Profile For SkyGuy

SkyGuy's Info

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    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 7 months ago

SkyGuy's Bio

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Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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From The Corporate Environment To Trucking

Hey Brett-

Great article topic! I may fit the bill for your request. My story...

Was a TV producer for 15 years and just needed a break in 2015. I loved driving and always wanted to see the country- did extensive research on Trucking Truth for a few months and quit my comfy TV studio and enrolled at my local truck driving school much to the dismay of family and friends.

(Shameless plug to dig up my training diaries on TT).

Was at Prime for 9 months and had to leave due to a parent getting sick and needing to be home to take care of them. I went to back to freelance TV producing but missed the open road so rejoined Western Express for 4 months doing NE regional in 2017.

During that Time, A freelance client offered a full time Producer position was negotiated with an almost six-figure salary that was too good to turn down so I came off the road again.

I still stalk the TT forums weekly and like to keep up with industry news and just this month renewed my medical card to keep my CDL updated.

Learned so much from driving that extended to life that you read often on the site. For me...

1) Time management / planning. From trip planning to HOS being proactive and anticipatory will give you an edge in any industry.

2) A positive attitude gets you farther. Smiling and making a joke with folks at a guard shack or shipping clerk makes a difference in getting you in/out faster. Same goes for the office- you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

3) “you get what you put into any job”. If you do the bare minimum your FM will give you the ‘junky’ low mile loads. If you push yourself and strive to max out your hours / miles and help your FM out to prove yourself, you be rewarded. Same for my gig now- more I put into a show, the better the outcome.

Biggest accomplishment : 3600 mile week!

Regrets- I regret coming off the road before my year was up and learned a lot about my self from the solitude. Would love to do local weekend work to get back on the road and think about it often. In the end it was a bigger pay check that lured me off the road, but do see myself going back OTR sometime in the future so no regrets at all for making the leap to trucking.

Good luck on the article, feel feee to ping me and thanks for all you do on TT!

I know a lot of you got started in trucking after spending many years in the corporate environment. It's something I get asked about a lot and I'd like to write an article about it. I'd love some insights from those of you who came from the corporate environment and have been driving for a little while now. Even a few months in trucking is enough experience to share your insights, and I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Imagine someone came up to you and said, "I'm thinking about leaving my 20 career in the corporate world to become a truck driver. I'm sick of the cubicle, the politics, and the pressure. I feel like I want something different in my life and trucking seems like it might be a cool job."

What would you say? What experiences would you share?

How would you help someone decide if making the jump from the corporate world to trucking might be a good idea?

What was your experience? Your biggest challenges? The best and the worst parts of the change?

Most importantly, was it the right move for you or not, and why?

Posted:  8 years ago

View Topic:

change of status

Hey TT -

Truck is in the shop and finally have the time and the internet on my laptop to quit stalking the forum, actually post something, and most importantly change my status to Rookie Solo Driver and could not be happier!

TNT was a challenge to say the least - My 1st trainer was AMAZING but alas he left the company so after 3 weeks, had to move on to trainer #2 where I was basically a giant dollar sign for him... Everything was negative for him and everything was 'BS' and all he cared about was how I was helping his paycheck, but I did my best to use what I had learned from my 1st trainer to get thru the non training I was receiving from my 2nd.... Most of all kept it positive and have TT to thank to be able to survive 2 very long months with Mr. Negative Nancy...

Long story short have been solo with Prime for exactly 2 months now and could not be happier - I learn something new every day and appreciate the adventure and challenges that each day in trucking brings. I learned from Mr. Negative Nancy the kind of trucker I don't want to be which has been a valuable take away during my solo time.

It has been said before in various postings and I too have drank the TT Kool-Aid but for those starting out or stalking the forum, keep it positive- it will make this crazy world of trucking that much more enjoyable, even on the tough days because it helps you learn on those hard days and makes you appreciate the good days that much more!

And now back to my regularly scheduled program of stalking of the forum...

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Hound Bound to... PRIME in PA!

Officially hound bound to Orientation with Prime at Pittston PA! I now understand why previous posters have called this the 'hellhound'. Going to stay 'positive' and call the other folks on here... um... unique! Thanks to Brett and all the TT members who have helped me on this journey so far and looking forward to keeping everyone posted during training... let the real learning begin!

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

Well I am still beaming about getting my CDL and wanted to make a few notes about the experience -

The so far unnamed school is....drum roll.... Smith & Solomon!

Overall I personally had a positive experience with them and would recommend them to any folks in the Jersey area looking to get your CDL. My best advise to anyone going is patience and LISTEN. You will only get out of this place what you put into it... nobody is going to hold your hand every moment of the day as you have to apply yourself. The yard is busy and yes there is waiting time before your turn in the truck but you can still learn a lot by watching others and listening to tips the instructor is giving even if you are not in the driver seat. Make the best use of your time that you can - if you find yourself waiting, grab another student and practice your pre trip. Strike up a conversation with another student or trainer to get tips - something that you may be having trouble with, another person could have a way of showing you something new. Also beware of the slackers... don't be the student texting and goofing off all day... Don't be the student who shows up for 30 min and leaves and then complains about why they pass the DMV test... you are at school to learn keep that in mind daily. I was one of the fortunate few folks to get my CDL in 4 weeks because I didn't want to make a career out of staying in school so made sure to push and challenge myself everyday - don't be on the 6 - 9 month plan!

I can't speak from experience with other private schools in NJ but can say that there are a few 'CDL mills' out there... the driving school truck student in front of me that almost hit a pedestrian during my road test I came to find out makes you pay every time you fail your test - fee at Smith and Solomon covers you until you pass your test even if it takes you 2 or 3 times to the DMV. Also the number of hours is important -- you don't graduate until you hit a minimum of 160 hours. A lot of other schools are a lot more money and only cover 10 hours...

Also they have lifetime placement services and are recognized by a majority of the major companies that hire recent grads - many of the CDL mill schools will get you a CDL, but if a major company doesn't recognize it, it will be a big ol waste of money and time... I did it on my own in terms of pre-hires but did take advantage of the school's knowledge to help me narrow them down to my top 3.

If you have not yet fallen asleep reading these posts and have any questions or thoughts make sure to post a comment - I spent a few months stalking trucking truth and have gotten invaluable advise form the guys and gals on here and hope that my experience can aid someone stalking this site...

Best of luck to new and current students and above all, enjoy the journey!!

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

CDL in hand... Prime / Pittston PA as TNT?

Hey TT-

Got me official CDL-A in hand this past weekend woot woot!

Out of all my pre-hires 95% sure I am going to Prime - In speaking with their drivers have heard nothing but good reviews and I appreciate the fact that the training period is longer than other companies that I have been speaking with. Yes I want to go on my own, but the more training I get the better I figure!

A few questions for ya Prime-ers out there: 1) Anyone based out of the Pittston PA terminal - any thoughts vs. Springfield MO? 2) Know I will be going in as a 'C-seat' (with my sub 'prime' non prime education) which is fine with me but curious about the advancement as well as if I will be taught the correct way to full pre-trip (in NJ we didn't have to open the hood) and want to make sure I learn / know the right way - (yes thank you Daniel B for your recent pre-trip post - my new reading material...) 3) Any other words of wisdom / advise?

Very optimistic and have high spirits about this next adventure and appreciate any insight!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Continue with Road Test in another State

Just did the NJ CDL -- being the odd state we are... If you pass the pre-trip (air brake test) and fail the yard, you can come back in 2 weeks and only do yard and road -- if you pass pre-trip and yard, and fail road - you just have to do road in 2 weeks... go garden state! Not an expert by any means but doubt another state would accept it - assume you would need a new permit from your new state.

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Pleased to announce...... Exam today........TRIFECTA!!!

6 weeks ago I started exploring the idea of trucking, and found TT. On April 28th I called Prime and started the process. On May 12 I arrived in Springfield for orientation. On May 19 I started my CDL training phase. Today I took the CDL exam and passed all 3 parts for a TRIFECTA!!! Oh what a relief it is!!! I am thrilled to have this part done.

Thanks to Brett and TT friends for all of the help and advice in getting to this point on my journey. Next up, meet my trainer for the next phase and head out for my 30000 miles and learning the OTR aspect of this.....and earning a paycheck!!!

Be blessed and be safe!

Huge congrats!!! Just passed my CDL today as well!!!!!!!!!!!

Private NJ CDL Training

Wish you nothing but the best and appreciate you updating us on your journey with Prime!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School


Road portion was a bit of a blur for me... made sure to not hit curbs on my turns, used my signals, checked mirrors often and followed every direction... made it onto a very busy highway, shifted from 7th to what I thought was 8th but cutched out and it was in 10th...ugh! Calmly downshifted to 9th... Was told to take the jug handle and the light changed so had to stop a bit short to not run the light -- told agent sorry for the quick stop but I didn't want to run the light... he told me good...

Now here is what I remember very vividly... back on the highway and 2 cars coming from a small side street had a yield sign - both cars blew thru the yield sign and barreled towards my trailer on the shoulder... I slow down to let them get in front of me... one does.. the other is oblivious to my trailer next to him... the shoulder was ending so I had to stab brake to avoid the 2nd car crashing into my trailer... Let DMV agent know I was not able to get into my left lane due to a truck next to me and he said I did the right thing... phew! Stopped at a stop light on a hill on way back to DMV, light turns green and instructor told me let's go what are you waiting for - i told him I am waiting for the ambulance that was flying down the intersection lights on, no siren- he said good call... Didn't roll back and had a smooth start. One more turn to get to the DMV street... Another truck from a different driving school was a block in front of me almost hits a pedestrian... I stop and say, I promise you I won't hit that pedestrian... and the agent smiles and says "yeah that's prob a good thing". I pass by the other school truck who clearly had failed right there. Make it into the driveway of the DMV and think 'I got this' and then hear a thud and look to see a small curb against my tire... UGHHHH! (Think to myself well a curb is an automatic failure... ya didn't hit a pedestrian, avoided an accident, didn't roll and let an ambulance pass by and blew it on the damned DMV curb) I quickly ask "so where do you want me to pull up to" to try to distract the agent from the curb and he points to where I had done my pre-trip... air brakes on, key out and I nervously look at him...

And his 1st words are: "Don't worry about that curb... you did a good job with those cars merging into you - they were in the wrong because they had the yield and you did the right thing. You recovered very well from a mis-shift into 10th, and didn't blindly follow my directions when I told you to go - you checked the road conditions and saw an emergency vehicle and everything else was very smooth and I really appreciate you not hitting that pedestrian.

I said - "thanks... so...."


Me - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Just out of curiosity how many points did I get in the yard - he told me 3 on Alley, 2 on straight line and 2 on right turn.. I said I would take it!

Told him thanks again and to have a great weekend!

3 point contact my way out of the truck and jumped higher than I had ever before to the applause of my instructor and the awaiting students!

For anyone keeping tabs, next student passed, the last 2 failed (both on pre-trip) so tally for that day was 3 pass / 3 fail... very happy to be one of the passing ones...

Still on cloud 9 and beyond proud of this accomplishment... Will revisit this post in the coming days to reveal the school and a few tips / notes about the experience and a few notes about the other schools (most of the students failed with them) but for now, I know i will sleep soundly as an official Class A CDL member!!



Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

TEST DAY 6/7/14! - PT 1

Woke up & did my pre-trip in the shower, and again a few times on the drive to the DMV. Arrived an hour early and saw 4 other NJ school trucks there and then my school truck showed up... we had the nicest truck there which made me smile. My calm instructor took us out into the DMV yard, showed us a few 'tricks' and reference points for each part of the test to help us out - 3 parts: Pre trip, Yard portion of the test you can't get more than 12 points and then road portion... Instructor tested each of us on on our pre-trip I did excellent - others not so much...

6 students from our school - one just had road (already passed pre-trip and yard) so he went 1st - watched him hit the curb on the way out of the DMV and I assumed it was curtains for him but he came back with a smile... he made it. Student 2 - passed pre-trip, had a 3 pull ups on alley dock (3pts) , 1 pull ups on straight line (1 pt) , got to the right turn and nails the cone (6pts)... makes the bad mistake of backing up (1 pt) then nails the right turn cone a 2nd time (6pts)...16 points = FAIL. Instructor gets summoned to go out and get the truck... Now my turn... nerves shaking, I watch DMV agent walk past me into the building... I ask what is going on? It's break time!! Great... another 30 min. of my nerves building up...

After what may have been the longest 30 min. of my life the stone faced DMV agent tells me 'lets go'... I get in the truck and give him a friendly - good morning! ... he proceeded to sneeze and I said bless you... I got a thank you from him so that's a plus right? My air brake test was flawless - during my exterior pre-trip inspection i see him gazing off down the yard, I speak a bit louder so he can better hear me saying every part of my truck and what I am checking... see him get distracted by a shiny object and pick up a washer off the ground...So I keep going... Get mid way to my trailer he turns around and starts texting on his phone... Think to myself F*^% I failed this guy could care less what I am saying it must be not what he wants to hear... Start to talk about my trailer tires and DMV agent looks up and says okay that's good enough lets do the yard... WOOT WOOT PASSED 1 OF 3!

Drive my way to the yard, stopping extra long at every little stop sign they had propped up to the alley dock - 1st attempt way to close to the inner cone,and pull up... think to myself 1 point... 2nd attempt way to close to the outer cone, pull up #2 - think to myself point #2... 3rd attempt I nailed it right in the box - We were not allowed to get out and look (go figure) but looked like my ICC bar of my trailer was in the box but gave myself an extra point in my head just in case it wasn't... 3 points. Agent gets in the truck with me -- says - eh I'm tired I am going to ride with you to the straight line ( less than a 50 ft walk mind you but I was in no place to judge!) - Got to the straight line and put my front bumper in the box he jumps out and gives me an "okay" hand signal - zero points -- start my straight line and see I am about to hit the line on the right side - pull up - another points (4 in my head now) -- keep backing up and agent tells me to pull up again - crap that is atleast 5 points i think... My trailer kept drifting right and I swore I was on the line and was going to fail -- DMV agent waves and I figured it was to my school instructor to get the truck... But points at me and gestures to pull out of the straight line!! Now for the right turn... Followed the tricks I got from my school instructor and from my mirror it looked as if I was pretty close to the cone... see the DMV agent walk to the back of the trailer... never a good sign.. but to my surprise he tells me it's time for the road. PASSED 2 OF 3!!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

Week 4 -

Day 1 All this studying and way too many questions for instructors brings me to the fourth week of CDL school... Did my pre-trip, straight line practice and was graduated from the "kindergarten" alley dock side of the yard to the big boy "ivy league school" side of the yard -- basically is a more realistic to the yard portion of the CDL test using the skills you have learned thus far... Start with a right turn - get as close as you can to the cone with out hitting it, 90 degree alley dock in the back, pull out and loop around to another alley dock station with a 45 dock and needing to set your self up for both.... told the instructor it was my 1st time on this side and he said he would help me... my turn was up - Jump into a hooptie yard truck and the instructor was chit chatting away with the owner. On my own then! I had watched other folks on this side of the yard over the weeks and had the general concept so here goes nothing! -- made the right turn a bit the 90 dock after 2 pull ups, and get to the 45... flashback to week one - cone massacre... cone stuck in my trailer tandems = red faced Skyguy... Kindergarten alley docking had never looked so appealing... Pulled the cone out of my tandems and pushed the tail between my legs but for a 1st time tried to look on the bright side that I kept the truck in the yard! 2nd, 3rd and 4th time got better each time -- not perfect but not getting worse. Afternoon was trailer time on the road!!!!!! New instructor - very serious military type- no nonsense type of guy. 1st up was someone who was testing in a day or so and he was seamless, 2nd up was friend and it was like a bed shaking at a cheap motel... now my turn... My shifting was very smooth, I downshifted like a pro - as I start to smile inside with a little confidence from my morning cone massacre, drill Sargent instructor barks -- WHERE IS YOUR TRAILER?!?! - I look at my driver side mirror and it was still attached... Look at my right side mirror and see my trailer tandems on the curb... I softly told drill sargent it was on the curb.. he yells "THEY SURE ARE.. DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!" After that I was mirror happy and very aware of why he had told us to always be checking your mirrors and trailer... Thought about writing that nice side street curb an apology note but decided against it as on my 2nd time around the block I saw there were many other trailer tires on the grass not mine...

Day 2- Pre-trip, Straight line, big boy side of the yard and back on the road with the trailer -- no curbs or cones were harmed by me on this date in history... bonus!

Day 3 - same as the above -- stayed for the day class and the night class as I wanted as much time as possible before test day fast approaching on the weekend -- got out on the trailer twice during the day, night time were unfamiliar students and my drill sargent instructor saw me climb into the truck made a comment that I was doing a good job and it was noticed by a lot of the instructors that I was going above and beyond and even made a joke!! Anytime he was yelling, you were messing up, quiet you were doing a good job... if he made a joke you were doing a GREAT job!! I got four jokes from him that evening... I boldly went 1st and he was all smiles and jokes... student 2 & 3 he wasn't so funny with...back to yelling... Student 4 seemed sheepish and quiet when asked if he has been bob tailing before and let out a quiet yes.... gets in, stalls in the middle of the road...stalls 2 feet from his last stall...stalls a 3rd time...Drill sargent gives the student a lecture not to lie about things and tells him to get out of the driver seat -- barks for me to get back in and take us back... a nice extra 30 min in the driver seat with yes even more jokes!

Day 4- nailing my alley docks, right turns and straight lines - find myself helping other students with their pre trips while still good practice for me

Day 5 - Bonus day! Students testing on Saturday could come in the morning and practice with the road trucks (no hooptie yard truck!!) Alley docking was much smoother with the road trucks, straight line was a bit more difficult as the trailer had a tendency to drift to the right but had the skills now to recognize it and correct it immediately (sans cone massacre!) - my day 1 week 1 pre-trip instructor quizzed me and I passed with flying colors!

Next day was CDL Test day.... yikes can't believe it has been 4 weeks already!!!!!

Insert sleepless night of jitters and worries here....

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Computers, internet and trucking (Video games)

How much data do ya'll use on your smartphone when you teather it for internet hotspot? Hope to be in company orientation in June and starting to think about internet life on the road.... Thanks!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

You Tube Trucking Videos

Youtube has copies of a 70's (?) vintage film on shifting an Eaton Fuller 13 speed transmission. It's the manufacturers film, and in two parts.

Part One

Part Two

This is brilliant thank you!!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

One quick site note -- very much appreciate the kind words! Even if nobody is reading this it's a good tool for me to see where I came from on day zero until now and hope it helps anyone thinking about going to school!

Side note #2 - Went to the DMV where I will be testing next weekend to get a lay of the land, see what the yard looks like etc. Saw my Bobtail instructor there and a few familiar student faces (nervous faces) -- Instructor gave some helpful tips about the yard and I stayed most of the morning... out of the 5 students - 1 never showed up, 1 passed, 2 failed pre-trip (one didn't have a second hand on his watch and did static leak test for :50 sec) other student failed pre-trip because they left the key in the truck when they went for outside pre-trip. Another student failed the road test by hitting the curb on the way out leaving the DMV... instructor had to go out and get the truck.

Was a cold slap of reality that getting my CDL license was not easy and this was no joke.... I plan to do my usual weekly day classes and got permission to stay for the weekly night classes as well for as much practice time as possible. (not something they usually allow, but I guess word got around that I wasn't one of the students complaining about not enough time in the truck, texting / goofing off so glad paying attention gave me 'bonus' of extra time.)

Also made a promise to myself to have student's and even better an instructor test me on my pre-trip daily-

Very hopeful and trying to stay positive that I will pass pre-trip, yard & road in one trip -- if it takes me two so be it but sure as hell don't want to fail for something stupid on the pre-trip...

Until next week!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

Week 3 - Pre-trip and Alley Dock and Bobtail (oh my!)

Passed my Doubles / Triples over the weekend woot woot!

Day 1 - after a lackluster alley dock to end last week I started Monday determined do better -- after a weekend of watching how to videos and reading up on the how to diagrams (flashback to the old 1950's style 'how to dance' floor mats) I showed up early to the yard - did my pretrip in my trusty broken truck before the instructors got on the lot -- my "yelling" instructor saw me and now knows my name and gave me the keys to a working truck (hey it's the little things in life) to do pre-trip for him-- nailed it but still want to practice it every day. 7 AM an instructor I saw in the yard previous weeks waltzed over with the golden list to sign your name for your turn to drive and I made it to #1... Okay Sky don't blow this... ready to walk to the truck. In a stern voice the instructor tells everyone to walk over to the truck -- points to the box we are supposed to get the trailer into - pretend this is a loading dock..if you miss it, you just f*$#ed up your truck. points to the cones on each side of the parking spot - see these cones? if you go over it you just hit another trucker. Here is how you don't do that -- took 20 min. to explain how to set up properly, how to know when a pull up is needed, using your landing gear in your mirror as a guide and a plethora of other great information. In 20 min early on a Monday morning I learned more about the alley dock than I did all last week. In calm voice calls "#1" -- jump into the green monster - bring up my psi to 100, put the truck into gear and release my air brakes... start to turn to pull out of the dock... WTF?!? no power steering - they had swapped our usual green truck to the other side of the yard... with every ounce of strength in my skinny arms, I turned the wheel left and pulled out to my cone. Got a work out every inch I had to turn the wheel - saw I needed a pull up - and ever so slowly got it in that damned box that had defeated me days before- exit the truck with a smile on my face. My 'yelling' pre-trip instructor had been watching from across the lot and gave me a thumbs up - new instructor had the entire class gather round to inspect the job I did - I hate attention like that so apparently I turned red from embarrassment... I blamed it on the workout from not having power steering... Had my hits / misses the rest of the day at alley dock but those 20 min. of tips stuck with me for sure!

Day 2 - got a few straight line runs in, pre tripped with other classmates and more alley docking - after lunch I hear my name from the Manager of the school - raise my hand and he points to the bob tail... the idea of taking a truck to a gear other than 1st or reverse was thrilling! 3 other students go out on road with instructor driving - asked who had never bobtailed before - I raised my hand - one other student had done it once before and had 2 "4-8 month / know it all's" with me as well. Passed by many empty parking lots where I was expecting to go but pulls over on a industrial road and has know it all #1 get in -- grind, grind, grind -- instructor yells in half Spanish half English "use the clutch, hold the wheel, watch the road not me!" I have never been so happy to have a seat belt in my entire life... know it all #2 - even more grinding, a near miss with a passing truck and only Spanish yelling - even more thankful I had a seat belt... Student with 1 time bob tailing did better than both of the know it alls so there was hope. My turn... still hoping I would start in an empty parking lot but it was not to be... had me go thru the gears while stopped to get the feel of them - the spring on the gear shifter had broke from know it all #2 so 1st gear was now against the driver seat... started up in 3rd and smooth start - had to keep reminding myself to double clutch but got the hang of it - happy I drive stick so understand the basics of a clutch --I also had the benefit of knowing to look at the road and not the instructor while driving... upshifting was okay - downshifting was a disaster... Hear in a Spanish accent "GIVE IT FUEL!!! LET OUT THE CLUTCH!!! FUEL 1ST!!!" Me: grind grind grind slowly roll to a stop in neutral... Instructor explained did not give it enough fuel and needed to get RPMs up to 1500 -- never once looked at the tachometer in my Jeepers so it was basically looking at a new language for me... few more trips around the industrial block and I got one good downshift at the end but happy I made it to 7th gear - Instructor gave me a "good job for your 1st time - trust me I have seen a lot worse" as he gives a wink and a glance to my 'know it all' students texting in the back of the truck...

Day 3 - Read every TT article about 10 speed shifting.. more YouTube... More 1950's style diagrams for dancing.. I mean downshifting - back on the bobtail it made sense - finally figured out it was the fuel that was needed to get it in gear I was downshifting to - once it was in gear I could let the clutch out slowly to use the engine to slow down the truck as I was accustomed to in downshifting.

Day 4 - got my downshift and upshift much much smoother - now T bar savvy and know where on the gauges to locate the tachometer... got in me daily pre-trip, straight line & alley dock in and feeling better...

Next week's adventures includes a full trailer time on the road (yay)!

Eager for the 4th week to begin!!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Doubles & Triples (Oh My!)

Officially passed Doubles/ Triples, Hazmat and Tanker... permit is getting crowded...time to turn this paper into an official License - Road test June 7th! dancing.gif

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Improving our trucking company information

Would be cool to see 'bonus' company offers - Fuel MPG, Clean DOT inspection -- know you have that for a few companies but if the info is available would be great to compare-

Appreciate your time and work on the site Brett!!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Private NJ CDL School

Week 2... Alley Dock, Alley dock, Alley Dock... Ugh!

Day 1 was do whatever instructor was yelling, go left, go right, hard left, look at your mirror, push the trailer, make a bend, get rid of the bend! Went to sleep on Monday having nightmares about forgetting my right from my left...

Woke up early on Day 2 - Did my research online - trying to be 'scientific' about it...frantically searching TT for that 'magic tip' to make it in every time.. Alas there is no magic formula but got some great tips from older posts to stand at the back of the box and watch the others do it (and it is LONG wait to get my turn back in the truck...more about this from my so far unnamed school once I graduate...) --BUT from watching others, I began to understand how the angle you have equals where the ass of the trailer is going to go. Saw that it takes a bit for trailer to react to steering input (thank you research coming to life) Had a new instructor take over after lunch - would yell "left" then made us stop, get out and look - "do you see how you got rid of the bend" get back in, " right -- now stop" get out - do you see how there is a bend..." now hard left - stop -- when I say pushing the trailer what do i mean? ehhhhhhhh.... meaning you are pushing the bend out..... then explained the end is mostly straight line backing if you are lined up correctly. Okay that makes a bit more sense... rest of the afternoon did pre-trip and straight line, got one last alley dock in before the day was over...with 4 pull ups (ugh)...

Day 3 - must have had some good coffee because as I watched folks ahead of me, I could see perfectly when I would turn if I were driving, when I would need to pull up, when it was on the money. Get in the cab... not so clear looking at it from my mirrors but instructor let us make mistakes, yelled out a direction after a bit... got it in the box on my own - not pretty but made it in... had my good ones, and very very bad ones. Decided I wanted to focus on this and skipped the straight line... practiced pre-trip with other students while waiting... Lots of time to kill before my time to drive was back and more watching was helping - could accurately mime where I would turn the wheel and decided it was much easier to alley dock when not actually driving but clearly a major flaw in that plan... I want to be a truck driver not truck watcher!!

Day 4 - understand the concept - my issue is getting the timing right -- have been coming in too early or too late -- finally before lunch i NAILED it - perfect - after lunch on a high from a great dock, F*#%ed up royally, pull up, missed, pull up missed... afternoon it started pouring so a lot of the students left... not me... rain was not going to take away from my time... a list of 20 students in the morning turned into a list of 3 students in the rain -- tried to learn from each one - some were good, some bad but forced myself to understand what I did wrong - last one of the day in teaming rain I botched it - instructor told us day was over. Drove home frustrated with myself I don't have it perfected but got home and took a deep breath... having only been in school for 8 days, alley docking for 4 of them I know I will get it... Wish they were full days of actually being in a truck vs waiting for my turn but got to make the most of it... Have off Monday for Memorial day but eager to get back on the pad and improve next week.

Next week get to learn double clutching in bobtail and more alley docking, pre trip and straight line... get excited!

Side note got approved TSA fingerprints, and passed my Hazmat and Tanker endorsements woot woot! - studying up for Doubles / Triples and hope to take them next week...

Here's to the adventures week 3 brings... stay tuned!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Doubles & Triples (Oh My!)

Appreciate the insight - many thanks as always! Now back to the CDL manual and High Road....

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Exit the Shadows...Enter into a PRIME time

Well all, I've known this for a few days but I've been fighting the fact that my apartment got flooded during Monday's storms here in Northern Ohio. To top it off I've been Evac'ed until they can clean all the mess up.

Now on to the good news...

I've been approved to join Prime. As is stands the plan is to head out and start June 9th.

Huge congrats!! Wishing you all the best as you prepare for the adventure!

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Doubles & Triples (Oh My!)

Have little desire to run doubles or triples but still have a few questions - (pardon my 'dumb' newbie q's)

1) Even with no desire, is it worth it to study up to have the endorsement just in case (while I am still in 'study' mode)? 2) All the doubles I see are run with day cabs - is that a law that they can't be run at night? is it a parking issue? Am I just in the wrong state to see doubles / triples with sleeper cabs?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!

- Curious Skyguy wtf.gif

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