Profile For Buckaroo B.

Buckaroo B.'s Info

  • Location:
    TX

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 months, 2 weeks ago

Buckaroo B.'s Bio

Returning to trucking after a 22 year hiatus.

Driving school complete, CDL in hand.

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Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks 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:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  2 months, 3 weeks 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:  3 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:  3 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 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

double-quotes-start.png

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:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

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:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Annoyance at truck stops

As far as parking goes, I have been reading a lot about cities passing ordinances regarding trucks parking in Wal-Mart parking lots overnight. Just got my CDL back after 20 years and heading out soon. Drivers here had any experiences with these ordinances? What cities? When I drove 20+ years ago Wal-Marts were trucker friendly and I parked and did a lot of shopping there. Occasionally slept in their parking lots. A recruiter came by the school pitching his company recently and made an interesting comment. HIs company does a lot of business delivering to Lowes/Home Depot and said drivers could park there overnight. Since most of these large hardware stores have large parking lots in front and paved or concrete driveways around the sides and back this might be a good option in a pinch, especially if you are pulling flatbeds.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Moving while out of hours?

Examples of Appropriate Uses of a CMV While Off-duty for Personal Conveyance per FMCSA

Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Carrying a Weapon in a CMV

When I drove in the 90's I carried a handgun for a couple of years as an O/O. I quit carrying after getting loaded to visit our neighbor to the north. Going from WI to Nova Scotia did not afford me the opportunity to secure my weapon before leaving the country. I made the trip and had to get creative. After that experience I decided to leave the gun at home. I've been in some sketchy areas at night picking up loads and swapping trailers in unsecured lots ( S. Chicago and South Central LA) but never had any issues. Situational awareness and getting in/out fast is how I handled it.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

I'm going to need to do some calculating but as mentioned earlier each company driver has their own unique financial circumstances. For me I don't have to worry about state income taxes. With the standard deduction doubling to $12K for me, single, I will probably do what I did the last 6-7 years and increase up my 401K contribution substantially to reduce my gross income since this won't impact FICA, Medicare and other benefits in the long run. When companies came up with this per diem scheme I'm sure they consulted with the best tax attorneys and actuaries they could find. Call me cynical but those consultants were working in the companies' best interest, not the drivers.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Ok, I thought the company per diem was a pre-tax deduction when in fact it is a company reimbursement.

Per Diem Pay For Truck Drivers

Schneider National Per Diem Pay Explanation

Additional per diem considerations:

Small impact to personal time off pay (usually less than $50 annually per personal time off week) Reduced social security, unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits (estimated $10/month social security impact for every year of per diem participation) Per diem portion is not eligible for 401(k) matches, but you can fund a higher savings percentage with the extra take-home pay provided through the per diem pay plan

A lot of variables to consider when deciding to take or not take the per diem.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Social Security (FICA) and Medicare are calculated from your gross pay and are taken off the top before 401K or any other pre-tax considerations are made. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plan-faqs-regarding-contributions-are-retirement-plan-contributions-subject-to-withholding-for-fica-medicare-or-federal-income-tax

My last job was a salary position and my pay only changed in April when we received a small raise. I looked at FICA and Medicare deductions on pay stubs after I made a large change in my 401K contribution (pre tax) during the middle of the year and the amount taken out of my check for FICA/Medicare did not change despite the fact my 401K contribution changed by 10%.

I don't think the per diem pre tax treatment has an impact on FICA/Medicare benefits, it only impacts taxable income.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

See also:

What Is Per Diem Pay For Truck Drivers

Per Diem Pay For Truckers

I was looking through the per diem threads and most are a year or more old. Now that drivers have been through a tax season with the changes made to the Federal tax code in 2017, I was wondering what trends, takeaways, lessons learned etc. drivers have. Because the changes had drastically different ramifications for O/Os vs. company drivers. Please start replies with O/O or Company Driver. As a future company driver I want to start planning now. Is the pre-tax per diem pay/reimbursement scheme mandatory at companies? Can you opt out? Is the standard $12K Federal tax deduction for singles and $24K for married covering personal road expenses? Any other tax planning advice welcome.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Truck blown over in Amarillo

I was looking at the US flag in the background when the trailer started lifting. Trailer had to be empty or had minimal weight in it. Hope the driver is OK as well as the co-driver if they were a team operation.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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What trucker gps is better? My qualcomm keeps getting me into trouble...

I was looking for info on the truck specific GPS units with traffic, weather and logging capabilities. RM, Garmin and TomTom. Thanks for the idea about manual waypoints and the HD planner.

Harley Davidson has an online ride planner that you can use plan a ride and download it as a GPX file to a card. If you add waypoints along the route, you can force the GPS to follow your designated route. I used it riding Route 66 to stay on the "old alignment" as much as possible.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What trucker gps is better? My qualcomm keeps getting me into trouble...

Hope it's OK to revive this thread but I was wondering if those using GPS units have any updates on the units they are using, problems they are having, etc. From reading through all the posts I agree getting lured in by a GPS unit is tempting but can get you into a bad situation quickly. Before there was mapping GPS units (20+ years ago) I kept my wire-bound laminated Rand McNally atlas close by and used the QC text directions for the last few miles to the shipper/consignee. I had a file folder with city specific maps and my favorite was the Chicago map with the red, yellow and green dots on intersections indicating which bridges were below 13'-6", at 13'-6" and over 13'-6" respectively. However, I am interested in the GPS units primarily to get real-time traffic information, weather and logging capabilities. I have a standard auto Garmin unit that I use for long car trips but it is no substitute for trip planning. I recently used Google Maps' off-line feature on my iPhone that lets you download a geographical area for 30 days. It worked really well for the rural part of West Texas (Big Bend) I was in without cell coverage or data access. I used CoPilot on a laptop 10 years ago driving with family in a 43" motorhome. With the USB antenna cable, and the power cable and trying to keep in propped on the console it was more trouble than it was worth. Might be better now if it was on a tablet with built in GPS capabilities. Even with directions via QC and dispatch, the information doesn't apply to all rigs. I followed directions from dispatch once that sent me to a customer and the directions were good EXCEPT, I was pulling a double-drop flat and there was a raised railroad crossing! The company usually sent flats and step decks there, not double drops. Luckily a driver spotted me and warned me via CB before I got to the tracks. There is no way the trailer would have made it over the tracks with 6-8" of ground clearance and I would have stopped traffic for miles on that 2 lane road. Thanks in advance for any equipment updates and suggestions!

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