Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Owner operator

Brett, that is why I suggest what was suggested to me, keeping at least $25k in the bank for the major expenses (engine, transmission, major problems that arise)... What is easier to pay off quicker, maintenance through your maintenance account (charging it, then paying it off with your maintenance account reimbursement) or having to go to a bank and ask for the money to pay for something huge in the 10's of thousands of dollars? and I don't know of any every day maintenance that would tie up 90% of your credit line.... Unless routine maintenance, 60 day and required annual DOT inspections have increased 10 fold and made out of gold. And if it takes more than a couple of days to get the money from your maintenance account and send in a check to pay the bill before the statement comes out, there is a problem. even if you pay 90% of the bill every month, you shouldn't be anywhere near 90% of your credit limit, and you will build credit, show regular payments, and get credit line increases....

And your last sentence is what I have been saying, hang onto your cash... Make sure you have at least $25k in the bank for major expenses.... And by buying your truck outright, you don't have a truck payment (and you can make a truck "payment" to yourself so you can put a large down payment on a new truck) to lower your expenses.

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Owner operator

While I can agree with Brett that borrowing money has never been cheaper than it is today, and that debt used properly is the #1 driver of economic growth... My point is, what happens when freight drops for 4-6 weeks in a short period of time and you still have a truck payment and other expenses to pay, and there are too many bills at the end of the money? That is why I suggested to buy your at least your first truck in full (or at least almost in full) so you are not stuck with a large weekly payment if you take a week off, have a short freight week, or goodness forbid, you get into an accident or have mechanical issues like a blown engine or transmission, which could easily be $15 - 25K plus the time your truck is down to be repaired.

I would say buy your truck outright and get a business line of credit for everyday things like maintenance, with a maintenance account to replace the engine and transmission. Then, once you get the experience and contacts with brokers, etc, and network with people and prove yourself to shippers and receivers to the point they request you and a select few drivers (I had that happen to me on my dedicated account as a company driver), and then you get lower insurance premiums and a better handle with what your potential is, then go out and finance a new(er) truck that is optioned the way you want....

I had spoke with people I got my CDL with, and some were very successful L/O's after they got their time in as a company driver, and finished several leases, and I also know drivers who became L/O and O/O who failed miserably for several reasons, mainly because of lack of experience, money, contacts, and "business savvy" for lack of a better term, and had to turn their truck in and went back to being a company driver...

And Brett, and everyone else here gives good advice on the industry, and how to be successful. Just remember, becoming a L/O or O/O is a big commitment.... Just be sure you have your ducks in a row, your I's crossed and T's dotted before jumping into it....

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Owner operator

Hello, I figure I'll offer my humble opinion. After only a year or so as a company driver, I do not think your ready. I would say wait until you have 5-10 years under your belt. I would also recommend that you wait until you have AT LEAST $25-$30k in the bank, and can leave it untouched. The reason I say that is you should plan on having enough to cover replacing your engine/tranny in case it blows. Also, you have to think about all the costs related to starting your business, like insurance, registration, hiring an accountant (unless your good at keeping your own books and doing business taxes), and making contacts with and building relationships with brokers.

I would sit down and talk to a few different O/O (not lease ops) who have been doing it at least 5 to 10 years and get their opinion. And IMHO, stay away from leasing. If you do decide to go become and O/O, purchase your 1st couple of trucks in full, so you don't have to worry about a monthly truck payment and save money to buy a brand new truck eventually....

I may be wrong in my opinions, and if I am, please feel free to let me know... Chris

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Maybe I missed something....but did the hos split go away?

Not sure if there were changes with the new updates/changes, but it might also be a change that your company made... From what I understand, some companies do not allow the 8/2 split, or only allow it with approval from logs.... I would suggest checing with your logs or safety department... Unless someone else can enlightment me....

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Failed drug test

I know with UA's they split the sample into 2 tubes. 1 is for the test, and if it comes back positive for something, they send the other tube to another (unaffiliated) lab to be tested. not sure if they do that for hair follicle testing, but I would call and ask if they did an indipendent confirmation test for verify the results, or if you can go into their lab for another test... I figure that it wouldn't hurt to ask.... And I may be wrong, and if II am, please feel free to correct me... I believe that once you have your CDL permit, and you do a drug test through your school or employer (or prospective employer) the results go into the DOT database. Again, I may be wrong, but may be worth getting retested to show that the test may have shown a false positive....

Chris

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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ELD Malfunction

My biggest problem with going back to paper while on the road with an ELD malfunction is the DOT requires previous 8 days when running paper and if ELD quits where do you get previous 8 days until you get back to office, I had that problem last week for 2 days.

your logs department should, and I will restate it "should", have access to up to the last 6 months of your logs. They should be able to email them to you so that you can be current with the last 8 days. I know with Werner, they wanted you to request your logs on the 1st of the month for the previous month, every 90 days (start of the Quarter) for the previous 90 days, and every 6 months (July 1 and January 1) so that you would have a hard copy for your records and for taxes (so you can claim per diem, if eligible).

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Minor accident

I agree with Juicebox that if you are with a large or mega-carrier, and you call your safety department and own it, you will probably just get a slap on the wrist, have to go to a terminal and go through a safety review and classes, and be put on some sort of "probation" where you have to stay incident free for a length of time....

Most large companies expect rookies to have a few scraps and bumps. Just own it, and be honest. I know I had a few minor bumps with nothing more than my pride and ego being bruised... Now if you caused tens of thousands in damages, or worse, it might be a different story, but a mirror and maybe a few scrapes, I wouldn't be to concerned...

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

“Starter companies”

I had worked for a "starter company" and when I was first with them, and otr, I was making starter pay. I then got onto a dedicated account and I was making an average of 63cpm, and got all the miles I wanted, and I was home every weekend. its all about what you make of it. While I was at a few of the different terminals, I had the chance to meet several multi-million mile drivers, including a 5 million miler who was at the terminal to order his 5 million mile truck....

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Weight and distribution

Even though if you way your truck and trailer fully fueled and an empty trailer, and if you know you will max out at say 44k, I would take a weight from a shipper I have know experience with of anything over 35k as being close to being near my max weight, because like others have said, the shipper weight may only be product weight without packaging. If the BOL's showed me anything over 30k lbs, from an unfamiliar shipper, I would scale at a CAT scale, just for my own piece of mind... The only shipper I would feel 100% confident with the eight and distribution would be a load from an Budweiser load, since they load the trailer based on the weight of your tractor when you arrive at their plant, and they scale you on site so if you are overweight, or can't get the distribution right, they will rework the load to make the load legal.

The only times (other than a Budweiser load) I trusted the weight on a BOL and distribution, were the 2 dedicated accounts I was on, and they were 99.999999999% spot on with both, and had no problem taking a 45k load without question. And even when I first started on each of those accounts I followed the same rule and went to a CAT scale (if I passed one) for the 1st few loads on those accounts just for my piece of mind if the weight was listed as 30k or more.

Posted:  1 month ago

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How is alcohol consumption related to being in the truck?

DUI for a CDL holder is 1/2 the legal limit for a non-CDL holder. For example, if a state says DUI is .08 for a non-cdl license, than for a CDL holder it is .04 (while operating any motor vehicle). Anything over .02 in a CMV puts you out of service for at least 24 hours.

I would say that if you had 1 or 2 beers with a meal, and stayed in the restaurant for an hour or so after you were finished, I don't see a problem. I also would say to follow your company policy regarding alcohol IN the truck or in any company facility or anywhere that the company pays for, for example in a motel room the company pays for while your truck is in for maintenance/repairs...

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Multi-stop load

Good thing to do, and I would suggest, is call the 1st stop, and see if they have on site parking (after hours) for you so you can do your 10 hour break (or deliver then take your 10 hour break if they are open 24 hour receiving) and go to your next stops. I did that all the time, and 99% of my receivers were happy to take me early (or at night if they had 24 hour receiving) if they had the time to squeeze me in and the room to fit the product. The worst thing that they will tell you is that they do not allow overnight parking.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Weight and distribution

What I did, was when I was issued a truck (my 1st was a international prostar, and then 2 KW T680's), I would weigh my truck and empty trailer after I fueled up when I got home for a weekend at a CAT scale, this way I would have a breakdown of what the weight on each axle was, and what my total weight was. I had found out I could carry )on average) of 45k+/- of cargo before I had to start to worry (I could carry 46,500 of cargo before I was at 80k).

So, my advice is for you to do the same, this way, you can have a pretty good idea on the max weight you can carry and keep yourself out of an overweight ticket. Then this way all you have to do is worry about distribution and adjusting your 5th when and trailer axles.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

I spent 4 years as a company driver with Werner. I had to come off the road for several reasons, mainly because I needed to be home every night (joys of having a special needs child). I worked on dedicated accounts, and had 2 years of $45k+ (the first 2 years) and over 2 years of $53k+ a year. I had no expenses related to the truck. No maintenance, no fuel, no tires, no tolls, nothing. If I needed (or wanted something) for the truck, such as lights/fluids/etc, I sent in a request for it. If my truck was down for more than 2 or 3 days, I would be offered a loaner truck. If maintenance was going to be in the shop overnight, I would be put up in a hotel at the company expense. The last account I was on, I left around 11 am on Sunday and I was home by noon Friday most weeks. I averaged 2200-2500 miles a week at .62cpm (average between mileage pay, safety pay, stop pay, unload pay, etc).

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Ohio temp permit laws

Sorry but I gotta call BS on this story to the extent that having his HAZMAT endorsement caused an automatic fail:

double-quotes-start.png

The Inspector told the student "oh, you have your hazmat endorsement, keep going by the school, we have to go back out" They went out and went over a set of railroad tracks. The student failed to stop before the tracks, and guess what, it was an automatic fail for the student. He had to go and pay for a retest, take the entire road test again, including the pre-trip, skills, and road test.

double-quotes-end.png

Section 2.15.2 of the CDL manual regarding general driving (Non-hazmat section) says "All passenger and hazmat carrying vehicles are required to stop" at railroad crossings. I plan to get my HAZMAT, but I don't plan to get my passenger endorsement. However, if the tester said as I approached a railroad crossing, "assume you are a passenger carrying vehicle." If I failed to stop, I would not fail because the instructor was testing me on specific passenger carrying vehicle knowledge or the passenger carrying vehicle skills test. Rather, I would have failed because of general knowledge that I am required to know as part of the general knowledge section of the CDL manual.

The Inspector was specifically testing the student on the hazmat endorsement regulations (ie carrying a placardable hazmat load), not a non-hazmat load, not a "passenger carrying vehicle". So therefor, since the student failed to stop at a railroad crossing, the student failed.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Ohio temp permit laws

When I was in school getting my CDL, it was the schools view, and is still their view to this day, is get whatever endorsements you want on your permit EXCEPT Haz-Mat. That is because the inspector/Trooper/Tester can (and will) test you on everything on every endorsement you have on your permit.

The example they use is that they had a student that tested just before my class started, and he had his Haz-Mat endorsement, went through the whole road test and was pulling up the road to return to the school BEFORE the inspector saw his hazmat. The Inspector told the student "oh, you have your hazmat endorsement, keep going by the school, we have to go back out" They went out and went over a set of railroad tracks. The student failed to stop before the tracks, and guess what, it was an automatic fail for the student. He had to go and pay for a retest, take the entire road test again, including the pre-trip, skills, and road test.

I know here in CT it cost $30 to get a new license with all current endorsements. For me, it makes sense to spent $30 to show the endorsement after you get it vs risk having an inspector that is looking to be a stickler. or if you want, get just the endorsements you need, combination, airbrakes, etc, then get doubles/triples, hazmat, tankers, metal coil (if Ohio is like NY and has a coil endorsement), then get them all added on at the same time to make the cost worth it....

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Looking To Start A Career!

Yes,does have to be paid,but I was just putting my ideal situation out there is all. As for local driving gigs I'd definitely be willing to take one but I'm thinking more so along the lines of a regional job or a local company that would put me on the road for 5 days and me be home for 2. But I realize that would be harder to do at this point,just trying to give as much info as possible man.

Hello,

I was wondering if you called any of the "Mega-Carriers" that you see regularly in your area? I know most, if not all, of them have dedicated accounts for many of the "big box" stores and factories/distribution centers that could have you out for 5 days out/2 days home, and they pay very well.... I see that you live in Tennessee. Have you looked at A Duie Pyle? I know someone who just transferred to their terminal there. You could start in the warehouse, and have them train you as a yard jockey, then once you get your class A, and an opening occurs, you could work out of the terminal... Just a thought/suggestion...

I would contact all the companies that have the paid CDL programs and see which one fits your needs/wants/desires best. Be open and honest with the recruiting departments at each company. Then go to a local truck stop a few times over the course of a couple of weeks, and talk to the drivers having dinner, if they seem to be willing to talk. Ask them all the questions you want. Most of us will tell you the good, the bad, the ugly, and almost anything else, and I know I was honest about my company.....

The downside to most mega carriers is (if you want to be home 2 days a week during training) is that you will have to be out for 4 to 6 weeks on average to get your minimum miles/hours in before you get upgraded to your own truck. And then you can see about getting onto a local dedicated account that will get you home 2 days a week, hopefully weekends like I had.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

26k box truck for personal use, what is needed?

Hello,

My suggestion would be to contact your local DMV/RMV to see if you can register it like a pickup with truck/combination plates/car plates instead of commercial plates. I know I have seen plenty of tow trucks/box trucks here in CT with "Not for hire" painted on the sides/doors, signifying that it is not part of a business.

I would also contact the state DMV that your moving to and ask them the same things. I hope it works out well for you...

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Update on my CDL training

I am not sure it is greed or not, since like it has been said, it is expensive to run a CDL school. The school I attended, and eventually taught at for a short time, allowed students to practice as much as they needed to, but they did start to charge students the $150 charge that the school had to pay for students to be tested by the DMV inspector on top of the cost that the student needed to pay for the new test form from the DMV.

While I taught we had a student who had finished the 22 week course, and his son had started after him (and he finished the course and got hired byh a major carrier, finished the 275 hours with a trainer, and went solo), and this student was still there trying to pass the test, even though every instructor tried every way to teach him, and break him of his bad habits. The last time I brought him out on the road, I spent 3 hours with him, and he asked for my opinion on if he would pass the test in 4 days. I told him that he should go in, talk to the head instructor, and reschedule the test (so he could practice more, and be closer to 100% ready to pass, as well as save almost $200) for at least 2 weeks and practice every day, do to him grinding gears, not making turns appropriately, coasting, and not stopping at the appropriate times or distances. He ended up not rescheduling, failing the test do to coasting through a solid yellow light, and a few other things. When I saw him afterwards, he came to me and told me he should have taken my advice since it was his 4th time testing, and if he didn't pass the next time he would have to wait a year. I had left dhortly after that due to personal issues needing me at home, and I heard he finally passed 2 months later, after plenty of practice (almost every day) and a good heart to heart talk with his son....

I do believe that my former school, if you fail the 5th time, and have to wait a year, will charge you for a refresher (4 week course) , mainly because of the operating cost, and the fact you may need to start over from scratch.

I would have to agree with others said, and apply to company sponsored training, and try your best and get your license.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Any companies in New England that hire new drivers? And other questions...

I live in CT, and I had worked for Werner for 4 years. I never had a problem where to park, because they will allow you to park at a truck stop for home time, unless you had a "high value load", then you would have to drop the trailer at a secured lot, but they have them all over the country. They always try to get you a load close to your home to deliver just before or after your home time, depending on how long you were going to be home....

The big thing to remember, no matter what company you go with, is communicate with your DM/FM/Load Planner. Also, something else to look into for companies you have narrowed your choices to, is visit local truck stops at meal time, usually breakfast or dinner/supper time around 6 am or 6 pm and see if the company drivers can or will tell you if they have dedicated accounts in your area. For example, I got onto a dedicated account out of Vermont, averaged 2200-2500 miles a week, and averaged 1100-1300 week, and I was home here in CT every weekend, usually noontime Friday until about 10 am on Sunday, and my relationship with my manager was great, and he knew that if he needed someone to deliver a difficult load or a long distance load, he could count on me and a couple other drivers. And also, he knew that the same drivers would do longer loads and stay out for 2 weeks at a time if needed, and we were compensated well for it....

Pyle and Schneider are both good carriers to work for, I know several people who work for them, and they are very happy working there.

Like Rob T said, you will not go wrong with any of the major carriers. As soon as you "get it" and get into your own groove, the sky is the limit with wait you can earn. I have seen people post that their first year earnings ranged from $35k to over $50k their first year. From your second year on, most drivers I know see an average of 10%-25% increase in pay every year.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Failed drug test at trucking school

I would suggest to call Werner, and talk to their HR/Safety department and see what they say. The worst thing they will tell you is sorry that they wont work with you. They may also tell you that they will work with you, depending how recent your SAP program was finished....

But whatever companies you talk to, be honest with them... Also, try a local, smaller company, they may be more willing to work with you, and then when you get at least a yer to 18 months experience under your belt, and want to do OTR or work for a major carrier, then you might have a better chance because you've proven yourself, and you might be able to also offer to go in for additional drug tests for a set length of time to show that you are serious about being clean...

Not sure if it would be a possibility, but just an idea....

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