Comments By Seppo

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  • Seppo
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  • 7 years, 5 months ago
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Posted:  7 years ago

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Household Movers Guide or PC Miler vs Practical Miles

Was hoping to open up this topic again, especially for those who are new to the industry, as I am. Right now I'm deciding between two companies to begin my career with. Once I go solo, company A pays .35 CPM to start, .36 CPM after six months, and .39 CPM after a year, with a one cent per year raise thereafter. Company B pays .31 CPM the first three months, .32 CPM for the next three months, .33 CPM for six months, then goes up to .37 CPM at one year. I know first year pay is not as important as gaining experience, and the amount of money I make will be dependent on the loads I get and how hard I run. However, after the first year, company A raises pay by one cent every year, whereas company B only raises it by a half a cent yearly. I'm not looking to jump from company to company, I'd like to find one that's a good fit right out of the gate. It seems that after a few years go by, that half a cent would start to factory pretty heavily into how much I'm making yearly. (In addition, company B won't reimburse the entirety of my student loan, which is another $1,000 dollars I'd miss out on in the first six months of my third year of employment.)

When I got in touch with my recruiter at company B to mention these concerns, the recruiter told me that they do practical pay which can add up to (as Brett already mentioned) a ten percent difference. Money is not my primary concern getting into this line of work, but I am using it as one of the factors to help guide my decision. Wondering if any experienced drivers can shed some light here. I tried doing my own rough math, and it seemed like with running optimal miles at a rate of ten percent more, company B's pay would actually be better up until about five years, at which point the balance would shift to company A.

Anyone have any good advice or wisdom to share?

Posted:  7 years ago

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How Long Does It Take?

Just out of curiosity how long does it usually take from the time you fill out the application until you find out whether you are approved to attend the school. My recruiter is working on the file now. I've spent the last 3 years having to hold off on trucking b/c of some issues with my house but now that it's finally all settled I am finally ready to go for it. Just sent in another application to FFE. I was approved last year but don't remember the length of time it took to find out I was good to go.. I'm hoping to get rolling within the next few weeks.....mid Oct at the latest. Going to their 11 day refresher in Lancaster TX.

Like...a day. At most. I think it's a fairly quick process.

Posted:  7 years ago

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How To Get Exercise On The Road?

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Once you have completed an initial period of supervised driving, you and your mentor will be team driving. Your mentor drives while you sleep, when you drive your mentor sleeps. The truck will be moving roughly 22 hours out of a 24 hour day. The 2 hours the truck is not moving you are pre-tripping the truck, fueling (either the truck or yourself), using the bathroom, showering, trip planning, etc. Not much time for exercise.

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One way around this is to make sure you get on with a company that only does solo dispatch while you are training. Some companies will have you running team after a few days. With others, the trainee can only be driving if the trainer is in the passenger seat next to you.

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Since I am only familiar with the "training companies" like Prime, Swift, CR England, CRST, (that I believe all run team; trainer/student), could you name a company (s) that will dispatch solo and hire entry level drivers? I only know of one in my area and they are really small, rarely hiring entry level trainees, it's hit or miss. And they do not advertise it.

Not trying to put you on the spot, just curious if you had a company in mind so that our friend could look into it. confused.gif

Unless anything has changed since I spoke with a recruiter in June, Knight does solo dispatch, with the caveat: "In dire circumstances towards the end of training you might receive a team load." They are pretty large and from the research I've done online, seem to be a decent company to drive for. I believe all their training is done out of their Phoenix headquarters.

Can't speak for anyone else. Look around on this website to see if you can find any information (https://www.truckingtruth.com/paid-cdl-training/) and call some recruiters at different companies to see what they have to say.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Cameras in tractors?

Seppo is adamant:

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However, whether I'm at fault or not, I absolutely do not want video taken of me shown publicly to any group of people for any reason.

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No company has the time to show "Best Of DriverCam" for either instruction or laffs. Even any Incident recording sent in is checked for "usefulness" before it gets processed.

Better start looking for a local job.

If I was reading earlier comments correctly, the company showing the video of the driver eating the salad to other drivers in the organization. I understand they aren't compiling anything for a blooper reel, and I'm all for the proper usage of cameras for recording necessary incidents, but I'm strongly against companies showing video taken of drivers (without their permission) to use as examples.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Cameras in tractors?

The Salad Incident is from a Swift Video starring Richard Stocking (Swift President/CEO). A STOP event triggered the recording, and the driver was eating a salad at that moment. My post about 4 months ago.

And this is EXACTLY why I don't want a camera in my truck. If there's an incident and I'm in the wrong, by all means I'll accept the consequences, even if it's termination. I fully understand that the video may have to made accessible to people within the company, law enforcement officials, lawyers, etc. etc.

However, whether I'm at fault or not, I absolutely do not want video taken of me shown publicly to any group of people for any reason.

And yes, the argument is that you're on camera all day every day, everywhere you go. Which is true. But there's a big difference between being on surveillance cameras in stores and on the roads and having a camera pointed directly at your face eleven hours a day. I'm a safe driver. I don't eat while driving and I put my phone on Airplane mode so I won't be distracted by a call or a text or anything else popping up on the screen. But hey, sometimes I talk to myself while driving. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I pick my nose. I'm a private person, and these are things I simply do not want to take the chance of being recorded and shown to anyone else.

Not trying to start an argument here (the last thread on this subject did not go well) just my personal opinion. You're certainly welcome to your own.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

How To Get Exercise On The Road?

Once you have completed an initial period of supervised driving, you and your mentor will be team driving. Your mentor drives while you sleep, when you drive your mentor sleeps. The truck will be moving roughly 22 hours out of a 24 hour day. The 2 hours the truck is not moving you are pre-tripping the truck, fueling (either the truck or yourself), using the bathroom, showering, trip planning, etc. Not much time for exercise.

One way around this is to make sure you get on with a company that only does solo dispatch while you are training. Some companies will have you running team after a few days. With others, the trainee can only be driving if the trainer is in the passenger seat next to you.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Aussie driver wanting to move to USA to live and drive

I'm actually hoping to relocate to Australia and drive there someday. Happen to know what goes into it for an American driver? How would I go about getting my HR and HC licenses? And what's the job and pay like there? Do you drive all across the country or mainly stay around Sydney-Melb-Brisbane-Adelaide?

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Truck Fleets with automatics transmissions

May Trucking:

" Don't forget we will also be offering automatic transmission tractors as an option for new drivers in 2015."

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Prime recruiting conversation

You could open a P.O. box near one of the terminals and use that as your filed address. You might try to talk to someone in the department for the PSD program or in reefer/flatbed/tanker ops to get some traction. If it's the company you want and you can be a good driver for them, it'd be silly for such a non-issue to disqualify you. Recruiters are so overwhelmed with applications that they are looking to qualify or disqualify people as soon as possible.

I wouldn't say my heart is absolutely set on Prime. It was one of my top two choices with Knight. Knight's not going to work for me, so I wanted to check with Prime before I moved down the list. I am looking for a company that has their base of operations more towards the western half of the country, and Prime appears to have solid pay, a decent training program, and it seems their drivers are more or less content. Just really hoping to avoid the in-cab cameras with Swift. Stevens would be an alternative, but it seems their pay is a bit on the low side and travel arrangements for their training program would be somewhat arduous for me. It seems like you only hear horror stories about CR England, and even on this site (where the idea is to deal exclusively with facts and be fair towards every company) some folks hint at having reservations about the way they operate, so I've pre-emptively ruled them out. Could do a company without a training program that hires new drivers, but I was hoping to avoid dealing with the hassle of getting pre-hires, finding a school, arranging for funding, etc.

The thought of using a PO Box or the address of friends who live in any of Prime's hiring areas did pop into my mind briefly at one point, but the recruiter specifically said "Your permanent residence and driver’s license must be out of the same state. We do not use secondary addresses." It was a strange thread to jump to, since I'd never suggested in any of my correspondence with him that I'd intended to use a separate address of residence from the one on my driver's license. He told me he'd be happy to process my file assuming I move within their hiring area. However that seems a bit ludicrous, as I'm not going to establish residency in another state in hopes of being hired by one company when there are so many others to choose from. Guess I'll go back to the drawing board. Hope I haven't rubbed anyone the wrong way with this post regarding my opinions of the other companies, just kind of silently thinking out loud. Appreciate the input Dude.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Prime recruiting conversation

I've spoken with a few Prime recruiters this week, so I have some info to add. Even though their company sponsored training page here on TT says that they hire from all 48, I've been told that Prime absolutely does not hire from Idaho whatsoever, as they do not run freight up there. Also, other northern states such as Montana and North Dakota are very difficult, if not impossible.

I got a strange vibe from the first recruiter I talked to. I've spoken with recruiters from several other companies, and they all seemed very eager for me to fill out an application and come on board immediately. The Prime recruiter, on the other hand, seemed to spend the first ten minutes I was speaking to him looking for any reason to not hire me, before finally running my zip code in Idaho and telling me it's not one of their hiring areas. However, he still e-mailed me an application link and told me to apply, which I thought was odd.

I called back a few days later and got a different recruiter. When she told me that the issue hiring from Idaho was getting drivers home for home time, I explained to her that my residence there is basically a mailing address. My plan getting into driving is to just basically live on the road taking "home time" wherever I end up, saving money on a permanent residence and seeing different parts of the country. She told me Prime would be able to hire me so long as I'd sign something saying I had no expectations of Prime routing me through Idaho for home time, which would have been fine.

Called back a couple days later to verify this info before I applied, and it was flatly denied by the third person I spoke with (as well as my original recruiter when I e-mailed him asking about it). I explained my situation with taking home time on the road and not needing to go back to Idaho for any reason, and the third recruiter told me "the cost of routing a driver home to Idaho for home time is simply too prohibitive". When I tried again to elaborate on my circumstances, telling her that my plan for home time would most likely be to just get a hotel room in whatever city my home terminal ends up in if not taking my time off somewhere out on the road, she said "well eventually everyone needs to get home". I don't think she was listening to me.

I guess there are always extenuating circumstances, like if I got called for jury duty, and I'm sure it's a legal thing on their end where they simply cannot hire anyone with an address in a certain state. Still wondering where the lady who told me about the form I could sign got her information from. Just figured I would offer all this up there to anyone from a northern state who's hoping to drive for Prime.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Navajo Express unique practices?

I've been calling a few different companies to get my career going, both those with and without CDL training programs. I got in touch with Navajo yesterday, and their recruiter told me that for the first year as a new driver, you are paid a guaranteed amount each day you are available and "ready to work" regardless of whether you're moving or sitting. This pay scale is $110 per day months 1-3, $115 per day months 4-6, and $120 per day the remaining six months of your first year. You begin your second year at $.35/mile. This is much different than what is stated on their company profile here on TT, which has first year pay at $.25/mile.

It seems most companies do a flat rate during training, and I've seen a couple that give you the choice of either a flat rate or CPM once you go solo, at least for the first year. Seems with some of these programs, if you choose the flat rate they'll give you a bonus if you end up going above a certain number of miles, but Navajo is the only company I've found so far that does exclusively flat rate as the only option for the first year. Wondering if anyone here has any experience with that type of system and how it worked out for them.

I'm not inclined to put all my eggs in the Navajo basket anyway, as their recruiter told me they do not do pre-hire letters whatsoever for drivers before they attend CDL school. This was also surprising as it seems from what I've read on this forum that pre-hire letters are pretty standard. The recruiter said it limits their liability so they don't have to commit to hiring people before they've gone through schooling, but I didn't think a pre-hire was a binding agreement that a company HAS to hire a driver. Anyone aware of any other companies that don't do pre-hire letters? Might be beneficial info to add to company profile pages or at least in a thread here on the forum.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

FYI - I went thru orientation with Knight a few weeks ago, they did the Hair Follicle test on me using armpit hair, which allows them to go further back. The hair on my head was long enough for them to go back 90 days. They say they go back a full year; based on my experience, I believe them...

Can anyone else confirm that Knight goes back a full year?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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I need a little help.

I also didn't know you could take "home-time" in your truck that makes things very interesting.

You may want to check with individual companies for their policies on this. It was one thing that drew me to trucking, and I've signed on to begin orientation with Knight next month. When I asked my recruiter about this, I was told that while I'm free to take home time wherever I like, the truck must be on Knight property (parked at a terminal) while I'm on my days off. Fortunately Knight has plenty of terminals around the country so I'm thinking it won't be an issue, but it also may not be as easy as just deciding to take a few days off in whatever random town you end up in. Perhaps there's some leeway on this policy that an experienced Knight driver could elaborate on, but until I hear otherwise I'm going with what I've been told.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Narrowed down to Pam, Knight, or Swift.

I chose Knight for school, but for my only traffic ticket they wanted me to wait till this July.

Errol, can you elaborate? I had seen this in a previous post of yours and meant to ask about it; I believe you mentioned they had told you that you can't have a speeding ticket less than a year old on your record? I've been accepted to Knight, set to begin orientation in July, but I did receive a speeding ticket in December. I mentioned it on my application, my recruiter said there were no problems that he saw on my record. I'm concerned Knight will wait until I arrive at orientation to tell me I'm ineligible due to the ticket and I'll be back at square one and out the cost of my transportation and accommodation. Should I have a backup plan in place?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Playin guitar

Would think about bringing my acoustic if I get out on the road, but I'd be concerned that the extreme summer heat or winter cold would be bad for it if I'm away from the truck for a few hours. Any suggestions for this?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

OTR ..... Days Off / Free Time "in lieu" of Hometime

Thanks for your input, good luck to Seppo & Jessica.

When I am reading, some are saying, that one of the perks is that this is a nice way to see the other parts of the country, while others say all you are going to see is the interstate at 60 mph.

I was just trying to figure out, if there was a logical way to see a bit more than the highway?

It appears it is up to the company, if you can use the truck for personal use. As far as visiting places, would need to rent a car, unless they have parking for rigs (and then you might have to have it stay there the whole hometime).

I guess no easy answer, just have to figure it out as you go.

In my research I've definitely seen that quote, used a bit sarcastically by a few seasoned drivers: "Oh you wanna see the country? You'll see the country...at 65 miles an hour." I think their concern is that people may look into the career just for the opportunity to travel the country without realizing the difficulty of actually doing the job and living the lifestyle. I'd like to "see the country", even if I'm just passing through with no time to stop. The idea of spending a day in, say, the Colorado mountains is infinitely more appealing to me than sitting at a desk in a room with no windows for 10 hours.

I'm sure if you get into the job you'll be getting off the highway to make deliveries and pick ups in different cities and towns, so long as you don't do a dedicated route. From what I've read on this site, I'm not sure if sightseeing is always going to be possible though. I believe it all depends on whatever load you currently have, how much time you have to deliver it, and where you're driving. Certainly all the veteran drivers seem to say that if you want to make the most money you're going to be rolling as much as possible with minimal stops. For example, it would be incredible to spend a beautiful sunny day driving through the New Mexican desert en route to Arizona, but it doesn't seem likely you'd have time to stop and take pictures at the Four Corners.

As far as visiting places on days off, I think you'd just have to check ahead to see where you can leave a truck. I know Brett has said that pretty much any casino, especially the ones in Vegas, have truck parking. But again, this is all from my extensive research of everything on this site. I'm sure someone who's actually been on the road will have some better answers for you.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Clarification on Reporting Requirements

This is the lane in the middle of the road, with yellow lines on both sides. 11385319-large.jpg

I don't think I've ever seen a road with two sets of solid yellow lines forming a middle lane. What purpose does that serve?

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On the other hand, we have turn lanes like this where I live. You pull in, come to a stop, and make your turn. Alternately, if you're pulling out of a parking lot, driveway, or side street you come into this lane, stop, then merge into traffic. I wasn't aware you had to stop when I first arrived and would use these lanes to come to speed and merge in to traffic before I got pulled over for traveling more than 100 feet in the lane. Fortunately only let off with a warning!

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Official Driving Record

For anyone with knowledge on the hiring process: as a new driver, are you required to disclose a speeding ticket you received that was dismissed?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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OTR ..... Days Off / Free Time "in lieu" of Hometime

Jerry I'm 20 years younger than you and considering a career partially for this very reason. No wife/girlfriend/fiancee, no kids, friends and family more or less scattered across the country. I have a room with family I can stay in when I need to make it "home", but I'm looking forward to pretty much exploring wherever I end up and saving money by not keeping a permanent residence.

For experienced truckers, I have a few questions. When you find a company to drive for, do you have to live near one of their terminal locations? And if so, would your runs regularly end at the terminal locations? Or do you just drive directly home? Also, what is the difference between a transportation terminal and a drop yard?

I'm also wondering how strongly where you live influences who can hire you. I know different companies only hire from certain states, but does this have more to do with the convenience of where they run? If "home" is nowhere, could I make that case to a company that I could be wherever they need me? Or does it have to do with legalities of hiring from the state where you keep residence?

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Need Advice - Application (Can't Remember Stuff)

When it comes to employment, most companies will want you to be at least within the month for starting and ending dates - like 5/13-9/14 - that sort of thing. And they will need at least a company name and phone number to verify your employment.

Regarding prior non-driving positions for people looking to get into the industry, do they contact your actual bosses/direct supervisors from your previous jobs? Or do you just give them a number for Human Resources and someone from HR verifies that you worked there?

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