Profile For Gabriel F.

Gabriel F.'s Info

  • Location:
    OR

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 month, 4 weeks ago

Gabriel F.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 month ago

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What will the future of automated trucking look like?

I used to believe that automated trucks were around the corner when Elon Musk threw out that pipe dream like 7 or 8 years ago. It honestly turned me away from the industry. Seeing as how lately his automated taxis haven't even come to fruition, and the public doesn't really seem on board with driverless vehicles, I'm deciding to jump into the trucking career despite the threat of automation.

Worst case scenario, if automation becomes ubiquitous in the trucking industry in a decade or two, I'll crawl back into manufacturing.... oh wait, that's also threatened by robots.

In all honesty, it seems a lot of industries are being threatened by automation, which is why universal basic income has been a hot topic. Time will tell but I don't see driverless trucks on the horizon.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Drivers getting worse?

Hi, Clare. I'm in your shoes as a prospective trucker. As someone who drives for fun, I've noticed a lot of the same driving habits that you pointed out. One thing I will say, is that attentive and defensive driving goes a long way into ensuring you're never involved in a collision. I wouldn't let this discourage you from reaching your goals of becoming a trucker, I know I'm not. By keeping my eyes on the road and mirrors as well as reading other vehicles helps to create a "safe zone". I commute alongside semis daily and do the same for them by making myself predictable.

I do wonder if the added safety features of modern cars has made the average driver more complacent, but in my 15 years of driving cars I haven't noticed that much of a change. Keep in mind, most drivers aren't bad, the few bad apples just exacerbate the situations that make the roadways feel less safe.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A few questions from a prospective trucker (plus a little intro)

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4) I have become familiar with the hours of service (11 driving/14 on duty for a 24 hour period, on top of 70 driving hours for every 8 days requires a 34 hour reset). Although, I keep reading about getting ours "back". Am I right in assuming that means if I drive less than 70 hours in those 8 days I get the remaining hours back during the 34 hour reset (ex. 65 hours driven gives me 5 hours back)? Again, I'm sure my trainer will happily show me the ropes.

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The best advice I can give you about this is find the study section on this site about HOS, and study, study, study it. It took me probably two weeks of reading and thinking and practicing the study aids on this site before it started clicking. I even picked up a log book and practiced the scenarios, just to help me figure out the rules and how they could be applied. Counting on your trainer is one way to go about getting the training, but you'd be amazed at the ignorance of the rules out here. I taught both my trainers different ways the rules can be applied that they didn't know, simply from what I learned and practiced from this site. No reason to depend on a stranger for all your training, when you can teach yourself. I've scoured the web for training on HOS rules because I'm all about maximizing my paycheck, and this knowledge is one of the simplest ways to increase productivity, and this site is the best. You're already heading towards some wrong ideas based on your paragraph here. For example, a "24 hour period" has absolutely nothing to do with your hours (in the states, anyway), and a 34 will give you all your hours back, no matter when you take it.

Thanks for the words of wisdom. My confusion on the HOS is exactly why I have been lurking on this site. I'm usually pretty good with time management so with some advice from folks here I'm sure I'll be able to make efficient runs without violating any laws regarding the HOS. Good take on taking advice from trainers. I'm sure they all have their own ways of managing time and what works for one individual may not for the other. I'm also aware that my first year will be a huge learning curve. The blogs I have been reading here have definitely put some perspective on what I should expect.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

The Driver Toolbox - So To Speak

Yo I was justing thinking about this the other day. Definitely bookmarking this page for when I start my career in trucking.

Thanks, Optical!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A few questions from a prospective trucker (plus a little intro)

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Howdy, Gabriel F., and welcome to Trucking Truth~!!!

I remember your first post in the DOT U/A testing thread, and was gonna give you a 'Howdy' there, actually!

Well, congrats on planning your entrance into this profession, and it's awesome how well you HAVE thought it out and through!

I can only offer you what I know, and that's to start here:

Prime is a FINE company!!! If the above is too overwhelming, look at some of the Primates' diaries, on Trucking Truth. Simply select articles/threads by 'tag,' and .. well, you know the rest! Kearsey is a trainer for Prime, and moderator here. Turtle is a mod here also, and did flatbed for Prime for a few years before proceeding to WMPF (which is an honor, in and of itself.) There are many more; Rob D. is a flatbedder there, also.

If you choose to seek employ 'elsewhere,' this is your 'Go To!!' Apply For Paid CDL Training

Again, Welcome to TT and thanks for introducing yourself! The 'veterans' will be along shortly, to answer your Q's more specifically. I'm just a 20 year trucker's wife wannabe, and the site 'cheerleader,' at the moment, LoL!!

~ Anne ~

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Hey, Anne. Thanks for the encouragement! I'll definitely be studying for the pre trip inspection during the coming months. I do know my way around the mechanics of a car, the brakes and suspension components are wildly different so I'll need to focus on those. The links you provided will be super helpful!

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Glad to help~!!

Yep, I 'told ya' ... an EXPERIENCED DRIVER would show up with the specifics and semantics. Banks NAILED IT for ya!

Keep us in the loop, and I'll keep you apprised of any updates here, haha!

Seriously, Daniel B.'s pretrip is par for being (well, SHOULD BE!) marketed for money. It's the best and free; right here. MANY other entities have (and do!) ask/asked for permission to use his works of wisdom.

Yep, a mechanical aptitude will definitely help~!!!

Wishing you well,

~ Anne ~

I just read through Daniel B's pre-trip-inspection write up. Very helpful and kinda fun learning all the little tidbits of a tractors mechanical components. Like I said before, completely different from the disc brake and steering rack set up of a typical car. Lots of new information to absorb. Link has been bookmarked for further review. :)

One thing I noticed, he mentions that pulling the dipstick from the crankcase is not necessary. I imagine the examiner just wants us to confirm that we know we need to pull the dipstick in real world PTIs.

Thanks again! :)

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A few questions from a prospective trucker (plus a little intro)

Welcome Gabriel. I'll try to answer some of your questions and I'm sure more folks from prime will chime in later.

1) most companies are moving towards automatic transmissions, however an automatic restriction will create some limitations. For example, most LTL companies won't hire you with that restriction.

2) Stop reading internet stories. No company worth a piece of paper will force you to drive if you can't. No mechanics will lie and say they fixed something. The liability is too great. Companies rotate trucks very often. Sometimes, they hold on to older trucks to use as spares, but they're road worthy.

3) service and the life of a tractor vary. You'll get filled in as time goes on. It's not something you should worry about right now. What you do when your truck is being worked on depends on what's being done to your truck. You may have to sit and wait for something like a tire. Major things may put you in a hotel and the time is yours to do as you please. You'll probably still get paid for it. Not as much as if your were driving, but it's something. Catastrophic failures are avoidable so they shouldn't happen. Do a solid pretrip and pay attention to your gauges.

4) that's called recapping hours. Packrat does that. He drives 7 days a week working 8-10 hours a day.

5) sure companies like team driving. The truck is always moving. They may offer bonuses and stuff like that, but it's not pushed. It's your choice and if it's not, you'll know before you go there.

As for the weed, I'd wait 6-9 months. The closer to 9 the better. Better to wait now than to be untouchable for life.

Thanks for answering my questions, Banks. I'm steadily employed so I'm in no hurry to jump in. In fact, if I wait till November to sign up, that puts me with a trainer during winter months. I'm comfortable driving a 4 wheeler in snow and ice, but an 18 wheeler is a completely different animal, and having a trainer by my side to correct my mistakes will only make me a better driver.

Also, thanks to this website I can throw away any preconceived notions I have regarding the industry. Obviously, the negative comments floating around are merely small fish in a vast ocean. I can overcome adversity, as the industry I work in is full of hiccups and sudden changes (chemical milling is not for the faint of heart). Thanks for the encouragement!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A few questions from a prospective trucker (plus a little intro)

Howdy, Gabriel F., and welcome to Trucking Truth~!!!

I remember your first post in the DOT U/A testing thread, and was gonna give you a 'Howdy' there, actually!

Well, congrats on planning your entrance into this profession, and it's awesome how well you HAVE thought it out and through!

I can only offer you what I know, and that's to start here:

Prime is a FINE company!!! If the above is too overwhelming, look at some of the Primates' diaries, on Trucking Truth. Simply select articles/threads by 'tag,' and .. well, you know the rest! Kearsey is a trainer for Prime, and moderator here. Turtle is a mod here also, and did flatbed for Prime for a few years before proceeding to WMPF (which is an honor, in and of itself.) There are many more; Rob D. is a flatbedder there, also.

If you choose to seek employ 'elsewhere,' this is your 'Go To!!' Apply For Paid CDL Training

Again, Welcome to TT and thanks for introducing yourself! The 'veterans' will be along shortly, to answer your Q's more specifically. I'm just a 20 year trucker's wife wannabe, and the site 'cheerleader,' at the moment, LoL!!

~ Anne ~

Hey, Anne. Thanks for the encouragement! I'll definitely be studying for the pre trip inspection during the coming months. I do know my way around the mechanics of a car, the brakes and suspension components are wildly different so I'll need to focus on those. The links you provided will be super helpful!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

A few questions from a prospective trucker (plus a little intro)

Hello, truckers. My name is Gabriel and I am a 33 year old Oregon resident that is finally ready to make the leap into the trucking industry. I currently work in manufacturing and have decided that the daily grind is not for me anymore. I, as I'm sure many of you, have wanted to be a trucker for as long as I can remember. I have been reading up on several companies but I am being lured by Prime Inc because of their extensive training and reasonable starting pay. However, because I only recently quit my habits with the wackey tobaccey as of 3 weeks ago (shame on me), I will be waiting until late summer to ensure I don't fail any potential hair follicle tests (I believe Prime only does urine but policies can chance at a moments notice). Outside of that, clean driving record and no criminal record, so no worries here. In the meantime, I have been and will continue to soak up as much information from this invaluable website as I can. I have been working on the High Road Training Program and read quite a few articles thus far. There is so much to gain from TT that I have already mentally prepared myself for the OTR lifestyle. Keep in mind, I am single and have no kids. I do have a dog and a couple snakes that will be looked after by my friends/roommates. No social life, no real hobbies other than hiking and driving (on and off road), and a desire to see the country behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler has made this life changing decision easy for me.

Anyway, enough about me, onto some questions I have about the industry (hell there may be articles on these that I missed).

1) Automatic transmissions in the trucking industry. I couldn't help but notice that Prime Inc. exclusively operates their fleet with automatic transmissions. That means, if I train with them I will be stuck with an auto-restricted license. Personally, while I have driven manual cars before (I owned a 5 speed Civic for a couple years), I'm not bothered by learning on an automatic semi. My concern is, are automatics becoming ubiquitous enough that finding employment a couple years down the road won't be an issue with an auto-restricted license? There is a regional/OTR flatbed company in my neck of the woods (Central Oregon Trucking Company) that I have my eyes on for future employment (specifically the regional campaign). Currently, they run Kenworth T680s with 10 speed manuals. They require 2 years OTR experience so maybe in the future they will upgrade to automatics, but I cannot depend on that. Any drivers here with an auto-restricted license? If so, how sparse are employment opportunities?

2) I've read some not so great stories on the internet about drivers having to fail a trucks inspection, yet the carriers (none specific) forcing them to carry on, or lying about mechanics giving the green light. Another draw to Prime is the fact they keep their trucks on the road for no more than 2 years, but I don't suspect all companies follow this policy. When a company forces a driver to operate a truck that is not road worthy, is the onus then on the driver to have DOT decommission the truck? Does that not put a strike against the driver, even though the driver pleaded to the company about the truck's defects? I sure hope I'm never in this situation, but this brings me to number...

3) What is the typical service life/mileage of a semi tractor? What are the typical service intervals for a tractor (I'm sure it varies based on make and model much like cars)? I know the driver is responsible for taking the tractor to a specialized mechanic to have typical service done (oil changes, tires, belts, etc.), but is that done during "on duty" time or the reset? Would I just wait around while the service is being done or would I be free to roam the area until the truck is done? In the event of a catastrophic failure (blown engine or transmission), would I be given a loaner truck to continue working? I'm sure my trainer would fill me in on this but I can never learn too much before even starting, right?

4) I have become familiar with the hours of service (11 driving/14 on duty for a 24 hour period, on top of 70 driving hours for every 8 days requires a 34 hour reset). Although, I keep reading about getting ours "back". Am I right in assuming that means if I drive less than 70 hours in those 8 days I get the remaining hours back during the 34 hour reset (ex. 65 hours driven gives me 5 hours back)? Again, I'm sure my trainer will happily show me the ropes.

5) This last one has only recently become a concern because of a YouTube video I watched and a TT thread I read but apparently team driving is being "pushed". I imagine that is company dependent but I have NO desire to be part of a team. I prefer solitude, while I can and will handle 3-4 months with a trainer, I believe I will be much more successful as a solo driver.

Anyway, that's all I have for now, I'm sure I'll have more in the coming months. Again, I thank everyone who has put this site together. The typical internet negativity has swayed me away from company sponsored training and I am glad I found truckertruth to shed some light on why they get bad press. I'm not afraid of working hard and trip planning sounds like it would be more fun than stressful (I like to look at road maps). I look forward to joining the high road with you folks in the near future. Until then, keep on trucking!

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

Joel as of now Prime and Wilson are both UA only for pre-employment, though my contract at Wilson does state hair follicle can be used at any time for random checks.

The industry is very rapidly moving in the direction of hair follicle as the primary method.

My suggestion is ALWAYS assume you will be tested via hair follicle, give yourself enough time to make sure you pass that, then double it.

If you fail a pre employment screening you’re basically toast. Give yourself six months. It’s the only way to be sure.

That's what I'm doing. I recently quit with aspirations to become a trucker, currently looking to join Prime. I figure by August/September I'll be in the clear for a follicle test. I know you said Prime only does urine but I don't want any surprises to blow my chance at finally getting into an industry I've wanted to do my whole life.

By the way this is my first post. Cheers and I hope to be in the A seat in the near future.

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