Comments By Seppo

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  • Seppo
  • Joined:
  • 9 years, 1 month ago
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Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Starting a truck career with anxiety?

Thing is, if you have a lot of anxiety issues, learning to drive a truck is going to overwhelm you unless you have some sort of uncanny natural ability.

This is an incredibly broad statement to make, and part of the prevailing attitude that can make it difficult for a driver successfully treating anxiety issues to get on the road. Everyone's situation is completely different, and not everyone with anxiety suffers panic attacks. You said yourself that your anxiety is more social in nature. Mine is as well, and that hasn't stopped me from beginning a career driving a truck. As a matter of fact, I got into this line of work specifically because my issues made it difficult for me to function in a more "normal" workplace environment. I used to be in TV production and media, and have found that driving a 40 ton building on wheels and being directly responsible for the safety of thousands of people on the road around me every day is a MUCH less stressful way for me personally to make a living. I respect your opinion on the matter, but please try not to make assumptions that others might find discouraging. It's up to medical professionals to look at each situation on a case by case basis.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Starting a truck career with anxiety?

I actually just saw my doctor regarding this very issue last week. I've been on anti-depression medication for two and a half years now, including the entire time I've been driving. Wanted to address my anxiety as well, so I started taking Propranolol a few days ago. He was also concerned that my blood pressure was a bit on the high side, and the medication will address that as well. He's actually the doctor who did my initial DOT physical a couple years back, so I specifically asked if I'd be OK to take the med while driving a truck and he said it would not be a problem. I am currently between jobs, however, so we'll see what the new one says when I sign on.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Trucker Path app and truck stop reviews

I wish they had more options other than lots of spots, some spots and lot is full. There's obviously a huge difference between a 20 spot lot and one with 200 spots. One of the biggest complaints on there is guys who mark a lot full when there are one or two difficult spots left. After a while you learn to check the updates along with the number of available spots and use the time of day to play it by ear.

How often do you use your trucker path app and how reliable are the reviews? I know everybody has a different opinion about cleanliness and restaurants, but what about the parking situations?

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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What companies don't have driver facing cameras?

Heartland Express does NOT use driver facing cameras, if you want to update the list. They do have the lane departure system like Prime, as someone mentioned above. It's quite easy to disable but the company will probably term you if they find out.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Is the day of the standard transmission gone?

Trained in a manual. My company put me directly into an automatic when I soloed out and it totally spoiled me. Absolutely hate shifting now. I'm looking for a new company and I'm not going to make a move unless they can promise me an auto. Is there an up to date list anywhere of companies that will provide an automatic transmission for new drivers?

All I can speak to is that Heartland Express is all manual, Knight says they have automatics available, and a recruiter from Interstate told me that they have automatics, but he had no control over them and couldn't promise me one if I came on board.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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I think I'm done

I'm pretty much on the same timeline as you. New driver, started with Gordon (now Heartland) last fall, eight months in. Backing finally fell into place after three months in and life on the road has been much easier since. Like you, I'm VERY tired of spending all of my time on the west coast. I sort of figured when I started out I'd only be doing western 11, but I'm basically western 3 - spend a majority of my time in Washington, Oregon, and California. As a matter of fact, I'd kill to have more trips down to Arizona just to switch things up; I've only been to our Phoenix terminal twice now.

I'm also jealous you get to drive an automatic. My first truck was an automatic (because no one else wanted it) and I loved it. After a few months they sold it and put me in a manual, and I absolutely hate it. I can not STAND having to shift.

When I got the new truck I was down for a week and a half while they made some repairs...but I got $75/day layover/breakdown. If you hate being on the road, get off and do something else. I'm at very least going to stick it out for another four months until I'm a year in and ask to switch divisions so I can have some more varied routes. Everything you see on this website tells you to get at least a year with your first company before you switch things up. I'm planning on doing my year and asking for more interesting routes - if they can't give that to me, I'll look in to other options. If you enjoy driving and being on the road, I'd recommend that. If not, get off the road and do something else.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Violated my Hours of Service yesterday

LA rush hour traffic. Told my dispatch I wouldn't be able to make the delivery and be able to shut down before my 14 ran out and would probably have to relay at our terminal. Message I got back basically said "don't care, make the delivery." Went an hour and a half over on my 11 and 14 just getting to our terminal to shut down - nowhere else to park driving through LA.

Already talked to safety and got my slap on the wrist, they also told me to get in touch with them if dispatch ever puts me in that situation again so now I know what to do for the future. However, I was doing some research online and read that you can be pulled in for inspections much more frequently with violations, and that fines can run up to 11,000 dollars. I've gone over by 5, 10, 20 minutes every once in a while but an hour and a half is a big deal. Anyone know what I can expect going forward? Will I get a massive ticket at the first weight station I pass?

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Need advice about Marijuana testing for CDL drivers

And about the McDonalds thing, in all honesty the jobs that are minimum wage don't care about the drug users. The jobs that pay good and you can live off of do care about it.

There are many, many jobs that pay incredibly well that do not care about any drug use, weed or otherwise. Unless you were specifically referring to driving jobs. I have quite a few friends in non-driving careers who make well over 100k a year and smoke every single day who are never drug tested and experience no negative consequences whatsoever.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Any advice for driving in big cities

I wonder if anyone has driven a tractor trailer down the hill of Lombard St. in San Fran. Can it even be done?

Assume you're joking, but no, it physically cannot be done. Also, no reason to ever have to drive a truck on Lombard.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Need advice about Marijuana testing for CDL drivers

Everyone here has made some great points. I could talk to my own experience but I think it's been covered already. Since quitting smoking is not an option for you, you may have to quit driving. At very least you might want to quit smoking temporarily and work hard to bank some money in your savings account before you start up again. That way, if (when) you get popped, you'll have a nest egg saved up to fall back on while you search for a new line of work.

It definitely bums me out that I can't go to one of the dozens of legal weed shops when I take a few days of home time in Denver, but it's just not worth the risk to my job. Most importantly, I absolutely do not want to put myself or anyone else I'm sharing the road with in danger. Someday I'll get out from behind the wheel for good and take a job where the public's safety is not in my hands, and I'll enjoy it again. Let us know what you decide to do.

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