Profile For Eric G.

Eric G.'s Info

  • Location:
    Goshen, IN

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 5 months ago

Eric G.'s Bio

I live in Elkhart County, IN... I am actually a degree prepared Nurse that has experience working in a variety of places: Psychiatric, Medical Surgical, Doctor Clinics, and Corrections. I have some Police experience as well... Its going to be an interesting tale to tell my children of everything I've experienced in life: Nursing to Trucking.... Wow. I also love God (I'm a Christian).

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Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

Man, that's a bummer to get that far along in the process and then have to drop out and (possibly?) start over.

What are you going to do now? The fact that you stayed as long as you did means you must have to pay them back at least some of the tuition I would think.

Did they say you could return at a future date and try again?

They told me I could reapply later as it was bad timing. They been having a bad time at the C1 in Fort Wayne due to lots of students and instructors who end up quitting. I'm a nurse (was working in corrections) so its not the end of the world. I will get my CDL eventually. I don't know if it was the marketing (get your CDL in 3 weeks) or the "freedom" of seeing America that made me take the plunge too soon.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

Well, I hate to say but I didn't get my CDL this time... It has been a logistical nightmare. I didn't get the pretrip down pat so they said no practice driving or anything until it is passed. It changed what was supposed to be just a 3 week course to possibly a 5 week course or longer. I couldn't afford another 2,3, or 4 weeks without some kind of pay. Also, they stated with the all the backlog of 3,4, and 5 week students that it might "be awhile before you can test." Any hoo, I did awesome on my first drive on the city streets. I double clutched so admirably that the instructor kept making me pull to the side of the road to "start from scratch as you seem to have done this before." However, I got VERY little backing practice about 5 minutes total its been about 3 weeks. We had 18 students to a truck. There were days before I even got into the truck. The director of the school got on the platform a few times the past two weeks to state we are sorry for the lack of graduating CDL students as we have lost 4 range instructors and 2 more are on vacation. Also, our range instructor was reprimanded verbally in front of students several times for just yelling instructions and not allowing students to think for themselves on how to back up. He was also a ****** bag for telling students to put a maxi pad between their ******s and blowing cigarette smoke into the cabs. On more than one occasion I have seen several grown men come out of those trucks with their nerves shaking. Anyway, I believe I came to the C1 School in Ft Wayne at a bad time as they were short staffed and had way too many students here. If I had a couple thousand with me other than a couple hundred I probably would of been more successful at this school especially since I was near broke when coming. I think someone should be more financially prepared before making the move, as well. My landlord who owns a trucking company stated he will help me out further. If anyone is thinking about going to C1 especially Fort Wayne through Driver Solutions I would be very careful if you are low on funds because it won't be a 3 week course but possibly more than a month before you get out!

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Rider Policy

Family Rider Policies: What is the most family friendly trucker company out there? What is their policy on kids or other family members out on the road?

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

*Was not were

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

I've passed all written portions of the test! The CDL program from this website were extremely beneficial. Don't relay on powerpoint presentations to pass.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Automatic vs. manual transmissions

I've heard automatic trannys are hard to move a trailer back due to the need to accelerate.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

Just checked into the hotel. Tomorrow is my first day at C1 in Fort Wayne. My roommate isn't so bad. The hotel room is clean.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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From the Stone Age to the Industrial Age

I live in railroad central here in Elkhart County, IN so I always think it is funny when trains carry inter modals... which are intended for the big rigs to haul... or trailers..... Its funny because railroad companies don't like the trucking industry because the more trucks that are on the road the more chance the railroad isn't as profitable. Its an interesting love-hate relationship.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Tickets and medical record

Also you have to understand what a "moving" traffic violation is versus other misdemeanor traffic crimes. For example, in my youth I had: fictitious plates, unregistered vehicle, and no insurance. I got a "long form" which is non-custodial arrest so you have to show up in court. Many people assume the long form is actually a "ticket" but its different. The company I applied for only asked for moving violations in my history. I lucked out.

Moving Violations: Speeding, Disregarding traffic signals, failure to control vehicle, etc are some moving violations.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

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I can't say that I'm completely emotionless on the decision but definitely was getting burned out with working at the jail.

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Eric,

My best friend just retired from 30 years as a sheriff's deputy (Washoe County, Reno, NV) and I have to say I think you made the right choice to change jobs at this point in your life. My friend was never on patrol as he was a jailer & bailiff only those 30 years. I don't know if you were on patrol but I think the danger for a young father/husband is significant (Las Vegas recently - that comes to mind). However, the biggest effect I saw on my friend was the daily exposure of the class of people he had to deal with. This guy is a Viet Nam vet and a fearless warrior in terms of his make up but I witnessed him break down and cry over stresses he never dealt with on his job. I think the trucking career you have substituted for the life of a jailer is a definite improvement for you AND your family. Being home but having to deal with the stresses of law enforcement may be just as potentially harmful to a marriage and family as the separation of truck driving. There are lots of people here who can give you sound advice on how to deal with the new types of stress your family life will undergo (I'm not one as I am a 62 year old single person who's family is grown) so make use of the ability to dialogue with others in your same situation. Like Daniel said:

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Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

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. . . so don't go into this blindly but get all the info you can so you are not taken by surprise. I am sure you will do so (as should your wife) and will be very successful if you do. Again, I congratulate you on getting on with your life when you realized your previous occupation was not what you wanted for yourself or your family.

Jopa

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Thank you sir. I've seen some crazy stuff in the jail... Human kind at it's absolute worst. It has rubbed off in my personality, emotions, and everything. I've been threatened, cursed at, intimidated, assaulted, etc. Anyway, I'm excited about this opportunity... Also OTR is not my long term goal of things and I hope to get a local job some day. My wife is 100% behind me as we have all researched the lifestyle... She knows that the sacrifices to get the experience will be worth it... We have a strong Christian community here which can help.

Eric

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

You say you are "emotionless" on your decision.... are you really sure about that??? I am starting school in August and I have Zero family or kids. You will be away from the house for months at a time. When you're 2,000 miles from the house and your wife goes into labor then what? Your income for the first year is going to suuuuuuuckkkkka.. I'm not trying to bring you down however, plan on months away from the house. when you leave for school and then pass (One month (ish)) then get on the road training (three months (ish)) ya just can't run to the house when you're "under load"....

I really hope hope you have the fortitude for this... It's a lifestyle not a job. I truly wish you all the best and may the always wind be at your back.

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Re-read what I posted... I'm not emotionless... "I can't say I'm emotionless."

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Got Beard?

I have a thick, bushy goatee but I have been considering growing a beard.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Greetings, I'm New

Sounds like you're really looking forward to it. But make sure you two will survive this. Your wife is pregnant, you will miss your child's toddler years completely. Your wife will also be completely alone taking care of the child, doing household chores, bills, etc. she'll have to do everything. Make sure she can handle this sudden change of lifestyle. And make sure you'll be able to survive not seeing your newborn and your wife for weeks at a time.

Trucking is really tough on a marriage, and even tougher when you have children in the picture. Just reminding you to cover your bases and really make sure that this is what you want.

I wish you luck sir! And congratulations!

I can't say that I'm completely emotionless on the decision but definitely was getting burned out with working at the jail.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Greetings, I'm New

Hey welcome aboard Eric. Glad to have ya!

So have you been around TruckingTruth at all to see things like our Truck Driver's Career Guide, My Book (free online edition), or our High Road Training Program?

Have you been studying for the permit or do you have it already?

I have been studying the CDL book. I did Pam's eGears. I'm about ready to try those two items you have suggested!

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Greetings, I'm New

I hail from the mighty Amish town of Goshen, IN. On Monday, I go to CDL school in Fort Wayne, IN. I'm very nervous. About 7 years ago I did the Schneider National company sponsored training and was doing well until I accidentally put the rig into 2nd gear instead of reverse and the instructor fell on his bottom... he didn't get hurt, thank goodness.... I left... I was really embarrassed... I was also immature at 19 years old... Anyway, I'm more grown and ready to try this again. I'm going to try the Pam route since I can't really afford a loan or cash option. My wife is extremely supportive and if she wasn't pregnant right now she would want to do it too (that's what she said). I researched this for a few months since I grew up in Fort Wayne I think when the instructors tell me to go down a certain street or what not in the area I shouldn't have too many surprises (I'm still expecting surprises, though)! My ultimate goal is to go Regional/Local. When my kids grow up some I want to take them out with me if I can and my wife.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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For those considereing driving for PAM as a new driver (going thru Driver Solutions)

About team driving, their driver portal (which I am signed up to) says this:

"The PAM Transport OTR Team opportunity requires that you drive as a team for a minimum of 6 months. After 6 months, you can change to a solo position if you choose. The advantage of team driver is that both you and your co-driver are paid for all miles the truck runs; not based on individual miles driven. Teams usually run twice the amount of miles as a solo driver."

And Further:

"Team Driving Positions The PAM Transport OTR Team opportunity requires that at any point in your first year you agree to be teamed with another PAM driver for a minimum of 6 months. This 6 month team driving clock starts at the time you are initially teamed. In the event you finish your 12 month employment agreement but have not fulfilled 6 months of team driving, the choice is yours to remain team or driver solo. The advantage of being a team driver is that both you and your co-driver are paid for all miles the truck runs: not based on individual miles driven. Teams usually run twice the amount of miles as a solo driver."

About starting pay it says this:

"New Driver Guaranteed Pay PAM Transport is committed to helping the new driver achieve success in a trucking career. The company knows the first few months of a new job can be stressful as you learn new routines and become more efficient with daily tasks. That’s why PAM Transport guarantees your weekly paycheck to be at least $500 for the first 60 days after becoming a first seat driver."

I think PAM is starting to realize beginning truck drivers need a slight increase in their beginning pay. A few years ago they said maybe $300 while with a trainer during one week. There is no way I could survive on $300 a week for a month of training or more. After researching several truck driving companies I think Pam is slightly better for the trainee. If you pay your dues, you can realistically get paid better. I know a PAM driver who is 6 years in with them who is making in the mid 40 cent per mile range. Anyway, I don't know if that is just recruiter propaganda but its in writing. I start truck driving school with them in Fort Wayne on Monday. I grew up there so I don't think I would get lost and think I will flourish as a student.

Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Eliminating cigarette odor out of your semi-tractor

I always hated the smell of cigarettes. My parents smoked inside the house for years and I never thought it was that bad until I moved away and then visited later. I know when it came to my clothing I use to put stuff in the deep freeze. Hey for a few bucks I think you could get a high school student to clean your vehicle real good.

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