Profile For Thomas (Knot Head)

Thomas (Knot Head)'s Info

  • Location:
    Winston Salem, NC

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 1 month ago

Thomas (Knot Head)'s Bio

I am a firefighter that has always been interested in driving a tractor trailer. I was taken as a kid across the country to California in a truck and then a few years later I was taken around the Northeast with my grandfather when he drove for a sports production company. I have been hooked every since. I am just now getting to a point when I am wanting to test the waters of this career before I just jump straight into it. I am afraid of going in over my head so I am wanting to progress slowly.

Well, update. I am not in CDL school and on my way to a new and exciting career(I hope).

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Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

I was originally sent for the sleep study by my migraine dr. She thought i wasnt getting enough good rest that may have triggered my headaches or migraines. It took a while once i got away from my other job my headaches have been less often and less severe. I also feel better after sleeping once i got back into a normal schedule. So i think that may have resolved itself.

Well today i took a physical with CT Transportation. The Dr. said i passed as far as the dot was concerned but I did not meet ComCar's requirement. My bmi was 2 point too high and my neck was 18 and they require 17. So again I am being sent home.

The frustrating thing for me is how can I be deamed medically and physically fit for my firefighting career(part tine and volunteer) but not to drive a truck? My duties include driving and operating the fire truck, fighting fires, rescuing people from houses and cars and also providing medical care to people. My physical for my firefighting stuff is a lot more in depth, strenuous and throrough than that of the 3 dot physicals i have taken.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

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Well I started my orientation with McElroy two weeks ago but was sent home after a day and a half because I do not have a CPAP machine that I am apparently suppose to have. I didn't have a job to afford it at the time and was never officially told by the sleep study company or my Dr's office that I had sleep apnea. McElroy requires a minimum of 30 days worth of data and 70% of compliance to be placed in their trucks. Well I do not have a machine so I was sent home after the physical.

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Thomas, this is all kind of confusing me. Help me out here, and I think we can help you get started in your newly chosen career. You say you were never "officially" told that you had sleep apnea. I don't even know what that means. Does that mean you were "unofficially" told that you had sleep apnea, and/or you needed to get a CPAP? Because just prior to that statement you make it sound like you knew you needed the machine when you stated, "I didn't have a job to afford it at the time." That statement makes it sound like you knew that you needed the machine. Furthermore, you didn't have a sleep study done at McElroy, so how did they know you needed a machine? Fill in the gaps for me and I'll explain how most folks who can't afford to purchase a machine go ahead and get their new career started.

What i was meaning by that is the dr and the place i did the sleep study at never called me with results. About a week amd a half after the sleep study i had a medical supply company wanting to set up a time for them to come out and do the demo and set me up on a machine. But i could not afford my part after ins. I never was officially told the results until about a week ago and i did the sleep study in late june, early july.

They knew about the problem because when they sent me to the dr for the physical there was a question on there that asked " do you have sleep apnea or cpap machine or have you ever had a sleep study?" I answered yes because i had the sleep study.

The dr said she didn't have a problem with giving me a new medical card if i could get my dr to send a letter saying we are working on it but back at the terminal they said they needed 30 days worth of data from the machine, so they sent me home. I was just contacted yesterday by CT and theh said the same thing.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

Thomas, I believe that thirty day requirement is a D.O.T. requirement.

That would make sense. CT called me today amd said the same thing. The problem is, I need a job to be able to afford the machine. And I can't start with a company because they need me to be on the machine. Ugh.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

I'm in NC every week. Plus we have a terminal in Laurinburg. Not sure how they figured 2-3 weeks for regional

The recruiter said he didn't have any regional where I am. It is all OTR. But I see Maverick trucks every single day going down I-40 and 311 where I live. I don't know.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

Ok. You're either out west or in Florida right lol

Nope. NC. And I need to correct myself. Flatbed was 2-3 weeks and Glass was 2 weeks.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

I work for maverick. My roommate during training had sleep apnea. They provide you with the machine and payroll deduct the cost I believe. You have to use it a percentage of the time you sleep. Also we're home on weekends.

I talked to Maverick. I guess where I live they said I would be on the road for 2-3 weeks. I like their company but I can't do that much time out.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

1st attempt failed. Thoughts on Gypsum Express, CT Transportation(comcar) or Shaffer/Crete

Well I started my orientation with McElroy two weeks ago but was sent home after a day and a half because I do not have a CPAP machine that I am apparently suppose to have. I didn't have a job to afford it at the time and was never officially told by the sleep study company or my Dr's office that I had sleep apnea. McElroy requires a minimum of 30 days worth of data and 70% of compliance to be placed in their trucks. Well I do not have a machine so I was sent home after the physical.

Anyway so I am working on my 2nd attempt and have 3 companies willing to work with me and they all know about the situation. Gypsum Express looks good until I read the reviews on them. They are really interested in me but it does not seem like a good place for a rookie to go. IT appears they use smaller tractors to lessen the weight of the equipment to haul more stuff. CT Transportation is interested as well, I am just waiting to hear back from them on if my app was approved or not. They have pretty good reviews and nice looking equipment. And Shaffer/Crete trucking actually said they would help me get a CPAP machine and it would not be an issue. I really like them, they have good reviews and nice equipment as well but my family(mostly the wife) DO NOT like the 12 days out and 2.5 to 3 days home schedule. I guess my family loves me a little bit since they want me home more often. lol.

Any thoughts from anyone? Anyone work for either company and can tell me either good or bad things? I am trying to get as much information as possible so I can make an educated choice that is better for my family.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

As of right now I am going to Pleasant Hill, NC on August 1st to start my orientation with McElroy. I might graduate sooner from trucking school and if I do then I might try to move it up to July 25th. Super excited but nervous as hell at the same time.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

My training school in NC

Week 6: I am typing this one a little early but I will be doing the same stuff tomorrow so it is rather easy to tell you what is going on. This week started with straight line backing. After we got pretty good at that, we moved to 45 degree backing and then 90 degree backing. I was not a fan of 90 degree backing. It took me about a day and a half to finally get it, but I got it. Also threw some off set backing in on us as well, yesterday afternoon and today i was nailing everything almost perfectly. Not getting, ****y but I am getting more confident each time. Tomorrow one other guy and myself will be doing the same things while the others in the group need extra practice on the 45, 90 and straight line backing.

Week 7: School is closed all week for the 4th of July, so I will update in two weeks about week 8.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Heading to McElroy Truck Lines

Welcome to the brotherhood. Like parrothead said, good company. I've been with them almost 2 years

What kind of stuff do I need to take with me to orientation? I wasn't provided with any information yet but I have heard that I need to show up with at least collared shirts. Is that true and what else do I need?

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Heading to McElroy Truck Lines

Welcome aboard....Good company to work for

Thanks. I will be going to the Pleasant Hill, NC location for the first two weeks. I am excited and have heard really good things about this company. I have only heard a few small bad things from a former driver but it could happen anywhere.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Heading to McElroy Truck Lines

So I found out this past Friday I have been accepted to start orientation with McElroy Truck Lines. Since I am not done with school yet and do not have a set graduation date just yet, I am planning on starting August 1st. If I get done with school sooner, then I will start earlier. Scared, happy, nervous and excited all at the same time. If anyone has any tips or suggestions as to what I need to do to prepare for the start of my new career/lifestyle, I would be happy to hear them.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

My training school in NC

I wanted to express what I have experienced through my CDL training school so far. I am only through week 5. Usually the training time for this school is 6 to 8 weeks, Monday through Thursday. I chose to go with Crosscountry Truck Driving School in Thomasville, NC. I did research on them and the other ones in my area, visited them and 1 other school and decided that this would be my better option. The owners are nice and have been awesome to work with over the last few weeks. They are willing to help you out in anyway possible. There have been some glitches but when you are trying to teach about 20-25 people per week, all with different needs, wants, expectations, learning speeds and other factors, it is hard to have everything go smooth. I have met 4 of the instructors and they are all awesome in their own ways and areas in which they teach.

Week 1: Day 1 for most people had them doing paperwork and then going out for drug tests and physicals. I actually was able to do my stuff the week before so I was allowed to skip the first day. The rest of the week was classroom training. I forget what all we went over exactly the first week but there was lots of reading in out state CDL manuals, lots of videos, lots of reading in the regulations and safety book(green book as we called it) and tests on each topic that we covered.

Week 2: More classroom learning. More reading, more studying, more tests on the topics that we covered.

Week 3: Half the week was spent in the classroom going over logs. The other part of the week we spent looking over a tractor to learn how to the pre-trip inspection. I didn't do too terrible but I forgot to mention about having the key in my pocket both times. When you go through it, make sure you mention you have the keys to the truck in your pocket before you begin.

Week 4: This week we spent 3 out of the 4 days on the yard doing pre-trip inspections, coupling and uncoupling and backing with the tractor. The 4th day we spent in the classroom going over maps and trip planning to get ready for our log complex. Normally the log complex has to be done first before you are allowed to go out to the yard, kinda like a graduation from the classroom type thing, but they had to swap week 4 and week 5 because of the school being inspected by the state and feds. (Nothing wrong, just the normal inspection that they have to go through just like other trucking companies.)

Week 5: This week we worked on our log complex. It is basically our final exam. You have to map out a trip, get the total miles traveled, list all routes that you have taken, list every mile traveled per state, fuel stops, tire checks, unloading, 34hr re-set, 30 minute breaks and then put it all on paper logs perfectly. We had a few other stipulations we had to account for, just to make it more interesting and harder. I was worried about the log complex before I even started school but it went well for me. I forgot to fill out my routes that I took in each state and still made a pretty good grade on it. I realized that I had forgotten to do the routes, and the instructor had already graded the paper but let me finish the routes. I do not know if that changed my grade or if I stayed at what I had first received.

As I left for the weekend, my instructor told me that when we come back on Monday, to start week 6, I will be out in the yard so I need to be hydrated and ready to go. I will try to update at the end of every week.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Orientation at TMC

Sorry I am late getting back with you. It has been busy for me the past month. So you asked for time off for a funeral and they decided they didn't want to keep you on as a driver? If that is the case then that is screwed up. I hate to hear that. I hope you have found something that has worked out better for you since then.

I started CDL school two weeks ago and I found out I am doing great. The highest GPA in my class so that helps me out on that aspect of it. We haven't put our hands on the trucks just yet but I am hoping that starts this coming week or maybe next week.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

I'm off to Millis in Eden, NC

Please keep us up to date. I thought about going this route last year but I ended up going to Cross Country Truck Driving School in Thomasville. Started two weeks ago.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

TMC TRUCKING

Hey Mr. M. Old School is right, I'm not driving anymore, but I have been poking around the boards lately. I have nothing but good things to say about them, they just were no longer a good fit for my life. I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. I don't imagine a whole lot has changed with them since I left.

I would be interested in learning more about TMC. I have been ding research on them and other companies, comparing and contrasting each company and it always seems that TMC comes up as my number 1 pick.

I have heard that they are particular about their trucks, inside and out. I have saw where one driver said that he has to pay for the truck wash out of pocket. Is that true? And I saw another driver say they loose a half a day or whole day of driving/making money just to make sure the truck is clean inside and out. Is that true? When do they inspect them to make sure they are clean? What if I am at home? Do I send them pictures or something?

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Starting School Tomorrow

So today was the end of week two for me. I found out this week that I am doing the best in my class. I asked one of the instructors how I was doing on all of the tests and I was informed that I made a perfect score on 3 of them, that included the air brakes and hazmat tests. I am surprised but proud of myself. This week was the air brake section, coupling and uncoupling, defensive driving and more CDL manual composition questions. I finished mine last week so I didn't have to worry about that.

Today, Thursday, was actually an early day. The instructor for our group didn't feel good so we were allowed to leave when we were done with the tests. He did say for the ones that needed it to go to the DMV today and attempt to get the Class A permit. So I did. And I now have my CDL Class A permit. Woo Hoo! Only missed 5 questions out of the 3 tests. 2 in general knowledge, 2 in air brakes and 1 in combination vehicles.

I do not know for sure but I am going to guess we start log books, pre-trip stuff sometime next week. I am till nervous about the log stuff, but I am still learning as much as I can before we actually start so I will either be on par or maybe even a little ahead. Thank you Brett for making this webiste, it has really helped me out so much. I will be looking over the Log book section again, probably several times. lol.

Yall enjoy your weekend.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Starting School Tomorrow

Thank you all for your tips and help.

Just ended week 1 for me. We only go to school Monday through Thursday 8-530. So far it has been all book work and classroom stuff, which I kinda figured. First day was videos and some reading then everyone was sent to the Dr to do the physical and drug test. I was able to do mine the week before so I didn't have to go on Monday. We have done the driving safely chapter and test, haz-mat chapter and test, tankers chapter and test, and we are doing defensive driving right now and will be testing Tuesday. I am just guessing that next week we start air brakes, and pre-trip stuff but I am not sure.

Now I can say that this school goes through the log book pretty heavy. They even have a large project/test throughout the training. Something about planning a cross country trip and figuring all miles, fuel stops, load restrictions, rest stops, resets...the while 9 yards. I heard it is a tough one, so I am trying to get myself prepared for it.

I will keep updates, at least weekly but I will try for daily or every few days.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Starting School Tomorrow

Just wanted to say that after several years of thinking, putting it off, thinking some more and coming up with excuse after excuse, I'm finally starting truck driving school tomorrow. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I know they will teach me what I need to know but I am still nervous about the log book part of the class. I took the log book stuff on here but still do not fully understand it.

But those are probably just jitters. Anyway, I will try to keep an updated account of what is going on for anyone else thinking about school and what it is like. Anyone have any tips for me I would appreciate them.

Y'all have a good night and a great week.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Orientation at TMC

It has been a while since I have been on here. I jut saw your post. Thanks for the info. I was curious as to how things are going so far? I am about to start the driving school and TMC is one of the ones I am interested in.

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