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    PA

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    Considering A Career

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    1 year ago

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Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Copart - A possible option for some . .

Actually, it is “The math”. If you bothered to actually read my op instead of scanning it looking for points to make infantile objections to you would have seen the part where I said very clearly that $100k working in your home yard is easily obtainable, and when deployed they pay rate is doubled - 2 X $100k = $200k. Only thing left on the table is your pointless comments. The hourly rate varies based on experience and location, my starting hourly rate was $26 I believe. This rate is how you are paid when doing pre/post trip, transport to/from deployment, and when assisting in the yard or other non-commission work. The bulk of the pay is commission per vehicle hauled, and is based on a zone system which is essentially a distance factor and is different for each yard and the insurance company/account the vehicle belongs too. When hired I was told to expect an average of $50 per car, and an anticipated 8 cars per day. In the yard I trained at and on the schedule we worked my trainer and I did 12 cars most days, his average was between $700-$800 a day. Add to that his hourly work. Honestly you don’t have to like the job, or the fact that I posted it here. I figure if one person who comes here decides to look into it and finds it to be the perfect job for them it was worth my time.

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Copart - A possible option for some . .

1 - Not a 1099 job. Full benefits including all the bells and whistles, as well as employee stock purchase plan. 2 - No, not recruiting. This is a company/job that I encountered through my job searches in the towing field - a place most readers here won’t be looking. I feel it’s a great opportunity for the right people, and given that many here are unsure where to go career-wise I felt sharing was appropriate. 3 - Really? I thought $23,000 in 30 days was pretty clear. If your calculator isn’t working, that’s on target for a $200,000 plus W2. Yes, lots of time away from home, but sleeping in hotels, day time hours, and weekends off. So there’s the math.

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Legalization of the "Devil's Weed"

I also think there is another factor in this issue that I’m shocked most people in this industry are unaware of. While testing and “acceptable” levels are well known, and often a legal “slam dunk” many states (maybe all) have provisions for conviction based entirely on the arresting officer’s testimony of his judgement of level of impairment. Why? Because there are numerous circumstances where testing cannot be performed, ranging from circumstances to equipment and others. So this means there are two things you need to know: First, just because you “passed” a blood alcohol test, or weren’t tested for something else in your system, doesn’t mean you will get a walk. And second, if you are arrested and NOT blood tested you need to do it yourself, as soon as you possibly can. Otherwise you have nothing to refute the officers testimony.

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Copart - A possible option for some . .

So first I want to apologize if this post runs long. And second I want to say that I have been here a while, and I understand this is a resource/recruitment tool for CDL-A drivers. I am offering this information because I think it might be a good alternative driving career for some of the folks who wander through here, and I personally always like options. Copart is the largest vehicle reseller/liquidation company in the U.S. They have hundreds of yards here and in Canada, as well as operations overseas. They primarily auction insurance vehicles, but will also handle donated vehicles, direct buys, and non-vehicle insurance loss items. I was hired by them in January to run a 4 car rollback/carrier. This is a class B CDL truck, their newer trucks are twin screw Kenworths. They also run 2 car rollbacks (under CDL) and hotshots - heavy pickups with 4 and 5 car trailers, a CDL-A rig. They train, and will even help you get a CDL in some cases. The job consists of picking up vehicles from body shops, impounds, and private residences. The pay is both hourly and commission, and for the position I had would do $90-$100k a year, from your home yard. Home yard? Yep - in addition to working from your home yard, you are also expected to be available for “deployment”, or being sent wherever they need additional resources. They pay for travel time, room, rental car, and per dining for food. Oh - and double rate on commission . . During my training my trainer was deployed for 30 days (2 hours from home so he was home weekends) and he earned something just over $23,000. You do the math. I know it’s not for everyone, and many simply won’t have a Copart facility near enough, or one that hiring. But if you have any interest at all Google them and check out their website, especially the Careers pages and the Catastrophic Response stuff.

And if you post questions here I’ll be happy to share what I know.

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Legalization of the "Devil's Weed"

We’ve had this discussion where I work ad nauseum. Obviously those who use want to believe that legalization will change the landscape. The truth is, as far as work related issues, nothing will change. What you have to understand is that DOT testing and regulations are the MINIMUM hurdle. How many companies test above that level for pre-hire and post incident, by using hair follicle and other methods? Most? All? And why do they do that- because their insurance carriers require it. And do the insurance carriers care about “fair” testing for “level of impairment”? Not one damn bit. Because if you drive with any detectable level of a substance known to cause impairment, and cause or even get caught in an accident or serious incident, some attorney will grab hold of that and make someone - the insurance carrier - pay. So it’s simple really - if you chose to put yourself in the position of being a liability, you will be invited to work somewhere else. Assuming somewhere else will still hire you. And sure, someone could spend millions researching and validating “impairment level”, but whose paying for that? The insurance industry? Lol - no. Why would they? They already have a standard of performance - zero. So legal or not, there won’t be an “acceptable” level any time soon.

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

XPO - Not much current info . .

As the title says - I did a search and there isn't much recent feedback/information regarding XPO.

I've had my CDL for many years and did not drive CDL-A trucks since finishing school, although I have been driving B and light mediums for years. XPO is advertising for home daily positions in the local (Allentown) terminal with 5 or 7 week training for unlicensed/inexperienced drivers, which appeals to me. I spoke with a recruiter and they are instead going to offer me the opportunity to come in for a road test to evaluate my skills, and if acceptable will simply train me in Allentown for a few weeks.

They are offering either P&D or line-haul. I'm looking for any feedback about XPO in general, and maybe some opinions about choosing between the two job options if I sign on . . .

Thank for anything you care to offer

Gregg

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

XPO Logistics P&D LTL

I know its been a while, but I'm also in SE PA and considering XPO Logistics - I was wondering if you ever signed on with them?

Gregg

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Too old to get hired?

I don’t know if they fit your desired parameters for an employer, but have you looked at Prime? I’m 59, have had my CDL-A and all endorsements for 25 years but never drive professionally, have a current medical card, and recently started looking into the field again, much like you. Prime was very interested in hiring me for flatbed, even with my medical history (typical for an old guy), and my recruiter told me they hire lots of guys like me and have a program to help get us on the road quickly. Basically they run you through their normal training but skip the DOT testing, and if you re-acclimate quickly they move you along quickly. I applied to Prime through this website, but if you like I can give you the contact information for the recruiter I spoke to.

Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Rolling Road Blocks and Covert Highway Harassment

A cult that drives! I want to join! Especially if they’re in a conspiracy - how much fun would that be! 🤣😂

Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trucker Road Rage

It is incidents like this that create a public perception and environment that leads to more and more regulation, and more aggressive/mandatory sentences for violations. Were you afraid for your life? No doubt - I would have been. But how do you think the two four-wheelers felt? And how many of their friends and family got to hear the story? And it doesn’t matter if they recognized the true hazard, and proper response - they were put in danger by a commercial driver.

Now I was taught to “merge aggressively” or in other words make a space. If anyone here has ever merged onto I95 from South Street in Philadelphia you’ll understand why - short steep incline ramps with no opportunity to build merging speed, and fast moving high density traffic to merge into. You stop and in could be 30 minutes before you can get out. That being said I was also taught that I can’t see everything, especially around or through other vehicles. How often does someone in front of you brake for no apparent reason, only for you to discover there was another vehicle in front of them that you didn’t see, or some kind of hazard (around here it’s deer) that you also hadn’t seen?

The sign on the ramp clearly reads “YIELD” - we all know that, and in the end that is the governing law, regardless of best practices and professional courtesy. That drivers behavior was not only unprofessional and inappropriate in every way, it was hazardous and unnecessary. Me, I would have videod everything that happened after the merge incident and called the State Police from the rest stop.

Here’s the hard truth - nobody wants to throw another driver under the bus, but this industry needs to start self-policing incidents like this to get dangerous drivers off the road.

Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

PETA sticker

I live a stones throw from Hatfield PA, home to Hatfield Quality Meats, as well as other processing companies, both major and minor, throughout the area. Most of the livestock trailers are either OO or owned by a transport company (Hatfield is vertically integrated, the own their own transport company and most of their farms) and I can tell you that pride in equipment is paramount for most of these guys. I can also say that I’ve seen more than one livestock trailer with a People Eating Tasty Animals sticker on it, probably put there by the driver to irritate the “animal rights observers” working in the packing plants.

Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Copart??

Anybody here ever heard of, dealt with, or worked for a company called Copart? They’re a very large (multinational) insurance recovery vehicle liquidator. I’m starting with them on January 3rd in their transport division. It’s only a class B job, but does entail national deployment. Just curious if anyone has experience with or interest in them? If anyone does I’d be willing to post a thread about the job and what my experience is like. Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

States that don’t use snow plows

It is kind of a strange question, especially in the way it seems to have been asked. However it is actually a pretty valid one if you consider it this way - remember a few years back when Georgia caught some winter weather and pretty much just shut down? As an OTR driver I would definitely want to know ahead of time if a place I was headed was that completely unprepared for weather, so if I happen to be there when weather happens I know there is no help coming and my best play is to hunker down and wait it out.

Gregg

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone here, wether reader, poster, or moderator. Here’s hoping you and yours have a good holiday, and a happy and healthy new year. Most importantly, as a towing operator and firefighter, stay safe out there and make sure we all get to go home. As they used to say - May the road rise to meet your wheels, your shiny side always be up, and the road home short and clear. Gregg

Posted:  8 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking and Unionization...

Here’s my thoughts - Why is it the Robin Hood/Share the Wealth types never have what it takes to be successful? If you really believe that your ideas are “right” and best for everyone, why don’t you become successful and then practice what you’re preaching? Start a company and drive it to the levels of success it takes to be an overpaid CEO - I bet you can’t because you’re too busy expecting someone else to improve your lot in life. And I’ll back that bet up with another one - prove me wrong and become that successful, and I bet you forget about being Robin Hood and redistributing your wealth, and end up living the high life like every other successful CEO who busted his ass to get there.

Gregg

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Shifting

As a professional technician I’m going to go against the flow and put a cautionary note in here. Floating gears can be done artfully and trouble free, and I have done it myself many many times in many different vehicles. That being said you need to understand the dangers, both technical and professional. When you float a gear you are not interrupting the torque/power from the engine, you are simply managing it. In many ways this is very much like pulling the pin on a grenade and then carrying it around while holding the detonation clip in place - you can do it, but you sure as heck don’t want to slip up, even a little bit. When you float a gear you are balancing the input and output speeds to allow the transmission to shift, the problem arises not when you miss and grind a gear (which is bad, and damaging if done over and over) but when you do t get the gear fully engaged and re-apply torque to the trans. If you’re lucky it will pop back out of gear - if you’re not it will shear the gear(s) sending debris into the rest of the trans and most likely destroying it completely. Even better you could break a driveshaft or even damage the engine as well. And to top it all off, when you get back to the shop, any tech with any experience will know as soon as he opens the trash can that used to be your transmission up that you floated a gear and missed. Most large companies have rules prohibiting floating gears for this reason, and it is considered abusive driving. So you may also end up fired, and get handed a bill for the repairs. As I said up too, I’ve done it quite a bit, and never broken anything, as many drivers here will also say. But you need to be mindful of the dangers . . .

Gregg

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Photos, oddball things

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Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

"State" Speed Limit?

It’s my understanding that here in PA there are basically 2 speed limits - residential areas (as defined by the municipality) are 25 mph, every where else is 55 mph. “But wait! I see lots of other posted speed limits in PA!” you want to say! This is true - but those speed limits are requested by the municipality and then researched and discussed before being approved. So, as indicated above for NY, if a road in PA is unposted the speed limit is 55, unless it’s a residential neighborhood.

Gregg

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Do some truck drivers really only make $10/hr?

I hear this type of thing pretty often. The problem is people want to compare different jobs/careers in some standard way and assume that “hourly rate” is a fair comparison. It is not. There are also people (often those writing articles) who have an agenda and find that using artificial “hourly rates” somehow bolsters their viewpoint. The truth is many careers can’t be defined by the standard 9 to 5 get paid by the hour concept. I work as an automotive technician - working on the flat rate system, which is basically piecework. I have an hourly rate, but in truth it is almost meaningless because my ability to bill time is predicated on many variables, so my paycheck varies week to week. In addition some days I work 8 hours, sometimes I’ll stay late, and now and then I leave early or arrive late. So my “effective rate” is all over the place, but usually significantly more than my documented “hourly rate”. I also tow part time, again being paid based on what I bill. I’m on call overnight. But some nights I’m home at 5 for dinner, others I run til midnight (or later). How would you calculate an hourly rate for that - by the time I’m in the truck, or on duty, or just loaded . .? Truck driving as a career segment has so many variations in what you do and how you get paid it can be difficult to compare jobs. One thing for sure is you have to find the place that fits what you want to do as a driver, and what you need financially. You can make generalizations, but there are always exceptions, good and bad. Is OTR a good paycheck - yes. Is it a good hourly rate . . welllllll . . . probably not. But you don’t drive OTR to brag about your hourly rate, you drive OTR because you love the job, something an hourly rate can never quantify.

Gregg

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Mack MR688 or terrapro cabover?

Seen plenty of those (or similar models) as semi tractors, the Postal Service used them almost exclusively for years. However they are/were all day cabs. I’m no expert, but given that most of the engine and a good bit of the intake and exhaust hardware is behind the cab fitting a sleeper would be problematic at best, and a huge maintenance nightmare if you managed to get it mounted. I suspect the cab lacks the structure to support an add on sleeper box, so you would probably have to mount the sleeper separately, which leaves a seal type connection to the cab which are prone to leaks.

I’m sure it could be done, but in the long run would the trade-offs be worth the benefits?

Gregg

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