My Day By Day Experience At Eastern Freightways Flatbed Division

Topic 22518 | Page 5

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Rob T.'s Comment
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That sucks about the truck being broke down. Unfortunately that's something we all deal with. It's very rarely advised to leave before 1 year is up. What exactly is going on that makes you want to leave? I'm assuming you've been looking due to already having had other offers come your way. I totally understand wanting to be home more but will you really be spending anymore quality time with your wife than you do now? I have a job im home daily but really I'm home long enough to eat, shower, play with kids and get a couple hours of sleep before I'm gone again. I'm not familiar with dump trucks but it does seem like their trucks are much older and with them off roading quite a bit I'd assume they need repairs alot more frequently.

There's nothing wrong with wanting change but I'd suggest staying where you are for atleast your year. If the goal is to have the wife come out eventually you really need to stick with a Class A tractor trailer job. I am pretty sure that any dump truck experience won't mean a dang thing when your wife hits the road with you.

Han Solo Cup's Comment
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Chris, I think we're mirroring one another. I'm a DoD contractor and my job can be like watching grass grow "fertilized" with a bag of politics (company and gov't). I too have anywhere from about four months to two years before I'm ready to make the career switch. Which leads me to...

Mike, they're right (as you've already acknowledged), don't make a life impacting decision while stressed, angry, etc. Congrats for telling yourself that! In the last few months alone, I've found myself sitting at my desk thinking "F it, I'm quitting and applying to Prime today." It's the stress from the politics and contracts that pushes me to think like that. Then I remember that I just got an out-of-cycle raise and told by management they need me to hang around for the foreseeable future (of course, in DoD contracting that could be an hour, a week, a year, ten years, who knows). It's when I step back and look at the bigger picture that I make a better, more well informed decision. I've got two years till my youngest graduates high school which gives me two years to prep the house for sale and to move my wife into a condo. And I'm making a good salary and home daily... it puts the daily grind into perspective. I say all this to show you that you're not the only one who can be their own worst enemy when things are in the crapper and you're left with time to think and do nothing (which is exactly why I started lifting).

Hang in there, this will pass, and keep the bigger picture in mind. Your blog continues to be one of my top three favs and you just recently documented your "plan, brick wall, replan, brick wall, re-replan"... love it and love your drive!

Mike B.'s Comment
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Update: So I was going to catch a ride Friday morning with another driver who is based out of the Concord terminal to pick up a white 2012 Volvo. Around 10:00 both him and dispatched called about the same time. Dispatch had said that 1 of the students from my class just dropped a truck off 2003 Volvo. I remembered the truck from when we all were assigned trucks as I had checked it out. It was clean but it's an Automatic. Mine was a 10spd. This will be a little different. I checked it over and it was good to go. Transferred all of my stuff over to the new truck and just threw it on my bed. Figured I'd move in tonight when I shut down.

Picked up a load from the Meriden terminal coming from the Baltimore terminal headed to MA on Monday. Drove to the concord terminal, post tripped and took what I needed for the weekend.

I took some time this weekend to reflect. You guys are right. Breakdowns are part of the experience and should be looked at as such. Unless they get out of control then there may be a re-evaluation at that point. LOL. Time, Determination & Goals will help me get through those times. Everything is a learning experience and I should sit back and appreciate that. I know that no single company out there is perfect and I choose EFW's due to what they had to offer me at this time. I'm happy with that decision. New week, new attitude.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Army (not yet retired)'s Comment
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Rock On!! dancing.gif

Mike B.'s Comment
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Day 19

My sons car broke down over the weekend so I told him if he gave me a ride to work at 4:00 he could use mine for the week. Trying to get a 16 year old up a 3:45 is a good time. lol I rolled out at 5:30 this morning heading down 495 to Bellingham, MA. Got to the receiver at 7:45 waited a bit to get unloaded and had my pre-plan ready to go. Back up 495 to Portsmouth, NH for a quick Drop n Hook. This load is a 2 stop in CT. 1st in Torrington then to Washington Depot. 49K lbs of Sheetrock. Back down 495. HaHa I've gotta say this little old Automatic does a pretty good job at pulling it. Not having to shift during traffic has been kind of nice as well. Never thought i'd like and auto but......

Decided I was going to stay at the T/A in Milldale, CT as it's only 30 minutes away from my 1st stop. Fuel up and go to park... Well I felt like it was my first day at school again. My set up was off and decided to try it anyways. Did about 10 pull ups before I finally got it straight. Had a guy watching me the whole time. I laughed it off and when I got out I asked if he got it on video because I needed a good laugh. Minus my set up being off the 5th wheel is all the way forward and I used to run my truck all the way back. Would that 1-2 feet really make that much of a difference? I read a few threads on here about it but seems like a personal preference. What do you think?

Mike B.'s Comment
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Day 20

Up and out by 6:00. Got to the 1st receiver in Torrington, CT at 6:45 and he said they didn't start receiving till 7:00. Plenty of time to unstrap and remove the 2nd tarp to access their part of the load. Today turned into a waiting game. Waited about 2 hours to get unloaded here as they were busy and definitely short staffed. Drove to the 2nd stop in Washington Depot, Ct . A few tight turns right in town but I snuck it in. Realized I didn't have service and my tablet wouldn't send an e-mail. After getting unloaded I headed west until I got service and pulled over. Next stop, Wallingford, CT to get a load of Slinkies. Got there around 11:45. Called to the scale at 14:40. Longest I've ever waited. I don't know how you live load guys do it. LOL Loaded and strapped by 16:15. Used most of my clock by this time. Had 3 hours left. Load is headed to New Salem, PA a nice 8 hour ride and I made it a little over 2 hours before I shut down. Traffic was crazy. Will get an early start tomorrow to finish off the remaining 6 hours, get unloaded and head to Aliquippa, PA.

Mike B.'s Comment
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Day 21-23

What a crazy week last week..... Got an Early start like I wanted to 4:00 was the earliest I could Pre-trip and head out. Ended up coming over 80 and down 99 in Eastern, PA GPS says take US 22. I take a quick look at the map. Yea that looks like it makes sense. Definitely shorter. How bad could a US rt be? LOL yeaaa. Hills and more hills then a few more. I definitely lost time. Oh well it was a sight seeing tour and got to practice some downhills loaded with 50k. Finally got off that horrific route and ended up going to the receiver through the back way. Narrow and curvy. I remembered being there once before and coming in the other direction. Got unloaded and headed for Aliquippa. Heard stories about the gps sending you down this weird road on the other side of the tracks from the shipper. Yup exactly what it did. Stopped and went down the road a little to figure out how to get in. Google earthed it and found the road leading through a 1 way tunnel. Running short on my clock I had scanned the area for the last 45 minutes for a place to shut down near by. Saw a rest area that I had passed with several spot. So fixed the tarping job and headed there to shut down. 5 minutes later a tornado watch was issued. We had a heavy rain storm but that was about it.

Next day headed out to Norfolk, VA around 3:00 I believe. Was a good ride until the #### gps sent me up and over US 40 to I-68. I learned something valuable that day. I will never go over 40 again.. HaHa I thought 22 was bad. 40 was a 15mph crawl for what seemed like an hour. and of course what goes up must come down.. 68 was better but not by much. After all that 68 put me back on I-70 which I should have stayed on in the first place. Lost a lot of time there. Got to Norfolk around 13:00 drop and hook to a rescheduled load headed to Lewes, DE. 3:00 delivery which I could make if I shut down in Norfolk and leave at 1:00. But then I short myself on getting home Friday so I decided to cross the Chesapeake and run up 13. Looking for somewhere to shutdown close to the end of my clock. Rest areas are shut down at night. Gated. Hmmm Nowhere on the side of the road either. It's getting close 15 minutes left on my clock and I see 1 of many Royal Farms that I have passed along the way. This one in New Church, VA had truck parking for about 15 trucks and it was only half full. Perfect!!

So while sitting there my tablet goes off. Pre-plan cancelled, New pre-plan, new pre-plan.. What is someone screwing with me? I had a pre-plan to go from Lewes, DE to Baltimore to home. It would have been close but I think I would have made it. Now this new pre-plan says Lewes, DE to Baltimore for a live load and tarp going to Avenel, NJ then a pre-plan going from Avenel, to home... Umm NO. It will never happen. Not enough time on my clock. E-mail dispatch, then have them call me to have a chat. Well guess I'm doing it.

Next morning I get to Lewes at 4:45 the receiver took the load after some smooth talking. ;-) Get unloaded and notice my trailer tire is flat. There was a gouge in the tire. I don't remember curbing it or even being in any tight situations where I could have. But that is what it looked like. Call breakdown, tire service guys are being sent from somewhere but its going to take 1 1/2 hours before they arrive. ehhhh yup definitely not doing this live load and definitely not making it home Friday night. Guy gets there and changes the tire in like 15 minutes. Nascar style. Call dispatch, straight to Avenel will get me home Fri. night. Baltimore to home will be Saturday. Baltimore it is. hmmm ok. Get to the shipper. It's loaded but not at the yard yet. over 2 hours later it shows up. Quick fix and to the Elkton T/A I go. Shut down at 16:00 Friday night with roughly 2 hours on my clock. I'm not dealing with the Friday rush up 95 to get any closer. Got an early start Saturday morning at 2:00 made it to my terminal by 9:15.

2358 miles driven for the week. I've learned of 2 routes to never take and that we might not make it home every Friday but there's a guy in Dispatch that will take care of us for not making it.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Mike B.'s Comment
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Day 24

Was heading to Cranston, RI with this load from last week. It’s only 2 hours from my terminal so I decided to leave around 7:00 to avoid the heaviest traffic and just deal with the tail end of rush hour. Things are going good until I get a few miles from 495 on I-95. I heard a loud pop on the passenger side front. The truck dives a little to the right. I thought I blew a steer tire so I hit the break and inch it over to the very narrow breakdown lane. Nope, the tire is good. But I hear hissing behind the tire. The damn air bag for the air ride suspension blew. Truck has a lean to the right. I watch the air gauges and It stays above 100. Call breakdown, they forward me to the shop in N. Reading. Mechanic asks a few questions. We decide to limp her the 10 miles down the road @ 30mph. Yup mechanic conformed and called around. Since it was a 2003 he said the part was hard to come by. Closest he found was in NY. It would be in Tues. at some point and then he’d have to fix. Out Of Service it goes. Dispatch finds me a ride to Pawtucket where several trucks are.. Sweet maybe I’d finally get a 2016. They had a 2012, 2014 and 2015 available. 2015 was the cleanest and newest so truck number 3 it is. Bobtailed back to N. reading and spent forever cleaning it and moving my stuff over. I must say I’m getting pretty good at both. Maybe I’ll just switch to recon. LOL

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Army (not yet retired)'s Comment
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Mike

Sounds like the adventure is never ending. It was nice to read that the company found you another truck rather quickly.

Safe Travels Chris

Mike B.'s Comment
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Mike

Sounds like the adventure is never ending. It was nice to read that the company found you another truck rather quickly.

Safe Travels Chris

Yes it has been. I'm waiting for the day to say that Nothing happened today but me driving. LOL

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