Comments By The Original Hairyman

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Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Off to Shaffer I go...

Well I had already decided to stick it out and get through my training and thus my trainer as best I could. My mother has already been discharged from the hospital, so apparently is doing pretty well. I know it will be easier to bear once I go solo, despite having to do even more than I am now. At least I will have more control over the decisions that need to be made. Then ten more months and my rookie year is done. The funny thing is that I was about 40 miles from my sister in California with time to burn waiting on dispatch before she flew to North Carolina. My alley dock is getting better as I practice more. I just have to keep doing it and doing it until I feel more confident. Been in some tight situations already and gotten backed in. There have been a few situations that were good training experiences because they don't come up often. I trained a number of people in my last job in hotel management and understand that certain situations you really don't want to happen, but if they do during training then the trainee actually feels more confident to handle more because they get to see some of the worst.....or they run screaming out of the building and quit so you don't have to waste any more time training them!shocked.pngrofl-2.gif

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Off to Shaffer I go...

He still gets his regular CPM also. So he gets to sit in the passenger seat for 8 weeks and do nothing making all that money while you do all of the dirty work. That is his incentive!

Well he IS at the top of the company payscale and so the only real way for him to increase his pay is to train so I totally get that. And I found out the last three weeks of training we will be running super solo so he will drive like 2-3 hours a day so we can run around 800 miles per day. I am closing in on 5 weeks and getting ready to get some home time before those last 3 weeks. My original plan was to split it 4 and 4 but my trainer lollygagged on putting in my home time request so I am getting home a week later than I wanted. Unfortunately, last week my mother had a heart attack and needed triple bypass surgery and my sister that I haven't seen in 4 years was in town all while I was in this truck on the other side of the country. It all went okay but my sister had to fly back to California. I suppose that's the life I chose though....

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Miles per day

On my first day on the trainer truck, I myself, as a brand new rookie OTR driver on I-40 from TN to CA, drove 589 miles. Second day I drove 610 miles and on the third 631 miles. All in a truck governed to 62mph on e-logs and perfectly legal. If the miles are available and you can't seem to get in over 400 a day then I'd say it's time to find a new career path.....

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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What kind of GPS are you using?

I'm using the Rand McNally 730 truck GPS and have very few complaints so far. Like all GPS units sometimes it gets momentarily confused but since I usually know where to go at that point it will catch up to me after about 20 seconds. It doesn't like me to make unprogrammed stops (like at a truck stop to take my 30 minute break) and will freak out a bit but once I get back to my original route it calms down.confused.gifembarrassed.gifsorry.gif

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Off to Shaffer I go...

Been running like mad.....over 3000 miles a week. On a second run from the East Coast out to California and stopped in Arizona for the night. I'm really enjoying the job, though there have plenty of moments I was ready to strangle my trainer. The CDL school that I went to left me majorly weak on doing angled alley docks due to various equipment issues (i.e. no truck to practice alley dock with) and an overcrowded practice field. I figured I would just pick it up and get better at it while in company training. Well, I never figured on having a trainer that can't teach anyone how to back! wtf-2.gif He knows how to back just fine himself with almost 15 years driving, but fails at transferring that knowledge. Every time he tries to help me, it seems to do more harm than good. It usually leads to both of us getting very frustrated. I try to go by some sage advice one of my better instructors gave me, which is "IF you don't HAVE to back....don't. If you have to back, try to turn it into a straight back or an offset if you have to. When doing an alley dock or parking at a truck stop where you may have to back at an angle, back the rear of the trailer into the space then pull-up to make it a straight back or as close as possible." When my trainer tries to "instruct" me he keeps directing me to pull forward at a deeper angle again and again after the rear of the trailer is in the space. I keep trying to do it his way, but it doesn't seem to work for me. By his own admission, he much prefers to be by himself and I am left to wonder why he chose to become a trainer. Crete/Shaffer only pays trainers $125 per week extra so the financial incentive is not really there. In addition to hearing about all the antics and issues of every one of the over a dozen people he has trained in the last two years, his two favorite topics are religion and politics which he uses to demean and belittle each of his past trainees. Now, as it so happens, I too enjoy discussing both religion and politics and happen to agree with him to a large degree on most of the subtopics in both subjects. However, were I training someone, I would just not bring up either topic and focus on the tasks at hand. Rarely, does he ever shut up and I am constantly subjected to his incessant racist and sexist rants. Most of the time I can't even hear myself think because he just talks and talks and talks. Why have I not reported all this to training and tried to get another trainer? Because, I just want to get through my eight weeks and there is a shortage of trainers on the Shaffer side of the company and I can't afford to sit at home and wait for another possible trainer. I will speak to training after all this is done as I strongly feel the best thing for him and the company is for him not to train in the future and just run the roads alone. Sorry, for the rant but I needed to vent after the last three and a half weeks.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

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Off to Shaffer I go...

So 2200 miles in four days from Tennessee to California..... all in a truck governed at 62mph....broke into the 600 club my second day of driving with 620 miles....just narrowly missed it on the first day. Dropped off at a Walmart DC this morning and now sitting waiting for a load assignment.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Off to Shaffer I go...

Leaving home tonight to start orientation at the Lenoir City, TN terminal in the morning. First day for physical, drug test, driving test and work screen. Then two days of company orientation and then off with the trainer. If trainer is delayed a day, I get to do the Smith Driving class before jumping on the truck or do it after training at upgrade time. I'll be on the trainer truck four weeks then home 3-4 days and then back again with trainer for another four weeks. Trainer will be sitting in the passenger seat the entire time and I'll be driving. Hopefully, I get a good trainer that I can mesh with since they'll be no escape! Two months then I'm on my own...two months then I'm on my own...smile.gif

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Rough First Day = $30,000 Damage

Maybe it was Patrick on his first day at his new job? If that's the case, this must not have been his fault—the company must have messed something up.

We had a recruiter come in from US Xpress the other day at my CDL school. He was talking about a guy who applied with them who had gone through eight trucking jobs in two years....

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Starting school tomorrow

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I'm a week ahead of you at Alliance. I think you'll enjoy it. I would advise bringing some fruit, preferably some rotten tomatoes, to deal with Mr. Carpenter's groan-worthy jokes but all the instructors are very good.

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That's good to hear, haven't seen much on the school so wasn't sure wgat to expect. I pull in to the school today after checking in but other than the backing yard and cones I was kinda lost on where to go. Seems there are a few other operations going on there as well. Turned around at the guard gate. Hopefully see you around tomorrow.

Just go right past the guard shack (no guard) and take a right to park in front of the building or in front of the fence on the opposite end from the shack. School doesn't start until 7, even for CRE students as far as I know, so if you get there at 6 I don't think anyone will be there but I could be wrong about that. Probably easiest to go through the glass doors in the middle if they are open and then follow the signs to the offices. Or, if somebody is there and going in they can guide you through the maze that you will use to get to the classroom. Yes, there are a few other businesses operating out of that complex.

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Starting school tomorrow

I'm a week ahead of you at Alliance. I think you'll enjoy it. I would advise bringing some fruit, preferably some rotten tomatoes, to deal with Mr. Carpenter's groan-worthy jokes but all the instructors are very good.

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