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Author Topic: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans  (Read 6238 times)

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Offline mike_belben

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Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« on: January 17, 2019, 05:37:13 PM »
So the camera on my phone is busted but if it wasnt id have taken dozens of cool pictures you could only see in a log or quarry truck.  I imagine some of you guys do too and think since trucking is so critical to forestry this can be a good thread for you drivers to dump your daily chitchat, struggles and images.  I will start by providing a laugh at my expense.. The story of how i got the nickname "SuperTrucker" at work, pull up a chair it could take a minute.  

So it was a friday, my 5th day as a class 8 flatbed driver.  Actually let me back up to my first day for perspective.  Mind you i was hired with the admission that "i have no commercial driving experience. Im a good driver and mechanic but bigrigs are new to me."

"Be here at 1am and we will get you started. Youll ride with me."

I get there at 1am thinking we are gonna open the office, turn on some lights, see some things, start some trucks maybe get a little instruction, exchange some words maybe. Youd think 80,000 lbs warrants some concern.  I get there at 1am theres 3 trucks loaded and running, owner says meet us at pilot and they fly out.  Im shaking.  First turn into the 4lane and the autoshift wonks into neutral between 2 and 3.. I dont even know if im doing it right.  Wanted to park it right there and go home that moment.

I get to Pilot (luckily the same one as them) to discover the truck has no ELD, not really legal etc.  "Plans changed youre on your own. Bring this load to blah blah South Carolina."  And that was it.  I hauled that load to SC, 14hr day.  Did not have a single dollar in my pocket, no phone charger, no fuel money.  Next 3 days were atlanta.  Prior to this i had only driven semi for road tests.  My truck is only a 2ton and my longest trailer is 30. That feels long until youre 70ft end to end.  So lets jump ahead to fiday morning.  

"You need to bring ruble to flat top and new quarry."  [Its way over 80k, 5 stacks of huge slab rock] okay, address?  They dont have addresses, ill send tommy to guide you.  Tommy [a boss] says im gonna head to mcdonalds in pikeville call me when you pass by and ill lead you up. Ok see ya. He leaves.  Then the owner comes out says ya gotta bring fuel to those quarries too.  They load a 100gal transfer tank, right on the very back of the trailer plain as day in the only spot itll fit. Great, lets up the ante with some hazmat. So now i have to go fill it at the pilot which means breaking the cardinal rule of no overloads on the interstate.  Dang.

Turn into pilot, back left wheel is smoking. Maybe its rubbing a strap winch.  Nope, the brakes are so low that the slack had bound up in apply position.  Get it freed, fill tank, head for pikeville 1.5hrs late.  Tommy leads me up a nosebleed mountain.  5mph, 3rd gear and im worried the truck will stall but it wouldnt drop to 2nd.  Im also pretty confident that the hill is so steep fuel is probably pouring out the breather onto the windshield of the car thats trying to help push me up.  If the tank fell off it woulda landed on their trunk.  No self preservation in that fellow.

Get to flat top, drop ruble, fuel their gear then they load pallets. They ended up all on the back, 9 i think at 2 to 4k each.  Its a spread axle trailer.  No weight on the drives, i will never make that mistake again.  Tommy jumps in says new quarry is right down the road but my car wont make it.  Oh okay.  I pull out and the trailer trails waaay wider than normal.  Oh hey mailboxes.  Just mist'm. 2 miles down the road he says turn left into here.. Its a haul road into a pine plantation up hill. I make a nice wide slow turn.  Trailer still trails way inside.  Im looking in the mirror saying outloud to my boss who i basically just met.. yeah, its just some brush, ground looks solid we should be fine.  BANG.  Stopped dead. Omg omg omg i screwed up what was that.  I jump out.  

In the 3 ft of leaves is an 8 inch, concrete filled steel pipe about shin high for the gate.  Its primer brown.  Invisible.  Except instead of just sitting there minding its business it is now fully jammed betwee  the frame and forward axles inner tire on driver side.  The brake can is bent at a 45, tire is slightly cut and the suspension trail arm is ONTOP the pipe.  I am stuck stuck.  Cant move an inch and im fully blocking the only road.  Oh and i need to be home for my kids in an hour, which is 1.5 hrs away.  Oh and there are 2 crews about to try to leave.  Aaaand there is zero phone service.  Its a 2 mile walk up. And i feel 2 inches tall.  Inch n 3/4 actually.

Tommy starts walking to get the wheel loader. He is an office person.  Clean car, clean clothes, clean hands.  I put a strap around the back bumper hoping i could flag someone down for a twitch but nothing passed.  I realized the bent can was keeping the brake on. i pulled the slack pin out of the brake chamber pushrod yoke and tried again, it released.  Oh good i should be able to back off it. Nothing.  Thats when i noticed i was also ontop the pole with 20k of stone right over it.  A truck comes down to leave and realizes he aint goin anywhere but was nice about it.  Pretty sure he was stoned and didnt care about much of anything.    The next 3 were not amused at all.  I finally broke the ride height valve link on the trailer and manually super over inflated the trailer bags with my head down incase one detonated. The trailer climbed off the pole and with sufficient flogging i drove it off and go moved over to let traffic by.  


After the stress of this incident i was much less phased by the site i had to turn around in once up top.  A very small mountaintop mudpit with a bad side slope that led to a bluff.  It took 4 full throttle assaults to push the incorrectly loaded trailer up the hill enough to swing around.  Fueled those guys, loaded more pallets, strapped and split for home at a blistering 25mph up the mountain i live on.  The next day i was supertrucker on the CB which has stuck.  

In my defense, i fixed the entire issue and a few others including the mangled can mount, within 2 days.  Im told drivers tend to break more than they fix.


Youre turn.
Revelation 3:20

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 06:07:59 PM »
You are a hard act to follow.  :D
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 07:00:26 PM »
anything older than 99 dosent need a eld

Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 07:03:49 PM »
Mike I like your new job😊
thomas 8013 mill ,Mahindra 3540 cab tractor loader  Dump trailer  and lot of contracting tools

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 07:05:16 PM »
anything older than 99 dosent need a eld
2016.
Revelation 3:20

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 07:18:00 PM »
anything older than 99 dosent need a eld
2016.
wrong........less than 100 air miles from home as long as you dont cross state line you dont need it

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 07:19:55 PM »
Im 3 states and 300 miles from base on a commercial haul with apportioned plates in a 2016.  Keep trying.  I can read the fmcsa as good as anyone
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 07:20:52 PM »
And btw.. Its 150 air miles.  ;)
Revelation 3:20

Online rjwoelk

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 07:25:16 PM »
I thought here in canada we had bad training  for class 1. 
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 07:28:17 PM »
it must have changed used to be 100

Offline mills

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 07:42:35 PM »
I'm not going to beat Mike's story, but here's one from when I was a kid.

Back in the early 70's Dad, my younger brother, and me spent the better part of a hot July day bailing and hauling hay. First we stacked all we could in the barn we had on that farm. We had a pickup, four wheel wagon, and a two ton truck load that had to be hauled to our home in the next town over. And all three were stacked as high as we could get em. The original plan was for Mom to drive the pickup, and Dad drive the big truck. But we had more hay than we had anticipated, and hadn't counted on the trailer. The big truck didn't have a trailer hitch, so the trailer was hooked to the already overloaded pickup. Dad decided he needed to drive the pickup, and somehow convinced Mom that she could handle the big truck if I rode in the middle, and shifted gears for her. I could drive that old truck as good as anyone, but being only twelve, Dad didn't like the idea of me driving a loaded truck through town, and another ten miles down the road. Hey, what's the worst that could happen huh?

So off we go we Dad leading the way. The first few miles went pretty good. Mom and me missed a few gears here and there, but I started watching her foot and slammed the shifter as best as I could. It was actually going good enough that between prayers I heard Mom mutter that we just might make it work. But just as we got to the middle of town we saw sparks flying out from under the wagon, and Dad suddenly pulling over to the side of the road. With store fronts lining the road Mom wasn't sure what to do. She was aiming to drive past Dad and then pull over, but Dad stepped out of the truck and waved her into a gravel lot off to the right. And she did. Not sure how fast she was going, but it slightly more than the tie down ropes could handle. Part of the load went off the same side as the two wheels stayed on the ground, part of the load dumped off the back when the rear tire ran up on the curb, and most of the rest flew over the hood when she finally remembered to hit the brakes. 

So there we sat in the middle of a hot sweltering town with with Mom in shock, Dad saying bad words, five young kids darting back and forth, the center beam on the wagon busted, and a two ton truck load of hay scattered all around... Oh... and the local pool hall was right across the road with a front porch of loafers staring in stunned silence... until my little brother, being the little saint that he is, hopped out of the pickup running up to Dad hollering "Dad, here's your beer." 

That's when the front porch of the pool hall went nuts with men grabbing their sides and laughing so hard that the tears were flowing freely. Didn't help Mom or Dad's state of mind one bit. Luckily they were all good ole boys. Heck, we were kin to most of them. With more than just a little bit of ribbing they helped Dad chain the wagon center beam together, and re-stacked the big truck. Mom, Dad, and all us kids piled in the pickup, took it home, unloaded it, and went back to get the big truck. 

True story. 

Offline teakwood

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 07:46:25 PM »
Mike, is it worth it? do you get at least payed well?
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 08:04:33 PM »
i have been out of the over the road game for a while and havnt read all the new regs. someone gave you a chance good or bad its a start. get some miles behind you then you can move up to some where that runs better equipment. 

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 08:17:36 PM »
 :D :D :D I won't try to top Mike or mills, that is just too funny. My first job besides delivering papers was with a local cartage company, I spent a good portion of the summer driving an old Maple Leaf (Canadian Chev) overloaded with grain. It had a 6 cyl gaspot, 4 speed 'crash box' (no synchros) and a vacuum two speed. I taught myself to drive that DanG thing, learned very quickly to keep my thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel in the field, and got through the summer without serious mishap.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Online rjwoelk

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 09:48:36 PM »
Up here the trucking companies mind their p&q any infraction on the drivers part reflects on the companys points. As they haul south alot they cant have too many or they lose their running privileges. 
Hange in there Mike hope you get the hang of it . Stay under 80000 or 34000 on tandem. Strap at 100 percent and dot will pretty much leave you alone.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2019, 10:05:37 PM »
We have no scales and once loaded i cant change it up.  Stone is sold by the ton so the pallets are known and the gross stays under 80k but its a 3ft difference between being over on the drives or over on the spread.  Most the time i show up alone to a preloaded trailer and hope for the best.


Yesterday i had to get stone from another quarry and there was no choice but to run the trailer over a severe ditch at a 90* corner to get out of the road.  One axle then the other fully hung in the air, it was like a 3ft sinkhole.  Had it been with the closed tandem trailer and not the spread it mighta rolled when both tires went in together.  I was nervous.  Cant imagine how many tows that ditch generates.
Revelation 3:20

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2019, 11:11:19 PM »
I hear you. Those type of corners i have driven just past with the tractor then back up and jacknife it. Get your trailer as far to opposite side. And sometimes a couple of back and forth gets you safely around.
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2019, 11:26:56 PM »
"We have no scales"   do you mean no air pressure guages on the truck or trailer?   Or no axle scale at the pickup point?
Up here in Canada our dot scale readouts are left on so you can read your weights as you cross after hrs.. Us weight on my truck tandems is 70psi. Trailer is  68 psi. Spread axle is different i would imagine.  You can carey more weight then closed tandems which are 34000 lbs.
In Manatoba and Saskatchewan  we run closed tandems on the trailers.
Are you running 48ft trailers?
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2019, 06:25:36 AM »
Yeah 48ft spread and a 48ft closed tandem.  We have bridge law, i can be 12 on steer, 34 on tandems and 20 on the spread.  The pallets are weighed on a scale but there is no truck scale other than to pay $11 at pilot.  I have twice but thats an hours pay. No gauges on truck.  

No trailer dump valve either, that spread really fights you on tar. 

On that hole i was taking a right and did the straight pullup from left lane, then reversed to jackknife and cut right.  I guess if i did a few more it coulda made it but really the hole should be filled with rock.  Youd think the quarry business that i drove down there for would take the courtesy to dump some trimmings in the hole before it wrecks all their customers trucks.  I know i wouldnt have the nerve to ask people to drive into my place if it was gonna tear them up. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Haul Road Heroes and SuperTrucker Shenanigans
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2019, 06:31:29 AM »
Oh speaking of the tandem trailer.. Its old, spring suspension low pro and steel/alum combo flatbed.  Was drug out because of the spread being down for 2 days when i hung it up.  And if i didnt have to drive those 2 days id have had it fixed next day mind you.  But anyhow they loaded the closed tandem and i hauled it to alpharetta i think.  It felt a little spongy and wobbly but everything does.  The truck has a huge front wobble and pull from shot steers and maybe loose kingpins, the spread had flatspots in the tread.. Its a shaky rig.  I made the drop and got back without issue.  They loaded it again and sent my buddy kyle to kennesaw while i was torching on stuff.  

He calls me and says hey, this trailer is completely flattened.  It has no arch, truckers are honking at me and its shaking all over.  Im not hauling it.  He drops the load at another quarry and comes back empty.  The trailer neck is all full of repairs that are cracking again.  

That coulda been ugly.
Revelation 3:20


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