Comments: 2821 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

TheTVDB782 karma

I always flash my headlights when it's clear for a semi to merge in front of me. I normally get a return flash of their running lights. Are there other things we can do to make driving easier on you?

A few of our gas stations have lounges and bathrooms with showers for truckers. Do you make use of facilities like this? Are truckers generally chatty due to being mostly isolated while driving?

How have cell phones changed how CB is used? Do you have a CB handle?

Favorite state to drive through? Least favorite?

How do you feel about kids signaling for you to do the airhorn? :)

Thanks and drive safe!

zBaer666 karma

Flashing head lights or 'markers' is a common practice among oversized vehicles on the freeway or where ever.

Flashing headlights tells a driver he/she can merge, flashing markers(trailer lights) is a thank you. If you can don't flash high beam, flash on/off or even just fog lights.

The biggest advice I can give '4 wheelers' is when merging onto a freeway/highway. For the love of god. People need to watch the freeway traffic as much or more than what's in front of you. I see people with tunnel vision or on cell phones just merge w/o a thought or care in the world. Most often I can get into the left lane, but not always.

Moral of the story: On on-ramps watch freeway traffic, by the time the ramp ends you should have your place figured out and going the speed of traffic. If there is a semi in the lane your getting into... Floor it. Too many times people slow down or stop on on-ramps. This is bad for me and people who may be behind you and are not expecting some one slowing down on an ON-RAMP!

I don't use a CB. Most of what's on there is like Trade chat in WoW talking politics.

Showers cost 10$ a shower, unless you buy 50 gal of fuel which is everyday anyway, so its free.

Surprisingly kids don't signal for the air horn as much as teens do, and they're mostly female.

Sloppy1sts123 karma

Before you cut a semi off and then slow down in front of it, consider that they have, like, a million gears to shift through. Or 8-21. Same thing.

zBaer111 karma

I got 10, most have 13-18. If I need to stop fast enough I just clutch in and brake

Thistlemanizzle314 karma

Is it true that with the advent of GPS tracking that truckers are having a harder time meeting deadlines? I thought I read somewhere that truckers now couldn't go past "safe" driving hours because their companies tracked them. Whereas in the past it was common practice to drive way past health and safety because the companies themselves were setting deadlines that were impractical to meet with normal driving hours and thus implied the trucker should driver longer than was safe. Also, do you ever get the temptation to install a TV?

zBaer424 karma

That is true and false. When the system with implemented back in the 90's drivers were complaining and they couldn't deliver on time because of the hour restrictions but since then shippers have compensated for the d o t regulations. I just got a new qualcomm mcp 200 which gave me electronic logs to prevent me from driving past 11 hours. Most companies do this. But sadly independent drivers run multiple logs so they can break a these rules.

I watch tv on my phone and play minecraft on my tablet

Robotlolz149 karma

So what happens if your driving down the highway and you hit the 11 hour mark? Shut down?

zBaer146 karma

Find a safe parking spot. Most driver should be responsible and stop before then. Sometimes I've had to move after my 14hr rule which requires a police escort.

ant_upvotes55 karma

why is a police escort necessary?

zBaer102 karma

Because if I'm in an crash and someone dies and I'm driving past when I should then I got to Jail for 10 years. If police is there then I was doing everything I could to be safe


ConqueringCanada22 karma

You still need to fill out your log books. Also, keep in mind (although I can't confirm with Walmart), most loading and unloading is done on a schedule. You're expected to be a certain place by a certain time to meet your unloading appointment. Early? Tough. Late? Tough.

zBaer32 karma

We are supposed to key paper logs handy in case the system goes down.

I have to be to a store by a certain time. I do Meat/Produce and it usually needs to be done by 6am. And I'm usually several hours early.

zombiesgivebrain179 karma

Do you exercise or anything on the road? It seems like a job where you're pretty much forced to sit for long hours on end and could possibly get unhealthy. Also, how do you keep occupied all that time alone on the road? Do you just listen to tons of audio books or something? Learn languages? Plot world domination..?

zBaer401 karma

Sadly exercise is a hard thing to get when working 14 hours a day. I heard a report that sitting for over 8 hours in a day is bad as smoking a pack a day for heath. I do eat a lot of fruit and cereals and I don't smoke or drink coffee.

whenever I don't have access to media or I'm tired of the radio I sometimes think what would I do if it started raining pancakes or if there is nuclear war.

most my day consists of podcasts, leo laporte, Car talk and Lex and Terry. I also have x m radio

joet10169 karma

So what would you do if it started raining pancakes?

zBaer685 karma

I would do my environmental duty and grab a fork and knife and clean up, after I find a safe place to park

[deleted]111 karma

My dad's a truck driver. He actually was driving down the road last week in LaPorte, Indiana and it started raining money. No joke. A bank robber threw the money out the window to distract the cops since everyone started pulling over. Worked too... until they showed up at his house b/c he didn't cover his plates. Anyway, I thought you'd get a kick out of that.

Edit: He didn't stop. He knew the money wasn't his. He's just that sort of guy.

zBaer90 karma

I saw some one do that in Houston, was throwing money out of his Porche..

Enigmaenigmas155 karma

Have you ever watched shows like Ice Road Truckers? If so would you ever do something dangerous like that for the extra cash?

zBaer332 karma

I've seen a few episodes and there is no way in hell I would do it

japaneseknotweed128 karma

Why can't I buy gas for the price you're getting?

zBaer158 karma

It's not a fun as you might think. In my contract if fuel goes under $2/gal I lose my rebate altogether, if it goes lower then I start paying extra to the company.


What is the longest journey you have ever taken?

zBaer252 karma

Oakland CA to Newark NJ

Bout 3100 miles, took 5 days

mjh1088112 karma

Do you ever pick up hitch-hikers? Are you allowed to have company in the cabin?

zBaer170 karma

I have picked up one hitch hiker. No I'm not allowed to...

MoOdYo35 karma

"What I do between point A and point B is up to me as long as I arrive on time."

Why are you not allowed to pick up hitchers in YOUR truck?

zBaer51 karma

It's bad for insurance if I get shot and everything is stolen

wartornglory82 karma

What is the most rewarding part of being a truck driver? and What is the longest you've been away from home?

zBaer181 karma

To me just getting my CDL was a good reward. It helped me raise my driving standards because I had to.

Being independent. If I pick up and arrive on time I don't hear anything from my boss. How and where and what I do in between those 2 points is up to me.

And by the time I turn 27 this truck will be paid off, all $104,000 of it, giving me even more freedom.

I'm currently on my longest streak from being home... 3 months and counting

KosherNazi55 karma

How much do you make?

zBaer128 karma

As of last year(which on a scale from 1-10 was about a 5) I made 124,00$ gross. Netted 53k

Exedous72 karma

Jesus. How did you end up with less than half?

zBaer176 karma

Just my truck payment is 525 dollars a week. then you got maintenance, food, insurance, fuel and taxes

dallasdano79 karma

How the hell are you getting diesel for $1.62/gal?

zBaer140 karma

fuel rebate from the company. I fuel at our terminals to get my fuel even cheaper

the_icebear71 karma

What would be the best way for someone who has only a basic driver's license and a clean record to get started on a career in trucking?

zBaer116 karma

find 1 of the big companies that will train you and give you a job same time.

lefty8867 karma

Do you ever get tempted to let something "fall of the back of the truck", How is inventory done and what if anything do you sneak home?

zBaer337 karma

There rally is no way to steal things out of the trailer.

I guess I could pull over and open it the take stuff, but its all food... I guess if it came down to sky pancakes some berries wouldn't be bad.

Allen13965 karma

howd you get into this buisness? what made you decide to take this job?

zBaer166 karma

I did it because of the highest paying non-college educated job. and because I wanted to save up for medical school so maybe some day I can be an OB/GYN. and my grandpa did it as a dump truck driver my dad still does and I wanted to.

luckybone62 karma

What kind of rig/engine are you running?

zBaer112 karma

international prostar with a cummins ISX which has 450 bhp and the transmission gives me 1800 foot pounds torque

ahlph59 karma

Is Walmart really following through with their plans to completely overhaul there fleet with fuel efficient models? Also how are the new models, if you have driven one?

zBaer121 karma

Ive seen the natural gas trucks and hydrogen trucks. natural gas trucks get about 14 miles to the gallon. Or so I was told. everything is still in the testing phase

Jessemu58 karma

In Australia we pay $1.56/L which I think equates to $5.90/gallon. I so wish we had fuel the same price....

zBaer198 karma

Yeah but you guys have road trains, mad props

tarniegirl53 karma

Do you ever encounter any lady truck drivers?

zBaer95 karma

there are a few, the ratio for male to female is insane

notcaffeinefree52 karma

I frequently get tired while driving, usually for really no apparent reason. Just driving puts me to sleep (which sucks because I like driving). Do you ever have any problems staying awake while driving? If so, is there anything that you do to keep yourself awake?

EDIT. Just to make it clear, I'm not a truck driver.

zBaer74 karma

A lot of people roll down windows or put on music and crank it. I like a bowl of cereal and a power nap

BonerYNot49 karma

What's the biggest load you've ever taken?

zBaer113 karma

46k pounds of cat food

vulpes_occulta35 karma

Do you like your job, or is it a total pile of shit? And, do you get paid well? Just asking...

zBaer125 karma

I like this job. But like any job it does suck at times, like traffic, breakdowns, bad weather, hitting an animal, being asked for money, being offered/asked for drugs, D.O.T., trying to back into a place smaller than your truck, low bridges, Prius drivers, being offered sex... Just to name a few. But some of the places you see and people you meet make up for that.

CadillacKid33 karma

Is getting your cdl hard?

zBaer47 karma

Not really. A clean driving record helps. can cost a lot of money to do it, from 2 to 3000, but there are companies out there if you work for them for at least 2 years its free. Swift, Knight, Central and England seem to be the most popular.

ForensicFungineer28 karma

6.84 mpg? Are you OTR? I worked for Transwest in Denver for a bit, and all the Cummins and Cat OTR guys claimed more like 2-3 MPG.

zBaer56 karma

I'm on dedicated routes. round robin. I deliver to stores and then take the empty trailer back to the dc . So I'm 50/50 loaded/empty