Profile For Rick S.

Rick S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

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    Rick S. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 5 months ago

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Posted:  1 day, 5 hours ago

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Trucking companies not hiring from south Florida

Anyone south of I-4 is going to have an issue (for the most part).

EXPERIENCED DRIVERS can get in - but people who are looking to get their CDL, or recent grads - not so much.

CRST hires out of here, as does Armellini (if they still haul). Prime used to have a "Flower Division" out of Port of Miami - but I think that's gone now. Jim Palmer actually was hiring trainees out of here a couple of years ago - cannot say that they still are. BE WARY of "headhunter" (non-company) recruiting companies. Usually, the $$ for training is vastly overpriced, and there's still no placement guarantee.

Freight coming OUT of SoFla is horrible, and the rates SUCK. Many O/O's I know won't even come down, unless they have a great rate coming in - and then they deadhead back north to get back in the lanes.

There are a few more - I'd have to check with my instructor at Sheridan VoTech (the county school that does CDL) to see who's recruiting out of his classes lately - but STILL - that's RECENT GRADS out of a 9 week accredited program.

Occasionally (rarely) - you will find the majors taking one or two from down here - but those slots fill fast.

It's about the ability to get you home - without having to deadhead you in & out to do it.

As I mentioned - if you have a year or two, there are a number that will take you on. But for newbs, you're pretty much out of luck...


Posted:  3 days ago

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CRST dot physical

As we discussed previously in your other thread.

A company/DOT physical may in fact require you to do a whisper test, as that IS PART OF THE REGULATION. WIthout re-entering the debate of whether you have TO REPEAT BACK WHAT IS WHISPERED (and what would be the sense of NOT HAVING TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS BEING SAID) - if you're NOT GOING TO PASS:

GO GET A HEARING TEST - to determine whether or not you can LEGALLY PASS under the regulations. If you DO PASS (the less than 40dB loss at the specific frequencies) then BRING THE RESULTS TO YOUR ORIENTATION PHYSICAL and they should pass you, based on those test results. If you DO NOT fall under the medical guidelines, then you stand a good chance of NOT BEING ISSUED A CARD AT ALL.

Otherwise, they may (at THEIR SOLE DISCRETION) issue you a 90-day card, to give you time to remedy the medical shortcoming.

Again - THEY DON'T HAVE TO - it is at the examiners discretion.

And arguing with them about whether or not you have to understand what they are saying, is not going to improve your chances of getting them to issue a 90-day (or other "conditional pass").

The hearing test itself shouldn't be that expensive - GO GET IT NOW - so at least you POSITIVELY KNOW where you stand.


Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

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Another odd / bad test question...

Ya know, Freightliner makes Cab Overs in their factory in Cleveland NC.


I think you can only get the FL COE's as "glider kits" here in the states? The Argosy is actually a pretty neat unit. They're not sold by FL dealers though.

Return Of The Truck That Never Went Away

I've seen a couple of custom coach builders use them as the base.


Posted:  4 days, 6 hours ago

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Another odd / bad test question...

I'm thinking "D". If it had COE tractor as a choice, then B and D.

It does have COE as a choice.

You can't even get a "conventional cab" truck in the EU - height and weight restrictions. The sleepers are TINY. Much as we whine here in the US - think of how cramped you'd be in one of THESE...



Posted:  4 days, 17 hours ago

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Another odd / bad test question...

Old School explains:


I'll give a hint. A "full" trailer is not a reference to how much is in the trailer. A "full" trailer is a type of trailer, just as a "semi" trailer is a type of trailer.


Exactly like Rick says, these questions are designed to trip you up, and O. S. and I were too. But on my third or fourth reading, I realized the key phrase was that the vehicle in question was not the towed vehicle but the one doing the towing with no weight resting on the towed vehicle! So it's not a trailer of any kind but a power unit, or tractor.

Now on all the tests I've seen*, no question has no more than one correct answer. So either you'll never see this question, or the "D. Conventional tractor" is correct.

* I teach the CDL permit class and have seen almost all 300 questions used.

The the "towed vehicle" part tripped me up too (and here I was advising to READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY). I only saw TOW VEHICLE - not TOWED

But if CONVENTIONAL TRACTOR is correct, than so would COE - as they are both tractors -the only difference being: one has a cab over the engine that tilts up, and the other has a "regular hood" with a fixed cab. Otherwise - neither one has any of ITS WEIGHT RESTING ON THE TOWED VEHICLE.

I'm thinking typo, or more than one correct answer (which on multiple guess tests - the answer would be "both B, & D", since both are "supported by their OWN AXLES", and "do not rest weight on THE TOWED VEHICLE" (being that both full & semi trailers ARE THE TOWED VEHICLE).

If you took the time to read this on a REAL DMV TEST - and started scratching your head - and the choice SKIP QUESTION was available.

Most folks would answer "full trailer" (assuming they ACTUALLY KNEW what one was), ignoring the fact the question appears to refer SPECIFICALLY TO the vehicle that was DOING THE TOWING - which would make B&D correct.

So we have to wait for what MARK REPORTS THE INSTRUCTOR SAYS - which isn't necessarily going to be correct either...


Posted:  4 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Another odd / bad test question...


Fun until you have to get to the motor, and all your stuff in the cab/sleeper wants to visit the front floorboards.


Posted:  4 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Another odd / bad test question...

What is a COE?


Cab Over Engine (or simply Cab-Over). Old style.

We had these for yard trucks in school. You sit ON THE WHEEL (and engine) - doubt they'd be much fun OTR. Still the mainstay in much of Europe. There's some floating around here - a lot of them are lovingly restored and cared for...


Posted:  4 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Another odd / bad test question...

Read and THINK!

The clue is TOWED VEHICLE. A TOWING vehicle - doesn't put IT'S WEIGHT on the TOWED VEHICLE.

These are SO SIMPLE - they are designed to screw you up. It's sad they resort to that kind of trickery - but there you have it.

The object is to see IF YOU ARE PAYING ATTENTION.


That's what I meant - designed to SCREW YOU UP.

Again - I think it's an "unusual question" - because short of farm trailers (think bales of hay) - you won't see this type of trailer on the highway in the US often (if at all).


Posted:  4 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Another odd / bad test question...

I consider the correct answer to be "C"

And you would be CORRECT!

Difference between a semi-trailer and a full trailer

Which is even MORE BIZARRE. A full trailer has wheels front and rear of the trailer - and is DRAGGED. But it's WEIGHT IS BORNE BY IT'S OWN AXLES.


Can't honestly say I've seen one of these. Another example, might be a double on a dolly.


Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Another odd / bad test question...

Read and THINK!

The clue is TOWED VEHICLE. A TOWING vehicle - doesn't put IT'S WEIGHT on the TOWED VEHICLE.

These are SO SIMPLE - they are designed to screw you up. It's sad they resort to that kind of trickery - but there you have it.

The object is to see IF YOU ARE PAYING ATTENTION.


Posted:  4 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

Warnings vs. Tickets - NEVER ACCEPT A WARNING!?!

I’m not sure about all warnings going onto the DAC. I got a written warning in NM in February of 2016 from a state HP CMV enforcement officer. This has never made an appearance on my DAC, and I get the one free copy of it each year.

Warnings "shouldn't" go ANYWHERE - unless they are issued by a SCALE HOUSE/DOT Enforcement official. Then they likely go on your PSP, and the companies CSA.

As far as "being obstinate" with an officer on a traffic stop (whether justified or not) - it can turn real ugly if the cop decides to RETURN THE FAVOR. No matter good you (think) you pre-tripped, something can be found (if they really want to). Even if it's bogus - who wants an ROADSIDE OOS on their PSP - and you certainly don't want to be explaining it to your DM or Safety Department.

Arguing with a cop - can get ugly for you REAL QUICK.


Posted:  5 days ago

View Topic:

Hearing test

Ok so I found out last night the whisper test you are not required by rule to understand what the whisper is just hear it ! When I originally took it 5 years ago they made me repeat it now I’m finding out I could have challenged this ! All they are looking for is to test your senses this is coming from someone who was trained to do them he says you can’t fail it now it’s making sense as to why only deaf have waivers can anyone else confirm this ? I wish I had this info 5 years ago and not given up On my dream. Got my permit today now for the dot card! Hopefully this helps someone else

Again - it can be SUBJECTIVE.

According to this advice from FMCSA site:

The tests are either the forced whisper test or audiometry. For the whispered voice test, the driver should be 5 feet from the examiner with the ear being tested turned toward the examiner. The other ear is covered. Using the breath which remains after a forced expiration, the examiner whispers words or random numbers such as 66,18.23. The examiner should not use only sibilants (s-sounding test materials). If the individual fails the whisper test, the audiometric test should be administered.

The purpose of words or random numbers - would be so the applicant can repeat them back to determine they are understood. While neither the 49CFR Reg "specifically states" the whispered words/numbers have to be repeated back - LOGIC WOULD DICTATE that the reason for "random numbers or words" - would be so THE APPLICANT COULD REPEAT THEM BACK.

I've seen other posts elsewhere - from people complaining that "their rights were violated", because they failed for not being able to repeat the whisper back.


If you KNOW you have hearing issues - GO GET A REAL TEST. If you fail the standard - GET HEARING AIDS.


My DOG can hear a ziplock baggie opening from 100', with the TV on - but she acts like she is DEAF when I ask her to sit (sometimes).


Posted:  5 days ago

View Topic:

HazMat test question...

Sorry... question may be Driver is responsible for displaying correct placards.

If the driver knows they are wrong can he just display them (his job) because the shipper provided them (and they are incorrect)?

I display "Flamable" knowing it is "Explosive"?


The question is one of those "trick questions" - the ones you have to WATCH OUT FOR on the test.

Most people either try to BREEZE THROUGH the test - or they OVERTHINK THE QUESTIONS.

So no, the SHIPPER doesn't display the placard - they are responsible for providing the driver with the proper placards. But the DRIVER IS RESPONSIBLE for checking to make sure they match up with the HM Paperwork (insofar as the proper UN ID - and that the paperwork matches the placard).

It's not as difficult as it appears- but can result in a SERIOUS INFRACTION if you screw it up. And "feces occurs" - so check them when you're putting them on.


Posted:  5 days ago

View Topic:

Past pre employment dt refusal

Did you REFUSE - or FAIL?

Did the company involved had a DOT NUMBER?

What you can do is go to HIRERIGHT - and ask for a COPY OF YOUR DAC.

Here's a link: Requesting A Copy Of My DAC Report

If, for some reason, the company in question reported the failure/refusal - and they put it on your DAC - then you have a problem.

You mention the "dot part". A DOT Test is considering a "pre-employment test" - as it IS REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS.

We've heard from a number of folks here - that didn't have a CDL - failed/refused an orientation drug screen - and it tanked them.

FIRST THING YOU WANT TO DO - IS SEE IF IT'S ON YOUR DAC. If it IS - you want to get that straightened out.

You will likely see a question: have you ever failed or refused, at some point. While we advise people TO BE HONEST on applications and paperwork - if you answer NO - and it's on your DAC, DOUBLE TROUBLE. Failed test AND lying on an app.

At least, if you know it's NOT ON A DAC, you can safely (or safer) answer NO if asked.

Again - the fact that you mention a "dot test" in your post - raises some concern.


Posted:  6 days, 1 hour ago

View Topic:

Do not make enough monthly for Prime to accept my application as a CDL student.

I have verifiable work history for the past four years. I work for Über, but only part time as I was living with a significant other and he was paying the bills. Things are starting to go south, still enjoy driving, and wanted to learn how become a trucker and go to trucking school. I applied for Prime Inc. was declined, because I do not make enough monthly right now to go there? Is this going to be a problem with all company paid trucking schools?

It all depends on VERIFIABLE - as in PROOF!

Do you have the MONTHLY/ANNUAL statements from Uber, or wherever you were working for that time period? Uber being a 1099/Self-employed - do your TAX RETURNS back you up?

I have a Sub-S Corp, I am "self employed". But my accountant issues a W-2 (for a minimal amount for tax purposes), and I have 20 years of W-2's, and both Corp & Personal Returns to back up my verification.

No trucking company cares WHAT YOU MADE - just that you can prove what you've been doing. This is by FEDERAL REGULATION/Homeland Security type stuff. They want to make sure you didn't spend any of your time in a terrorist training camp (or other silliness). Even those UNEMPLOYED have to provide proof (usually in the form of affidavits). I was home taking care of my sick mom - get affidavits from family members to PROVE THIS.

Again - it has ZERO TO DO with how much you earned.


Posted:  6 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

Hearing test

Thank you , is there anyway to confirm this ? My hearing loss is just below the 40 so I don’t think I’d pass I just had a test at my hearing dr . Would you suggest calling the dot testing place where I will go for the physical and ask ? I don’t want to put out the 75.00 multiple times

If you have the HEARING TEST RESULTS - and they fall within the guidelines for FMCSA/DOT - that is loss NO GREATER THAN 40dB at the frequencies specified - than BRING THIS HEARING TEST RESULT to the DOT Medical Examiner - and you should pass the physical (assuming no other disqualifying conditions exist).

If your hearing loss is GREATER THAN - then you need hearing aids.

Your doctor that did the test, should be an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) or Audiologist. DOT Med Examiners are just looking to CYA - as long as you provide evidence, they should pass you.

Keep in mind though - you are likely going to have to RE-TEST your hearing, and bring CURRENT RESULTS - EVERY TIME YOU RENEW your DOT Med Card.

Our hearing tends to get WORSE WITH TIME - NEVER BETTER (kind of like our vision).

I have a cataract coming up in my left eye - I just squeaked through with 20/30 in that eye (other eye 20/15). My problem with getting the cataract done, is that I had my LASIC surgery a long time ago - and the place went OOB. So I can't get the scrip for how much they corrected the eye - and the cataract surgeon can't replace the lens with the correct scrip. So I would end up needing glasses, or another LASIC correction in that eye to get back to 20/20. Pass for now. But if I can't pass my next DOT Med, then I have to decide what I'm going to do at that point.

Best of luck - let us know how things turn out...


Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Hearing test

I would think beforehand you will need to get the hearing aids. If this hearing deficiency can be corrected with these, you won’t need a waiver. If you cannot pass the physical, all parts, you may get a short-term certification of some period under a year, but for your problem, I doubt it.

Typically - a failure that can be corrected (hearing aids, eyeglasses, BP, etc,) will sometimes be given a ONE TIME 90 Day Med Card - and return with the condition CORRECTED within the 90 days. At that point, a full card will be issued. Certain conditions (BP for example) require a ONE YEAR CARD for continued monitoring - others (Vision, etc.) will get a full 2 year card.

Keep in mind - if you need glasses, hearing aids - this will ALSO NEED TO BE NOTED ON YOUR LICENSE - and you will need to be USING THESE WHEN DRIVING.

I wore contacts for years (before my lasic) and never told the DMV (pre-CDL), so I didn't have the "corrective lenses restriction" on my DL.

The "whisper test" used by DOT Med Examiners can be "subjective" at best. A FULL HEARING SCREEN will demonstrate whether or not you can pass a DOT Med with or without hearing aids.

Can I get a DOT medical card if I use a hearing aid? Yes, as long as you can perceive a forced whispered voice in one ear, the better ear, at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid. If you use a hearing aid for the DOT physical, then you must wear that hearing aid and have it in operation at all times while driving. Also, you must be in possession of a spare power source for the hearing aid while driving.

From FMCSA regarding audiometric hearing tests:

What are the hearing requirements for CMV drivers? A person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500Hz, 1000HZ and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to the American National Standard Z24.5-1951.

So you CAN GET a hearing test - and if your loss is LESS THAN the 40dB specified, you can still get a medical card WITHOUT HEARING AIDS. Otherwise, you WILL NEED THEM - and, if you get pulled over, you will have to be WEARING THEM AND HAVE SPARE BATTERIES ON HAND.


Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay

This from FMCSA:

What if I fail/refuse a drug/alcohol screening? You fail a drug or alcohol test by testing positive to a drug test, or registering a 0.04 or greater alcohol content. Either of these results requires you to be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions (i.e., driving CMVs) until successful completion of the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional.

I'm not 150% sure - but there isn't anything in the FMCSA Regs that require a CDL to be SUSPENDED OR REVOKED for a failed screening (unlike convictions for impaired driving with either drugs or alcohol).

The only thing FMCSA REQUIRES - is that you be removed FROM DRIVING - not LOSE YOUR CDL.

So I'm not sure why State DMV's even have to be on the clearinghouse - since failed tests do not affect HOLDING A CDL - just being able to DRIVE ON ONE (though some states may have stricter laws regarding failed tests).

Another note from FMCSA on NON-DOT TESTING BY EMPLOYERS: NOTE REGARDING NON-DOT TESTING: DOT does not prohibit motor carrier employers from instituting a “company authority” testing program that is in addition to, and distinct from, the required DOT testing program. Under such non-DOT programs, employers could test for other drugs. DOT also does not prohibit employers from using tests of non-urine specimens under a non-DOT program. DOT regulations at §382.601 provide that employer materials supplied to drivers may include information on additional employer policies with respect to the use of alcohol or controlled substances, including any consequences for a driver found to have a specified alcohol or controlled substances level, that are based on the employer's authority independent of this part. Any such additional policies or consequences must be clearly and obviously described as being based on the employer's independent authority.

Which brings up yet another issue. Since things like hair tests aren't yet "DOT APPROVED TESTING METHODS", nor do tests for other then the five substances: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates – opium and codeine derivatives, Amphetamines and methamphetamines, Phencyclidine – PCP (I mean - WHO DOES PCP ANYMORE anyways?) actually constitute a "DOT DRUG SCREEN" - these "technically" aren't reportable as a "Failed Drug Screen" to the clearinghouse.

As we all know - failing a hair test is just as bad as a DOT Urine fail - but is it LEGALLY REPORTABLE to the clearinghouse? According to the regs, it wouldn't be (though it would go on a DAC as a failed pre-employment screen).

If failing a screen does NOT SUSPEND YOUR CDL - then why do state licensing authorities have to access it?

The clearinghouse is a good idea - similar to the DOT Medical Database. But there seems to be many more twists and turns in compliance to making it work - while preserving the rights and privacy of THE DRIVERS. Not that I hold any sympathy for someone who FAILS - but they still have RIGHTS. And with the kind of folks working at the DMV - not sure I would want them "randomly poking around" on a FMSCA Database, mush less potentially being able to make edits.

Another thing to note: ARE WE SIGNED UP FOR THE CLEARINGHOUSE? I just did - even though I'm not driving. "Technically" - anyone who holds a CDL should be signed up.

Not really sure this thing is "ready for prime time". What government system is EVER READY when they say it's supposed to be?


Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

A Thank You, And A Promise To Our Community

That "someone" made a good point.

I was speaking to someone yesterday who feels very strongly that unless you have driven a significant amount and dealt with the reality of trucking you don't really "know" trucking. I admitted that I am really a "non-driving f***k."

I'm one of those non-driving-f**ks myself.

Doesn't mean I get any less respect (at least publicly) here. Nor do I pretend to have anything to offer with regards to being OTR full time (I've "moved equipment" for friends locally occasionally - hey Rick, can you go up to Orlando and grab a trailer from the auction for me?).

But I stay active in the forum - stay up and regs and technology - which is why my title here is "Technical Advisor", instead of Moderator - out of deference to our mods that ARE ACTUAL DRIVING F**KS.

Those folks that consider my posts "worthless", can just scroll past them. Occasionally someone will say something about my "non-driving status", and I get a twinge of "why the heck do I bother?" - but the guy that OWNS this place, assures me my contributions are welcomed and valued - so I stick around and help where my expertise can be of assistance.

Peoples LIFE EXPERIENCES are of value here too - so while I (and others) may not actually "know trucking" - from a full time OTR perspective, that doesn't mean they (we) don't have anything of value to contribute. It is only the EGOTISTICAL SUPER-TRUCKERS, that try to make non-super-truckers feel of little value...


Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

My first cmv accident

Hello everyone. I have less than a year of solo driving under my belt and I’ve just hit the side of my trailer on a mountain wall and bent rear axle. How much will this effect my future prospects as a driver? Any advice helps. Thanks in advance.

I would opine that: "hitting a mountain wall" - where thousands of other trucks HAVEN'T - is going to go down as a preventable.

Whether or not you get canned behind it, depends on a number of factors. Some of which are: productive safe driver for the past year, not a "problem child" (good log compliance, good inspections if any).

Valued drivers are typically cut some slack - problem children are shown the door.

Also important is that YOU OWN YOUR MISTAKE.

Again - if EVERY TRUCK that has gone through that road HAS NOT HIT THE MOUNTAIN - then YOU (not the truck, not the mountain) ARE AT FAULT.

Identify WHAT YOU DID WRONG - OWN IT (as in not making excuses - "I misjudge the clearance, and caught the mountain on the trailer in a tight turn" - versus "the road was too narrow, the mountain infringed into the road, it wasn't my fault" - etc.)

Typically (from observation) if the "mountain" has a lot of scrapes and scratches, then others have hit it - which is a clue to SLOW DOWN AND BE MINDFUL of your clearance.

Keep us posted on how things turn out...


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