Comments By Michael Tuomala

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Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

Well I took the dive today and applied at 3 places out west here that will hire from Wyoming. C.R. England, Swift and Prime, because I paid my last months rent in this town, and decided it isn't worth it to work or live here any more. I am skeptical with the idea I will even get a call back, it really sucked writing down all that criminal history over and over again. The company I work for decided to play games with me and since I rent from them I sort of have to both move and quit at the same time.

I am busy doing the High road 2.0 damn that is a lot to try and remember. On Monday I am going to try and get a DOT med card and then I have to go all the way to Sheridan to get an unlaminated SSI card. I was hoping to avoid having to jump like this but well that is how it goes sometimes.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Baltimore Bridge collapse

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How many things do you have to ignore to make such a disastrous mistake? It's jut hard to conceive.

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Let's see how this plays out. If you watch a sped-up version of it, the ship was heading in the right direction until the lights went out on the ship. Then it suddenly turns hard to the right, the lights flash on and off again, and it hits the bridge. It appears from the video that someone turned that ship, or when the power went out, it somehow made a sharp turn.

Either they lost control of the ship when the power went out, or it was done deliberately.

information is coming out on the non traditional news that indicates it was not what MSM is saying it was. I have been called a conspiracy theorist so there is that, but most of the things I have called B.S. on coming out of the MSM in the last 5 years have been proven true. While I aint saying what or who was behind this or why I am sure it was nefarious.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

No, even if you can swing it, do NOT pay for a private school. Their only goal is to get you your CDL. Some do have companies come in and talk with you, but there is no guarantee of any job from those places. The longer you do not get a CDL job, it becomes stale and you have to repeat the training over again at a company.

Laura

Okay thank you for your in put, and I got help in that specific area yesterday from Mountain West Truck driving School. I called to inquire and the man I talked to told me I would be better off trying out Swift or C.R. England. He had worked for England as a trainer for a year and a half AND had a felony record. I was SOOO impressed with his candor and help that I will promote for his school because he was NOT one of "those guys".

NaeNaeInNC

1. Company Paid/Sponsored Training. This is especially important with a dented past. They are investing their money into you. They run pretty superficial background checks before you even arrive for orientation, where a deep dive is done. This step would weed you out of companies that your past doesn't fit their policies. Once you are through their training, you are most likely hired. (Again, very select circumstances could alter this.) Going to a school itself may work for some, in very specific circumstances. Yours is not one that I would roll the dice on. What happens when you get your CDL , but nobody will hire you? Right away, the clock starts ticking, and quickly you are in the "stale CDL" category, which is actually worse than "no CDL."

With the input from the both of you and that being consistent with the trainer at Mountain west I have some confidence with what the recruiter at C.R.England said.

I talked at length with a recruiter from C.R.England yesterday and he said they now have a different driver program/school set up. The short version is their school is separate from the company costs 3500 and there is no commitment if you pay it up front which I could care less about my self, the important part was what he said about how they go about background checks and what not. Apparently they only go back 10 years, and I told him all the important negative crap about me right off the bat. He said it wasn't going to be a problem. Now was he lying? was he just trying to get me into the school or is he being incentivized to deceive me? I don't know. To me it is a possibility of course I don't really trust anyone very far, though I am want to believe that recruiters if they get paid get paid by the new truck driver rather than by the school attendees. He would know their system and the chances I would have of being hired I should think and I have to give him my info in order to get into the school, I cant just go there on my own.

Once I get the surgery done and that is next week, and have gone through the recovery time, I will take the plunge. I am doing the High Road 2.0 as we speak, just took a break to write this. I will go to Wyo DMV and take the CLP test and have my DOT physical done within 3 weeks. Then I am going to call the Recruiter back and get my marching orders. I already told him I still have a very good job and he said it takes 3 weeks or so before I get placed. We will see what happens. Kirk Out

Posted:  2 months ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

Try to get in with the company of your choice if you can, but if you only get one job offer, take it and run with it for a year. Then other doors will be open to you if you want to switch. Werner is not a bad company to start with. I have a good friend who is a. Instructor at one of their Roadmaster schools. I can put you in touch with him if you want some honest inside info about Werner.

I have been looking into Roadmaster as you suggested BK, I am concerned with my status and in this economy, it is as I see it BAD. What I am wondering is if I just went ahead and pay my own way to get the CDL first, still wont have any experience of course but unless I am wrong having a CDL gives me a leg up. I have also found out that it is possible to get a waiver so to speak from the Canadian government for as they call it "Rehabilitation", though I suspect that is just a way to make a lawyer money, as with the Pardon process in Minnesota. Being able to tell a carrier I can go to Canada even though I have a felony might make them consider me more seriously.

I think I am sort of screwed over all though especially in this economy, I am afraid to jump ship right now since I do make 70K a year and am "safe" for now with the job I do have, I just freckin hate it now. It took 40 years but I finally hate going to work fixing things other people break, and while there is more to it at this particular job, I really just want out so I can do something different.

What I am wondering about Roadmaster is if you have to attend as a potential company hire or if I can just say hey train me and I will pay for it. I also cant find out what it actually costs, the Community Colleges are all about 8K which I can swing but would have to hang my A** out there and quit my job and hope to get a driving job. But if I can do it right after my surgery I might be able to pull it off and keep my job, and that only if I can get in to a school without having to wait too long. I already told the Dr. I want 3 weeks off work so I am for sure healed before I go back to work, I think I can get a month though.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Beware this Freight Market

I saw a post asking for information about the industry, and while I am not a driver yet, and by the looks of things may not be able to even get in to Driving from what this thread is saying and my own observations (that is my end goal), though since I work at a place that definitely impacts freight I will put in my two cents here.

I work at a pallet manufacturer, they make top of the line pallets, and are quite proud of the fact that they saw up high dollar logs and use select and #1 and #2 lumber to make their pallets, to me THAT is friggen insane, but that is irrelevant here. The point is I watch and listen to the goings on and they are trying to hide how slow things are from us peons, and this companies sustainability and doing what they are doing, making pallets. Yesterday I got confirmation that things are not looking good, though I could see things were getting bad without that. Pallets are one of the big things for freight, we make pallets that go all over the world because they are not only top of the line, but also heat treated ( think overseas shipping). That is just an aside though, when Trump was President we made an average of 1500 (that's a lot) a day and could not keep up with orders, our yard was empty trying to keep up, now our yard is full and we send out maybe one or two truck loads a day and the pallet shop goes 2 or more days a week without making pallet one. In short pallets are for freight no pallets no freight, at least dry van and reefer freight. My take on this is that the out look is BAD for hauling freight, and for me getting out of this place and becoming a driver, though I continue to work to that end. Hope this helps

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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TMC and Drug Testing

All I can say is OMG WTF. I am just "working at" getting ready to get a CLP with the intent to become a Truck Driver, and what you wrote is friggen insane. I want to be a truck driver 10 years ago literally, but I have issues then that are the same as now. One thing I do know is it takes time when you don't have the right starting position, and you don't. I am guessing you have very little patience and I can almost guarantee you will fail mostly for that reason especially at TMC. While I cant say from experience, I have NONE. I can say this if as I have heard TMC is full of Jarheads and other Military types they will see you coming and KNOW how to deal with you. I suggest you read some TMC student Diaries and watch some TMC driver vids. While as I said I know nothing about TMC from experience I do know abit about the military mind set and 35% of TMC have that type of mind set, you cant even walk on the grass there. They will see you coming and hone in on you of that I am sure. Get clean first then check your impatience.

Let me start off by saying this may upset some of the drivers out there but I’m looking for a change in life. I’m in central Oklahoma and recently got my permit A. When considering a company to get my license with, I discovered TMC. I like their appeal because they don’t have team drive and their test is a urinalysis. I’ve been a 20 year consumer of cannabis products but I’m sick of this little detail holding me back so far in life. I threw out my bongs and pipes and whatnot and have only been sober for 3 days. I got a job local and told myself I would apply when I was clean. I would really like to get there sooner than later and have been considering faking my pre-employment urinalysis. The synthetics work and have gotten me most of my jobs in life but timing is important. From forum posts I’ve read so far, TMC test on your first day, disregarding travel day. If this is true and I have an hour of prep time, I can get through this drug test and further my career now instead of waiting another month. Please don’t think I’m trying to subvert testing and continue to smoke while I drive. I just don’t want to bus tables for a month while I wait to get clean. Any guidance or suggestion are welcome.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

Learning new stuff can be so frustrating. I had a long reply and lost it trying to figure out how to get quotes so I can respond. So I don't know if what I started is lost in the electronic either or if it will show up some place when least expected as an unfinished product. ANYWAY.

I am getting the help I was hoping for so thanks to all who have responded. I recognize that I started out doing the very thing I was trying NOT to do. Looking through rose colored glasses. I do try very hard to be realistic. what made me realise this was a combination of

You have your sights set on 2 of the pickiest companies out here. TMC does not accept candidates with a DUI. I think prime has a 1 in lifetime policy.

Applications are typically only good for 30 days. Wait until you're ready to go before putting them in.

and this.

Also, Werner trains through their Roadmaster schools. They might be a good one to try.

I have researched almost every company that this site has posted and has a CDL school. I dismissed Werner CR England and Swift as places I would not like to work because I found enough negative things about them not just reviews as I take those with a grain of salt but because it seems to me they would take anybody and because my own self perception, I know I am a working machine, and I know I am reliable, and I know while I have no experience I learn fast and apply information objectively. I missed the part where NONE of the HR departments will know that and they will see the reports stashed away in the archives that point out how "risky" I am to have around. In short they wont know much about me in the real world. I can see that I have to lower my standards, or more likely deal with less than a perfect company or job until I have a track record in a truck. I hope that makes sense.

One thing I have done is call a couple of recruiters in an effort to sus out my chances telling them I could not start right away, and letting them know I have a less than stellar background as I have pointed out here. I didn't get negative vibes from them though, so perhaps I thought then, it would not be such a big deal. I was skeptical though since they did not come out and say my history would not be a problem.

I have read a lot of stuff here, on this forum, and the responses since yesterday made me see how I was being overly optimistic, aka the rose colored glasses. So a great thanks to all who have responded. You have given me exactly what I was looking for, the means to see things realistically and at the same time some reasons for optimism.

Let me know If this is the right place to keep writing or if I should be over on Diaries or a blog. I am basically trying to do a play by play as well as getting help. I know I am not the only one with difficulties, and I know how important it is for others with problems to find a place to get input. I am not even sure if I started writing out this process to early, but one of the things I am trying to impress on those who might need an objective view is that taking the time to research is all well and good but also that having a goal is only one part of reaching it. Taking the time to plan and deal with what might interfere with reaching the goal is the bigger part.

What I am saying for instance is I know I have a background that is going to create problems, I also know that I am no longer young and I have been tossing Iron for most of my life which has taken a toll on me. I would like to be a flatbedder, but can I realistically do that at my age and with the things I already know might create a problem for me, my hernia, my bad knees and the assorted aches and pains from a life of tossing iron. I believe I can, but can I actually do it? Or is it better for me to try a dry van or a reefer, I don't know but I have to keep those things in mind for several reasons. One is starting over at 63 with zero experience in a way of life and the actual work involved, from what I have read so far there is a large difference in what the truck is pulling and what is required to operate it and deal with the load itself. Having worked in Construction I know how much fun it is to clime around on things and get a job done.

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Point being do I still have the ability to do hard work for years to come, I think I do but then again what if I don't and I have to make a change, age plays in here. Something to consider when making a big life change. While I may be getting ahead of myself since I do not even have a CLP yet I do have to consider that part.

I have other things to consider, some I don't really have to that many do. For one thing I have no interest in home time, my drive is not to make a gazillion dollars, money is important of course but not the most important. For me not having to pay rent is most important in the money sphere. That alone makes a paycheck bigger in a way. I have spent the last 10 years on the road often paying rent in two places at the same time. I am almost out of character's so I will leave off here.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

I was thinking about using this sights 'mass mailer" to get as many apps out as possible from here, though I am reticent to do so until I have gotten closer to full filling the necessary requirements to be ready for school. I cant do much for a while no matter what I want to do now though I have a hernia surgery coming up in 2 weeks, gotta do that and I have total upper dental implants being done in a month and then I have to wait 4 months for those to be healed to get the permanent teeth in. All that crap is the real reason for my "delay". But I so want to put my name out there to see who would make an offer, only problem there from what I have tried is the companies wont do a background check unless I apply. I talked to a recruiter from Roehl and TMC already and told them I have a criminal back ground and that I could not apply right away because I could not go to orientation till I had some of the things done I need to get done. I was trying to get an idea of whether they would even consider me. My take was they might but the recruiter did say he couldn't really say.

A big benefit of using the app here on this site is it sends it to companies not even on your radar, and one of those might be the one(s) who say yes.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

You have hit one of the nails on the head lol. I am only using Minnesota for residency to be in hire zones, Wyoming has no State tax and if I could I would stay here, but no one other than Prime and CR England hire out of Wyoming, more or less. Thank you for your offer to help and once I figure out how to work this place (as I have said I suck with all things computer) I will take you up on your offer.

Michael, if you are going to change your residency, now is the time to consider using a state with no income tax. That may or may not matter to you. I recently changed from Wisconsin to South Dakota for that reason. My case is different in that I was already employed when I did it. My company doesn’t go to SD, but it didn’t matter because I don’t need to take home time there. I live in my truck and don’t need to get routed to a particular location on a regular basis. If you want more details on this or anything else, go to my profile page and my email address is listed. Shoot me an email with your phone number and I can explain the process to you. I picked SD because that state makes it quick, easy and cheap to establish residency in. Plus, you might want to discuss the idea of living in a truck, a space smaller than a jail cell, lol.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Begining the process of becoming a Truck driver.

I already applied for TWIC card and the question for murder I answered no because Murder is a different crime than Manslaughter, BUT I recognize that to those people it might not matter. Legally it does but then I would have to fight them over it and well that is to much work as far as I am concerned. Only time will tell on that part. As for CDL School I already found one I went to college after I got out of prison and it also has a good CDL course up in Duluth so that is on the radar as part of a plan should no one want to train me.

After I retired from trucking I went to work for my State DOC in a re-entry facility. Over my 3 years there I learned how difficult it is for ex-felons to get a “foothold” and escape their past. Congratulations on your efforts. Almost 70% of released felons find their way back to incarceration so your first hurdle is over.

Don’t focus on TWIC cards or Passports. You likely will not get a TWIC (murder is a disqualifier) and, even with a Passport, Canada will likely not let you enter. Don’t worry about that, there’s enough freight to move in the lower 48 to keep you busy.

Do focus on your health. If you have issues you need to address do that now before you enter the industry. This job can be very hard on you physically. You wouldn’t think so but trust me, it is. Besides that, you’ve got time.

Freight is slow right now and many companies are being particularly choosy. Wait till late spring or early summer when the freight starts to move and “bodies” become a hotter commodity. I concur with BK. When you are set to move cast a wide net. Eventually some outfit will give you a start. Look into companies that train (although, even though accepted, there is no guarantee of hire). Private schools cost about 5k or more and also provide no guarantee of work. If you’re not in a hurry (and you shouldn’t be) look into your local Community Colleges. Many have CDL training programs that are more in-depth and cost a lot less.

Many folks will look at you and only see the person you used to be. You’re not that man anymore and someone out there will see that too. Good luck to you.

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