Profile For Don R.

Don R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 4 months ago

Don R.'s Bio

Im 49 , Deciding which company I'd like to drive for. This is my second career. Passed my permit and all endorsements thanks to the High Road Training program. .

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Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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RE: List of Companies

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Whats the school, maybe someone knows but I agree with H C , most of the schools either name the companys or have there logo's displayed on there site.

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Well, I asked them if a list exists that shows the companies that hire their graduates, and they said no such list exists. However, when I visit them later this week, I will come out and ask for company names and see how it goes. I'm hoping that maybe I just didn't word it correctly when asking for a "list". I'll see what happens this week.

I start a school this week and on the first day of application etc. I asked her what companies they work with and who visits. She wrote down all 10 companies and the day I was there, US Xpress was there and I got to sit in and participate with questions etc. So something does sound weird about your situation.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Fulfilling my childhood dream!

Who would have thunk it. Here I am, getting ready to start school on the 26th, the uber nerd....getting ready for a career.

Turning 40 in just a couple of days has caused me to reflect on my life...where it has taken me. I have been in the Navy and saw the world and I have been a business owner for the last 20 years. The thing is, I have never had a career. Yes, I had a small IT company...but that was never where my heart was.

I remember, at 4 years of age, watching Smokey and Bandit for the first time and falling in love with that truck. I didn't want to be the Bandit, screw that car....I wanted to be the Snowman! My parent would tell stories about me....in my little car....with my fake CB radio. The pastor of the local church came knocking on the door one day to tell my parents that I was in the front yard, talking into my CB radio, yelling..."Sum b**ch!"

I remember all those looong car rides, in the station wagon with the panels (got to love the early 80's), that my parents made my and siblings go on...ugh. I would spend my time looking out for truckers, trying to get them to honk their horn....you remember.

My love affair with trucks never stopped. All through high school, I remember driving to Peoria to go to the truck shows and truck rodeos....all the while. I joined the Navy at 17, got to drive forklifts all over the flightline and box trucks all over Spain....but never a "big rig". Got out the Navy, went to college, started an IT company, and started a family. I grew up. Now, here I am....business is no longer, kids grown or grown enough (youngest is 16), and I'm starting school to be a truck driver. I'm lucky to have a woman that is supportive of me following my dream. Who would have thunk it?

Sum b**ch....here's to you Snowman.

Great story! I too enjoyed Smokey and the Bandit. Own the DVD so I watch it time to time. Loved that era. And you're right as a kid I always wanted the truckers to blow their air horn. Funny how things like that was a big deal. Now I too will be going to school to embark on this career #2

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Beginning my truck driving career

You're doing awesome! I enjoy reading your progress and look forward to your last week. What a high that'll be when you're all done eh?

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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High Road Training

I agree. My DMV office only has proctors available for like 2.5 hrs. When I showed up she asked what tests I wanted, and I told her everything except School and Passenger. Well she shook her head and said I don't think you'll have time to finish all that and whatever isn't completed is a failure. I said well I'll do what I can hopefully I get the GK and AirBrakes and Combination completed at least. After the paperwork and amenities out of the way, she gave me this stack of tests, the Gen Knowledge , air brakes, combination, tanker, doubles/triples, HazMat. It was about 2:25 pm. I was standing in front of her at 3:17 for her to correct everything. She had that look like I had three eyes. And She couldn't believe , 1. that I finished all of them, and 2. I passed with flying colors on them all. She stated I was the first to do all in that short of time and do soo well. I will say this however, the General Knowledge was written differently than I had seen on the High Road. The questions were similar however the way they were written were what was baffling, I was kind of worried that I wouldn't do well. But I did. Brett you have a great tool here onthis site and boy what a big big help!! I thank you and all that contribute here to help me get going on my second career.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Question on HazMat endorsement

Thank guys, I appreciate it.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Question on HazMat endorsement

Hi guys, I just took my permit test today with all endorsements. I have to get fingerprinted of course yet for the HazMat. If I passed the Tanker endorsement and the HazMat, will I just get the X or H and T ? Im not sure I understand the X? I've rescanned the CDL booklet and I can't find the answer. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

DonR

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Beginning my truck driving career

I had a nice day off yesterday. I went for a short hike along the Fox River. It was really icy so that was a lot of fun! Today was the beginning of week two of training. Another round of students came in so the yard is a lot busier. I started off the pre-trip. While I was looking at one of the brake chambers in the back I got too close to the fifth wheel and got some grease on my shoulder. We tried to clean it off with starter fluid, but then it was very fumy and I couldn't wear it in the cab so I ended up going without a jacket for the whole day. Brrr! We did some highway driving. Everything seemed to really come together for me today. I still made a few mistakes, but all the shifting came a lot easier and it's becoming more natural to have my head on a continuous swivel at the mirrors. We worked on offset backing again as well, which also seemed to click today. My instructor handed out Week 1 progress reports. The major things I need to work on, as of right now, are my 90 degree backing and making sure I look in the mirrors better while backing.

Glad to hear you're doing well and things are clicking. You are inspiring others out here to pursue this career. I just had my DoT phys today, and will be taking my permit test tomorrow or next day. Im having to wait on the VA before heading to school. Hoping it doesn't take forever as is the gov't way. Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Beginning my truck driving career

I had a nice day off yesterday. I went for a short hike along the Fox River. It was really icy so that was a lot of fun! Today was the beginning of week two of training. Another round of students came in so the yard is a lot busier. I started off the pre-trip. While I was looking at one of the brake chambers in the back I got too close to the fifth wheel and got some grease on my shoulder. We tried to clean it off with starter fluid, but then it was very fumy and I couldn't wear it in the cab so I ended up going without a jacket for the whole day. Brrr! We did some highway driving. Everything seemed to really come together for me today. I still made a few mistakes, but all the shifting came a lot easier and it's becoming more natural to have my head on a continuous swivel at the mirrors. We worked on offset backing again as well, which also seemed to click today. My instructor handed out Week 1 progress reports. The major things I need to work on, as of right now, are my 90 degree backing and making sure I look in the mirrors better while backing.

Glad to hear you're doing well and things are clicking. You are inspiring others out here to pursue this career. I just had my DoT phys today, and will be taking my permit test tomorrow or next day. Im having to wait on the VA before heading to school. Hoping it doesn't take forever as is the gov't way. Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Swift training

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Interesting. Any particular reason for that?

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Companies hire out of states that give them frieght. One month they'll higher out of Alabama, another month they won't. Or they'll hire from NY or they won't. It comes down to supply and demand. There are other companies that probably hire from NY.

Actually Swift has a lot of dedicated in this state.

Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Swift training

It probably has to do with state licensing regulations. There's probably some catch that won't allow them to train you at their facility with a New York permit or New York won't let you transfer your license back into the state or something to that affect.

A lot of states have passed regulations in the past couple of years trying to prevent their citizens from leaving the state for CDL training, specifically for the Company-Sponsored Training Programs. The states figure that not only are their own private schools losing the tuition but the state is losing all kinds of fees if you get your license out of state for things like the written exams, the CDL testing itself, and the licensing fees. And since the state's private schools are losing revenues the state is losing tax revenues also.

I think you nailed it Brett. My thoughts exactly. In fact I spoke with NTTS in Liverpool NY and had mentioned to them and the gentleman said that the laws , regs recently changed. How recent Im unaware. But in typical NY fashion, "we aren't getting ours" mentality.

Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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FYI any NY folks looking at Swift training.

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[Swift] won't take people for company sponsored training if a NY resident. You must have your CDL A already.

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Don, I'm finishing up Swift Academy in Memphis. Did you ask the recruiter if Swift will cover tuition at a Driving School? Many companies will refund your tuition when you get hired.

Hi Errol

Yes, thank you for bringing that up. I forgot to mention that Swift will reimburse you for your training, but Im thinking she said that it was up to 5000$. That's why I wasn't discouraged. She did mention however that they very much prefer the school that trains you uses the 53' trailers as well . Apparently there are some schools that maybe only use the "pup" trailers? How is training there? Is it what you hoped? what will you be driving do you know? Or have they told you? Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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FYI any NY folks looking at Swift training.

For anyone from NY who is looking at Swift. I found out today speaking with one of their recruiters that they don't take people for company sponsored training if a NY resident. You must have your CDL A already. It was news to me. But obviously will hire you once licensed. Anyway, it wasn't discouraging but just an avenue shut down till I get the license. FYI Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Swift training

For anyone from NY who is looking at Swift. I found out today speaking with one of their recruiters that they don't take people for company sponsored training if a NY resident. You must have your CDL A already. It was news to me. But obviously will hire you once licensed. Anyway, it wasn't discouraging but just an avenue shut down till I get the license. FYI Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Thanks to a SWIFT driver...

Just a message to the Swift driver I met at the local truck stop in my area last night. In NY . The only one btween Albany and Canada on I87 Ext 16. Thanks for your input to the questions I asked and the questions you posed to me during dinner. You were very nice and professional . Folks , As you may or may not know I have been on here for about a month now, reading and learning from everyones contributions. I have been considering this as my second career having been in a different career and position having been eliminated at the end of Dec. The driver from Swift was a regional driver from Ohio. He spoke highly of the company, its training and helped me out a lot. I hadn't considered Swift too much but he was pretty convincing. He has been driving for them for 8 yrs and loves it. Im fortunate that I have this big truck stop in my back yard to watch and talk to those that are willing to give up 10 mins of their time. Thanks Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Guys. Seriously, is trucking worth it?

Don I drive for WEL Companies out of DePere, WI. Been with this company my whole career.

Thanks RedGator.

Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Beginning my truck driving career

I've thought about becoming a trucker for a long time. I found this website while researching the career about a year ago, but I didn't decide until the last few weeks to finally take a step forward. Since I made the decision, everything has moved very quickly and very smoothly so far. I contacted a few company sponsored driver training schools and chose to go with Roehl Transport. I had my DOT physical, filled out my paperwork, and yesterday I took and passed my permit test. I'm very excited and this site has been a very helpful resource as well as study tool. Thank you all so much!

Class starts on Monday, Jan. 5th in Appleton, WI. I was in Black River Falls, WI recently with my boyfriend to visit some of his family, so it's kind of fun to be going right back to the same area. He's been very supportive of my decision and he's really proud to declare to everyone we know that pretty soon he will be dating a trucker. I plan to update this journal to let you know how everything goes with the schooling and, hopefully, how things go after with this company. I'm planning on joining Roehl's 7/7 fleet. I know that means less pay, but that shouldn't be a problem. I was only making 14K a year with my minimum wage job, so if I'm making that or better with Roehl, I can get by just fine. I have high hopes for this new chapter in my life and I can't wait to get started!

Congrats to you!! I too have been considering this new career for sometime, studying High Road and other material I have looked at Roehl as well but haven't called their recruiter yet. Good luck to you and hope to hear your progress .

Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Guys. Seriously, is trucking worth it?

As usual Old School nailed it. And I would have to agree. Its worth it for me. I love this job. I dont want to go regional nor local. I hate when I have to do LTL loads. There is nothing to me like the open road under your tires rolling down the highway miles from where you started and miles from where your going, at least for me. I have 3 kids and im also a woman. This life isnt for everybody. Not even close. You have to decide that for yourself but guess what you never know until you try because I never would have imagined id be doing this. And yes at first It scared the crap out of me. Now ive been to 46 states, driven across all of the most talked about mt passes Donner, Cabbage, Veil (in the snow with chains on) Raton in dense fog, Mt Eagle, Snoqualmie, 4th of July, lookout. Well you get the hint right? Plus im a trainer now too on my 6th student. 2 1/2 yrs in and I couldnt see leaving.

Hi RedGator,

Who are you driving for? I like that you've been going on this 2.5 yrs and are training others. That's great. An inspiration for us wannabes.. Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

Hey 6, I know what you mean about the night work. I can tell you this. I as a former prof pilot would do days into nights , then switch during a week over to night shift to days. Talk about tired? Go from starting your days at 0500, getting home around 1930-2000 and do over for a few days then swap that to nights. Exhausting. Not nearly the rest people need. I always wished for either all days or all nights. I'll take all nights anyday over that flip flop crap! You just have to find that "happy" place and deal with the hand dealt I suppose. Drive safe and thx for the PM time. Im sure I'll be in touch .... Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Truck Driving institute of Tupelo

I spoke with a recruiter with NTTS today and was sent a packet on the school. They have 7 week and 10 week course as well as a weekend only for like 20 some weeks. I am looking at the 7 weeks class. Of course this is just one of many avenues that Im looking at. Cost for this school, State Certified, Nationally Accredited , is for the 7 wks $8375. M-F, no weekends. 97% graduate rate. With high job placement as well. Just FYI.

Don

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Hello all, Looking for Con Way

Information, relating to Conway. Has anyone here worked for or currently working for them? Thanks guys/gals

Don

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