Comments By Rico

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  • Rico
  • Joined:
  • 7 years, 10 months ago
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Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Waiting......

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Man, am I bored! I passed my CDL exam and went thru Con-Way's orientation. Now I am stuck in wait mode. My finisher was on off time in Florida when I completed orientation last Friday. I've been stuck in this hotel room since then with little to do but wait. The soonest he will be here is either Friday or Saturday. I've been here in Missouri since April 28th and am sooooo ready to get out of this state! lol At least I am getting paid to wait. Con-Way pays layover pay after 48 hours. :)

Crowder College turned out to be a really good experience. That school has a much deserved reputation for being one of the best in the nation. The instructors are truly interested in producing good truck drivers. I highly recommend that those of you looking into getting your CDL give them a call. You won't regret it.

Con-way is also a really good company. I've had a chance to talk with several drivers, and they all say the same thing--Con-Way cares about its drivers. If any of you are trying to decide what company to go with, give Con-Way Truckload a call.

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I have a con-way terminal 20 miles from me.. its in Santa Rosa, CA its a small thing, 60 trailers and 20-30 day cabs... I'm working on getting in with them as a local driver.

Good luck with your sitting and waiting, and welcome to trucking =)

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Thanks, David. I've been told that I will have to drive for a year with Con-Way TL before I can transfer to Con-Way Freight, should I decide to go that route. I've also been told that it's normal to have to work on the dock for a year before even getting a truck on the Freight side. Me thinks I might be a bit too old for working on a dock. lol

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To old to work on the dock? Doubtful since they use forklifts for everything.

It's still a physically demanding job. Even though I've lost quite a bit of weight over the past 16 months (75 lbs), I'm still not in any shape to work on a dock for 10-12 hrs a day. If I were in my 20s I'd give it more consideration, but those days are long gone for me.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Waiting......

My finisher just called, and he will be here Friday night. We are going to spend Saturday getting to know each other, working on the company obstacle course, and a few other maneuvers. We will head out at some point on Sunday. He's going to try to get us a west coast run, which would give me some good miles right off the bat.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Waiting......

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Man, am I bored! I passed my CDL exam and went thru Con-Way's orientation. Now I am stuck in wait mode. My finisher was on off time in Florida when I completed orientation last Friday. I've been stuck in this hotel room since then with little to do but wait. The soonest he will be here is either Friday or Saturday. I've been here in Missouri since April 28th and am sooooo ready to get out of this state! lol At least I am getting paid to wait. Con-Way pays layover pay after 48 hours. :)

Crowder College turned out to be a really good experience. That school has a much deserved reputation for being one of the best in the nation. The instructors are truly interested in producing good truck drivers. I highly recommend that those of you looking into getting your CDL give them a call. You won't regret it.

Con-way is also a really good company. I've had a chance to talk with several drivers, and they all say the same thing--Con-Way cares about its drivers. If any of you are trying to decide what company to go with, give Con-Way Truckload a call.

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I have a con-way terminal 20 miles from me.. its in Santa Rosa, CA its a small thing, 60 trailers and 20-30 day cabs... I'm working on getting in with them as a local driver.

Good luck with your sitting and waiting, and welcome to trucking =)

Thanks, David. I've been told that I will have to drive for a year with Con-Way TL before I can transfer to Con-Way Freight, should I decide to go that route. I've also been told that it's normal to have to work on the dock for a year before even getting a truck on the Freight side. Me thinks I might be a bit too old for working on a dock. lol

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Wondering if I've made a mistake...

Rome wasn't built in a day. Just take it one day at a time. Right now you are being bombarded with a ton of new information. No one expects you to remember it all after just a few weeks.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Waiting......

Man, am I bored! I passed my CDL exam and went thru Con-Way's orientation. Now I am stuck in wait mode. My finisher was on off time in Florida when I completed orientation last Friday. I've been stuck in this hotel room since then with little to do but wait. The soonest he will be here is either Friday or Saturday. I've been here in Missouri since April 28th and am sooooo ready to get out of this state! lol At least I am getting paid to wait. Con-Way pays layover pay after 48 hours. :)

Crowder College turned out to be a really good experience. That school has a much deserved reputation for being one of the best in the nation. The instructors are truly interested in producing good truck drivers. I highly recommend that those of you looking into getting your CDL give them a call. You won't regret it.

Con-way is also a really good company. I've had a chance to talk with several drivers, and they all say the same thing--Con-Way cares about its drivers. If any of you are trying to decide what company to go with, give Con-Way Truckload a call.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

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At Crowder

Well, I have been here at Crowder College Transport Training for almost two weeks now. I haven't had sufficient internet access to post until today, so I thought I'd give y'all an update.

It's going well. This school has a tough program. They start you out on a simulator, and you have to pass a test on it before they will even allow you near any of the trucks. As easy as it may sound to clutch and shift on a simulator, I am here to tell you that it's challenging. The machine is designed to highlight your weaknesses, and it does its job very well. The first week is spent mastering your shifting skills enough to satisfy the simulator (you have to pass a test on it the first Friday), and then it's off to the range.

Once you get on the range, you are immediately taught how to button hook turn. The range is also where you learn how to upshift/downshift on a real truck. Of course, the trucks are very different than the simulators, so it takes a few times around the range before you are shifting smoothly. The button hook turns aren't difficult to master, but they can get tricky, especially if you don't swing to the left quickly. If you knock down a barrel, then you have to get out and put it back in its place.

This week started off working on the range. We also spent a couple of hours learning how to hook and unhook. While out on the range, we learned how to straight back and serpentine back. On Wednesday, we had to pass a range test in the morning, because the afternoon was spent on our first actual road trip and learning how to parallel park. The road trip included some highway driving, but not too much. It was mostly driving on back roads around the airport. The whole day today was spent on parallel parking.

Over all, my impression of this program is that it's very, very good. The information they give us is very detailed, and we have to pay attention because we are tested on everything. Mixed in with the simulator time, range time, and road time is information on HOS, CSA, weighing, the pre/post trip inspection, logging, etc., all of which we get tested on. They gave us each a video on the CDL pre-trip inspection, and you have to watch it until you learn it because they don't spend a whole lot of time teaching us how to do it. We get to practice it every time we go out on the range, but that part of the learning process is almost wholly up to us being vigilant in watching the video and practicing it on our own when we have the time. This bothered me at first, but I've realized that teaching it via DVD frees up time for them to focus on teaching us how to downshift, back, park, and deal with traffic.

All the instructors here have 20 or more years experience, so they know these trucks, and how to drive them, inside and out. Honestly, I don't know how they do their jobs because it would take more patience than I have to do what they do.

We've lost a couple of students, both because of illness. There is at least one other student who will probably not make it, but that has to do more with his attitude than from a lack of proper instruction from the instructors. You really have to be willing to humble yourself and pay attention to what you're being told. Otherwise, you make this process much harder than it already is.

I am convinced that I made the right choice in choosing this school. I wanted more than a CDL mill, and feel blessed to have found this school. I went into this feeling excited about learning how to drive a truck but very intimidated by the size of the truck and the knowledge that one mistake can cost someone his/her life. The almost two weeks I've been here has given me the confidence I need to know that I am entering this industry with a rock solid foundation to build from. The remaining three weeks will be filled with road trips, more practice with parallel parking, an obstacle course, the skid pad (assuming they can get the equipment together for it), and other necessary maneuvers I still have to learn. I'm tired and sore, but happy. I will keep y'all updated.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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RunHard GetPaid...NOT ANYMORE!!!

The part that didn't make sense to me about the original video, where he talks about the ugly truth, is why he didn't just go take a nap. I understand that he was tired because of back to back 10 hour breaks and not getting any sleep yada yada. But why not take an hour nap instead of trying to get someone else to completely take over the load? Maybe it would have made him late, but at least he would have done what he was being paid to do which is deliver freight. All I know is that this guy didn't impress me much and seemed to me to be looking for a way out of doing what he told the company he'd do--deliver the load.

And abandoning the truck is a definite no-no in the trucking industry. Maybe you get a temporary sense of satisfaction from giving your employer your basic "eff you" when you abandon a truck, but the price you end up paying in the long run just isn't worth it.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Got my Permit...

Corngratulations

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Thought I had fallen asleep at the wheel and was going to die

Probly would have been better to move to the passenger seat for your nap. :D

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Paying Bills

Oh, I forgot to mention that turning the bill paying over my wife, who I will be divorcing from soon, is not an option. :)

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Paying Bills

How do you guys handle paying your monthly bills? You know, credit card payments, utilities, phone bill, insurance, etc. I know I can pay all that stuff online now, but my concern is with using wifi hot spots and even my cellular service. I'd like to get something figured out on how I am going to take care of this while I am out on the road.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Swift Enclosed Auto Transport?

I didn't think cabovers were still being made.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Refrigerated?

The law says trucking companies and owner operators have to be reimbursed for lumper fees.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/14103

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Prime trucking

The physical is a federal requirement. Make sure whoever does it is approved and on the registry of approved examiners. I got mine done at an urgent care center.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Head-On Crash Between School Bus, FedEx Truck Kills at Least 10

I read about this this morning. There was a bad one not too far from where I live the other day. Two people were killed. Killing someone is my biggest fear about becoming a trucker. My heart goes out those who were injured and those who lost love ones.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Going to my interview today!!!!!!

Congrats!

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Refrigerated?

I like the idea of longer runs, but I don't want to run into problems getting the truck loaded and unloaded all the time. To be honest, I don't see the logic in dock workers being a-holes towards truckers or truckers being a-holes towards dock workers. Everyone's just trying to make a living, so we're all in the same boat. I have a tendency to be the type of person who gives what he receives from people. In other words, if you come at me with an attitude I am likely to give it right back to you. I have bad days and am not perfect at it, but I lead with kindness most of the time but know only one way to deal with a-holes. I realize that that's something I will probly have to work on as a trucker.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Is This Possible?

Brett, Thanks for the candid reply....I assumed that was the way it was going to be. Understandable. So, instead of getting a Summer Gig, what about "teaming" with another driver during that time to accumulate OTR experience? Same wall? I would like to be able to walk right into a position after I retire. Guess my sights are set a little too high for that scenario. Oh well...I should get ready to pay my dues like everyone else.

Rico, You are very perceptive, my friend! I've been a teacher for 15 years in an alternative education school. Basically, kids who get expelled come to me. I'm just really tired of the daily battles and would enjoy doing something else. Best part of my job is driving there and driving home. Hence____________. I bow to your mom. Congratulations on 40 years of service! No way I can pull it off without a guaranteed heart attack.

Well, you are working with the toughest kids to teach. That can burn anyone out. Surely there are other openings in the school corporation you work for, yes? Maybe all you need is a lateral move. My mother spent her career in bilingual education for youngsters. She never had a child that was over 8 or 9 years old, and she loved it. I almost became an aide in special education after I got my degree in Human Services, but decided against it.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Refrigerated?

By "live loads" you mean loads that have to be unloaded when I get there, right?

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Recruiter Contact

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Here is the question I asked:

Just to confirm, I do not have to go thru the full school, even though I only have 2 weeks OTR training, correct?

Here is her response:

"Correct, you do not have any further schooling, just 4 weeks out with a trainer".

Is that enough, or should I push for specifics?

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Since you already have your CDL, there's no need for you to go through school again.

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Yes, I understand that. I am just concerned that there website says a minimum of 3 months OTR experience is needed to work for them. She said it would be OK, over the phone, but she won't confirm by email.

That requirement is for you to go solo as soon as you hire on. It took me a while to understand that about these company websites. In other words, if you have at least three months experience, you do not have to go with a trainer when you first hire on. Since you don't have the required three months experience, you have to go with the trainer. I just spoke with a company whose website says they require a minimum of 8 months OTR. They want me to call them back the last week of school. Hope this helps.

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