Comments By Michael W.

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Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Rattlesnakes in trailers

The topic "Rattlesnakes in Trailers" was pure click bait the first time. I thought it was going to be an 18 wheel version of Snakes on a Plane"!

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I wish we had a "Thumbs Up" button here... You just earned one. Thumbs up.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Rattlesnakes in trailers

Was the Federal Marshall involved? LOL!

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Potential new appliance for my truck

I would look at the 4 qt Instant Pot... Much smaller footprint and will run on the 1800 watt inverter. Myself, I prefer the Oster 12" skillet. Easy to clean, and cooks quickly. Steak and eggs baby... As far as cleaning, I use a mix of Isopropyl alcohol and water, 50/50. Just spray and wipe. Use it on your mirrors and glass too, especially in the winter months.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Wanting to learn on a Manual

If you can learn how to shift a manual, and it is not that difficult, I would at least make sure the school you are attending has that option. Just because the big guys are going automatic, does not mean everyone is. I believe manual transmissions are still relevant out here, as many of the smaller, better paying outfits still use these trucks. Automatics are very expensive to repair, and they do break. Manuals, in competent hands are darn near bulletproof. Learn how to shift a truck.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Vent & Brag for the week

Never move the steering wheel... Just go straight, control your speed, you may have to hit the brakes. Invest in a camera, I like my Garmin 55, the mid range one, and my Herd Bumper. Always be prepared for the most stupidest of animals, the human one. Don't be that guy.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Backing help needed: turning front vs. back of trailer

Slide the tandems, all the way to the rear... Then watch those tires, not the trailer. The tires are your guide, steer the tires too where you want to go... The TIRES, are what you align on, if they are forward, line the tires up to the target. Just remember, you have that trailer back there. It can hit things on the swing.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Prepaid legal services/insurance plan

I had one of these plans when I first started driving, this was thirty years ago... It saved my bacon once, a $650 speeding ticket in OR. My reefer went out, middle of summer, frozen load, racing to get to ID on a weekend to the Thermo King dealer to get repaired. The sheriff nailed me at 70 in a 55, around 0200 in the morning on a weekend night. The only guys out there on the interstate were me and him. That was a lot of money back then, almost a weeks pay, just like today...

I no longer have one of these plans, but am seriously considering getting involved in one due to the increase in accidents and fatalities in our industry. We all play beat the clock now, including myself, everyone is speeding, if not on the road, in the truck stops, almost hit twice last night just weighing the truck in the TA in Dexter MI. I am seeing an increase in reckless and careless driving out here, and I know I am doing things I would never do, and an increase in screw ups on my part as I race that clock.

There are daily road closures in my area of travel, Detroit to Chicago and back, and way too many fatalities, another one yesterday, three this week that I know of involving big trucks just here locally. Last year big truck fatalities in Michigan were up 18%, and we are going to beat that this year, we are already past that in my observations.

I am still on the fence, but the way things are, I would not tell a guy to not sign up for one of these plans, as I am seriously considering looking in to one myself. Getting very dangerous out here.

Oh, that ticket, reduced to faulty equipment and a $35 fine.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

Michael it’s been stated several times; company drivers are not authorized to perform the work you just described. Most of us have no desire to drive all day, then wrench all night.

Although your point is understood, and it may well apply to your owner operation, it does not apply to the overwhelming majority of drivers posting to this forum.

10-4

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

I certainly appreciate the mechanics a lot but I am also thankful for the truckers who choose to help out and fix whatever they can fix. I want to go to school and get a certificate in Diesel Mechanics so that I can just fix the truck myself instead of waiting around for a day or two. Maybe thats impatience, on the bright side it would/will save a lot of money.

You will need those skills, due to the fact there are few mechanics out here any longer. We have plenty of parts changers, but they rarely ever fix anything. It is so bad, I chose to in frame my ISX in my buddies driveway rather than taking it to another Cummins certified dealer that botched the first one. They installed all of the wrong parts, and failed to machine the block to set the liners... $38,000 down the drain... They did send all of the correct parts, eventually, but this time, the job was done correctly.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Great New (possible) Housing Option!

Michael,

I totally get that. One of our members is doing something along those lines. (I will let him share on it if/when he is ready).

I was taking flying lessons. Had a hangar at an airport. Kept my track-day motorcycle and ATV there, along with airplane projects. Rode ATV on trails there and grass strip runway. They had a pond and even built a cabin there. Had festivals and concerts too!

It was my "Country Club"!

I know of a hangar at another airport with a loft office / living quarters. Be aware... if they get FAA grant money there are limits on non-aviation activities (% of space or length of time unflyable things can be there). A friend keeps his motorcycle in his hangar. Several RV's live at several airports I know.

I have a Tiny House community on Facebook.

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Cool! You know what I am speaking of... Home ownership is great if you live and work in a community, wife kids, etc... But a single truck driver? I would much rather have that hanger and a patio... ;-)

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Brag Thread!!!!

I'll play... My experience, brag, and some History...

I just started with a new carrier, leased on, I'm an owner operator, truck is paid for, been doing this for quite a few years, and I am not a super trucker... Just turned my authority OFF, not worth it out here right now as a one truck operator... Back story, but I will not bore you...

My new company... I am hauling containers, something I swore I would never do, but it is so bad out here with the roaring economy that I had to lower myself to find steady work, LOL! And I am being tongue in cheek with that last comment, containers, but there is some truth in it once you have been around.

And let me clarify something right now, a roaring economy, which we have, equals a KILLER for wages and rates in this industry, especially since deregulation.

Some proven history in regards to a great economy... Everyone and his brother jumps into trucking, and rates crash, they buy a truck, or trucks, and figure they will retire early... That is exactly what we have today. And then throw in the 1099 outfits, Driver Inc. in Canada, that is what the Canadian government has named them due to all of the lost revenue... Outfits mainly based overseas in Europe, with trucks and drivers here, who have no skin in the game and can haul for .90 a mile, they are having an incredibly bad affect on trucking across the board...

So, just started at this outfit... They are a very well established company out of Indiana. Very happy so far, everything pays the same, so what it there to complain about? It is a buck sixty a mile, to the truck plus a few extras. Dead head and or bobtail is less than 100 miles a week, freight out the rear end, and a dispatch with more than a few that have actually driven a truck, like it used to be...

I talk to dispatch, they tell me they have never worked with an owner operator like myself? Seriously? Everyone in the office is talking about me, in a good way. Even the guy that everyone hates on nights is gushing... All I do is my job, I do not get excited, and roll with it. I will not say that I have never been complimented on my work ethic, but what I am hearing these first two weeks has me wondering, is it really as bad out here as I suspect?

I believe it is.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Great New (possible) Housing Option!

Wish I could find a deal like that. I am currently living out of my truck. On my home time I spend it with my girlfriend who has a townhome. And also Drive 3 hours and get a hotel to see my younger daughter. I'm saving money but I still feel like a homeless dude. Never in my life have I been a situation like this. I want to buy my own house. But I'm wondering if this situation is going to affect this? I have an incredible credit rating and money in the bank

30+ years out here, US Navy veteran, recently divorced, owner operator, left the wife everything including the house. I'm a truck driver, I am only home two days a week if that... Divorce is inevitable in many cases... Staying with Mom, she likes the occasional company and I take care of her bills. Not looking for a relationship, blah, blah, blah... Very happy. Home ownership is not in my vocabulary, to much upkeep for a guy that is never there. And I do not look at home ownership as an investment, it is a place to lay your head and take a shower. We are NOT 9 to 5 folks, at least I am not.

I have thought about being in your position... Create an LLC, buy a plot of land, put up a shop with a living quarters along with a motorhome. Write both off, along with everything else and travel. Put the motorhome where you wind up the most, use the shop to keep your stuff, all that is required is a toilet and a shower with a living quarters for you and entertaining. Put a nice living quarters in the back, a covered porch with a BBQ and some nice patio furniture. Sounds silly, but if you talk with most single guys of our age, and if you like to wrench or enjoy woodworking like myself, this is an ideal situation. Just my .02

May even lead to a new venture or career...

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

October for me:

13 lights replaced

7 mud flaps replaced

6 flat trailer tires

3 batteries replaced

2 drive tires replaced

20 wild goose chases for empty trailers that didn't exist.

Every day seemed like a challenge. Most were a challenge due to poor maintenance, poor upkeep, and drivers leaving the problem for the next

Bottom line, that was money out of your pocket due to lost time. There is no way to get that time back, which = less revenue for you and your family. Makes a guy wonder why we even do this? I just returned from the trailer parts store, picked up some parts to modify my existing equipment to make my job easier, and safer due to signing on with this new carrier. Time is money, and I don't care if you own the rig or are a driver, lost productivity is just that, lost. And it all comes out of your, or our pocket, no one wins, other than the meathead who left the problem for you to clean up. Sad.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

Thank you Errol, it is hard enough out here as it is, and you know that. Too many yahoos ruining it for everyone, and thank you for the service you guys here at Trucking Truth are providing.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

I am far from a super trucker, and detest that lot. I'm still learning too... And it looks like there is still much to learn with this new generation.

I was "That Guy" the other night, a victim of someone not doing their job, which entailed the airlines and the fact that the trailer was over axle with no way to adjust, but I got the load delivered on time. So excuse me if I came across a bit snarky...

I had to swap out trailers yesterday, I knew I was in trouble when the driver I was to swap with pulled in to the truck stop with his Beats headphones on and flip flops along with the the trailer tandems slid darn near to the rear. I took care of business and got the load safely delivered, though it cost me several hours of my time, uncompensated time.

And that was the point of the post, be a professional!

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Turn on your CB!

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The drivers that do have their CB's on act like 3rd graders on them. Perfect example was yesterday.

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For sure, then you get the guys who spam some incoherent music or tv show. Or that guy who rides up and down 80/94 around Gary trying to rile people up by offering to meet them at the Pilot and "put a whooping on them"

It is tame out here compared to years ago, like no one even has a CB in their truck. I drove across much of Wyoming a few weeks ago, never heard a peep, accidents, construction, police, etc... I can see why they have 100+ truck pileups going across 80 in Wyoming... As far as Chicagoland... I drive it almost daily now, very quiet across there, not how it used to be in the 80's and 90's...

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Turn on your CB!

Yes folks, turn on your CB, at least leave it on, you can use the squelch knob to reduce the static. Mine is always on, nothing fancy, the cheapest Cobra Classic I could get, the 25LTD. I rarely talk on mine anymore, but I do LISTEN. Sadly few folks use them, and then we get this... https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrEeOLrxsZdekQAOiAPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=i+80+truck+accident&type=dhm_A0FVS_gn_bsf__alt__ddc_srch_searchpulse_net&hspart=domaindev&hsimp=yhs-st_emea&ei=UTF-8&fr=yhs-domaindev-st_emea#id=8&vid=4170796e5564fdc716708eeb45d385bb&action=view

I traveled that stretch of I-80 for many years running produce, and never saw anything like the above, now these accidents are the norm. Do you think if someone had their CB on warning the oncoming traffic of what was ahead this would have been this bad of an accident? Use the damn radio, it is there for a reason, a good reason. When it snows, turn the radio on, ESPECIALLY if you are in the mountains! Freak storms happen all the time in elevations, it could be sunny and 70 and ten minutes later you are in a snow squall. Same with any weather or when traffic volumes are heavy. Find the traffic stations if you are in a city, Detroit has two, 760 and 950 am, both have traffic reports every 5 mins. There is also traffic on XM/Sirius radio, locate those channels and store them. You are supposed to be professionals, act like one, do your job, and part of your job is to monitor traffic. Use all of the tools at your disposal, do not be a victim.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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You and the equipment... Don't be that guy!

Hey folks, been out here for many many years. I own my own tractor, am my own mechanic and leased to a carrier. And yes, I have had my own authority and have owned seven trucks, trailers and have employed drivers...

One thing that irritates the heck out of me is pulling into a lot to grab a trailer only to find it is not road worthy. It will have a flat, a busted glad hand, broken air line, severe damage, etc. If you have a trailer, and you know that there is something wrong with it, GET IT FIXED! Or at least report it and have it taken out of service and out of the system.

I know many of you are new to this racket, but sometimes you need to put your foot down and get things repaired. And sometimes that entails getting under the trailer to adjust the brakes or change out a light bulb or even minor electrical repair. No one expects you to be a mechanic, but your lack of initiative can be disastrous for yourself or the next guy. Don't be the guy that says that is not my job. It more than likely isn't, just remember that another driver put you into this position! That, "Not my job" attitude ripples through a company, and instead of getting that raise you think you deserve, those monies are now going to repair all of the neglected equipment.

And if you see someone tearing up the equipment, report them, yes, be a snitch! If you can, talk to that driver, find out what the heck is going on with them, why did they do that or not report this or that. Sometimes you just have to say something. This is money out of your pocket, remember that. One driver with that "Not my job" attitude can cost a company more than you realize, like accounts or even worse, a fatality.

You are more than a steering wheel holder, you are supposed to be a professional, and being a professional sometimes requires you to get dirty. If you are getting into this profession to see the country, ride around with your bare feet propped up on the dash and listen to tunes all day long, please go do something else. We already have an abundance of those folks out here, we do not need nor require anymore.

DON'T BE THAT GUY!

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Driving with a dog.

The majority of businesses I frequent will not allow pets on their property. You get caught, you may get banned. Leave the pets at home. Only way I would put a dog in the truck is if the rates were fantastic and I was not under the gun to deliver the load along with plenty of screwing around time built in so the animal could be properly cared for. I have never had steady work like that. Personally I would not subject any animal to living in a truck.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Team Driving and Exercise

Best trucking diet I have found after 30 years out here is the “Butter makes your pants fall off” diet, google that or “Butter Bob”. I lost 60 pounds in a month, rarely hungry and I personally find the diet easy to work on the road and light on the pocket book.

I’m back on it, my thyroid went nuts, packed all that weight back on, now feeling much better! You want to keep the weight off out here, it is all diet. You will find that out quickly once you get out rolling.

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