Profile For Freightdog (Shaun)

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Info

  • Location:
    Wilmington, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    11 years, 6 months ago

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Bio

Airline pilot and part time truck driver.

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  3 years, 11 months 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:  3 years, 11 months 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!

0382461001590964562.jpg

Posted:  3 years, 11 months 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:  3 years, 11 months 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:  4 years 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:  4 years, 1 month ago

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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:  9 years ago

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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:  9 years, 8 months ago

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Daniel B. Bike Rides

Great pictures, Daniel! Keep 'em coming!

Posted:  9 years, 8 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:  9 years, 8 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!

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