Profile For Fernie

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    1 year, 11 months ago

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Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Wow, that is fast. I will definitely report on what's happening when things start happening. Right now, I'm enjoying discovering the diversity of jobs out there. I had never heard of a Spotter before.

I would like anyone reading this thread to definitely check with their state's Department of Workforce Development. There are grants out there that will pay your tuition (WIOA, for example), and if you're a displaced worker with a lower income, there are some that will help cover expenses like mileage or lodging if you need to travel for school. If you're interested, get the ball rolling because the money may not be there next year.

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Thanks, Fernie, and best wishes to you on your endeavor. It seemed at the beginning like there were so many hoops to go through to achieve this dream it was frankly a bit overwhelming. When I look back now, I can't believe how fast it has all flown by.

I resigned on June 17, 2022, and here it is in early August and I'm a driver-in-training, going through securement training in Madison, IL. In just a little over 6-weeks, I've obtained my 2-year medical card, earned my CDL, with Hazmat and Tanker endorsements, obtained my TWIC, received a conditional job offer, went through the week of orientation training a Maverick Transportation, and received a job offer, accepted the offer and am now in securement training. If all goes well, I'll be joining my trainer in just a few short days and be out there learning on-the-job! What an amazingly rewarding adventure this has been already!

I'm thankful that you have found my training diary helpful. I hope to continue this throughout the entire process until I reach the end and am assigned my own truck. That seems like a long way down the road, but knowing how fast all of this has happened, I know it's just around the corner. I am toying with the idea of starting a YouTube Channel to help people of my generation who might be considering this as a viable option for employment into and perhaps throughout retirement. I hope you will keep us posted as you progress on your journey.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Congratulations on moving through the training, testing, and job process smoothly. Thank you for writing up your experience clearly and thoroughly.

I'll be starting training at a technical school soon. Now, I'm curious to see what the kids at my school will expect, in terms of vehicles, pay, and working conditions. I look forward to hearing about your experience starting out of the gate as a flat bedder.

Mostly wanted to let you know that the time you're investing in writing up your experience is benefiting some folks.

Maverick New-Grad Orientation: Madison, IL - Week 1 Summary With the first week behind me, I wanted to share an update. Since we started on Sunday, our week ended last night at 4:30 pm and I was exhausted. We finished up our classroom work at noon on Wednesday and moved on to the next stage of our training which is securement training. Maverick has a very extensive and lengthy securement training course that covers essentially anything you may need to strap to your flatbed trailer. The temperature and humidity made it a real physical challenge, but as everyone here has told me, flatbed is hard work! After a day and a half of securement training, I find it absolutely fascinating how all of this is designed and the various formulas that are in play based on the weight, the material, and the physical characteristics of the load. Who knew all the work and calculations that driver went through before he covered up his masterpiece with a tarp and pulled it out onto the highway? I'm impressed! We will pick up our securement training on Sunday at 7 am and should be ready to test out by Thursday of next week.

The highlight of this week was receiving a job offer which I gladly accepted. I am assigned to Nucor Steel Dedicated hauling out of Huger, S.C, (near Charleston). Maverick gave me several options, and although this account pays a bit less than some of the others ($0.51 cpm), but I believe it will be a good fit for me. It is guaranteed home weekends which is a big factor for me since we have a small food concession business that we run, primarily on Saturdays. A couple of guys in our class tested out of securement, since they are former Mavericks who have come back after short seasons testing the waters at other companies. They were assigned their trucks yesterday, were dispatched on their first loads and just like that, they're gone.

I am very impressed with the level of detail and the work that has gone into the training program at Maverick. It is very organized, the instructors are seasoned professionals, and the large volume of information is being taught in a very logical and well-structured process. The instructor shows has us watch the Maverick video to see the securement done, then our instructor does it in front of us, and then stands back and watches us do it. We always have our tablets (Maverick issued) available in the training bay if we want to go back and review a video or notes in case we get stuck.

I am very, very impressed and had no idea so much went into chaining and strapping loads. Math is not my strongest subject, but I'm thankful that I'm able to do basic calculations for proper load placement and securement decision-making. (E.g. every chain provides 8K lbs of securement. So, therefore a 40K pound steel coil will require 5 chains.)

I'm having the time of my life and enjoying this so much!!

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Hi there Paul-

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm around your age and am starting at Fox Valley Tech at the end of the month. Same deal, an 8-week class that seems thorough and not expensive. Technical training is one thing Wisconsin does really well.

Is there any chance that you might share some of your knowledge about companies? We're in the same general hiring area. A spreadsheet is a really good idea. I'm going to start one. I've started researching companies, but am finding that it's hard to compare apples to apples since the companies don't all share the same data.

Congratulations on hour decision Steve. I've used this site extensively but have never posted until now. I'm now 60 (wow, that sounds old) and I started driving with Paper Transport on 11/7/21 after an 8 week course at Milwaukee area tech college. Best decision I ever made for schooling and driving job. I can't say enough about what a good experience they both have been. At 6 weeks I started applying for jobs and when the responses started rolling in I made up a spread sheet with all of the particulars and made my decision based on MY wants and needs. I think the companies like getting older drivers because of our life experience, work ethic and other intangibles. I work hard, stay between the yellow lines and don't run into anything when I back up. And I don't complain (except if my truck breaks down) and because of the before mentioned I started with a KW with over 500,000 and was given a 2021 Freightliner with 20k 2 months ago. Not bad for a guy with less than 6 months on the job. "Slow is Pro"! And "PTI" goes out of their way to accommodate work schedule changes and such. I could go on Steve, but I will just leave it with this. I thought this out for about 3 years and then took action on it. So far - no regrets. Thanks for reading, Paul

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

First week at Roehl

Ok, that's a nice place. It seems like they treat the trainees well. You're lucky it wasn't wintertime.

Congratulations on jumping into the fray successfully and your great attitude. Thank you for continuing to post on your training time.

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Sorry for the long delay, but week two didn't slow down any at all. Most days ran the same formula, drive out on the road before lunch, backing practice after lunch. My driving is solid, but sometimes my speed is a little slow (out of an abundance of caution). My straight line back and my offset is spot on, but my 90 degree is hit or miss. The weather out here is bipolar on a good day. Week three was more of the same, just stepped up in difficulty. More driving during the mornings, but now adding in driving down Central Avenue in downtown Marshfield, and some interstate speeds on 10 East. Practicing 45 degree parking and truck stop pull thrus. Afternoons still practicing offsets and 90 degree backs. Thursday was test day for me. For my pre-trip I drew the coupling and the trailer, in cab and brake test. I got 45 out of 48, then to my backing test. I aced straight line and offset, went out of bounds 1 time on my 90, straightened out with a pull up, put it in the box perfectly on my first GOAL for a total score of 2. Off to the road test. I was waiting for the examiner to tell me to take the truck back and park it, but I kept on. When we finally returned to the terminal, I was certain I had failed. When the examiner told me I had passed, to tell the truth, I wasn't sure if I wanted to scream or throw up. I didn't hear much of what he said after that, except my score, an 8 on driving. I did it, I earned my class A. Three weeks of what felt like at times as pure HELL, but I survived. Saturday was a half day on atlas reading, then driving a total of 16 hours home, arriving at 4:02 am Sunday morning.

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Oh shoot, wish I had seen this. I live in Marshfield, probably saw you driving up the hill on Upham! I’d have bought you a cup of coffee. Where do they put up their drivers in town? I hope you keep posting about your Roehl experience.

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Craig, They put us up at the Hotel Marshfield, would have loved to meet up with you. I enjoy meeting everyone on here and hope to meet a lot of members on the road in the future.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

View Topic:

First week at Roehl

Sorry for the long delay, but week two didn't slow down any at all. Most days ran the same formula, drive out on the road before lunch, backing practice after lunch. My driving is solid, but sometimes my speed is a little slow (out of an abundance of caution). My straight line back and my offset is spot on, but my 90 degree is hit or miss. The weather out here is bipolar on a good day. Week three was more of the same, just stepped up in difficulty. More driving during the mornings, but now adding in driving down Central Avenue in downtown Marshfield, and some interstate speeds on 10 East. Practicing 45 degree parking and truck stop pull thrus. Afternoons still practicing offsets and 90 degree backs. Thursday was test day for me. For my pre-trip I drew the coupling and the trailer, in cab and brake test. I got 45 out of 48, then to my backing test. I aced straight line and offset, went out of bounds 1 time on my 90, straightened out with a pull up, put it in the box perfectly on my first GOAL for a total score of 2. Off to the road test. I was waiting for the examiner to tell me to take the truck back and park it, but I kept on. When we finally returned to the terminal, I was certain I had failed. When the examiner told me I had passed, to tell the truth, I wasn't sure if I wanted to scream or throw up. I didn't hear much of what he said after that, except my score, an 8 on driving. I did it, I earned my class A. Three weeks of what felt like at times as pure HELL, but I survived. Saturday was a half day on atlas reading, then driving a total of 16 hours home, arriving at 4:02 am Sunday morning.

Oh shoot, wish I had seen this. I live in Marshfield, probably saw you driving up the hill on Upham! I’d have bought you a cup of coffee. Where do they put up their drivers in town? I hope you keep posting about your Roehl experience.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

CDL CLP Knowledge Testing-Do you take the tests all at once or individually?

I wanted to follow up. I took my CLP, General, Air Brakes, and Combination test and only had one wrong answer total! Thank you again, everyone, for your encouragement. I'll be starting school soon.

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Hello-

I have to say that I'm really surprised at how complicated the process is to get a CDL. I'm enrolling at a local tech college for the ELDT and need to have my CLP to start there. I'm studying the manual and was wondering, are you able to test each section individually or do you take all the tests at one time? Glad I found this resource. I plan to use the course here after I finish reading the manual.

Thank you all for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

Craig

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Howdy, Craig .. and WELCOME!

Exactly what the guys above mentioned; they are truly 'in it' and going through it, right now. Each of these folks have excellent posts, and diaries to follow; and it's awesome to see them paying it forward, with their experiences.

It's been tough since 2003 (when my husband got his) and has become tougher, ever since. The 02/07/2022 didn't do the industry any justice, at all.

Have you read some of 'our' starter stuff, to begin with?

I'm really not SURE state wise, how this works! Some folks choose to go Company Paid to make it easier (and let the 'company' figure out the semantics, LoL!)

Anyway, again, welcome. Let us know how this plays out; SO MUCH keeps changing!

Best wishes;

~ Anne ~

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

CDL CLP Knowledge Testing-Do you take the tests all at once or individually?

AR does it same as WV. Computerized test ends when 80% correct achieved. So all my scores were 80%.

I did the Hazmat endorsement prior to the new ELDT law taking effect, so I didn’t need to take a class.

I actually just hauled a hazmat load of a class 3 flammable liquid in my reefer with temp control.

I just read your bio, Dennis. What a very interesting life, Kazahkstan, etc. I have a parallel background to yours, a long professional career(s) and now looking at trucking. I need to dig into your older posts to look at your experience. It's also reassuring to see someone else doing it in a similar age range. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Craig

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

CDL CLP Knowledge Testing-Do you take the tests all at once or individually?

Thank you, everyone. This was just the little nudge I needed while facing this process on my own. I'm going to finish reading the manual and then I'll do the course, power straight through, take the tests and move on to the next step. I'm in WI, but I'm guessing at this point the testing is pretty close for most states. The CA and WI manuals have the exact same material. However, the CA manual is easier to read and concise so I'm reading that one. I'll let you know what my experience is at the school when I start.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

CDL CLP Knowledge Testing-Do you take the tests all at once or individually?

Hello-

I have to say that I'm really surprised at how complicated the process is to get a CDL. I'm enrolling at a local tech college for the ELDT and need to have my CLP to start there. I'm studying the manual and was wondering, are you able to test each section individually or do you take all the tests at one time? Glad I found this resource. I plan to use the course here after I finish reading the manual.

Thank you all for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

Craig

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