Profile For Old School

Old School's Info

  • Location:
    Nacogdoches, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Old School On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 2 months ago

Old School's Bio

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Posted:  17 hours, 16 minutes ago

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Did I post in wrong Forum?

I'm getting long winded so let me answer your question. Trucking is a tough business. It's a commodities business with average returns in the 3 to 5% profit range. That means most successful trucking operations have about a 97% operating ratio. That is one tough nut to cut. So, if you see a well established company running thousands of trucks, you know "the management runs a good operation." Quit wringing your hands over that decision - it is really easy to recognize those who are running a good operation.

Now, "Are they fair to their employees?" Once again that is an easy one to answer. Trucking is fair to people who make sure they are productive. The industry has to have movers and shakers to survive in a business with a 97% operating ratio. I did really well at Western Express. I came in with an orientation class of about fifty some odd drivers. After one year, there were two of us left from that original group. I made fifty thousand dollars - nothing to sneeze at as a total green-horn in a new career. What happened to the other 48 people? They didn't prove to be effective at the job. They started getting overlooked when loads were being dispersed. The work goes to the folks who prove they can get it done on time, safely, and ahead of schedule. Truckers are their own masters. We determine how much we get done. Conversely, we determine how little we get done. We are not being babysat. We have to show our initiative and understanding of how to be creative and productive. Any truck driver who can consistently produce great results while being cooperative and easy to work with gets extra special treatment. You are going to get as good as you give.

The name on the truck means absolutely nothing. The driver creates his own opportunities and his own success. Any well run trucking operation sees a lot of drivers come and go. The great drivers stay and enjoy the success they have created. The wannabes with little understanding or ambition end up leaving because they couldn't produce any meaningful results. This whole business is performance based. I was scared to death when I started at Western Express. The reviews made it sound like the devil himself ran the place. It wasn't anything like the internet reviews made it out to be. It was a perfectly amiable place and they kept me so busy I couldn't hardly take a break! I loved it. I created my own niche there. I enjoyed success there. That's what you do as a driver. You don't worry about the management or how you are going to be treated. You make stuff happen - that's your job. People who do their job get the rewards for their effort.

Posted:  17 hours, 23 minutes ago

View Topic:

Did I post in wrong Forum?

Malcolm, I follow your posts with great interest. I see a man who is really trying to figure this whole "trucking thing" out. You are falling prey to making many of the most common mistakes that people trying to do their "due diligence" researching the trucking industry wrestle with. Think about this: How many times have you changed your mind about which company you want to start with? You've developed a list of "preferred" companies. You've got them sorted from top to bottom, yet with each little thing you "read" or "research" on the web, that list gets reshuffled and different companies rise to the top of your list. Just a day or two ago you wanted to get started with Millis, now your thinking H.O. Wolding would be the best place for you. I know it's not the first time you have re-prioritized one company over the other. In fact, I have no doubt in just a few days you will re-shuffle that list again! We get it - trust me, I'm not being critical. I did all the same stuff only to find out how futile all that research was.

Here's something you stated earlier...

to me it boils down to trying to figure out if the management runs a good operation and is fair to the employees.

Here's what that tells us. You've been all over the internet trying to figure out how this trucking industry works, but your research has yielded very little helpful information. In fact it has left you confused. The further you dig in just gives you more doubts and fears that you are going to make a wrong choice that will possibly keep you from success as a trucker. You have fallen prey to this bogus notion that there are these evil operators out here that are just waiting to pounce on you (the uneducated rookie) and take advantage of you. They are going to use you as "slave labor" keeping your wages terribly low, and they will hold you to a contract that means they will make a gross profit from your efforts and then throw you under the bus after they have finished their diabolical plan to "set you up for failure." Forgive my hyperbole, but am I saying anything that resonates a little in your troubled mind right now?

Well, if any of that sounds true, let me ease your mind a little. You don't have to read 20,000 pages on the internet to figure this out. In fact, most people's research only exposes them to a bunch of "misinformation" that is both troubling and misleading. Why is that? There are a bunch of losers on the internet who didn't have the gumption to make it as successful truckers. They are insolent whiners who are underachievers and malcontents. You don't know that because all you hear from them is how they got treated like slaves, and couldn't make any money. That's why you are trying to figure out "if the management runs a good operation and is fair to the employees." You see there is a whole bunch of knuckleheads on the internet who are convinced there are some really bad trucking companies out here taking advantage of people. Then they confirm it by telling you their experience at these places.

I've read all the horror stories, so I know what you are experiencing. Guess what I came to learn as I made my own personal entry into trucking? I learned these clueless complainers were lazy non-performers who wanted something for nothing. I had a few issues that kept me from getting hired by the companies that I thought would be the best places to start. To this day I am glad I experienced getting sent home from three different orientations that I had attended. I learned the secrets to success at trucking because I had to get started somewhere that had ZERO positive reviews on the internet. Western Express gave me a chance and I gave them results. We had a great relationship with each other and I could call them today and be hired in less than a minute! Everything about rucking is performance based. Drivers mix their own poison in this business, and many of them have to drink it right down to the last drop.

If you can produce positive results you can enjoy a lucrative and satisfying career. If you are mediocre and not very productive you will get overlooked while the top producers get the lion's share of the work. That's how trucking works. The guys at the top enjoy the perks of putting themselves there. The losers run to the internet screaming and throwing temper tantrums about how unfairly they were treated. You don't ask the players of a football team who never even made it to a play-off game, "How do you win the Super Bowl?" Those guys don't have the answers! They don't even have a clue why they are doing so poorly. That's obvious when they always blame their failures on someone else.


Posted:  1 day, 18 hours ago

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Did I post in wrong Forum?

Hello Malcolm, and welcome to our forum!

You put a lot of questions in your post, but I just want to take a stab at one of them. It sounds like you are thinking and working your way through a lot of your concerns, but this one is something you've probably read somewhere on the internet and I think I can help you understand it a little better than the person who caused you to have this concern. Here's what you asked...

Also in flatbeds how slow can it get at certain times of the year, I have read that the winter can slow down. But how cyclical is it?

Actually all freight is cyclical. Markets fluctuate, seasons have effects on freight, even our crazy response to this years politicized "flu" had some crazy effects on freight and how it was handled. So, don't get too uptight or overly concerned about flatbed freight being cyclical. I've been doing flatbed freight my entire career. I've had other drivers in my fleet tell me their driver manager is complaining, "Freight is a little slow, you may have to park and wait until I can find yo a decent load." I can only recall one time sitting any length of time waiting for a load because flatbed freight was a little slow. I only sat a few extra hours over my ten hour break, which was a welcome break to my hectic week.

Here's the thing that drivers have to figure out. There's a lot of freight that needs to be moved all throughout the year. There's a lot of miles to be had. As drivers, we need to know how to make ourselves into key players. Most people don't realize how incredibly important it is to stand head and shoulders above your peers in this endeavor. Drivers create their own demand by being trustworthy, efficient, productive, safe, and easy to work with. There are plenty of drivers who never experience slow downs even when freight might be a little slow. I actually made more money during this "pandemic" than at any other time in my career. Flatbed freight was a little slow, but I was not. I knew another driver on the same account with me who quit during that time period because he claimed, "I just can't get the miles to survive."

I'm pointing all this out to you because I don't want you to believe all the stuff you read on the internet that might discourage you one way or the other. There are a lot of drivers out here who say things with no understanding of how loads are distributed to drivers. Top Tier Drivers will always come out on top. Guys and gals who make great things happen out here will always have great things happening for them. If you like the idea of being a flat-bedder don't let a driver who doesn't even understand why they are being overlooked dissuade you from trying your own hand at it. Trucking is, and always will be, a performance based enterprise. Unfortunately many of us think we should just be handed great loads and kept busy just because we are on the payroll. It just doesn't work that way.

Posted:  1 day, 20 hours ago

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Starting Company Sponsored Training - Is Mid to Late December an Ideal Time to Start?

Eugene, most of us tend to overthink our entry into this career. One thing people get overly concerned about is "class size." I think it's a concern that's way overrated. Don't even concern yourself with it.

"Class size" has nothing to do with the effectiveness of your training. You're only in "class" for a brief time (maybe a week) and it's devoted to safety videos, company rules and policy, payroll forms, and other administrative functions of your employer. You'll get no more or less from a video if there are hundreds of you or five of you.

Trucking is learned by doing, and that's why you go out with a trainer. At that time it's just you and the truck with your trainer. You're going to have more of that than you can stomach at times. It will be both thrilling and discouraging, epic and frustrating. You'll learn an incredible amount of stuff, and just when they turn you loose from your trainer you'll feel you've forgotten everything you just worked so hard at learning.

You mentioned time on the backing range as a concern. Nobody learns to back a truck in a few days on the backing range. Backing a truck with orange cones as a barrier is an unrealistic experience. It's more an exercise for the instructors to observe your demeanor under stress than it is a serious time of instruction. You'll certainly learn some basics, and that's beneficial, but you'll understand what I'm saying while you're out with your trainer. That first time your trainer has you back into the only spot left at the truck stop late at night after driving 570 miles will be a total game changer for you. That's the "real deal," and it's tough.

Class sizes are smaller everywhere due to the "pandemic." It's not an advantage though. Your trucking skills are going to take a good long time to get developed to the point of being proficient. You'll still be developing effective strategies and talents for the next several years. None of that time is spent with class mates. Your "class size" will always be large - it's the lower 48! Embrace that large class and go conquer this challenge!

Posted:  2 days, 18 hours ago

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I've Been Sick This Week

It's going well. I can actually spend a little time at the computer this time. My biggest concern is that each time I get to the one month point past surgery, my retina detaches again. My youngest daughter says my retina is just as stubborn as me!

They put a silicone oil bubble in my eye this time. That is a more aggressive method of holding the retina in place while it heals. The doc said I'm such a vigorous healer that scar tissue is forming quickly and pushing against my retina before everything bonds back together securely.

Hopefully this will take care of the healing process, but my future vision is still questionable.

The silicone bubble will require another surgery in 4 to six months so it can be removed.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

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Trucking School vs Paid CLD Training: Survivor stats?

I have been a little confused on 2 articles on TT Brett wrote regarding the choice between private and paid training. The 1st article I read titled Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training was self explanatory and gave great reasons to choose paid training. The second article titled Private Schooling Versus Company Sponsored: The Basic Differences. In this article Brett writes the following “ At a private school the experience will generally be better because you're a paying customer. The pace is a little slower and they'll be more patient with you. They'll work with you more individually. With a company-sponsored program you're more like a player trying to make the team. It's like a tryout, and not everyone makes the team. The environment is usually fast-paced and there is a little less tolerance for those who aren't picking up on the skills as quickly. It's a totally different approach.” Brett also states “ For me, the major difference comes down to whether or not you have the money available for private schooling. If you can afford to go through private schooling it's the preferred path overall. The experience is a little better and you'll have the option of working for any company that hires students from your school after graduating.”

Hey PG, thanks for posting this. I can see how that is confusing, and I know the last thing Brett wants is to give you confusing information. Since he's extra busy right now, I'm going to throw a few things out here to help clarify the things he said, and I am sure he will jump in here later when he is able.

First off let's realize that one of those articles is just explaining the differences between the two types of schools. The other is explaining why Brett prefers one (Company Sponsored)) over the other. Now, he did make a few statements in the article explaining the differences that sounds as if he prefers "Private Self Pay Schools." Those comments point out some of the advantages of a private school, and it was written earlier than the article in which he declares his personal preference. I think what makes it confusing for you is that you don't have our perspective.

Let me explain...

We've spent years helping new comers to this industry. We interact with a lot of new drivers and wannabes. In the course of our labors in this forum, we learn as much from you guys as we hope we impart to you. We've repeatedly seen new drivers take one direction or the other. We've watched and learned from their reports and experiences. All the data we've gathered speaks loud and clear. In today's environment, the Company Sponsored Training Programs are more effective at producing long term success stories. One of the biggest problems we've witnessed is not so much the fault of the Private School Programs, but rather the liability issues of taking on new drivers. Rookies make mistakes. Every trucking safety director knows that.

We want people to be successful. We want them to be able to get through that rookie year and go on to thrive in this rewarding career. We've repeatedly seen rookie drivers from private schools get dismissed after a minor accident because the safety director determined they are going to be too much of a risk. Once that happens it is extremely difficult for them to find employment, and they are often just out of luck when it comes to pursuing their future trucking career. We also see a trend indicating when the company employing a brand new driver has "some skin in the game" they are way more likely to work with a new rookie after a minor accident. That's really where these Company Sponsored Programs start to shine. They actually have an investment in the driver, and they seriously want to make that investment pay off. We've even seen some remarkable instances where mercy was extended to new drivers in some fairly serious accidents. Those folks who have paid for their own schooling do not typically experience this, and while most of us think we won't be having accidents, statistically the numbers are really against us.

Truck driving schools are challenging. Brett points out the differences in one of those articles, and he nails it. Both ways require diligence and commitment, but if somebody knows they are going to be a little slow to pick up on things they may be better served by parting with their cash and begging for extra help from their school. We can't guarantee they will get it. We think the best odds for long term success today are in the Company Sponsored Programs. All you get from any truck driving school is a CDL. That is sometimes a tough challenge, but it's really the easiest part of establishing a trucking career. Always try to think long term. Think about the consequences of an accident and the many challenges lying ahead of your quest for a career. We love seeing the many success stories in our forum. The failures are heartbreaking to us. We especially agonize over the folks who clearly insist on taking their own path, disregarding our good sound advice, and then ruining their chance at the rewarding career we enjoy. We've seen our share of successes and failures right here in our forum. We always want to point you guys in the direction that we deem best.

Posted:  3 days, 17 hours ago

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Trucking School vs Paid CLD Training: Survivor stats?

OK guys, there's a lot of bogus information being speculated here in this conversation. Cajun One, most people come here hoping to learn something valuable. Occasionally we get someone who thinks they should be teaching us. You cracked me up when you tried to "extrapolate" information based on an entirely different subject and apply it to your ill informed perceptions about schooling and contracts for the truck driving career. It reminds me of the convenience store manager who extrapolates the idea that he could be the manager of a Fortune 500 company. What is he basing that thought on? It's merely his own conjecture. It isn't based in any sort of reality.

You are correct in that the 'Leasing Programs" are a profit center. You are way off base when you assume the "Company Sponsored Schools" are profit based programs. These programs are consistently costing more than they return to the company. They have never even been considered as a means of turning a profit. They are one way these companies can assure themselves of recruiting new drivers. The turnover in this industry is sometimes astronomical. It would be fine with many of these companies if they had plenty of students coming out of private schools to be recruited. Unfortunately they don't. They spend an exorbitant amount of money on these programs just to keep new drivers in the pipe line. They don't have a better choice.

We teach people "best practices" here. We firmly believe these company sponsored training programs are solid, fair, and somewhat successful for their purpose. That purpose is not profit. It is to fill their ever pending need for drivers to help them grow and be leaders in the challenging business environment of moving the world's freight.

Posted:  4 days, 17 hours ago

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One on One CDL Training School in Arizona

I'm not interested in committing to a company for a year right now. At this time I also don't see myself going to work for a Mega, I've been self employed my entire life and the only that is appealing is O/O.

Hello Don, welcome to our forum!

I understand your sentiments completely. You sound a whole lot like me when I started this career. Let me share with you what I learned. I spent weeks laying out a business plan and model to jump into this career as an Owner/Operator. I was the perfect candidate. I had already owned six rigs that we used in my previous career of 30 years. That's right I was a self employed business owner for 30 years when I decided I wanted to give the OTR lifestyle a go. Here's what I found out.

1) Nobody is willing to insure a brand new CDL holder as an Owner/Operator without charging exorbitant rates for a good many years.

2) The trucking industry is extremely volatile and rates change unexpectedly.

3) At the time I was making those calculations, I could make about forty or fifty thousand dollars a year at a rate of $1.75/mile. I discovered the really big successful trucking companies were running loads at that time in the 1.30 to 1.45 price range! That was an eye opener, and it was a dog eat dog fight that I didn't have the stomach or the resources for. Don't fool yourself into thinking this is an easy way to make money. I know a whole lot of guys who have gone bankrupt in the trucking business without even understanding why. I understand why because I have a lot of understanding about this business.

So... I made up my mind to go to work for a large company. The best thing I ever did was to commit myself to one full year at the first company I worked for. I learned so much. I learned things that I had no idea I needed to learn. I learned the principles and practices that make for success at trucking - the lessons were invaluable. I made fifty thousand dollars that year. The same amount that I had calculated at the 1.75\mile rate I had come up with as an O/O. It is very important that you establish yourself on somebody else's dime. I would never recommend taking the route you are planning for yourself. This year (eight years in now as a company driver) I made fifty thousand dollars during the first six months of this year.

I realize you are new here and are not familiar with all my experiences in this industry, but I hope you will take a step back and re-evaluate your plan. I can assure you it's not going to go well for you. I commit a lot of time to helping people make it in this industry, and I would never suggest someone start a trucking career the way you think you want to.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Employment Verification During COVID-19 - What if my last industry......shut down?

Do you have employment records? I'm talking about W-2's. Anything like that would be helpful in your situation.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Long Haul Trucking Career Possible?

1. Would my age be an issue? 2. I'm in good physical shape and very active. I do have hip replacement in my right leg. Doesn't slow me down, though. 3. I've seen youtube videos on agility tests. The only one I'm concerned with is squatting under trailer.

Hello Mike, and welcome to our forum!

I'm going to take a stab at your specific questions...

1. You are not too old to do this. In fact, you will be surprised at how many companies will be interested in you. There are a lot of us older guys and gals out here on the road. The trucking industry has a lot of respect for folks who just "get the job done." They don't care if we are old or young, brown, black or purple, What they want are folks who are motivated, safe, and productive. Oftentimes they find those of us with a few years on us tend to fit those requirements better than others. I started this career at age 53. The day I got hired, the same company hired another gentleman who was 73! I have since then met several drivers who were in their 80's! This is a career which doesn't discriminate. If you can do the job well, you can secure a future for yourself in trucking.

2. As far as being in good physical shape, that is a plus! There are a lot of truckers out here who could stand to take better care of themselves. We have to pass a physical, but it's just not a very demanding one.

3. YouTube isn't the greatest place to get information on this career. Don't let what you've seen deter you. I'm confident you can figure out a way to get under a trailer. This isn't a contest on who can do it with the greatest flair. I've crawled under many a trailer. You don't have to look like a 23 year old kid when inspecting your locking jaws on your fifth wheel connection. You just have to be able to get it done.

I sometimes refer to the trucking career as "the great equalizer." All I mean by that is that there are no preferences for younger people or specific nationalities. The Trucking career is as diverse as it is intriguing. You will find all kinds of people out here enjoying this career. I have met former business owners, people who had previous professional careers such as attorneys and dentists, and I have seen almost as many nationalities of people driving trucks as there are nations in the world.

There's a place for you in the trucking industry. We have a ton of information here that can help you make a good start. Avail yourself of our resources, you will be glad you did, and it's absolutely free! Don't be afraid to ask us questions. We try our best to be friendly and helpful. You don't have to duck for cover here after you've asked a question. We try to keep things helpful and friendly. You can learn an awful lot just by participating in the forum with whatever questions you come up with.

One more thing that you might find interesting. Here's a link to one of our conversations where I told about meeting a fellow trucker who was in his 80's. His name was Eugene. Read it and calm your anxieties. You have nothing to fear.

Trucking For The Long Haul

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Subtropolis Caves Kansas City

It's official. You're now a member of the gopher truckers club.

Those caves are pretty cool aren't they?

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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U.S Xpress Walmart Dedicated 7+ months experience driving.

I should add that once I established this relationship, I always got unloaded quickly and efficiently.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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U.S Xpress Walmart Dedicated 7+ months experience driving.

I don’t like dealing with customers at all and I don’t need to. I would like a gig where I do the job and it’s on my performance and my performance alone.

Leeva804, i love following along with your progress, I do have to tell you though, that thought you just expressed is felt by every trucker out here. I am going to tell you something, but I'm certainly not trying to preach to you. This is actually important for all of us to realize. Part of our performance is how we deal with our customers.

On my dedicated account at Knight we had a customer up in Connecticut that none of our drivers wanted to go to. The problem was the customer was almost to the point of being cruel in making drivers wait for hours before unloading them. I decided I'd figure out a way to be extra nice and friendly with this guy no matter how he behaved himself. I figured out his best times for me to show up, and I learned what I could do to make his job easier. That was all on "my performance." Consequently the dispatcher kept assigning me to that load because I handled it with efficiency. From my location in Louisiana to that customer was generally a 1,500 mile run with an equally long back-haul. You can see what kind of mileage that gives me each week.

Don't fool yourself into thinking "your performance" is limited to just driving the truck. There is a huge category of things we have to excel at to be successful in this endeavor.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Posted last week about struggling in CDL school, many of you who replied asked me to keep you guys updated on progress

Congratulations Zach!

Keep that steady spirit about you. There's nothing easy about starting this career. It will challenge you every day. The challenges make the rewards that much more satisfying.

Hang in there brutha! We all know what you're going through. We've all been in your shoes. You will be so glad you stuck it out when you get further along.

You've got this!

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Rookie from Werner needs help

If I do go back to Werner, I would only do teams

Naseer, I'm just curious about that statement.

My personal opinion is that team driving is a poor way for a rookie driver to learn this career. Not everyone agrees with me on that, and I'll acknowledge that perhaps some personalities may benefit from a team environment.

So many rookies get this false idea that says two heads are better than one. They think their team member is going to be there to help them out when they are in a bind. Some even think, "When I get to a tough spot to back in at a truck stop, I'm just going to get my teammate to handle it." That's no way to learn anything. It's irresponsible and shows a willingness to just do whatever you can to get by. This career takes commitment, and the best way to advance your career is to face the challenges and improve yourself.

That's just my opinion and experience. Trucking is tough to break into, but the willingness to face the difficulties and conquer them is a very important part of the process.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Rookie from Werner needs help

Hello Naseer, and welcome to our forum!

I'm assuming the "incidents" were minor. Otherwise you wouldn't be allowed a review or a rehire. Minor accidents are typically allowed if the driver shows evidence of learning from their mistakes. Three in a two month period kind of says to the safety personnel, "This driver isn't taking these setbacks seriously."

The reason they won't do a review for one year is they want to see you go find another driving job and establish a one year record of "safe driving." If you had that in place as part of a review it would speak volumes about your ability to handle the responsibilities involved in the trucking career.

I'd recommend you apply everywhere and see if you can land a driving job. You're going to get a lot of rejections, but you probably can find someone to take you on. The burden of proving yourself will be imminent. You will need to be extremely cautious and not hit anything. It's crucial that you establish a stellar one year record of being safe, motivated, and on time.

If you go the route at Cooper, I can't see them allowing you to work a year and then get in a truck without going through a truck driving school again or a training program. Your license will be considered "stale." That's why I recommend finding another driving job. It's important that you get back on the horse if you get thrown. You'll have to muster the courage and commitment to learn from your mistakes. I like to face things head on and correct my failings. Taking a non-driving job doesn't help you get any better at this.

That's just my take. If you want to do this, you've got to be tenacious about making it happen. Continuing to have accidents is not going to help. You're going to need to establish yourself as a safe driver. There's no non-driving job that will help with that.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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I've Been Sick This Week

Hey friends, I just wanted to give a quick update. I am still really struggling with my vision. I've had a lot of problems with these eye surgeries. I am currently scheduled for a third surgery on the 20th of this month. My retina has detached again after my second surgery. The doctors do not understand why this keeps happening. They are going to try a little more aggressive approach this time with an "oil" bubble in my eye rather than the usual "gas" bubble. This approach will mean that I have to have a fourth surgery in about six months to remove the oil bubble from my eye.

For the current time, I will not be able to continue my driving career. It is quite possible that I am done for good. Knight is wanting me to stay on as an employee, but I don't really know how all that is going to turn out. We will just have to see what they have to offer and if it is something I am willing to do. I can get a medical exemption, but it will require me to stay intrastate. So, there are a lot of changes underfoot for me. I've been able to participate a little in the forum lately and that is enjoyable, but I am limited to how much time I can spend looking at a phone/computer screen.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Schneider Georgia Pacific Dedicated

So for routes that companies seem a "little desperate to fill", there's ALWAYS A REASON WHY.

Kalyn, I think Rick makes a valid point. At the same time I must say that I have made some great money running a dedicated account. There are some advantages to being on a dedicated account. PJ has experience on this account and he pointed out some of the negatives, but i bet if we pressed him he might recall some of the things he liked about that account. I can remember a few times he spoke well of it while he was on it.

I've been on a particular dedicated account for over six years now. Here's the thing about running these dedicated accounts. You have the ability to get to know your various customers and shippers. You learn things about each location that can help you to be more efficient. For example, you know which ones allow you to park overnight. That gives you an advantage in managing your time and your hours of service. I had a regular customer in Connecticut that I knew I could park at anytime I was there. It was often that I would exhaust my 11 hour clock just so I could arrive there a day early for my scheduled delivery. This allowed me to provide my dispatcher with my PTA before I even left Louisiana with the load. I'd be leaving Louisiana on Friday night, and I could already let him know that I would be ready to roll out of Connecticut with a new load Monday morning at 0800. I knew I could get there Sunday night, and they would start unloading me Monday morning at 0600. Things like that are powerful arrows in your quiver. Working with your dispatcher providing accurate information like that makes you a powerful team. You can push all the limits and increase your income considerably. At the end of June this year I had already earned 50,000 dollars as a company driver at Knight Transportation. There's not many drivers that can make a claim like that. That's not boasting, It's just legitimate facts to back up what I'm pointing out.

I could give you a bunch of other advantages to running dedicated accounts. In fact, let me just throw this one out there for everyone,s education. I had a customer in New Jersey who would allow me to park on their premises. It is hard finding truck parking in New Jersey. After serving this customer for a good while, and building an effective relationship with them, I asked them if they would allow me to park there at times when I was in the area but wasn't actually delivering to them. Guess what? They agreed to it. They became a really great part of my arsenal of tools that I could use to manage my time in the Northeastern part of the country. I probably used that parking area at least three times per month, and it served as a very strategic part of my trip planning when delivering to a particular customer in Massachusetts. It enabled me to out perform every other driver on our fleet when delivering to that customer in Massachusetts. My dispatcher once commented to me that none of our drivers could figure out how to get to that customer in the same time frame that I was. There are a lot of certain little advantages you can develop by being familiar with the facilities that you deliver to. Working on developing relationships with those dedicated customers pays off in dividends that most drivers don't even ever think about.

PJ mentioned the security guards at GP not treating drivers well. Any time I come across a situation like that I first consider how much crap those security guards put up with from frustrated drivers who are trying to push every situation to their own advantage. I then take an approach with the security folks that is kind and considerate. They notice things like that. I may even keep a stash of Hershey chocolate bars in my truck or cold bottles of water in the summer months to share with them. A little kindness and consideration from a driver goes a long way with those folks. They don't forget a driver who treats them with respect and kindness. You will be coming to the same locations often. It is to your advantage to make sure you are a welcome guest. It's not hard to make money as a "professional driver," but you've got to put forth good efforts at developing the "professional" part of this career more so than the "driver" part.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Prime Inc Issues New Pay Raise Toay

Let’s say you are in the 9.25 mpg for a 5000 mile week, what would that amount to?

That would amount to a miracle! Solo drivers don't turn 5,000 miles.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Trucking under Democratic or Republican Government

Democrats like to eat and buy things just as much as Republicans. Don't give it a thought. Trucks roll and deliver goods under all kinds of circumstances. It's hard for some to understand, but as a trucker, I made more money during a "pandemic" than I had during the "best of times."

Any trucker worth his salt will find they can prosper while disregarding the mad obsessions some folks have with the nation's current affairs. You have a fair question, but it's only because you are new to this. Don't let politics keep you from enjoying this rewarding career. Truck drivers control their own destinies. Career politicians control far less than we give them credit for.

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