Comments By Rick C.

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  • Rick C.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 8 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 57

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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Vent & Brag for the week

Vent: a four-wheeler blew through their red light while I was half way into the intersection. Skimmed right by my front bumper. Worried me for a second because I wondered, "did I do something wrong?" Other drivers told me no, they do it there often because you're turning onto a hill and they don't want to be behind you. :(

Brag: finally learned how to use tandem's interlock, manual transmission mode, and button timing just right to spread a load of heavy clay, along a curve, without hanging up my trailer wheels in the spread (and stalling, needing a bulldozer to push me). :)

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Three cheers for The High Road CDL training program & Trucking Truth

Good news, well done!

Just so happens today that I passed my written exam as well. Medical done, so only the road test remains.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Secret to ontime delivery.

Lol, nice.

But if dispatch gets one they'll start expecting you to deliver yesterday. Oh, wait, nm.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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An observation since I started driving my POV like a professional

I've begun to drive my car better thanks to CDL school, and keeping a proper following distance is one of the things I'm doing more. Since I started keeping a 2-second interval (yes, it's more for trucks) between me and the vehicle ahead I've been noticing a few more drivers tailgating me, and a couple of those were road raging (the finger, aggressive lane change in front of me--one guy nearly lost control of his pickup). It seems I'm giving the appearance of being a slow driver, even though I'm simply pacing the cars in front! Sigh, impatient city folk.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Driver shortage still the top issue for truckload carriers - ATRI

I like Tim Lester's comment, how he is making an analogy so that office workers can understand OTR trucking. But I think he leaves a couple of points out. He says, "imagine if you will, having to sit at your desk for up to 14 hours every day and then sleeping on a cot in your office." That's not quite the full picture, imo. Imagine that while you're sitting there you cannot move your feet from under your desk for hours at a time, nor can you stand up; yes, you can fidget, but that's it, until your next break. Also imagine that you have to keep at least one but for safety's sake two hands on your keyboard for hours at a time, until your next break. And imagine that you must stare at your screen for hours at a time, not changing apps or websites, and that while the content does change it is largely not at your discretion.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Big decision time

Isn't it like 115° there in the summer, though? Tradeoffs...

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Failed CDL test #2 - backing again

Here in Alberta we get only a truck and half length for headroom for the test, about 106' for a 48' trailer, and about 110' for a 53' trailer. I wish we got the 140' of headroom all those youtube videos show!

I have started nailing my offsets, and the way I do it is to go a foot PAST my landing gear when doing the first steer. When the second, counter-steer runs out of room, long before the rig is lined up, I do a pullup off at the angle of my trailer. Since I jacked the truck so far with the first steer, the trailer is inevitably coming into the hole "late", i.e. towards the far side cone. So my pullup at that angle moves my trailer back towards the early side. Now, when I do get the rig lined up, I have an angled back towards and around the inside cone. Easy after that, and if I get a bit too close to the cone, I've got another pullup available.

My instructor just changed her mind about how I get to do my 90° alley dock. I was nailing it with a gentle arc into the hole, using GOAL to check the angle. Now she wants me to jackknife it in instead. So I'm going to use the same tactic as I do for offset. I will start the jackknife LATE so that I'm coming into the hole late. Then the first pullup will walk the trailer back and get it close to aimed at the hole.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Newbie problems with trip planning..

I like to calculate estimated drive time to my delivery. Then look at how many total hours between now and my delivery appt. Subtract my drive time from the total time and now I'm left with total amount of time I can spend parked. Now I'll divide that by 10 to see how many 10 hour breaks I could fit in, plus any spare hours.

Now you can break those numbers up and move them around to see how many hours a day you need to drive and how many breaks you'll be taking. Once you know about how many hours a day you'll be driving you can plan out where you want to stop and at what time.

I usually do the math on a pocket notepad so I can visualize and double check my planned use of hours.

You may want to shut down sooner one day if your going to hit a city at rush hour, and get an early start to cover that ground next shift when traffic is better. Or if you in an area where parking is competitive, definitely shut down early if you can. I once spent 4 hours hopping from truck stop to truck stop to rest area until I finally found a dirt lot behind a gas station. That was I64 and I77 through WV and VA late at night.

I like that. Just clipped it to my driving notebook, thank you.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Another trucking company closes.

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From a lot of company owners , the trade fight that Trump has been having with China has been hurting them big time

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Because most of the new start ups only saw the pot of gold and did not correctly plan for the hard times when rates dropped to near normal levels. Lack of planning leads to poor results. In their case too much money going out and not enough coming in. Simple economics.Rates now are what they were 24 months ago, so it has little to do with Thr President. Nice try, though.

Biggest problem right now: rates lower than 2018 and out of control insurance rates, helped by tort lawyers.

End of rant.

Imho... It could mainly be about those tariffs. Consumption falls when prices rise (and income is held constant). So it makes sense that freight bookings decline because sales are declining because prices are rising because tariffs are a tax added to prices. And rates will fall, too, as carriers compete for a shrinking number of loads.

That said, those startups may simply not be diversified enough to weather a downturn, so you're right about them perhaps not planning well.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Another trucking company closes.

From a lot of company owners , the trade fight that Trump has been having with China has been hurting them big time

To the extent that it's cheaper to buy your imports domestically than to import them, that could be true, because on average more origins will be inland than from ports, i.e. shorter runs.

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