Profile For Johnnylite

Johnnylite's Info

  • Location:
    WA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 4 months ago

Johnnylite's Bio

Five years in and I’ve learned a lot. Currently hauling Beer for Schneider National dedicated account.

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  5 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Schneider CDL Apprenticeship Program

Any and every chance to back that trailer in is key. No two spots are the same and as they say practice, practice, practice.

Posted:  5 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Young and Confused

Just a thought but check some of the larger companies and see if they have class B jobs available. I work for Schneider and I know we do. Get a job then get your Class A. Check the websites and you’ll be surprised. There a few big guys up here as well as Fed Ex UPS etc. as well as lots of smaller companies.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Best companies for new drivers

In a nutshell your first year is a lot of work and a lot of time way. The plus side is you will learn how to trip plan, deal with all kinds of people, budget your time and money and depending on first hire offerings see the country or a region. Check where you live to see if either adult education or local colleges or city colleges offer training. Company sponsored typically requires you to sign a contract and pay off the cost. This puts you in their control and generally you work some tough hours to pay it back. I’d you can start with CDL in hand research company job boards and look for Regional or Dedicated jobs. The dedicated ones generally ask For more experience but it’s worth a try. Keep an open mind and don’t settle. Check Indeed and other job boards also there’s a lot of jobs out there.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Swift/ Central/TDA week 3

So I made it to week three and was in the first group to go to orientation. New terminal in Jurupa Valley was quite impressive. Lot's of paper/ computer work and videos. Some great presentations from employees and a chance to see the facility. I made it through and got my driver number so I am officially an employee. The odd part is they hire you before you get your Class A. Three days later back to TDA for practice and test scheduling. This is where it get's interesting. Due to the large amount of recruits they had gone to a split schedule. Newest class stayed 6 to 3:30 and current class moved to 3:30 to midnight.

We all called it a puppy mill. New classes were typically 40-60 students with about a 40-50% retention rate through two weeks. 15-20% were lost first week. Quit, Physicals or other issues. There were also as always good students and let's say not so focused students. The hotel was typically brought up as not a place to party. Of course many did. 4-5 got sent home for it. The hotel itself was clean and well run.

So off to Thursday practice and had a great night until midnight. We were all asking for schedule of testing and instructor said none of our class would test until Saturday. This meant wait until Monday when DMV opens to finish paperwork. They were testing in house which made the process easier. Murphy's law was invoked and I got a call at 7 a.m. Friday and was told previous nights instructor was wrong and was I able to test that day. Answer was of course and off I went. Luckily I had my own car to get there. Passed easily and then off to DMV with two other students. 20-25 thank yous and about 20 minutes at DMV and we were all official Class A drivers.

Off to to Swift terminal to set up Mentor for the 4 weeks and not enough mentors. I am at home waiting for a call. Luckily I am only 125 miles from the yard. Plus my wife is quite happy to see me. Cats also.

Overview of program is medium. The school was not very organized but the equipment and instructors were great. My group was very supportive of each other and that was probably the best part. Would I recommend them? Yes just concentrate on yourself and ignore the distractions. Last part is go in Fall, Winter or Spring. Hot as you no what in Fontana.

I'll update when I get a Mentor.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Swift/Central/TDA school

So no computer for 3 weeks but here is the recap.

Week one was mostly about other people getting permits, drug tests, physicals etc. Surprising how many people had issues and hadn't taken care of them prior to arriving. Eye tests, blood pressure and other things. Classroom and this stuff until Wednesday when everyone was off to DMV for permits. I already had mine so a day of videos and studying,

Thursday was yard day and mostly Pre-trip and air brake test studying. 12 rigs varying in make and 53 foot trailers. Most were in the 5-6 year old vintage and in fairly good shape. Instructors were varied in approach and demeanor.

Friday was our first day doing skills practice. Parallel, offset and straight line backing. Pretty fun and three stations to use. Good advice on what to look for when turning including the famous Half Shoe. Day started at 6 and we were done at 4:30.

Saturday was more of the same and lot's of pre-trip practice. Sunday was day off.

Monday through Saturday was finally over the road and pretty pleasant. Exception was Mid Week when a new group from another TDA showed up. Couple scary moments driving and thankfully I dropped out of their group Friday.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

School and career shift

Grandchild number 2 did show up and still on track for June 2nd. Looking forward to real training and getting started. I'm like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Starting CDL School with Western Pacific Truck School

The training program really works. The repetition helps. Go ahead and do as many as you can. I tested on the basics first when I got my permit including Tanker and Doubles. I went back later for the Hazmat. Good to get it all out of the way. Either way keep drilling it into your head. Good luck and keep us posted. I start Monday with Central in Fontana.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Improving our trucking company information

Maybe recheck the information on costs, etc. I am Starting with Central on the 2nd of June and the costs are different. The total is now 3900 taken out in deductions. There also is a deduction for the pre paid housing. The total ends up free for the tuition if you stay for 26 months. If you stay for 13 they pay for half. It kind of points out the free versus financed reality of company schools. Thank you also for this great place to come and get the facts about the business. I find myself really getting to know people through their diaries and posts. The old adage work hard and be nice and you will go far still works.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Finally got my truck!

Really cool layout. How much can you keep in that fridge? The fact that you can keep things with you is a big plus.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Preparing to leave for prime

By all means take advantage of your neighbors offer. Maybe have her show you the pre trip and just the parts of the rig. It really helps. The training program on this site is excellent and take advantage of it. I was able to knock out my tests at the DMV for my permit on first try.

Good luck and make sure you keep us updated on your progress.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Well it all STARTED good, not so anymore

That's why we come here. It's a positive place. Keep your head up, slow down and smile.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Are there cliques in trucking?

I'm training in flatbed for Prime, I wave at anyone who waves at me but my trainer gives me a hard time for waving at reefer drivers. I still do it though. I was a reefer driver for a year.

Probably envious.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

School and career shift

Have my start date set for June 2nd in Fontana California. Has anyone else been through this facility? Hoping grandchild number two shows up before that. Stay tuned.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Grade A Prime Certified 100% fresh Noob..... looking for some feedback!

I would start by contacting companies and filling out the applications or just the interest forms. Talk to recruiters and see what they offer. Some are true company schools and others offer reimbursement. Make sure the school you go to is APPROVED for reimbursement. I went to a small school and did not qualify. I am now shifting to Central and going through their school. All the advice about getting your ducks in a row as far as medical,etc. are spot on. I too am switching careers and am beyond happy with my decision. Last advice is start on the CDL training program on this site and stay on this site. The atmosphere and camaraderie is unbelievable.

The keyboard is a great tool to hear stories about training and life on the road. My wife asks what I'm doing and more than likely I'm on this site. Stay positive and have fun. The worst thing that could happen is you find a great new way to make a living and life is great. I start on June 2nd and will start posting the continuing saga of my journey. Good luck and keep an open mind.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

My private CDL school Experience as a Veteran

Sounds like a great time. Keep us posted. Of course you know what your CB handle has to be now.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

I too find myself doing the pre trip with my pickup. It gets me through the outside anyway. I also stopped by a local dealer and pre tripped one of the rigs sitting on the lot. Little tip I have for remembering is on tires. I C D inflation condition depth. The more you practice the better. Good luck and keep us posted. I start The 27th with Central.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Route 66

Sounds like a great start. Keep us updated.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Road Atlas

I have been looking to pick one up. Which version is the most popular. I see a hardback version in the high 200 range and a spiral bound for less than 100. Any advice?

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

School and career shift

One of my favorite saying comes from an old chinese proverb. No matter how far you've traveled down the wrong road. Turn back. Weeks into a local private school and coming to realization that even though I would have a CDL I would not be very employable. I also have been thinking and reading about really knowing what it takes to do the job. Coupling, Uncoupling etc. I also have been limited to a short 24 foot trailer and while nice to get around corners etc. not really what I am going to be driving.

Long story short is I have stopped short of taking my CDL Road test and enrolled with Central. Starting in a week close to home and am thinking I am a bit ahead of the curve as far as driving. I also have my permit and all endorsements so that's done. I am going to be in Fontana California which is close to my daughter and grandson so extra bonus. My wife is on board and relieved that a real plan is in place. 13 month commitment but I need that so off I go to continue this dream. 56 years old and doing what I dreamed about. I know it's not easy but nothing is.

Updates when I get to school.

John

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

First days at school

Record heat here today so sweat was just from that. Yeah sure. Had a great day driving and skill testing. Still having a bit of trouble with down shifting. Did a full practice test for CDL Pre-trip, Air Brake, Skills and driving. Instructor said I would have passed easily. I'm still looking forward to more time on road before the test. Odd part is local DMV is closed for remodeling so bit of a hike to next closest one. I really like the one on one training and the calm demeanor of my instructor. Hoping to be done by the 15th at the latest and working again.

Still looking at companies and situations. Part of me thinks teaming up with someone for 6 months to a year makes sense but personality keeps telling me to go solo after the required training with whatever company I go with. I am guessing that answer will come after the time in truck with a trainer whether I can adapt to that. Still leaning solo though.

I also want to say that both the website and most of all the other driver stories have been a great help in this process. Good bad or ugly it all needs to be said. I am keeping my usual glass half full attitude and can truthfully say I am having fun. Except for that downshift thing.

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More