The life of American truckersBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-life-of-american-truckers.html
Trucker in the US is not a job, it's a lifestyle. Ever since President D. Eisenhower signed a national act to build 66,000 kilometers of highways and highways in the United States in 1956, the trucker profession has remained one of the most sought after, as well as one of the highest paid for professional drivers.
(Total 30 photos)
1. Every year in the United States, trucks transport about 10 billion tons of cargo, with a total value of more than 9 trillion. dollars. Today absolutely everything is transported by trucks, without them the American economy will die.
2. Throughout the highway system in the US, there are specialized truck stops that are always visible from afar, at such pit stops drivers can get a complete rest, go to the shower, and have a great meal.
3. Today there are more than 6000 specialized stops for truckers.
4. Most pit stops have a service line that is able to repair the truck in a short time, by the way, the truckers themselves call the truck "rig".
5. Of course, they will not change the engine for you, but they will easily change the wheels, oil, repair a lost mirror or leaking fuel line, change pads, and carry out other required repairs.
6. Large logistics companies such as UPS or Snyder, which have hundreds of trucks in their inventory, have their own large pit stops for truck overhaul and maintenance. In other cases, even large companies use pit stops found on the roads.
7. Gas stations for truckers are separated from gas stations for cars. This is due to the fact that, firstly, the fuel tanks of trucks are much larger, and trucks usually have two tanks of 300-500 liters each. Trucks that work in places remote from civilization, for example, with oil workers, can also have 2 tanks with a capacity of 1500 liters. Refueling pumps of such stations are very powerful, and pump fuel about 4 times faster than conventional pumps.
8. Secondly, the tanks are located on both sides of the truck, so the dispensers are equipped with two hoses, on both sides of the truck. Thirdly, having a trailer 16 meters (53 feet) long, it is difficult to park at a regular gas station, so the entrance / exit to such gas stations is made wide and, if possible, straight, which greatly facilitates the work of drivers.
9. Why so much fuel? A loaded "truck" consumes 35-40 liters of fuel per 100 km.
10. By the way, an interesting point: a truck idling burns about 4 liters per hour, 1 hour of idling is equivalent to 10 km of run, and all trucks in the USA consume about 6 billion liters of fuel per year.
11. In addition to specialized stops on all highways in the United States, rest areas are provided, usually every 130-180 km. In such recreation areas, there are tables and benches under awnings where you can have a bite to eat, vending machines for snickers, drinks and other trifles, toilet rooms, and even showers (but not always). At such sites, drivers can warm up, check the condition of the car and load securing.
12. All truckers are subject to the regulations of the Department of Transportation, which sets the number of working hours and maximum speeds.
13. Drivers are divided into two large classes: intrastate - which move exclusively within the boundaries of one state, never crossing the state border, and interstate, i.e. those that can move between the 49 states.
14. What's the difference? An Interstate driver can drive for 14 hours a day, after which he must stop and rest for 10 hours. Moreover, 14 hours of work and 10 hours of rest cannot be interrupted, i.e. you can’t drive for 2 hours, then rest for 2 hours, then drive for another 5 hours. As soon as the truck started moving, 14 hours began its countdown.
15. Domestic drivers have different privileges in different states. In Texas, a driver can drive 14 hours, work 16, and take only 8 hours off. In addition, the driver cannot work more than 70 hours in an 8-day period or 60 hours in a 7-day period. If the driver has worked 65 hours in 6 days, he needs a rest - 34 hours. In turn, companies, so as not to cheat, must prescribe in contracts according to which scheme they work, an 8-day or 7-day "week".
16. Companies are very strict about working hours. the fine for violation is very high. Previously, drivers had paper logs where they recorded working hours, today all large and medium-sized companies have computers that calculate the time, distance and place to rest on their own, although drivers still have paper logs in case of a computer failure.
17. Another parameter that is very monitored by the police, but which is not very fond of transport companies, is weight. The maximum allowed limit for a two-axle trailer based on two axles of a tractor is 36 tons, with a larger load, the number of axles must be increased.
18. Weight control stations are scattered throughout the road system, and drivers coast through them, usually at a speed of 60 km/h. If an overweight is noticed, then you will have to stop for inspection and receive a fine. The fine is issued to the company.
19. To calculate the weight, there are tables that all truckers carrying goods that exceed the allowable load have.
20. All long-range trucks carrying dangerous goods are marked with plates, which are divided into 9 main categories included in 5 main groups: explosive, flammable, poisonous, corrosive substances and radioactive elements.
21. In addition, drivers carrying such goods are provided with a full set of cargo documents and have restrictions on the maximum speed. For example, a truck with potatoes on the highway can travel 130 km / h, with fuel - 110, and with radioactive elements only 100 km / h.
22. Not every driver can carry dangerous goods. To do this, you need to obtain an additional certificate to the driver's category. The most difficult certificates to obtain are those for explosive goods and radioactive elements.
23. Drivers transporting super dangerous goods (explosives and radioactive elements) are required to take a course in special schools and know everything about the materials being transported, as well as learn how to properly act in emergency situations.
24. Large companies have their own training grounds, where drivers learn how to get a truck out of a skid, how to properly steer a truck into a ditch and get many other skills.
25. The total number of drivers who have completed the school and are eligible for the transport of excess dangerous goods is 3% of the total number of drivers. Such drivers are the elite among drivers. Their salary starts from $100,000 per year.
26. Another interesting feature of trucks that carry out various deliveries is a loader on the tail. It is very convenient, by the way, you don’t have to worry about the fact that the pallet will not be removed somewhere in the warehouse, or near the house.
28. Sometimes the military can be seen on the highway, there are no privileges for them, the maximum speed of movement of the military is 100 km / h. Usually they move in "clumps" of convoys, and at night, a daytime convoy is a rarity.
29. Today, truckers are an integral part of the roadscape in America, and their number continues to grow.
30. In the near future I will tell you about mobile homes.