Comments By Kal-el T.

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  • Kal-el T.
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Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

I am fairly certain that I was completely in the right here, but wanted to ask some of you Vet Truck Drivers.

First, let me say, I am no Truck Driver. I am a man who gets paid to drive a Truck. I do not feel that I have enough experience to consider myself a Truck Driver. Hell, I just bought a CB Radio and am just now learning the lingo, so that should give you a rough idea of how newbie I am to the industry. Having said that...

My first time Alley Docking.

It was difficult getting there to start. This was in Philly, with double sets of roads side by side going the same direction, requiring cross overs. It was the first time I had even see anything like it. So just getting there was challenging enough.

The setting is a block of road that sets off by itself. There is only a few ways to get in to this road, but for whatever reason, perhaps to bypass traffic, people use this block of road frequently. It just so happens that this block of road is where the warehouse (setting in a downtown area) sits and the only way in to it, is to back your Truck up and take up both lanes to squeeze your trailer in to the slot. Once in the slot, you can back up far enough to clear the lanes, however, getting it in there when you have drivers who won't stop long enough for you to maneuver your trailer proved to be an insane headache.

I went passed the docking area to set my trailer up for a nice backing maneuver. There was a line of cars parked on my right, which made the space available even more difficult to maneuver, but I also had to be careful not to hit the parked cars. In front of me where cars that were trying to use any space they could find to drive around me, the onslaught of cars were relentless, not letting up, so if I moved at all, I risked hitting them as they tried to pass. The cars behind me were doing the same, refusing to stop so that I could begin the backing maneuver.

Finally, after sitting there with my signal on, trying to inch myself back any chance I got between the wave of cars, I inched closer and closer to block off the road so that I could back up and square my trailer in the slot.

As I am doing this, cars are STILL trying to prevent me from backing, even taking the sidewalk to get around my trailer. There was a break in the cars trying to get around, so I took advantage of this to start moving in reverse again. Suddenly, another car tries to beat the clock as the space on the sidewalk is closing, and this guy angrily honks his horn at me as he tries to squeeze through the tight space remaining, even though I was clearly in motion BEFORE he tried to squeeze behind me.

At this point, I became angry and blew my big horn back at him, then continued to finish backing in to the slot. Thankfully, it was a good set up as I only had to use two minor pull ups to get my trailer in straight. It was a complete nightmare for me and had me highly stressed out. It became very clear to me that people don't care that I am trying to get backed in, they only care that I am blocking their way. Had they let me do my job, I could have been out of their way in about 45 seconds to 1 minute's time, but since cars would not let me move without risking hitting them, it ended up taking upwards of 6 to 7 minutes.

So I have to ask, was I in the wrong? What can I do in the future to prevent this type of situation? I drive alone, so I have nobody to direct traffic and there was nobody available at this warehouse either. Did I have the right of way once I started my backing maneuver? Keep in mind, when I started the backing process, the coast was clear, no more cars. The cars started showing up after I had already started backing up...it's just once they started coming, they wouldn't stop which made this process take much longer than it had to.

If I was in the wrong, please explain how and what I can do in the future to not be in the wrong. Thank you in advanced.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Update: My Journey After My Chaos

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my truck is governed at 73 MPH, which is a nice comfort speed for me on dry road days.

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Just what I want. A new driver doing 73mph and feeling comfortable while doing so.

Out west there are 80mph speed limits. Would you do that downhill also?

As I had mentioned: "I stick to the speed limits, pay attention to the suggested speeds of curves, take down hills at suggested speeds or slower"

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Update: My Journey After My Chaos

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I am terrified that my Garmin is going to end up trying to take me on a road that isn't good for trucks, or under a bridge that is too low, so I try and be careful with that in that I try not to trust my Garmin any further than I can throw it, heh.

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Valid concern. Trip planning 101. The only way to prevent this is to use the Truckers Atlas and hand write the directions on a sticky note, or something else readily available in the event your GPS goes Wonky. In addition, we also suggest using Google Maps or like satellite system to get a birds-eye view of your destination and the surrounding area. This way you can begin to understand the locale and plan your entrance and backing approach before arrival. Reduces surprises.

Glad you were able to prevail and get your CDL.

Thank you, G-Town. I really appreciate that info.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Update: My Journey After My Chaos

I work for a company called Trade Winds Transit out of Bardstown Kentucky. We primarily haul Jim Beam, Barrens, Heaven Hill and a few other whiskey products. We also do broker jobs to get us back home from ABC's across the eastern states.

Not a 1099, taxes are taken out.

I am considered a mix of OTR and Regional. I average about 2K miles a week, generating about a 1K to 1.2K a week. It's a family-owned company and a really great guy to work for. I could never say anything bad about them.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Update: My Journey After My Chaos

Some of you may remember me; you may remember that things weren't looking so well for me due to things that were going on in my life that was beyond my control at the time. Well, the good news it, everything worked out just fine and I was able to get started in my trucking career and have been doing so for a few months now.

I started with PAM Transportation, but due to some severe disorganization within the Recruiting and Training team, I ended up leaving PAM. When I finished my training and it was time to get my own Truck, they told me I would have to start my training from day one again due to a mistake made on their part. That was not the only thing that had happened, not even close, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back for me and I walked away from the company. They were very understanding, apologized for my bad experience and bought me a ticket home.

I obtained my CDL on my own, paid out of pocket to attend a school that trained with clutch, so I am fairly certain that is part of the reason that PAM had such a hard time getting organized with me since I didn't start their program fresh, but rather skipped the process of obtaining the license through them. It's just a guess, but that is what I suspect ended up happening that caused the chaos with that company.

It did not hurt my feelings to leave that company, since I wasn't too exited with their extremely low pay at just 32 cents per mile and their extremely low governed engines. They were governed at 63 MPH. I at very least want to hit the speed limits posted to maximize my pay. But, I was willing to do it anyway to earn my 1 year experience mark.

After I left PAM after 3 weeks of being there, I got a much better job offer with a local company out of Kentucky. They primarily travel east in to Pittsburgh and Philly, but they also take me out to Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and a few states up north of here. They literally pay double per mile what PAM pays and I am home every weekend. Every great once in a while, I get to do my 10 hour recent at home, but I never count on those days, just happy to be home on weekends. My paychecks are very nice and even better, my truck is governed at 73 MPH, which is a nice comfort speed for me on dry road days.

The hills heading in to PA are a nightmare...wow is all I can say. Very dangerous. I stick to the speed limits, pay attention to the suggested speeds of curves, take down hills at suggested speeds or slower, thank god for Engine Breaks, I truly appreciate a clutch when heading down hills in this giant missile with wheels, lol.

I love the open road but not so much inner cities. I am terrified that my Garmin is going to end up trying to take me on a road that isn't good for trucks, or under a bridge that is too low, so I try and be careful with that in that I try not to trust my Garmin any further than I can throw it, heh.

All in all, I am doing well, very happy and having the time of my life doing what I thought I would never be able to do.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

For further education, according to that same web site, three drug users that they tested were at the lowest, 96 ng/mg. The highest was 314 ng/mg. My test results came back with 6 ng/mg, their testing method was accumulative of 90 days. My test was accumulative over 1 year. So if we do the math, if my test had been for 90 days, it would most likely be closer to 1.5 ng/mg. .5 ng/mg is the cutoff. Considering the facts of both the tests of the average user and the test results I produced, I don't think it would be very hard to prove my case in a court of law that I was contaminated and not a user.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

I will try and answer several questions I have seen.

If what everyone is suggesting about the DAC report being delayed is true, I guess I will just have to see. Also, that test I took was NOT a per-employment test. They made it VERY clear that you would not even be considered for hire until AFTER you complete the class and earn your CDL. I have this in writing. So if it goes to my DAC report, they will be setting themselves up for a serious lawsuit.

Even in the worst case scenario, I could always become an owner operator and go off on my own, or I could drive Dump Truck until I get the cash together for my own truck. Either way, I have options that I am willing to do in order to achieve my goals. I will not allow this to destroy me or my dreams. I have lived my adult life as a law abiding man and drug free. I could almost claim alcohol free as well, but I do drink about 2, maybe 3 times a year, so I can't claim that one. If for whatever reason this does show up on my DAC report, I will fight it. I have character witnesses who are upstanding people who would testify on my behalf. I have video and email evidence that shows my ex wife admitting several times that I ended up testing positive through oral sex with her and her telling me that she is sorry, and most important, she indicates several times that she knows that I have never used and apologizes for contaminating me. It's not proof that I have never used, but it is a form of evidence.

Everyone how knows me knows that I am completely against drugs, so much so I literally asked for divorce and then later kicked somebody who I loved very much out of my home once I found out she used drugs and refused to seek help. I had to wait until she trashed my home to kick her out, but that is only because of state law that says you cannot kick anyone out of your home unless they pose a threat.

I lost my only son because of a drug addict, before I lost my son, I was tolerant of drugs, but still did not like them. Now, I am completely intolerant of drugs and anyone who uses them. Anyone who knows me on any level knows just how preposterous the notion of me doing drugs actually is. If it shows on my DAC report at any given time, I will literally spend the rest of my life focusing on proving that the hair follicle test is a flawed method of testing and should not be used to weed out drug addicts. A test that pulls all the accumulative drug traces that has ever been in your body over the course of a year (if the sample is taken from any other part of your body other than hair on your head) cannot be a logical solution. If your significant other uses, every fluid you ingest from them over that year adds up; be it from passionate kissing, oral or any other kinks that would transfer fluids from the user to the non-user.

It also can be flawed if the person you are with is a vindictive individual who is purposely poisoning you or if you live in a home that was once used as a meth lab. There are far too many variables here. And come to find out, that trace amount that was found in my test was exactly that, trace amounts...accumulative over the course of an entire year. Yes, it was far beyond their threshold of what they consider a test positive, however, it was still trace amounts. According to academic.oup.com, the false positive rate for those hair tests is 3.3%. It is fine that it produces false positives, however, if somebody tests positive, there should be a different method used to determine if somebody actually is a user, or if they had trace amounts from being around it/with somebody who uses it. I did nothing wrong other than a bad choice in somebody to fall in love with. That was my only crime. I'll be damned if I am going to idly stand by and be ostracized from my dreams over something that I did not do. I am a fighter and if what you all are saying is true, I will fight this till the day I go to my grave. There will be lawsuits flying at a great deal of companies that could very easily turn in to class action lawsuits.

They say that you cannot test positive from second hand, I am living proof that is complete BS, and I would die proving it if this prevents me from my dreams.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

I have not commented on this post so far. Have you ever touched adderal? It shows up the same in urine tests. My wife almost died two years ago b/c her immune system was shot plus alcoholism. It pains me to even bring it up. She took adderal and her tox screen showed amphetamines. Which adderal is. However her family assumed it was meth. At the time I was using a bit--100% off the drug now. Please no judgement. I was blamed etc. Her dr also stated if smoked she could have traces in her system if in the same room. If a small amount was slipped into a beverage consistently its a viable excuse. However no company trucking or other is going to give 2 s$$ts what your reason is. It would take the person who did it to openly admit to it and that would be a long shot. I hope you can move forward and fullfill your dream. God bless!

Yeah, none of that would apply to me. I refuse to put any medications in my body unless I get an extreme headache. Advil only. I am extremely picky about what I put in to my body. But in the end, it all worked out, so I am a very happy man these days and all those worries have been lifted.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

@Ann

I honestly would not have come back if not for you. Thank you very much for not judging. :)

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

Should the driver members here be apologetic over not posting what you wanted to hear? The name on this site tells all: Trucking Truth.

We wish you success and good luck.

First, I never used drugs to begin with despite people''s claim otherwise. Second, I was at a school, I was not working for the company therefore it was not part of any employment history. So when I am asked, "have you ever failed a drug screen from previous employment" I can honestly answer no. It was not on my DAC report nor was it on my Clearinghouse.

I payed $4,500 with my own money to attend school, got my CDL Class A License with no restrictions (I trained with a manual 10 speed) and am completely free to get a job at any company I wish. Had I been taking that test for employment rather than eligibility for a school, I would for sure be in deep trouble. However, that was not the case and I am free to work anywhere of my choosing. I did not need to attend any drug programs and listen to any "specialists" tell me that I am in denial when I in fact have never done any drugs what so ever, not even the holy so called grail that everyone seems to praise which is weed, much less the harder stuff that exists out there.

I didn't deserve any of the stress I was put through and despite what people may think, as accurate as that hair follicle test may be at nailing people who actually do use drugs, it is also nailing people all over America for something they didn't do. There is plenty of evidence out there that supports people testing positive simply for being in a relationship with somebody who uses drugs. Police officers have tested positive simply for being around the stuff during drug busts. Meth addicts will literally...how should I say this...drink each other's toxic waste to get high from one another. There is a lot of evidence out there that proves a hair follicle test is a flawed method of testing and I would not be shocked if at some point in the future, these drug testing labs did not find themselves in a class action lawsuit for stating otherwise.

Sure, it gets drug addicts, and that's a good thing. I don't want a drug addict out there on the road any more than you do. It's bad enough we have alcoholics out there driving tractor trailer combination vehicles. It was not long ago a female police officer was crushed by a drunk driving truck driver...it was horrible. But the problem is, that test is also condemning people who literally do not use and their only crime was either wittingly or (in my case) unwittingly married to somebody who was using drugs.

And just to be clear, somebody said earlier in this thread that they can't believe that I had no idea she was on drugs. Then clearly you don't know my ex wife. I worked as an RF Specialist for Spectrum, I worked long and hard hours for that company. I did not see my wife all that often and she wasn't the typical tweeker that you see acting like oddballs in the grocery stores. She did a very good job at hiding her addiction from me. Did I suspect something wasn't right here and there? Sure, money mysteriously vanishing, her staying out all night and not coming home till morning, her sudden anger issues that she had developed over the past couple of years, her lashing out over the smallest of things...sure, there were some red flags, but no real evidence. When you are married to somebody for 4 years, you don't divorce them over a suspicion that may or may not be true. You want proof.

I finally got my proof in July of 2021. I gave her an opportunity to save the marriage if she went to rehab. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "F**k rehab." She actually said verbatim, "I don't have a problem with drugs, it is you who has a problem with me using drugs, therefore it's your problem and not mine." Yeah, she said that.

One night she lost her mind and destroyed my home and everything in it...WHILE MY KIDS WERE HOME!!! At that point, I went straight downtown and took out a restraining order on her and had her removed from my home. This happened on Sept of 2021. Her kids, who I love dearly were forced to move in with their grandparents because I could not go to work and take care of them at the same time. My own daughter had to go live with my parents because she wanted to attend a better school outside the city, which freed me up to pursue a career in truck driving. Inner city schools are a nightmare.

So all within a short time, I lost my wife, two of my adopted kids who both calls me daddy because I am the only father they have ever known, I had all of my property destroyed that I worked very hard for all because I told my wife that I wanted a divorce...and to top it all off, I got kicked out of a truck driving school for something I didn't do, then come here seeking help just to be told that I am in denial, told that I am an addict and made fun of by the very people I was reaching out to for help. I was desperate, my life had been flipped upside down and it happened so damn fast my head spinned. There has only been two or three people here who gave me respect and didn't judge me. In the end, God or whoever you deem holy, was looking out for me. I have prevailed.

I am not a drug user, much less a drug addict, I was wrongfully accused based off a flawed testing method. Despite everything, I have my life back under control.

Hope you enjoyed your popcorn.

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