How's Everyone Doing in LTL Right Now?

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by Mike2633, Aug 23, 2022.

  1. FLHT

    FLHT Road Train Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    Go down the hill in the same gear you climbed it.
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  3. road_runner

    road_runner Road Train Member

    Mar 26, 2012
    Some hills you can only use Jake's on the lowest setting during the winter time. If you got it set too high the momentum of your trailer(s) can push your truck into a jackknife.

    Anyway, back to summer time. You pick a safe comfortable speed then you try to keep your truck beneath it. Once you build up speed, you gradually but firmly apply your brakes and force your truck below the safe speed limit. Release your brakes and do not touch the pedal until you need to slow back down again.

    Keep your eyes on the mirrors. Puffs of blue smoke is your brake pads heating up (no biggie). Once you start seeing white smoke that's going to be your brake drum heating up and slowly expanding (still no biggie). You will also notice that you have to push down just a bit further each time on your brake pedal as your pads have a growing gap as they have to reach the drum.

    Finally you will see a steady trail of white smoke. At this point your drums will be glowing red and very close to catching fire (if they haven't already). Hopefully by this point it's close to the end of the grade. Keep rolling and whatever you do, don't pull over right away. Let the wind cool down everything and try to use the brakes as little as possible. Setting your parking brakes will force your extremely hot pads to push against the glowing hot drum. Bad juju.

    If for some reason you still have a long way to go as all of this unfolds, well cheers mate. You probably didn't brake properly or you had it in too high of a gear and were going too fast. Hopefully you noted the signage for the runaway ramps and some clueless family isn't parked there to have a picnic. Hopefully you also still have it in gear and can at least have your engine keep you from going 85+ mph.

    Hope this helps.


    One major edit I want to add that could quite possibly save your life. And I am quite dead serious about this.

    It can be more dangerous to try to maintain too much of a slow speed. What that means is it is safer to cruise at 35-40 down a long 6% grade than it is to constantly try to bring it down and keep it below 25 mph. Not only will you be constantly pushing on your brakes, but your trip down will inadvertently take almost twice as long. Twice as long down the mountain means twice the brake usage for the same distance covered.

    So the bottom line is keep it safe and within your comfort, but attempting to go too slow can most definitely lead to the potential of a brake failure or fire.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2024
  4. ‘Olhand

    ‘Olhand Cantankerous Crusty

    Jan 18, 2011
    Back when I was starting out( just after horse and buggy) Typically it was a gear below what you topped the hill in
    That is of course if there was a gear below the one you topped the hill in
    Opus, Deere hunter and Peplow Thank this.
  5. Him8282

    Him8282 Bobtail Member

    Jun 22, 2020
    How did your refresher course go Nickanator1988? I wanting to find somewhere that I could possibly pay to take a refresher course if it wasn't offered at my next job. I'm looking for a new company to drive for.
  6. Phantom_3oh9

    Phantom_3oh9 Bobtail Member

    Jan 11, 2024
    Yep, good stuff…
    … something that goes right along with that is..
    Rolling along what gear am I supposed to be in at the 5 mile per hour.

    Doing 35 .. Three +Plus Five = 8 Eighth gear

    Driving along skip the hell out of eighth have to go to seventh doin 25 Two +Plus Five = 7 Seventh Gear

    At the zero mph minus five then do the same
  7. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Pickups in my terminal seem to have slowed down a little, but we’re getting hammered on inbound to the point of drivers coming from other terminals to help out.
    DogRiver, Cardfan89 and Texas_hwy_287 Thank this.
  8. plynnjr92

    plynnjr92 Light Load Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Inland Empire, CA
    Freight is super slow out of my barn. City and linehaul drivers are reportedly staying home 2-3 days a week and some are considering jumping ship. It's so bad even team trucks like mine are getting affected. We gated out an hour late on Wednesday waiting for freight and another 2+ hours on our second turn out. Even I'm half considering buying my own truck and leasing to a small carrier but I'm not sure the freight market or the time away from my diaper-toting daughters is worth it. Just trying to hang on for now.

    Random thought: Have you ever considered there's a logic to how companies number their trucks?? Over the past few months I learned Old Dominion has an interesting system as to how they do it, and I've pretty much cracked the code.

    Each truck has a 7-digit number, each denoting identifying information.

    #1: 2 for 2-axle Truck (Single Drive)
    3 for 3-axle Truck (Tandem Drive)

    #2: 1 & 7 for Cummins Manuals (FL & Volvo)
    2 for Detroit Manuals
    4 for Cummins Manuals (KW)
    5 for All Sleeper Trucks
    6 for Automatic Daycabs
    9 for Electric Trucks

    #3: 2 for Internationals
    4 for Volvos
    5 for Freightliners
    7 for Kenworths

    #4: Last Digit of Model Year

    #5 thru #7: Truck Number in Series +1 (Because -000 counts as a truck)

    If you can figure out the system, it's easy to determine what kind of truck you'll drive that day at a glance. For example, 2472525 is a 2022 KW T680 single axle daycab with a Cummins, a 10 speed manual, and is the 526th example delivered to OD. Or 2624843 is a 2024 International LT single axle daycab with a Cummins, 12 speed auto, #844 in the series.

    The engine identifier will become less important over time, as our old DD15 trucks are being retired and everything new we buy has the X15... except for one truck.

    This being California, OD bought an electric truck to appease the rulers in Sacramento. #2942000. And if you followed your study guide, you'll learn it's a 2022 Volvo VNR daycab, single axle, powered br lightning, automatic, and it's #1!

    ..jeez I get bored out on the road
    Cardfan89, jmz and Lumper Humper Thank this.
  9. Lumper Humper

    Lumper Humper Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2018
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Is now the year to switch or hunker down? I’m just chillin at fxg but kinda feeling like joining the big kids, almost all the ltl companies are hiring near me in the PNW.
  10. jmz

    jmz Road Train Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    Great Plains
    FedEx has a pretty simple system. Each linehaul truck starts with an "R" and then a number in sequential order. Started with R1 and now up into R28xxx.

    R1.jpg R27645.jpg
  11. Texas_hwy_287

    Texas_hwy_287 Road Train Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    Which terminal you work at?
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