Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 9 months ago

ChrisEMT's Bio

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Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Decided to Shut Down

When I was with my last dedicated account, my FM/DM was a former O/O for about 20 years, and he knew that he could trust his "experienced" drivers, and that with the new/newer drivers, he would give some leeway when we shut down. As long as we gave him a valid reason like weather or limited HOS left due to traffic or delays at receivers, he would be fine with it. He also had a good sense of when a driver was pulling his leg.

The best thing is that if it was a safety issue, then he never questioned it.... It was also a good thing we were out of south central Vermont near the ski areas that usually got hit hard when it snowed.

Just be safe and remember what I was taught, no load is worth your life, your license, or your job. If you don't feel safe continuing on, shut it down.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Endorsements

Hello, I would recommend waiting to get endorsements until you get your license. The reason being, at least here in CT, the inspector that is taking you out for your road test can test you on anything , and on any endorsement you have, There was a student before me at school who had ALL his CT endorsements, including Haz-Mat. The inspector didn't notice until they were almost all the way back and finishing the test, saw the Haz-Mat endorsement, and said, "lets keep going" then went on a route that included a railroad crossing, and the student didn't stop for the crossing. Guess what, the student didn't pass, and had to go and pay to retake the test, and wait another 4 weeks before he could retest.....

Plus, getting your endorsements is usually just a written test, with the exception of Haz-Mat and Passenger, at least here in CT...

Chris

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Residency issues.

I had used a friends address for 3 1/2 years as my "residence". She took care of my mail and I picked it up every couple weeks, and I gave her a few bucks a week for doing it. A lot cheaper than even renting an "efficiency" apartment here in CT. Only time I got a hotel room is when I had 3 or 4 days off and wanted to sleep in a "real" bed. Otherwise, I slept in the truck, showered, ate, and did laundry at truck stops, even when I was "home"...

Posted:  4 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Working during the holidays?

I was lucky on the road. The first dedicated account I was on usually shut down Dec. 23rd and reopened Jan. 2 (or the Monday after), and would have the Jan 2nd loads ready by New Years Eve. The only thing is, they were always mad busy doing 1 1/2 X the normal orders to their customers so they wouldn't get to low during "shutdown". For holidays like Memorial day, we usually had a 3 day weekend, and Thanksgiving, our Wednesday delivery was our "home load" and return Sunday for Monday deliveries, and we had a minimum weekly pay check, which was nice... My 2nd dedicated account ran similar, except on weeks like this, we would get a long 4 day weekend (Monday and Tuesday off) as long as we got our loads delivered on Wednesday, which meant that a lot of us got our Wednesday loads on Saturday if they were delivering near where we lived... The other option was to do a few "off account" loads to help other accounts or go to help another one of the factories on the account, especially of we needed to go to a terminal near the other factories for maintenance or whatever....

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Finances on the road

Hello, For recurring bills, such as car payments, car insurance, etc., I used my debit card or had it set up on auto pay through my checking account. You might want to see if your bank has a "bill pay" program where they will pay the bill with an electronic or paper check. Just make sure that you have it set up to issue the payment 10-14 days before the due date to give the bank time to "cut" the check and mail it or send it through their processing system and have it arrive to the bill before the due date. otherwise the Visa/Mastercard branded debit card would work for most bills. As far as getting cash on the road, look for a bank/credit union that is national (think BoA, TD bank, Wells Fargo) or a bank that reimburses other banks ATM fees, and withdraw what you think you will need for the week.

Hope this helps. Chris

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Moving truck while on a reset and how to idle

Hello, When I was on the road with Werner, I had the same question, and called the logs department because I wanted to see what they would say if I needed maintenance done, such as a PM, a 60 day, or other shop related work done. Their response was to send in my Macro 41 (maintenance request with where I was if at a truck stop or terminal), get my appointment time, and just before I go to the shop (terminal or truck stop), send in a free form message stating I was logging off my qualcomm for the shop appointment. Then when the work was done, and I was back in the parking spot hooked back up to the trailer (if I had one), log back into the qualcomm and answer no when asked if I wanted the time to show on my logs, then send in my macro stating the time and date the work was completed, after I made sure I was in the "off duty" line on the log. This way, my reset or 10 hour break was uninterrupted.

The best thing I can suggest would be to contact your logs/safety department and ask, then this way you will be in compliance with not only DOT, but your company policy.

Hope this helps. Chris

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

CDL Residence

From what I understand, most DMV's require a physical address for a CDL. If you have family or a close friend that will allow you to use their address for your CDL, you can get a PO box for your mail, or if you work for a major carrier, you can see if they will allow you to use their terminal closest to where your address is as a "mail drop" where you can pick up your mail occasionally, or if your on a dedicated account, see if your fleet manager will allow you to use the dedicated site to get your mail, such as bills.

For example, I used a friends address when I was on the road and picked up my mail every couple weeks. In exchange, I gave her a few dollars every week, this way I didn't have to change my license and permits...

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Taking a shower on the road

I found in the 4 years I was with a "Mega-Carrier", that more often than not, the drivers chose not to shower... Most drivers I know have the loyalty cards from all the major truck stops, and usually you can fill up with enough fuel to get a shower... The only times I didn't shower at night was Sunday nights, but it was because I showered Sunday morning before I headed out... The only other times I didn't shower were nights I got stuck in rest areas or at customers, but I always made sure I was clean....

I always told myself that I wouldn't be one of those drivers people smelt before they saw... lol....

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What about night/weekend schooling?

Hello everyone,

I would have to say it all depends on your own learning style. For me, I took my schools 22 week school. They offered weekday am, weekday pm classes at 4 hours a day/5days a week, or weekend all day classes - 10 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. I learned the same amount of material while allowing me to still work full time. I was fortunate to have my employer who worked with my school schedule. I passed my test, and glad I decided to take the longer course because I learned more than I would have with the "short course" of 4-8 weeks.

My suggestion would be to go and talk to students in the school you will be attending that are going through each of the programs (day, night, weekend) and get a feel of which one would be right for you.... And when it comes to choosing a company to get hired with, look into all the companies that hire from where you live, and narrow it to your top 4 or 5 companies, apply to them, and get as many pre - hires as you can, and choose which one would be right for you....

Hope this helps...

Posted:  10 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New OTR driver with low mileage loads

Hello, I thought I'd put in my $0.02. I had worked for Werner, a good company for new drivers, as well as experienced drivers. Their OTR pay isn't the greatest ($0.27/m) but if you have a good relationship with your fm/dm/load planner, you'll get the miles. I was on a dedicated account where I averaged 2000-2200 miles/week, and I was paid $0.37/mile, $0.02/mile safety pay, $15/stop, and $20 or $40 unload pay depending on if it was a partial trailer or whole trailer I had to unload myself. It may not sound like much, but when you average the pay out to cpm, I averaged $0.56 - $0.62 cpm, and my smallest take home pay (after taxes, insurance, and $50/wk extra to help pay my cdl loan) in 2 1/2 years was 500 (gross was $1,000), and I was home every Friday by 4:30PM until 11 am Sunday. My last full calendar year, I grossed $53K. A lot has to do with the fact I proved myself to my FM by busting my hump, 100% on time performance, constant communication with him, and only turning down loads with a valid reason that I shared with him.... Another benefit that I had was my FM was a driver for over 20 years, and knew when a driver was BSing him....

Posted:  10 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

team driving job paying $0.70 CPM

Hello, I figured I would chime in... Just like some others have posted, there's not enough info. 0.70/mile team usually is split between drivers, or 0.35/mile each. For a company driver, its not bad. I was on a dedicated account out of Vermont, where I was making 0.37/mile, 0.02/mile safety, $15/stop, $20 assist unload which averaged out to 0.55-0.62/mile. I averaged 2100-2300 miles a week as a solo driver, and I was home every weekend for a reset. My last full year I averaged $52k....

For a independent contractor/lease op/owner op, I would rethink the 0.70/mile pay for the reasons stated by other posters, such as taxes, lack of workman's comp, insurance, etc.

I hope you find the job that you want...

Chris

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Companies that offer true OTR driving

I know with Werner, they do offer 48 state otr and regional selections for drivers. I know when I was "Eastern Regional" I only spent 1 day out of 2 weeks in the eastern region. I think that it has to do with the board your on, and if they like to keep the longer runs for team drivers. If you have a good relationship with your FM/DM/Load planner, you can talk to them and let them know what your desires are, and they will try to accommodate your wishes. May be a lot of shorter runs, but when you prove yourself, they may give you longer trips... I know I averaged 600-800 miles a load, but I had a really good track record of on time performance, and I was willing to take almost all loads they wanted to throw at me...

Chris

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Weed and a CDL

double-quotes-start.png

Weed and a CDL do not go together. Despite state laws it is still illegal under federal law. No matter what. You would have to check with your issuing state on their requirements to keep your CDL valid. Alot of states keep it active as long as you have a current med card. Each state has their own specific rules on that.

double-quotes-end.png

and that medical card requires a drug test.

I've never had to take a drug test for my med card, even when my company was paying for it.... there was a 1 year period I did get tested every time I got pulled into a terminal (5 times in a 1 year period). but thats a different topic....

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Solo driving vs team driving

I would have to agree with Rainy that the pay for OTR teams vs Solo is very close. I was lucky when I worked for Werner, I was on a dedicated account as a solo driver, and after my cpm, safety pay, stop pay, and assist unload pay were averaged out, I made 55 - 60 cpm, averaged 2k-2200 miles/week, and I was home every week.... I made as much as a solo OTR driver doing 3k miles a week or a team doing 6k-6500 miles/week, running 4-6 weeks out. I would have to say it is ultimately up to you on what you are looking for.... I know some accounts were also paying more, but there was a lot more physical work involved, such as any of the dollar store Family (family dollar, dollar general, dollar tree, etc). I was chatting with another Werner driver on a dollar account, and he was on track to make over 80k as a solo driver.....

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

This is how I hope your company works.

My FM always did what he could for me as long as I kept him informed about hours, delivery ETA, and conditions.... He also trusted that if I told him that I needed to skip a stop or two with only 1 or 2 pieces to catch up time wise, and put those skipped deliveries onto their next scheduled delivery, he would do it.... Or if I told him I would be there after my scheduled time, he would do his best to reschedule the appointment. He also would give me the loads with tighter delivery times because he knew I would get it done...

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Background Check and Reasons To Get Kicked Out Of School

I say answer all questions ASKED truthfully and honestly, no matter how long ago.... give them no more or no less then they ASK for.... If they ask for convictions, then give info on convictions, if they ask about ARRESTS, give them that info, Tickets, give them that info.... If they ask for a certain length of time (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, ever) then go back that far.... If your record has been expunged after conviction, and you have it in writing, then you can answer no, and if it comes up, then you can show them the expungement letter from the court and the company should toss that part of the record.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Should I Accept An LTL Offer Straight Out Of School?

I know when I was with Werner, and I believe its the same or similar now since I only left this past August, the OTR drivers were making .27/mile solo and averaged 2500-3200 miles a week... I was on a dedicated account, and made .37/mile + .02/mile safety, $15/stop, and $20/day to help unload a few pieces (usually 2-3 pieces/stop, the receiver unloaded everything else).... when it all was averaged out, I was making .58-.60/mile and grossed over 52k/yr with weekends off... which means I averaged over $1,000/wk

Just wanted to show you what you could make as a solo driver and what the options are out there as a solo driver, and you can have your own truck, and not have to get used to sleeping and living while someone else is driving... You can also have your S/O or friend join you for a period of time if you choose if you have your own truck, and get approval from your company, where as most companies wont let you if your a team driver...

Team driving takes a lot of getting used to, and is not for everyone.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

How often do you interact with your dispatcher and boss in person?

When I was on the road (just got off the road in August due to needing to be home every day) I saw my dispatcher/fleet manager/load planner (all the same guy) 3-5 times a week depending when my load left or I got back... If I didn't see him, I would chat with him on the phone. had a really good relationship with him, and he kept my checks phat and I kept him and the customers happy....

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Am I wrong to just look at CPM in deciding which company to sign on with?

You should look at a company as a whole for what they offer their drivers.... the pay (cpm/% of load), benefits, home time, tuition reimbursements, bonuses (fuel, on time delivery, longevity, etc), to see what 3-6 companies suit you and your needs/wants the best.... then look at their dedicated accounts to see if any of the companies you are focusing on can help you narrow the list further, and ask the recruiters from those companies what additional pay they offer on those accounts (haz-mat, border crossing, stop pay, safety pay, stop pay, etc) on top of the mileage pay......

For example, the last dedicated account I was on, I got paid .37/mile, .02/mile safety pay, $15/stop, $20/$40 unload pay (depending on how much of the trailer I had to unload).... when it all averaged out, I made .60/mile and averaged 2200 - 2500 miles/week and I was home every weekend, and had every holiday off.....

Also, I had a very good dispatcher/fleet manager/route planner (all the same person, who was also a former driver/owner operator) who knew who he could trust, and I had a great relationship with and he also knew I could get the job done....

I hope this helps

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Qualcomm vs other GPS systems

When I worked at Werner, I used the QC navigation as well as a RM 730 along with planning my route with an atlas.... That way if either GPS failed, I knew what my route was..... I found that the QC navigation is set up for the way the company wanted you to go.....

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