Questions from a trucker who took a break for a while

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by BensonhurstRichard, Feb 9, 2023.

  1. BensonhurstRichard

    BensonhurstRichard Bobtail Member

    Sep 25, 2022
    I drove local and OTR for many years. I moved to another career and after 20 years I am back running OTR. Things has sure changed. Automatics and Qualcomm... Have some questions.

    1. No one uses the CB to report anything. Is everyone just using WAZE and listening to Sirius/XM?
    2. I see a lot of trucks parked on the shoulder. Right on the shoulder, not parked on a ramp where it would be safer. Are these new trucks breaking down more? Are drivers waiting till the last minute for their 30 minute break and just sitting on the shoulder? What's going on?
    3. How are drivers getting away with speeding and being in the wrong lane. In CA the speed limit is 55 and trucks must use the right two lanes. I see trucks in all the lanes and doing 70-75. I run about 58 in CA and literally everyone passes me. I do see them get pulled over, especially on the on the long down hill going from CA to AZ.

    Thanks for the info from an old timer.
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  3. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    If you've been away for 20 years, you should have stayed away for your own safety.

    See trucks turning into large Cadillacs, they are easy to drive forward automatics and with the new fancy climate control the driver doesn't even have to worry about the weather outside to GOAL, just move forward. These trucks ride better than a lot of cars to the point where you can have your martini and bagel with lox on the dash and it will never move.

    The entertainment system is nothing like it was in the days past, now you have Spotify, YouTubeTV, Apple Music and all lot more in one center, which also allows email and text message reading in any voice you chose. I heard Freighliner is talking about putting movies on the windshield because a lot of young drivers are complaining that their iPads on the steering wheel has to move when they go into a curve.

    They now have safety equipment that tells you when you are getting out of your lane, if there is a car near you and when your bladder is full.

    These are not the good trucks people drove in the 80's or even the 70's where AM radio was a luxury, where A/C was just a dream and in order to get dressed you had to be a contortionist.

    Now the biggest change is this - the drivers have gotten dumb, many are morons who can't check their own oil or understand that a flat steer means the truck doesn't drive. They can't understand how to put a trailer in a pull through spot (I have seen this several times while I was on the road) and can't figure out what line to use while being on duty (again I **** you not I have had drivers ask me this and thank God for ELDs).

    Here in Michigan we have the law, no trucks in the left lane when there is more than two lanes and they have been enforcing it, and I am very glad they do.
    Mostly these are local drivers who are clueless to the laws here because they are usually speeding along at 75 on 94 through Detroit with a can in tow. Many Canadians also think the left lane is there to sit at 60 so they warm up their poutine and their custom brew Tim Hortons coffee.
  4. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    twin cities
    Get a CB..
    Cost is cheap and benefits are many.
    You will be in on info that can save time and headaches.

    We don't use the shoulder for anything other than emergencies.
    Those parked trucks are operated by amateurs or foreigners not familiar with the laws.

    Drive like your license is valuable.
    Too many violators for cops to nab everyone but eventually they get stopped, then show up here complaining about how unjustified the 20 over ticket they got is.

    Lots of change out here but if you've been before you'll figure it out..CYA.
    Mnmover99, dwells40, Rugerfan and 5 others Thank this.
  5. mustang190

    mustang190 Road Train Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Florida Panhandle
    Many drivers today are complacent.
    They figure that all the high tech devices will keep them out of trouble.
    Blame the companies, they are so desperate for drivers they will hire anyone as long as they can fog a mirror.
    I hate to say it but you are pretty much on your own out here today.
    There are still a few professional drivers out here, but not like it was.
  6. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I've only been in the game since 2010 and in that short amount of time there has been a lot of change. I actually like the driveability of today's trucks. The lane departure and adaptive cruise features, while annoying, actually makes me a better driver. I pay closer attention than ever because I don't want neither to activate lol.

    Guys are gonna fly down the highway because they are always in beat the clock mode. Many drivers never learned to trip plan, adjust to thr HOS rules, or let the load info dictate how they should run.

    As for parking on the shoulder, guys run out of time, be it drive time for the day or for the ½hr break. I personally like to sleep on the entrance ramp, if I can get away with it. Some states care others don't. A driver will have to commit that to memory, just like I know Nebraska, Wisconsin, and some parts of Georgia can create problems in that regard. I like the entrance ramp because it's more quiet than the truck stop, but that's a secondary choice. My first choice is to sleep at the customer if I can.

    I personally don't keep a CB in the truck. I no longer see a need. If it's a backup, it's either an accident or construction or rush hour. Knowing that info, in my opinion, doesn't really benefit me, because either I'll figure a way around it, or I'll go wait it out, or just sit there til it moves again. Having a CB just satisfies "the look of a truck driver," kind of like driving a manual does.
  7. nredfor88

    nredfor88 Road Train Member

    Sep 26, 2019
    1. CB usage is much greater once you head toward the midwest and east half of the country. The west coast has mostly dead air, except maybe in bad weather.

    2. Society is losing its ability to use common sense. That's also reflected in truckers. They are parking on the side of the highway because, a) they are too stupid to know it's dangerous, or b) they are too stupid to care.

    3. CA is safe to about 60-62 depending where you are and what time it is. You'll just need to get a feel for where, when, and how far you can safely push the speed. There are times you don't want to push it too much, for example if I'm driving alone on a rural interstate, I'll back down a bit. But generally speaking you can do 60 anywhere, anytime, as long as you aren't impeding traffic or doing something stupid. After 60 you need to be careful. Always, always do exactly the speed limit in small towns. It says 35, you do 34 or 35.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  8. runningman0661

    runningman0661 Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2009
    Clover, South Carolina
    This industry has gone to hell in the last five to seven years, too many foreigners out here driving trucks because no natural born citizens want to do this job anymore.
  9. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
  10. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    American drivers outweigh foreign drivers by a large margin still. I don't understand why foreign drivers are being blamed for "this industry going to hell." You need to blame natural born citizens just as much as foreigners, if not more. I personally don't see where the industry has gone to hell. Everyone keeps saying that, but only a small fraction make a move out of the industry.
    dwells40 and BeHereNow97 Thank this.
  11. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    twin cities
    Funny how every single one of the trucks I see blocking a fuel pump not occupied or parked on a scale are foreign drivers but maybe that's just me
    jdchet, scott180, Mnmover99 and 2 others Thank this.
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