Profile For Kevin Z.

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    7 months ago

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Posted:  7 months ago

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Looking for career advice

I appreciate the input! I personally always felt like a second-class citizen when I OTR. Whether it be luke-warm/cold showers, being charged an arm and a leg for healthy food options at truck stops, or just the general "**** you" behavior of the majority of other motorists around me while driving, not to mention how some trucking companies treat us!

Sure did enjoy that office with a view though!

If you aren't afraid of alittle elbow grease, try looking at local companies as many don't bother with DAC. If your MVR is clean, you will likely find something. I had two very minor incidents in trucking that went on my DAC report despite the company telling me they wouldn't be added due to the minor nature and the zero dollar cost. When I quit said company, they sandbagged me on the report. Mind you, when I worked for AAA, I reported every single little thing. Even near misses because I believe integrity is important. That said, the trucking industry discourages honesty due to the predatory nature of these reports. Even my old trainer warned me not to say anything about minor stuff unless it was "undeniable" which I should have listened, but I digress...

In my personal opinion [mind you, everyone is different] local is the way to go anyway. I did my year of OTR and I won't be going back for a myriad of reasons. Not the least of which is the hook, line, and sinker approach these companies employ when they roll out the red carpet for you. Things like "we treat our drivers like family" and "generous home time" oh and "resets at home" with "detention pay" that ends up being after 4 hours. Sound familiar? I just find the industry as a whole to be a huge scam setup to screw the driver. I make more money now than I ever did OTR through overtime and I feel infinitely healthier. OTR was a cool experience in and of itself, but the jig is up and im glad that I get home every night. Really stop to consider it. I know people on here will likely label me a heretic, but I wouldn't change a thing about what I do now.

Posted:  7 months ago

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Looking for career advice

You'll do your character and your career a great favor by owning your mistakes and learning ..

I feel that I have owned my mistakes and have learned something valuable from each one.

I'm not sure if shooting myself in the foot is necessarily the smart thing to do, if I don't have to.

I don't have much experience with how to handle incidents with prospective companies that may make me unhirable.

Appreciate you taking the time to comment. : )

Posted:  7 months ago

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Ramp parkers

And if you end up parking on a ramp, at least make sure it's not the off-ramp!

I always wonder who in their right mind does that every time I see it.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Ramp parkers

Exactly! I can appreciate a good trip plan, but I've never been one to know where I'm stopping for lunch, much less the night, until a few hours from shutting down.

Also helps me to be rolling no later than 4am so any truck/rest stops have plenty of parking when I arrive.

I agreed with everything you said.....until this:

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To me the thought of starting a shift without knowing where and when I'm going to stop and how far I'm going to drive is a failure.

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In my very successful OTR career, I almost never knew where I was going to park at the end of the day, or how far I would drive. There were far too many variables in my day for me to plan 14 hours ahead. Locking myself into a predetermined parking spot could cost me miles and productivity.

Rather, I'd do the best I could until just a couple hours before my shift ended. Then I would look ahead and map out a plan for where to park the truck. And I never had to park on a ramp.

The only exception is when I knew I'd make it to a customer's location for the night. Then it would just make more sense to stay there. Otherwise, I'm grabbing all the miles I can until it's time to start thinking of where to park.

Posted:  7 months ago

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"Okay, Let's Back Up" - The Ultimate Backing Thread

Had the exact same issue with that damn lying mirror during my test as well!

I agree about the set-up being the most important. It took me almost a year before I felt comfortable with what I was doing.

Patience is also super important. Easy to get stressed by the moment and situation and I found myself rushing until got more comfortable with taking my time.

Relates back to my school days for this. I had gotten great at all the manuevers they had us doing in the yard. Offsets, Straight backs(duh), and especially, the blind side parallel park in the box.....Every time in practicing the moves.

Come test day, I, and 5 others got the head instructor, by chance. When it came to our parking stuff, after the in cab, and walk around. So, I was 1st of 2nd doing the manuevers. Well, when it came time for the blind side parallel, I get set up and begin the backing in......I get in almost fully, BUT, in my passenger mirror, I think I am going to be out of bounds, and am going to pull up and try to "fix it"

The instructor, yells, for me to stop, set the brakes and get out, and walk over to him at the bench, with the others. Then he says " Ok, you can TRY and fix it, BUT you will fail, OT you can take a 10 point hit, and pass!".....Of course, he is probably right, so YEAH gimme the 10 point hit,and a pass! Was the only points I'd gotten, so far, so duhhhh I'll take to 90 v.s. a probable fail..

After that the next 2 people, get into the same problem, and given, and take the same option as he offered me.....

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Looking for career advice

I've been driving for a little more than 2 years and my first week driving solo after getting my CDL, I dropped my trailer. I got into a rush because I felt pressured by the loading situation and to save time, did some of my pre-trip out of order on the unattached trailer. That was enough to knock me out of my usual routine and I missed the visual check and didn't realize I was high-hooked until it was too late.

Fast forward to a few months ago..

I had two preventables too close together and got let go. First was sliding into the median when I hit some black ice going well under the speed limit. Tore off a nice amount of the siding on the truck, but no other damage. Didn't need a tow and not DoT.

The second was a few weeks later..

I was on am unfamiliar area and had the proper follow distance. The exit on the right was backed up and the guy in front of me braked quite hard. Rather than brake, I saw the left lane was clear and swerved. Apparently I clipped his front mirror with the end of my trailer when I corrected from the swerve, to stay in control. I was too busy collecting myself from what would have been a gnarly accident to notice.

Safety knew I would have stopped had I known I hit his mirror.

I've been looking for work, but I get crickets from prospective companies once I send my application.

Currently, my application has every preventable listed because I wanted to be upfront about what happened.

Today, I get a copy of my DAC and the ONLY thing on there is that initial trailer drop, which didn't prevent me from getting the job to follow.

I'm thinking about removing the incidents that aren't on the DAC from my applications moving forward.

I want to be truthful, but I also don't want to starve!

Appreciate any advice from those in the know.

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