Profile For Slowpoke

Slowpoke's Info

  • Location:
    Anywhere, OH

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 8 months ago

Slowpoke's Bio

20 year veteran who has driven just about everything but car haulers and over sized... I'm currently pulling doubles with a Fed Ex ground contractor but, May 4th, my wife and I are embarking on a new path driving for an expediting contractor in a Cascadia straight truck.

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Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Question about tanker driving

Keep in mind that if you go through a company sponsored training program you will sign a contract obligating you to work for that company for a period of time, usually 12-18 months I believe is pretty standard.

If you can afford to keep paying for your own training I would, as it keeps your options open to working for anyone and doesn't obligate you to anyone, plus, most companies have re-imbursement programs with pays you back for all or most of your cost for training.

Typically tanker work is pretty easy, it usually pays a little better than van work but it takes a bit more care in driving, slosh can be fun ;) But often times you will be working in all weather conditions, some of the places you'll go can be a pain, lots of rules for safety of course, you'll more than likely need a TWIC card and some of the backs in tanker jobs can be far worse than vans...

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Am I cut out for this??

To be honest, if they expect folks to learn the pre-trip and double clutching in a week I would not even consider giving Knight another thought..... The company admitting to a 60% failure rate and they don't think there's a problem with their training program?? They are possibly turning away great drivers which makes me think they have a reason to turn so many away, maybe government money for everyone that signs up whether they finish or not.. I would research other companies training programs and ask specifics about what is expected during their training programs... If you can afford it, I would suggest a community college or nationally recognized CDL school to get your CDL on your own... That way you will not be obligated to any specific company for whatever time period they hold you in indentured servitude for paying for your training.... I went to a community college program in 1997. We didn't even see a truck for the first week, that was spent on logs, haz mat and regs and there was no "progression" testing. We practiced the pre-trip every day, did some skills everyday and did road driving after a couple weeks every day.

I cannot recommend any company sponsored programs as I have never been through one, but I will say again.... Research them, ask lots of questions and even search online for reviews from others who have been through them...

Don't let this one bad experience deter you if trucking is truly what you want to do......

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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PERMIT.. Redo? Huh?

I don't think you will have to retest, but you will be having a physical done for the company that is doing the training. There are a few states with some funny rules about the permit, but I don't know where you are training. Just an FYI, any time you start a new driving job you will be required to get a new physical.

Since self certification it is not required that a new DOT physical is done with a new job...

I was surprised to learn this. When I joined a Fed Ex Ground contractor, Fed Ex used my DOT card that I had from my previous employer, no new physical..

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Am I cut out for this??

Without knowing what made you flunk out, it's a little tough to give you advice... Was there one particular thing you were having too much trouble with? Was there something in your back ground that made Knight cut ties with you? Too many unknowns here. I do know there have been plenty of folks who have not been successful their first time out of the gate that have ended up getting their CDL's.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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That little voice that eats at ya.

I would caution anyone thinking of trucking to avoid romanticizing the job. I did just that, and the jerk back to painful reality hurts like heck. It is a tough job and only the tough will be happy and prosper. I thought the cab of a tractor trailer would be my own little world where I could escape ignorant people and attitudes. Nope, they come right along for the ride. I have nothing but ultimate respect for the drivers that can be successful in this challenging industry. I can't believe the meager amounts of money being paid to skilled professionals who risk their lives every day to get products to places on time. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. I just think that every driver on the road should be making at least twice the amount of income they bring in. It's hard.

When one loves what they do, it can very well be "romantic"... Add to it having the one you love teaming with you and it only gets better ;)

Our ultimate goal is to team in our Class B expediting truck for 4-5 years then for me to go back to a tractor trailer expedite with the love of my wife as my non-driving navigator ;)

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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My back and butt starting to hurt.

There are "massager" seats available.... How they work is to vary the air pressure in multiple bags by turning on one switch, the seat I had had 5 or 6 different bags in it from lower lumbar all the way up the seat back.... It also had 2 or 3 adjustments, not automatic, on the seat pad as well... I wasn't a fan of that particular function of that seat, but I found comfort in my normal adjustments so it wasn't needed for me.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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That little voice that eats at ya.

I do believe that we do have a calling and if we're lucky we get to be paid for what we love to do. Even as a small child I would draw trucks and trailers which led to a convoy that literally circled the walls of my bedroom. At the age of 23 I started in this field driving for a local farmer being home everday hauling grain elevator to elevator or farm to elevator. Come summer time I would haul tomatoes from the field to canneries in Ohio, Michigan or Indiana which would require overnight trips in an old IH Transtar cab over with no AC, power steering, etc... ;)

I knew then this was what I was born to do.... But, I let my wife at the time, long since ex wife now ;) talk me into joining her at a local factory and I did last over 7 years there until very shortly after we divorced when I got back in a truck and haven't been out of one since. I spent a couple of my early years OTR, then got a local LTL line haul gig, I missed life on the road shortly after getting the local job but at the time was a slave to the money that job provided and now, finally, Monday, my wife and I are starting orientation at an expediting company to drive team class B straight truck and be OTR for 4-6 weeks at a time...

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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My back and butt starting to hurt.

I drive with the seat back just about straight up with the lowest lumbar bag filled all the way up and the next one up with just a touch in it. And of course, nothing ever in my back pockets. I also keep the seat elevated just enough to keep it from bottoming out. Keep in mind, this setting can and does change sometimes based upon how I'm feeling on a particular day, but not by much.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Well, I delivered pizzas in my hometown after graduation in 1984 until I went to a truck driving school, home study on site 2 week driving training in 1987. I drove for a local farmer until 1989 when my then wife talked me into going to work at the same factory as her because at the time the pay was a bit better....Got divorced in 1996 and since I left me chauffeur's license expire I went to a community college CDL program. Been driving truck now since 1997.. I've just about everything in this industry except over size and car hauling.

My wife and I report Monday to orientation to an expediting company to run for them in a class B truck all 48 with our puppy ;)

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Navy wife intrested in driving team with husband and looking for some honest from the heart advice from you ladies!

Generally teams get 1 day off for every week on the road, but companies vary on their home time policy and how strictly they honor it....

You do realize that you and your husband will not train together once you finish your schooling??? You will each train with a trainer separately before you will be able to drive together.

Life on the road can be hard but rewarding.. Sleeping in a moving truck can be an experience of it's own....

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Drug testing before trucking school

While you'll never pass a follicle test by the end of May you should be good to go for a UA if you weren't smoking 24/7 for the weeks you were recently smoking.... 28-30 days is the pretty common time span one needs to pass a UA depending on body fat content as that's what the THC adheres to... The over the counter UA's are hit or miss but I wouldn't recommend against them before you knew you were going to be tested. Good luck to you...

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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The highs are really high and the lows are really low

I'll add...... Relax. This profession really isn't that complicated IF you pay attention. I'm not trying to be snarky at all, please don't take it that way... So many new drivers tend to over complicate this job. Take it slow where you need to and again, PAY ATTENTION. That way you'll be less likely to find yourself in the position of having to call safety and road service..... Your GPS routed you on the wrong road?? RELAX, breathe, take your time, gather your thoughts about how you're going to get yourself out of the situation. Never act before you've thought about what you're doing or what you have to do.

Remember, you've chosen a profession that has many GREAT rewards... We get to see things most will never see, we get to work by ourselves, we don't have a boss staring over our shoulder (I 'm good at ignoring the box on the dash;)) ) and we get to get paid while doing it. So just relax, learn from your mistakes and enjoy the road.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Fatal Crash On I 71 Southbound in Ohio

Thoughts to those involved, I hate to see these..... When will folks start paying attention and start taking their job seriously???

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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OTR Training program

Don't worry bout waking your trainer up in the middle of the night, you'll more than likely be operating like a team before too long anyway so you'll have the bunk to yourself ;))) Secondly, try beta prostate, it really does help.... I can sleep 5 whole hours at a time without waking up for a nature call.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Schneider Teams- Only $800-900 weekly

5 different partners in 6 months and Schneider's the problem?? I believe that statement says all we need to know.......

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Driving OTR is all I Think About And I'm Overwhelmed By All the Info On This Website About Truck Driving Schools and Companies

Debra, Unfortunately you will not find ANY company that has solo training. You will have to team up with a trainer for usually 6-8 weeks or more after obtaining your CDL. Then be prepared to run team after a couple of weeks as many training companies run things this way...

Good luck finding training companies that pay detention or breakdown.

I'm pretty sure training companies do not pay for your food while you're in school... I do believe they pay for you to get to their school but usually you leave out on a truck when your training is completed.

You are correct to not lie on your application...

Yes, your location should be talked about with a recruiter, that in itself will more than likely limit your options and decided who will train and hire you.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Medical Card Question

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I do find it odd that if you have a DOT medical card that is still valid that you would have to get another if you change jobs, it kind of defeats the point of them having a date on them for renewal.

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Yeah, the date is looked upon as more of a maximum time between physicals kinda thing. I'm not really sure why they require a new physical every time you change jobs but that's how it's been for many years.

Since self certification I believe a new DOT is not required now.... I've been running on a self certified DOT card from a previous employer at Fed Ex Ground for 6+ months now. A few companies around here also actually require a driver to have a valid DOT card prior to employment.

http://dotphysicaldoctor.com/faq/fmcsa-regulations/#transferrable

Is the DOT medical card transferrable or do I have to get a new one when I start a new job?

A DOT medical card is valid nationwide and can be used by any company so you don’t have to get a new one. However… There are companies that have a policy in place that states they want you to have the physical exam done by their own examiner. They can require you to take a new physical exam, if is company policy. They also usually will pay for the exam if they require it.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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I knew that practice waiting in school would come in handy.

Such is the life of a truck driver... Very few segments of the industry are immune to it...

I did read however that, in the new transportation bill there is a provision stating that we should be paid at least minimum wage for our wait time... That would be a step in the right direction in my opinion, but, #1-I doubt it will stay in the bill, #2- I can see the ATA and companies fighting against this and finally, #3- If this does make it into the finalized bill, I can see companies lowering their per mile rate to make up the difference ;(( http://www.dcvelocity.com/print/article/20140430-white-house-highway-bill-proposal-would-require-driver-payments-for-down-time/

The cost should not have to be paid by the companies in my opinion, it should be the responsibility of the shippers and receivers that are holding us to have to pay us for waiting time.

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