Profile For Christopher W.

Christopher W.'s Info

  • Location:

  • Driving Status:

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 9 months ago

Christopher W.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Night trucking?

If whichever company gives you enough time to be flexible, which is highly unlikely, then you can always drive at night. I prefer to be a moon-chaser myself since there's no traffic and always a parking spot.

Really though, it will never be consistent. You will have to switch your sleeping hours around quite a bit.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Is Anyone Doing Anything About the Shortage of Truck Parking?

This is a problem that I face frequently as someone who generally flies between major cities.

The problem is the big corporations not seeing any need to expand parking lots since it could be wasted revenue.

Sure, charging for a spot would seem profitable for them, but 10-20$ a night could be steep for some drivers, especially new hires if companies choose not to reimburse for parking.

The only real solution is just to chase the moon.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Heavy metal truck driving school

6,000 dollars and 3-4 weeks doesn't sound bad if they have decent equipment and a good course for practicing on. Don't know a thing about the school though.

As for your age and size, it doesn't matter. I see grannies in some yards dropping and hooking like pros with minimal effort. Almost anyone can do this, it just takes the right state of mind.

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

How strict can insuring a driver be?

I'm a recent graduate from Swift. I started driving around October of last year and ended my career in an unfortunate slow-moving jackknife that has landed me in an extremely tight spot. I have 4(four) accidents total with two of them being sketchy.

1st was a minor backing accident: It was test day and I underestimated my turn leaving the terminal. I decided to back right up to correct this just a little without noticing that the guard arm was lowered. I was told this would not be recorded since one of their instructors was the passenger and there were several other people who didn't bother to say anything but watch.

2nd was a right-hand turn incident: This one I can't prove that I wasn't at fault for, but I know for certain that I wasn't. I was running behind due to having to slow down by A LOT while moving through the Colorado mountains during a bad snow storm that nearly shut me down. I made it just in the nick of time with less than 15 minutes to spare. There was one trailer in the lot that I could take and I was not allowed to leave without one. I did a brief inspection and discovered a bent rim(The tire wasn't flat) and my rest stop was only across the nearby underpass. I quickly hooked up and slowly inched along the road making it with just a minute remaining to legally shut down. I reported the breakdown and was slammed with a right-hand turn incident months later that I was never given any acknowledgement over. I do blame myself for not covering my behind and being arrogant.

3rd was a clearance-related incident: Short and simple; I was puttering along a DC yard in Wyoming when my tires began to spin. I panicked and spun them into the mud quite a bit which result in some damaged fairings. I would admit that I was nothing but careless and had a nice swear-storm while trying to get myself out of the mud.

4th(the worst) was a slow-moving jackknife: The roads were too iced for me to be driving on going through the I-70 shortly after leaving the Wyoming mountains. I approached an exit decelerating to about 20mph and slowly applying the break. At the very last second, I noticed my trailer beginning to lose its path. I tried to steer out from under it, but ultimately was driven off the road. I didn't collide with anything but my own trailer and the muddy ground. Fairings and radiator were both damaged, but everything was still operational. I received a citation for this accident which was "Unsafe for conditions".

If anyone has experience with recruiting drivers with similar incidents please let me know how deep in the ground I am. I need a good reality check.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Gambling for a new job(Recently fired)

Back in March, I was fired for a jackknife and given a misdemeanor for "too fast for conditions" since the roads were really iced on the exit. I have this plus another incident where I spun my tires into the mud at a DC yard. Being fired is highly looked down upon and in today's industry will make it impossible to climb back behind the wheel. I've been looking carefully for several months now and have been doing my research, but I'm still having trouble. I'm ineligible for rehire with my recent company, so I went to another big one who might be a bit more lenient such as Werner.

I'm really not trying to talk myself out of this since my current jobs from the time of my termination have been fubar. I'm just not making enough and I hate that my dreams of being a professional driver have been flushed down the drain. However, Werner wants to hire me, but here is the thing; I haven't told them about me being fired from my previous company or that I jackknifed. What I did tell them is that I had one accident with a single moving violation and they had to pull me off the side of the road(I was stuck). There was cosmetic damage to the tractor but nobody was hurt.

What I'm really afraid of is that Werner will call my previous company and retrieve every bit and detail about me. It's completely legal for them to disclose this information and it only takes a quick question to find out. There is nothing on my DAC report, but my past company still has a mouth-full is where I'm getting at.

This is a really big gamble that I'm wanting to attempt. If they find out, I won't get the job and it will be another strike against me. The odds really do outweigh my favor here and I'm highly concerned; yet there is nothing I can do unless I wait 3+ years for another company to give me a shot.

I don't believe that this is worth it, but maybe someone can convince me otherwise.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

What are steps when starting company paid trucking school?

You need to obtain a permit through your local dmv. They will provide the study material which will vary on the state.

After acquiring your permit, contact a company that you favor. You will most likely go through a pre-hire process where they will collect various information about yourself including work history, criminal background, etc. You will also need a medical card declaring that you are healthy enough to drive for extended periods of time. This can be done at participating clinics.

After you've been approved, they'll either set you up with the loan or offer transportation to their academy, whichever comes first. As for the actual training courses, the completion time will vary. Some schools are better than others, offering more equipment and time to hone your skills which will consist of basic knowledge and operation of a tractor-trailer, parking, and navigating the roads/highways.

When the school has decided(or has hopefully not pushed you into it) that you are fit for testing, you will graduate from them. You will be taken to their local dmv where you will complete a set course. This course varies on the state. For Texas, I was asked to do a quick inspection, explain the operation of the vehicle, drove around the highway and then on it, and finally asked to parallel park.

This is mostly what happens for a lot of the training schools out there.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Don't ruin your career

(Long read ahead!)

I'm a recently graduated student that has accumulated around 6months under his belt.

Within those six months I've successfully graduated training with flying colors, traveled from coast to coast and seem my fair share of various experiences. I was introduced into truck driving around the worst time of the year. My first load with a mentor was to be taken up to Denver from Dallas as a bad winter storm was rolling through Colorado and heading south. I was still incredibly green when I was introduced to roads covered in snow and ice creating slippery slopes that could end anyone's career in an instant that was idiotic enough to challenge them. We still made it in one piece with my mentor's careful observations. I learned a lot from him regarding the dangers of the road and swore that I would commit to being observant and dedicated with keeping myself and others safe; yet it seemed as if I wasn't observant enough.

I rode strong for five months as a solo driver, burning my clock down every week and making good progress. I would consistently run 6-7 weeks at a time. It was on my third run that I began to grow stressed and eager. I was beginning to dread the idea of traveling the roads in the dead of winter, yet I pushed myself and still went on with it. It was only my second week when I wanted to begin going home. I requested home time with my dispatch, but they refused. Instead, I was given an opportunity to run few thousand miles that would take my from Denver to Houston, then back to Denver to drop and follow up to Utah. Two weeks later, I was finishing up and heading into Wyoming. My trip through Casper and beyond was periled by yet another bad storm. A few sites with wreckage of former truck drivers littered the sides of the highways as monuments to nature's bad temper. Seeing a lot of this and experiencing it made me grow anxious. I wanted to go home, but was forced to proceed to Wyoming when only more bad weather was occurring.

I arrived at the yard just on time. A storm recently rolled through the area and the majority of the lot was scattered with junk and a lot of mud. Without considering what could happen, which was abnormal of me, I latched onto my trailer only to discover that I was stuck. I spun my wheels a few times hoping that I would get some traction, but I sunk deeper. I only continued to panic without any rational thought and only made the situation worse. My fairings were damaged because my drives sunk over a foot into mud. Of course, my company counted it as an incident.

I was upset and pretty shaken. I had already lost a considerable amount of time from having my tractor pulled and was in a hurry. I was to travel east from where I was into Illinois and didn't have much time for error. Forecast claimed that my trip through a pass and onto I-70 would be clear, but I was greeted by an entirely different beast reaching the summit. A rogue storm had claimed the mountains, making it dangerous to travel down. I simply had to until it had cleared which threw me behind even more. I finally reached I-70 several hours later during the morning. The roads traveling into a particular town where completely iced. I reduced my speed and carefully drove to the next exit where there was a truck stop for me to shut down in.

The exit that I was approaching had sleet on it. I went into it just a little too fast(around 15mph). I was gently applying the brakes when my tractor was suddenly propelled to the side of the road. My trailer had failed to brake and had snapped around to force me off the road. It resulted in a jackknife, a damaged radiator, and one side of my tractor crumpled. Amazingly, there was zero damage to the trailer besides a few scuffs. I was pulled out an hour later and then shamefully puttered my damaged tractor into a parking spot at the truck stop right next to it. Home sick and struck with grief and fear, I was confined to that small town for a week and a half. At the end, I received the call that I was being terminated.

Do I blame the weather?; no. Do I blame my dispatchers for pushing me?; no! I blame the fact that I stressed and pushed myself into a dangerous situation. I've robbed myself of a potentially great future. I've set for the past several months working a full-time job and being shot down by every Bob, John, and **** in the state. If I could change anything, I would've simply refused those loads to Wyoming. Stress and inconsiderate actions drove me to where I am. I hope that someone can read this and never let it drive them to that point either.

Do not drive if you're stressed, the weather is inclement, or if something just feels wrong. Chances are you may regret it down the line.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Trucker/Driving etiquette

Passing works this way.

Some trucks are governed, some are not(which you already know this). This can sometimes make it difficult and frustrating for drivers who are on a two-lane road. I worked for Swift in a truck that was roughly governed at 62mph. The average speed limit on most of these interstates is 65-70, so I have a bunch of other drivers out there who have their trucks governed to 65+.

Now imagine the difference between a truck that's going 63'ish and another drive who is traveling a little over 2mph is trying to pass you. Reasonably, you're going just a little under 200ft slower than he is every minute. Maximum truck lengths for your average 53' is 80ft, so it can take around 15 seconds, more or less, to pass that vehicle. Now, a lot can happen within 15 seconds and you'll typically come across a hill or a blindspot that could hold a surprise.

When this kind of scenario is playing out, it's typically safe and polite to slow down just a little and let the other vehicle pass. They'll flash their trailer lights to don that they are thankful for your courtesy and mindful driving.

Let's also say that you have a vehicle fast approaching you and you're about to attempt a pass on a slightly slower vehicle than yours. You should just let them pass first because you're being a roadhog and a lot of these governed trucks will not slow down to let you pass typically. Only pass when it is safe to do so and not impeding traffic or faster trucks.

Don't do this for courtesy sake, but keep in mind that something bad can happen if the other truck is driving in the wrong lane. Also, always keep in the right lane.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Paranoia on the road!!!!

It's actually proper to document any previous damage that you might've discovered. I learned this the hard way.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Recently fired and am looking for another company

Thank you for the helpful insight, Oldschool.

I'm apologize if it seems like I'm carry a negative aura with me, but it can be tough to keep an optimistic attitude in an industry that stresses safety and punishes harshly. As I've claimed, most employers, including small mom'n pop companies, won't take me due to the serious nature that is jackknifes and rollovers. I've been taking shots at every major company out there as of lately and have still had no luck.

Now, I won't mention the name of the company because slandering attracts bad attention, but I was recently fooled out of my most recent job. This particular company was very polite and seemed highly interested in having me train with them to haul flatbed. I accepted and gave my job a weeks notice in preparation to leave for Tennessee. Come the day that my bus was arriving to leave for orientation, I received a disturbing phone call from their recruiters notifying me that they've changed their mind for my employment, even though they clearly stated that I was 100% eligible to drive for them.

This is a very sinking feeling to have after being betrayed by the words of a supposedly honest cooperation. It's a very, very bad thing to give your word to a future employee and turn on them in a last moment's notice. Through the entire process I was entirely polite, honest, and patient while carefully planning my future. And the worst part is that most companies share the same mentality when it comes to dealing with drivers that have an accident on their history.

I don't blame anyone else but myself for this outcome though. I've landed myself in a tight spot when I simply could have been just a bit more observant. I've always complied with safety regulations and have drove like my own parents were watching my every action, but I've messed up by passing up some small details that sometimes take experience to learn about. I do believe that I have good observational skills and a heavy thought for safety because I've been told many times before by instructors that ran me through courses after I had that backing accident. But will this change anyone's mind?; I really and honestly don't think so at this rate.

I will remain optimistic in hope that someone will eventually allow me to drive for them. Then, I can prove that I'm competent enough to deliver the level of professionalism that they demand. It's a harsh industry and even worse for someone with an accident on their record, but I'm not going to let that stop my career in its tracks.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Paranoia on the road!!!!

I've personally have been awoken to a very loud crashing sound. Some guy pulled away and lost his trailer. The dead head was damaged and slightly crumpled.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Paranoia on the road!!!!

That's not paranoia, that's a smart decision.

Once, I pulled a load to a Target DC that was in Pueblo. I traveled the co550 coming from the north and was greeted by a bad snowstorm. I had barely made it on time after traveling very slowly through the mountains with chains on, having 30 minutes to spare when i got there to drop it, rehook, and shut down. They only had one trailer available and the lot beside the place was packed with no where to legally shut down. I went to go find the trailer and discovered that it was a banged-up piece of junk. The tandems wouldn't release and one of the back rims was bent. It had pressure, so i considered driving 4 miles to my shut-down location and calling for someone to come out and repair the rim.

I should've taken pictures because i discovered several months later that my company decided to mark it as an incident, claiming that I damaged the rim and drove 50 miles with it.

Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Recently fired and am looking for another company

My company had terminated me due to a x3 policy which involved a very minor backing accident(They caught me on camera bumping into a guard arm at a terminal), tractor getting stuck while attempting to hook a trailer, and a jackknife the very next day going about 20mph(Really icy roads).

Most companies simply refuse to accept me due to safety and insurance reasons, but are there any companies who would take someone who was terminated?

Also, recruiters are idiots.

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