Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 5 months ago

ChrisEMT's Bio

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Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Driving on federal probation

While I have no direct personnel experience with being on probation or parole, I had a fellow student in my CDL class at school who I got to know relatively well and he confided in our class of 10 when we got to the training field that he was on probation, and he confided in me why he was on probation (all I feel comfortable saying is that it was a non-theft related felony). He said he contacted his parole officer and got the OK to get his class A CDL, since he was working within our state border,

I also got to know another driver who frequented the same truck stop I did near my my DC on my last account that was on Federal Probation for a federal level financial type charge (he didn't get into details, but none of my business).... Again, he got the OK from his probation officer and judge to get his CDL, and became an O/O, and bought his own truck.... He did share that his PO initially gave him strict requirements to follow (weekly check ins, GPS tracking in his truck that can be monitored by his PO, and a few other things), and as he showed that he was doing good with the requirements, his PO lessened some of the requirements.... He did well enough to buy a second (newer) truck last I knew, and should be near the end of his probation (if not finished).

So my point is, check with your PO and see if you get the OK.... If you do, be prepared to explain everything to the companies you apply to, and be prepare for some rejections or disqualification responses from at least some major carriers.... Also, I believe that there is a list of "second chance" companies here that will give you a chance..... Just be honest on your applications, and ask your PO for a letter to give companies with your applications that include your PO's phone number and email address, and expect the companies to contact your PO....

Also, if you are going to a private school that has a driver placement department, you can ask them for their recommendations for your situation....

Best wishes and good luck....

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Questions about the CDL permit test and endorsements

Hello Old J,

I am glad to see that you are looking at getting all of your endorsements when you go for your permit. I personally would wait on getting your HAZ-MAT endorsement until AFTER you get your CDL. As a former instructor at a school in CT, we always recommended this to our students. The reason being is that the inspector/state test proctor for your road test can, and most likely, test you on every endorsement you have on your permit. We had a student who had their HAZ-MAT endorsement on his test paperwork, and while on the way back, the inspector noticed it on the paperwork and brought the student out over a railroad crossing.... needless to say the student failed because they did not come to a complete stop at the required distance (white stop line) before the railroad crossing.... the student did the rest of the test perfectly up to and after that one sot on the test.

My suggestion, and it is only a suggestion, is to wait until you go and turn in your paperwork and get your CDL and then do the paperwork for your HAZ-MAT endorsement. You will also have enough on your proverbial plate learning how to handle a commercial vehicle, hours of service, etc...

Also, unless you are planning on strictly doing HAZ-MAT loads, or doing a majority of your loads as HAZ-MAT, it is not worth what most major carriers pay for HAZ-MAT loads (my former carrier paid about 5 yo 10 cents a mile while actually hauling HAZ-MAT loads) which barely covered the cost of the fees for the endorsement....

Also, if you want to get the endorsement, look for local companies hauling gas, propane, medical waste, or chemical companies like simonize.....

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Bit The Bullet

Hello John C,

Seeing that you are from the Boston area, I am guessing that I know which school you are gong to (NETTTS), since I went to, and also taught there after coming off the road so I could be home every day.... I am hoping that you signed up for the 22 week course (which I did so I could be a well educated new driver), because the Somers, CT campus had an extensive classroom portion as well as a similar hands on portion on the training pad.... I suggest that you take advantage of their placement office and get as much info from recruiters that visit your school.... And a lot of major (mega) carriers offer tuition reimbursement programs that will repay your tuition up to the cost of the course (to a max of $7-10k depending on the company) over a period of time (1-5 years). I suggest that you stay with your first company for at least 1 year, then more doors will open for you....

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is there hope for my Trucking career?

And as far as "mega-carriers" it is actually easier for them to get you home for your home time. Most companies will allow you to park the truck at a local truck stop, even under a load.... the only time most companies might have an issue is if the company considers it a "high value load" and they will require you to drop the load in an approved secure drop yard if your home time is for longer than 48 hours or they will set up a relay where you hand the load off to another driver and get paid for the miles you drove.... I know for Werner, it was a load valued at $500k or more....

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is there hope for my Trucking career?

I have a "silly" question. How was the question about failed drug question worded? Did it ask if you EVER failed a drug test (pre or post employment) or did it ask if you ever failed/refused a DOT required drug test? While I will NEVER recommend lying when answering questions on any application, I will recommend reading the question carefully and answering honestly.... that goes for answering the question about felonies. read the question carefully, they will ask if you were either ARRESTED or CONVICTED. And if it has been expunged or it has been removed from your record, you can answer no because it won't show up on MOST pre-employment background checks....

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Do some truck drivers really only make $10/hr?

If, as a driver, you are only making $10/hr, you are working for the wrong company.... either your not being given loads that keeping you moving, your refusing loads, or your not hustling... Even on my slowest week running regional, I averaged $15/hr, and when I was on my dedicated accounts, the lowest I made was an average of $20/hour, and my highest was over $25/hour ($1100 for 42 hours)...

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Personal life details

As far as sharing personal life details with a trainer, or anyone you work with, is IMHO something that you have to decide for yourself... I would suggest that you feel the person out before you share intimate personal details.... things like hobbies, sports, etc. are things I shared with my trainer until I got to know him better. once we got comfortable with each other, we shared more personal info about our lives with each other. as far as sharing things like that you are in an inter-racial relationship is something that I personally wait until I figured out what their views on it are. Most people don't care, mainly because people can't control who they fall in love with....

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Home Kit or Self Lab test in preparation to pass actual Drug Tests?

IMHO, I would wait AT LEAST 60 days before taking any type of drug test.... While "home test kits" are decent, they are not as sensitive as a DOT urine test, so a "negative" on a home test might put your mind at ease, a DOT test MAY still give a positive result. As far as hair tests, they can show anywhere from 60 days up to 180 days of any drug use, even just 1 or 2 joints, depending how much of a sample they take... And for people thinking about shaving all of the hair in hopes of not being able to provide a sample, they will get it from the "nether regions" (yes, I mean THOSE nether regions, use your imagination)..... and remember, refusing to provide a sample for a DOT drug test equals a "positive" result and will pretty much "black list" you from a CDL job until you jump through a bunch of hoops....

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Weird Question About Medical Cards

Werner will allow you to get your medical card from and DOT approved doctor AFTER your initial company paid for physical at orientation. At least when I was with them (I left them a little over 4 years ago for personal reasons at home).

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Medical marijuana question

I would normally tell people who have "indulged" or "experimented" with pot or any THC product to wait a minimum of 6 to 12 months BEFORE taking any type of drug test as every person metabolizes things differently, and THC is usually stored in fat cells.... So the more body fat (BMI) you have, the longer it stays in your system. For hair folical testing, it is about 3-6 months for every inch of hair tested.

Now since you had your medical marijuana card, your name is more than likely on a registry or list maintained somewhere, and if the DOT looked for, and finds, your name on that list, they may decide to scrutinize any drug tests you take or even void your medical card and CDL.

My advice to you would be to talk to the doctor who issued the card and ask them to revoke it, the wait at least 1 year from the date you revoke it before you take a drug test, which if you stopped using any medical marijuana (or any marijuana for that matter) would be more than 1 year and would make it highly unlikely that you would test positive.... Remember, even trace amounts of THC would disqualify you from getting hired....

Remember to keep any records you have showing the last time you bought medical marijuana and ask the doctor who issued you the medical card for letter stating when they issued and revoked the medical card. This way when you take a drug test (UI or hair folical) you can show when you stopped in case of a positive result....

I would also avoid CBD products, unless prescribed by a doctor, and it is certified to have less than .03% THC in it.... My pain management orthopedist (who is going through the process of being licensed to prescribed CBD) told me that usually less than .03% should not trigger a positive result....

I hope this helps and is not to confusing....

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Spe certification

double-quotes-start.png

I have a silly question for you. If the only doctor you found in your region to fill out your paperwork is in Georgia, why can't you have them fill it out.... Yes, I understand you live in Florida, but a licensed doctor on the DOT registry to give physicals can give you a physical... Even if it is a specialist because of your arm, it shouldn't matter

For example, I live in CT, worked for a company out of NE, and had a physical done at their Indianapolis, IN and their Allentown, PA terminals, as well as one in Georgia.....

I was just curious, thats all

double-quotes-end.png

The loss of use is why the SPE certificate is required. He won’t be able to pass a DOT physical without that paperwork. I still think he needs to call the regional representative because they may have a list of doctors who will fill out the proper paperwork, rather than just call around and hope for the best.

I understand that the loss of use of his arm is why he needs an spe.... My question was why can't he use the doctor in GA if they also do DOT physicals????

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Got my year at first company. Now what?

I would speak with your companies account services office (or whatever your company calls it for dedicated accounts) and see what your company has to offer, it may surprise you. Then I would call other major companies that hire out of your area to see what they have to offer, but expect to have a wait once you jump to a different company because usually dedicated accounts are usually in demand positions. You could also look into food delivery companies that deliver to restaurants , bars, supermarkets, etc. A big one is Performance Food Group (PFG), but again, they have minimum requirements like length of experience, etc....

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Spe certification

I have a silly question for you. If the only doctor you found in your region to fill out your paperwork is in Georgia, why can't you have them fill it out.... Yes, I understand you live in Florida, but a licensed doctor on the DOT registry to give physicals can give you a physical... Even if it is a specialist because of your arm, it shouldn't matter

For example, I live in CT, worked for a company out of NE, and had a physical done at their Indianapolis, IN and their Allentown, PA terminals, as well as one in Georgia.....

I was just curious, thats all

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Conceal carry question

Sorry to sound like a "debbie downer" but,

regardless if a trucking company has a "no weapons" policy or not, most shippers and receivers have a no firearms policies. also, there comes the problem with crossing state lines. as a truck driver, unless you are driving local or within the state 100% of the time, you WILL cross a state line at some point. where the issue lies is that most bordering states of where you live do not have reciprocity laws, and if you cross over the state line and get pulled over or inspected, and the officer finds a firearm, a can of worms will have been opened that most drivers, IMHO, do not want opened. it would be a felony charge for carrying a firearm without a permit. you would more than likely get arrested, lose your CCW, any firearms you own, and more than likely not get your CCW back. and, since you will have a felony arrest on your record, even if you are found "not guilty" and the charge is taken off your record, you will more than lose your job, and have to answer "yes" to the question "have you ever been arrested for a felony".... then there comes the possibility of your company sending you into Canada, if they go there, and you have your passport. you cannot cross over international borders with a firearm (or other "weapon", bigger than a pocket knife).....

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Dollar Accounts???

I don't recommend any of the dollar accounts for "new drivers" that have less than 1 year solo experience for several reasons.

First, during the first year solo, new drivers are still honing their driving skills, learning the HOS, trip planning, learning how to deal with shippers and receivers, time management, building a relationship with their dispatchers/fleet managers/company, etc. Second, most dollar stores have very tight areas to get to the receiving doors/docks that require good backing and spatial relations skills.

Third, most dollar store accounts are driver unload, with or without carts depending on the store chain. think about having 4 stores to deliver to and unload 40k lbs of product stacked floor to ceiling, then be back at the distribution center within 24-36 hours after dispatch.

While drivers on dollar store accounts make really good money, there is a reason. For example, I was on the family dollar account and lasted 2 loads with them because I wasn't ready (I was still fresh off the trainers truck and was tempted by the $$$), or in good enough shape. I went to another nearby account and made ok money until my company lost the contract to another company that was cheaper, and went to an account that gave me as many miles as the dollar account, as good pay (cpm, stop pay, unload/load pay), I barely touched any of the freight, and I worked 4 1/2 (or so) day work weeks (left Sunday, afternoon and was home early Friday morning) and never got close to running my clock out. But I got lucky with my last account. I had a great boss who was my FM/Dispatcher/Load Planner. I worked my tail off and proved myself to him and that I could do any load he gave me, but when I signed onto his load board, I also had 2 years experience... And we still keep in touch to this day....

I hope this helps. Chris

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

DOT physical exam doctors.

I had gotten 2 year card most of the time, except the brief period of time when I became an instructor at the CDL school I took my course at.... I think that it was my BMI was slightly more than he was happy with, saying I was "at risk" for sleep apnea. I then looked on the registry to see what examiners were in my area, and found that my PCP was on the registry, so I started having him do my medical card, since he was familiar with my history and could fill out my forms every other year when I got my annual physical, since it more thorough than the DOT exam, and he just added the urine dip, eye exam, and hearing exam. I have had a 2 year card since.

Check to see if your PCP (or someone in their office) is on the registry, and if they are, see if they will fill out the forms for you at your annual exam. they may charge you a small fee to fill it out, but it may be worth it in the long run.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Paying for first DOT Physical and Written Exam

As far as the costs for the DOT physical and test (I am guessing for your permit), your prospective employer may pay for at least the physical. As far as the permit cost, they may cover it, but I know I had to pay for my permit out of pocket....

Now before you get to far into the process, call a DOT registered examiner that you will get your physical from and ask about epilepsy. There is a question on the physical form asking about epilepsy and seizures. The only one, IMHO, that can give you an accurate answer on your specific situation is a DOT doc. I'm not sure if there is an exception for seizures or not, but if there is, the doctor giving the physical will be able to get that squared away for you when they give the physical.

I hope all works out for you...

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Need help with not stalling truck

I would start in 2nd or 3rd, instead of 4th.... 4th is to high of a gear to start in, imho. I have heard inspectors/DMV(RMV) requiring people to start in 1st, even 2nd, but not 4th..... I would ask your instructor/trainer why they want you to start in 4th and see what they say.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need help with starting in trucking from Tampa, FL.

Hello,

I will put in my 2 cents. While I can agree that for most people, going through company sponsored training is the ideal way to go because you get the training for "free", and you will have a job at the end of training, provided you get your CDL, and your contract is usually for a length of time to pay it off. The 1 downside, imho, is that if the company you go with doesn't match with you (for whatever the reason) and you part ways, you are on the hook for the tuition.

For me, I paid for my schooling and CDL through student loans, and sat down with the placement department at the school, and got hired b my number 2 choice. When I got hired, they, like most companies, offered a tuition reimbursement program where they paid ,y student loan over 3 years (max $7500). I had them take out extra every week to send in, and paid it off in 1 year. I had my loan paid off and got my 1 year experience that most companies look for. This way, if I wanted to leave for "greener pastures" I could without owing anything to the company....

The biggest thing, in my mind, is look into as many if the company programs and schools as possible and see what they have to offer. As far as schools, ask grads in person what their thoughts are about the training they got. ask about their placement department (if they have one). Visit the school to talk to them, the instructors, and see if you could sit in the class for a couple hours, and most important (to me) is sit with the placement person and talk to them about what your wants, needs, and expectations are, and see if they have companies that would match up with your goals if you go there. Also, be honest with the schools admissions person, and ask about the trucking lifestyle and see if it matches with what you want and need, because trucking is a lifestyle unlike other "9-5" jobs.

Also, if you live near a truck stop with a resteraunt, go and have dinner at the restaurant. Talk to drivers and ask them their honest opinions about their companies.... You may be surprised by the honesty that they give.... Just try and focus on their company, and stay away from asking about thoughts on other companies, because they may not give you accurate info. If you do do this, ask things about the average amount of miles "new drivers" get, how their freight is, and I see you are from Florida, so ask how the freight is getting out of Florida, especially if you want to go "home" to Florida, as I have seen freight out of Florida can be hit or miss. If you only want to go "home" only every few months, then feel free to go with any of the "mega-carriers"....

I know that this is a lot of info, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I check in a couple times a week.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Anyone nosy, read previous drivers outbox?

I rarely "demanded" certain things. I would always "ask" if I could be assigned a few regular runs, such as my first and last loads of the week, which were usually longer runs with more stops. My FM/DM/Load Planner (same person) usually gave it to me, and then gave me other loads in between that were a little tougher/longer/more stops to give me more $$$ because he knew I could get it done. And because I talked to him about what my wants and needs were, he also worked with me when I called him and said that I needed to be "home" for an emergency and would take a load of his choice when I got back, or if early in the week, I would ask if he could get me home early Friday morning for something, and he worked it out....

I had talked to another driver from that account that had left, and found out that he made about $20k less than I did the last year that he was there, but he always wanted to be back at the DC every (or almost every) night and limited his delivery area radius, instead of challenging himself to maximize his clock and income. He also (I think) didn't talk with our boss to pre-plan his week...

It is always about talking with your boss and working with them instead of making demands... And my old boss (now retired and lives in NOLA) still keep in touch and are friends on social media... And when he switched account just before he retired, I would have followed him if I didn't have a family that I needed to be home every weekend for.

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