Profile For FR8 M4N

FR8 M4N's Info

  • Location:
    Sturgis, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    FR8 M4N On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    3 months ago

FR8 M4N's Bio

Married my high school sweetheart and have 8 children ages 28 to 10 as of 2022. Wife and I became Catholic in 1990.

Retired from Abbott Nutrition after 24 yrs. most time spent in the energy center where we provided high pressure steam (up to ~460#), variety of cooling waters, HVAC, soft water, compressed air (~90#) and nitrogen. We did maintenance to our equipment, boilers, air compressors, chillers, cooling towers, water softeners, and whatever else.

Drive 20-25 yard garbage trucks, hence my rumble.com/trshm4n channel, starting in April of '22 to present.

This year I'm getting into truck schooling to obtain the Class A CDL and start driving truck.

Recently changed my personal truck plate to reflect the new career!

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Posted:  5 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Wow! What a busy time thus far. It's already day 4.

First day was an observation day so I rode shotgun for the 463 miles. We made a live load and then headed towards the destination which was scheduled for the next day. 79,100#.

The morning of day 2 my trainer drove rest of the way to our delivery and docked it. Waited on live unload. After that, it was me behind the wheel. Went to another live load then towards next live unload scheduled for next day. 595 miles and around 50k#.

Third day, make delivery which was live unload then onto to a drop and hook pre-loaded trailer. From there onto receiver for a live unload. 272 miles and around 50k#.

First couple of nights was pretty rough sleeping. I was plenty tired and wish I had more rest, but it wasn't too bad. Last night was the best so far. Just getting used to everything, you know?

Lot of firsts like docking and driving at night and backing into parking spots at the truck stops. Even got a weigh station on my first day of driving. Also accidentally ticked off a trucker; long story short, he showed me that he didn't like what happened and purposely drove very close to me as he passed by with his set of doubles.

Already had a car cut across in front of me as they realized they were about to miss their exit from the far left lane. The brake assist system kicked in for that one.

Had a driver about hit my trailer as they were passing on my left side. That guy was within inches of me before he swerved back. Then he continued to swerve badly once he was ahead me. Geeze.

Gotta run... papers are ready for pick up here.

Until later...

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Turn on my work tablet and Woohoo, first dispatch! This is continuously getting more real by the day. To go from not even thinking about driving a semi to being in the driver's seat of a semi is pretty cool. I thank the Lord for making this all happen. And to get the ball rolling in the right direction was to retire from a previous job. From there it all fell right into place. It did take some time and research and prayer, though. And here we are, about to embark on a new journey; yet another way to support my family. It's difficult being away from home for days at a time, but very fortunate to have found a great company to drive with that strives to get you home on the weekends.

So technically, I don't drive on Monday; that is a day of observation. Tuesday, it's all me for the next several weeks. I talked with my trainer and set up how we were going to meet at the truck. I'm nearby that truck stop and I wanted a Love's rewards card anyway, so I took on of my boys over to see the truck and to grab some lunch there, too.

Looking forward to meeting my trainer and getting the job started.

Until later...

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Hotshot HOS Question(s)

Good on'ya for nipping that in the bud. I bet you felt a lot of stress just melt away! That sounds like a rather intense way to earn a paycheck, anyway. Sure hope you'll consider driving a semi, whether team or not. I get the feeling you'd be good at it and would enjoy it much more. Good luck to you and hope it all works out for you soon. Jump back in here to let us know what you end up doing, will ya?

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

And so it begins…..

It's been a good read! Keep up the great work, Etch!

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Orientation day 2 was fairly busy with a lot more paperwork. Fairly uneventful, but necessary stuff for onboarding.

Lunch was provided at a Mexican restaurant and was of a very typical menu as a Mexican restaurant we visit nearby where I live. It was ok and even though the portion was smaller from what I’m used to, it was filling. Too bad one of the other fellas got sick later and had a terrible evening and was ill for the rest of the night.

There is a modular home on the property with several rooms for the drivers to use and we got a tour with instructions on how to take care of the place if we ever use it.

Orientation day 3 was just as busy but we did more tablet readying stuff, having the apps explained to us and how/when to use them. We also all had a turn at the driving simulator. The trainer set up some snowy conditions and had a lot of distractions to watch for and react to. That was a weird feeling during that exercise but was beneficial. I remembered what DL said earlier in the thread, so I was very easy on the steering. Ended up hitting a deer but I knew already not to swerve for it and kept my focus on the upcoming possibilities. Kind of amazing how much predictive driving we’re tasked to do!

I got to practice sliding tandems for the first time and experience how the pins didn’t release or pop back out all the way and how to remedy the issue.

While out on the lot, we learned about how to properly open the trailer doors and close them. Sounds elementary, but a load that has shifted could fall on you if you’re not being careful when opening. Also, to be wary of the wind as those big doors are heavy and could knock you over or slam on you or damage something nearby.

We also inspected some loaded trailers and did some load securement with straps.

Lunch was provided by a business that delivered. Had a pizza and some garlic bread and was really good.

Got my trainer assignment and will start next Monday.

Until later…

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Awesome and congrats! Woohoo, another step closer!

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Sounds good! Sure glad you are able to practice the maneuvers with the actual truck you'll test in. That was a suggestion I made in the exit interview. I can see where that might not always be available to the students if the trucks are in use for other testers or if they're out on the road. But maybe they can schedule it so the students have one for the range time more consistently? Anyway, that's awesome.

Good luck tomorrow!

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Congratulations on day 1!

Prime uses simulators. The steering is very sensitive, so don’t over-steer and easy on the brakes.

Thanks for the tip!

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Hi y'all,

Completed day 1 of orientation. Only thing I did wrong was get all the training videos done the day before! Now, when I was scheduled to watch videos, there was nothing to do! Haha I even asked for something to do, like sweep out a trailer, or something! But they didn't have anything for me; oh well.

Was sent for another drug test during my time there. They did hair and urine. I thought they told me I didn't have to get the hair test because I just did it not too long ago, but according to the nurse gal, she said it was needed. Ok, no big deal anyway.

They provided lunch by way of a gift card to Subway, so that was nice.

Aside from getting a lot of paperwork out of the way and getting the clearinghouse and payroll stuff done, oh, and a road test, there wasn't a lot going on today. Tomorrow was said to be a bit busier.

Word has it, we'll get to try a simulator for winter driving. That should prove to be fun, I think; never drove a simulator before. ;o)

It was great to meet a few people today! Met my fleet manager and talking to him was like a mini-interview. He had questions for me and I had questions for him. It was a good conversation.

Got to see my recruiter for the first time and he's awesome. It's been fun working with him right out of the gate. Most times I feel I'm taking up too much of his time, but he says it's never a bother, though.

HR guru was a cool cat. In fact, we share the same name; spelled the same, just different middle names. He walked me through payroll and tax stuff and got things going for direct deposit.

Our captain, who ran the classroom today like a boss, has been around for a while now; 10 years driving and 1 year doing the orientation classes. Super nice.

And the road test fella was cool as a cucumber. Quick on his feet, too. I was showing him pre-trip inspection under the hood when we had a gust of wind start to close the hood on me. He hollered and we both caught the hood before it killed me. Well maybe not kill me, but it was coming over pretty quickly. First time that's ever happened, he says. I'm thinking there ought to be a safety bar to engage or something. That could be hurtful should that come down on someone.

It felt pretty neat walking around the place knowing I'm an employee now. Even said hello to the CEO in passing, though he probably doesn't know me quite yet. Picked up on a professional demeanor about him. Neat to see him working right-along-side the others in the office.

Well, looking forward to Marco's Pizza for my next two dinners, tonight & leftovers tomorrow.

Until later...

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Day 9-

Another day down, one to go this week! Today started out with a drive or if you will a ride along for a couple hours and then a drive. I enjoyed getting out and driving a longer distance today. That was fun. And it was my entire morning.

After lunch I went out to the range. I decided to hit the alley back first to see how good I could do… Or how bad. I ended up doing pretty well with that, but I had 2 1/2 hours of practice today. After a short break, I came back and the driver side parallel park. I had a little bit of a hard time with it today, but I was able to decide when it was time to get out and look before I did any damage, or hit any cones. I only technically hit the wall once. Of course, that was one too many times if it was real world backing.

this day came to an end as quickly as it started, hoping tomorrow goes just as fast because I’m looking forward to going back home to be with my family. Not sure what I’ll do tomorrow but I’m ready. I did learn today that I’ll be testing on the 23rd of this month right around 1 PM, so keep me in mind and pray for me. Thanks!

~

Woohoo, sure hope testing will go great for you. I’ll be on my last day of the orientation on that day. By the wx forecast, it looks like the best day of the week for ya!

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

A rook's attempt at a Veriha training diary

rofl-2.gif

I am in my first phase of road training now and will try to update periodically at least. Monday was day one, my trainer didn't want my first day to be driving through Chicagoland so he handled that part and I started my learning from the passenger seat. After two stops there, we refueled and went to the last stop in Wisconsin. I drove back to the yard from there. This phase is with a home-daily driver but he uses a sleeper cab, which I like since that's what I'll be handling when I go solo. We get along great and I could tell instantly that he is patient and has a lot to teach me. Today he also started the drive because we were tight on time to get to Michigan and a snow storm was going to slow us down. I drove from there to another stop in Michigan then back to the yard in Wisconsin, including in rain and snow and night time, all for the first time. Like most newbies, my backing leaves a lot to be desired so hopefully we start to see some improving there. So far though, so good (all in all) and I'm loving it!

Sorry, a little late to the party! But Congratulations on passing and getting the Class A!

Hey, bet we're fairly close, location wise. I'm 2.5-3 hours from Chicago in SW lower MI.

My company orientation is slated for the 21st for three days, then I suspect I'll be off until the 28th in which I suspect the trainer will swing by and pick me up for my five week training session.

Hope to get snow, too. Presume chances are good we'll both get some drive time in the white stuff with our trainers before too long.

Be safe!

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Thanks, y'all!!

Had my appointment at the SOS today and received the paper temporary CDL.

I told my recruiter about it and he asked for a pic. So I snap a pic and send it. He replies, aren't you supposed to be getting your class A? Sure enough, it said class B! I was able to go back to the SOS and they got it fixed. Guess the fella wasn't aware that what he did, improperly filled in the Class designation with my current class B. Easy fix. Printed off a new one, took my picture again, and now sent a corrected pic to my recruiter. In a couple weeks I should have the real deal.

Take care everyone!

Until later...

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Day 7-

Sorry, I missed my diary for DAY 6. I was really tired yesterday and just went to bed and honestly forgot about it. Day six started out doing pre-trip for about an hour, and then we went out on the road. Spent a good portion of the day out on the road, almost all of it, there was about 2 1/2 hours of range time in the middle.

today was more of the same, started out the morning pre-tripping, the instructor signed off one of our people in the class today for going through the entire pre-trip. I guess I opened my mouth a little too much during the critique, because he told me that I would do the pre-trip tomorrow. I’m not scared, everybody messes up.

After doing pre-trip, we went out on the road. There was four of us, and we all got at least an hour driving. I went through a construction zone where the lanes were reduced in size by a noticeable amount, but it didn’t seem to bother me too much. The rest of it was easy driving after that.

After lunch, we went out to the range, and I was introduced to parallel parking. I had a little bit of a hard time on the blind side, but the sight side seemed easy. To be fair, I was in two different trucks for the two different maneuvers. On the blindside I was in the sleeper cab, and on the sight side, I was in a day cab. I got into a truck, and also practiced the offset lane change, which, by now seems fairly easy especially in comparison to parallel parking.

For the most part, it seemed like a fairly productive day, and while I still feel like I need a lot of practice I am starting to feel a lot better about the range time. I’m not sure what else we will do tomorrow, but it seems like pre-trip is a definite for that morning. I am looking forward to it.

~

I totally get the tiredness you speak of! I had the same issues, too.

I found blind side easier, haha! I ended up with sight side parallel park during the skills test, though. Worked out just fine, but I did start out a little nervous.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

FR8 M4T wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

Total of 10 hours of drive time is too short! ;) I'm glad the area around the school offers a good variety of driving conditions.

double-quotes-end.png

I’m going to respectively disagree.

If this 10 hours is road time, outside the confines of the yard, it’s definitely satisfactory. Remember, the majority of schooling options only teach enough to pass the CDL tests. They are not teaching you how to be a productive truck driver.

Additional, higher quality drive time occurs with your employer extending drive time before going solo (or teaming) in the way of road training or mentoring.

I recall my drive time during school was about 12hours. It was plenty to pass the CDL tests. During mentoring I drove 160 hours.

Sorry, my statement came across wrong. I meant more like, I liked that portion of the school, and wish it included more driving time.

I agree that they are there to get you through the testing and not much more. Driving with the trainers was the best part for me.

Thanks for your input, G-Town! I like that you are very helpful with the community here.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Day 5-

Sorry I took a while to get this done. I got to go home Friday evening, so I have already told this story to some of the people reading this. Friday morning we started out by doing a pre-trip inspection on the truck. After the exterior inspection, we got in the truck and did the in-cab portion of the pre-trip. The instructor then parked the truck where we could drop the trailer, and we went through the drop off with him and left it there.

Next up was a drive around the pond on the school property, which is not very large, but it is enough to practice with familiarization of the start and stop, and to talk about turning with the trailer, without actually having it attached, so we could discuss any mistakes made by cutting corners too short. After we all got a turn on the property, we took the bobtail tractor out for a drive. We are driving an automatic transmission tractor, and my group is only getting schooling for automatic, so we won’t be learning about shifting any more than we already have. The bobtail drive went well, and we practiced watching all angles during turns and turning wide, so that when we drive with a trailer, we should be able to turn with both. A little city, and a little highway driving with the bobtail for everyone, and we went back to the school for lunch.

After lunch we hooked up the trailer, did our tug test to make sure it was secure and went out on the road with the trailer. We all had a chance to take several turns driving both on the road and on the highway, doing everything from easy turns, to some pretty tight turns that actually required other 4 wheel vehicles to move out of the way. We went back to the school, took a break, and then went back out for more driving until it was time to go home. It was really nice to be able to go home for the weekend, but it is very exciting to be able to get out and drive a big truck. Can’t wait to get back to it, but I am very happy to be home right now.

TTFN

Total of 10 hours of drive time is too short! ;) I'm glad the area around the school offers a good variety of driving conditions.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

I was there today, saw you in the classroom! I finished up my road test and saw several students heading out to the range, but didn't see you then either.

Hope your day went good and look forward to your diary entry.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Received a text yesterday asking if I wanted an appointment for the next day; I asked what time? So I retested this morning, actually closer to noon, they were quite busy. Glad to report everything went very good and now have an appointment set up at my local SOS on next Tuesday to get the Class A license in hand.

Orientation at Keller starts on the 21st and goes for three days then I'll find out when I go with the trainer for the next five, or so, weeks.

If I could change things a bit, I would like more practice time on some maneuvers on the range; have all the trainers on the exact same page when going through pre-trip inspection, because only one mentioned anything about bud spacing, among other things; and have trucks similar to what is used for driving and testing on the range to learn on.

Thanks for following along these last few weeks. For me, it's been a fun, tiring, and frustrating (at times) experience that took place in a relatively short time frame. Overall a good experience; even with failing the skills test first time 'round.

Until later...

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

Happy Anniversary!

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

From Technical Service Advisor to Truck Driver

High Road CDL Training Program

Hi ya GAV! The link above has so much info. If you need more on a topic or want a refresher, chances are it's there.

Glad you're enjoying it there! I had a good time there as well. I always tried to keep a truck moving whenever on the range; sometimes hard to do when students out-numbered available trucks!

I enjoyed a lot of things there, but the drive time on the road was best!

TTYL

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Don't leave your drug test!

Wow, that would be so crushing. Dotted i’s and crossed t’s for sure.

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