Profile For Freightdog (Shaun)

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Info

  • Location:
    Wilmington, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 7 months ago

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Bio

Airline pilot and part time truck driver.

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 year ago

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Frustrated and tired leads to stupid and careless mental errors

Thanks for sharing your experience. I used P.A.L.S. and S.L.A.P. as a checklist when coupling and uncoupling:

Coupling (P.A.L.S.) 1.) P-in...secure 2.) A-irlines...attached 3.) L-anding Gear...retracted 4.) S-afe to move? Area clear? Lights and tires functional?

Uncoupling (S.L.A.P.) 1.) S-urface... appropriate for dropping trailer? Not too soft, sandy, etc. 2.) L-anding Gear....down 3.) A-ir lines... disconnected 4.) P-in...release

Doing this checklist everytime has saved me from an embarrassing or potentially hazardous situation a time or two when I've been tired out and distracted. Hope it helps and glad your close calls have only been close calls and nothing more!

-Shaun

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Get off the truck

This greenway is directly behind the Pilot in Youngstown, OH (I-80, Exit 223). I'm doing a 34 hour reset here this weekend and took a nice 2+ hour, 6 mile walk today. The fresh air and exercise felt great!

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Posted:  1 year ago

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Get off the truck

This greenway is directly behind the Pilot in Youngstown, OH (I-80, Exit 223). I'm doing a 34 hour reset here this weekend and took a nice 2+ hour, 6 mile walk today. The fresh air and exercise felt great!

Posted:  1 year ago

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Part-time Trucking - Is it Possible?

Yes, it is possible but will likely take you putting in a year or so in a full time capacity first in order to gain requisite experience. I am a part time driver after taking a strange journey to get here.

I am a professional pilot. In 2013, after being laid off from my cargo airline position, I made the decision to get my CDL to have a backup skill set given the inherent instability in the airline industry. The plan was to drive until I was recalled to my airline to gain some experience and try something new, as I was burnt out on aviation at that point in my life. I enrolled in private CDL school and got my CDL-A and doubles/triples, tanker, and HAZMAT endorsements and went to work for Schneider. Fast forward 7 months, and I was recalled to my airline on a different fleet than I'd been on before being furloughed. I left Schneider on good terms and went back to my flying career. I figured that was that. I'd gotten my CDL and given trucking a try. Back to the real world.

Fast forward a year. The new fleet type was a grueling middle of the night grind, flying multiple legs six days a week domestically for several weeks in a row, day sleeping in hotel rooms--all for less pay and quality of life than I'd had previously (had been flying the Boeing 777 internationally before; now I was flying the 737 domestically). The familiar feeling of burnout reignited.

"Self? Remember how you really enjoyed driving truck?"

"Yes."

"How's about going back to that. This flying crap is for the birds."

"Okay. Let's do it!"

This was officially my first midlife crisis. I tendered my resignation with the airline and it just so happened that a local trucking company in my area needed a driver. A friend of mine was a driver there and was being promoted to director of safety. The caveat was that he needed to find his replacement before assuming his new duties. I messaged him on Facebook and asked if he thought I'd be competitive given the advertised 24 months of experience that the company. I only had 7 months. Long story short, two of my friends who are in management at the company took it up with the company president who interviewed me personally, and voila...I was hired.

I drove full time in the southeast regional division for a year when a combination of factors, including that I hadn't really gotten my finances in order (leaving flying when I did was admittedly an emotionally based decision). Also, the time away from flying made me miss it. I put a plan in motion to return to the sky and have been back at it for the past five years.

The cool thing is that the trucking company let me stay on part time. So now I have the best of both worlds and am pretty content with the arrangement. I am a Boeing 767 first officer with a cargo airline and drive tractor trailer part time on my days off. Usually I drive locally running loads into and out of our local port but for the past 5 months I've also been driving some over the road when I have a big enough chunk of time off to allow for that (I'm single with no kids, so can pretty much do what I want to). As a matter of fact, I'm actually writing this from the sleeper of the truck I'm driving this week on a nice 6 day North Carolina-Illinois-Pennsylvania-North Carolina run. I'll finish the run on Tuesday and then leave Sunday on my next airline rotation.

So mine is not the usual path, but just sharing it to let you know it's possible to forge a part time position but may take an intermediate period of gaining full time quality experience first.

I know several of the larger companies have part time positions. Roehl has been mentioned. Schneider has advertised for part time at various times (probably a 7 on, 7 off type deal like Roehl). I've also seen part time casual driver positions at Epes Transport, depending on where you live. Obviously, given the current state of the economy, these companies may have limited access to those types of opportunities.

One thing that I'll mention, and as Old School alluded to, I work very hard at ensuring that I drive often enough to stay proficient. It's pretty easy, given that I don't do this all the time, to forget stuff (45° alley docks are my nemesis in this regard. If too long a period passes between driving shifts, it's like starting all over again when I try to back again. I was humbled just yesterday in Illinois by this phenomenon, when I had to back from the street into a sunken dock with a brick wall on one side, a building on the other, and not much room in the street out front of the dock to maneuver. I got it in there. I didn't hit anything. But it was not pretty and was incredibly stressful.) I have to compensate for this by making sure I'm proactive in seeking work (a win/win for the company and myself...two of the loads I'm running this week wouldn't have otherwise been covered) and by being overly paranoid/vigilant when I am at work. I take things REAL slow and think through what I'm doing. Driving one of these things is a big responsibility and I try to approach it with the same level of professionalism that I do when I strap the big Boeing onto my back.

Anyway, just my experience in the industry thus far as it relates to your question. Good luck with whatever you ultimately seek to do!

-Shaun

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Terminated by Schneider

Well this was an entertaining read! I wonder what has become of young Christian in the past year.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

The Pleasures Of Taking Your Children Over The Road With You

I'm an airline pilot but also drive part time for a local trucking company where I live. I recently finished up a three week over the road stint between airline trips and was quite surprised by how many drivers had their kids with them. How cool for the kids (and the parents) that they were able to take advantage of this time for extra bonding and some real world education. (Granted, this was very early on in the COVID-19 crisis so there probably aren't as many kids on the road now, but I saw enough of them out there in those few weeks that it made an impression.)

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I was an airline pilot for 14 years, having flown for regional airlines for 10 years and the rest at a DHL contractor flying both the Boeing 777 international and 737 domestic. Around 2009 or 2010 I realized that I was burning out on that career and that my heart just wasn't in it anymore so I began researching options to get out, which landed me here at Truckingtruth.com. Around the same time, I got the job at the cargo outfit and decided that flying the 777 international was something that I had to do (sort of a "bucket list" thing) so I put trucking on the backburner.

In 2013, I was laid off from the airline position which gave me the perfect excuse to go to CDL school and give it a try. I attended the 4 week program at Future Truckers of America in Asheboro, NC and completed the High Road course here on TT and earned my CDL (A) with tanker, doubles and triples, and HAZMAT endorsements and went to work for Schneider National in their Van Division until being recalled to the 737 domestic at the airline after 7 months. Long story short, 8 months into the new assignment I realized that I absolutely hated it and jumped ship for a local trucking company.

I've been here since September of last year and thoroughly enjoy what I'm doing and the people I work with. I have been primarily running regional container routes from our local port in a seven state southeast operating area after completing a 30 day training period in the local division since I had a limited amount of previous experience at Schneider.

I drive a 2014 Mack Pinnacle with a "coffin sleeper" and spend 3 or 4 nights a week in my truck and am at home the other 3 or 4 nights. My schedule is fairly consistent, running the same routes to the same customers with the occasional day trip thrown in once in a while for variety. From a job satisfaction standpoint, I couldn't be happier. I love the independent nature of the work and "running my own show". Income-wise it has been a bit of a struggle, given the enormity of the student loan debt that I'm still carrying from college and earning my pilot certificates. This may ultimately push me back to flying--at least until I pay that off and put some savings in the bank--but I'm doing my best to hold out at least until the one year mark with this company before I pull the plug. That will open up a few more opportunities driving-wise since I'll have over a year of experience but I won't be so far gone from flying that I won't be able to go back should that become necessary.

It's been an interesting journey so far and I enjoy hitting the road each week. Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Daniel B. Bike Rides

Great pictures, Daniel! Keep 'em coming!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Well Im driving....

After school..... After company orientation..... 3 weeks out with a driver trainer.....

Ive been driving for Conway Truckload... so far .. so good.....

lots of miles and keeps me moving

Woo Hoo!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Day 1 at Prime done!

Thank you thank you !

Congrats, happy birthday, and best of luck with the rest of the training!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Back to trucking!

Congrats Freightdog!

Thank you!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Back to trucking!

That, or I'm just entering an early midlife crisis...the verdict is still out on that one! :-)

Hey, I had my first mid-life crisis at the age of 29 so it very well could be!!! smile.gif Congrats on making the move to what makes you happy....life is much too short to be miserable!!!!

This is my first at age 36, but not gonna lie it's pretty cool! Maybe I'll have midlife crises more often! ;-)

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Back to trucking!

Freightdog ...gie!

dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif You're back! Woo-HOO! dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

Congratulations on your smooth landing ...into a better job situation. Yay! There's nothing that says you can't keep your pilot's license and fly for fun on your free time, either. Sounds like you're going to have the best of all worlds, now!

-mountain girl

Thanks, Mountain Girl! I've been saying prayers for you and and am absolutely sure that good things are coming your way as well!

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Back to trucking!

Hey that's great Freightdog! Congrats on landing that job.

I'm the type that always wants my life moving forward. I've switched careers numerous times in order to learn new things or live a lifestyle that will allow me to do different things. For me, trucking was an amazing lifestyle for a lot of years but I always wanted to have a nice homestead with my own crops and animals way out in the country. Hard to do that when you're on the road.

So best of luck and keep us posted!

smile.gif

Thanks, Brett! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit terrified. I'm the guy that had my life mapped out by the age of 12, so to be throwing that plan out the window is....um, intimidating...but exciting as well. Everyone I've met at the new company has been just fantastic so far. I think that I'm going to fit in just fine. Just need to keep my head down, work hard, and the rest should fall into place.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Back to trucking!

It's been awhile since I've checked in here. I've been lurking a lot, but just haven't taken the time to chime in.

After much deliberation and an insane amount of luck, I've decided to return to trucking. I was looking at OTR opportunities when just by happenstance I stumbled across an opportunity with a local company here in my area, sort of a friend of a friend type connection that panned out. I'll be running local and will be at home every night and off weekends. I'm definitely grateful for the opportunity, given my low (4 months) of solo experience wouldn't normally even put me in the running with this particular company. It's been a difficult decision to make concerning leaving my flying career, but overall it comes down to being home and having a "real life", the ability to pursue advancement within the company and try new things, and acknowledging when I look in the mirror that I haven't been happy in my flying career for a number of years and that it's time for a change. I'm learning that happiness and feeling grounded in my home life are much more important priorities for me as I grow older than perceived prestige or lifetime earnings potential.

That, or I'm just entering an early midlife crisis...the verdict is still out on that one! :-)

So I'm excited to get back at it and carve out a new life for myself here at home. I'll drop in and let y'all know how it's going.

Take care and drive safely...

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Who? Me?

double-quotes-start.png

Rolling Thunder, I know you know this, but that is really a great opportunity for you. It's one of those deals where people talk about "being at the right place at the right time" kind of deals.

Congratulations Man! Really excited for you and proud of you!

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks Old School! This past year has been insane. I would never have seen myself here two years ago. I will be taking full advantage of this opportunity and continue to better myself every day.

Congratulations! That truly is pretty awesome. Be sure to keep us updated as time allows!

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Good news

Congratulations and best of luck!

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Daniel B. Bike Rides

Http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandoned_Pennsylvania_Turnpike

So apparently I don't know how to properly copy and paste a link using my phone...

Anyway, found myself YouTube exploring tonight and came across a video about abandoned sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that are now used by bikers, runners, and hikers for recreation. It made me think about this thread since it would be a perfect opportunity for a driver to get out and get some recreation like you do (I know you don't run back east too often, but maybe somebody else that runs this area a lot could take advantage). The one video was a group of bikers that started out in Breezewood at Lincoln Highway/US30 and rode a 13 mile section that was closed and bypassed in 1968 and includes two tunnels (Rays Hill Tunnel was the name of one of them). I thought it was pretty cool how they could actually explore the abandoned tunnel and take a closer look at the inner mechanical workings. Stuff like that appeals to my nerdy nature , what can I say... :-)

Anyway just thought I'd throw it out there for anyone who might want to explore a bit. Breezewood, being the busy little intersection town that it is has truck parking so this is definitely doable for somebody who is so inclined...

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Just makin' it through the day ...cuz today wasn't so great ...

Sounds like you managed through the day in the best way you could and will be just fine, MG. I like to call days like that--particularly in a training environment--"cooperate to graduate". That is, I keep a stiff upper lip, a good attitude, and just get through it knowing that it is only temporary. Sounds like that's what you did as well, so kudos!

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Daniel B. Bike Rides

Have you been able to ride anymore recently? Those pictures from Colorado were freaking amazing!

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