Profile For X100 Fan

X100 Fan's Info

  • Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 months, 3 weeks ago

X100 Fan's Bio

Spent 25+ years in auto parts industry. Considering something different for my remaining work years.

I am single so can come & go as I please. I am also ok with myself as company so that ticks one box of the required traits I reckon. I have a completely clean record, no baggage in that regard whatsoever.

My biggest area of concern is that I own my home so leaving it for long periods unattended could present challenges. I would like to know if this topic has been covered previously? What does one do if say the furnace breaks down when one is hundreds of miles away? Unfortunately all my family & close friends are also some distance away.

Honestly one of the biggest draws to trucking for me is being able to see our wonderful country that I am now officially a citizen of after over twenty years. I realize there's a job to be done & it's not all about sight seeing but most jobs have their perks & that surely has to be a big one of trucking?

I shall add more as it comes to mind.

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Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Prime or CFI?

I am not overly concerned with pay rates. Of all the numbers I have seen in trucking I reckon that I will comfortably exceed where I am now? Currently averaging $850/week take home after 25+ years in the parts business. Adjusted for inflation, about the same as when I started in 1994. Yes, it has varied considerably over the years. The proverbial straw is that our dealership is now switching DMS (major software) to a new system that has very mixed reviews. I have, however, been seriously considering this career change since long before that decision was made.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Prime or CFI?

Thanks G-town, Etch & Kearsey.

Yes, opti-idle seems like a good alternative. So far I only recall seeing that on the Swift section of here? Heard horror stories from that Canadian guy about drivers having to sleep in the driver lounge or freeze! He is the one that gets me in trouble with G-town though ;)

Also did not mean to trivialize the gearbox differences between cars & big rigs. Knew about the synchro thing, my background is auto parts. One has to go quite far back to find a non synchro car! Also read that the power band for a big diesel is way narrower than a petrol engine so that sounds like a lot of extra shifting! Many car companies have ditched manual, good to see the truck companies following suit.

I think G's suggestion about applying to both is good. The biggest issue for me I think is going to be BP numbers, the high side especially, right around 140. My DOT card which I got on my own to check things out is good until Aug/20 2023 but I bet they re-check at orientation! Keeping in touch with my doctor on this.

Brad

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Prime or CFI?

Well, after hours & hours of research I think it has come down to Prime vs. CFI for me. Major shout outs to Kearsey and Dave (riding with) for their superb videos. Kearsey's from a rest stop the other day zeroed in on a question I have been asking myself: "could you live with yourself knowing that you never gave it a try"? That would haunt me forever. There's a song "celui qui n'essaie pas, ne se trompe q'une seule fois", which translates to: "those who don't try, don't fail a single time"!

Prime: I really like the concept of getting right out there hands-on and one on one training. All the trucks have APU's and they operate in Canada (important to me, my Mom worries that she will not see me trucking - she lives within a mile of one of the busiest freight corridors in North America, the 401). I do wonder if reefer schedules might be tighter than dry van. Those of us 55+ might not want to run quite as hard as the younger crowd, at least not all the time. Kearsey touched on something else regarding packages - evidently Prime allows one to have personal packages sent to the terminal so they're not sitting at the house? A nice perk if so.

CFI: Training is shorter and one gets the benefit of multiple instructor input. Not sure on the APU question and they also operate in Canada. Interesting that CFI allows one to take more than four consecutive home days over Prime? Both companies have automatics it appears? Yes, I can drive a stick (the little red car is) but it's a nuisance in traffic and I feel like there are enough other things to concentrate on driving a big rig?

Anything I am missing folks?

Brad

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Hi Kearsey,

You're most welcome on the article. Have not had a chance to read the others yet but did find your video channel and have been enjoying those very much.

All of y'all have totally changed my mind about Megas, the Canadian guy (his channel is smart trucking) appears to be in the minority. That's good, because my shortlist (I have an Excel sheet to compare, yeah a bit nerdy that way) based on the reviews here are: CFI, PAM, PRIME (can I request you as a trainer? I would certainly list you as the referral), ROEHL and SWIFT. The rest had some geographical limitations etc. (I am in SW Mich). Companies that run into Canada are important to me as I have family there. I am, thankfully, now a US citizen though. Sad to hear of your Mom's passing, that was emotional to watch. Mine lives within walking distance of the 401 freight corridor and I am over a decade older than you! Elderly parents (Dad in FL) is something that I had not perhaps considered as carefully as I need to, although I have siblings (NS,OR,FL). The 'how old is too old to start trucking' was a good video too. Would it be fair to say that schedules in reefer are tighter than dry van? For us older people we might not want to run quite as hard as the younger ones, at least not all of the time.

I could not believe how some of the trainees act based on that video. Common sense isn't so much anymore it seems. Looking forward to finding part two. I don't know if anything 'scares' me about the career but there are certainly things that make me apprehensive and top of that list would be winter mountain driving, given the awesome training course on here stated that one cannot use the engine brake in those conditions? Yikes! I shall time my career start to get winter experience with a trainer for sure.

Equally informative was the 'realities out here' video. I am single so can come & go as I please. Just need to be sure the house is taken care of. Have a plan for that, just need to figure out mail. I am more concerned about things like disturbing/delaying my trainer going to the restroom. Doctor says drink lot's of water to combat BP, well yeah, that just exacerbates the problem!

I am very excited about the concept of being ones own boss to a certain extent. Right now I am stuck in an office on the phone, looking at the damn computer all day. My degree was in IT, never really used it because I didn't want to be stuck in an office and yet what am I doing now?

Most of my career has been in auto parts (still is). Not worried about the inspections. I have done extensive wrenching on cars too. I can drive a manual car (they tell me my steering wheel is on the wrong side) but with a synchromesh gearbox it's hard to duplicate truck shifting. I am content with auto truck, they seem to be all going that way. One less thing to worry about so one can watch the road & navigate.

Regards, Brad

Hey X100.... When you do your job, you get noticed. When you stay at one company for awhile, you get noticed. One thing that makes me laugh is when a driver ridicules me for working for a mega but then tells me he changes companies every 6 months. In 7 years I have not wanted to seriously leave. I contemplated it twice. But after weighing my options made no sense. If that driver was so smart, then why is he not happy where he is?

As with G Town, I have a team in dispatch, road assist, payroll, logs and night/weekend dispatch. They are the same people all the time. My brother laughed recently and said "yep. You are a #... Your number is 10/4 cause that is all dispatch says when you want something."

I know what pistachios and soda my fleet manager consumes, what favorite candies the weekend guys like, one of our techs collects VW bug miniatures. If you take the time to get to know people, they will know you. The owner of my mega hugs and kisses me every time he sees me. He ordered his staff to find me a position that would be flexible when my mother was ill. He approached me in person to thank me for my plight to help women drivers.

My mega is not a trap for me. It got me out of the trap of working as a federal employee. Yay me! 😂

And thanks for complementing my article. You should read my others. I try to hit most of the topics newbies consider.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Excellent article Rob. Thank you. I have been reading many of the email feeds and somehow had not seen that one. I also really liked your previous comment likening being a driver to a business owner.

Kearsey wrote an excellent article a couple years back about how she's Not just a number.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

The point I was trying to make was simply that one is more likely to be 'just a number' at the big mega carriers. Watching some of the videos by an older, very experienced Canadian driver online (his name escapes me), one gets the impression that he is not a fan of them. However, even he concedes that they can be a great choice to start out and I would agree.

Trap was probably not the best choice of word. Perhaps mold, model or even syndrome might have been better.

When any company in any industry grows larger & larger there are benefits and drawbacks. My concern was simply that CFI could lose some of that 'family' feel it appears to have as the result of this merger. Time will tell.

Brad

Bumping this…

X100 (Brad); when are you going to answer my question? What is a Mega Carrier Trap?

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Mega Carrier trap? Please explain…

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Well, it seems like CFI has a reputation for being a company where one is not just a number. There is one lady, Stephanie I think, who has been there for 39 years as mostly a driver.

My concern is they will fall into the mega carrier trap.

Brad

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Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

The only changes with Heartland is more places to park around the country. They will be helping us update our trailer fleet. We are treated real well. Safety comes before on time.

I had a face to face talk with my fleet manager and he said the office was looking forward to the Heartland deal. I was in Joplin and at the town hall with the President of Heartland. He had great things to say. Millis Transfer was bought by Heartland a few years ago and they have not had any major changes.

Come join the family.

Thanks, Scott. Very reassuring to hear from someone in the know.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Well, it seems like CFI has a reputation for being a company where one is not just a number. There is one lady, Stephanie I think, who has been there for 39 years as mostly a driver.

My concern is they will fall into the mega carrier trap.

Brad

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Hi y'all,

CFI was(is) quite high on my list of prospective companies.

However, I am now concerned that their being bought out by Heartland Express could have a negative impact? I have watched many of Riding with Dave's videos and hope he will address this issue.

Today I passed the Michigan CLP written tests which are good for one year if one waits for the six month mark to actually acquire the permit. My DOT is good for one year from late August.

Brad

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Advice for single truckers who are homeowners

Thanks for all your suggestions.

The house sitting & Air B&B are probably not for me. A security system is a must and todays systems being more than just burglar alarms should be able to alert to something like a furnace outage. Perhaps it's more of a property management company question although one small house might not be worth their while. BK is correct in that I should be able to get back periodically. It's really just a question of peace of mind knowing that if something happens when I am hundreds of miles away, I have someone to call upon to get it taken care of. The local security system company might know of someone. My lawn guy is not close by and our local post office likely does not have the personal level of service that Laura's does!

Brad

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Advice for single truckers who are homeowners

Hello, forgive me is this has been covered already although I cannot find anything in the topic list.

After 25 years+ in the auto parts business, I have become disillusioned and for over two years now have been considering getting my CDL and driving OTR to see our wonderful country that I have officially become a citizen of after 20 years.

I am single so can come & go as I please and don't mind my own company so that checks a couple of OTR boxes I reckon.

However, I own as opposed to rent my home so one of my biggest concerns with embarking on this career is leaving it unattended for long periods. Not interested in selling it.

What advice would other truckers in my situation have concerning handling: emergency repairs, mail/packages & general security?

My family & close friends are also some distance away (FL, TN, Ontario, WA) and maybe OTR would allow me to see them more if routes & resets aligned?

Thanks, Brad

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