Profile For EvanstonMark

EvanstonMark's Info

  • Location:
    Evanston, IL

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 9 months ago

EvanstonMark's Bio

Started CDL training 1/19/15 at Joliet Junior College in the Southwest Suburbs of the great city of Chicago

Can't wait to start this new chapter of my life. My story is the same as many I am sure... the past couple of years have been rough due to the economy.... So I am brushing myself off and getting back on my feet....

Constructive criticism and advice is always appreciated.

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Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Residency issues.

Hey Guys. I understand what Rick is saying and his concerns. I am sure DMV regulations vary from state. I can only tell you my experiences and friends experiences with using UPS addresses in Illinois and Indiana.

Government mail federal IRS docs and voting registration get sent to me and the address Without an issue.

Being served by the courts also isnt a problem. UPS signs for it. And calls you to tell you whats going on.

I have nurse friends who take 13 week assignments all over the place use UPS addresses as a primary address out of state and in their home state. Its saves them money while they rent out their place they also get a storage unit for their things. It saves them a ton of money instead of having to maintain a homestead they dont even use.

As for emergency contacts. Use a family member or loved one. Even if they are out of state it is ok. As long as there is someone that can be contacted. Also UPS asks for an emergency contact as well.

Each UPS store is independently owned. So ask the staff if you have questions.

Chicago is on the border with Indiana many folks establish residence in Indiana. saves them money on taxes. I am not saying it is right or wrong. I am just saying people do it.

Sometimes people prefer privacy and dont want to ask parents or family to use their addresses. Or dont want them to hold their mail or packages. Some dont have family in all 50 states. This is just an option or suggestion for folks who need an option. It may not be for everyone. But it is out there if needed.

As for addresses being blacklisted i personally havent experienced that nor do I know people who have had an issue.

From a legal standpoint. Your homestead is your domicile. There are people who are homeless or transient who use facility addresses for their domicile. Folks live abroad and still have a place they call home in the States and pay taxes. Like I said I know many travelling nurses who do this. Thats how I got the idea.

Do what is right for you. I dont believe this is a permanent solution. But is a viable option while you are looking for work and establish residency in your new state. There is also less finacial risk when u arent sure you are getting the job u applied for. It is pricy to get a lease and utilities when u dont have a job or offer.

Hope this helps

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Residency issues.

Does the DMV take the ups address

Yes. When they ask for bills or mail that postdated/stamped, I show them that. I have all my bills, IRS tax correspondence, medical insurance etc etc all of it goes there... i just forwarded my address to that UPS mailbox. It was a simple process So it isnt hard for me to prove my address. As long as you can show them something other than junk mail. Now I don't go around saying hey this is a PO Box or offer any more information than what is asked. I just say this is my address. Period.

Hope that helps.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Residency issues.

Whoa... that's funny guys... Mark seems to be the popular name in this forum... and I guess Mark's have residency issues! LOL

Fellow Marks:

Well before the price of oil tanked, my plan was to get a job in North Dakota.. Williston or ****inson working the fields as a tanker or driver.... But they really were looking for locals and gave them preference when hiring. What I was going to do was get a UPS box in the area to establish residency while I was looking for work and a place to stay... Accommodations are hard to come by up there, and I didn't want to risk leaving home, move there looking for work only to not find anything because I am transient. Glad I did think of this. I would be ****ed if I had to be locked into a pricey lease just to be laid off because of the price of oil.

Another thing you can do is get a cell phone or VoIP (internet) phone number in the area you need it to be, and have them send the monthly bill to the UPS box. That way you have an address, a number that establishes you are in the hiring area. And you have a bill/utility proving residency.

Good luck guys!

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Residency issues.

You could always get a mailbox at a place like the UPS store. They have actual physical addresses. I use one as my primary address while I rent out my condo. I get all my mail sent there and list it on applications and other documents. Another benefit is if you are out of town and buy things online, you can have it shipped there and they will hold it for you, along with all your mail even if your mailbox is full.

Hope this helps.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

Oh.......and I can also use any of these new materials we'll add to the Wiki pages as new additions to the High Road Training Program. We can expand that program tremendously.

Yes sir. You definitely got my point. If you need any help let me know! I am in school now and can write down questions and other things i come across that are confusing while they are still fresh in my mind.

Also if you need input on the DOT physical. I have done a lot of research.

Send me a message if you need anything Brett. This site has been a huge help to me and i would like to contribute and help the next batch of newbies.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

HA! Lunch break in class and was showing one of the guys this site and the comments on this thread. Had to share what he just said:

How is knowing where I want to pre-hire at gonna help me with learning how to pre-trip? dancing-dog.gif

Had to share what he said. He kinda hit on the head what I am trying to get at.... Many of us know why we are in school. We did the research on the companies jobs and lifestyle. There is tons of info out there. What we need more educational tools.... As they say, Knowledge is Power!

I got to get him to join this site.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

Just a observation, you say that you have been all over the web looking for info etc. on the career of Tractor Trailer, Have you actually looked throughout this site, to see what it offers and tells you? Truck Driver's Career Guide Bretts book, Anything "Old School has ever posted on here tells anyone, even tinkering with the idea, What trucking is all about! I am guessing that you are suggesting the "I'll hold your hand and guide you along the path" But if you are seriously looking into this "Profession" and need info, this would be the place to look! Key word, "LOOK" I do not mean to dismiss your idea but only to remind that it takes a little effort, especially on this site, to obtain what you seek. JMV (just my view)--------------------confused.gif

I understand where you are coming from. There is PLENTY of info on the profession and trucking lifestyle .... and some of the best info is on this site. I know because I used that info to make my own decision to go to school. What I am saying is completely different. If you are looking into trucking as a profession and want to sign up for school- its because you heard that it good to get into, has an honest decent pay and understand the lifestyle that goes along with it (or at least you should before you sign up for school because is easy to learn about the profession.

What I am saying is learning more about actual driving before you start CDL school for those who have little knowledge about how a truck operates or the lingo that is used in the industry. Like the basic parts of a truck. The different kind of trailers. The different types of transmissions. Double clutch vs Floating. All the stuff that gives you confidence when you walk into the first day of class feeling like you know some truck driving basics. Even with CDL test prep, some of the terms in there to the newbie with no prior knowledge can be confusing to understand. (I.E. explaining the difference between a CDL A and B. Yes the definition is there. But to understand that definition, you need to know the different types of vehicles. Some newbies (myself included) had to google this and learn about the different trailers and that Class B means you can drive a bus etc. That isn't explained in the General Knowledge portion of the IL CDL study guide. It is assumed you just know this stuff. There is no one set place to find all this info, like a glossary to refer too. (I had to use https://www.cdlschool.com/decideyourCdl.php to get further clarification on this- thank goodness for google). Doesn't need to be a whole book, but a simple page or 2 of trucking basics would suffice so that everyone is on the same page for the 1st day of class. And I know there are people out there like myself who are not gear heads who could benefit from such a thing.

To many of you I know I sound like an idiot for suggesting this. So let me reiterate I am already in school with my permit and passed the did very well on the tests getting only 2 wrong (thanks to this site). What I am saying is that if there was a reference sheet or page for me to review while preparing to go to school and going through CDL prep on here, it would have made learning easier. Just because you don't know this stuff firsthand doesn't mean you necessarily are going to be a bad driver. It just means you need to learn more and study harder or do more research. There is no one set place to find this kind of information for new students that i know of.

I hope this makes sense. Like I said, I know people who dropped out of CDL programs who have clean driving records and backgrounds because they just felt lost in a completely new industry that was foreign to them, but knew they could love. And when I toured schools before I chose the one I decided on (part of WIA Illinois requirements), some students felt overwhelmed as well, I referred one of them to this site and hopefully it helped.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

Brett:

I do have a serious suggestion. For people who are preparing for CDL training, and have never set foot in a truck, not mechanically inclined, have little to no knowledge about trucks, and are career changers.... Can you set up a pre-CDL bootcamp or trucking primer? The CDL training materials are excellent! And I have used them myself to pass my permit exam. But I had trouble trying to understand terms and concepts because I had no prior knowledge about trucks. I literally only knew what the tractor and trailer were. I thought the 5th wheel was literally an actual wheel. I think you have the idea. I believe a primer or boot camp would be awesome. Things explaining the stuff that you go into trucking school and the instructors assume you already know and you feel to stupid to ask out loud. confused.gif Lets face it, ideally instructors aren't supposed to judge you by the questions you ask especially when you genuinely don't know. Supposedly there are no stupid questions. But in today's world of schools churning out students and crowded classrooms, a lot of times that isn't the case and folks (who potentially would have been good drivers) drop out of the program just because they didn't have prior basic trucking knowledge and couldn't keep up with the class. I have a friend who tried to talk me out of trucking because he had a hard time keeping up with class because he felt clueless and was surrounded by gearheads and mechanics, he just gave up on his dream.

I looked every where online and couldn't find a site that has basic info and diagrams of the very basic trucking parts and concepts. And the you tube videos out there, especially about shifting gears can be even more confusing. Stuff like the basic valves and gauges. Straight truck vs Tractor trailer, fifth wheel and other basic parts and terminology of a truck that a layman wouldn't know and what truckers just chalk up to common sense. How to start the truck. How to properly use the clutch. The differences in driving a car vs a truck. What does the inside of a sleeper cabin look like, air brakes vs brakes you find in a car, exercises that help with muscle memory and coordination. What is a 70 hour restart and how to effective use it. How getting paid by the mile, pay for down time and demurrage (???) even works. The practical differences between CDL-A, B, Intrastate restrictions vs Interstate and what it means for your career options. Stuff that is referred to on here and different sites, but a lot of folks new to the industry don't really grasp.

I know there are instructors on this site. What do they expect students to know at a minimum when they walk into school on day 1? When I was in nursing school, before we even started the program we had to learn basic anatomy, physiology and medical terminology so that when we jumped into actual nursing classes, we were all on the same page. No one would expect a person to walk into a Nursing 101 course and understand a word of it unless they had basic knowledge that I referred to. I think something along those lines would be awesome and you would be the first to do it. I still dont know some of the basics, but I passed the exam with 2 wrong on my general knowledge and aced both the air brakes and combined. If it wasnt for wikipedia and google I would have been really lost and I still have questions about the basic physical mechanics of clutching when the truck isn't moving.

From all the reading and resources online, I could tell you about the different trucking companies out there, (and which ones to avoid) what types of positions are available, and how to prepare for the CDL exam, but nothing to bridge that knowledge gap that career-changers and the trucking underinformed may have. I know that I am not the only one in this position. I chose to go into trucking because I have always loved to drive. When I was younger I would hop in my car and drive from Chicago to Merrillville, IN just to relax and get a cup of coffee at Denny's and drive back. It was really relaxing and it was then that I knew I had a love for the road, Now that I have a chance to pursue something I always wanted to do, it would have been cool to have a tool or resource that wouldve given me that basic knowledge, foundation and confidence to enter CDL school and my new chosen profession.

Also, we have a new generation of folks who were raised driving an automatic (myself included) as well as the population shifting to cities and urban areas where we have little to no exposure or experience to trucks and that lifestyle. It doesn't mean we are going to be bad drivers, it just means we have more to learn and have much larger learning curve. if anything I think it gives us the extra confidence to navigate places like NYC once we develop or skills behind the wheel.

Thanks for reading this. If there is something out there like this already exist, please send the link to me because I could really use it. Otherwise, I notice that many of the same questions are repeated over and over again and I am sure that it gets repetitious answering them. Also, many times those questions could be resolved if there was a more basic understanding of the concept they are asking about.

Fin thank-you.gif

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

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Ha! I Know! We need a bigger selection of emoticons! I love the dancing dog! We need more Dog emoticons.... dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

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Oh I agree 100%! I want to find an awesome selection of em.....they crack me up.......

smile.gif

See Brett? i would totally LIKE these 2 comments LOL just sayin....

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

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I've considered that but I'm not sure how useful it would actually be. It would be nice to submit a comment that people like, but whether or not it's one people should like is sometimes a different story. You can get one person that goes off on something and suddenly here comes the cavalry! I thought about using it as a rating system of sorts but I'm not sure if it would be effective or not.......

I totally agree with the premise of having it but I'm concerned about cluttering up the forum with things that really aren't helpful. I'm torn on this one.

LOL ... I agree with you on that. On the otherhand, liking someone is also a show of support or encouragement for folks who have real concerns or need encouragement. There are times when I have read what moderators have said, yourself included, and thought to myself... Damn straight! Or totally agreed! Maybe a like button for moderators posts... especially since a lot of times the advice given is really helpful.

Or maybe a Thanks button like the "other" trucking site has.....? thank-you-2.gif A quick way of saying thanks for the advice or encouragement...

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Can I make a suggestion for the forum?

A like button would be nice sometimes you agree with a comment but have nothing constructive to add.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Maverick trucking auto transmission

I drive for maverick and before that I took the CDL test in an automatic truck no clutch at all and have no such restriction on my license in the state of Illinois about only driving an automatic equipped truck

Randy... sent you a private message regarding this... I am from Illinois as well. Where did you go for your CDL that used automatic transmission trucks to teach and test in?

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice for a newbie on how to shift

Oops, my bad. I meant 45 degree back up not turn on the skills course. And to clarify- today was my 2nd day behind the wheel and it kinda sucked. but tomorrow is a new day.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice for a newbie on how to shift

A little about me: Got a WIA grant and used it to go to a community college CDL 4 week program. Started it last Monday. Never stepped foot in a truck before, never drove stick always auto, never backed anything up with a trailer attached, and not knowledgeable about cars or engines. I am a career changer coming from health care. I was totally new this and had no background knowledge about driving or operating a truck. On the otherhand, I have a clean driving record and am used to driving distances when I had to visit patients in rural areas.

Last Friday, I got my permit and really did well on the tests. The training materials on here were awesome and I wished I used them before I started school. I was always a book worm, and I knew that the test wouldn't be the challenge for me. The hard part is getting comfortable with being behind the wheel. My class has guys in different phases of the program. Last week when I started, there were 2 other guys starting too. My class consists of military guys, mechanics, farmers, and union guys. All have experience with trucks and many have driven them before. Most of the guys are just "going through the motions" so that they can drive legal with the CDL endorsement on their license. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Anyways, my first day driving was bad. I was nervous, but I kept my expectations low because I am new to this. But, as I watched everyone ace the skills course, including the 2 guys that started the class with me, my nerves took over. It wasn't easy driving (I use that word lightly cuz my engine kept cutting out) with folks watching me. I was really nervous and embarrassed and I just kept getting more and more frustrated. The instructors have been really understanding and awesome, but I am worried and stressed out that I am not keeping up with the class, particularly with the guys I started with.

End of Day 2: I didn't hit any cones. I can turn well. And drive around the lot in circles too! LOL I just can't get the hang of shifting and reversing. And the 45 degree turns has me stumped. And I get so frustrated, I don't reverse all together because I just lose all coordination. I also feel kinda dumb because while all these guys have truck parts nailed down, I am still learning the basic parts of the truck and the proper use of the clutch vs the brakes- I have been told that I am very heavy footed on the brake pedal. The other guys in the class have been really cool, but yeah I really don't want to be "that" dude who falls way behind and annoys the instructors.

Any advice would be appreciated. I know that a lot of this is in my head. I am feeling totally uncoordinated behind the wheel. And in my mind I have an idea of what needs to be done, but trying to actually implement it is another story. I know I want to be a trucker. I have thought long and hard about it for over a year now. Did my research and read the forums on here and on other sites. I am gonna make this happen, but I dont want to have a heart attack before I do so LOL. Thanks for listening to my rant.

wtf.gifwtf-2.gifembarrassed.gif

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Just passed my CDL pre trip and driving test

Congrats! I hope to be saying the same thing in a couple of weeks!

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider Income potential for new drivers and budgeting tips for newbies.

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I would definitely appreciate that! Thanks! Do you know if they send drivers out to the West Coast or is it basically East of the Mississippi? I meet the area SNI recruiter next month when he sits down with us 1 on 1, but when it comes to budgets and $$$ or the lack of, I rather be ready and have more time to figure things out.

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I spoke with an SNL recruiter today about starting on the Regional Vans. Their "region" is basically the eastern half of the US South of I-80. Not much into NYC or Boston. (Break my hillbilly heart ;-)) Anything west of the states bordering the Mississippi require teams.

It may be different with tanks but I doubt it. Running to the west coast is a 4 or 5 day run at best for a single.

Thanks for the info! LOL I am a city boy myself.. and I wouldn't want to drive through NYC or the NE for that matter in an 18 wheeler. Maybe in a prius LOL.

Have you decided who to drive for?

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider Income potential for new drivers and budgeting tips for newbies.

Hi, well my interview was short it seems i am to far from Savannah. i was told i would need to be less than 100 miles and i am 300. things change, it might be the time of year. I told them i would check back in a couple of months. good luck in what ever you choose.

Oh that sucks! Don't they have intermodal over there? Have you started with Schneider? Or have you gone with another company?

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider Income potential for new drivers and budgeting tips for newbies.

EvanstonMark, this is a tough question to answer because much of your income will depend not on Schneider, but on your performance. I will say that Schneider tanker jobs pay very well, and if you prove to be a good steady driver there's no reason why you can't make 40,000+ dollars your first year. Realize though that there is a huge learning curve that you will be going through. Schneider's training is awesome, and they will do every thing they can to get you off to a great start. They know how to produce good results. Once they turn you loose you will encounter all the many difficulties that any rookie driver squares up against. It's not so much the difficulties that cause the problems for new drivers as it is the way the face them. You will understand all of what I'm saying more clearly about three or four months into your first solo months.

One of the best things a new driver can do for himself is have a little savings set aside just in case he needs it. I realize this isn't always possible for everyone, but it sure helps ease the stress if you have regular obligations to take care of. One of the problems with getting your feet wet in this industry is the fact that you haven't yet really established yourself as a strong driver yet, so your dispatcher hasn't gotten a feel for what you can do. Therefore your paychecks may be very inconsistent for a few months. Once you've kind of proven yourself with always being on time, not getting yourself too far out of route, and not being the type of driver who generally needs to be babysat by dispatch, then you can start expecting them to trust you with longer runs or runs with more critical time lines. Switching from an hourly or a salary based pay scale to a performance based pay system is difficult for some folks. I love it - when I know that the more I get done the more I'm going to earn, I'm going to produce more than you will ever believe I could. I've always been paid by performance so I fell right into this career like a duck getting in the water.

Thanks Old School. I am definitely looking forward to meeting with the Schneider recruiter when he/she swings by my school. The one other company I am definitely interested in is Roehl. I've heard that they tend to be more regional and that miles with them are on the lower side? But people say that their training is top notch too... All these choices... It is such a welcomed change....

Stay safe out there!

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider Income potential for new drivers and budgeting tips for newbies.

I'm going to Schneider Dec. 30th. Tanker isn't available in my area, but I'll give you what I know and have learned.

My position supposedly averages 2,500-2,800 miles per week. Two rookie Schneider Drivers stopped by our first week of school. They were both less than six months as solo and both said they were averaging 2,000 miles per week. Both had equipment issues requiring replacement trucks, but both felt Schneider had delivered everything promised. Heck one guy had a rental car provided so he could leave his truck at the shop and go pick up a new truck AND Schneider paid him for his driving time (flat rate, not cents per mile) to go get the new truck.

3 of my school trainers had worked for Schneider (2 of them retired after 30+ years) and they all spoke very highly of Schneider. The one that had the least time with them said if he hadn't gone blind in one eye, he'd still be with them. They told me the training at Schneider is great and to expect to do all the driving during those weeks.

When the field recruiter showed up at school, everything he said was consistent with what the phone recruiter had quoted me.

As for budgeting, I'm planning on needing two months of expenses. Just because the pay is low during training and there will be something I have to buy that I didn't expect.

I'm jealous you'll have the opportunity to go tanker. I got my hazmat and tanker endorsements but not available here.

Good luck!

Congrats on starting with them! How is it going so far? I just started CDL training yesterday. Thanks for the info. The more I read about it, Schneider National seems to be a good place to work. What division are you going to be driving for? I definitely am still interested in tankers, but possibly Intermodal later on when i am ready for some home time. Keep us posted on how things are going in orientation. It must be half way over by now! I am interested in hearing how your time on the road with a trainer is goin.....

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Companies that go 48 and Canada

Just started CDL training yesterday and already companies are coming in to recruit us. It's really nice to actually have companies come to you vs having to compete for a job. Definitely a welcomed change! I know I made the right decision.

I was wondering if there are any recommendations for companies that hire new drivers who want to see all 48 states and Canada. I kinda figured if I am going to spend a year driving for a company to gain experience, I want to learn as much as I can and see as much as I can. I noticed that a lot of the companies swinging by here to recruit are more regional and local, which is cool but for where I am in my life it would be great to hit the road for awhile.

Thanks! and stay safe out there!

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