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Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Best and worst cities for trucking traffic?

I haven't gone OTR yet, but I was wondering how Nashville was. I drove from Indianapolis to Chattanooga frequently as a kid and going thru Nashville in a car was a huge pain. Having to cross multiple lanes to get to 24 into Chattanooga was a nightmare and they give you barely any time to get to the proper lane. Also Nashville is called "the Speedway" for good reason. It seems like everyone does 90+ through there. Plus I've never been through Nashville without getting stuck in some kind of construction or traffic jam. And we traveled at all hours through there. Any thoughts as to how driving a rig is in that area?

I ran between Indiana and Chattanooga 10+ times over the last month. The 65 in can be a complete mess any time after 0500 and clears up around 0100 the next morning. It doesn't seem to matter much for the 24 in Chattanooga maybe around 0200 - 0400 seemed the most clear to me. It's worse getting through Louisville in my opinion. If the weather is even slightly bad you see a bunch of wrecks the next morning. It's really better to pull over somewhere when on those interstates because even if you know you can handle the .25" of snow everyone seems to forget how to drive in the area. At least in NYC when traffic is backed up it's because something is usually happening. It seems the more south you go it's just because someone didn't see a lane closed sign or all the ones following it for the past 3 miles.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Need help with alley docking

I had a lot of trouble with this even after training. When I was teaming I was able to pretty much perfect it by following my co-driver's instruction.

Pull up to the end of the trailer or spot you want as in the side your driver side will be on try to be about 5 ft away. Turn right while still rolling forward until you see the tip of the inside triangle of your landing gear. As soon as you see it turn left until you see it on the other side still moving slowly forward. Then stop and begin your backing with a right while moving back slowly. Once you're lined up give it a left and adjust as needed.

The most important part is to not immediately turn hard while backing and not completely stop while moving forward.

Another thing I learned is you can get all the advice possible but there's no substitute for practice and time.

If it happens to be for the Celadon test in Indy try to ask Miss Wendy for help. I tried 3 times with other instructors advice. One talk with her and I had no further problems on that silly test.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Celadon

I'm currently in training with celadon. They will tell you it's a 4 week school but it's anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. You get paid 18 cents a miles in training and 40 cents a mile to the truck for teams which is split. Running as a team also shortens your contract period to six months. I don't know much about the solo side as I met a teammate in the first week of school. So far on training I've been running anywhere from 600 to 750 a day depending on traffic but some are getting alot less. One person I've kept in contact with got 1k miles in two weeks. They are very unorganized. Someone I know just got fired during training because celadon didn't pull their mvr until halfway through their training.

I have never had anyone come to me to offer lease options and don't know anyone who has.

Some people have waited for weeks to get a trainer and some don't. They told me it was first come first serve but it isn't. It took me around 2 weeks.

You do not have a guaranteed job with them after finishing school. If you fail the 90 test three times or fail the safety drive twice you are left to find a way home. These are celadon tests and not part of the school. They dropped two people of at homeless shelters because they couldn't afford bus tickets for themselves. You are also left without a job if something comes up on your background check that the school misses our as was the case with at least 4 people, your home state will not recognize your Indiana cdl. Your trainer can also deem you untrainable and you will be let go.

They say they serve the hot meals but have recently cut breakfast to poparts and muffins. The terminal no longer serves food on the weekend so you have to goto the school which serves either a small personal pizza, sandwich or salad.

Right now I've been sitting in Missouri for 6 days having to pay for a hotel out of my own pocket the past 2 because there's nowhere to cash an express code within 40 miles of me. Rather than get me a bus ticket back to the terminal they basically left me stranded here after the trainer's truck broke down and they bused him to Georgia leaving me here with very little money for food as I had to pay for the hotel. So sorry if I seen a little negative about the company. It's probably not as bad as I'm making it seem.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Need help with 90' alley dock

You may not need the help anymore but you have as many get outs and pull ups as you need for their 90. As long as you get it in within 15 minutes without hitting anything you pass. I passed it about a month ago by following what the practice instructor told me which only really helps you pass the test (it doesn't work very well in real life).

Pull past the hole until your shoulder it's even with the passenger side of the trailer you want your driver side to be lined next to. Hard right until you see just a sliver of the emergency line glad hand. Soft left until your truck and trailer are lined up. You should be at an angle with your trailer facing the hole. Make sure the back of your trailer is lined up so you are across from the inspection box on the driver side trailer you are backing next to. Hard right backwards until your mud flaps are even with the edge of your trailer. Hard left until you are relatively straight in the hole. Then just straight line back it in. GOAL. I got out 12 times and had 5 pull ups to get it in. This worked for me at the Indy yard.

You don't have to 90 on the test. They don't care how you put it in. (At least in Indy they don't)

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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PA Residents Having Problems in Indiana

Just a heads up to any PA residents planning on coming to Indy, apparently your air brake test is no good here. I'm not sure what the problem is but unless you can get an operator's here you will not be able to use your PA permit in the state of indiana unless you obtained it before July 1st (I think). Had two people in class effected by this today which sucks as we are almost done with class hours.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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I quit the pot, and I want to drive trucks.

If you can get a medical card in your state without a drug test you should just pay the money and spend the time you need to clean studying for the permit. You'll be ahead of the curve and be clean before your company or school test. At least you aren't wasting time if you do this. Just my two cents.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Celadon Indianapolis (Quick Tips From A Complete Noob)

I want to preface this by saying that this isn't a list of complaints just observations I made after arriving here this afternoon.

Be prepared to wait for a few hours for the shuttle to arrive once you get off the bus in Indianapolis. You aren't the only one they are picking up. Also know where you are going. They may tell you that the shuttle will arrive at a certain gate but keep an eye on the parking lot behind the buses. If you only have a permit you are most likely going to the school. If you already have your license then you're probably going to the terminal. The driver may not know where you're supposed to be and at least for me and the other students I arrived with our recruiters didn't tell us where we were going in our acceptance emails, bus ticket emails or phone conversation (perhaps we should have asked). The extension I received in the email was also incorrect but I got routed through after talking to 3 different people. We ended up at the terminal and found out we had to go to the school which is around 100 yards from the terminal but they still shuttled us a second time to the door. I would have simply walked it if I knew it was so close.

Expect almost zero hand holding once you are checked in especially if it's a weekend as it seems there's very little staff here. When I arrived they xeroxed my license, had me sign a gym waiver, gave me a laundry card and a room key. You will not have an id card in order to open doors for up to two weeks (according to the front desk staff) which means you will have to be buzzed in every time you leave. An easy way around this is to walk around the building to the left to the driving range as the back doors are not locked until late at night. You could also try to follow around people with id cards.

Explore the every part of the building that is opened to you. Even if your dorm is on the third floor be sure to explore the first and second. Also walk around the outside of the building to get your bearings. This may help you to remember where the showers, bathrooms and laundry are located. There are maps and signs posted that show you where you are headed, take note of them.

GPS says the nearest Walgreens is .6 miles away but it's more like .2 or .3 and you can find it by leaving to the right when you exit the front door of the school and go right on N. Post Rd. There is a Virgin Mobile store and past it the Walgreens is located on E. 38 St. Your phone's GPS may be useless here just a heads up. There is also a Family Dollar and some other stores I haven't made it to yet.

Make friends. Everyone here is very sociable so far. No one has been mean or nasty and they will all give you tips on where to eat or what times are best to shower and other things like that. If you're not on the driving range it's probably best to ignore some of the stuff they tell you it about as it may overload you before you even start class. It's very valuable information and can change on a weekly basis depending on the number of students. (I got the weekly information part from someone who's been here 2 weeks.) The easiest way to meet people is by going to the smoking area out by the driving range there're always people out there. You can also go to the cafeteria as there's always people there too. This part has been kind of hard for me as I'm not very sociable and am very much a recluse.

If you are in a dorm room you will have a tall end table + a closet both with drawers, bed (with sheets and pillow), some towels and a TV. The room has heat and AC which you can control. I don't know if they want food in the dorms, but I have some snack bars and such which I keep in a ziplock bag. If your tv remote batteries are dead ask for some at the front desk. You may want to bring an extra pillow and a blanket or sleeping bag with you.

The Wi-Fi sucks. You're better off having some kind of mobile tethering as a backup. I have a $40 Virgin Mobile Android phone (Kyocera Hydro Vibe) which I pay $35/month for unlimited talk+text+data(limited at 250mb but I somehow got 1gb/month for stopping advertisements from VM) I pay an additional $10/month for 2gb of mobile tethering through Bluetooth or can simply use it as a hotspot. I get 4g LTE throughout the whole dorm with 3G in the smoking area and it runs off Sprints towers so I get service pretty much everywhere sprint does. I only use this as a backup for when the Wi-Fi doesn't work in the dorm. I lost service once for 15 seconds while on the greyhound. You can also use a referral program so that you and the person you refer get $25 credit once their phone is activated. (not trying to advertise Virgin Mobile, use what you will)

Someone may have already posted something like this, but I didn't see it. I also didn't see some of it in the blogs. I'm sure this is all stuff they go over the first day you have class but I thought this might help people out that have one or two days before that. I apologize for being so long winded.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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SWIFT TRAINING NOT SO SWIFT

Let's pretend you run a YouTube channel. You have 50+ hours dash cam footage of truckers driving safely and making almost no mistakes. You also have 10 seconds of a trucker crashing into something of flipping their trailer. Which video are you going to upload to entertain your subscribers?

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Leaving for Indiana Tomorrow

At first the recruiter said I would be leaving Thursday so I was really nervous when she made no contact with me after calling her Wednesday and Thursday to try to confirm if I was leaving (I even called the bus station on Wednesday to check if there was a ticket there in my name in case she didn't have a chance or forgot to contact me). Yesterday afternoon I received an email confirming there was a ticket waiting for me for tomorrow evening.

I start class on Monday and I really can't wait to learn everything and begin a new career. I wanna send out thanks again to Brett for creating this site and making it all the more possible to learn things that need to be known in order to get into the industry.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Crazy idea.

I think something like this could be very easily accomplished with a raspberry pi, the camera attatchment, cell phone battery and a magnet. You could use a laptop or tablet to view the feed through something like putty and remove the rpi when unloaded. Would cost around $50-$60 less if you used an older modle rpi or an arduino (around $35-$45).

Also confirming Genesee Cream Ale still exists to some extent. og9i06.jpg

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Crazy idea.

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Genny Cream Ale (do they even make those anymore?)

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I'm not sure but that's the first type of beer I ever tasted! My dad kept a little out in the garage and I remember taking one and trying it when no one else was home. It was awful of course.

I believe Matt still produces Cream Ale (I've seen it in stores) the brewery is about 3.5 miles from my home.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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I quit the pot, and I want to drive trucks.

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Haha, that took me a second. I salute you.

I figure by the time I'm done with CDL school I'll probably be ready to pass their tests. There's a whole bunch of openings with a lot of companies around here in Reno, NV. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about my chances.

Hard work and money are the drugs for me from now on! Haha

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There you go. :)

You must pass a drug test to obtain a medical card, to obtain a permit, to obtain a CDL.

Maybe it's just NYS but I didn't have to take a drug test for my medical card. They did a dip stick for urine analysis (sugar and such). I had scheduled a drug test with my physical and they said it wasn't required. Saved me $40.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Celadon Recommends truckingtruth.com

Just got my confirmation email from Celadon. I start class on Monday. I thought it was interesting that the last bit of the email is as follows:

f you are a resident of Indiana please reference the latest version of the Indiana driver's manual, published in July 2012, is available for you to download.

There are also websites you can study for your CDL Training test for example Truckingtruth.com

Also, I'd like to thank you for the High Road Training Program as it was the only source I used to pass my CDL permit test after not being able to follow my state's CDL manual.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Wanting to be a truck driver but will any sponsored school accept me and/or will they hire me afterwards?

1. I haven't worked in a while. A really long while now. How badly will that be held against me? I'm not lazy and I'm a hard worker and the more I keep reading about the demanding challenges of the life of a trucker the more I want to meet those challenges. I had a minor medical problem that unfortunately took forever to get diagnosed. It's nothing major and is under control now. Turns out it was just low Testosterone. I get a shot now and I'm good to go and feel normal once again. I was miserable, sick, no energy, etc for years. Wish they'd found it earlier. So I haven't worked in a decade or so and I'm worried they might see this lack of working as me being lazy or won't hire me because I don't have a good work history anymore. Up until that point I had worked since I was 15, sometimes working multiple jobs at once.

I got accepted by Celadon with 5+ years of unemployment and very little in the way of references so you might try them. I don't have any convictions though (besides an out of date inspection I received the day after sending my application lol). The recruiter requested I get my permit before coming to the school which I assume is because of the unemployment. But this shouldn't be too hard with all the resources available from this site and a copy of your state's CDL manual.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Unemployed for eons, will this be a problem?

I want to thank you for your responses. I will try anything I can to break into the industry and these responses really help with me moving forward.

Posted:  3 years ago

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Unemployed for eons, will this be a problem?

I've wanted to drive a big rig since I was 6 years old. My father was a mechanic and worked on them when he was able to do so. I would meet all kinds of drivers and they would let me look/play around in their trucks. This always appealed to me. I also have a few uncles and aunts that have been driving for 40+ years and they always tell me they love it. I have no wife, no kids and I can stand to be away from the few family members I do have.

I have been unemployed for almost 5 years. I collect no assistance as my mother is gracious enough to let me live under her roof. I have a lot of student debt that is very old and gaining interest. I do "work" occasionally at my local church which does pay me. However this is very occasional work with no tax forms and I'm only needed one or two days a month. The chorbishop in charge of the parish has offered me a letter of recommendation which I will try to use as proof of employment.

I have what some might call excuses for not being employed, but they are real unavoidable things that I had to do for my family. My father was bipolar and schizophrenic and it was a full time job providing him assistance cleaning his home, keeping him sober and sorting the 20+ pills he had to take everyday. Two years ago he passed away and I've been finding it impossible to find any substantial work in my area (Utica, NY). This is not meant to be a sob story as I feel no need to be justified in the actions I took.

My main question is: "can the letter can even serve as some proof of employment, and if not what can I do to get into this industry?". The other question is: "will me taking care of my father allow a fair assessment of what I've been doing for three of the past five years?".

I really appreciate all the articles and posts on this site as it gives people a very clear picture of what to expect.

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