Profile For Chief Brody

Chief Brody's Info

  • Location:
    Ballwin, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 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 17

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Posted:  20 hours, 1 minute ago

View Topic:

Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

Tonopah Arizona TA

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Rob D.

Posted:  20 hours, 27 minutes ago

View Topic:

Dumb question...maybe

I know I maybe going against the grain here but you might want to invest in a GPS. When I pick up my load I can plug the address into the GPS it will tell me exactly how many miles and it will give me the total number of hours that it takes me to get there. I can then look at my available hours, which I pretty much always do 34-hour resets, so my hours are always 11 and 14 each day.

As I'm driving each day I will set a destination on my GPS that is within the available hours that I have left on on my clock, based on the ETA that the Garmin displays on the screen. If I get delayed and that destination is now beyond the available hours that I have left to drive there is an "up ahead" function on my Garmin that I can pick another destination that is within the available hours that I have to drive that day.

With regards to the route that I take, and this is where I'm going against the grain, I pretty much follow my GPS. I do look at the general overview on Google Maps just in case the GPS is taking me a route that is not the best. I run both my personal GPS and the prime Qualcomm navigation system simultaneously which gives me comfort that the route that I'm taking is good. I will also look at the last few miles to a shipper or receiver so that I can look for any quirks as far as the routing getting off of the interstate to the exact location. And you also have to use some common sense. As I'm driving along if my GPS wants to take me down a street where trucks don't belong, I will not follow the GPS and I'll let it reroute me on more major roads. I've had to go around the block a couple of times, and I've done a couple of loops on the Texas u-turn ramps but eventually I get there and I don't get myself into a situation where I'm stuck.

Posted:  4 days, 12 hours ago

View Topic:

Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

Goldfield Nevada

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Posted:  4 days, 19 hours ago

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Got some good news this afternoon!

Nice. How are you liking the flatbed

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

5/9/2021 update; Anna Texas

I’m here at the Whataburger in Anna, Texas; right next to Love’s where I spent the night. On another 34-hour reset and I will try to update my diary weekly from now on.

Delivered my lumber load on Monday in San Antonio, Texas. The address in the Qualcomm was not correct and I had to end up finding the place, which was not an easy access. I ended up doing a couple of loops on the u-turn ramps they have here in Texas. But I got it there and unloaded in the 90 plus degree heat, which doesn’t really bother me.

Next load was structural steel going to a jobsite right next to the Airport in Tucson, Arizona. I got there Wednesday afternoon, but they did not have the equipment to unload me. So, I ended up getting there early Thursday morning. While I was the first of four trucks there, I was the last one out. The way they loaded this in Houston made it like dental work to unload. Again very hot in Tucson. After I couple of hours, I get unloaded and wait by the side of the road for a pretty crappy load.

Steel coils, that needed to be tarped, going only 123 miles. Apparently, someone other than my FM assigned the load, because later that day I got a message “Just saw the load. Pay will be added.” And I ended up having problems with my tarp catching wind and had to stop several times to fix it. I made it there that Thursday night, but too late for the delivery. I had been to this delivery place before and they were just as slow offloading this time as they were before. I ended up not getting out of there until noon, even thought I was there at 0700. Such is life.

I get rolling for my next load, which is copper out of Morenci, Arizona. The shipper is a copper mine operation and has several different facilities in the area. The address they gave me on the Qualcomm was just a dirt lot next to the highway. And the shipper never answered the phone. Google maps showed a facility labeled “truck loads.” I plugged that into the Garmin and it just happened to be correct. Driving there was nice because by the side of the highway were fields of cacti. And it was some pretty scenic desert landscape. I ended up getting there just before their 1600 cut off and got loaded. I posted a picture of the copper in the flatbed variety thread. It’s raw material so you don’t have to worry about damaging the product.

As I’m driving away I notice some discoloration on a trailer tire. I stopped and realize there is some tread missing. I’m out in BFE, on a Friday night, so I decided to roll with it to El Paso. If I could make it to El Paso, I have a chance of making it to McKinney, Texas for my delivery. I get in to the Petro about midnight, get the tire fixed, and hit the sleeper.

I get rolling about 1030 the next day and I’ve got 647 miles to go. I end up making it to the 90 about 2230. Somewhat confusing guard shack entrance, but I make it in and get unloaded. I roll to Anna, Texas, which has a Love’s and Pilot, which are both jam packed. I end up parking on the side of the exit. I move the truck the next morning into a parking space. I posted about this in Msgt C’s thread about “unprofessional” drivers making creative parking spaces. I knew that I would be getting in late and would have a hard time finding parking. But delivering late allowed me to start a 34-hour reset sooner so that I will be ready to go again at 0930 Monday morning. By the way, when I was parking last night at the side of the exit, police car was pulling in and didn’t even give me a second look. So, obviously, the cop didn’t care that I parked there. No one knocked on my door asking me to move and I didn’t block anyone. So, as far as I’m concerned, the only grip some one could have about my parking job is optics. They don’t like appearance of my parking job. So what?

And speaking of Msgt C. who changed his screen name, I think now is the time for me to change my screen name to what I had planned after I had gotten some experience under my belt. I’ve encountered a lot of Quints, like Msgt. and Hoopers, like Professor X. But I’ve encountered a lot fewer Brodys, which is where I think I fit. But I'm sure most will still know me as Rob D.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

In today's episode of "what makes people look down on truck drivers"

So here's my parking spot from last night before I moved into an actual space this morning.

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My trip plan that resulted in this creative parking situation is as follows.

Delivered Friday morning, getting there as 0700 AST, which is 0900 CDT. Didn't take that long to get unstrapped, but took forever to get unloaded. So, I was able to leverage the new rules to extend my clock by 2 hours.

Rolled out of there and made it to Freeport McMoRan, just before their loading cutoff at 1600 AST, 1800 CDT. Got loaded pretty quickly and rolled out, but after about 20 miles noticed a bad tire on my trailer. Stopped and checked it out. I decided to roll with it, because I'm out in BFE, on a Friday night and the closest major truck stop is about 60 miles away. And that's a Pilot without service. There are TA's beyond that, but I make a command decision to roll all the way to El Paso (about 250 miles total), which will put me in range to be able to deliver Saturday. But, I check the tire periodically to make sure it's not getting any worse. I make it to the Petro in El Paso about midnight. I get the tire fixed during my 10-hour break.

I get rolling about 1030 with 647 miles to go to my 90. I get there about 2230. Get unloaded and head to the closest truck stops: a Love's which is jam packed, a Pilot (same) and a Walmart, with signs that say no truck parking. I parked where you see in the picture. I went off duty at 2330, so after a 34-hour reset, I'll me ready to roll with a fresh clock at 0930 Monday morning.

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Msgt C, or whatever name you go by now, tell me how you would trip plan this so you wouldn't have to park like I did. And make sure to factor in waiting out in BFE for the truck service to arrive, because a "professional" such as your self would not dare roll with a bad trailer tire.

And after you have shared your proposed trip plan, why don't we sent them to both of our FMs and ask them which driver they want on their board?

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

I'm headed to McKinney Texas. The BOL says grade 55.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

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Copper out of Arizona

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Nice! Is that out of Buckeye?

Freeport McMoRan. Morenci.

By the way it was a pain in the ass finding the shipping location. The Qualcomm GPS wanted to take me to a vacant dirt lot. The phone number they gave me for the shipper never answered. And as you may know the mining operations cover a broad area with several facilities. Google Maps had a location that was labeled as truck loads so that was my best guess considering that there was a flatbed and a lot of really really shiny blocks on the satellite view. I guessed right.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

Copper out of Arizona

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Flatbed Variety

Copper out of Arizona

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Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Nation catching on to consequences of truck driver shortage

And Western Express has gotten desperate

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Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Working load limit for flatbed

They’re both correct. For securement it’s one half but the first statement started lifting and rigging equipment has different requirements. It’s interesting that the first statement was even in there to begin with because it’s very rare that a roofing company would ever use a drivers equipment to lift and move cargo.

Since we're on the topic of flatbed securement Robert B what is your take on the indirect vs direct tie down and the prevailing wisdom that a direct tie down only gets credit of 50% toward the aggregate working load limit.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Today's route takes me through WY

Most states have road information by calling 511. It has voice navigation and is very user friendly

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

A summary of my first week

Sounds like a good start to me because you've already encountered some challenges that even experienced drivers have difficulty with and you met them and overcame them

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Urgent question

Don't worry about typos. I want to see the content and I don't care about your spelling.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

Interstate 10 rest area in Texas at mile marker 618.

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Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Hole in the wall food places

Joel's BBQ on Interstate 10 at Exit 661 in Texas. There is a very small dirt lot next door. I stopped there today. They have very quick service and picnic tables inside and out

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

This has always bothered me, because, in my limited experience, an empty trailer stops quicker on dry roads than a heavy loaded trailer.

What I found with regard to the pure physics, is that a loaded truck stops in the same distance as an empty truck. The reason is that both the formula to stop a moving truck at a given weight and the formula for the coefficient of friction use the mass. So, if you increase the mass, it takes more force to stop, but at the same time you have increased the friction coefficient by the same quantity. So, it's basically a wash:

Heavy vs. Empty Trucking stopping distance.

But the basic physics, and the article above, assumes that the braking systems are able to leverage that increased friction coefficient. While the CDL manual states that a truck's brakes are designed to stop the vehicle when heavy, that's simply an anecdotal statement. No scientific support for that statement. As we all know, the trucks are also designed with compression brakes for downhill grades to "save" the brakes. Thus, the brake systems are not robust enough to withstand the forces of all expected driving conditions. Consequently, I don't think that the brakes are robust enough to leverage the increase coefficient of friction of a heavy loaded truck.

Also, as Brett points out, the CDL manuals says two different things. First, trucks takes longer to stop because they are heavier than cars. Second, loaded trucks stop better than empty trucks. Both cannot be true.

While I understand that on slick roads heavy trucks have better traction, that is because the coefficient of friction on snow or ice is very low. Adding weight to the truck increases the coefficient of friction so the truck can stop better. However, at some point, increasing the coefficient of friction exceeds the capacity of the brakes to leverage that increased coefficient of friction.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Rookie Solo Adventures of a Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

5/2/2021 final.

My next load is lumber out of Chester, South Carolina. I get there mid afternoon and get loaded and secured very quickly. It a s brand new facility. The forklift that loaded me is the biggest one I’ve seen so far. It doesn’t look big, but it loaded the entire 48,000 lb load in two trips. The forks on this load are around 40’ wide, which allowed him to load one full side of trailer at a time.

I throw my straps and get on my way, stopping short in Commerce, Georgia. I had more time on my clock, but that would have put me right in the middle of Atlanta about 2200. No chance finding a parking spot there that time of night. Plus, I was able to have dinner at Sonny’s BBQ, Turtle’s hometown favorite.

I roll the next day and stop here in Hammond, Louisiana. As I mentioned above, the weather is no conducive to exploring. But I will walk to Target for grocery shopping during a break in the rain.

I also got a message Friday of my Prime one year anniversary. I also got a notice of my one year safe driver award that I can pick up at the company store. Once I deliver this load, I will have over 90,000 dispatched miles.

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