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Old 09-26-2012, 03:14 PM   #31
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Re: It's a small world

John,

So are the Volvo's the only single axle sleeper trucks FedEx has? I see that other Single axle truck without a sleeper in your parking lot swap picture but yours is the only Volvo. Also do all FedEx tractors have red frame rails? I guess I never noticed this if they do.

Thanks for the pictures from your job. It looks like its not too much/hard work which is always nice for a job.

By the way the smooth side trailers look better with your truck.
And if you ever figure out what some of the "Signs" mean let us know.

Thanks again for beating up the roads to deliver our packages...

...Jamie
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:17 PM   #32
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Re: It's a small world

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
Sounds like a nice mix of routes, short enough that you're never in the seat too awfully long.

Just like our vans, you got to love the view from sitting up high in the big rig!
Ahhhh....Mt Hood....some of the most spectacular sunrises ive ever seen were early morning runs to Bend/Redmond on snowy November mornings. Watching the sun come up over The Smiths Rocks area when everything is covered in snow it truly impressive.

What are you driving? The light on the mirror looks like a Pete setup to me.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #33
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Re: It's a small world

My aunt (well my wife's aunt) that lives in Clakamas has that exact picture perfect view of Mt Hood from her living room window. I remember waking up to it a few times when I was there visiting. Can't wait to get back there someday.

John, I see those same signs. From what I can tell, they mean don't sit there too long or someone might assume you are parking, and you aren't supposed to park there. Sitting is OK though, for a time, at least in my book.

Oh, and your day at the office looks eerily familiar.

Jamie, red frame rails: those trucks (John's and mine) belonged to a company we bought out before. They were bought with red frames and blue and red stripes. One of the many small trucking companies Fedex bought out in the last several years. It's funny, we're more senior company employees and we get the million mile hand-me-downs. Go figure. All our other trucks have black frames, no sleepers, and are mostly older Freightliners. We have BY FAR the oldest fleet on the road. It's scary how old and worn out some of our vehicles are, yet the company still uses them daily to guarantee 'on time' freight. Once again, go figure.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #34
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Re: It's a small world

Yep - gotta love the central Oregon sunrises with just a bit of early season snow!

I'm mostly a desk jockey working for a construction company, but I do get to run lowboy every now and then. '99 Kenworth T800 pulling an older Cozad lowboy. We work all over the state and I really do enjoy when I get to go out and put some miles in as it is often somewhere I haven't spent much time before.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #35
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Re: It's a small world

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Jamie, red frame rails: those trucks (John's and mine) belonged to a company we bought out before. They were bought with red frames and blue and red stripes. One of the many small trucking companies Fedex bought out in the last several years. It's funny, we're more senior company employees and we get the million mile hand-me-downs. Go figure. All our other trucks have black frames, no sleepers, and are mostly older Freightliners. We have BY FAR the oldest fleet on the road. It's scary how old and worn out some of our vehicles are, yet the company still uses them daily to guarantee 'on time' freight. Once again, go figure.
You think FedEx has old trucks, well at least they look good.
I don't think they have Tractor Trailers but have you seen some of the On Track trucks? They might not be back East only out here. I saw an Econoline today that wasn't as good as some I have taken parts off from at the Junk Yards around here. They guy that delivers at my house (almost everything from Amazon comes by On Track around here) has a body one Sprinter that the door hardly closes and hasn't been washed since it was new. I would ship anything by them just because of the trucks. I have this pride thing where you can have something old but if it looks like you are trying that's enough for me.

...Jamie

BTW most signs are just suggestions, right?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #36
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Re: It's a small world

Since we're on the topic of big rigs, I see a lot of rigs that have a spoiler under the trailer and have started seeing a few that have a collapsible Kamback. Any idea what either of these does to the fuel usage?

Given the cost of fuel I am a bit surprised to see that more trucks haven't been trying aero modifications to smooth things out a bit. As a motorcyclist I know only too well how 'dirty' (as in turbulent) the air around and behind semis is. A buddy from the UK had rigs that automatically closed up the trailer to the cab as you got to highway speeds.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:12 AM   #37
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Re: It's a small world

Most of the aerodynamic add ons that the big trucks are running around these days only save a few 10/ths of a mile per gallon. When you consider how much fuel they buy in a year all the little things add up to some big money in fuel savings. Slowing down is the best way to save fuel in a big rig. It's pretty much the same story with our bigger vans. If you want to see an improvement in fuel economy drop your average speed down 5-10 mph and save.

One nice side benefit of driving a big rig is you get used to driving slow. I feel right at home in the slow lane when I'm out on the highway driving my van. One of my buddies allways gives me grief when whe're out chasing whitewater together. He says I drive way to slow. I just smile and tell him I'm used to driving slow and since I get paid by the minute at work I make more money when I drive slow.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:08 AM   #38
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It's a small world

And you have to really watch your a** and not get tickets! There is absolutely no mercy by LEOs in my area for commercial drivers. Don't even bother asking for a break!
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #39
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Re: It's a small world

I had a conversation with an Oregon State Trooper one night while we were both fueling our vehicles. He was a senior guy that was a commercial vehicle inspector type. This conversation took place right when we were converting our fleet over to the Quadrant auto log system. I started the conversation asking what the Troopers expected to see in the way of documentation if we got pulled over and just had the computerized log book. He told me in his 20 years on the force he has rarely had to deal with either FedEx drivers or UPS drivers. He said he knows we are highly trained, professional types and both companies have policies in place that make sure we run well maintained trucks and keep us from playing log doctor. He said he usually doesn't even pay attention to us. He focuses on the lone owner-operator or the other fly by night companies. That keeps him plenty busy.

The troopers out here will give you 5 miles an hour over the speed limit all night long. They we usually give us 6 7 or even 8 miles over without a second glance. Once you hit 9 over you get their attention and if they see you at 10 over count on getting a performance award to take back to your manager.

With that said there is a trend where the FedEx Freight guys who haul arse are ruining our reputation and then there are the FedEx Ground trucks. Those guys are always questionable. Most are good drivers but you see a lot more rookie moves by Ground than you do by either Freight or Express.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #40
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Re: It's a small world

John -
I enjoyed your day-in-the-life posting. Couple of questions..

1. It sounds like FedEx has figured out how to make a truck run forever. Aside from hiring good drivers, what do they do to get a million miles out of an engine? What's their oil change / lube interval?

2. What exactly do big rig drivers check if they stop in the brake-check area at the top of a hill?
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