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Showing posts with label Veteran Driver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veteran Driver. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Todd McCann Shares, "Truckers Go Turtle Racing"

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ExpressTaxTax learns about turtle racing
Today we have a special gift for you because Todd McCann has agreed to share his turtle racing article and podcast with us. Todd McCann has been a truck driver since '97 and reports on his experiences on the road as he hosts his trucking podcast/blog, Trucker Dump. Check out what he has to say about turtle racing. Read the article here or listen to the podcast here. 

Truckers Go Turtle Racing


Turtles are cool. If I see one trying to cross the road, I'm the kinda guy that'll pull over and carry him across the road to safety. That is, unless it's one of those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If I see one of them in the road, I'm gonna stick out my tongue, close one eye, take aim, and hit the accelerator. Man, those "dudes" are annoying.

So why would I go out of my way to help a turtle cross the road? Well, like I said, they're cool, but it's also because The Evil Overlord likes that about me. What can I say? I'm a sweetie. Still, the main reason is simply because he's so freakin' slow. By the way, I do always assume it's a male turtle crossing the road. My thinking is that the only thing that could make a turtle jump out into traffic is a lady turtle batting her eyes and wiggling her sexy little tail around.

So anyway, why all the talk about turtles? Well, because the trucking industry has its own version of turtles. Only no one likes them. I'm talking about speed-limited trucks. Specifically, I'm talking about two speed-limited trucks trying to pass each other out on the highway. You know; Turtle Racing.

Whether your vehicle has 18 wheels or four, we've all experienced a Turtle Race. You're tooling along in the fast lane, when some trucker jumps out in front of you. You calmly slow down and follow while this truck slooooooowly creeps up and passes the slightly slower truck. I assume you were calm, right? I mean, it only took five minutes for dillmunch #1 to pass dillmunch #2.

Notice that I called both of these drivers "dillmunch." Besides the fact that I have no earthly idea what a dillmunch is, I still say the turtle race was both of these driver's faults. It takes two to do the Tango and it takes two to race. If you were to ask most drivers whose fault it is, they'd blame the guy trying to pass. I agree... and I disagree. Let's take a look at that.

Okay. Say my truck will go a mind-blowing warp speed of 65 mph. I'm coming up on a truck going 64 mph. Sure, I could tap my brake, lower my cruise control, and stare at his trailer doors all day. After all, I am looking pretty smokin' in those reflective doors. But why should I have to slow down because my truck is faster than his? Wouldn't it make more sense to let the faster truck get on with his business?

The thing is, it takes two drivers with common sense, professional attitudes, and the willingness to put themselves in the other driver's shoes. Those are three attributes that are sorely missing in today's trucking industry. Nowadays, everyone is out for themselves.

Drivers can't be bothered to let you go around them before they take ten minutes to back into a wide-open parking spot. The same guys don't have a second thought about butting in line to get to the shipping clerk's window. Nor do they mind parking in front of the fuel bay while they mosey into the truck stop, stand in line to get their fuel receipt, take a dump, fill up their thermos, and grab some to-go food; hopefully in that order. 

Todd McCann explains how to avoid turtle racing to ExpressTruckTax
These are the same drivers who see the faster truck coming up behind them. They're the drivers who see you in their mirror as you pull out to pass. The same jerk who can see the traffic stacking up behind you. The worthless puddle of dog vomit that refuses to tap his brakes, even though he can clearly see you're going to pass him eventually.

Here's how I try to deal with this. First, I give the driver the benefit of the doubt, trusting that as soon as he notices me, he'll let me around. Hey, it could happen. Once I've caught his beady little eyes looking at me in his mirror, I wait a few seconds to see if he's gonna back out of it. If he doesn't, I resort to a drastic step. Well, it is for me anyway.

I break out the "Official Communication Device of Hell", otherwise known as the CB radio. Again, I'll be nice at first. Maybe he's into a good audiobook and the situation just hasn't registered in his puny little brain. I'll key up the mic and say in a friendly voice, "Hey driver. How about a little driver courtesy here?" Sometimes that works. Other times, the guy doesn't have his CB turned on. Can't say as I blame him for that. Still other times, you know you've got a real winner on your hands when he picks up the mic and says, "If you can't pass me faster than that, it's not my problem." Oh my. What do you do with a guy like this?

That's when I take a deep, calming breath and explain to him that we as drivers are never going to get respect and cooperation from the public if we can't even get it from our fellow drivers. I'm often filled with awe from their insightful comeback. Something truly wise, like, "Shut up, stupid."

This is what we're dealing with out here. All this could be avoided if drivers just had a little common courtesy towards each other. Instead, we're all faced with turtle racing every day. And as for you four-wheelers, don't think you're exempt either. The only thing more frustrating than being stuck behind turtle racing trucks, is to be stuck behind turtle racing four-wheelers. For the love of Pete, folks. Trust me on this. It's okay to turn your cruise control off. The car manufacturers have thoroughly tested these devices. You're not gonna break anything. Except for my forehead, which is decisively bashing into my steering wheel with a head-banging force usually reserved for Slayer songs.

So here's my plea to all drivers. Just get off the road and let me do my job. Okay, I guess that's a bit impractical. So practically, let's do this.

- First, keep your eyes open and pay attention. They key to avoiding turtle racing is knowing when it's actually happening and then doing whatever it takes to help the situation.

- If you need to instigate a turtle race, wait until most of the traffic behind you has cleared. If traffic is heavy and you're going to be holding people up, just tap your brakes and follow the slow-poke until traffic thins. Then mount your attack.

- If you're the slower driver, be a sport. Tap your brakes and let the other driver around. It's not like you're approaching 88 mph and if you don't reach it in time, you'll be stuck in the past... or future.

- If you're the faster driver, use the CB to politely ask if the dimwit will let you around. My suggestion would be to NOT use the term "dimwit" when addressing said dimwit.

- If the slower driver ignores you, or worse, laughs at you, feel free to wave at him as you drive past his window. I leave the amount of fingers you use entirely up to you.

- If you're the faster driver, and Captain Slo-Mo just won't let you around, even after multiple attempts, be the bigger man (or woman). Back out of it, get behind him, and let all the backed-up traffic go on their merry little, un-speed-limited way.

- Now for the final and most important step. Concentrate hard and wish for the next toilet seat he visits to be infested with crabs. Now, don't you feel better?

Thanks For Sharing, Todd! 


We hope you enjoyed learning about turtle racing as much as we did. Who is better to learn from than an actual driver?! If you have any thoughts to share about turtle racing please post them in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.

Bio: 

Todd McCann is a 20-year trucker, producer of the Trucker Dump podcast/blog, and author of two ebooks; How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job and Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide To Becoming And Being A Truck Driver. Learn more at AboutTruckDriving.com.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking a Moment To Remember 9/11

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16th Anniversary of 9/11
No matter where you are and what you're hauling today be sure to take a moment and reflect on 9/11, as today is the 16th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

We know your hearts will swell with pride today as you see people on bridges and overpasses proudly waving our American flag. Many people can remember where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard about planes striking the World Trade Center. Those memories will most likely never be forgotten.

To honor the 3,000 victims of the 2001 terrorist attack and their families Trump lead a moment of silence to mark the moment that the first plane struck the World Trade Center. You too can spend a moment of silence to remember those events.

Two beams of light will be shooting into the sky tonight where the towers originally stood as a display to show Americans that we will never forget what happened as time passes and we progress as a stronger nation.

We're proud to be American at ExpressTruckTax and honor all those affected by 9/11. We will never forget what happened that day. The flag can be spotted around our office as everyone takes the time they need to reflect.

Thank you for continuing to work hard out there on our Nation's' highways even on historic days like today when we know you would much rather be home with your family. 

Veteran Truckers
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Friday, August 11, 2017

The Total Eclipse Will Totally Stop Traffic

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The Total Solar Eclipse Traffic Nightmare
The total eclipse/traffic nightmare
If you haven’t already heard you should be aware that a major total eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21st, that will make areas of 12 different states in its path become completely dark for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This will happen around 2:43 PM EST in Columbia, SC.

Now, this is a historic event because it’s the first total eclipse from coast to coast since 1918. An entire generation has lived and passed without witnessing an event like this, and it’s the first total eclipse since the interstate system was even created. So, what can you expect traffic to be like?

Solar Eclipse Traffic


Schools and businesses are allowing people to take the day off in order to travel and see the eclipse. Meaning millions of people from all across the nation will be traveling to the 12 states where the total eclipse can be witnessed. You should expect major congestion and a few stand still traffic jams.

If you’ll be out on the road that day be prepared. Top of your fuel and give yourself enough time to account for the influx of traffic. Remember when extra people are on the road more wrecks occur, so slow downs and delays can be expected. Some major roads will actually be closed, like Interstate 57 corridor in Illinois for example.

The 12 states where you can see the total eclipse include:
An example of a traffic jam expected to be caused by the total eclipse.
 

Oregon
Idaho
Wyoming
Nebraska
Kansas
Missouri
Illinois
Kentucky
Tennessee
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia

Some people will plan ahead and make a trip out of this event and find a place to stay overnight to enjoy the eclipse the next day, but others will hop in their car for a spur of the moment journey. If they travel the day of the eclipse they will avoid having to pay for a hotel and taking extra time off work.

Also, if people are in traffic during this event they may whip out their phones to try and snap pictures on their phones. This will be a major cause of distracted driving and could result in accidents. Even though parking on the shoulder is illegal, people are expected to pull off on the side of the road to watch the event, which could result in even more accidents.

Plus, the sky will go completely dark in the path of the eclipse. We hope that people remember to turn their lights on if they are driving during it, but they may not. Watch out for yourself and others. Have your lights on auto or remember to turn them on to see other drivers on the road.

State troopers from all across the country will be out looking for dangerous drivers to keep the roads safe, so be sure to be on your best driving behavior. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely, speed, or drive distracted to avoid getting pulled.

If you want to view the eclipse we recommend finding a truck stop on your route and giving yourself enough time to make it there and park before it starts. Parking on the side of the road could be dangerous and is not advised. You could also take the day off and travel with your family to see it since it will be a once and lifetime beautiful event. We hope it doesn’t get rained out.

However, if you don’t care about the eclipse and don’t want to deal with the hassle of travelers we recommend sticking to the back roads to avoid traffic. Also, check your route in advance to avoid closed roads. Don’t let extra mass of other drivers rial you up with road rage, stay calm and keep on truckin’. 

Enjoy The Eclipse


Whether you will be participating in another hard day’s work or taking the time to enjoy the eclipse remember to drive extra safely and prepare for hordes of traffic. This is a major event that millions will flock to from coast to coast. 

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about the eclipse and potential traffic in the comment section below.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Roadcheck 2017 Is Almost Here

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We know you always do a great job safely securing your cargo and driving safely to protect the lives of others around you on the road, but it’s time to step up your game. If you’re going to be on the road between June 6th - June 8th prepare for the 2017 Roadcheck

Roadcheck 2017


This year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance or CVSA is hosting their 30th annual international roadcheck inspection. These inspections started back in 1988 in order to help inform the public about motor vehicle safety. 

It’s a big deal because this international inspection inspects an average of 17 buses and trucks per minute. That’s a ton of heavy vehicles.

The inspection will be going on for 72 hours beginning on June 6th and ending on June 8th, so if you’ll be on the road during these times be sure to be on top of your game in order to pass. If you always take your job seriously and always make sure your truck is up to code, then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

This year the inspection will focus on cargo securement because that’s pretty important. I mean just imagine all of the things that could go wrong with loose cargo. Tarps could fly off and cover the windshields of cars, loose items could clutter the highway creating a mess for vehicles to swerve around, and more. To put it simply, loose cargo equals chaos.

Now when we say to be on top of your game we mean it, because the people conducting the inspections have undergone a 3-day training course to learn what to look out for. They’re trained to spot things that are wrong. Also, brace yourself because the entire inspection includes 37 steps to check the driver and the vehicle.

The inspection will check drivers for:

Their license
Hours of operation
Motor carrier registration
Shipping documentation
Seat belt usage
Influence of drugs and or alcohol

The vehicle inspection will check:

The brake systems
Cargo securement
Coupling devices
The driveline/driveshaft
Exhaust systems
Frames
Fuel Systems
Lighting devices
Steering Mechanisms
Suspensions
Tires
Trailer bodies
Wheels including rims and bulbs
Windshield wipers
And emergency exits for buses

A good thing to do would be to replace your straps and tie downs. If the appear worn you could get a violation. Also, having all of your information together ahead of the inspection will help save time because you won’t have to dig through your cab for it.

Your attitude with an inspector makes a huge difference. A small violation could result in a warning letter to you or your carrier or a citation for you or your carrier. Be polite and professional.

We Know You’ll Pass


When it's time for your inspection and you have a positive attitude, your papers together, and you never skip your own vehicle inspections then you’ll have nothing to worry about. We know stopping for the inspection might be a pain in the rear, but it will go by quickly so you can get back on the road!

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your roadcheck tips in the comment section below.
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