Profile For MrZ

MrZ's Info

  • Location:
    Miami, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 months ago

MrZ's Bio

I’m a former US Army intelligence analyst, former teacher and corporate hamster. I hold a BA in Public Administration and a Masters degree in Technical Writing. However, I often dreamed about traversing the country behind the seat of an 18-wheeler. At 47, I’m turning that dream into reality.

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Posted:  5 months ago

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End of CFI Training

You are better than you realize. All will work out. GOAL and never be afraid to GOAL. When I first started I got off my trainer's truck and forgot most of my backing. I still managed to figure it out, you will too. Relax. Where are you upgrading.

Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement. And yes, I will definitively take heed to all your guidance and suggestions. Thank you for the support. Big Scott, my trainer thinks I’ll upgrade in Joplin. However, with the upcoming Independence Day holiday upon us he is not sure where. Although, he says that I’ll be ready to upgrade next week. I’ll be biting off what little I have of my so called nails until then.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

End of CFI Training

I’m on my last five days out with my trainer, and if all goes well, I will be upgrading July 6th. The journey has been challenging and exciting at the same time. I’m nervous and looking forward to driving my own truck. My only apprehension is my backing. I still struggle with backing and is turning me into a nervous wreck. My trainer at CFI has been great and patient with me, and he says that with more experience my backing will improve.

I want to thank the members of this website for their wealth of knowledge, which made my decision to join CFI and easy one. Any tips for backing? Again, thank you all!

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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So am I hired?

I sure as hell dont know if I am or not. Cr England is dumb. I am literally counting down the days until my contract is up.

I'm seriously thinking of just taking my CDL and running far far away. They say I'm hired but I'm not really? What kind of bull**** company is this? If they cant be straight up with me now how am I suppose to have any confidence in them? I dunno if I can do 9 months here.

Then again what if I leave now? Before my road training ends? I heard that I'm not liable for my contract if I leave now.. my buddy from class did that yesterday.

Let me give it you straight from a different perspective. Being a trainee and on probation happens in many, many other industries as well. I have been fortunate to have worked in education and law enforcement. And guess what? Both professions have a probationary period where you can be let go. Take law enforcement as an example: after 26 weeks of academy training , you are then paired up with a field training officer for several months, on a probationary period. How about education? Yup, you guess it. Many school districts will have you on a 12-month probation, and they can let you go if you are not cutting it. Why? Because you are a dumb rookie that is capable of causing mistakes. And believe me, you will make many mistakes along the way. And guess what? In education, law enforcement, and trucking mistakes can be deadly. Especially in law enforcement and trucking. So my advice is to grow a pair, learn and move on. It’s temporary. If you cannot hack three weeks because the trainer is meanie and hurts your feelings, well, then trucking is not for you.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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An so it begins: Hackers get access to Navistar’s IT systems.

Https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/us-truck-and-military-vehicle-maker-navistar-discloses-data-breach/

https://cdllife.com/2021/navistars-it-systems-struck-by-cyberattack/

Posted:  6 months ago

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A couple of questions from a newbie

Hey Scott,

Does CFI hire drivers right out of school, and if so do you know if they have a list of approved schools they hire from?

Call CFI and speak with a recruiter, they will be very happy to help you. I obtained my CDL in 2018, however, due to unforeseen family events I was not able to drive, and I had to put my career (dreams) of being a professional driver on hold. Fast forward to 2021, and I’ve decided that this is the perfect time to go back and chase that dream. I reached out to CFI and the recruiter was straight forward with me and said I needed a refresher course, which I agreed to as well. CFI sent me to Ohio for a 16 day refresher course at Trainco, and will be heading out to Joplin June 6th. So, yes they do hire newbies. Again, reach out to CFI and speak with a recruiter and see what happens. I wish you much luck and success.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Day 12 End of school....

When I arrived in Perrysburg, OH on May 9th, I didn't know what to expect. I was nervous, excited, hesitant, optimistic, and concerned. Wide range of emotions to say the least. I've never done anything quite like this before. Going out of state, away from friends, family, and my comfort zone. Taking a chance on finding a new career, a new beginning, a chance to find happiness, and let's face it, more money.

I found the last 16 days to be a roller coaster of emotions and success. Learning to drive a truck was actually the easy part. Learning how to control the truck, especially in reverse, well...that's another. All I've learned, all I've seen, heard, and experienced is only the tip of the iceberg. Knowing the learning will not stop or at the very least, slow down for many months to come is both exciting and motivating. It's cool learning a new skill. Knowing that you have a skill set that not everyone does/has. Driving an 80,000 lb truck is nothing to take lightly. My life and those of the ones around me are literally in my hands. I know that I can't take a day off mentally ever again. I must be alert, ready, focused, and engaged at all times when I'm moving down the highway.

I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to go to CFI. The few people I've been in touch with so far are genuinely so kind and welcoming. CFI is taking a chance on me and that is also something I don't take lightly. I look very forward to working hard, and keeping their customers, and property in the best of care!!

Tomorrow is the biggest day in my life that I've had in about 21 years. (when my daughter was born) I'm not going to lie and say that my nerves are settled or that I'm cool, calm, and collected. LOL Do I feel ready? 100% YES!! Do I know what I have to do tomorrow? 100% YES!! All I have to do is execute what I know to do. Seems so simple on my screen, yet...so complex at the same time. I know I have to get out of my own head. I know I have to have the confidence to succeed. I also know that I've done everything I'm going to be asked to do tomorrow, at least 100 times now. So I have to just do it. Plain and simple!!

If you are reading this tonight, I appreciate the prayers. If you are reading this on some other day down the road, I'll still take a prayer HAHA

I will keep posting updates as I move from school to orientation at CFI as well as my finisher/training time with a driver mentor. After all...this isn't the end but rather the beginning of all I have to learn.

Thank you to those that have contributed to these posts. For those who have encouraged me, taking the time to help me. Sincerely, THANK YOU!!! Please do not think I take that for granted. It means the world to me!

Have a wonderful night, stay safe, and here's to a future CDL holder in roughly 16 hours from now!!

It was nice to have finally met you in person. I’m rooting for you, and will definitely say a prayer for you. You got this, you KNOW this. Time to execute.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Looking for a place to start.

CFI pays for everything, transportation, food, and hotel. FREE. Just saying. (What good am I if I don't toot the family's horn.)

Good luck. Oh and the only successful number in their training that counts is you. You will be a 100% success. There goes the 70% BS.

Have fun. We are here to help.

This is 100% accurate. I had my CDL class A in 2018, however, due to family emergency I did not end up driving and put everything on hold. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and putting all my ducks in row, I decided to try one more time to follow my dream. This site, along with BigScott’s review of CFI, and watching Riding with Dave on YouTube, made the decision to Jon CFI and easy one. I contacted CFI explained my situation and voila, they invited me to join their company. With one caveat, that I do a refresher CDL training program again. I agreed, and I’m now in Trainco (Ohio) going through a refresher course. CFI is paying for the course, hotel, and food. Then I’m off to Joplin for CFI orientation and training.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Looking for a place to start.

Thanks Big Scott and Anne A. Yes, I have read through some of those resources, and I expect to continue using them. They are great help to me.

Update: This morning, I finished the drug test and medical exam for Roehl, one day early. The clinic is walk-in only, so they did not have a problem with me coming in a day early. While I was in the clinic, Schneider called and left a voice message, and they sent me several emails. Now, I believe that they are putting forward a genuine job offer. They want me to start Monday, May 24th, and they are ready to schedule a flight for me. The Schneider position is a dedicated route, paying $0.40 per mile after the CDL training. I have not returned the phone call, yet.

The position at Roehl would be OTR dry-goods and primarily east of the Rockies, paying $0.385 per mile after CDL training. The conditional offer from Roehl does not sound as genuine as the one from Schneider, but because Roehl paid for the drug testing and medical exam, I believe that something more solid is coming from Roehl. The problem, however, is that I cannot keep Schneider on the hook much longer.

While I was waiting for my medical exam, I had the good fortune of talking with a veteran trucker, there. He explained that anything less than $0.65 per mile would be an outrageously low wage rate. But as I told him, none of the company-paid CDL training programs that I researched was paying more than $0.51 (that was Prime, Inc.). The trucker further explained that a dedicated route, in effect, limits the number of miles that a driver can put in during the week. That's an important consideration, for me, because the starting pay at Schneider and Roehl is relatively low.

Well, I will have to make a decision, soon. I am still inclined to go with Roehl.

As a rookie driver, you will be hard pressed to have any company pay for your CDL training and start you off at .65 cpm. Can it be done? Probably, which companies? Well, that is the $64K question. Your rookie year is your training year, you are learning the ins and outs of trucking, you are getting to know your truck, and most importantly, yourself. Do not focus on the money the first year, focus on safety and on getting trained properly. The rest will take care of itself.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Anybody join the army and got experience as a Truck Driver in the army

Hello there, i was wondering any truck drivers here used to be in the army and got experience their as a heavy vehicle operator?? in my case im in canada and gunna try to apply in the canadian army but im looking only as a heavy vehicle operator, any tips will be appreciated..

Wait! Your dad would not allow you to go to OTR, but will allow you to join the military, with the possibility of foreign deployment? I’m sorry about what I’m going to say please don’t take it the wrong way. Your first step should be talking to your dad and resolve your issues with him. You are a grown man in his mid-twenties, at some points your parents have to let you go. You have to decide your future, of course parents can and do provide guidance, however, they should not be able to hold your hand for you. You are grown man, so put on your big boys pants and start acting like one. No more excuses, no more blaming game. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to work for your future. As we say here in Miami, grow some cojones and get to work.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Three top carriers sign up for 6,775 TuSimple self-driving trucks

I love how hard they're selling this concept. Not a day goes by without multiple technology failures involving the most basic of things; my headphones won't connect, my Bluetooth won't connect, calls get dropped inexplicably, software crashes, etc.

Yesterday alone I had all of those things happen to me, and I'm a tech guy using the latest and greatest of everything, almost all of which is software and hardware made by Apple. So if Apple can't get their hardware to connect reliably to other devices using their own software, nor can they keep their software running reliably without crashing, how in the world do they propose self-driving trucks will work without glitches?

With the recent pipeline attack, imagine how much fun a cyber attack would be for the bad guys on self-driving trucks!

I don't think it's lost on anyone here what would happen if the computer system lost control of the truck for even a few seconds.

For years I've stood my ground and said we're nowhere near self-driving trucks having a real impact on the industry. Many years have gone by and I see no evidence that we're even an inch closer.

Agree 110%, not to mention an entire industry built around trucking. What will happen to the truck stops when there is no need for them? The employees that work there? There are millions of jobs that are associated with these industry that could be at risk. Not counting the communities built around the trucking industry. Will politicians let their constituents be out of work? I don’t care what party, it affects all. Autonomous trucks don’t vote, people do. In a previous statement I said 20 years, however, reading your statement and re-thinking the developments, I think we are way off from a fully self-driving environment, and nowhere near it.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Three top carriers sign up for 6,775 TuSimple self-driving trucks

It’s very interesting development. I think we are 20 years away from a fully viable self-driving truck. However, the technology is yet to be proven. How will they deal with tire blowouts? Bad weather where you could barely see the line markings on the road? How will they get fuel? How will the technology deal with accidents? Constant work construction with constant shifts in road pattern? Impatient four-wheelers on their cellphones? And most importantly, hackers? Look what is going on with the Colonial Pipeline. Can you imagine a hacker group having access to all of these trucks? They will wreck havoc, and create mass hysteria in the public. A hacker will turn an autonomous truck into an 80K pound weapon. Heck trains have better infrastructure to be fully autonomous and yet we don’t have self-driving trains.

The way I see it, is perhaps, something similar to current airplanes. My cousin works as a commercial pilot, and he was telling that basically the plane flights itself. The pilots are there to monitor the progress and they have hands-on input during takeoffs and landings, the rest of the flight the autopilot takes over. Therefore, I see autonomous trucks that will still need a driver behind the wheel monitoring that everything goes smoothly. Therefore, we will need a new breed of drivers, drivers that are more technology driven and savvy.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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CFI or Heyl or Paper Transport as my first job...

CFI has a yard in Orlando if that's not to far for you. We haul dry van and now have a refer division called CFI Temperature Controlled.

If you change your mind and CFI is currently hiring from your area, come get paid to see the country.

Whatever way you go, be safe and successful.

CFI also hires out of South Florida. I’m in Miami and was invited by CFI to go to orientation and student training. So, for anyone in South Florida, talk to the recruiters, sometimes you’ll be surprised. I know I was. CFI was my first choice, and was pleasantly surprised when my recruiter told me that they indeed hire out of Miami (S. FL area). My neighbor owns a secured (gated entrance w/security guard) truck parking lot and he will allow me to park the truck and trailer there during my home time. We’ve negotiated a fair fee, and I communicated this to my recruiter at CFI and was told it would be no problem.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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TSA HAZMAT Clearance Letter

In Florida you take the hazmat test and then do the TSA background check. As a matter of fact, the fingerprints are taken at the DMV office.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Awesome report Nathan. You are already ahead of the game by having the right attitude. Much kudos to you. Good luck driver!

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Hi Nathan, and congrats on your journey. I too signed up with CFI and will be heading out to Trainco May 16. Since I already have my CDL—I got mine in 2018 but never drove— CFI recommended that I do some refresher training. Thus, that is what I will be doing at Trainco for two weeks. I then head out to Joplin for orientation shortly thereafter. I’m from Miami, FL so I will be flying in from Miami to Toledo, OH on May 16. CFI will reimburse me for what it would have cost them to rent me a car from Florida to Ohio. My airline ticket was $130 bucks, the rental car, long with gas would have come out to $200, so it was cheaper to fly than drive. A win-win, I get to fly there and CFI saves money. See you in training, and good luck!

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Swift vs CFI?!!

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Edit: (I heard prime is good as-well but I’m in Florida).

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Many companies hire north of I-4 - but EVEN MORE hire north of I-10.

I'm stuck in Fort Lauderdale - where pretty much NO ONE HIRES.

Rick

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I’m in Miami and was hired by CFI. I received my CDL in 2018, but did not drive. CFI is sending me to Trainco in Ohio for a 2 week refresher course, and then onto Joplin for orientation and training. Schneider also hires drivers out of South Florida.

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Great news. Welcome to the family. When will you get to Joplin?

I expect to be in Joplin to pick up a student later today or tomorrow.

You are jumping in at a time of great changes and growth for CFI. Best of luck.

Thank you Big Scott, I will be in Ohio until June 4th, I will then travel to Joplin and start orientation June 7th. As a matter of fact, I have been a long-standing lurker here on Trucker Truth, and I reading through your experience with CFI and doing research made the decision to join CFI that much easier. I’m 47 and a career changer. My son is leaving off to college and I’m pursuing my dream to drive across the country. I’m going to orientation with an open mind and with eagerness to learn as much as I can in order to be successful in this industry. This forum has been truly a magnificent research tool. I’ve read many many postings about CFI, and trucking in general. I can’t wait to get started and embark on my new journey.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Swift vs CFI?!!

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Edit: (I heard prime is good as-well but I’m in Florida).

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Many companies hire north of I-4 - but EVEN MORE hire north of I-10.

I'm stuck in Fort Lauderdale - where pretty much NO ONE HIRES.

Rick

I’m in Miami and was hired by CFI. I received my CDL in 2018, but did not drive. CFI is sending me to Trainco in Ohio for a 2 week refresher course, and then onto Joplin for orientation and training. Schneider also hires drivers out of South Florida.

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