Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 1 month ago

ChrisEMT's Bio

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Posted:  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:  1 week, 1 day ago

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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

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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:  1 week, 4 days ago

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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:  1 week, 4 days ago

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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:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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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:  1 month ago

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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:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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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:  3 months ago

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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:  3 months, 1 week ago

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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:  3 months, 2 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:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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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.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Does it matter if I train in an automatic?

Hello, I will put my 2 cents in... While yes, most companies are heading the way of automatics, and there are no big downsides of training in an automatic. The only 2 that I can think of off the top of my head are 1)what happens if the only truck a company has to offer you is a manual? and 2) some states have and "automatic only" restriction on the licenses, so that will limit you on some job prospects. I would look for a school, program, or company that will train you on both. This way you can drive either. Also, if you train in both, you will get a feel for which one you prefer.

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

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Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

Hello, I figured I would put my $.02 in... Company sponsored schools can be great if you don't have the money up front AND you are willing to stay with that company for their contract term (usually 1 -2 years).

For me, the better option was to go to a private school at a total out of pocket cost of about $9k. The school I went to was federally accredited with the department of education, so I got a student loan and pell grant to cover the cost ofthe 22 week program. Before I signed the paperwork, I spoke with the driver placement department with what I was looking for, and they gave me 5 companies that would be a good fit (and I went with my #2 choice).... They offered a reimbursement of up to $7200, which was what I paid to get my license... With their reimbursement and a little extra, I paid off my student loan in 18 months, with the company sending the check to my loan holder....

The benefit for me was that if I the company I went with wasn't a good fit for me, I could leave and go with another company... I was fortunate that the company I went with was really good for me, and I was placed on a dedicated account, and I was home almost every weekend, and most holidays (I was stuck at a terminal for 2 holidays in 5 years, 1 to get a brand new truck with 89 miles on the odometer, and 1 I was getting multiple things serviced on a truck and they had to order parts from the dealer).....

You just have to decide which is better for you....

Chris

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

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Trucking Truth On A New Server

When I tried getting to the forum without logging in, it was a white screen, but when I logged in and tried, it brought me here right away

Posted:  10 months ago

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Trucking School vs Paid CLD Training: Survivor stats?

Hello, I guess I must be the exception (in the small percentage of drivers).... While I do think that company sponsored training is better for most people, I had done my research before talking to the school I ended up going with, and for me, going to a "private school" was a better choice for me personally. I took out a student loan to pay for school, and got my pre-hire letter from Werner with my orientation date and tuition reimbursement info about a month before I got my CDL. I started with Werner a week after I got my license, and was on a dedicated account about 3 weeks after I finished with my trainer. I averaged over $50k/yr before my tuition reimbursement, and my student loan was paid off in a year. I had spent almost 5 years with them before I had to leave because of a previous injury.... My FM called me for about a year after I left asking me to come back to his account, and every few months I still have the company call me asking if I want to come back.

The last year I was with them, I made almost $55k, and I worked only 4 1/2 days a week, and home on weekends. But I also had a great working relationship with my FM and consistently proved to him that I could get loads done that more than 1/2 the drivers on the account couldn't because of understanding the HOS rules and pushing myself.

I will say that for the vast majority (75% or more) of people should go through company sponsored training because it would be an incentive for not only the company, but for the driver to stay with the company for their contract length so that the training would be "free", and it would be a guaranteed job for at least 1-3 years....

Posted:  10 months ago

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Question from a 4 wheeler

I know that if I see another driver being either unsafe/unprofessional or being extraordinarily safe/professional, I look for the company name on the tractor or trailer. If it is a safety (or other item that needs to be brought to the company they are pulling for) I call the company phone number and ask to talk to the safety department, and let them know what is going on. I will provide the truck and/or trailer number, the approximate time and location, and what was happening. The safety department will then decide what to do.

I have only had to call a company 3 times to complain, and they didn't seem too surprised when they looked up the info I gave them, and 1 safety person even told us that they were going to shut the driver down for 72 hours because it was they received multiple complaints about that particular driver.....

On the flip side, I have called companies more than a dozen times to compliment a driver on their actions, and on multiple occasions, they said that the drivers would get recognized with at least a certificate, if not a gift of some sort....

In al the cases, the companies were glad to hear both the compliments and complaints, and I am sure that they looked at the drivers history with the company to see if there was some sort of pattern (good or bad) and decided what to do based on that...

And I know that the carrier I worked for would always tell me when I had gotten either a good or bad call (thankfully I only got calls about how professional and safe I was)....

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Looking for employment

I would suggest Werner as well. Last I knew, they had a terminal in Texas, and I remember at other terminals seeing on the company channel that they offer a sign on bonus for some of the accounts our of that terminal.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Lack of communication

So, I have a way that may not have been thought of.... Have you thought of calling your DM??? What happens if your in BFE and your QC goes down? Just my 2 cents

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What is a normal wait time?

What is the "normal" wait time? I guess it would have to do with a few factors, such as what type of freight you haul, if you are OTR, regional, dedicated, or local.... I can say that when I was regional/OTR, I waited from less than an hour to almost a full day or more on the weekend with an overnight/weekend dispatcher. While I was on dedicated it ranged from me having my pre-planned load on Monday for the entire week (my last manager was great to the drivers who he knew could get the job done, and our paycheck showed it) to a manager on a previous account that would wait until we got back before he even scratched his head on what load to give us. and if it was a Thursday afternoon when you got back, you may not get a load until noon or later on Friday,...

My suggestion would be to call the dispatcher and ask nicely "hey, I've been sitting for x amount of time, and I was wondering if there was anything to get me moving somewhere to keep my boredom down..." and that may be the thing the dispatcher needs... and keep track of the dispatchers (especially if they are not your normal dispatcher), and if the same off-hours dispatcher keeps giving you loads when you call and ask nicely, just remember them, and maybe send them a gift card to a restaurant or some other place near where they are as a thank you... Nothing much, maybe $25-50, or a gift basket... And then they may remember that and give you better loads quicker... Just my opinion though...

And if you want to go someplace for a little break, you can always ask if they have anything headed towards that location, and let them know you would be interested in doing a reset there, especially if it is near a heavy load count area....

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Information on failed dot drug test for driving school.

I would suggest, as others have, pull your DAC through hire right and see what is on your record. It will be a hard copy, and you can get 1 free copy per year.... This way you will know what is and is not in your file....

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