Profile For Victor J.

Victor J.'s Info

  • Location:
    Lawton, OK

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 months, 2 weeks ago

Victor J.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Whelp, looks like I failed to update daily as I intended, there was much more action then I initially expected this week.

On Thursday I was in flatbed securement class "flatbed bootcamp" all day, and also was there friday until about 1230, then I had a class going over all the automatic transmission features and benefits that evening.

On saturday I had to drive some simulator scenarios, and then take a skills test to prove I could operate the truck and pass their safety class to upgrade. After that I had to do the almost the exact same CBT's that I've now done 3 times since I got here to start PSD 3.5 months ago.

After all that was done, I sent off an email that evening to let them know I was ready to upgrade, and Sunday morning I received a confirmation that I was on the list waiting for a truck.

Monday(today) morning rolled around and I got a call at about 9am telling me they assigned me a truck and to head on over to the Z building to get my inspection paperwork and go look over the truck to make sure its in good shape and note any damages done by the previous driver(s).

Took a while to do a good inspection of everything on the truck, it is a 2019 model with 397,000 miles on it, but it is in great shape still. Minor scratches here and there and only a couple things for the shop to address before I get on the road.

The shop is fixing a TMPS sensor, replacing the broken oil cap on the APU, and fixing the passenger side door handle that wont open from the inside.

I should have to truck back tomorrow morning, I'll be taking it over to detail to get the passenger seat taken out(I have a dog that will be riding with me and need a good spot to put her kennel), and then I'll be heading over to get all of my flatbed equipment(straps, chains, tarps, ect.)

These past few days have flown by, and I'm both nervous and excited to get on the road solo. I also got the good news that I'll be going directly to the dedicated route I was hoping for, so that means most weekends will be at home! very happy about that, but also oddly enough not sure if I'll enjoy it more than the OTR life I've lived for the last 2 months, only time will tell. The way I see it, if I don't really end up enjoying the dedicated route then I can always go back OTR to travel the country again.

Thanks everybody for following along this very unorganized training diary, I'm not sure how often I'll check back in and give updates as I start me journey solo, or if I even should as it technically will no longer be offically "training" although I'm positive I'll still be learning new things everyday for years to come in this industry.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Hey everyone, I got into the springfield yard earlier this evening(Thursday 06-02), and checked into campus not too long ago.

To recap the overall TNT training experience I want to say how lucky I think I was with how good of a trainer I got, he insisted I drive the day shift, he and I got along very well, he was very knowledgeable about every aspect of the job, He always did a great job teaching what needed to be learned, and really made sure I understood what he was teaching. Overall it was a 10/10 experience for my training with him, I've come away from it feeling quite prepared to go out on my own, having been given the knowledge and learning the proper mindset to successfully tackle the daily challenges of the job, and understanding that I haven't seen close to everything as far as loads go, but I've obtained the knowledge to figure out how to safely secure almost any load.

I start my flatbed "bootcamp" tomorrow and it continues Friday. Then I take a safety course/sim tests on saturday. Sometime within I get to do even more CBT's and get a schedule for next week as I'll have some other classes to take as well, after all that I believe I will get on a list to get assigned a truck. Talking with my current fleet manager(I will most likely get assigned a new one after upgrading) He said I should hopefully have a truck and be on the road by mid next week.

As for your question about the lightweight trucks Melissa, I am obviously quite new here and don't know for sure, but I've been told if you say the "right things" as mentioned by Anne, that you can help make sure you get into a full size truck. I also have been keeping up with some of the people I went through orientation with, and they've said without mentioning any of those "right things" they were giving a full sized truck, and were told it was simply because it was all that was available at the time. One of them even specifically asked to get into a lightweight since he wanted the pay increase for it, but was told to either take the full size since it was currently available, or it was going to be possibly multiple weeks before he'd get a lightweight. Obviously which truck they happen to have on hand for new drivers will be different everyday, and it seems like its just luck of the draw based on who I've talked to.

Very sorry if this giant wall of text that is hard to read, I'm typing this in quite a hurry as it is late and I need to get off to bed to get rest for class tomorrow. I will be back tomorrow evening with an update on how the day went.

Thanks for reading, ~Victor

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

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about the 3.5week point on the road the constant work and moving started to catch up with me. Definitely ready for a break and to see friends/family.

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Victor, your sentiment is probably something that most folks looking in here for information on a new trucking career cannot relate to. It is illustrative of what we teach people about this career being so totally different from any kind of job you've had before. This career is a life altering event. It is a change in lifestyle. It isn't just a change in jobs. You are probably working and moving about much more than you ever have at any job. It is a constant activity that takes over your time and life. It is nomadic, and consuming, while also feeling almost addictive. I love it. Most truckers do.

I will wager that you will thoroughly enjoy your time at home, but I bet you will start longing for that constant activity of the road while you are there. Let me know if I am not right about this.

I think what your saying will be correct for me in the future, but unfortunately this time home I honestly was not ready to go back to the truck when it was time. I think this is mostly due to the fact I had a flurry of things to do and take care of every day while I was home, mostly stuff I didn't have adequate arrangements for when I left for training nearly 7 weeks prior. Sorry for the long wait on the reply, been rolling and focusing on learning, driving, and getting closer and closer to my upgrade date.

For a quick overall update, After my time home I've been back on the truck for about a week now, and fortunately it's looking like I'll be ready to upgrade shortly after the weekend, and should hopefully be dropped off in springfield next week. I plan to provide daily updates throughout the upgrade process, as I've been told it will be around a week of classes/waiting for a truck.

Thanks everyone who's followed along this far, despite my lack of updates since TNT started, there just hasn't been much thats new since getting on the road, just secure freight, drive, eat, call home, sleep, repeat. thats been my routine most days. Over the 6 weeks ive been on the road we've had a total of 3 days which we were stopped for a full 24hrs and had a "day off" but its kinda hard to hangout and just take a day off when you've got 2 people in 1 truck and nowhere is currently open for seating/dine in due to current(or not so current anymore) events. It kind of turns into 14 hours or so of 2 people with opposite sleep schedules trying really hard not to bother eachother or interrupt eachothers sleep.

off to bed now, early tomorrow afternoon I should be delivering our current load, which will put me right about 28,000/30,000 miles for my training, Then we'll see what kinda of load they have for us, my trainer was telling me that after talking with our dispatcher the plan is to find a load from a shipper nearby our dropoff, that sends alot of stuff down to/towards texas, which would make for a good weekend trip for us and enough mileage for us to get a load back towards springfield on monday and have completed the 30,000 miles before we get there.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Quick update while getting unloaded here.

It's been business as usual since the last update, everything from driving, backing, to load securement is getting more familar, and I'm getting more confident with it. I'm just shy of 17,000 miles now. Currently getting unloaded in NJ after coming from CA on Thursday. Will have my next assignment soon.

Really looking forward to home time scheduled in 8 days, about the 3.5week point on the road the constant work and moving started to catch up with me. Definitely ready for a break and to see friends/family.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Update for 4/23.

9am at a truck stop barely inside the west end of NC. About 180mi from the 90. After dropping off this load I'll be at just about 9700 miles already, staying on a solid track to finish my 30,000 by the end of week 7.

Had quite bad luck with my previous 2 loads, having strapped and taped them both to find 1 was overweight and needed to be reworked, and the other was barely over height and needed to be reworked. Hoping for a long weekend run after this.

Finally got to stop into the DPS office in my hometown to get my CDL paperwork taken care of, and fortunately it worked out that I got to spend the night at home, alittle mini evening off was refreshing, being on a truck 24/7 with someone else is definitely something thats hard to get used to. Looking forward to scheduled hometime in the middle of May.

Overall everything is going pretty smooth though, getting much better and more confident navigating and backing in truck stops and shippers/recievers, and starting to get the hang of load securement, although there's alot of different types loads for me to learn still.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Hi, Victor. Sounds like you're off to a great start with Prime. I'm starting at Prime in about a week and a half. I'm excited and a little nervous as well.

I've been trying to learn the Pre-Trip Inspection the way Prime does it. I've been studying Daniel B's study guide on here and I asked my recruiter at Prime if she could send me Prime's Pre-Trip inspection list, which she did.

I was wondering, did you have most of this learned before you got to Orientation? I'm working hard on it, but it's a little harder for me to cement in my mind without looking at a truck physically. Also, I read from Daniel B's study guide that Prime requires you to do 3 sections (in cab, lighting, and coupling), and they will then pick a 4th section for you to do as well. Is this still how they do it?

If anyone else has answers on this as well, I would appreciate the feedback.

Thanks.

To be perfectly honest I personally studied very little pre trip until they gave me the packet at orientation.

But seeing for other students it's definitely worth studying beforehand if you can, alot of students get trainers right away and didn't have the extra few days to practice like I did. Once your on a truck with a trainer it can be hard to find time for pre trip practice.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Wednesday, April 14th, 9am.

Just woke up a few minutes ago, after dropping off at the reciever in Oregon on Monday we immediately got a load to take onions to new York, so it's been go go go since then. Currently somewhere in the middle of Iowa, I thought 30,000 miles for TNT training was going to seem like a lot, but at this point the flying by.

I got to do alittle backing over the last couple days, into the loading dock at the shipper, and a couple truck stop spots. Obviously not a professional at it yet, but I got it done.

Also I'm happy to say once I've gotten out here I'm even closer to 100% that I've made the right choice, not just for career, but also going switching to flatbed at the last minute. It's extra work but I love it. Learning the ways certain things get secured, like these onions, and being able to do a good job that your proud of is going to be extremely rewarding.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Saturday April 10th, 6pm

We got to a truck stop here about 15 miles from where this load is getting delivered. But we've now realized we can't deliver until Monday morning after 7.. so we've got some time to kill at the stop here.

Really wish all the inside seating/dining wasn't closed because of this virus.. this sleeper really is small when you've got 2 people in it and nowhere else to go for over 36 hours.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Saturday, April 10th.

6am here at a loves on the eastern edge of Oregon. Just woke up, my trainer is resting on his 30 minute break right now. I've considered myself fortunate that my trainer wanted to give me the day shift.

When we picked up the load on Thursday I got to learn a few of the basics on load securement and tarping, this load seemed pretty simple though, I expect other loads to be more challenging.

I drove Thursday afternoon for 6-7 hours, and I drove an entire shift yesterday. Grand total of about 925 miles so far, very surprised how quickly I've gotten better and more comfortable with my ability to do the simple things of driving. Also had some terrain that got me more familar with the engine brake.

Overall it's been going good, but I still have so much to learn.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Heading our this morning, first load assignment has us going to Portland, about 2100 miles.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Hey, sorry everyone for letting this diary go so long without an update. Most days were quite repetitive since my last post, they consisted of a couple hours on the backing pad with my trainers other students, then a couple hours of pre trip, and every few days I got to go for an hour or so long drive around town. Once I went to Branson and back.

Last Friday, April the 2nd, I took my CDL Test. I did great, 0 points on the pretrip and backing, and only 1 point on the drive. Apparently I left my turn signal on just a tad too long after changing lanes.

The weekend was fast paced and rush, I got the opportunity to drive home and see family/friends, and I drove back up on Monday night, so I was here for all my appointments related to a sleep study on Tuesday.

Currently I am having lunch, and waiting for my 3pm appointment to go back to the sleep lab and go over my results, really hoping I wasn't positive for sleep apnea, I can't described how much I don't want to have a CPAP.

I got my trainer for TNT assigned last night, and I should be leaving with him tomorrow(Thursday) morning. I don't imagine I will be updating this thread a ton more, but I'm going to to be best to post some periodic updates throughout TNT.

Also, I ended up switching my division from Reefer to Flatbed, after learning some more about it. Sounds like some extra physical work, but I think I'll enjoy it more than just pulling a box around every day.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Monday, March 23, 9:00am

Been in class for about an hour, and RING RING, there goes my phone. I step away to answer and its my trainer! Met up with him around 10am, he went over his training plan briefly and got me hooked up with his videos for pre trip, and outlined on a sheet of paper which sections to work on today. He said he has multiple students, so today he is taking a different one on a quick haul, and he is going to meet me tomorrow at 8a and he said we'll start with going for a bobtail drive. After asking around, I learned that this guy was Instructor of the Year not too long ago. and other instructors that I talked to all seem to have good things to say about him, so I think I'm in good hands.

The rest of today is going to be spent continuously saying my pretrip, really focus on saying it aloud because I have it well memorized at this point, but I really just need to make sure I'm 100% used to saying it all so I don't get hung up or say the wrong phrase/verbiage.

I've been alittle worried that I'll have issues in the test, because I've had a studder/stammer my whole life so I frequently get stuck on/take a few seconds to get through some words. But I think the more practice saying it, The less it will effect me.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Monday, March 22nd.

Today was fairly straightforward, we had class from 8a to 5pm. all of it was spent as a large group, around 25 of us, on the pad, rotating between straightline backing, driving laps around the pad, and going through pretrip on a few trucks they brought out there. Still no call from the trainer today.

There seems to be a shortage of trainers at the moment or something, theres people that have been cleared and waiting for over a week now. really hope that doesn't turn out the be the case for me. I had 2 people from my orientation class that were already out with trainers over the weekend.

Hopefully I'm not significantly reducing my chances by requesting a non smoker. Ill be back tomorrow with another update on how that goes, hoping for a trainer!

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Quick update for yesterday(Sunday the 21st) while on on lunch today.

Class was quick, got to do a few laps around the training pad driving a lightweight with a trailer. No trainer call yet.

These updates are probably going to shift to daily recaps as I've not done really well with writing down this by the hour in my notebook, and I forsee it being harder after I get on the road.

I'll have post a recap for Monday the 22nd after I'm out of class for today. They have us in an 8a-5p class as a big group doing pretrip and some backing practice taking turns. This will continue until I get trainer.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

March 19th, 8:00am,

Roll call class and to start the clearing/badging process. This needs to be done for us to be assigned a trainer. I wasn't in the first group cleared at 8am, so I was sent back to my room to study pre trip/do what I need to do, and wait for a phone call to tell me I was cleared and head to the badging room.

9:30am,

I was called down to the office, I meet requirements for them to have to send me to their doctor at the end of training to have a sleep apnea assessment done, they say this wont have any negative effects on getting offered a job after training, hopefully they are correct. Basically they said I get another DOT Physical from their doctor and if he determines I need to go for a sleep study then I will, and if that comes back positive for sleep apnea then they get me all the equipment for CPAP machine and stuff and payroll deduct it in small payments. After signing this form and putting it on file they said ill be back in line for the clearing process and ill get a call later to get badged.

2:00pm,

Got the call, went down to the room to get badged, after being badged they sent me right over to join classes at the Plaza building.

2:30pm,

arrived at plaza building and got put into a class room with all the other students still awaiting PSD trainers. We had a class on pretrip, and a class on tires. They also gave us a sheet to log all of our practice hours on, sections for Backing, Classroom, and Pre-trip. They also had us turn all our phones ringers on, and told us to expect a call at anytime from a trainer.

5:00pm,

Class is all over, we did some pretrip on a practice truck outside, and then got called into the class room to get our weekend schedule. I have tomorrow off and then go to class on 1pm on Sunday. Also ill be in class 8-5 M-F until I get a trainer. After you get a trainer you disregard this schedule and do whatever the trainer says.

Since I have no class on saturday there won't be an update unless I get a trainer. But Ill be sure to have a recap for Sunday after class.

Thanks for everyone's kind words and hopefully those that are following are enjoying my diary.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

March 18th, 630am,

Off to roll call class this morning. Once arrived we had a substitute because the primary instructor had a couple days of vacation planned. after he introduced himself we got setup on the computers to take a Core Values Assessment. This helps them pair you with a trainer that your more likely to get along with I guess. After we completed this we were released to finish CBT's, I had mine all done last night, and our next scheduled activity was sim class @ 915pm.

4:00pm,

After studying pretrip for awhile I decided I'd take a short nap since its quite a long day. After getting up I took a trip over to walmart, grabbed a few things and then came back to my room. Going to study more pretrip until sim class tonight.

9:15pm,

Sim class started, this time we had 3 different scenarios, one was just plain highway with light traffic, nothing too new here, just getting us warmed up for what's next. The next was snow/icy conditions, this was very slippery and you must go VERY slow, the simulator did well on having smaller cars that were ignoring the conditions and flying/sliding past and out of their own lanes. And the 3rd was a city that you needed to pay EXTREME attentions to signs to know which way to go, most ways either said no trucks, or had a low bridge warning sign.

11:10pm,

After these 3 training scenarios, we were setup to take our assessment, it was actually quite a bit easier than the city scenario, but it had elements from all of the practice scenarios, traffic, important signs, roadwork, ect. I scored a 98/100 and passed on my first go. Apparently I did signal properly at the very start of the test when merging into traffic from the shoulder on an offramp. I was told I didn't leave my signal on long enough before starting to move, so the computer didn't register it properly. Either way I'm happy with it. the clearing process starts tomorrow for us to get our badges and be put in the pool to get assigned a trainer. Hopefully I get a trainer early and get behind the wheel sooner rather than later, I'm very excited to get going! I'm off to bed for the night, I report to class @ 8:00am tomorrow. I'm happy we get an extra hour to sleep, especially since it's almost midnight before getting back to my room.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

March 17th, 6:00am,

Day starts early with breakfast @ about 6, class begins at 7.

6:50am,

The group is let into the class room a few minutes early, instructor confirms everyone's name, and where were from. Then we collect a couple pieces of paperwork and a safety handbook from a table before taking our seats.

First up was brief introductions, then it was right into business,

We got our documents(Driver's License, CDL Permit, Birth certificate) and were escorted down the hall to the office to have copies made.

After we got back to the classroom we were greet by the head of security, he gave us a rundown on who and what the company was, and his job here. Told us some things we should do, and should not do. Overall he spoke for 15 minutes or so and offered to answer any questions.

Next we were introduced to the chef for the cafe, he gave us our meal cards and explained how everything worked. We get $5.75 for breakfast, $7.25 for lunch, and $7.25 for dinner. None of which is transferable and can't be carried over to the next meal. It may seem like not that much, but it's quite a bit considering the prices in the cafe are really reasonable.

8:00am,

After filling out our "green folder" which was alot of information from the original application, like work history, references, ect. We went back down to the office for document verification, basically they are just checking over to make sure what your saying now lines up with what you originally gave them.

9:00am,

Done with document verification, off to the room to do computer based training(CBT), according to the lady from class this morning, its about 7 hour's worth of videos to watch, and 35 total modules. Thankfully I can do these on my laptop and not have to sit in the computer lab all day.

11:30am,

Took a break from CBT's to get some lunch, and sandwich and a salad both fit into the allowed budget.

1:00pm,

Time for simulator training, class started with a powerpoint presentation, explaining the fundamentals of a tractor + trailer and how the simulators work. After that we got right into simulator training routes, this went well. although it was different from what I expected. the brakes seems about 100 times more sensitive than I imagined.

4:00pm,

Simulator class is over, we did 2 different driving training courses, first was a simple on with no other traffic, just start on an onramp, and go down the highway a few miles, then get off on an exit and stop the truck smoothly. Next one was the same road but on the highway for longer, encountered some traffic/cars on the side of the road to slow down and move out of the way from, aswell as ascending/descending a slight grade. This got us changing lanes and learning how to use are decent control(cruise control + engine brake) correctly. Definitely going to need some more practice to get good at that.

The rest of the day will be filled with doing more CBT's and some dinner, then off to bed for class at 7am tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow evening with another update.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

March 16th, 6:00am,

Up bright and early to start my journey to Springfield this morning, I picked up my rental car last night, and got my belongings packed. Loading everything in the car this morning, and will be stopping at my mothers house for a few minutes on the way out of town.

7:30am,

Done visiting and saying goodbyes with the family, just a short 5 hour 30 minute drive separates me from Springfield.

1:30pm,

A fairly uneventful trip, stopped twice for fuel, once halfway, and another right around the corner to top up the tank before turning in the rental car. I've just finished dropping off the keys at the airport here in Springfield. I've got to wait for the prime shuttle to take me to campus now, next round is at 3:15pm. So I have some time to kill, going to call family/friends and let them know I'm here. I'm excited and can't wait to get to campus and get settled in for the surely hectic days of information and learning ahead of me.

3:15pm,

Shuttle arrived right on time. Verified my identity with the driver and got my belongings on board and we were off towards campus. I was the only one on the shuttle, so a pretty quite trip.

3:35pm,

Arrived at campus inn, immediately checked in, had to fill out 2 pieces of paperwork, one answernig COVID questions, and one with my info and what program I was here for, off to the computer lab to register my permit for the alcohol & drug clearinghouse, then I'll get my room key.

3:50pm,

got my key, and got into the room. I was informed due to COVID nobody will have roommates, so that is nice. No need to worry about getting someone that I don't get along with. I got everything unpacked, and I'm going to relax/look around campus for a bit.

4:30pm,

Found the cafe and got some food, they were very nice and even though I was after the 4pm cutoff, they let me get both my lunch and dinner credit, which was nice as I neglected to stop for lunch on the trip over here. Back to the room to chow down.

5:30pm,

Decided I needed a couple things from walmart, like some bottle water to keep in the room, its actually not a far walk at all. Nice to have access to that so close especially since I have no vehicle here.

6:30pm,

Back at the room now, going to watch some TV, and write this update and then its off to bed early for me, class starts at 7am tomorrow morning, and I surely want to get some breakfast before then. I'll be back again tomorrow with another update.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Thanks Turtle for the info.

Would you say it would make sense then to make sure anything I bring tucks into a reasonably sized dufflebag? that way it should be able to fit easily on the bunk either behind a pillow or under my feet I would think. thinking of this also got me thinking, what kind of clothing is "typical" for this line of work? Is pants/jeans, t-shirt, and work boots every day required/the norm? or is it acceptable to wear shorts/cargo shorts or something similar? If I'll never really be able/allowed to wear shorts then there's no reason for me to pack any I'd suppose.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

Small update for today, much more to come next week when orientation gets started.

March 3rd, 8:00am,

Today's the day it's official. Showed up to my current job, turned in my keys, uniforms, ect. and did all my exit paperwork. This job is behind me now and I'm looking forward to next Wednesday when my orientation starts, just waiting for final details from my recruiter.

11:39am,

Got a call from my recruiter, went over everything one last time and he gave me the information on picking up a rental car for my drive up to Springfield. Hopefully get something fuel efficient as I will be responsible for gas upfront to be reimbursed after training.

I'll be taking this weekend to get everything in order for being gone, spending time with friends and family, and all last minute preparations for taking this leap. If anyone has any advice on what to / not to bring let me know. Not sure if I should bring bedding(pillow/blanket) as they said I'll be going right from orientation to a truck with a trainer. How heavy/light am I expected to pack? I don't wanna have too big of a bag and take up unneeded room on a trainer's truck, but I also don't wanna be the guy that didn't bring enough clothes or outright forgot something that will be needed.

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