Profile For Old School

Old School's Info

  • Location:
    Nacogdoches, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Old School On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 8 months ago

Old School's Bio

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Posted:  11 minutes ago

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Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen - article by Brett Aquila

Thanks Brett, it's a great article with a lot of supporting evidence. It's always hard to talk to people about this subject. People tend to make emotion based decisions concerning business, and I've found it awfully difficult to get them to focus on the economics of what they're thinking about.

After working for years in a complex business environment, it comes easily to me. It's always difficult to explain it in such a way that pulls people from that emotional realm into a practical approach that looks at it analytically.

Thanks for your efforts!

Posted:  4 hours, 37 minutes ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Alot of mom/pop business’s are passed down and the heirs either didn’t want the business or couldn’t make it.

Oh, I definitely agree with that. I've seen that happen a lot. I even bought a business in that situation. The man that started it passed away, and the heirs didn't have any desire or skills to keep it going.

Posted:  4 hours, 47 minutes ago

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Paid CDL training questions

Aaron, one thing a lot of new people don't realize about trucking jobs is the long hours involved. I generally work close to eighty hours per week. A lot of new entry level drivers don't want to do OTR because they think they want to be home with their family more. Most local truck driving jobs are extremely demanding and the time at home each day is barely enough to shower eat and sleep. It's something you'll want to think about before taking the plunge. With a young family it can really be a challenge.

We have a member here who started with a local position which required unloading of his truck (food service). You should read his diary - it's very eye opening. I'm not trying to discourage you - I just want to help you have realistic expectations.

Rob's Diary

Posted:  5 hours, 35 minutes ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Guys, one of the most critical aspects of being in business is that you've got to stand on your own feet. It's really easy to lay some sort of blame on the "big boys." We can accuse them of buying out the little guys, but nobody holds a gun to the little guys head. He sells out because he saw an opportunity to make money by selling. Why don't we moan and groan about the little guys being so willing to sell out?

I owned a small business for years. I got offers to sell out several times. I wasn't willing. I put together a business plan that allowed us to serve some of these big companies that should have been my competitors. I found ways to help them that benefitted both of us. We became allies. It didn't work with everyone, but it worked well enough to stay in business and thrive on markets that I basically created myself. Innovative thinking is critical in business.

In a commodities business like trucking, innovation is a tough nut to cut, but it's still there for the right people. J.B. hunt is famous for pioneering new markets and ideas in trucking. They started really small and are now one of these "big guys" that people like to hold disdain for.

Here's the bottom line: In trucking the strong will survive. This class warfare talk is silliness in my opinion. Business is a rough sport. The creative thinking guys win. No small companies sell out when they're making a killing. There's usually a reason why they are willing to go away, and it's usually because they already know they are going away no matter what they do. They couldn't play at the level required.

Posted:  5 hours, 52 minutes ago

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While Waiting For Next Load

I'd like to see what other drivers do in this situation.

The best approach to this is to figure out how to avoid this situation. When I get a load assignment the first thing I do is make a plan on when I will be empty. I may contact the customer and move my appointment forward, but I put a plan together. The next thing (before I ever even leave the shipper) is to send my dispatcher a message like this: "I will be MT Tuesday morning 0700 - let's get our planners working on this now."

You have got to be confident you can do what you say, and do whatever it takes to keep your promises. I very seldom am left hanging around without a pre-planned load. If and when I do, I send another message prior to getting empty that I am still on schedule. Then on that rare occasion that I don't get anything, I'm headed to the nearest place I can park. I don't worry about going the wrong direction. I'd be much more concerned with parking on the side of the road.

Posted:  7 hours, 1 minute ago

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Paid CDL training questions

This is something you need to discuss with each recruiter. Actually many of them offer regional jobs, but it depends upon your residence location. They obviously can't offer you a Northeast regional position if you live in Arizona.

Regional experience is generally considered as OTR experience. One cautionary note to starting out in a regional trucking job is that you shouldn't try starting out with a job where you are responsible for unloading the truck. This is a common mistake people make. It just adds a lot of issues into an already steep learning curve. We don't recommend starting out on a "Dollar Store" regional job. Several companies offer that job to rookies, but it's really a tough job.

If hometime is your big concern, you just need to have an open discussion with your recruiter. Many of the trucking companies are trying to accommodate their drivers needs in this area. You also need to realize how critical that first year's experience is in helping you develop your ability to do this job in a way that is successful. If you can possibly commit to one full year of OTR then you will be in the very best situation for finding something that suits your needs better. Don't try to skip the fundamentals - don't try running before you can walk.

Going OTR isn't the only way to start this career, but if is by far the most reliable method to get a proper start. We teach "best practices" here, and you'll set yourself up for success a lot easier by following that OTR path.

Posted:  1 day ago

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Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Patrick, you have got to be torturing your own sense of logic to actually believe the things you claim. My experiences are exactly like Brett's - long years in business, plenty of experience in the stock market, and quite a bit of exposure to people in the trucking business. None of what you say sounds even remotely logical.

You claim corporations don't care about safety or public opinion. How in the world can a publicly traded business operate like that? Where would they find stockholders? How would they avoid business crushing lawsuits? Nothing you're saying has any logic to it. It all sounds like these modern day socialist politicians trying to stir up hatred for anyone who has been successful. You even threw Donald Trump in there. Really?

You've really gone way out there.

Your experience with a small company whom you've already stated can't keep up with proper maintenance sounds much more like an operation that doesn't care about safety or public opinion. You're simply not using your head. You're arguments are all emotion based with no real knowledge or thought put into what your saying.

I work for a huge corporation. Everyday we are bombarded with safety reminders, and required to do additional training each month, all of which is safety related. We even get paid extra if we maintain certain metrics that show how safe we are. Imagine that - a corporation, who could care less about safety or public opinion, being willing to layout a ton of extra cash that they don't have to just because they want their employees to be safe.

I honestly don't know how you came to your conclusions, but you're not going to find any agreement with those of us who understand the nature of competition and free markets.

Posted:  1 day, 4 hours ago

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It could have been worse...

That definitely could have been worse. Nice save!

I hope others reading this noticed what Danielsahn's procedures were. He checked everything, but it wasn't until he tried pulling his trolley bar, while pulling forward, that his problem appeared. If your truck doesn't have a trolley bar (I think Prime orders them that way) you can keep your trailer brakes set and gently try pulling forward to test that fifth wheel engagement. It's something you should do each time you connect to a trailer.

Really glad to see you got through that unscathed Danielsahn. I know that "Oh S***!" feeling you got is really unnerving. You were very fortunate!

Thanks for posting this experience - it's very educational for new folks getting started at this.

Posted:  1 day, 22 hours ago

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Prime PSD training, from a trainer's perspective.

Turtle, I remember we had an experienced dry-van driver from Knight who wanted on this dedicated flatbed account because he thought he might be able to make more money. They asked me to hang out at the plant with him for the day and tarp a few outgoing loads so he could learn about securing the loads and tarping. That was his first and last day with us.

I climbed up on that first load - it was maybe 5 feet tall - and I started rolling out that first tarp all while talking and explaining everything. The whole time he's still on the back end of the trailer. Now, onto the second tarp. He's trying to climb up, but I can see the fear in his eyes. He gets up, but he's on all fours crawling around like a bear on ice. He looks like he thinks he's about to slip right off.

We talk a minute and he's telling me he's scared of heights. I'm being a little silly and I say, "Brother, this ain't high at all." If I remember correctly we tarped two loads that day, and he told me he needed to find the restroom. I never saw him again. Our operations manager came out and asked me, "What did you do to that guy?" He went right out to his truck and went home!

Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

As I said, let’s call a spade a spade.

So far, you're not very convincing.

Try again. You crack me up being hung up on this deregulation talk. You can hear that silly stuff in any driver's lounge. I think it's total garbage. It's people finding something to hang their argument on because they don't really understand the economics of trucking.

Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

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Rob D

Turtle, I once bought a 1958 800 series Ford. I used it on my farm for maybe four or five years. I cleaned it up, made it look real pretty and sold it for 4,700 more dollars than I gave for it. If you can get those things right, there are some collectors out there who will pay top dollar for one that's in good shape. Honestly, I wish I'd have kept it. That thing was incredible. My friend always told me, "That thing was built during a time when people knew what heavy duty really means."

Posted:  2 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

They are just trying to... make it impossible for the little guy.

C'mon Patrick!

Those glory days for the independent truck drivers are over. It has little to do with the mega carriers flexing their muscle.

I think most truckers just don't understand the economics of a commodities business, so they vent their frustrations at the folks that do. These big companies know what you've got to do to be in this very volatile and complex game. Those who don't will inevitably fall by the wayside. It takes a lot of capital to be in a capital intensive business. That's the problem. The little guys just can't catch a break. They don't have the resources needed. They can moan and groan, and throw tantrums about being treated unfairly, but the fact is... business is a rough sport... you either man up and do what's necessary, or you console yourself by always screaming about how unfair things are.

Posted:  2 days, 6 hours ago

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Does “American Truck Driving School” Drug Test?

Why don't you ask someone at American Truck Driving School if they drug test?

JJ, this answer is obviously the best answer we could give to Mario. This question arises so often that we always wonder, "Why don't you just ask?"

The problem lies in the paranoia that these users have of being found out. They are convinced that posing the question is tantamount to admitting guilt. Therefore they come in here as one post wonders, ask their question, giving us a framework of how they want us to answer it, then they go and do the same on as many other forums as they can find. All the while, they're hoping someone will give them an answer that will ease their mind enough to go ahead and jump the gun.

They aren't really interested in learning anything relevant to their success at the career. They just want to find a back door into the arena. They are almost as confident they can be a great truck driver, as they are confident in the bag of their cousin's urine that's being kept warm in their pocket.

Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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Question about Tractor

Brian, that's life in a governed truck. We all experience it. These governed trucks simply can't get enough fuel when climbing a mountain, so... going 25 mph uphill is something you just have to get accustomed to.

You aren't doing anything wrong.

Posted:  3 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Does “American Truck Driving School” Drug Test?

Old School

Why does this question keep coming up?

Raptor, it's been coming up for years. It's an issue. Recently the ATA made a claim that they think the industry needs to be purged of over 300,000 drivers who have been getting away with using drugs.

I understand Mario's concern. He thinks he has a job lined up but he needs more time to get clean for his pee test. He's hoping he could get started on the training while his system is clearing out. I don't know what he's going to do if they do a hair test on him. A lot of companies are doing them now. It's still not D.O.T. approved, but it's certainly permissible for a pre-employment screening. The "one and done" collateral damage of a failed drug test when seeking employment as a trucker is almost impossible to overcome.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

View Topic:

Does “American Truck Driving School” Drug Test?

Rickipedia wins the prize! I wasn't drug tested until I started trying to get a job. The school I attended didn't drug test us. We had to pee in a cup for our physical, but that wasn't a drug test.

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Does “American Truck Driving School” Drug Test?

You have a job waiting for you, but they aren't going to drug test you?

What parallel universe are you doing drugs in? It's federal law. Your employer is required to drug test you.

What's the concern for you at the school?

Posted:  4 days ago

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Jim Palmer Wilson Logistics training Montana

I remember that feeling. It's awesome being on your own, and a little nerve wracking at the same time. It's great to see your progress! Slow and steady wins the race. Just keep it foremost in your thoughts - "Don't Hit Anything." That's your main goal. Get that first safe year behind you and then you can start setting some other goals.



Posted:  4 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

What can I put on the floor?

I use tire shine on my floors. I've never experienced any of the issues you mention. Maybe try Armorall. I think it should work the same way.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

10-speed vs. Everything else

I don't think it's even an issue. You already know how to shift gears in a rig. You'll just have extra gears you can split if needed. Most of the time you won't even need them. It's not like you have to hit all those gears anyway. You should be able to have it all figured out after a day or two of driving. When you're heavy you'll appreciate the extra gears when climbing up a mountain. Otherwise you won't even need them.

You'll have two different splitters. Just ask another driver to show you how it works. It's easy, but you'll understand it better by playing with it yourself. Let's say you want to split a gear while getting up to highway speed. You've got your foot in the throttle and you're gaining speed. Push the splitter button on the side of the shifter, then let off the throttle - then put your foot back into the throttle - Shazaam! You just split a gear. The transmission does the work you just provide the proper timing.

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