Profile For Dale K.

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    6 years, 5 months ago

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Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Trying to start CDL school but running into a temporarily unavoidable roadblock...

Brett, the 1% quote that I gave was being generous, I was referring to retention percentages of truck driving classes of Swift, CRST and a few others who have almost 100% turnover after the first year. That's not a good percentage. In nursing it's 50% after about 3 years and that's pretty high when you factor how much time and effort one puts in to schooling, time off from a paying job and stress. Those numbers are what I've gleaned in my research. I'm not an OTR driver, but I've had a few years of experience in the business quite a few years ago, and things weren't that great "back in the good old days". Recruiters in trucking and nursing, know what their prospective recruits go through, but they don't tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them god. There are a lot of similarities in both these fields, there's the way we want it, there's the way THEY tell it, and then there's the way it is. I called my brother the other day, and he's kept in touch with a few guys he trained with at CRST..none are driving. Same with my other brother and Swift..none of the people he knows from a year ago when he started are driving. Did they get hosed by their company? Who knows, maybe they "had to have money now" and the job didn't provide it.

Some of this data is almost 10 years old, but I'll bet it's about the same today

127% turnover 112% turnover 100% turnover...yeah did these companies "hose" their employees..well apparently there's something in the water, but maybe I wasn't exactly clear on what I meant by 1%..but this is to what I was referring

http://www.trucking.org/article.aspx?uid=6053b3cb-5963-4599-9b44-834112067fc7

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Trying to start CDL school but running into a temporarily unavoidable roadblock...

Cheynne,

Yes my post was a bit abrasive, but don't let the harshness cloud the information. If you think you're in a bad situation right now, read some of the posts about what some of these companies do to trainees, and take these people at their word. I have brother who likes his OTR job and his last statement to me about driving was "truck driving isn't bad, if you don't need the money".. He was in a bad financial situation and went through driving school and now has a year of experience, but he BARELY made enough to support himself out on the road, he is just now getting paid a livable wage. I have another brother who went to the company that told you to wait 72 hours, and they hosed him, and now are chasing him for training money.. If you can wait until you're system is clean of the pain meds, and you can put yourself in a better hiring position you won't be setting up for failure. Look at some of the turnover rates of these companies, and if you think you'll be one of the 1% that don't get hosed, then go for it, but I wouldn't be that confident that they won't do to you what they've done to hundreds of other people.

Maybe I could have relayed the information in a less abrasive way, but I wasn't at work where I have to be PC all the time, I'm in a truck driver forum where I figure I can say it in a more direct manner. Lord knows you're going to be in warehouses, loading docks, distribution centers and truck stops where it can be worse.

Please accept my apology for the harshness of my original post, and good luck in becoming a professional driver. I might be out there one day myself and you can give me some pointers too, no matter how harsh or gentle, they will be appreciated.

Dale

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Trying to start CDL school but running into a temporarily unavoidable roadblock...

Holy ****balls, everyone here knows more about pain meds and what shows up on a drug test than I do and I'm a damn Registered Nurse..WTF? It's like a "how to " list of doing drugs and beating the system.

Lady (pain med person), if you let yourself get to the point where you can't wait 3 months to get into truck driving school, how are you going to survive the starvation year that it takes to get that experience? From what I've seen in this biz, you better have a somewhat healthy bank account while you drive and starve to get that coveted 1 year of driving time. These companies chew up and spit out people like you because YOU put yourself over a barrel and they're going to ream you. What happens when you're in shoddy equipment 700 miles from home and they haven't paid you, or they are deducting 50% of your check for your "expenditures"? What happens when your trainer has to pony up for your meals because you don't make enough to support yourself? He or she won't be too sympathetic about your poor life planning.

My suggestion may be harsh, but you need to quit the drugs FIRST and stay off them longer than 3 months before you attempt to get your head together to go to truck driving school. If you don't you'll be an indentured servant to any trucking company taking you and your problems on.

Yeah, I know, I don't know you and shouldn't judge you. And that's all nice on Oprah, and Dr. Phil, but driving an 80 ton vehicle with a clouded drug addled brain, isn't that safe for the rest of us. Be wary of a company that tells you "yeah we believe in safety first" and oh by the way, just don't do drugs for 72 hours and you'll be ok"! If they'll hire you under those conditions, they aren't worth working for.

I came to my judgments based on what you wrote so if you don't need the pain meds, why are you taking them? Low doses not withstanding, you have developed a therapeutic level in your body and quitting cold turkey isn't a good idea. You should know that, since you are experienced with taking them as long as you have. The fact that you said you "can get off them" tells me you've got bigger issues. I hope it works out for you, but rushing into this industry is just bad mojo.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Moving out of CA to MO or IA

I was born in Iowa, lived there 15 years and then we moved to a resort lake in Arkansas. I went to high school a couple of years in Arkansas. The schools in Arkansas left a lot to be desired, but it was a better place to live as far as fishing and the people were nicer. I also attended colleges in Missouri and graduated from Central Mo State in Warrensburg and Moberly Area Community college. Of all three states I'd live in Missouri. It's hillbilly but not as bad as Arkansas, and not as uptight as small town Iowa, where if you're family wasn't traced back to the founding fathers of the town, you were considered an outsider. Missouri is a nice mix of the two states, quite a coincidence considering the location, right? I'd suggest you get your KC Chiefs fanhood upto speed and live in Lexington, which is a nice river town not far from KC. If you happen to be a Raider fan, get plenty of life insurance..(ok Chiefs fans aren't that bad, but they are pretty hardcore at times). There is a lot of great historical culture in the KC area from the Civil War era to the history of the 30's and all of the shenanigans that went on during that time. KC is a big small town, so you have everything you need, but not a pain like Los Angeles or San Fran. In those small towns you can buy a house for under 50 grand and put a lot of money away.

Good luck and congrats for escaping Californication, we have a lot of refugees from there living here in AZ. It's a great state to drive through but I wouldn't want to live there.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Hello from Cincinnati and a medical question

Jolie,

If you have family in Phoenix and they like you well enough to let you stay there, Swift is a company that trains newbies and they are based out of Phoenix. You'll hear a lot of bad, some good and some average about them, but my little brother went to work for them after he went through driving school in Missouri, the company he was supposed to work for backed out after they found out about his misdemeanor, which he told them before he enrolled in school. Swift picked him up and he trained fast and furious and did a year with them till he took time off to take care of our dad who's elderly. He lives and drives in Minnesota and had a daily route driving for a Coca Cola contract Swift had. He plans on going back to Swift after he can no longer care for our dad, or the inevitable happens. I live 60 miles north of Phoenix and plan on getting out of the nursing field when my brother goes back to Swift and then have him train my wife and I. She is planning on driving with me sort of as a team, they call what we have planned driving Super Single that's where I'd do most of the driving and she'd do a few hours per day. We don't need to drive a million miles a year, to chase off bill collectors. I'm 51 and my wife is 49, and our retirement is somewhat set, as we no longer have a house that owns us and no more bills, and the kids are grown and on their own. She's an air traffic controller and I'm an RN, we know we won't make great money in trucking but that's not our objective anyway. We're tired of being trapped in jobs we've done for 20 years. Now's the time to move on.

So what I'm saying is Swift seems to be the "training" company, most drivers get their one to two years experience and move onto somewhere else for a few more cents per mile. I already have a CDL with all the endorsements except for Haz Mat but that's not too hard to get. I took all the written exams and then went through a 2 week school in Phoenix to get the driving test done. I had previous yard hostling experience 25 years ago for Frito Lay and I didn't have any issues backing trailers during my CDL training, but I didn't like the double clutching, I was used to floating the gears. I would suggest contacting whichever company you want to work for and ask them which schools they recommend. My CDL was 1400.00 for one on one training, I paid a little extra so I didn't have to wait in the 112 weather with other students. The school I went to, didn't provide as much rolling down the highway driving, which is what I needed more of, but hey I got all of it done in 2 weeks, and I had the written exams done before I even picked a driving school.

Good luck and I will follow your post as you're sorta doing what my wife and I thinking about doing. I would advise you to go where they give you a bit more experience than one can get in 2 weeks. For me my school was fine, because I already had a background in the business, of course it's been two years since I obtained my CDL so it will be interesting to see what Swift or any other company might want me to do for current training, when I'm ready to take the plunge.

I look forward to hearing of your progress

Dale

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Things can turn badly so fast!

It's good to hear it all turned out well. A couple of years ago I was moving my daughter from Pueblo back to AZ. I was pulling her car behind the U-Haul when right outside of Santa Fe a 18 y/o girl jumped off a bridge right in front of a car in front of me. The car swerved and I swerved as she was laying legs on the road and head and torso on the shoulder. I pulled over and ran back to her and so did my daughter. I'm a registered nurse and my daughter a CNA..I had my daughter hold her neck and head in C-Spine and while we were first on the scene within seconds a off duty paramedic, a respirtory therapist and an off duty cop arrived. The cop got the traffic under control while we treated her as best we could without any medical equipment. The paramedics/ambulance showed up after about 5 min, and the girl was awake and oriented. I don't know how it all turned out for her, but apparently she was being transported to a mental hospital when she told the van driver that she was going to throw up and for him to pull over, she got out of the van and ran back on the bridge and jumped off. It was amazing how many medical professionals happened to be there as well as law enforcement. I told her.."someone didn't want you dying today".

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

WIFE IS INTERESTED IN DOING TRUCKING.

I wouldn't advise training a family member, especially a spouse. I know how my wife deals with me criticizing her, whether it's constructive or otherwise. Remember wives might not want to listen to a husband who they have to tell to pick up their socks or put their boots in the closet. They bring their home life to the training as you would bring it to the instructing. I'm a flight instructor and would never consider teaching my wife how to fly, and when I start driving I want her to get her CDL, but to get it at a school without me anywhere near it.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Switching Careers/Team Driving with spouse and other general nonsense

To Jax and Dan:

Thanks for your input, I would welcome more training as I know I need it, I just don't want to drop 5 grand or more if I can get some credit for what I've accomplished so far. Like Jax said that depends on the company. Jax keep your head low from those C-130's at LRAFB and if you get a chance do some crappie fishing on Greers Ferry up by Choctaw, March and April are good months for that.

Dale

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Switching Careers/Team Driving with spouse and other general nonsense

Howdy folks, I just joined this site a few days ago for some more research and insight. I'm contemplating joining the ranks as a professional driver, in a year or so. Currently I'm a registered nurse and have been for 20 years. It's not that big of a change for me, as I had worked in a large warehouse operations 26 years ago as a yard hostler and forklift operator. In between nursing contracts I obtained my CDL will all the endorsements, I took the writtens on my own and did a week long training (which really wasn't much in the way of training) to get my driving test done. Needless to say, I was a pro at backing up and which was surprising since I hadn't driven a yard mule since 1988, but I did struggle a bit with double clutching, I was taught to float the gears back in the day, so double clutching was a new concept.

Ok, so now I have a CDL, no experience and am wondering if any companies would hire me directly to OJT, or am I going to have to go back to a driving school? I live near Phoenix where Swift is headquartered, and I might look at them for my year of experience. Any advice on which companies might take me as I am right now, or at least give me credit for already having my CDL and endorsements? My brother is about to complete his first year at Swift and is ok with them, and they've been pretty good to him..I guess that's all in how one looks at things.

As far as the pitfalls of the industry, I've done my part to eliminate most of the big ones. I no longer have a house that owns me, my wife will be coming with me, and my kids are grown and on their own. I am waiting on my old dog to go to heaven, so I won't have any reasons to have ties to one place. I know we'll take a pay cut from our current jobs, (wife is an air traffic controller), but with no bills, we don't need as much. I'm hoping my wife will get her CDL, she said she would, even though she's not enthusiatic about driving, I still want her to have it. I'll give her the good news that Schnieder National has automatic transmissions, maybe that'll boost it for her!

Any thoughts, good, bad or otherwise?

Dale

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