My Prime TNT Progress Updates

Topic 31625 | Page 2

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Dennis L's Comment
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Ok, one final trip planning note for today.

On one occasion, Robert decided that we really didn’t need fuel yet at an upcoming scheduled fuel stop. So he submitted a macro request for a new best fuel stop solution based upon our current location and fuel level status.

We get back a new fuel stop with a new route to accept. It is then downloaded into the QC Navigation Dispatch for our use.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

LOL. Man, that is close. I've only pushed my clock to within 3 minutes, once. It was the most nervous I've ever been while driving. Nice job on your miles too. I usually try to get it <30 and shut it down. Looking good. Keep it up, man.

My trainer wakes up now and asks what’s going on? I said “I beat my clock by one F’ing minute. Maybe if you had driven an extra 15-20 minutes this great plan would have worked better.” He said “You beat it by one minute, man! Good job!”

Now don’t tell me that driving a truck is boring.

G-Town's Comment
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Dennis wrote:

For loads going to CA, first thing to do is slide the tandems to the 6th hole. Some other states require the 12th hole, e.g. Illinois. The list of State requirements is sometimes posted on the trailer or can be found in the RM Atlas.

Perhaps implied; scaling the load must be considered part of the above process. Once you’re legal attempt, to achieve weight balance.

Kingpin law varies from state to state. Some where in my photo gallery I have the 2 charts...

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".

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I found the charts as part of a previous discussion on the subject. Please read/review this link:

Kingpin Law

PackRat's Comment
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I bumped that thread over into the current General Topics section so even more will have a look at it.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Thanks G-Town (always appreciate your informative posts). Yes, scaling the load was implied.

Our trailers have the Right Weigh system on them as a quick check of tandem weight. Compare the reading in the box at the tandem with the meter indicator in the truck. Usually have been within a thousand lbs of each other. The driver has to keep the Right Weigh in calibration.

For the particular load in question the shipper had a scale that we used. All was legal.

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.

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".

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If it's not a CAT Scale weight certification, don't completely trust the gauges. Never trust a customer's scale. Most I have encountered are calibrated when the scale was installed and just about zero maintenance afterwards.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Bill, and others.

Regards my story about racing to beat my 8- hour DOT break clock, I’m not implying that I’m proud of that at all.

It was my fault for not speaking up to my trainer to explain the time clock math to him and ask that he drive a little further. I’m sure he would have if I had said something.

Robert gets a laugh out of how I calculate everything out in detail for my daily shift trip plan. He says that would confuse him. He uses his 12 years of experience gut check and school of hard knocks learning.

I’m an engineer, math was my tool. Plus it is fun for me to calculate a plan and then see how well I execute to it. Have to build in lots of assumptions for expected average speeds based upon road conditions, terrain, etc.

I’ve shared a couple posts showing how the unexpected events come up. Twice recently I’ve had traffic slow down delays due to big rig accidents.

The pre-planned trip plan for my drive shift on Saturday (03/26/22) ended up flawed because I neglected to check the actual distance from where Robert parked near Holbrook, AZ on I-40W and our scheduled fuel stop. I had assumed that the fuel stop was far enough away to turn it into a 30 mins DOT break. I didn’t see that it was only 97 miles away until I called it up in the QC Navigator. Now I was going to need to factor in a full 30 mins Off Duty break into a revised plan.

My target stopping point for the trip was the Pilot on I-15S at Hesperia, CA at about 11:40 CDT. I had calculated out my expected total On Duty hours and Off Duty time to estimate a total trip time. I used this to back calculate when I needed to start driving, thus what time I needed to wake up.

It was about Midnight CDT when I was doing these estimates. I decided to set my alarm clock on CDT with a 02:10 alarm. Give myself 30 mins to get ready to drive.

Well, the second unforeseen event was that I neglected to actually turn the alarm off in my half awake state. I went back to sleep ( in a stationary truck). I woke up a little later with a weird feeling that I should check my phone. Yikes! It was 02:18 CDT. I looked at my alarm clock and saw that the alarm wasn’t set.

This delay meant that I started driving at 02:50 rather than 02:40 CDT. So, now I’ve added 10 minutes for delayed start plus ~20 net minutes Off Duty for the second break.

End result was that I arrived at ~12:10 CDT rather than 11:40 CDT. Not a big deal in this case since this was our driver swap out stop. Also needed to top up the reefer fuel before our 90 location D&H later in the afternoon. My actual On Duty time was nearly spot on to my estimate within 5 minutes.

Three lessons for me here:

1. Time zone changes going west and especially Arizona during Daylight Saving Time season. We plan using Central Time. Our customer appointment times are stated in their local time zone. So must be keenly aware of this. AZ is in PDT now as the oddball state not doing Daylight Time. My smartphone is set to automatically change time zones while traveling. Our truck clock is set to CDT. I have major cities saved for each time zone, including Phoenix in my World clock so I can easily see which time zone I’m in.

Note that the US Senate recently passed a bill declaring permanent Daylight Savings Time. If it becomes law, then AZ will be permanently in Pacific Time Zone. Until the AZ state legislature passes a law moving permanently back to Mountain Time Zone. Then all will be right with the world and trip planning just a little bit easier.

2. Don’t forget to check all details, don’t make assumptions (referring to the fuel stop distance).

3. Don’t forget to actually set my alarm. Look for the little bell symbol in the corner.

Anyway, we delivered to our customer in Carson, CA (SW LA area) on Saturday afternoon. Got a new load assignment from Colton, CA (east LA) going to Manakota, MN to delivery in the wee morning hours on 03/29/22 on my shift. We had to wait to pick up our pre-loaded trailer until after 23:30 PDT 03/26/22. We finally departed about 01:45 PDT 03/27/22 with me driving. This trip is 1,807 dispatched miles.

I drove to our Cedar City, UT scheduled fuel stop where we swapped drivers. The drive along I-15N and now I-70E bring back a lot of nostalgic family memories for me. This is one benefit of OTR that I’m enjoying. Plus just plain beautiful scenery.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

I meant we are headed to Mankato, MN; not “Manakota”.

confused.gif

Time for me to get some sleep.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Pack Rat

Great point about assuming that customer scales are likely out of calibration.

We did check one customer scale weights against a CAT scale a few miles away because the load was very near maximum allowed and the weights were close on each axle. Turned out that we needed to slide the tandem a couple holes to even things out based on the CAT scale.

On another occasion with a customer scale we did not verify it by CAT scale because the load was not very heavy. So my trainer wasn’t concerned about it.

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".

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

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