Profile For Michael W.

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    4 years, 9 months ago

Michael W.'s Bio

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Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Trailer brake

Many drivers use them for silly things, like hanging their jacket on... Kind of destroys the trailer tires, at least according to my buddy that does road calls for TA.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Owner Operator

31 years here, I just pulled my last load, just tore the door signs off. Truck going up for sale in the Spring. Just landed a company driver job, pays 6 figures. Go ahead... That kid driving the JB Hunt shuttle is making more, you will figure it out after your first trip to the dealership for that warning light. Good luck.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Owner operator

Yesterday at a pickup I had an owner op parked next to me. He came over and started asking questions about my employer and asked what they pay us. I told him and he started laughing, claiming he makes 70-90 per hour for ALL his time in the truck, including sleeping. In the very next sentence he started talking about how he hasn't gone home since labor day (its now new years eve, in case this is read later). Apparently his wife has been begging him to take hometime but he needs money because he needs to put his truck in the shop. I wasnt going to get into an arguement with him so I just laughed and told him i needed the restroom and to stay safe. If this guy is making 70-90 an hour 24 hours a day hes making nearly $1700 PER DAY on the low end. Man I love hearing some of the crap many O/O come up with. He "makes" such great money but hasn't been home because he needs to pay the upcoming repair bill on the truck.

He was feeding you a line of BS. There are few guys out here making that kind of money, even the expediters are not doing that right now, no matter what is said here. There is money to be made out here, but it is not easy to come by, especially in this market. Then we have the expenses, which are going through the roof. Let's start with Insurance, it is going up, and I mean UP. Fleets are in the process of shutting their doors, quite a few have closed up shop in the past few weeks due to the rate hikes. I recently turned off, or parked my authority, due to this sudden rise in insurance costs and the miserable rates out here.

Then we have the equipment, most guys are not going to run out and buy a new truck, they are going to buy used. These are not the trucks I started with 30 some years ago, these are Government EPA trucks, and they come with a laundry list of very expensive needs to keep on the road.

I ran into a kid that went and bought himself a Lone Mountain truck. I think a 2016 Pete if memory serves me right. He called me from Indiana where he just arrived with the truck to put on with FedEx. He literally drove this truck from the dealer to orientation. He was late for orientation as the truck was having issues. Turns out it was a mess, only 350,000 miles on her. I told him to take it home to Atlanta and go see my buddy, the Cummins expert... Long story, the truck has major issues from extended oil changes, carbon packed, cam chewed up, lower end in need of new rod and main bearings, the list goes on and on... There was a warranty, and he did take it to the Pete dealer there in Atlanta, they installed a new turbo and EGR Cooler, both were fine, but they replaced anyways. That cam? They would not touch it, but they threw on $6000 in unneeded parts. Sad thing, that new turbo pukes oil like no tomorrow, typical Cummins reman unit. I think he has put around $10,000 in repairs in the truck, and he is doing the majority of the work himself as he cannot afford to take it to a shop. These trucks are now throw aways, 500,000 miles and that is it, if they even make it that far, most don't and are sold into the unwitting arms of the wannabe owner operator.

Me, I'm parking my truck, living in this thing for months on end to make little to no monies after expenses is not worth it to me. I am going to go back to being a company driver, already am going through the approval process to onboard. It is just not worth it out here as a single owner operator when everything is added up and accounted for.

One of the really big issues I have had, are these inflexible HOS, they have severely cut into my bottom line. I'm not some pill popping cowboy as many here I am sure would accuse me of. No, I'm an adult that owns and operates a piece of equipment and have driven it safely for many years. No accidents, no tickets, squeaky clean. I like to drive at around 64 mph, take my time, rest when I want, nap when I want, eat when I want, park when I want, outrun a snow storm when I want, etc. Well, I can no longer do that. I now answer to a clock on my dash. I figure it has cost me 30% of my income, real numbers.

I now drive faster, and my fuel costs are now approaching 45%. And I am not pushed, no one is barking at me to do this or that, but I still need to be productive with my time, and fight for parking. And that is the issue, the time is no longer mine. So, this old fart is hanging it up. Getting too crazy out here, and the job is now a job. There are brief moments of fun, but they are now getting very rare.

Truck is paid for, paid cash for her in 2013. I just in framed the motor in the driveway, and she is running like a raped ape. Just really getting her broke in too. 600hp ISX, 18 speed, full gauge package, custom tuning and a slew of new parts, too many to list. This truck is in tip top shape and can reliably go anywhere there is a road. It kills me to park, but it is just to expensive to run this business and make any real profits. Heck, just a truck service, you are looking at $300 to $500 easy. Truck and trailer wash, another $80 to $100... I remember when a complete service was $99 and you got a free steak dinner, shower and coffee, truck and trailer wash, $40. Fuel was under a $1 too...

Yep, I am reminiscing... But here is the kick in the shorts, the rates are still the same, if not lower than when I started in 1989.

My advice, stay a company driver if this is your passion.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Asking for prayers! REALLY need them.

Stay away from the carbs! Like the others have stated, NO CARBS! If you are going to see the doctor, have them test your thyroid. But, if you are generally healthy, like everyone has stated, this is more than likely diet related. Look up Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off on YouTube. Butter Bob, he gives a good rundown on weight loss, cutting carbs and fasting. He is not a doctor, but his advice is sound and I believe will help you with sound information.

I don't know your shopping habits, but if you go to say Walmart, only shop the outer aisles, stay out of the snacks, canned goods, bakery and soda sections. I can cook in my truck, there are many options if you have an inverter installed, along with some 12 volt options. I eat a lot of eggs, cheese and meat, I like my steaks. And yes, I have regular blood work, my cholesterol and BP are fine, in fact the numbers even surprise my doctors, both my primary and my VA doctor. Exercise is my big issue, especially in the winter.

Do that, change the diet. If you need a snack going down the road, get a big bag of almonds, they will fill you up quickly and hold those hunger pains back. Just don't eat too many, only takes around twenty, twenty almonds, not handfuls, to fill me up.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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I must like punishment lol

Good for you, make it while you can.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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High Winds; Good Judgment

I sat for a day and a half there in Rock Springs WY at the FJ this week... I-80 was shut down across the entire state, along with I-25 to CO and everything in between. The wind was terrible, and roads were glazed, accidents, etc. Well, they finally opened the road around 1030 EST this past Thursday, I waited a good three hours for everyone to leave, and it was a circus watching these clowns try to all leave at once, as it took a good two hours to clear everyone out of town, it was a hoot!

I have been here and done this before, YOU WAIT, let them get down the road. Luckily, this time, there were no accidents shutting the road ahead down, which is normally the case when these roads open back up. Remember that folks, being first out the gate is not always the best plan, you may find yourself right in the middle of the mess you just sat a day or two waiting out. Don't be a victim.

Clown show ended, and I finally left, cruised across until I arrived at Elk Mountain... Oh then the fun began... Light load, electronics, around 5,000 lbs in the box. I slowed her down to 35, hit the 4-ways and rode that rumble strip on the shoulder. I had these guys flying by me at 50 to 60 mph, a few almost hit me, just like that idiot in the video. I made it, thank God, even though it was a nerve racking drive over Elk.

I lost her a few times, that wind would hit my wagon and blow it north which would send my drive tires south. That happened three times, and these guys are flying past me like we are on dry pavement. Just made me sick, as few of these guys had a radio on, if they even had one. Which is one thing I noticed when parked at the FJ waiting this out. I was in the corner, so I could see guys driving by to leave as the lot was full. I would say 70% of them had no CB radio in their truck. Back in the day, that was considered suicide running Wyoming in the winter, or anywhere West of the Mississippi.

Folks, get a CB in the truck, and use it. You do not have to talk on it all the time, just warn drivers of things ahead that you consider a potential problem. And you can turn it down too if some blowhard is on there talking about his panties. Please, just install one in your truck and make sure it works properly. And I know all about these new trucks, there are ways to properly ground the antennas, it is not rocket science. Don't be that guy in the YouTube video that follows 100 trucks into that pileup.

As far as the "Genius Bar", ignore that bunch, especially when the Federal Marshall talk begins, don't walk, RUN!

Oh, the guy pulling that Amazon trailer in the video? He should serve 6 months in the local county jailhouse, bologna sandwiches and water, have his CDL revoked indefinitely and made to pay for all repairs his stupidity caused. No mercy on that clown.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Owner-Operator advice

My first question is the equipment, did you buy new or used... If you bought used, do you have the ability to maintain and keep it running? If you are depending on a warranty, you will more than likely be broke rather quickly. These new EPA trucks were built and designed to last 500,000 miles. Once past that ODO reading, the fun begins... Been there and done that, my 7th truck, and I will not go into the costs. Let's just say, I could have three or four really nice old school Pete's as flower planters in my front yard.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Why cant I consistently do the backing maneuvers.

I've been out here 31 years and some days, I could not hit a barn in a cornfield in reverse. It happens.

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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What a difference 24 hours make

Welcome to trucking, you sir will go far... Hurry up and wait is not an oxymoron out here, it is a fact of life...

Posted:  4 years, 6 months ago

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Hair Follicle advice.

Good for you, time to be an adult. Find a gig where you do not have to drug test, and you can have your own test done at many clinics to find out when you have that crap out of your system. I would do periodic private testing until you pass, than give it another moth or two... And cut your hair. ;-)

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