Dairy Delivery Ride-A-Long January 2020

Topic 27477 | Page 1

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Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
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First and foremost, I want to thank Bird-one for accommodating me on this ride-a-long. He was a great host. As I’ll explain below and in a separate post that I will title “What I learned from my Ride-a-Long,” this was a great experience. I recommend it to anyone considering a career or preparing for school.

I arrived at the Franklin Park yard about 03:50. Bird-one already had the truck running to warm up inside the building. Wasting no time, we got right to it. After he showed me how to pull the hood forward, we did a quick pre-trip of the truck. Bird-one pointed out that the owners had recently replaced entire steering box. I could see the fresh grease on it. It’s a 20+ year old Peterbilt day cab with over 1,000,000 miles on it but still runs strong and steady.

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We loaded up and pulled out to line up the mostly empty trailer in the yard. If I remember correctly it had two pallets of expired milk that we would take back to the dairy in Huntington, IN. Outside, we pre-tripped the trailer and prepared to hook up. Bird-one showed me how to raise and lower the landing gear before we coupled. We even talked about the PAL/LAP system. Because it was a day cab, Bird-one could see the trailer height through the year window and backed under it. I stood to the side and could hear the locking jaws close around the king pin. We connected the air and electrical lines and pressurized the trailer so that we could listen for any air leaking from the trailer brakes. We also checked the locking jaws and fifth wheel gap. After I raised the landing gear, we loaded up in the cab and were off, leaving the yard about 04:30 (I will summarize my HOS analysis in more detail below). We drove about 90 miles to the Pilot Travel Center in Valparaiso, IN arriving about 06:00. We both got coffee, and at the counter, I offered pay. The guy behind the counter said “if you’re going to fight over who pays, I’ll give it to you for free.” We both looked at each other and then asked the guy if he was serious. So, we got free coffee. Already starting off on a good note Saw this interesting sight and had to take a picture (Turtle?). Note the snow blowing.

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We drove another 80 miles to the dairy in Huntington, IN. arriving about 08:30. We traveled on IN 5, which is a two-lane road with no shoulder, and some very tight turns.

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I watched the off-tracking on the tight-turns in the fish-eye mirror. Bird-one drove like a pro. He used every inch of pavement and even had to navigate a turn with another truck coming from the other lane. I would have been petrified if I were driving. (see the other post my comments on what I learned from this experience).

At the dairy Bird-one backed the empty in between two trailers.

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I lowered the landing gear, unhooked the air and electrical lines, and pulling the locking jaw latch. After Bird-one uncoupled, we then checked in with the office. We had trailer 6685 loaded 39,000 lbs of milk, which trailer we found in the yard and hooked up. When we opened the doors, Bird-one immediately noticed a problem: two extra pallets of milk “We’re going to be overweight,” he said. “I’ll weigh it but, I can tell you right now we’ll be overweight.” The dairy has a scale in the yard that is very tight AND you have to back off of it. Sure enough, we were almost 2,000 lbs overweight.

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Bird-one backed out and pulled up next to the office. He talked to Josh, the yard dog (I think Bird-one called him the spotter) about who we need to see. It was a new weekend guy that Bird-one didn’t know but he told us to back up to a dock door (16 I believe) so they could take off two pallets. We talked to Josh while they took off the two pallets.

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After they were done, we closed the doors, Bird-one reconciled the paperwork, and we were off again leaving about 09:00 and arriving at the Grovertown Truck Plaza in Grovertown, IN at about 11:00. I got to fuel up and Bird-one showed me his method to avoid a face full of diesel fuel. Inside, we at the “Gtown Café.”

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Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
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Continued:

“Grandma,” a 71 year old woman, served us a corndog and potato wedges (Bird-one) and a pork fritter sandwich and cheese sticks (Rob D.). They don’t have the beef stew on the weekends that Bird-one usually gets. Bird-one was patient enough to sit and eat rather than eating in the truck. Still we were off again in about 20 minutes for the final stretch back at Franklin Park, IL arriving about 13:30. We had covered about 370 miles because we took a longer route back. Bird-one just had to drop the trailer, post-trip, and go home and told me I was free to head out. Since I had 325 more miles to drive to get home, I said good-bye and got on the road home.

I arrived home about 19:30. For HOS purposes I was about 1.5 hours beyond both my 11 drive hours and 14 on-duty hours, assuming I went on-duty at 04:00. This doesn’t even count the drive from the hotel to Franklin Park. But I wasn’t exhausted. And I had driven 325 miles the day before coming to Chicago and 400 miles the day before that down to Springfield, MO and back. So ,1415 for a three-day total is not bad (I know I wasn’t driving a truck). As far as staying within my HOS for the ride-a-long day, if I stopped for a 10 in Springfield, IL, I would have still had about 585 miles for the day (I’m assuming 50 mph from Franklin Park, IL to my overnight in Springfield.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. Bird-one was courteous, patient, professional, and we had very good conversation throughout the day. I will elaborate more in my other post. I got to see what it’s like to have a “day in the life” of a real truck driver. And with the drive home, I got the feel of what it’s like to cover 695 miles (actually probably over 700 with the drive Franklin Park, IL) in a day. And I also got a good feel of what it’s like to cover 585 miles within 11 hours of driving/riding and 14 hours on-duty.

Dm:

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Glad you enjoyed yourself and learned something. Shame you didn't have the 6 inches of snow we where promised it would have made it more.... informative.

Turtle's Comment
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Sounds like it was a great experience for you. I'm glad you had this opportunity to get out and about for a hands on feel.

Saw this interesting sight and had to take a picture (Turtle?)

Perhaps if I had a throw away bike I didn't care about, but there's no way I could subject my SuperGlide to that abuse. Maybe the Kawi lol

Bird-one's Comment
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It was an absolute pleasure, and privilege bringing you along Rob. I hope I gave you a good impression. I'm kicking myself for not taking a few pictures of you in action, but my focus was on showing you all I could. You really impressed me with you mechanical aptitude. The landing gear gave you minimal issues, and before I could give you instruction on the airlines you were already slapping them on. When I duck walked under the trailer you were right next to me. And you asked plenty of questions.

I'd say you really have set yourself up for a successful start to this career. You have common sense, and drive to do well. And one of the biggest factors out here I believe is communication and you have that as well. I wish we had time to eat some where better. Its a real "choke and puke" on the weekends.

O and by the way thanks for the boot print on my BOL. And do you remember the faint crunching noise we kept hearing? That was my clipboard being completely crushed under your weight of the chair haha.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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"Boot print on the BOL"?

Rob did the exact same thing to me when I gave him a brief look around my home-on-wheels a couple months ago!

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RealDiehl's Comment
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Thanks for sharing your experience with such great detail, Rob. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
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"Boot print on the BOL"?

Rob did the exact same thing to me when I gave him a brief look around my home-on-wheels a couple months ago!

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I think that the boot print on the BOL is going to be my signature in trucking.

Tortuga 's Comment
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That's so cool Rob D! I never thought of doing a ride along. When I started in law enforcement 32 years ago they had us do a couple in the Police Academy and I had a blast! I couldn't wait to graduate, get through field training and hit the street on my own! I did ride in a truck once when I was 18 from Lubbock Tx where I was a roughneck to Alice Tx to work on some broken down equipment. It was fun but don't remember a lot of it. Maybe once I get closer to retirement I can hitch a ride along with one of y'all.

PackRat's Comment
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That's so cool Rob D! I never thought of doing a ride along. When I started in law enforcement 32 years ago they had us do a couple in the Police Academy and I had a blast! I couldn't wait to graduate, get through field training and hit the street on my own! I did ride in a truck once when I was 18 from Lubbock Tx where I was a roughneck to Alice Tx to work on some broken down equipment. It was fun but don't remember a lot of it. Maybe once I get closer to retirement I can hitch a ride along with one of y'all.

I go through Waco with CFI to a large Tractor Supply DC there. I was there about a week ago, and did some shopping....

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