My Pneumatic Tanker Job

Topic 22254 | Page 4

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Amish country's Comment
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I forgot to mention that I'm pretty close to putting on my "freshman 15" šŸ˜‚

Just hoping it's more muscle from the hoses and stuff and not just chunk. Told the wife I was working on my dad bod haha

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Army 's Comment
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rofl-3.gif

Amish country's Comment
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In a couple weeks I will be at 6 months with my first company. I dont have any plans to leave, even after a year. I'm learning that there are a lot of perks to arnt discussed from staying long term. Between getting paid for load/unload times and increases in holiday pay and safety bonuses you can make a good amount more. For example I am on pace to make between 50-60k my rookie year. There are guys here that should be making around 70k and dont care to work that hard anymore and really push the extra runs. There is always the added benefit of vacation time as well.

The feed trailer that I used was basically declared dead from the maintenance work needed. Understandable though since it was made in 1996. Because of that we had to replace it. So now I get to use a slightly newer trailer(2006). The big difference though is that it is air ride instead of leaf springs. It's like pulling a cloud it's so smooth down the road. It's also a decent amount lighter as well. Full fuel I can load a little over 26 ton instead of around 25 ton. Bringing more product also means I get paid a little bit more as well.

One of the newer guys I've been giving advice and tips to asked me about being a trainer. I'm not ready for that yet. I've only been out here 6 months and still have a lot to learn. Maybe someday I'll do it. I like helping people and it would be a decent amount more in my pay checks.

Amish country's Comment
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Well I have made it to 6 months with the company and 5 months solo. Still running hard but finding a little more time in my days as things just keep getting easier. My backing has gotten really good and now I dont even stress about how I need to do it. Just assess and get it done. Average load time is around 30-40 minutes and I spend no more then an hour at most customers no matter what the product is. Some i can get in and out in an hour.

My DM talked to me about possibly training new guys how I unload because I do a very good job at it. I'm not around other drivers to see how they do and compare so I thought I was on par with everyone else. I told him i don't mind having a ride along and showing people how I do things but wasnt comfortable doing driving training since I'm still new myself and learning. I'd be glad for the extra money teaching but want to see people succeed at this so they stick around. I have 2 drivers right now I talk to fairly regularly giving tips and what works for me to try and make their jobs easier and have the ability to get more done and make more money themselves.

I was bored at my first unload today so added up my gross income so far. Not including my month of training pay which was around $750 for 4 weeks I have made $22k in 5 months. So on a good pace to be able to hit 50k my rookie year if I had started at the beginning of the year.

I feel like I was made for this work. It fits me very well and I enjoy everything about it. Of course there are days or weeks where everything goes wrong but the good days have far outweighed the rough times.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Army 's Comment
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Awesome update.

Amish country's Comment
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So on a day to day basis there are 4 (categories?) types of product that I deal with all as varying types of limestone. Each has a certain way to unload and everyone unloads differently. There is no one right way and what works for one person may not work for the next. Here is my way of unloading for each product type.

So the 4 basic types are pebble, aggregate(powder), course and hydrate(its kinda it's own thing). I always start the process using top air and aerators to pressurize the tank up to 10-12 psi. Then I open the bottom air and close the top air, and depending on product the aerators as well. I never use the top air to unload. It tend to push to much down and clog more often. From there adjust as needed to stabilize the tank and line pressures around 12 psi.

Pebble(1/8x0 to 7/8x3/4 in)- used in steel plants, water treatment, and waste to energy plants). After building pressure open the bottom air, close the top air and aerators. Start from the rear pocket and open all the way and let the product start flowing out. Once the pressures stabilize or tank pressure starts to fall open the aerators and adjust amount as needed. When that pocket empties close it and make sure you close the aerators again before opening your second pocket. Repeat steps for remaining pockets.

Powder(cement, feed grade. Ash and coal fit this category as well)- after pressurizing close the top air and open the bottom air. Leave the aerators open. Starting from rear pocket open product all the way. Wait for pressure to stabilize. If the line and tank pressure are staying low(10ish) I will open the front pocket a little bit to build it up. Also, if the line pressure is jumping because of air pockets I will open the front pocket a little to fill in that space. It unloads more product and just makes it all go smoother.

Coarse(chips, dical, monocal, feed grade, salt, sand)- open bottom air, close top air and aerator. Open rear pocket all the way. The air from the bottom will push it's way up through the product and build your tank pressure. Close the product at little until tank pressure stays where you want it. You may need to open the front pocket a little to get to the desired point. You do not need to use aerators until the last pocket to help keep the pressures up.

Hydrated lime(very fluffy powder, very light used in water treatment)- this stuff is a pain to load. You need to fill the tank, pressurize with top air to compresse and load more twice to get to around 23 ton. When unloading you pressurize the tank. Close the top air and open the bottom air 3-4 notches. Leave aerators open. Open rear product all the way. When it starts to run out open the next pocket and close the previous pocket halfway until tank pressure continuously drops. Close previous pocket and repeat til done.

My average at a customer is 1.5 hours for everything.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Splitter's Comment
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The attention to detail is really impressive! Your passion for this shows. Iā€™m just shaking my head on how little lay-people understand what this career entails. All they care about is that they can go to their shops & take home all their stuff. Not appreciating the care taken throughout the journey from start to finish. Thank you for sharing!!

Amish country's Comment
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I know not many people get into this area of the industry so trying to do my part for the community. There are a lot of different areas to explore and there isn't one path that fits for everyone. Even if it helps a handful of people I will be happy about that. I feel like this is something that a new driver could do since the tank is shorter and you do not have the worry of surge. It pulls very similar to a van but with much less off track. Once you figure out how the valves effect the air on the tank it becomes routine and easy to adjust and then it starts to become fun. But it is not a job for everyone and I can see why not many stay with it long. Long days to make the money and its loud and dirty. I like the fact that you get out of the truck and do something during the day and the dirt doesn't bother me. Having the ability to start early in the morning also gets me home around when the family does so I dont miss time with them. Oh and I could take every weekend off if I wanted to but one of those days usually gets me up to around $1200 gross for the week.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Amish country's Comment
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Forgot to mention that during "driver appreciation week" we were given some gifts. A small backpack(cheap like a sack pack) with 2 flashlights and a big travel coffee mug and a subway giftcard for like $25. The flashlights have magnetic ends. One pulls out into a telescopic light and the other pulls out and gives you a light bar(all batteries included). Something small but still cool that they even did anything.

Army 's Comment
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Nice, and congrats on doing so well. I know many appreciate your blog.

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