Profile For Wilson

Wilson's Info

  • Location:
    LA (Lower Alabama), AL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 2 months ago

Wilson's Bio

I was living in Germany working as a civilian for the government when circumstances forced me to move back to the USA. I had to find a job and was shown the possibility of becoming a professional driver. I checked into it, the majority of my info coming from this site, and plans were made. I started studying for my CDL permit so when I arrived in AL, I could take my test. In March 2014 I passed with all the endorsements (I took all the tests the same day).

A short time later, I enrolled at the Premiere Driving Academy in Mobile, AL for school. I graduated the end of June and went to Tulsa, OK for orientation with Melton Truck Lines. After orientation, I spent 3 weeks on the road with a trainer. At the end of three weeks, the flow chart has two possibilities. Bus ticket or a set of keys to your own assigned truck. I received a set of keys!!!

Melton is a really great company. If you're armed with the right attitude, you can go far and earn a lot of money. I stayed with Melton for 15 months and would still be there. However, Mrs. Wilson has been wanting me home more often than I had been there. Mind you, I could have been home perhaps every two weeks if I had wanted or maybe even more often than that. But you won't make as much money getting routed home that often.

My trainer at Melton told me he wanted to see what it would be like to go out and not go home for an entire year (his home situation allowed him to do this with no adverse consequences). He told me he made nearly six figures that year! So the coming home thing is really going to be your preference and your decision on how much money you would like to make.

So Mrs. Wilson wanted to see me more often that she had been and I decided to look for a more local type job. I reluctantly left Melton and got hire on with a national company that did local work in my area. The pay looked really great as well. On paper, the job looked really promising and desirable. In reality, it was a nightmare and turned out it just wasn't for me. I was with them for just under 3 months.

After a search that would borderline depressing, I found J-Par Trucking out of Roanoke, AL. They do regional work and I am home every weekend. The job, in my opinion, has minimal stress and is quite enjoyable. I like it even though I went from the prestigious flatbed to a sissy van (did I say that out loud???). I just went over my 2-year anniversary with them in April 2018.

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Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Driving distractions come in many forms

Wilson. Glad to see you back. Are you driving all 48 or regional. If so where. I'm with CFI, my truck says Big Scott on both doors. Don't be shy if you see me.

Hey Big Scott!

I'm doing the regional thing now, although I do miss OTR. I'm primarily southeast: AL, GA, FL, MS, SC, NC, and occasionally LA and TX. I'll watch for you.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Driving distractions come in many forms

Well it's not only four-wheelers and hungry truck drivers that get distracted, but BUS DRIVERS too!!! I stumbled across this video clip of a bus driver intentionally taking his eye off the road. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

I'm sure you all will have the same reaction that I did when you view this clip.....

Bus driver takes eyes off road for a photo op

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Driving distractions come in many forms


It's been a while and I thought I'd stop by.


Haha! Yeah, it's been a year and a half! Geez Wilson, I started scanning the obituaries to try and figure out what happened to ya. smile.gif

How in the world are you?

I've been sitting on pins and needles since you last posted, wondering what became of you and your career after your accident. So, how's it going? Are you driving, and if so, who are you working for?

Hey Old School!

Yes indeed, it's been a long time. Time sure does fly and a lot of water has gone under the bridge.

Well, you know what happened last when I was thrown under the bus. I don't remember if I mentioned this back then or not, but after I was fired, I naturally went on unemployment as my monthly bills would not wait to be paid. In the middle of the second month of trying to get hired, my former employer contested my unemployment compensation and to make that part of the story short; my case went to arbitration. They argued that I had somehow willfully violated the company policy and therefore terminated and thus not eligible for the compensation. The judge ruled in my favor and I got to keep what I had already used and kept getting the compensation.

I kept trying to get hired but when the employers learned about the accident, they declined to hire me. I was running out of employers that were local/regional and was starting to get discouraged. I called up the safety director at the company I had an active application with and basically told him that I didn't think I would be able to work for him due to the accident. I went through the entire story with him and he asked me if I had a copy of the accident report. I told him I did and he wanted to see a copy of it. After seeing it, he said, "Not a problem; I can hire you." So after my happy dance, I ended up going to their orientation and got hired. I was only on unemployment for 2 months and have been working for them ever since!


So as you can see, I pulling "sissy vans" now. smile.gif And I'm loving it. I've racked up over 125k miles with them. It was quite a pay cut from Melton and the "other" company, but I figure it's a trade off for the time I get to spend at home on the weekends.

So that's it in a nutshell.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Driving distractions come in many forms

It's been a while and I thought I'd stop by.

We all know that texting/using a cell phone while driving is against the law in most states, if not all states. I can say that at least 80% of the four-wheelers that pass me have a driver that has a phone in his/her hand, on their thigh in sight, etc. Many times cars on the interstate that are holding up traffic and making it difficult to pass I've seen them talking on the phone (NOT hands-free) and you know good and well that that is the reason they are driving slower, thus impeding traffic.

Well I just saw this news article and I thought I would share it as a reminder for all of us professional drivers to be careful. I know we all do it....

Taco-eating truck driver crashes on Blewett Pass, spilling load of bark

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

Hang in there, I know you know how to endure, because I witnessed you endure all the time that you considered this at the onset - Hang in there brother, and keep us informed. We are all wanting to see you back behind the wheel.

Thank you, Old School. You've always been top notch in my book and I had always wanted to meet you out there on the road one day. You are right. I probably did jump too soon (even at 15 months OTR) and had absolutely no idea how hard it would be. And then to get treated worse than chopped liver just added to the whole thing.

Quality Carriers called me and wanted to know how the court verdict was on my ticket. I see this as a sign of hope. The only thing is that my lawyer arbitrarily petitioned for a continuance (which was granted) and now the new court date is the first week of May. He told me that he would check back with me then. So I guess there is a small light at the end of the tunnel. I am tempted to call Melton just to see what they would say even though the probability is about nil of ever getting the local approval for such a move. They treated me so well over there. When contrasted with this outfit that threw me under the bus, Melton is heaven!

I will let you guys know what happens. In light of the answer I got above about the preventable accident, I am putting non-driving resumes out there; I need a job!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

Yep, missed it by a mile lol.

Seriously though, sorry to hear about what happened and hopefully it doesn't really wreck your driving career. Some of these specialty type runs really are difficult and put drivers in positions that 99% of truck drivers will never see. Working in the oil and gas patch, some of the roads I encounter will make you want to hang up the keys. You have to be so careful in everything you do and nothing is paved, there's plenty of chances to get stuck, slide on ice or even worse depending on where you're at. It certainly doesn't seem as if you were reckless by any means, just had Murphy in your pocket one too many times. Again, sorry to hear about the incidents and wish you the best.

Thanks for listening. I thought of the drivers out in the oil fields and the challenges they face. I guess I don't envy them after all this.

I would call up Melton honestly. I get that Mrs. Wilson isn't going to like it but it's better than nothing. I'm not sure about the accident vs incident thing.

This has crossed my mind and we may even discuss it. I'm not sure it will get any further than that though. Then the question of Melton taking me back after the fence post and the roll over. They may listen to reason, but then again, the insurance industry are the real ones to drive those trains.

Wilson...I admire and your courage and guts for putting this out here for all of us to hopefully learn something from. I have no idea what to say...except if you want to continue driving a CMV, somehow this incident needs to be changed to non-preventable. Not sure how difficult that is or if it's feasible without spending a King's ransom. Also if you haven't already, I would get a copy of the accident report.

Good luck.

Thank you. I hope someone will benefit from this experience even if I do not. I have always tried to learn from others' mistakes. I guess Murphy says it's time for me to "give" so others can learn from my mistakes or misfortunes. I don't want to give up quite yet. I will be researching this whole system to see if I have a snowball's chance of anything. A copy of the accident report is a good idea. I'll get one.

I would think difficult but not impossible. I know a guy that fell asleep behind the wheel and ran into a concrete pillar under an overpass at speed and he's still driving a truck. He was fired from his job then, too.

Heading back to Melton and getting a few years accident free might be the ticket to move on from this, if they will take you.

Certainly it will have closed some doors, but if you are vigilant I think you will find another job driving a truck. Best of luck to you.

If is the key word, along with Mrs. Wilson's blessing, which may be the larger miracle. Like I said, I have tried some companies.... My goal was to get something that gets me home preferably every night, but most certainly every weekend. I found these companies suit the bill:

Florida Rock - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Declined

Southeastern Freight Lines - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Declined

Quality Carriers - Home weekends........... Waiting to see the ruling on the ticket

Container Service Corporation - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Declined

Schilli - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Declined

Blue Rhino Gas - Work three days/off four...... Interviewed and refuse to return phone calls

ASC Federal - Driving a short fuel truck on air base fueling helicopters. $19.75 per hour. 30-38 hours wk...... Declined because of DAC accident

Billy Barnes - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Declined

Saia - Daily deliveries/home weekends....... Won't even call me (they don't advertise a number)

Well I'll just have to keep trying, even though it looks like curtains for me. If anyone else has any words of wisdom or knows how to pull a rabbit out of their hat, let me know....

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

So my local driving job came to an end. I was 60+ days into my 90 probationary period. I figured that they just exercised their right to terminate me because of bad performance. On paper, they were in their right to do so. I do not hold that against them although I thought I should have been given another chance. There are two other drivers still working there that have turned over their trucks. One of them was almost identical to my accident; the side of the road collapsed.

So, the accident is on my DAC and I believe it is listed as a preventable accident.

I have been turned down a lot of jobs since I lost my job at the end of January. One of them wanted to know if I had ever had any accidents. I told them about the upset. When they discovered the parking lot ding and the gate I had with Melton, they rejected my application. That's where I am wondering what the definition of an incident is to an accident? Other applications say that you are allowed three accidents in a three-year period. Well if all of these are considered accidents, good bye truck driving job.

1. Gate 2. Parking lot ding. 3. Wooden fence post. 4. Truck/trailer rolled.

I am toast.

As an addendum to this story, I filed for unemployment so I could keep paying my bills. The agency involved took about three weeks to approve this since I was fired and not laid off. They said they had to determine if there was misconduct involved that precipitated my discharge. At the end of their investigation, they determined that I would be allowed the benefits. I thought that was a close one.

Well about three weeks later I get a notice in the mail of an appeal hearing. My company was appealing the decision and should they win the appeal, I would have to pay all my unemployment money BACK! How low down can you get? Well I won't bore you with that story. I went through the appeal and my company tried to spin all of the events together to prove misconduct; therefore termination.

They lost the appeal, but I cannot find a company that will hire me. I don't even know if Melton would take me back now.

Papa Johns is hiring.....

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

Without knowing the rest of the story, I'm gonna take a wild guess that involves speed, following a Co worker and not enough braking distance for $500 Alex.


Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

About three or so nights later, I get that same farm again. I thought this was cool because I still remembered the route. I set out for this farm and took the same way he showed me. It was just before 10pm when I was getting closer to the farm. The road had rolling hills out in the middle of nowhere. You know how those go. Loaded trucks go slower up hills and faster down the hills. I started going up one of those hills and I saw some brake lights come on a vehicle that was at the side of the road. I went up the hill and as I neared the place where the vehicle was parked, the disco lights came on. So I wondered what the deal was and when he didn't pass me up, I knew he was pulling me over.

Once I found a suitable place to pull over on this 2-lane road, the trooper came up and said (with a smile...) "I gotcha going 61 in a 45!" I asked him, "It's 45 here??!?" He ignored me and collected all the paperwork he needed and went back to his car. In retrospect, I have gone down this road some more times and there are NO speed limit signs on this road. It is a paved country road in the middle of nowhere. Had I seen a speed limit sign, I would have heeded the speed limit. I thought it was 55 mph out there in the country. Well, apparently, there is a statute that says if it is not posted, the speed limit is 45 by default. Lucky me. I was just driving the same route and the same way my colleague was driving. He wasn't going 45. So like I said, no sign and I thought it was 55 out there. Black cloud strikes again. In short, this ticket is pending a court date. I am challenging it and I have a 50 50 chance of it getting reduced or dismissed. So it is presently not on my MVR....yet.

So Wilson keeps hauling feed at night trying to get his 4 loads in. Lots of rain this time of year. Got stuck again, but dug myself out. That wasn't a productive night. Now comes the night in question. It started out a great night. I was doing good! I was on my third load going to the farm and it wasn't quite midnight. I am thinking that I will easily get 4 loads in tonight. So I am coming up to my turn. I am going to have to make a right turn. No traffic. I get all the way over in the left hand lane of this two-lane paved road to negotiate the turn. I am turning on to a dirt road. As I am turning, it appears to be a quite narrow road. So I am tracking my steers over to the left side of this dirt road as far as I dare. I check my RS mirror to check the trailer. I am not moving fast at all. I see in the mirror that the trailer tires dip a bit and start to come back up. Then, my forward momentum ceased, and the trailer tires slide right and the entire truck rolls onto its side.


To shorten this story, once I was out, you could see that the shoulder of the road collapsed because of all the rain we had had and sucked the trailer into the ditch. The top-heavy feed trailer couldn't handle the angle and gravity took over. The black cloud struck again. I made all the appropriate phone calls notifying all the people I was suppose to notify. Passersby helped me and called the police for me. The trooper finally arrived and to add insult to injury, it was the same trooper that issued me the speeding ticket a week earlier!!! I wondered what else could happen.

The trooper looked around, took pictures, etc. I was on the phone to Safety. They wanted to know things that I couldn't give them. "Did you get a ticket?" they asked. I told them he was doing his investigation. They wanted to know the moment I got the ticket. They said that if I got a ticket, it would change a lot of things. I thought, "It sure will." Safety called me about three times during his investigation wanting to know if he issued a ticket.

He finally finished up his narrative and asked me to review it saying, "Is that what happened?" I looked it over and it appeared to be accurate in a generic kind of way. He closed out the report program and told me he was finished with me. NO TICKET! What a relief that was. I called Safety and let them know there wasn't a ticket issued. Although they said that was good, I sensed that they were disappointed...

That was my DAC accident. It took three wreckers to get that trailer out of the ditch. I might add that my supervisor spoke with Safety from the accident scene and was asking them if I was going to be given a drug test. I never was. He took me back to the mill and told me that I would be on a non-driving status until after the review. So I didn't drive all weekend and on Monday came the review. It was a teleconference call in my supervisor's office.

The people on the other end of the phone were trying to spin this scenario not in my favor. However, I had a sound reason for everything I did that night. When it appeared that they were finished with the accident, they asked me about the speeding ticket. I thought to myself what this had to do with the accident. We talked about that for a bit and then they brought up the fence post. It wasn't sounding good. I asked them what in the world could I have done to prevent that accident. They really couldn't answer me other than that they thought I made some bad decisions.

Well that pretty much ended the review and my supervisor told me to go home and he would contact me when he knew something. He called me in the afternoon and said that it was decided that an agricultural account was not for me.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Accidents vs Incidents: Preventable/Non-Preventable, Reportable/Non-reportable

Well, here is what has taken place in all the months I haven't been on the forum.

I was happily working for Melton. I even had some "incidents" during my stay there. They are the equivalent of parking lot dings. Never was any damage on my truck; very minor damage to the others. There was a parked truck my trailer just started to rub when I stopped. Police investigated and made a report; no ticket. The other incident with Melton was when I left a consignee. The L/R trailer stake pocket caught a fence post when I left making a RH turn from their parking lot. No investigation, no ticket. Melton took care of the insurance claims. I was never even counseled, scolded, warned, or anything. Melton was very understanding and I kept on trucking.

So after 15 months of OTR driving, Mrs. "Wilson" wanted me home a lot more than what I was. I searched for local positions and finally found one really close to my house. (I am NOT going to name the company I signed on with because.... just because.) So I resigned from Melton and they were not happy to see me leave and told me to come back any time.

I signed on with the new company, attended their orientation and successfully completed it. I came back home and started my local training. The type of job I signed up to was to haul chicken feed to the local chicken farms in the area. Sounded pretty good. Chickens get hungry regardless of what the economy is doing so it was like built-in job security.

So a very happy Wilson starts training pulling this 48' feed trailer to farms.


At first it was strange pulling this one compared to the one I used to pull with Melton...


On top of that, *where* I had to pull that trailer was a challenge. In short, chicken farms are not found in the city. I had to negotiate narrow dirt roads to get to many of these places. Needless to say, when it rains dirt roads become mud roads. Chicken farms are not paved. They also turn into mud holes when it rains. Did I mention that the new guys get to do their routes at night? The 12-hour shifts (5P to 5A) 6 days a week were not all that bad.... Happy Wilson was determined to learn where the farms were and how to get there taking the most efficient route. If you were really good, you could get in 4 loads in a shift.

I got through training and started delivering feed. I averaged 2 to 3 loads a night. Occasionally, I would get that 4th load in. Happy Wilson was Proud Wilson on those nights. Well, sometimes I got stuck on these farms. A wrecker would have to come out and pull me out of the mud if the farmer wasn't around with his tractor. The boss would say, "Don't worry, we all get stuck. It comes with the type of job we do." So I didn't worry. But I would invariably get stuck again. He'd say not to worry about it. I hated getting stuck. Those were 2-load nights, depending what time during the shift I got stuck and how long it took for the wrecker to get there.

I felt like a black cloud was following me, but I kept on trying to be as productive as I could. Then came an "incident" at a farm. In short, I was leaving a barnyard making a LH turn. I was looking back to make sure the trailer wasn't going to hit the chicken house and when I looked back to the front there was a fence post right in front of me. I wasn't going fast at all and I stopped, but not in enough time. The wooden fence post got bumped and broke off at the bottom. The fence wires held it up still, but the post was broke off at the bottom.

A lot goes through your mind at this point. I called one of my colleagues and told him what happened. He told me to forget about it and leave. I looked at it and you could see the tire tracks leading right up to the post. Mind you, this was in the middle of the night and there was no one there. I thought the farmer would discover it soon enough and put 2+2 together and call the company and complain. That would put me in a position that I would either have to lie, or explain why I didn't report it. So I elected to report it to the night supervisor. That fence post was home made and could have been replace for $20 or less. No damage to the truck at all. After one supervisor called another supervisor, I was instructed to call Safety at corporate and report the incident. I did and the next evening, I was counseled in writing about it.

The black cloud got bigger.

Some weeks later, I had a load that went to a farm that I had not yet learned the way to. Fortunately, there was another truck going to the same farm and he told me to just follow him out there. So I did, noting the route. There were also no dirt roads this route so it was a happy time. He took to the back roads and were were going 60 mph on most of those roads (trucks were governed at 63) so we made pretty good time between the towns. Here is where it gets good again.

***To be continued***

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