Profile For MSDonna

MSDonna's Info

  • Location:
    Kitty Hawk, NC

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 10 months ago

MSDonna's Bio

I have been a cop for 24 years. Retiring soon because things just aren't the same anymore. I hope to obtain my CDL and start driving within the next 18 months. Any help, advice or direction will be helpful. I know my profile photo sucks but I will take one that reflects more of this site soon. It was taken during an investigation class. So ready to hang up my gun belt and trade it for a seat belt. Thanks, Ms. Donna

Well a year later and I am off and running. I am now in a driving academy.

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Is PAM a good choice for female

Thank you so much for your input. I am pretty level headed and about "shock proof" I just don't like surprises. I appreciate the time you took to write the response. I am indebted to you. Donna

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Is PAM a good choice for female

Hello. I am finishing up my CDL training here in NC and test Monday. Some may remember me as the police officer from NC who signed on a year ago when I was preparing to retire. Anyway, I am in school under a contract with P.A.M. Transport. I am a very loyal person and so appreciative that PAM has given me a chance to learn and drive for them. However I am hearing horror stories about pay and how they treat their drivers. I don't take everything I hear as gospel but I am curious as to the opinions of others here at TT. I really don't want to jump ship after my year but rather grow with the company and do a great job and become a mentor. Then again I worry if my efforts will be appreciated. Am I making a good career choice? Oh, and there is a rumor going around here at school that if you miss an exit ramp with PAM during your route you have to pay for each mile you go pass the exit off the route. Please tell me that is not the case.... thanks. DG

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Academy, Memphis, TN

First day with Swift Academy today about 22 potential drivers showed up, 10 days before Christmas. What I wished I had known was that almost nothing was done this day! The class started at 6am. Nothing happened other than we were supposed to wait in the classroom. Around 8, they started calling us for the drug test. Also, some clerks checked & copied our DOT physical papers. Swift bought lunch at their snack bar. (We're on our own for all meals after this.)

Some people were weeded out of the group for lacking in various requirements, the students without a CDL learners permit were taken to another room.

Hints for people heading for the next class: Don't forget to drink water or coffee in the morning, and hold it till the pee test. It's not listed in things to bring, but the instructor asked everyone to have a 6" ruler to draw straight lines in our driver logs. Bring something to read/do while you're waiting. Bring your cell phone wall charger. Make friends - you'll be spending a lot of time with your new friends over the next three weeks!

Being the week before Christmas, we do have one adjustment to the schedule: Christmas day off. The rest of the time, including New Years Day, we'll be studying and driving.

Thanks great POST. I go to SWIFT school Monday in Richmond

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation, Memphis, TN

thank-you.gifthank-you.gif

Last week I finished the Swift Academy & received my Mississippi CDL-A. Tomorrow (Tuesday January 13) I go to the Swift Terminal in Memphis for orientation. I'll try to keep you updated to what goes on in Swift's Orientation program. I live locally so I won't be in the hotel, but It's a better brand name than the one near the Academy!

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Update to Officer turning to truck driver from last year...

Thank you for the encouraging words. To answer some of your questions, I chose SWIFT because I investigated the company, liked what I saw, spent time out as a rider with them and know their procedures and such. I was comfortable with them and I believe it is a solid company that will keep me running. Secondly, the question was posed about me carrying my firearm. I will not keep my weapon with me on the truck. First it is against the companies policy (I have already read their entire drivers manual) and I have my passport and FAST card so I want to drive to Mexico and Canada. I have a former Chief who chose to drive a semi after retirement and I hear a lot of cops do it because we drive many miles while on patrol. We are used to scanning and the safety end of being a responsible driver. Also I am an introvert. I enjoy working solo. I was happy to see another officers post here that they too are interested in trucking. My mother has been a dispatch coordinator for Wal-Mart for 21 years and she has been so helpful. But I have to tell ya, she was shocked when I came home for Christmas and told everybody my choice. You could have dropped a tack and heard it across the world. (Follow me on facebook msblueventures. I will be glad to give you ideas as I have kept excellent notes, ha!~ feels like I am putting together a DA discovery) ...............Thanks All!

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Update to Officer turning to truck driver from last year...

Hello group...I am hesitant to post as I have done so in other forums and got nothing but negative or insulting comments. Yes, a major crimes detective CAN become a truck driver!!

I did remember having posted here a year ago when I was fresh out of the gate about my decision to go OTR. It was just an idea I was entertaining at the time but a few people here responded and supported me. So I hope this gets to them.

My name is Donna and I did retire from law enforcement from the outer banks of NC, moved in with my parents to save money. I put my things in storage, have study every manual I could find at the library and obtained my CDL permit. I knew I wanted to go out on the road to see if this is something for me so I was able to find two drivers who would take me out. I stayed 6 weeks OTR and went out west.

I did very well and I learned a lot. Being a woman (even with a gun) intimidated me a lil at some of the truck stops. Especially Near Texas and Mexico. But I can handle it.

I have decided to pursue this to the end. I obtained my DOT physical yesterday and signed on with a major truck line today. I start training Monday March 9. I was NOT impressed with the response I got from recruiters. I searched every trucking company that would train me. Recruiters seem not to know much. Some couldn't even tell me how much a CDL costs in the state I would be training in or other important stuff I wanted to know. This was disappointing. I do want to mentor eventually and maybe become a recruiter. But not until I can prepare the driver for this career, not just push him out there.

Well, thanks for being there for me in the early days and I have started making videos and I have already given you mention.

Take Care and Safe Travels.

Donna "Casey" Greene

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

In cab surviellance?

Please allow me to say I really enjoy each of you and your comments. I support every trucker out on the road and try to watch out for you guys best I can. I hope when I retire in 18 months I will join you. In regards to this posting, I must say....cameras suck if they are monitoring your every move and word. As a police officer I was just issued a body cam. That's in addition to my patrol car front camera. This body cam records every 20 seconds regardless if it is on or not and then rewinds and records again another 20 seconds and so on. It can be activated by me pushing a button on the receiver that I wear on my belt or in my shirt or it can be activated by remote (cellphone)...If the record button is pressed it saves the recording of the previous 20 seconds. I can not ever erase any data. It is in there until Admin gets it. This sucks when I got to the bathroom. I try to remember to put that damn thing in my pocket every time I go but I am sure I have missed a few times lol...so....hopefully it was recorded over. I have to either wear this body cam on my shoulder or on my eyeglasses. Which looks weird and intimidating. Now my car cam comes on when my blue lights come on and I have to remember to turn it off. Sometimes when I go by a business or house that is armed with a security alarm the frequency has set of my dash cam. All in all tho if you have a lap top or other device in your vehicle that has a live cam portal used for Skype or other telecommuting face to face camera...I hear it can be activated remotely as well so your probably being recorded/watched anyway. I keep tape over mine. We are also monitored by way of an agency cell phone 24 hours a day 365 days a week with global positioning. They can tell where we are if they want to. Even when we are off duty. And lastly when we are back on duty we have an on board computer for dispatch to calls and running plates and drivers license etc... I had a 911 operator show me that when my computer is on and logged in to the system, she can see where I patrol, stop and go all shift. The ideal behind that was to make sure we were going the right way to a call.... hmmm....I am like most of you, I don't want someone looking at me all the time as I would feel with a camera turned on you. I support dash cams and rear cams. They will save your butt. For some great spare time viewing Google wrecks caught on dash cam...very interesting... Also from what I am being told, vehicle manufactures now have modules on the newer cars and trucks that will record your actions moments just prior to a hard impact. Braking, steering, speed, etc...Kinda like a planes black box. So that data is going to be there. I guess I am trying to say, I wouldn't want to feel that someone was starring at me all the time and I would rather have some privacy behind the wheel. Then again, I should be used to it by now huh?

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Thank you Winetaster for your posts. I am leaving a career of 24 years as a L.E.O. and feel the same way as you did when you left your "guaranteed job" or there about. I really liked your step by step approach. I am taking this slow as I don't want to make a mistake at any level. As a cop I can be aggressive and know how to get things across in a respectful manner when I have to but I am unlike most officers as I am pretty down to earth and have had a hard road to follow coming up. I know what it is like to struggle and have to put up with BS. I do so much appreciate your contributions to the trucking industry and us new drivers. God Bless and oh, I serve in the OBX of NC. Glad to see your from my home state. Take care buddy MSDonna

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

LilRichie, Larry E, and Terry C,

I spent all day yesterday watching youtube and listening to drivers explain the industry. And I mean all day. I pulled out my lap top at the kitchen table, put in my ear phones (which add so much clarity) and watched trucker blogs. Some drivers are really entertaining. I found out how hard it is for truckers. From leaving a dock with a heavy load where there is no weigh scales and busting your hump to get to one only to find a cop waiting at the gate to stop you (man that ticked me off and you know already I am a cop) - and why I am on that I was watching a two man crew blog video where a cop stopped them for texting and no seat belt when in fact they were filming a new blog at the time and she was clearly wearing an orange seat belt and no where near her phone. This is just harassment. I put that on my facebook page because I have alot of friends on FB that work for the state working weigh stations and interstates...Any way - truckers have a hard time. I also noticed that a lot of truckers were talking about how there was no support towards each other in the field. How there was CB bashing of each other, no one offering to help spot each other in a tight squeeze and how women were not respected in a mans field of work. I tell you, watching all that perspective from different posters I got discouraged. I am leaving a career field where all that is going on (I suppose that means I would be use to it) and I sure don't wont to get involved with a lot of ugly attitudes. Tell me, what have you guys experienced out there with other truckers? I am not a social butterfly. I keep to myself most of the time and will be the first to step up to help someone but I don't stick around and gab. I just want to get it there and back. How does a woman truck driver gain respect out there? or at least not run over. Any way, as far a training goes - I think I am still gonna stick with getting my CDL on my own and then sign up with a company. I know in this scenario I may have to go through training twice but at least I will reduce my chances of failure. I have been watching backing videos over and over and I think I will be better at it than I thought. We will see...My current work schedule gives me 14 days off a month. So, I have been asking my trucking friends if I can ride with them on a trip or two to see how it really is on the road but they have company policies where they can't have passengers. If any one out there is willing to let me ride with them, I would like to. As long as I can carry my Glock. (and its on a professional basis - aint looking no hook up, got no time for that!) Well, I am starting my shift soon. Thanks for the intel guys. I sure enjoy hearing from you. MSDonna

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Things that make you go WOW!

Thanks for sharing this. Is it dangerous to truck through there? Are there any places you go where you keep your head down? Just curious. I would rather you tell me than find out on my own. Thanks. MSDonna

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Larry,

Thanks for sharing that you too are in LE. In NC you have to give 30 years of service before you can fully retire, unless you age out. I guess I am just tired of risking my life for only $500 a week. That's after 24 years on patrol too. Looking for other options and I really appreciate the trucking industry. I have always looked out for my CDL drivers while on shift. I know how hard of a time they have with 4 wheelers. Take care Larry.

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Mountain Girl,

Thanks for the positive remark. I guess it will be like eating a pie, one piece at a time. I sure look forward to be out there on the open road.

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Larry,

Thanks for setting me straight on BOL. I suppose you shook your head when you saw I called it Laden. Oh well, I will be the first to admit that I got a long way to go to call myself a driver. I like your input on how companies handle them. I worked for a short time as a security officer for Premier. I loved working with the drivers and apparently they weren't used to someone with a good attitude. Even when they gave me a hard time when I had to photograph their trucks (Locks/trailer number) I still liked being around them. Thanks again Larry.

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Thanks Ernie for the suggestion. I am actually from Cumberland County NC area so I will move back home before I start with any carrier. Ha! here's proof for sure that I am a rookie driver..... I had to look up what a "Reefer" truck was. You tell a cop to go drive a reefer truck and they will look at you funny. You had me there for a min..

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Hey Six Stings, If your ever in the Outer Banks of NC again let me know. I will show you around. There is so much to this place that you miss from the road.

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

Thanks six Strings. I hope you can be there for me all the way. I will keep you posted. Take care. Safe Travels!

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

STARTING SCHOOL MONDAY NEED ADVICE!!

Hello David. That is some really great advice you gave. I just posted my first post a few minutes ago but you brought up a good question. Is the backing (or anything tested for that matter) timed?

Ms. Donna

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Turning in my 24 years on Patrol to Becoming an OTR Truck Driver. Any Advice for a Female Starting Out?

I have been a police officer to major crimes detective for years. I am getting tired of the drama and times have changed. I have been considering driving a truck for years. I am taking steps now to prepare for the change. Studying, reading this forum, talking to my trucking friends and considering expense verses reward. I have been single with no children for over 14 years so no worry about leaving family at home. Plus I keep to myself and mind my own business so isolation is a norm for me. I camp a lot and travel which means I am used to staying in small quarters and making due. I just love to go- go- go to anywhere I end up. Sometimes I throw a dart at a map on the wall and drive to the town it falls upon. Its obvious to all who know me that I love being behind the wheel so everyone has supported my thoughts about becoming a long distance driver. I patrol in the OBX so I am not easily frustrated with traffic. I can get in a tight pattern of traffic but driving a police car is not the same as a truck. As you can tell I have considered several factors in the business. What I don't know about it what company to go with. I have heard that some driving schools for companies are actually money makers for them. I may just play it safe and obtain my CDL before I start looking for placement. I have been to DMV and picked up the books and have been studying them. I have been a fireman for 28 years so I am use to driving big vehicles. My hesitation is that I am weak in backing. I can back a horse trailer and boat just fine but backing a big rig intimidates me. I am afraid I will get an assignment where I have to back into a loading dock/area that is tight. I also want to know about Bills of Laden and how you select the trips you take. Ha! I guess I am a "Rookie" again. Not crazy about that!....Well, any ideas, comments (no cop haters please), suggestions or support will be appreciated. Thanks!...Ms. Donna

Page 1 of 1

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More