Profile For Landion

Landion's Info

  • Location:
    Chicago, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 3 months ago

Landion's Bio

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Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Roehl or Wil Trans

Brett, Maybe I did get lucky, maybe not. For me, I talked to almost 2 dozen recruiters during my last search. Some of them only once, others for weeks (Roehl & Wil-trans). I get your point about every company having good and bad employees, but it ignores the fact that some companies are very successful at staffing their offices with the right people, fostering the right environment, and holding people accountable to for their jobs.

If a recruiter fails to get back with me on questions I have, that impacts my opinion of the company. If another recruiter goes further than normal to get me answers to uncommon questions that also impacts my opinion of the company.

Wil-trans met my basic requirements for a company, as did several others. So from there I had to narrow it down to one. Roehl offered something better in column A, Wil-trans in column B. But at the end of the day, the recruiter at Wil-trans was the only one who was willing to get me every ounce of info I wanted and that made the company overall more attractive.

He was the only recruiter willing to put everything we talked about in an email back to me. Others would cherry pick what they could and could not email to me. That also impacted my opinions, that told me what recruiters were providing information they were confident in and were willing to stand behind. That also sheds light on the company. Why would a company not allow recruiters to put things you had talked about in writing?

Don't get me wrong ok not saying I went with Wil-trans because of my recruiters personality. But you can certainly guage a fair amount about a company based on the interaction with the recruiter.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Roehl or Wil Trans

Thanks Dude for answering. What made you pick Wil Trans over Roehl?

For me the recruiter made the difference. They were neck and back for a couple weeks. I sent both recruiters an email with 21 questions. Ryan at Wil-trans asked me for a day or 2 to get all the info put together. After he was done we went over everything on the phone and he willingly emailed me back all the answers we just talked about.

I never got answers from Roehl to ask the questions and nothing back in email. I figured that a recruiter confident enough in the company he was selling to get me answers back in writing, and put that much effort in to making sure I had all the answers I wanted was a place that would treat me well. I was right.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Rand McNally Overdryve 8 Pro

G- town, I think it's supposed to make calls and let you text via your voice, but very poorly designed. I'm doing the same as you for calls, I hot the blue parrot button and just talk away.

Million, I use the trucker path app instead of the pocket guide. It has the added benefits of rating the truck stops, tells me how many spots are available, if any are currently available, if there are showers, laundry, etc.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Roehl or Wil Trans

I drive for Wil-trans, we go all over.

Your title is funny to me because when I left my last company I called time if companies and narrowed it down to Roehl and Wil-trans.

Honestly, I wish I had started here. Instead I drove for 2 mega carriers. I'm really happy here, my recruiter was honest about everything, I wait minutes for maintenance to have a plan if I break down (instead of hours with the big carriers), and when I have been unhappy about something my fleet manager addressed the issue on the first call. After hours and weekend dispatch support is as good as weekday support. Good people across the board.

Also, as far as starting companies go (or most companies for that matter) the trucks are nicely equipped.... Apu, inverter, direct TV, you can get a fridge installed if you want, not the most uncomfortable mattress I've had in a truck, I added a microwave.

Super easy pet policy, if that matters.

Lemme know if you have any questions. If I don't know the answer I know where to get it LoL.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Rand McNally Overdryve 8 Pro

Million, I just watched a video on the 740, it has the new navigation screens just like the overdrive, but that's not a bad thing really. Yeah the on screen buttons are a bit smaller, but all in all that's the least of my issues with overdryve. In my opinion you'll be pretty happy with it, and you'll save $200ish.

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Rand McNally Overdryve 8 Pro

I decided to upgrade my GPS a couple weeks ago, and purchased the new Rand McNally Overdryve. HUGE mistake!

The device does lots of things... You can make and receive phone calls and text messages, has a dash cam, GPS, xm radio, and is even ELD capable. The problem is the only thing it does safely is give directions (and even then you have to use your head and not just blindly follow). I've provided my feedback to Rand McNally, but I'm not holding my breath for things to get better.

So what's wrong with it?

- Managing Phone Calls & Texts

If you are driving down the road with the map up, you have to: go to the home screen > click in the phone section > click on either calls or texts > start your call > go back home > click on truck GPS. That's 6 steps you have to do assuming you're not using this device as your xm receiver. If you are using it as your xm radio, then per their tech support person, you have to reconnect to Bluetooth on your phone each time you want to use it. Apparently it is programmed to allow a bt connection to override all other connections, so xm and GPS directions are muted any time your phone is connected. So in addition to the 6 steps to make a call you have to add however many more to actually make the connection.

- Dash cam

This works ok, if you don't mind nearly half of your video taken up by the mount. When mounted to the windshield the camera cannot be in a worse place.

- GPS

By far the least problematic feature, but not without it's flaws. They've redesigned the look and feel of the map and search screens, yet still provide a way for you to search the old fashioned way. The only complaint that I have here is that there on screen buttons are way too small to allow for accurate button pushing as your bouncing down the road. This leads to a higher level of distraction, again unsafe.

- XM radio

My problem with this feature mirrors my problem with the phone feature. From the map screen you have to go home > select entertainment > select xm > change the station > go home > click truck GPS to get back to the map. Again, the process is too long and is too distracting.

In my opinion, this is the most unsafe device to enter the cab since the smart phone. Drivers will use these features while driving and unfortunately I believe a crash will result at some point.

I contacted Rand to provide my feedback. I sent them a message, to which they responded with a number and asked me to call. I called and the person I spoke to simply thanked me for my feedback but didn't leave me with the impression that anyone other than him would ever hear it.

I am a fan of the Rand GPS device that I was going to replace. I will probably buy another Rand in the future. However, it will be simply a GPS, not an all in one tablet. I'm going to start training again in a couple weeks, the overdryve will not be in my windshield when that day comes.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

New career

They key IMO is choosing the correct company. After training my first company had me run team making 12 cpm with a 1 cpm raise each month until I was at 17 cpm.

I could have made this work, but we were running solo miles at that really low rate. I literally lost my car and my rental house before I switched companies. Had I gone with the second company first I would not have had those issues. So do your homework - ask questions of the recruiter, here, and also if you're looking at one company in particular pop down to the local truck stop and chat with a driver or two.

I switched companies very early on in my career, hopefully you will not have to do that - but keep in mind that after your first company odds are once you come into a company as a qualified driver many will not offer tuition reimbursement. From my experience, that is something that seems to only be available at your first company.

The link that G-Town listed has a bunch of great information, I recently used a bunch of the questions when evaluating companies. You can tell a lot about a company by how forthcoming they are with answers to questions.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What are your favorite gadgets on the road?

There are small 12v shop vacs. I have one in my truck. They are good for dust & dirt. Not so good at picking up heavier debris.

my Shark dustbuster type works better than the 12v vac I had, but still not as good as a standard shop vac.

I usually sweep the floor then vac it up.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What are your favorite gadgets on the road?

I've driven with a crock pot, a ton of em come with locking lids (especially the 12v versions.

The new Blue Parrot, the 450 is 1000x better than the 250 I had, and you can steam media to it.

I've been debating on getting my own mattress.... Ideally I'd like to put a sleep number mattress in there - just not sure how that would work with needing a place for the pump and a power supply. Still researching that one.

I have:

CB XM Radio 7" Rand GPS Dash cam Phone Laptop Lunch Box Stove. Dustbuster style cordless vac Coleman 12v Cooler (had this it broke and haven't replaced it yet).

One thing to keep in mind, especially if your new - you don't need all of these things right off the bat. Figure out what you need and what you want, then see how those lists line up with your available funds. I got my headset, GPS, dash cam, CB, and stove from the truck stops using points. Sure the prices on some of these things were higher than getting them from Walmart or Amazon - but I spent points, not dollars so I saved somewhere between $800 - $900.

The other thing to keep in mind - many of the mega carriers don't allow you to have power inverters, or only allow small ones. So I would recommend not putting out a lot of money until you're in or done with training and see what type of power you'll have to work with.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Anybody from Illinois recently go through company sponsored CDL training?

When I was going through this process I was told that illinois has to certify the out of state schools. Usually the schools are within an hour of a sec. State office so you get an actual illinois permit and CDL.

Illinois changed everything and became a lot more strict after one of our secretary of States was caught selling cdl's to people not qualified for them. It resulted on at least one deadly crash that killed a whole family, if I remember right.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice on company trainers

When I get a new student fresh out school, I like to practice backing in wide open areas first. This is when I use the windshield wash to mark the spot I want them in. After that I don't bring then out, and I don't let then back in wide open areas. I'm out of the truck and they're backing next to trucks or trailers.

It usually comes with a warning (in a fun tone) about not running over my bottles.

It seems to help them focus on the spot they should be going into instead of one if the others next to it.

But I agree with what the others have said, talk life training experience is better than bottles or cones.... After some initial practice.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice on company trainers

I don't have cones, but I usually have 3-bottles of windshield wash with me that I use as cones.

They work just as well, without adding more stuff to the side box.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice on company trainers

Werner

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Will Trans or Roehl?

When I have to go to the terminal for repairs I usually get a 34 reset then head out with a big load. But my repairs are few and far between, and I have never been denied any maintenance requests. If this is a regular occurrence and the equipment is not properly maintained I can understand. However I also know driver who put the truck in the shop for every little thing instead of waiting and making a list. If my QC speakers don't work, so what. But I know someone who went back to the terminal for this. Another will stop in the middle of a load for a PM as soon as he gets the maintenance reminder...whether or not it will make him late for the customer.

For the truck it depends on what it is.

Something little I wait until there's a bigger issue then have it ask done at once.

I took my truck in last week for a PM, short in the right headlight, driver door not opening, air leak, and exhaust recall. The headlight is what made me being it in... The door was just a pain, the air leak wasn't major, the pm and recall could have waited.

Before that it was because the truck wouldn't shut off. Held the key in my hand and the damn thing kept on going for 45 mins. Then it kept doing it.

Before that I got towed in because going from stop to go the truck jumped 3-5 feet each time (can't have a student drive that).

Before that all my dash lights went out, couldn't drive at night cuz I couldn't see any of my gauges.

Before that we were down for a week with a stop engine light.... Something with the def system.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Will Trans or Roehl?

This is my second carrier, looking for my 3rd. The first one I was with for 2 months, this one over a year. Before trucking I was with my last company for 9 years. I want to find a company that I can be with long term. But this one isn't it.

Let me elaborate a little bit on my issues.

Repair: I'm out 5-6 days a week and home on weekends for my 34. I run the rails in Chicago, so I'm stuck pulling containers owned by the rail companies. A common run for me is Chicago to Green Bay and back. I don't know if you're familiar with green bay, but there is no national repair center, truck stop, or 24 hr shop (that we work with anyway) in the area. If I make that run 5 times in a week I am literally in repair 3-4 times. Several rivited lights out, air leaks, tires are the most common issues, but not the only ones.

If I get there to pick up after 19:00 (which i always do) I get sent to the shop that's closed until 06:00. That's half my clock for the day lost for half the days of my week. I'm literally losing hundreds of miles a week.

I have random repair needs when I pull van and reefer but that's once out of 10-20 loads. I can deal with those.

I looked for other accounts in my area but the rate is 13-18 cpm less than what I'm making now, with less home time.

Payroll deductions: yes it was, and no it wasn't explained that deductions would be made.

It was explained that when we put a student in a hotel we have to send the hotel macro, get approval, then submit the receipt. If those things are done then I should not have deductions. What was not explained is that if one of four different departments don't do their part, those charges are also deducted from me.

When the problem first started I had a call with the powers that be, and the breakdown was identified and supposedly corrected. Its happening again the last few weeks. This time fingers are getting pointed and each week more money is taken from me. I won't see that money until the fingers stop getting pointed and the problem is identified.

As far as the student staying in the truck, its against policy. I could lose my trainer status if a student complains.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Advice on company trainers

I've been a trainer now for 6 months or so, and I wanted to toss some info out for the new drivers, on trainers.

When I first got out of school o went to a company, waited days for a trainer and was relieved when I finally got assigned to one. I trained with him for 140 hours, he was horrible! Spent most of his time in the sleeper, he was always cranky, rude, and just overall not a pleasant person. I wanted so badly to be done with training and 4 weeks or so later I was finally done.

I left the company shortly after (with a lot of help and advice from the people here). I didn't have enough time out of the trainers truck to be considered a qualified driver at the new company, so had to go back through another 140 hours. I was not at all amused, but decided it was the best option.

My trainer with the new company was nothing like my first trainer. He was awake, engaged, knowledgeable, and took pride in his job as a trainer. I learned more in a few days with trainer 2 than I learned in a month with trainer 1.

I've heard stories from students that get in my truck, walking through our terminals, and online. 98% of trainers will get you to the point where you can pass your test and become a solo driver. But my job as a trainer isn't to get you to the point of passing a test, its to prepare you for life on the road. There are a lot of good trainers out there that understand this, but there are too many who just want the extra miles they get from you driving.

Sure I have to teach you all the day to day stuff, but life on the road is unpredictable. You will run into problems, and if all you know is how to pass a test those problems are going to be worse on you than what they need to be. Where if you get exposed yo some of those things during training you'll have base information to use in solving the problems you come across.

If you feel that your trainer is disinterested in you or your progress, if they spend most of their time in the sleeper (especially the first week or 2), or of they're having you do things that are unsafe or illegal, CALL YOUR COMPANY, request a new trainer. You wouldn't be the first or last student who has requested a new trainer.

All that said, training is tough. But once you get through it, its done.

Good luck new drivers!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Vaping in the truck

I vape and so does my current student. We get film similar to a smoker on the window, but never had the issue you describe.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Will Trans or Roehl?

I've been driving for a mega carriers for almost a year and a half, my current company for just over a year. Issues with sitting for repair and having my student's hotel costs during my home time deducted from my pay have lead me to look at other options.

I've gone so far as to work with director level people at my company to address my issues, they get better for a couple weeks then its right back to the same problems. So it's time.

I enjoy being a trainer, I think I'm good at it, my students seem to learn what they need to, and in still in contact with many of them. So I've been looking at companies where after a time I can start training again. I've talked to recruiters from a dozen different companies over the past few weeks.

I'm at a loss for words on the quality differences in recruiters in this industry. On one side you have some companies whose recruiters come off as though you're bothering them, on the other side I have a recruiter calling me back from his cell at 20:00 from home, because that's when I was available.

I've pretty much narrowed the field down to Roehl and Wil Trans.

I'm wondering if anyone had first hand knowledge of either company, that can shed done light on things like: miles, how drivers are treated, promises vs reality, etc.

The company I choose will be my third, and I'd like to be there for years, not months.

Thanks guys and gals

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

160 Driving Academy

I went through 160, their location in peoria. I can't speak for every location they have, but I was overall pretty happy. I looked at a bunch of schools in illinois, private schools, community colleges, and company schools.

The instructors make a fun environment, while getting the job done the right way. I still talk to my instructor and I know I'm not his only former student he keeps in contact with.

I can also tell you that now, as a trainer, there's a lot of small bits of information that schools take for granted. Things like how many pounds are in a ton, what to do when a deer jumps out in front of you, how to fix jumping the 5th wheel... Most of my students didn't know anything about those things before we talked about them. These are all things we talked about at 160.

I have no issue recommending them to you.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Looking for a great GPS $400-$500

I've had the rand tnd 730 for almost a year and a half, no issues with it.

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