Comments By The Dude

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  • The Dude
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Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Afraid of Heights... Driving to Tacoma, Washington from San Antonio, Texas

Don't even worry about the grades. They don't have to be scary if you get into the gear you're comfortable with and use the engine brake.

In fact, I'd say climbing and descending is ten times easier than city driving. I find it to be more annoying than difficult. I know I can put my truck into 7th gear and climb up a hill to the moon at 28 mph. I can put her in 6th and slide straight down to the core of the earth at 25 mph. Things don't have to be scary and fast, they can be slow and annoying. Just put your four ways on.

I think what has happened is you've looked into your route and it's making you nervous because you have to do Snoqualmie and it has a bit of trucker name legend to it. I've done it about a dozen times and it's nothing to be afraid of. Just find your comfort zone with your gears.

And also, if this will be your first time driving up into the Pacific Northwest, I'm jealous of you. There are things in life that are remarkable experiences the first time you do them, like driving into the PNW, watching Breaking Bad, and, well... other things. Consider yourself lucky and enjoy the experience.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Trucking Takes Commitment

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"Now if you had stayed with the first company and gotten in that same fender bender they would have likely kept you. Why? Because for one they've already invested a lot of time and money training you and they'd like to recoup that money. For two, you have some experience there and hopefully you've shown good potential so they still believe in you."

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Exactly my story Brett. Tail whipped a Silverado in a parking lot and was basically forgiven.

Except I managed to make it about 96 days into my career. Thank goodness for a company who understands that mistakes can happen and trusting me to do my best not to make them again.

Haven't really looked at it quite like you so eloquently put it Brett. As someone really opposed to it you have opened my eyes to company sponsored training.

.02

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See, now imagine you had left the first company after two months and got in that fender bender one month into your second job. You could easily have been fired from the second company and would not have been rehired by the first company. Not only that, but you would owe a ton of tuition to the first company for quitting before your contract was up and you'd have one heck of a time finding that third job. Talk about a whole different story! Instead you're cruising along just fine, gaining more experience with your first company.

Company-Sponsored Training is an awesome opportunity but most people don't understand the nature of it. It's more like a tryout than it is a school. You're constantly being monitored and tested, whether you realize it or not, to make sure you're putting in the time and effort the company expects. These companies want to help people get their career off to a great start but a lot of students that show up simply do not have their heart in it. They go in skeptical, lazy, or simply underestimate how difficult the task at hand really is.

Do you just naturally wake up at 4 a.m. to begin the day and start writing great 200 word replies to posts?

I'm in Reno and it's 1 a.m. after a very long day so I have an excuse to be up!

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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What I learned my week at Prime Training

Amen.

Met two guys on the pad and one guy in the laundry room and had my choice of the three before Prime ever had someone call and approach me.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Possibly looking for a Prime Flatbed Team driver

I'm getting a little bored and lonely and I'm looking for a change. I'm thinking running a team truck might be a glorious and possibly painful change, but well, I've never been one to say no.

I'm offering a team opportunity for 6 months. Come Christmas break I may choose to leave Prime to find local work but I promise a partnership until then to make good money running a team truck.

I'm a company driver running flatbed and I run hard. I get 2800 miles a week as solo pretty easily. I have no type of home obligations and I take my home time wherever, whenever I feel I need a break.

I'd be very happy to partner with an established Prime flatbed driver, but I may also be interested in working with a student. I'm eligible to begin training TNT and my dispatcher wants me to do so, but I would be picky about doing this. I would need you to do your PSD on a flatbed truck, be serious and passionate about a flatbed career, and be a person who shows initiative.

- If you want to do this but you can't find a flatbed PSD instructor to save your life, PM me and I will do what I can to help you out.

Here's what I can offer if you get on my truck:

- I have the best company flatbed dispatcher that Prime employs. He teaches the flatbed orientation class, and the flatbed instructor of the year and runner up were both on his board. He's a pro's pro and a really good guy, he keeps the truck running and he knows you by your first name.

- I am good with the customers and will usually want to be present at all of the 01s and 90s which means I will do most of the load securement. I'm not sure what this means for driving shifts, but I will want to be there for that stuff.

- I have SiriusXM, a fridge, a microwave, and a laptop you can use. You can do whatever you want and eat whatever you want as long as you don't eat my Sun Chips.

- I try to get a hotel twice a week right now, not sure how that would work out in a team environment, but I'd spring for a double bed room any time the opportunity is there.

- I shower every other day but you could get one every day when the truck fuels if you wanted.

PM me if you're interested. If you're an established driver and want me to get on your truck, PM me too.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Trucking Takes Commitment

Always open this thread if it's made by Old School.

Never open this thread if it's made by your girlfriend.

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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This really is a great job.

They run ads in my local craigslist too, but they advertise 65k for my area of the country.

Ruan is a pretty established company with a good amount of trucks on the road.

They ask for a year of experience. 65k-72k for a regional hazmat tank driver seems pretty on par to me.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Looking for help with 90* ally dock manuver

So points of reference while backing are good, and trying to pass a backing maneuver in some scientific way will get you passed on your CDL exam, you're still just following some regimen where the truck is your master.

My advice to students is to beg your trainer to find an open lot for you to just play with the truck and learn it, to just stand back and let you learn what you need to do without bothering you in a place where you can't damage anything.

Points of reference will pass you, but eventually you'll just be a new solo driver who can't back and then you'll really learn in a trial by fire.

I remember trying to learn how to parellel in training and begging my trainer for more points of reference and him telling me I'm too smart to not start feeling it without more points. Never understood what he meant until I was solo.

Learning to back is like riding a horse. You have to become master of the vehicle. Tell your trainer you don't need him to teach you how to pass the exam, you need him to help you learn to train the truck.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Food Network's Chopped: Looking for Best Truck Stop Restaurants

The Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza in Moapa, NV has really good food. Had some good enchiladas there the other day. It's a fun place. They're always doing wacky things like lighting off fireworks and having a Brett Michaels concert on the 4th of July.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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I want to read more positive things about trucking.

It's really impossible for any of us to understand the dynamic of your relationship and if it can sustain this and I feel like this is what you're both really worried about when I read your post.

Personally, I split up with my girlfriend before I got into my OTR journey because I knew how difficult it would be, but that was only a 5 month relationship. So many guys who run out here are married and they make it work. I don't know how, but they do.

The good news, I know exactly where your town is, right outside of Akron, and there's no shortage of available local big rig jobs there. I'm from Detroit and in our little tri-state chunk of Michigan/Ohio/Indiana, there's all types of driving jobs. Get a little experience and you can find a good local job. Heck, you might not even need experience. Just show your CDL and pass a road test and you might get a good local job.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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I hate having to cheat.

I'm just glad to hear someone is governed at 61, one lower than I am. I hope to pass you some day.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Rough First Day = $30,000 Damage

Poor S.O.B.

Atleast he'll have a great story to tell for the rest of his life.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Prime Training

It's a good program, I had no complaints. I did get very lucky and had a PSD instructor and a TNT trainer who I got along with very well and am still friends with. Your mileage may vary with that. Any specific questions?

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Hanging out in springfield

Might I recommend the steak and mass fries from Fire and Ice?

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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C.R. England Commercial Learner’s Permit Holders Can Drive Without CDL Holder In Front Seat

I don't like to read a lot if words. Titles are plenty enough.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Trucker Websites

I've thought a lot about creating a website like this that can serve as a consolidated place for truckers to find trucker related stuff, but I've always figured that most drivers won't buy mail shipped items being that they are on the road. I'm guessing that's why there aren't any websites like this now.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Flatbed Question

I know not all flatbed loads require to be tarped but of course there are some that do. This has me wondering on the weights of the tarps. The reason for this concern is that when I was younger I broke my left arm in half, both bones in the forearm, and while it is still useable I do have some weakness on that side, however I can lift 100 lbs repeatedly but with some soreness on that side if done for long periods.

Am I overly concerned for nothing or should I consider maybe a different division?

The weight of your tarps will vary depending on the tarps your company assigns but if you can lift 100 pounds repeatedly, you should be fine. You can also purchase custom lightweight tarps if you want to flatbed for awhile and you deem it a good investment. There are other things you should consider like throwing many chains over a load and if your left arm is your dominant arm, that may be an issue. It's hard to give a definite answer, you'll never know if it will work for you unless you try it.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Prime recruiting conversation

I've spoken with a few Prime recruiters this week, so I have some info to add. Even though their company sponsored training page here on TT says that they hire from all 48, I've been told that Prime absolutely does not hire from Idaho whatsoever, as they do not run freight up there. Also, other northern states such as Montana and North Dakota are very difficult, if not impossible.

I got a strange vibe from the first recruiter I talked to. I've spoken with recruiters from several other companies, and they all seemed very eager for me to fill out an application and come on board immediately. The Prime recruiter, on the other hand, seemed to spend the first ten minutes I was speaking to him looking for any reason to not hire me, before finally running my zip code in Idaho and telling me it's not one of their hiring areas. However, he still e-mailed me an application link and told me to apply, which I thought was odd.

I called back a few days later and got a different recruiter. When she told me that the issue hiring from Idaho was getting drivers home for home time, I explained to her that my residence there is basically a mailing address. My plan getting into driving is to just basically live on the road taking "home time" wherever I end up, saving money on a permanent residence and seeing different parts of the country. She told me Prime would be able to hire me so long as I'd sign something saying I had no expectations of Prime routing me through Idaho for home time, which would have been fine.

Called back a couple days later to verify this info before I applied, and it was flatly denied by the third person I spoke with (as well as my original recruiter when I e-mailed him asking about it). I explained my situation with taking home time on the road and not needing to go back to Idaho for any reason, and the third recruiter told me "the cost of routing a driver home to Idaho for home time is simply too prohibitive". When I tried again to elaborate on my circumstances, telling her that my plan for home time would most likely be to just get a hotel room in whatever city my home terminal ends up in if not taking my time off somewhere out on the road, she said "well eventually everyone needs to get home". I don't think she was listening to me.

I guess there are always extenuating circumstances, like if I got called for jury duty, and I'm sure it's a legal thing on their end where they simply cannot hire anyone with an address in a certain state. Still wondering where the lady who told me about the form I could sign got her information from. Just figured I would offer all this up there to anyone from a northern state who's hoping to drive for Prime.

If your heart is set on Prime, I might look at taking it a rung up the ladder to get a definite answer. You could open a P.O. box near one of the terminals and use that as your filed address. You might try to talk to someone in the department for the PSD program or in reefer/flatbed/tanker ops to get some traction. If it's the company you want and you can be a good driver for them, it'd be silly for such a non-issue to disqualify you. Recruiters are so overwhelmed with applications that they are looking to qualify or disqualify people as soon as possible.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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C.R. England Commercial Learner’s Permit Holders Can Drive Without CDL Holder In Front Seat

We're not supposed to talk bad about other companies here, but what's going on at CRE is insane. The .25 CPM and this is disgusting. I understand companies having business models revolved around employing new drivers for cheaper labor and incurring the liabilities that come with it, but what CRE is doing is a complete racket and dangerous to the industry. I think they should be taken off of our list of company sponsored companies because I don't think they can be recommended in good faith to anyone seeking a start in this industry.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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What I heard on the shuttle bus today (Use the High Road program properly!)

At Prime you get two tries a day for three days on each portion, totaling six tries on each portion. After that point you get to go home and study because you're wasting everyone's time.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Nevermind, as I look closer they're just normal straps. They appear as if they split off into a 45 degree angle subsection based on the load.

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