Profile For Joe R.

Joe R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Monona , WI

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 6 months ago

Joe R.'s Bio

Hello! First, thanks to Brett for moderating and keeping this alive. Good stuff. Oh, and thanks for the badass avatar - perhaps I'll replace that one soon with a photo of my own. :-)

I'm in the research phase of definitely entering the industry. I spent nearly 20 years as a meat cutter then moved onto a relatively short career in Human Resources (5 years). Along the way, I did some retail management as well.

Trucking has sort of always been in the 'blood'. My step father worked for 20 something years for Consolidated Frieghtways out of Chicago and then bought a truck and ran until diabetes got the best of him. Many of my cousins on his side drove and drive today. One is a pretty successful fleet owner and broker.

Anyway, I'm preparing to go through one of the Tech Colleges up here for my Class 'A' CDL, then on to one of the big carriers in the area.

Really looking forward to the whole experience. I intend to be one of those who takes every load and runs as hard as possible. I'm a safety conscious professional who is very confident in my success potential. I can barely stand the down time I'm experiencing now, since my position was eliminated. I'm unemployed for about 3 weeks now.

Looking forward to meeting more of the driving pros like the ones I've met in recent weeks.

Cheers to everyone.

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Posted:  9 years, 2 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

After H.S. and the U.S. Army, I worked as a truck tire mechanic for an independent Goodyear dealer in Chicago Heights, became a butcher and supported my family that way for about 18 years. I went back to school, during which time, I worked as an environmental services supervisor at the VA hospital, then a retail store manager. For the past 5 years, I was an H.R. manager for a large commercial cleaning company. After some corporate shenanigans, my job was eliminated. Finally, my kids are grown and it's my turn to do what I have always wanted to do.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep apnea

I got denied at my first company I applied for because they wanted a sleep study. I applied at celadon and they of course suggested a sleep study, but the approved it. If I have symptoms of sleep apnea they'll supply me a cpap. (At a cost to me I'm sure, but I'll take that as opposed to a denial)

Mr. Detour,

If I may; what triggered your sleep study in the first place? BMI? Neck size? Admitted symptoms?

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep apnea

I could not agree more. I was really bummed out when I got the first denial and then after I was told nO for the second time because of the apnea. Immediately after I got that second no I knew I needed to act fast and get a hold of my Dr office to get this going. All I can say is I'm a. Lucky guy. Having done the study been diagnosed and knowing.I would need a cpap she was willing to order an autopap for me so that I can get started with compliance.

That's awesome! Mine is actually an APAP and is set at the lowest pressure, but will bump up to 15 cm. if / when needed. It's never gone over 5 cm yet, as far as I know. I need to have the card read on Friday and documented one last time before I head off to orientation. Frankly, if anything, it's helped my slight dog dander allergy at night because of the hepa filter. Yeah, the pooch sleeps on the bed with us.....

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Sleep apnea


I can completely relate!!

You do however, state that you have taken and passed the DOT physical. That indicates that you can indeed continue with schooling and I assume you now have your CDL permit.

I was in a similar situation, except that I was flagged for sleep study at my DOT physical. My DOT examiner was very confused about the direction she was getting from the DOT/FMCSA about the sleep apnea/CPAP issues. I was diagnosed by the sleep study with a mild case of apnea, far below the threshold which the DOT is concerned with (FAR BELOW). She still insisted that Federal regulations state that I must start CPAP treatment in order to get my first 30 day FedMed (this is very untrue and there are NO Federal laws or regs stating such). I gave her proof that she could not accept. Side note: I made an official complaint with her organization. She no longer works there. Long story.

After receiving the diagnosis and subsequent "treatment" of virtually nothing (I was told to avoid sleeping in the supine position), the DOT examiner rejected this "treatment". All of this is happening just days before I needed my permit so that I could continue with schooling.

To make a long story short, the sleep doctors asked me to come back in for further discussion. In the end, they gave me the option of purchasing a CPAP, for which my insurance covered, though barely. I was told that technically, my mild case did not even qualify for CPAP therapy!!! At any rate, I took the treatment and began using the thing because the DOT examiner was not budging. I was running out of time, patience and money! I am now in compliance (as of yesterday) and have received another 30 day FedMed.

I start orientation on Monday at the company that ended up at the top of list from which to chose! I am insanely grateful for that! When I explained all of this to the recruiter, he simply said that I would have to wait to participate in the orientation until I was in compliance (the 30 day thing), otherwise, I would have started with them a couple of weeks ago. Also, the first thing that is scheduled for Monday, is yet another DOT physical, paid for by the company. Even though my current FedMed is now eligible to be upgraded, it doesn't matter. The physical I take on Monday will be the determining one. I hope that makes sense. In other words, I will just bring my sleep study results and my documented compliance along with me on Monday, and I expect a one year FedMed card at that time. In fact, I am hoping that the DOT examiner actually reads the results for what they are, and lets me off the hook with the CPAP machine.

Please keep in mind, I may be a bit of an anomaly because I truly don't need the machine. In my case, it has only hindered my ability to get a good night's rest (as I always have). I just "sucked it up" and took my lumps and got my CDL and a job. The rest, I'll worry about later. I do however see where CPAP therapy would make an enormous impact on one's quality of life, even if they are currently unaware of the problem they may be having. I want to make that point very, very clear. In fact, even if I can get the diagnosis / treatment under control, I will keep my machine and continue to try and get accustomed to it and perhaps even continue using it, at least from time to time. I just don't want to be strapped with proving compliance if I can get away with it. I know that seems odd, but I want to cut this short, rather than try to explain further.

So, to you and others in similar situations: Hang in there, do what you have to do in order to get from point A to point B. CPAP is not the end of the world. Be persistent and keep moving forward, despite the delay. It will pay off in the end.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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CDL w/H+N in hand, orientation / training starts on Monday!

It's been some kind of ride, all made more humorous and a lot less stressful by creeping and learning on TT!

My CDL journey began sometime in December, 2014, shortly after my Human Resources job was eliminated. After jumping through the hoops (some that were on fire), and after having the resilience of a super ball (remember those??), I am finally moving on to the critical phase!

Orientation and training begins on Monday - my heart is beating out of my chest in anticipation. I think I have chosen well and have a very good feeling about the company with whom I'll start my driving career.

As time goes on, I will do my best to chime in with some experiences. I have to say; along with the tutorials and technical information within TT, one of the greatest assets to new drivers, is hearing of the experiences of other new drivers! I'll try and 'pay back' some of those assets that I've acquired from here!

Thanks to all, for tolerating my rants along the way (particularly about sleep apnea, etc.). :-)

I have some more, very pertinent info to add about the whole sleep apnea debacle, but maybe I'll save that for future down time. Right now, the issue has my brain drained. All is well however, and my attorney will take it from here. The DOT examiner "no longer works for the clinic" by the way, so that particular problem has been solved.

Thanks again to everyone on TT for your professionalism, tact, and selflessness. To Brett and fellow Moderators: Thanks for keeping it that way - it's a rare find. b> Take care! I'll be in touch! Joe R.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Double Clutching

So in training the instructors hammer it into your head to double clutch and I know I need to for the test but how many of yall actually double clutch when you're on your own?

Funny thing Mike; my CDL school instructor would not even allow us to practice double clutching - we only floated gears and skip shifted. Typically, we would start in third, float to 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, then back down the same way.

The 3rd party examiner for the road test wasn't exactly thrilled, but as long we demonstrated control, he was okay with it. I'm hoping it's okay with my trainer when I actually accept an offer. I'm sure I can double clutch just fine, but have had zero experience doing so.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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DOT Physical, what are the requirements?

Okay then.

CPAP has to be the kind that LOGS USEAGE - and you have to use it at least 4 hours per night - EVERY NIGHT and be able to PROVE IT (including the 30 days prior to your physical. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your condition is stable, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

Diabetes - if you are INSULIN DEPENDENT - you will need to apply for a WAIVER. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN (endocrinologist) stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your sugar is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

High BP with meds - you MUST BE UNDER 140/90 - You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your blood pressure is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

You've got like a TRIPLE WHAMMY HERE - you are going to need to be SPECIFIC ABOUT YOU CONDITION(s) with any recruiter you talk to - and have them double check with medical/safety.

Some companies DO HAVE some PHYSICAL AGILITY TESTS - and may do a treadmill test also - they will MONITOR YOUR BP - and your ability to be physically able to perform your job functions as a driver (climbing in & out of the truck/trailer, doing pre-trip inspections of truck & trailer, etc.).

Many companies will not want to risk taking you on - with SO MANY MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

If ANYTHING - it's the DIABETES that's going to present the biggest issue. If you are on the needle, you are going to have to go for a WAIVER/EXEMPTION.

FMCSA Diabetes Exemption


I can't really speak to the rest, but with the CPAP compliance, it is a minimum of 4 hours per night, for 70% of days (not necessarily EVERY day). That is the DOT/FMCSA recommendation. Individual companies may require different standards of use, but it's unlikely.

To the OP: Trust me when I say that there are many hoops to jump through, getting into this biz (Some hoops may be on fire). Health issues, particularly the ones that you've mentioned, are only a few. Go for if you are prepared to jump and scramble.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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Just got my hazmat what a PITA

And in response to your thread title, I didn't find it a PITA when getting my hazmat.

Thanks for the intelligent response to that somewhat incoherent post. My HM endorsement was not a pain either. I studied the material and did my best to underunderstand the material, then simply passed the test, submitted fingerprints and collected the subsequent mail. ......brrrrrr, tough stuff.

Posted:  9 years, 3 months ago

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Wanted to share my truck driving accomplishment

So as many of yall know last year I was invited to my companys Allstar Banquet. Its for the top 50 drivers in the company. Well guess who was invited again for the second year in a rowsmile.gif Yep you guessed it ME!

Good stuffins, RedGator! If I recall correctly, and you are still with the same company, I will be joining you in mid-March. My road test is tomorrow and I have a tentative offer from them, pending the background check (no trouble there). I have officially whittled it down to 2 companies and will most likely go this route.

Perhaps I'll shake your hand one day soon! I'll be chasing that banquet down myself. :-)


Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Lease agreement


I cannot help much with your question, but I do have a question for you.

First, thank goodness you've earned your stripes and have a few years under your belt before taking this leap!

My question is this: Why? What, in your assessment would be different, beside the obvious? The reason I'm asking is, I wonder if it's a matter of having more freedom in/with your truck, as opposed to having to follow company rules in terms of what you can have in your tractor and how things are governed? I'm curious because I intend to consider something similar, but certainly not until I company drive for several years first.

Is it a pride thing for you? Is it an entrepreneurial spirit? A combination? What's your motivation for considering a lease?

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