Profile For Chief Brody

Chief Brody's Info

  • Location:
    Ballwin, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 8 months ago

Chief Brody's Bio

Born in Houston, Texas but grew up in Missouri. All over Missouri. Joined the Marines out of high school and then transferred to active duty Army. After the Army went to college and then to law school. Worked for St. Louis County for 8 years, doing a variety of governmental legal work. After leaving the County, I worked in three private law firms doing real estate development and public incentives. After 22 years in the law practice, I got burnt out. I got tired of the impossible volume of work, the push to generate more business and associated marketing, networking and sales, the unreasonable clients, the office politics, and the general lack of integrity in a profession governed by ethics rules—self-governed I might add.. I am an adventurous person. I have sky-dived, scuba dived, rode several centuries (100 miles in a day) on a bicycle, rode an Ironbutt (1000 miles in a day; non certified) on a motorcycle, completed an Ironman triathlon in 2003, got my EMT license in 2011 (expired now), rode Route 66 on a Harley in 2017 and 5900 miles through the eastern United States and Canada, including the Trans-labrador highway, on a Triumph Tiger 800 in 2019.

I like to travel and prefer trips where I drive. In fact, driving has always been a source of rejuvenation for me. I prefer to be alone. I like to be active, so physical work doesn’t bother me. I like challenges and am pretty resourceful in overcoming obstacles. I analyze everything, probably overanalyze most things, but it serves me well because I am good at figuring out systems.

So after much research for a second career later in life, I decided to make the drastic career change into trucking at the age of 52.

Chief Brody's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 20

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Posted:  1 day, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

PSD/Orientation With Prime Inc., Springfield MO

A tip my PSD trainer taught me:

When backing, put your dominant hand on the bottom of the steering wheel in the middle.

Move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go.

Having your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel if the middle also limits how much you can turn the wheel and therefore prevents oversteering while backing.

Posted:  2 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Another Round of "Is it legal"

I have somewhat of an issue with the black and white nature of this statement:

First of all, what Turtle said trumps any dispute whatsover: (to paraphrase) Make sure you have enough room to make the turn in the first place. *Strike one against Mike (me)* It's common sense. Don't go unless you can make the turn. Unfortunately, even those of us who think we possess common sense don't always use it.

I ran over some cones recently in Florida. For some reason, a sheriff's deputy closed the beltway around Jacksonville and dumped all of the traffic off the interstate. At the end of he off ramp, you could go left or right. I chose right. After I chose that direction, there was very narrow construction that had traffic cones. The lanes had been narrowed so much by the construction that the travel trailer in front of me and my tandems ran over the traffic cones, and probably several other vehicles behind us. All the interstate traffic was behind me.

I could have gotten out and basically removed all of the traffic cones from the construction site, stopping all the interstate traffic behind me. The simple fact was the construction crew did not have it set up for big trucks to be able to come through the construction site. But because the Sheriff, sua sponte, dumped all the traffic onto that side road, I had to navigate through that construction site. I had no choice to make the turn or not. And I couldn't back up onto the interstate and tell deputy sheriff that I need to get back on the interstate because I don't want to run over traffic cones.

Posted:  2 days, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Log book quiz

This is a great discussion.

The FMCSA website has Powerpoint slides that state their focus is on the intent of the personal conveyance. Thus, from that perspective, I agree that in circumstances where the genuine intent is for personal purposes (shopping at Walmart) it's a valid use of PC. But what if my side trip to Walmart moves me two miles closer to my destination. I'm not substantially advancing the operational readiness of Prime. But what if those two miles makes it so that I can get there within my 11-hour drive clock. Without moving two miles closer, I would have had to deliver after my 10-hour break. In that situation, LEO could have discounted the genuineness of my PC move.

Personally, and Turtle and I have disagreed on this, if the objective, primary intent of the PC use is for personal reasons, a minor enhancement of the operational readiness of the motor carrier should not matter. See the link below to Joe Delorenzo's perspective that the rule allows judgment on the driver's part.

Joe Delorenzo FMCSA Driver's Judgment in PC

However, I can see Turtle's point of view: any movement that enhances the operational readiness of the motor carrier, no matter how genuine the personal intent of the movement, should be on the drive line.

Posted:  2 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

Forgot to answer your last question about training.

They keep asking me to be a trainer, and I keep telling them the same thing that Jack Benny said when a robber demanded "your money or your life."

"I'm thinking, I'm thinking."

Posted:  2 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Another Round of "Is it legal"

Federal Highway Design Standards Provide that traffic cones must be able to be struck without damaging vehicles.

MUTCD Traffic Cone Regulations

I will avoid striking any object but because traffic cones are designed to be hit, I would not get out and move one if it would create a safety issue for me or significant traffic impedement.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

What extra equipment did you add to the standard list, and why? I run rollback tow trucks as a second job, so I'm familiar with wanting the right tools for the job when on the road.

1. I bought two 6' drop, 26' long tarps from Montana Canvas in Belgrade, Montana. The material is better quality than the tarps that Prime issues, which come from Joplin Tarp. Prime use a three tarp system where loads that are taller than what the standard Prime 4' drops will cover and/or longer than what the Prime 8' drops will cover. You turn a 4' drop tarp sideways to cover the gap between the two 8' drop tarps. It just a lot easier to use two 6' drop tarps that are longer. And two 6' drop tarps, 26' feet long will cover most of the loads that Prime hauls.

2. I bought three canvas tarps from Tarp Nation: two 10'X5" and one 8'X6'. Many drivers use moving blanket to cover steel or aluminum that will cut through your tarps. But covering all of the exposed sharp edges with many moving blankets strategically placed, takes time. Plus, it takes time to fold all of those moving blankets up and store then when you are done. With the canvas tarps, I can cover almost all of the exposed sharp edges by throwing a large canvas tarp over the front and the back.

3. Rubberized chain steel edge protectors. Prime gives you metal edge protectors and then small rubber pads to put under them. They are a paid in the butt to use. These rubberized edge protectors work a lot better:

https://www.myteeproducts.com/10-pack-steel-edge-protector-w-rubber-coating.html?fee=39&fep=4025&gclid=CjwKCAjwk6-LBhBZEiwAOUUDp9g381KDovYp8XAOmirUYG15wllgwrFqgrdSte1T0XhfY2V7hiMaMhoCx2EQAvD_BwE

4. Steel edge protectors with a slot:

Some steel coils already have a plastic ring to protect it. You can use these for steel edge protection and thread the chain through them. This way, the chain won't slip off the side.

https://www.myteeproducts.com/steel-corner-protector-w-chain-slot.html

5. Corner protectors:

When I have steel corners that are extra sharp and may cut through my canvas I'll tape these to the corners to protect my tarps. I also use them when I'm just concerned about the corners for a lumber load. I'll use a hammer tacker to staple them to the wood on the corners.

https://www.myteeproducts.com/platic-tarp-protector.html

6. Corner protection placement pole.

I use this to put edge protection on the edges of tall loads. I also use this to put "belly straps" through loads.

https://www.myteeproducts.com/8ft-veeboards-extension-handle.html

7. Packrat gave me some fire hose. I cut it into 3' strip and sliced open one side. I use if for really sharp edges that I think may cut through my canvas or when I have a tiered load that has multiple levels of edges more than just the front and the back. If it's a lumber load, I'll use my hammer tacker to staple them to the lumber.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

Gregg,

See my more detailed responses below:

When you get home time are you expected to drop the truck (and/or trailer) at the terminal , or do you take the truck home?

As Turtle stated, you can take the truck home or go to a terminal. There is a drop lot in East St. Louis where I can leave my truck or trailer for longer periods like 4 days home time. If I'm only home for a 34-hour reset, I park at a Target near my house. I leave my POV parked at the Prime Springfield terminal. When I need work done on my truck, I will often select the Springfield terminal as my home time location and then drive my POV home.

Even though you've been strictly flatbed, do you have any sense of how easy or difficult it is to switch to a different fleet - say tanker, or a regional position?

As Turtle said, you can transfer between divisions pretty seamlessly. If you are a good driver, they will want to keep you.

What's your feeling about the equipment storage on the trucks and trailers? Is it enough? Related to that how often do you change trailers, and what does that entail?

The storage space on the truck, both inside the truck and the headache rack are plenty. I have six total tarps, but only four will fit in the clamshell storage above my headache rack. I strap the other two on the trailer, along with a duffle bag of moving blankets. One thing you need to consider involves the violent movement of the truck. Things will bounce around in your storage cabinet if you don't have things packed in pretty tightly.

Swapping trailers happens pretty regularly. Prime has many regular customers so you will drop and empty trailer at a shipper and then pick up your loaded trailer. In addition to the simple uncoupling the empty trailer and coupling to the new trailer, I have to swap my tarps on the trailer plus for 8' 4X4s that I use for a bulkhead.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Log book quiz

Just to add clarity, as I know how Packrat runs, I think the "terminal" aspect is throwing the monkey wrench into the equation.

As Turtle stated, as a dedicated driver his "place of origin" for business purposes is the Walmart DC. He is dispatched out of the Walmart DC, picks up trailers out of the DC, drops empty trailers at the DC, and returns to the DC for completion of his load. While he may sometimes go to the terminal to get work done on this truck (and this would be on duty driving), the scenario he discussed involves returning to the terminal for shower, laundry, etc.

And I'll give another scenario that I think is an appropriate use of PC involving the "terminal" for personal purposes. While under a load, I am relatively close to the Pittston terminal, but because of limited parking there, I park at a truck stop nearby that has more parking. After I park at the truck stop for the night, I find out the showers don't work. I drive to the Prime Pittston terminal to take a shower and then back to the truck stop on my 10-hour break. After my 10-hour break is over, I continue with my load.

Would you say that I need to drive to the terminal on the drive line?

Posted:  2 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Log book quiz

My previous response got captured in the quote, so I am reposting it.

While my first response involved the PC use, which I mentioned would be proper use of PC, I also had an issue with the scenario to the extent that you log off duty the entire time you are in the dock. As Robert B points out, with the follow up, one aspect of the scenario is the incorrect off duty status

FMCSA language on off-duty time.

Off-duty time is when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work

IMO, sitting in a dock is one of those gray areas, because at any time you could be required to perform work. In these cases, I don't log the entire time off duty. I log some time on duty, so that I can tell LEO, "I did x, y, and z work. Then, after I was relieved from that work and all responsibility for performing work, I surfed the internet." The problem is the timing of your 10-hour break. If I log 15 minutes after I get in the dock, my 10-hour break starts earlier than if I log 15 minutes after they are done unloading. But at least I can say to LEO, "I did all work necessary relating to unloading during that 15 minutes after I got into the dock." He may disagree, but at least I've shown some on-duty time related to the actual unloading.

With regard to Andrey's scenario, I have arrived at a truck stop only to find no parking. But, on my way I saw a weigh station with parking. I went back to that weigh station on PC. The next morning, before my 10-hour break is up, I went back to the truck stop on PC. I used PC to find safe parking and then used PC to get back to where I was at the end of my on-duty driving status. So I didn't advance my load.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

I'll reply in more detail later.

Posted:  2 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Log book quiz

While my first response involved the PC use, which I mentioned would be proper use of PC, I also had an issue with the scenario to the extent that you log off duty the entire time you are in the dock. As Robert B points out, with the follow up, one aspect of the scenario is the incorrect off duty status.

Off-duty time is when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work/blockquote>

IMO, sitting in a dock is one of those gray areas, because at any time you could be required to perform work. In these cases, I don't log the entire time off duty. I log some time on duty, so that I can tell LEO, "I did x, y, and z work. Then, after I was relieved from that work and all responsibility for performing work, I surfed the internet." The problem is the timing of your 10-hour break. If I log 15 minutes after I get in the dock, my 10-hour break starts earlier than if I log 15 minutes after they are done unloading. But at least I can say to LEO, "I did all work necessary relating to unloading during that 15 minutes after I got into the dock." He may disagree, but at least I've shown some on-duty time related to the actual unloading.

With regard to Andrey's scenario, I have arrived at a truck stop only to find no parking. But, on my way I saw a weigh station with parking. I went back to that weigh station on PC. The next morning, before my 10-hour break is up, I went back to the truck stop on PC. I used PC to find safe parking and then used PC to get back to where I was at the end of my on-duty driving status. So I didn't advance my load.

Posted:  3 days, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

Log book quiz

I don't agree with regard to the 10 hour break not beginning after use of PC.

If LEO cited me for a log violation I would challenge it and use the FMCSA guidance below as support:

FMCSA PC during 10 hour break

Posted:  4 days, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime inc. 3 questions.

Adam,

As I understand you already have your CDL. In PSD, I was with two CDL holders. They did the same training as the non-CDL holders. And, as I understood it, there was an informal "road test" after they got a certain number of hours of training. Driving and backing. No pre-trip.

Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Prime Flatbed - Pay for securement equipment?

Gregg,

I'm in my second full year at Prime in the flatbed division.

The $4,000 for the flatbed equipment is about what I paid. The weekly deduction over a year equals $75.

If you are comparing Prime to other companies, a couple of things to consider.

Your tarp pay ranges from $80 to $150 per load. During my first year, about 50% of my loads were tarp loads. With at least two loads per week, your tarp pay will offset the $75 weekly payroll deduction. So, if you are comparing Prime dry van or reefer, where you don't pay for equipment, but then you don't get tarp pay, it's about a wash. However, I think I came out ahead with the tarp pay during my first year. I briefly searched Melton which says they pay $100, $50 to tarp and $50 to untarp. But they just raised their tarp pay rate. I don't know what TMC pays. But they have a percentage pay option that many find more lucrative.

I grossed $73,000 during my first year solo at Prime. So, minus the cost of the equipment that's $69,000 net.

As Turtle says, you can sell your equipment back after you leave. In fact, if there are something you don't want, you can sell it back right away. But, I would recommend keeping all of the equipment they issue. In fact, I bought some more j-hooks that what they issued. I also bought some 6 foot drop tarps and some other equipment that makes securement easier and better.

As far as other sources of the equipment, I would just get it from Prime. It's going to be cheaper than trying to buy it from Mytee Products or US Cargo. Plus, you don't have to pay shipping. Getting the equipment from Prime is easy. The flatbed shop puts the "standard issue" on a pallet. Then they lift up that pallet over the fifth wheel of your truck and you just pull everything off and put it in your headache rack. I was in the "tarp bay" yesterday, and here was a new flatbedder getting his new equipment.

The other thing to consider with Prime is that your health insurance is more the first year. For me, it was more than $80 per week more. So, whether you go flatbed, reefer, or drive van you will pay more in health insurance you first year. So, if you are considering other companies, you will want to find out their health benefit costs.

My only experience has been at Prime and can say that I'm pretty happy with the company. There are some things that I don't like about Prime in the flatbed division. We tend to tarp more than other companies. In fact, at one shipper where I picked up a 37,000 lb aluminum ingot, another flatbedder told me "you are the only guys who tarp those things." I didn't mind because it was an easy tarp job. I made $80 an hour to tarp. Now, a 13'8" Cedar City load in January is another story. Although that was $150 tarp pay, you can keep the money.

I would not focus too much on paying for the equipment. Like I said, you will probably see more of an increase in your pay after the first year due to the health benefit cost.

Hope this helps.

Posted:  6 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

My dog was hit by a car

Sorry to hear about this and hope that she recovers well.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Managing expectations after getting out of truck driving school. Are my expectations realistic?

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I am looking at trucking school. My needs after training, is a job that offers the following nighttime hours. 11 pm and 11am. Ok with up to 3 days on road, home daily is preferred and in the Las Vegas tri state region. This all being just right out of school…. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Thanks for your time..

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You are not setting yourself up for failure. Gone are the days where rookie drivers can't get local jobs. Trucking companies are in desperate need of butts in seats. You will have no problem finding a local job, but the sticking point may be those hours. As you mentioned, that is an ideal scenario, so just be mentally prepared for a less-than ideal schedule. Oh, what I mentioned as far as you not having any problem finding a local job hinges on your background and MVR being clear. Best of luck to you and keep posting updates.

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What is the basis for anything you said?

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Fact. The shortage of drivers with trucking companies is well documented. LTL companies hire people straight out of CDL school quite regularly now. Do you have anything of concrete substance to refute what I have stated, something other than referencing what was true in the industry 20 years ago?

Joe Biden is an alien!

Do you have anything of concrete substance to refute that?

In the world of "facts" you don't get to throw out unsubstantiated statements and then demand others prove you wrong.

YOU have to support what YOU say with facts and reason.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Managing expectations after getting out of truck driving school. Are my expectations realistic?

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I am looking at trucking school. My needs after training, is a job that offers the following nighttime hours. 11 pm and 11am. Ok with up to 3 days on road, home daily is preferred and in the Las Vegas tri state region. This all being just right out of school…. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Thanks for your time..

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You are not setting yourself up for failure. Gone are the days where rookie drivers can't get local jobs. Trucking companies are in desperate need of butts in seats. You will have no problem finding a local job, but the sticking point may be those hours. As you mentioned, that is an ideal scenario, so just be mentally prepared for a less-than ideal schedule. Oh, what I mentioned as far as you not having any problem finding a local job hinges on your background and MVR being clear. Best of luck to you and keep posting updates.

What is the basis for anything you said?

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Need help with TNT Training for Prime

I went through Prime TNT and my trainer wasn't horrible but TNT is just simply a grueling experience. At some point I decided to adopt Andy Dufresne Persona from the movie Shawshank Redemption. The idea is no matter how bad your trainer is or no matter how grueling the TNT experience is just put your head down and make it through it. And before you know it will all be a distant memory.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

I did it, I passed, I'm driving for Prime Inc.

What division? Reefer, dry van, flatbed a tanker.

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