Profile For Rick R.

Rick R.'s Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years ago

Rick R.'s Bio

3 years team with my wife. One summer as a driver trainer. Last year solo pulling tankers.

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Posted:  1 year ago

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Been Awhile

I’ve been using the 740 for almost 3 years. As mentioned, it’s a tool. You’ll need to get used to it’s routing quirks based on the parameters you use in route management - ie- allow or prefer freeways, avoid or allow tolls, etc. The best advice I can give to a new user is look closely at the route it calculates before starting. For example, if you use the highway default (allow freeways v. prefer freeways ) it will sometimes want to take you off an interstate to save a few miles. Generally, this isn’t the best option, but sometimes is. I know, that’s vague, but double check the routes before you start, and modify if need be. Other that that, I love it for the ability to show upcoming potential stop points - truck stops, rest areas and points of interest. I really like mine.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Straddling the fence....

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I believe knight has their own school, or I thought they did. It's in Phoenix at their home terminal.

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Our CDL program is located in Phoenix, AZ and is currently available to the residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah. Please call for more details.

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They do, if you live in one of these areas. But call a recruiter, it may be possible for people in other areas as well.

Also remember, review sites need to be taken with a grain of salt. Generally, people do not go to review sites to post their positive experiences, but they will almost certainly go to a site for a negative one. Point is that, for every bad experience you see, there are probably 100 good ones that nobody bothers to tell anyone about. It gives companies a bad name because all the general public sees are the bad ones.

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Thanks for info. I live in Florida and would prefer to do school/training here. Live about hour from Tampa so would be perfect

If you have the time and $, look into Pinellas Technical College in St. Pete. They have a 9-10 week course that teaches you to drive, not just a "pass the CDL test" program. Costs about $2500, and there are some financial assistance programs as well. My wife and I went there and can't recommend it strong enough.

All major carriers will then reimburse you for training during your first year.

Just my .02

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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National Gym Memberships

I'll echo what several have said - getting to a gym will be difficult, at best.

Our company sponsors the Live Strong program. In addition to work out rooms at our terminals, there are small fitness rooms at a number of TAs and Petros. Those include a treadmill, elliptical and multi-purpose free weight machine.

Just my 2 cents, but I think you'll find your time on the road too short to plan any kind of regular gym visit. Having the rooms at the truck stops will be your best bet.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Just lost my dispatcher AGAIN, and going team

I'll also recommend the 12 hr shift split. Being able to sleep on a regular schedule was the biggest key to us turning the corner on being a successful team.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Suicidal Bambi

I hit my first deer about 5 weeks ago. Three of them in fact. Came over a small rise on I80 in Iowa, and there they were, about 300 ft directly in front of me. Two appeared to be kneeling(!). They tried to get out of the way, but didn't succeed.

I braked, but stayed in the lane. Sickening crunch, but surprisingly little damage to the truck. Took away the front bumper plastics and the anti-collision radar. Fortunately, the radiator was spared.

Still a sad event. One of our career choice negatives.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Swift Transportation -- Radio Questions

Most newer Freighliners and Internationals are already pre-wired for cb's and have internal antennas hidden in the upper structure. In FL, it's behind the sunglasses holder on the driver side, and Intl has a shelf in the top center.

DIY install is pretty easy. I'd suggest you find a good basic CB on sale and give it a try yourself.

If you aren't happy or have issues, then have a CB shop tech take a look at it.

We don't use our CB much, but it is handy in traffic jams.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Tuition Reimbursement:

If tuition reimbursement is important, you may want to look at Covenants policy. They call it tuition bonus. It's really a combo tuition/retention plan. Doesn't matter what your school cost, they pay $125 per month for 5 years. That totals $7500. Then on your 5 yr anniversary, a $7500 lump sum is paid. Total amt=$15000.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Newbie: 3 weeks training vs 9 weeks?

Tam, I think I can give you a little insight.

My wife and I both chose Pinellas Technical College a little over a year ago. We couldn't have been happier with our decision!

The PTC course is set up with small class sizes, lots of one-on-one instruction, all designed to teach you to drive safely.

The Tampa school (formerly Roadmasters?) is designed to get you to pass your CDL. And costs over twice as much. Very much a CDL mill school.

Because we are safety oriented, and wanted the best instruction available, we went to PTC. When we started training with our Company, our trainers all thought we were experienced drivers.

The only advantage I can see to the TAmpa school is if timing is critical and you can't wait to start work. Even so, the extra $3 grand out of pocket could possibly sustain you for the extra 5 weeks of school.

I'd recommend you visit the campus in St Pete, ask a lot of questions, and go where you're most comfortable.

Good luck.

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

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Update On My Training

I'll give a quick review of Covenant.

My wife and I started with them first of the year as new drivers. They trained us together - something that drew us to them.

Training for us was good, but took longer than they said it would - about 8 weeks. We had 2 different trainers and learned from both.

After upgrading at the end of training, we've been running solid miles. We estimated how much we'd earn making this career change, and we are right on the money. In fact, we should exceed it with holiday bonus $/mi.

We are in the reefer and expedited groups and run a lot of east west lanes. Mostly 2000+ mi runs.

They seem to have one of the highest pay scales. I look around just to keep up to speed, and they are definitely in the top tier.

There are several other perks as well. A tuition bonus for new drivers, home time calculated as 1 day for every 6 on the road, and an ok insurance plan.

There have been some rough spots. Trainers saying things that can set you off, poor dispatch communication, policies not always clear, but generally the company does try to make things right, even if they don't always succeed.

That coupled with all the things you can read here like sleeping issues, space issues (hey, I drive with my wife-guess who gets the room?😊), eating habits and excersing,etc, have made for quite a change in our lifestyle. But so far, we like it!!

I will echo what's been said here. The 3 most important factors to success are attitude, attitude and attitude! Expect rough spots. Don't let them throw you. Take the upper road and things will work out.

If anyone's interested, we blogged our experiences for the past year. From CDL school till the present. If interested, let me know and I'll send you the link.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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TransFlo Idea

The Trans Flo phone app works great, just take a pic of your paperwork and hit send. I love it. Don't even have to go to the truck stop.

Same here. Love the convenience. And eliminates the PITA of trying to feed little receipts through the scanners. Re: the Swift code, call Transflo directly or ask your dispatcher.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Thanks! (and TWIC advice)

Just wanted to say thank you to TT for the great info and the High Road Training. My wife and I completed our schooling last week (tech college), have our CDLs and yesterday passed our HazMat, Tanker and Doubles/Triples endorsements.

The training here was instrumental for both school and the endorsements! In fact, I found the High Road program to be better than the school program materials!

Thanks again for a great starting foundation in our new careers!

One quick question - we have an appt to apply for our TWIC cards on Friday. Is it worth the investment (about $130 each) to get this before reporting for orientation (we leave this weekend for Mon start).

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Job Search function on Trucking Truth

Thanks Brett. Yesterday that function wasn't working for me. Wouldn't put me through to the application - kept saying I had to select a job even though I was selecting All. At any rate, looks. To be working today. Thanks!

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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National training green cove florida

I see you're choices are across the state - Jax,Orlando, Punta Gorda. Does location matter to you? My wife and I are 1/2 way through Pinellas Technical School and I can give you a strong recommendation for there.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Job Search function on Trucking Truth

Hi guys.

Been using TT for awhile now (the High Road program is superb!).

My wife and I have been going to a technical school for our CDLAs and want to Team drive. We're about 1/2 way through school (graduate 12/18) and we were the first to test out in our class and get our licenses at the end of last week! So I wanted to start our job search in earnest.

We live in the Tampa Bay area, but not concerned with where we work, as we are now empty nest and looking forward to being on the road. Sure we want to come home sometimes, but also looking forward to "home time" in other parts of the country.

So my question is, in trying to use the TT job search function, it takes me to Career Builder. There is a reference to filling out an application and then saving it here to send to potential employers, but I can't seem to get there. Any help or input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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