Profile For Wile E.

Wile E.'s Info

  • Location:
    New Bern, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:
    Wile E. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 10 months ago

Wile E.'s Bio

Greetings! I'm John and I'm an old fart (sounds like I'm introducing myself at some sort of AA meeting), a grandfather of 6, still working in the plastics industry (vacuum forming) as a mold builder/CNC programmer.

I drove a truck for 5 years, back in 1978 - 1983, for a local corrugated container manufacturer. Day runs only, dispatching from 1:30 AM to 6:00 AM Mon - Fri. Home every night and weekends.

I wanted to go over the road for the better money, but with 2 little kids at the time it just didn't fit. So, I went in a different direction. Tried sales, ended up swinging a hammer building houses. Went from there into the plastics industry. I knew the manager of the company and he thought my woodworking skills were a good fit for a tool (mold) builder. Been there 30+ years.

But I never got the road out of my system. Thinking about giving it another go.

Update: I completed CDL school in July 2022, and have my CDL. I accepted a regional job with Epes Transport, which would have gotten me home most weekends. However, my current employer, under new ownership and all new upper management, took a look at my situation and made me an offer to stay. Had it been the old ownership, I would have kept walking, but the new owners are finally taking a hard look at compensation across the entire company. Financially, it was the right choice for me to stay where I was. Mentally, we'll see. I may still end up driving at some point. I hope my prior driving experience years ago will allow me to hang around.

Since there's no private messaging here, I can be reached at jbwillard56@gmail.com. Or, the "My Social Page" link is my Facebook page

Wile E.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Greatest advancements in Trucking

My driving days were from 1978 to 1983. Max overall length was 55', trailers 45'. I would have to say communications have been a huge step forward. We had to ask to use a phone at receivers if there was an issue, or try to find a pay phone if on the road. I remember breaking down on I-26 between Columbia SC and my plant in Laurens SC, and flagging down a highway patrol officer on the CB. He gave me a ride back to the truck stop in Columbia, where I called the plant, and I hitched a ride back to the plant with another driver.

Does anyone do paper logs anymore? I still have my last log book from 1983.

Is driver comfort greatly improved over say 30-40 years ago? I know a few long-time truck drivers with bad backs who blame bad seats, etc. for their problems.

Driver comfort has come a LONG way. My first truck was a sidewinder Mack with a hydraulic shock under the seat, that didn't do much. That thing would almost shake fillings in your teeth loose! rofl-3.gif

The company upgraded to International short nose conventionals in 1980. Those things had air ride seats. Thought I had gone to heaven, almost! I could release the oscillator and just let the seat float. No more back slap! We didn't have sleepers, but those that did either drove a cab-over, or crawled through the space where the rear window used to be on a conventional, into a box with a bed behind the cab. I remember when the first "walk-in" sleepers came out.

We carried a cooler with ice if we wanted to keep a cold drink or sandwich meats on hand.

No such thing as GPS. You studied a map, talked to other drivers in your fleet, or used the CB.

Lots of other memories, but that's enough for now.

Posted:  10 months ago

View Topic:

Coffee making

Now, another question for anybody: What is the best ground coffee you have found and where do you get it?

Coffee is such an individual thing depending upon one's palate, but here goes...

If you settle on the Keurig, Newman's Own Special Blend is good: Newman's Own

If you go the press pot or pour over route, and have an address you can have coffee shipped to, there are many custom roasters all around the country.

I've tried Peet's (maybe start with their Major D i c kason Blend): (the site doesn't like the D**k part, apparently) Major ****ason's blend

Battdorf & Bronson, now called Dancing Goats, has several good selections: Dancing Goats

Another good roaster is Scott Brothers, a small roaster in a remote area of Washington: Scott Brothers

All let you choose your grind. Scott Brothers lets you choose the level of roast, or you can pick "best roast" and let them decide.

My wife tells me I'm a coffee snob...embarrassed.gif

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Trivia Game (just for fun)

Kiefer Sutherland, 24 and Designated Survivor

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Trivia Game (just for fun)

Harry Morgan, MASH and Dragnet

Angie Harmon, Law & Order and Rizzoli & Isles

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Was anybody nervous or afraid when they first started trucking?

It's been many years since I drove, but I still remember the first time I was on my own. I drove for a corrugated box manufacturer, and had been riding/driving with the senior driver for a little over 3 weeks. That first trip was a simply drive across our small town to a garment factory, and I had done well in my time with the senior driver.

Leaving our plant for the first time on my own, I came close to stopping, going back into the shipping office, and telling them I can't do this. But I kept going, head on a swivel, taking my time. I got to the customer, got unloaded, returned to the plant. The shipping supervisor kept me close for the first few weeks, but slowly worked me up to our longest day runs, which would take about 10 - 15 hours to round trip (rules have changed now, but back then you could drive 10, work up to 15). I gained confidence, at one point a little too much, until a near miss caused me to re-adjust my thinking back to the more cautious side of things. Point being, beware of getting too comfortable or over confident.

Use your nervousness/fear to help you develop an alert and cautious approach to all you do. You'll be fine!

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Seriously considering knee replacement surgery

Prior to my surgery, I met the Dr, who was going to work on me. So I told him, ya got a sharpee? He asked why? I said well, I want you to sign my right knee cap, so you don't forget and work on the wrong part of me ! I heard horros stories. He laughed and got a marker n signed my knee lol

That comment brought back a memory:

When our younger son was playing college baseball, he developed stress fractures in his right foot that required surgery. The surgeon came in to see him on the morning of surgery, and to clarify he asked which foot was the problem. Son told him the right foot, and the surgeon uncovered his left foot, pulled out a sharpy, and wrote "NO!" on his left foot.

BK, several of my friends have had knee replacement, and it went well for all of them. Key is doing the rehab.

One friend had both knees done 2 days apart, never leaving the hospital until after the second surgery. First knee was done, and he was given a day to get clear of the anesthesia. Then they did the second knee. They told him they would also work on range of motion on the first knee while he was asleep during second surgery, as they could move his knee beyond what he could stand had he been awake.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Pre-Trip Inspection Test...Any tips/Advice?

Our school training director did a YouTube video on the pre-trip. We were not required to do it in his exact order, but the video was a big help. I watched that thing every day. Also, one of my instructors showed me the order in which he did his in-cab portion, which made more sense to me and was easier to remember.

Also, we were allowed to use a cheat sheet during our on-field training. Some here have mentioned flash cards. I made an outline to use as a reminder (front and back of two pieces of paper), put it in a clear sleeve to keep the dirt/grime off of it, and carried it every pre-trip I did during training. Each time, I used the cheat sheet less and less, until I was getting through the pre-trip without help.

On exam day, I missed two things: I failed to call out check air pressure on the drive tires, and I missed a torsion bar on the trailer tandems.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Simulator

The CDL school I attended had a simulator. Overall, I think they're a plus. Ours was a large simulator, 3 screens surrounding the driver, rear view mirrors were reasonably realistic, driver's seat, pedals, shifter, etc...

As FR8M4N said, it's the scenarios that really help. Is that driver going to back out of their driveway in front of me? Is that kid going to chase his football into the street? What impact is this rain or snow going to have on me?

As for how it felt to simply drive vs the real truck, I thought it was a bit lacking, but it's still valuable, especially if you're learning a manual transmission.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Diesel Supply Shortage?

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I think Biden forgets that on day one he stopped new federal leasing and banned fracking.

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I think they would love for people to forget that and instead focus on Russia, Russia, Russia causing all this.

I've said this many times - we are living through the deliberate destruction of our economy, our laws, and our culture. Ultimate control for those who seek it will come in the form of a digital central currency and the elimination of physical currency. Once our currency is digital, the government will then have complete control over every facet of our lives.

To make this happen, they must first destroy the dollar completely, take us into a deep depression, then "build back better for our own good."

Harrison Bergeron?

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

New Guy Taking A Leap

Marc L,

I have spoken with one company that has a requirement along the lines of what you mentioned. I'll share the company name, and by doing so, understand that it is NOT meant negatively. In other words, I think they're a solid company, and they have a way of finding/hiring drivers that works for them. My info is not hearsay. I spoke with their recruiters multiple times, and they're very responsive on Messenger as well.

KLLM. They have their own school in three states, requiring that you have your permit, and they'll help you get your CDL. Those schools can only train students from those states, and a few other adjoining states. Their schools, as with many companies that offer company training, requires a year commitment.

If you don't live in one of their approved states (I don't), you must get your CDL through other means. For a new driver, that means a private school. After you get your CDL, they will then require you to go through their refresher course, which is only 8 or 9 days, and yes, you'll sign a contract for the cost of that refresher course, but it's only for 6 months, not a year or more.

At the time I was looking, their director of recruiting called me one day and said he was aware I was talking with their recruiters and wanted to update me on a change in their situation. He very politely went on to tell me they were temporarily hiring inexperienced drivers from their schools only. The reason was that they were struggling to have enough trainers to cover their own school graduates, and simply didn't have enough to also work with refresher course students. He said they only required 3 months experience to get you into your own truck, suggested I give them a call when I had earned that experience, and wished me well.

I've not spoken with them since July of this year, so I'm not aware if their situation has changed.

Anne is also correct about the new ELDT mandates. There is a list of schools that are in compliance with the mandate, and if the school isn't on that list, very likely a trucking company will not be interested in anyone coming from such a non-approved program.

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