A Month Of Trucking With Daniel B.

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David's Comment
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Man, I won't log off duty for loading/unloading. If I were to get pulled into a scale and have my logs audited, and they see I have off duty logged the same time my bills are stamped, that's a ticket. I always show at least 20 minutes of on duty time. I have extremely bad luck and would get caught. Not to mention 75% of my loads with Prime are Wal-Mart and only 1 that I've been to have as place to park close enough to not have to start my clock before I get there. Also my FM rarely ever messages me, other than to send dispatches. In a 3 week trip I may only talk to him once a week, unless I have a problem at a 01 or 90. 95% of my Communication with dispatch is via macro. Funny how different things are within the same company.

Log what you do... heres a bite to swallow

You arrive at a shipper , and click to on duty and head inside to get your dock... 20 min later you get a dock (20 min on duty), you waste another 10 getting into the dock (30min used) as you sit there you hop in the bunk..now do you continue to drain your 70 and stay on duty for a load that takes another 2hrs (so a waste of 2.5hrs on duty) or do you drop to Sleeper and save 2hrs on that magical 70? technically your not on duty as your in the bunk though you are as you are waiting to be loaded........ Log what you do?

In this case I'd jump to SB and save my 70. I'd hop back to on duty once I got the green light and go back in to get papers.

I drop myself to SB every time I get loaded/unloaded.. If im picking a pre-load i'll stay on duty as I get in n out within 15-20 min.

you can also ask if you may leave for a walk and if they would call when finished loading, if they say yes, you can go off duty and walk off property and cant get in trouble for it.

Anyways, I drive away at 1200 and end my day at 2345. I drive 7 hours nonstop and take a 30 minute break then drive the rest of my clock. I do a total of 642 miles in just under 11 hours of driving today. I started my day at 0730 and ended my day at 2345. A 16 hour day. Try that on for size.

Wish I had the power to do this. My QC doesn't do the first 5 min thing, if Im Driving and pull over to stop, moment i pull my brake I go to on duty. so annoying.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

12/6

Today was really an uneventful day. No news is good news right?

Terry, If I log Off-Duty I change it to SB. I don't ever log Off-Duty for anything except for walks, hometime, and showers. I think logging 20 minutes is a little overkill honestly and destroys your 70 faster than it should be.

I woke up slightly earlier than I intended today. I parked at a Love's and there's a King Soopers across the street. I told my wife about this, and she said "whats that?". I totally forgot, King Soopers isn't where we live.

I did some shopping for food and spent 42$. Got myself enough to last a week.

truck driver's healthy food in a cooler

Got to love having a cooler with so much storage. I have a Koolatron Cooler, the price is a little more than your typical cooler but you pay for quality. I have had three different coolers and this one is greatly superior to all the others.

Tip: If you have an APU , turn it on and leave it on Low Fan setting all night and set the desired temperature all the way down. Doing this you'll be feeding your cooler ice cold air which helps it maintain proper temperature.

I cook myself breakfast before I hit the road. Just because you're a trucker doesn't mean you have to have McDonalds everyday.

Speaking of McDonalds, this King Soopers was neighbors with this Love's truck stop. Seriously a 2 minute walk. I probably saw a hundred truckers, not one went here to go get some healthy food. Not to mention the walk would only benefit them. However, I did see well over a dozen walk with a bag of McDonalds. That's the thing with truckers, they whine and complain that this is a healthy lifestyle and that they're gaining weight because of it, when in reality its no ones fault but theirs. How often do you see me say I bought Burger King? Never, if I buy fast food I get Subway. But I mostly eat out of the truck. How often do you see me say that I went for a walk? All the time, even when I'm running 600+ mile day I find time for a walk. You're 30 minutes break is a break, you don't have to work or continue sitting at the wheel. Do what you want, get that blood circulating.

Seriously folks, money is great but health is greater. You go nowhere making 80grand a year but destroying your body because you sit for 14 hours a day and park closest to the truck stop to reduce your walk. This lifestyle is extremely unhealthy, don't let your laziness make it even more unhealthy than it has to be.

Anyways, I got my hours back at 1100 and started driving immediately. I fueled before I hit the road because yesterday I needed to find a parking spot desperately and that 10 minutes was better spent hunting for that final parking spot. 10 minutes can easily be the difference between finding a parking spot and not finding a parking spot.

I drive like a banshee, I want to get to my delivery as soon as possible. Here is my trip planning for this load.

12/5: 1200-2400. Must do 625 minimum. (I did 642)

12/6: 1000-2200. Must do 625 minimum. (I did 600)

12/7: 0800-2000. Must 600 minimum. Plus factor in the timezone changes.

But it delivers on the 9th? Exactly. I want to run out the rest of my clock, get there on the 7th in the evening and take the 8th off. This way I'll get a 34 hour reset. Yep! This is a week that's outrageously packed with miles, and next week I will also have a full 70 hour clock. This is how I run and this is how I manage to easily do 3,000 mile weeks back to back all the time. I could take my time but I would rather work double time for three days just to have that day off. My DM will be pleased when I tell him I managed to squeeze in a reset. Always look those for windows that would allow you to get a reset. Having a full 70 hour clock is much more profitable than running off of recaps.

And remember the rules of the 34 hour reset: Must have two periods of 0100-0500 off, and be a minimum of 34 hours. Getting there in the evening of the 7th and leaving on the morning of the 9th will satisfy both of these requirements.

In my trip planning, I give myself a 12 hour window per day to leave a little cushion. If I plan on driving my heart out, here's the math I do for a day.

11 Hours Driving + 30 Minute Break + 30 Minute Cushion = 12 hour shift. Will I drive to the last minute? Depends on the availability of parking. Do I really need that 30 minute cushion? Maybe, maybe not. But its nice to have it in there.

Anyways, I drove 600 miles. I started at 1100, 1 hour later than my trip planning because of time zone change, and ended my day at 2300. A short 12 hour day.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

David's Comment
member avatar
Speaking of McDonalds, this King Soopers was neighbors with this Love's truck stop. Seriously a 2 minute walk. I probably saw a hundred truckers, not one went here to go get some healthy food. Not to mention the walk would only benefit them. However, I did see well over a dozen walk with a bag of McDonalds. That's the thing with truckers, they whine and complain that this is a healthy lifestyle and that they're gaining weight because of it, when in reality its no ones fault but theirs. How often do you see me say I bought Burger King? Never, if I buy fast food I get Subway. But I mostly eat out of the truck. How often do you see me say that I went for a walk? All the time, even when I'm running 600+ mile day I find time for a walk. You're 30 minutes break is a break, you don't have to work or continue sitting at the wheel. Do what you want, get that blood circulating.

This one of the biggest issues we face as drivers. I struggle with it to, i mean lets be honest, after 12-14hr days, do you really wanna pull everything out and cook, or just take a quick walk inside and grab a #1 from McD? I wont eat fast food. If I do, its like Danial said, subway. a nice 6" veggie Delite or turkey with a cup of water beats a McD #1.

your 30 min break is your time off. Grab an apple or other snack, and take a walk. your body will be pleased you did, you'll also kick your metabolism in to gear and process that snack which will give you a good source of energy for the next leg of your trip.

if you all havent noticed, I pull little snippets from Daniels posts, and kind of talk about it for a sec. Theres a reason behind that.

David's Comment
member avatar
I did some shopping for food and spent 42$. Got myself enough to last a week.IMG_0937_zps886301de.jpg

Pretty good buy for $42. Carrots, good snack food while driving. =D

I'd like to point something else out,

notice the amount he got for $42. Lets say he doesnt purchase anything else for the next few days. He's got enough food for a week. (6-7 days @ $42) for those of you who live out of your wallet and dont have a cooler or havent gotten one yet, look at this.. The cost to eat out 3 times a day is about $10 per meal x 3 a day = $30/day thats just one day, now factor in the 6-7 days and your looking at $180-$210. Thats an extra $132 in eating out VS your own supply on the truck.

I point this out because we are all out here for the same thing, to make money, but your not making money really i0f your spending 150+ in eating out. To break it down a bit more, $150 = 500mile @ .30CPM.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

When I used to be a solo driver with JB Hunt I cam home every 24 days. While home I could spend $100 at Walmart and be set for the entire 24 days and have some left over by the time I went home again. If you really want you can probably do it with less money.

All depends on how bad you want it. If you want to do it you can or you don't want to. But don't use the excuse "I can't" because its not a valid excuse.

David L.'s Comment
member avatar

As far as eating healthy: I love to cook and have been a Luby's cafeteria manager. Home cooking and leftovers really stretch the dollar. Also, things like roasted or fried chicken from a supermarket can easily be two or three meals.

Don't forget the bread and peanut butter and some lunch eat. Some meats are per cooked and shelf stable, hence no refrigeration needed till you open it. Tuna now comes in shelf stable packs and have no oil or water to drain.

Also, the number of healthy protein bars are growing. The ones you want are NOT the 250 calorie Cliff bars as the carbs are a bit high and the protein is relatively low. Look for 190 calories and 9-15 grams of PROTEIN. The protein keeps you hunger in check. Low calorie, low fat protein drinks are shelf stable, have about 17g protein and are great for a quick feeding. I use them for my breakfast almost every day.

I've lost about 40 pounds over the last two years and kept it if...and that's with a sedentary desk job. I imagine once I start driving I'll lose a bit and then gain a few pounds back in muscle as I will be more active.

I'm diabetic and use metformin/januvia for control and the meads and diet discipline have kept my A1c close to 6 for well over a year.

As we age diet discipline will really keep the energy level up. And, a smaller waistline helps prevent back problems, too.

YMMV!

smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

12/7

Another exhausting day! I got my hours back at 0900 and I rolled immediately. Remember my plan? Drive like a banshee and get to Baton Rouge a day early so I can squeeze in my 34 hour reset. Well, today is the last day of driving like this. I can't wait to have tomorrow off. I'm at day 6 and well over 3,000 as it is and that's not even including the miles I'll do today.

Usually when you have a week like I've had you'll be forced to run off of recaps and chances are your next week won't be nearly as strong. But because I'll have a 34 hour reset I'll have a full 70 hour clock for next week too! That's what its all about, taking every advantage possible. I could have taken it easy for 4 days and still have made the delivery on time. But I hustled and got there a day early. Think about the future, sometimes suffering now is the best thing you can do for yourself. Driving three days in a row over 600 miles when you've already been working like an animal the entire week isn't easy, but its things like this that separate the 700$ paychecks to the 1500$ paychecks. I'll post my paycheck as soon as I get it.

Today was pretty uneventful. Which is always a good thing, but bad for this documentary. I'm like a news station, I just go for stupid headlines to get viewers.

However, one thing did happen today! I met up with Old School when I got to Baton Rouge, LA. What are the chances we both get a delivery to the same city on the same day!? Its a small world, and it was great to meet up with my ole friend. I consider him to be a great friend who is always there for advice. Its having people like him in my life that build my character. We poke fun at each other but at the end of the day we laugh about it and I have all the respect in the world for him.

2 truck drivers sitting in a truck stop restaurant

David's Comment
member avatar

12/7

Another exhausting day! I got my hours back at 0900 and I rolled immediately. Remember my plan? Drive like a banshee and get to Baton Rouge a day early so I can squeeze in my 34 hour reset. Well, today is the last day of driving like this. I can't wait to have tomorrow off. I'm at day 6 and well over 3,000 as it is and that's not even including the miles I'll do today.

Usually when you have a week like I've had you'll be forced to run off of recaps and chances are your next week won't be nearly as strong. But because I'll have a 34 hour reset I'll have a full 70 hour clock for next week too! That's what its all about, taking every advantage possible. I could have taken it easy for 4 days and still have made the delivery on time. But I hustled and got there a day early. Think about the future, sometimes suffering now is the best thing you can do for yourself. Driving three days in a row over 600 miles when you've already been working like an animal the entire week isn't easy, but its things like this that separate the 700$ paychecks to the 1500$ paychecks. I'll post my paycheck as soon as I get it.

Today was pretty uneventful. Which is always a good thing, but bad for this documentary. I'm like a news station, I just go for stupid headlines to get viewers.

However, one thing did happen today! I met up with Old School when I got to Baton Rouge, LA. What are the chances we both get a delivery to the same city on the same day!? Its a small world, and it was great to meet up with my ole friend. I consider him to be a great friend who is always there for advice. Its having people like him in my life that build my character. We poke fun at each other but at the end of the day we laugh about it and I have all the respect in the world for him.

20140810_093609_zpse7ae4636.jpg

Been meaning to ask ya how your 34 hr went?

I lost mine. Stupid QC kicked me to Driving for 1 min when I P/U this morning... GAHHHHHH difference between my QC and yours, you get a "5" min buffer, mine kicks at 1 and nothing i can do to fix it....

Sun King's Comment
member avatar

Today was pretty uneventful. Which is always a good thing, but bad for this documentary. I'm like a news station, I just go for stupid headlines to get viewers.

Just curious Daniel, did you go through Dallas, or around it? I am interested on your route planning through the midwest to Baton Rouge if you have the time. :)

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Today was pretty uneventful. Which is always a good thing, but bad for this documentary. I'm like a news station, I just go for stupid headlines to get viewers.

double-quotes-end.png

Just curious Daniel, did you go through Dallas, or around it? I am interested on your route planning through the midwest to Baton Rouge if you have the time. :)

I went in US 30 as a shortcut to I80 in WY. Then went East on I80 and went South on 287 from Laramie, WY to Fort Collins, CO. From Denver I went East on I70, just before Limon, CO I took 287 South through CO, OK, straight into Amarillo, TX.

I proceeded to follow 287 towards Fort Worth, TX and bypassed the entire DFW area. I then used I20 to 49 the rest of the way.

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