Profile For Just 'G'

Just 'G''s Info

  • Location:
    Peoria, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    11 months, 2 weeks ago

Just 'G''s Bio

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Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 3 OTR training:

This week was my audition for going solo. I got to make all the decisions about shceduling and routing. The only thing the trainer really did was a couple of backs in some really tricky lots.

We started by heading from Indy down to Louisville. Once that was done it was back to Washington, IN to pick up the next load which went to NJ at 1100 Wed. I opted for I-80 across PA and stopping about 3 hours out Tuesday night to dodge the weather. Wed started at 0500 and we got to the consignee about 0830 which they were fine with. So, we were off to the next pickup about 0930.

That was one of the nasty lots and they had extra shipping containers scattered all over the place as well. That said I think we were back on the road at about 1100. I made it back across I-80 to Youngstown, OH before I was out of time. I don't remember if it was the 11 or the 14, but they were only about 10 minutes apart.

We were supposed to deliver in IA anytime Thursday or Friday, but the trainer was worried about making it back to Indy on schedule, so he got in touch with dispatch and got it switched to a drop off in Indy and then used his time to book it back to Indy that night. Unfortunately, that left us with basically nothing to do on Thursday. We just went across town to pick up one load and bring it back to the drop yard.

Friday was just a couple loads to Columbus and back. At the end of all that I had apparently done well enough to get upgraded. So today (Monday) they rented me a car to drive back up to Marinette and tomorrow I get to dot 'i's and cross 't's and get my own truck. Then I get to go drive on my own and start making some real money and finally get some time alone.

I would like to say at this point that my training timeline was much faster than Veriha usually does. I think they usually go 4-6 weeks after the CDL test to get people on their own truck. For anybody reading this you'll be given the time you need to learn what you're doing, but on the other hand, if you can demonstrate proficiency, you won't be held to an arbitrary timeline.

Looking forward to seeing everyone out on the road.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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A dream! The ideal trucking company!

I'm pretty sure my dream company is one where I'm the worst employee.

"90 days team before going solo"

That sounds hellish to me. I just finished 3 weeks with a trainer and am getting upgraded to solo next week. I don't know if I'm ready to run a truck on my own (I'll find out in a week), but I'm definitely ready for some "me" time.

Isn't the general line here "If you're a top notch driver, then any company is your dream company." So, my question isn't "What's a dream company?" it's "How can I be a dream driver?"

Posted:  8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 2 of OTR training:

This week got crazy schedulewise which is a large part of why the updated is so late.

Our first stop was just across town at 1500, except when we showed up about 1430, we found out they were expecting us at 1300. Apparently, there was some miscommunication.

Our next load was going to Wisconsin, so we tried to get as far as we could, but stopped in northern Indiana around midnight. The next day I got to drive through Chicago, while a snowstorm started coming through. Fortunately, it didn't start to stick until we were almost at our next stop. The trainer took over at that point and got us dropped and back south of Chicago on the next load.

That one took us all the way to Kentucky and I got to do most of the work for dropping and hooking the empty. Just as we were leaving I got an object lesson in why it's important to make sure the trailer tandems are correctly locked in. That was certainly enough of a "Bang" to remember.

The next load was more schedule hijinks. We got it in southern Indiana a little before noon Wed, but it didn't deliver to Columbus, OH until 1700 Thurs. We stopped for the night just outside Columbus about 2100, then drove to the consignee about 0900 Thurs. Then we spent the entire day waiting to find out that there was no way to get the delivery moved up. At least I got to get completely caught up on Veriha's online training.

So, once we finally got out of there about 1900 we got to race up to Youngstown for our next load. Then over to Gary to swap it for another and back to Indy by 1400 Friday. Let's just say we went kinda charcoal-gray on the logging for that stretch.

I'm guessing most of the old hands around here are thinking "Yeah, that's what a week in trucking looks like." I'm still getting used to it though.

On a good note, my trainer has been impressed enough by what I've done over the last 2 weeks that next week I'm going to basically run the truck myself, and if that goes well I'll upgrade to solo at the end.

Posted:  8 months, 4 weeks ago

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Questions about the CDL permit test and endorsements

I know Illinois requires the background check before they let you test for the endorsement, but I'm not sure if that's based on anything or just Illinois being their usual obnoxious bureaucratic selves.

Hello all. Jay here with another possibly stupid question:

I’m getting ready to take my cdl permit (written) test and was planning on getting all the endorsements that are in the high road training program (passengers, D&T, Hazmat). Does anyone know if you can take the written hazmat (endorsement) test before doing the background check and fingerprinting process? Does one have to be done before the other? I’ve looked up guides on the internet and no one really mentions a specific order, or anything about the permit test in particular. Most are just mentioning how to get a hazmat cert after one already has a cdl. I’m based in Kentucky if that makes any difference.

Posted:  9 months ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

End of Week 1 OTR training:

Sorry for the delay, things got a little hectic.

Apparently I left off in Jersey. Our appointment was for 0700, but they came out and banged on the door at 0500. Good thing we made it plenty early. My trainer pulled us around into the dock to unload, but afterwords it was all me.

So about 0600 I started driving us out of Jersey to our next load in PA. We were early enough that the traffic wasn't too bad, but we started catching some patchy fog as we crossed into PA. It never got very thick, but it was enough to keep you on your toes. It was about 2-3 hours to the pick up which was a drop and hook. The trainer talked me through the whole process and then we were off for Illinois. I-80 across PA was a ride. There were a few snow flurries that were mostly just pretty to look at, but the wind through some of the valleys got lively. I was glad we had a pretty full load. Once we got past Youngstown, the weather cleared up and the road flattened out and it got pretty easy. I got us past Columbus with about 30 min left on my 11, so we found a place to swap out and he took us a little farther.

The next day was Thursday. I got to finish the delivery into Illinois, which was supposed to be a drop and hook, but they didn't have any empties, so we had to do a live unload. The plan after that was to pick up a load on the way to Chicago and then swap it at the drop yard for another going back to Indy. Unfortunately, the delays from the live unload, made it really iffy to get the pickup on time, so we called that in. Apparently nobody wanted to chance it just before Christmas, and the load got dropped. So we just dead headed all the way to Chicago, swapped the empty for the Indy load and made it back to the Indy drop yard about 2100. With Christmas coming up that was it for the week. I slept in the truck overnight and drove my car back to Peoria in the morning.

Our current load delivers 1500 Monday in Indy, so I'm planning to get back around noon. Presumably someone will figure out our next load sometime Monday.

Merry Christmas, and we'll see what next week's like.

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

OTR training, Week 1 end of Tues

Apparently my trainer likes to run hard. We started by finishing up his last run on the Indy to Columbus leg. I couldn't be added to the ELD until that was done so I just rode along on that leg. The receiver held us up for about an hour, but we were doing OK on time.

Our next load was supposed to be a recovery from a truck stop back in Indy. So we got back on I-70, but westbound. I got in a couple hours of driving, but with an empty trailer. We got into the truckstop just before 1800 and circled around looking for the trailer we were supposed to get. It's not there. There's nothing that says "Veriha" but us. So the trainer calls dispatch and finds out that the "recovery" we're supposed to get is still 2 hours out, but it's OK because the other driver has plenty of hours. Well, we don't. We started our clocks ~0830 and another 2 hours is going to make us really tight.

So, the other driver finally shows up and by now the parking lot has filled up and he takes another 30 min finding somewhere to stop so we can swap trailers, and then it turns out he didn't even scale the load. Luckily, there were scales at the truck stop and the load was legal. However, all the faffing around has put a serious kink in our ability to get the load to NJ by 0700 Wed.

So, the trainer drove for about an hour and then we shut down at 2100 for a 0700 start time to hopefully get to the consignee by 2100, so we could take 10 in their lot and have full clocks after making the delivery. Apparently we're supposed to avoid toll roads, but I-76 across PA is about the only way to make our delivery on time without throwing me in the deep end somewhere, so we got permission to use it. It was still going to be tight. So, bright and early at 0700 we turnd and burned. Because of the schedule the trainer started us off. We were hoping to get me some drive time, but it didn't quite work out. We only stopped for fuel and a 30, and between the mountains in western PA and the nightmare that is Jersey at rush hour in the dark it didn't quite work out. But we did catch up and make it to the delivery by 1900, so we're enjoying a nice 10+ until the morning.

After this we've already got a backhaul from PA to IL lined up after we finish this with drop & hooks at both ends. Then it should be back to Indy for Christmas. Our current plan is to have me drive as much as possible tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll finally get to haul a loaded trailer around.

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Does one need a résumé

You WILL (DOT requirement) eventually need to give 10 years of employment history. So, whether or not you keep a formal resume or just a list, you'll want to keep records of that.

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Wilson Logistics Training: Start Date: 12/13/21. A Librarian Learns Trucking!

Thanks, Vicki!

Going well so far. We are taking a load of frozen ravioli from Springfield to Bethlehem, PA. A fitting town for near Christmas!

I drove for several hours today and did pretty well. My trainer is experienced, fair, and a good teacher. It is tough living in close quarters and spending the whole day every day with a stranger, but this learning process is just what I need.

Have a belated wave from me. I'm pretty sure we passed on I-70 at some point. I spent my day going from Indy to Columbus, then back to Indy to relay a load from another driver (I'll save that tale for my own thread) and are now booking it to NJ for a 0700 Wed delivery.

I've got to say the Indy to Columbus stretch of I-70 is fairly nice, but I'm looking forward to some other roads.

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Addendum to the CDL testing:

The other 2 guys who made it through the course both passed too. I'm not entirely sure how Veriha's rookie co-drive phase will go with 3 of us and the next class a month behind due to Christmas, but I guess we'll worry about that when it happens.

Anyway, Merry Christmases all around at this point.

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 1 of OTR training

So I drove back to Peoria from Marinette on Friday. Got back a little before 4, ran around to check mail, and check in with a few people, went to see Spiderman (pretty good), and then hit the sack. Saturday I got up and hit the DMV early to officially upgrade to a full CDL (Illinois sucks again/still/more, take your pick), ran a few more errands and then came home to sort through the mail. A little after 12 I got a call from my training driver (I'll leave him anonymous for now) and we had a nice chat and started figuring out the best way to meet him in Indy before he leaves for Columbus.

Today, I'm doing laundry and last minute errands, still sorting and tidying the mail, and repacking for next week. I'm planning to head to Indy about 4 and then we'll head to Columbus in the morning.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Wilson Logistics Training: Start Date: 12/13/21. A Librarian Learns Trucking!

I feel a little bit like I'm in a tunnel of simply being on the pad, working on backing maneuvers, and learning pre-trip. I haven't really thought much about "trucking" in these last few days or the broader picture. Given the pace and intensity, I just feel very focused on what's in front of me (and a little out of touch with everything else).

As sombody who just got through this, I'm pretty sure that about where you're supposed to be. Pay attention to the instructors, follow the scripts they give you and just stay in the moment with it. They know what they're doing and they're trying to put you in the best position for success.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Best of luck to you tomorrow!

Thank you, I've been keeping track of your thread a little, but obviously had my own knitting to tend to, and didn't want to distract myself from that.

Good luck on your own progress and I'll be keeping a closer eye on it going forward.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 3, Day 4

Success! Passed the CDL exam. Just have to go back to Illinois and make it official. Veriha also gives a 2 cpm bonus for passing the test on the first try, so the good news will keep coming.

Thanks for all the support from everyone here. And thanks to everyone that's been a contributor, even if you didn't pay any attention to me. The wisdom and advice collected here has been (and I expect, will continue to be) invaluable.

I didn't have anything to do today until the test at 1300, so I loafed around and stayed away from anything truck or CDL related. Apparently that was the right choice. They cancelled the morning test because of the wind, but it died down enough in the afternoon to go ahead. They gave me a break on highway speed, but I think I still got up to 55-60 and it wasn't as bad as I had feared.

I feel a little sorry for the morning guy. I'm pretty sure they put him first because he was the most likely to get his head screwed on sideways waiting and now he has to stew for an extra day.

Heading back to Peoria tomorrow, and they'll get in touch on Monday about a trainer. And presumably then the real learning will commence.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Safe wind speed

Just a follow up for my question.

We had a little more discussion today about the wind conditions for the CDL test and I'm feeling better. Apparently, we're sticking to pretty wooded areas which will keep things manageable at ground level. I also don't test until 1300, so I'll probably try the highway in my car in the morning and see how it feels.

At any rate I'm done worrying until the time comes.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 3 Day 3

Last day before testing. They let us pretty much set the curriculum for today. We did some quick drives in the morning, just to stay on point with that. Then in the afternoon we went to the actual test range they use and practiced backing there.

That was actually pretty nice because it's nice paved lot, not the icy, slushy gravel we've been using. It's also got these nice lines painted all over it for parking spaces, which means you can tell exactly where the whole rig is at all times. I'm a little glad they don't have that on the practice range, just so you have to learn how to do everything right and can't cheat, but knowing it's going to be available on the test is nice.

Anyway, I'm feeling good at this point. I just had a nice dinner. Gonna get a good nights sleep, have a nice breakfast, screw around for a bit, and then take the test at 1300.

I'll report back afterwards.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 3 Day 2

More road practice in the morning and alley docks in the afternoon. I had 1 good one and 1 that fell out of the the ugly tree and hit every branch. I'm sure I'll get it eventually, but time is running out.

They gave out test times today. Mine is 1300 Thursday. So I guess I get one more day of practice.

Not really much more to say at this point.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Safe wind speed

double-quotes-start.png

Not to hijack this thread, but it seemed to appropriate to justify starting a new one.

I just got scheduled for my CDL exam on Thursday in Marinette, WI. The problem is the current NOAA forcast for Thursday calls for a west wind of 21 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Obviously, for a CDL exam we'll be hauling empties and pretty much the only 4 lane highway to use goes mostly north-south, so that will be a cross wind.

How worried should I be?

Thanks,

double-quotes-end.png

Have your instructors addressed this? Surely this can't be the first time they've tested in high winds. Perhaps they use a different test route?

It could actually benefit you. Wind of that strength would cause you to slow down giving you more time to react as long as you inform your examiner why you're doing what you're doing so they don't ding you for impeding traffic. If you do the road test make sure you're taking curves and turns nice and easy.

I brought it up as soon as they gave out the test schedule, and was told we were testing regardless. We've been given some unofficial hints that that is the preferred route. Obviously, a lot can change in 2 days including the forecast and the route. I'm not really from the area so I can't speak to normal weather conditions.

I was just a little suprised since the Safety and Training departments are pretty much the same. I just expected a little more concern.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Safe wind speed

Not to hijack this thread, but it seemed to appropriate to justify starting a new one.

I just got scheduled for my CDL exam on Thursday in Marinette, WI. The problem is the current NOAA forcast for Thursday calls for a west wind of 21 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Obviously, for a CDL exam we'll be hauling empties and pretty much the only 4 lane highway to use goes mostly north-south, so that will be a cross wind.

How worried should I be?

Thanks,

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Veriha rookie training Dec 2021

Week 3 Day 1

Once the trucks got warmed up and moved free of the snow, we had a nice little drive today. We got out on the highway for the first time. That was actually pretty straightforward. I understand why they didn't worry about it earlier. We drove what officially "may or may not" have been the route for the CDL exam. It went OK, I've still got some rough edges to sand off.

This afternoon was backing practice. I'm still figuring out the alley dock, but I think it's coming together.

At the end of the day, they told us that we pretty much know what we need to know to pass the CDL, we just need to refine it a bit and not get our heads screwed on crossways. The rest of the week will be practice and then 2 of us will test Thursday, and the other one Friday.

Moving along.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

What is causing the backlog at the ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles?

What I've gotten from this thread is:

1. California sucks.

2. Somebody needs to make a deal with Mexico to put a giant canal across Baja California and another one north from the Gulf of California to Arizona, just so we can have a port in a sensible state because,

3. California sucks giant donkey balls.

Did I miss anything?

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