Did you mean to type "owns me" or did you mean to type "owes me"? What do you mean if you meant to type that Central "owns" you?
ESTES Express (1 Year Review)
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@KaoMinerva Did you get a sunday start like you wanted?Muskie Thanks this.
Hey question for you guys from someone who is taking my hazmat endorsement test in several weeks: Do you solo Estes drivers haul class 1, 2, or 3 hazardous materials? If so, how often?
From what I understand, for hazardous classes 4 - 9 basically as long as you don't park it on a public road or on the shoulder (unless you have a breakdown) then you are good to leave it unattended and good to park at the normal places trucks stop at, with the three main ones being:
1. Rest areas
2. Truck stops
3. Hotels for LTL and staying overnight
But for classes 1-3, you have to attend to the load the entire time and cannot have off duty time. Which means no stopping at truck stops or rest areas if it's for a break, no fueling unless approved ahead of time by whoever owns the truck stop.
I was doing some research and came across this:
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR)
(1) A motor vehicle is attended when the person in charge of the vehicle is on the vehicle, awake, and not in a sleeper berth, or is within 100 feet of the vehicle and has it within his/her unobstructed field of view.
(2) A qualified representative of a motor carrier is a person who—
(i) Has been designated by the carrier to attend the vehicle;
(ii) Is aware of the nature of the hazardous materials contained in the vehicle he/she attends;
(iii) Has been instructed in the procedures he/she must follow in emergencies; and
(iv) Is authorized to move the vehicle and has the means and ability to do so.
So basically if I understand that section correctly, if you are hauling class 1, 2 or 3 hazmat loads then:
1. You can have no off duty and no sleeper birth time
2. You cannot sleep at the hotel overnight unless Estes has a dedicated person watching the load on camera while you sleep, which I don't think they do because I think it was mentioned in this thread that Estes only has forward facing cameras.
3. You are basically screwed to the maximum if you're driving in winter and have to shut down due to bad weather. Because you wouldn't be able to sleep in the hotel if you had classes 1-3. So in winter time if you have class 1-3 what happens when bad winter weather strikes, and the state shuts down the interstate or you make the judgement call to shut down yourself? You are basically screwed, right?
4. As a solo driver you would HAVE to get the load to its final destination in 7 hours and 59 minutes or less, right? Because you can't log any off duty or sleeper birth time hauling classes 1-3 hazmat?
Any feedback on how often the solo Estes drivers haul classes 1-3 hazmat loads and how they deal with the concerns that I've listed would be appreciated (non Estes drivers feel free to comment if you have hazmat experience as well).
I just downloaded 2 apps on my phone and clicked my state and kept taking the practice tests until I kept getting 100s. The next week I took the test and missed only 1. Never read the hazmat book.
The rest is pretty dummy proof. Estes gives you a paper. It has a picture. Sign for it go out and flip the placards to match the picture. You will never really have issue with the hazmat for the most part. If it's longer than 8 hours with the load you take your 30 and keep going. I've sat on ramps with hazmat before in the dark. If you got flammable just go sit by cat scale in truck stop knock your break and keep going.
Estes is big enough that if you have bad weather most of the time there is another terminal before you get to the one your going. You can always call central and pull in there and they can repower it or if it's got time you can take off with it on your 10.
I have accidentally forgot to flip placards until I got through the tunnel and remember oh crap I got to flip those. But as far as he said above me you for sure want to remember to stop at RR tracks. When you don't pull a hazmat for 3 days and finally get one it's easy to forget. If a cop sees you he will make you remember you should of stopped. Hazmat really is no big deal.
Stop at RR tracks
Go the hazmat routes around some of the major cities that don't want you in town with it. Rest is not a big deal as that book makes it seem it is.
I was hesitant to go to ltl because hazmat and driving two trailers seemed too dangerous. Estes is by far the best job I've ever had, wish I came here years earlier. I've been here two years, extra board for a while, covering the schedules nobody likes for a while, now I have decent seniority, 500 mile meet, home every day, like 90k a year. If you can work nights, linehaul is so much better than otr. Also, it isn't me, but if you're the type to be on the road weeks at a time, if you work six days a week here you will make six figures first year.
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