Recent Comments

Channel 19

Todd Dills

Dispatcher no-brainer and on-highway lemons

| February 18, 2014

Three cheers for average dispatchers
The fleet data-analysis-tools company StayMetrics revealed some results that overturned some common wisdom from the organization relative to dispatchers and the reasons drivers choose to leave fleets they drive for or are leased to, as such:

Tim Hindes, CEO of Stay Metrics, surmised that drivers who were very satisfied with their dispatchers would be significantly less likely to leave their carrier…. Hindes further hypothesized that dispatcher satisfaction matters only when drivers really like their dispatchers. “Great dispatchers really make a difference when they make their drivers really happy,” Hindes said.


Treating truckers as second-class: Fleets advised not to do so at retention conference

At a conference held in Nashville for fleet executives about ways fleets can better recruit and retain drivers, Load One CEO John Elliot said fleets ...

He was wrong on that point, though, a big driver survey that the company conducted recently concluded. “The dispatchers that really drive turnover were the ones who were very dissatisfying,” the company press release put it. “Better dispatchers don’t impact retention any more than those dispatchers that are just average.” A driver who’s neutral on his dispatcher is no less likely to stick around that one who’s best pals with his dispatcher. It’s those who are the physical embodiment of the “dispatcher brains” slang that really tip the scales.

Not exactly surprising results, I’d say. You? 

Don Christner lost tireWhen the road throws lemons at you … 
File this one under “don’t try at home” because you’re sure to be put out of service if you cross a scale (depending on your weight and, yes, the inspector) and you’ll put undue stress on the remaining tire in the dual pair, especially if loaded heavy. But when put in a bind out there in the real world, some folks make calculated lemonade, to modify the old adage.

Such was the case with this picture from Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Don Christner, whom regular readers may remember from his son’s neat GoPro vids or Christner’s own account of the relief load he ran during the floods out West last year

The lemonade was pretty well sour, though. Christner sent in the following text with the photo:

A tire blew out late at night in a very lonely place in Wyoming. You’re talking a long time for help to come. So, I pried what was left of the tire off the rim and drove on. It came off pretty easy. The inside dual was just fine and I only had half a load. It looks funny, but goes down the road just fine.

So I make a stop and this guy comes over and says, “Driver, you’ve lost a tire!”


Letter: ‘No gray areas’ for maintenance?

"To be super safe perhaps we should all park our vehicles when the first snowflake falls." --owner-operator Glenn Gilbert

“No,” I told him, “it blew out last night and I pried it off.”

He says, “Well, you can’t go down the road like that!”

I sure wish somebody would have told me that 200 miles ago! Four hours later it rolled into my home terminal in Cheyenne. We’ll fix it in our shop! 

  • Jason Haggard

    Yeah that goes under “just because you got away with it , doesn’t make it legal”

  • Joe Ammons

    Actually it is legal as long as he is not exceeding weight for the axle. What would be illegal is running with the tire parts still on rim. This situation is commonly referred to as “singleing out”. And it is safest to have the single on the inside like pictured

  • Todd Dills

    Thanks, Joe. I do believe you are correct, though I know I’ve heard stories of guys being hit by inspectors after single-ing out — can’t remember the details of those cases, though. I’m erring on the side undue caution in my hypothetical OOS case remark above, lest a fuel hauler loaded to the gills decide to single out for a long haul. It probably could stand to be clearer. In any case, given Don’s light load and the distance he was traveling, my guess is he was OK, eh Don?

  • sheamus

    UPS & others have penske & other rentals set up with 1 drive axle singled. Seen it many times. Enough tire for weight,enough tire to be leagal. came across a power only guy with both axles singled on outer posistion.

  • Guest

    And if they ran without an outer tire on their single axle it wouldn’t be legal either. You are expected to operate the vehicle under legal means. if you want to run fewer tires and be legal then it requires a change to super singles or to less axles.

  • Steve Bixler

    I need to disagree with “guest”. As long as you take the wheel off, you can run with only one tire and wheel on the axle as long as you do not exceed the weight limit of the single tire.

  • Steve

    I sure hope you can find the vehicle code that states duel tires only

  • Outlaw

    I have driven for 20yrs. Never an accident and no driver awards(tickets). My response to your tire ordeal….big F-ing deal. I’ve done many things that were illegal and got away with it…did things worse than that every day, that’s what outlaw truck drivers do. Try working in the produce business, running for a biker who owns 50 new Pete’s with 600CAT engines, w/ 18speeds and runs them wide open to Cali and back. Tells you to get there and back as fast as you can and doesn’t give a damn about log books. If a guy leaves behind you and returns before you do, guess what?, you just got fired! LOL That’s what it used to be like in the old days and there are still a few left that know how to use a CB, knows the back roads and how to dodge the scale houses…and keep under the radar. I made $2500 per week doing that exact thing for several years……..NEVER got caught……..NEVER ran legal. Made tons of money. Way more than I could ever think of working for the company I work for now that runs Qualcom and all DOT legal………..boring as fuck and the money sucks……….just as tired as when I ran how I wanted and actually way more stressful following all the bullshit DOT rules and regs. Trucking has taken a serious turn for the worst and will never be the same as it was in the old days. It’s a shame really. There are not many good trucking hands’ anymore. Only idiots can’t tell on their own how to manage and fix their own trucks, how far to go in one day, when they are tired, how to read a map and plot a course on your own, (GPS is for faggots), when and where they should stop and how much sleep they need to complete their trip. The DOT has turned truckers into a bunch of morons who cant think for themselves. STEERING WHEEL HOLDERS! ;)

  • Gerald Wood

    Based on weight restrictions; details go to mfg. maximum tire weight. & States policy’s on width of tire vs. axle weight of the load. Hopefully, your axle weight, wont become suggestive by combining max. load bearing weight by lop siding the math; 2:1 tire to weight ratio: 2 tires on drivers side & 1 tire on passenger side = legal weight. Keep the math simple, 1:1, count only a single on each side then use tires max. weight rating.

  • Steve

    Legal !

  • Coffeeclue

    So why not get your own authority, buy your own truck and keep doing what you do best?

  • unclejoe

    3 x7 =21 21and 21 =42 you are only allowed to weigh 34 on your tandems (except in some states but you still can’t be over 40) you are still legal if a inspector wants to write you up there are several lawyers that will stick his stamps where the sun don’t shine

  • WOW

    wow!!!!!!!!! Outlaw your some badass. You scare me. No wonder were being federal regulated. Your a bad apple to say the least. What amazes me is that your proud of your actions. LOL

  • James

    Outlaw,you really lucked out. Back in the day,drivers could run that way and often not get caught,right up until they crossed the line of “Win or Lose”. By that time there were no tickets,because there were no survivors.
    Granted,now most drivers don’t have the skills (and ignorance) required to play that game,and it’s the fault of drivers like YOU. Loose cannons like you caused trucking to become so unsafe and wild that the Feds decided they had to get involved in a Nationwide drive (no pun intended) to issue THOUSANDS of restrictions and micro-manage the trucking industry,which also served to “dumb down” the necessary abilities and capabilities of drivers;add to that the modern technology and how it’s making trucking easier. Had drivers like you used your abilities for something more than mashing the long pedal,and reeled in your money-lust,drivers today very likely would still have the freedom to decide when they’re too tired to drive,or to plot their own course,and decide where and when they’ll stop for lunch or fuel. THANKS for screwing life up for,and pissing away the Freedom Of The Road for hundreds of thousands of skilled,capable and responsible drivers.

  • Gerald Wood

    vague: back then what did you earn .11-.19 cents per mile or was it less. Today many carriers can pay out twice that rate. The $2,500.00 pay check, (you didn’t write on how the pay period was worked) im thinking you had held back your trips for the month and then turned them in for pay…bam-$2,500.00. The frequency of recvg those big checks certainly did not happen that often. Also, you did not earn more than Union Paid Drivers wages…as I recall C.F. Freightways went bankrupt and was reincarnated as Conway, (non union). Memories…perhaps, the illegal fun, was driving thru west texas above the 55MPH speed limit. memories…boy weren’t those the good ‘ol days!!!

  • Cameron

    What fantasy world do you live in? Where is all the facts to back it up? Actual cases of drivers driving too outlaw and causing accidents are very rare. Go back and read the feds attempted justifications for mandatory eobr’s when they pushed them a few years ago(here’s a hint; even under their rosiest of projections very few, less than 20, lives would be saved annually).
    More people die from dog bites than that! 20 times more people die from falling out of their own bed!
    You want the feds to regulate how you sleep in your own bed?
    You’ve obviously not been in this industry long enough to get out of the big company driver bubble.

  • Cameron

    Plenty of people make more than union drivers.

  • James

    I stand corrected-I just went back and figured out outlaw was talking about the late 80’s/90’s,so the Feds had already started the micromanaging game. And you’re right-in the 80’s serious accidents with fatalities involving “outlaw” truckers were relatively few compared to the 40’s-60’s when the REAL outlaw truckers were out there. I still maintain that the failure of OO’s and independent truckers in the past to adhere to some semblance of safety and common sense has had a lot to do with the Federal Gov’t’s over-reaching attempts to manage every little detail of trucking.
    I wasn’t a driver back then,my Uncle owned his trucks (late 40’s into the early 70’s),and used to tell me of stuff he did,and saw happen,and he lost a few good friends and co-drivers to accidents he said could have been prevented if they’d just been driving a little slower,stopped to grab a little more sleep,adjusted those brakes,replaced those steer axle tires,etc.,but apparently they thought getting there a half day sooner was worth the risks they took. As he racked up more miles,he mellowed as a driver and started taking better care of his trucks,I guess you’d say he “grew up”. But even after he bought his new ’71 KW conventional,the Government was already making running Independent more trouble than it was worth,so he sold it and drove for Time/DC until he retired. So most of what I know is “second hand” info from my Uncle and some newspaper articles he’d saved.
    I’m glad you and outlaw have escaped serious trouble,and hope you beat the Reaper until you retire. I’ll pray that nobody else on the road has to pay with their lives for the “outlaw” lifestyle some drivers want to live.
    You’ll have to explain that phrase “TOO outlaw”;either you ARE or you AREN’T. That’s a parameter that’d be hard to prove in an investigation. (I suppose if the drivers logbook is a month behind,that’d be considered proof.) I doubt that phrase would be used in most accident investigations. As a side-note,just because you get away with that “outlaw” BS doesn’t make it right,good or legal.
    BTW-I notice YOU throw down some disputable numbers too( less than 20, lives would be saved annually).
    More people die from dog bites than that! 20 times more people die from falling out of their own bed! )-got any proof of THOSE,or do you know those from personal experience?
    As for the “big Company Driver bubble”,driving like a sane person with a little respect for rules doesn’t make necessarily make anyone a big Company Driver,it just makes them a driver,as opposed to the “outlaw” driver,who is a blight on trucking of all types. “outlaw” drivers can only be considered irresponsible idiots.

  • Steve

    Well, he said $2500 per week. Not sure where you live, but to me that means every 7 days. And yes we almost always made more than union drivers.

  • Steve

    Cameron, I agree. It was good money, it was fun and guys like James could never have made it. Having said that however, I’m glad I don’t have to run that way now.

  • Steve

    I agree that your info seems to be all second hand, so I’m not sure why you feel the need to correct and chastise those of us who were actually there and did it. Talk is cheap.

  • James

    Not everyone has had the same experiences,and I’m sure some saw things much differently back then. Since NEITHER of us has put forth verifiable information,I guess that makes this a simple difference of OPINIONS. And I’m sure you’re not saying my Uncle was lying,or anything like that. (Why WOULD he?) Since neither of us “walked a mile in his shoes” we’re in no position to dispute what he said.
    And,like you said,talk is cheap (Unless you let the Government get involved in it.)

  • localnet

    I’ve done crazier things, rear trailer axle missing both wheels and tires. Bearings blew, caught fire when an axle seal failed in a snowstorm, melted the hub, real mess. We chained up that axle on the side of the road on I-75 in Michigan. Me and the wrecker driver got It done, and I got her to Brookpark before Ford shut the line down. It was a load of engine blocks… Not my best day, and it was a sheet of snow and ice all the way to Cleveland on SR 2. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.