Profile For Patricia M.

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    4 years, 5 months ago

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Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Female truck driver safety

My family has concerns about me be safe. Not only driving but at truck stops, along the highway and staying by myself. Btw I am a female. Tell me what you guys think. Is this something I need to be concerned about? Do I need to carry a gun for safety?

Guns are a big NO NO! But there are things you can carry with you that will protect you should the need arise. 1) Keys: Your truck keys are a wonderful weapon. Position them in your hand with the "key part" sticking out. One swipe across the face will cause enough hurt for you to run away.

2) Tire Thumper: Tire Thumpers come in all shapes and sizes. I prefer the ones with a steel shank down the middle. One crack to the head and your attacker is down. (Quite possibly for good)

3) Simple Ratchet Strap: Ratchet straps work great to secure your doors.

Here a few simple tips that will also keep you safe: Rest Area's At Night: Parking only. Do not get out of your truck. Close the curtains and go to sleep. If you must use the restroom before day-break use your keys or tire thumper as a safety measure. Truck Stops At Night: Pull through the fuel Island before parking, go in use the restroom, get a snack, etc... then park close your curtains and go to sleep. Road side parking area's (Texas and Mississippi) Park your truck, close the curtains and go to sleep.

One thing you must not do as a woman trucker: Live in fear. If you do, you will be miserable, and you will not be successful. Take control, hold your head up, demand respect. You belong out there as much as anyone else. Happy trucking Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Need help finding train to hire in Massachusetts!

I have been looking for months, and I cannot find any train to hire in my area. It's Worcester County, in Massachusetts. Near the NH border. Either the companies out here do not do TTH or my zip code is outside their area. (01430)

I have not worked in so long, bills are piling up, trucking is what I really want to do. I need major help! :(

You may have to finance your truck driving school. Most schools can help you apply. Then you owe nothing until you graduate school and start working. They payment is like 50.00 per month or so. This is what I had to do many moons ago. There were no TTH companies out there (or none that I could find) Hope this helps. Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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I'm very good at waiting patiently.

Update: drug screen passed. Now I'm waiting to reclassified from Awaiting hire TO awaiting trainer.... inching closer.

Way to go! Happy trucking! Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Too Sick to drive

Maybe a 5 gallon bucket will help you be able to drive. a bed pan... or you can just call your DM and say Im not going to make it, letting them figure it out...

what you do alone cannot embarrass you if you don't tell on yourself.

DayQuil for the flu, Imodium AD for the diarrhea. You will feel like crap (pun intended) but you should be able to get the load there on time. Let your FM know what is going on, what you are doing, and if you will need "down time" once you make delivery. Neither DayQuil nor Imodium AD will cause you to drive under the influence. Just a thought... Happy trucking Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Not gonna lie... What The F%*K did I get into?

Thanks guys. I know I'll get it. It was just a frustrating day yesterday. And today very well may be another. But hey, I'm up, alive, and it's gonna be fantastically beautiful day here in Central Florida!

Gonna share something from facebook from yesterday:

Me: Not gonna lie... This is easily one of the toughest things I've ever done... My Cousin: What ?????? Me: Cuz-How have you missed that I'm in school to become a Truck Driver? My Cousin: Oh That. I thought you meant something more difficult.

#facepalm

J: think about it this way. Backing is the one skill you will never master. For every 3,000 miles you drive forward you will only drive backwards 1 mile. There is nothing to get stressed about. Every single driver out there has days when they can put that baby in first shot, then days when they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn if they tried. Its just one of those funny laws of trucking. Take a deep breath, set the brake get out and walk around. visualize where you want the trailer to go, then put it there. You can do it! Also remember; practice does not make perfect, it only makes proficient. Keep at it! Happy trucking Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Is working out possible on the road?

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my first day of securement training with Melton today...

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That is so very cool!!!

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Thanks Wilson! I'm standing in front of the hotel waiting on the van right now. Did I mention that I am so excited I can't wait? ;)

I ran flat bed with TSMT (not all the time) and had to tarp one load; a building that was headed to the port of New Jersey. If it hadn't been for another trucker a full time flat bedder, I would still be there trying to get that darn thing tarped. It is a great work out, but man... I think I will stick to jumping jacks lol... Happy trucking! Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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I'm very good at waiting patiently.

And it's a good thing. Took my drug screen in orientation last Thursday, still waiting. It's all I need. All other testing is passed and as soon as this clears I can wait for my trainer. Excited, nervous, happy and sad ask at the same time. I just want to start making money.

Wow... That's a long time. Have you spoken to anyone in safety/compliance about it? There may have been a problem with the sample. It could have been contaminated at the lab. Most results are back within 24 hours and at the most 48. If you don't mind my asking; what company are you going with? Usually the larger the company, the quicker the turn around time.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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First DIspatch!

Thanks guys. They called me shortly after this post and gave me a list of things to bring, as well as told me about the $25 per day advance program. I believe I will be fine now. I happy that I have made it this far and am thankful for all the advice and help from this site and will continue to turn here for further questions that I'm sure will arise

If your trainer is worth his/her salt, you should not have to bring any food stuffs along at all. Trainers know and understand that you have very little if anything to contribute your first 2 weeks on the truck. Your trainer is there to help you, and most will, even if food comes from the dollar menu, they won't let you go hungry. Not sure what is on the list that you received from your company, but everything you need should fit in a large duffel and a smaller "shower" bag. With the exception of your pillow and bedding. (sleeping bag, or sheet and blanket) BEWARE! if your company "gives" you money and calls it an advance, you will have to pay it back. It will be taken from your paycheck 25.00 doesn't seem like much, but when you are only making training pay, after taxes and advances you run the risk of being in the hole. (been there done that) I wish I could see the list they gave you. As a former trainer myself, I can help you make sure you have exactly what you need and what you do not. If your list came from a fleet manager well most of them have never set foot in a truck much less understand what you will and will not need while on the road. Here are a couple of tips that will save you in the long run. 1) Do not buy anything from a truck stop if you can help it. Food, coffee and snacks are extremely over priced. If you are a coffee drinker get a canister of instant, "make your coffee" in the truck, then use the hot water from the truck stop. My husband and I did this for years until we purchased a microwave for our truck. We saved a ton of money on coffee alone. Most trainers have a refrigerator and microwave on their truck and keep a goodly store of sandwich/microwave foods. This will save you tons of money, money that you can keep in your pocket for a rainy day, or money you can send home to the family (if you have one)

2) Always make a list and commit to sticking to it before going shopping for necessities. By doing this you will not end up with excess "stuff" in your cart. Impulse purchases that do nothing but eat your money, and you will spend less time wandering around the store. A list will allow you to get in and get out quickly with the least possible money spent. Most trainers are keen on splitting the cost of food down the middle. That way neither of you are footing the total bill, and neither of you will go hungry :D

3) If you smoke, stop. Tobacco and tobacco products do nothing but ruin your health and your pocket book. The average cost for a pack of smokes is around 6.00 depending on where you are. In the North East they are as much as 12.00 per pack. 6.00 will buy snacks, a pack of socks, a pack of gloves, soap... you get the idea. . 4) RELAX!! you are about to begin the greatest journey of your life. Happy trucking. Keep the dirty side down and ROLL ON!! Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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J.S. Helwig and Son Trucking review?

I recently saw an ad for Helwig. Anyone work for them? Any reviews?

They are an awesome company! I worked with them for about 2 years. I ran my tail off lol and made some serious money! They are a small company, most of their loads are meat loads, time sensitive cannot be late! They take care of their drivers. They have good insurance and some of the best pay in the industry. Pretty much their motto is "don't have a wreck and don't be late" :D They are serious about trucking. Oh sorry they are in Texas right off I-20 one exit down from the loves just before you get into Rockwall. They have awesome equipment (trucks and trailers) and a top notch maintenance program. I think you may have to have 1 year experience not sure though call them and ask. It may only be 6 months... Not sure if Jennifer is still working in recruiting. it's been a long time since I worked for them. One thing I am positive about: you cannot go wrong with Helwig and Sons. They are a great company.

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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New Graduate ??STEVENS vs SHIFT vs FFE??

New Graduate ??STEVENS vs SHIFT vs FFE?? where can i get better training ,how much $$ is the pay in the training and how long is the training period please help i live in el paso tx,i am looking for a company for my carrer as a truck driver

You cannot go wrong with Swift or Stevens. They are both excellent companies with proven training for new drivers. FFE is another story. I do not like them or their training program. Other starter companies that will take the time to teach you as much as possible are Werner, Covenant, Snider, JB hunt, Tyson-may or may not be accepting student drivers, give them a call.... Which ever company you choose stay with them for one year possibly two. With the exception of Tyson, all the companies I listed are starter companies. Tyson on the other hand is a career company. Once you start with them you will not want to leave. (I was a driver for them for 7 years) No I do not work for Tyson any longer (medical issues) but as a former driver for them I can tell you I wondered many times why I did apply with them right out of school. Just a thought. And Tyson has a plant in El Paso so home time wouldn't be a problem :D Happy hunting. Hope this helps Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Bad Planning or is it Just Me?

I have had a lousy time of it for the last few days. I'm wondering if there's another way I should have handled this situation. I feel I've been sitting at truck stops more than I should, and this last weekend I got the short end of the Home Time stick.

This is the first time I've asked for a home call. Sent in a request in plenty of time for this last weekend.

Friday I get a preplan to take a load from near Peoria, IL, to Memphis, arriving at 9am. No problem with that, I prefer driving "the third shift". As part of the deal, though, I have a load from Memphis to Ottawa (near Chicago - 498 miles), delivered 1:15am Monday. Meaning my home break is over around 3pm Sunday. That's roughly 30 hours I'm home - overnight.

But, some dispatching/scheduling issues on Friday get me out of the truck at 4pm, so my off time (after two weeks OTR) is 23 hours. Not even enough time for a 34 hour reset. I've been working off recap to the end of the week.

Drive to Ottawa, having to use some recap time I get back after midnight. Deliver, then get to a truck stop out of time - 1 minute on my 70 hours, one minute good for all day Monday! 9 hours comes back for Tuesday.

With a useless 70 hour schedule, my DM is "kind" enough to make a (you guessed it) 34 hour break, with a new pickup Tuesday afternoon 175 empty miles away. (Granted, this run is 700 miles). So, instead of relaxing at home for 34 hours, I sit in my truck waiting to reset my clocks.

My question is, can I work this kind of situation out so I can stay at home, instead of watching Freightliners drive by me for two days?

As a 13 year veteran and a former log specialist/driver trainer at a major food company with 1200 trucks, most companies now days are looking for the 3 week driver. They say 2 weeks out then 2 days at home, but to really make some money out on the road you will need to stay out 3-4 weeks then go home for 3 days. It is usually difficult to get you good miles and home time every two weeks because your load radius is really small. And now days with the way the 34 restart is structured you will need more than 2 days at home anyway to fulfill the requirement. I do not believe your dispatcher/driver manager is trying to "just give you the shaft" he/she is working the best they possibly can with the limited mile radius and required 2 week home time you have given them. Now, what you may have to do once you get home is turn your phone off. Let them know you are taking your time so you can fulfill the 34 hour reset, you will not be answering your phone, nor will you accept any loads until your 34 is complete. When you are home, you are on your time not theirs. If you allow dispatch to load you out early once, then they will do it again until you put your foot down. They do not do this to push you, or test you, they do this because the freight needs to move. Period. They do not get extra perks or bonuses based on how many loads they fulfill, it is all about customer satisfaction. So give the 4 week strategy a try, it's not as hard as it seems. You will see your miles increase and you will see your home time improve as well. Talk to your fleet manager he/she is willing to work with you to make you as much money as possible. Bottom line: if the wheels are turning, you are making money. They are happy, you are happy, family is happy. Bills are paid :D that's the goal right? Hope this helps. Happy trucking Trish

Posted:  4 years, 5 months ago

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Is working out possible on the road?

I work out all the time and I have a membership to anytime fitness. I hope to utilize this while I'm out on the road because health and nutrition is very important to me do any of you guys work out? If so could you spare a couple tips for someone who is getting into this industry. I'm just afraid of getting overweight or anything because I'm 6ft 200 lbs and I don't want to lose what I've bulked up to

There are tons of exercises/resistance training you can do in your truck. I had a set of the resistance bands (golds gym brand) which worked wonderfully. ( I would loop them around the fender mirror) l also did standing push-ups utilizing the top bunk which I could make harder or easier depending on hand placement. Sit ups/crunches on the side of my lower bunk, squats, and best of all, I would park in the very back of the parking lot the farthest spot from the building and would speed walk laps around the truck stop parking lot. You can also get a folding bike which will fit behind the passenger seat affording you an opportunity to "get away" from the truck stop all together during 34 hr. restarts. I also went old school and did jumping jacks and jump rope every morning before starting out. I utilized the salad bar and baked/grilled options from the menu. (when I ate in restaurants.) Most of the time I ate out of my truck. Salads, yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit (or canned in own juice when in a pinch) raw veggies for snacks. One more thought, then I will sit back. A yoga mat and yoga exercises are a great way to keep in shape and not lose what you have gained. The only draw back to this is finding a grassy spot that has not been over taken by other truckers pets... if you get my drift. A yoga mat takes up minimal space in your truck and a portable dvd player (battery powered) and the yoga exercise dvd's from walmart give you another great option. Hope this helps and happy trucking! Trish

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