Rookie Solo Adventures Of A Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

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Chief Brody's Comment
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2/28/2021 Update; unexpected 34-hour reset at home.

I am on a 34-hour reset at home, because my FM assigned a load coming out of Texas going right through St. Louis. After a running hard in January and then like 5 tarped loads in a row, I got a little favor from my FM. So, got to see the wife and dog and sleep in my own bed.

Delivered Monday to a construction site in College Station, Texas. My contact was not really clear where I should park to get unloaded, but before I went to far into the site I stopped. I just happened to stop in the correct spot. This particular construction site was not paved and had very deep ruts in the dirt. I got stuck, momentarily, backing up to turn around, but otherwise made it out without a hitch.

Picked up OSB board in Jasper, Texas going to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Not my favorite state. This was another tarp load, although, none of the other drivers picking up were tarping. And this is a short run, only 362 total miles. So, I drew the short straw for this load. Oh well. Got loaded, secured, tarped and headed out. On the was through Louisiana, there was a Cajun Specialties restaurant right new to a Pilot, so, for the second time, I tried boudin and cracklins. Still not a fan of either.

Got to the delivery the next morning and only one other truck delivering was tarped. So, while I don’t know why I drew the short straw, I definitely did. The other truck that had tarped his load was also a Prime truck. And while we pulled off our tarps I heard him say “did you hear that?” Nope. We both went to the other side of his truck the corner of a bundle of OSB board sticking through the tarp on the passenger side, which tarp kept if from falling all the way off the trailer. Later, I saw that same bundle, mostly still in tact, but banged up pretty good from apparently having fallen the rest of the way off the truck. I got unloaded and waited for my next load.

Next load was particle board coming out of Simsboro, Louisiana. I’ve been there before. While this load required tarping, the experience at this shipper has been good. The facility is laid out well, the people are professional, and there is plenty of space for securement and tarping. You actually back into these “chutes” inside of the building so they can load you from the side. It is very tight, so it’s hard to throw straps over the load in the chute. So, I pulled out, threw my straps over, then backed in again to use the tarp machine. With three tarps, it took a while, but got it done and headed out. I had a few issues with my tarps pulling loose that night and the next day, but managed to push through and delivered in Newton, Kansas that Thursday. There was a truck stop about a mile from the receiver so I ended up with a pretty much full clock after my delivery early in the morning.

Next two loads I got a reprieve from tarping. Shingles out of Joplin, Missouri that delivered to a roofing supply place in Melissa, Texas. Pretty uneventful picking up and delivering. Then another load of shingles, that I picked up Friday and will deliver to Terre Haute, Indiana 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.

Fm:

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.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Wow, bet THAT was a nice treat, Rob D. !

Where DID you park on hometime ?!?

Chief Brody's Comment
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Wow, bet THAT was a nice treat, Rob D. !

Where DID you park on hometime ?!?

We have a drop lot in East St. Louis, where I dropped my trailer. But, I have two options close to my house. A Target that lets me park there and then a vacant grocery store parking lot.

Chief Brody's Comment
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3/8/2021 update; Long Arm of the Law edition

I’m here in Checotah, Oklahoma on another 34-hour reset and sitting on a gravy run load, after having the law finally bite me yesterday, as described below.

Delivery to Terre Haute, Indiana went rather smooth. I did have to wait a little while to get unloaded as there was another truck unloading before me and the receiver forklift operators didn’t move with much hustle.

Got another “day load.” Picking up MBCI building materials in Elizabethton, Tennessee and delivering to Chester, Virginia. More waiting there because the jobsite was a kayak boathouse in a city park with one way in and out. I had to wait for the cement trucks to come out before I could deliver. I posted pictures of my truck right next to the river in the thread Postcards from the Road. My next load, is a reward for running all these short loads, without complaint. Monroe, North Carolina to Sante Fe Springs, California. 2700 miles total, my longest run yet. No tarp and relatively easy securement. In fact, even good for a PVC pipe load. As, I’ve shared in the past, sometimes the PVC pipe will “walk out.” All of this PVC pipe is shrink wrapped, so very little chance of it walking out. So overall, a good load, except for the weight.

I ended up staying the night at the shipper because I had about 19 hours left on my 70-hour clock. The plan was to drive both Saturday and Sunday, taking my 34-hour reset Sunday and Monday. Plus, by not driving late into the night, I could get an early start Saturday and Sunday and also shut down early when there is plenty of parking. Stopped at the Love’s in Jackson, Tennessee about 1730. Rolled out Sunday about 0430. I had hoped to get to Oklahoma City, but due to some traffic delays, I could only make it to Checotah, Oklahoma.

With about an hour to drive, I cross over into Oklahoma and get pulled into the weigh station. Instead of the “exit to the interstate message.” I get the “park and bring your paperwork.” Okay, so they want to check something right?

I bring my BOL and permit book. The officer behind the counter looks at my paperwork. She had asked for my IFTA paperwork, which took a while to find, because I haven’t really looked all the permit book paperwork to immediately recognize it. Then the officer tells I got pulled in because I’m overweight on my tandems.

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.

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".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Chief Brody's Comment
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3/8/2021 update; continued

As an explanation, not an excuse, I don’t always scale my loads. The last load I had before this was 4,800 lbs and only took up a very small section of the trailer. No reason to spend the money to scale that load. PVC pipe loads are generally light, around 30,000 lbs. And, as with many flatbed loads, the shipper knows exactly what these weigh, so the weight on the BOL is usually pretty accurate. This is especially true of PVC. It's not like the moisture content varies. Plus, these PVC loads are pretty uniform weight front to rear on the trailer.

So, as my usual process of deciding whether I should scale, I check the weight on the BOL, evaluate the load as to uniform weight distribution, check my Right Weigh scale for the drives (and the trailer if it’s been calibrated). Based on the BOL, my total weight was 72,000 to 73,000 lbs. My Right Weight scale for the drives showed about 31,000 lbs, which would put my tandems (they were closed on a 53’ trailer) at about 31,000 to 32,000 lbs. So, I didn’t scale. And because I was going to California, I didn’t want to open the axles to only have to close them for California.

Well, my total weight was over 77,000 lbs, which made the BOL about 5,000 lbs light. I process the paperwork, pay my fine ($200) and head back out to open my axles, which wasn’t an easy process because they were not sliding easily and the pins were locking in. Finally, I get it done and roll over to the scale to reweigh. I get the green light.

So, after all that I make it to the Flying J, $200 poorer. The officer had mentioned that this would not go against my license or CSA score. A brief internet search shows that it affects neither my or Prime’s CSA score. Any feedback from others who have dealt with this would be appreciated.

So, I learned a valuable lesson in that I will move my threshold for scaling down. But again, I’m not going to scale a 5,000 lb load.

But I still have the issue that I need to go into California with my axles closed, but to do so, I would be overweight. The load needs to be reworked. Before I call my FM with the problem, I come up with a solution. This is a Charlotte Pipe load, which has a location in Cedar City, Utah and would add an additional 200 miles to my trip. My proposal to my FM is to go to Cedar City, Utah to have the load reworked so that I can be legal on my closed tandems. After running the proposal by sales, my FM sends me a message that the proposal will work. So, after I finish my 34-hour reset, I’ll head to Cedar City, Utah to have the load reworked then off to LA area the next morning. So, I should still deliver on the schedule.

I also have a electrical short circuit in my headlight that I need to get resolved. The headlight socket has melted and needs to be replaced. The headlight remains lighted most of the time, but I need to jiggle the connection occasionally. Road Assist wants me to go to the Freightliner dealer in Oklahoma City, but I have no time today and I don’t have time to spend a day at the Freightliner dealer tomorrow. And it doesn’t seem to be a dealer level repair, except that apparently they want to replace the entire harness that runs to all lights under the hood. Seems like overkill to me. However, it may be an issue with warranty repair. If Freightliner replaces the harness, its all covered under warranty. I am waiting to hear back from Road Assist as to the final decision.

Notwithstanding the aggravation of dealing with the overweight ticket, I did end up finding a geocache nearby yesterday and plan to get out a little later to explore and shop at the Walmart nearby. That is one thing that I have tried to focus on as of late, regarding one’s perspective in trucking. Although I am on a 34-hour reset, I am dealing with additional problems other than just driving the truck. So it’s not a entirely relaxing “day off.” I could let it consume my thoughts and my psychic energy wondering what will happen with getting the headlight fixed in relation to my trip, or I can take it in stride and “go with the flow” as they say. While I can have some input with regard to what Road Assist and my FM determine, they will ultimately decide and I’ll just follow that course of action. It’s not productive to get aggravated at things beyond my control. And as Turtle always asks, with regard to trucking aggravations: “But did you die.”

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.

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".

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Fm:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rob!

That is a great post. It illustrates some of the problems that flat bed drivers deal with. I have had those same issues. Sometimes we get a load that is perfectly legal with our axles open, yet it is not legal when we close our axles. If it is a lengthy haul we may very well go into a state that requires them to be closed. I typically hauled multi-stop loads on the flatbed account I was dedicated to. Occasionally I could get a little weight off at the first couple of stops before I'd enter a state where I needed to close my axles. I remember one time I had a load from Delhi, LA to Miami, FL. It had multiple stops with the first two being in Georgia and Alabama. I was able to run the load without incident because the first two stops removed enough weight off the trailer to make it legal to have my axles closed once I crossed over the Florida line. Our front axle was stationary. If our axles were open on our 53 foot trailers, it violated Florida's rule concerning the axle distance from the king-pin. We had to have them closed when traveling in Florida.

I loved the solution you offered...

This is a Charlotte Pipe load, which has a location in Cedar City, Utah and would add an additional 200 miles to my trip. My proposal to my FM is to go to Cedar City, Utah to have the load reworked so that I can be legal on my closed tandems.

Okay newbies, pay special attention to what Rob did there. Ninety nine out of 100 drivers would be laying the blame somewhere and complaining how their company, or their customer, did them dirty by messing up their trip. Upon realizing he had a problem, Rob came up with a simple and logical solution that probably netted him some extra pay on this load. I salute you Rob! I love hearing these kind of reports! It shows me there are conscientious practical drivers out here. Drivers like Rob are getting it done by creating solutions rather than posting complaints online. I tip my hat to you Rob - you are killing it out here! I am very glad I got to meet you on that fateful day in Cressona, PA. Hopefully we will see each other again some day!

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".

Fm:

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.
PackRat's Comment
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OUTLAW!

rofl-2.gif rofl-2.gif rofl-2.gif

Tortuga 's Comment
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0098284001615251883.jpg

rofl-3.gif

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

3/13/2021 update; REO Speedwagon and COVID-19 anniversary edition (they are connected)

As you might have guessed I’m on another 34-hour reset, this time in Grand Junction, Colorado. My latest load delivers Tuesday, two days from now, but I stopped here because I didn’t want to have to chain up at Vail Pass.

Got rolling that Tuesday morning with about 1300 miles to cover in 2 days. I made it to Albuquerque early afternoon. A trio of flatbedders with very nice trucks rolled in just after me and we chatted a little. Learned something that I had never thought about before. If you have a nice truck, you take a chance every time you park. They were trying to pick and choose who parked next to them. After leaving them, I looked for, but did not find a geocache that was about 1.5 miles away along Route 66. On the way back, I got tacos from a food truck across from the truck stop. Next morning, I headed to Cedar City, Utah. I took US 89 north from Flagstaff all the way up to just east of Cedar City. Very beautiful scenery, including some nice overlooks at Lake Powell.

When I started that morning, I had about 20 minutes of cushion, according to my GPS, which held steady until I got to my turn at Utah 14, which the Rand McNally lists as a STAA truck route. However, before you turn on the highway, a sign says “not recommended for semis.” And then another sign saying the same thing and after that a sign that says truck turn around 1500 feet. I didn’t have time to take an alternate route, so I kept rolling. The curves were tight, but manageable. You just had to keep your outside steer tire on the white or dashed center line. The grade was another issue. The signs said 4-8%, but I think there were many sections that were steeper than that. Even in 8th gear with the jake break on level 3, the engine wouldn’t hold the truck. I used stab breaking to control my speed but tried to stay off the breaks as much as practical and let the jake do most of the work. I found at that there comes a point where the jake brake admits defeat and you get a message on the dash that says “depress the brake pedal.”

I made it to Charlotte Pipe in Cedar City with about 1 minute on my clock. Didn’t take much time to get the load reworked and I PCed to Love’s for the night.

Got rolling early and made it to my delivery in the LA area about 1100 (1300 CDT). After I sent my departure, my FM asks if I want to reload in the a.m. or take short load. “What is it,” I asked. Shingles, Straight Outta Compton! I get loaded and make it to the TA in Ontario for the night.

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.

Fm:

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.

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.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

3/13/2021 continued:

Up early the next day and get to the receiver about 0815. My scheduled appointment is 1200, but there is no one else there and they don’t seem busy. They send me a way and I come back at about 1145. Now, they’re busy, says the guy who sent me away earlier. “You know, you could have unloaded me when I came here the first time.” “I know, I know,” they guy responds. After about an hour, I get unloaded and get my next load.

Charlotte Pipe, Cedar City. And it’s a tarp load. For those who have followed along, the pipe loads tend to be pretty tall, except if its steel pipe. The load assignment says steel pipe, which is a relief. However, when I get there, it’s actually a 53’ trailer loaded from front to back and about 8 feet 8 inches tall. The deck of our trailers are about 5 feet off the ground, so, the highest part of the load was about 13 feet 8 inches. My lumber tarps with the 8 foot drops barely came down to the rub rail. It took me about 3 hours to get my four tarps on the load, climbing up to almost 14 feet on slick plastic pipe, covered in ice. Good times. I was beat by the time I got done.

Got up this morning and rolled north on I-15 until I got to I-70 east, some of my favorite scenery in the nation. Road conditions all the way were good. Just a little washboard ice at the interchange of 1-15 and I-70. As I mentioned above, they were already requiring chains on Vail Pass by the time I stopped here. So, my plan is to stay here until Monday when hopefully I can go over Vail Pass without chaining.

So how are my current situation connected to REO Speedwagon and the anniversary of COVID-19?

Below is a link to the live version of the song Riding the Storm Out:

REO Speedwagon Live 1976

And the bonus question. Where did the band get their name?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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