Comments By Cody B.

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  • Cody B.
  • Joined:
  • 5 years, 5 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 68

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Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

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Are O/O or company and do you know how long most heavy haul guys stay out?

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Me personally I am a company driver right now. I am home nearly every night. With that, there are drivers both company and owner operators (not for us) that are out weeks or even months at a time.

If you don't mind me asking who do you work for that gets you home every night?

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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My first post from the open road!

Well I did it, I'm finally on my own. I am now on my first trip as a solo flatbed driver.

I left Missoula, MT with a load of lumber Friday late morning, got in about 540 miles and stopped at a parking area 30 minutes south of Buffalo, WY. Then today I made it to the Love's in Lamar, CO, about 560 more miles. I gotta get to Oklahoma City by tomorrow night (less than 500 miles) and deliver first thing Monday morning, then I have a reload about an hour away in Wewoka, delivering in Springfield, VA, almost 1300 miles away, on Wednesday by 3PM. It's gonna be tight, but I think I can pull it off. That'll put me at almost 3,000 miles in my first 5 days! The only thing that scares me is how close to Washington D.C. that second delivery is... in the middle of the afternoon...

I have to say, I'm loving this experience so far. The freedom, the solitude, the independence, it's all quite nice. And the truck is sweet! A 2013 Kenworth t660 with built-in navigation and Sirius radio, plus it's an automatic. I was a little bummed about that at first, but I think that was only my pride making me feel that way. I had wanted to be a "real trucker" and drive a manual, but they needed to send me out and unfortunately my shifting wasn't progressing as fast as they had wanted it to. So they put me in the automatic. Now that I have it though, I'm so happy for it. It's so nice to have one less thing to focus on, especially considering it's my first time on my own ever. There's enough to deal with just trying not to hit anything.

I feel like I've experienced a lot in just my first two days. I went through Denver (I-25 to I-270 to I-70) at around 4:00 PM today, which was pretty eye-opening. I thought since it was the weekend traffic wouldn't be that bad, but boy was I wrong! That, combined with all the road work, made it one heck of a harrowing experience. Thank goodness for that automatic though!

Then tonight on my way down to Lamar, I could see this crazy lightning storm ahead of me. I drove right into it, and while I could see sunlight way off to the west, all around me it was like night. I drove through that leaning forward in my seat, with both hands up on the top of the wheel and both my elbows resting on the bottom. I got stuck behind a Swift driver who was going exceptionally slow, but I think it ended up being a good thing, because it kept me safe, and it actually bumped my mpg up a tenth to 6.3. We get paid a 50/50 savings bonus for everything above 6.0, and considering that I've climbed about 2,500 feet in elevation since I started and gone over countless hills and grades, I'm pretty proud of my 6.3 right now. Hopefully when I get to flatter land I can boost it even more.

Our company has Prepass and a good safety record so we tend to get a lot of green lights, but I got my first red light today. My heart practically jumped when I saw that. I was imagining a white-glove, 2-hour inspection, an out-of-service and an embarrassing call to dispatch. But all I did was roll through the scale and that was it, I was on my way again. No sweat.

One thing I've noticed right off the bat is how poorly designed a lot of truck stops seem to be. For example, I fueled up in Casper, WY this morning, and there was only one way to pull in to the pumps. No problem, but when I pulled forward and went around the building to exit, I came to a dead end! I had to back up, turn around and go back to the pumps and squeeze by along the side. I can't help but think I missed something somehow, but if I didn't, then every truck that pulls in there has to go through the same thing.

Anyway, I'm pooped and gonna call it a night. I found a church in town that I'm gonna crash tomorrow morning, then I'm off to Oklahoma City!

Don't worry about the Washington DC traffic you won't be affected if your delivering in Springfield VA, I actually live in northern Virginia just 30 minutes from DC. So you will be fine traffic wise.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Motor running?

Ok. Maybe dumb question, but why are guys leaving the engine running for 45 minutes or longer? I'm Parked Next to these guys a lot lately. Some all night. Yes I can move but I was here first & they keep finding me. These aren't reefer trucks either. Seems to me like they're just working their engine & wasting fuel/money.

No APUs so if they don't have bunk heaters they are probably running their trucks for heat to stay warm and When it's warmer they run their trucks for AC to keep cool.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Have CDL, No Real Experience

Thanks for the replies. Loctite (nice handle), it's time to leave. Civilian life will be much more difficult, I'm sure, but I've given it (the Corps) 11 years and I'm ready for a job that's more independent of people. I'm not much of a "people person", which is why I think trucking will fit me. Trucking is a lonely life but I look forward to no longer directly dealing with so many different attitudes. I'm sure there is so much I don't know about trucking and the industry but that's why I joined this forum. I'm sure you guys and gals will offer plenty of insight, both positive and negative. I'm all ears.

I just got out of the Marine Corps myself a few months ago and if you are interested in doing some physical labor along with driving I would highly suggest looking into TMC.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Need help finding train to hire in Massachusetts!

I have been looking for months, and I cannot find any train to hire in my area. It's Worcester County, in Massachusetts. Near the NH border. Either the companies out here do not do TTH or my zip code is outside their area. (01430)

I have not worked in so long, bills are piling up, trucking is what I really want to do. I need major help! :(

Try Stevens Transport I think I saw an ad of them doing train to hire.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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New CDL grad looking for info on double clutching and what is expected from new hires.

Ok, here is the deal. Just graduated and got my CDL. The school I attended was not the best and did not teach me 10 speed or double clutching. I had my phone interview with Schneider this morning and once the recruiter found out I canno't double clutch said he could not continue hiring process unless I go pay another school to train me on a 10 speed and double clutching. I also have a pre hire at GTI and May. Has anyone had experience with either and do they have the patience to teach you that when you hire on or is it like Schneider where they would fail you on first day for skill test. Any info would be great. Thanks

Do you have the resources to learn how to double clutch? If not look into some companies only operate automatics such as Trans am, US express, Comcar, Maverick those are just the ones I know off the top of my head. But if your gonna do this for a career you should learn how to double cluth and drive a manual transmission you never know when you could be in a situation to have to drive one.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Make a Rookie feel better?

Thanks Jeff, yeah its more so gears 3-5 on an in/de cline with me weighing 78k. You have to be quick. Its all about speed and rpms but the weight seems to through a cure into things. I haven't yet mastered my lower gears. I mean I can double clutch, float, through all my gears. But sometimes if I lose a lower gear, I'll check my speed, put my rps where they need to be and... Nothing but good ol' grindage lol

Lower the gear when downshifting the lower your rpms have to be to get into gear right?

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Passed my CDL driving test today

Congratulations, Isn't it a great sense of accomplishment ( not to mention the relief ) . I would raise a glass if I were a drinking man. So a tip of my cap will have to do. Live long and prosper.

Thank you guys

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Passed my CDL driving test today

You're talking a radical difference in job duties and lifestyle. That's what I feel you should focus on. The money will work out fine either way. You have to decide if you want to live the travelling lifestyle and handle the job duties of a flatbedder or run overnight shifts locally and just drive. You're going to be happiest with the job that suits your personality and life circumstances the best.

Yeah that's also what I'm thinking Brett and to me training means a lot cause I just got my CDL and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable hitting the road by myself next week with only a little more training. One other thing is the pay at TMC will be a little different because they offer ojt for veterans and you get 1300 a month for your first 12 months of employment using some of my GI benefits so that's a plus. But I also would enjoy to be on the road for at least a couple years getting some solid experience and doing flatbed has peaked my interest in many ways. Some thanks to Old school making it look and sound appealing and challenging. Guess I already know my answer by reading this haha,

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Passed my CDL driving test today

Now I'm stuck with the choice of going with TMC or a local job driving for a USPS contractor driving nights but home everyday the pay is just under 25$ an hour for the local job but the training is very minimum maybe If I'm lucky a week of training. But as you all know TMC has great equipment very good pay for new drivers and good hometime options for me. And personally since I'm new to this I would enjoy some extra training. But would I be a fool to pass up this local job? They are very picky on who they hire and I got in cause I'm a prior marine and so is the manage that does the hiring. Help a newbie out guys thanks in advanced

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Team pay with Werner

How much did you make can't zoom in ot click it!

It says just over 62K

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Got CDLA on my own....

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Hi. So i got my cdl a on my own while working for an oilfield company. Well if u watch the news you know the bottom kinda dropped out of this field. I would like to get into otr but most companies want experience or schooling and considering ive only had my cdl almost two yearss. and no otr experience, i am at a loss. Any suggestions? Schooling not a realistic option. Thanks

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Contact some of the bigger companies such as Prime,Werner,Swift,cr England,crst, Schindler,Crete,Melton,tmc, Maverick,Comcar, just to name a few bigger companies and see if they will gown you a shot most of them should seeing as they higher new students with that just got their cdl

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I appreciate the advice. ive contacted us xpress but not sure the outcome yet

What did you want to be hauling? Flatbed reefer? Dry van or maybe a tanker if you look up in the forums and choose topic by tag you will see a good amount of companies that higher inexperienced drivers

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Got CDLA on my own....

Hi. So i got my cdl a on my own while working for an oilfield company. Well if u watch the news you know the bottom kinda dropped out of this field. I would like to get into otr but most companies want experience or schooling and considering ive only had my cdl almost two yearss. and no otr experience, i am at a loss. Any suggestions? Schooling not a realistic option. Thanks

Contact some of the bigger companies such as Prime,Werner,Swift,cr England,crst, Schindler,Crete,Melton,tmc, Maverick,Comcar, just to name a few bigger companies and see if they will gown you a shot most of them should seeing as they higher new students with that just got their cdl

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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VA Apprenticeship Program: A Company list (working)

I'm still upset with Congress putting a limit on the Montgomery GI Bill. When I got out of the Air Force in 96, we were told it would always be there and come to find out, if you didn't use those benefits within 10 years of your separation date, they are now gone.

Yeah the Montgomery is 10 years from EAS, and post 9/11 is 15 years from your EAS. Sucks that you missed out on those benefits though.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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VA Apprenticeship Program: A Company list (working)

Maverick

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Black engine oil?

I realize it's been over a year since my last post. I don't even know how to find it!

Anyway, my question is this. I recently picked up a Volvo VNL64T300 day cab and had VoMac do their "standard PM on. I wanted to look over everything they did and upon checking the oil, again, I noticed it was STILL black. Now I know that cars are different than trucks, but BLACK, STILL..?

Any knowledge of this will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance

It's always gonna be black in a diesel motor, with the amount of oil it takes it is near impossible to drain every drop of oil in that engine so the new oil that gets put in will become dark rather quickly because of what was left behind after any oil change.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Trying to find my first trucking company

Yeah for real me too not everyday I run into somebody my age getting into this industry but I'm excited and ready to hit the road.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Trying to find my first trucking company

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I have no idea about that. Really not the best person to ask. Hopefully someone else sees this and can help.

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No biggie I'm gonna ask a recruiter on Monday, just curious though.

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Yeah, I'm 23, I don't know squat about GI Bills and all that stuff!

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Same here 23 and just got out lol I'm lost

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Trying to find my first trucking company

I have no idea about that. Really not the best person to ask. Hopefully someone else sees this and can help.

No biggie I'm gonna ask a recruiter on Monday, just curious though.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Trying to find my first trucking company

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You misunderstood, it's 30,000 miles team driving and 10,000 during the PSD phase where you are the primary driver and your instructor is watching you in the passenger seat.

Mike, the starting pay for a fullsize truck is .38cpm, and for a LW truck it's .43cpm.

The time will go by fast. Every student, especially the younger guys like me and you, would greatly benefit from a longer training period.

I'm a retired Instructor/Trainer at Prime. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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Does prime give you the choice between driving LW or full size? And can you just get your tanker or do you need the hazmat as well?

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You get a LW truck unless you have a damn good reason not to be in one.

Example: You're 6'6" 300lb.

Example: You just had surgery and you need the extra room to help you cook in the truck to eat properly.

They really do save their fullsize trucks for Instructors/Trainers and teams. You as a new driver are the least priority.

Also, you need to get tanker and hazmat. They want you with the tanker immediately, but they are patient with the hazmat endorsement since it takes a lot longer. But you need both.

For more information on Lw trucks check out my thread below:

Inside Daniel B.'s LW truck

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Right on thank you, I got my test Tuesday and I'm considering going with them, another question do you know if they do the on the job training for military veterans? I've looked on their website and can't find it on there.

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I don't really know what you mean. Their entire training is on the job training.

It's when you use your post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and the VA gives the veteran a check every month from anywhere to 1000-1300 depending on the benefits you have available for the first year of being a solo driver, a lot of the bigger dry van and flatbed companies use it.

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