Profile For John T.

John T.'s Info

  • Location:
    Des Moines, IA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 3 months ago

John T.'s Bio

I'm an enigma, dipped in a beer-battered riddle and deep-fried in mystery.

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Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Whats wrong with this picture

There aint a single wrench, ratchet, hammer, torch or prybar that can fix that level of stupid.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Lot Lizards.

I "go to" answer when I am asked for money "Sorry but I only use company credit cards" works every time without fail. It shuts them up and they walk away.

I guess non drivers don't realize companies will not buy me my expensive toys. Or my food. What they don't know will not hurt them.

Yeah, I'm not sure lot lizards qualify as expensive toys. Or food. A creative accountant might get you a tax deduction IF you were in Nevada. It's a long shot.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Any truck drivers from Kansas or at least midwest???

I'll bite. I'm one of them corn-fed, country strong, Iowa boys. Raised in a small town about an hour west of Des Moines, now I live in the city. Definitely looking forward to seeing more parts of the country!

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Truck vs Motorcycle riding... just curious!

I have yet to sit behind the wheel of a big rig but having ridden shotgun with my dad many times I can honestly say I think it's impossible to compare the two. In a truck you're fairly comfortable. It's an 80,000-pound Cadillac. Air conditioning, radio, comfy seats on air ride. Your head is on a swivel to keep from killing anyone around you, but overall you get to enjoy the ride. On the other hand riding a motorcycle can be and often is a physically draining experience. Sure, you can ride a road sofa and take all the comforts of home with you but that's no fun at all! My deathtrap is what I affectionately refer to as an attack chopper. Stripped down to bare essentials, short wheelbase, stiff suspension that might as well be a rigid, low stance, pipes high and tight, raised foot pegs, narrow bars. If it doesn't make the bike go or stop I got rid of it. It's rude, crude, deadly quick. It's also my main mode of transportation, rain or shine. It's comfortable for about the first 60 or 70 miles, which is when I start looking for fuel because at 80 miles I'm running on whatever fuel is left in the bowls. Every bump kicks me in the kidneys so I welcome the chance to get off for a few minutes but I love every minute of it. It's a feeling like nothing else. Truck drivers are consumed with trying not to kill someone, on my bike I'm trying really hard not to die. Nobody paying even a remote amount of attention misses the giant truck. On a bike? Trust me, that "loud pipes save lives" crap is just a catchy slogan to justify straight pipes. I've been cut off, literally run off the road by idiots changing lanes while I'm next to them, tailgated, you name it.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Nuvigil, Provigil instead of adderall for OTR?

Correct, which is why I said it depends on the test. I'm new to the trucking business so I can't speak for what the standard is in this industry, though I do know my dad's company - very small, six or eight drivers - uses basic instant-read tests. I'd venture a guess the larger companies invest a great deal in their drug testing but for small local operations it's probably not always the case.

I've seen a great variance of testing standards in the work I've done, everything from very basic testing methods, all the way up the the most advanced (and expensive) methods available. It's amazing what the labs can tell us, really. But I'm a science nut so stuff like this interests me.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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What I do for fun

Jump? Not voluntarily. No way. That plane better be in flames, headed for a mountain. I'm not scared of heights but the idea of approaching the ground at terminal velicocity with nothing to stop me but an over-sized handkerchief does not appeal to me.good-luck.gif

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Nuvigil, Provigil instead of adderall for OTR?

Adderall is not exactly an amphetamine. It's a dextro-amphetamine and although only one molecule difference - it is in fact different. A driver who is on dextro-amphetamine can still pass the DOT physical as long as the drug is prescribed as it is a Class II controlled substance.

I'm just curious: why did you go off of ADHD medication? ...If you don't mind my asking ...

-mountain girl

It's not so much passing the physical so much as it's for him (or anyone) to pass the drug screen. Most of the commonly used UAs - especially the cheap instant-read tests - do not differentiate between various drugs in a given category. Both heroin and Vicodin will show up as an opiate, just as Adderall, Vyvanse, Sudafed, all will show up as an amphetamine.

Want a real kick in the pants? Just about any commonly prescribed drug can cause a false positive, even if it's not in a targeted class. Amoxacilin, for instance, is an antibiotic. It'll also give a false positive for cocaine. Wellbutrin, Prozac, Effexor, Trazadone, all can give false positives for amphetamines. And there's a lot more that can as well. Ibuprofen, believe it or not, can give false positive for barbituates, methadone, AND cannibinoids (marijuana). It doesn't even have the same molecular structure, but it's a very common result.

A helpful tip for anyone taking medications, when you do a drug screen it's best to disclose ANY medications you have taken in the prior 24 hours, even if it's just some Advil or an allergy med. If you take antidepressants, ADHD meds, tell them so they can make a note on the form for the lab. As long as it's an OTC or you have a script you should be good to go.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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What I do for fun

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Man, I would actually buy the fuel to go up with ya! I've been on commercial flights but never been in a small plane before. I haven't seen Atlantic's airport but the one in Anita always looked scary as hell to land on. Something about landing in a field just seems like bad things waiting to happen :)

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Yea, I've been over Anitas field plenty of times. Turf fields arent so bad to land on. Todds field just north of Ankeny on the other hand, is a very narrow, short, runway. You have to nail it or you eat corn.

Just so you know, 100LL(Fuel for piston planes) is runnin $7 a gallon. Jet A is a little cheaper at $6.50 and you thought diesel was expensive

Ha! I used to buy 100LL for my VR4 just to drive around town because it was cheaper than going to SCS Fab in Ankeny to buy Sunoco 110!

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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What I do for fun

Man, I would actually buy the fuel to go up with ya! I've been on commercial flights but never been in a small plane before. I haven't seen Atlantic's airport but the one in Anita always looked scary as hell to land on. Something about landing in a field just seems like bad things waiting to happen :)

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Moving out of CA to MO or IA

I love it in Iowa and I can't imagine living anywhere else. But I grew up here so I guess I'm biased. I stay the heck out of Missouri and Arkansas if I can help it, too many places remind me of Deliverance. Cue the banjo...

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

When I talked to the recruiter she assured me that once I get through training and I am assigned my own truck I could take the truck home and the only time I would even need to go to the terminal is for maintenance and such. I am assuming while I'm in the Squire program I will be driving in the trainer's truck.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Medications your allowed to take?

Since I am also very new to the trucking business and waiting to get the green light for school myself I'm not able to answer whether or not you'll be DQ'd, BUT it just happens my background is in mental health so I have a ton of knowledge of various medications. Being that Adderall is a combination of amphetamines it WILL show up in a urine sample if you take a dose within 24hrs of providing a sample. Adderall does have a fairly short half life, about 12-14 hours, with total excretion from the body taking around 48-72 hours depending on dosage and individual metabolism. Everybody is different. All that said, you could potentially get past the initial testing if you plan ahead, but if you got called in to do a random you would be putting your career on the line. Considering what not having your medication can do it's not worth risking your career AND your health. I highly recommend talking to a doc that understands DOT regs. Worst case scenario you get switched over to a different medication.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

Shoot, even at two weeks, that's still better than I have seen anywhere else so far. If I were to end up somewhere that puts me out 6-8 weeks at a time I'd complete the contract and bail for a local gig but Knight is sounding like a decent place to go long term.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

Well, I spoke to Amanda at Knight and got some specifics over the phone. After having done research and speaking to her, I do think Knight is the way to go. I need to get my Iowa CDL permit before attending school but I'd be going to school in Indianapolis, then after training I'll be working out of the terminal in Kansas City. She said if I specifically want to drive reefer I can be dispatched out of Green Bay but that's a 6-hour drive from Des Moines compared to a 3-hour drive to KC. I'm not sure I have a preference either way but from the info she gave me the pay is the same. What I do like is that, according to Amanda, I'll be home weekly, and that's a HUGE plus.

So now the next thing on my list is to get my permit. I've got a ton of studying to do.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

John Knight's closest refrigerated terminal is 5 hours away from my home. They allow you to take the truck home on your off time, just fyi if that helps. Not trying to sell you on Knight, by far they seem to be the best as far as being a training company. In fact I have talked to about 8 different drivers for Knight, least amount of time a driver has been there is 4 years, that says a lot for Knight in itself.

That actually does help. I read up on them quite a bit and they sound far more flexible with routing and home time than any other training company out there. I will be calling them this morning to talk to a recruiter to see if they are taking drivers in my area.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

I had looked into Knight but I have concerns being in Des Moines, there aren't many companies that have terminals close to home and that's my biggest concern. If a company like Knight or Prime, England even, would allow me to come off the road here in Des Moines and not go to the terminal I would feel much better about things. That's why CRST was so appealing. It's a bit more than an hour drive from home to Cedar Rapids. I am waiting to hear back from recruiters at Prime and CRST but I am absolutely willing to talk to recruiters at other companies as well.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Researching companies - PRIME, CRST - seeking advice.

I've been reading up on a few companies that offer CDL training and I'll be honest, after looking around here and elsewhere, I'm left with a lot of questions, apprehension and confusion. I'm brand new to the industry; I'm looking at this as a potential career change and other than knowing the companies by name, I know nothing about them. If I read the reviews here I'm left thinking, hey, this company might be one to look at. Then I read what current and former drivers post on forums and you'd think these companies were ran by thieves and slave traders.

I'm particularly interested in finding out the most I can regarding CRST and PRIME. Being from Des Moines, IA, CRST is just a little over an hour drive. PRIME is something like 5 hours away. So just for the sake of logistics for home time CRST is kind of a no brainer. I hear a lot of REALLY bad things about CRST though, and sorting the BS is kind of tough. Same with PRIME. Rob Low is portrayed by many to be the devil himself, but again, how much about the company is BS?

About me - I'm 34, married, no kids. In the last eleven months I've literally been working 80-90 hours a week, being on-call 24hrs a day, with very little time with my family. At times I've worked two to three days straight through, and the only time I had off was three days when all of that wonderful stress landed me in the hospital. All that on a $33,000 salary, I basically made less than minimum wage. It's time for a change. My intention is to get on with a company, fulfill my obligation to the training contract, get some experience under my belt, and eventually move to a local company. I also have ZERO intention of leasing or being an independent owner/operator. I have thought long and hard about the OTR lifestyle and I'm looking at it with a boot camp sort of mentality. I know it's going to suck, but it's supposed to in a way. I know the money won't be great but like anything in life I have to pay my dues and if I stick with it I also know the rewards later on will be well worth it. My wife is the daughter of a truck driver; her grandpa also drove truck as does two of her uncles. She knows full well what it will be like to not have me home every night while I'm on the road, but again, she also knows that in time it will all be worth it so she's being very supportive.

With all that said, these two companies are my main focus of interest but if there are other companies I should look into I would love to get some input from those that have experience they can share. I know it's not all roses with any company but I also know the recruiters will blow all the smoke they can to get someone to sign.

So really, what can I expect? Average mileage each week, home time, equipment, training, pay, etc. What kind of issues should I expect with payroll, dispatch, co-drivers, trainers?

I thank everyone in advance,

J.

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