Profile For Darren R.

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    4 years, 2 months ago

Darren R.'s Bio

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Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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What is your in truck entertainment for down times?

I have Dish Network at home, and they have an ap that lets you basically tap into your home system from a device(cell phone, tablet, etc..). I figured this would work fine, at first, so I loaded up on a huge data plan from Verizon. Initial thought was I could buy wifi from truck stops, and use my data for when I'm parked out in the sticks. The cost of data from Verizon, while trying to watch streaming video is outrageous. I burned through that data way to quick. So I saved my pennies and have just purchased the Dish tailgater system. Still waiting for it, but after crunching the numbers, I will pay for this system in 4 months, after I drop my Verizon data plan back down to the 5g, vs the 20g.

The tailgater system is basically a portable satellite that automatically tunes into the sat's you need for signal as long as you have a clear view to the southern sky? You also need an apu, or a sizable converter to power the receiver and TV. The satellite itself gets powered by the receiver. And since I have dish network at home, its only an extra $7/per month to add the tailgater receiver

Plus the wifi at a lot of truck stops sucks for video?

I also have sirus radio that I love while driving. I get access to sports, news, and my favorite, the Jason Ellis show on Faction!

In short, for me, its all about satellites! Unless you park in a cave, you will always have entertainment.

Come this winter, when they start shutting down the Rocky Mountain Highways, there will be downtime...

Posted:  4 years ago

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Considering making the jump to trucking at 45

I'm doing it at 42 brother. I spent 23 years in the tech industry. I always told myself that when I reach retirement age, then I'm going trucking instead of waiting to die. But after moving back to northern Utah to be closer and help my family for various reasons, I figured, WHY NOT NOW!. I have 1 month left on my CDL school.

For me, I chose to hook up with my local community college that provided a specific course. I looked into to other CDL schools, but chose the one I'm in for a few reasons. The course was organized, outlined, and the school provides recruiters from the major companies and, in return, the school has a very good history of providing qualified divers. Another reason was cost. I'm in a 2 month course that covers everything and few students so the one on one time with the driver trainer is HUGE. The other CDL school was twice as much money, its only a month long, and they push 15 to 20 students at a time, no one on one time.

The other thing I'm finding out, is that major trucking companies have tuition reimbursement programs for students who put themselves a "qualified school" .. This is important. Be sure to check with perspective companies as to their qualifications on what schools they will provide this reimbursement for. For example, Melton trucking requires the CDL course to be at least 160 hours before they will provide the reimbursement. The school I'm attending is 300 hours. Plus I've already logged 500 miles of drive time, and that's only after 2 days of actually training with my driver trainer. I still have 4 weeks of driver training! The 1st month of this course was all book work. I passed the test, and now me and my other 2 classmates get to spend 4 weeks of doing nothing but driver training.

I cant provide you with school info in your area, but hopefully I gave you a few considerations to keep in mind? Watch out for those private schools that want to take 5 grand from you, push you through a 1 month crash course with 20 other suckers, and kick you out on your own..

Posted:  4 years ago

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I tried and failed.

The thing I'm finding out about the CDL, is there are a ton of options outside of OTR. I'm not sure where you live, but check out your local construction companies, gravel pits and the likes. OTR is not the only game on the block? If you can get on with a construction company they have a lot of jobs that bring you home daily? Just a thought? Pepsi and Coke have daily delivery routs, hell, a lot of local food transport companies have a lot of daily routes. Depends on your area. Family does come 1st brother, but keep your head up and options open! Hope the best for you!

Posted:  4 years ago

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DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

I found this thread while doing a general search on Melton trucking since I was considering them after I get done with CDL school. I read a few things that concerned me since I'm NOT a hairy guy. As for the length of my hair when I apply for a job, well, if anyone considers failing me since I don't have the length of hair needed for this test, then they can kiss my hairless butt cheeks! And if they think they can put it on my permanent record without actually conducting the test, then there will be a legal fight to follow!

That's beside the point. As to why folks are concerned about the hair test, those reasons can be many, and its not the purpose of this thread to play judge jury and executioner. The purpose is to provide the facts, and I'd like to thank Brent for his efforts to remind people of just that.

I've spent that last month randomly visiting the web pages of the labs that actually conduct these test and this is what I've found that all of them have in common.

Yes the length of the hair matters... If you, for example, smoked pot on the same day you shaved your head, 1 year ago, and don't smoke any more, and don't cut your hair, then if the test facility were to test the end of you hair, then yes, you will test positive. However, according to all the labs web pages, they test from the base of the head, or body where the hair is taken, and go out approx. 1.5 inches. The 1.5 inches is based on the average hair growth rate of .5 inches per 1 month.

As for folks who are saying that certain companies check back longer than just 3 months. Yes, it is possible. The cost of going back further jump dramatically for employers who want to check back further, but again, this is only possible if you have the hair length available for them to conduct a more extensive test. But the basic 3 month test is the standard because it shows employers if a prospective employee is a habitual abuser of substances.

As near as I can tell, 3 months of being clean, from whatever is in your system, and then shaving your head, will clear you of any trace on the hair test. As far as companies going back further, I think that's more of a scare tactic then actually reality unless you have hair long enough for them to do so?

I found some interesting info on leg, arm pit and other hairy parts of the body too. Seems these hairs actually replace them selves on an almost daily basis. Hair on other parts of the body actually die after they reach a certain length, and a new hair actually pushes them out and replaces them. Sort of like the hair cycle of life? According to the info on several of the lab testing web sites? Do a google search for "hair testing labs" and if you want to read it for yourself, then its really the best info?

Posted:  4 years ago

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Briderland Community College, Logan, Utah

Me and my other 2 fellow students finished the book work last week. Took my 2nd practice drive yesterday. 3 hours up and around the back highways of southern Idaho and northern Utah. I have to admit, when you think of becoming a driver, you don't think about, well, how much you have to think! My heads numb! I'm still at that stage where downshifting is not smooth, but I've still got several weeks to practice. I did do some "starting on a hill" maneuvers, which went really well. I don't want to be the guy who has a Honda accidently attached to his bumper... At my school we drive with a 53' foot trailer that is weighted down with sand bags to give us the feel of a full load. Myself and the 2 other students are going to rotate the driving days. 2 of us will go out and drive, while the 3rd hangs bag and practices the backing up maneuvers. Offset and alley dock. Good on the offset, but hitting the alley dock for the 1st time today.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Someone's LAST Bad Day!! (Wreck)

on side note. When did corvettes have a backseat? (<<--sarcastic remark)

No back seats.. Just a little head room... NOW THATS BAD!!!!!!!!!wtf.gif

Posted:  4 years ago

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Briderland Community College, Logan, Utah

On my 2nd week of class now... Holy crap! I had no idea how much there was to this! LOL! Week one of class was focused on obtaining my CDL Training Permit.. Passed it. Week 2 was crashing through 12 chapters of our CDL training book. Passed it.

I'm totally digging it and cant wait to get through the formalities of the book so I can get with my driving trainer to actually put the pages to the road, so to speak.. Our school works with the local airport here in Logan Utah to train on, and thank god for that! I nice wide open space cause we jump right into pulling around a 53 foot trailer..

We do have access to this simulator, which is OK. It does give you practice on the whole double clutch method.. but I'm thinking that feeling the truck to shift is going to be easier than trying to watch the tack on the simulator which has no feeling at all..

As of right now, I have to 2 feet of drive time.. that's right.. 2 whole feet.. and it was pretty damn cool.. our class instructor had me pull one of our training rigs forward to test the 5th wheel coupling.. doubt its going to wow any prospective employers, but for me.. I got 2 feet baby!dancing.gif

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Tattoo policies?

Thank you guys a bunch, they are actually religious tattoos.

Mine aint! lol.. but I plan on getting more.. Call me crazy, but even as a kid I expect tat's on 2 types of people, vets and truckers! So I plan on keeping the tradition going!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Need help choosing the right company after school

1 2nd that.. I start my class Monday, and I wanna run all over.. I too have been talking to a lot of companies. As of right now, Melton trucking is topping my list of national companies. The reason why is because of tuition reimbursement, and the fact that they give you a truck that you take home for your off time. But if I have my way, I wanna roll!!!! Plus they re up their tucks every 2 to 3 years so you always have a good reliable ride... I'm also drawn to the local companies because you don't have to deal with big corp B.S.? The owners are right there and the small companies have a good hometown feel? So ya, the choices are many and its very tough to pick one!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Transportation Services Index: Health Of The Trucking Industry

I'd say there is high demand for drivers.. I start my CDL course on Monday, May 18th, but I've already been talking to national and local companies. As of right now I have 4 locals and 6 national applications, and all of these are chomping at the bit to have me turn in my ap, even before I get my CDL. 2 of the national companies are offering tuition bonus to pay for my school since the course I'm taking is 300 hours.. the limit for these bonus's, I'm finding out, is the class has to be at least 160 hours before companies will offer tuition reimbursements.. and thank god this site has spell check!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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So tell me... Am I delusional?

I'm doing it, my 1st day of CDL class is next Monday.. Like you, I've been curious about it for ever, so I'm going for it!

Toys in the attic brutha! lolololololol

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Briderland Community College, Logan, Utah

No, but thanks for pointing me in that direction.. New to this site, so I'm still getting the info figured out..

Thanks!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Briderland Community College, Logan, Utah

I'm starting the full time CDL course on Monday May 18th. 300 hour course, looks like it covers everything a new driver would need to know.

I've already been talking to several trucking companies, so it looks like finding a job when I'm done will not be a problem. Especially being a brand new driver. Both local and national companies? If any experienced drivers have any advise on national companies to stay away from then please let me know.

I've heard a few things that CR England is not a preferable company to work with but I don't really know. I'm 42 and after spending 23 years in the tech industry, I'm ready to hit the road and drive past all the sites in USA! lol. Being on the road for extended drives is actually what I'm looking for...

Darren R.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

After spending 5.5 years in the Coast Guard, I was honorably discharged with my Associates in EET, and back then I thought, IT jobs for life. Now I'd rather take my smart phone and toss it in the lake! I recently moved back to northern Utah a couple of years ago, and started the loop in various IT jobs in the area. I've spent the last 8 months doing Dish's for a national satellite TV provider. My last job in Montana before making the move back to Utah to be closer to family, drove me past a CDL training school. And everyday for 6 years I kept thinking, "what it be like to check out the country". So I started checking out the 2 CDL schools in my area. The 1st one in Ogden, for some reason, just didn't set well with me? But after meeting with the folks at Bridgerland Community College in Logan, Utah I decided this feels right. I've pre paid for the course and I begin on May 18th. I've also been talking to a few of the local companies, following the advise on this web page about pre hiring? I'm looking forward to it. But if anyone here has had some bad experiences with this school, then please let me know? I did read a story about things to look for in schools, and one thing left me concerned. The advise was to stay away from schools that do not have job placement? Bridgerland is very clear on the fact they do not have job placement. But they have instructors that work for local companies? Plus the course outline covers everything? Or at least it seems too? I'm 42, so I guess I just figured that regardless of the school, its up to the individual to do the leg work to land the job? I planned this for months, so I'm not worried about the tuition reimbursement, because I saved up the money for that, and to cover the bills for the 2 months I'll be in the course.

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