Comments By Old School

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  • Old School
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Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

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Safety Concerns

A year later, I'm healthy and ready to go. I'd received a couple rejections from companies who previously wanted to hire me because it had been a year since my training.

Jon, all you've got to do is agree to do a refresher course with a company who offers Paid CDL Training Programs. Someone will be more than willing to take you on that way. Technically you aren't getting any experience with your current job. Nobody is going to accept your current job as experience.

If you take a refresher course you'll have to agree to a work commitment with the employer. It's really your best option. There's nothing like having a great foundation under you. Of course you know that already, being that you are working in construction right now.

Posted:  5 days, 5 hours ago

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Regional over OTR?

Joel, one of the best ways to get home on weekends is to go with a flatbed job. Maverick, TMC, and McElroy all offer this opportunity. I'm sure there are others, but that will give you a starting point.

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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Team vs solo driving

As I understand it there is more money in team driving or at least the potential.

This is a complete misunderstanding. So many people think this - especially new drivers. To make the top money in trucking you just have to be productive. That's the secret sauce. We talk a lot here about being Top Tier Drivers.

Great solo drivers can earn the same great money as great team drivers. You just have to understand how to Run With The Big Dogs.

Where you come out making more money as a team is really only if you and your spouse run team. That way two paychecks are going to the same household.

Posted:  5 days, 9 hours ago

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Hit the Driver Appreciation cookout Trifecta.

That's awesome Greg!

I don't know what it is about free food, but it sure is appealing. I always catch myself eating too much if it's free. There's some strange psychological irony that goes on when I'm offered free food. I am normally very conscientious about what and how much I eat, but you throw some free food in front of me and my normal sanity gets cast aside. Over indulgence here I come!

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Prime PSD training, from a trainer's perspective.

Rob, don't make the mistake of placing too much importance on the quality of the trainer. I had a lousy trainer. I just needed a chance to get my foot in the door. Even a bad trainer can do that for you.

Sure, having a great trainer would be nice, but don't let it be a line in the sand.

Check out the advice and information contained in this article...

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Took off with the wrong load today!

Rob, most of our loads are multi-stop runs. Being flatbed makes it easy to confirm what's actually on the trailer. At least three times in the past five years I've run into a situation where SAPA provided us with the wrong trailer number. I always confirm my freight agrees with my paperwork and I even count all the piece's for each stop familiarizing myself with their location on my trailer.

One time I showed up at the plant unable to locate my proper load. The trailer number on my paperwork was there, but it wasn't loaded with my destinations. I contacted operations and we soon discovered another driver had picked up the trailer number he was assigned, but hadn't bothered to confirm what was on it. He had my load! What a mess!

It's the details that can really bite you out here. It always helps to go through every little step making sure everything is right.

Posted:  5 days, 12 hours ago

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Safety Concerns

Ultimately YOU accepted the load.

Jon, that statement is true. Something else that is true: You accepted this particular job.

You didn't give us much more info other than your issues with your employer. Your remarks sound as if you are fairly new at this. Could you answer a few questions for me?

How did you obtain your CDL?

Are you a relatively new driver?

Why didn't you take an Over The Road job where you would have both the proper training and support for making a successful start at this challenging career?

We always advise against starting out in a local type job like the one you described. We also teach people of the perils of working for small companies in a truck driving capacity. Your experience confirms so many things we've been teaching for years.

Posted:  6 days, 18 hours ago

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Any good,reasonable CDL schools in South Florida?

From Rick C"s bio...

Starting over and giving this a second try, assuming technology and my maturity will make it easier.

Rick, you might want to try to add listening skills to that new maturity level you've obtained. You've already thrown in the towel once in this career. I don't know, it just seems like it might benefit you this second time around to be willing to learn something, and not be so eager to criticize those who have the experience to teach you something, ayh?

Posted:  1 week ago

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Five Years On This Account

Thanks to each of you! All the compliments are over the top. You guys are the greatest!

Posted:  1 week ago

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Five Years On This Account

I've learned a lot from your attitude and it has benefited me in a way that I can't explain. Not just in trucking, but at my previous job as well.

Banks, that's a very high compliment. I am humbled by it. Thanks, sincerely!

Now on to the important question

What kind of truck and what color?

I honestly have no idea. I love the tight steering radius of the Volvos. I'm in the Northeast a lot, and I'm used to making tight maneuvers with my Volvo. Recently I looked inside some new KW T680's sitting at one of our terminals and I really liked the way the interior was laid out.

First things first. I'll focus on serving my customers right now and get that first million mile benchmark behind me. Then when they give me the thumbs up I'll start making a decision on a truck.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Any good,reasonable CDL schools in South Florida?

It always amazes me how the new people who are trying to just get their foot in the door are so much smarter than the folks who've been traveling this road for years. A little humility goes really far in the trucking industry. The guys who already know everything usually flounder around a bit before they frustratingly throw in the towel. They end up disgruntled and disgusted. Nothing goes like they thought it should, and that's to be expected. When your knowledge is superficial, and only based on your preconceived ideas and false notions, it will not sustain you through the difficulties of establishing yourself in this career.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Five Years On This Account

Yesterday marked my fifth anniversary on the SAPA account at Knight. It's now called Hydro (pronounced HeeeDrow) - I've been calling it SAPA for so long, I can't get accustomed to the new name.

I've run 700,000 miles on this account so far. My dispatcher sent me an email yesterday thanking me profusely, telling me I'm the glue that holds this whole thing together - I'm quite sure he's exaggerating, but I'll take the compliment. He even sent me a hundred dollars cash (via pay-pal) from his own pocket as a gesture of thanks for the working relationship I've established with him.

He also told me that I'm the first driver to stay with him for 5 years. He's been doing this for 22 years! I was very shocked by that statistic. That shows you how extremely transient drivers are. They hop around all the time, chasing some elusive magical pay package that never seems to materialize. After a couple more years I'll have run a million miles just on this account. I'll get a $5,000 bonus for that, and get to pick my own new truck in whatever color I want. The guys who went chasing after an extra penny here or there will never get those perks. Nor are they realizing the type of income I am by sticking it out and mastering this account.

Friends we teach it all the time. If you want to do well at this, work hard at establishing yourself somewhere. Learn to be an asset who understands the operations end of your company, and learn how to work well with your dispatcher. You don't have to work with a lot of people in this business, but your dispatcher is your best friend, your greatest connection, and a benefactor who will always reward those who help him/her succeed at their tasks.

I hadn't even considered posting this, but Bob Cat Bob's conversation, started earlier today on Surviving His Sophomore Season made me realize I should share this. It may help someone understand the principles we teach in here.

Hang in there boys and girls. "Life's a dance you learn as you go," but to do the dance well you've got to master the moves.

Posted:  1 week ago

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The Corn Is As High As An Elephant's Eye...

I can't believe that "driver" still has a job.

It's crazy what people get away with. I'm like you. I wouldn't be able to live with myself after giving an excuse like that to my dispatcher.

Recently my dispatcher was complaining to me about something one of his drivers pulled. I said the same thing you just said. My dispatcher said, "The terminal manager won't let me fire the guy. He says I won't have any drivers if I keep firing them." Maybe we are desperate, but I think the desperation is only in being able to show some decent driver retention numbers to the higher level managers.

Posted:  1 week ago

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The Corn Is As High As An Elephant's Eye...

Yeah, I'm getting good at just sitting and observing. It makes my life a lot easier. smile.gif

Posted:  1 week ago

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New state!

I'm regularly in Massachusetts. They drive aggressively up there in the cities. I usually park at my receivers. You might want to call the customer and see if they allow truck parking.

Posted:  1 week ago

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The Corn Is As High As An Elephant's Eye...

That means football season is here.

It also means one dispatcher has a new problem to deal with.

Let me tell you what I witnessed today.

This week is driver appreciation week. All our terminals are having free food for the drivers who can stop by for lunch this week. I left Miami, FL this morning with a backhaul load. I decided to stop in at our terminal in Lakeland Florida to enjoy some free Bar-B-Q. It's a nice gesture. It's nice feeling like you're doing something that people appreciate.

While I'm savoring my plate of smoked sausage and pulled pork, a dispatcher enters the driver's lounge and takes a seat next to a hefty driver seated on a couch. He starts telling the driver about the load he has for him. When the details come out about the delivery time/date the driver gets a little excited and starts interrupting the dispatcher to inform him that he's going to have to add a day onto the load or he won't be able to make it.

Dismayed, the dispatcher insists that it's an easy schedule, and since the driver has refused to drive for the last three days due to a toothache, he's got a full 70 to work with.

"You don't understand," blurts out the driver. "That delivery appointment is during the Raider's game. I've told you before, I'm a diehard Raider's fan. Remember last week when I was late on that one load because I had to find a truck stop because the Raider's game was starting in about an hour? I don't drive during any of the Raider's games. We've been over this before."

The dispatcher said he'd find somebody else to run the load. As he walked back toward the office area he grabbed a piece of sausage from the buffet like set-up and started eating it as he walked by. I looked at him as he passed by me. He somehow didn't look as though he was feeling a lot of appreciation for his silly driver over there on the couch. Terminal Rats are funny creatures, but some of them make really good football fans.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Western Express pay cycle etc

Keep in mind that they will probably only reimburse you a dollar amount equal to the bus fare. The difference for the air fare is probably on you.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Western Express pay cycle etc

1) how soon will they reimburse me if I choose to fly to orientation?

That's something I can't answer. That's the kind of thing you need to discuss with a recruiter. When I was at Western, I never heard of anyone flying in. Everybody took the bus. I took the bus and they reimbursed me for my cab fare. If I remember correctly, it was roughly three weeks until I got my first paycheck, and the reimbursement was included in that check.

2) when will I receive my first check and then how often do they pay?

When I was there they held your first paycheck back. They would have so many people come in for one week, get a check, and quit, that they came up with a strategy to stop people from scamming them like that. It was roughly three weeks before I got my first check, but then they came (direct deposit) regularly every week. I think we got our checks on Mondays, but I honestly don't remember for sure. Again, you should confirm this information with a recruiter. It's been five years since I worked there - things can change.

3) who do they primarily use for fuel and do they have accounts where I log in at the pump?

Errol is correct. They use all the major truck stop companies. Back then they seemed to use Pilot/Flying J more frequently, but al l.j of them were used. You'll be issued a fleet fuel card that you use at the pump. You'll enter a menu list of other information - things like truck mileage, load number, driver code, etc. Each time you get a load assignment you'll also get assigned fuel stops for that trip. Those stops are designed to help you with your trip plan, and save the company money on fuel and fuel tax expenses.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Driving for Prime

This is very extreme but it's all I can think about!!!

Errol provided you a link to Brett's book. It's free! You need to check it out. It's an easy read and if you're like most people, you will read right through the whole thing once you get started. It's filled with great information and motivation.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Driving for Prime

Hello Exfloridagirl. It's really great to have you in here!

I love what Spaceman Spiff said...

It's a life change best done like a cannonball, not a super slow wading in.

Turn your back on your current life and start anew. This trucking lifestyle is adventurous and a little bit crazy. I love it!

It takes a great deal of Commitment. You can ignore the naysayers and make up your mind to jump in for the ride. It will be a real challenge. Anything worthwhile should be challenging. Don't even listen to the folks who try to tell you that you can't do this - you are certainly capable.

The folks who fail at trucking are usually the ones who just can't motivate themselves to be fully committed. The slightest issue causes them to go weak in the knees. And trust me, you'll run into some serious struggles - each of us had our moments of doubt, sometimes even sleepless nights of stressful worry and confusion. That's trucking. It stretches you into being a more confident person. Each day it offers new challenges and rewards you for reaching goals and expanding your horizons.

Prime is a great place to work. Their training is thorough, and their driver support is exceptional. Their pay is at the highest levels as far as new drivers jumping into the career goes. They are also a very females friendly operation.

I hope you'll hang around with us. I know we can help you along the journey, and it's always very satisfying to us to see another person jump into this and make a good showing as a new driver.

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