PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Topic 27353 | Page 7

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Turtle's Comment
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I am so happy to read that somebody is following my rambles!

Be assured there are more following along than you know. I've subscribed to this thread, though I haven't taken the time to uh...commit to comment.

Most notably I'm dismayed by the lack of miles you're getting. Although it tis the slow season after all. You're taking it all very well.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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While on the subject of semantics...

There is a difference between being committed and NEEDING TO BE COMMITTED!

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But is it possible to be both?

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As was Packrat, I was a victim of auto-correct on my phone.

In my prior life, I used to participate in involuntary commitments, so I know the difference between being committed and needing to be committed. I would joke, although I never actually did it, that I would whisper to paranoid schizophrenic "You know it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you."

As far as being afraid of commitment, I'm all on board with the complete commitment to at least a year. I'll see what happens after that.

Rookie Doyenne comments:

There's still marginal value for me in reading about engine and mechanical stuff without access to a truck to understand better what's being discussed. (Good for your initiative, Rob D., in pursuing those ride-alongs!) Pictures are great! appreciate that so many post these. I know there's a future time for that kind of learning.

Have you printed off Daniel B's pre-trip with pictures?

Daniel B's Pretrip

For me, as far as engine and mechanical stuff, I have worked on vehicles my entire life so the mechanical part is pretty much second nature. In fact, the pre-trip seems to be pretty much common sense to me, except I've never dealt with air brake systems before.

Packrat: I had the same issue with ABS on my bike and learned that fuses are your first thing to check.

As far as the ride-along, I plan to take many pictures. But instead of posting them in the thread, I will post a link to a photo album in Google photos for whomever wants to peruse them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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Rob D.---Thats funny stuff about dealing with the paranoid, in jest.

The fuse box under the hood will be the first place I'm going to investigate from now on, in regards to any trailer light issues. Of the three "trailer-lights-not-operating" problems I've had at CFI, two of these were caused by a blown fuse there. I carry lots of spare fuses, more than required, and the defective culprits are usually easy to spot and replace.

*NOTE* Drivers are required to carry a few spare fuses by the DOT , so during an inspection by LEO, you can be asked to produce these. You can get these from your company shop when assigned your own truck.

Thanks to all that are continuing to follow this daily diary!

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DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
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PackRat I read your diary every day. I appreciate the time you take writing about your experience. It’s quite a commitment when considering the hours you work.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Quick question. Was this the tractor ABS or the trailer ABS? I know the tractor is on the inspection bit if your trailer light is on is it? Ive had differing opinions on this wether its an out of service violation.

PackRat's Comment
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PackRat I read your diary every day. I appreciate the time you take writing about your experience. It’s quite a commitment when considering the hours you work.

I don't work!

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"Love your job and never work a day in my life". Well, most days anyway. Thanks for reading!

PackRat's Comment
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Quick question. Was this the tractor ABS or the trailer ABS? I know the tractor is on the inspection bit if your trailer light is on is it? Ive had differing opinions on this wether its an out of service violation.

I thought it was the trailer ABS, when in fact it was the tractor. The trailer light would not illuminate, which keyed me in to the ABS problem to begin with. Thinking back on it, it was probably not working correctly for several days, evidenced by the lack of normal sounds of the valves and computers cycling during their self-test once the ignition key was turned to the on position (engine not running).

Now for a trailer, if that amber light does not illuminate momentarily. or if it stays constantly lit, both point to a fault with the ABS. Both are a DOT violation which will put a driver and vehicle Out Of Service.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

21 January 2020

After leaving my new favorite KW dealership, I drove about 1/4 mile to a small gas station, calling itself a truck stop. This one has parking for about a dozen trucks. I went inside to check if I was allowed to park there for the night, since I noticed several trucks were locals. I ended up only paying $10 to stay overnight. Major score! Remember, as I'm parked there, I'm also impatiently waiting for the next dispatch.....well after dark......after I had sent in a message asking for a dispatch two hours earlier.

Miraculously, at around 2330 I got one on the computer. South 100 miles to Canton, NC to get a load of paper (#trendinglately), and to be there for loading at 1300. Off to sleep I go around 0115. Zzzzzz.

I got up this morning at 0800 to read all the dispatch notes. One in particular was to the effect of, "shipper requires spotless, food-grade trailers, weather tight, no stains, no odors...." So I'm out to really check out the trailer to ensure it will pass inspection. Unfortunately, this is when I discover the large hole in the front, left corner skin, all the way through, and I can see daylight from the inside. Not a good way to start my Tuesday morning. So I called it in to maintenance and my dispatch, after I did some research and remembered a TA truck stop with a shop on the way. So after a pre trip inspection on everything, off we go headed south.

Here's a picture of what will be referred to as "Big Hole In Trailer Before Repair".

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I should have caught it the day before, but since I had to relay my loaded trailer to the other driver, it wasn't like I could reject it. Additionally, after the relay is when I was heading to the dealer to get the ABS fixed. It wasn't getting repaired until sometime on Tuesday anyway.

Continued....

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.

Papa Pig's Comment
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Dang packrat. You have caught all the good luck lately. Need to throw some salt over your shoulder or something lol

PackRat's Comment
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21 January 2020 Part 2

I arrive at the TA, then head to the shop to see if they can repair it. "Since it's on the corner area, we can do a sturdy, temporary repair, but nothing permanent", is what I'm told. Perfect for me, that's what I need! Not a rebuild, but no light or rain coming in. "It probably will be at least 2 1/2 hours before we can start", she tells me. Okay, I'll wait. Sucks, because I have everything on my truck to do the job, minus a 12 foot ladder, but I'm at their mercy for awhile. I message my dispatcher about another delay, and I'll keep her updated. At around 1220, I'm called to the shop. Dispatch changes my appointment time at the shipper (7 miles away) to 1500 and the repair tech finally starts at 1310. 45 minutes later, we roll out of that bumpy parking lot, heading to the shipper.

Here's the temporary patch job. No daylight or water should be getting in.

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I arrive at the shipper at 1415, check in at the gate, park it, then off to the shipping office to check in there. "Your appointment has been changed to 1800". Okay, guess I'll wait some more today....just like yesterday....and maybe tomorrow. "Thank you, sir! May I have another?" comes to mind frequently on days like these. All I can do is laugh (and wait some more).

Eventually, at 1840, I get called to dock in the most difficult dock they have. All my waiting pays off, because I get in with only two pull ups. Wheel chocks both sides, landing gear down, disconnect, pull up five feet, glad hand lock, turn in your ignition key, and stay in our waiting area. It's One Of Those Places! But, they got me loaded with 42,500 lbs of paper goods (#trendinglately) in under two hours, and I'm staying here until after my 10 hour break is complete (since security leaves at 5 o'clock sharp).

Here's the dock area, way downhill of the parking area, sharp 90 degree turn, and I was in the dock closest in the photos. Don't worry, I drive out the same way, only heavier and in first gear! Crazy layout.

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This load is heading 600 miles to Effingham, IL, for a 0800 live unload on Thursday. Should be an easy trip.

Today I drove 102 miles in 2.0 hours, using only 0.4 hours On Duty, for a total of 2.4 hours. I may end up needing a 34 reset next week to balance my hours that I'll be getting back on recaps.

More to read about tomorrow....

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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