Profile For Howard P.

Howard P.'s Info

  • Location:
    Round Rock, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 6 months ago

Howard P.'s Bio

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Howard P.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE GOOD OR BAD??

Hi Josh,

I, too, have hypertension. If you read over 140/80 when they do the physical exam, you're disco. And everybody knows THAT sucks! smile.gif

If you are being treated for it with meds as I am and you pass the exam (as I have several times) you will get a DOT card good for one year and/or when you apply for a new driving job with a different company. At that time, you will need another exam every year until you're 1) no longer being treated for it or; 2) dead.

Tips for passing the BP test:

If you smoke cigarettes, don't have ANY for the 12 hours before the test. That goes for chew as well. Not easy, but if I can do it, anybody can!

Get plenty of rest the day/night before the test.

Relax - don't go in there stressed out or p_____ off. Deep breathing exercises help me. Divorce lawyers can also be helpful in some cases.

Make sure they do the urinalysis (pee in the cup) BEFORE the BP test. Nobody can maintain low BP when they have to pee like a race horse!

Don't eat greasy foods or drink alcohol for a couple three days before the exam.

Don't take any OTC cold remedy medications for a few days before the test. Almost all of them will raise your BP. If you have a cold, try not to sneeze on the nurse. They don't like that. But you'll just have to tough your way through it.

But that should do it for you if you really have it under control. Good luck!

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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And then there was Cali

Cali SUCKS at marking anything!

Why would they bother? If they put up signs, they would have a half dozen different "minority groups" complaining that wasn't in their language and it would cost a fortune. And most of 'em can't read anyway. But they can sure tell ya about global warming.....

Stay safe and good luck, Gator. Don't wanna see you in a ditch!

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Oh yeah. Gonna be here for a while!

We've got trucks all over the place here in Lebanon IN. There are two guys jack-knifed in the parking lot, one of them blocking exiting the fuel pumps. At least four that I can see that are just stuck in the lanes of the lot - they can't go forward or backward - they've got their tandems locked in, but all they are doing is spinning on the layer of ice that is down below the 15 or 16 inches of snow lying on the ground. We even have got a roll-over just outside the exit of the truck stop, and there was another accident just North of us where one rig jack-knifed and then consequently got T-boned by the next rig who was following too closely.

There is a line as far as I can see on the interstate of trucks just sitting there still. The high temp tomorrow is supposed to be seven below, and the power has already gone out in the Flying J. Fortunately they've got a back-up generator. Even if I was dumb enough to try and get out of here in the morning there would be no way to get through the tangle of trucks that is piling up outside the truck stop. The wind is blowing so hard that inside my truck it feels like I'm in an earthquake. Yes it's going to be an interesting night. The only positive thing that I can figure is that the inconsiderate Lot Lizard who woke me at 3:20 this morning beating on my truck door will probably be so frozen stiff tonight that she won't be out trying to hustle up more business.

Yeah, Mother Nature just woke me up and made me walk across the lot to use the men's room and we have the same situation here. Even if there was a path from here to the road (which there isn't for anything bigger than a Volkswagen) I don't think this Freightshaker is going to plow through this mess even with the diff locked.

Not that I wanna try. I almost busted my a$$ twice just trying to walk across it!

If they keep that lizard frozen, she may be of use for a while. Spring is still a long ways off..... embarrassed.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Am I thinking way too much?

I don't know abut these other guys. But I always have an attack of the "pucker factor" when I hear a woman say; "I've been thinking......"

Nothing good comes after that in my experience. shocked.png

Cheers, Howard

P.S. Don't worry - you'll be fine.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Oh yeah. Gonna be here for a while!

I stopped in Walcott, Iowa, last night, and after driving through Illinois, I ended up stopping at a service plaza in Elkhart, Indiana, for the night. I doubt I'll be in PA by midnight tomorrow night. Not with this weather.

Dave

Don't take any unnecessary chances, Dave. Even if you have a trailer full of gold, it ain't worth dying for.

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Oh yeah. Gonna be here for a while!

Not too sure I will be trying to get to my 0800 appointment in the morning. Depends on what I see on the local weather news in the morning.

Ernie

Well, don't try to be a hero, buddy. This is really a bad blizzard. I lived through the Super Bowl blizzard in '72 and this is almost as bad. They're predicting -55 wind chills in MN tonight. That time, we had -80.

I'm not gonna even think about rolling until after sunup. But the way the trucks are jammed in this Road Ranger, I will probably be blocked in until much later than that. Can ya hear the tears running down my cheeks?

I finally figured out how to get this thing to idle without pushing the override button every 5 minutes so I can get some heat in here besides that lame a$$ bunk heater, thank God. That and an empty milk bottle and I'm as snug as a bug in a rug!

smile.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Oh yeah. Gonna be here for a while!

truck drivers view out the window in a snowstormtruck drivers view out the window in a snowstorm

Got here and got parked at 0830 this morning after rolling three and a half hours out of Hopkinsville KY. Had to lock the differential to get backed into this choice spot as it was already that slick. I was down to 30 MPH for the last 30-40 miles and was still driving by braille.

As of right now, there's a foot of snow on the ground, all the roads in Illinois are 100% covered, the temp has dropped 20 degrees in the last 3 hours, and the wind is rocking my truck and trailer (79000 pounds) like a pimply faced kid at his junior prom.

I got parked here in the nick of time, I'd say. MODOT says the roads there are pretty bad, too.

I'd also say that the chances of this truck rolling out at 2130 and being in Cedar Falls Iowa by 0600 are slim and none. And I think that was Slim I saw in the ditch with a pickup and a U-Haul trailer about 10 miles east of here.....

Oh well, I guess I'll settle in for a long winter's nap. Y'all stay safe out there!

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Have Any of Y'all Heard of This Program?

You might want to check with a vet rep and the Texas Workforce Commission to see what kind of VA bennies are available to you. When I was gathering 411 in prep for making a decision about trucking, the vet rep at the TWC office in Round Rock told me there was no help available for me from them because truck driving school was considered a short term training course.

And as long as it seemed like it was for me living in a truck with a nasty old, hygenically challenged Georgia cracker Prime instructor/trainer who couldn't teach his way out of a wet paper bag, I guess it was short term....

But I have 'Nam era bennies and used a bunch of them getting my engineering degree, so your situation in undoubtedly different.

good-luck.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

So I wasn't the least bit scared......

Howard, you're cracking me up!

I can tell that you are a truck driver at heart, even if you are trained to be an engineer.

Humor is the best medicine, amigo. And I need a LOT of medicine since I quit taking the illegal stuff!

Actually, I was a biker before I was an engineer or a salesman. Not a lot of difference between bikers and truckers. Except truck stops have showers......

shocked.png

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

I Love This Job

Good post, Old School. That guy sounds like I used to feel when I was doing sales. Hated every minute of it.....

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

More learning for the road.

Keep this in mind, Joe. On this Earth there are MILLIONS of people who are alive simply because it's illegal to shoot them.

Learn it, love it, live it.

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

So I wasn't the least bit scared......

How did BOTH tires blow at the same time? I've never heard a story like that beforewtf.gif

Experience would make me SWAG that one blew first and took out the other one along with the mudflap and the rail it was attached to. Since I had time to get to the right and find a left hand curve to stop on instead of the right hand curve I was on when it happened without trashing the rims, I think that's an accurate SWAG....

If I got paid to do failure analysis, I would do it in a professional manner and write a full report on it with time/stress tracking, microscopic photos, and other such things. But I get paid to drive a freaking truck and I dont do ANYTHING I don't get paid for, Keith.

I keep trying to explain that to the folks in Springfield, but they don't seem to "get it"....

embarrassed.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

So I wasn't the least bit scared......

What time today? I was just over that stretch of road earlier today. Presently @ the Flying J I-255 Exit 17a across the river from St Louis.

Ernie

Must've been about 0915. Sent the QC call to the geniuses at RA at 0937. One Prime driver stopped to see if I needed help. Decent guy, but there was nothing he could do, of course.

I ended up stopping for a break at the Pilot in Oak Grove KY where my hours ran out. This morning, I got as far as Okawville IL before the road disappeared in a snowbank. Not rolling again until the snowplows come out and do their job.

This load of welfare juice ain't worth my life or my career.....

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

So I wasn't the least bit scared......

Don't let the poor thinking of others ruin your own peace of mind out there. As you know, your mind and your truck are truly the only things you have full control over out there.

Oh, I won't Brett. If there's nothing else I learned in 12 years as a salesman and 25 as an engineer, it is exactly how stupid the average American (truck driver or not) really is. Just slightly smarter than the typical cedar stump. Twenty some odd years on the back of a '57 Panhead taught me to expect drivers around me to do the stupidest thing possible in any given situation and plan for it.

For anyone who disagrees with that statement, I ask you to watch the evening news on any given day to see my evidence.

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

So I wasn't the least bit scared......

....when both tires on the right rear axle on my trailer blew at 60 MPH westbound on I-24 in TN this morning. The 4-wheeler who was hanging out in the lane next to me was, but that's his problem. He shouldn't be hanging out there.

I sure did get scared when I saw how many so-called "professional" truck drivers made absolutely no effort to slow down and move to the left when I was sitting there waiting for the Loves service truck to arrive. And I was downright terrified after he arrived and started unloading stuff off his truck. I was almost sure he was gonna get splattered before he was done with the job.

Now I expect stupidity from 4-wheelers. Those who aren't on the cell phone while they're cruising along at 65-75 MPH have such a bad case of rectal cranial inversion they don't even see what's going on until it's too late. When they do see the pretty orange triangles 10, 100, and 200 feet behind my truck, they probably figure it's leftover Christmas decorations. The flashing red lights on my truck and the yellow ones on the service truck mean there's a clearance sale at K-Mart, right?

But I expect better from my road brothers and sisters. I know you all know exactly what is going on and what can happen. Is it really going to cost you that much to slow down and move over? Is that half a penny you may lose really more important to you than my life? Or the life of that young man from Loves who is making peanuts to change the tires on my trailer and has a young wife and a 3 year old waiting for him to come home from work tonight? Really?

Think about this: it may be YOU out there with blown tires next week, next month, or next year. How would YOU like it?

I'm an old man and it really isn't going to hurt anyone if you kill me. But if you do, I promise you I will come back and haunt you so that you never get a good night's sleep again as long as you live. And when you die, I will be the first one you meet at the gates of hell because I'll be the one kicking the snot out of you every day for the rest of eternity. Go ahead - be as stupid as you like.....

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Rant over.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

Petro and TA all seem to be more driver oriented in general. Not that you wont get the tourists in those, but for some reason it always seems less crowded.

I also prefer the TAs for the same reasons. I'll settle for a P/FJ, but they're usually smaller and have more 4-wheelers and touristas clogging things up.

The main reason a refuse to do business at the Loves in Wamsutter is because I stopped there one day, fueled, parked, and went in to take a shower. The snaggle tooth old biddy behind the counter gave me a number and said I had to wait. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And then I waited some more.

After about 45 minutes, there were four or five other guys waiting, too. So I just walked back there to see if anyone was actually cleaning the showers. That's when I discovered the plumber (butt crack showing and everything) working on replacing the broken pipes.

That's when I went back out front, gave the other guys the 411, and then told the old battleaxe exactly what I thought of her wasting my time by not telling us they didn't have water. Then I went back to my truck and went to sleep like I would've done an hour earlier if she had just said they didn't have water just then.

Anybody who wants to do business with me had better respect the fact that my time is worth money and it's not to be wasted for no reason. If they don't value my time, then they had better not count on valuing my money, either.

Those losers in Wamsutter will not ever get one red cent from this driver no matter who I'm driving for!

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Warning about International Trucks fifth wheels....

After reading this, I'm glad I don't have the in-cab release on my Freightshaker. Getting out and pulling the handle isn't that much work.

Glad nobody got hurt. Just shows that "going with your gut" is always good policy.

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

There were a few places for rigs to park (I've been hearing that most truck stops have NO parking) BUT this was in the afternoon-probably couldn't BUY a spot at night. Not QUITE as noisy as I thought, but it still won't be easy sleeping..Those big diesels have a ground shaking growl. Checked out the showers and found them sparkling clean, (they smelled like Clorox) with plenty of room to shower, shave, change clothes, etc. and an attendant wiping everything down. NICE!!! (I heard that it was nasty at these places).

You'll find that varies from one Loves to the next. Some of them (I absolutely hate the one in Wamsutter WY and plan my trips to avoid the place) are nasty, too. All Loves are small for parking compared to P/FJ and TA.

But after a few months you'll find (like me) that you have trouble sleeping WITHOUT the sound of diesel engines running. I miss my reefer running when I'm empty!

Can't wait to meet some of y'all!! (I'll be the skinny one) rofl-3.gif

Not for long, kid...... smile.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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TRIFECTA! Officially a Prime employee now

Congratulations on acing your test and getting your CDL, Paul.

As for being a Prime employee, I will reserve comment and see how you feel about that 9-12 months from now.....

All I will say (from experience) is once you finish TNT and do your upgrade DO NOT allow yourself to be suckered into the Prime lease program!

good-luck.gif

Cheers, Howard

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Heard New Year's Eve the 2014 DOT physical will have BMI requirements

I do know of at least 1 driver that beat the need for a CPAP machine. Can't say if Rob Low has his fingers in that pie, sure would seem like it though.

But if you look at the whole picture, not just the small slice, it makes sense that a driver needs to be well rested in order to be at the top of his/her game as they go down the road.

I am in no way endorsing the Sleep Apnea thing, but am trying to look at it from a safety perspective.

Ernie

Ernie, Who would argue that a driver who isn't sleeping well on his rest breaks is as safe a driver as one who is? Well, I guess I can name a few politicians who might, but who in their RIGHT mind? That is a given.

The problem I have with the Prime policy vis a vis sleep apnea (and I had my tongue only halfway in my cheek when I said that about Rob Low owning part of the CPAP manufacturer) is that if Prime (and by extension Rob Low) is going to demand that a driver go through the testing and use the machine regardless of whether or not there is a clearly defined issue regarding sleep apnea and only a suspicion of it being "possible", then it is Prime (i.e. Rob Low) who should be getting out the checkbook and paying for it.

They shouldn't be imposing those high costs on the driver. We all know he (or she) can't afford it. He drives for Prime!

But that's not the way one gets rich.....

Cheers, Howard

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