Profile For Buckaroo B.

Buckaroo B.'s Info

  • Location:
    TX

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 1 month ago

Buckaroo B.'s Bio

Returning to trucking after a 22 year hiatus.

Driving school complete, CDL in hand.

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Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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The World Is My Dock

I enjoyed flatbed work in the 90's for the variety. My most memorable delivery was transformers to Charlottetown Prince Edward Island in Canada. They had started building the bridge from New Brunswick to the island but it was years from completion. I drove my tractor/trailer into the belly of a ship and it took me to the island. Then I took a ship from PEI to Nova Scotia to pickup lumber for backhaul. Great trip! I'm returning to flatbed for the variety of places and loads!

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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The World Is My Dock

Google Translate app has helped my in these situations. Select language English to Spanish, type what you want to say and it displays in Spanish or touch the speaker button and it will speak it in Spanish in case they are illiterate.

Oh come on guys, us reefer drivers have some very interesting days as well. This week I delivered to a Hispanic meat market in Houston. Had to ask their customers to move so I could back into their alley so I could hit dock. I speak no Spanish they spoke no English. It was interesting!

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Any homeless Truckers out there?

Texas too is cracking down on this. I was a homeless trucker for 4 years in the 90's and rented a private mailbox from a mom & pop box, copy, mail company in a strip mall. I just changed my box number to apt number. I went through driving school recently and there was a couple of young students (in their 20s) that had moved in with their parents. Parents paid the bills so they had no proof (bills in their names) to show they actually lived there and they couldn't use their previous addresses because someone else occupied those domiciles and they had not set up forwarding with USPS. It created a situation for me, but since I had recently moved and had my mail forwarded, I used my old address until I got my CDL and then did a change of address on-line. I am renting a room from a friend so I have no bills at current address except my mobile phone bill and TX DPS was asking for two bills to verify. Today being a homeless trucker is a bit easier with smartphones and the internet. Uber and Lyft, rental car apps, hotel apps, AirBNB, etc can make getting around and finding a place to stay a lot easier. Shelling out $600+ a month for a place you spend a few days a month in is ridiculous if you are single.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Self-Driving Trucks Will Carry Mail in U.S. for the First Time

Self-Driving Trucks Will Carry Mail in U.S. for the First Time. The pilot program will complete five round trips between Phoenix and Dallas using autonomous semis operated by TuSimple. It will be interesting to see how this works out.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-21/self-driving-trucks-will-carry-mail-in-u-s-for-the-first-time

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Help with incab brake test in Texas

My notes from in-cab pre-trip in Texas: Brake test section:

Turn Engine off/Key On, Chock wheels 26. Push in service handles to release brakes 27. Watch gauges to check for no more than 3 PSI drop in air pressure in 1 minute. 28. Apply foot brake and hold for 1 minute to check for no more than a 4 PSI drop in air pressure. 29. Pump down brakes to until waning lights come on at 60 PSI. 30. Continue to pump down brakes until service handles pop out between 20-40 PSI.

Remove Wheel Chock - Start Engine 31. Bring RPMs between 1500-1800 to check air pressure rises between 90-100 PSI in 45 seconds 32. Hold RPMs between 1500-1800 until the air governor kicks out between 120-140 PSI 33. Trailer brake check. Release tractor service brake. Place in 2nd gear and pull on trailer gently. 34. Tractor brake check. Set tractor brake, release trailer brake. Using 2nd gear pull forward to test. 35. Brake check. Using 2nd gear, pull forward to 5 MPH and stop. Tractor should not pull left or right indicating a brake problem. 36. Pull service handles to set parking brakes.

Newby have studied watched separate videos took 1st test said brakes test backwards 2nd test at another location did it reverse that person said it was backwards NEED HELP I GO AGAN WEDNESDAY

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Living in the Truck

All this talk about "stuff" reminds me of the George Carlin standup routine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

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Great post / question.

That is my plan as well. Being single, no kids, put all my crap in storage and ready to live life on the go.

Good luck with your plans and remember, it's all what you put into it !

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I had my truck in for its first service this past weekend and took the opportunity to clean out the rest of my storage unit and made 2 deliveries to the salvation army.

After being on the road I got to thinking about how each month I'm paying for something to store stuff I clearly don't need since it would be in my truck if I did. Then got to thinking about how I would be paying for stuff I'm not using, and should I need it down the road, I'll just replace it should that time come, versus spending money each month and ultimately buying the stuff over-and-over again each month by way of paying storage fees.

Now if I could only get rid of my car. It's a lease so the dealership won't take it back early. Even offered to pay them the balance in full. Nope. They want it back in March 2021.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Using The Runaway Truck Ramp

I did a lot of brainstorming about my decisions on that night. The trailer was loaded in Monterrey Mexico, brought across the border and dropped in the company lot. Every time I picked up one of those trailers I had to COMPLETELY inspect the trailer for missing brake parts, lights, glad hands, swapped tires and wheels etc. I had to lift tarps to inspect the load and securement and scale it before I left town. This usually took 1-2 hours. On many occasions I would lose a day waiting on a mechanic to fix all the problems with trailer. As I recall, on this particular load I didn't find any issues with the trailer. It had good tires and wheels, all the brake components were in place and working correctly etc. I guess the one thing I should have done before cresting the hill was to look at the air pressure gauges. I was watching the tach, EGT, water temp and oil pressure which is what I was most concerned with pulling 80K lbs up a 5% grade. If I had seen my air pressure was only 80PSI before the crest I would have stopped then with the assistance of gravity. Takeaway #1 LOOK AT ALL THE INSTRUMENTS FOR SIGNS OF A PROBLEM. When I was on the shoulder at 5MPH and couldn't stop the truck, I thought about pulling the service handles to set the emergency (spring) brakes. However, once, while doing a pre-trip brake check, I wanted to see how effective the emergency brakes were on a tractor trailer at gross weight. At 20 MPH on flat ground I pulled both service handles. The rig very slowly came to a stop. My truck/trailer at the time had only emergency (spring) brakes on 1 trailer axel and 1 tractor drive axle. So I did a quick physics gut check. At 80K lbs moving at 5MPH on a 5% downhill grade with only spring brakes on 2 out 5 axles. That is a lot of kinetic energy with a big assist from gravity. Maybe the spring brakes would have stopped it but at the time I didn't think so. I couldn't stop it with soft pedal on 5 braking axles. I knew if emergency brakes didn't stop the rig, then they would be stuck engaged for 4-5 miles going down the mountain doing nothing but getting really hot and possibly catching on fire. It was my decision, right or wrong, to not use them. Eventually the service handles popped on their own due to low air pressure but this didn't happen until I was 2+ miles down the mountain. The pit was probably 10-12" deep filled with pea gravel. I went over the truck while we waited for the tire from LA to show up. The spot mirror was broke and that was it. I think the fact the trailer was a double drop and all the weight was low to the ground was a big reason this event had a happy ending. When i got to the consignee a day late, the manager came out and was mad because I was late. I just said yes sir and no sir because I didn't know what dispatch told him. I wasn't sure what I would find once the tarps came off. The tarps came off, and none of the glass was broken! A miracle! The glass had slid forward and stopped.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Using The Runaway Truck Ramp

I was hauling glass from Laredo to San Jose. The glass was large plate glass sheets approx. 30'x10' and about .5-.625" thick. I climbed out of the LA basin and from Santa Clarita until the crest I could only manage 15 MPH. It took me 30-40 minutes to climb it. When I crested the hill I up shifted and tapped the brake just to make sure everything was good.

The pedal felt soft and I looked at air gauges. The pressure was low around 75-80 PSI. I hadn't used the brakes in probably an hour so something was wrong. I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and applied the brakes to stop. Since I had crested the hill and now was on the downhill side I managed to get my speed to 5 MPH but could not get the truck to stop. It was a helpless feeling. I held the pedal instead of pumping so I wouldn't lose anymore pressure but there wasn't enough air pressure to push the shoes against the drums hard enough to stop the truck. I slowly started building speed. I thought about running the truck off in the ditch but wasn't sure if this would work. I let off the brake pedal and pulled back onto I-5.

I had a 3406B Cat and max RPMs was around 1800. With jake brake on full I would let the RPMs climb to 2000-2100 and double clutch and ram the shifter into the next higher gear so I didn't get caught in neutral. This was the only way I could control my speed. I stayed off the brakes because my air pressure was not coming up and I didn't want the parking/emergency brakes to set with no way to release them. Emergency brakes engaged only on two axles was not going to help my situation and could lead to a fire and/or tire failure. I continued down the mountain and got on the CB radio to announce my predicament. I can remember calling out "I'm a northbound runaway please stay out of right lane". It was 2AM so there wasn't much traffic.

By the time I saw the 1st sign for the runaway ramp, about 3 miles down, I was thinking I might be able to make it to the bottom. But, I had lost more air pressure and the emergency brakes had set and were smoking. I was up to 60 MPH and still building speed. I monitored vehicles around me and as I closed in on the ramp I looked around again and there were no vehicles around so I moved into left lane so I could square up with the ramp better. Jackknifing in the ramp was a big concern since the 9700 International cabover only had 144” WB and a set-back steer axle. I drifted across middle and right lanes and straight into the ramp. It was an awful noise. Gravel showered the bottom of the truck and the headache rack. It seemed like a long time but it only lasted about 8-10 seconds. It was a hell of a ride.

Then a giant cloud of dust and brake smoke enveloped the cab. The truck came to rest in a straight line. CHP showed up within 10-15 minutes and a wrecker an hour later. They winched the rig backwards onto the paved access road next to the ramp. It was 4-5 AM by this point. Road service showed up at sunrise. I had lost an outside tire on the rear axle of the trailer and there was a broken airline damaged from the tire blowout. The trailer wheels were not the standard 22.5" or 24.5" size. They were 18.5" as I recall.

The service truck had to send someone to LA area to get the tire. While we waited for the tire, I asked the service guy what cause me to lose brake pressure. He thought the broken airline caused by the blowout of the tire was the reason. I didn't 100% agree with that because I think the tire blew on the way down the mountain, not on the way up. 2PM I was back on the road. Delivered load a day late and deadheaded back to Laredo without any issues. None of the glass was broken but the kicker blocks nailed to the trailer floor were knocked out and the glass shifted forward 4=6”. Don't care to go through that again.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer? article by Old School

Spot on. In '93 I went out with a trainer for 30 days. I just bit my tongue and listened, observed and stuck it out. There wasn't much training, I was the night driver in a team operation. It was all Interstate and if I was going to take an exit I had to wake him up before I took it and I better have a damn good reason for doing so. There were many sketchy things my "trainer" did and I just wanted to get through it as quickly as possible. Rocking the boat by complaining would have created a new set of variables ultimately delaying getting my own truck. As long as companies pay trainers an inflated per mile rate, the trainers are going to exploit it and run as many miles as they can. I don't blame them. After my "training" I teamed up with another rookie I met in CDL school. Two rookies pulling 53' vans around the country was an experience, in a good way. We looked out for each other. Anytime the truck went into reverse the other got out and spotted. Anytime we were driving city streets the other was in the jump seat helping with navigation. This kept us out of trouble and accident free.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Using The Runaway Truck Ramp

I took the ramp on northbound I-5 near Lebec CA (Grapevine) in 1996. It was pea gravel and I was pulling a 48' double drop flatbed with glass at close to 80K lbs gross. It was 2AM so traffic was light. Hit the ramp at about 60-65 MPH. Rig stopped straight in about 250-300 ft. CHP came out. No ticket. Wrecker cost $600 to pull it back onto the paved drive along side the gravel trap. A broken spot mirror on passenger door was the only damage, and a pair of underwear:). The double drop trailer helped slow rig fast because there was only about 6" of ground clearance. It was plowing gravel as soon as it went in the pit. I had to sweep all the gravel off the frame before taking it back on the road.

Have any trucks ever over shot a runaway ramp? What material is generally used, sand? gravel?

I did see a runaway ramp out east that seemed pretty short and had almost a vertical drop at the high end. Scary.

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