Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    7 years ago

ChrisEMT's Bio

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Posted:  5 hours, 5 minutes ago

View Topic:

Tuition reimbursement

I know for me, I went to a private school, and my out of pocket cost (paid for with student loans) was just over $7k. I had worked for Werner, and they had a tuition reimbursement of $7k, paid at $100/month to either the student loan holder, or if you paid cash, you would get $100/month added to your pay until you reached their cap. I was able to pay off my loan off in a little over 2 years by having them withhold $50/week and they paid it to the loan company all at once every month ($300/month for 2 years), then I got the $100/month until it was fully paid for.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

First Year Earnings Question

Trucking can be a very profitable job. It all depends on what whatever company/companies your looking at have to offer. I found that dedicated accounts (Home Depot, WalMart, Coke, Pepsi, etc) at Werner usually paid the best. It also will depend on how hard you work and how long your are willing to stay out. I agree for the 1st year or 2 earnings should be between 45-55k/year OTR, I have spoken with drivers on Wal Mart accounts that are made 55-60k their 1st year, and 80k+ their 3rd+ year. Another Werner Driver I spoke with on a dollar account (dollar tree, family dollar, dollar general) was on par making 85k his 3rd year.

Posted:  2 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Western Express pay cycle etc

I don't know about WE, but with Werner, if you got your paperwork (BOL's, receipts, etc) in by 2 pm on Tuesday, you would get paid for those miles on Friday. If you had special pay, such as unload pay, or anything that your DM/FM/LP or someone manually put in/approved that didn't require receipts, it automatically gave you a check on Friday.

I worked with a kid, 21 (22 at most) on an account that had a minimum paycheck every week, so he didn't turn in his paperwork. Then, he transferred to another account, that I ended up going to shortly after he left, and was only getting his stop pay and unload pay, but not mileage. He finally mentioned it to the FM, and the boss did digging, and found out that he didn't turn in the paperwork for 5 or 6 weeks. He finally sent it in, and got a decent paycheck, but from what I hear, he got dinged in taxes because of the amount. I also heard that he ended getting bounced around from account to account because he was also one of thes people that wanted to stop at every truck stop and terminal as often as he can with his g/f.

Posted:  2 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

New state!

The Pilot in Sturbridge is a fair distance from Springfield, and it is small, and if you need to parke for the night, its usually packed by 3 or 4pm. The pride is literally on the outskirts of Springfield, less than 10 minutes of 91. if you are going southewest into CT, towards NY, I suggest going to the TA in Milldale, CT. Exit 28 off I84. There is a movie theater, Dunkin, and an Econolodge next door. That is where I parked every weekend while at home.

Posted:  5 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

New state!

Hello, For parking, there is a Pride truck stop in Chickopee, MA that usually doesn't fill up early. its $10 to park, or free if you fill up with at least 100 gallons of diesel, and that will give you a shower too. And they have a '50s diner inside where the food is pretty good, and get the strawberry shortcake for desert. There is a McDonalds accross the street, as well as a bowling alley as well....

That was my regular stop on Sundays when I had a early delivery in CT.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Do any of you go geocaching?

I have been geocaching for quite a while (about 10 years). While I was on the road, I was able to grab geocaches while at rest areas, truck stops, and customers (both shippers and receivers). They are everywhere and nowhere. It seems like when they are there, there are quiet a few, then once they are all found, then there are very few that are truck friendly or accessible.

And it is very addicting. Happy caching... Chris

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Weekend cdl training

I went to a school that had weekend classes for the various course lengths they offered. I did the 22 week, weekend only class, and got as much (if not more than) the weekday classes. the only difference between the weekday and weekend classes was the hours per day you went to school. weekday classes were 4 hours a day, 5 days a week and the weekend classes were 10 hour days 2 days a week.

I found students who excelled at both classes when I taught there after I got off the road, and people who were less then stellar.... The ones who made it, and did well, put in the time and effort, and the ones who didn't do well tended to leave early and slack off....

I would have to say that it all depends on what your learning style is...

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Hazmat loads and scales

I agree with Dan67, when in doubt, enter an open weigh station. The only thing it will cost is a little bit of time to go through the scales instead of the headache of getting pulled over, a fine for bypassing a scale, and a possible inspection.

I had an instance in the midwest where my prepass gave me a red light, and the sign told me to bypass the scale (weigh in motion scale). I went into the scale, and the inspector smiled, and I told him that I got conflicting messages, and he told me I did the right thing because I wasn't 100% sure if I should bypass or not, and he told me to have a good day....

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Proving work history.

Hello, You might want to try Social Security. They go back as far as your first job that you paid into Social Security. For me, that would be 30 or so years ago... I'm not sure if it will include the names of the employers though....

Chris

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Getting my CDL on a budget.

Old School, my comment about being tied to company for a certain length of time was referencing the fact that if a company pays for your training, you have to stay for a certain length of time (1-2 years) or pay the company back if you don't get your CDL or you leave even 1 day before your contract is up. If you pay for it yourself and go to a company that offers tuition reimbursement, between what the company pays and what you can contribute every week, paycheck or month, you can pay off a student loan in a year or less.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

How many week I should give to my company

When I left Werner, I gave my DM 2 weeks notice in writing, and he still gave me plenty of miles, and asked me to stay on a couple extra days because he needed me to help until he got back from vacation so he could preplan me and make sure the harder loads were done. He not only was nice, but he made my extra few days worth it in the end. Also he told me to give any future employer HIS number, as in his cell, so he could give me an appropriate good reference, instead of some HR person looking my profile on a computer screen. Then, instead of making me go to a terminal to turn in my truck, he had me go to the dedicated account location, and came in on his last day of vacation and went over the truck with me, and he brought me to lunch.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Getting my CDL on a budget.

Hello,

I would look into the CDL schools in your area that offer student loans. Usually they are affiliated with community colleges. I know that here in the Northeast, the big name school is New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS). Very good school, and students get out of it what they put into it. They offer varying length courses, ranging from 4 to 22 weeks. The 22 week course is eligible for Pell Grants and student loans. One drawback is that you have to pay out of pocket, but you can go somewhere that offers tuition reimbursement. The plus side is that you are not tied to a company through a contract because they paid for your training. You can find a company that is the best fit for you, and MOST major carriers offer tuition ranging from 7k-10k. If you paid fully out of pocket, you get that money in your paycheck once a month for a set length of time. If you took out a student loan, they will pay the loan holder directly. If you play it right, and the CDL school is your only student loan, you can do what I did and pay and extra $200/month and have it totally paid off in 18 months, and then the company puts in their payment into your check, and your credit score improves....

Whatever route you go through though, stay with your first company at least 1 year minimum, get that experience, and enjoy....

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Metal rolls in dry van

I had pulled out of that dedicated account when Werner had it. Those guys were great in securing the loads, and I would never had to second guess if my load was secured or if I was going to be overweight, or if my axle weights would be off... Chris

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Dollar General And Dollar Tree Accounts

Hello Cecelia,

I will tell you that there is both good and bad to any of the "dollar" family accounts, whether its family dollar, DG or DT, etc.

First, I will tell you get as much time solo under your belt before you think about any of the dollar store accounts. As others have said, lots of backing, and lots of chances for accidents.

The good things are that the drivers are very well paid (better than $70k/yr, I new a driver who was on track to make over $85k/yr, but he hustled), its physical so you won't have to pay for a gym membership, you will have most weekends off (I would have if I stayed on the FD account I tried).

Some of the not so good things are that: it's physical and hard on the joints and muscles, you will have long days with several stops (2-3 minimum), it is all driver unload, lots of dollar stores are not very big truck friendly (think of the dollar stores you've been to) with basic loading docks (if they have one at all), and dealing with managers and staff that are working for minimum wage or a little more. Some are great to deliver to, others, not so much... Also, you may (and probably will on a regular basis) find yourself spending the night in a store parking lot because your hours ran out or were to short to get anywhere to park.

I guess the answer if they are good or bad is it is for you to decide, but I will say that what will make or break any experience for the driver (no matter what company they work for) is the relationship that you, as a driver, have with your fleet manager/dispatch manager/load manager & planner, along with the weekend/night dispatchers, and any other department you will deal with regularly. I had a manager/dispatcher on an account that never drove a truck, and just didn't really care about anything about his own backside, and wondered why the company lost that dedicated account. My other dedicated manager was great, had drove (and an O/O for over 20 years) and knew his drivers and who could get what done... He would pre-plan drivers a week ahead of time and tell us "go, get it done" and he took care of us with pay, miles, home time, and would go to bat for those of us who had proved ourselves.

Hope this helps. Chris

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is classroom time mostly a waste of time in cdl training programs?

I went to a school that offered 2 short courses that had little to no classroom time (and lots of time spent on the pad learning maneuvers) for those who had some experience driving trucks (like those upgrading from a class B to a class A license) and a class that offered an equal amount of classroom and pad time. I took the 22 week class that offered equal amount of class and pad time, and it paid off when I got to the company I worked for and with one of their trainers. My initial trainer after a week told me that I was one of the better (if not the best) trained "students" he had in a while, since I had a lot of knowledge already and he didn't have to go over basics like trip planning and HOS stuff and only had to help me work on fine tuning things like ally dock, company specific items, and dealing with shippers and receivers.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Would you refuse this load?

For me, I would have to say it depends. I would sit down with my FM/DM and see why they want me to do it. My last manager saw that I would take some of the harder and longer runs that some of the others wouldn't take or he felt like they couldn't do it well because of the other drivers time management skills (or lack of). For example, he gave me a run from southern VT to PA near Allentown. I got to the shipper, and they were late as usual, so I figured I would be getting to the last stop just about the time they closed for the day. Made all my stops, and when I got to the last one about 1545hrs, I checked in with the office, and they told me receiving had just left for the day because my FM had called them and said I wasn't expected to get there before 1630 (which is understandable, since they leave at 1600 anyway). They told me what door to back into so I could get unloaded as soon as they got there at 0730, and gave me permission to drop my trailer so I could go to the local mini truck stop. I then called my boss to let him know I was there and what was going on, and where I would be spending the night. He told me he was surprised because he honestly thought I wouldn't get there that day, and he was impressed. He then surprised me with an extra little bonus in my trip pay and got me home a day early for the weekend, with "layover pay" of the same amount as an "Atta Boy". He then started asking me to do other similarly hard trips, and always made it worth my extra effort.

My DM also knew that if I went to him with a concern on if I could do a trip or not based on my HOS, I knew what I was talking about, and only once or twice sat down and did the math and saw that I was either right, or explained to me how I could do it if he adjusted the delivery times by a few hours either way.

I guess it is how comfortable you are with talking to your FM/DM, and how understanding they are. I guess I was very lucky by having one who drove for more than 20 years, and could tell the drivers who knew what they were doing and the ones who still needed to learn...

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Which company would offer regular home time?

Hello, I had worked for Werner 4 1/2 years, and I say worked because I had to be home nightly for personal reasons, and left on good terms. I can tell you from my experience, research all the major carriers that are on dedicated accounts near your home, or go through your hometown, and you should be able to get onto one that will get you home on weekends, or at least every week for a 34 hour reset.

I can tell you, I was on a dedicated account with a great fm/dm/planner/boss. He always got me over 2000 (most of the time over 2100 even), and I averaged right around 60 cents a mile (58-62) and grossed 1200/week on the low end. And I could have gotten more miles if I wanted, and told him that I wanted more, so we (yes I said we) planned my week early on paper. My best week on that account was 2400 miles and I was home by 1pm Friday and had until 10am on Sunday off.

So good money is out there, just find a company that works for you that you will get along with, and that you can you work out for the company. I found that if I let my company know what I wanted and made a few calls to show my interest, they assigned me to the accounts I wanted. I also worked my tail off so I would be desirable for my last account, got to know what my boss wanted and expected, and told him what I wanted and expected, and through good communication and planning we all were happy.... He got his loads done quick, and with few hiccups, and I got the miles and money.... Chris

Posted:  7 months 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:  7 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:  8 months, 3 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"...

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