Comments By Southern Dad

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Posted:  2 months ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

Since applying on this site, yesterday, my phone has been ringing. I took the questions to ask recruiters information, then looked up the answers on the web. I used that to confirm with the recruiter. I’m at Concentra to get a DOT physical, as I type this. It’s looking like a two hour wait. Of the companies expressing and interest, two really interest me. Those are TMC and Swift. Two opposite ends of the spectrum, for sure. My highest priority is home time. Money is about third on the list.

I know there are drivers here from both companies. I’ve read the threads here, especially the diaries. Word of mouth is the best reference. This is moving faster than I intended. I’ll be taking the CDL A Permit as soon as I have this card.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Driving for Prime

I still say bad words going through Atlanta in a four wheeler.

I was through Atlanta couples days ago and only said one or maybe two ugly words.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Prime Inc - Company Driver Travel Allowance? What Exactly Is Travel Allowance ?

When I first started thinking about trucking, a person, who is an owner/operator, with your company, that really loves trucking told me how lucrative it was to be an owner/operator. I am just not enthused about buying a job. That means owner/operator is out for me. I've subscribed to your YouTube channel. I've always wanted to do a podcast and a YouTube channel. Lord knows, I watch way too much YouTube.

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I have to say that the real compensation information shared by Kearsey, caused me to look at one more trucking company. Thank you for being so willing to show real data. It helps explain per diem, in real numbers. It also gives an idea of what kind of miles you are running each week. This forum is really about sharing and educating people who are thinking about getting into the industry. It should be mandatory reading before getting the keys.

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Just stay away from leasing. Ill do a video soon on that too... but honestly it isnt eorth it. and i did one video adding up my overhead costs to be $28,000 if i were to go local... and that didnt inckude the furniture in the apartment i would need to buy since i live on my truck. So to habe the same cash flow i would NEED to make $100,000. for now, i love life ;)

Posted:  2 months ago

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Prime Inc - Company Driver Travel Allowance? What Exactly Is Travel Allowance ?

I have to say that the real compensation information shared by Kearsey, caused me to look at one more trucking company. Thank you for being so willing to show real data. It helps explain per diem, in real numbers. It also gives an idea of what kind of miles you are running each week. This forum is really about sharing and educating people who are thinking about getting into the industry. It should be mandatory reading before getting the keys.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Of all the threads that I've read thus far on the forum, this one, with its lively discussion, realizations, and documentation examples, has probably taught me the most. Over my lifetime, I have received per diem throughout both my military and management careers. You would think that I would have looked into it and understood it better. During my military career, I really cared about one line on the LES form and that was Net Pay.

Currently, all of my business related travel, I have the option of per diem or submitting receipts for reimbursement. Truthfully, I take the per diem on most trips, just because it is easier. As I read the two pages of threads going back 6+ years, the debate and conversation was very insightful. The recent changes from the Jobs & Tax Act seem to have made this a no brainer for me.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

The question that I had asked the recruiter was how home time worked, that was when he said that I accumulate 1 day every 6 for home time that is usually taken as 2 days at home after 12 days on the road. Because of the comments here, I will ask him to explain it further to make sure that he means two real days at home not just 34 hours.

One of the best things about interaction on this forum and reading old (some very old) threads is that I learn questions that I need to ask.

PackRat had a point:

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I'd be asking if it is actually 48 hours, two days, or a 34 hour reset at home? All three are different.

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First assume the time off is "two days" unless it is. 34 hours (one day plus 10 hours) is a standard break in your Hours Of Service - a legal term.

I drove a regional area for Swift. This did include real weekends off. In my case, I often finished my week's work & was home sometime Friday afternoon (a few times I got home Thursday!). But Monday morning I needed to be on the road by 4am to make my schedule. Still, a whole weekend.

Keep in mind there's no "Five o'clock somewhere" in trucking. No whistle is going to blow and you pull over for the night. To finish out this concept, though the trucking industry is 24/7, you will get your off time while you're on the road.

So clarify that "two days".

Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

I'm sorry that anyone took me as criticizing them. I was discussing the topic that was brought up in the original post after reading the linked story. I am not trying to fix your issues. I was just discussing the issue in the original post.

SD, no disrespect intended, and no Jan I'm not offended (are you!? It seems only time you post is to criticize us. Why are u even here?) But until you actually get out there and do this job please dont try fixing our "issues" that aren't issues. It's always the outsiders or rookies that are struggling with backing that think these are a good idea. Thankfully in 2 years I've been driving I haven't hit anything, Including backing incidents. I had a couple close calls early on by focusing too much on a mirror because It was tight on that side and thankfully looked at other mirrors to realize I was about to hit something. If we have a camera for every angle of the truck you'd never move that truck because theres a million things going on at each side of the vehicle that's ever changing. Picture this. You're backing off the street into a narrow alley. You're only focused on the what's directly behind you and the corner of each side of the back. Cars inch closer the longer you take as their frustration grows and they're going to squeeze in as soon as they have room regardless if they have adequate room. You're so focused on not hitting what's behind you that your drive tires have now hit a car due to the angle you're at. Technology is not the answer. There have been numerous times by getting out and looking seeing that although my back end may hit the dock as I hoped I will end up having my tractor or front of trailer hit another object.

SD, in no way am I criticizing you but focus on getting your CDL and once you've been out here you'll have plenty of time to fix all the world's issues, however you'll be better informed. I spent about 4 years on this forum before taking the leap and thought I knew almost everything. Boy was i wrong. If after being out here 6 months to a year when your backing is decent and you feel the same way then I'll gladly discuss it. Until then just focus on getting your CDL. I wouldn't come into your corporate office and start telling you how things should be done without experiencing it. There is a HUGE difference between a tractor trailer that bends in the middle and your Prius or CR-V.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Starting with Wilson Logistics

I've read every page of the thread, following along. At each click, I was ready to see what came next. This thread gave me some insight to how testing goes and the phases of training.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

Excellent question for me to ask. I'm adding it to my list.

That's about normal for hometime: one day off for each week out.

I'd be asking if it is actually 48 hours, two days, or a 34 hour reset at home? All three are different.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

Where is the monitor for this? Is it distracting to you? For example causing you to have to look at an extra place like the dashboard.

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I love technology. My house is loaded with smart home technology. Even my chicken house is smart. Trailers have added skirts and tails to get better mpg. Monitors for 4 wheelers to see ahead is an excellent idea. Another great idea is a camera that transmits to the driver, like RVs have.

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One of the trucks I drive has this. When you turn on the right turn signal a camera on that side turns on and displays an image down the right side of the truck and into the next lane.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

It seems like Walmart is ahead when it comes to this kind of technology. I can really see the benefits in the yard for this. Walmart has a distribution facility in Monroe, Georgia which is only 40 minutes from my home. It is definitely a Swift Transportation Dedicated Customer. I read your post that you got on a dedicated after only a few months and that has given me hope that it could happen to me.

I have seen people in that yard riding around in golf carts with handheld units that have antennas on them. I thought they were for bar code scanning, but I'll be those were to identify trailers.

Old School wrote:

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Southern Dad, I know it sounds like we're afraid of technology, but we're far from that. What we're afraid of is not being focused on what matters during critical moments.

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Ditto... I agree totally with Old School's reply.

I was being totally honest with you SD (and not upset "Jan")...in 6+ years I have never once wished I had a camera perched on the end of my trailer. And if you (or Jan) believe I am anti-technology, please read my profile. Not so at all. But I am pragmatic, practical and realistic when it comes to this sort of thing.

SD I can only speak for Walmart (because I run NE Dedicated for them), they have smart technology on all of their trailers...to the point if I enter an invalid trailer # while sending status macros, their system knows I am under a trailer with a number that doesn't match the number I entered. It knows when the door is opened and closed...if I am looking for a trailer # at the DC and can't find it? All I need to-do is flag down a spotter and they can pull up an overhead satellite view of the entire property and tell me exactly where the trailer is located. I am sure a variety of other data is also captured and transmitted.

I have several pics I can share...will post when I have a moment later on tonight.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

Thanks for the welcome. I see that you also left another career later in life to get into truck driving. There's always been this allure to drive the big trucks. I know that we should all only believe what a recruiter is willing to put in writing, and then maybe not even that but what I am being told is 2 days home after every 12 days on the road. The recruiter is calling it regional, although it is a big region. No northeast, no NYC, no west coast. Most of what he says jibes with what others have posted on this forum.

Southern Dad, you are a nice addition to the forum. I like your style. Yeah, truck driving will be a good fit for you.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

Considering the other aspects of smart technology that could be implemented in trailers besides cameras, we may see some of them soon. Would shippers like Amazon, Walmart, FedEx, or UPS install 3G cellular devices on the trailers? They already scan every package going into a trailer allowing the customer to see where the package is at a given time. Amazon already has this kind of tracking on the blue vans used for Amazon Now deliveries.

Two of my personal vehicles have a device called Automatic Pro (old version 3G no contract), that allows me to see where the vehicle is, where it has been. I also get notifications if the vehicle is in an accident, jack rabbit starts, or hard brakes. I installed them for different reasons, one was to track a 16-year-old and the other was to turn on automatic lights, adjust temperature at home before I arrive.

DaveW's post references gateways, devices, security, and analytics near the end. If the trailer had a small 3G box on the rooftop that connected to a door sensor, temperature sensor, and position sensor, it would feed a lot of information back to the shipper. I see something like that happening in the near future. Customers love to track their packages. I use Informed Delivery from the Post Office to see what is coming to my mailbox. If only I could see how far away my mail lady is with that package.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

G-Town, I was having a conversation and expressed my opinions on the topic. I didn't disrespect you or anyone else, in any way. I joined the forum because I am actively looking into becoming a driver. I was 100% upfront with my reasons in the introduction message. Just today, I spoke with a recruiter, I believe from the company for which you drive. We may not always agree on subjects, but I will always defend your right to say it and encourage you to say it. I've listened to a dozen of the Brett's podcasts. I've been surfing this site on my iPad for a couple of days. I'm a social person.

Obviously, I could not have taken all these tests in the time since you posted your message. In addition, would I have paid for the iOS app if I wasn't studying to learn the CDL test? I am here to get tips from people who are already doing this job. People who have made or have seen the mistakes made by others. Just last night, I was reading about Sleep Apnea and how with my neck size of 16 1/2" and a BMI of 30.4%, I may have to do a sleep study, no matter how I answer the questions. That got me looking into that topic of sleep apnea and truckers. No one has ever even suggested that I have sleep apnea but do I?

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Posted:  2 months ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

Executive Management will look at the cost of camera technology and quickly calculate the return on investment before blowing it off as a bad idea. Of course, when they say bad idea, they mean it will cost them money. One of the reasons they haven't installed APUs across all the fleets is the cost. Everyone knows the benefits, but those dollars talk.

Connection is a question, bluetooth most likely would not be the answer because, as you said, range, and it could be a pain in the butt to have to sync it every time you switched trailers. Right now, this is still in its infancy. It's an interesting topic.

SD will work for short.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

Recruiting for truck drivers is intense. I clicked a few links on here and filled out a couple applications or requests for more information and two companies have already called me. Even better is that neither have been high pressure. Both recruiters were more than willing to pass on information and answer questions. I do not know how to send PM on this forum or if it is possible but I will seek out a driver's name for referral when I decide on the company. Again, I appreciate the hard work that has went into all the resources this site provides.

Thank you all for letting me be a part of it.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

As of May 2018 a back up camera is now required equipment in all passenger vehicles. It was looked at as unnecessary equipment just a few years ago. I understand your point about failures and distractions. Do you understand my point? The point that it could make things safer for truckers? It would be different, and it would take time to adjust. Rather than two mirrors and looking left or right, this would be a way to see 360º around the truck without having to look back and forth.

I have looked at the links and I get your admonishment that I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to trucks. I have a 36' RV that has a rearward facing camera. Two out of our six vehicles that we use in the family have back up cameras. I notice the difference when I get in my CR-Z, as opposed to when I drive they Prius or Elantra, which both have back up cameras. Yes, I can still back up and put that little sucker right in the spot using only the side mirrors. (The interior mirror on a CR-Z is worthless.)

As I said in my profile, I'm a technology embracer. I look for ways that technology can enhance and make our lives safer. If four wheelers could "see through" a truck, wouldn't that make things safer for everyone? I understand that you are a professional driver and are good, probably even great at your job. You've forgotten more about trucking than I will learn.

Good drivers do not need this technology, but it might make the job easier.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Southern Dad Joins the Fray

Coincidentally, your thread from December 2016 was one of the first threads that I read on the forum. As you were leaving for Prime training.

Welcome Dad, it's nice to have you here. Definitely join in the conversations, there's a lot to be learned here.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

I see your point but instead of looking at how it won't work, let's think about how it could benefit the truck driver. What if your mirrors no longer had a blind spot? You know that spot that is filled up with trailer? What if the left mirror and right mirror were able to see everything behind you? The outside mirrors are made of shiny reflective glass because that is from what they have always been made. There are cars now that have Surround View Cameras. This is done by stitching the view from several cameras together.

Do you wish that you didn't have a blind spot? Do you wish that you could see everything around the truck/trailer in one view instead of having to look at two mirrors? How many feet is it to that truck dock? Where will the vehicle track with the wheels turned as they are? This technology is out there. It's not in the semis because, it costs money. It's in the new 2019 Dodge Ram Pickup Truck.

While this would make truck driving safer and easier, is it a good idea? That is sort of like discussing trucks moving to automatics versus stick shifts. Are some skills being lost? Yes, but eliminating that blindspot certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

I love technology. My house is loaded with smart home technology. Even my chicken house is smart. Trailers have added skirts and tails to get better mpg. Monitors for 4 wheelers to see ahead is an excellent idea. Another great idea is a camera that transmits to the driver, like RVs have.

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