Profile For Amy P.

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    4 years, 3 months ago

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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Sleep Schedule

Speaking for myself, I don't have an issue. Learning to manage your time is one of the more tricky things to master when you start, but once you do, you will have it down. The rules state that after 14 hours on duty, you have to take a 10 hour break. After 70 hours, you have to take 34 hours. There are work-arounds that will keep you rolling more if you want, but there's nothing wrong with a nice routine wherein you get a sound sleep each night. If a driver is constantly fatigued, they're not managing their time properly.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Truck Driver Husband Works 30 years and Needs New Job

I'm with Mercy, here. Start fresh with family. His company already let him down, and another 15 years with them will only ruin his inner peace even more. Go find your inner peace, the both of ya.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Offset backing and alley

Remember to turn the wheel towards your problem when you back. Too close on the driver's side? Turn the wheel left. Too close to the cone on the passenger side? Turn the wheel right. Can't turn anymore? Use a pull up. A pull up is a point, hitting the cone is two. the line the cone was on is two more. Eat the pull up point before you hit a cone. The biggest mistake I've seen folks make doing a 90* Alley is cutting the wheel while they are moving and using up all their maneuvering room. Stop, turn, then go. There are a couple of ways to get it in there, some folk straight back to within six feet, then jackknife one way then jack it back the other and they're in. Others start into the 45* from the get-go and keep it banana-shaped the whole way until that final cut to straighten it out. Both work, but what I said before goes for either method. Turn to your problem, but not while you're moving.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Test Question

I think the question is goofy, but for what it's worth, A is the 'truest' one. Sometimes you don't have a helper, and sometimes you have to back in bent from the passenger side. Then it's even more dangerous...

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

I know a guy who had long hair who went with JB Hunt. He told them up front that he had gone Clean and Sober three years before, but that his hair might paint him in a bad light. He was hired. So there's that...

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Poor down shifter

I don't think they can take away my birthday.shocked.png

Heck, if they do, you can have a few of mine. I'm eyeballing 50 and would be more than happy to toss a few your way.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Medical issues

Hang in there, Ernie! My Dad had it and they caught it early enough that he kicked its ass permanently. Keep your priorities straight, do as the docs say, and be patient with the recovery. You'll be back on the road the exact day your were meant to be.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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It's about to begin

Fantastic! Give 'em heck.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Long-haul driving and boredom

I remember one time seeing a postcard at a rest stop that was just a black rectangle. On the back of it it said, "Indiana at night." I laughed hard, because outside of the cities, that is completely true.

The way I keep myself from being bored during uneventful times is with music, books on tape, and an almost cinematic imagination. I avoid talk radio like the plague. Seems to me as it's designed to get blood pressure boiling and that's not a good place for me to be in while hauling. The last thing the world needs is me sitting on 80,000lbs with a bad case of righteous indignation towards my fellow Americans.

As others said, if it really gets too tedious, then it's time to pull over and get out of the seat. I don't know how that will translate to "truckers in space," but it seems to be a general rule that the folks drawn to this job tend to deal well with solitude. However, if you're looking for characterizations, some of us tend to morph into near compulsive talkers when we finally do get around folks. Not me tho. Nu uh. Not at all.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Poor down shifter

Keep your eyes on the prize, John G.

Downshifting in a 10 spd is a matter of touch, sight and hearing. Think about what gear you are in, where you want to go, and then look at your rpms. Rpms too high? Brake to drop it faster. Downshift around 10-1200rpms, and gas it up to around 15-1700rpms to get in into the next lower gear. Let's go back to the good old double -clutch technique. So it's clutch, gas, clutch to downshift. The sweet spot can be different depending on the individual truck, but that's the usual rule of thumb. The most important part is to know where you are and where you are going before you start the maneuver. Heading down to fifth? Flip that switch down, clutch-rev-clutch. Still slowing down and can't get it into fifth? Rev again and try for fourth, you might be slowing too much for fifth. Think you're going too fast? Break, rev, shift. And don't be prissy with that gas pedal. Stomp it if you need to. Get it revving at 1700rpms, with your foot off the clutch, and then put it into gear. Don't have time to downshift? Don't try. Just break carefully. Better to come to a complete stop in a high gear than end up lost in neutral and panicked. Being in control is better than being smooth. If you visualize what needs to be done, you will know when you need to flip that switch and go hunt fifth gear. It will become second nature, but you have to allow yourself the chance to learn.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Racy Work History - Please Help!

Hey, Liz!

Don't you sweat your resume. Companies are looking at felonies and driving records first, and consistency of employment second. They will run a credit check on you, as well as look at your federal employment records. All that will show is when you worked, and whether you were salary, contracting, or hourly. Put whatever you want on the job description. "Entertainer," "Wait Staff," "Customer relations consultant," as long as your tax records don't conflict with the dates of employment you had down, no one's gonna care. I know a guy that was a straight-up thug who'd run drugs on the streets of his ghetto since he'd been 14. At 30, he'd straightened his life up and now was trying for a legit way to bring in money for his family. He was TERRIFIED of his work record, and a few other records as well. He made it, and is one of the most honest, positive, and enthusiastic people out there on the road. If they hired my buddy with an old felony, no one's gonna care about the creative way you figured out how to pay your rent. You hold your head up and look em dead in the eye. All that job means is that you have awesome stories to tell, and you get to chose who you tell em to.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Worried I wont make it In School

Hey, Pauletta!

Here's my 2 cents. Success depends on how badly you want it. I went to a "CDL Mill," a private school that lasted three weeks. I had never even been IN a truck before, but this was what I wanted to do. Here's how it broke down: I paid $2500 out of pocket and showed up Monday morning slightly giddy, slightly terrified. We had three and a half days of intense cram sessions to pass the permit test on Thursday, and of the ten of us that started, only 2 passed (I was one of them, but book knowledge always came easy for me. It's a LOT to remember) So that Saturday, the "do overs" returned to take the test. After that, only 2 of the original 10 had still failed and they repeated the classroom week and passed. The rest of us spent a week out on the range learning the 6 backing maneuvers and Friday were tested on all of them. I failed 2, and came back Saturday to retake them.

This was a low point for me. Testing on the 90* alley Dock when I'd only done it four times over the course of five days. It came down to allowing myself to fail, and spending another week on the range, or refusing to let myself fail and getting out on the road with the rest of my class the next week. This is where your brain, your heart, and your drive take over. I had put all my eggs in one basket, and a lot was riding on my timely success. I couldn't fail, so I refused to fail. I nailed all my maneuvers the next day and was out on the road.

Of the eight that made it through, five of us got our Class A CDL on the first try. Those that had never driven a manual? Passed. Those that had quit their jobs to attend training? Passed. Those that had always wanted to drive a truck? Passed. Those that didn't take anything seriously, spent those three weeks talking and telling jokes, and bragging about the fancy Freightliner Landstar they were gonna buy their first year? You guessed it. They failed their first attempt.

If you are going to a company training facility, or a tech school program, you won't have as bad a 'do or die' situation as I did. However, your drive, positivism, and sometimes even anger, will push you toward success, or not. If you're not the type to let fear defeat you before you start, you can do this. If you're the type whose pride won't let you stay down once knocked down, you'll do this. And be prepared to be knocked down. Learning to drive a 10-speed manual has a unique way of making you look and feel a bit stupid. Just don't sweat it. We all felt a bit stupid when we were in your shoes.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

A black female

Hi Que!

There's tons of black drivers out there, so except for a few chuckleheads, racial discrimination won't be a huge issue. Be prepared for gender issues tho. More and more women are joining the industry, so it's getting better, but more people will react to your boobs than your skin color.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Advice on Being a Trucker's wife?

It is pretty hard on family life. I've seen some miserable drivers with small kids. However, it is possible to spend a year or so OTR getting his experience, and then jumping to a local or regional route that would put him home weekly, if not daily. Most local or dedicated route companies want experienced drivers because of insurance premiums. They want someone proven to be safe. Is he pays his dues in OTR for even 6 months without incident, it increases his hiring chances at companies that would keep him closer to home. This is what my buddy did. He had three small ones, babies and toddlers, and the OTR made him feel he was missing out on everything. But after 2 years, he got a dedicated route with a company that delivers to Family Dollar and now he's home every night. He's happy as a clam.

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Aspiring truck driver.

Hey, Anna!

I really can't speak to life on the road, since I'm just coming up on my CDL test in two days. I just thought that I would share a few words of my small experience. First off, I highly recommend going to a tech school to learn to drive. I just finished up at a "CDL Mill" and while all six of our instructors were absolutely fantastic, the course was only 3 weeks long and there is just no way to get enough experience before you go for that 2 hour CDL test. Even one more week would have been a huge help. As for going with Trucking Companies to get your CDL, do your research. The good companies will train you well, with lots of experience, but you will have to get your CDL in your home state and the company's training facility might be out-of-state. The bad companies will hold onto your certification until they feel they've gotten their money's worth. This makes you pretty much an indentured servant to them for up to 18 months. Nearly all companies that hire new drivers have tuition reimbursement, so if you feel Tech School is too much of a bite, you'll get your money back over time. Usually $100-150 a month up to $7500. Once you have your CDL, there are excellent companies that will have up to 8 weeks of training to polish those rough skills.

As for having a fiance and wanting to go otr, that is really based on you and your fiance's individual personalities. Just remember that you really don't have to ever let go of the driving bug. I had the same dream at your age, and didn't pursue it for the usual reasons, relationships, family, eventually kids. However, my kids are almost grown, my husband needs to slow down how hard he's been working, and after years of being a stay-at-home mom, I needed a current job skill. So I've picked up my old dream, blew the dust off it, and as I said, will be taking my state CDL test in 2 days. I have the support and even a little envy from my kids and husband, and a smile on my face a mile long.

Good luck, and remember dreams never die.

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