Profile For Gabe M.

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    3 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Starting Truck Driving Training September 27th

Well, Everything seems to be in order for the above start date in Missoula MT. for Wilson Logistics. Not only have the posts and articles submitted on Trucking Truth been very helpful, I've enjoyed the stories, helpful hints, motivational messages, and everything in between. Pieces covering what tandems are and how they are adjusted, what items are important on the road, and the importance of gumption and stick-to-itiveness' when it comes to skills like backing or other part and parcel items of the job which are known to provide challenges, definitely help with the jitters that "sometimes" ( ; accompany a life change. There have been so many situations mentioned that I'd never have considered, if not for this forum. One that sticks out is clearance issues when taking different routes. Anyhow, I'm looking forward to a new adventure. With a good work ethic, motivation, and a little luck, I'll pass the training, be an asset to the company/field, and who knows? Maybe throw down some decent advice to a curious reader, as so many of you old salts graciously have.

V/r GM

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

Gotcha Mikey. As the thread continued my early thread empathy started to subside a bit. Especially with regard to the car note. To one of your points, as well as one of the thread subjects, (tandems) I'd been wondering about just what those were, trying to pick up in context, etc. As luck would have it, a employee arrived whom had done a couple of years OTR, and she was able to answer a few of my trucking equipment specific questions, as well as share some humorous stories from her experiences on the road. I am glad I stuck with that thread, because of the information on dedicated routes/runs for the Dollar Tree, General, and other dollar stores. Highly likely, if it came up, I would not have been thinking about a few of the possible pitfalls/bugaboos, which were brought to light. e.g. tight quarters backing with obstacles present and the like. There appears to be so much learning to become efficient/proficient, I'm sure that many times I'll feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose!

Take Care. Gabe

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I have empathy for this young man, because I've been in similar situations when I was young, just trying to execute, and get the job done. The military refrain, many a time, was, often from a frustrated instructor: "Just wait until you get to your unit.... you'll learn how they want it done. I'm also sure, soon enough, I'll have some kind of situation involving tight quarters backing, that makes me sweat!

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Gabe, I implore you, do not waste perfectly good empathy on him. You will find out, it is impossible for a trainer or trucking school or trucking company to teach you everything you need to know out here. There is nobody there to hold your hand and coddle you when you start this career. You are given the basics and are expected to be able to figure much of it out on your own, as we all have done and had to do. You will understand when you start what I mean and to be honest, like a previous commenter stated...it ain't rocket science. If you have even a quarter of a functional brain and a cell phone with internet you can figure it all out. At the very least, accept blame for what YOU f*#c up. He hit a building and failed to report it ffs. His third offense. Then blamed Werner for it. He even blamed Werner for his failure to pay his car payment on his dream car 2006 Altima. Where does the ignorance stop?

It really isn't that hard to figure out, trust me. Much of it you get just by seeing it done or looking at it for a second (like a load strap or bar. Even sliding the tandems. He sadly deserves every bit of criticism he has gotten. Well, even more than he has gotten but some of us, myself included have held back so as to not hurt his feelings.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

Mr. "C"

Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, reflection/s, and that cool and meaningful quote or (close too quote) while at PTI. I appreciate this contribution.

V/r Gabe

Jonathan, sorry that freight transportation didn't turn out to be as lucrative or enjoyable as you obviously hoped and believed it would be. Is it a tough, sometimes crappy, oftentimes frustrating job? Yep. Does it take a year or longer to figure it out? Yep. Did you have the opportunity to read and study the information that is contained here on TT before you took on the dollar account? Seems like either you might have known about TT (since you've been affiliated here for over four years), or you may have seen the site but didn't realize the depth of honest input you'd receive here.

In either case, you are here now. There are downsides to EVERY industry, as a previous response reflects. If you're happy driving a school bus, then by golly be the absolute best school bus driver you have the ability to be. Wishing you every success in your chosen profession, don't let it be a job but make it a profession. That will make all the difference in the long run.

You obviously have grievances with your choices and their outcomes. The bottom line to me, and what many considering this profession as their career should consider taking away from this discussion is "There are challenges in this job. There are a bunch of people on here, moderators and non-moderators alike, that want people to be FULLY informed before they start driving. Trucking Truth is a decent place to get informed before the challenges overwhelm. I should take the time to ask the questions that I have, and see what information lands in my toolbox."

Many years back, in a previous life, there was a sign posted on the wall in the cleaning area at PTI in Champaign, IL: "Every person owes some portion of their income to improving their skill in their profession" or words to that effect. Taking the time in the beginning to spend that personal capital to explore, learn and prepare for the profession will move anew driver light-years forward in being prepared for the challenges that exist.

Wishing you great success and satisfaction moving forward. Peace.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

I'm about to be "the 51 year old rookie" at Truck Driving School. I'm originally and currently from the PNW. Mainly Oregon and Washington. Mom used to live in the Greenwood area of Seattle, kind of adjacent to Ballard if I remember correctly. Needless to say, I hit this blog up a lot. A lot of good and real knowledge. Your last sentence speaks volumes. And, not surprisingly, it happens in many an industry in which there are motivated newbies whom are still wet behind the ears, so to speak. And of course, I have been that guy.

You laid that scenario out in a very clear and concise way. I'm quite sure I'll find out in my own way, and soon, how the trucking industry isn't for the faint of heart. I remember how many of us Marine Corps Privates used to opine: "But this isn't how they showed us" or this isn't what they said; etc. Of course life experience is always the best, but sometimes hardest teacher. I will say this: The older I got, the more willing I became to advocate for myself so to speak. Not that it always worked, but at least you could say, I asked for more time, or why a manual specifies one way but the method is taught another way, and so forth.

I have empathy for this young man, because I've been in similar situations when I was young, just trying to execute, and get the job done. The military refrain, many a time, was, often from a frustrated instructor: "Just wait until you get to your unit.... you'll learn how they want it done. I'm also sure, soon enough, I'll have some kind of situation involving tight quarters backing, that makes me sweat!

v\r Gabe

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Ahh. so very similar in nature to say.. Sysco Foods or any number of restaurant supply companies.

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With two important differences:

1. While Sysco, McLane, etc. will hire drivers with limited experience, Dollar stores actively prey on new drivers with no experience. If you search you will see many posts from drivers right out of CDL school who were approached with offers to drive for Dollar accounts with no experience. The new driver thinks it's their lucky day because of the higher starting pay, not realizing the skill required or the danger involved. Too often they back into things and find themselves fired with several incidents on their DAC and only a few weeks of driving experience. As the OP states - finding another driving job after that is a challenge.

2. Dollar stores run a tight schedule and many of their stores are stand alone with small parking lots. Restaurants are usually next to other businesses so they tend to share a larger parking lot giving more room for a truck to maneuver. Putting a rookie in a funky backing situation while the clock is ticking is a recipe for disaster.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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58 to old?

Wow! Starting out at 73... Full of **** and vinegar. That is good to hear. I'm 51, and I've been wondering about that some. I'm glad to have seen this question and answer. Thanks for your always thorough and entertaining answers. v/r Gabe

You are just a young pup! When I got hired for my first truck driving job at age 53, there was another gentleman there with me at orientation who was 20 years my senior. That's right - he was 73! They hired him gladly. There are so many of us out here who are on their second or third career. Trucking does not discriminate against you for your age. In fact they don't discriminate for anything. If you can do the job and pass the physical, you are good to go!

Just for grins and encouragement, I'll tell you that we had one of our members here who started when he was 75! You may enjoy reading about my friend Eugene here in this conversation I am linking for you. I met him over in Louisiana. He was in trucking For The Long Haul.

David, we are glad to have you here and we will be more than happy to help you with questions you have. Please feel free to take a look at some of these materials in our "starter pack." You will find a lot of helpful information and people here. Check out these links. We call it our starter pack. It's got a lot of great information in it.

Feel free to participate in our conversations. Ask as many questions as you like. There are no dumb questions!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Opinion on truck options

I forgot to thank you for the pic Old School. Much appreciated! I see the Wilson Log. trucks heading up and down the I-5. Heck, I think they look pretty cool, truth be told. But, the biggest factor other than geography playing a part in my decision, is simply that the Company got in touch with me ASAP, and that they have a friendly "pet rider" policy. V/r Gabe

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Also, it looks like one or both of the trucks is an automated manual 12 speed. What would that mean to me in laymen's terms?

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As a rookie driver you will be driving a fairly modern truck. It will not be an eye catcher or a classic long nosed Pete. It is going to be a run of the mill standard issue tractor that gets the job done. Here's one I've been driving.

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It's nice, but it isn't a classic rig that grabs your attention. You are out here to get a job done, and you will be issued equipment that fills that need. People have their preferences, but basically these trucks are pretty much the same as far as being able to get the job done. That transmission you mention is an automatic. That is what almost all of us are driving now days. They are standard gear boxes just like the old manual shift transmissions. The difference is the trucks computer system does the shifting for you. They are extremely reliable and very dependable. You won't be jamming gears, but you will be able to control your truck in all sorts of driving conditions. Once you learn how the jake break and the cruise control is incorporated into the computer controls of the transmission, you will be able to get it to handle just the way you need it to when driving in the mountains or other challenging areas.

They will assign you whatever truck is available when you are ready to go solo. Don't count on getting to pick and choose which truck you will be driving.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Opinion on truck options

Thanks very much Steve. I appreciate the input. I'm always a fan of easy, and easier to park sounds like it might make the top of the "easier" list. You make an interesting point about companies spec'ing vehicles out differently. I never would have even considered that. There is so much collective/combined knowledge on this site, the information pool regarding most any question seems to run the gamut of human experience. Yessir, At this point in my life (fifty plus) I just hope to become an asset versus a liability in my new chosen profession. I look forward about learning different ways and means toward becoming more efficient and productive over time. Hence, I'll try heeding the advice that yourself and Old School kindly took the time to offer up.

V/r Gabe

As pretty as some of the trucks are, most of the newer ones are easier to park. Also, some companies have their trucks spec’d out a little different. So a Freightliner with one company may pull mountains better than the same model for a company that usually only hauls in the flatlands.

Drive yours safe and efficient while enjoying the view.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Opinion on truck options

Thanks for the detailed answer Old School. I appreciate it. I ask out of curiosity. I don't have any B.J. and the Bear or Smokey and the Bandit fantasies. ( ; Nor do I harbor any aspirations of being able to pick my "own ride" I was wondering if there was any preferences between the two offered trucks, Peterbilt 579 and Freightliner Cascadia. Above and beyond basic curiosity (not too important anyway because I'm about to learn vis a vis the school of hard knocks) Just an Old Soldier looking for a fairly recession proof and at least sometimes interesting way to make a living. Being advised of new, strange, and inconsistent guidance and protocols with regard to Covid, is something which doesn't figure in to my career plan, so hoping to leave it in the rear view mirror so to speak. I like "extremely reliable and very dependable." Also, thanks for the mention of the Jake Brake and Cruise Control figuring into the transmission controls.

V/r Gabe

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Also, it looks like one or both of the trucks is an automated manual 12 speed. What would that mean to me in laymen's terms?

double-quotes-end.png

As a rookie driver you will be driving a fairly modern truck. It will not be an eye catcher or a classic long nosed Pete. It is going to be a run of the mill standard issue tractor that gets the job done. Here's one I've been driving.

0564492001627913810.jpg

It's nice, but it isn't a classic rig that grabs your attention. You are out here to get a job done, and you will be issued equipment that fills that need. People have their preferences, but basically these trucks are pretty much the same as far as being able to get the job done. That transmission you mention is an automatic. That is what almost all of us are driving now days. They are standard gear boxes just like the old manual shift transmissions. The difference is the trucks computer system does the shifting for you. They are extremely reliable and very dependable. You won't be jamming gears, but you will be able to control your truck in all sorts of driving conditions. Once you learn how the jake break and the cruise control is incorporated into the computer controls of the transmission, you will be able to get it to handle just the way you need it to when driving in the mountains or other challenging areas.

They will assign you whatever truck is available when you are ready to go solo. Don't count on getting to pick and choose which truck you will be driving.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Opinion on truck options

Late night greetings one and all. Hope the road is treating you right tonight, or that you're re-charging the batteries in a way that makes you happy. I read a good portion of Brett's book the other night. A pretty darned good read thus far. I think, by way of getting into the nomadic trucking spirit, I may order up one or both of Mr. Wickenhauser's Trucking Fiction books. Tomorrow I'll start hitting the Driver's Manual hard in order to get ready for the "A" permit that I'll need. If info. overload is not kicking me in the proverbial fourth point of contact (Parachute Landing Falls, Pack Rat) then maybe I'll get motivated and try for an endorsement.

I just saw an Las Vegas Raider themed heavy hauler based out of Chicago on Social Media...What can I say, but Dayummmm! Don't know that this late in the game, starting my new career, I'll be able to cruise a truck like that, but Wow! I'm content just looking. I also really like some of the Cabovers that have been posted on another thread on this site.

I've never driven anything bigger than a 2.5 ton military truck or a 24 pax box van. Looking at the Company site for whom I'll be training and driving for, I see they have the 2018/2019 Freightliner Cascadia and Peterbilt 579. I'll be happy to skillfully drive any eighteen wheeler, but just curious if anybody on here has experience driving either of those two trucks, and accompanying insights, opinions, knowledge, etc. Also, it looks like one or both of the trucks is an automated manual 12 speed. What would that mean to me in laymen's terms? Thanks a bunch.

Gabe

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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A Question about whether a different home base makes a difference for an OTR Trucker

Thanks for the info. Big Scott. Appreciate it. V/r Gabe

CFI has two terminals in Texas and a dedicated account out of Waco. They also offer paid CDL training.

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