Profile For Matthew T

Matthew T's Info

  • Location:
    Hillsboro , NH

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 1 month ago

Matthew T's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

3 Strikes, I Guess I'm Out

Update: So I'm back at campus after retaking the safety class and getting re-certified. All of you were right about the situation and I wanna thank you all for propping me up the last few days, I was feeling pretty low. I followed all of your advice and just accepted the consequences in good faith with a positive and serious attitude. All went well. I will be sent out for an additional 15-20k miles training as part of my penance with a 2-million-miler with zero accidents. While the team driving thing is a punishment (cuz I loathe it) I am actually looking forward to get out with this guy and learn some of his tricks of the trade and pick his brain about the multitude of questions that have been plaguing me since I started this nutty odyssey.😉 I also feel I can be an asset to him since alot of the daily stuff I have been doing on my own is what these guys normally have to train guys to do, (Quallcom, tandems, paperwork, etc.) so I feel I have something to offer. This is the most positive I've felt about this career choice since I left my student training and I'm ready to give it my all and prove I can be a safe, conscientious driver over the long haul.

p.s. - I even get to stay on the truckers forum here! Lol.

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

3 Strikes, I Guess I'm Out

Well, folks, I've done myself in. I don't really know what the differences are between "incidents" and "accidents" but in the last 3 months I've had 3 of them.

The first during training I got the trailer high-centered on an embankment by cutting the corner too sharply.

The second was taking out a sign on the corner coming out of a shipper maybe a month ago. The third just occurred the other night as I was backing into a dock and I dinged the fender of a tractor scratching the paint on my fender but causing no other perceivable damage.

So thats it. 3 strikes and dispatch routes me back to the home terminal I assume for the last time. Someone else on here talked about being followed by a "black cloud". My nemesis is Murphy himself and his cruddy Law. There always seems to be a perfect storm of problems thrown in my path that turns something seemingly simple into a massive cluster*%#&!

But I do take full responsibility for it and can describe in detail each event. The blame squarely rests on me for each one and my inattentiveness to the situations when they occurred. I need make no excuses for it, that's all it was.

So as this is probably my last night at a truckstop and my last delivery tonight, I thought I'd give a few final updates before retiring from the "truckers" forum.

First off I wanna thank you for providing this place on the web to support such a great community. From what I've seen of other sites online this place is a haven for rookies to come and get honest advice, pep talks and stern guidance when things get tough out here, which they will.

The training materials are top-notch and helped me get through my testing with flying colors. The times I've vented on here were replied to by honest people who instead of insulting me gave me advice and propped me up through a time or two that I just wanted to park this rig and go home for good. Thank you all for your concern and words of encouragement.

Alright, enough of that before I get anymore bleary-eyed!😉

In the last 4 or 5 months I've had so many ups and downs that I feel like I've been on a rollercoaster almost daily.

My tally of good vs bad days in my short stint as a driver have been overwhelmingly bad. Maybe thats just me, as many on here will attest, trucking isn't a job for everyone and I think I fall into that category. I keep dwelling on the past, my mind saying "maybe if I'd just done this" or "if only I hadn't done that". Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

I know it doesn't matter anymore. Ah well, whaddaya gonna do?

I was told there may be 2 outcomes for me, either I would be fired or, if they deem it worth their time, they may send me back out with a trainer for another 30 or 40k miles.

At this point I'm honestly not sure if I would go back out training again. I dunno.

Anyways, just wanted to check in with you all and tell you my drama. I'll continue to update this thread the next few days for anyone interested in the outcome.

Good luck, have fun and stay safe!

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Ugh, 3's the charm? Worst day yet...

So today was my third day running solo. It would suffice to say it was a complete nightmare but I need the therapy so details will follow in my ***** n' whine section below. It was enough to make me seriously consider packing up my stuff, drop my empty at a local yard and bobtail back to hq to turn in my tractor and head home. 1 - I missed my original appt and was late for my next. Took almost an hour to find someone at the receivers who knew what was going on. Was told to back up to dock. I tried all sorts of angles, pull ups and even threw in a few alley docks... choked and puked for 20 mins before a guy came up and told me how to do it. Guess they were enjoying making fun of the dumbass who can't backup a truck. Got emptied to realize the rest of my load is miissing - I had a small 90 after this delivery but never thought that I wasn't given the paperwork. Figired I was fired at that point so called in and was basically told I was an idiot, which I agree with. 2 - Got thru that and was sent my next load. Reviewed that and had 2.5 hrs to find a spot to shutdown. The shippers only 190 miles and my appt isn't until 10pm tomorrow. Cool. Missed a quick left after an exit and ended up getting myself routed through a small, congested town with skinny roads and tight intersections with no where to turn around. Nightmare. A box truck zipped by and hit my drivers side mirror slamming it up at a useless angle. I squirreled my way through the streets rubbing overhanging tree limbs and house drops to get turned around and more than once had to have vehicles backup so I could make a turn. Can't believe I didn't hit anything or damage things. Thats about the only thing that went right. Wasted 1.5 hrs getting out of there and back on route - and probably aged a few years in the process. 3 - Had to drive 80 miles to the nearest safe haven making me go over my driving time giving me an HOS violation. Can't wait to hear what dispatch has to say about THAT after my bonehead move earlier.

I don't know if I can handle more of these kinds of days. I know I'm not very good at this so I think I need to re-evaluate at this point. Don't worry though, I'd never just leave my truck on the side of the road, no matter what. Good luck and stay safe!

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

CDL permit, forgot to get Tank Endorent.

As far as I remember nearly everyone had to get their permits in Missouri regardless of whether they got one in their home states or not. They'll go over the list of states (I don't think there were many) that permits will transfer from on the first day of orientation. If it transfers, I'd think you just need to test for your tanker endorsement. Missouri lumps it together with the "N" endorsement for combined. You recruiter may be able to advise you. Good luck!

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Pondering the Last 13 Weeks...

So here I am waiting to get into a door and be unloaded at a reciever (again) and thought I'd jot down some thoughts on my training thus far.

Orientation week at Prime in Springfield, Mo. was just a flurry of busy, busy, busy. I was particularly stressed by the fact that I'd found out I'd lost my license on the bus trip and had to somehow scramble and get a reissue sent from New Hampshire so alot of the things I was supposed to be doing had to be put aside until it arrived on Wednesday. So I crammed in all the computer time I could to get those classes done and of course, the sim training. After Wednesday, now a full 2 days behind the rest of my class, I spent on the shuttle going to and from the dmv for my tests (which I managed to pass first time, thank goodness - so no return trips there), offsite physical and drug testing, and finalizing paperwork, TWIC, etc. The next day I get a panicked call from home asking why I took all the money out of our account with my atm. Well, I hadn't. At some point during my 39 hour bus ride down my card had been scanned remotely and then used across the country for cash advances. So now we're broke and I'm halfway across the U.S. with no money coming in until I get on a truck and start getting the cash advances to live off of while on the road. I somehow managed to get down to Prime East on Saturday for the 2nd round of psd/trainer matchups and latched onto my first trainer for my psd stint of 3 weeks. That went well for the most part. I was only completely terrified for the first 3 or 4 days of driving in the real world... After that was the litany of "ALWAYS go wide if you can. Even if you're not pulling a trailer. GO WIDE!" That phrase will come back to haunt me... Jump ahead 4 weeks. At about halfway into my TnT training, been all over the lower 48 a few times, learned how to sleep in a moving truck and feeling pretty positive about my choice of careers and my driving ability, thinking to myself "Wow. You can actually do this." Well, I was on the driveline while my trainer slept, going into my 10th hour, looking forward to some chow and shuteye, and was just pulling into the receivers when I cut the corner, DIDN'T go wide and ended up jacking the trailer up onto a high curb, leaning at such an angle that the corner of the bulkhead was jammed down on top of the tractors rear tire (probably the only thing keeping the trailer from rolling over). In other words, I wasn't going anywhere. Now I've had moments of bonehead moves out here but let me tell you, that was the worst feeling when my trainer gets out of the sleeper, looks into the rear view and says, "Shut it down. You're not getting it out of there." That just about said it all. I let him down, I let the company down and I let myself down. Talk about feeling like an idiot. I beat myself up for hours, days, heck, I still look back and kick myself for being so stupid. So I got an incident. Called road assist and a tow truck dragged it out. Luckily there was no damage done, save for a few ruts in the landscape. It was quite an event for the locals. The whole crew at the receivers came out to see and take pics of what the bonehead trainee did. Ya. All I could do was lower my hat brim and keep a stone face while just wanting to explode. So here I am. Nothing eventful has happened since. Looking towards the last 5000 miles before going solo and wondering if I can do this by myself. I know how to do all the things I'm meant to do but not very well. My mind races with all the "what ifs" that might occur. What if I get lost and can't get turned around? What if I can't find a place to park? What if a dock is so tight I can barely maneuver? But then I tell myself, look what you've already overcome, a 39 hour bus trip from hell, scrambling to replace your license, getting through your bank account being hacked, tests, tests and more tests, driving all over the USA in a big rig seeing parts of the country you may never have been able to see, jacking a massive trailer into a precarious position... hey you've got your cdl (the golden ticket!), you're almost through your training, in another week or so you'll be in your own truck! So ya, I've made some mistakes, will definitely make more, but I've learned from them. I've done something I'd never thought I'd be able to do. I've taken a challenge and succeeded. Just roll with it. Now on to worrying about something more tangible... like winter driving in thr Northeast.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Prime oriontation date set

Kat, I went through the agility yest about 2 months ago. I'm just finishing up on TnT now so don't think things have changed much. The test is about 7 minutes (minus paperwork & waiting) and consists of lifting boxes from floor level, a few steps, then back to floor level with several weights up to 50 lbs. You'll need to lift these in front of you to chest/ chin level. Then you'll need to lift a rolled tarp (maybe 40 lbs?) from floor to just above your head. The rest is easy. Just prepare yourself for the 50 pounder, that one takes everyone by surprise. If you can get through that and the tarp you'll be golden. Good luck! I'll be hading back for my A-seat stuff in another 5k miles, a week or sp, so maybe I'll see ya there.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Parking a Truck In The Northeast

So whatever happened with this app idea? I'll be finishing up running TnT with Prime next week, heaxong to Springfield for A-seat certification and hopefully shortly after getting assigned a truck. I live in NH and have requested the Northeast division and with what I've seen of the parking situation so far, I'm getting cold feet since I'm just a rookie and backing is still quite challenging. So an app like this would be a great asset. I have Truckers Path so will be relying on that and any help I can from you guys out there in the thick of it. Be cool, stay safe and have fun!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Question about trucking companies that train for an upfront fee?

Yes, Earl. L. Henderson is the company. BTW, the link you posted above is NOT the link I followed through Indeed.com the other day. I thought it seemed fishy since all the other companies do differently. When I looked up their linked ad I found the cryptic line "Full Tuition of $4,600 is Reduced to Only $2,600 through Reimbursements at 6 and 12 Months of Continuous Employment", so I assumed it was some sort of school linked to placing drivers with trucking companies after graduation. I only stumbled on their ad by chance and didn't follow-up after I read that, but the other night I was browsing on here and thought I'd post and ask - figure it's better to hear the from you guys than some ambiguous website somewhere. Thanks for clearing that up!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Question about trucking companies that train for an upfront fee?

So I'm searching for my "in" to the industry and came across a local OTR trucking company (don't know if it's ok to post the url here but is available to those interested) that wants $4700 up-front to train and put me in a tractor for a year. During that year $2700 will be deducted from paychecks. The remainder is owed by me to the company for schooling. Is this a normal practice? All the other schools I've looked into pretty much let you pay off the whole thing in a year. Just wondering if it's a good deal or if I should continue searching. BTW, I am in NH and am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel, so if you know someone... ;) Thanks for any info!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

List of Questions to ask a Recruiter

Skeptical. Ya that's me, and btw, I'm a born cynic. As for excited about getting into a truck? Heck ya! Excited, exhilarated, nervous to the point of losing sleep and making myself sick. It's such a big lifestyle change too. And getting a new career off the ground is nerve-racking as well! Sorry guys, didn't mean to come off so negatively. Totally unintentional. Glad you checked me on that, too, as I didn't even notice it as I was writing. I was really just trying to ask a question about how the whole, whadja call it, "on-boarding process?" works and how the recruiters are tied into it. You've already answered a few of my questions in this discussion and I'm beginning to understand things better.

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

List of Questions to ask a Recruiter

Why bother asking a recruiter anything if they are just gonna be a skeezy salesman and outright lie to you? I dunno. If a company is paying to do background, credit and crim checks I kinda doubt that a recruiter is just trying to get you "through the door" since it just costs a company money and time.

So here's my question: I have recently applied to a trucking company as a student driver and have not heard back though I know they're checking my references as I've been in touch with (and been present) when they've called to do their checks. At the end of the application process I was instructed to call and talk to a recruiter. I don't get this. I've done my research on the company I want to join and applied to the job. Is this some weird way of kicking things into gear through a computer program? I mean, it seems silly to talk to a recruiter if I've already applied and signed an application for employment. I'm getting leery about this. I've never applies to a job before and had to call THEM unless we were' playing "phone-tag". Any thoughts from the gurus?

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