Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 191 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
...or Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Driving An 18-Wheeler But Haven't Asked

Let me start by pointing out you can be behind the wheel 70 hours every week max. Do you realize how many audio books, college lectures and TED talks you could be listening to while getting paid?

Sate your curiosity here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,619 Posts
I often try to signal passing trucks that it's OK to return to the right lane in front of me (signaling with my headlights.) Most seem to really appreciated it and flash their rear lights in response. Is it useful for most truckers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I often try to signal passing trucks that it's OK to return to the right lane in front of me (signaling with my headlights.) Most seem to really appreciated it and flash their rear lights in response. Is it useful for most truckers?
It's very helpful. There's a lot of trailer back there and this takes the guess work out of accounting for it...lots of four wheelers will hang back then speed up as soon you start your lane change. If you're checking three mirrors along with the window, a truck making a lane change will take a few seconds. Most drivers don't realize this, get impatient and expect you to scoot over like a car...you know, same thing they'd do only 38 tons heavier and 60' longer. Flashing your lights lets the truck know you're working with them but a good truck driver will still take the time to be sure. I've had cars do this, their signal meaning 'Don't cut in! I'm beside you!' and will only bank on it coming from another truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Do you have a long way to go and a short time to get there?
Also, can you do what they say can't be done?
It's all relative. 2,400 miles in two days, you tell me.

And no, the way it works is they say what they want you to do and you tell them 'Sorry, can't do it.' Ship's captain has it's perks.

I'm eastbound just watch ol' Bandit run...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Do you normally drive the same route or is it different every time?

Also, does trucking allow you to travel in both Canada and the States for deliveries?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DarkBarlow

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Do you normally drive the same route or is it different every time?

Also, does trucking allow you to travel in both Canada and the States for deliveries?
I run dedicated from Charlotte to Los Angeles and back every week now. The route may vary slightly because I usually have a stop along the way...if it's something like Las Vegas I'll run I-40, San Diego would put me down on I-20 to I-10 to I-8. The familiarity is good: Where to fuel, where to eat, where not to eat, local mechanics. I used to work the other way, never knowing where I'd be at week's end, and didn't care much for it. It's a good way to see the country if you've the inclination I suppose. I didn't although I'm pretty sure I hit all 48 continental states in the two years I worked like this.

I've never run to Canada but it's done. I'm sure it's just a matter of dealing with customs. Not like Mexico...you drop that freight in Laredo or wherever and let the Mexicans take it across. Be sure to note the condition of your tires too because they'll swap out your brand new tires once they get the trailer across the border and return it with a full set of bald ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
833 Posts
How do the long hours affect your relationship? Is it hard keeping down a serious relationship?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
How do the long hours affect your relationship? Is it hard keeping down a serious relationship?
I drive team with that nagging bitch. She's never more than a few feet away in the sleeper. If I should miss her while she's sleeping, locking up the brakes will roll her off the bunk, through the privacy curtain and into the front with me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,619 Posts
I drive team with that nagging bitch. She's never more than a few feet away in the sleeper. If I should miss her while she's sleeping, locking up the brakes will roll her off the bunk, through the privacy curtain and into the front with me.
I can tell that you are determined to make me spill my coffee on my keyboard and spit coffee on my monitor from laughing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
How often do you get time off work. And on average how much time do you get to spend at home before it's time to hit the road again?

Best diner you've discovered on your travels? What do they sell? Is there pie?

And, Do you keep a shotgun in the cab with you? Or is the missus enough to scare away any would be bandits?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
833 Posts
I drive team with that nagging bitch. She's never more than a few feet away in the sleeper. If I should miss her while she's sleeping, locking up the brakes will roll her off the bunk, through the privacy curtain and into the front with me.


Does that mean you take turns in truck driving, or? Do you guys 'live on the road'? Do you ever go back to an apartment/house?

And; do you think it would be viable to keep down a serious relationship with only one person being a truck driver?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Does that mean you take turns in truck driving, or? Do you guys 'live on the road'? Do you ever come back to an apartment/house?

And; do you think it would be viable to keep down a serious relationship with only one person being a truck driver?
We takes turns driving, 10 hour shifts basically. I drive, she sleeps and vice versa. Two shifts each, 40 hours or so, gets you across the country. There and back takes four days in a perfect world but you have to factor in waiting to be unloaded, reloaded, traffic, weather...it amounts to a day and a half home every week, sometimes two and very rarely three.

You can live on the road, I know people who do. No rent, no utilities, bank the paycheck...I couldn't do it, I'm enamored with all my stuff, got a nice place full of shinies. We're home every week, renting too much house which thankfully stays clean while we're away.

Making a relationship work driving solo would depend on the other person I imagine. I know a guy who stays on the phone all day with his wife while she levels up his Warcraft characters. I know another couple, he does all the driving and she just hangs out on the truck making sandwiches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
How often do you get time off work. And on average how much time do you get to spend at home before it's time to hit the road again?

Best diner you've discovered on your travels? What do they sell? Is there pie?

And, Do you keep a shotgun in the cab with you? Or is the missus enough to scare away any would be bandits?
The original plan was six weeks off every year and it's doubled. Yeah, I'm taking three months off annually. Keep in mind none of this is paid vacation. I don't work, I don't earn. It's my sweet spot. I used to do six months on, six off before getting this dedicated route. The weekend is one to three days home, depending.

I'm not much of a diner guy. I like having food delivered to the truck, pizza is big. There's this place in El Paso that does a pastrami and pickle pie with mustard sauce...

We cook a bit. Prepare the food at home, keep it refrigerated on the truck...I've never been a fan of microwaves, we have a single burner stove.

No guns, what's legal in one state doesn't apply to the next, Second Amendment be damned. I worry more about the state than hijackers, you can reason with a hijacker. I know quite a few drivers that carry anyway, FTS, but with a dedicated run I only shut down for any length of time in a secure facility...no overnights in truck stops or creepy neighborhoods.

Ninjas, pirates, zombies...most can be handled with a tire thumper:

image.jpg

You know, for testing psi...tire gauges are for mommy's boys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
***Musical Interlude***

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gI5eT4UmyFY

Convoy lyrics (Jargon explained)

Ah, breaker one-nine, this here's the Rubber Duck.
('Break' or 'breaker' is the polite way to nudge in on a busy CB channel...in this case channel 19)
You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c'mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure.
('Gotta copy?' = 'Are you receiving this?'...'C'mon' or 'come on back' = 'I'm done talking, your turn to respond' ... 10-4 is acknowledgment or agreement, part of the 10 code)
By golly, it's clean clear to Flag Town, c'mon.
(Flagtown = Flagstaff, AZ)
Yeah, that's a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy.
(The front door is anything ahead of you, having the front door is taking pointman position. 'Good buddy' is outdated, it's been co-opted right along with 'gay' and nowadays refers to homosexual truckers...we're left with plain, old 'driver' now)
Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy...

Was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
In a Kenworth pullin' logs
(Kenworth is a make of truck)
Cab-over Pete with a reefer on
(Peterbilt is another make, in a cab-over Pete the engine sits under the cab instead of out front...a reefer is a refrigerated trailer)
And a Jimmy haulin' hogs
(Another make, also outdated. GMC doesn't build rigs anymore)
We is headin' for bear on I-one-oh
('Bear' = law enforcement officer, they seem fond of Smokey Bear headwear. This can be more specific such as 'Mama Bear' for a female LEO or 'Diesel Bear' for a DOT officer. I-one-oh is Interstate 10)
'Bout a mile outta Shaky Town
(Shaky Town = San Franciso)
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"And I'm about to put the hammer down."
('Hammer down' is flooring the accelerator. The 'hammer lane' is the far left lane of the highway as opposed to the far right which is known as the 'granny lane')

Ah, breaker, Pig Pen, this here's the Duck. And, you wanna back off them hogs?
Yeah, 10-4, 'bout five mile or so. Ten, roger. Them hogs is gettin' in-tense up here.

By the time we got into Tulsa Town,
(Tulsa OK...yeah, I know, I'm going for consistency)
We had eighty-five trucks in all.
But they's a roadblock up on the cloverleaf,
And them bears was wall-to-wall.
Yeah, them smokies is thick as bugs on a bumper;
They even had a bear in the air!
(LEO in a helicopter)
I says, "Callin' all trucks, this here's the Duck.
"We about to go a-huntin' bear."

Ah, you wanna give me a 10-9 on that, Pig Pen? Negatory, Pig Pen; you're still too close.
(10-9 is more 10 code...say again, repeat that last message)
Yeah, them hogs is startin' to close up my sinuses. Mercy sakes, you better back off another ten.

Well, we rolled up Interstate 44
Like a rocket sled on rails.
We tore up all of our swindle sheets,
(Swindle sheets are federally mandated log books...they suck large if you weren't able to glean this from context)
And left 'em settin' on the scales.
By the time we hit that Chi-town,
(Chicago, IL)
Them bears was a-gettin' smart:
They'd brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinoise National Guard.
There's armored cars, and tanks, and jeeps,
And rigs of ev'ry size.
Yeah, them chicken coops was full'a bears
(A chicken coop is a scale house, those tiny buildings DOT works out of alongside the scales)
And choppers filled the skies.
Well, we shot the line and we went for broke
With a thousand screamin' trucks
An' eleven long-haired Friends a' Jesus
In a chartreuse micra-bus.

Ah, Rubber Duck to Sodbuster, come over. Yeah, 10-4, Sodbuster? Lissen,
you wanna put that micra-bus in behind that suicide jockey? Yeah, he's
haulin' dynamite, and he needs all the help he can get.
(Suicide jockeys are drivers that haul explosive hazmat...make sure the floor of your trailer isn't metal and you don't have any radioactive hazmat mixed in with your explosive freight.)

Well, we laid a strip for the Jersey shore
And prepared to cross the line
I could see the bridge was lined with bears
But I didn't have a dog-goned dime.
(This is also outdated...getting a truck into NYC runs over $100 now and many drivers refuse these loads. If you've ever wondered why a beer in NYC will run you $10, this and the tickets for double parking because it's impossible to unload otherwise explains some of it)
I says, "Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck.
"We just ain't a-gonna pay no toll."
So we crashed the gate doing ninety-eight
I says "Let them truckers roll, 10-4."

Ah, 10-4, Pig Pen, what's your twenty?
(Twenty is short for 10-20...more 10 code, 'What's your location?')
OMAHA? Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there fer shure.
Well, mercy sakes, good buddy, we gonna back on outta here, so keep the bugs off your glass and the bears off your...tail.
We'll catch you on the flip-flop. This here's the Rubber Duck on the side.
We gone. 'Bye,'bye.
 

·
黐線 ~Chiseen~
Joined
·
5,240 Posts
How does your GPS work? Truck vs. consumer I can imagine is drastically different; especially Google Maps. Truck routes isn't an option at all in consumer grade GPS's... even Waze.

So if you get stuck in traffic, do you tough it out or do you search for backroads and alternate routes to take?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
How does your GPS work? Truck vs. consumer I can imagine is drastically different; especially Google Maps. Truck routes isn't an option at all in consumer grade GPS's... even Waze.

So if you get stuck in traffic, do you tough it out or do you search for backroads and alternate routes to take?
Truck specific GPS...you can set it for height, weight, hazmat, etc. It's pricier than consumer grade. I'm sure of the make, if this isn't the exact model I'm using now it's fairly close: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/trucking/dezl-570lmt/prod162979.html

Most times I tough it out but it depends on a lot of factors. Rule of thumb: Short cuts make for long delays. I tried to bypass an ice storm a couple winters back and wound up on US 287 from Dallas to Amarillo...what a nightmare. There's nothing like having 80,000 lbs of truck lose all 18 points of traction and feeling it slide under your ass. Actually that same trip a four wheeler tried passing me in the less traveled lane and came a hair from going under my trailer. He ended up in the median instead. Best to shut down and bust out the laptop.
 
1 - 20 of 191 Posts
Top