Comments By Joe R.

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  • Joe R.
  • Joined:
  • 5 years, 9 months ago
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Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Sleep study 'battle'

Sharing this important information - I'm moving through this process as we "speak" and my DOT examiner is insisting that the DOT/FMCSA requires a sleep study due to my BMI - (VERY untrue), but I am being held captive nevertheless. Be sure and go to the end of the article and click on 'read the bulletin in full' link. Very interesting read and critical to everyone, particularly those who are new and just trying to get a career up and moving. Also very important to the veteran drivers who are going for re-certification of medical cards. Recent bulletin from FMCSA on sleep study

One thing that I've done to help ensure that I am not railroaded into some money making cycle associated with the organization that did my DOT physical, was to involve my primary physician and he ordered the sleep study to be done within MY health organization who DOES NOT do DOT physicals. My health insurance is covering, by the way. He was able to do this based on the Nurse Practitioner's (who did my DOT physical) findings, but had his own reservations as to whether he would have even approached the issue of sleep apnea at all.

I am very, very happy with my Doc and now have the utmost in respect for the entire organization. The other organization who did my physical; NOT SO MUCH!

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Check Your Loads Coming From Mexico

With all that evidence left behind, I doubt they were caught (at least not in the Laredo yard). Most likely, there is someone there making $$ for opening and resealing the doors for a "travel agent" in Mexico.

Is there some protocol for picking up and transporting sealed trailers? Does a driver typically have a "right" to break and re-seal in order to inspect the cargo? How does that work? Sounds incredibly dangerous if not.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Check Your Loads Coming From Mexico

Fabulous! Do you suspect this is a sign of things to come, or does this happen often enough anyway?

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

CDL written test

Amen...

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Funny Signs you see on the road

I don't know how prevalent these are around the country, but on I90 and I94 in Wisconsin, I've seen several times, giant orange triangles on the side and in the medians (usually several of them for a mile or more):

"Airplanes monitoring speed ahead"! Or "Air Assisted Speed Zone Ahead"!

Then, just as you crest the next hill, there are a half dozen 4 wheelers stopped by State Patrol. Uhm..... How much warning; how many hints does one need?

It always makes me laugh - In fact, I look forward to these traps.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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First Pre-Hire Letter

Nice. Who was the pre-hire from? I got a few of those letters. I just signed on with Roehl Transport and start my training for flatbed on the 19th in, and I'm guessing freezing, Gary Indiana.

I'm near Madison WI (about 3 hours north of Gary) and I have family just east of there, near Portage. The wind chills have been between 10 and 25 below zero for about a week now. Frankly, I'm happy to not be training in this - it's stressful enough without having to be concerned with frost bite and having to learn pre-inspections and such with bulky clothes and boots. My CDL school school starts on Feb. 2nd and I'm crossing the fingers that old man winter gets this out of his system by then. Living up in this neck of the woods however, we know that isn't the case. February will be just as brutal.

My pre-hire letter is from Werner Enterprises. According to this, my orientation would be in Indianapolis if I choose them. They have been near the top of my list of companies, so it's looking more and more likely.

Roehl is right there near the top as well. Their reputation is respectable and Green Bay is less than a two hour drive from me.

Jeffrey, how long have you been with Roehl? Did you start out on flatbed?

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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First Pre-Hire Letter

Whoo-hoo! So, I was about to post something significant and intellectual. I am however, celebrating my first pre-hire AND....... Smokey and the Bandit just came on CMT - Whoa! Memories. Have a good night everyone!

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Dedicated account

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Thanks for the much needed info Dutch.

I'm told that dedicated is the way to go, and all I get from recruiters are that, I can't apply for dedicated or regional until I do over the road first. Sounds fishy but, I kind of understand the business point of view, being that I just recently served in the military. I get the feeling that the two industries are alot alike. Put you where you are needed first, then apply for a special job according to your performance.

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Most large carriers I checked into offer recent CDL grads some options for dedicated accounts, Werner is who I went with, and was offered the Wal-Mart dedicated out of Tomah WI, I tried it for a few days, but it wasn't for me, I have switched to the 3M dedicated and get home weekends, I am only 2 months into my driving career, so check out with the recruiters......Schneider, Swift, etc also have these opportunities

Hey Brian, I hate to hijack Kool's thread, but I'm seriously considering Werner as my first choice. Can you talk a little about the Wal Mart dedicated and what it was that you didn't care for? I live in the Madison area and maybe Tomah would be a good deal for me. I'm not concerned about home time at this point. Thanks! Joe

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Disqualified before school starts

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Hello everyone! So, this is mostly a venting session (thanks for 'listening'). Any experiences or advice would be appreciated, however!

My private CDL school starts on February 2nd. They arranged my drug test and DOT exam at a clinic an hour away from me (not my regular clinical system).

All went quite well, except my BP 142/98 and my BMI was right on the mark, sending me to sleep study!! I'm not taking this lightly because my health is important to me and I can appreciate the efforts to keep 'at risk' drivers off the road and/or ensuring those 'at risk' drivers are aware of health issues and are being treated. I get that part.

Anyway, I know there are two things going on here. First, my BMI is not typical; up until about 2 years ago, I was a gym rat and hobbiest bodybuilder for most of my adult life (I am 48 y/o). Even in the Army, I was allowed an extra 15 pounds following a pinch test to ascertain my true BMI. In other words, I have more muscle mass than the "average" man of my wt. and ht. These decisions today are being made by the chart and standards provided by the FMCSA. Here is their statement: "If you have a BMI greater than or equal to 33, you may be conditionally certified for 1 month pending sleep study evaluation". It goes on.... The Nurse Practitioner doing my exam said that a pinch test was not part of the process today and I would have to see my primary physician. In the interim, I am disqualified temporarily and have been instructed to arrange the sleep study. By the way, I don't snore, nor do I have any trouble sleeping; never have!! I have gained a few unwanted pounds in recent months/years, but I am far from obese!

The blood pressure: This is troublesome, but not something I'm too concerned about. Here are the factors: It was 4pm, I had just driven an hour to this clinic and I had taken a pre-work out supplement 6 hours earlier that could have aided in the increased BP (although, I thought 6 hours was plenty of time). I also shoveled snow for an hour, a few hours before the exam. They didn't ask any of these questions - it all came to mind on the drive home - I'm not so sure it would have made any difference in her decisions, however. At any rate, I'm relatively certain that I don't have a serious issue with BP that I can't get under control. It's the time factor before school starts that is really getting my dander up! So many hoops!

So today, I have to call my doctor and beg for an immediate appointment. As for the BP, she will sign off after 3 consecutive acceptable BP readings, each a week apart. That gives me only one week of wiggle room, before school starts. I am also to call the Sleep Center and arrange for that screening, hoping to get it done this month as well. It doesn't seem likely - we'll see.

Okay, this has been a long read, I know. Again thanks for listening and if anyone has a similar story (particularly a successful one), I'll be looking for your words of encouragement .

Thanks!! Joe R.

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Hey Joe,

I too suffer from the inaccurate bmi testing. I'm 6'4 at 275 and am considered morbidly obese.. really?? Compared to half the drivers I see out there I feel I'm in a good spot.. but their idea of bmi for me is a weight of 160... I'm not a small person, and at 160 I'd be sucked up and bone would be popping out... It's ridiculous and a BS system. If my neck goes another inch (18" total) I'll be needing a study too...unfortunately this is the governments way of thinking.

I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks David - yeah, it's a riot. My acceptable weight according to the 'experts' is between 140 and 169. Uhm..... 8th grade..? Maybe...? I'm about 230 right now - my perfect wt according to ME is about 215 and has been that way for about 15 or 20 years. No neck curls for you!

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Health and trucking

Hello Let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Francisco and I have oretty much decided that with no interest in any other career other than trucking that I will be pursuing. My main concern about trucking is the health aspect. Not all drivers fit the "fat, unhealthy, etc" view that most people who do not have any insight or any idea of the trucking industry seem to have. Having been obese all my life, and been on a weight loss journey for a bit now I have gone from obese to just a little overweight. I have a tendency to gain weight quickly if not paying attention. For the past tear I have had two goals. Get healthy and get a career on the road. So, to the pros, whether fit, on a weight loss journey, having lost weight as a trucker, or who have been in the same situation I have been, what can I expect? When that day comes and I recieve my own truck, I plan on cooking my meals, or when eating out, do so healthfully. With adjustable dumbbells or resistance band, a little exercise can be done virtually anywhere even if it is only 30 min, 10 min, obviously anything helps. My main concern is driving with a trainer. This can last anywhere between a month to 3 months, in which anything could happen. I would have to abide by my trainers rules, and go by his/her habits. So when the point comes, what are tips, advice, anything helpful you guys can throw at me? I like to plan ahead and be prepared as you can see. Much appreciated and sorry for the long post, lol.

One love, Francisco "FR4NN3H"

Hey Francisco! Thanks for starting the thread. The advice on here is invaluable and coincides with much of my plan going forward, plus some good tips to add to my process!

Please see my post however, and plan accordingly for your exam(s). I guess if I had been smart, I would have seen my doctor for a regular physical a month ago. The posting is titled: "Disqualified before school starts"

I hope all goes well for you, Sir!

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Disqualified before school starts

Hello everyone! So, this is mostly a venting session (thanks for 'listening'). Any experiences or advice would be appreciated, however!

My private CDL school starts on February 2nd. They arranged my drug test and DOT exam at a clinic an hour away from me (not my regular clinical system).

All went quite well, except my BP 142/98 and my BMI was right on the mark, sending me to sleep study!! I'm not taking this lightly because my health is important to me and I can appreciate the efforts to keep 'at risk' drivers off the road and/or ensuring those 'at risk' drivers are aware of health issues and are being treated. I get that part.

Anyway, I know there are two things going on here. First, my BMI is not typical; up until about 2 years ago, I was a gym rat and hobbiest bodybuilder for most of my adult life (I am 48 y/o). Even in the Army, I was allowed an extra 15 pounds following a pinch test to ascertain my true BMI. In other words, I have more muscle mass than the "average" man of my wt. and ht. These decisions today are being made by the chart and standards provided by the FMCSA. Here is their statement: "If you have a BMI greater than or equal to 33, you may be conditionally certified for 1 month pending sleep study evaluation". It goes on.... The Nurse Practitioner doing my exam said that a pinch test was not part of the process today and I would have to see my primary physician. In the interim, I am disqualified temporarily and have been instructed to arrange the sleep study. By the way, I don't snore, nor do I have any trouble sleeping; never have!! I have gained a few unwanted pounds in recent months/years, but I am far from obese!

The blood pressure: This is troublesome, but not something I'm too concerned about. Here are the factors: It was 4pm, I had just driven an hour to this clinic and I had taken a pre-work out supplement 6 hours earlier that could have aided in the increased BP (although, I thought 6 hours was plenty of time). I also shoveled snow for an hour, a few hours before the exam. They didn't ask any of these questions - it all came to mind on the drive home - I'm not so sure it would have made any difference in her decisions, however. At any rate, I'm relatively certain that I don't have a serious issue with BP that I can't get under control. It's the time factor before school starts that is really getting my dander up! So many hoops!

So today, I have to call my doctor and beg for an immediate appointment. As for the BP, she will sign off after 3 consecutive acceptable BP readings, each a week apart. That gives me only one week of wiggle room, before school starts. I am also to call the Sleep Center and arrange for that screening, hoping to get it done this month as well. It doesn't seem likely - we'll see.

Okay, this has been a long read, I know. Again thanks for listening and if anyone has a similar story (particularly a successful one), I'll be looking for your words of encouragement .

Thanks!! Joe R.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Any Nussbaum experience in here?

I'm still researching companies with whom I'll start my driving career. As I narrow things down, it seem that I'll have several on the short list - might come to a flip of the coin.

I haven't heard much about Nussbaum, other than what they say on the Web site - sounds like a good organization. Does anyone have any experience with Nussbaum (Central Illinois based)?

Does anyone know if they consider / train drivers fresh from CDL school? It was unclear on the Web site. I do have a message in to a recruiter there, but probably won't hear from them until Monday, so I thought I would check with TT.

Thanks in advance!

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Starting school with a 'new' school!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've posted a time or two around here and have been using the conversations and The High Road to prep for CDL school, starting February 2nd (a four week course). I'm not sure that I should divulge the name of the school, so I'll refrain for now. This school is located in Wisconsin and is a relatively new start-up business ( I think he and his wife started this in 2013). I'm very happy to be participating in his future success as a small business, but also have some reservations in terms of the lack of reputation amongst the larger trucking companies. He does claim to work pretty closely with Roehl, Schneider, JB Hunt, Swift and a few others, so I'm not overly concerned.

My previous job was eliminated and essentially I quit because the jobs they offered in lieu, significantly differed in wage, schedule, skill set, etc. Because of this, I qualified as though I were laid-off, for training through WIA - All of my school fees are paid - and I will be able to collect a few bucks in Unemployment Insurance right up through being hired soemwhere - good for me, although I was prepared to pay cash if that weren't the case. I'm saying all of this to justify going to this newer school, as they were recommended by the local Job Center, who set the whole thing up for me.

So, a couple of things:

First: Thanks to all the veteran drivers, as well as the trainees and new solos for taking the time from your days/nights to post your experiences - I don't have to express how much this helps to most of you because you have been in my shoes and I am sure you completely understand the value! :-)

Second: My main reason for this post, is for those who are still "considering" the trade. Perhaps there are funds available and help for you to get through the process with a little less stress than you might think. Going this route seems to have some benefit, as I won't be obligated to any organization to pay back my tuition. If fact, I have been told that I may still be eligible for a reimbursement from certain companies, even though I really had no 'out of pocket' and it is legal and right for me to accept this. Frankly, I'm losing a ton of $$ on Unemployment and truly should be working, but that would make me ineligible to get paid during school, so I'm sucking it up.

Look into it!! That's all I can really say, as these things do vary from State to State, albeit a Federal program (WIA, Workforce Investment Act). There are also State funded programs that also vary around the country. In Wisconsin, there were a couple of options for me. The WIA option was relatively simple, easy to qualify for, and I had an awesome agent that was dedicated to her craft! She really came through for me when others within the bureaucracies seemed uninterested and lazy. Well, enough of that; I didn't come here to whine about the gov't. ;-) Particularly since my life is about the change and the Fed program has made a huge difference in the level of stress I'll endure compared to some I've read about lately.

OK, I've droned on long enough - I hope this helps someone, somewhere. I don't know how much I'll be able to post as my experiences begin, but I'll try to chime in if I have anything significant to report.

If anyone has questions, please don't hesitate. I'll do my best to help out where I can.

Joe

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Sinus Issues

Good stuffins everyone! I start CDL school in Feb and have been following (okay, creeping) several of you along my research journey. I'm 48 years old and have been a butcher, and business owner, a janitorial supervisor and most recently, a Human Resources Manager for a large commercial cleaning company. Trucking has been in my "blood" since I was about 5. I have step cousins who have made a living doing this since as far back as I can recall. It's finally my turn!!

This is all good reading. I have always sworn by the Neti Pot although I have to get myself pumped for "drowning myself" for the long lasting relief (assuming I stay on a regular regiment with it).

If you haven't tried a Neti Pot, I recommend it wholeheartedly for sinus problem maintenance as well as short term relief.

Thanks for your tips and tricks, even if you don't realize what it means to those of us who are about to embark on the OTR gig!

...Joe

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Prepping for school - anyone from Wisconsin, driving for Schneider?

Congrats, Deb! Thanks and keep in touch! I wish you only the best! Thanks to you, I'll do some research and apply with Wolding.

So far, so good????

Yes, Joe, I was officially hired yesterday by H.O.Wolding! I head out with a trainer on Monday morning.

Wolding is a mid-size company, about 350 trucks. The terminal is modest, clean and functional. They are very serious about safety, and it's reflected in their good CSA score. All the drivers I spoke with love driving for Wolding, everyone says that if you need something (home time for instance), they will bend over backwards to make it happen, and that they are really good about keeping the equipment serviced.

I'm stoked!

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Prepping for school - anyone from Wisconsin, driving for Schneider?

Okay, I promised to come back with more details.....

Not much to report, except that I will be going to a private school. I feel pretty good about it because the school is a relatively new start up business. It always feels good to be a part of someone's dream as they begin to realize it. Class begins on February 2nd and is a four week curriculum. I live only 30 miles from the school, so I'll be commuting most of the time with the occasional motel stay when I can get a good rate.

So, I'm not sure which direction I'll go after school. I will reserve that decision for after the pitches from the various companies that will visit us in class.

Maybe someone can shoot some direction my way, with these priorities in mind:

My #1 Priority: Professionalism - I cannot play games - I'm not all work and no play, but this is serious to me and I won't stand for moronic behaviors. #2: Earning potential (I'm driven by opportunity and not necessarily $$. per mile) #3: Best opportunity to lease/own with minimal credit and/or cash down payment in the next year or 18 mos. #4: Quality equipment - Quality support from the company

I know there are dozens of opinions for every question and every driver has useful input, so any thing from anyone is appreciated.

Also, how are things with you, Deb R.? Still going forward?

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Prepping for school - anyone from Wisconsin, driving for Schneider?

All great stuff everyone! Thanks for the responses! I will be back when I can share more specifics and will certainly keep an ear on how you all progress as well! WEL is sounding better all the time but I can't rule out Schneider yet either.

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Prepping for school - anyone from Wisconsin, driving for Schneider?

So, a little later in life (a young 48 y/o), trucking had been in the family as I grew up, but I'm moving from a professional office career in Human Resources to OTR. I'm in the research phase for companies hiring inexperienced drivers. I'll be going to private school and looking at Schnieder, WEL and Roehl.

Anyone local have any advice or comments? I'm near Madison and wondering if I'm in a good location for miles once I've gone solo.

Thanks for anything!

...Joe

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