Yes I've got a dashcam.

This is a map of where I've been. This is an album of zoomed-in versions of that map. Each dot is where I took a picture, many of which you can find in this album.

Here is an interesting conversation about distracted driving.

Brief soapboxy thing:

There is safe driving, and then there is the person who goes by the book. There is a way to drive around other cars, and another for trucks. There are drowsy truck drivers killing people and the new laws and regulations aren't helping as much as they could. Despite being an integral part of our economy, truck driving hasn't seen a wage increase in years. Most drivers work 12-14 hour days without overtime due to the pay-per-mile structure. The amount of new drivers is skyrocketing and the reason isn't more freight but instead tightening budgets. Companies don't want to pay proven safe drivers, so some of them have implemented paid training and rush drivers into there CDL. Things like this are happening for no discernibly good reason.

I'd love to talk about all that and trucker bombs, lot lizards, life on the road, etc. Yes I've pissed in a bottle.

EDIT 3:06am EST: I'll still answer questions, but the bedtime now. Thanks everyone! EDIT 2:17am EST: Still here, my life is passing by slowly. EDIT 1:06am EST: I'll still answer anything you've got for the next few hours. Thanks for the questions!

Comments: 309 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

coveritwithgas70 karma

What's your least favorite state to drive through and why is it Ohio?

Timecook36 karma

I actually drive into Ohio every night from Indiana to Toledo on 80/90. About 8 miles before the 75 interchange construction starts. Speed limit drops from 70 to 50, trucks to the left lane. For 8 miles I look around and see a lot of equipment and barrels, but no people. That's why I hate Ohio.

But to their credit, there isn't a different speed limit for trucks which is actually really, really awesome. In Michigan the truck limit is 60 and car limit is 70, which means we've got little things whizzing by us from every angle. It makes car drivers hate us more because we're going so slow compared to the flow of traffic. And when there are only two lanes (most of 94) and we need to pass another truck, everyone looses their shit.

Makia15 karma

from michigan, we are sorry.

Timecook4 karma

Michigan is home base. I'm sorry.

convothought1 karma

Yeah, another apology from Michigan. We seriously have the worst roads in the Midwest.

Timecook2 karma

Michigan also suffers from a lack of funding and pretty harsh winters. They do the best they can... At least that's what I tell myself.

Would be awesome if they widened 94 though...

16dots2 karma

For 8 miles I look around and see a lot of equipment and barrels, but no people.

From my experience, it's like that everywhere in the US.

Timecook2 karma

To Michigan's credit, when they start a project, most of the time they stay on that project 24 hours until it's finished... Except weekends. Ohio takes long breaks and never works at night.

omnichronos1 karma

I live in Michigan and drive a lot in Ohio and elsewhere. I try to be patient with the truckers and their passing but occasionally you come across the guy that wants to pass right as you catch up to them. It's hard to be patient when they could have waited to pass and then when they do, they pass at 1/10th of a mph faster than the guy they are passing. I admit these guys are a minority but do you have any insight into this practice?

Timecook1 karma

Passing is extremely necessary... That said, I can't explain why some truckers deem it acceptable to hang out next to each other or cut off cars to make a pass.

What Michigan should consider is either raising the truck speed limit to 65 and lowering the car limit to 65. Widening 94 would be nice also. But that speed different creates more harm than good. When cars can go so much faster than trucks, car drivers are even less willing to wait for us to make a pass.

Proper etiquette for truck drivers is if you're on a two lane road and being passed on the left by a slightly faster truck, when they reach half your length, to back off the throttle just enough to make the whole process to faster. Unfortunately too many truckers don't care about that.

omnichronos1 karma

I suspect they like maintaining the same speed to save gas, no matter if they have 15 cars lined up waiting for them to finish passing.

Timecook2 karma

Most trucks, especially the ones with big company names, are governess (speed-limited). That speed varrys, but it's usually between 60 and 65. Trust me, if a trucker could go faster they would.

Catmuseum21 karma

Do you chuck your piss bottles into the bushes? Because as a teenager who worked at a service station, thanks for that.

Timecook28 karma

Garbage. A guy I went through training with used to mow the side of the highway. He had stories that pretty much convinced me the only moral or ethical thing to do was put them in the trash.

iwidiwin3 karma

Bags of shit as well?

Timecook9 karma

I've never had one, but I know guys who have miniature camper toilets in their cab. I couldn't imagine taking a shit inside my cab.

iwidiwin3 karma

I supervise a litter clean-up crew that works on the freeways and we find bottles of piss and bags of shit all the time. I'm sure it's because truckers don't want to stop and risk delivering their loads late, but it's ridiculously gross.

Timecook3 karma

I can't defend throwing them out the window or shitting into a bag. But sometimes, not all the time, there is simply no choice but to piss in a bottle.

MoleHairs18 karma

What's one of the craziest experiences you've had while on the road?

Timecook42 karma

Sudden fog is exceptionally frightening.

iwanttofork8 karma

What do you do in that situation? slow down?

Timecook20 karma

Yeah. Ideally we would stop, but we're a huge thing that's slightly harder to miss, so stopping on the side of the road is usually reserved for mechanical issues only. We have to find an exit before we can safely stop... but that exit has to be truck-friendly and have an accessible way back onto the road in the same direction. The facts that we're paid by the mile and usually on a strict delivery time makes us a bit more motivated to keep moving as well.

PounderMcNasty15 karma

Have you ever banged out a Lot Lizard? How was it?

Timecook15 karma

No, they're never attractive or I wasn't quite desperate enough.

buzz_killington7414 karma

What would you recommend to other folks on the road to make things easier for truck drivers?

Timecook29 karma

In general: Use low beams if you can see headlights or taillights.

Pick a speed and stick to it unless passing someone slower.

Stay to the right unless passing. This basic rule is the one I see getting ignored the most. If everyone favors the right there will be a natural leap-frog like pattern in the traffic and the average speed will increase.

Don't pass big trucks on the right. Our sight line in that side is much farther away and we've got to turn our head to see it.

Merging. It's not simply called "getting in the highway." It's merging. You've got to fit yourself into the flow of traffic. This means matching speed before the end of the ramp. On ramps that curve under the bridge, you're pretty much getting lucky if there isn't an accident.

sc_jm11 karma

Those are rules that apply for people to make driving easier for everyone.

And don't forget to signal.

Timecook5 karma

Yes signals are good. Along that same vein, use your hazards to communicate of you need to. When traffic suddenly slows down turning them on warns other drivers.

BoatLifeMN2 karma

I swear 50% of American drivers don't know how to use hazard signals. Stopped on the freeway? "I'll just turn my left blinker on!"

Timecook2 karma

It's pretty nauseating how many just stop in their lane when the weather gets bad.

VisVirtusque3 karma

I've heard that if a truck is trying to change lanes and you are going to let them in you should flash your high beams. Is this true?

Timecook6 karma

Yes, but if you can, a better option is to shut off your lights and turn them back on... or on and then off again. This is called 'blinking' your lights.

High beams are brighter and pointed up slightly. Our mirrors are huge and pointed down to see you, so the light gets reflected right into our eyes.

PityTheBaffoon13 karma

How do you handle when you are horny?

Timecook18 karma

By avoiding it. IF you manage to get by with porn alone, the only perk to being horny is a healthy drive to stay fit. But most guys either succumb to porn or quit before making the right decision. But someone who is asexual or has no libido would definitely have an easier time as an OTR driver.

Ovedya201112 karma

I've always wondered about lot lizards. Are they real at all, or are they just in places like Vegas and on the outskirts of big cities? I've been through plenty of trucker stops and have never seen one. How frequent are they, and are any of them decent looking? What's the lowdown?

Timecook16 karma

They're more common in the south from my experience. Since the bigger truck stops have been bought out by the bigger companies (Pilot/Flying J, TA/Petro) there has been a crackdown on lot lizards. I have seen a few, weirdest one was at a Flying J just south of Memphis. She was almost completely naked and just wandering around in the middle of the day.

mateo_rules12 karma

Have you ever picked up a hitch hiker.?how did that go ?

Timecook18 karma

I have not, but I've been solicited quite a few times in a truck stop. It usually doesn't take them long to find a ride, but I've never had a good enough feeling for one of them to let them in the cab with me.

grachuss11 karma

Do you own your own truck or do you do drive for a company?

How much do you make?

Timecook12 karma

I drive for the arrow locally now. I actually work for a contractor who leases trucks and contracts his drivers to the arrow. So I don't own one. My 550 mile run nets me just under a grand a week before taxes.

Davkul11 karma

My dad was a truck driver and I have tremendous respect for drivers. I'm one of those guys that everyone hates to be behind because I always try to let trucks merge or get into my lane.

Timecook15 karma

Thanks, you have no idea how much that means. Merging is something that can either go normal or horrifically bad.

Davkul3 karma

On a related note. Do you have a CB call sign?

Timecook10 karma

No, though I've talked to a few of the same guys on separate nights. CB chatter has diminished to almost nothing. I'm just called whatever is on the side of my truck.

NocturnusGonzodus5 karma

That's a shame. As a non-trucker, I have a CB in my car, and as recently as a few years ago, listening to the dialog was one of the funniest things ever. I think I pissed off a few truckers, though, a couple years ago. I was down in Manchester Tennesse, lined up along I-24. Heard some chatter and rumors about what was going on. I happened to be going to the event, and explained. Some dude asked if I minded. I just wanted to share information.

Timecook5 karma

Some of them can be confusing as fuck.

bhouse0810 karma

At 550 miles a day you travel the earth roughly every month and a half, how does that make you feel?

Timecook14 karma

Like it would have taken a month to make that delivery. I don't know, is driving faster than a boat? Sure as hell can't beat a train or plane. It helps to know your competition.

ozurr3 karma

You have the advantage of having no rail or port cut, that's for certain. In some businesses, that makes all the difference.

Timecook2 karma

That's what gives us an edge... Unfortunately we also ask to be paid for it so it's usually the last resort.

misterhastedt9 karma

What's the biggest city you've had to drive into? Was it hectic dealing with traffic?

Timecook27 karma

Chicago is not designed for big trucks.

viewerblur9 karma

Do any truckers still use CB radios? My grandmother had one in her pickup truck and one of my earliest memories is trying out the different channels back in the 80's when I was a kid.

Timecook8 karma

CB's are still in most trucks but they aren't used as much as they were 20 yeas ago. Mostly just relaying traffic and weather info now.

detroitflyer8 karma

Do you have internet in your cab? how do you pass your time, when you are parked?

Timecook16 karma

When I was OTR I used the hotspot from my phone. I was able to connect to Xbox live and actually play if the signal was strong enough.

Murseturkleton8 karma

How do you stay in shape on the road? What is your favorite place to drive?

Timecook14 karma

Health is pretty simple if you just build a routine based around it. You can do pretty creative stretches in space as small as a sleeper cab. The biggest issue is getting the cardio... I've seen some guys with a bike attached to the back of their cab.

Sirskills7 karma

What do you do to pass the time? Radio, music, books on tape, videos, etc...

Timecook20 karma

SiriusXM has been a savior for me. Audiobooks are hard, but to be fair I haven't given one a fair try.

But mostly it's really, really boring.

AATroop8 karma

I would recommend podcasts. They're fantastic for passing time and you can pick out exactly what interests you enjoy. Once you've found some hosts you enjoy, your interest in them will make time pass much more quickly.

Timecook6 karma

Any suggestions?

ilikeostrichmeat5 karma

What happens after you make a delivery? How do you get contacted to transport a certain cargo?

Timecook4 karma

Most companies have a computer on board each truck that uses a satellite signal to communicate with dispatch. The older method is just phone calls. In my current position I know all my cargo ahead of time.

SlutWaterTaffy5 karma

I encourage you to try out a few audiobooks. They remove the monotony from long rides & keep your brain engaged. Sometimes I am sad to reach my destination, even after driving for several hours, because then I need to take a break from the audiobook.

What are some non-obvious ways that other drivers can make your job less stressful?

If I am driving and see something wrong with a truck on the road (e.g. blown tire, smoking brakes, loose load on a flatbed), how should I alert the driver without having to call the police on him?

Timecook5 karma

Yeah I should try them out. Gotta find a good one.

Just following the basics of driving is enough for a normal driver to make the job a bit easier. The biggest one in my opinion would be maintaining a consistent speed.

You'll get a drivers attention by blinking or flashing your lights a lot. Do a pointing motion and that should suffice. It can be hard to notice a trailer blowout, but anything on the tractor should be noticed by the driver when it happens. Of they're still driving like that then call the cops.

ChiguireDeRio5 karma

"On the road" by Jack Kerouac was a savior for me when I moved from FL to California.

Make sure you get the version read by Will Patton, it was a blast.

Timecook2 karma

Nice, thanks!

NocturnusGonzodus1 karma

Something I would suggest is movies. Not watching, of course, but I've got some software that will rip the audio track from movies, and convert it to wav/mp3. Tommy Boy has been a road trip staple for me for years, and it's never let me down.

Timecook1 karma

Interesting... I feel like I might want to have the visual element too much...

ilikeostrichmeat5 karma

What types of things have you delivered? Do different companies contact you and ask if you can deliver [certain product] to [certain place] by [certain time] or do you just get a new assignment once you finish the first one? Do you have a schedule of deliveries?

Timecook6 karma

When I worked for a traditional OTR company we had certain companies that contracted us to haul their stuff. Most of the time with them it was new and scrap paper. But we could haul anything someone wanted to ship.

Now I work for the arrow. So amazon stuff and small parcels.

jonathan888765 karma

Also, would you recommend going into driving for a few years after college to help pay off student debt?

Timecook4 karma

If you're comfortable with a lifestyle overhaul, that's fine. Did you move away for college or have you been at home all this time? It would be like moving away for college except rougher and completely alone.

jonathan888763 karma

I'm actually currently a high school senior, but I have lived away from home for weeks at a time at a younger age and it didn't bother me too much.

Timecook1 karma

Yeah use the trucking thing as a plan 'x' or later. If you play your cards right during college you won't need plan x.

ThatsMrAsshole2You3 karma

I gotta ask- For what purpose will you be attending college? You obviously aren't rich, or student debt wouldn't be an issue, so you probably will be studying something that would...wait for it...lead to a job after graduation.

jonathan888763 karma

I'm not sure, actually (very very strongly considering law school) and that's very true. But I've thought of trucking as kind of like being out in the oil fields-high-paying but requiring insane hours. Is this an incorrect perception?

ThatsMrAsshole2You3 karma

Truck drivers are actually highly regulated on how many hours they can drive. OTR drivers are gone from home, but the actual driving is...I'm not sure anymore, I know the rules have changed since I had my CDL back in the 90s.

Here's my advice- Find out what you want to do and go for it, don't dick around. You are young and it's time to buckle down and bust your butt in order to make the rest of your life easy, or as easy as possible.

This is what I told my kids- You can bust your butt in the beginning of your life getting an education, and the rest of your life is a party. Or, you can party in the beginning, and bust your butt making up for it for the rest of your life. Make a choice.

Timecook6 karma

This is solid stuff, but I think the guy was just thinking about what he might have to do once he's done with school. Not everyone is getting a job right out of college.

ThatsMrAsshole2You1 karma

The only people I know who don't go to work right out of college are either not motivated, or wealthy...I don't know any of the wealthy ones, but I've read about

My daughter is a good example. She just keeps dicking around and she is now 23. She has her associates degree, but now she is wandering around trying to figure things out. She is unmotivated and I don't know why.

My son, on the other hand, gets out of the army this Friday at midnight after 6 years. He has already been accepted to the University of Arizona School of Microbiology and Immunology. After graduation he hopes to go to medical school at UofA. He is driven and is on a mission, and has been since I explained life to him at about 10 years old.

Two totally different kids raised exactly the same by the same parents and they are on two different paths. I guess my point is that, as adults and parents, the best we can do is to try to give good advice and hopefully some will stick. But, in the end, we all choose our own path.

Timecook1 karma

I wish I had someone to explain life to me 10 years ago.

bttruman4 karma

What does it mean when a trucker turns their lights off, and then back on?

Timecook9 karma

They're signaling to the vehicle in front of them that they're clear to enter the lane. Or if they're flashing their running lights, that's a "thank you" if the vehicle being passed gave them a signal that they're clear to enter the lane.

Most cars flash their high beams for the same purpose. I advise against using your high beams because they're pointed directly at our mirrors.

Many trucks have running lights/headlight interrupters which the driver can flick to turn the lights on and off quickly for this purpose.

Alex2014 karma

How much do you make a year?

Timecook7 karma

Average driver is in the 35k range.

jonsonwhui4 karma

Do you play footsies in the washrooms? If you know what I mean

Timecook15 karma

I think after a while every driver has to either accept or settle to live with the fact that only minutes before he stepped on that tile that some stranger may have just rubbed one out upon it with only a minimum-wage spray of clorox to separate the two.

TheBaconator19903 karma

What's your least favorite interstate? Mine is I-40 from Needles, CA to Barstow, CA. There's nothing to see, everything is under construction in the desert, and it's hotter than Africa outside.

Timecook3 karma

I haven't been through enough of California.

I really enjoyed the I-80 route through Iowa. It's a relaxing, easy straight line with a lot of hills. I also liked going through the smokey mountains.

turdodine3 karma

do all your Exes live in Texas ?

Timecook1 karma

Only 12% of them.

droideka99903 karma

What state has the worst drivers? In my experience, as a non-truck driver, it's a toss-up between Minnesota and Missouri.

Timecook7 karma

I've actually seen the craziest shit in Georgia.

goingrogueatwork2 karma

ohhh the I75 in Georgia..

Timecook3 karma

That 5-6 lane loop around Atlanta is ridiculous.

AvenueMan3 karma

Has being a truck driver had any major effect on your health?

Timecook8 karma

It has, but not as bad as it could have. The hardest thing is snacking... There's not much that can be done while driving, but eating is one of them.

JustTheInteger3 karma

Have you played American Truck Simulator or Euro Truck Simulator 2?

Timecook2 karma

I haven't, sounds incredibly dull. Is it more for the backing and turning?

Save_a_Dog2 karma

I don't have anything to ask (I have a lovely friend who drives truck and has the best stories) but I just want to say that I appreciate all that you do.

Timecook3 karma

Thanks. :)

gbell112 karma

What are your best tips for occupying your mind on long road trips?

Timecook3 karma

I've found that it's much easier for me to stay awake and alert while driving the truck simply due to its size and weight... Something about that keeps me up. I have found that if, while driving my car, I keep my eyes moving and point out landmarks to myself I seem to stay awake better. That's kinda what I'm doing in a truck as part of the job.

MrTwenty62 karma

What is going on in the facebook video you posted? how does this happen? how would you get out of that situation?

Timecook8 karma

That guy didn't see the bridge height sign until it was too late and tried to turn around. He didn't have enough room to make the turn on got stuck on the grass.

He should've known his route before driving. He also should have seen the sign... And then he could have stopped traffic to back out. He did none of that.

lupulusmaximus2 karma

How do you feel about how the govt regulates your business like the FMCSA or scale houses in general?

Timecook5 karma

Many of the regulations are necessary because truckers we kinda out of control. But some of the most recent ones are reaching too far. We're now required to have two consecutive periods between 1am and 5am to complete a reset. That creates an environment where drivers simply cannot drive as much as they could per reset. So income goes down. The problem they're trying to solve with that is truckers burning through resets without enough rest. But the added stress of lower income is making things worse. If you want truckers to sleep, make it easier for them to sleep. Invest in electric idle yards and create more parking to start.

jonathan888762 karma

Lot lizards-are they mostly prostitutes or just girls looking to hook up with someone who won't be around in their town?

Timecook3 karma

The ones who are still dumb enough to wander around truck stops are hookers. The ones you may find soliciting themselves on Craigslist are probably scammers or the exact opposite of what they're describing.

hpizzle122 karma

Do you listen to Howard Stern? Also, I know a lot of Sikhs that come from India and become truck drivers. Tends to be a job that you can get into without any formal education but still make good bucks. Do you have any Sikh friends?

Timecook4 karma

I've seen a lot of them. One I encountered in a rest area was extremely pleasant when he asked me to help him back into a spot. I was surprised he had the balls to ask someone for help instead of just trying and screwing up.

I don't listen to Stern anymore. He doesn't work as much anymore so a lot of his shows are replays. I listen to the Opie and Anthony channel if I want talk radio. That and POTUS for politics. But the music channels are all quite good.

PracticeMakePerfect1 karma

What Gas station food gave you the worst shits? For science..

Timecook2 karma

Fried chicken from gas stations is always hell.

bennybiz1 karma

Is crystal meth really big in the trucker community?

Timecook1 karma

Not in my experience. Most companies are pretty strict on drug testing.

SpartanPT1 karma

Are gas prices a problem?

Timecook3 karma

They're always a problem.

latuyacabron1 karma

As a hitchhiker, I just have to ask...

Why is it that when I walk around a Luv's, everyone says, "Sorry kid, company policy, I could lose my job" only to see the same guy pick up a lizzie and head for a quiet corner of the lot?

edit: I was only looking for a lift...

Timecook2 karma

I wouldn't pick up either normally. Can't explain their behavior... only assume they're extremely horny.

latuyacabron1 karma

Fucking porn, man. Prostitutes aren't horny, they want drugs. Travelers aren't horny (okay, we are horny, but we usually settle that in alleyways and railyards) we just want a lift. Be straight- does your company REALLY have sensors on the seat/door to let HQ know if anyone gets into the cab?

Timecook2 karma

Oh, yeah, many do. It's just them covering their ass though.... so if you get in a wreck or your passenger is accidentally injured somehow they're not liable. We can have riders if we clear it with the company. Some companies have fees that go along with that to cover insurance.

MeanMC1 karma

What's it like driving across all those beautiful area's at perfect times?

Timecook2 karma

If I weren't in a big truck during it would have been an amazing experience.

jamesccardwell1 karma

Do you smoke meth?

Timecook2 karma


srini100001 karma

Is this a legit question.? If not I apologize. But do insurance companies recognize the inherent risks of driving a truck for long periods and charge extra premium. Do the companies that put out contracts recognize this and offer consolation should anything untoward happen?

Timecook3 karma

Question is fine but I don't know the answer to it. I think the insurance companies just care about driver record and experience.

Diet_Coke1 karma

When you're driving 68 and the trucker in front of you is driving 67, why do you get in front of cars that are doing 70-75 to pass them, instead of waiting for the cars to pass and the road to be clear?

Timecook3 karma

Because there is an endless line of cars... usually. I won't do this if I see an end to the line of cars.

mtbfreerider1821 karma

How do you combat unhealthy eating/being fat? Or do you comfortably succumb?

Do you ever pick up hitch hikers?

How long are your shifts? How do you deal with getting sleepy?

Do you end up at the same place each night, or are you away from home a lot?

Do you listen to podcasts or the radio?

What's the weirdest cargo you've ever carried?

What are people most clueless about with your profession?

Timecook2 karma

I have siriusxm, but I've been told podcasts are a great option.

The weirdest cargo... I've only done dryvan and doubles, but I've hauled a lot of toilet paper.

The most common misconception I encounter is that we're all the same big fat lazy caffeine-addicted meth junkie outlaw. There is somewhat of a newer generation coming in that is a bit more tame/health-driven.

Timecook2 karma

I'll answer the rest here. :)

I've never done the hitchhiker thing. Can't say I wouldn't ever, I've just never trusted one that asked.

Shifts are usually long. We're legally aloud to drive for 11 hours but with on and off duty not driving our day can be a maximum 14 hours. We must have a 10 hour break. The worst part is the vast majority of companies don't pay overtime, so were more motivated to speed.

I've taken a local gig. My night route is a giant triangle. But I used to run OTR, and those guys aren't home much. A different place every night.

Timecook1 karma

It's pretty hard unless you've got a truck with an actual refrigerator. You've got to get creative with exercise... I've seen guys with equipment, but for the most part is small stuff you can do in the cab and long walks/jogs.

larastro1 karma

Ever being driving down a lonely road and see something that was unexplainable? What was it and how did you react?

Timecook2 karma

Not yet.

sc_jm1 karma

Ever run across rumors / incidences of things like this happening on the road? Any other drivers that you've run across that you were wary of?

Timecook2 karma

There was a big story like that out of Gary Indiana which I pass through every day. A few years ago somebody was int he TA truck stop parking lot on a creeper rolling under the cabs of truck drivers while they slept. He would shot a muzzled handgun up through the bottom. Pretty fucked up story to listen to and then try to sleep in that same parking lot.

bitches_love_brie1 karma

  1. What is you favorite gas station/c-store?
  2. Why do truck drivers sometimes begin to pass right before an incline, making everyone else wait while they spend 10 minutes trying to pass? I've encountered this many times on the bi-weekly trip from Kansas city to St. Louis on I-70. I normally have the utmost respect for the drivers and their enormous responsibility of keeping that load on the road, but that is damn frustrating.
  3. What's your best 'seat cover' story (and do truckers still say that??)

Timecook3 karma

I aim for Flying J's and Pilots. They're usually cleaner and nicer.

Truck passing is really frustrating, I get that. And for the hills thing... Sometimes they spring up unpredictably, but also some drivers are just assholes. Except while on a hill, the proper thing to do if you're being passed on a two lane road is to slow down if it will make it happen faster. Too many drivers don't do that though.

I know what seat covers means but I haven't heard it over the CB yet. My craziest story is the blow up doll giving me the trucker horn signal. There's a picture of it in the album.

Timecook1 karma

I aim for Flying J's and Pilots. They're usually cleaner and nicer.

Truck passing is really frustrating, I get that. And for the hills thing... Sometimes they spring up unpredictably, but also some drivers are just assholes. Except while on a hill, the proper thing to do if you're being passed on a two lane road is to slow down if it will make it happen faster. Too many drivers don't do that though.

kawaiipoint21 karma

Would this sign happen to be along I-29 between Fargo and Grand Forks, ND? Edit: Added link

Timecook1 karma

If you're talking about the one in my album, yes, it is.

kentonlin1 karma

Thanks for doing this IAMA. My question is how lonely is it being a truck driver and how do you cope with loneliness? Also how many hours do you usually spend on the road every week or month?

Timecook2 karma

It's a lonely job... Only people comfortable with being that lonely should do it. Many truckers get dogs and that seems to help a lot.

An average OTR trucker will be away from home most of a month. Some drivers don't even have a home and live out of their truck.

unzippingMyFLy1 karma

is 'lot lizard' a true connotation in the truck driving world? 'Yea, they look like a couple of lot lizards. Let's try.'

Timecook2 karma

Haha I don't know about that dialog but yeah, lot lizard is the term used for truck stop hookers.

rush_n_attack1 karma

Serious question: If it's so dangerous for smaller cars to pass a truck on the right-hand side, why do so many trucks seem to be in the left-most lanes?? It's maddening.

[Captain Hindsight: If you didn't want me to pass you on the right, you shouldn't have been in the fast lane!]

Timecook2 karma

If there is a truck camping out in the far left lane then there is something wrong there and they should be called on. Nobody should be cruising in that lane, even cars, unless they're passing. Cars break that rule all the time. When I was 18 I got pulled over and ticketed for doing it.

But the reason you shouldn't pass semi trucks on the right is because it's much harder for us to see you and we've got to turn our head to see that mirror. Plus we try to hug the side of a lane that is away from traffic to minimize wind sheer and give cars and trucks as much space as possible. So if someone is hanging out to the right of us it closes that gap we can have. And if we had to avoid a problem chances are we're going to the right. Also right turns are always rough because they generate a giant blind spot if the truck doesn't have a fender mirror.

Just stay off our right side whenever possible.

MeatballWizard1 karma

What's the spookiest thing that ever happened to you on the road?

Timecook2 karma

Ghost story spooky hasn't happened yet but I was definitely uncomfortable the night I had to sleep in an abandoned gas station parking lot in the middle of nowhere because I ran out of hours.

spicedpumpkins1 karma

Serious. All that sitting in one position, How do you prevent hemorrhoids?

Timecook1 karma

I haven't had a hemorrhoid. Is sitting what causes then?

akharon0 karma

What do you plan on doing as automated cars/trucks become more common? Any thoughts on how this will affect your field and those in it?

Timecook3 karma

Automation is a great concept, but I don't see it being possible by making each individual car smarter. There will need to be both standardized equipment and language on every car and along every road. I don't see that kind of teamwork between car manufactures or governments.

akharon1 karma

I can see that in some respects, but on the other hand, a road full of "google cars" would be better than what we have now, with no need for communication between them. Obviously interconnection would be best, but I'm more referring to the 24 hour long haul driving possibilities of machines vs people, etc.

I see what you're saying, but I'm thinking the sizzle is in the interconnection, the steak is still the machine doing the individual work in each vehicle.

Timecook1 karma

Yeah I guess I'm just more pessimistic when it comes to trusting millions of machines to communicate in a way that is safer than a human piloting them. Also I only see it happening if Google could create an affordable device which could attach to cars rolling around out there today instead of having to buy a new one. Maybe the 'premium' model has it built in, but I only see it working if everyone has the smart car, and that's not cheap.

Antones158-1 karma

Why are US truck cabs so long compared to ones you find in the UK. UK trucks only include a bed, do US trucks contain a kitchen or whatnot?

Timecook6 karma

The trucks you see in Europe are an older style. If you look at old enough pictures of trucks in North America you'll see more of those cabovers. They're called cabovers because the driver and sleeper are both above the engine, giving them their look. That design has a better turning radius so you'll see them where tight turns are necessary... like the older European infrastructure. I don't know if that's the reason they still use them, but it makes sense to me.

Our design is simply more comfortable and easier to work on. You'll still see those flat nosed trucks around here, but they are rare.

mblitch-4 karma

Last time it was checked, what was your cholesterol level?

Timecook3 karma

My last physical was 6 months ago and it was healthy then.

mblitch-8 karma

That wasn't the question. I am curious as to what cholesterol was in consideration of the kind of diet you may have. If you don't know, then that is concerning on just a standard health prospective. There is no obligation to answer medical questions, but I tend to be curious about things that are not just superlative. Being 'healthy' is very ambiguous as it provides no context or reasonable data.

Timecook4 karma

That's what I was told. I wasn't given a number. I'll have to ask for one.

nottheaveragedriver-26 karma

I hate to be the ball buster, but your driving experience is nill. 550 miles a day is averaging 8.5 hours of driving. Come over to the real world of trucking where we drive on average 200k+ miles a year and average a weekly income of $1500-$2000 a week. When you have done this, you will deserve the chance to do an AMA. Sitting here in Vegas about to load for Billings, MT for a one day trip of 970 miles and reload out of Sidney, MT back to Bakersfield for a two day run.

If and when you drive, and I mean really put on your driving pants and hit the road hard you can step!

Timecook15 karma

I used to drive OTR and pulled those kind of miles. I didn't like the lifestyle. I can do my job, same kind of job as you, and sleep in an actual house.