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Raildudes dad

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About Raildudes dad

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    Grand Rapids MI

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  1. I saw a good one today. I should have taken a photo but traffic got a bit crazy. I'm stopped at the typical 4 way 5 lane intersection. The roads are flat ahead of me, behind me, and to my left. It's a bit downhill to my right, coming uphill to the traffic light. I see a semi stopped 1 car from the light going uphill. It's an odd sighting but the parallel freeway is partially closed so I guess he's taking a city street. It's a Ryder tractor pulling a USPS marked trailer - no name and the large numbers on the front top sides. The turn arrow goes on and the car makes the left. I see the semi start with a big boom and a jerk. The driver tries to keep going and there's another big boom and 3 of those big metal racks full of bins of mail fall out the back, topple upside down and mail goes sliding down the pavement. He is part way thru the intersection and stops, effectively blocking the traffic 2 ways. He hops out and I recognize the "Postman" uniform. The lady ahead of me makes a right and then doesn't want to drive over the spilled mail. I holler at the driver, clear the intersection with your truck. (The bins stayed in the left turn lane.) He hollers back, "I have to secure my load". I thought to myself, it's a little late for that now. I had to get to a meeting so I drove over the spilled mail. Most of it looked like the bulk rate stuff so it didn't bother me.
  2. Stone Transport or Howe and Howe? I saw one of those coke trailers at EJIW in East Jordan with the swing doors open in their yard, casting stacked as high as the sides. Its a regular run from East Jordan to Sunfield. I was behind one on M-66 one day. it took him forever to get to 55 mph and he started braking for stop signs or lights wayyyy before the intersection.
  3. I was driving on the freeway one day. The kids were were with me as we approached the end of the entrance ramp that had a lumber yard 500 feet from the ramp entrance. Couple guys had a half dozen sheets of drywall on the roof of a sedan secured with a rope. As he picked up speed the front of the withdrawal starting going up and down. I backed off and told the kids "watch this". The faster he went the more it oscillated until the pieces broke in half, now there were 12 pieces flying in the air smashing into pieces when they hit the pavement. Oh for a dash cam
  4. We have redi-mix supplier that pays his help less than the competition thus rookie drivers, runs the oldest trucks, doesn't wash them often, - you get the drift. They would load the11 yard loads quite often. And quite regularly got tickets from commercial enforcement for slopping concrete out the front.
  5. Here's a link to a 2017 article on Continental Dairy and the co-located Fairlife plant in Coopersville MI. Continental bought a Delphi plant shuttered by GM in 2007. According to the article, the site is 100 acres and they have invested or will invest $350 million. I don't believe there has been a time w/out construction on going. Reportedly they take in 5,000,000 lbs / day. You can see 9 unloading bays. It's rare to drive by and not see trucks waiting their turn to unload. Lots of SS smooth bore tractor trailers on I-96 https://www.mibiz.com/item/24669-excess-milk-supply-drives-dairy-production-in-west-michigan
  6. Can I double clutch, yes, but do I, no. Here all this time I've been trying to only use the clutch to start and never again. I though that's how the real good drivers shift. I'm glad I don't have to retake the road test. My backing skills need a bit of practice lol
  7. You can do the insane traffic in and around Chicago. I-94 in Michigan is raceway of semi's running Chicago- Detroit-Toronto. US-2 across the UP of MI is 2 lane but has lots of passing lanes. Pretty rural and the "towns" are mostly wide spots in the road with a gas station bar, church etc. No traffic lights, just a speed reduction from 65 to 45 for a half mile or so. From the bridge south to Lansing is I-75 to US-27 to Lansing. Mostly light traffic, set the cruise and let it roll. Mostly 75 mph speed limit. When I went to NW of Minneapolis to pick up my swingcrane, I took the Badger across and back, Ludington to Manitowoc. The fuel cost I saved by not going thru Chicago was about the cost of the boat ride. I was running my 87 Ford LTL9000 If it was me, I'd go thru the UP. If your squeamish about heights, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will drive you and your vehicle across. Take the boat one way, US 2 the other way.
  8. From my college days, take a manila envelope, fill it with shaving cream, slide the unsealed end under a recipients closed door. Place a book lightly on the envelope, then jump on the book. There will be shaving cream on every exposed surface in an 12 x 12 room. I was both recipient and prankster. lol
  9. My daughter was give our old Ford Taurus station wagon to drive to to high school . She loved it, called it "The Family Truckster". She drove that thing every where with pride. When she went to MI Tech, 500 miles away in MI's UP I bought a 4wd Escape for her to drive (after I said 3.5 GPA or better the first semester. ). When the old Taurus finally succumbed to a rusted out front suspension and heater core failure, she cried when I drove it to the scrap yard. lol
  10. We have a tad bit bigger operation to the west of you . 70 or so drivers and operators on days and 30 or so on nights. The day guys with state runs go into the county when their caught up. Our 5 axle flowboys will stay on the state if needed to "babysit". Night guys stay mostly on the state although they will hit the high volume primary roads leading to the state roads before the rush hour starts.
  11. Not so. Michigan currently has about 60 counties out of 83 that have State Maintenance contracts. The county road commission I work for has had a contract since the 1920's . We have had an Engineering Division since then. In fact we did all the engineering for the state back then except their bridges. Michigan does it different at the county level.The governing road body is the Road Commission which is not a department of the county. Some Road Commission's have board members 3-5) appointed by the county board, some are elected. We have very little pressure on our activities from the county commissioners. They can lobby the road commissioners but typically the road commissioners just let us do our job. In our county, our road commissioners don't get involved with the day to day. There have been a few where the 3 road commissioner's direct the day to day but that is the exception and it doesn't work very well.
  12. I spent $0 on 2 🤣 so someone paid $678😵
  13. I have a full size 2002 Explorer and my wife and I both like like it. We're 67 and 68. I have had 3 spine surgeries so am a bit stiff getting in and out. Seats pretty much a butt level for me so I can sit and slide around to face forward. Now I have a company car. The previous one was Chrysler Sebring. As other's have said, fall in, climb out. My current one is 2018 Equinox. Much more like my Explorer for ingress egress. However, it absolute sucks in any amount of snow. I have driven front wheel drives since my 1980 Ford Escort. That car was awesome. I could drive in snow deep enough to push some with the front bumper and never got stuck. I've never put snow tires on any of my front wheel drives. This Equinox gets twichy in the rear, yes the rear in any amount of snow. Accelerate from a stop sign or a light and attempt to turn right and it barely turns, goes more straight until I let of the gas and then it slows and stops. Accelerate gently again and it repeats the experience. I turn right from a 2 lane residential street onto a 5 lane road. I have ended up in the center turn lane if the snow is deep enough. The all-wheel, 4 wheel drive might be ok, but I don't recommend the 2 wheel drive in a snowy climate. Oh and by the way, the company cheaped out and got a manually adjust seat. The further back it's adjusted, the lower it goes. I need it back right now with spine issue #4 and being lower compromises my vision some what. A power seat has 6 way adjustment
  14. I was raised in the city, born in 1950. As a young lad I remember the Colonial Bread man and the Joppe Dairy milkman. The milkman had a light blue Divco and I remember him getting a new one. The bread man drove one with a long hood, I don't remember much other about the truck except it was a medium dark red. The bakery eliminated home delivery soon after. The dairy continued home delivery almost to the bitter end. The folks only had1 car and my mother stuck with them almost ot the end. So I'm just nicely potty trained and playing out in the front yard. The bread man drives up and goes to the side door end ends up chatting with mom. Well nature calls and I have to take a dump. I'm scared to walk up to the bread man standing on the stoop. He must have been new or a substitute thus being scared. So I stop on the driveway on the "hill" part of the drive waiting for him to leave. Well you can guess that I can't hold it anymore and out it comes. I can't remember if I was wearing shorts or long jeans but I know it was boxers not briefs. I can still clearly remember a half dozen or so small brown balls rolling down the driveway towards the bread truck
  15. While I agree with teaching cursive, have you looked at most adults signatures? I've told my employees several things about their one line signatures: 1) You're not a doctor so sign your name so I can read it 2) If I can't read it and I trace the transaction (signing for parts etc) back to you, I'm assuming you bought it for yourself and not the company and will adjust the billing accordingly If you're picking something up for me, print it if you can't write so I can read it.
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