a “trip” as a trucker. PART 1- the setup

Well, a LOT of ppl always ask me, how is trucking as a job…what do i do when im on the road, the things i see, go through, the process i went through to become a trucker or just general questions so… i thought id share. Here we begin what i like to call…

– the setup –

As an owner operator (my truck below)

I get “the call”…dispatch calls me up on the bat-phone and tells me i have a load (or loads) going to xyz. If i like the details as far as distance (further usually means more money) and the weight of it all combined ( the heavier it is the more fuel youll spend/ the less money u make ) etc…then i accept.

From there i get told to either pick up the trailer WITH the load at the yard OR pick up the trailer at the yard but have to travel to abc to get loaded, For the sake of my tale lol, lets say im getting loaded at the yard. There are a few things one must do BEFORE you leave for the trip. Mainly, you have to check the paperwork.

Lets assume all the paperwork (for the load im going to carry ” BILLS” ) is good, i HOOK the trailer and perform whats famously called…the PRE-TRIP INSPECTION which consists of you mainly chekcing the inner and outer workings of your truck BEFORE EVERY trip to make sure youre going to make it in one piece and on time from point A to B. BY this i mean, TIRES, FRAME, BODY, LIGHTS STEERING, OIL, WATER ETC…

Once the checks are all ok, you go get WEIGHED, yes…weighed. There are rules/limits as to how many pounds once can carry on the trailer plus a limit as to how many pounds one can carry on certain parts of the trailer. So for example, a 53′ trailer, cannot surpass a weight limit of 80,000 pounds. Out of those 80,000, the weight has to be distributed evenly inside the trailer. Many of you im sure have driven out of state. When your almost out of your state/in the middle/ or entering a new state, youve probably seen one of these

…well thats pointing to the dreaded Weigh station and they check EVERYTHING., the FIRST thing u do when pulling in is that your passing OVER scales built onto the ground so to the police watching, the first sign of a problem they  notice is the weight.

If your weight is off by even a SMALL fraction, you get told to pull into the impound lot, and from there, all HELL breaks loose lol. Lets just say that some of those tickets are big enough to put your trip on even or negative..this means that whatever you WOULDVE made on that trip will probably be taken out to pay that ticket. Now if your weight is good, you pretty much get the green light/arrow UNLESS your truck looks like SHIT..then u get told to pull in lol. other than that…

lets assume you went to a nearby scale, weighed yourself and passed. Then its time to do

” THE BOOK” (pic below)

The book is where you keep all your records, receipts etc…but most importantly, your drivers LOG. There are a BUNCH of rules that you must follow in order to properly drive without being stopped or rather, if and when you ARE stopped, that when DOT or police check your log, that they dont find anything wrong. The can and WILL fine you for having a messed up book.

In general, there are limits to how many legal hrs you have to drive, to eat, to take a brake, bathroom, on duty time, etc…the LOG paper has hr stamps on it and as the day goes by, you have to mark it (the sloppy lines i drew on there lol ). If wrong by even a small percent..depending on the officer, BAM! another bunch of tickets…THE BAD THING about this is that depending how bad your book is, you get put “OUT OF SERVICE”…. out of service means you CANNOT move from that spot until the police officer says u can go, and yes, this can be from a couple of hrs to days. you have to add EVERYTHING in there from the names of the driver(s) to places to pick up/drop etc…EVERYTHING in order. Where you ate, where you took a break to use the rest room…EVERYTHING. they need to know where youve been from the time u left to the time they got you. if your book is in order then thats it…your off on

“the trip”

( check for it on my next post )

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