Swift Doing Swift Things

Generally speaking, when I am near a Swift Transportation truck, I back off and give him room. When you drive near a Swift truck, you effectively take your life into your own hands. In this video, you’ll see this Swift driver merge into the right lane at the same time a truck is entering the freeway.

Of course this could have been much worse than it was, but it’s still fun to see some of the strange decisions that Swift drivers like to make. What are some things you’ve seen a Swift truck do?

Contractor Has Close Call

Someday my dash camera is going to capture a magical moment. Its going to be recording when something so wildly unbelievable happens that I’ll need video evidence to prove that it really happened. Today is not that day, but I was able to capture this close call on Interstate 41 near Appleton, Wisconsin.

Things could have been a whole lot worse for both of us. thankfully everybody was ok and nothing serious came of it.

Blog Post – It Looks Like I’m Overweight But I’m Really Not

I had a little bit of a scare last night when I was weighing my truck at the CATScale. In my state you cannot be any heavier than 13,000 pounds on the steer axle of your semi truck. When I rolled across the scale it showed my weight as 16,400 pounds. That’s a big no-no and you can expect a big-time fine if you are caught by law enforcement.

I’ve been driving for a couple years now but this is the first time I’ve ever gone over by that much. I was really surprised, in fact I was almost in disbelief. There is no way I could possibly be overweight by that much, especially in a daycab. I didn’t even know how to fix it at that point.

On most trailers there is a release handle that allows you to slide the tandems forward or backward to adjust the weight between your drive axle and your trailer axle. On some trucks there is a 5th wheel slider that allows you to adjust the weight between the steer tires in the drive tire. This truck does not have one of those sliders so there’s really no way to take the weight off the nose.

I called an experienced driver for help.

“Hey this CAT Scale is showing that I am 3000 pounds over on my steer tires. 16,000 pounds it showing.”

“HOW MUCH?!” He was just as baffled as I was. “How much weight is on the drive tires?”

“It’s got 25 in the middle and 32 on the back. It says it’s grossing 75,000 or somewhere around there.” It just doesn’t make sense even when I say the words out loud. Something just doesn’t add up.

I was right. It didn’t add up and he already knew what the problem was. He has over 30 years of experience and at least 20 of those years were spent training idiots like me. This is definitely not the first time this situation has come up for him.

“I know this might sound like a dumb question but is it possible that you had your drive tires on the platform where the steer tires go? These the cabs are a much shorter so when you pull up on the platform you are going to be about a foot or two back from the speaker on the scale.” As the words were leaving his mouth the lightbulb wa switching on inside my brain. It was an obvious solution and he couldn’t make any more sense.

You see this was the first time I ever had to scale with a day cab. All of my past experience came in a conventional sleeper cab. I had scaled at least 100 times in the big truck but the wheelbase is much shorter on my new daycab. What I actually did was put my drive tires and my steer tires on the same part of the scale, so it looked like my front tires were heavier than they actually were. I went back around and reweighed, this time taking notice of where my tires were and which platform they were on. This time they were right on the money.

Goodness, I am a dummy sometimes.

This Poor Green Bay Police Officer Is Lost (Video)

I’m not sure what this police officer was doing, but I wasn’t about to try to pass him in a bad position like that with traffic moving to my right side. Sometimes it’s better just to hold your position until it’s safe. If there was more room in the travel lane I would have made the pass, but I wasn’t about to risk crashing into a police car. That’s not a very good idea. Thanks to the Green Bay Police Department for helping me shoot some interesting video.

My Ticket For Obstructing Traffic

First off, let me just say that I think that this ticket is totally bullshit. It could have been much worse, but there are far more dangerous people on the road than me.

You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

Ok, here’s the story. I was just leaving the Petro Truckstop in Bordentown, NJ and I was headed for the New Jersey Turnpike / I-95. New Jersey is a crazy place, one like I have never seen before, and the traffic formations can be quite confusing at times. In this particular case, in order to make it from the connecting road to the Turnpike, you had to make a left hand turn onto a major road and then a quick exit to the toll booth access road. Knowing this, I set myself up in the center lane to make the left hand turn. When driving a big truck with a trailer, you want to turn from the outermost lane whenever possible, because it makes clearing the turn much easier. I did what I have done in every other left hand turn I have ever made in my entire life prior to this, leaving the inside lane for faster cars, and the far right lane for cars turning right.

The only problem is that there were THREE LEFT TURN LANES!!! I have never seen three left turn lanes at an intersection in my life. The right lane is ALWAYS for turning right or going straight, and since there was no option of going straight I had assumed that it was a right turn lane only. I should have taken the hint when the far right lane was the most congested, and I probably should have seen the signs that indicate that all three lanes turn left and that to get to the turnpike you need to be in the far right lane.

As soon as I get to the stopping point in the center lane, I realize my mistake. I have two options at this point. Stop and let all of the cars in the left lane go, or hope that one of them stops and lets me in, or continue making my left hand turn on to some unknown road where I might be met with a low bridge or a route not intended for trucks. That’s possibly the most scary situation I could get in, is being lost in New Jersey. No thanks! So I did the safest, most reasonable thing I could think of, and that was to signal to the big truck along side of me that I need to get in his lane. I looked over and made eye contact, and motioned that I would like to get over and he nodded. So when the light turned green, I took my opening.

The Maneuver 

I made a quick acceleration and began to turn form the center lane onto the road, I had cleared the other big truck by two whole truck lengths and I moved over once I completed the turn and could see that I was clear of him. I signaled him with my flashing marker light that I appreciated his gesture, a move that any trucker knows and is familiar with, and continued on my way.

“Well that was a close one,” I thought to myself. “It could have been much worse and I’m thankful that the other driver was nice enough to let me in like that. I thought people in New Jersey were supposed to be complete assholes. That guy must have been from the Midwest or something.” As soon as that thought completed through my brain, I looked in the mirror and saw flashing red and blue lights. Where the hell did this guy come from? There weren’t any cops around. Well apparently there was, and he nailed me.

He comes up to the car and asks if I saw the three signs indicating that I needed to be in the far right lane to legally make that move. I tell him that I did not, and that where I come from there is no such thing as three left turn lanes. Ignorance is no excuse and I can completely understand his point. I should have been paying attention to the signs.

Cops Doing Favors

He proceeds to point out that he could write me a long list of violations, from reckless driving, to unsafe lane change, changing lanes in an intersection, and a few more that I can’t even remember. Instead, he assures me that he understands that I didn’t mean to do any harm and that he will do me a favor and only give me a ticket for obstructing traffic. This… favor… he says is a non-moving violation, the same ticket I would get if my car stalled in the intersection, and will not incur any points and the fine would be less than $50. It was surely a lot better than the tickets he could have written me, right?

Well in reality, the ticket was for Obstructing Passage of Other Vehicles, a moving violation in the state of New Jersey, and carried a fine of $187 and 3 points on my license. It double my car insurance rate with Progressive, and it went on my DAC, trucking’s version of a permanent record. I’ll have to explain this ticket at every driving job I ever apply for in the rest of my driving career. It’s only silly because nobody got hurt, I communicated my intentions, and even got the blessing of the guy to make the move as safe as possible.

Well, it is what it is, and there’s no hiding from it now. What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever been pulled over for? Hit me up on Twitter @cody_rose and tell me about it.


Silly – Daytona Int’l Speedway Renamed Cody Rose Speedway

Now that the Daytona 500 is over, the track crews have began working on getting the track prepared for the rest of the season’s events. I was able to talk a few of the track workers into repainting the infield so it will read CODYROSE.NET. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick around until the job was done, so here’s the unfinished product. I can’t wait to get back there in July to see how good it turned out. HAHA

Upcoming Blog – Getting The Most Miles Out Of Your Reward Points

Are you a member of a rewards point club, or earn airline miles for using your credit card? Have you ever thought about cashing in your rewards, but you’re not sure the best way to make the most of your purchases? I’m currently working on a story that will help you come up with some strategies for making your reward points stretch even farther than you thought possible. Check back in a few days and I’ll have the story posted here when it’s complete.

Blog Post – My New Night Life

After 8 months of working for a major trucking company, I decided it was time to turn in the keys and find a job that got me home more frequently. With the increased time at home came a trade-off, and that was being force to work the graveyard shift. I’ve worked night jobs like this in the past, first as a gas station attendant, then as a security guard, and also as a driver for a different trucking company. Since it’s tough for many people to transition to the overnight schedule, jobs like this usually pay a premium or have other benefits tied to them to lure applicants in.

Personally, I enjoy these kinds of jobs. My favorite part about being off sync with the rest of the world, is that I’m off sync with the rest of the world. I am usually one of the only people shopping at the local department stores and grocery markets at 2:00am on my days off, therefore the checkout lines are almost non existent. There’s also no traffic to speak of, and many of the red lights that catch me during the day time are in their dormant flashing mode which makes for a quick cross town trek, when necessary. I also like that overnight jobs are missing all of the corporate suits and bean counters that typically make the lives of employees like me miserable. Having no boss hovering over my shoulder makes my nights so much more enjoyable.

Truthfully, it’s tough making plans with the rest of the world when you work the night shift. Going to after school basketball games, or having lunch with a friend is a little more difficult when they have these events at three in the afternoon. Last weekend I went to a soup cook-off at 2pm, and while it is normal for the rest of the world to have a bowl of chicken cheddar soup and a Budweiser on a Saturday afternoon, to my body it is only 2am and I’m just waking up, not about to go to sleep. Making adjustments to my sleep routine can be a little difficult for my body to adjust to, but it means that if I’m going to go to events like this, I will have to be fully committed to going. Gone are the days of just going to a social event just for something to do. I really REALLY have to want to be there if I’m going to wake up at (what is my) 2am.

Overall, I like the change. I can see myself running this schedule for a while. In a few weeks I will make an assessment based on how my fiance and the rest of my family are dealing with the change, and if it doesn’t make sense to continue on this schedule then I will look at transferring to something on a day schedule. The company I’m at has many opportunities, so as long as I continue to work hard and stay focused, there will be a chance to make a switch when the time is right.

Blog Post – How I Made Extra Money By Living My Normal Life

Wouldn’t you like to pocket some extra money each year, just for doing the things you already do? Do you search the web or shop from popular websites such as Best Buy, EBay, Target, and even Walmart? Of course you do! I earned an extra $120 just from doing things I would normally do, so why wouldn’t you want to earn some extra money over the course of the year?

Get Paid To Search The Web

Last year I made over $20 just for using my web browser. Google is great and all, but they don’t pay you to use their search engine. However, Bing actually will. With the Microsoft Rewards program you get 5 points for each web search you perform using your PC, up to 150 points per day. You also get 5 points for each search using your mobile device, up to 100 points per day. Just today, I’ve earned 130 points just from searching the web. There’s even more ways to earn points, and those are laid out over at the Microsoft Rewards page.

I changed my default browser from Google to Bing on both my mobile device and on my PC so that I can earn points without even thinking about it. Currently, my lifetime balance in Bing rewards since I began with the program in 2015 is 56,170 points. That’s $53.50 in extra money just for doing my normal browsing. I invite you to compare Bing to Google and I don’t think you’ll notice much of a difference, except in your statement balance at the end of the year! I usually cash out my rewards balance toward the purchase of Amazon Gift Cards. The rest of the rewards aren’t much value to me, but there are a ton of different things you can cash your rewards balance out on, such as Xbox Live memberships and credit towards Microsoft products.

Microsoft Rewards offers no referral program at this time, so there is nothing in it for me to tell you about this program. I use it regularly and have made a small sum of money doing it, so I just want to share this opportunity with you if you didn’t already know about it. It’s super simple to sign up! Just visit Microsoft.com/rewards.

Get Paid To Shop

Since joining Swagbucks in 2015, I’ve earned over $65 worth of Amazon and Walmart giftcards by shopping for my normal products on their website. When Christmas time arrives, I buy the presents that I would normally buy from places like Best Buy, Walmart, Ebay, and other popular retailers. I buy through their shopping portal instead of directly from the retailer’s site. In many cases I can earn 1%-5% and in some cases even up to 40% of my purchases as a credit in points. When I went on my Montana vacation in August, I booked the car rental and the hotels through the SwagBucks website and earned almost $20 back on my purchases. I was already going to make these purchases, so why not earn a rebate by using the SwagBucks portal? My credit card and my employer also offer similar portals with varying levels of rebates, but I have found that SwagBucks beats their rebate on a consistent basis. I’ve even purchased jewelry and gift boxes from Omaha Steaks and earned a slight kick back. These were things I already planned on purchasing and did not purchase for the sake of earning a rebate. I didn’t have to change any of my habits to earn these rebates. There are so many retailers available that I could not possibly name them all, but I can say with near certainty that you will find a retailer that you shop at regularly that is available on the shopping portal.

Swagbucks does offer a refer bonus program, so by joining Swagbucks I will add to my current balance. The benefit to you (besides earning your own rewards) is that during the month of January, if you sign up and earn 300SB you will earn an additional 300SB. That’s $6 just for signing up and filling out some surveys, watching some videos, and discovering great deals on hundreds of products. One time I earned 400SB just for agreeing to receive a brochure from the State of Alaska’s tourism department. In addition to the 300SB bonus, if you shop at one of the online retailers and spend $25 or more using the Swagbuks portal, you will earn an additional 200SB. There has never been a better time to join Swagbucks. Visit Swagbucks.com/refer/CodyRose for more info and to begin earning!

Get Paid To Drive

I discovered a product called MileUp around Christmas time that claimed to pay real gift cards just for driving your car. It just so happens that I spend tons of time driving, so I thought I would give it a try. After using it for only two weeks, I was able to earn $20 in Amazon, Walmart, and iTunes gift cards. All I had to do is download the free app for my iPhone and sign up. It was as simple as that.

They will use the data they collect to improve their accident detection technology, so essentially you are helping to make the roads safer. If you are concerned about MileUp having access to your driving data and location, then maybe it is not for you. If privacy is not a concern to you, then I recommend visiting this link and downloading the app and start earning extra money for driving.

Actual Payouts

One nice thing about these programs is that they actually pay out! With other rebate and points plans I’ve been a part of in the past, you would earn all of the points, but for one reason or another you couldn’t cash out the points. Sometime they would say that you didn’t meet the requirements of the program, other times it would just be some sort of technical glitch that prevented the redemption of the earnings. This has never been the case for me with SwagBucks, Microsoft, or Mileup. I have always been able to cash out and use my giftcards within a few minutes.They are super easy to redeem in store at Walmart and online at Amazon.com too! Each redemption comes with an explanation of exactly how to use them and how to add the credit to your Amazon.com account. I have provided actual screenshots of my cashouts, so you can see that there is actually money to be gained here.
Just realize that you are not going to get rich doing this, but it is a nice way to earn some extra money back for the things you are already doing.

Blog Post – How I Quit Smoking

The start of a new year often means it’s time to set new personal goals. It’s the time of year when we all vow to make changes in our lives to make ourselves better. One popular New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking. That’s a great goal to set, and is something I have experience in, as I am a former smoker myself. For me, all it took was a little willpower and a plan, as well as a little bit of time, and I was able to overcome one of my demons.

How Did You Do It?

The first thing I did was decide that I wanted to quit smoking. I didn’t decide to do it for somebody else, I needed to want it for myself. That’s the first step. It has to be something that YOU want. Next you have to ask yourself why you want to quit. Is it to save money? Is it to stay healthy so you can live long enough to watch your children grow up? For me, smoking was getting in the way of my relationship. See my girlfriend at the time was not a smoker. In fact, she hated the smell of my smoke. Rather than risk losing her over something I wanted to quit anyway, I decided it was time to put a plan into place.

I had found a Groupon offer for a vapor cigarette (V2.com) and I wanted to give it a try. For some reason I thought that it could be a way for me to continue smoking, but without the smell. So I purchased the e-cigarette starter pack. It came with three flavored cartridges, chocolate, vanilla, and red (like Marb reds) I started using the e-cigarette, but it just wasn’t the same as a regular cigarette, not to mention it made the back of my throat scratchy and tingly. I was getting the nicotine from the device, but it was slightly unpleasant to use so I almost gave up on it. That’s when I decided to use it to help me QUIT altogether.

The Plan

So first off I’d like to mention that this is a plan that I came up with all on my own. V2’s website states that this product is not designed or approved as a smoking cessation device. Your results may vary, and there is no promises or guarantees that it will work for you. That being said, it worked for me and I wanted to share the idea with you.

Prior to beggining my plan, I was roughly about a half to 3/4 of a pack per day smoker. My idea was to slowly integrate from the cigarettes to the e-cig that I didn’t like, to the point where I was completely off the cigarettes and depended solely on the c-cigarette at which point it would be easier to quit.

I started my day with my normal morning drive to work cigarette. Smoking in the car was something that just came natural, and overcoming that craving would be the biggest hurdle. My second cigarette of the day was usually about an hour or so later, or the next time I was in my car. For my third cigarette of the day, I decided to substitute in an e-cigarette. I started with the vanilla flavor, one that I could bare more than the others. It helped me get the nicotine that a normal cigarette would, but made it less enjoyable, yet bareable. The next craving I got I would smoke like a half of a cigarette or maybe two puffs from the e-cig.

For the fifth and sixth cigarette of the day, usually around break time or lunch time, I continued to smoke regular cigarettes. Something about that after meal smoke was very satisfying. The seventh and eighth cigarettes were usually just me trying to cope after a crabby customer at work or after an annoying experience. I tried to substitute those with the e-cigarettes as often as possible.

The drive home from work was usually a normal cigarette, but the first puff once I got home was back to the e-cigarette. By the end of my work day, instead of smoking 10-12 cigarettes, I had only really smoked about 5 or 6. I stayed on the schedule every day for about two weeks.

The following weeks I tried to substitute almost every craving I had with an e-cig, with the exception of my after meal smokes, and finally when I was down to my last cigarette in my current pack, I consciously decided NOT to buy another pack of cigarettes.

This left me in a situation where I was at work and I didn’t even have any cigarettes to smoke if I wanted to. I was left with only the e-cigarette that I didn’t really like in the first place. Eventually I started having craving where I had to decide if it was even worth it for me to smoke the e-cig. Eventually 10 cravings turned to 5, and 5 cravings turned to 2.

I was only smoking my e cigarette two times a day. Once in the morning and once at night. There were a few times when I was stressed out or having major cravings, but the biggest thing I did to help myself at that point is to NOT BUY MORE CIGARETTES, no matter how bad I wanted one. There were times when I had cravings where I had to stop myself and ask, “do you really need one now, or are you just trying to get out of this situation?”

The Takeaway

The primary factor to quitting smoking, is actually wanting to quit. You are the only one who has control of the situation. If you make it difficult to gain access to the nicotine, and constantly remind yourself why you are quitting, I tend to think that it will be easier.

I was never a “reward yourself for doing the right thing” kind of person. You should always do what is right, regardless of rewards, but some people respond better to rewards. Give yourself a little treat for each time you fight off a craving and chose NOT to smoke one more cigarette.

I hope this helps! Good luck!