Profile For ArcherTrucker

ArcherTrucker's Info

  • Location:
    Springfiled, OR

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 months, 2 weeks ago

ArcherTrucker's Bio

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Posted:  7 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Thanks, G-Town.

Matt thank you for reading my post it is greatly appreciated. I look forward to meeting you one day.

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Week one of training in the Springfield underground on the kraft account is in the books.

The Lowdown:

My shift with my trainer is from 1800 H to 0400 H sometimes we quit at 0330 sometimes we stay until 0500 so 6 pm to 330am and most times we stay until 4 am.

We drive Westernstar Day cabs 5700s, not a fan, I much prefer the Cascadia Sleepers at the PAD.

My trainer is fantastic, I couldn't be happier he is patient and has me do the pre and post-trip in detail each shift, he is a great teacher and sets goals for me each shift with increasing time behind the wheel.

Monday:

basically did pre-trip and then observed from the passenger seat, I did get a lot of reps lowering and lifting the landing gear and glad-hands/power cable connects and disconnects and 360 walk around looking at the kingpin, cross members, trailer condition, seal, lights, landing gear arms/supports (pizza slices). The trailers at the yard and caves are old and only good for across-town runs and most of the landing gear mechanisms are beat to hell, more often than not it is difficult to engage the hi/low gears but I am getting better at. We haul about 10-14 trailers per shift between kraft Heinz and the caves so I get lots of practice..

Tuesday - Friday

Every day I drove a little more on our route, which is city driving and a 2 exit stint on the highway. I started backing one or two times Tuesday and by Friday was backing about half the time it is all alley docks usually between trailers with stone pillars in the caves. it is stressful but I am getting better the more I do it, I am very careful and listen to my trainer's instructions.

I have Saturday off and will return Sunday at 1800 H and was informed that since Sundays are usually more calm that I will be doing most if not all of the driving and backing.

I am driving almost 100% in the dark and am learning many valuable lessons about driving the trailer not the tractor. How to take right and left turns in traffic and control the CMV. The route encompasses both left and right turns, highway on and off-ramps, speed control, stop lights, stop signs, curves, and railroad crossing so basically a sampler of city driving. I enjoy highway driving the most this city at night is a little sketchy with drunks and sleepy 4 wheelers.

We mostly haul cheese rounds and at the end of the night, we haul one stinky reefer unit with dirty barrels to a cleaning facility the first time I opened it I almost puked with a nasty and foul gust of rotten cheese. Since I've been working/training at kraft I've been avoiding cheese in my meals lol.

The kraft yard is pretty busy with other Wilson trucks, OTR drivers, and yard trucks flying all over So I do some driving but no backing as off yet in the yard. All my backing and coupling are in the caves although I do pick up and drop trailers in the yard sometimes. I really enjoy the work and the learning process I feel that after one more week of training at kraft/caves and 2 days of pad practice I will be ready to go on the CDL test.

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Posted:  7 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

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

Hi MM!

Really enjoyed reading and learning from your diary, thank you for taking the time to give updates.

All the best and it would be cool if our paths ever cross at HQ or out on the road.

All the best and be safe.

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Wilson week one CDL-A training, Springfield, Missouri

Hello trucking people, hope all is well.

Week one is in the books. On Friday we did back alley 90s, parallel blind, and driver side maneuvers. We did coupling and chaining. We did a navigation class using maps and had a test after we did a paper log class. We took a tour of the admin/terminal and met our recruiters who were really cool (my recruiter was very warm and professional), met the big boss, dispatchers, and all associated staff. The terminal or operations center was awesome and had food, laundry, and a full kitchen we can use as long we keep it clean (better than we found it). Trainers were assigned to most of the class.

For myself I was told Thursday that I would be driving to Garland, Texas to do my 2 weeks with a trainer doing the Kraft thing, however, a driver/trainer who looks just like Moutain matt approached me on the pad and told me I was rolling out with him, ok no problem we must learn to be adaptable in this trade. About an hour later I was told by the training manager that I would be staying in here in Springfield, Mo doing the Kraft/caves route for my two weeks ok no worries this was my first choice. By the end of the day, this changed about 3 more times lol.

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We signed the GOAL and this reminds us to Get Out And Look!!!!!!! They shared some stories of ruined careers of people who did not GOAL. We got a company hat and a certificate for completing week one basic driving training, a handshake and given a talk by our trainers and some staff. I was finally told my 2-week assignment will be Kraft to the Springfield Caves, sweet this is what I volunteered for so I am thankful they worked it out. I start Monday morning at 0700 hours so I checked into the lamplighter and settled in for a hopefully restful weekend with lots of studying (after 2 weeks minimum of the route driving with my trainer I take my CDL-A skills test on the Pad), the trainer decides when we are ready to test and we go back to the training yard for some polishing up on the three phases before we test.

For the two weeks of training, I will be staying at a hotel and driving most likely the night shift hauling trailers between Kraft, the caves, and the trailer yard in a day cab getting a lot of backing, coupling, and associated skills. Looking forward to it especially after watching youtube videos of truckers driving freight into and out of the caves it looks amazing.

So far this experience isn't what I expected but I am more committed than before to earn my CDL and do my 30k miles to get my truck assigned and become an OTR driver for one year with the company.

-Archer out

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Posted:  8 months ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Anne, you are wonderful thank you for being so nice and positive it matters.

Brett Thanks for the helpful advice, I always appreciate constructive criticism from those in the know especially when it's backed up with accurate and unbiased sources. I am here to learn after all, but I will comment on my own CDL training -Diary in the hopes that it generates healthy and useful debate for new CDL-A students like me. What I won't do is just parrot company selling points as if it is my own opinion, if I offend or anger anyone it is not my intention so build a bridge and get over it. Not everything I say will be accurate as I write off the cuff sometimes and in the moment however, I will try and be more chill with my comments when warranted. I have a personality that most people either like or they cant stand and I am fine with that. I do respect people that are more experienced than me as long as they are actually skilled and knowledgeable, respect is earned not given, and not to be taken lightly.

For what it's worth I think the term wannabe can be negative and derogatory. where I come from calling someone a wannabe implies that the person is a joker and not serious about the new endeavor they are entering and has done no prep work. If that was the intention I will respectfully disagree, for myself, I gave up a lot to come here and train and I am busting my butt to get my CDL-A. Some people are scared to try new things or switch careers this is not me I push myself to try new things and broaden my horizons. I try and keep my head down and work hard but I also know enough to keep it light at times, at Wilson they say have fun but don't break the truck! well actually one trainer whose ex-military says this and I get it. If it's ball-busting I'm GTG. I do not want anyone to get hurt and want everyone to be safe and respect the 40-ton beast.

There was a lot of ball-busting at Wilson and it was really fun and took some of the stress out of the process, the people who took offense actually dropped out this doesn't seem like the industry for snowflakes or thin-skinned people, one person was wound so tight I thought they were going to stroke out. I felt that none of the ball-busting was done with animus and most with one exception could dish it out but also take it. One guy who was an experienced driver who came from JB Hunt to be a lease/Op with Wilson was a jerk, he called people dumbasses, wannabes, clueless, and a bunch of steering wheel holders, I thought he was joking maybe he was but it seemed like he was not a fan of us noobs. There were a few grumpy curmudgeons who treated people a little rough and I thought were pushing the tough ol' trucker thing a little too far but I don't really care it's actually funny and if you listen they are giving useful advice its just their delivery style that can be off-putting. We are only on the pad and in the classroom for 5 days and it is fast-paced, you feel the stress and most people including myself were not sleeping at all (in my case I did not sleep for three days) one student was kind enough to share her melatonin with us non-sleepers and it worked like a charm.

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Although it’s academic at this point; where exactly did you do your digging? I drive for Swift for 9 years. The only reason I left was a relocation and a desire to drive local. No regrets driving for them.

Be very careful where you get your information from. Realize the person in the drivers seat has way more todo with success than the company name on the truck’s door.

Good luck with Wilson!

Hi, G-Town I appreciate your advice and comment. I have a relative who drove for swift for 10 years he recently retired after a rollover from wind and he liked Swift. The reason Swift isn't for me is that Swift/Knight is the mega of megas and the smaller size of Wilson, pet policy and initial pay are factors that are a better fit for me. I am sure that all companies have their pros and cons I made my decision based on the information available and took this very seriously as I realize that starting at the wrong company can already put me in the hole as far as starting out.

So what did I mean by digging

I made a list of all the companies that provide paid CDL training, I made another list with all the conditions I have and began to research each company that met my basic requirements. I do not put much stake in reviews on sites like indeed however I did read some, the reviews I do look at are here and trucker reports and the actual drivers who are on the road and have at least 6 months experience with said company.

I am happy so far with my choice of Wilson and only time will tell. The contract went into effect at Midnight so I will be with them a year and will do my best to be the safest driver I can be while getting my loads to the customer on time. If they treat me right and are fair I might stay longer than a year however if they pressure me into lease/op or any other sleazy BS I'm out, or the pay is too low to make it worth my while I will depart.

I am happy for anyone who has found their perfect company and loves being a lease/op or whatever floats your boat I make my decisions for myself based on the best data available. As I have looked into trucking I am getting a clearer picture of the industry and know what I am getting myself into. The industry as a whole treats rookie drivers like an easily replaceable resource and pays as little as they can get away with, the name of the game seems to be insurance and company profit and I am fine with that but I am not expecting to be treated any other way than an unproven, inexperienced rookie at least the first year. I look at the first year as paying dues after that it may open up a bit as far as pay and benefits go,

At the end of the day it's a numbers game there's a reason why the turnover is so high:) If you find your niche and are content good for you.

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Part 2 of Week one training at Wilson Logistics

To follow up on my initial post the Garland, texas training opportunity involves me doing my 2 weeks training before I test for my CDL-A as a local driver in a day cab instead of over the road like most students do. I had talked to a student who was just about to test for his CDL-A and he told me his 2-week training was doing the local route Kraft account here in Springfield, MO, to the kraft site and then to the Caves https://www.springfieldunderground.com/. There were no spots available here for me however there is a spot in Garland, Texas so I took it and will be driving a rental car today to Garland Texas. Doing this day cab gig you sleep in a hotel instead of a sleeper cab I just hope its single occupancy like here in Springfield.

I am looking forward to the ~six-hour drive in a 4-wheeler down to Texas.

Something I didn't mention above it the weather this week has been cold AF with rain, sleet, and wind, next week is supposed to be really nice 60 to 70 so enjoy the incoming class.

He explained that the students who do the day cab local route thing for their training have all passed at100%-why you might be asking? because all you do is alley docking, coupling,pre-trip inspections, logs, picking up, and dropping off he said he would do between 8-10 alley docks per day. The repetition sounds ideal for me as the backing is not easy for me and 2 weeks of practice on 8-10 pre and post-trips, as well as 8-10 * 2 backing maneuvers, should make the test a breeze. we shall see :) A potential con is that you don't get to experience the OTR thing and see the country however as he pointed out you will do 30k miles OTR after you get your CDL and a week solo doing the Kraft account so you will learn everything during this time such as driving the interstate, sleeping in a moving truck (team driving), navigation, parking at truck stops and so on.

I want to be an OTR driver this is what I will be hired for and do for 12 months to fulfill my indentured servitude.... I mean contract. In all seriousness, I look at this 12 months as a valuable experience that will only assist my career at a company that seems good.

He did say his friend did his in Garland and it was a bit janky but there were no spots here in Springfield so it is what it is, as truckers we will have to be adaptable so I will take this as a lesson and adapt and overcome. I will update after I get to Texas and get running.

Thanks to everyone here was kind enough to respond to my posts although I do miss Anne commenting :(

Speaking of that I thought I saw mountain Matt yesterday in the sim room however it was his doppelganger from North Carolina who is not a trained librarian he is, however, an avid surfer.

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Hello trucking enthusiasts, students, and pros

**These are my views and do not represent Wilson Logistics in any way**

We are not allowed to post any photos or videos of training nor post certain details of our training.

The first week into the whirlwind that is Wilson CDL training is coming to an end today (note: it's 2:10 am here in Springfield, MO). The contract went live at midnight, basically, you sign on the contract Monday and have until Thursday at midnight to either cancel the contract or work for Wilson Logistics for 12 months after you get your CDL-A. If you bail on the contract you are on the hook for the cost of the training.

Week one CDL-A training Springfield, Missouri.

Monday: orientation, paperwork, introductions (meet your cohort). Program Outline is given, lunch is provided every day around noon. In the morning when you enter the facility you sign an attendance sheet and put in your rider for lunch (every day is a different local restaurant). The lunches this week have all but once been working lunches where we listen to a presentation on various topics: safety, logs, etc.)

Finished the day out on the training pad getting familiar with the trucks and begging to learn pre-trip. the pre-trip inspection is 99% on the student to get down, which is crucial to the safe operation of the 80,000 lb./40 ton beast you are driving. Some of the students studying in small groups outside of class, others went solo and most of us went out early in the morning and throughout the day where possible hit pre-trip (don't stand around on the pad when you aren't driving -remember this is a 3-4 week interview, they are always watching and judging you, believe it). One beef I have is that most of the trainers and experienced drivers around the pad and terminal smoke as well as some students and do it constantly taking breaks whenever they feel like it, however, if a non-smoker is standing around talking they remind you to get busy doing Pre-trip (double standard). This wasn't a huge deal but as the week went on I noticed it more.

Tuesday: Straightline backing (some students did their Simulator test, yes it is a required test you get 3 practice runs and 1 assessment you must score an 80% to pass, you get multiple attempts) Another student and I didnt take ours until Thursday however we went out on the road in a real actor and trailer first on Tuesday. The simulator was more stressful to me than the actual truck.

Tuesdays are company safety meetings/talks, good stuff. Take safety seriously there was a serious accident involving fatalities and many trucks due to fog near here. Always follow safety protocols.

Went on the road in a real truck and trailer, just going to say wow what an awesome experience, kind of stressful but if you listen to the trainer your good. Always listen to the trainers here they are really good and I believe have an interest in seeing you pass your CDL and become a professional. The lesson learned is to listen to your trainer's exact instructions, watch your trailer on right turns it tells you where you need to be so you don't stomp the curb, and keep your truck centered in the lane.

Wednesday: Offset backing (blindside and sightside), more pre-trip (learn it live it love it) we also had a test on the Air brake pre-trip, just FYI study it as your CDL-A job depends on it because they do. You will have more than enough time to learn the script before the air-brake test.

Got our temporary access badges

Thursday: had to take my Simulator test, was an awful experience my sim would not auto-shift, the handling was trash and the volume didnt work, anyways I crashed the first time, and the second time I got speeding violations. took lunch came back and aced it on the other machine. Not going to give any advice it's better to be experienced first hand.

After lunch, they talked to us about us getting out trainers most likely the next day however about 3 students already have trainers, I was passed over by one as I don't smoke and don't want to be in a cab with a smoker. If you tolerate smoking or are a smoker it seems like you have a better chance to get a trainer (part of me thinks this is sort of BS but it is what it is and seems to be part of the trucking culture). I was curious if the stereotype smoky and the bandit/convoy, redneck/hillbilly truckers were prevalent in the modern-day industry the answer is yes. I don't care how people live their life just thought it was interesting, you do you.

After some blindside parallel practice, we called it a day.

Note: you are trained to do and expected to know and perform the following backing maneuvers: 1) straight back 2) Offset back blindside and driver side 3) parallel blindside and driver side 4) alley dock 90-degree blindside and driverside.

Wilson has a formulaic approach to each maneuver and since you will test for your CDL-A on their pad follow it to a T and you should be golden.

At the end of yesterday while waiting for the hotel shuttle one of the higher-ups approached me and asked if I wanted to go to Garland, Texas tomorrow around noon in a rental car to do my 2 weeks training on their kraft account said yes.

- more in part 2

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

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

Good luck, Archer! The trainer/trainee relationship is... difficult and complex. Not sure I'd want to be in the role of matchmaker... for either of you!

No worries, I completely understand why you wouldn't lol. I had been reading a lot of the stories on here about trainer-trainee issues so thought id ask, I'll just do my best, and hopefully, it will land me a decent trainer.

Great post on the Caverns ill put that info on the back burner and go day by day but that sounds stressful.

Stay safe out there!

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Thanks, Matt I definitely have some questions should I just ask here or DM?

I was going to go take that jeep-train guided tour at the fantastic caves but with the Uber ride, it's outside my budget, man these Ubers add up.

So the Springfield underground is part of Wilson's training? Kraft account?

Had the breakfast buffet at the Baymont, basic but gets the job done. Im looking around the hotel and wondering if any of these faces are training like me or already truckers? I'll find out more tomorrow, shuttle arrives at 6:45 am, early is on time, and on time is late

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Today Im organizing and looking to grab a light workout and study the pre-inspection script. The power went out early this morning just for a sec, the internet is slow and there is a data cap, so I had to upgrade.

have a great day everyone

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

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Departed Eugene airport to Dallas/Ft. Worth a quick layover and a spicy Italian sub and off to Springfield, MO.

Arrived in Springfield on a rainy night. Caught an Uber (which Wilson Arranged, Thank you, Wilson!) Checked into the Baymont into a very decent room.

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I relaxed and settled in today, caught up on some much-needed sleep.

Im off to Wal-Mart to get some supplies.

Ill try and update As much it makes sense and I have time. Going to study the pre-trip script and videos Wilson provided.

Hoping to see the Fantastic caves tomorrow.

Very excited to be here and have this opportunity.

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

My Wilson Logistics Training Diary

Hi Jerry

Thanks for updating

I arrived in Springfield last night and will start training on Monday morning.

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

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

Big congrats Matt!!!!!!

If your trainer was chill and doesn't smoke, I'm wondering if I could talk to him about training me?

The Wilson trucks are really nice looking (one of the reasons I went with Wilson, lol)

I arrived in Springfield last night and Im posted up at the Baymont, so far so good.

Looking forward to training and getting behind the wheel.

way to go Matt!

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting with Wilson Logistics soon

Hello Benjamin

I'm here in Springfield, Mo, arrived last night. I begin training at Wilson Logistics on Monday morning.

I will update my Wilson diary post more often now that I'm here on the ground.

The recruiter and the staff have been wonderful so far and the hotel is more than decent.

The rooms are single occupancy which is great I'm sort of a loner and I like having my own space.

-Archer out

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

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

it's been an eventful week! (in a good way)

I finished my required 30,000 training miles. We got them done the day before my trainer was starting vacation, so that was perfect. I had an extra amount of trouble sleeping in the bouncing truck the last couple of days--I think because I was so excited.

Congrats MM!

I reread your entire diary preparing for my onboarding on 3/21.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Wilson Logistics training

Good stuff! All the best and I look forward to following your journey.

Be safe

I will be starting on the 21st I'm super excited.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

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

Hey there MM

Thanks for posting an update on your trucking journey.

You are so close to that next milestone must be a great feeling knowing you are what about a week away from 30k? Then you get your own truck.

I bet you've seen some amazing things crisscrossing the 48.

I start with Wilson on 3/21. So far they have been fantastic, got a call today asking if I needed anything or had any questions. I get the feeling that they are indeed family-oriented and look forward to my start date.

Sounds like you got a good trainer and are surviving if not thriving.

looking forward to more.

Drive safe

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Archer Trucker and Jerry B.

Good luck with your CDL training with Wilson in Springfield.

I just finished my CDL training with Prime in Springfield yesterday. Wilson’s training program is very similar to Prime’s. I’m gearing up to start my 30k miles of team driving.

Thank you and congratulations on getting your CDL-A. Hope you get a good trainer.

Posted:  8 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Hello, Archer. I will be starting my training with Wilson on 3/14.

Hi Jerry B. Congrats!

Are you attending Missoula or Springfield?

I'm onboarding at Springfield.

Posted:  8 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

First Steps: I Want to Drive Big Rigs

Howdy Anne! Thanks for your response it feels official now being welcomed by you.

Update: I have my CLP

I passed Combination on Monday, I had taken AB and general the proceeding week and passed with only 2 mistakes on General, I was worried about AB and spent the lions; share on that section and passed with a perfect score. I did not respect the combination portion during my preparation and failed on the first attempt. I spent the weekend studying like a possessed medieval Irish monk, using the paid Exam prep and the TT program on here, and passed with 0 errors.

Lesson learned: Don't sleep on any section.

So, are you in fact going with Wilson, in Matt and Tim's footsteps? (And Vicki M., and those before those?)

I'm so happy to say that is a big yes!

Wilson has approved me for onboarding for 3/21/22. I am really stoked because they were my first choice.

I will go into more detail later as I have some interesting possibly helpful tidbits about my application process.

I want this diary to contain as many details as possible as the diaries I read on here really helped me more than any other source as far as choosing a company for CDL training. Shout out to Matt, Tim, and Vicki M for sharing your stories about Wilson Logistics.

Until next time, -Archer out

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