Truck Drivers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DLReed, May 25, 2020.

  1. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    The company that I drove for was self insured for the first million dollars of damages in each incident - basically a $1,000,000.00 dollar deductible .
    That is pretty standard in the industry .
     
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  2. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    I am the director of a CDL training program in Ohio (I don't have a CDL, my training manager/staff do). Every trucking company I work with would LOVE to have automated driving, because hiring/firing/training/insuring drivers is a nightmare. However; none of them think this will happen in the next 30 years or more, if ever.

    Our fees are about $6,000 for 200 hour training program, and we aren't making scads of profit, believe me. A good program takes good instructors, low student to instructor ratio and reliable trucks. That all costs money.

    1. A good CDL training program gives you plenty of time behind the wheel. States dictate training requirements, Ohio is 40 hours minimum classroom and 40 hours minimum behind the wheel.

    2. Most haulers can't/won't hire a driver without a minimum of 160 hours training (twice the minimum) due to insurance undertwriting issues.

    3. Good companies will have a training program for all new hires, not just new drivers, that includes team driving and other things.

    4. 90% of the people that come through my training program want a "local" job where they are home every night, on the high end of the pay scale. Dream on. You gotta put your time in like anyone else. And EVERYONE wants the local hauls.

    5. Running a good program requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep on the training trucks. Trucks on the range for maneuvers training typically don't get enopugh RPMS, and teh DEF/Emissions regen systems need to be run at higher speeds and temps. So if you are looking at a training, tey may have older trucks in the range, and that's OK. We spent 30k on regen problems on a 2012 Freightliner Cascadia we used in the range. Now we use 1998-2005 trucks, that I make sure are maintained very well. (not cheap).

    6. Covid social distancing rules mean that going forward, you will not be observing others drive (in the cab). 1 Instructor, 1 student over the road, so that's a good thing for the students, IMHO because all of the training schools are going to have to adhere to this. Some observation time is good, but some schools would use that to limit the trucks (and instructors) needed, so a trainee would get like 15 minutes driving for every hour they were in the truck, for the over-the-road stuff.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  3. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Our cabin neighbor family include one who retired from flying 777 a year ago and another family member who's an exec in one of the well known national carriers. The automation and systems in planes influenced his waiting to buy a car with AEB, adaptive cruise and other modern safety features.

    The trucking exec predicts the role of a driver to be changed a lot faster than someone's 30 prediction. Keep in mind the trucking firms are already invested in cutting edge and what's next even if it's not deployed now.

    Many people forget about gaps when change or see things black and white. I don't expect transportation changes to be so black and white but surely change. Think about machining, our neighbor's describing the plane's automation, and I think about automation in my work - IT infrastructure in food and finance. Automation will do some jobs but still require people who know those jobs.

    In our last big recession Planet Money podcast guy and writer Adam Davidson had a memorable quote I learned when my area of the country became the rust belt and when my livelihood was tied to industry that changed. There's no salvation if you don't have a skill the world will pay a living wage for.

    For the last sentence above, someone I know who does specialty hauling where he also needs to know about the customers and have truck loading skills is probably safe. Where I work the drivers from food distributors who have some tasks and stills beyond what a robot is ready to do are probably safe. What I did for a little while when a truck driver - very simple move a trailer, and very simple jobs but distances beyond the human need for sleep will probably change.

    P.S. That cabin neighbor (777s) and a friend who flew army helicopters and A320s said what the automation does above all is create safety levels unheard of early in their career. I predict that's what it will do with trucks and cars even if we still touch a steering wheel.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Uhh... are you a computer? Because that's the only thing that's going to be driving trucks in a few years...
    Unless you just want to do local delivery, before the Drones take over...
     
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  5. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can see a use for self driving trucks in a large restricted access commercial operation such as mining or logging . Some large steel mills use self driving trains .
     
  6. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Will they have to come out with some sort of electronic lawyer to settle those kinds of cases?
     
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  7. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's what my company did for a long time, but eventually when we started moving equipment for the government, mostly military stuff, the company had to go to a much larger number, way beyond its ability to self insure. Also the Cat dealer required the company have at least five million dollars worth of insurance to haul for them.
     
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  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Being a fuel hauler you know what I'm talking about, a tanker yanker used to be easily identified by the BAGS under his eyes from staying up forever! I suppose now with the electronic logging they can't just put you out, and leave you out, but I had some of that at one point in my career. Three hundred and twenty hour months used to be common for me in the summertime. The young ones even then didn't last long. Those summer haulers out here were mostly tomato haulers, we used to call them mater freighters. :D
     
  9. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I drove for 5+ years loved it but my family not so much. Went thru school for my class A, had my class b which I got on the Job
     
  10. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Holic

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    My brother had a CDL.

    He earned the license at a community college without too much trouble. He drove logging trucks for a while after that (which is generally a bad idea for many reasons). He went on to work for a big trucking company on a major contract after that. They didn't think his logging experience counted, so they made him do their driving school. Their school would have been a free alternative to community college if he had done that first. Their driving school was LESS demanding that his college program (e.g. 90 degree backup to loading dock) and easier than logging (e.g. pulling a fully loaded 18 wheeler through mud without getting stuck).

    I think overnight work is a bad job. The dispatchers push you to fudge log books and your "down time" might end up in the middle of nowhere. So you aren't with your family even when you are not working - you aren't always free during your free time so to say. The money wasn't terrible per week, but you are definitely working more than 40 hours per week for it (and not at home with your family). He tried to get me to go in with him as a tandem driver, because the money looked good. I told him I was already making that kind of money and only working 9 - 5. A light bulb went off for him after that.

    When he got married, his wife made him get a degree and a non-overnight job. He found one, but it didn't pay well. He left the industry not too much later.

    If you are an owner/operator - lots of things change, but I don't know enough to comment on that.

    We can't talk politics here, but if you are a truck driver, watch the government! Laws dramatically affect your life. You are affected wherever you drive... national, local, etc. If you listen to talk radio... there is a reason truck drivers are so intelligent and fluent on political matters, even without higher educations. They watch those things closely.

    Edit:
    After reading some other posts here, I have to comment - there was a severe emotional toll as well. I won't go into details, but be prepared for that as well. It is definitely a hard job and can be very isolating.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  11. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    F94F215A-7999-4952-A0BA-698D3F5690FA.jpeg

    I obj-j-j-j-j-ject !
     
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  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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  13. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

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    The Podcast Over The Road by Long Haul Paul is very good. Descriptions by truckers of current trucking, changes in the business, driving regs, family life, food, etc.

    I learned about this type of truck driving song from him:



     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  14. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I had a guy tell me on the CB once,"You gas haulers aren't too smart ,you start at two in the morning. They tell you your working days and you believe them". I started driving for a small oil company in Florida as a winter #1 Fuel oil Delivery Driver. They kept me on in the Spring and taught me how to drive a Tractor Trailer. Winters were brutal, we didn't run far enough to log. We would start at 0200-0300 and pull 2 or 3 transport loads of oil and gas to their convenience stores or commercial accounts, then bring a load of fuel oil to the bulk plant. Then you would get in a little 1000 gal delivery truck and deliver #1 or #2 residential fuel oil till 2100 -2200. Get up in the morning and do it again Monday through Saturday for 4 months. Often on Sundays they would have 2 or 3 loads of #2 Fuel oil to go to the local Power Plant. That was almost like a day off only 6-9 hours. Summers were slow though, 45- 50 hr weeks.
     
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  15. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I figured I was getting too old to haul iron, I went all out, went back to school, learned to type, and bought a computer. Mailed out two hundred and fifty resumes, and landed a lifetime job, I worked fifteen years at the easiest job I ever had and coasted on into retirement. A whole different world from my previous one, guys where I worked would get just worn out from working a ten hour day when they had to work overtime. I have worked many, many days that extended into the next day from where I started. Not uncommon to go three days without anything but cat naps. I have seen tanker guys go out like a light while standing on their feet, you go long enough without sleep, you'll just conk out.

    Man, I had a lot of adventure out on the super slab, but when it was over, it was over for me, I never went back. I know what you did, and feel for you, that local hauling will kill you, they can just keep you going 'til you drop. I knew a guy who worked for a skuzz outfit that didn't have a home of any kind, he just lived in his truck. He'd shower and clean up at a truck stop, or one of the nicer restrooms on one of his drops. On his days off, he'd take guy's places that wanted a day off. I know he did this for over a year, don't know what happened to him after that. The trucking world can really be a dark place to live.
     
  16. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    . . . Truckin ain't for sissies .
     
  17. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When a dispatcher has it in for you, it goes something like this. They call you, or ever better have you call in at a certain time. You call in and they say, you'll be going out at two a.m. Then they say, call back in about an hour to be sure you're going out. Then you call back, and they bump your time four hours. Bear in mind, you're supposed to be able to sleep in between times their yanking you around. One day I got enough of that and told the dispatcher, I'm not calling you anymore, you call me tell me what time to be there, and leave my dispatch hanging on the board or forget it. They put a letter in my file saying, I was a bad boy, but I didn't have to go through that nonsense anymore.

    My iron hauling days were great, no complaints. Working for a fuel hauling outfit was a blur of disappointment. Working around the clock gets you so out of whack, it takes a year to get over it. I've worked twenty eight hours nonstop, finally pull in the yard, and have the dispatcher run out and tell me. So and so called in sick, and you're gonna have to run his locals. When you put gas in your car, no telling what the guy went through to deliver it.
     
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