Having Fun With Your Logs

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BK's Comment
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OS, how many hours do you run everyday? Are you trying to get around 8.75 hours each day?

BK's Comment
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I noticed something on my Omnitrac that I didn’t realize before. I wish I could show it in a picture but I was born without the photo gene.

In my HOS app, on my “status” tab, it says “Hrs to be gained : 07h 32m”

“Hrs gained in 2 days: 10h 35m”

Then when I go to my 8 days tab, those are the times for “on duty”, days 7 and 8.

I assume this is the same process that lets a 8.75 hr per day driver keep going to infinity. Day 8 is always gained back to the front end. Am I understanding this correctly?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
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Yessir BK 8th day rotates hours back to day 1.....I "tried" to run just 9.5 hrs a shift to save an hour n half. Couldn't do it as much, since I wanted max miles I can get in a day. Especially, since most of my loads were 1,500 miles each way.So I tended to run out most of my 11 a day, so I could get the 3000+ miles each week on each weeks pay lol Since I knew I was probably only gunna be driving maybe 3 months of 2022 and retire.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Question for OS, how long are you out for at a time? How many days off in the month? Also, is it easier to get more consistent miles on a dedicated account?

I had to really struggle this month and last month to get production bonuses with how erratic of loads I've been getting. I ended up with about 8 days off between load delays and home time as well as several half days. That leaves me 20 to 22 days to get 11200k in order to get the full bonus. I managed to get 9751 which was all the miles I could get my hands on yet only had home time once in the month for 3 days. I also collected a but over 700 dollars in layover pay and detention.

I'm wondering if I should be looking for a dedicated line in the company, but also if its possible achieve a work/life balance doing so.

Old School's Comment
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OS, how many hours do you run everyday? Are you trying to get around 8.75 hours each day?

Hey Bruce, that number of 8.75 is just a number based on simple math. You'll hear it thrown around at truck driving school as a way to keep running re-caps. Out here in the real world we experience delays, frustrations, and pressing appointment times. All of these affect a truck driver's ability to be productive. Balancing each day perfectly is impractical. Did you notice what Davy said about managing his clock? He said...

one part of my job that I really enjoy doing is working the clock. Its like a math puzzle and I enjoy seeing plans build to something each week.

I agree with that sentiment. My hours are all over the place. Some days I may only run 4 hours! I always try to drive some each day so that I will have hours coming back. I may drive 10 hours one day and then try to limit myself to 6 hours the next. I work it like a puzzle and try to make the pieces come together for success.

I wanted to show people that you can be productive while running whatever way you prefer. Have fun with your time management and work it out so that you can be productive. Many times your particular job may work better with one over the other. It's all up to you to make the choice.

There are all kinds of strategies you can employ to be successful with your time management. Tonight I have almost nine hours coming back to me at midnight, but I still have a little more than three hours left over from today. I don't have to wait until midnight to get started. I can leave around nine p.m. if I want. That three hours I had banked will take care of me until midnight, and then as the clock starts over on the new day my nine hours will start. It will be like having a fresh clock full of hours.

It sounds like you are starting to figure this stuff out Bruce. I am glad to hear it. You will learn a lot over the years. I am still learning this stuff.

Old School's Comment
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Question for OS, how long are you out for at a time? How many days off in the month? Also, is it easier to get more consistent miles on a dedicated account?

During the month we used here for an example I went home for three days. I also had a day off for a PM on my truck at a company terminal. I also had to deal with three flat tires on pre-loaded trailers I picked up. All of that is typical for my monthly regiment. I typically go home one time for three or four days. Everything about this month is very typical for me.

I don't honestly know if it is easier to get consistent miles on a dedicated account at Knight. I do know that we don't sit and wait on planners to come up with a load. If we are empty, and the load planners haven't got a backhaul for us, we get dispatched empty to get back to our dedicated customer's location. They are putting out loads everyday and Knight has a contract with them that promises the availability of a certain number of drivers everyday. That keeps us moving. That information is specific to this flatbed dedicated account. I have no knowledge of how the other dedicated accounts work.

I'm wondering if I should be looking for a dedicated line in the company, but also if its possible achieve a work/life balance doing so.

That's a tough one for me to answer. I go home once a month for three or four days. That works for me. It may not work for everyone. Work/Life balance is a very individual thing. I hope you can find your niche. You will be a lot happier once you get in that groove.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Davy A.'s Comment
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I do indeed feel like I haven't yet found my niche. But I'm very conservative in changing. I take a long time and ponder all the good points and bad points before I execute a change. Right now what I'm doing works for me but I always have the gut level feeling that's it's a step to something else.

BK's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

OS, how many hours do you run everyday? Are you trying to get around 8.75 hours each day?

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Bruce, that number of 8.75 is just a number based on simple math. You'll hear it thrown around at truck driving school as a way to keep running re-caps. Out here in the real world we experience delays, frustrations, and pressing appointment times. All of these affect a truck driver's ability to be productive. Balancing each day perfectly is impractical. Did you notice what Davy said about managing his clock? He said...

double-quotes-start.png

one part of my job that I really enjoy doing is working the clock. Its like a math puzzle and I enjoy seeing plans build to something each week.

double-quotes-end.png

I agree with that sentiment. My hours are all over the place. Some days I may only run 4 hours! I always try to drive some each day so that I will have hours coming back. I may drive 10 hours one day and then try to limit myself to 6 hours the next. I work it like a puzzle and try to make the pieces come together for success.

I wanted to show people that you can be productive while running whatever way you prefer. Have fun with your time management and work it out so that you can be productive. Many times your particular job may work better with one over the other. It's all up to you to make the choice.

There are all kinds of strategies you can employ to be successful with your time management. Tonight I have almost nine hours coming back to me at midnight, but I still have a little more than three hours left over from today. I don't have to wait until midnight to get started. I can leave around nine p.m. if I want. That three hours I had banked will take care of me until midnight, and then as the clock starts over on the new day my nine hours will start. It will be like having a fresh clock full of hours.

It sounds like you are starting to figure this stuff out Bruce. I am glad to hear it. You will learn a lot over the years. I am still learning this stuff.

Old School, thanks for this thread, and Turtle also, for making this topic super educational.

And, yes, things are starting to fall into place for me. Not just the large concepts, but also the small details. I’m real close to having a full year of actual driving experience. I can testify that it takes at least a year to get up to speed as a driver. There is so much to learn and experience, and as you state, you are still learning. This is a great lesson for new drivers. Yes, you will have problems. Yes, you will get stressed out. But hang in there and at some point the green light will come on and you will become a good driver.

Turtle's Comment
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That's an impressive month you had there OS, considering you were on recaps for most of it. In fact, that's almost a perfect month running recaps. Even you have to admit that the variables need to work in your favor to pull off a month like that. Again, back to the math. If you worked 27 days out of the month, you averaged 487 miles per day. At an average recap rate of 8 drive hours for each of those 27 days, that's averaging 61mph for the month, a hard task for a governed truck. That's a pretty sweet gig you have there. If this is a typical month for you, then you're saying you're pulling close to 160,000 miles per year!

The dedicated run you're on obviously allows you more consistent miles than a typical OTR driver. One of the variables that affect drivers is load availability and length, as well as waiting on those loads. You don't seem to have those issues, leaving you to simply focus on driving.

Again, my point was about the potential of each method, and not about anecdotal evidence or personal months, as each driver will have different experiences on a daily basis. Variables will affect a driver doing resets as well as a driver doing recaps, and either can have a run of good luck or bad which will put them on top or on the bottom. That wasn't what this discussion was about. It was about the potential productivity of each method. The math shows that a reset driver, under the same circumstances, can run more than a recap driver. One driver having a very high month doesn't negate that fact.

If our mission here at Trucking Truth is to teach new drivers tactics and strategies to become successful, then they should understand the mathematical advantage to resets. From there, the choice is theirs to make, based on their own preferences. As mentioned, finding your niche is the important part.

Being in a semi-dedicated gig myself, I'm afforded the opportunity for perhaps higher than normal production numbers also. For comparison, I looked at my last four 5-day weeks where I wasn't either training a new guy, on vacation, on PTO etc. In that four week period I logged 10,310 mi. On its face, that may not seem like much. However, when you consider that is only 20 days of driving, it averages out to 515 miles per day. In addition, I make multiple stops per day, further increasing my production. If I worked 27 days at that rate, I'd hit 13,900 miles and still have the stop pay to significantly boost my production earnings. To me, a per day average is far more indicative of production than a monthly total of x amount.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
To me, a per day average is far more indicative of production than a monthly total of x amount.

To me, yearly production is far more important than weekly or monthly totals. You must produce consistently over a long period of time to reach your potential for earnings. During my first six months in trucking, I burned myself out. I ran way too hard. I wasn't giving myself enough time to rest and recoup. That experience taught me a lot. I took a couple of months off to regroup and returned with a fresh approach.

So it's not about how much you can produce each day or week, but how much you can produce consistently over a period of months and years that will determine your earnings potential.

If you run OTR , I think an occasional 34-hour reset will bring much-needed rest and a complete escape from trucking, so you're refreshed and ready to go. Not only that, but you need time for personal adventures if you want to experience the full benefits of living on the road.

If you're home on weekends, you have that escape time built into your schedule, so that's nice. That's why I feel a regional job that gets you home on weekends is a great compromise. You get the benefit of living on the road and producing great miles consistently, while still getting home frequently.

I've always had an extreme personality, so I get my balance with extremes on both ends of the spectrum. I work hard and play hard, as they say. So I used to love taking a day or two off on the road once in a while so I could get out of the truck and fully engage in some adventurous downtime.

Most people have more moderate personalities, so they may prefer the consistency of running recaps most of the time.

It really is about finding a system that allows you to produce consistently over the long run.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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