Just Another Trucker Training Diary?

Topic 20450 | Page 9

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Paul's Comment
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So, the lesson I learned this week is to not trust recruiters. The whole "100,000 gallon" deal should have been a sign, but I sure didn't see it. It was 100,000 pounds, by the way, but either way it took me an hour to figure out this job was absolutely not for me and another hour to figure out how to get out of there while keeping my dignity and job history intact. Why was it not for me? The 12-14 hour per day job ended up being 17-18, and the overall job description conveniently lacked a few important details (the necessity to climb to the top of the tanker one-handed being the main one). All in all I have never been so relieved to be jobless.

And so I'm giving in to the inevitable, I'm going back to Prime. I have never been happy with my decision to quit. I can't stand that I broke a commitment and, you know, I miss the road pretty badly. The biggest thing holding me back was not knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle while on the road, but I've found a plan extremely sustainable and have already lost twenty-six pounds in the last two weeks. So that's that. I should be back in Springfield on the 22nd to go through the rehire process.

Thanks for all of the support. :-)


Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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This is really good to read, Paul! Will the beard return, too?good-luck.gif

G-Town's Comment
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Paul, not all recruiters are untrustworthy. Be your own advocate; "sounds too good to be true?" "Probably is too good to be true". Right?

You sound rather pi**ed-off. Try to regain composure before you attempt getting back in a truck.

I sincerely hope it works out for you this time! Honestly, hope it does. You have my prayers on your behalf. Good luck!

Paul's Comment
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No, I’m really not angry. I wish I hadn’t shaved...but it will grow back, and I AM growing it back. 🙂 But you’re right, not all recruiters are...inexperienced...it is wise to simply be your own advocate.

All in all I’m excited to be getting back to it. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.


Operating While Intoxicated

Paul's Comment
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Well, the journey begins again. I got my affairs in order, packed my bags, and headed off to Prime in a beater car a friend gave to me, a 2002 Chevy Tracker. I figured it'd make the 300 mile journey then could sit and be a terminal car. My brother is in training at Prime, so I got him a key and thought it'd be nice when either of us was laid over at the terminal to have a vehicle to scoot around town in. Well, it made it thirty miles out of the city before the radiator sprung a leak! rofl-3.gif So, Plan B--I limped home, parked it and told my wife and kids they were going on a road trip!

So back in the Campus Inn, going through the rehire process. It starts on Tuesday rather than Monday and is fairly easy. You have a 7:00AM class, followed by agility test, drug test, physical (yes you will needs ANOTHER physical with a new med card even if you just got one yesterday), file review and then a bunch of nothing. Somewhere in the next day you'll have a benefits class, a class on the basic operations of Prime, a skills test on the simulator that was super easy, a log class, and a health and wellness class. Don't forget the CBT modules -- there are around 45 of them, almost all of which are videos that last between 4 minutes and 20 minutes.

This was my fourth go-around on CBTs and you better believe I watched every single video. A lot of people skip through the videos and they don't really understand that they are setting themselves up for massive legal repercussions by doing so. Every video is time-stamped. If you get into an accident, even if it's not your fault, there most certainly will be a lawsuit and they most certainly will subpoena your training records. When they see you spent 30 seconds watching a 20 minute video on road safety or what have you, your goose is cooked. Yeah, it took me eight hours, and yeah it sucked. But it's CYA in this business.

So on Thursday I got my badge, gained access to the Millennium Building and much better food, and spoke with my FM. Today my new trainer called me and we had a nice, in-depth chat. If you've read this massively bloated training diary you've seen I've had some...issues...with training. Some of them were my fault, most of them were my old trainer's, and most of them I didn't even mention here. This time around I was determined to make a good choice when agreeing to get on a trainer's truck.

Turns out I didn't have to look far--the first guy who called is a vet, a million-miler, and a generally good guy. From what I could tell on the phone. He said all the right things: "If you have a problem and I'm asleep, you wake me up. Never be afraid to wake me up, I will never get mad, I'm here to help. That goes for backing, of course, but the best thing I can do to help you back is to let you back, to let you work it out and figure the best way to do it. But I will be here if you need me. Sleep on the top bunk? Yeah, no, we don't do that--I put my stuff on one end up there and you put your stuff on the other, the top bunk is for storage. Want to stop at Wal-Mart to stock up on supplies once or twice a week? You bet, no problem at all. If you ever need to stop while on your shift to use the bathroom or what have you, I couldn't care less. Just mind your clock. I have a coffee pot and loads of coffee. Got a fridge too that is always stocked with sandwich fixings...help yourself, I don't care!" And so on.

I'm not holding my breath, but I think this is going to work! So, on the road again tomorrow with 30,000 miles ahead of me. It'll go quick, I'm sure.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Driving While Intoxicated


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PackRat's Comment
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Outstanding! Fantastic to read your exciting updates! Nail it this time AND STICK WITH IT.good-luck.gif

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
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Great stuff!! I avidly read your first diary and will now be eagerly awaiting Ver. 2.0.

Best wishes for total success!



Banks's Comment
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Seems like you have a good one this time around, Paul. I'm excited for you and look forward to following along on your journey.


Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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Paul...we're all pulling for you. Watch your wagon...!

God bless and safe travels.

Reyn R.'s Comment
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You got this Paul! As G-Town said, we are pulling for you. Glad to hear the feedback on your new trainer. Thoughts & prayers on this part of your journey. Remember that once you have the year or two under your belt, you can get a local or regional gig with more home time & good pay once you have the skills & experience you'll gain going OTR. All the best & stay safe & focused on your goal!


Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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