Author: Ken

Carbon Monoxide Can Kill You

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic but colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. And because it is initially non-irritating, it is difficult for people to detect. Most people associate it with gasoline engine exhaust, and erroneously believe that unless they smell the engine exhaust they don’t have anything to worry about. It is the product of incomplete combustion of organic matter in an enclosed space (like an engine cylinder) with an insufficient supply of oxygen to enable complete oxidation to carbon dioxide (CO2). It’s not as big a problem with newer gasoline motors, but it certainly is with older engines,...

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Can You Haul HAZMAT Without an Endorsement?

HAZMAT is one of the most confusing subjects among expedite drivers. But it doesn't need to be. In order to haul HAZMAT you must have a CDL with a HAZMAT Endorsement, right? Most people, when they hear the term “HAZMAT” they think “endorsement,” because you need the HAZMAT endorsement to haul HAZMAT. This can be a source of great confusion among drivers of all types of vehicles, because it depends. Sometimes you need the endorsement, sometimes you don’t. It depends on the definition of hazardous material, and on who is defining it. Hazardous Material is defined by the Secretary...

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Keeping Warm Out There

One of the biggest challenges for many expediters is how to keep warm in the winter. It’s a challenge especially for those in Sprinters or cargo vans – how to keep warm during the winter. Some people idle their truck, but that’s not very cost effective. It uses a lot of fuel and puts a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the engine. Some people just tough it out using zero degree mummy sleeping bags and flight suits and electric blankets. Whatever floats yer boat, I guess. Others just get a motel room, but that can get expensive....

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It's Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure

Gotta be ready for anything Every time this job gets boring, I get a load like this. I get this load delivering to rural SW Georgia, between Albany, GA and Tallahassee, FL. And by rural I mean ruhr-rall. The town is 4100 people, and the delivery is to a house 8 miles out of town. I’m delivering parts for an in-home hospital bed, head and foot board panels, maybe 40 pounds total in the two boxes. I’m feeling kinda like a UPS or FedEx Home Delivery Driver. The Garmin takes me to the correct address, right to the mailbox...

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Where is Your Money Going?

The Rule of Thirds lets you know. The Rule of Thirds is a concept that tells you where your gross revenue should be divided up and distributed. It is akin to a budget but is more generalized. It is a barometer of your money. Basically, one third of your gross revenue will go to operating expenses (chiefly fuel, oil, fuel additives, truck washes, tolls, parking and other costs to operate the daily business), one third goes to the truck (maintenance, repair, insurance, registration), and one third goes to the driver. If any of these thirds are significantly out of...

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How to Kill Your Batteries

Batteries don't die, their owners kill them. For our purposes out on the road, there are three types of batteries available with which to work: cranking, deep cycle and dual purpose. And regardless of the type, most people are experts at killing them. Cranking (or starting) – used to start the engine. They are designed with lots of thin lead plates which provide more surface area for the batteries to provide those cranking amps for a short burst to turn the starting motor. These are measured in cranking amps (CA), marine cranking amps (MCA) or cold-cranking amps (CCA). Deep...

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Creature Comforts

Being comfortable in your truck is the key to wanting to stay out on the road. I began my expediting career in a short wheelbase Ford E-350 cargo van. I lived in that for a long time, using a double-height twin air mattress that I would inflate and deflate on a near-daily basis. After 3 months or so, the mattress would get stretched out to the point where it had to be replaced. With even one pallet on board, there was no room to inflate the mattress, so it made Friday pickups for Monday delivery kind of a pain....

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A little About Me

I Was Hooked… I began my expediting career several years ago in a Ford E-350, but I had been preparing to be an expediter ever since I got my first driver’s license. I have always loved to drive. Over the years I have had jobs which required very little travel, and some which required a lot of it, and it was those jobs that involved a lot of driving that I enjoyed the most. Just getting out on the road, going from A to B, and seeing whatever there was to see along the way. As a jazz and...

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