Profile For Steve L.

Steve L.'s Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 8 months ago

Steve L.'s Bio

stevelitton@bellsouth.net

Steve L.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 days, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Do owners get drug tested?

Just a couple of thoughts on the practical side;

1. Your insurance company may require it in order to get you a “reasonable” rate. Maybe not. But something you may want to look into BEFORE laying out the big $ for a rig.

2. If you do require a CDL medical card, I’m pretty sure you’ll be tested.

3. In the event (unlikely or not) you are involved in an accident AND Law Enforcement asks you to take a test, then what?

Maybe none of this matters, maybe it does. But know before you go.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Overcoming Fear

Harry, I second what Errol says. Also, I was taught, then trained, to check my mirrors every so many seconds. I do it so often I wonder what the time ratio is to my looking out the windshield.

Take all the advice. But don’t give up out of fear. Fear WANTS to keep you down.

Your awareness can be used to push you forward to success.

👍

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

I'm seriously debating a job in the trucking industry

You want reasons to NOT do this? The most obvious one to me is family.

You’ll miss events with the young ones. You may even grow apart. This is much like the military. Something happens to one of the kids, you’re not there. Your Wife gets sick, who takes care of her.

On the other hand…within nine months of my starting, my Wife had surgery (for carpal tunnel) on an arm. My company worked with me to get me the needed hometime. Two years ago, she had knee replacement surgery. Again, we were able to get me home for two weeks straight. And, three weeks ago, her other knee. Again, I was there for two weeks.

As strange as it may sound, my family and I have a stronger relationship. We cherish our time together and know how precious it is. I’m able to be at my Daughter’s dance recitals and I’ve been able to pay cash for some big-ticket items (like $18k for fence).

I hope this helps.

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Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Done with Schneider after 3 months

Well, when you’re independently wealthy, setting up your own start up trucking company…why not?

When you get that new business set up, let us know what you’re paying drivers. Since I’m sure it’ll be great, we’ll all be happy to apply.

But seriously, you’re moving from one of the most expensive places to live, to one of the least expensive. Let us know how the work ethic of the potential employees is different. 😎

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Pilot

So its 14 hours of driving and 10 hours off?

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Managing time within the HOS rules is different then managing time on vacation. To maximize your clock within the HOS rules you want to use as much of your 11-hour drive clock each day. Unless you are running recaps. Regardless, when your 11-hour or 14- hour clock expires you need to be parked. If you choose a "conservative" parking spot you KNOW you will make you may "leave too much time on the table"

I drove 627 miles in 10 hours 41 minutes today. I had over 3,200 miles on last week's paycheck and I'll have over 3,600 on this week's paycheck.

I get those miles by maximizing my clock everyday.

Trust me. You will not make your planned stop on a regular basis. The ability to reset your parking location on the fly is a huge advantage.

Like today. My Garmin added time for traffic so I fluctuated between 25 minutes and 6 minutes of "cushion." I made my planned stop for the day but the up ahead function let me know my other options as I drove.

And if you're running out of your 14 hour clock stopping to check your other options doesn't stop your 14-hour clock. It continues to run while you're checking for other options.

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Not quite. 11 hours of driving. You must do that within 14 hours of going on duty. Then ten hour break. There are exceptions for people who run “local” & other types.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Current starting cpm with Schneider

Garrett J, Because of the many different positions Schneider has, I'd try to talk to the specific recruiters for those positions. So, if you're looking on schneiderjobs.com and find a job you're interested in, give them the "Job ID" number. They should be able to tell you the starting pay.

When I started with Schneider (I'm no longer with them) the pay sounded really low (I think 28 cents per mile). But it came with a two cent per mile performance bonus, which I earned right out of the gate, plus there were pay raises at six months and one year. Add to that the sign on bonus and my first year pay was (I think) about $40K.

I drove dry van and almost every load was a drop/hook. So, not a lot of sitting around at shippers. This is important because some companies may offer a higher cpm, but might not have the high rate of drop/hook.

When I went with Schneider, out of the Lebanon, TN Operating Center, everything the recruiter (Leanne) promised, was true.

I hope this helps.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Pilot

Tammy,

When I started with Schneider (about 7 years ago), I either parked at a truck stop or an Operations Center (OC). Schneider has plenty of these OC's across the country and most were equipped with showers (free) and plenty of parking. Also, drop lots were places we were allowed to park. Some had Portojohns, some not. As much as we might not like being without facilities, some of the most peaceful nights of sleep I've gotten were in remote places in Maine or Pennsylvania. Just me, my truck and the stars. Since moving to a southeast regional company, many of our shippers/receivers allow us to park on site.

Love's and Pilot/Flying J will give you free showers with a 50gallon purchase. And after a certain amount of fuel each month, they'll give you a bunch of free showers. Some expire in 10 days, some good for a month. Suffice to say you likely will never have to pay for a shower. As for parking, I've rarely had to pay for it (I think three times in 7 years). I've chosen to use accumulated Pilot points to pay for parking twice.

As for the bathrooms, I've found that I got into a routine of foods I won't eat, or I'll make sure I don't eat after a certain time. I also sometimes plan my stops so that I won't need a bathroom during the night. Most shippers/receivers have some type of restroom facility. With Covid, I've found some even went out of their way to keep portojohns very clean and stocked with toilet paper & hand washing stations.

I hope this helps.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Thoughts on making a company change?

If you’re still considering a move, check out Robert Bearden Inc (RBITrucking.com).

Also southeast regional. Requires 1 year experience. I’ve considered others, but it’s been good for me for almost 6years. I think we hire out of Jacksonville. I live in Pensacola.

I hope this helps.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Thoughts on making a company change?

All the dispatchers are in that small building and they’re all great. Ate lunch with the lead in their office when I was training. They give you ownership and responsibility, work as your teammate not your boss. They’re very flexible about home time. New trucks.

Pay isn’t the best. From what I’ve seen it’s geared towards new drivers out of school but they really enjoy keeping ones around. If I don’t bother my DM she don’t bother me.

I wrote up a detailed post for the route but not sure about TMI’ing that info out.

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I’m interested in hearing the positives of May’s Southeast Regional. I thought they were only doing refrigerated. And I live <1/2 mile from the Pensacola location.

Thanks.

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My email address is in my bio if you want to send it. I have no desire to disclose that information to anyone. Just would like general info. If you’re not comfortable sending it, I understand.

Thanks

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Thoughts on making a company change?

I’m interested in hearing the positives of May’s Southeast Regional. I thought they were only doing refrigerated. And I live <1/2 mile from the Pensacola location.

Thanks.

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Happy Independence Day!

May we always cherish, and never forfeit, our independence! 🇺🇸

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Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Just a quick hello and thank you

Congratulations!

I’ve long believed everything in truck driving is about the setup. From choosing the right training, company, backing and trip planning, you must set yourself up for success. It sounds like you’re doing that.

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend doing the HRTP in here. It’ll give you a leg up on others in training.

Go with a positive approach and humility.

Congrats again!

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Just might test out early

Maintain your focus. This all sounds good. Be confident AND humble. Even treat the Tester as a mentor maybe. 🤔

I hope all goes well!

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Is there ever a good time to BUY a truck?

I’ve owned a couple of businesses. One was a delivery business that I was able to sell after ten years. So I’m only offering an observation based on my experiences.

1. Congratulations on all that you’ve survived. 2. Owning a business can be very lucrative, but there are many aspects to learn. In my case, I’d tried at least two business ideas before landing the one really successful one. Plus I had 9 years of managing large departments at financial institutions. 3. I did learn; the lower your overhead, the greater “the upside.” But, I’d also caution you to begin saving ASAP for the dreaded day you must replace your truck. God only knows how soon that day will come.

The others here will likely give you more details. I do believe if it wasn’t possible, there’d be no trucking companies. BUT, I think the mountain to climb is more than most can ever handle.

I’m a company driver and never wanna be an O/O. The biz is too heavily regulated and I don’t want the headaches of the ownership. I respect all who take on the challenge and make it to the top. If you choose to make that move, I hope you’ll be one of those Champions of the business!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Making a major mover

Congratulations!

Sorry to hear about your Wife’s injury.

I graduated from a different school, but felt I was treated very well also. While the CDL school isn’t for everyone, I’m grateful we’ve got choices.

Thanks for your service and congrats on the new job! 👍

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Just a little bumed out

Hey Mackerel, I know exactly how you feel. I got rejected multiple times when I was trying to get started. I'm not sure if you are familiar with my start, but I'll share it with you...

I labored hard over that decision of where I wanted to start my trucking career. I look back now and laugh at how I came up with the reasons I chose my first trucking company. They were shallow and ill-informed. I was a victim of the negative influences of those stupid trucking company reviews.

I had made up my mind to pull flatbed freight. My top choice for the company I wanted to work for was TMC. They are a fine company, and I mean no slight against them by telling you my experience with them. I chose them because of the beautiful Peterbilt trucks they have. Who wouldn’t want to drive one of those wonderful black trucks with all that shiny chrome? I also chose them because they insisted that you keep your truck nice and clean. They even had a charge account at the Blue Beacon truck wash company so that you could go get your truck washed each week. I liked that idea of always being seen in a nice clean truck! As you can see I was more concerned with image than I was with productivity. I thought I would look really cool in one of those nice shiny black trucks!

It’s almost as embarrassing to admit how shallow my preferences were, as it is to admit they rejected me. I got sent home from TMC orientation twice! That’s right - twice! Two different times they invited me up there to Des Moines, Iowa and I got sent home both times. Then on my third attempt at landing my first trucking job I got sent home from the orientation I attended at PGT. They were my third try at landing a flatbed trucking job, and I failed again! So, here’s another thing to think about when considering this question of what is the best place to start a trucking career. We said it earlier. The best place to start is the place who will hire you and give you a shot at this rewarding career. If there is someone out there who is willing to let you prove you can handle this job, then get in there and show them what you are made of. That’s how it works in this industry. Somebody gives you a chance, and you strap yourself onto the bull and ride it out. You don’t act arrogantly as though you are above this “starter company.” You show some gratitude and some fortitude and you get in there and make something happen.

Guess where I landed after those first three times of getting thrown off the bull? I made a call to Western Express and they agreed to bring me in for orientation for a flatbed driving job. Of all the companies out there who had terrible reviews on the internet, they had to be the worst case scenario. I was scared. I was literally getting sick to my stomach at times. I didn’t know what else to do. I had been thoroughly rejected at those other places, and I needed a job badly. I also needed a boost of confidence. I needed the comfort of knowing I was being productive and providing for my family. But I could not get past all the trash talk I had read online about how terrible it was to work for those guys.

I had tried to choose my first company so carefully. I did that because of all the fear inducing trash talk I had exposed myself to about trucking companies. Here I was thinking I was making some great choices, yet I had never considered the fact that they have to reciprocate. They have to choose me. Getting a job is not a one way decision. Just because I think Brand X is a great place to work does not mean they are going to hire me.

Western Express did something that none of the other companies I looked into were willing to do. They chose me. They actually hired me! Here I was a total greenhorn with no knowledge or ability, and they took a big chance on me. They gave me a shot at proving I could handle the rigors of a job that a lot of people fail at. That is the best company to start your trucking career at. If someone reaches out to you to give you a chance, you take it and be thankful for it. Show your gratitude by busting your tail while being safe, productive, and easy to work with.

It turned out that all my fears were misguided foolishness. The internet had fooled me. The key to making my first trucking job successful had nothing to do with the name on the truck. I ended up with my first successful trucking endeavor while working at a company that was despised on the internet. I have never looked back and I have had a lot of success since those early first days. You will too if you focus on being safe, productive, and easy to work with. Carry on brother - you've got a bright future ahead of you. Make it happen!

Man I love me some Old School wisdom!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Advice please

“ So it’s like a fast track program that’s technically not a school they just give you the tools and training to pass the exam.”

Most big carriers are gonna want the 160 hour certificate.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Advice please

1. How close are you to paying off the balance?

2. Does the school have a finance program?

3. Do you have prehire letters from any trucking companies? If so, do they have tuition reimbursement?

If you’re 100% committed to this and you’re doing well in school, take the layoff as an opportunity to accelerate your launch into truck driving. Tell your instructors that’s what you wanna do, that you really want to work with them on this and, in six months you’ll be making good $.

Or, if there’s no financial responsibility by withdrawing, sure you can go a different way.

I hope this helps.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need advice for this decision

I’m 100% with Old School. When you are working a good plan, someone or someTHING comes along to see if they can knock you off course.

DRIVE ON!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is it to early to get my permit?

Keep up the studying. I got mine before going to CDL school and it helped me be more knowledgeable ahead of time and I could focus more attention on the pre trip and driving aspects.

Even if you wait to get the permit, the HRTP here is EXCELLENT! I passed my permit test, tanker & hazmat first go around just from studying the HRTP here and doing the practice tests.

Congratulations and good luck!

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