Trucking, fading fast

The last few months have been difficult for me. Trying to figure out what to do after my trucking career is over. I picked up a new hobby, sewing, but will it make enough money for me to make a decent living?  My concentration is off, so going back to school may not work right now. In this industry, if you do not work, you don’t get paid! I am on the down side of this and going back out on the road makes me….scream! Can’t bite the bullet on this one!

As time passes, traffic is getting worse.  When I first came into the industry, I would pass cars and the people would hold a thumbs up, waving, and smiling. Now, you are given the finger, cutting you off and sometimes passing you in your lane (riding in the same lane). I must admit, I have gotten to be as bad as they are and thats why I need to get out of the truck!

This used to be a great job. Travelling everywhere, even though you are working. I miss the comraderie of my fellow drivers, the way we would head out to make a delivery or pick up and return to the yard at the same time. The noise we would make on the cb radio, which we had our own channel, talking over each other. We all would stop at the same place and eat, joke around for a few, trying not to get back too early. Those were the best times!  Now, everyone is doing their own thing at different companies. 

 If I could do this all over again, would I change anything, the answer is ‘Yes’. I would finish the books I started before my mind has gotten to this point. I have tried many times to get back to them, but can’t focus enough to write one chapter.

Driving has always been my first love. The freedom of being out on the road and seeing things that I wouldn’t have normally gotten to see, is the best part of trucking. If you were lucky enough to be able to stop and look around, it could have been a mini vacation, especially when you had to do a 34-48 hour reset. You could do a little site seeing or gamble at a casino.

But, I am done with trucking, mentally and physically. Any suggestions as to what to do now, will be greatly appreciated. 

FMCSA unveils driver training rule proposal, sets up core curriculum and more for PRE-CDL drivers

James Jaillet|March 04, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is set to publish Monday, March 7, a proposed rule that, if made final, would implement a required core training curriculum for prospective truckers before they receive their CDL. The curriculum notably includes at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training before being issued a CDL.

 

The Entry Level Driver Training rule’s implementation would take place three years after its final publication in the Federal Register, which will come after the agency takes public comment for 60 days on the proposal and makes any changes to the rule based on that feedback. The proposal then would have to be approved by the DOT and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget before being published. The three-year countdown to its implementation would begin then.

 

The proposal, unveiled Friday, March 4, by FMCSA, in addition to the core curriculum and behind-the-wheel requirements, seeks to establish a registry of FMCSA-approved driver training providers. FMCSA’s rule outlines minimum qualifications related to instructors, testing, training vehicles and more that the agency will use to approve training providers for the registry.

 

The agency is accepting public comment on the rule for 60 days, starting Monday. Visitregulations.gov then and serach for docket number FMCSA-2007–27748 to see the rule and to file a comment.

 

The rule will apply to all drivers required to complete a CDL skills test to obtain a CDL and to those upgrading their license from Class B to Class A. The curriculum for those seeking a Class A license is broken down into two categories: Theory and actual driving time.

 

The theoretical component includes required training on basic vehicle instruments and controls, basic operation of a vehicle, how to perform a vehicle inspection, controlling a vehicle under various road and traffic conditions, how to shift and back a vehicle, hours of service, handling cargo, crash procedures, fatigue awareness, vehicle maintenance and violations, trip planning and more.

 

The driving time component of the rule requires operators to spend at least 30 hours behind the wheel before receiving a CDL, with at least 10 of those hours spent on a driving range. How the other 20 hours are received will be determined by the training providers, but the rule does stipulate that drivers must drive at least 10 of them on a public road or take 10 public road trips of no less than 50 minutes each.

 

Overdrive will have more on the rule and its requirements in the coming weeks.

 

Freightliner unveils first U.S.-legal autonomous truck

EQUIPMENTOverdrive Staff|May 05, 2015

Freightliner Trucks unveiled May 5 in Las Vegas the first road-legal self-driving truck for the North American market.

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Freightliner this week unveiled a futuristic concept vehicle, the SuperTruck, which it says has been in the works for half a decade. Here’s a look …The truck, dubbed the Freightliner Inspiration, can legally operate in the state of Nevada, and it’s commercially viable, Freightliner says.  It’s not available for purchase yet, and details are still scarce.   Freightliner will reveal more Wednesday, May 6.  The Inspiriation, however, will no longer be relegated to just test tracks and closed roads.   It will be running in public traffic throughout the state of Nevada while engineers refine its operation.  Stay tuned to Overdrive for more details as Daimler Trucks North America, Freightliner’s parent company, unveils more today.

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Photos: Freightliner unveils futuristic SuperTruck concept
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Too Busy to Post

It has been a while since my last post. It’s not because I am no longer interested,  it’s because I have been so busy.  Between the job and my new hobby, I haven’t had the chance to put anything out.

I promise to start back up again.  The trucking industry is getting outrageous with some new rules and regulations and even introducing an unmanned truck to this country! Imagine that!  More later on that.  Have a great day, everybody! 🙂

Keith and Vickie Sampson’s 156-inch ARI sleeper

Todd Dills|October 04, 2014

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You may have seen the video above already — Trucker Talent Search winner Keith Sampson’s on the cover this month attendant to a larger story about him we’ll be publishing online quite soon. Meantime, though, as I believe I promised at some point in the recent past here, get a load of Keith and his team owner-operator wife, Vickie’s, 2014 Volvo:Keith and Vickie Sampson's 2014 Volvo

The pair sent me this picture several days after the end of the Great American Trucking Show two months back, where we’d talked about the 53-foot van — it was at that moment in the shop getting a fresh coast of red to match the truck and 156-inch ARI sleeper. Striking color, no doubt — keep an eye out for them on the highway.

Sampsons' ARI interiorThe Sampsons note they ordered the truck via the GATR Truck Center in Des Moines, Iowa, near the beginning of this year, collaborating then with ARI in Northern Indiana to build the sleeper. The “Dark Persimmon Metallic and Black Sable” paint from the factory was matched after the fact on the boxes and fenders. The trailer paint work was done by Keith’s Collision in Justin, Texas, to match.

Sampsons' ARI interiorThe sleeper has all the amenities of home, they say: shower, toilet, 32-inch flat screen TV/DVD, onboard in-motion-capable satellite with Direct TV, two-burner cook-top stove, microwave convection oven, sink, full dinette that easily folds up against the back wall, “giving us a queen size bed.” The shorepower option enables the couple to “drop our trailer and plug in at an RV park, which we do quite often.”

The fully automatic transmission along with a preference for light loads helps the unit net an average 6.8 mpg — with the light loads they typically get more than 7 mpg driving 62-65 mph.

Stay tuned for more in future, no doubt. I’m hopeful the pair may get through Nashville at some point under a load. Safe hauling this weekend, everyone!