Comments By Joshua C.

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  • Joshua C.
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  • 5 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Does it ever end?

I will be registering for CDL school on Thursday but classes won't start until September 14. At this point I am not sure how much more I can research. More studying yes. I have read through my states CDL manual and have been taking tests online and going through tests on TT.

My concern is the nerves and fear. Does it ever end. Not only the fear of the test and learning everything but the fear of failure as a whole. My wife and kids rely on me as the provider and the fear of failure doesn't go away no matter how much I resear and no matter how much positive reinforcement I have been getting from other drivers I have talked to. Maybe I am working myself up with the fear and making it worse on myself I don't know. But I can't shake it. One day I am ok and solid in my decision and one day I am like can you really do this but you can't let them down by failing.

I do like driving but like I told my wife, road trips with her and the kids are just ok but in a previous job doing deliver by car or pick up truck I truly loved and looked so forward to. Although the farthest I drove in one sitting was from York PA to Foxwoods resort in CT. I loved it. Nobody in my ear just me on the road and the radio playing. Peaceful.

Am I getting myself overly worked up or is this normal? 20 months of research and countless talks with other drivers every chance I got. All tell me I can do this and go for it you will love it. Now to shake my own personal fear of failure.

Sorry if I sound like some whiny brat.

I think it's perfectly normal. Be prepared for it to be extremely challenging, because it will be. And the fact that your persevering in spite of the fear is a victory in and of itself if you ask me. I went into this expecting it to be super hard and prepared mentally to give it all I had. It's hard but it's fun to. It's actually fun being a student in some ways.

This job isn't for most people so if you decide it's not for you, I wouldn't beat yourself over it. I love driving this big rig. Love it. But man, west Virginia sucks when your fully loaded. I started getting annoyed after climbing and then descending hill after hill after hill after hill etc etc etc. And the fun part is while descending with the jake brake on and in a lower gear, you have curve after curve after curve. Then climb hill after hill after hill etc etc etc. Man I'm tired

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Has anyone ever picked up the wrong load ?

I pulled a trailer from Conover, NC to Sayreville, NJ. When I got there, I backed into the dock and took my paperwork in. They were pretty happy to see me. Seems the previous guy had pulled the wrong trailer (two numbers transposed on the trailer), EMPTY, all the way from Conover to Sayreville and didn't realize until he opened the doors at the destination.

The receiver said he was pretty proud of himself for making it on time until he opened the doors of the trailer....

Man that would have sucked.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Has anyone ever picked up the wrong load ?

Oh I should have read more carefully, you caught the mistake before leaving. Never mind

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Has anyone ever picked up the wrong load ?

I hooked the wrong trailer once (numbers were the same and in almost the same order); had everything ready to go, but caught my mistake when double-checking the trailer number. It was a bit of a wake up call to always, always double check everything. A fellow driver once picked up the wrong set of paperwork and drove 250 miles to destination; consignee refused the load; he had to pull the load all the way back. One whole day wasted, not to mention the embarrassment.

It's all good. I'm surprised the guard didn't catch it. Does your company do a live loaded call? Prime you have to every time you depart shipper. They ask trailer and address to where your heafef. Either way, even though I haven't yet and don't plan on it, I've for sure have made some mistakes. Trust me on that.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Finally solo

And I can only speak for myself, but those first couple weeks or so solo were rough. I was slow at everything. Parking can be a pain for sure. I usually luck out one way or another it seems. If I'm real tired, I'll park it any space I can find at a truck stop or rest stop. No one has ever told me to move yet

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Finally solo

Well i am finally a solo driver. It has been a long road to get here learning wise and i know ill learn more everyday. Im actually on my 3rd solo load right now. My first load was from Wisconsin to Indiana, and thankfully there was a nice prime driver to help me get backed in to the dock lol. I had trouble because the way i parked screwed my set up. So he spotted for me. My second load was an egg farm and i had to drive a 70 ft rig down some roads that i know werent made for it. Slow and steady is all i have to say if i had been going fast i think i would have taken out that stop sign and the telephone pole lol. Now im off to New Jersey. I really hope they have overnight parking at this receiver or im gonna be in trouble with trying to manage this time thing. That is honestly the biggest problem i am having with trucking. Well that and directions but the directions should be fixed soon.

No shame in that. I had to do the same thing for awhile, have someone spot me while backing. You know something I learned about the cualcomm gps we have is that it almost takes you right to where you need to go everytime. Something that helped me out was when im about 5-10 miles away from where I was supposed to, I turn the volume up. My trainer always had it muted and I never knew it would tell you your destination was on the left or right. My rand mcnally gps will usually get me right in the vicinity, but the cualcomm almost always takes me to where the guard shack is.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Schneider local intermodal

I go to a yard that's next door to the BNSF in Stockton, CA a ton. Lots of Schneider and JB Hunt there. I hear good things about those jobs, just be extremely careful at those ports and the bay area driving. You got this without a doubt!

Daniel are you dispatched out of salt lake city? I'm going to be moving out west and would love to run that area asap. We don't have any dedicated out there do we?

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Got my CDL!

Good job buddy

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Asking all drivers

Thanks all for the replies so far. The more information I can obtain the better I will be in the long run.

And I can never have to much information and insight

Kind of like jujitsu and wrestling, trucking is a hands on sport. I read everything I could on this site and most nights I went to sleep thinking I wouldn't do it after something I read or some kind of thought or vision I saw in my head. But the call to adventure, which is what trucking really is, is a powerful one. I've felt sheer bliss so so many days in this job. It's actually surpassed my expectations so far as to how much I'd enjoy it. Surprisingly so. I like my space, I enjoy having a new adventure everyday, I enjoy the views, the peace, and the solitude. It's a great feeling to finally after months of driving, feel like you have a handle on how to control and maneuver these awesome trucks. Nothing beats being assigned a nice new truck. There are days, hours and timeswhere it feels like a grind, but what job doesn't at some point or sometimes? I've brought home after taxes and benefits over a thousand dollars in one week 8 times already and I've only been driving 7 months. 7 months of 7 days a week over the road for 10-12 hour days though. The money gets better and better each year you gain experience. After this year is up, I'm going to get something local where I'm home a lot more but I'd still like to do some otr trips here and there. After a couple months on your own when everything gets easier as you become more proficient, it really starts to become fun and you know you've acquired a skill. Trucking should without a doubt be considered a skilled trade/profession. I read in Canada it is considered one. All I can say is yes you'll be nervous in the beginning. Yes you will make mistakes and some things will seem almost unattainable. But if your an adventurer at heart and want to see places that most people pay thousands of dollars to see and visit, then it will all seem worthwhile . Be ready for your world to turn upside down for awhile.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Moving down south ???

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I lived in san antonio texas for 9 years and I never came close to seeing snow. I've lived in tampa, florida for about 5 years now and the winters are the reason why I've stayed I think. There isn't one. I've lived in 2 different places and neither one of them even had a heater. I had to bust out the portable heater 2 times maybe 3 for the entire winter. I like the Florida heat better then the Texas dry heat. It seems to be personal preference but both places are the best during the winter. I think Texans are much easier to become friendly with then floridians.

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the 3 winters I have spent in San Antonio have not had any snow either but the surrounding hill country has gotten some the last 2 years. I would not say San Antonio is a dry heat... not anymore at least. This summer we have averaged about 65-80% humidity almost every day since March. I have lived in dry heat climates and I even lived in Houston (almost always 90+% humidity) and trust me san antonio is not a dry heat, point of fact I was just in arizona and so cal back in may... much much different climate. I know florida is the champion of humidity though.

It's been to long since I have lived in FL and I was just a young child back then so I can't comment on their friendliness. Texans are kind of different. I have found a lot of them have over inflated heads and think everything about Texas is great... when so many of them have never even been outside of the state or only been to one or two others. I also really hate the drivers here, it drives me nuts every day I have to put up with them and I think san antonio is the worst, I swear it seems like most drivers here never learned how to drive, the stupidity level is un measurable it's so high.

I would really like to live in Asheville, NC or Front Royal, VA if I couldn't live in california again, but cost of living in Asheville is quite high, don't know about Front Royal. Those are both places I worked in last year in AmeriCorps, great experiences and created lasting positive memories, including a team mate of mine that I didn't like getting stung 13 times (in 1 stinging session) by a yellow jacket nest... she was a royal b to me and some others on my team so the way I see it... Karma... I never did get along with her and she's one of only a few people I ever really disliked in AmeriCorps, but that's going into another story :)

I wasn't necessarily inferring that Floridians were unfriendly per se. I just got along better in texas. I like florida weather better

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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13 months driving OTR is over!!!

Yesterday was one of the more joyful days of my life! I woke up at the Campus Inn at 0700, got on a shuttle to the airport at 0900 and was home in Florida by 1500. To stay. I don't have to drive another mile OTR and I couldn't be much happier! Prime has been a very good company. I recommend them to anyone wanting to drive OTR.

I took the job to get "recent" experience to qualify to get a local job here in Florida. Of the 3 companies here in my area, none of them would even talk to me about working there, (I've had a CDL for 21 years but didn't drive tractor/trailer the previous 14) until I had 1 year OTR experience. Well after 13 months I have done that and will be starting a job driving local when I get back from vacation in Jamaica on the 17th of this month.

I'll update the company I'm going to work for later, after I've hired on. I don't want to jinx anything yet but I'm 95% confident I'll work for the company I've been trying to get on with since I move to Florida 2 years ago. If not there is a Trader Joes DC opening next month in Daytona Beach that will be hiring over 120 drivers. Either way my days of OTR are over!!

It's been very rough on my family. I have a 9 and 7 year old that have been having a hard time dealing with me being gone for weeks at a time, only to return for 3-4 days and back out again. My wife is beside herself with my return.

I have much respect for you guys that do the OTR thing year after year. It's a lifestyle that is great for the ones that love it. For me it payed the bills at home but was not something I was finding too "joyful." But I made the most out of it, making "Fleet driver of the month" for the month of June in the process.

For now I've got to get unpacked and repacked for the 6 days we're spending in Montego Bay Jamaica, leaving this Saturday. I need a nice vacation after year of being gone, to reconnect with my wife and kids again.

Again I don't have a negative thing to say about Prime. They are a good company to anyone starting out there career and for anyone that's been doing it for years. (if you can handle the 62 mph company trucks you can't drive more than 58 if you want to make good fuel bonuses.) It's been a ride ya'all! I'll be talking to you from here on out as a "Local driver!"

I'll be doing the same thing here soon and prime for sure is a great company. I just want to be home too. Otr is fun but there are other things I enjoy doing that I can't from being otr.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Passed my test

Trifecta with only 13 points on road test. 0 points backing and 0 points on pre trip.

I apolagize about all the complaints, I'm naturally too self depreciating. It's what let's me do good. Thank you for your positive reinforcement everyone. And thank you for the website, it helped alot. Don't know what I'd of done without it.

Awesome job. Prime's PSD program is far far from easy. I give a lot of respect to anyone that endures the ordeal and acquires their CDL. It's far from easy but Man you'll be flying high for days trust me on that. It's an awesome feeling to obtain that CDL after what you went thru.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Moving down south ???

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Sorry for getting back so late fellas, a few things im looking for down south is I want to be away from the snow, low crime, lower taxes, cheaper housing because im paying a arm and a leg for rent In CT lol good trucking location wanna drive van... Thanks for all of your feed back so far !!!!!

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You're hard pressed to get away from snow, even in the south... Dallas has been getting a lot of snow just about every year I have lived in Texas, hill country around san antonio too... it's not as much as northern states but in an area where people don't know how to drive in snow it's worse than the north. when it snows in Texas the city it hits just about shuts down cause the people think it's the end of the world.

crime is gonna be a problem in any city no matter what part of usa. you want lower crime you need to live in small towns or middle of nowhere places, now if you can afford to live in nicer parts of town then you can find lower crime area in big cities.

lower taxes... don't come to Texas haha... taxed on just about everything in one way or another... see my post above for more info on that haha

cheaper housing... come to san antonio... one of the lowest cost of livings in the usa. ironic right... gas is cheaper here than most other states, apartment rent is ok, food is decently priced, etc but you still pay a lot in taxes and fees to city and state governments.

i don't know if san antonio is a good home point for trucking... don't care to much either cause i'm gonna give up my apartment after i start trucking.

hope this helps a little to stear you away from Texas... In my opinion it takes a certain mind set to appreciate texas... i don't have that mind set.

I lived in san antonio texas for 9 years and I never came close to seeing snow. I've lived in tampa, florida for about 5 years now and the winters are the reason why I've stayed I think. There isn't one. I've lived in 2 different places and neither one of them even had a heater. I had to bust out the portable heater 2 times maybe 3 for the entire winter. I like the Florida heat better then the Texas dry heat. It seems to be personal preference but both places are the best during the winter. I think Texans are much easier to become friendly with then floridians.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Amazing Rescue

Tractor-trailer crashes off I-75 bridge into Manatee River Tractor-trailer crash

I was on I 75 all day and night last night and am about to get on it now in florida

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Oh How I Despise Team Driving

At this point he stormed off the practice pad and said he's done. He got pretty heated real quickly so we had to go talk to a dispatcher. Looks like I have to talk to someone else tomorrow. I am unable to learn from someone who is constantly angry and heated. I'm not sure what else to do and I feel disastrously defeated now.

Gonna keep trying but thus guy is unable to teach while he's in a agitated state. I don't know how anyone can teach while in a agitated state ....

There were days I'd feel the same. Maybe not disastrously defeated, but definitely humbled and slightly discouraged. Nothing wrong with feeling some humility. It'll make you a better student. Your not the first person that had to switch trainers during psd trust me on that. Your almost there man. A lot closer then what you think. Just keep practicing and it'll click

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Running team after training with prime?

I'll tell you though. You earned yourself your own truck. It's a great feeling. You should see how that feels if you ask me. Nothing like being the captain of your own ship. And congrats on finishing tnt . Awesome job

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Running team after training with prime?

So I'm finished with the TNt portion of training and heading back for my upgrade or will be had a few things come up like they always seem to in this industry pushing it back a little but no biggie. Anyways I was wondering 3 things. Thanks in advance for replies.

1. Can I go back do the upgrade classes and run team with a friend of mine?

2. I considered running team with my first trainer I had, and I see a lot of people who choose to stay in TNt longer and was wondering wouldn't you make more money if you upgraded and went team as opposed to staying in training longer?

3. If I can and do go team what cpm would I get?

Yeah, your an A seat now. You can run team. People that stay with their trainer on the truck usually get paid a thousand a week. There are ads at the yard sometimes in drivers lineup where people will offer someone a thousand a week to run team. If you ran with your friend and you were both company, I want to say you'll make 50cpm

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Shiney new CDL

It's official. I passed my final test Saturday and this after I now have a brand new shiny cdl in my possession.

Congratulations man. Awesome job

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Oh How I Despise Team Driving

I'll say one more thing too. Prime is very cool. They gave an older real nice 5 tries on the backing test then he finally passed. You won't be sent home if you show improvement. If you fail a test, they'll tell what you should have done afterward and what they want you to do. The next day just show them you learned those things. That is if you even fail at all. You'll be fine man. It is very hard. This is a very hard ordeal. I'll tell you what though, when I passed and got that cdl, I was on a high for days. It feels good and a huge weight is taken off your shoulders. It's an awesome feeling

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Oh How I Despise Team Driving

I didn't complain about that to the people in charge. It was about the unprofessional psd phase. I don't want to slander someone online so I won't go into much detail about it but the behavior was unnaceptable and the leadership here agreed.

I'm not gonna be able to tnt with him and definetry don't want to. I'm just curious as to how I'm suppose to learn all of this in 2-4 hours on a practice pad when I was put for 3 weeks and practiced maybe 1 hour backing total. This experience is rough and I'm going to see It through but I don't want to be sent home defeated after everything I've put into this.

Your not going to learn it in 2 to 4 hours. It's not your fault that he didn't have you backing during psd, so if he has to wait a couple days while you learn backing, that isn't your fault and lesson learned for him. He made money each week you were on the truck with him during psd. He will make money after you get your cdl too and I almost want to say he doesn't have a truck payment the week you test. I spent 4 days practicing backing on the pad after we came back to test. Since I picked everything else up quickly he thought I'd learn backing 1 day on the pad. Very wrong. I practiced all day 4 days straight and still didn't feel confident. We pushed our test date back 4 times. Alley docking is very hard at first. I luckily didn't have to do that on the test day. It's either parallel or alley dock. My trainer had an awesome formula for parallel so thank god that is what I got. If you have to wait 3 days then test don't worry about it. I made 600 I think for passing. See how much you get paid for trifecting. I think he'll make 1200 if you trifect. Don't let him rush you. That was the beginning of our downfall in regard to my instructor and i. When we got to the pad and practiced backing. It's extremely frustrating and it's one of those things that there is only so much your instructor can do and teach because it requires practice practice practice until it clicks. Take your time and as many days you want. I was terrible and it took me 4 days on the pad until I tested. I passed on the first try though.

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