Profile For Chief Brody

Chief Brody's Info

  • Location:
    MO

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 7 months ago

Chief Brody's Bio

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Chief Brody's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 24

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Posted:  3 hours, 11 minutes ago

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Scale That Loaded Trailer

Haven't been at it long but it seems with tankers they scale you in and out and even if I'm picking up a relay the scale tickets are with the BOL.

I agree. Almost all of our loads are scaled empty and light, but they don't generally give axle weights.

If you've scaled a loaded trailer at a CAT scale, you realize that it takes a while for the product to settle down so that the scale can get accurate weights. Most scale houses don't want to tie up their scale for 3 minutes while the product settles.

Posted:  3 hours, 37 minutes ago

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HOS Brain Teaser for fun

FMCSA's guidance specifically lists fueling:

0050864001664646155.jpg

Posted:  6 hours, 30 minutes ago

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HOS Brain Teaser for fun

I just want to clarify what I said about what your company tells you. To the extent that your company is imposing policies and procedures that are within their discretion to impose that maybe more stringent than the HOS regulations , then you have to follow what your company says. But in a circumstance where they are telling you to do something that is a clear violation of the HOS regulations then you must follow the HOS regulations.

Posted:  7 hours, 4 minutes ago

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Scale That Loaded Trailer

I've learned that axle weights don't matter much in tanker.

The scale master's reaction when I pull onto the scale:

0424011001664633711.jpg

Posted:  7 hours, 22 minutes ago

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Rookie Trucker

G-Town says:

“Right turn on red after slowing down?”

This can’t be for real… I’m taking the weekend off… I need a break from the latest round of foolery.

My failed attempt at an HOS teaching moment regarding Canadian rules falls flat, but BK's post about fueling off duty gets the legs of a gazelle.

Posted:  7 hours, 36 minutes ago

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HOS Brain Teaser for fun

Just to make Packrat's and Turtle's comments crystal clear, you as the driver are responsible to comply with the HOS regulations. Whatever your company tells you is okay is irrelevant.

Based on the inspections that I've had, in my opinion, the LEO that did the inspection essentially was evaluating me as a driver. As if they are asking themselves question "do I want this driver on the road." If you get cited for an HOS violation because you didn't log on duty for fueling and you tell the LEO that your company said it was okay, you just answered LEO's question for him. Now he's going to find a reason to shut you down.

Posted:  7 hours, 58 minutes ago

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Intro and a few newbie questions

Etch,

I drive for Prime in the tanker division, inedible side, but drove flatbed for Prime for two years. If you want to know about flatbed read my training diary and rookie solo year.

Flatbed Training

Rookie Solo

As far as Prime, I’ve been here over two years and actively searched for other opportunities, but decided to switch divisions rather than leave Prime.

As far as avoiding rookie mistakes and training, my main advice involves taking your time. Just like the boot camp (San Diego 1985), trucking involves a lot of hurry up and wait. Expect a frantic environment in PSD and TNT. Push back against that. It took me a good year to recover from the frantic pace I learned in PSD and TNT. If you go flatbed, efficiency comes from a good system not from a hurried pace.

I have a couple of questions for you.

Do you want to drive reefer, flatbed, dry van, or tanker?

Did you consider Maverick?

If you have any questions for me ask away.

Posted:  1 day, 7 hours ago

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Next newbie question- HOS concerns

As others have mentioned, you really won’t understand the HOS until you’re driving and you have to put them into practice. Brett has an entire section in the High Road Training Program. See G-town's link above.

As you learn them, I would categorize understanding HOS into three categories: compliance, management, and leveraging.

Compliance is pretty simple. As G-town says, you most likely will have an ELD that will calculate your hours of service and give you information about available hours. In fact, there was a thread recently about voice-command for the Omnitracs. Omnitracs, does not display all of your hours while driving. But, if you wake up Omnitracs with the “Hello Omnitracs,” command then say “Available Hours” it will tell you what you have available for your 8-hour clock, 11-hour clock, 14-hour clock, and 70-hour clock. The only caveat about compliance involves the clock extender that I describe below.

Management involves HOS in relation to trip planning. Do you have hours to make it to the shipper or receiver? Where will you stop for the night based on your available HOS. Again, you won’t really understand this until you have to put it into practice.

Leveraging, as others say above, involves using the HOS to not only to be more productive, you can also leverage HOS for lifestyle reasons. I use the “clock extender” quite often. With the 8/2 split, both the 2-hour break and the 8-hour sleeper birth “pause” your clock. I was at a tank wash for 5 hours yesterday. I checked the “will pair with Sleeper Birth” button so that it paused my 14-hour clock so I could use all of my 11-hour drive clock. I then took a full 10-hour break last night. So, I have a full 11/14 today. The caveat involves you MUST go into sleeper berth if you use the “clock extender” such that your 2-hour, or more break, plus your sleeper birth adds up to at least 10 hours. If you don’t, you will have a violation, but your Qualcomm will not tell you.

You can also leverage HOS for lifestyle reasons. Recaps vs. 34-hour resets is a personal choice. I like to have the day and half off each week where I can see the sights. I had a 34-hour reset in Rapid City, South Dakota, rented a car, and saw Mount Rushmore. You can also use the 8/2 split to see sights along your route, take a shower, or have a nice sit-down meal. I try to make it to Sonny’s BBQ when in Florida or Soulman’s BBQ in Texas when I’m in those states.

When you start driving and put the HOS into practice, if you consider these three categories as you learn the HOS, you can really use them to your advantage. And don’t be afraid to ask questions on this forum. A lot of experience here that can help you be productive and enjoy the adventure.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

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Qualcomm Went Haywire

It's actually not an error. Those are my actual hours of service based on my location.

Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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Qualcomm Went Haywire

0847731001664380194.jpg

Posted:  5 days, 8 hours ago

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Leaving Hours on the Table

I have my Garmin GPS connected to my phone for real-time traffic updates. If it tells me that there is a significant traffic delay ahead, I will pull off at the next rest area or exit off-ramp to verify with Google maps. And also get on the CB to get more details from the trucks coming the other way. So, in the immediate circumstance, I'm off-duty while I'm figuring out the reality of the traffic situation rather than sitting in the traffic on the drive line. If it is a short delay, I'll stay there while off-duty and let the traffic clear or find a detour to get around it.

If it appears that the traffic delay will be long, let's say more than 2 hours, then I can sit there for the 2 hours, which will pause my clock with the 8/2 split.

Another strategy involves rather than driving through a major city during rush hour, use the 2-hour 8/2 split to pause your clock and wait to drive through that city after rush hour.

Posted:  5 days, 21 hours ago

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When should you put your foot down?

Anne says:

Rob D., you should become a mod . . . yet you don't have the time, and I get it. You'd be an asset to Brett.

I think that I'm too irreverent and contrarian for Brett's tastes.

Rather than moderator, I think the title of "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer" would be more appropriate.

Posted:  6 days, 2 hours ago

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When should you put your foot down?

I guess I would consider myself more regional now.

The difference with my 10-hour break and a home daily 10-hour break, is that my commute at the end of my shift, at most, involves walking into the truck stop to use the bathroom.

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

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When should you put your foot down?

Rob T,

I started another thread as a response to this thread. As I mentioned in the other thread, when I researched companies outside of Prime, I skipped over any home daily jobs. Specifically, because every time I saw a home daily job posting, I said to myself "and be like Rob T? No thanks."

Of course, I am at a much different point in my life where being home daily for my family doesn't matter as much as it does to you. And to be honest, because you want to be home with your smaller children more, it seems like the only way you can get the best of both worlds is to put your foot down.

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

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Sometimes the Grass is Greener on the Other Side

This post really is in response to Rob T’s post titled “When Should You Put Your Foot Down.”

As some of you know, I recently transferred to the Prime tanker division from the Prime flatbed division. I’m on the “inedible side” of the Prime tanker division. I transferred because I got tired of tarping metal loads. But before I transferred within Prime, I researched other companies. This is how this post relates to Rob T’s post—when looking at other companies, I didn’t even consider any “home daily” jobs. Primarily because of what Rob T has shared about his daily schedule and the frustrations he’s had with balancing work and home life.

Many of the posts on this forum involve the “trucking lifestyle” of OTR. The prevailing wisdom involves that people don’t survive their first year because they don’t really take to heart the time commitment of trucking. It’s easy to have the perspective that the job “consumes” all your time, which to a certain extent it does. In my opinion, the key involves developing strategies to turn your driving time into “me” time, such as listening to podcasts, audiobooks, talking on the phone, etc. And then managing your breaks such that you get of the truck to walk for exercise, explore surrounding areas, or stop during the day at interesting places.

Another common thread, both from prospective drivers and drivers with some experience involves finding those golden regional, local, or home daily jobs so they can get home more and spend more time with family. What I found in doing my research for other companies is the tension between the economic realities of the trucking industry and driver quality of life. There was a recent thread about linehaul guys making $100,000 per year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the linehaul guys have pretty brutal schedules, which makes sense. Generally, if you want to make a lot of money, you have to work hard. Same thing with the home daily driving jobs. The company wants to maximize their revenues so they schedule as many loads as possible in a day, which makes the job challenging for the driver.

This is one of the reasons why I focused my job search on private fleet jobs. To a certain extent, it’s the proverbial cutting out the middleman. If a company contracts with an outside carrier to haul their goods, that outside company needs to make a profit. If the company has enough freight, it makes economic sense to have private fleet operations that eliminate the profit aspect of an outside carrier. Take Walmart for example. In addition to a huge volume of freight, they are able to leverage their 800-pound gorilla status over their vendors. I’ll let Turtle comment more on this.

Back to me. While I didn’t realize it when I switched to the tanker division, it is so much better than flatbed. First, I haven’t even hauled any metal, let alone tarp it. In addition, I’ve learned that Prime’s inedible division started when Prime bought out Milky Way Transportation in 2018. Prime essentially acquired the entire going concern, equipment, employees, and customers. So, even though Prime is somewhat new to the inedible side, many of the customers we serve were long term Milky Way customers. I mention this because it’s a very different dynamic in the Prime tanker inedible than Prime flatbed as I’ll explain more below.

First, we serve a very small number of customers, which makes for more consistency—going to the same shippers and receivers all the time. And because we have a small number of customers, we have a lot of drop and hooks. Then because we are a small division, tanker generally is known as the “unicorn” division because we have fewer tanker drivers than any other division, the intimacy of the operations are better. You get to know the support staff better. I know all the staff at the “tub,” which is Prime’s in-house tank wash in Springfield and can resolve issues in person with them. And because we have so few trailers, they keep detailed notes of any issues with a particular trailer. In addition, my FM often works at the “tub” and I have had several conversations with him about all facets of the inedible tanker division.

The other good thing about the Prime inedible division, is that most of our customers revolve around St. Louis. Thus, I am always driving through St. Louis and get to spend many nights or even 34-hour resets at home.

The pace is slower than flatbed, which is good for having more free time, but I’m making a little less money than I made in flatbed. I’m still making the money I need to make. It’s just that there are certain nuances where you have more down time. For example, many of our customers replenish their storage tanks every couple of days and they have to schedule a steady stream of trucks to keep product in their storage tanks. Thus, if you arrive early, they may not have room in their storage tanks so you have to wait until the use more product to off load.

As the title of the thread says, in my opinion, there are “better” jobs out there. The difficulty involves first, being realistic about your own priorities. If you want to make a lot of money, you’re probably going to have to run hard. If you want to be home a lot, and have quality time at home, you’re probably going to sacrifice some money. If any driver reading this has both a lot of time at home AND gets paid over 100,000 please chime in.

Posted:  1 week ago

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New page layout's kinda cool

Just curious if all posts are moderated now.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Get off the truck

Dodge City, Kansas Labor Day Weekend 2022

It's been a while since I've had an excursion worthy of this thread. I spent a long 34-hour reset in Dodge City, Kansas: the Queen of the Cowtowns. I tried to post a that weekend, but my pictures wouldn't upload because I guess this forum has a size limitation. I didn't get a warning message, it just never uploaded. Regardless, I figured out how to shrink the file size.

If you find yourself in Dodge City, there is a Pilot and Loves on the east side of town. There is also a Walmart on the northwest side of town. All of these are about one and half miles from the downtown tourist area, but the route from Walmart has sidewalks and residential neighborhoods that are better walking the dirt path next to the main drag.

In addition to a decent visitor's center and the statues nearby, the downtown area has many historic buildings. The good thing about the historic buildings is that they have pretty much retained their historic character. Translation: significant deferred maintenance. But if you can look past the faded, peeling paint, it's worth the walk. The Sante Fe train depot was probably the best maintained of the historic buildings.

See El Capitan below and then a link to the rest of the photos:

0110195001663721927.jpg

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3Zyk8GhoasLFDvr79

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Do any of you go geocaching?

I'm still geocaching, just not as much. Turtle and I have had some challenges in the past, which we need to do again.

Whenever, I go to New York, I make sure to find and log geocaches, especially if they are close to where Turtle runs, as a way to "pee" on his territory. The best are Walmarts. I stayed the night at a Walmart on Long Island so had to find at least one geocache.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Flatbed rookie here, fixed spread Q&A

My first question, or rather comment, involves do you even have the option to change the configuration. At Prime our 48 ft spread axles were fixed axles. We couldn't open or close them so for the purposes of configuration there was not a lot we could do.

That being said, at one point I actually did measure the distance between the middle of the spread axle to the Kingpin and it was less than 41 ft.

My only other tip or advice, with regards to the 48 ft fixed axle, involves where you put the weight. I would always suggest to the forklift operator that if you're going to err on weight put more weight to the back because you have a total of 40,000 lb you can put on the trailer axles whereas your limited to 34,000 on your drives. That is so long as you have at least 10 ft between the traiker axles. And if your axles are fixed like ours were at Prime, there's really nothing you can do about it if you're overweight on your drives.

This is probably not an issue for you being on a PODs dedicated account.

The other issue, is to avoid tight turns. Dragging that front axle across the ground will put enough stress on it to blow a tire or put a significant crack in the sidewall.

We didn't have any dump valves on our trailers.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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PC under load.

I use yard move on a regular basis. I use it simply to save those couple of minutes drive time.

As far as companies frowning upon it, when I had my high mileage audit and asked my logs advisor if there was any issue with my logs, she said she would like to see more yard move time.

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