Comments By Ahmalia

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  • Ahmalia
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 3 months ago
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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Short term disability...

Just sharing something I learned the hard way. If your company insurance offers short term disability...take it.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

Talked to the 401K people yesterday. I'm not eligible to take out a loan, and what I'm going through does not qualify as "hardship." I asked what does, and was told foreclosure on a house or buying a house is the only way I can touch MY money now. I said, I don't own, I rent, and was told I don't qualify. Kind of ****es me off, actually. If I'd been socking that money into a savings account where I could access it now, I would not be nearly as stressed out. However, my boss told me worst case scenario is I can "quit" and get the money, and then get hired right back. Its ridiculous that I would have to do that, affect my seniority, just to get to money that is MINE!! However, my boss also told me we have a driver on the fleet who suffered a full stroke with seizures, and he was only off two months and then released back to driving. So I'm hopeful that the neurologist will spring me when he sees me Friday, and I'll be back on the road Monday. I feel fine physically, so if meds will fix it (they think it was a clot due to high cholesterol, already on meds for that) then let's go. I am bored out of my mind.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

This is from the Reference Guide for DOT Physical Driver Exams...

TIA • No driving within one year • Subsequent clearance by neurologist

And this is from the May 2014 new guidelines...

Neurologic Disease- syncope, seizure, stroke, TIA etc. • One year certification requiring consultation by a Neurologist who understands the functions and demands of commercial driving.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

I've spent most of the weekend trying to find a definitive answer on how long I may be restricted from driving, and I can't find an answer. I don't know if the final call is made by the doctors, by DOT, or by Swift. I've seen some information that say a year minimum, another site said 3 months, and so on. I don't even know for sure what I had, since I have to wait for my doctor to refer me to a specialist, and then all the tests and whatnot they have to run. Ironic that my med card is up for renewal next month. Sheesh. And I'm such a big time need to know the plan type person, although truck driving made me lighten up on that quite a bit, ha ha. I think Swift has some kind of medical emergency plan where I can hopefully have some money coming in while I get some freaking answers. And also, does anyone know if I can withdraw money from my 401K? I've got enough in there to cover 2 months, if I can get it. I'm just frustrated because while I understand that it isn't safe for me to be behind the wheel right now until I figure out what happened and hopefully fix it, I feel fine, and have felt fine all weekend. Just want to get back out there dang it!!

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

Thanks, Jim, I'll look into that on Monday.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

Well, my primary doctor is referring me to a cardiologist and a neurologist for confirmation. I tried to get in touch with Swift's HR dept yesterday to find out what their guidelines might be and if there is any kind of options where I can still get paid something, but couldn't get through. According to everything I'm reading online, odds are I'm off work for a minimum of 3 months, possibly a year, and potentially will never get my CDL back. While I have other job skills, I will not find anything that pays me what I make as a driver. And I do not get paid for my time off.

What happened was I was just driving down the highway, about 5 miles from my pick up, and all of a sudden I got really light-headed and a vertigo feeling, and then my left side went numb, starting with my face but progressing all the way down my arm and leg. I guess I'm very lucky I didn't pass out and wreck. When I got to my pick up point I started making phone calls to my dispatcher, my doctor, etc. Apparently I should have immediately called 911 and went to the hospital. Swift sent a driver over to cover my load, and I rode the 90 minutes back to Topeka with him, and after he dropped the load off, he dropped me off at my house. Went to see the doctor the next day. The numbness wore off after about an hour, and I felt fine after that. Still feel fine, but I understand that a TIA is a warning signal, and a full stroke could be next.

I don't know if they will roto-rooter my arteries, or put me on meds, or what. And I don't know if I can be cleared to go back to driving. I'm trying really hard not to panic, since I don't really have any information yet anyway, aside from I can't go back to work until the doctor's say so, and I have no money coming in in the meantime. I have a little bit in savings, can maybe squeak by 3 months on that, but anything longer and I'm screwed.

And just because I'm venting anyway, my boyfriend of 2 years up and moved out on me March 1st, with no warning. So its already tough because I went from a two income household to a one income household. And then 2 weeks later my best friend passed away, sudden heart attack. Well, they say bad things happen in three's, so I guess that's my three. I hope so anyway, cuz I'm at my limit. Close the problem buffet, my plate is full.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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TIA aka mini stroke and my cdl.

Yesterday while driving I apparently suffered a mini stroke. I'm being referred to a neurologist and cardiologist and not allowed to drive until they sign off. But internet research is saying I may be required to be off for a year. Trying not to panic.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Pet peeve...

Because I pick up at the same shipper every day, they know me here. I did tell them what happened, which gets this driver banned from all Coke facilities nationwide. But being female, I walk a fine line, don't want to viewed as someone who complains about every little thing, ya know? And I'm not usually a napper because I'm usually drop and hook. Just had family stuff last night and time to kill today. As far as pulling his pin...tempting, but I've had that done to me before so I can't go there.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Pet peeve...

So I'm sitting at the shipper with 5 hrs to kill because my appt time got changed and no one bothered to inform me. No big deal, I'll just grab a nap. Except I can't because the driver next to me apparently invests his paychecks in sub woofers and surround sound. Just blasting his rap music at top volume. Now, I'm all for jamming out when I'm driving down the highway. But when at a customer, where you are representing yourself, your company, and the truck driver profession, seems like blasting anything might be a bit rude and disrespectful. Plus you don't know if the drivers around you might be trying to sleep. So...being me, I knocked on that driver's door, explained i was trying to catch a few zzzz's, and politely asked if he would please turn down the volume. His response was to cuss me out and spit at me. Just really irked me. Just...wow.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Solo lady trucker here, willing to help.

Hey, Katherine!! Well, I can't speak for FFE or KLLM training schools, but for Swift, I was required to have my CLP before starting school. And with Swift, it took a year to pay them for the schooling, but in the second year Swift pays you back, so if you commit to two years, school ends up being free. Just be sure that once you decide on a company, make sure to ask them if they require you to obtain your CLP prior to starting school. Good luck!!!

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Naked Woman Climbs On Top Of Big Rig After Crash On Highway

So relieved it's not a Swift truck...

Ha ha haa me too!!

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Part time party bus driver...

This is kind of an odd question. My brother owns a bar and is looking into getting a party bus, and asked if I want to drive it on the weekends since I only run M-F on my fleet. I know its a separate endorsement for passengers, but I'm also concerned if I was involved in an accident driving the bus, could it potentially cost me my cdl? I know I'm a safe driver, but driving a bunch of drunk people around to different bars on city streets at night on the weekends, seems like a big risk to take. What do you guys think?

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Can't drive a car anymore...

My first hometime, I borrowed my sister's Miata, getting in wasn't so bad, but trying to climb out of that tiny two-seater was hysterical. And I almost broke her car trying to double clutch it. My biggest problem lately is Swift recently installed a bumper senser with a display that tells me how fast the vehicle in front of me is going, and the truck brakes automatically if it feels I'm too close, which drives me crazy because I'm like, I'll drive the truck thank you very much. Anyway, I'll be driving my car, and I'll glance down to check the display that is non-existent in my car. Also, we just got dash cams that record if a critical event occurs, like taking a turn too fast or a hard brake, although when I hit a floor jack on the highway and blew a steer tire, chunks of my truck flying everywhere, the headlight flew up and cracked the windshield, and yet the camera did not turn on. But when it does turn on (often for no apparent reason) the light on it goes from green to red, so if I slam on the brakes in my car, I'll look up to see if the camera is recording. And am also guilty of all the aforementioned issues, oversteering, inability to back, taking turns too wide, etc.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Solo lady trucker here, willing to help.

1. What were your trainers like? I'm so worried about getting a guy that makes lewd comments all day. Or even worse, one that hinders my training/completion because I turn down his advances. I know that probably 99% of the trainers out there are nice, normal guys. But knowing my luck, I'll get one of the 1%.

I actually had three different male trainers, the first one quit to take a job with another company. The second one I had a raging UTI and finally had to come home for a week to clear that up. Third one finished up my training. All three were extremely professional. That being said, you will get harassing comments out there on the road, even from drivers that work for the same company as you. If your trainer makes you feel uncomfortable, by all mean report it immediately. As far as coworkers or other drivers, you can report it if you want, but that can come back to haunt you. I have an attitude of, "If I'm easily offended, I'm in the wrong line of work." While you should never be put in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, unless you are in fear for your immediate physical safety, sometimes its better to ignore and walk away. The choice is yours though.

2. Have you ever had times when you didn't feel safe sleeping in your truck at night?

Nope, but then as soon as your trainer feels you are ok to drive on your own, you will be doing split shift anyway, he'll sleep while you drive, you'll sleep while he drives.

3. Getting exercise seems like it might be difficult while doing this job. Are you ever able to just take a walk? Like if I was at a customer's location, is it ok to leave the truck to walk around while they are loading/unloading the truck?

Absolutely, just be careful of trucks in motion.

4. How are the truck stop showers?

If you shower at the big truck stops, like the Flying J's, Pilot's, Love's, or TA, the showers are fine. You may come across one once in awhile that ain't all that great, I once was at a small mom and pop truck stop where the shower had a mold-covered curtain, and I was like no way and asked for my money back. But the major truck stops are nice enough. They supply towels, but I always used my own, just personal preference.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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4 years in, and I love my job!!!

It is great to find another Coke hauler! Safe travels sister!

Right back atcha!! smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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4 years in, and I love my job!!!

Hi Jolie!! I agree, the relationship I have with the Coke people is awesome. For example, if any pallets tip during transport, it is my responsibility to restack them. Being short (5'3), that can be difficult, because a full pallet ends up taller than me. Trying to lift a shell of 8 2 liters above my head can be rough. But they are always willing to help me out. What region do you run in?

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Solo lady trucker here, willing to help.

Hi, Karen!! I'm excited for you!! After 20 years in clerical/CSR work, being micro-managed, dealing with office drama, and living paycheck to paycheck, I finally had enough, and decided to give trucking a try. Best decision I ever made, I wish I would have thought of this years ago!! In regards to questions, you will ALWAYS have questions out here, there is always something new to learn, and the day you think you know everything is the day you need to hang up your keys, so to speak. So fire away, I'm happy to help!!

How did you memorize the Pre Trip Inspection? I don't have a mechanical bone in my body.

Oh, trust me, I don't either. I tried to memorize the Pre-Trip prior to starting school, and I struggled with it. Trying to learn it with pictures of the various parts just wasn't working for me. But once I got to school, and was actually looking under the hood and at the brakes and so on, it clicked. Repetition is the key here. At my Swift school, we did the Pre-Trip 3 times a day. Always go in the same order, start at the front of the truck and work your way back. I made index cards in different colors for each area, hand writing out each step. That also helped me remember. The point is, don't stress about it too much, by the time you get through school it will be second nature.

How did you learn the parking & backing for the CDL? Any tricks of the trade you can share?

My biggest struggle with parking and backing was a tendency to oversteer. I would turn the wheel too much, or hold the turn too long. Then I would end up so jack-knifed it was next to impossible to fix. Get out and look as often as you want. Turn the wheel, back up a little, notice which way the trailer is turning and how much, watch other drivers as they are practicing, learn from their mistakes. The biggest key to backing and parking is learning to read the trailer. Take your time, and relax. If you are getting stressed out, get out of the driver's seat and let someone else have a turn.

This is probably a minor point, but I am so confused w/the Logbooks. I am doing the practice tests on TT to no avail.

The easiest way to do a log, is to log it when you do it. You'll do logs every day in class, lots of practice for that as well, so don't stress about it too much. And keep practicing on the TT, take advantage of the resources here, because even if you don't have everything down pat prior to starting school, once you get there and start actually doing the tasks, it will all fall into place for you.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Truck Stop Etiquette

Don't assume any female at a truck stop must be a lot lizard. I can't tell you the number of times I would be asked if I was "working."

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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4 years in, and I love my job!!!

Thanks, glad to be back!! I personally have had no problems with Swift, they treat me very well. Think I've heard about every Swift joke out there. Had a driver bite my head off once, and after he vented, he apologized, saying he was having a bad day. I told him, "You think you got it bad? I'm blonde, female, and drive for Swift!! I have you beat before I even roll out of the bunk." He said, yeah, good point, and we had a good laugh. I think a positive attitude and a sense of humor are vital in this industry. Worry about the things you can control, and forget about the things you can't.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Solo lady trucker here, willing to help.

Hey to all the ladies!! I've been a solo driver for about 4 years now. For anyone considering becoming a trucker, or just starting out, feel free to ask any questions you might have, (I know I had a ton of questions when I started) and I'll be happy to answer them if I can. For myself, despite some ups and downs in the beginning, I love my job, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

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