I Just Moved From Boise, ID To Lawton, OK.

Topic 25492 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
john_preston_bailey's Comment
member avatar

Driving a 22' Penske diesel rental truck (automatic transmission) with a car carrier in tow gave me a real nasty taste of life on the great American road. I went from Boise I84 to Ogden 80 East through Wyoming then I25 South thru Denver. Then thru Raton, NM east thru the Texas panhandle to Lawton, Oklahoma. I had my Garmin GPS set on "Avoid Toll Roads" to be cheap and the back washboard roads took a toll on my body. The Penske International had nice cold a/c but steel leaf springs on all four corners. I80 Wyoming and I25 Colorado have real rough spots as well as the back roads of the TX Panhandle. OK roads got much smoother.

My impressions of what American drivers must endure. Travel Centers that feature Burger King, Subway, McDonalds, Denny's. A severe deficit of full-serve restaurants and cheap motels that have semi accessibility. On my 1,450 mile trip crossing the Rockies from west to east, I only observed one Walmart with semis parked at the store in Rock Springs, WY. Not one of the Love's, T/A or Pilots that I encountered had a full-on nice restaurant. I stopped at a nice Perkins and Pies place in Burley, ID but that did have a place for a moving van to park out on the street. I wish there were many "Perkins-quality" restaurants all over America that are tractor-trailer accessible. Our economy must think drivers are not human and live on a total diet of junk food. I stopped at one mom-and-pop T/S in Eden. ID and the diner was closed at 2 in the morning. The woman in the convenience store said the cook was lazy and quit. I stopped at a Loves south of Colorado Springs and had Chester's chicken. It was dry and the gravy amount was puny. Certainly, many clever veteran drivers are resourceful enough to find decent full-serve semi-accessible restaurants. These are probably independent joints separate from mega-travel centers.

The nice thing that professional drivers have that rental moving trucks don't have is a climate-controlled sleeper berth. I was able to nap on my bed in the back of the van but it got hot during the day in TX. I then had to lie across the bench seat in the cab with the engine idling and a/c on.

Pro drivers can pull into any rest area and nap in total comfort.

Is a long trip in a moving van a good yard stick to measure the hell pro drivers endure very day? I would think the OTR semis have nice modern air suspension and comfy climate controls in the berth. They should also have all the modern technology to locate truck-friendly roadside services.

While I was shaking to death on some pothole highways, semis were just gliding passed me. I would flash my brights to tell them they were clear to get back in my lane and some drivers would flash there rear running lights as a thank you. On rough roads, i had to slow that Penske down or die of big-yellow-shaken-baby syndrome. That damn thing rode much worse than a wheelbarrow with a hard rubber tire. I hat kid you not. I rented a Penske 22' International back in 2006 and that truck seemed to have driven much smoother. I drove from Boise to Sacramento, CA then through Winnemucca, Nevda.

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.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

It won't clue you in on nearly everything but short of doing the job yourself, or riding along for a couple of weeks, you've gotten about as close as you can get. XD

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar
Is a long trip in a moving van a good yard stick to measure the hell pro drivers endure very day?

John, I can only speak for myself, but my experience as a "pro driver" has not been "hell" at all. And in my opinion, you can't compare what you did in that Penske rig to driving a modern semi. My truck is like a home on wheels and is very comfortable 99% of the time. Everything I need is within easy reach and the longer a driver is on the road, the more he learns from his own experience and from more experienced driver's on this forum, about cab organization, efficiency and physical hygiene for the modern truck driver. The ride can be a little rough at times, but that's much more about the road condition than the truck itself.

Full service restaurants? Over rated in my opinion. If I ate in a full service diner all the time, two things would happen. 1) I'd gain weight like gangbusters. 2) I'd go broke. It's expensive to eat in a diner. I can eat for a whole day in my truck for what I'd leave as a tip for the waitress or waiter. We had one new driver on here some time ago who was eating at restaurants on a regular basis and said he was spending $900 per month to do so! That is not a sustainable habit.

Truck driving can and should be an exciting, fulfilling and rewarding profession to those who approach it with a positive, can-do attitude. Negative thinking will run you out fast or will make you miserable when it doesn't have to be anything but a great profession.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It won't clue you in on nearly everything but short of doing the job yourself, or riding along for a couple of weeks, you've gotten about as close as you can get. XD

Keith:

What tractor do you drive? Does it ride rougher than a rubber-tire wheelbarrow or a coin-operated kiddie horse? The Penske truck is just horrible on potholes. The great advantage I can see with the commercial tractor for long-distance road travel is the sleeper with climate controls that can be parked anywhere a tractor-trailer can be parked and airbag suspension is the greatest new amenity. It amazed me that those semis were just zooming passed me on those rotten Wyoming and Colorado highways and TX panhandle back roads while I slowed my Penske down to not be actually shaken to death. As a courtesy, I would flash my high beams when they passed me to show that they were clear to get back into my lane. I learned this courtesy years ago from semi drivers when I pulled a landscaping trailer with my pickup truck.

Certainly, a semi has to be more comfy than a rental moving van.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Welcome back Todd

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Not a good idea to flash high beams, unless it’s during the daytime. At night, those high beams kill our vision when we are looking in our mirrors while executing a safe lane change. Much better to either do nothing, or turn the lights off for a second.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

Is a long trip in a moving van a good yard stick to measure the hell pro drivers endure very day?

double-quotes-end.png

John, I can only speak for myself, but my experience as a "pro driver" has not been "hell" at all. And in my opinion, you can't compare what you did in that Penske rig to driving a modern semi. My truck is like a home on wheels and is very comfortable 99% of the time. Everything I need is within easy reach and the longer a driver is on the road, the more he learns from his own experience and from more experienced driver's on this forum, about cab organization, efficiency and physical hygiene for the modern truck driver. The ride can be a little rough at times, but that's much more about the road condition than the truck itself.

Full service restaurants? Over rated in my opinion. If I ate in a full service diner all the time, two things would happen. 1) I'd gain weight like gangbusters. 2) I'd go broke. It's expensive to eat in a diner. I can eat for a whole day in my truck for what I'd leave as a tip for the waitress or waiter. We had one new driver on here some time ago who was eating at restaurants on a regular basis and said he was spending $900 per month to do so! That is not a sustainable habit.

Truck driving can and should be an exciting, fulfilling and rewarding profession to those who approach it with a positive, can-do attitude. Negative thinking will run you out fast or will make you miserable when it doesn't have to be anything but a great profession.

Bruce, so how do you eat day to day? I would probably want to eat a full-course diner breakfast and dinner and maybe do the Coleman cooler thing for lunches and snacks. I could not live on a solid diet of cold sandwiches out of a cooler. The per diem pay is supposed to offset hot prepared meal costs and I gather "free meals" can be had with fuel fill-ups. A barber once told me that back in the 1970's, truck stops gave all-you-can-eat breakfasts for about $3.00.

I only tip $2.00 max.

Listening to old country songs, it seems common that diners were once common services for truckers. Waitresses, tips and coffee.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Welcome back Todd

Very perceptive Bobcat! You win the prize today!

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Welcome back Todd

double-quotes-end.png

Very perceptive Bobcat! You win the prize today!

Really? This is the next reincarnation of Todd? I don't mind answering this guy's questions if he's for real, but not if he's Todd. Is there a troll detection device button that I haven't found yet? wtf-2.gif

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome back Todd

Too f'in funny...

Rick

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More