Reefer Vs. Flatbed Vs. Dry Van

Topic 1051 | Page 3

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Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Old School,

My instructor says, "There are truckers and then there are real truckers." I asked, "What is a real trucker?" He said, "The real truckers are flat bed drivers. And, they look good doing it."

dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Old School,

My instructor says, "There are truckers and then there are real truckers." I asked, "What is a real trucker?" He said, "The real truckers are flat bed drivers. And, they look good doing it."

dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

I have no problem spotting most real truckers....I.e. flat bedders.....I use my eyes and NOSE. We all know flat bedding is a more physically demanding job which can mean alot of dirty sweaty work but then some somehow forget that you really need to take a shower or at least wipe yourself down.

Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

For me, that is part of the excitement about flatbed; you never know where you're going. Now, don't get me wrong, not everything is all wine and roses. Loaded steel in Houston right after a rain and I still don't have all of the mud off of my boots, out of the truck or off of the straps. No, I wasn't a happy camper until I just said, "@#$& it" and did what needed to be done. Then I just smiled (yep, looked like a lunatic smiling in the rain and mud) and chalked it up to another of life's experiences. rofl-3.gif

I don't see my self doing anything else but flatbed for the next couple of years. Think I would get too bored with the others, based on my part time dry van experience. May go back to that after I "retire" just to have some mad $$$$ and get out of the house. It is all about your personality, goals, likes and dislikes.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Old School,

My instructor says, "There are truckers and then there are real truckers." I asked, "What is a real trucker?" He said, "The real truckers are flat bed drivers. And, they look good doing it."

dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

double-quotes-end.png

I have no problem spotting most real truckers....I.e. flat bedders.....I use my eyes and NOSE. We all know flat bedding is a more physically demanding job which can mean alot of dirty sweaty work but then some somehow forget that you really need to take a shower or at least wipe yourself down.

ROFL!

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Pat, I'll concede - you are right.

We get into all kinds of places. I recently went to one of those places where you back into the warehouse loading area, but the floor of the warehouse is level with the top of your trailer. You literally have about 1.5 inches on either side of your trailer's rub rails to back a 53' trailer in there. Just to make it more interesting, this particular plant had very little room in the lot so that you had to start your backing procedure at about 45 degrees to the opening. It was crazy - I had to do about 6 or 7 pull-ups just to get it lined up correctly. It was freezing cold and there were two of the guys that were going to load me standing by the door waiting to close it as soon as I could get in. I kept thinking these guys must be getting impatient with me taking so long to get this thing in the hole. Then when I get inside and the door is closed, they complimented me on the backing job. I laughed, I almost thought they were being sarcastic. Then they start telling me about how many drivers literally tear up their trailers trying to get in there. They also told me they were taking bets on how many of my running lights I would break getting it in there! Well, nobody lost their money because I pulled it off with only a small scratch on one of the lenses.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey guys, there are real truckers in all aspects of this business, but sometimes the flat-bedders do get a little more respect form the other drivers. I'm still fairly agile at 54, and when I jumped up onto the deck of another driver's trailer recently while helping him secure his load, he started chuckling and said he was going to offer to get up there and do that part, but he could see that I was in better shape than he was. So, maybe I can look good while doing it, but I've gotta tell you that during the summer months there's no guarantee that if you come upon me at a truck stop I will be smelling real good. There's days that more liquids come out of me than I can manage to get in me!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Pat, I'll concede - you are right.

We get into all kinds of places. I recently went to one of those places where you back into the warehouse loading area, but the floor of the warehouse is level with the top of your trailer. You literally have about 1.5 inches on either side of your trailer's rub rails to back a 53' trailer in there. Just to make it more interesting, this particular plant had very little room in the lot so that you had to start your backing procedure at about 45 degrees to the opening. It was crazy - I had to do about 6 or 7 pull-ups just to get it lined up correctly. It was freezing cold and there were two of the guys that were going to load me standing by the door waiting to close it as soon as I could get in. I kept thinking these guys must be getting impatient with me taking so long to get this thing in the hole. Then when I get inside and the door is closed, they complimented me on the backing job. I laughed, I almost thought they were being sarcastic. Then they start telling me about how many drivers literally tear up their trailers trying to get in there. They also told me they were taking bets on how many of my running lights I would break getting it in there! Well, nobody lost their money because I pulled it off with only a small scratch on one of the lenses.

You scratched a light!? Shame on you. You failed the entire backing maneuver.shocked.pngsmile.gif

Dont ya know unless your perfect it's not good enough? According to many long time truckers sitting around the buffet in a truck stop they could back it in while texting on the phone and not looking in their mirrors while on their side step of the truck hanging 2 feet by their arm while doing 60 mph in reverse. wtf.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Guyjax, you are so right about that. I never engage myself in those truck stop restaurant conversations, but I do enjoy sitting close enough to listen in on what they have to say. I really am a very quiet person by nature - Daniel teases me about my long winded responses on the forum, but if we were to sit down in person at a coffee shop you might find the conversation with me to be kind of boring. I entertain myself at times by listening to the super drivers at the truck stops, they are a special breed of folks that only fit into a truck driving job because they just don't do well in a job where you have to be around other folks with good sense all day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Older Newbie's Comment
member avatar

After reading this series of posts it makes me want to be a flatbed driver more than ever. I'm about a week from starting school and flatbed for me has been my goal from the start. As has been stated here, there is something very cool about seeing a really well tarped and secured load. Even when I was loading the family up for our recent cross country move, getting the trailer tarped correctly with no flaps was for me something to be proud of. It may not have made sense to the rest of the guys in the neighborhood but I figured that every flatbed driver my wife passed hauling the trailer would appreciate it. I drove the 26 ft box truck loaded to the gills and even there I felt like securement was important because I didn't want it to dump on me when I opened the door on the other side. I also appreciate the physical part of it all. I'm on the long end of 60 and still think of myself as a kid, and usually move like a kid, so the "outside" work involved in flatbed driving really appeals to me too. Yeah I suppose there are gonna be days where the weather stinks, hot or cold, wet or dry, but I also suspect that the personal satisfaction you get from doing it right in the worst of weather must feel amazing. I can't wait!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, make sure you hit our High Road Training Program hard before you leave. We have two sections on flatbed that you're going to need to know and now is the perfect time to get a head start:

Flatbed Securement

New York State Coil Endorsement

Here is how the rest of the program breaks down:

To Get Your CDL Permit:

  • Rules & Regulations
  • Driving Safely
  • Transporting Cargo Safely
  • Air Brakes
  • Combination Vehicles
  • Pre-Trip Inspection
  • Driving Exam

To get your CDL endorsements which are optional but highly recommend:

  • Transporting Passengers
  • Doubles And Triples
  • Tankers
  • Hazardous Materials

Two sections we've built ourselves with info you'll need for everyday life on the road:

  • Logbook
  • Weight & Balance

Two sections for anyone considering flatbed:

  • Cargo Securement
  • New York State Coil Endorsement

Hit it hard! There's a lot to learn.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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