Profile For Bill M.

Bill M.'s Info

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  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 9 months ago

Bill M.'s Bio

New to trucking, again!

I'm from Western Pennsylvania, close to the Ohio Border. I grew up working on cars and tractor-trailers. My uncle Owned and operated a welding shop and a tractor-trailer repair business. His shop was two blocks from my house when I was just a child. From the time I was about 5 years old, he took me to work with him as often as he could - which by the way, happened to be a lot. When I was a teenager, he put me on the payroll. For the next three years, I pretty much ran the collision shop and handled all the tire replacements and the trailer repair work for him.

Upon graduating high school, I entered active duty Air Force. Within 18 months, I was a qualified Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Maintenance Technician. Part of our duties included transporting the missiles. This is where I initially earned my "double clutch" military CDL. It was a six-week school with a very intense road test to pass. Upon graduating, I was given an award for being the youngest driver ever to attend and graduate from the course. In my profile pictures, you can see a picture of one of the trucks I drove.

I left the Air Force after four years of service. Dumbest thing I ever did. I ended up homeless for a couple of years. But I always worked some kind of job and never strayed far from the military; I served in the National Guard for a couple of decades. Always having a civilian career, I spent most of my years troubleshooting electronics and working in IT in the medical field.

About 12 years ago, I thought I would go to college and see what they know. So I did. I earned a degree in the applied sciences, nutritional biochemistry. I went to work in healthcare for about eight years, managing tube feedings in intensive care and helping people manage their chronic health conditions through adequate nutrition and lifestyle modifications. This, too, was a cool job for someone that was told by every teacher in high school he wouldn't amount to much in life and just forget about college.

But trucking always called to me, always beckoned me. And here I am after 33 years out of a truck. At least for maybe the next five years until I fully retire.

Motto: Today was a good day; tomorrow will be better.

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Posted:  3 days, 15 hours ago

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My first 18 months solo has been rewarding.

Thanks, Old School, ReilDiehl, Harvey, and Errol. This was a huge honor for me. At first, I almost turned down the opportunity. Then, we almost missed the deadline for the packet submission. I don't always chime in on threads, but I have read countless posts from each of you, and others, and have learned a lot in here.

I've always been eager to learn and a wanting contributor. I emulate the best in any craft as closely as possible and look for excellent leadership in a company. Iron sharpens Iron. 50%/50% is a myth. In a relationship, it's 100%/100%. My wife is 100% supportive of my new career since starting in February 2022. Couple that with Veriha's 100% support; all that's left is for me to do my part 100%. Everything has been a natural fit since the start.

My early stint in trucking was maintaining and pulling nuclear missiles in the Air Force, in the mid-late 1980s, which differed significantly from everything I'm doing now. I never saw highway speeds, and there was never traffic around me as I always had an escort when driving, mainly on base. As one might imagine, this is where my safety mindset comes

Posted:  3 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

My first 18 months solo has been rewarding.

For those who have followed some of my journey, you know I came to trucking with a little bit of background in trucking. Although it was over 35 years ago, I still had some skills and knowledge that I'm positive helped me excel in this industry.

You may recall a while back when I confessed I almost quit three times in the first six months. Most of that had to do with some things going on at home with family, and the fact that I hate sitting around doing nothing at shippers and receivers. But I persevered through it because I honor my commitments, and I committed to driving for Veriha for at least one year before I decided on whether trucking was the career for me. I'm still here.

I remain at the top of the fleet in safety and fuel economy. Mileage is up and down, as is the freight. But, I train new drivers now so that takes a few miles away from me 4 weeks at a time. But, I'm compensated for training, so it makes up for the difference.

About two months ago I received a call from my new fleet leader. She told me Veriha was nominating me for a National award. The award is called Transition to Trucking: Driving for Excellence. I'd heard of it because in 2022 another of Veriha's drivers was nominated and made the semi-finals.

The prize, is a brand new Kenworth T680. There is a lot that goes into this award. But the short is you have to be a military veteran. A few of the criteria they take into consideration are military service, on-time delivery rate, safety performance and clean MVR, customer service, and community/trucking volunteerism.

I'm grateful for the opportunities I have, and I never feel I'm deserving of anything but a paycheck for my time and maybe an 'at-a-boy' once in a while. Last Thursday and Friday, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, for the recognition and semifinal award ceremony, and to learn who the eventual finalists would be. I didn't make the list but I did predict all but one of the finalists after meeting them and hearing of their Bios during the ceremony. What an honor to be considered for this award and be in the same room with those awesome veterans and drivers. I didn't make the finals but I met some new people and made some new friends.

I should mention, the owner/president of Veriha traveled to the event. How awesome that someone from leadership would take time out of their week to support me during this journey. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I made the right choice for me when I chose to apply at Veriha and how lucky I was they took a chance on me. I would not have found Veriha if not for Trucking Truth. Thank you, Brett, Trucking Truth for everything you do for drivers, especially new ones!

So, if you've never heard of the following organizations, check them out. They are big supporters of veterans and their actions show it!

Transition TruckingTransition Trucking Hiring Our Heroes US Chamber of Commerce


The inscription reads "for outstanding performance as a professional driver reflecting at all times the foundation of military experience and service."

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Coffee making

I just remembered mentioning that the boiler pictured is at least 10 years old. I used it daily to heat water for my oatmeal at home - which I still do in the truck.

Also, I'm a minimalist and a coffee curmudgeon. I limit the amount of waste I create at home and on the road. This alone is why I use the French press and not a Keurig. And again, as Errol and I agree - the French press makes great-tasting bold coffee.

Bill M's suggestion for the French Press is the simplest way. And makes the legendary second best coffee (after cold infusion). The problem is the care you need to take - Four minutes then you press the coffee grounds down. But then, as I and Bill agree, you get the best coffee on the highway.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Coffee making

You and I speak the same language. Not just English! LOL

I do one of two things: 1) I heat my water in this water boiler, add instant coffee to my mug, and fill it with hot water. This is the fastest way. 2) I steep coffee in a French press first heating the water in the water boiler. But, here, I use fresh ground coffee, not instant. This is the strongest coffee I can make in my truck but it takes more time.


Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Seated into a fifth truck in 14 months!

Wow. That's a jaunt. Was it 1234 or 1237?

Yeah they are. I ended up giving the one I had to two students. The next day I was given a different one so I could drive someone down to our Gary yard to recover a truck.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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Seated into a fifth truck in 14 months!

Oh yeah? I know they were short on cars while we were there. I tried to get one for him.

Bill, I just missed you at the Marinette yard today, bummer! I was asked to drive the student you dropped off to the hotel.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Seated into a fifth truck in 14 months!

In the Volvo, I like the steering wheel column because it has near infinite adjustability including tilt. I like the engine (transmition really) brakes as they seem to have a wider more finely tuned ra ge they iterate in, and I like the refrigerator, it's larger. Also, the hood mirrors sit higher which allow me to sit lower in my seated position making it more comfortable for me.

In the freightliner, I like the room inside and the windshield view better.


Those Volvos are like the Cadillac of semi's.


Guy, do you have experience in a Frightliner? If so, what is it about the Volvo that you like compared to the Frightliner?

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Seated into a fifth truck in 14 months!

After stepping into a 2020 Freightliner (my 4th truck in 15 months) in April, I've been moved into a new, not just new to me, but "new" Volvo. A couple of weeks ago I brought my Freightliner to our home terminal for routine maintenance. They told me the shop was a little backed up and it would take at least a week to get my truck back. They offered me another truck to keep me moving, and I said sure. Knowing what I know about moving from one truck to another already, even a temp, I decided to move ALL of my belongings out and into the temporary truck.

Two days later they called me and asked how I liked the truck. I said I liked it OK and was still getting used to it but I really like the ****pit area/setup. They asked if I'd like to stay in that truck. I said if it means I don't have to move everything out and back into another truck - SURE! rofl-2.gif

Anyway, I'm enjoying driving around in a new Volvo (which will remain nameless) and am still very, very happy I chose Veriha as the company to launch my trucking career. This relationship continues to be mutually beneficial and rewarding.

On that note, I have other good news to share which I will share in another thread.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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My upcoming adventure

Hi Sandman,

Glad to hear you you learned from and aside from the incident you enjoyed the experience. When did the incident happen?

Tour is complete, and I really enjoyed being a part of it. A big plus was there was a lot of downtime, as we'd be parked at the same venue for several days. So that led to exploring the cities we were in and getting to know some of the other drivers pretty well. A downside was on the day we got reloaded after a show, we had to be up and ready to go by 10pm. 1 day this was made 5pm then 9pm. Being one of the last to get loaded, which was about 4am I believe made for a very long day.

I had an incident going from SF to L.A. when my load shifted and pierced the nose of the trailer. I didn't even know it happened until I arrived and did my post-trip. I notified my company and the lead driver right away. There was minor damage to the part of the set that shifted but the LEDs were intact which is what they were really concerned about. As driver is responsible for load securement, my company said they are treating it same as a traffic accident. Unless something changed because I thought I would've had some followup by now. Just as the entire tour was, it was a valuable learning experience.

I was already on the fence about doing Madonna but I don't know if they'll offer it now. One big concern is needing to drive in the heart of winter through the northeast, northwest, and Canada, in conditions I might not be prepared to handle. And racking up another incident. I will keep pondering on it in case it is my choice to make.

All in all, I'm really glad I did it and will consider doing touring full-time in the future.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Parking questions

Brian, most truck stops will be just fine. But, if you can get yourself to Toledo and it's not out of the way, get there. Not too far from there, in Perrysburg, Ohio, at the 280/76 interchange, there is a Love's, TA, Petro, Mr. Fuel, Pilot, and Flying J. My favorite is the Petro across from the Love's because it has plenty of parking and a restaurant.

Also, there is a Love's just south of Detroit in Monroe, MI en route to Toledo. ALL of these should have spots at 8:00 pm.

Best of luck. I'm sure it will work out for you!

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