Profile For Skydrick (Brian L.)

Skydrick (Brian L.) 's Info

  • Location:
    Woodbridge, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 7 months ago

Skydrick (Brian L.) 's Bio

Started college as a nursing major, finished with a degree in biochemistry, worked as a stage hand, then a safety technician, then a shop manager for a small sound company. Pretty much I'll try anything once.

I define a good day as when the sink turns dark from all the grime coming off my hands.

Skydrick (Brian L.) 's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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First solo week in the books.

I just reached the beginning of my third week, but that sounds just like my first. My first load was 1600 miles from Cleveland to Laredo in two and a half days. Didn't get loaded until 3:45pm. I was panicked on where I would park. But I made it by Thursday morning. Turned around and took a load to Roanoke. 3100 paid miles for week one. Luckily I got a reset in at home after that. Week two was only. 1500 since I went home. Good luck in your second week and keep rested!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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My first day with a trainer after obtaining my class a cdl

The trailer certainly does act like a sail. When it's windy you need both hands on the wheel and every brain cell concentrating on driving. It'll come with practice.

Also, believe it or not, if you on purpose imagine you're about to have an accident, it will help you drive safer. Then you become more conscious of your safe following distances and the other vehicles around you.

Driving bridges can be fun. I'm on Memphis so I drive over the Mississippi a lot. But I can't get used to the big bridge on I-10 at Lake Charles, LA.

6fa7a37d090ce5fe8680e4be2a1d1449.jpg

Just went over it two days ago. Pretty scary for a new driver. For that matter so is the causeway.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Flatbed Companies

Hi David, welcome.

There are many excellent flatbed companies. You will also find that there is no "best" company because everyone has different needs. As Sunshine mentioned she is looking at a company with a regional fleet in the area of the country she lives in. You may want that, or OTR. You may want a company that gets you home regularly or one that expects drivers to be out 3 weeks or more. What makes a company best is how that company meets your needs. Check out this section for more info: How To Choose A Company

What some members here have done is to share personal experiences to help build better pictures of the companies they work for. In fact you can use the search bar and find some very good threads on Western Express and a few on TMC and several other flatbed companies.

I personally just finished training for Melton which has been a great company. I will mention that for Melton, if you live west of I-35, as it sounds like you do, you must be out a minimum of three weeks before going home due to the nature of freight. I believe Systems has more freight out west so depending on your home time needs that can factor in.

Other companies like TMC also have variable hiring areas. I'm not familiar enough with their west coast area but I happen to know they do not hire east of I-95 currently. But it changes. The best way is to call a recruiter and ask.

As far as how difficult it is to get in to orientation for TMC, they do have a reputation for being very selective.

Other companies that hire student drivers are Prime, and Maverick, though I don't know their hiring areas. Keim TS also hired new drivers but they are based out of Kansas and I have no idea how far west they hire.

Good luck to you and keep asking questions.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Cat parts from the border. They heard our complaints . . . and gave us black skirts on the new trailers instead of white. (Skirts are for girls.)

tmp_5814-0608151926-354710342_zpsr1e8aib

Laredo? We just picked up a load of tractor frames out of there this afternoon.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Questions as I'm researching...

Just thought I'd pop in and mention Melton Truck Lines is a flatbed company based out of Tulsa. But there are plenty of good options all over, and you are correct, Oklahoma drivers can get hired on by nearly every major national carrier.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Roadcheck 2015 is nigh...

http://www.cvsa.org/programs/int_roadcheck.php

It's almost that time of year again. This year's emphasis is to be on load securement. Of course, they'll be doing tons of level 1 inspections to boot. It's scheduled for June 2-4.

Be ready and be safe (and secure! HA!), everyone.

Just in time for me to be out on the road with my Melton trainer.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Why do they call it a fifth wheel?

Fifth wheels were developed to allow the front axel of a carriage or cart to pivot, effectively turning it in to a dolly that was the hooked to a team.

9a33c2284250162e3b6d35c129b3dbb8.jpg

They were developed directly from the original way of attaching the other four wheels on the carriage just turned sideways. It is pretty much a miniature wheel placed between the axel and suspension.

9i4p37b.jpg

Always a good quiz to ask someone where the 19th and 20th wheels are on an 18 wheel tractor trailer.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Medical issues

Had my in office procedure earlier today. All went well. Can't drive for the next few days (that's gonna really suck). But other than feeling really tired & sore, not to bad off at the moment.

Ernie

Glad to hear that it went well.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Medical issues

Ok, I go in tomorrow to have the radioactive seeds implanted.

5 weeks later I will start radioactive therapy in addition to the seeds.

I hope all goes well going forward.

Ernie

Good luck to you tomorrow Ernie. It sounds like you are under good care and have a solid treatment plan. I hope everything responds quickly and trouble free for you. See you out on the road soon.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Starting school monday 5-18-2015

Hi Michael,

That is a completely normal feeling. This is an exciting new life direction you have placed yourself on. It sounds like you have already done some research and you know a little about the industry through family. But I think most people around TT will tell you they had jitters before their first day of class or orientation and certainly their first time behind the wheel. So enjoy it, and relax. Congrats on the permit, at least you won't have to worry about book studying when you get to class. Maybe study for some endorsements if you want them.

It is great that you already have a prehire as well, no harm in working on a few more just to be able to make some choices if you would like. But either way that is great to already know you have somewhere to go. Good luck and let us know how its going.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Double hit and run collisions

That is crazy. I would suggest getting up on the other side of the bed tomorrowsmile.gif

In a sleeper does that mean flip your sheets around and sleep with your head on the passenger side or sleep on the top bunk? rofl-3.gif

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Woo Hoo!

Congrats on passing your exam! WGT!!!

And welcome to Melton! As you probably already know, there's a few of us on here! It's a great place to work! I'm currently in Tulsa on "light duty" but I should be getting my doctors clearance to get back in a truck on the 18th. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me as well. I'm not on here as often as I'd like, but I'm always willing to help out when I can!

Congrats again! And I look forward to seeing you out there in a Melton blue truck!

Tarren

Thanks Tarren! I'm really excited to be joining the Melton family. I have gotten nothing but good vibes from everyone I have spoken to. Hopefully you will be out on the road by the time I get there, but I'm sure we will cross paths at some point. Good luck getting your clearance.

Really looking forward to a beautiful blue Kenworth.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Woo Hoo!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Congratulations Briandancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

And Best of Luck to ya over there at Melton. If they ever send you down to the SAPA plant in Delhi, Louisiana make sure and send me a private message - maybe I'll let you buy me some Bar-B-Que! I've met quite a few Melton drivers at our plant picking up pre-loaded trailers.

I sure will Old School. And Jopa, it really is nice to have a network of support from people who understand what it is like to go through all of this. My family and friends are supportive, but I don't know anyone who is, or has been, a professional driver so it is all new territory. Thanks to all you guys for great advice and words of encouragement.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Woo Hoo!

Congrats and remember to party with milk and cookies from now on!

In my case North Carolina style BBQ smile.gif

(Dixie Bones in Woodbridge VA just off Route 1. No truck parking nearby that I know of but worth the trip if you can)

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Woo Hoo!

Passed my DMV exam today! dancing.gifdancing-banana.gif

So relieved that I am done with that experience. I really would like to thank TT and Brett for helping me to waltz right through the permit test and endorsements so I could focus on the actual driving. Thanks to Old School for being an all around mentor and for always calling it as he sees it. Jopa for keeping things humorous (your $29.99 is in the mail, however it might take 4-6 years for postage to clear so be patient) Also thanks to Daniel B for the pre-trip. While I could only use your pictures, because Virginia has different names and phrases they have to hear from us, the parts are at least nearly the same. Thank you for that resource.

I'll be starting orientation with Melton on May 25th. Can't wait. Also want to thank the folks on here from Melton for giving great information to help me make a decision especially on the flatbed variety thread. (Wilson, I sent you a PM, your photos and comments sold me).

Again thanks all and looking forward to seeing many of you out on the road shortly! thank-you.gif

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Woke up in a panic, I overslept going to get my first service failure!

DMV test tomorrow morning. I am fully expecting this type of experience tonight. Last night had a downgrade-no-brakes dream, so we will see how tonight goes.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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My first post from the open road!

What an excellent update! Glad to hear all went well through Virginia. I love the pictures. Thanks you for letting us know how its going.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Waitress, bar tender, cab driver, sheepherder, rodeo clown, flea collar fabricator, flagger, pilot, laborer, scaffold buildler, line locator, traffic control tech, site safety RR project, ..... some of us like variety I am heading for CDL training as an addition to my pursuit of a degree in safety engineering, bored yet?

I was also a Safety Technician/Specialist for five years in construction, fire, chemical and biological safety. Interesting work except the desk part. Before and after that I was a stagehand and shop manager for a small corporate sound and staging company. Getting gear packed and loaded on our trucks and vans and driving it to the venues was what made me realize I loved driving. I really enjoyed fixing the gear too so I'll love replacing burnt out lights and fuel filters etc on a truck. The only cubicle I ever want to sit in again better have wheels and windows on three walls.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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My first post from the open road!

Yeah that sure does sound tight! Good luck and have fun! Check your map before going through the I-495 I-95 I-395 interchange (known to locals as the mixing bowl) the signs are pretty good but its best to have a visual maybe off google maps first, just so you know which lane you want to be in especially if you are actually exiting at exit 169A/B for Franconia or Old Keene Mill Rd. Your lane decision for those exits is actually on I-495 not I-95, about a mile in advance. Let us know how it goes! I can't wait to be out there with you in about a month and a half.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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My first post from the open road!

Congratulations on getting out solo! Sounds like a rocking first week. I'm from just south of Springfield in VA, PM me if you have any questions about the area. If your delivery is at 3:00pm on Wednesday and you do your DC area driving between 10:00 and 2:30pm you shouldn't have too much of a problem especially if you are coming I-66 to I-495 outer loop, then it depends where in Springfield but it shouldn't be too bad. Of course I'm still thinking like a car so some drivers here probably have better options.

Things to keep in mind in DC, rush hour is from 5:30am to about 9:30 or 10am. and 3:30pm to 6:00pm or so. Wednesdays are the worst day of the week in the morning and Fridays are the worst day of the week for afternoon. If you have a conventional radio with you and want to hear local traffic 103.5 fm traffic on the 8's however they won't always talk about normal volume only accidents and delays but they do a good job.

There are several industrial parks right in Springfield but I don't know if any are friendly to overnighting if you are getting in Tuesday night. And a few that I am familiar with have no parking 7:00pm-7:00am such as General Washington Dr. off Edsall on I-395N which is a shame. Anyway good luck and safe driving!

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