Comments By Old School

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  • Old School
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Posted:  1 week ago

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Born Ready!

Way back when "Grumpy Old Man" was in here researching his new trucking career he introduced us to a great new trucking song and video. It's still one of my favorite trucking videos. Here's a link to that conversation. Be sure and click on the video - it's worth listening to.

Born Ready!

Posted:  1 week ago

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New truck driver, Help please! Given ticket for non-compliance and violation

I told my husband he will need 8 chains so he has contacted his company and let them know what he needs before he moves.

Roadrunner, please hear me out when I say that's completely the wrong way to handle this. I know you don't understand why the company doesn't just tell him what he needs with each load, but those chains are your husband's responsibility. Telling them, "I'm not moving until you guys get me some chains" will be a complete disaster.

He needs to let them know he didn't realize he needs 8 chains on the truck. Then he needs to ask to be routed to a terminal so he can get the chains he needs to complete this load. Accept responsibility for the mistake, and ask for help in making it right. That's how a professional does this. Making demands and refusing to move is how the wannabes get canned and then go on the internet telling everybody how they gave the middle finger to "the man."

Please, you guys have really started off with some bad mojo. We get it. We hear all that negative stuff all the time. The difference is that we are long time drivers who have survived our rookie year and are now thriving out here. We are in it for the long haul. We want to help you guys get past this difficult start.

Posted:  1 week ago

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New truck driver, Help please! Given ticket for non-compliance and violation

he still has been left on his own to figure out things that should have been gone over in training or even OTR training with a trainer. He would never have known that the Qualcomm doesn’t alert you to every station OR the chains policy if he hadn’t have been stopped.

Roadrunner, we get it. We're all drivers ourselves. There's nothing easy about starting a trucking career. In fact most of it is learned on our own. Training in trucking is not like training at most other jobs. There's just no economical way to teach a new driver every single thing he has to know. It's short and not so sweet, but most of us figure out how to deal with it. We love the career enough to teach ourselves the things that weren't covered.

We've pretty much all been through that weigh station, and were able to get in and out unscathed. It's a job that requires intense concentration and requires a great deal of situational awareness. We understand how a new driver could miss that one. It's okay, as long as he learned something from the experience.

I still learn stuff everyday out here. Each day brings new experiences that heighten my awareness of how to operate more safely and efficiently. It's a lifelong pursuit. There's not a trucking company on earth that can prepare a new driver for all the curve balls he will face when he's out here on the road.

Each state has different requirements for the number of chains they want on your truck. Some states don't require them at all. Others require up to eight. That's the driver's responsibility. No one holds our hands. There's just no faking it in trucking. We figure it out and we try to help each other. I know you guys are feeling burned, but try to look at it differently. The law enforcement guys just helped you learn something. That's got value to it. Try to learn from this instead of feeling bitter and wanting to quit.

The last thing you want to do is reinforce your wounded feelings by looking up other complainers on line. You will build for yourself a false reality that's solely based on information from people who are quitters. Look, there's volumes of misinformation about trucking on the internet. There's thousands of frivolous lawsuits filed against trucking companies. Haven't you noticed all the lawyers advertising on billboards about going after trucking companies? It's become their favorite past time. If you trust what's on the internet, you'll quickly become part of the crowd that believes every trucking company hates their drivers, and tries to do everything they can to make their lives miserable. Please don't jump in that silly parade!

Are you aware that C.R. England has a great group of long time driving associates who are multi-million mile drivers? Can you imagine that? How can that be? According to all reports on-line they are the devil's first cousins and they treat everyone inhumanely. It's all a bunch if nonsense written by people who had false expectations about a trucking career. The people who write that nonsense are people who failed at trucking. Don't fall prey to their foolishness.

You guys need to buckle down and honor your commitment to C.R. England. They did what they promised you. They helped you get your CDL, they gave you a job, and they were helping you get started in a rewarding and lucrative career. You made an honest mistake and got a ticket. That's no reflection on them. If you can't see that, we probably can't help you. I'm hoping we can. Please, hang in there and stay in contact with us. We know the path to success at this. Right now you took a wrong turn. We can help you get back on track.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Question on Pay

I run this and more every week but my checks if not for a 1K guarantee would be less than 1K before deductions.

That statement is puzzling. You're saying they are paying you more than you deserve, based on your CPM pay rate. You're making 52,000 dollars per your own statements. How much are you thinking you should get?

How much harder are you willing to push yourself? Can you accomplish what you want somewhere else? Do you understand how to manage your clock and your time to create opportunities for yourself? I don't know the answers to these questions, but they are things you need to consider. There are quite a few rookie drivers who would love to be in your situation.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Question on Pay

Wilhelm, there's no definitive answer to your question. A driver gets paid whatever rate he agreed to. It sounds like you are on some sort of dedicated gig if you have a guaranteed amount of pay.

I'm assuming you think you're worth more than you're receiving. I'd wager when you started this you thought that money sounded great. What's changed?

Can you figure out how to run more miles? I'd work on that idea first. How many miles do you need to run to make 1,200 dollars? Can you do that?

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Papa Pig, their flatbed division hauls a lot of sheetrock. Those loads are often pre-loaded trailers. They're also tarped already so they can be parked outside and kept dry while waiting for a driver to come get the load. It's a common practice in the large sheetrock distributors. You drop an empty trailer and leave a specified number of straps, tarps, and bungees with it. You pick up the loaded trailer, checking and adjusting (if needed) the securement and tarps. Then you roll on out of there.

Incidentally, if you zoom in on my avatar, you'll find that the red truck in the background is a Gypsum Express truck. Yep, that day I was folding those tarps in the snow storm after delivering a load of sheetrock in upstate New York. Gypsum Express drivers were right there with me. You may not be tarping very often, but you will be un-tarping at each delivery location.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Got bucked off the bronco (I flipped), taking some time to recover, and getting back in the saddle!

Points were deducted for not blocking the entire road.

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Indeed! That was very special how you positioned that rig! Awesome work!

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Got bucked off the bronco (I flipped), taking some time to recover, and getting back in the saddle!

Jay, we're so glad to hear that you're okay! Trucking is dangerous. It's been listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America for years. You got hit by a "wall cloud." Those things are dangerous. They are the beginning stage of a tornado.

Wow! You are very fortunate. I'll just throw something in here. Some of the worst accidents I've witnessed on the road took place during perfectly clear weather. On a beautiful sunny day, disaster can strike very unexpectedly. Vigilance is a big part of our responsibilities out here.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Upgrade question!

Kearsey, I really think these lease guys are getting screwed badly. We have a couple of guys on my dedicated account that are leasing. According to his accountant, the one who's doing the best made 45,000 dollars last year. Compare that to the 80,000 dollars I made as a company driver, and it just makes no sense. I asked him, "If I offered you a driving job at 35 cents per mile, would you take it?" He says, "No, I grossed 145,000 dollars last year!" "Well," I said, "Your account would say I'm offering you a pay increase." He just scratched his head and looked at me like I was stupid.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Upgrade question!

The “potential” is there to make more money, but is the risk worth a “potential” reward?

Hey guys, I honestly don't even think the potential is there, at least not just because you're leasing the truck. The potential to make more than your average trucker is available to everyone in this career, but it will always be associated with your ability to outperform your peers. The leasing idea is really just a trick. It gives people something tangible to focus on, and that makes it more tempting to take the bait.

If I say you can make 100,000 dollars if you outperform everyone else, then that sounds like you're going to really have to earn it. Now, if I say you can earn 100,000 dollars by leasing a truck, then that appears as if lease operators get paid a lot more money than company drivers. Guess what? Every penny you get in trucking is earned. You're going to be compensated by your ability to produce results. Paying a lease doesn't increase the odds that you can produce meaningful results one little bit.

When a driver makes this decision based on this kind of information...

I also have a close friend who is company and I've seen his checks

It shows they don't understand the concepts of performance based pay.

Mike, we just want you to do well at this. We hope you can. We would strongly urge you to learn your craft as a company driver. Your friend's results don't determine what your results will be.

Prime will still be leasing trucks after you've spent some time as a company driver. I know a thing or two about sinking or swimming. You are the type who wants to swim. You'll give your self a better chance by starting off with a solid plan.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Citation in FL; GA MVR still reflects accident

Dewey, remember we want the whole community here to benefit and gain knowledge from these conversations. If you have specific questions for Rick, you can ask them here in the forum. He's probably the longest standing member here who is still participating. He's really knowledgeable and helpful, but he may prefer to communicate here inside the forum.

Anything he provides here that is helpful to you may very well be helpful to others in a similar situation. So, if possible just post your questions and maybe we can all learn something from the answers.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Citation in FL; GA MVR still reflects accident

Dewey, just post in this conversation asking Rick to contact Brett. He can get your email address from Brett if you will indicate in your request to him that you give Brett that permission. We don't want you posting personal information like phone numbers or email addresses in the forum.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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New Class A CDL

Andrew, why do you think you have to shower on your trainer's schedule? I took way more showers than my trainer. You get a ten hour break each day. You can shower without their assistance.

You'll find that we're going to think you made a hasty decision. Trucking seldom bends to a rookie's desires. Our philosophy says you should hang tough during your training and learn what you can, even if you're not thrilled with the schedule or the trainer. It's a blink of an eye compared to the rest of your career. Trucking is demanding. When rookies are demanding the results aren't typically that good.

Look at where you are now. You spent considerable monies that you didn't have to. You are looking for a job, because you quit a perfectly good one. You probably don't even realize how few companies are willing to hire someone who quit a company sponsored program like you did. I assume you are sensing the problem you have - I mean you are asking for advice.

You're going to find that your understanding of how much demand there is for truck drivers doesn't really include newly licensed drivers who quit while in training. I think you're in a pickle, and it was perfectly avoidable. You're going to have to apply everywhere. You're going to get a lot of rejections. Take what you can and determine to make a real commitment this time. That means stay with it for at least a year, and preferably two.

Please keep us informed on how it's going. We will try our best to help, but you kind of already screwed up. Our friend Marc Lee is in a similar situation. Differing circumstances, but similar issue. You're not a "free agent" in high demand. You're going to be considered a high risk quitter, and those types have considerable difficulty getting hired.

We will give you advice if you need it. Tonight you want to know...

do you have any suggestions

Yes - apply everywhere and expect plenty of rejections.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Upgrading CDL

Hey Brian, welcome to our forum!

Maybe it's an Ohio thing, but I've never heard of a pintle hook restriction. In most states that's considered a "combination vehicle." There's no distinction between a pintle hook or a fifth wheel.

If there is such a distinction in Ohio I assume you just need the proper size combination vehicle with a fifth wheel and air brakes to go take a driving test in. Hopefully someone will see this who has more knowledge on the subject, but typically when removing a restriction you simply do a test drive with the proper equipment to prove your proficiency with it.

Weekend work is very unusual in most trucking situations. I honestly don't think it's your restriction that's making your job search difficult. Most trucking jobs are all in. Truckers generally work very long hours. I wish you the best. I've seen people find part time trucking jobs, but they are typically most unusual.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Old company reported a preventable accident on my DAC

You can have a "preventable" accident that isn't your fault. You seem to be taking the admonishments that you weren't at fault to be justification that a "preventable" accident shouldn't be on your record.

Errol is correct when he says...

Well, GhostRider, the fact is you were involved in an accident. The "preventable" and "non-preventable" is a separate thing from the accident itself.

It sounds fairly clear to me that had you been more observant of the other motorist and a little less eager to "maintain my lane and maintain my speed," that this accident could have been avoided or prevented. Even though you are clearly not at fault, that does not mean you couldn't have prevented it.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Flatbed Variety

I've probably posted this type load before, but since I've been running this dedicated flat-bed account (5 years now) I don't get a lot of variety anymore. Anne is such a big fan of this thread that I felt compelled to post something for her enjoyment! She's a favorite contributor here of mine - she's faithful, knowledgeable, and just fun!

0445308001581154204.jpg

This load is 48,000 pounds of aluminum ingots. I picked them up at the Port of Vicksburg in Mississippi - one of our great river ports. I bring these ingots in to the Hydro plant I serve in Delhi, LA. They go in one end of the plant, are melted down, and eventually come out the other end of the plant in a final product which I'll haul to our various customers across the country. They may come out looking something like this...

0657045001581154624.jpg

It doesn't matter whether I'm coming or going these days, I'm pretty sure to be hauling something related to "Hydro."

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Veteran seeking DOT disqualifications.

Just a side note here. I remember seeing a fellow sent home from TMC because he was prescribed Xanax. He was a veteran of Desert Storm. He was a newly licensed CDL holder, and visibly distraught. He thought his efforts at obtaining his CDL were wasted. I visited with him in private, and assured him all was not lost. We got online together filled out a few applications and then got in a conversation with a recruiter from Schneider. Within a couple of hours he had a bus ticket to orientation at Schneider.

Never let a small roadblock deter your trucking pursuits. For responsible willing candidates there's usually a way to get in a truck. Persistence and tenacity are highly valued traits in this business. Sometimes you need them in the job hunting process, and sometimes you'll need them on the road. Keep knocking on that door. Someone will be glad you came along.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Veteran seeking DOT disqualifications.

One thing you should be aware of is that any company can add to a list of what they deem as a prohibitive prescription, or over the counter substance at their discretion.

PackRat's remark is worthy of particular notice. People often think if they can get a medical card and pass the D.O.T. physical, they are good to go. I've seen a lot of people sent home from trucking orientations due to their anxiety prescriptions. These companies can and do set their own standards and limits on what they deem acceptable.

This industry is very safety sensitive, and bears extreme liability due to the risks involved. Anything an attorney can get his hands on and twist around as evidence that will negatively influence a jury is fair game. Some of these companies have been burned badly by artful attorneys. They end up just saying no to certain prescriptions because of that.

You'll need to have honest discussions with recruiters. Some will say no, others will give you a shot. Just start out casting a wide net, then you can know how to narrow it down to pursue your available options.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Well this sucks :( Sent home from Prime

This is all excellent advice guys! That's what I love about this group, they talk straight. Truth isn't always easily digested. It may seem like bitter medicine at times. It's curative powers will eventually work wonders for us as long as we take what we need.

Harvest, I was immediately concerned when I saw your comments about the reimbursement issues. You can't let something like that put you on a downward spiral. Focus on your current situation. Do everything you can to be the best driver Western Express has ever seen. That effort will push you to the point of understanding how to be successful at this.

It takes a lot of commitment and passion to succeed at trucking. That takes serious work. It's always easier to play the blame game and be critical of the company. That approach relieves us from accepting responsibility for our shortcomings. It's also easier because almost everyone we are around takes that approach. I have yet to meet a room full of successful truckers. I meet them one at a time. Anytime I'm in a group of truckers they are the whining complaining types who are constantly moving from one company to the next. They're on a continuous quest for that super secret trucking company that will treat them with the respect they are certain they deserve.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Looks like Dutch Maid Logistics 3/2 or 3/9 works!

Tell us about the job. Some of us appreciate the details!

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