Profile For Mountain Matt

Mountain Matt's Info

  • Location:
    Wheeling, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 month, 1 week ago

Mountain Matt's Bio

I've had my Class B CDL for about 10 years now. I'm a librarian, driving a bookmobile and supervising 4 other bookmobile drivers and operations. As time goes on, I realize I enjoy the driving and learning about the diesel engine, but I'm less and less interested in supervising others. I'm taking my time, doing my research, and learning from all you good folks as I contemplate a change!

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Posted:  11 hours, 51 minutes ago

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Didn't work out, now what?

There is an app that a truck driver created that may help you lots especially if you’re a visual learner. It’s called My Trucking Skills it’s a a simulator game and you can also watch his videos on YouTube

It’s been very helpful to me. 🙂

Thanks for that tip, Jared. As someone who has about a year before I can make the jump into CDL school, it looks like this app and videos will help me get my mind around the differences in backing a tractor-trailer versus the 40' bus I drive now. At least I can do what I can do now, until I can get in the seat of an actual truck!

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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I went solo this week at Schneider .. 😅

Great to hear the update, Jared! I'm living a bit vicariously through you, lol. It's helpful to hear the changes/challenges you've had along the way, and how you've navigated them, as well as the long days. I do wonder about that feeling of heading out solo for the first time on your own... Thanks for posting!

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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What does a typical WEEKLY schedule look like for a new driver?

Thank you, John S., for posting this question, and to each of you for your detailed responses. As a prospective, this kind of detail is helpful for envisioning how things work and what daily life is like. I know that for every job, there is a big gap between what people assume and what the daily work life is like.

The HOS does seem one of the trickier aspects to get your mind around. But I suppose every job has its quirks. In my workplace, people are so happy when they make the jump from hourly to salary because they won't have to punch the clock anymore. But then I warn them that this just means they can be forced to work endless more hours for not a penny more pay. Pros and cons, like anything in life.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Any Hispanic/Latino OTR truck drivers out here?

I chalk it up to them being a**holes. Plain and simple. If I was a minority I might think the reason for their rude behavior towards me was based on my race. That would be totally understandable. When someone disrespects you, it's only natural that you want to find a reason for it.

Don't let the a**holes bring you down. You/we are better than them. They can't determine your success or take away your dignity.

I think RealDiehl is spot-on here. You may occasionally deal with some racist jerks... but that's true anywhere. Sometimes people are rude and you may never know the reason. It's natural to wonder why. But you always have a choice to respond with resilience and dignity, not be thrown off your commitment to your goals or your professionalism.

Of the crew of four I supervise, two are Hispanic and one is Assyrian. While I'll never know what it's like to be them, I know that being paranoid and crumpling doesn't help (one of them did that for a while). Instead, ignoring the jerks and staying on your game with professionalism and dignity is the way to go. And of course we have each other's backs, simply because we're focused on getting the job done and get to know each other as people. Those that you work with, who are the only ones who matter (your dispatchers, etc.), will know you as a person.

On side note, you'll find Latinos all over the U.S. as you travel. Hold your head high, not just for who you are, but especially for what you can do.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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CFI through Crowder College

Good luck with your training today! Wild that you couldn't get a rental car and needed to drive a UHaul instead! Getting some practice in on a truck. ;-)

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Got sick tonight

The only thing that probably made that *less* fun was being in someone else's truck. Sorry... glad you're feeling better.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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Wilson Logistics - Missoula MT

I'll probably lighten up more as I go...this is the way it works for me on my backpacking trips too :D

Nice to see a fellow backpacker on here! I do figure those backpacking skills come in a bit handy living out of a truck.

Interesting to read your story and your big career change! All the best to you in your training. good-luck.gif

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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Wilson Logistics journey, From Corrections Officer to truck driver.

Good luck to you both!

JT, keep updating this thread when you get the chance. I'm considering a career change from a government job as well. Wilson also interests me. I'd love to get sent to Montana, haha, but I'm closer to their Missouri facility.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Friday Short Haul - FMCSA's TeenZone, Safety blitz, and Knight-Swift pay increase

Thanks for posting this. As a newbie-prospective, I didn't even know that Knight and Swift had merged. It's good to hear about the pay increases... it's good for that company and its drivers and seems to bode well for the industry as a whole. It also mentions company trainers making $100K/year... seems like an interesting option to think about for down-the-line. I'll have to look in the forums for that topic!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Second attempt

Congrats, man! Glad to hear it! dancing-banana.gif

As a class-B holder, I'm living through all of you vicariously, lol!

Posted:  1 month ago

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A Few Questions about Day-to-Day Life

Just my 3cents;

Don (on here) and my other half, drive for an intrastate company. Local/regional, as you will. Assigned tractors are the norm...for quite a long duration of time...and when my guy has to take the 'spare,' he gets his regular tractor back in a small skoche. Then again, not much TO pack in a daycab; but the guys at his company are super awesome about their drivers' CB's and PPE's and any other peripherals, following.

Only thing he got 'missing' was a raincoat, probably by his OWN behest, haha!

~ Anne ~

Nice that that's respected even in a daycab tractor. It would be quite a change from driving the bookmobile, where we currently swap the seat between *5* of us drivers! Needless to say I can't keep any of my stuff there, and the seat and mirrors are never where I need them. Then again, we're just driving a few miles around town at a time, squeezing down narrow village streets!

Posted:  1 month ago

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A Few Questions about Day-to-Day Life

There are some companies that do that it’s usually in ltl jobs. It’s called slip seating.

Ah, yes, that's the term! Ok, good to know--thanks.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Second attempt

Good luck! You got this! good-luck.gif

Posted:  1 month ago

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A Few Questions about Day-to-Day Life

RealDiehl and G-Town,

Thanks--and nice! I'm not sure where I got the impression that as a company driver you get put into a different truck for each run, but it's nice to know that's not generally the deal. I'm sure it's nice to get settled in a bit and used to your particular truck and set-up.

And good to know about the options while driving down the road. I know the hours get loooong... but so do my Zoom meetings and spreadsheets currently. Anyway, even apart from career decisions, I always find these kind of actual work life details fascinating... what people's jobs are *actually* like.

Posted:  1 month ago

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A Few Questions about Day-to-Day Life

Hi Everyone,

Bear with me if my questions seem obvious, as I'm relatively new to all this and exploring a career change. I've been reading the blog, forum posts, listening to the podcast, etc., but just a few things about day-to-day life as an OTR trucker I'm curious about:

1) As a company driver, do you generally have a truck that's "your" truck, or after your home time, are you usually assigned a different truck? I'm just curious how settled in you can get to a particular truck as a company driver, or if you're typically loading and unloading all your stuff each time, getting used to a different truck each time, etc.

2) What specifically are you able to do as you drive down the road? I know there's strict rules about touching your cell phone and sometimes driver-facing cameras for safety-sake. So do/how do you listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.? Or are you simply at the mercy of local radio stations or satellite radio if you have/can afford it? Just curious how you fill those hours when you're not glancing at the GPS, checking in on the CB, etc.

Thanks! This obviously isn't what I'll be basing my decisions on, but I'm just curious to fill out my picture of what daily life on the road is really like. For instance, I currently work as a librarian, and a lot of people think I spend my days reading, which is pretty much the *last* thing I get to do, lol!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Journey with Wilson Logistics - Springfield, MO

Thanks for your diary, Eugene, and I hope your solo week is going well! As someone pondering his career options, I appreciate your writing and honesty. Even when you worry you're being "negative," you're not really being very negative at all, lol! And it's nice to see the support and advice from the experienced folks in this community. Specifically, I appreciate your detailed entries about your weeks on the road with your trainers, beyond just the time spent at the school, as I'm interested in what that stage is like too. Also, I'm nowhere near the fitness guru you are, but I am interested in eating healthy on the road, not the least because my gut doesn't handle fast food very well for very long.

Thanks again, and good luck!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Bookmobile Librarian Turned Trucker??

Welcome to the site and the journey into trucking. I’m way to new to add anything but to say.... you’ve come to the right place to get the right advice. Welcome !

Thanks, Jared! After navigating the trucking internet "wastelands" for a while, I'm glad to have found this site/community.

Congrats on completing your training and getting your own truck! I was reading your story.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Bookmobile Librarian Turned Trucker??

Anne,

A 'tomboy' and a 'nerd' is a pretty powerful combination, lol! Yup, some good income combined with frugality can go a long way. I'm a master budgeter and track my debt down to the penny, so my remaining option is to find a way to increase my income to buy my FREEDOM. I'm a wannabe mountain man stuck in the city because I can't replace my wages anywhere else, lol. And I tend to like to upend my life and reinvent myself every 10 years anyway.

I'm glad things have worked out ok for you and yours--and yes, gotta keep those kids happy! All the best to you too,

Matt

Posted:  1 month ago

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Bookmobile Librarian Turned Trucker??

Matt please do not look out there for this type of information. The internet does not provide factual, objective information on trucking companies. It will mislead and discourage you.

I urge you to be very careful where you do your research, and who you take advice from. Company websites are a great start... Trucking review sites are predominantly BS. I suggest diving into the blog section of Trucking Truth to get the skinny on every tricking topic imaginable.

And the term starter company? We try not to refer to any company offering training as a “starter”. We believe a good driver can be successful for any company represented in this link: Paid CDL Training Programs

I’ve been with Swift for 7 years running Northeast Walmart Dedicated. No intentions of changing employers; I get consistently great mileage, treated professionally and excellent compensation. There are many of us on this website who have stayed with our so-called “starter company” well beyond year 1.

Good luck.

G-Town,

Yes, I spent some time stumbling through the wasteland of the trucking internet and YouTube before I found Trucking Truth and burned through all of Brett's "Road Home" podcast episodes in about 3 days. I appreciate the advice from you and others about not viewing companies as "starter companies" but instead putting in your time, building a reputation and showing your work ethic. Brett's points about the major carriers being valid options by virtue of their success carried a lot of water with me too.

That link to the reviews/summaries of Paid CDL Training Programs is pure gold--thanks! That's definitely the route I would go (already paying off other student loans, lol). So, I read about needing to get the CLP before starting CDL school... I suppose I would still need to do that for the Class A, even though I already hold my Class B? I already have my air brake endorsement... I haven't taken the combination test though.

Anyway, good to hear of your good experience with Swift. I appreciate hearing the challenges of the job and the success stories from the folks in this community/forum.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Website Problem

I kind of come and go from the website and the forum as I'm working on other things, but it does seem to log me off every 30-45 minutes as well too.

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