? Also read about Law Suits in accidents involving being unsafely loaded, so I understand it about being on you, Do you have a Safety Dept, what do they say ?

One of my jobs in Vietnam was driving a Duece and a half ( 10 wheel straight flatbed with sides) to town and back (Peiku) to bring the Civilian workers to our camp and back home at night. There were like over 35 people crowded into my truck, Had several small incidences over 9 or 10 months, no one got hurt, but I kept hearing about GIs getting in Vietneese courts over accidents. I wrote down all the ID#s of all the people I had to carry, Requested I be included in the Daily morning meeting with the Sargents and CO, pesented them with the ID list and Stated I needed a Direct Order to carry all those people. Funny thing the next day my Sargent took over driving the Civilians until I rotated out,,So I understand you have to, CYA Dan

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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The sad realization of my CDL school

Is this a State approved school,, IE ,, their Lesson Plans and corriculum meet state standards ? Do you get a 160 Hour certificate after passing ? How many week ends did they say you would need to finish their course ?

I went to a small school in Chicago, they had 3 beat up trucks and trailers and we had a lot of stand around time watching other students practicing in the yard. One good thing about that was seeing them make mistakes and maybe getting some insight watching the instructor helping them correct their problems.

Do they have an office where you do self directed computer lessons, I know you already have your writtens passed, but a lot of the 160 hours includes classroom time. They should have a computer course explaining the pretrip inspection plus you should have a printed out pretrip inspection list to learn so you can understand all it's parts your inspecting order and location from memory. It's not easy, I'm a mechanic and I still was going over the list in my head as I went to sleep and as I was waking up.

Our school was small but it still had the DMV inspectors come to our school once a week to do pretrip and skills testing in our yard, then the road test on the same route we had practiced on.

You've got 4 weekends in,,,, 8 days times 7 hours is only 56 HRs towards the 160... Maybe that's the way the school is looking at your progression with 100 hours left to go,,, I don't know, You're going to have to ask them what their expectation is. I hope the school isn't as messed up as it sounds,,,, Dan

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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I am stalling the truck from standstill

Everyone is right about they are saying, I had the same problem when I first started out,I was used to a gas 4 wheeler where you had to lead the gas as to not stall the engine.

Had a Trucking buddy show/tell me hey look, there is so much Torqure in the Diesel that you don't need to lead the RPMs to get the truck rolling.

Ya if the trailers empty you could Slide the clutch out and get it rolling in 4th,,,, but here's the deal , the engine has so much torque that I was told that to just slide the clutch out with out touching the accelerator,,, the truck while roll out without stalling,, depending on load, 1st, 2nd, third, or 4th,,, what ever you learn what the truck wants ,,,

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Jumping (starting) a 4-wheeler with a Semi-truck

Even a Ford Focus will recharge Truck batteries (assuming they arn't Frozen), you might have to run the Focus at high Idle for a half hour to get enough Recharge Amps into the batteries,,,

The Dangerous thing about jumping a truck to a 4 wheeler is crossing the + and the negative cables,,, is always Bad. Things is truck batteries are 1000 AHs or more, and in Parallel which means you have over 3000 AMPs at 12 volts, I don't want to be there if some one hooks the cables up backwards.

As far as Blowing up batteries, every battery charger or jumper cable set comes with instructions about hooking up the Positive first, then hooking up the negative second AWAY from the battery, IE engine block or frame so you don't spark the Hydrogen

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Bunk Heaters vs APU's???

Thanks Old School, thats how the Vision and CH Macks worked that I used to work on.

Do you ever have the Volvo request Regen or shut down in the middle of the night, Thanks Dan

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Bunk Heaters vs APU's???

With California Idle, which shuts of the Engine after 5 minutes, how do you keep it running ?

When I was pulling Tanker to ND, my 2014 Cascadia had CA Idle, but it also had a PTO for the Tanker Hydraulics with a High Idle switch (1000 rpm) installed which would run all night when it was 25 degrees below.

Only problem was it would go into "Regen" while was sleeping,,,, and Fault out and shut down if I didn't wake up in time to push the Regen Button..... :(

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

ABS light

Is it the Trailer Back warning light staying on or the Dash warning light, try to Isolate as the Trailer has it's own ABS computer. Like someone else said try driving in the yard, you need to go 10 mph+ for some distance to reset the computers. Next if it's safe in the yard try unplugging the 7 pin power cable to the trailer and do the rolling test again to see if the Tractor dash light goes out.

If the dash warning light goes out, then the problem's in the Trailer,,, If it stays on, it's in the Tractor. What I've seen in cold weather is moisture gets into the Aluminum sensor mount and Freezes, cracking apart dropping the wheel speed sensor loose in the Brake assembly, breaking it's wires.

If it's the tractor, you could pull the tractor's ABS fuse to dissable the dash light, first problem is when you start the engine is the truck goes thru a self test,, if everything is working properly then the trailer warning light will come on during the self test then go Out,, as will the tractor dash come on the go out. Second Problem is a smart DOT inspector will know this also and know if the ABS system has been dissabled $$$

I'm not advocating dissabling the ABS warning system as that's against the LAW,,, Just trying to help you understand how I would trouble shoot the problem,,, yes I do have a Brake Inspector Card,,, Dan

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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$35k annualy, x0.66(taxes) / 12 months /4 weeks /70 hours = $6.85 an hour after tax? Is that right?

One thing to watch out for is after you get thru training and your 1 year OTR,,and you start looking for something better, is Don't end up being a 1099 Contractor.

As anyone here who's run a business will tell you that you could be paying up to 66% of your proffits in Taxes and Fees..

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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DOT automatic vs standard laws

Tried to search the MA RMV,,, confusing, while I wasn't able to come up with the CDL Restriction codes, I'm Sure they have no air brake, and No Manual Transmission Restrictions...

Heck they have a ton of restriction Codes for automobiles, Restriction Code E for "Automatic Transmission Only"

Call the MA CDL RMV

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Good news about my blood pressure

It all comes down to ditching Sugars (which everyone already knows) and all Grains, search Dr William Davis "Wheat Belly"

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Good news about my blood pressure

I had a DOT physical in October. Bp was 139/90. Just got a 45 day card due to sleep apnea. Was told "GO ON A DIET!" She suggested the Atkins diet (which is easy for me) any how, in two months I lost 30 pounds and next physical bp was 132/74.

She (Doctor ?) offered you Good Advice, If most people followed Dr Atkins, then 1/2 of the Doctors and Drug companies would be out of Business :)

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Trying to obtain information for husband

You could search Craigs List, Transportation, Your location, to see what Local Jobs are being offered daily in your area. They will spell out their requirements, Pay ect.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

New E-log Rules

I worked at a small trucking company from the south suburbs of Chicago (150 + units) . After being a mechanic there for a couple years, I transferred to OTR Tankers, I ran paper logs.

All the trucks had dash mounted Telatrac units for communications with the DM. One of my jobs while working on the trucks was to install and repair those units. It being a small outfit, I was friends with the DM's and would see their computer screens, they verified they could see every truck, It's speed and Location in their system.

When I was driving OTR with paper logs, I asked more questions, Yes the company (and DOT) could go back it time if needed, to main frame computer replay your trip to see if it matched your paper logs. It shows your route, speed, when and where you stop and how long for everything.

So if your company is using any kind of Satelite Commuications, then yes your company has an ELOG trail of your Paper LOG.

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