Comments By TxsGent

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  • TxsGent
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  • 8 years, 1 month ago
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Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Last One Standing

Well tomorrow i take my final backing test and road test and i will find out if I pass or if i got to have another week of training.

OK, don't take me serious, but have you ever just thought, "If I screw up some, I could get more attention and driving time."?

Sorry, just the way my mind works. If you are talking behind someone's back, where are you really at?

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

I'm now getting back into trucking and this go around I want to give tanker a try for several reasons. 1) It's always fun to lean new things and there are so many types of tanker loads, you will have your fill of learning (I think). 2) No bumping crowded docks with a tanker. 3) No scaling loads and adjusting tandems. 4) Since I already have experience driving a 10 speed, I'd like to see what automatics are like and I've noticed several Tanker Companies use them. 5) With the company I'm hoping to go to work for in the next couple of weeks, they run out of my home town loaded and return empty, so no headed to tank washes while out on the road. Come back to the yard and grab a clean trailer.

The director of the school thought that tankers was the way to go. If you live in an area where there are oil wells or are willing to spend weeks at a time there, that is where the money is at. Hauling water is apparently very lucrative. I wanted to get other experiences first. I might try that after a period of time.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

Old School / Sly48,

Thanks for the input. Don't worry about me falling for all that the recruiters have to say. I do take it with a grain of salt. Most of what they say corresponds with their respective web pages. If someone was to offer me something that sounded too good and out of the ordinary, I would make sure that I got it in writing. I started my training here at TruckingTruth and and believe that I have garnered way more information here that I did at school. I tried pushing it to the other students at school without getting on the instructors bad side. The director had seen too many bad sites that offered training and had to correct the results to be swayed. I did get some old trucker stories from school. That was interesting. They were for historical and entertainment purposes. Multiple state licenses and multiple log books wouldn't pay off for very long in today's trucking industry.

I have read some of the negative things that people say about the various companies. About the only negative things that I might be inclined to listen to are things like the hotel you stay at for orientation is not good. While I can see that as something that might be true, orientation is really even a week long and I slept on a ship for many a months at a time. When I occasionally do see something good about a company on one of the whiner sites, it stands out.

I have narrowed my list to what it is by "determine what you want or need" and am in the process of determining which one on my short lists offers me more of my wants. I don't want a dedicated run like Dollar General. I am fifty-two, and while I don't consider that too old, I just don't want to spend hours lifting, carrying and unloading. I don't want flatbed for similar reasons but also for the weather. I hate the cold and don't want to be tarping in freezing rain. That narrows it down to dry-van or reefer. I rather go with dry-van. I want a company that is pet friendly. I want my wife to ride with me eventually, and when she does, her minpin is coming with her. One criteria that also narrowed the list down is that I want to start out with a manual transmission. My first year will be training. I want to start it out right and I don't think that an automatic transmission is the way to do that.

OK, that is wordy enough. Thanks again for the input, TxsGent

Oh, the place I call home is a little bit north west of Fort Worth.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

I have graduated trucking school and have my certificate in hand. All of the driving training had been pulling a empty van. On the last day, I asked if I could pull a tanker. It is loaded with water. The difference was significant. It will definitely take some getting used to pulling an actual load.

I still haven't decided on which company to pursue. Instead of narrowing it down any I have even added PTL to the mix. I will spend more time talking with the recruiters and see how can woo me their way.

Thanks for all the assistance TT!

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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CDL school

Capt. K Miles,

If the costs of the tests and the physical are included in the school, I would wait. You can, and should, be thoroughly prepared to walk in to the DMV and easily pass all the test you take if learn the High Road training materials. It does eliminate a lot of pressure.

Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Obtaining Double-Triple/HAZMAT/Tanker Endorsements?

Jason E.,

I am not sure how it is in Nevada, but in Texas you can not get your HAZMAT endorsement until you have your license. When I took my test I also took the doubles and triples as well as the tanker endorsements. This might be a Texas thing as well, but if you fail any test three times, you have to start all over. This doesn't happen if you have your license already.

Hope that add more confusion than help.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Hey Brett....

I have sent a couple of PM within the last couple of weeks without replies. I just figured that the persons that I sent them to had nothing to say, or hadn't checked yet.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Texas CDL PASSED, now to choose my first company!

I took my driving test yesterday, 10/07/14

Strike one.

Straight line backing, I got that down pretty well. Parallel parking, it wasn't good, but I think the tester was going to let that slide. I didn't have a good angle going toward the curb. I was running out of curb so just cranked the wheel to the right. I ended up pretty far from the curb.

Road test, I wasn't too worried. There are plenty of things to get hit on, but there aren't too many that will fail you. The very first real turn, I nailed the curb. I was watching, but by that time, that was about all I could do.

You got it. Hitting a curb is one of those things. Probably within 300 feet of the DMV. I was told that we would redo it in two days. Two days is a long time.

Take two:

I didn't have to wait two days. The instructor called before we had gotten back to the school and made an appointment for today, 10/98/14.

I didn't have to retake the parallel parking test. Passed my CDL road test with a 90. I have the doubles and triples and the tanker endorsement.

Big relief! I will try to get studied up on HAZMAT and take that test before the week is over.

Now the big decision.

Posted:  8 years ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

A recruiter from Maverick came to the school today. Since their pet policy is "No pets", I had already ruled Maverick out. That is the only reason. It is a very attractive company. I did ask him about my three choices. Without hesitation, he said Con-way. That definitely added weight.

Posted:  8 years ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

Hey, not to make things more complicated for you but check out May Trucking Company. I believe they have a really nice pet and rider policy.

-mountain girl

Thanks for the reply.

With just a short internet search, I didn't find much information on May. Their web page is one of the worst that I have seen. The driver qualification page just copies from Section 391.11 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Oh, the Dallas Operating Center is "Coming Sooe"? I might give them a call after class, but first impression is not a good one.

Mountain girl, what's the latest update on your quest? Good luck and thanks again.

Posted:  8 years ago

View Topic:

First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

I started a four week CDL school three weeks ago. I have received my permit for Combination, Doubles and Triples, and Tankers. The plan is to take the driving test a week from today, 10/07/2014. I don't mean to be counting to be counting chickens, but I have been researching the different companies, and I think that I have narrowed it down to these three.

One of the criteria that I had was companies that allow pets. I don't plan on taking a pet with me, but I would like for the wife to be able to ride with me once I have completed the training. She will have her small dog with her. I want to work in to a more flexible home time eventually. I realize that I will have to do some OTR for a period. I live north west of the DFW metroplex. Since an hour and a half drive to a local terminal would equate to three hours a day non-paid driving time, daily home time doesn't sound attractive. I would love to find something like what Roehl offers, minus the slip-seating. I can dream, can't I?

Prime: Even though they do not pay for the orientation, they appear to have to best starting pay. Pay while in training is $600 per week for the first 20K miles and $700 per week for the other 20K miles. (Newbies are with a trainer for 40K miles.) Starting pay for the lite weight trucks is 43 cpm and for the regular trucks is 38 cpm. I was told that I can request a regular truck, but everyone starts out in the light weight trucks.

Con-way: Seems to have a very good turnover rate, 60% compared to the national average of 130%. I am not sure about the national average quoted. The training is one on one for 7,500 miles at 26 cpm. Instructor at school seems to think that Con-way is the best choice, but I imagine it isn't the same Con-way that he remembers. He has over 20 years driving experience.

Werner: This is the last recruiter that I talked with. I really didn't expect too much from Werner. This looking to be my top choice though. The pet policy it the cheapest and there are no breed restrictions, other than limit one per driver. In addition to OTR, regional, dedicated, the recruiter tried to talk me in to a local driving job. No thanks. Training is 275 hours, but it is only paid at $400 a week. The trucks seem to be pretty new. I forgot to ask Prime, but I am sure theirs are pretty new as well,

I am not asking which one I should pick. I know that is all me. If there is a reason you would pick one over the other, I would like to hear your reasons. If one has a particular advantage that you see, I would like to hear that as well.

Thanks for any and all input, TexsGent

Posted:  8 years ago

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Texas CDL pre-trip

Ian, I haven't taken the driving test yet, so this is second hand. It does come from the instructors at the school I am attending. The pre-trip is written. If your truck is equipped with air brakes, you will have to test the air brakes before the driving test. Not sure about hydraulic brakes. Easy enough to do though.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Truly a STINKY trucking future!!!!

Sometimes this job is nasty. But that guy will never step foot inside a truck ever again.

I should think jail time would be in order. I have no cle what the load might be worth, but whatever it was worth, the trucker destroyed it. Go ahead and add the cleanup costs to his crime while you are at it. A lawsuit at least.

Posted:  8 years ago

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How do cdl road tests work?

Juan, Go to the menu here and go to Online CDL Training Materials. You can download the New York CDL manual. There is a section that covers the pre-trip and the driving portion.

Posted:  8 years ago

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How will I know I'm ready to get my permit?

I think that David A. pretty much nailed it. I would just add, know your state manual as well. I took my tests last Thursday. In addition to the ones listed, I passed doubles and triples, tanker and the Texas specific Permit test. On the tanker test I felt there were some HAZMAT questions. That is the test that I did the worst on. In Texas, after your third fail, you can go back the next day and test again, BUT you start from scratch no matter what you had already passed.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Abandoned Truck

Can the mods delete a thread? I find the bio a little exposing. I posted something earlier with no comments. If there are no answers, or a rouge poster, can the forum be "uncluttered"?

Posted:  8 years ago

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Does location of CDL School matter?

ThinkingApe, Welcome to TruckingTruth. This site is great and the FREE online CDL course is worth hundreds. I strongly recommend taking complete advantage of it. Your license and the school you attend does matter. I am not sure how much. I am attending school in Texas. A student had a license from a different state and she had to get it converted to Texas. She was originally from Texas, so I don't know if there were any residency rules that she might have had to meet. I am using my GI Bill. The public school is taking care of that. I had to provide my Certificate of Eligibility. You have to request that from the VA. It took about a month to get. I was on my forth day of class before I provided that to the school. I don't know how long it will take before I get my housing allowance. My suggestion would be to talk with the school of your choice. If they know what they are doing, they will get the answers for you. If they can't, keep looking.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Newbee, best method to get CDL?

What are the advantages of getting CDL on your own versus being sponsored.

First of all, I am not one of "those who have been in the industry a while," so take what I write with that in mind. Secondly, it depends on what you mean by "getting CDL on your own." If you mean studying on your own and then renting or borrowing a truck to take the driving test, that will benefit you very little. I doubt you could find any major carrier that would give you anything more than an "A" for initiative. They will not accept you as having had any kind of training at all. If you know who you want to work for and they offer training, that would probably be the best route. i am undecided on which company to go with and am diligently researching it. If you can afford it, you can probably pay for the training up front and not worry about the deductions later or a contract. I have gone the public college route. I am using my veteran's benefits to pay for the schooling. There are different options for financing college classes. Surely more than would be available for a private trucking school. I also believe that colleges have more vested in the student's success. Community colleges usually have been in the neighborhood for a long time. They try to provide what the community needs. The Truck Diving Academy is not their bread and butter. Their reputation is what they have vested in the students. I believe that a few of the private trucking schools are longer and give you more behind the wheel time. That would be a big plus. But with that said, some are really short and get you through the driving test really quickly. 160 hours is a key number. Mountain girl, on this forum , can attest to that and I called a recruiter yesterday and she asked if the school I am attending was 160 hours. Whether you go company sponsored, or private or public school on your own, that is only you admission ticket. Your real training begins after orientation with the company of your choosing. Notice, I didn't say, after you are hired. Each company has a different way of training. Some you have to drive so many hours and some it is so many miles or it could just be a time frame. The time frame it takes to accomplish the training seems to vary a great deal as well. It could be a few weeks to over half a year. After successful completion of the company training, you're hired. Rather lengthy, but I hope I answered some of your question.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Texas outline with the Texas flag inside, on the door of the truck.

I am curious if anyone knows what company this might be. I suspect that it is a small local company, but I saw two of them Thursday and they were heading in different directions on I20 near Ranger. I did an internet search, but had nothing more to go on other than the color of the truck and that emblem.

Thanks for any ideas.

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