A Month Of Trucking With Daniel B.

Topic 6390 | Page 9

Page 9 of 20 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, I understand how hard it is to be so far away in times like this. I'm sure she takes comfort in the fact you will be home soon. You certainly earned your stripes being OTR for as long as you have. It shouldn't be much longer before a great company close to home is going to snap you up. Until then keep fighting the good fight, keep your loved ones close to heart, and let the Lord guide your way home.

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.

PanamaExpat's Comment
member avatar

Glad to hear you have the same attitude towards energy drinks I do. I do however enjoy a couple cups of good quality.. NOT STARBUCKS.. black coffee every day.

In response to your problems there at home. Maybe you need to request a week of vacation time and consider moving to a different neighborhood. Always remember.. When the wife isn't happy life is miserable.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

12/17

Today is a big day for me. It can either be a great day or a terrible day. It'll be a great day if I can get home before my wife has to go to work. However, it'll be a terrible day if it takes me all day to get home because I have to chain up. Either way, I know God will protect me.

I start my day at 0600 and unfortunately its looking like a terrible day already. I get my hours back in two hours, until then I can't drive.

How do I know its looking bad up there when I'm over an hour away? Road cameras! Remember that.

backed-up highway road camera of trucking accident

Before you drive over any area that you aren't confident about, look at the road cameras to get an idea of what its like. If the road conditions are awful then wait it out. There's no sense in driving for 45 minutes and then shutting down for safety reasons with your clock ticking.

Have you noticed how religious I am with my hours? I take every minute I can get, every advantage I can come up with. Remember I parked at Baton Rouge, LA a week ago? I had no hours coming back that night and I parked with 9 minutes left on my 70 hour clock and that isn't even counting my Post-Trip Inspection. So think about it, if I hadn't watched my clock like a hawk then I probably wouldn't have made it to my delivery. Every minute counts! You would be wise to take this knowledge with you on the road.

Well, 0800 came around the corner and it still looked grim. All I could see was truckers chaining up on those cameras. So I waited a little longer. Around 0900 the chain restriction was lifted! The roads weren't great but they were doable. Right before I entered the mountains I checked one last time.

highway camera of snowy road scenery

It wasn't an easy drive, and to be completely honest, if I had a student on the truck he wouldn't be driving - just too dangerous for a new driver. The biggest threat were those bridges. Every single one of them was frozen solid. You would drive onto the bridge and it would feel like you're skidding through it.

Tip: Bridges freeze before the roads do. Take extreme caution when going through a bridge in the winter time - especially if there's a sign saying that the bridge is icy. I have a few rules that I follow in this situation:

Never use the brakes on a bridge.

Never accelerate hard on a bridge.

Never shift gears on a bridge, and if you must, ace the shift.

But it was a beautiful drive! Especially since I was going home.

truck drivers picture of snowy mountain scenery

But no matter how great the day is, I always hate seeing this sign. And seeing it in these conditions definitely makes you want to drink until you can't remember.

truck drivers picture of snowy mountain scenery

However, I got home safely and got to see my wife for an hour until she had to go to work. Don't get to spend much time with her today but at least I got to stop by the house for half a day.

IMG_0826_zps801f0acf.jpg

And by the way, I appreciate all your guys' kind words - means a lot! Thanks for the encouragement and for continuing to read all the misinformation I give you!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sean's Comment
member avatar

You two look great! You're a lucky man; blessed! And so is she to have such a hard working man as yourself! I'm glad you guys got a chance to see each other before you had to burn.

I'm in Eastern North Carolina right now but the last 25 years I lived in PA. So learned how to drive in the snow as soon as I got my license, and I know it's not like the snow they get up state, but still bad road conditions are what they are. I recently watched a YouTube video of a tractor trailer jackknifing while going over an icy bridge. I've never had an accident but there have been times when going down steep hills that I lost control; because gravity wouldn't let me go slow enough. I was able to regain control obviously but how much worse or how bad is it in a rig? Sounds stupid when I read it but seriously.

I'm not scared to drive through any of the conditions that I've absolutely had to over the years in cars and pickups or even 14' box trucks. I consider myself to have some skill behind the wheel, which is why I'm considering trucking because I love to drive. I know that whatever I think about how good I think I am at driving is irrelevant until I get behind an 18 wheeler. I've gone back and forth from Pittsburgh and Philly a few dozen times because I lived in south eastern PA and went to the Univ. of Pittsburgh so I've seen I76 going through the Somerset Mountains in the winter and it can be ugly; even in a car.

So is there any correlation between being able to drive safely in a car in bad weather compared to driving a rig? When I saw that tractor trailer jackknife I immediately thought to myself that I would never have hit the gas going over that bridge! Why not just coast over it!

I feel like I'm all over the place on this post but I have to say that I am very concerned with winter driving. You obviously just deal with it. Is that all there is to it? (Minus all the technical stuff about driving in bad weather.)

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

You two look great! You're a lucky man; blessed! And so is she to have such a hard working man as yourself! I'm glad you guys got a chance to see each other before you had to burn.

I'm in Eastern North Carolina right now but the last 25 years I lived in PA. So learned how to drive in the snow as soon as I got my license, and I know it's not like the snow they get up state, but still bad road conditions are what they are. I recently watched a YouTube video of a tractor trailer jackknifing while going over an icy bridge. I've never had an accident but there have been times when going down steep hills that I lost control; because gravity wouldn't let me go slow enough. I was able to regain control obviously but how much worse or how bad is it in a rig? Sounds stupid when I read it but seriously.

I'm not scared to drive through any of the conditions that I've absolutely had to over the years in cars and pickups or even 14' box trucks. I consider myself to have some skill behind the wheel, which is why I'm considering trucking because I love to drive. I know that whatever I think about how good I think I am at driving is irrelevant until I get behind an 18 wheeler. I've gone back and forth from Pittsburgh and Philly a few dozen times because I lived in south eastern PA and went to the Univ. of Pittsburgh so I've seen I76 going through the Somerset Mountains in the winter and it can be ugly; even in a car.

So is there any correlation between being able to drive safely in a car in bad weather compared to driving a rig? When I saw that tractor trailer jackknife I immediately thought to myself that I would never have hit the gas going over that bridge! Why not just coast over it!

I feel like I'm all over the place on this post but I have to say that I am very concerned with winter driving. You obviously just deal with it. Is that all there is to it? (Minus all the technical stuff about driving in bad weather.)

Winter driving is simply a part of life for me. I may live in CA, but I'm trucking in the western states and I'm mostly found in Wyoming. We have a ton of dangerously steep mountains that are even worse in the winter time.

My best advice is don't overthink it. But as the same time don't come in with a chip on your shoulder because youve been driving in the snow for decades. I'm not saying you have one, it's for the general public.

Do things slow, everything slow. You take your time and never rush. Last winter there was a bad storm in Snoqualmie Pass in WA and I drove 4.5 hours nonstop at 7mph to get through that mountain. Patience is your best friend as a trucker.

You're definitely ahead of the game that's for sure. When I started driving I had never even been outside of CA and only seen the snow a few times in my life - but never drove on it. I mean, I was the definition of a greenhorn. So if I could do it then so can you.

And remember that you're the captain of your truck. If you don't feel safe then shut her down. Nothing forces you to drive in these conditions. If it's bad today, chances are it'll be sunny tomorrow.

Not pushing through inclement weather will not make them think any differently of you. Its not worth it for the company to risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get a load in on time. They can always reschedule. Pushing through inclement weather is just about the worst thing you can do on the road in my opinion. Driving in conditions that are dangerous will eventually end your career and maybe even your life. Would you really risk your life for boxes of macaroni and cheese?

I sure as heck wouldn't. Those boxes can wait a day. At the end of the day my goal is to be alive to be able to support my family. And I won't risk my family losing me just to prove to some guy at a desk that I'm reliable. The company also doesn't want you to push through inclement weather. They have enough accidents each year and they want to avoid as much as possible. So please, everyone reading this. Do not think that you're any less of a driver for stopping when conditions get ugly. If anything, you're a better driver than the guy going 60 mph who will get his load in on time but risk everything in exchange. The good drivers are the ones who use their head. I will drive through rain. I will drive through snow. I won't drive through a blizzard and I won't be driving if I'm required to put on chains. In all honesty, I don't think we get paid enough to put on chains and drive down a steep grade with 79,000 pounds behind our backs. I won't drive if I feel like I'm risking my life. I'm 23 and have a bright future with a wonderful wife, no way I'm going to risk losing what I am blessed with just so walmart can have their product. The more strict you are when it comes to safety then the safer you'll be.

In the end the person who makes the decision is you. You're the captain of the ship and what you say goes. Your DM has absolutely no say in whether or not you should or shouldn't drive. Drive when you feel comfortable. Go ahead and drive 15 mph with those chains on while they tear apart your tires. You'll be wasting your 70 driving and making no money in return. Ill be in the truck stop sipping my hot tea talking with my family and watching TV. Meanwhile you'll be holding onto the steering wheel with your life.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to go the extra mile here. I want you to know what you'll be getting paid with those chains on. Lets say my trucks maximum speed is 60mph and I get .30cpm. If you do the math, they means if I drive exactly 60mph nonstop for a full hour I will make 18$ per hour. Now lets say you decided to drive with chains on. A safe speed is about 20 mph so lets use that with the same pay. So if you drive with chains on going exactly 20mph for a full hour nonstop. You will have made 6$ for that hour. Lets no forget those hours spent wrestling with those chains. You also wasted time off your 70 hour clock. You risked your life, wrestled with heavy chains, just so you can make 6$ per hour.

So I ask. Who is the fool and who is the wise one? The one who sat comfortably at the truck stop or the one who is so determined to get his load in on time so he can be viewed as dependable meanwhile risking his entire life and career.

Like Brett always says. If the weathers terrible today, chances are tomorrow morning it'll be clear and perfect for driving. So why not wait?

I hope I made my point. If you don't feel safe driving, then don't drive.

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.
PanamaExpat's Comment
member avatar

+1 for your convictions about driving in inclement conditions. You couldn't be more correct.

Cheryl C.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't stop this thread!!!! I enjoy reading your journey. I will follow David's journey once he put his up here as well. You have a lot of good information! I look forward to seeing what my experience may be and you're giving us newbies a good idea of it. Thank you! Me and my husband will be starting with Swift Jan 5th! Wish us Luck!

David L.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't stop this thread!!!! I enjoy reading your journey. I will follow David's journey once he put his up here as well. You have a lot of good information! I look forward to seeing what my experience may be and you're giving us newbies a good idea of it. Thank you! Me and my husband will be starting with Swift Jan 5th! Wish us Luck!

You headed to Millington, TN? I should be there, too. Trying to return a call to the recruiter but the phones are down in Dallas!

Cheryl C.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Don't stop this thread!!!! I enjoy reading your journey. I will follow David's journey once he put his up here as well. You have a lot of good information! I look forward to seeing what my experience may be and you're giving us newbies a good idea of it. Thank you! Me and my husband will be starting with Swift Jan 5th! Wish us Luck!

double-quotes-end.png

You headed to Millington, TN? I should be there, too. Trying to return a call to the recruiter but the phones are down in Dallas!

Hi David We are going to the school in Georgia to get the permit then to Salt Lake City....I've been keeping up with you and your son as well!!

Page 9 of 20 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Life On The Road Truck Driving Lifestyle Truck Driving Stories
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More