A Month Of Trucking With Daniel B.

Topic 6390 | Page 8

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Sean's Comment
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Thanks for the input Old School, Mikey and David! That makes me feel better!

Daniel B, don't abandon this thread!


Mitchell B.'s Comment
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I vote for this to continue as well. Seems like an invaluable asset for anyone thinking of becoming a truck driver.

Thanks for all the info thus far.


Josh C.'s Comment
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I say keep the thread going! And I Will gladly follow the other thread David makes as well.

Mikki 's Comment
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I am currently reading your thread from a year ago and this one. Why would you stop? Unless your just tired? :D Then ok. Other wise David can do next month? Your halfway through. Please and thank yousmile.gif

Old School's Comment
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smile.gif Your fans love you smile.gif

Chance H.'s Comment
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I say keep it going I enjoy reading your threads and think with the details you take time to put in you are helping everyone considering becoming a truck driver and like has been mentioned before David could always do next month and another driver the next each one detailing their experience with different companies perhaps? Or even a new driver could do their first month solo.

Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
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I follow all your threads with great interest.. Please keep the story rolling.

+5 vote for Pedro.. er I mean, vote for Daniel to keep this thread alive. dancing-dog.gif

Chiefmac's Comment
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Keep rocking and rolling as much as you can Daniel. Your details are worth their weight in gold. Sorry I don't have any to give you.


Daniel B.'s Comment
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I woke up this morning and looked at my mirrors and didn't see a trailer behind me, so unusual. I had went to sleep at 0500 and I woke up at 0900. I absolutely cannot sleep late no matter how low on sleep I am. That's 1 hour of sleep during my shift and now 4 hours of sleep. Last night I had just under 6 hours of sleep. Have I been running hard? Not really, its been a moderate week. But its just how my schedule has been going lately. I have no control over it, a good trucker is one that can function when low on sleep. So today I was running on fumes.

I message my DM to let him know I dropped the trailer at 0400 and that I will be getting my hours back at 1400 so he can look for a load for me. And as always, he comes through.

Next Load:

Picking Up: Salt Lake City, UT Terminal

Delivers To: San Francisco, CA App Time: 12/18

The driver arrived at about 1100 and I hooked up to the trailer at 1200. The tandems were set on the 4th hole - maximum kingpin setting is the 6th hole for CA. On the 4th hole this was my weight:

Drives: 29,000

Tandems: 34,000

So what would you do?

truck trailer close-up of tandems

Well, remember, if we move the tandems back away from the tractor we take weight off of the trailer tandems and add it to the Drives. But if we slide the tandems forward toward the tractor we are adding weight to the tandems and taking it off the Drives.

So since the maximum kingpin setting is the 6th hole and we're on the 4th. Lets move the tandems back two holes. We are now on the 6th hole, and we shifted about 1,000lb.

My new weight will be as follows:

Drives: 30,000

Tandems: 33,000

That's the best we can do because if we slide them anymore back then that's a ticket.

I drive away at 1415 after a 15 minute Pre-Trip Inspection/Fueling. I like to combine my inspections with fueling to save time off my 70 hour clock. I knock out two birds with one stone doing that.

truck driver's scenery picture of a calm lake

Here's my plan.

I want to get to Fernley, NV by 2200 and shut down. I fear Donners Pass will be a mess so I don't want to venture into those mountains in the dark.

Then I will start driving at 12/17 @ 0800 and get home between 1030 and 1200 if all goes decent. If I have to chain up, then it'll be much longer. But however it goes, tomorrow I will be at home and then I'll leave on the 18th at 0300 to my delivery. I will leave extra early to try to beat some of the bay area traffic. My wife leaves to work at 1300 tomorrow so I'm hoping I can make it before she leaves to work.

I drive 280 miles nonstop and then take a 30 minute break. I'm driving mostly in the dark today and I'm very tired.

So here's some tips for night driving!

Now, I don't believe in coffee with espresso shots, or energy drinks, or anything like that. That stuff makes your heart work triple overtime and I don't want to have a heart attack in my 50's. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone, but that's not my way. I stay awake using healthy foods and tea.

The secret is as follows:

Baby Carrots. Amazingly healthy and the crunch will keep you awake. Easy to eat and they replace chips.

Apples. Natural source of sugar and a nice crunch that never lets your brain doze off.

Tea. If you need caffeine go with Black or Green. Either way, super healthy for you and rich in antioxidants.

As an emergency, I have a bottle of Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappuccino.

No need for energy drinks folks!

Anyways. I continue my drive and make it to Fernley, NV at 2215. A total of 485 miles in almost a 12 hour day. The closer I got to Donners Pass the worse it looked.

truck driver's scenery picture of a storm brewing

Yesterday when my wife got off of work there was a shooting in our apartment complex. Right near our apartment in fact. My wife wasn't home, but when she arrived they wouldn't let him into her home. She stood there and witnessed the gore from the scene because it wasn't fully blocked yet. Well, it shook her up pretty bad. She had to find somewhere else to sleep for the night and she was afraid for her safety. She lives alone because I'm never home. She always fears that someone could just break down the door and she would be helpless, and this doesn't help at all. It was a pretty emotional night for her and guess what? I wasn't home to give her my shoulder.

Folks, especially to husbands, please take this into consideration. I cannot tell you how hard it is to want to help but not be able to. It breaks your heart hearing your wife crying.. alone. This is not an easy lifestyle for all parties. When you consider trucking, don't fool yourself into thinking of all the good things. Think of the bad too because if you're not prepared it will damage or end your relationship. There's no way to truly prepare for it, but make sure both of you are committed.

It was a very difficult night. I don't seek sympathy, I just want you to know the harsh realities - and that feeling you get when you get a text message like this IMG_1019_zpse8610ef6.png

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.


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.


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 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".


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Greg S.'s Comment
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Daniel I completely understand where you are coming from. After 25 years in the military I can personally tell you its rough on both side. (for her and you) Stay strong my friend. I have been through alot in my life including loss and birth of a new member of our family while away. You feel helpless and have no control over the situation. All you can do is call and express your feelings and commitment until you can get home. Your wife needs you to stay strong and get home safely. Good luck today on the pass and look forward to hearing about your continued adventure. Some day very soon I hope to meet you and be able to shake your hand. You have provided the insight I needed to move forward in this new career.

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