Done With First Week On The Road

Topic 32473 | Page 2

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Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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Drew: another critical thing is to learn YOUR equipment. My last power unit was a Freightliner with tag axle. The suspension pressure gauge on that was slightly different for legal drive weight than the rest of the fleet. Learn what psi reading approximates 34k, and use that as a guide And your trainer, in my opinion, gave you bad info. They can ALWAYS bust your balls for a thousand pounds o/w on axle. If they do, it isn't on them, it's on you. Don't give them any reason to even think about it, scale and be sure.

It's like the grizzled old veteran driver when I had just started at my last outfit (he was about 10 years younger than me at the time) who saw me coming out from beneath a trailer while I was completing my pre-trip who told me "Yall don't have to get that crazy about them things around here." Response? "Yes, I do. It's not your CDL and CSA , it's mine. You drive yours and I'll drive mine". Shortcuts are what cause problems for us in this profession. And God forbid you be o/w and have a 2004 Buick with the blue hair grannies in it drive between your drive axles and trailer tandems. That one is on you, because ya shouldn't oughtta been on the road.

In IL it's called Reckless Homicide, and the ISP has very little love for drivers that cause death. Experience speaking here, I worked with a bunch of them over the years of my first career.

Enjoy the newness of this profession, and do all you can to keep that excitement and enthusiasm... there is no drama unless you let there be. You're getting paid to carry the stuff that keeps our Nation running. That, in and of itself, is cause to rejoice each day!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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

Chris W.'s Comment
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I am going to agree with everyone on here. He could have got a ticket at a weight station, which is why almost every trucker that knows they will be carrying enough will typically stop at a CAT scale before even starting the trip. Good learning experience and definitely update us!

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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