PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Topic 27353 | Page 8

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PackRat's Comment
member avatar

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

Maybe. I like to think that I'm exorcising all the bad luck now, before Spring starts, and we start hauling during the busy season. Those days I'm looking forward to going 500 miles every day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Great thread. I’m hooked.

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

Rob D. wrote:

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

Daniel B's Pretrip

Rob, I have not yet but will and that's an excellent link, thanks!

I'm heartened by the evident success of driving newbs without a mechanical background. However, reading so many instances of pinch troubleshooting on here gives good motivation to start learning what are clearly valuable skills in the big picture!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Rob D. wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

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

Daniel B's Pretrip

double-quotes-end.png

Rob, I have not yet but will and that's an excellent link, thanks!

I'm heartened by the evident success of driving newbs without a mechanical background. However, reading so many instances of pinch troubleshooting on here gives good motivation to start learning what are clearly valuable skills in the big picture!

It helps to possess some mechanical knowledge, but is not a prerequisite for being a highly successful operator out here. Drivers and mechanics are different skill sets.

Those that have been following me on here for a few years are aware that I carry a garage supply of tools and hardware (literally at least 500 lbs) that allows me to make some repairs instead of waiting for a roadside assist truck to show up.

I'm an ASE certified tech (not diesel), a licensed welder, and my primary assignment in the USN was as an aircraft mechanic for 20 years.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

22 January 2020

After loading last night in Canton, NC at Blue Ridge Paper, I crept back up to the parking area in 1st gear, the same as I had crept down that hill to dock. This kept my ELD from tripping me back into the Drive mode status, thus preserving my Off Duty status. My ELD will not automatically change into "Driving" as long as I do not move forward at more than 3 mph. This is something I use to preserve my clock. It's a "gray area", so you do what works for you.

After not much actual sleep because of all the traffic on the road into the plant, I got moving at 2330, at the completion of my 10 hour break. My goal was to head west to Nashville on I-40, then make the turn north onto I-24 towards Kentucky. My destination this morning was the scale house at MM 37 to take another break.

*NOTE* All scales in Kentucky are posted as "Truck Safe Havens", so a great place to take a break. Most have plenty of parking, and some have restrooms, too. I use these almost every single time I transit through that state.

I drove 383 miles in 6.6 hours there, arriving around 0630. Time for another break. After I got up, I called the receiver at Quad Graphics in Effingham, IL, to ask about parking there before I was unloaded on Thursday morning. I was told there was plenty of parking, but they would gladly unload me anytime I arrived on Wednesday. Great! Instead of driving the 190 miles straight there, I decided to stop at the TA truck stop on I-57 in Mt. Vernon, IL on the way north to get a shower and eat. Half of the lot there is paid parking, so get there early if you don't wish to pay.

After leaving, it was the final 85 miles to the delivery. All was smooth: check in, docking, unload quickly, and paperwork. Plenty of parking here after loading or unloading, and they will take you anytime they're open, so don't worry about an appointment. Wrote that all down in my notes.

Today was a two-part day, driving mainly during the night, and with a break in the middle. Driving was 575 miles in 10 hours, with 0.8 hours On Duty, for the total of 10.8 hours (remember that's two shifts).

I'm now doing another break/waiting for the next dispatch to come in. I'm also keeping a close eye on the weather radar and forecast. Currently 34 degrees and a few snow showers for the past two hours. I expect everything to be white here after daylight.

More of the journey tomorrow.....

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

23 January 2020

Stayed at that delivery last night, then got up at 0700 with no snow, which was a surprise. Just before 0800, I got messaged for the next dispatch. This one was to drive to our drop yard in Pocahontas, IL and pick up a relay load parked there. After driving the 61 miles there from Effingham, I dropped my empty, then hooked up to the next one. While doing the pre trip inspection on that trailer, I discovered this missing item:

0696928001579831903.jpg

I'll not be driving in bad weather (it's now snowing and accumulating) today in Illinois without this mud flap. Called breakdown and my dispatcher with this great news. Another late arrival for me at a delivery thanks to another idiot that leaves his problems for the next guy, instead of doing the right thing. Of course, this one hadn't been reported either, just like the trailer with the hole in it two days ago at that relay. Not loving my fellow company drivers this week. Topping it off, this was going to originally have provided me about 30 minutes to spare driving to the delivery. GONE!

After wasting an hour and 40 minutes at a repair shop, I drive the 94 miles to the delivery. Unloading takes just under two hours for 7,800 lbs of Laz Boy furniture.

I got the bext dispatch, which has me returning to the same drop yard 94 miles away to Meet. Another. Relay. Load.

So how should I feel, Dispatch? I've wasted plenty of time on my clock and lots of money out of my wallet so far this week in relay loads, so why would I be less than thrilled? Can he go 3-for-3 this week? Grrrr! Who knows? Still waiting here for that load to arrive from the incoming driver. Can't even get an updated, accurate ETA from night dispatch, either. Still snowing here, too.

This load is to travel from here 287 west to a Sam's Club DC in Kansas City, KS for an 1830 live unload tomorrow.

If it had been here waiting on me once I returned, I planned on driving at least to East St. Louis, IL and parking for a long break (no overnight parking allowed at my delivery). This would have set me up better for tomorrow following the delivery. I would have had more time on my clock, hopefully allowing me a better chance at the next dispatch. GONE! Now, I have too few hours remaining on my 14 hour clock to accomplish anything else today, even if the relay trailer were here.

*NOTE* The more time you keep on your 70 hour clock, the more likely you will see your dispatcher send the longer length trips your way. Save your time because it's precious. Every minute you conserve does make a difference. If you can save just 10 minutes each day, that's an extra hour in less than a week. An extra hour is at least 50 miles driving, and I get paid by the mile, too. Time = $$$.

Another stellar day: I drove 235 miles in 5 hours, and used 0.5 hours On Duty, for the sum of 5.5 hours. As for the past seven days, I have only driven 2280 miles. To me, that is a very sub-par period.

Hope for a Fantastic Friday....

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

23 January 2020

Stayed at that delivery last night, then got up at 0700 with no snow, which was a surprise. Just before 0800, I got messaged for the next dispatch. This one was to drive to our drop yard in Pocahontas, IL and pick up a relay load parked there. After driving the 61 miles there from Effingham, I dropped my empty, then hooked up to the next one. While doing the pre trip inspection on that trailer, I discovered this missing item:

0696928001579831903.jpg

I'll not be driving in bad weather (it's now snowing and accumulating) today in Illinois without this mud flap. Called breakdown and my dispatcher with this great news. Another late arrival for me at a delivery thanks to another idiot that leaves his problems for the next guy, instead of doing the right thing. Of course, this one hadn't been reported either, just like the trailer with the hole in it two days ago at that relay. Not loving my fellow company drivers this week. Topping it off, this was going to originally have provided me about 30 minutes to spare driving to the delivery. GONE!

After wasting an hour and 40 minutes at a repair shop, I drive the 94 miles to the delivery. Unloading takes just under two hours for 7,800 lbs of Laz Boy furniture.

I got the bext dispatch, which has me returning to the same drop yard 94 miles away to Meet. Another. Relay. Load.

So how should I feel, Dispatch? I've wasted plenty of time on my clock and lots of money out of my wallet so far this week in relay loads, so why would I be less than thrilled? Can he go 3-for-3 this week? Grrrr! Who knows? Still waiting here for that load to arrive from the incoming driver. Can't even get an updated, accurate ETA from night dispatch, either. Still snowing here, too.

This load is to travel from here 287 west to a Sam's Club DC in Kansas City, KS for an 1830 live unload tomorrow.

If it had been here waiting on me once I returned, I planned on driving at least to East St. Louis, IL and parking for a long break (no overnight parking allowed at my delivery). This would have set me up better for tomorrow following the delivery. I would have had more time on my clock, hopefully allowing me a better chance at the next dispatch. GONE! Now, I have too few hours remaining on my 14 hour clock to accomplish anything else today, even if the relay trailer were here.

*NOTE* The more time you keep on your 70 hour clock, the more likely you will see your dispatcher send the longer length trips your way. Save your time because it's precious. Every minute you conserve does make a difference. If you can save just 10 minutes each day, that's an extra hour in less than a week. An extra hour is at least 50 miles driving, and I get paid by the mile, too. Time = $$$.

Another stellar day: I drove 235 miles in 5 hours, and used 0.5 hours On Duty, for the sum of 5.5 hours. As for the past seven days, I have only driven 2280 miles. To me, that is a very sub-par period.

Hope for a Fantastic Friday....

Bad luck on these drop trailers you keep getting.

Im curious if Sams club has the same rules as walmart DC's do with fines for early or late loads.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I'm sure they possess similar policies.

I know that my dispatch notes read that I cannot arrive more than one hour prior to the appointment time tomorrow. Any earlier and I get turned away at the gate.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

I'm sure they possess similar policies.

I know that my dispatch notes read that I cannot arrive more than one hour prior to the appointment time tomorrow. Any earlier and I get turned away at the gate.

I kinda assume they do with it being the same parent company. I know walmarts have been known to "surprise" us with early fees while not mentioning anything to the driver who shows up early. We've had a few messages on the QC about it in the 8+ months Ive been here. Maybe Turtle or G Town might have a better idea.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It all depends on the contract each carrier has. When I was at Knight, it was a 24 hour window, whereas here at CFI, it's strict appointment times.

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