HOS & Qualcomm Questions

Topic 22318 | Page 2

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Don't know how I missed these, unless you guys posted while I was typing... Web is out to get me again!

The QC also alerts when within 1hour of the required 30 minute break at the 8 hour drive time point.

This could also be another really useful feature until I get used to mentally adjusting hours, etc. Thanks to the High Road CDL Training Program I've gotten familiar with the HOS , but driving and trying to keep track seems like something I'm just going to have to experience before I get used to it. Starting to like quite a few things about QC.

Here are a few more tidbits on the Qualcomm (QC):

Yes, the clock in the QC stays with your official time zone. If you are based out of the Central time zone (Chicago, St Louis, etc.), and you are in California, the local time may be 4pm, and your QC clock will show 6pm. This eliminates any local time changes on your HOS time. But it may drive you crazy if you don't have a local time clock handy. (Hint: your cellphone usually shows the local time.)

The GPS in the QC is pretty good in the destination department. I have realized it may route you in a way that saves miles over minutes, though. There are a few extra bells & whistles that you have to find yourself, from "Recent Destinations" to how to enter your own destination. There are no "routes" (two or more stops) that I could find.

The important thing about the QC GPS (at least for Swift) is that the destination locations are mostly very accurate. Suppose you have a destination that is a large warehouse or brewery. With your own GPS, you may get to the "front door" with no truck entrance in sight - It's around back and your truck is pointed the wrong way to get there!!

That's a great tip about the cell phone, I totally overlooked the obvious there.

As for trusting my own GPS, theonly one I would use is specifically a trucking GPS. Though, if the QC has the destination better pinpointed, then maybe the additional GPS won't even be necessary. I've heard stories about regular GPS, Google maps, etc., trying to route you on roads you may weigh too much for or bridges that are only 12 feet high, etc., so just regular tools I'm used to right now obviously won't cut it.

And as a humorous expectation, well, I'm sort of expecting to end up in the wrong place with deliveries at least once or twice, along with some of the other stuff that newbies just have to go through when they're out for their first year, lol.

Really appreciate all the responses!

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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I agree with Errol on the QC's integrated GPS (Navgo). It's fairly reliable,...until you need to take a detour or miss a turn. When that happens exercise a heightened level of care, no telling where it will route you.

True story; I missed a turn for entering I-287 many years ago, first year of running Walmart. It routed me through a residential street somewhere in N. Jersey. Got out of that precariously right situation with only inches to spare.

Unless you know where you are going, GPS is one of several tools for navigation. The Atlas is the backup, and should be trusted above anything the GPS is telling. Trip plan, use both.

One last thing, I use the GPS on my phone as a supplement for two reasons:

It shows realtime traffic situations and also provides destination ETA expressed in local time. And those are the only two things I use it for.

My third layer of guidance? I write the route directions on a yellow sticky-note in the event of a QC shutdown. It happens.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Before I start out I always use google earth to look at each destination. I then compare that info to the route. Many times you will be using an entrance off a different roadway than your gps says. As stated they route you to the front door. It has helped me out greatly. Besides I am a visual person. I also call my customers and if its the first time there I ask them while looking at google earth for the best way in. I have also learned to ask because of construction. That has bit me more than once.

Turtle's Comment
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Don't ask me how I know what she says if you ignore her warnings, just trust me. She is short and to the point in her communications. She has no mercy or leniency, and she ignores your well thought out and perfectly logical excuses.

Yeah but that voice! She's hot. I'm kinda into her...

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Don't ask me how I know what she says if you ignore her warnings, just trust me. She is short and to the point in her communications. She has no mercy or leniency, and she ignores your well thought out and perfectly logical excuses.

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah but that voice! She's hot. I'm kinda into her...

You just like it when a woman takes control of you. LOL

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Unless you know where you are going, GPS is one of several tools for navigation. The Atlas is the backup, and should be trusted above anything the GPS is telling. Trip plan, use both.

One last thing, I use the GPS on my phone as a supplement for two reasons:

It shows realtime traffic situations and also provides destination ETA expressed in local time. And those are the only two things I use it for.

My third layer of guidance? I write the route directions on a yellow sticky-note in the event of a QC shutdown. It happens.

Yes, sir! Got my eye on 2018 Rand Mcnally Deluxe Motor Carrier version after some research here and some YouTube videos. Also thinking about picking up National Truck Stop Directory - The Trucker's Friend Paperback just to supplement that.

And I sometimes use a phone app called Waze for traffic, etc., now. If get hired, I'll probably switch my phone's data plan to unlimited (Waze can be a data hog) and try to use that once I'm en route somewhere - but that's really dependent on on a few things, such as mounting options for the phone, cause I never touch it while I'm driving now.

As for a sticky note, that's another great idea. I tend to keep a moleskin notebook with me all the time now to keep track of things (I just write faster than I could type it on a phone) so a sticky note would be a seamless transition!

Before I start out I always use google earth to look at each destination. I then compare that info to the route. Many times you will be using an entrance off a different roadway than your gps says. As stated they route you to the front door. It has helped me out greatly. Besides I am a visual person. I also call my customers and if its the first time there I ask them while looking at google earth for the best way in. I have also learned to ask because of construction. That has bit me more than once.

That's a terrific reminder. I remember reading somewhere from someone who used Google earth and street view alot because maps didn't always show local obstacles, etc. But I don't think they were using QC since they also used it to verify shipping addresses, etc., so that they made sure they going to an actual business instead of a residential address or whatever - don't suppose that's a big problem when you're driving for an actual trucking company. (Or is it...?)

But I will sometimes use Google earth now just trying to find a store or some other location I've never been to. Using it to find the delivery entrance at a location is a pretty good idea (and should've been common sense for me.) I guess I sort of wrote off Google too fast for trucking... Seems like it has a place in the toolbox, after all.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I’m a bit different than alot of drivers. I drive for a prodution company I don’t haul general freight. Our customers are cemetaries. Getting in and out is not always an easy task. I certainly do not want to get into one and tear anything up. So I am very detailed with all the info I can get before I ever get there. I have had office folks at the site give me bad information. Another thing to remember if you call a customer for info, ask for someone in shipping/receiving. In my case its the maintance folks I talk with.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Throughout Truckingtruth I've read a few times that better drivers are the ones that manage their hours and specifically don't keep having to take 34 hour resets. I decided to do some quick maths to see how many hours on duty (using all your drive time everyday), in a month vs if you only used up 8 hours and 45 minutes everyday in order to never reset.

My calculation ended up being a total of 364 hours on duty in 31 days vs 271.25 hours. A whole 34% increase in the amount of time you run per month. Am I wrong in thinking that using up your entire 70 and constantly taking 34 hour resets is bad time management?

I'm still waiting to attend my classes so of course I know little about how it really works out there. confused.gif

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Our customers are cemetaries. Getting in and out is not always an easy task.

And this ^^^ would be those mad skills Rainy was talking about elsewhere... I've had enough trouble navigating my F150 through some cemetaries - can't even imagine getting a rig and trailer around through there.

wtf.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Throughout Truckingtruth I've read a few times that better drivers are the ones that manage their hours and specifically don't keep having to take 34 hour resets. I decided to do some quick maths to see how many hours on duty (using all your drive time everyday), in a month vs if you only used up 8 hours and 45 minutes everyday in order to never reset.

Hey, I was just reading (and taking notes) from somebody who said something similar in another thread. Something along the lines of only using 9 hours a day at most because somehow it worked out that they never seem to run out of hours.

This is one of the parts of training (and finally going OTR) that I'm really looking forward to - the time management stuff. I love fine-tuning stuff for efficiency, and if it's possible to figure out an optimal template for your hours (that will work most of the time) then I'd love to figure that out.

If you're interested, there's a thread on here somewhere, something about a time/shipping challenge (route planning trivia or something?) that I got some pretty good notes from about time management.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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