Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Topic 27910 | Page 5

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Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Turtle,

I forgot to share a nice flatbedder moment that the dry van and reefer drivers would use as a reason NOT to drive flatbed.

When we stopped last night to switch drivers, the upper middle part of the aluminum we were hauling had shifted forward. So, I climbed up on the tarps that were on the catwalk and kinda "walked" up with my feet on the headache rack and my back on the shifted aluminum. I basically did a leg press to push the aluminum back in place. Then wiped the slush off the winch bar and tightened down the four straps holding it.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HtRedNeck's Comment
member avatar

Turtle,

I forgot to share a nice flatbedder moment that the dry van and reefer drivers would use as a reason NOT to drive flatbed.

When we stopped last night to switch drivers, the upper middle part of the aluminum we were hauling had shifted forward. So, I climbed up on the tarps that were on the catwalk and kinda "walked" up with my feet on the headache rack and my back on the shifted aluminum. I basically did a leg press to push the aluminum back in place. Then wiped the slush off the winch bar and tightened down the four straps holding it.

Lol, I have read many of the flatbed diaries. I have many reasons that I don’t want to do it, thanks for adding to the book!

Keep writing, great diary!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Ha yeah well that's just one of the many things you're going to encounter as a knuckle dragger! Good stuff!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Flatbedders are just different. They have a passion for what they do. I don't know if I can pinpoint what makes them like they are, but it's definitely a form of trucking that doesn't appeal to everyone. There's something about the additional challenges and responsibilities that appeals to them. I need the challenges to keep me engaged and sharp.

Rob, I recognize those qualities in you. It appears that you will make a great flatbedder - keep up the great work!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Where in Niles did you deliver? I was born and raised there, lived there for 24 years.

Keep up the good work!

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Where in Niles did you deliver? I was born and raised there, lived there for 24 years.

Keep up the good work!

A American Custom Flooring.

Thanks

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

I've been very busy running. I keep my diary on my laptop but haven't been anywhere that has Wifi to post it.

I can tell you my first week I drove 2844 miles.

Below is a picture of our load that we delivered to a construction site in Lakeland Florida this morning.

0431386001587683581.jpg

Here is the job site.

0530035001587683732.jpg

Here is the intersection I had to negotiate.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/7iBj3xuB6Qh8H5kn8

Chase and Sloan

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

4/18/2020: 34 hour reset free time.

Catch up on diary and have a Zoom meeting with my wife.

4/19/2020: Pad time and drive to receiver to drop off wire hangars in North Kingston, RI.

After completing the 34 hour reset we spent about 2 hours on the pad. I got a lot more comfortable with my parallel parking, by fine tuning the reference points just a little. There was at least one parallel parking job that I had perfectly equal distance from the lines all around the truck and trailer. After some backing practice we drove to the receiver in North Kingston, RI where we parked in a staging area. I backed the truck about 150 feet to our parking spot for the night. It was completely dark and the lights on our headache rack don’t work, so hard to see behind me. Trainer helped a lot.

295 miles in 7 hours 21 minutes.

4/20/2020; Drop off wire hangars in North Kingston, RI; pick up slinkies at Nucor in Wallingford, CT; drive to Harrisonburg West Virginia for overnight.

Got a bang on the driver door at 06:00. Followed the instructions as to where to park for the unload. Nothing very difficult. They just unloaded from the sides and then we pulled out. Head edto Nucor Steel where I got my sticker for my hard hat. They have very strict safety rules at Nucor Steel. Hard hat, safety glasses, and you can’t get up on the trailer. They have signs everywhere reminding you not to get on the trailer. Parked where the forklift operator told us, put coil racks on front and rear. After loading, we headed out to get as far as we could. Stopped at a Pilot in Harrisonburg, West Virginia. I backed into the spot by swinging wide and straight back in.

497 miles in 9 hours 44 minutes.

More pictures in the album:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jLzsC935fzeQETDE6

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

4/21/2020; finish drive to drop off slinkies in Mt. Airy, NC; pick up building materials in Elizabethton, TN.

Woke up early and got coffee at the Pilot. Lots of wonderful scenery today. I-81 parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway so I got to see a lot of mountain views. See below.

After we dropped off the slinkies at the receiver, I drove to Elizabethton, TN where we had a preloaded trailer with a lot of miscellaneous building materials. See the picture in my post above. They don’t load the trailer really. They load all of the building materials on the ground first. Then have forklifts pick it up, back the trailer underneath, then lower it onto the flatbed.

Had my first rookie mistake. After we dropped our trailer, my trainer threw his tarps on the catwalk and went over to the loaded trailer to check it out, instructing me to turn the truck around and pull up to the loaded trailer. The ratchet straps were laying on the ground so I threw them on the catwalk and drove over. I’m sure you can see where this is going. A ratchet strap got wrapped around the drive shaft. The drive shaft was fine, other than that my trainer had to cut the strap out. But it also damaged the service brake line going to the rear driver side brake chamber and the ABS sensor line.

Without getting into details, we did manage to get the truck to the nearest TA to have them fix the brake hose and ABS sensor line. They didn’t have the brake hose so we had to wait until morning. Luckily, they let us sleep in front of the maintenance bay. There were no parking spaces, reserved or otherwise.

This experience gave me a different perspective on the pre-trip. It’s not just something to memorize with the right buzz words so that you can pass the test. It’s also not something you do only at the beginning or end of a drive. Rather, those things should be checked when you stop for fuel and should be considered when you do something like throw straps on the catwalk. It was maybe 100 feet that I moved the truck. But in that time, loose straps on the catwalk got wound around the drive shaft.

374 miles in 7 hours 12 minutes.

0248449001587918675.jpg

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.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

4/22/2020: Truck fixed; drove to building site in Lakeland, Florida.

Got up at 8:00 to check on the status of the brake hose repair. Neither the TA or the Freightliner dealer had the hose, which surprised me, but they did have the ABS sensor line. Because they didn’t have the brake hose, they “made” one. They pulled the fittings out of the damaged hose and pushed them into a new hose. After thinking about my responsibility for the brake hose incident, I offered to pay for at least some of the repair. My trainer said, “don’t worry about it. **** happens.” But I still felt bad that he will have to pay for my mistake. About noon, they were done and we were ready to head out. We were off duty the whole time so we had a full 11 hour drive clock and 14 hour on-duty clock.

I drove until just before the Florida line so we could stop and close the tandems. On the way, at mile marker 14 (1-95) we saw wild pigs by the side of the highway. About 10 total pigs. When we stopped to take my 30 minute break and slide the tandems , we discovered an air leak in the tandem slide system. Without getting into details, we found a creative way to slide the tandems forward and get back on the road.

It was about 23:00 when we got to Orlando So it had been a long day and I was feeling it. They were doing road construction, so in addition to being tired from a long day, the lanes were narrowed, shifting back and forth, and the pavement was uneven. So, all together a very challenging drive. At the end of the drive, I had to negotiate a residential intersection with a utility pole right on the corner. See my post above. My trainer guided me how to use all of the space of the road, but even with that, I stopped just before my trailer was going to hit the utility pole. My trainer took over and had to drive up on the curb before the intersection and then again on the curb after the intersection.

But we made it. After losing about 8 hours because of the brake repair and another hour that it took us to slide the tandems. We still made it to the receiver the night before our appointment at 8:00 the next day.

592 miles in 10 hours 34 minutes.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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