Profile For Craig T.

Craig T.'s Info

  • Location:
    San Diego, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:
    Craig T. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 5 months ago

Craig T.'s Bio

26 years old. Was put in Special Ed sometime in elementary school.

Overcame adversity and remains special to this day.

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Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Strange dirty jobs or seasonal work for adventurous young man?

I should have made my question more direct. But it looks like this will be a dead end thread for me anyway. For any other future truckers that might find this thread useful, there's more kinds of trucking than OTR, flatbed, intermodal, or dump trucks and stuff. You can seek out niche jobs that require a CDL but are not so well known.

Stuff like pumpdown wireline, hydroseeding, slickline, sweeper trucks, water hauling, sewage related, civilian contracting for military, and probably many more I don't know about. I personally prefer seasonal work that's fast-paced and pays well. Learning about how to get prevailing wages and maximize overtime gigs obviously doesn't hurt. What does hurt is not being able to negotiate salary. Getting a Class A does not mean you can't get cross-trained and use multiple skill sets in a specialized industry.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Shifting gears in a Dump Truck

Pay close attention to what gear is for which speed range. For example, say in my truck 6th gear is ideal for 15-25 mph, 7th is 25-35mph, 8th is 35-45 mph ... all you have to do is know what speed you're at and with experience comes smoothly feeling out what RPM she likes to take it in (the truck).

If you're also driving a 13 speed, and those speed ranges seem to roughly work for you as well, memorize this

6th gear for 15mph translates to 1+ 5= 6 (when you look at the odometer and it says 15, just add the numbers together.) 25 mph translates to 2+5 = 7 (7th gear) 35 mph... 3+5 = 8 45 mph ... 4+5 = 9

Mentally run this through you head some when you're not driving. It'll start to come naturally once you know it and relax a bit.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Is it even worth it to keep your car if you're going to be OTR?????

Get rid of it. Be a free man and unburden yourself from as many material things as possible.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Strange dirty jobs or seasonal work for adventurous young man?

Hello, I've got a Class A and did a year of OTR through Prime. Then I disappeared for 8 months doing dirtbag things. Worked as a hydroseeder/trucker when I came back to civilization for a winter before leaving to go do hippy volunteer things for 4 months. Now that I'm back on the market for paid compensation, I'm wondering what else is out there.

Considering going to North Dakota or something to learn how to do wireline work. Any other suggestions you may have? Doesn't have to involve a CDL and I'm somewhat of a masochist. I'm not getting married, not having children, and my retirement is already planned. So I'm free to go anywhere and not burdened by material things like a house. Only limited by credentials and experience for things like becoming a Smoke Jumper. Where can I go and be hired by my can-do attitude, physical fitness, and dependability for getting the job done well? I have a set standard for myself though - I either do it for free or at least $20/hour (matter of principle.)

If I find it to be enjoyable for multiple reasons, I wouldn't mind doing it for years as I am running out of random things I'd like to do before death. May finally go ahead and pull the trigger on the military next year since I've been putting it off for getting memories that I'm happy to die for. Your input is appreciated especially if your initial reaction is to dislike me so long as your talking points are rationally sound ;p

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Newbie jobs

It definitely helps if you live near a major metropolitan area.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Would like some trucker opinions about a non-trucking related question (military)

I've thought about why I should and should not join the military ever since high school. I've been gaining more insights, more wisdom, and more reasons not to join every single year of my life. There's a bunch of personal reasons not related to any kind of righteousness, spite, or patriotism for why I would want to put myself through it. These reasons simply won't go away no matter what bit of new information comes my way.

I'm asking this here because I know there's a lot of veterans in this industry. The vast majority of the people I meet nowadays are progressive, incredibly sweet, and somewhat of a incognito hippy/educated/professional mix who has never done a real day of work throughout their entire lives.

I've essentially come to the point where I've got to make a final decision. I turned 27 while thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year which I think means I'm coming awfully close to the cut-off age to the things I would like to get involved in. The main reason I haven't joined the military at this point is because I've discovered several life passions of mine that I can't maintain while in the military. If I don't join, then there's one sure thing in my life that I wouldn't be able to cross off my "been there, done that" list. Which is pretty damn important to me. If I do join and something happens to me, there goes the possibility of pursuing the things I've fallen in love with. At the same time, I'm trying not to live forever and I'm committed to not having my own children.

For those who need to know what I have in mind so they can figure out how crazy/stupid I am; I'm looking at Marines, Rangers, maybe SF, maybe Recon, or maybe go for PJ. The cherry on top is that I would enlist instead of going straight to OCS.

In the meantime, I'm pretending to readjust back to civilization after loosing 34lbs on the PCT this year. I'm not someone that can easily loose a few pounds to begin with... so I'm going back to work (not OTR trucking, it's amazing what kind of opportunities are available with a class A and a bit of experience if you're free to go anywhere) and getting my general fitness/health back up to my kind of normal. If I don't go military next year, I'll be completing my triple crown on the CDT and continuing my other life passions until I die.

Cheers if you like to read a lot.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Long Haul to long trail

If anyone cares, I'm currently thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. After trucking OTR for a year with Prime Inc I'm so happy to be back doing what I love the most. I did the Appalachian Trail in 2014 and will eventually complete a Triple Crown. If you're curious about what it's like to hike all day everyday from Mexico to Canada, please check out my trail journal!

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=20547

Also feel free to ask me any questions you may have, I just won't be able to check this forum much. Direct messaging me will guarantee I will read your message... eventually. Sometimes Im off the grid for many days at a time.

Keep on trucking!

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Juror Duty

Are you planning to hike the entire length? How many days hiking are you planning? I see it goes from Campo to Manning Park. Because of weather and temp, I would think you would start at Campo CA and go north. How are you going to do it?

yes the whole trail. Northbound from Campo.

As for JD I just told them my situation (when it was a month ago while I was still trucking) and was excused.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Juror Duty

I just got off the road (turned my truck in and voluntarily left. I'm leaving for Thailand in a few days and now I see a summons for Juror Duty the day after I think I'll be coming back. However, 4 days after that is my approved permit start date to start a Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. Which is over 2,660 miles and it's my one shot to go for it.

I don't mind serving but I absolutely am not willing to sacrifice my thru hike or my trip to Thailand. If I respond I feel like it will be denied.

Any advice? I know just can't ignore it. Should I say I'm still in a big rig?

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Beginning driver tool kit...

Everything everyone has said + more extra water. emergency food emergency clothes (by emergency I mean that you don't touch it unless you need it) Duct tape Rubbing Alcohol (first aid/melting ice) WD-40 bolt cutters 911 treatment (just in case the diesal gels up) anti gel (just so my diesal doesn't gel up in the first place) jumper cables tire chains multi tool adjustable wrench Ice scraper big enough for a truck electrical tape gorilla glue rags bags of sand sunglasses toll cash rolls of quarters emergency poop kit **** jug

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Prime Inc.

Hey Lane,

Your buddy isn't lying. It's the slow season right now, and I'm still making about $1000 per week as a rookie solo company driver. And I mess around a lot. I work very hard but, I take every opportunity to have fun so I'll use hometime to take a 34 hour reset when I end up in a cool place I want to check out. Or schedule 4 days off at somewhere I want to go to in advance.

Prime Inc was recently voted as one of the best fleets to work for. There's good reason.

You may not enjoy the training phase very much but it pays off if you stick with it.

Dispatchers know better than to run you illegally. It all comes down to you anyway. I always run legal... on paper. If you're not working by the book, it's because you do it on your accord to run more efficiently. I'd rather not go into detail about that but you'll understand once you're trucking.

As a company driver they try to constantly keep you on dispatch. Which is a good thing. You could work 90 hours a week (on elogs it would be 70) but keep in mind most of that is driving. Where you could be listening to podcasts, music, and audiobooks the whole time.

at the end of every shift, you need to be off for 10 hours to get your drive hours back. I typically use those hours to sleep. So yes, you can get plenty of sleep. A lot of the time it could be very erratic though. I personally switch back and forth with day driving and night driving depending on what would be most convenient (I'm very good about sleep, I can do it anytime and almost anywhere).

New company drivers typically have a choice of trucks to pick from. I picked one that had 210,000 miles on it instead of a brand new Cascadia. (So yes, you could get a new truck but I'm also happy with mine)

what you do when you're out of your truck is up to you. I'm not your typical trucker and do all kinds of things. It's a matter of discipline, time management, engenuity, and planning ahead or taking advantage of opportunities. Recognizing the opportunity doesn't come to everybody though. I see most truckers would rather stay in their cab watching movies and playing video games. It's their choice or their excuses.

I keep a skateboard, a fold up mountain bike, rock climbing gear, and debated about taking my snowboard in my truck. The bike comes in handy for the many side trails and middle of nowhere places you'll constantly up around. The skateboard is great for when I grab a taxi into a city, spend a couple nights at a hostel, and explore downtown. The other stuff are just for hobby.

Can't tell you how happy I am to have the time/ability to get back into reading books because of trucking. If I wasn't driving all the time like this, it would take me a decade to go through the books I've listened to on audiobook in the past 8 months.

Feel free to contact me in the future about travel tips (like how to do it). I started trucking just so I can travel. Next month I'm flying to Thailand. And when I come back, I'm hiking from San Diego to Canada. It's a great life.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Prime Employees

Hi Dom,

Through the Prime Student Driving program you'll get $600 a week when you're on the road as long as you're working. Not all trainers give their students a bigger cut than the mandatory 600. Some trainers are in it more for themselves and won't feel the least bit guilty about paying the minimum. If you drive more than 2,000 miles in a week, as a trainee, you get a few cents more per mile for every mile after 2,000 on top of the $600 weekly. Which doesn't amount to much.

I think your recruiter gave you the cpm for how much company team drivers make. They probably said something like "you could make up to" which is not lying but definitely misleading.

Another thing is that team drivers get paid as a team. So they split whatever mileage the truck ran. You wouldn't make .445cpm in that case. The truck would make .445cpm.

I think the lowest rate Prime pays for a solo company driver starting out is .28cpm

Don't quote me on that.

I get paid .375cpm but I drive a lightweight truck and I've got over 50,000 miles now. I can look up the exact rates later for you if no one has them at the top of their head right now.

If something doesn't make sense or I'm being unclear just clarify. I could use some sleep right now.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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How difficult is it to obtain a Class A CDL?

It's not incredibly difficult to get a CDL. The most difficult part would be figuring out how to offset and alley dock without a decent teacher.

What getting your Class A doesn't teach you is how to drive OTR. If the driving gig is very straight forward and predictable in the sense that you only have to master driving in a straight line and turning once in awhile, you'll be fine until you make a wrong turn or have to back up for whatever reason. And those whatever reasons will probably come up even if you're not OTR.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Oh no, my first recruiter conversation. I'm panic stricken

The only reason I have touched freight driving reefer with Prime is because I opted to do it myself instead of waiting for the lumpers to do it. I knew they were going to take 6+ hours at some places so I got the job done personally within an hour.

You will never have to touch freight at many companies

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Question about CPM

Under those conditions that is correct. Except it's not what you thought. At 90cpm you would make 45k in cents. Which equates to $450.00

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Overnight parking in a city

Bobtail in downtown Denver. Is there a risk besides break-ins if I park overnight on a residential side street?

I can easily just park at the conpany yard and grab an uber, lyft, or taxi...

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Prime Company Drivers Please Read

Hey Kenny, the most I've taken home after taxes is 1600 in a week. That was running as hard as I possibly could and squeezing in a 34 hr reset by using advanced level trucker wizardry.

If you're on point, you'll easily get over 2,000 miles a working week. But you have to be really good at trip planning and figuring out how to use all of your hours wisely if you want to hit over 3,000 a lot.

My paycheck is usually about $1100-1200 a week. Sometimes it's much lower but that's because I took off time to go have fun.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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Prime critical event?

I drive for Prime. One time I got a critical event when I was just casually cruising along on a straight highway at 58mph. There were no turns, winds, or anything. I was perplexed and naturally my dispatcher thought I was lying about taking a curve too fast or something but there was nothing I could do but reassure him everything's fine.

I did get a real critical event while training though. My trainer was not the most patient person and he told me I didn't have to take downhills so slow. So when he told me to grab another gear despite a curve ahead, I just listened. Fortunately, we didn't roll. Obviously. Lesson learned; you should trust your own judgement because you're the one driving after all.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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My trainer is exhibiting some really bizarre behavior at a dysfunctional company.

Everything but peeing in a bottle for warmth are reasons i would leave.

I was in Search & Rescue for 3 years and using my pee has definitely helped me get some shut eye in rough nights. Other times I would just be using a bottle to melt snow with my body heat so I didn't have to waste fuel in the morning.

When I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail, it just would be a terrible waste of calories to unzip yourself from your cocoon of warmth, open up your tent and let the freezing cold in, while making your **** shrivel up in the cold relieving yourself in the middle of an icy night. Way better to just pee in a bottle and keep it for extra warmth against the care area.

But you guys are in a truck. Tell him to get a warmer blanket.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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What do you/will you miss the most?

I miss trail running my mountains everyday, my favorite hot yoga place, the plethora of rock climbing options, the beach, saunas, hot tubs, the beautiful women, the insane variety of craft beer I can drink at anytime, excellent food of all sorts, decent paved roads that are fun to skate, the community where everyone is happy, a full kitchen to cook with, being able to do real work outs at a time of my convenience

Annnnnd you know what, It's alright. I'm trucking for the experience. Planned on doing this for only a year and then I'm off to a long indulgent adventure that takes me away from all that wonderful stuff I just mentioned. Apparently it's not that important to me. I'd rather be out and about instead of doing the same things over and over at home. Life's a trip; pack light.

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