Friday, November 23, 2018

360 OTR Trucking Ride-A-Long Vlog (Week of 11/23/18)

360 OTR Trucking Ride-A-Long Vlog

11/23/2018



Vlogging on the road!

So, I've decided to start vlogging on youtube, and I'm pretty excited about it! I've acquired a Nikon KeyMission 360 camera, and it's really great for how small it is. Although I have heard a lot of complaints about it, it still does the job, and I really like it, Although I am looking forward to getting a Samsung gear 360 so that I can stream to facebook or youtube via my smartphone.


Some examples of pictures ive done with the nikon:



I think it looks really great and cannot wait to show you more of my adventures!


This is the video i uploaded to youtube about my vlog this past week! hope you enjoy it!




Sunday, April 8, 2018

What are fuel rewards and how does it impact you?





What are fuel rewards and how does it impact you?



Fuel rewards are incentives that fuel stops pay the drivers to use their facilities, and essentially fuel up at their stations. These "Rewards" usually are in some sort of point system, and also give a shower credit, and drink credit as well. Some fuel rewards also give tiers of rewards.




Pilot Rewards: the rewards program at Pilot give one point per gallon of fuel pumped, and three cents off of each gallon of fuel. they also give a shower credit for 80 gallons per stop. You gain free drink refills by purchasing drink refills, and the eighth is free.










Loves Rewards: the rewards program at Loves is based on a tier system. the tiers are based on the previous month's amount of gallons fueled. Tier one will get you one point per gallon of fuel and a shower and a free drink refill. Tier two will gain two points per gallon fueled, a shower and a drink refill. Tier three will gain three points, This status gains unlimited refills and unlimited showers. And tier four will gain four points per gallon fueled, unlimited showers and drink refills.


Gaining rewards for fueling your truck is a nice incentive and those points can go a long way!

Friday, March 23, 2018

How to fuel a 18 wheeler.









How do you fuel a Semi Truck?



Fueling an 18 wheeler , or semi-truck, is really not that hard to do. There are a series of steps that need to be taken, and done correctly 
(you will need gloves for this).


1. Finding a fuel isle: One of the most important things you can do it to find a good fuel isle. this is    the determining factor of whether you will be spending an hour at this fuel stop, or only thirty minutes. 

*Things to look for when selecting a good fuel isle are:  Are there anyone else in front of that fuel isle? If the answer is no, then you pretty much have a clear lane to fuel and pull up in. without wasting any time at all.

If the answer is yes, look for a lane you think may be a good fit. Some tips are, try not to pull in behind a lane with a truck that has just moved up. they generally want to go in the store and use the restroom and get food and drinks and such.

Try to find a lane that has a truck that has already moved up, and generally the driver is already in the store. by the time you finish fueling the driver usually will have returned.



2. Lining up your truck for the fuel pump: Make sure you know how far back your fuel tanks are, and how far you need to pull up to access the fuel tanks, and that pesky DEF tank. Use your mirrors to line all of this up. It may take a few tries to get this right, but eventually you'll get to know the truck, and where to stop.



3. Information Information: When you get out of your truck to enter in the information, you'll need your truck number, and your odometer number mostly.  Slide your fuel card into the slot on the machine, it will ask for truck number, then odometer, then either trailer. Then it will proceed to ask you what products you will be purchasing (truck fuel, then DEF fuel).

If you are not purchasing one of these products, just hit skip, do not hit cancel, unless you want to cancel the transaction. Then it will ask you would like a cash advance, then if you need any additional products for your truck (such as oil, or wiper blades, etc) After this, it will process and turn on the pumps for you. Now you want to take the fuel nozzle and place each side in the tanks, and flip the metal piece down so the fuel continues to pump.

While this is going on, this is a good time to clean your windows, your mirrors, and throw away any trash you've been collecting in the truck. After the fuel is dispersed, now is the time for the DEF tank, the DEF tank is alot smaller than a fuel tank, and usually has a blue cap on it, with a very small hole for the nozzle.


WARNING: Do not put DEF fuel into regular fuel tanks.




Def generally takes a bit longer to disperse, and you do not want to get any of this on your clothing or hands, it will burn. I will go over fuel reward points in another post.



4. After fueling: After you fuel, you'll need to pull up, and hope noone is in front of you, if so, you have to wait. When you pull up, go ahead and run inside, use the restroom, get drinks or snacks, but generally don't try to take more than around 10 minutes to do all of this.remember the clock is ticking and now that we are mandated, we don't have any way to stop that clock besides a 10 hour break, and getting out of the fuel island quickly is a common courtesy to truckers behind you.

XM/Sirius Radio review for the Trucker







Having a XM / Sirius Radio for driving extreamly long distances is really a godsend, if you know where to mount the antenna.






Having gone from Cassette player, to FM radio, to CD player, I can honestly tell you that having an satellite radio for driving is really something you should not pass up on, it really is that great!


Imagine driving down the road, enjoying a talk radio channel, or your favorite music channel..when you hear the dreaded fizzing sound of you driving out of range of the signal.. now you have to find another channel, or listen until you cannot hear anything from that channel anymore.


With the satellite radio, you never have to worry about that at all! Just hookup the radio via the instructions, and soon, you will be listening to HD crisp music or talk radio of your choice! The service has over 200 channels for you to choose from, so everyone can find something they enjoy, and with buttons for preset stations, changing stations is a breeze!



Currently in my truck, I have a years worth of XM / Sirius Radio , and I couldn't be happier! Never having to worry about if my station is going to go out, and knowing I can listen to my favorite comedy channels all day long if I wanted to!

The only problem that I have ever had with the radio is the reception with the stock antenna that comes with the system. Although this antenna may be good for regular automobiles, placing it on a truck where it will have a good ground plane is not an easy task.






Two weeks ago I was given a tip about what type of antenna to purchase, and I've only dropped signal when I was in West Virginia, close to the mountains, and then, only for about 2 seconds. changing my antenna from the stock button antenna to this new antenna has made a 100x difference!

The antenna im talking about is the browning antenna with built in ground plane (I'll add a link to it at the bottom of the post). This antenna is amazing, it mounts like a regular antenna, and is more than half off the price of antennas in the truck stop. I've priced truck stop antennas, and they sell for around 65$, but on amazon theyre selling for around 29$, thats over half saved!

Anyways, sorry to rant so much, but i thought all of you out there in truck land should know about this amazing technology. Make sure you get an xm / sirius radio, and the antenna, you will not be dissapointed.

Also, if you drive a freightliner and are having a hard time finding a mounting point, you need to purchase a passenger side spot mirror bolt mount. where you want to mount this bolt mount is behind the truck, ( I know it sounds weird but trust me) , mount the bolt at the top most bolt that holds the side fairings on the truck, now mount the antenna on that bolt, and you will never loose reception ( unless extremely close to mountains) and then only for a second or two.


I hope this was insightful for everyone, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Scott.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

5 MANDATORY items you NEED to bring to Truck Driving Orientation!









MANDATORY items you NEED to bring to Truck Driving Orientation!

A Lot of new people entering the job market as a new OTR Driver don’t really know what to bring with them to orientation. here is a comprehensive list of the essentials that you should bring with you to your orientation at your new job. This list assumes that you will be traveling to your new job via bus or plane or rail. 





For everyone getting a new job that have to travel to go to orientation, railway or airplane is the best way to travel, ask for these options  (otherwise you will be taking a greyhound bus).


5 mandatory items you need to bring with you in trucking orientation:




Documents:

- Make sure you bring your CDL, with whatever endorsements the carrier requires.

- Make sure you bring your Social Security Card, or a card stating you have the right to work in the USA.

- Most companies, even though you may have filled out an application online, will require you to fill out a paper application at the facility. (bring a resume, cheat sheet)

-Bring a good writing pen, your first few days in orientation, will give you writer’s cramp from all the writing you will be doing!


Bedding:

-Bring a good sleeping bag, and don’t forget your favorite pillow! (if you need a night light bring that as well)

Hygiene:

-Bring all the items you would use at your house as far as hygiene, soap, shampoo, etc.
use ziplock bags to contain any water you may have gotten on these items.

Clothing:

-Depending on what time of year it is, and what part of the states you’ll be having orientation, make sure to bring clothing appropriate for the weather, and what type of work you may be doing.

-Flatbedding will most likely always require steel toe boots. whereas Van drivers can mostly get away with tennis shoes or sneakers.

Toiletries:

-Make sure you bring Toiletries along with you, you never know when you will need them in a pinch, and you’ll be thankful you have them.

Toys:

-Last but not least, bring your toys! Have something to do while you sit in the hotel room waiting for the next day. Fly your drone, play your game, enjoy the evenings.

-Most everyone will be bringing their CB  Radios for their trucks, and their XM Radio.




This was just a small list of the bare necessities needed for orientation, if you can think of more, make sure to submit it in the comments below,


Thanks

Scott.

Should you get your CDL Class “A”?









Should you get your CDL Class “A” License?


As a young child, I never dreamed of actually becoming a professional driver.  Seeing the trucks on the road really amazed me, but I thought to myself “I could never actually drive one of those, there’s no way”. Fast forward 30 years into the future, and I’ve been driving them from the age of twenty one. This post is not meant to discourage anyone against getting their CDL, but rather to let people know exactly what they are getting into.



I’m sure everyone has seen the classified ads spouting that you could make upwards to 90k your first year as a CDL holder. First line of business, in this business, is that companies will lie to you to get you hired. Some companies are quite honest, but most of them will tell you whatever you would like to hear to get you in their doors, and hauling their freight. Listen to what the companies are telling you, and make sure you have a strong BS (for lack of a better word) radar. Bigger companies generally have more freight to move, but also have a lot more people working for them, and their recruiters have a quota they must meet, whereas smaller companies may not have more freight, but have less stress and a better personal relationship with you. I’m not here to tell you how much you can or will make in your first year, especially now that we have the EDL mandate in effect.

Here are some things to ponder as you’re on the verge of whether to get your CDL license or not:

  • Are you a social butterfly? – We spend long hours by ourselves in a small box of a truck.
  • Do you have small kids? – You may miss some of their performances (although now we can facetime)
  • Do you love a set schedule? – We tend to never have a set schedule, some deliveries are at 2-3 am , it’s very sporadic
  • Do you need a set paycheck? – we get paid in miles, not hours (unless you’re local, then you can get paid in hours)
  • Do you have urgent medical needs? – Some things can be ok out on the road, some cannot.
If you think you can pass that last check list then that’s great! Even so, being out your first month, you’re sure to have homesickness. Some have it worse than others.

Looking forward into your career as a Professional Driver,  it would be helpful if you :

  • Are a Hermit – we spend long hours alone by ourselfs
  • Enjoy driving  – Speaks for itself
  • Can live in a small area for weeks on end – Some drivers get home every week, some are out much longer
  • Don’t mind using public restrooms and showers. – we use the restrooms wherever we might be able to. (sometimes literally)
  • Don’t mind waiting hours to get loaded or unloaded – just kidding, even us long time drivers don’t like waiting
  • Enjoy the freedom of the open road – nothing else quite compares
  • Can sit in traffic for long periods of time – got to love atlanta and chicago traffic

These are just a few of what I could gather in my mind in a short period of time as to what to warn new drivers about. I would really like to hear your feedback on this subject, and perhaps I could help answer any area that I have not covered in the post.


The only dumb question is the one not asked

Scott.

3 Best ways to get your CDL!













How to get your class A CDL – A Guide of different ways to get your CDL.






Interested in getting your CDL and seeing the USA?


In this post, I’m going to guide you through several ways you can acquire your CDL.  From the cheapest and easiest to the more expensive and not so easy.


Technical College:
  •  Visit your local Technical College, and see if they are providing classes for CDL training. This route will be the longest, but with grants and scholarships, it should also be the cheapest, and your more likely to get better training at these facilities.
Big Carriers:
  • Big commercial carriers offer CDL training, but they generally don’t cost in the way of money, they cost in the way of you owe them a year or two, depending on the carrier, of your life. These companies will train you according to their specifications and get the CDL with you. The repayment comes in the form of you having to work for them for the next year or two, or however many you have signed the contract for. Not the best route to go, but it is viable, and if you can wait out the time on the contract, you’ve just received a free CDL.
CDL Driving School:
  • This will possibly be your most expensive route to take, and different schools have different values as well. While some schools will teach you the right way to do things, the majority of them will teach just enough to get by. I know that in 1996 the price to attend one of the schools was in the 6k range. You will have to repay this debt, and there is no guarantee that you are getting sound teaching, other than passing the test, and maybe making it through the course, and even then, you may not pass your CDL test.

This is not a bashing on any of the options to get your CDL. It is merely an explanation on how you can go about getting your CDL.

If you have further questions, please ask them in the comments below, I look forward to hearing from you!

The only dumb question is the one not asked

Scott.