Profile For Zen Joker

Zen Joker 's Info

  • Location:
    Bark River , MI

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Zen Joker On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    4 months, 4 weeks ago

Zen Joker 's Bio

20 year mortgage industry professional. Began trucking as a 2nd career in February 2023. Midwest Regional Fleet Driver for Veriha.

Proud Father, Husband and Christian.


***No recruiting or solicitation emails.

Zen Joker 's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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Zen Joker's Training Diary at Veriha Trucking


Monday I was an observer for a home daily driver who does primarily routes for the local paper companies in Marinette, Peshtigo, and Green Bay. Veriha's approach to training so far makes great sense. My first two weeks of OJT are focused on LTL and short routes to get reps in on coupling/uncoupling, moving tandems, and backing (where it is remotely beginner friendly and we don't have trucks lined up to unload). My in cab coach is a very nice guy. Very patient, easy going, and easy to learn from.

Tuesday was a day to really confirm I am cut out for this. 12 hour day and I logged almost 175 miles. Longest time I had ever been on the Interstate was like 15 minutes. Had to run down to Green Bay which was a good hour drive at 65 mph. For a moment I felt a sharp bite of anxiety and my vision locked for about 2 seconds but I quickly shrugged it off. The idea of driving 74,000 lbs at 65 mph in cross winds was something to experience. Anyways, I just focused on why I am here and why (not if) I will be successful in this new career. The ride back was much more relaxing even though I got a good taste of round abouts and got back on I-41 at the beginning of rush hour.

Today (Wednesday) things kept progressing in the right direction. After a drop and hook at Resolute Forest Products, we made another run down to Green Bay and dropped off HUGE paper rolls at a warehouse in Green Bay. On the drive back, I decided to up the ante a little and push the cruise control to 70 mph in 10-15 mph winds. I realized that as big as this vehicle is, it is well within my abilities (up to certain wind speed of course LOL!!) I just kept remembering how I would ride motorcycles back home on the Rock Freeway during windstorms, you just need a firm and calm hold on the wheel and don't overcorrect. Speaking of overcorrecting, backed 3 times today. Still drop into the bad habit of overcorrecting and making a mess as I am lining up to the dock. Repetition is the mother of all skills, and this one will take time but I am just being patient. My assessment from the in cab coach today was very positive. Just need to be little more graceful with lane changes, other than that, the truck is slowly becoming a part of me. Learning how to use ALL of my mirrors and learning to work with the truck instead of against it, and starting to learn its limitations. The funny part is, after driving the Volvo with a 53 foot trailer all day, getting into my Honda Ridgeline, I felt like a midget driving a go cart!! More to follow later. Thanks for reading, and whatever you are deciding to do in life, stay true to your commitments and work hard.

Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

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Thank you

Good luck man..just relax and show what you got this!!

Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

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Zen Joker's Training Diary at Veriha Trucking


Sitting back at Veriha's hotel and preparing for my first week with an in cab coach from the home daily fleet. Last week was a huge win. I passed my CDL test on the first try.

Not many entries in my diary last week as I was just focusing on learning the backing maneuvers as I was clearly behind my class although I excelled at the pre-trip and driving on the road. For some reason the off-set and the 90/Alley Dock were very tough. One of my instructors said "Get your head out of your backside and just drive the truck." For all you fellow overthinkers out there, BEWARE of overthinking! It really does complicate a task that can be acquired by repetition. To be honest, I didn't feel really comfortable doing the alley dock until the afternoon prior to my exam!!! Nevertheless it did click. The state of WI allows for 12 demerit points on the trio of backing maneuvers (Straight-line back, offset, and the alley dock/90). My straight-line was a breeze. Ended a few inches from the left cones but got no points. For the offset, the examiner showed me exactly where I needed to start. My set up was off. I was way right of the RH cone for the lane I had to back into. For a moment I panicked but quickly told myself to simply shut up a resolve the issue. I had 2 G.O.A.L.'s and 2 free pull ups. I think I used both and simply eased it back without any points incurred on the first to maneuvers. Now for the fun part...the alley dock. I got to take all the time I needed and used my time to triple check my set up relative to the hole I would be pivoting and nudging the trailer into. Set up was perfect as I used only one pull up, took my time, and never encroached or hit any cones! My score for all cumulatively was ZERO!! My test was the best in all 3 areas for all four students in our class (2 failed on their drives)

The moral of the story here is to KEEP YOUR HEAD...and also keep it out of your @$$ and avoid overthinking and creating your own stress. TRUST your instructor, apply the skills they gave you and succeed. While I was not really that nervous, I did have to dismiss a handful of bad thoughts (what if I'm not good enough?, If I fail will they send me home and what is my plan B?). Those thoughts needed to be met immediately with an internal and assertive *** off, I am doing this and I will succeed. I took the teeth out of the test anxiety by realizing that EVERY day of my trucking career will be it's own test. The only difference is that today, a guy is riding along with a clipboard.

I will say this about CDL school, you not only need to pick up the fundamental skills they are teaching quickly, you also need to pick up mental toughness, mental endurance, and an iron disposition. I expect this to be a daily requirement of the job. Veriha has been very impressive to me so far.

So after I passed the test I called my wife on FaceTime and pointed the phone at the examiner and he said "Hey darlin', have some bad news for ain't seeing this boy on weekends anytime soon he just earned his CDL". I took the time to celebrate by going out with my class that evening to a Cajon restaurant and ordering a huge bourbon BBQ sauce, bacon 1/2 pound cheeseburger, fries, and a huge slice of Chocolate Mouse cake. We had some laughs at the dinner and enjoyed each other's company.

On Friday, the Director of Driver Ops. took me one on one and taught my the basics of coupling/uncoupling and shared some nuggets of wisdom from his own experience of 2.5 million accident free miles. I nearly gave him a heart attack as I was pulling around the yard and got distracted by whether or not I should take my jacket and said "Crap" and looked in my right mirror and I cleared the nose of a trailer by about 4 inches!! He said "This is a good lesson for you, you'll never forget this." Monday morning I head out with my in cab coach for local/regional deliveries. Day 1 I am in the passenger seat.

Ultimately, I kept pushing myself and remembering that my prior career of 20 years ended it forced me to sit down in front of this demon named (failure, financial disaster, destruction of your family's American Dream). They say when these moments happen in life, you need to sit down at the table calmly and look it straight in the eyes and tell you how you will prevail...I didn't do that. I ripped off my shirt, jumped over the table and went straight for the knockout! The greatest blessing in all this is not the pride of passing the first time, the 2 CPM bonus I get for passing 1st time, or the convenience of staying on track. The biggest blessing is the personal growth I am experiencing! I'll need that growth to survive on the road out there 5 days a week running regional Midwest.

Went home this weekend to celebrate my daughter's 11th birthday with family and friends. I took in the moments the last 3 days. Now the streamers and confetti all need to go away and back to the hardhat and lunchbox. As my examiner said after I passed the test...."The good news is you just climbed a mountain in 3 weeks...the bad news is there is a whole chain of tall mountains ahead of you". A very accurate and sobering statement. The very grace of God will help me through the next chapter. All of my glory is owed to Him.

This concludes the CDL School portion of my diary. Onto Phase 2 of training. Everyone be blessed and safe out there!

Posted:  4 days, 23 hours ago

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Caffeine Nap

Yeah, coffee is a pretty acidic food I know what you mean. Alkaline foods are always better if you have bad joints. Anyways, that’s why I like the caffeine pills for this exercise.

I recall, in my motorcycle riding days, that long distance riders would drink a cup of coffee and then take a power nap up to 30 minutes. Then they could ride for much longer time frames.

I have very little coffee now, since I've learned that if seems to really have an affect on my joints. I'll have a little now and again, but don't depend on it, as if I just gotta have a cup in the morning, kind of thing.

It's been 2 weeks since I pretty much just gave it up, and haven't had any while on the road. And my joints have felt better as a result, too.

Posted:  5 days, 19 hours ago

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One year milestone

An enormous congratulations Bill! I’ve enjoyed following your journey over the last year, as I have prepared to start my own.

So glad you are going to stay out here and enjoy some new equipment. You’ve definitely earned it! Godspeed 💪🏼

Posted:  1 week ago

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Aced my CDL exam today!!!

No sir that’s my dunce cap for the first time I get lost 😂

Thanks for all the dancing bananas guys. You’ve all been very supportive and helpful throughout this process. Now the real work starts but I’m gonna temporary relish this moment. Be safe out there everyone


dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Is the "Celebration Hat" the same as your avatar on here?

Posted:  1 week ago

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Aced my CDL exam today!!!

Please excuse the speech to text mess above 🤠

Posted:  1 week ago

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Aced my CDL exam today!!!

It’s been a very emotional week and I didn’t get the 90° alley dock down literally until the 11th hour but I actually asked the test today was zero points on backing and the examiner said one of the best pre-trip he’s ever seen on an exam.

I cannot put into words how invaluable the guidance and resources of truckingng truth has been so far on this journey.

I will update my training diary before the end of the weekend when I go home, Monday morning, I’ll be doing live training with a and cab trainer.

I will be wearing my celebration hat for the next day or two, but I’ll be quickly put him back on the hardhat Monday morning my celebration will be short-lived as there is another mountain to climb ahead of me, which is gonna be real world training with a real learning starts.


Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Zen Joker's Training Diary at Veriha Trucking

Week 3 (Test Week) Day 1

The day started out with driving after our one hour of pre-trip. I deliberately volunteered to go last to expose myself to more traffic closer to the noon hour and I got what I asked for. I ended up making a right hand turn turning too late and getting stuck and impeding traffic, my instructors said to wait for the lady in the left turn lane to scoot forward so I could complete the turn. Later on the drive, I also have to curb l. All five students had exam failing incidents during the drives today whether it was hitting curbs or impeding traffic. One guy ran right through a red light, making a right turn , the head instructor asked us what happened over the weekend after we got back. Street driving was one of my stronger points of the three major skills to master here in CDL school so far but add more traffic and more stress and more variables to sort out in a very short time and this is what happens. I was a bit stressed out earlier, but I’m really trying to keep things level. Not trying to get terribly happy when I do something right now I get extremely discouraged or beat myself up when I make a mistake.

Backing in the afternoon went decently. I started doing the alley dock with a small amount of coaching from the range instructor. Still behind and hoping I can test Friday instead of Thursday as I need to get backing down a bit better.

I can’t emphasize enough, that this process not only teaches you the fundamental skills of operating vehicle, but very quickly forces you to develop mental toughness and keep going.

Going to get a good nights rest and come back tomorrow and just remember some the training fundamentals on the morning drive and keep building step-by-step on my backing.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Zen Joker's Training Diary at Veriha Trucking

Thanks brother 💪🏼

I'm a member of the prestigious overthinkers guild as well. It's really hard to let go and just do it, but you can. Don't beat yourself up, relax. You got this.

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