Profile For J.K.

J.K.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 7 months ago

J.K.'s Bio

Down to earth Midwesterner here. Looking forward to a long career as a trucker. Grandpa was a trucker, Dad is a trucker, Cousin, Uncle, even my best friend is a trucker! Glad to be here!

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Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Heading to Orientation!

Well it's official, I'll be leaving for Kansas on the 14th for orientation with Trans Am. I decided to choose them because they offer the most extensive training right out of CDL school. It's not the most money in the world but after discussions on here and a lot of thoughtful thinking I decided it's better to go for what feels right than to go running after the money. I'll be pulling reefer and going mostly east of the Rockies and occasionally out west to L.A. I'm excited as hell and will be sure to keep you guys posted with how it's going. Thanks again for everyone's help. Woo Hooooo!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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CDL Testing Complete!!

Hey Guys-

Well I did it! I passed my CDL skills test and am just waiting for the school to submit my scores to the DOT. It wasn't a cake walk and the alley docking almost got me but I passed, that's all that matters!

I just wanted to thank everyone that gave me any advice and give a big overall thanks to this site in general.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Where's the Money At?

Thanks for the heads up! The offer I have is for company driver. I'm not interested in leasing whatsoever. I have heard a mix of things about Trans. I've heard their equipment is top notch though and they give some advanced training. I'd like to get on there and get my wheels wet and then re-access after a period of time. I've had other company offers but I need a little advanced training right out of the gate so that's my main reason for picking between Trans and Maverick. West Side and Schneider made me offers but Schneider I need more manual experience (I'm training on an automatic day cab, with a 28' flat bed trailer, that's all this school has to offer and NO I didn't have any luck with other company sponsored training) and West Side does a driving test on day one and I'm not sure about going from a 28' flatbed to a 53' van with no practice time whatsoever. After a little experience if it isn't working at Trans, West Side would be my next, and possibly last, stop. They have a driver mentor program too, so eventually I'd likely learn to drive manual there somehow.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Where's the Money At?

I appreciate the feedback immensely! The articles were helpful, thanks Brett. I agree with what you guys have said as well. Even in other jobs I've done I've chased the money and ended up miserable and half the time even broker because I ended up quitting my job. With trucking I don't want to do that. This is something special to me and I don't want to throw it away. To start out I think Trans Am may be the place to go. I like the physical aspects of flatbed on the surface but realistically when it's pouring down rain or snowing like the ****ens I'm not so sure I would appreciate it as much. Home time is a big thing with me too and Trans Am may get me more since their terminal is a bit closer. I really appreciate the advice guys. Thanks for helping to put things in perspective more clearly!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Where's the Money At?

Hey guys,

I've got two options at this point. I've been approved for Maverick to pull flatbed and I've got an offer from Trans Am to pull reefer. Maverick offers the higher CPM but I'm wondering if since it's flatbed that's to compensate for the time I'm going to spend loading/unloading myself. Trans Am offers a flat rate for loaded and unloaded along with 50/50 drop and hook. Am I going to get more miles running reefer than flatbed? I need some advice on the matter.

Thanks!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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TransAm

Hey guys-

Well got another offer today. This time from TransAm. The pay isn't super high but it's decent enough. I was wondering if anyone runs for them and how many miles I could realistically be looking at getting a week starting out. Almost all the recruiters I've talked to have said 2200-2500 which is fine, but I'd like to get some of your opinions on it.

Thanks Guys!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Automatic transmissions

Hey Dwayne-

I know a fair amount of the bigger companies are in the process of going to automatic fleets. I know that Maverick is all auto but that's flatbed and if you have health concerns that might not be a great match. Other companies I've heard are West Side transport out of Cedar Rapids, IA and Hirschbach out of East Dubuque, IL. They both run primarily East of the Rockies so that's something to look into. Good Luck!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Trucking permit!

Hi Courtney-

What you'll have to do is go to the DOT/DMW and take the 3 "written" test to get your permit. The test are General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combination. Once you pass all of them with an 80% or higher you can pay for your permit. There's usually no cost for the test but the permit is around 12 bucks. Good Luck!!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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CDL in hand

Congratulations Scott!! I'm testing on March 30th. Can't wait to have it in hand myself.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Maverick Job Offer

Hmm, well I might have to check in with Jeff tomorrow and see what the hold up is then.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Maverick Job Offer

Hey Andre-

I've been talking to Jeff. He's been real nice and helpful too. Did you get your results from the background check the next day then?

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Maverick Job Offer

Hey guys-

Well I'm at the end of the process with Maverick Transportation right now. They've got all my employer stuff and now I'm just waiting on the "widescreen" background check. I'm not sure what all that entails besides a national criminal check and MVR. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone knew how long those checks take. Is it like a "normal" background check that takes about a week or is it like a national one that takes a few weeks? I'm getting antsy here!!

Thanks

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbed delivery

Hey guys! So I'll start this off with some good news. Today I passed my "written" exams and got my permit! It was a little nerve racking but with the help of the High Road Test prep and other study aids I passed and that's all that matters now.

Now to my question: Where do flatbeds deliver to mostly? Factories? Lumber yards? Warehouses? I've got a general idea but I was just wondering what type of deliveries I should plan on making.

Thanks guys!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbeds

Hey guys,

I'm going to be training on flat beds and wanted to know how much of a difference this will make when trying to transition to vans. For more clarification I mean what's the difference in backing, pulling, blindspots, etc. Thanks.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Pay types

I was wondering what the difference in types of pay are. I've heard terms like "zip code" pay, actual pay, hub pay, stop pay, breakdown pay, etc. I haven't gotten a lot of details about it yet though. Can you guys elaborate on it for me and tell me what I should be asking about?

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Shifting

I've put in a lot of applications and talked with about ten recruiters or so and the majority of them are still using 10 speeds. West Side was the one that was the coolest with only having auto experience besides Maverick which is all automatic. I'm going to go with West Side and see if they can cross train me eventually or I can at least get some practice on 10 speeds. If that doesn't work my idea is to work for them for awhile and save up the money for a more thorough CDL school that teaches manual shifting. You guys are right about the limited options without shifting experience/knowledge. I'm going to keep watching shifting videos daily and I may even try to at least get a ride along after I've got my permit. If anyone has any suggestions about how I can get some shifting experience after I get my permit I'm open to suggestions. For right now, I don't have any way of going to another CDL school though.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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3 Time Looser, CDL, Can't get chance. Any ideas?

Hi Mark,

I don't know exactly what you've got in your past but I've dealt with some stuff of my own these last few months of trying to find jobs. I was able to find some websites that showed company restrictions for hiring when it comes to background stuff. Jobsfortruckers.com is one. Driverrecruiting.com is another one. And another one is bestdriverjobs.com too. Like I said I don't know exactly what's in your background or anything but I know that some companies are more forgiving than the ones you mentioned that's for sure. Hope this helps! Good luck!

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Shifting

As some of you may know the CDL program at my community college is training us on an automatic and we'll be testing on it too. I had some concerns because Schneider made me a future hire offer and their fleet is mostly 10 speeds right now. I even called Schneider and told them the scenario and they said they wanted me to test on a manual and know how to shift from day one. So that is out for now...

I fortunately have a second offer from West Side transport which is only about an hour from my house. I told them the scenario and they said their fleet is 70/30 automatics and it won't be an issue as long as I acquaint myself with the basics of shifting/double clutching/hi lo, etc. So that's a relief that I have a job lined up out of the gate. It's regional too so I should be home most weekends.

In going through this experience both companies said they would be transitioning fully to automatics in the next five years. Now, I would love to and plan on still learning to drive a ten speed one way or another in the next six months to a year even if I have to go to a private CDL school to learn, but I wanted to get the opinions of you guys here since there's a blend of experienced and newbies like myself. What do you guys think? Will it be all autos soon?

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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About Dem New Boots?

Red Wings are a good brand (as evidenced by the price!) The only thing I don't like is steel toed. My toes get real cold and they are more restrictive in my opinion.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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From CDL School and beyond...

Yeah it will be switching over soon, probably right after I would finish my testing. I want to learn on a 10 speed and test on one but there isn't the option with this program. I'm looking into USA Truck schooling program though to see what they can offer. It just doesn't feel right, the thought of training and testing on an auto. If I was to get to a company and they had autos that's one thing but I feel that if you can drive a 10 speed you can drive anything.

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