Profile For Gabe M.

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    10 months ago

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks 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:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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 months, 1 week 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 months, 2 weeks 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 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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 months, 2 weeks 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?

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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.

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 months, 3 weeks 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 months, 3 weeks 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.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Get off the truck

Some of the best adventures are the surprises that greet us when we least suspect them but are adventurous and seeking. I recently ended up in a hotel that was in a really crummy area. Much crummier than I expected when I booked the room. I woke up early the next morning to walk the dog. Ended up cutting through a large dystopian parking lot, cracked, weedy, full of trash and the like. Over a little burm, totally unexpected, was a small clear creek flowing around a Japanese styled park with many different types and shades of Japanese Maple. Terrific pictures you shared!

V/r Gabe

I know I'm new to trucking but it surprises me the number of drivers who don't explore the area around the truck stops.

Below are several pictures of a park that is a five minute walk from our truckstop.

Guess how many other drivers are here with me?

We are 10 miles from Dealy Plaza. I would go but I don't want to spend $20 for an Uber each way. If I were solo and earning money I would go.

Just my thoughts.

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Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Hopefully the First Step to a Productive and Rewarding Career

Terrific! Thanks for the response Anne. I love my Fur Baby. You are right, things get going quickly. Seems like soon, I'll really be cooking with Crisco! I will do my best to post updates and any interesting/helpful stories that might be humorous or helpful to the next guy or gal on Trucking Truth. Here's hoping you enjoy a happy and/or Blessed Sunday.

V/r Gabe

Sounds really exciting, Gabe!

Things happen QUICK, once you get the ball rolling, eh?

Wishing you the best, and will be following in your journey.

IMHO, Wilson is a great company to go with; especially for taking a furbaby!

Best to ya, keep us posted!

~ Anne ~

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Hopefully the First Step to a Productive and Rewarding Career

I used the helpful app on this site, and fired off the general info. blurb to different companies, and a Recruiter called me ASAP. Seemed like much of the info. that she had to offer more or less matched up with some other companies. I liked the fact that it seems like it is a condensed school/classroom environment that translates to road learning quickly. I think this would be good for me. I tend to be more of the "book smart" sort, versus hands on, so the more hands on, the better.

The phone connection wasn't the greatest. At one point the Recruiter seemed to get a little irritated. Maybe because I asked her if I could put her on speaker for a few minutes. My Wife is kind of an info. file and was madly signaling me in the background that she wanted to be in the mix. Cest la Vie. One thing I forgot to ask, and it seems like maybe there is conflicting info. a couple different places, is if I can have my Dog ride along after training. My better half said that the Wilson site says that two dogs may ride or a family member after a certain age. I've seen plenty of Wilson trucks running up and down the I-5 corridor during the last several years.

Maybe its Gods plan, higher power, universe, etc. that the place I now work has and is (in my humble opinion) going over the top with and about COVID guidance. It seems to have become the focal point. Its govt. so I'm not too surprised, but I have to say it is dispiriting to have gotten vaccinated, along with most Staff and Students who work here, with not only no change for the better, but actually heading the other direction. Stickers, tape, and signs everywhere...In triplicate even. Inside, outside, everywhere, all the time. I guess today, the talk was off plexiglass shields in work areas and other semi-wazoo notions.

I'm definitely looking forward to learning, a new adventure, and hopefully some good trucker camaraderie as can be seen on this cool forum! I'm thinking a six week window or so, to get this show on the road. I'm going to make sure and try to arrive at school with an attitude of gratitude and a place of beginners mind so I can absorb all that I can/need too, to be an asset on the road. Once again, I thank the many Truckers and Trucker Family Members that graciously share their knowledge. I will continue to use this site without a doubt. Hopefully become successful, and who knows? Maybe even meet some of you guys/gals, out there on the road.

V/r Gabe

Posted:  3 months ago

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Celebrating my 3 mo anniversary with May Trucking

Terrific Moe, Way to go! Can't go wrong with an automatic pay raise. Hopefully I will be following in your footsteps soon.

Gabe/another Beaver Stater.

And I got an automatic daily pay increase to boot! So far so good and backing has gotten way better. Hooe yall are good, bubi- Moe

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

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

Thanks for the welcome information/insight! That is good to know. I started the process today of getting information from some different carriers. I used the tool on the site to send the condensed info. blurb out to Recruiters/H.R. I felt that the from the two quick responses that I got back, I would go with the one that called. The information that she offered seemed similar, competitive, worthwhile, for somebody like myself whom is looking to break into the Trucking world. I've seen long ago, and heard fairly recently that Gary is a rough place and down on it's luck. I had a buddy in the Army who was from near Gary. That said, I worked with plenty of guys in the service from the Midwest, including Indiana, that had quality work ethics for sure. Thanks for weighing in good Sir.

V/r Gabe

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Terminal location in relation to home of record does not really matter, except in FL (south of I-4), Alaska, and Hawaii.

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Not necessarily true. I live in a ...... not great area. The nearest truck stops are the 4 in Gary Indiana and I'm not allowed to park there (for good reason). The nearest free safe spot would be 50 plus miles away, or I could pay 200 a month for storage for 5 or 6 days a month while on hometime. Im sure my situation is unique but having a terminal close is important to me because it's cheaper to drive to a terminal than pay a rental fee.

Posted:  3 months ago

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

Bwahhhh hah hah! Yessir. Let's call it a day indeed. Thanks for the reply Pack Rat.

V/r Gabe

Yeah, the Air Farce has one. Using their Indoor Voice, "Let's Call It A Day!" I'm half kidding! The USAF always gave us a ride when we needed one, and I always heard their bases had outstanding golf courses.

Terminal location in relation to home of record does not really matter, except in FL (south of I-4), Alaska, and Hawaii.

Freight is moving everywhere. The closest I've had a terminal has been more than 200 miles. I always get home, and always have a dispatch when I leave.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

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

Greetings one and all,

I really enjoy and have really enjoyed this blog. What a wealth of information! Fascinating answers to questions that run the gamut? Yessir! Humor intertwined with knowledge? On the daily. Thanks to those who spend so much time benefitting the newbie, would be, wannabe, and old salt alike. It would be dishonest to start firing off questions as I've not read countless answers over the preceding several years. Old School and Errol as well as countless others have written many truly in depth responses to myriad questions. Broke the questions down Shotgun Style and six ways, or is it seven, from Sunday, to say the least.

I retired from the Army in 2010. I've noticed there are quite a few fellow military retirees on the Forum. Hooah, Ooh-Rah, Hooyah, and....Does the Air Force have one of these? Air Force Hooah! Papa Pig has written some good stuff for sure.

Here is my question: I currently live in Southern Oregon. My family will be doing our best to be heading Texas way ASAP after I graduate trucking school with one of those carriers that offer training. Will it be easier to get a lot of work/runs in an area that holds a lot more population, and I would (assume/presume) Terminals(TX)? Also, I know from my consistent reading of this blog that the big companies all probably have relative plusses or minuses, but that success or failure mainly resides in Trucker work ethic/effort/knowledge/cooperation. We plan to relocate to the Temple/Waco area? Are there certain carriers that would be a better geographic fit than others, regarding work?

If this question has been asked and answered before to anybody's knowledge, please kindly point me in the right direction. Don't want anybody having to re-invent the wheel on my account.

V/r Gabe

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Funny thing happened

A terrific life lesson woven within a great story! Thanks much.

Hey ya’ll. I had an interesting thing occur last night I thought I would share. It has a valid point in it for new drivers.

I am on a load that was several days late when they gave it to me. I called the rec’r and let them know I had their load and would see them in the morning at 0900, the stated appt time.

The supervisor was very helpful. He asked if I could make it to him tonight? I told him it was possible but I would be out of hours. He said that was fine, if I arrived tonight he told me how to scale in and to park in the unloading bay. They would unload me first thing in the morning. I said that was great and thanked him.

I arrived and another company has dedicated loads in here. They deliver in the same spot. One of their drivers approached me and asked why I was parked in his spot. I told him I parked where the plant wanted me. He told me that had to be a mistake and it was his spot, that I needed to move.

Well me being me I asked him how it was he had more say so than the plant manger, but that was ok we would just call him and straighten this whole thing out quickly. He turned red and when I got my phone out he said never mind and went back to his truck.

This morning plant manager came in early and started unloading me and thanked me for following his directions, was making his job easier this morning.

Moral to the story, never take another drivers word as gospel. Many try and be helpful, but some are just idiots looking out for themselves. Always always think for yourself.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bad semi crash in Portland today

Glad all are okay. Yes, the Terwilliger Curves are definitely not to be trifled with. The heavier traffic volume over the years and especially over the last two decades exacerbates this issue. I live in Roseburg now, so don't navigate them often, but I sure used to, often with a load of gas pipe or water heaters.

Https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2021/06/i-5-northbound-closed-at-terwilliger-for-semi-truck-crash.html

Terwilliger curves are a nasty set of curves in between portland and Salem, best advice i can give you after having been a resident here for 20 years is avoid em if you can, go extra slow if you cannot.

At this time all drivers are okay.

Moe

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Just a little bumed out

Man ohhhhhh....Man! This has to rate inside the top ten posts I have ever read, but more probably five, and most probably three! Damn this is good advice! You make several good and valid points and drive each of them home with eight penny nails. Your advice bears reading by any job seeker within any field of employment. Even if and when demand is super strong. It takes some talent to be able to realize and reckon with historical mistakes and relate them to a reader in a self deprecating and engaging manner. But doing so, in my opinion is engaging and powerful! This was a pleasure to read good Sir.

Hey Mackerel, I know exactly how you feel. I got rejected multiple times when I was trying to get started. I'm not sure if you are familiar with my start, but I'll share it with you...

I labored hard over that decision of where I wanted to start my trucking career. I look back now and laugh at how I came up with the reasons I chose my first trucking company. They were shallow and ill-informed. I was a victim of the negative influences of those stupid trucking company reviews.

I had made up my mind to pull flatbed freight. My top choice for the company I wanted to work for was TMC. They are a fine company, and I mean no slight against them by telling you my experience with them. I chose them because of the beautiful Peterbilt trucks they have. Who wouldn’t want to drive one of those wonderful black trucks with all that shiny chrome? I also chose them because they insisted that you keep your truck nice and clean. They even had a charge account at the Blue Beacon truck wash company so that you could go get your truck washed each week. I liked that idea of always being seen in a nice clean truck! As you can see I was more concerned with image than I was with productivity. I thought I would look really cool in one of those nice shiny black trucks!

It’s almost as embarrassing to admit how shallow my preferences were, as it is to admit they rejected me. I got sent home from TMC orientation twice! That’s right - twice! Two different times they invited me up there to Des Moines, Iowa and I got sent home both times. Then on my third attempt at landing my first trucking job I got sent home from the orientation I attended at PGT. They were my third try at landing a flatbed trucking job, and I failed again! So, here’s another thing to think about when considering this question of what is the best place to start a trucking career. We said it earlier. The best place to start is the place who will hire you and give you a shot at this rewarding career. If there is someone out there who is willing to let you prove you can handle this job, then get in there and show them what you are made of. That’s how it works in this industry. Somebody gives you a chance, and you strap yourself onto the bull and ride it out. You don’t act arrogantly as though you are above this “starter company.” You show some gratitude and some fortitude and you get in there and make something happen.

Guess where I landed after those first three times of getting thrown off the bull? I made a call to Western Express and they agreed to bring me in for orientation for a flatbed driving job. Of all the companies out there who had terrible reviews on the internet, they had to be the worst case scenario. I was scared. I was literally getting sick to my stomach at times. I didn’t know what else to do. I had been thoroughly rejected at those other places, and I needed a job badly. I also needed a boost of confidence. I needed the comfort of knowing I was being productive and providing for my family. But I could not get past all the trash talk I had read online about how terrible it was to work for those guys.

I had tried to choose my first company so carefully. I did that because of all the fear inducing trash talk I had exposed myself to about trucking companies. Here I was thinking I was making some great choices, yet I had never considered the fact that they have to reciprocate. They have to choose me. Getting a job is not a one way decision. Just because I think Brand X is a great place to work does not mean they are going to hire me.

Western Express did something that none of the other companies I looked into were willing to do. They chose me. They actually hired me! Here I was a total greenhorn with no knowledge or ability, and they took a big chance on me. They gave me a shot at proving I could handle the rigors of a job that a lot of people fail at. That is the best company to start your trucking career at. If someone reaches out to you to give you a chance, you take it and be thankful for it. Show your gratitude by busting your tail while being safe, productive, and easy to work with.

It turned out that all my fears were misguided foolishness. The internet had fooled me. The key to making my first trucking job successful had nothing to do with the name on the truck. I ended up with my first successful trucking endeavor while working at a company that was despised on the internet. I have never looked back and I have had a lot of success since those early first days. You will too if you focus on being safe, productive, and easy to work with. Carry on brother - you've got a bright future ahead of you. Make it happen!

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