Profile For Sun King

Sun King's Info

  • Location:
    Boise, ID

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Sun King On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 6 months ago

Sun King's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Sun King's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting Truck School After Getting Out Of The Military

Sun King suggests:

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If Walmart is the ultimate goal, find out which companies handle overflow or handle store deliveries for the DC you are interested in. I was on a overflow assignment for my company for two weeks at a Walmart DC around thanksgiving. You get a good understanding of the environment and get to know the office staff and some drivers. You also get a Walmart ID so when you do apply they have a record of you.

A few things of note: in these situations you have to not be a "subcontractor" for Walmart for 6 months. Also, check the hiring requirements. I know you have to be actively driving for 30 months before hiring and have hazmat.

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Sun King I don't understand the 6 months point you made here. If Kurtis is working for a Dedicated Carrier partnering with Walmart, he is not considered a subcontractor. At my DC Walmart has hired many of our drivers right from the SWIFT ranks with no gap, went from SWIFT Dedicated at the DC to WMPF at the same DC in one day. Hazmat is desirable,...if you don't have it, they suggest and will help you get it. I have run Walmart store deliveries for over 4 years, 1400+ deliveries and never once needed my Hazmat endorsement.

Again, if he is serious about this, hiring on with a carrier that has a Dedicated Walmart contract is the absolute best way to go. Although overflow is a good introduction, a full-time track record of 3 or more consecutive years of 100% on-time, no accidents delivering to Walmart Stores and SAMs is what will get their attention and place him ahead of most applicants.

Requirements could be different from DC to DC. The two in my areas have that requirement with the companies running dedicated routes for them.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Name three things you love about your company

Interstate Distributors

1. Open communication. Problems get worked out and solutions are found.

2. Hometime is a priority. If the DM/planner doesn't hit your hometime it can look bad on them and it is tracked.

3. Multiple yards/terminals. Its nice to know you have a place to park in large urban areas. Also, if you have to run late into the night you know you will have safe and available parking at the yards.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about driver facing cameras?

What the hay, I'll put my two cents in on this roadkill post.

Everybody's situation is different, but just starting out I would not recommend it. What if you rub someone in the company the wrong way? All it takes is one mistake and you are out that door. And unless you are perfect, you will make mistakes. Having to find a new company just months into your career could possibly end it. I know.

If you have gone to a school giving you 150+ hours behind the wheel I would be less concerned. if you are in a situation like I was: company training with 10 hours drive time then acquiring my CDL, 4 weeks with a trainer then solo, no way.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Starting Truck School After Getting Out Of The Military

If Walmart is the ultimate goal, find out which companies handle overflow or handle store deliveries for the DC you are interested in. I was on a overflow assignment for my company for two weeks at a Walmart DC around thanksgiving. You get a good understanding of the environment and get to know the office staff and some drivers. You also get a Walmart ID so when you do apply they have a record of you.

A few things of note: in these situations you have to not be a "subcontractor" for Walmart for 6 months. Also, check the hiring requirements. I know you have to be actively driving for 30 months before hiring and have hazmat.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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My Truck Sucks... And I'm Keeping it.

Parentheses, then the word until triggers the naughty word detector I found out.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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My Truck Sucks... And I'm Keeping it.

It has been a couple weeks since I received my truck at my new company, and the list of issues is long. First off, the truck is a 2013 Freightliner Cascadia with over 400k miles. The cancel button on the cruise does not work. When you get out of the truck, you add air to the seat so you have to readjust every time. The Tachometer fell off, I super glued it as best I could, but there are dark shadows between 1k-15k that make it hard to see with sunglasses. And best of all, The carpet freshener has worn off and it has a strong urine and feces smell.

So, I'm keeping the truck. Why you ask? The darn thing is a good runner. The engine is solid and so is the clutch ****il I get through with it). I'm out here to make a paycheck and support my family. So far this truck will do that. I'll deal with the annoyances, and work on easing the bathroom odors, but until I get enough miles on this thing where they turn it in, I will keep rolling in this bathroom on wheels.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

They treated me so well over there. When contrasted with this outfit that threw me under the bus, Melton is heaven!

If you were respected at Melton, you probably still are. It's a tough situation when you lack the support of the company you are with, especially if you are new driver looking to stick it out for a year.

I've been through this and it is rough. Keep a positive attitude, work through the challenges, and continue to improve. Safety will improve as long as it is a top priority.

Hang in there!

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Strong left or right brained? It will take more work to be a trucker

I spent months researching trucking as a career. I figured I had a good understanding of what to expect. When being strong left brained (analytical) brought up some challenges it took me by surprise. Being strong right brained (creative) can present some challenges as well.

If you don't know if you are strong right or left brained, Take This Quiz. To get an accurate reading, avoid concentrating to much to complete the task requested . Let your brain take over.

If you register over 70%, I would say you have a strong brain. Here is my thoughts on this:

Strong left analytical brain

Getting the trip planning, time logs and organizing should be easy to get down. Struggles may occur with the soft skills ( backing, shifting, and getting the big picture.) Accelerated learning such as company sponsored training or schools with short programs may be a problem. It may take you longer than the resources provided to adequately get those skills down. A school that takes more time would be a better fit as you will have more time to work on your soft skills.

Strong right creative brain

Soft skills ( backing, shifting, etc.) should be easier to master than for left brain folks. Accelerated schools should work for you. Your challenges may be organizing, trip planning, etc. These skills may need more time and concentration to master. If you do go the accelerated route, you may have to take some personal time to handle any organizational expectations.

There is definitely more to consider before choosing trucking as a career than whether you are strong brained or not. This blindsided me, and knowing where you stand brain wise could help alleviate problems if you go forward in this career.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Parking a Truck In The Northeast

What do you guys think? Is this an idea we should explore? I think it would be immensely valuable.

Absolutely this would be valuable. The big hurdle would be what Armyman is talking about: Who will want to give up their sweet spots? With my trainer, we ended up in a town known as a giant truck stop around midnight. Both truck stops full, the McDonalds truck stop full. 100 yards away from all this was 10 spots no one knows about at a restaurant completely empty. Its nice to know this spot exists, and as a driver would I want to give it away? How about that "secret spot" in an unfriendly NM town with lots of shippers and a giant distribution Center? The closest well known spot to park is 15 miles away.

That would be the big hurdle, would people be willing to share those spots they rely on when they are in a jam.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

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Regarding old post, follow up to-NEED ADVISE!!!!! Made to drive while sick and dangerous conditions.

Hi Ms. Tomboy,

I too have recently gone through company sponsored training. I have recently gone through 4 weeks of company training and I am still lacking on 45 degree backing for various reasons. What I have learned is some people pick up these skills very quickly. Others, like me, it takes time and practice to get it down.

Regarding company trainers, the draw for them is extra pay. Some truly enjoy teaching, others could care less and patience is not a requirement. If the truck isn't rolling extra miles than what they can do themselves the benefit isn't there for them.

If you feel trucking is truly the job for you, a private/public truck driving school may be the way to go. Bring up your concerns, see if they can fill the need and go from there.

I agree with Brett that feeling comfortable in the truck and being confident has got to be there to have a safe and long career. For me, When I get that first week alone on the road the learning curve will be steep and I lack experience. As long as I am confident in my skills and comfortable I can operate the truck in a safe manner I know I can make a go of it.

Good luck Ms. Tomboy, I wish you the best.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Werner Driver Stabbed to Death by Trainee

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

'Tis the season for Berries

Also, it looks like prickly pear cactus season down here in the southern desert states. I would Google how to know they are ripe and how to prepare. I will be trying my first one shortly. All this late summer wild bounty has become a pleasant bonus of truck driving :)

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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'Tis the season for Berries

I am not sure I would eat anything that grows within easy reach of a truck stop parking lot. Diesel and oil run off with the water and soak into the ground.

Ever wondered why the parking lot smells like pee? Yep some drivers use it as their toilet. So add that into the oil and diesel run off.

Noted. At the same time I can walk a quarter of a mile and avoid those concerns. The berries I was scarfing down I found a short walk away.

I found it worth the effort :)

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

'Tis the season for Berries

I have been at a truck stop in western Oregon for a few days and wild blackberries are rampant. There are some even overripe on the edge of the truck stop.

If you are in an area where these run wild, opportunity awaits.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Humbled. But Ready!

Great. Thanks for the Info. I'll keep those in mind. How long was your schooling? And from the way you talk I assume you passed and are working as we speak. How are things?

It took me 3 weeks and a day. The inspector could have failed me, I was that close. If you notice in the state CDL manual, the inspector can take into consideration your attitude and how safe a driver he feels you will be, and I feel that saved me from going to plan B.

Plan B was to head home, buy some road time at a trucking school, then pay to use their truck to test out. Cost would have been $350 for four hours and $60 for the CDL Inspection.

I don't know how many road hours you'll get at swift, but don't expect a lot. Mine was minimal.

I have been on the road with a trainer for about 1 1/2 weeks. He's getting much needed home time right now. I have about 40 road hours and my shifting is much improved. I am leaning towards an automatic though. There's enough things I have to deal with, taking shifting out of the equation will just make me safer.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Excellent Video re: Your SCR & DEF Systems

Bump

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Information on railroad crossings

I haven't been out long, but so far every railroad crossing has had lights and guards. I didn't hear any horns but I would think it would be in the best interest of the conductor to use them when traffic is approaching the RR crossing

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Humbled. But Ready!

With the knowledge you have you should be just fine! When testing out, there was no slack on the pre trip. Study hard and it should be no sweat. We could miss 20+ points, but with being prepared missing more more than 5 points would be strange.

Here are some automatic fails to be aware of:

- rolling backwards or forward

- running over the curb

- entering an intersection when it has turned yellow or red. If your tractor is in the intersection before it turns yellow you are fine.

- shifting over railroad tracks or in a 4 way intersection with lights

Be prepared and you will have this!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Humbled. But Ready!

Though I went with a different company, my schooling was 2-3 weeks. Programs like this are super accelerated. My suggestions:

- it didn't help me to work on the pre trip before hand. My school took a different approach to what I found online. If swift has a video of their pre trip that could be helpful.

- I found getting backing practice, etc. was sort of like puppies feeding on mama. The more aggressive gets "the milk". If you feel you need more practice at something let the instructor know.

- The chapter in your state cdl Manual discussing the road test should be studied. This is what the inspector will be looking for. If you are from a different state you may be able to test out in Utah and bring back paperwork to your state. That's what I did. If that's the case know if there are any differences. For example the state I tested in did the straight back, standard parallel and offset back left. In my state it added three other maneuvers they could choose from.

I barely made it through because I was struggling getting the backing and shifting. Time solves these issues, but time is limited in company training. It is important to work hard, even out of class, to get it down.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Information on railroad crossings

when approaching a railroad crossing, you may see a large yellow sign with lights that say "train ahead when lights flashing."

If you pass this sign and the lights are not flashing, but when you round the corner and red lights are flashing at the crossing, you might be thinking: Are they always on?

No, the lights are NOT always on and you better hoof it over the tracks before the guard crashes down on your trailer since you are past the point of no return.

This can be verified when you look behind you a few seconds later and the train is where you just were.

The next step is to change your shorts

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