Profile For Brian S.

Brian S.'s Info

  • Location:
    St. Cloud, MN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 months, 1 week ago

Brian S.'s Bio

If I have a full year of driving under my belt, am I still a rookie?

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Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Preventable Accidents

I pick up a load of rough cut lumber almost every Monday in Mt. Pleasant TN to bring back to Minnesota. I've run the route so many times that I have everything memorized but I still like to have the Google maps GPS on just so I know what my drive time situation is.

After leaving Mt. Pleasant this past Monday my Google maps "re-routed" me "to avoid a 20 minute slowdown near Nashville". It wanted me to go down a road with a clearly marked 10'10" bridge ahead. If 13'3" is a can opener, a 10'10" is a guillotine.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Single mom looking to get CDL

I’m a 43 year old woman interested in obtaining a CDL. I’m just not sure which avenue is best. I’m a single mom so I need to be able to take kids to school but have childcare in the evenings. Also, are there paid training schools that would hire me in Southern California where I could be home daily? Thank you so much for any insight. I have 6 years experience driving a stepvan/amazon box truck by the way if that means anything lol

Hi Vanessa.

Your options appear to be limited to a local delivery type of job. Could be something like local freight, food/beverage, etc... My advice would be to look at sites like Indeed.com where these types of jobs are advertised and just try to get a feel for what openings are available in your area and then contact the employer(s) who have openings. Just call them and tell them your situation. See if you can find a fit. In my experience I have found that making that personal connection gives people the sense that you are both sincere and determined. Make enough calls and you will more than likely find someone who wants to help you.

Best of luck!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Preventable Accidents

Hello all. I started driving in January. The company I was hired with, had me go through their training..then they put me with their local TEs..for 2 weeks(a week each). Now, I was OTR..I don't see how running with locals would help me with anything I might run into on the road. My first week out after that training (alone), I was sent to PA..I inevitably got stuck following my gps. Mind you I have never been to PA, so I was not familiar. I got stuck and had to call the authorities to get me out. It ended up being a preventable (fine, I get it) no citations. In the month and a half following. I got stuck in the mud a few times and needed a tow. 3 more preventables. Then my last one I hit a customers pole and knocked it sideways. I feel like I didn't get the adequate training I needed. I'm sorry this is so long winded. But I feel wronged by the company. Am I justified to fight these preventables? They let me go and now I have 5 on my record.. no one wants to hire someone with these on their record. I don't know what to do now. Someone please give me some insight. TYIA

The importance of thorough trip planning cannot be understated. Relying on something like Google maps to route you to your destination will get you into trouble eventually... and it usually won't take very long for it to happen. Follow Google maps and you will get "stuck". It is a 100% certainty. It'll take you into a residential area, down a "trucks prohibited" road, into a 12 foot bridge... it doesn't know that you are in a semi.

I never learned route planning during my training, either, but still understood that getting the truck into a bad situation would be my own fault. I've been driving for about a year and a half now and I can say that my biggest fear is taking my truck down a road that I am not 100% sure a truck should go down.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I did something really stupid today...

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

The thing that I'm going to take away from this more than anything else is to not judge the severity of this mistake based opon the outcome. The outcome ended up being relatively inconsequential but the exact same mistake under a different set of circumstances could have been VERY consequential.

Definitely something I never wish to repeat.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I did something really stupid today...

I got back from Ohio this morning with a dry van full of pallets. The owner of the company that I drive for told me to dock the trailer in the back of the building and just leave it in the dock. So I back it in, lower the landing gear, unhook the air and electric lines, and pull the release arm. Just as I'm about to hop back in the truck and drive off, one of the guys that works in the warehouse asked me if I could move it to one of the docks in front of the building. Sure, no problem, I said.

So I reconnect the lines, crank up the landing gear, hop in the truck, start to pull out and...BOOM! Down she goes. I totally forgot that I had pulled the release arm. Thank God that it was a light load and it didn't damage the landing gear or worse. The warehouse worker was nice enough to lift the front of the trailer up with a forklift so I could lower the landing gear and get back under it with the truck.

I've been driving for well over a year now and this is the first(and hopefully last) boneheaded thing that I have done. I know how serious this is and I know it could have turned out a hell of a lot worse.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Hotels... how often do you stay in them?

I'm relatively new to the industry. I got my CDL in November of 2022 and took a kind of bottom of the barrel LTL job delivering wholesale building products to lumberyards. After 6 month of doing that, I was able to hook up with a small outfit which is dedicated primarily to one account. Now I run from central Minnesota to Gas City, IN. From there I go to Nashville, unload the rest of my load, pick up a load of rough cut lumber about an hour southwest of Nashville and bring it back to Minnesota.

Shortly after I started this run I noticed a Days Inn in Kuttawa, KY that had a large gravel parking lot right next to it which happens to be right in the range of where I have about 45 minutes of drive time left for the day. $80/night. Damn is that worth it! The older I get, the more I have started to appreciate the simple things in life like being able to soak in a hot tub, stretch out in a real bed, and watch a full sized TV. Very good little diner right across the parking lot, too!

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

33 +

Good Evening all!! I am the Wife of a Driver that was terminated end of March 2024. 27 years with the same Company! Anyhow. I'm asking.. BE NICE He has 33 + years of driving. Great record. However I've had to have 2 major Surgeries with a 1 year time frame. He was and has been worried about me! Last April 2023 he had a backing incident, nothing major 1 month later another backing issue, nothing major June or July 2023, he was backing out of a fuel island. Loves Tanker truck pulls by behind him, btw he got out and made sure no one was there.. He hit the middle of the tanker and put a hole in it. Tanker driver also came into the truck stop backwards. The termination, was BLACK ICE in Nebraska, he laid the truck over, the load was meat and it was saved as soon as the truck was set back up. His termination report states all the accidents even though 1 is falling off tomorrow. What Company or any Company gonna be willing to hire him?? I have sent an Email to FMSCA to request a hearing on the layover. I sent In 23 pages of Evidence to support that there was no weather in the area, he was headed to York Nebraska for the night. Please no snide comments, I've been on him since he got fired, but we have a mortgage and car payment and RV payment that has to be paid. 3 storage units but I have decided to sell off all my families Antiques that were handed down to me, only child. We have some cash, but it's getting lower by the minute. Any leads or help is appreciated. Reminder ... BE NICE. :)

I don't know if you live in an area where this would be feasible, but Sysco is always looking for route drivers and they will hire pretty much anyone from what I've heard.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Drive schedule to fit in April 8th solar eclipse?

I'm not looking forward to this Monday.

I drive a dedicated route. Monday morning I leave from a little north of Indianapolis and head to Nashville. I usually get to Nashville about 11:00, unload the rest of my trailer, and then head about an hour south to pick up a load of rough cut lumber. From there, I head back north to Kuttawa, KY where I park it for the night.

Under normal circumstances, I'd be going back through Nashville at around 14:30.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Too old? And best school?

How long ago did you get your CDL-A? For the last 10 years, since I got mine, there have been schools run by big carriers only requiring 10 months to 1.5 years commitment with most all of them requiring only 1 year on their contracts.

I was going by what the instructors at 160 were telling me which was "most companies that put you through their finishing program are going to require you to drive OTR for them for two years". I just took their word for it and didn't pursue that option. Maybe I would have if the commitment was only one year? It all worked out in the end but I can tell you that the Manions experience was not fun at all.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Too old? And best school?

Hello. New member from Utah. I currently own a business but have gotten bored with it and want to go into local trucking.

First, will my age of 54 be an issue? I’m in great health and don’t see me ever wanting to retire.

Next question would be what school would you recommend? I want to get at least 160 hours.

When I close my company, I will pay off all of my debt so I am planning on school full time.

Thanks all.

Hello.

I'm new here, too, and your situation seems very similar to mine.

I'm 56 and got my CDL a little over a year ago from a school called 160 Driving Academy. Basically, for 5 grand they teach you how to pass the test and not much else. I'm not sure how other academies operate but in hindsight, I would have benefited from some instruction on how to be a professional driver rather than just a guy with a CDL.(there is a gigantic difference between the two) But I did pass the test so I can't complain. They did for me what I paid them to do.

After getting my license, I quickly realized that with no driving experience, I had few opportunities available to me. It was either sign on with a large carrier OTR where they put you through their finishing program but you are then obligated to be OTR with them for 2 years, or take a bottom of the barrel LTL job. I chose the second option and took a job with a company called Manions delivering building supplies to lumber yards in a piece of junk 2014 International pulling an equally piece of junk curtain side trailer.

Manions was a miserable, grueling job. Their turnover rate was ridiculous. It was common for drivers to start and quit within just a few days. I stayed there for 6 months and by that time I had more drivers behind me than in front of me in terms of seniority. Long days and hard work. I received 4 days of "training" and then I was on my own, fresh out of driving school and 4 total days of experience. I did have other drivers there that I could call and ask for help or advice when I needed it but I was pretty much on my own to learn the ins and outs of becoming a professional driver. I learned many lessons the hard way like the importance of route planning, highway etiquette, challenging backing situations, etc... It would have nice to have known a little more than I did before hand.

Fortunately, I was able to land a much better job with a small time outfit(which suits me just fine). I now have a dedicated route which I drive from central Minnesota to Nashville and back. Leave Saturday at noon and I'm home by noon on Tuesday. It is perfect for me. I had to endure some pretty difficult and challenging situations to get to this point but I'm better for having gone through it. I really do love my job now.

Good luck to you.

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