Profile For James H.

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    Experienced Driver

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    2 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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Proper lane use and destination lane for turns

So why go into the right-hand lane during the turn, finish in the left, and then try to move to the right-hand lane again? You're already taking the right-hand lane to make the turn, so just finish the turn there.

The OP is preparing for his road test, and for his purposes, the answer is 'because that's what the CDL Manual says to do.' Rob showed the relevant section from California, and it's the same in New Jersey:

13.1.14(d) – Lane Usage

Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane markings.

Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs. Complete a turn in the proper lane on a multiple lane road (vehicle should finish a left turn in the lane directly to the right of the center line).

Finish a right turn in the right-most (curb) lane.

Move to or remain in right-most lane unless lane is blocked.

Once he has his license, he can go back to relying on common sense and avoid unnecessary lane changes, which are inherently risky.

Posted:  5 days, 23 hours ago

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Who IS busy right now?

We do the same trips on the same schedule, regardless of how much or how little mail is on the trailers. I can't imagine a steadier or easier driving job than being a USPS contractor.

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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New Driver… Any advice!

Did your school provide you with a list of companies where they place their graduates? Do you have your doubles/triples endorsement? I would think a city as big as Phoenix has a lot of LTL activity, and some of them do hire inexperienced drivers.

Regarding your question, I would apply everywhere. Get answers, in writing, about the things that are most important to you: salary, home time, training period, whatever you value. I would worry less about a company's overall reputation. Because first, the internet is full of bitter people eager to trash anything and everything. People like to poke fun at Swift and some of it can be amusing, but this is a very competitive industry, and Swift wouldn't be as big as they are if they weren't doing something right. And secondly, you could end up with a bad trainer at a company with an overall great program, or vice versa. And a great trainer for you might be one I'd struggle with, just because of teaching/learning styles, personality fit, etc.

Bottom line, get after it and focus on the things you control - your commitment, teachability, and effort, and you should do just fine.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Murphy’s Law

At what point, if any, did you contact your DM to apprise them of the situation? Other than the first part before you got to the receiver, you weren't advancing a load or going where you'd been dispatched, so by my understanding, PC was appropriate per FMCSA. FMCSA doesn't establish a time limit, only "The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available."

If you had called and said, "I'm at the receiver, am out of hours, and can't park here. I'm going into PC to find somewhere to take my 10, but I don't know how long it will take to reach the 'first such location reasonably available," would that have helped?

Posted:  1 month ago

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Local or OTR?

Local driver since day one. Based on what I've read on this forum, OTR seems far more complex and challenging than what I do. I may not qualify as a Real Driver, but for now I'm glad I chose the easier option. I'd much rather pull doubles and deal with heavy traffic than worry about finding somewhere to park every night before I run out of hours.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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* I plan on working at least for another 10 yrs......once my contract is over and I am in good standings with the company, will I have the option of going part-time?

Amazon and FedEx Ground contractors hire part time drivers. The ones I've seen require six or twelve months experience. Several USPS contractors, including Alan Ritchey, EVO, Matheson, and 10 Roads Express have part time driver positions that require either one or two years experience.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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10 Roads Express

When do you start? The craigslist ad mentions several shifts, but their website has only one - 4am.

It varies, based on their needs and my availability. There's a 7:30 am trip I do almost every Sunday since the regular driver has young kids and wants to be home on the weekend, but I've also done afternoon and evening starts that they needed covered on a temporary basis due to vacations, or because they had a vacancy and hadn't yet filled the full-time position.

I don't know how much information the recruiter could give you, but after you're hired you could discuss it with your driver manager and the supervisor of the Nashua facility. Do you want a set schedule week after week, or are you more open to taking on assignments as they come your way?

Some of the company's routes are quite long, and might be managed from a different region. For example, one trip I've done several times is to be the easternmost link on a cross country route from Jersey City to Oakland, and the person who manages that contract is based in Minnesota while my DM is in Virginia. So once you're in their system as casual/PT, you might get calls from all over asking if you'd be interested in helping out.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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10 Roads Express

I've been a part time/casual driver for them since April out of their Kearny NJ yard, and it's been a very positive experience. And as you note, there aren't a lot of part time options out there. Around here it's them, Amazon and FedEx contractors, and some small-time operators you'd be well advised to steer clear of.

The company was formed by a merger of Hoovestal, Eagle Express, Pat Salmon, and maybe some others, which explains the different branding you'll sometimes see on the trailers we pull.

As a part-timer you'll be slip seating in a variety of trucks. At least in my experience, the other drivers leave the trucks acceptably clean. Some of the equipment is on the older side, but that might just be my impression since I prefer a manual transmission, and those are the trucks I usually take. They do keep up on maintenance - certainly better at some other places I've worked.

My driver managers, relay drivers, and the others I've dealt with at the company have been courteous, competent, and professional. The people at the postal facilities have been more of a mixed bag, but no worse than other shippers and receivers I've encountered. I've done mostly USPS contracts, but the occasional freight. The trips I've covered have been a mix of live load/unloads and drop-and-hooks and usually involve meeting a relay driver at a truck stop or company yard. Pay is hourly, based on a 'trip standard' which is typically generous enough that I will complete, and get paid for, an 11.5 hour trip in 10 or 11 hours for example. If there's ever a delay that causes me to go beyond the trip standard, I get paid for the extra time. As far as I know it's a straight hourly rate, with no overtime, but as a part-timer that won't be a concern. There's a $5 weekend differential, and the weekend is defined as from 00:01 am Friday to 23:59 Sunday. Pay varies by location due to prevailing wage rules at USPS. For me it's $36/hour Mon to Thur, and $41/hour Friday to Sunday. That includes about $5 and change in benefit pay, which full-timers can use to offset health and dental insurance, but you'll just get in your paycheck. I get an extra $50 for trips to or through NYC, which I was doing a lot last month, covering a trip out to Long Island. It shows up on my pay stub as Flatpay - NY/CO MTN PAY: $50.00, which suggests you also get extra money for driving across the mountains out west.

Trucks are governed at 68 mph. Forward and inside-facing cameras.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Downhill in snow/ice/slick roads

Jake Brake off. ......... The higher the RPMs, the more effective the engine braking will be, just don't get into the over-reving zone (2000 RPMs and above).

Since Jake brakes and engine braking both affect the drives only, why is the latter recommended, while the former is an absolute no-no?

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Do you get treated with respect by the dock workers (when making or picking up a delivery)?

I've found that respectable people are rarely the ones you hear complaining they're being disrespected.

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