A Month Of Trucking With Daniel B.

Topic 6390 | Page 12

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Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

12/22

Glad there are folks here who are used to being away. That will be a huge plus for you!

Jared, I do listen to audiobooks but not too often.

I woke up today at 0800 and got my hours back at 0830. I drove nonstop to my delivery and arrived at 0930 (an hour early). That's just how precise my trip planning is. I can plan down to the minute!

Surprisingly, my delivery told me to drop the trailer! That's very rare. Maybe it was the smile?

I dropped it and hooked up to an empty trailer. I drove around the lot looking for a trailer. Well, I found one that was pretty good. Except it wasn't road worthy.

picture of a trailer skirt ripped off by wind

A trailer skirt is a device affixed to the underside of a semi-trailer, for the purpose of reducing aerodynamic drag caused by air turbulence.

The skirt is hanging loosely and so are some of the metal brackets that hold it up. I can't drive this trailer because it'll fall apart and cause damage to other vehicles. So I have yet another tough decision. There are no other trailers to pickup. Do I ignore it and drive with it? Should I call our Road Assist to send a mechanic to fix it? What do I do?

Well, driving away with it means big trouble. Calling the Road Assist to send a mechanic will end my day because that'll take almost all day to do. What do I do?

Here's what I did.

picture of a trailer skirt ripped off by wind

Rip that sucker right off! I took my hammer and took all my road rage out on it. They'll take it off to replace it anyways so I'm just doing there job for them. Most companies have a trailer inspection report macro and I wrote down that the passenger side trailer skirt is severely torn. So yes, I did report it. Now I can drive safely, I saved my company money by not having to go through all those headaches and I can continue to make money.

Have you noticed the amount of tough decisions I have to make out here? Its constant, its daily, it'll never stop. What matters is how you handle each situation.

After that I swept my trailer with my broom and I was officially ready to roll!

2.5 hours after dropping my trailer, I get my next load.

Shipper: Twin Falls, ID App Time: 12/22 @ 1600.

Destination: Schofield, WI App Time: 12/26 @ 1330.

190 mile deadhead. 1500 mile loaded. A 1700 mile load.

Jeez, they couldn't have waited any longer to give me this load? If I leave immediately, I'll only be 30 minutes early to my pickup! Dear reader, I ask you this. What would have happened if I didn't take care of everything while waiting for a new load? That's right, I would have been late! Folks, I cannot stress this enough. There's always something to do. Just because you delivered your load doesn't mean its lunch time. No! Take care of your trailer or whatever else you must do that way when you get something you'll already be ready to go. This is the difference between a good and a bad driver. A good driver makes the right decisions and he only rests when the time is right. Something so small such as this could have made me late for an appointment. Hard to imagine, but take it from me, its true.

Also, this load is a very nice one! You know why I got this load? Because my DM realizes how much BS I went through in the Bay Area and he made it up to me with this one. Its a give and take relationship. Did I complain to him? No way. Even when he called me I was as cheerful as can be. Was I frustrated? Big time, but I didn't show it. Complaining to your DM is never the answer folks. Take what you get and just do it. He will recognize you. This information is absolute gold.

Every driver goes through a slow week like I did last week. My paycheck won't even be 2,000 miles! You know, its really tough for you and your DM to have nothing but 3,000+ mile weeks. And when things go sour like they did for me, you just got to get back on the saddle and remain professional. Last week is in the past and I'm over it. A new week is starting and I'm going guns blazing!

Anyways, because I was smart I can drive immediately to my pickup. It wasn't an easy drive. Idaho was extremely windy and dangerous. Those cross winds were nothing to laugh at. I was driving against the powerful wind for hours. There was a patch of wind for about three miles that was just too rough. I had to slow down badly and it was war over who controls the trailer. Man, you don't know wind until you drive one of these 53' boxes through it empty. During those three miles, I was driving my truck in the lane but my trailer was a foot in the shoulder. I could see about an entire extra foot of trailer on my passenger side mirror. A very dangerous situation when the wind is that powerful its forcing you to drive uneven. I got through it thankfully and I'm sure the folks behind me enjoyed the show.

trucking scenery picture of mountains and clouds

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I arrived at my shipper 10 minutes before my appointment time. All of these slowdowns really ate the time away. I got loaded and drove all three more hours to Blackfoot, ID and parked at a Subway. Since I drove extra today, I am now way ahead of schedule!

And another thing. The local directions for this facility were absolutely stupid.

IMG_1105_zps32397ecb.png

Here's your first experience with reading a monkeys writing. Having trouble? Here's what is says.

I84 westbound exit 173. Turn Left. Cross Snake River. At Stop Light, Turn Right. Will be on truck route. Go 1 mile to 4-way Stop Sign. Turn Left at Washington. Through Stop Light road will veer Left. At Right Lane, Turn Right on Shoshone Street. Cross another bridge and destination 200 yards on Right.

You have to do a lot of fill-in-the-blank with these local directions. It really helps to Google Earth the local directions beforehand. Not all of them are like this, but a whole lot are.

Well, that ends my day. My day started at 0830 and 12 hours later. All in all, I only did 400 miles because I had to deal with two different customers. I could have driven more but there's no reason to night drive if you don't have to.

You know the best thing about a dirty trailer is? You can write on it!

trailer skirt graffiti in the dirt on a Prime truck

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
member avatar

I'm sure there are more than just three people following this thread. :P I'm still following it and log in to check for new posts on a daily basis.

+1, I'm also reading and actively look for updates to this thread almost every day. Keep up the great job, it is much appreciated! :)

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stevo VWbusman's Comment
member avatar

Reading along as a lot do. Always nice reads ^5s and ya did what I would've done, rip that sucka off and roll it! Having been a auto and truck mechanic my whole life, Probably be a few "fixings" I'd do myself, rather than wait for road mech's. (if allowed) So, I'd carry me a few more tools than average Joe might ;) I Like to be prepared for anything driving down the highway. Hope ya get to enjoy holidays at home Daniel.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Reading the monkey scratchings made my head hurt until I figured out. A) that the first stop light in the instructions is actually the second stop light after crossing the snake river (counting is fundamental, but monkeys can't count), and B) that there are two Washington Streets in Twin Falls ID: Washington Street, and Washington Street South. Following the instructions to the latter made a lot more sense. Why some street names were omitted and others put in makes no sense!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

12/23

Today was an easy day. I did 500 miles in just under 9 hours. For once, I woke up without an alarm clock!

The drive through Idaho was nice but as soon as I entered Montana things went a little slippery. I almost hit a Bighorn Sheep today. I drove on a curve and it was right there in the middle of the road. Very dangerous situation!

There's really no big update today. I simply drove, ate, and slept. A great day. However, I do have a ton of pictures for you!

trucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain field and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain pine trees and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain pine trees and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenerytrucker's picture of beautiful snow-covered mountain and road scenery

David's Comment
member avatar

IMG_1075_zpsca3061d9.jpgIMG_1076_zpsf834dd59.jpgIMG_1080_zps6d049042.jpgIMG_1086_zps0e9dd7e1.jpgIMG_1088_zps714fdc87.jpgIMG_1090_zps30685a39.jpgIMG_1092_zps36b03393.jpgIMG_1093_zpseee064e3.jpgIMG_1096_zps2efa2410.jpgIMG_1098_zps26e3d0e5.jpgIMG_1100_zps26f16bfb.jpg

Thats what truckings all about! love the views we get as drivers. "Office window with a view" as I see it.

Every driver goes through a slow week like I did last week. My paycheck won't even be 2,000 miles! You know, its really tough for you and your DM to have nothing but 3,000+ mile weeks. And when things go sour like they did for me, you just got to get back on the saddle and remain professional. Last week is in the past and I'm over it. A new week is starting and I'm going guns blazing!

This is very true. I just finished my week with 1299 miles... I have an oppertunity to run saturday before the pay period ends so if I get lucky and get a good 400mi run that I can turn in, i'll be a bit happier, but 1300 miles is a really really bad week.

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.
Italian_Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Daniel, how are you snapping the shots while driving? Does your dash cam allow for that?

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, how are you snapping the shots while driving? Does your dash cam allow for that?

Yes sir. It has a picture mode. Luckily it's HD quality and my SD card has tons of memory. A dash cam is an absolute must and there's no better job security for truckers.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Priceless pics! Those are fantastic!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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