Profile For Wild-Bill

Wild-Bill's Info

  • Location:
    Minnetonka , MN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 months ago

Wild-Bill's Bio

After a 30 year career as a retail manager, I've decided its time for a change in career and lifestyle. I've been on the road for much of my career as a District manager covering up to 5 states, so I'm no stranger to being away from home. A combination of burnout, midlife crisis and just plain being tired of relying on others for my success have led me to this move. It's getting tougher and tougher to hire good self motivated people to staff the stores and the competition from the online world has changed everything about the business. I've lived through three companies going out of business and I'm not about to wait around for a fourth one. I've always loved to travel. Every time I get behind the wheel of our motor home I realize how much I love driving that thing down the open road. I cant wait to see what's around the next corner as I put together a strong work ethic, love of travel and passion for excellence into this new career.

Wild-Bill's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 2

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Posted:  2 days ago

View Topic:

I finally cracked the 3,000 mile barrier!

I had a bit of a slow start my first couple trips solo. I was getting 2200 miles on average and was getting frustrated because I knew I could do more if given the opportunity. I talked to my FM at the end of my last trip and told her I really needed more miles and asked what I needed to do to get more. I told her I wanted to be one of the top drivers in her board and I needed her help to get there. She told me she’d do what she could to help.

Thankfully, this trip has been much better. I ended last week with 3,357 miles with no carryovers from the previous week. Just straight drive time from Sunday through Saturday. It might not be a big deal for anyone else, but it’s a huge relief for me to get the miles rolling. Now I just need to string together about 46 more weeks like that and I’ll have a pretty good rookie year.

Posted:  2 days, 1 hour ago

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Roehl Flatbed

I did the GYCDL program with Roehl late last year. I’m not flatbed, but, I can tell you The training was top notch. Once I went solo I felt like I was prepared. Everything the recruiter (and everyone else) told me was the real deal. They’re not in the business of making stuff up to get people hooked.

I was consistently averaging 2200 miles or so my first couple trips solo. I wanted more, but the recruiter had said 22-2500 miles and that was accurate. Flatbed fleets seem to get as many miles as they can handle. The last two weeks have been much better for me as the freight has increased.

Everyone I have interacted with in the office has been helpful. They really want drivers to be successful. The equipment is very good. I got into a 2019 Cascadia condo unit with 60,000 miles as my first truck assignment. It looked like it could have rolled right off the dealers lot it was so clean. I’ve had it in the shop for a couple minor issues along the way and maintenance is all about making it safe and right, no questions asked.

As for a car during training, I went to class in Marshfield and drove my car as did most of the class. But, they will do bus if that’s better for you. Your choice.

Hope that answers your questions

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

I was firmly in the “why are we shutting down the world for a flu” camp a couple weeks ago. Now I’m starting to believe there may be something more to this. No my opinion isn’t from the media hype but from reviewing the numbers.

A few days ago Brett posted a comparison of flu numbers to Covid. Since then the cases of covid have more than doubled to. 127,000 cases in the us and deaths have nearly quadrupled to 2100 deaths. And that’s just in a few short days. Before you think it, I agree it’s Still nothing compared to the flu at this point. But, it seems the difference and the danger is the compressed timeframe and the localized nature of what were seeing so far. The flu stats are spread out over a year and across the country. It spreads slowly. The CV stats are only over a couple weeks and most of the cases are located in a few specific areas. No, the hospitals in Chicago, Minneapolis or any number of other cities aren’t overrun, but, i can see where a 400 bed hospital can get out of control quickly once this thing gets going in an area.

Going back to the flu analogy, If the 500,000 hospitalized with the flu all checked in within a month of each other, we’d be in big trouble. There are about 775,000 hospital beds in the country. That wouldn’t leave much room for normal hospital admissions like accidents, heart attacks etc. Likewise if everyone in NY got the flu within a few weeks if each other, it would cause a huge problem which it seems like we’re going to experience over the next few weeks. Add to that the problem with the worst cases needing intensive care (again all at once) and I think there’s a case to be made for being cautious.

Sounds like I’m in the minority. But again, I was wondering what all the fuss was about a week or two ago. However, Seeing the exponential growth and knowing it’s only getting started, I think the flu comparison needs some rethinking.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

Jeremy & Yuuyo, I’m sorry to hear what each of you are going through. Stay strong.

On a slightly positive note, the one thing I’ve noticed from the driver seat is that traffic is much easier to deal with. This was Chicago rush hour at 8:00 am this morning

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Posted:  3 weeks ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

I’ve been driving along the last couple weeks seeing this as much ado about nothing. Then I stopped into Kwik Trip this morning for coffee and found all of the coffee machines are out of service to prevent spreading the virus. Now I’m convinced it truly is the apocalypse. No coffee = the end of the world as we know it. shocked.png

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Chuck Norris Jokes You've Heard

1) I loved turtles new one and have already used it

2) Chuck Norris has to sleep with his light on because the dark is afraid of Him

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

Saw a funny thing at a truck stop in Illinois today. Restaurant was closed with a sign about corona virus, But the roller grill was full and ready for business. I don’t know about you but I’d be more concerned about catching something from a hot dog rolling around in the open than about sitting at a table in a restaurant.

Also, I forgot to bring my pen into a shipper. After using the community pen, I decided it’s BYOP from now on for me. Funny how this thing makes you think differently about the littlest things.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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What does a quarantine due to coronavirus mean for truckers?

My wife sent me this from a Walmart in MInnesota. This whole thing is nuts. She also said Nursing homes are also all on lockdown (which actually makes sense)

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I’m concerned as Brett mentioned with the doggy daycare about the service and travel industries. Those will be harder to bounce back. The good news is that there will be some crazy good cruise deals coming up In the summer and fall for those brave enough to go.

There will need to be a strong ramp up in manufacturing ti resupply all those stores and warehouses. The bright side for us is we get to haul all the goods to fill those stores back up again.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

PC to go park

Sounds like each company does it a little different. I’m surprised there isn’t one official way the DOT wants it. For us we have to call and get permission. They send us a note on the pc with specific permission to go to the nearest truck stop. then we log on duty followed by break which creates a “time stamp” for safety. When we arrive we log post trip and call safety they then turn the time between on duty and post trip and edit it as off duty PC.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Postcards from the Road! (Post Yours Please!)

I’ve often wondered what it’d be like being normal. I should probably visit and find out.

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Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Not having a ton of fun this week

Great questions and comments about on duty time. Hopefully, you can help me learn some efficiency. What should my on duty time be in an average day? How much time do other refer drivers use checking in/out and docking? In training I thought I understood that somewhere around An hour on duty is average in a day.

I start the day with a15 min PTI. After that there is typically 1/2 hour or so per stop for check in/our, yard move etc. the delivery I’m in now is very typical. Stop at guard, switch to on customer check in. 15 minutes for guard and move to receiving office. 10 minutes in Receiving office then move to staging area 7 minutes to backed in there. Get called to a door 7 more minutes to move to and back into door. So about 40 minutes total on duty time for the process. Luckily at this location, I was able to creep over to the staging area and dock, and I stayed in sleeper while checking in at receiving office so, only used the 15 minutes from guard shack to parking near the office. The rest u was able to log as sleeper.

If I’m doing a load, unload and load on new workflow in the same day, the time seems to add up to well over an hour. Even a drop and hook this morning took 15 minutes of clock time with check in and yard move.

Then there’s fuel stops and scaling but I usually log those as break To try to conserve time even though we’re told to log them as on duty

Donna had a good point about the short day, I’ll need to think about how to take advantage of that next time I’m short on available hours

As to the 9 hour unload and PC time. I’m not sure there was a way to stretch that out to a 10 hour break. Roehl has us Log on duty then break as a time stamp before starting PC. then on duty for post trip as a time stamp when done. Yes the PC time is off duty but the on duty punch negates the opportunity for the break. Like I said, the dock folks were Pushing me out. There’s no way I could have stayed the extra hour as much as I wanted to get rolling.

Let me know what you see in my on duty explanation, I’d love to read what others are doing differently to reduce on duty time.

By the way my Two preplans for tomorrow are 200 miles followed by 70 miles with live load and unload on each. I have a feeling I’m going to burn up my 14 again with waiting around.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Not having a ton of fun this week

Great question, I log time in the dock as sleeper berth. Here’s a copy of my log maybe someone can see something there I can do better. I’m open to any feedback. Yes, there are some decent days in there. It’s the 2-300 mile days that get to me. keep in mind also that the 7th and 8th rolled into this week.

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Unfortunately Roehl doesn’t want us to use 8/10 split. There was no overnight parking available at the consignee and the dock folks were pushing me to roll out of the dock before I could even finish my workflow. (I told them after waiting that long to unload they could spot me the 10 minutes for paperwork) So, no chance to stretch it to a 10 hour break.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Not having a ton of fun this week

I've only been out solo for a little over a month now. When things are going well, this has been a great experience. I enjoy the drive time. I'm challenging myself to race the HOS clock. Docking and drop and hooks are becoming more efficient. BUT, the last couple weeks have really tested my patience and at times made me question my sanity. It seems like the moon and stars are aligned against me. I don't know if it's me just adapting to the industry and lifestyle, or perhaps I picked the wrong company or division, or perhaps my FM is too new to help, or, or, or...

I launched out last Tuesday and got a series of 2-300 mile loads with either live load or live unload or both. Those seemed to eat up my clock. I think I ended up with detention pay 3 out of the 5 days I was out last week. I ended up with only 1400 miles for the week. But, I did get a nice 900 mile run that took me over the weekend which should help this week. My longer run delivered at 19:00. OK, No problem, I planned my start time accordingly. What I didn't plan for was a 9 hour unload. I didn't get parked until 5:00 am, which, pretty well shot the next day as I couldn't start until 3 in the afternoon. Once I got on the road on Monday, I ran into a traffic jam from a rollover accident. Took me over 2 hours to go 5 miles. They have me running on recaps (Which isn't ideal) and I only had 7 hours available for the day. So, My day fell behind quickly. With recaps only giving me back 6-7 hours for the next couple days, it took me until Thursday morning to deliver the load coming back, which is a day longer than it should have if i had a full 70 to work with. I did end Wednesday with a nice pre-plan for a load going from Chicago to near Boston; D&H Thursday & Deliver Friday evening. I thought nice, I'll take this 1,000 mile load and get another one back over the weekend, so, I'll have a good week this week and a head-start on next week. If only it were that easy..

Now to cap off the week, after delivering the load this morning, I got back to the Gary terminal around 6:30 for the relay, but found out the relay wasn't there yet. Ok, no problem, I had to get rolling at 2:00 to deliver this load, so, I'll get a shower, take a nap and be ready to go by 10:00 and still have plenty of time to drive. I sent a message to get an ETA, and was told they're 30 miles out. I waited until noon and called in to see what's going on. My FM was on another line, So I got someone else. He checked on it and found the relay driver was still in Appleton, WI Which in case you don't own a map is a long ways from the 30 minutes out I was quoted two hours prior. They ended up canceling the good run I had and put me on a 500 mile trip to Ohio. Which isn't bad for tomorrow, but in the mean time I burned up my entire 14 hour clock today and only have 200 miles to show for it. Between Sunday and Thursday I've had to wait twice for more than 8 hours for something to happen so I could get rolling. I'm used to making stuff happen not waiting around for things to happen to me.

To wrap up the whining, here's my questions/concerns. My leap of faith into trucking was partially based on the math of averaging a minimum of 2400 miles per week. I'm ok with weekly fluctuations, but I need over a three week period to average around 2400. That seems reasonable. Ideally, I'd like to get closer to 3,000 and I'm willing to run hard to get that kind of mileage. Am I just stuck in rookie mode for now and the miles are going to be tough to get for a while? How long does it take to prove myself willing and able to be safe and on time so I can start getting more miles?

I've only been with my current FM since last week. Up until last then, I was working with a training FM who only handles drivers for the first month out of the CDL training. So, I'm trying to establish a rapport with my new FM. With that in mind I've tried to "sit down, shut up and do what you're told" thinking that would be the best way to get a good reputation and show I'm willing to do what's needed. In talking to my FM today, I found out she's only been in the industry for a few months as well. Is that going to hold me back from being the top performer I want to be? Should I challenge her on the misquoted ETA for the relay today? (that really torqued me off) so far I stayed away from that because I want to try to get our relationship going in the right direction. Challenging her on it when I was already fired up couldn't have led to anything good coming out of the conversation. Is it too early (only a week) to call her and let her know my expectations and needs or, do I let my attitude and work ethic do the talking for me and assume it will get better and this is just a temporary setback?

All this has me really down today. the waiting around and burning up the clock are killing me. Detention pay is no where near what I can make with the wheels rolling. If I cant figure out a way to get things stabilized soon, I'm not sure I can financially make this thing work out. Like I said, I enjoy the time on the road. I feel more comfortable every day with the maneuvering etc. But at the end of the day, I need to be able to make a living at it. I knew the adjustment was going to be hard. and it has been, but I didn't anticipate the issues with mileage and waiting around while burning up my clock to impact me so much.

Thanks for letting me vent and ramble.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Views From the Office Window (Post Yours Please!)

Took me 2 hours to go five miles along 83 north of Baltimore today. I knew it would be bad when I started seeing the news choppers overhead. I hope the driver was ok.

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Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Dutch Maid Logistics Training Starts @ 09:00 EDT!

Funny PackRat, yesterday was exactly that for me. I thought I had plenty of time then I realized I crossed to eastern time and had daylight savings to deal with. I barely made it on time.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Don’t just complain, be part of the solution.

In my previous career as a retail district manager, on of my pet peeves was managers that would complain about stuff offering nothing but problems rather than solutions. Complaining and being a victim is easy. Helping to fix problems can be perceived as being harder (but it’s still pretty easy).

One of the things I read complaints about or hear about in terminals is that routing is consistently bad. Things like “they routed me on 2 lane highways the whole way” or something like that.

Roehl has an optional step in the workflow to rate the routing. I’m sure other companies have similar feedback options. I’ve used it a couple times to give feedback when I felt the route could be better, it when the navigation on the PC didn’t match up with local directions. Every time, I get a message back stating that they’ve reviewed the feedback and will fix the route. This morning I found out they really do fix it. On my way in to a shipper in NE MD, I was routed through Amish country. It was over 100 miles of two lanes through small towns. I was being routed back the same way for this mornings run. When I got there, I suggested a route that was slightly longer And included a small portion of toll road. but was all expressway. They send a note back that they agreed and would change the routing. This morning I had to update my ETA for arrival at the shipper due to a delay at my consignee. Sure enough, when the updated workflow arrived, the new improved routing was built into the plan.

If needed we can always call in to get a better route approved right on the spot rather than after the fact. I’ve done that a couple times as well. Funny enough. I’ve yet to have someone in routing tell me no, that’s a terrible idea stick with the route you were give.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here but it’s good to know companies want to do things that make drivers jobs a little easier. All we need to do is use the tools available to communicate what’s wrong.

So, here’s my thought. Let’s share some of the things you or your company have done to be part of a solution to problem rather than just being victim to the problem. It may help us rookies know what’s possible.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Eye Candy

Here are a couple I found in the last month or so.

I love that his refer and refer fuel tank are painted to match 0004658001583730175.jpg0510471001583730261.jpg

Another cab over for you. 0015166001583730449.jpg

Posted:  1 month ago

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High hooked another trailer today...... Had to do the Crank of Shame

Funny thing happen to me last night. It’s like reading this forum is psychic. I did a quick drop and hook at the end of a long day. Made contact with the trailer, got out, looked. Everything looked good. Backed up a couple feet and felt the kingpin bump the front of the groove, but, it felt different like it didn’t lock in. Did a tug test and sure enough, not locked. Pulled up a bit backed back in, same thing. Got out to check and it was about what Brett described. The bottom of the kingpin wasn’t quite in the bottom of the groove. Looked further and the front of the skid plate had a small gap betting and the apron of the trailer. I pulled up a bit, lowered the trailer and this time get it to lock in. The trailer was at a bit of an angle and though the initial contact looked good, as I slid in it was not so good.

Now I understand, how deceiving a muddy, not level yard can be. Everything looked good right up until it wasn’t.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Looks like Dutch Maid Logistics 3/2 or 3/9 works!

Congratulations!!!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Do you carry a jug of engine oil?

Roehl has spigots available At the terminals with oil, coolant and washer fluid as well as bottles of anti gel. When I picked up my new truck, there was a bottle of each along with the locks, reflectors and flares in my side box ready to go.

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