Profile For The Original Hairyman

The Original Hairyman's Info

  • Location:
    Canton, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 4 months ago

The Original Hairyman's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Trainer #4 was also a diabetic and when I told him that I went through with #3, he got pretty upset. He also wasn't happy with the way that #2 had me driving and was familiar with trainer #1 by reputation. SO.....in three weeks I was back to having to unlearn and relearn how to drive, but it worked out and I passed my driving test in Wilmer, TX with flying colors. I was (finally!) given my own truck and dispatched back through Lenoir City to get some home time. I was assigned a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia single bunk with 230k on it with the DD13 engine (not so great pull). I'm settling in and plan to get a power inverter and fridge installed on my next time home. My asset manager is very good and does what she can to help me. Unfortunately, due to the holiday schedule and how the 25th was a Friday, I am sitting all weekend waiting to deliver a load in Wilmington, NC on Monday morning.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Any updates???

Sorry that I haven't updated the thread in so long, but the last couple months since Lincoln have been hectic and at times disappointing. Long story even longer, I failed my road test in Lincoln and had to go back out with a trainer. I fully admit that there were things that I failed to do correctly and the blame for failing the road test is mine. However, there were some equipment issues and, to put it bluntly, as much as I enjoyed my time with the 2nd trainer, he did me no favors when it came to passing that road test.

So, I went through the 2nd orientation and was scheduled for the DDC (Defensive Driving Class) on Thursday. Due to the extra week of training and other delays of several days, I needed to refill some prescriptions for my diabetes meds. Since getting on the company insurance October 1st, I had been going 12 rounds between insurance, my doctor and Walmart pharmacies trying to get all the documentation and approvals to get coverage for my meds. Paying out of pocket for these meds is between $5-$12 per pill which was getting quite costly.

I was at the Walmart pharmacy in North Lincoln trying to get the last piece of documentation needed to fax to insurance when I got a call from Driver Development in Lincoln telling me that my new trainer was trying to get ahold of me because he was at the terminal under load and needed me back there ASAP so we could go. I called the new trainer and explained the situation and he told me not to worry that we would be able to take care of that once underway. I rushed back to the hotel to pack up and make arrangements to return the car I had rented so I could take care of things while in Lincoln. Unfortunately, it was now rush hour and nothing went as planned due to the associated delays. The whole time, the trainer is blowing up my phone complaining that he has to get moving and suggesting that I will have to get a new trainer because he just can't wait any longer.

In retrospect, I should have just let that happen, but I did everything I could to get on that trainer truck because I wanted to get the training period done so I could retest and get some home time. The new trainer drove the rest of the first night and got us into Wyoming to park. When I asked him what time he wanted to get started the next morning so I could set my alarm, he replied "whatever time I wake up to **** for the first time...I usually only sleep about five hours. I'm going to get up first and then as soon as I step out to ****, you get up and get dressed. I'll go into the truck stop and get some coffee. You start the pre-trip and then you'll be driving first. After you drive for about eight hours, I'll drive and finish us up." I could never really fall into a deep sleep because I have no idea when I'm going to have to wakeup. It might be 5 hours or it might be 6 from the time we park and then he wanted to be on the road 20 minutes after he woke up, including a 15 minute pre-trip.

He also didn't allow any kind of sit-down meal except at the very end of the day. Two days in, I ran out of my main diabetes medication and had two days left on the others, all of which I made him very aware of. I asked about getting by a pharmacy and he told me that he had been a diabetic for 19 years and I should be able to go at least 7 days off meds before it would effect me. While that may work for him, but my body didn't react very well to not having meds in addition to barely sleeping and eating. I got "white line fever" a few times driving during the day and pretty much passed out whenever I got into the passenger seat. I explained to him several times that I was very tired and he chastised me for taking a nap when I was riding.

Basically, we were driving super-solo where the truck is only shut down for six hours out of the day and while I was in the passenger seat, he had me logged in the sleeper while he drove but expected me awake and alert sitting up front. Five days in, after being off my main meds for three days, I was driving early in the morning up in Oregon and had a bout of double vision for around 10 seconds about 3 times. I explained to him what was going on and why I felt it was happening (no meds) and after the third time (over about a 15 minute span), I felt alright again and had no more issues. Over thirty minutes later (after the last incident) he had me pull over and wouldn't let me drive anymore and called the training department director and got me put off the truck the next day in Bozeman, MT.

I rented a car to get home and spent over 3 hours at the Walmart pharmacy in Bozeman getting all my meds straightened out and refilled. I then drove 1900 miles home in 30 hours without incident. I was put on medical leave until I could produce return to work clearances from my primary doctor and eye doctor. So, I was at home out of work for four weeks before I could get all the clearances sent back. The trainer had also told the company that he thought I had sleep apnea because of my falling asleep while riding passenger. They had said that they would route me to a terminal for a sleep study once I got back to work. In discussing the issue with my doctor, he also wanted me to undergo a sleep study and said I might be a candidate for surgery since my epiglottis was fairly large. I underwent a new DOT physical and was cleared to return to work with trainer #4.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Hassle-Free Truck Stops

If you roll up to a truck stop and see that they have on-duty cops on hand, you might not want to stay there. If they have a sign on the building indicating they have a police sub-station there.....don't......stop.....for......anything! I will echo the Memphis and West Memphis warnings and add the truck stops in Gary, Indiana to the list.......very, very bad. If you don't feel comfortable staying somewhere, then maybe there is a good reason. Bottom line is trust your gut.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Despite the good advice I made an illogical decision.

shocked.pngPopcorn! Get your hot, fresh popcorn here!!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Well, I am on my way to Lincoln for final orientation. I have my driving test Monday and then the two days in orientation. Finally get to find out Wednesday where I have to pick up my truck. I've heard the Holiday Inn for Lincoln is pretty nice. Where I stayed in Lenoir City for initial orientation was......less so....lol. After 15+ years in the hotel business I am both picky and forgiving. As long as the room is clean, comfortable and bug-free I'm good. Don't care about a pool, bar, restaurant or many other amenities.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

double-quotes-start.png

There were many things I was not taught at my CDL school but how to crank landing gear down and leave a space was one thing I was taught that apparently many others are not.

double-quotes-end.png

I was also taught this at the community college I attended. I agree it should be something that everyone is taught.

Just a helpful tip for anyone watching...it is always best practice to G.O.A.L just as your trailer touches the 5th wheel on the tractor. You want to make sure that the trailer is at the proper height to connect to the fifth wheel. Doing this will prevent the 5th wheel from jumping the king pin.

Yeah you can bet I G.O.A.L. every time now.....lol

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Well there will be a slight delay in getting to my orientation due to being sent to Oregon by weekend dispatch and no freight going east out of here. Currently under load and going back to California around LA. Hopefully they should be able to send us east from there but still unsure as to where exactly. I would prefer Lincoln over Wilmer but will take what we can get that makes it happen. Very small chance that it could be New Kingstown or Lenoir City but still a chance. Will be glad to get wherever, get my truck and get dispatched for home time. Hard to schedule any appointments when you don't have a good idea when you have a spot...

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

42 yrs old. Last DUI, 2008. WANT TO START CAREER O/O

So is it simple to say that I am not eligible to get my CDL even tho my dui misdemeanors were spaced out (96,98,04,08) and the last one was over seven years ago.

You may be able to get a CDL but the more important question is if any company will hire you with 4 DUIs. The last one being 7 years ago is a good thing but having 4 of them even spaced out will make it very difficult for a company to hire you due to their insurance. Any other driving violations in the past 7 years?

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Hopefully they were empty trailers!

Most were empty but one was loaded and was cranked down far enough to still be 6+ inches too high. There were many things I was not taught at my CDL school but how to crank landing gear down and leave a space was one thing I was taught that apparently many others are not.

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Well that's not too bad of an outcome. Everyone makes mistakes. The key in trucking is to make sure you never make any big ones. This was obviously a small one and hopefully it will help keep you sharp. Make sure you cover the small details that make all the difference in any procedure.

It definitely was a valuable lesson for me. Since then I've run across a number of other trailers that other drivers have left with the landing gear cranked down too much including one that someone cranked all the way down.

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Are you going to Lincoln for orientation after training?

I don't know yet. Could be Lincoln, Wilmer TX, New Kingston PA or back to Lenoir City. Depends on what trucks they have where and what loads going in the direction of one of those terminals.

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

So my incident with the jumped kingpin has been reviewed by the Safety and Training departments and a ruling issued. The right side cab extender required a quick repair at a shop. The only damage was the lower fiberglass screw mounts and the cab extender itself was undamaged. The shop put three nuts and bolts through it and it is now stronger than before. But, because there was damage, there had to be disciplinary action. I have been charged one safety point and must remain in training one extra week. My trainer went to bat for me with Training and it all works out for the better in the end. He has to be in California for a family event and after that they will begin routing us toward whatever terminal that I will do my upgrade at and then I will finally be solo in my own truck and routed for home time. It's about to get REALLY real....

shocked.pngsmile.gif

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

The secret to backing,is to know when to straighten your wheels,2 turns from lock,and pivot trailer. Master this and backs become much easier.

Well it helps a lot when you also don't have someone giving you directions that are flat out wrong as my first trainer was apt to do. I did 4 angled alley dock backs today and got all 4. One was troublesome but I got it in after two extra pull ups. I did finally have a kingpin jump the fifth wheel and that took a little undoing but the trailer was empty so it could've been much worse.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Wow! What a night and day difference between trainers! Since I have a good understanding of the reefer unit operation, they were able to put me with a Crete trainer for my last 3 weeks. The new trainer has probably taught me more in 5 days than the last one did in 5 weeks.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Bringing a pet along for the long haul.

When I was with Navajo, they had a "dog policy." You could bring a dog, but NOT a cat.

I think Crete recently reversed their NO PET policy.

Dave

Crete/Shaffer has indeed reversed their policy and now allow a dog or cat with all the proper documentation, a deposit of $750, a quarterly cleaning fee, a reduction in CPM (half cent if I recall correctly), and permanent assignment to the tractor that your pet has been in until said tractor is retired and sold. Unfortunately for the OP, I am unaware of any companies that allow other pets other than a dog or cat. I did a lot of research before choosing a company and found that to be a common theme. That said, I'm sure SOMEONE probably allows it.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Oh I forgot to mention that I FINALLY got back home after 5 weeks and when I go back I will be getting a new trainer. Hopefully, the new trainer communicates much better and is not a good candidate for a straight jacket like my last trainer was. The last few days in that truck were an experience I hope to never repeat. In truth, I should've followed the advice I was getting from friends and family and sought a new trainer 3 weeks sooner. I fooled myself into thinking that it would get better but a few things happened that convinced me that it was not an option to continue training with the same trainer. I have 15+ years in the hotel industry and at least that many more years dealing with all kinds of people in various jobs outside the hotel industry and I can honestly say there were a few things going on I've never seen combined in one individual and a few I've never seen outside a clinical setting (worked in EMS doing transport for awhile). Just glad that the time on that truck is over and looking forward to the new trainer.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Are the Shaffer loads to Walmart DC's drop & hook. I know Crete's are and that can make a huge difference. How many of your reefer loads in general are drop & hook versus live load/unload?

So far I have never had a Shaffer load to a WalMart DC that was drop & hook. Every last one has been live unload as all were deliveries. Most are fairly quick (less than 2 hours from time of checkin to driving back out the gate) but there are a few that were 4+ hours and one in CA that refused the entire load after a 4 hour wait. WalMart claims to have the best inventory management system in the world. That day I found out that they manage it by refusing loads that they ordered before realizing they were overstocked on Tyson chicken. We had to sit on the load for an extra 48 hours and jump through multiple flaming hoops before Tyson found another distributor to take it.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

First post from an "older" newbie

Welcome aboard and good luck on your new journey. Sounds to me like trucking may be a good fit for you. I don't think you'll have much trouble with a felony 30 years behind you but as you already stated honesty is the best policy. Most companies are willing to hire if your driving record is good and you can show steady employment. As you were self-employed they will likely ask to see tax records as proof of working. Do the High Road program and do LOTS of research to figure out what companies and/or type of trucking interest you.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Off to Shaffer I go...

Trainer truck is a '13 Prostar but Cascadias are in the fleet as well. I had heard they were only buying Cascadias from now on and phasing out the Prostars due to maintenance issues but I saw a few brand new Prostars the other day so I'm not sure. My trainer doesn't want to deal with DEF so he hopes to keep driving a Prostar. I'd say this truck has about another year of service before they sell it off. Crete/Shaffer sells the Prostars around 450K and Cascadias around 500K with the oldest trucks being about 3 1/2 years old. I personally am hoping to get a Cascadia but will likely start off in a Prostar.

As far as loads, yes Shaffer does a lot of candy from Nestle and Hershey and a good bit of ice cream. But, I've been to Cali twice on cross-country runs and the first was a load of Aleve (very light) and the second was Tyson chicken. We pulled grapes and other produce out of Cali and wine out of Washington state. Both Crete and Shaffer do a lot of Walmart DCs all over the country. Most likely will pickup a load at some cold storage facility around Indy tomorrow that hopefully goes by Lenoir so I can get some home time.

Posted:  7 years ago

View Topic:

Should I complete my permit before school?

I wish I had gotten my permit before I started school. I was all set to get my DOT physical and take the tests but I let a recruiter from the school talk me out of it because they got a deal on the physical and drug test together and it would save me some money. I should have spent the extra $40! I did however get all the stuff done for my TWIC card before school which saved me time and money on getting my HAZMAT endorsement. As long as you can schedule and pay for the DOT physical and then go take your permit tests, I say go or it!

Page 1 of 2

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More