Profile For Brett N.

Brett N.'s Info

  • Location:
    Okanogan, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 5 months ago

Brett N.'s Bio

Melissa and I have been married over 21 years now and are in our early 40's. We are a bit unsatisfied with our current careers and really excited about getting out on the road and getting paid to see the country and experience life on the road in a big ol truck. Neither of us has any experience so we'll be starting from scratch by getting our CDL's with Central Refrigerated. Wish us luck and be safe out there!

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Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Saturday we did a close quarters driving exercise in the yard. The instructors set up an obsticle course of sorts with cones that requires really tight turns and it's supposed to simulate parking lot type driving. Evidently a large percentage of accidents happen at truckstops and other parking lot areas. It was a useful exercise. We then got a mock assignment that we had to trip plan. We got a class on reading the trucking atlas and had to plan a trip from Watertown, NY to Perris, CA with a stop at the yard in Utah to drop the first trailer and deliver one from the yard to Perris. We had to plan for hours driving, on duty not driving, sleeper and off duty. We had to plan for when we would need gas, what weigh stations we'd pass, where we'd stop, etc. We also had to fill out daily logs for every day and put a 34 hour reset in there at some point. (I reset in Las Vegas by the way! lol)Anyway, it was also a very useful exercise. So we had today, Sunday, off and Monday we go to the Dept. of Licensing to get our temp. CDL's. The hard copies will be mailed to our home address's. In the afternoon we'll start company orientation, Tuesday we will have a full day of company orientation. It sounds like this is setting us up with driver numbers and stuff for pay. Getting us familiar with all the paperwork and actually becoming an employee of the company. Wednesday morning with finish with orientation and Wednesday afternoon we should know who our trainer is going to be. With any luck we'll be headed out with our trainers either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. We will spend at least 28 days out on the road with a certified trainer during which time we will have to log 200 hours of driving and at least 40 backs. I must say that I'm happy with the training we've received. The instructors are very knowledgable and do a good job. I've talked to probably 20 drivers, most of them owner operators, but some company drivers, and all but 2 were very satisfied with Central as a company. I'm really not looking forward to 28 days of OTR training with a trainer but it's definitely the right thing. As much as I want to get a truck and get out there on my own (with my wife) I know that I'm not really ready. The month of practice and experience will be a major part of actually learning to be a truck driver. I'm hoping I get a trainer that is truly a professional driver and wants to pass on as much knowledge and info as he can. I'm ready to soke it up and make the transition to being a solo driver as smooth as possible and hopefully get my wife through everything soon so we can truly be a team and double our income! lol Thanks again for everything and ask any questions if you have them. I have my computer back now and will try to keep up more.

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Whew! A lot has happened and I finally have my laptop back so I'll try to catch up here. I believe I finished the first week of activities. We got our CDL permits on Thursday, did some driving on Friday and Saturday. We did pre-trip stuff every morning and spent half days divided between backing practice on the range and driving and turning in an industrial park area that has pretty wide streets and not too bad of traffic. I want to mention as well that from about the 2nd day of class we have been logging in daily logs everyday. We've been told that with the qualcom systems in the trucks we'll most likely never have to even use a paper log but they want us to know how to fill them out and it shows us how the hours work. Okay, so Monday and Tuesday were both spent doing pre-trip stuff then moving on to more driving. Tuesday we drove in downtown Salt Lake City! Was a bit nervous about this but it's a big confidence boost after your done because they tell you that the actual driving test will be easier than that. We also stopped at a Flying J truck stop. What a JUNGLE! I couldn't believe all the trucks competing for a spot at the pumps and a place to park! Way crazier than I thought they'd be. Wednesday we did our pre-trip tests. You either get section 1,2,3 or 4. I won't get to detailed here but the truck is broken up into sections just to make the testing less time consuming. You don't know what section you'll get though so you have to know the whole thing obviously and Section 4 is the entire truck so a couple lucky students will have to do the whole thing anyway. Yep, I got section 4 so I had to do the entire truck! lol It was really no big deal because like I said, you have to know the whole thing anyway. Thursday morning we all got to drive up and down the grades in the mountains. That was a great experience and a beautiful drive. That afternoon we did the backing tests. I'm not sure if I mentioned but at this point we are down to 10 students out 14. We actually lost 6 but picked up 2 from the class ahead of us. They had paperwork issues that held them up a bit. Anyway, Friday was road test day! I went 2nd and got a 9. That means above average. Average score is around 15, you can get like 29 or 30 I think and still pass, and anything below 10 points is above average. Anyway, I was happy about that. Two guys who had prior experience got a 6 and an 8 so I feel like I'm doing very well.

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Okay, I apologize for the missed days. The keyboard on my computer is not working. The IT guys here at Central are actually seeing if they can fix it for me so that is awesome! Okay, first the bad news and then the good news. My wife is in Washington trying to get a passport or find some way she can get back here for training. It's a mess and such BS but it is what it is. Make sure you have all your paperwork squared away! I can't remember exactly where I left off but I'll start with Wednesday. A couple more practice tests interlaced with classroom instruction. Thursday we went to the Dept. of Licensing and took the written tests. I passed very comfortably and so did most of the class. we have lost some classmates for various medical things and one guy who wasn't completely honest on his application about his background. One guy went back for his 3rd and 4th tries at the tests today but I still don't think he passed. It's nit the schools fault at all. I really think he has a pretty severe learning disability and it's probably a good thing he won't be behind the wheel of a try k. We then did some pretrip stuff in the afternoon. Today we drove the big rigs all day! Lots of fun and nerve racking at the same time. I picked up on the double clutching fairly well and before the morning was over my instructor felt comfortable enough to let me loose on the interstate. Crazy *******! lol. I'm still excited but there's a lot left to do. Tomorrow is backing and more pre-trip walk throughs. Typing on this little phone keypad sucks. Ill probably wait until Monday to see if the IT guys could get mylaptop straightened out. Until then......:)

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Yes, thank you Brett, I have read your book and a ton of other stuff on here. Thanks to you my first two days and I'm sure tomorrow will be extremely tedious in the classroom....I already know most everything they're teaching us! lol This is a pretty fast paced training program here but they still have to go at a slow enough pace that everyone is getting it and it really does just seem like a review. We had our first practice test today and I missed 1 out of 50 on the General Knowledge portion, 0 out of 15 on the Combination portion and 1 out of 20 on the Air Brakes part! I just spent an hour on my phone using your app last night and blam! It really is nice having a head start like this, but I'm not letting it get to my head. Enough celebrating because the real test is Thursday and then we are outside with the trucks! The part I'm really excited about but fairly nervous about as well. On a sour note...my beautiful wife of over 21 years had to fly out of here today. She needs to get a passport and is going to a friends near Seattle to get that stuff taken care of. The plan was to go through this at the same time so when we were done with our 28 days of OTR training with our respective trainers we could saddle up in our own truck and get started as a husband/wife team. It's still going to happen but she'll just be 2 to 6 weeks behind me. Guess I'll get to experience life on the road as a solo driver for a brief period. Bunch of class room stuff today but as I said, nothing crazy. Sounds like we'll have 2 more practice tests tomorrow and then Thursday is the real deal at the DMV!

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Well the first day was a bit frustrating for us...part of it was just routine first day stuff and part was possible bad news for us. The routine stuff is just getting everyone together and making sure all the paperwork gets filled out, everyone is where they belong, peeing in a cup, getting physicals done, etc., etc. Spending some time on this sight has made us so much more prepared than most of the others in class. There are about 14 of us and I can see a few not making it past this first week for various reasons but unfortunately one of the people that may not be here is my wife. Long story with birth certificate name stuff. Just frustrating because she is a veteran of the US Army and has been licensed in 3 different states. Typical government stuff that makes noooo sense! Soooo I may have to finish the training by myself and drive solo until she gets a passport or gets her birth certificate legally changed. We'll know for sure tomorrow. Central is doing their best to help and they will be pleading our case with the local DMV office in the morning so we've got our fingers crossed. This is definitely going to be a faster paced training after today. We got Utah CDL books to study and it sounds like tomorrow will be filled with a lot of practice testing, classroom reviewing and more practice testing. I'm really anxious to see if I'm as ready as I feel like I am for the written testing stuff. Melissa and I have been testing eachother using Bretts CDL Training App. on my phone! lol Almost feels like I'm cheating! lol I'm not going to lie though, I'm still a tad nervous as there is a lot of pre trip and air brake stuff that I'm not completely confident with. Some of it just has to do with not having any practical experience with it. I'm sure once I actually see the stuff on a truck and do it first hand I'll feel way more confident about everything. Anyway, I'll try to pay attention to how everyone does and how I compare to the rest of the class. Hopefully Melissa will still be part of the class after tomorrow!

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

It is VERY exciting! A really nice trainer and his trainee that are in for a day to possibly get a new truck showed us all the trucks out here on the facility. We looked at the newer Volvos, Freightliner Cascadia's, International Prostars, Peterbuilt 387 and 587's. It was great to get inside them and check them out but made us just that much more impatient to actually drive one! I definitely like some better than others and it sounds like most of the new ones coming in are Freightliners and Volvos, but like I told them, as a rookie company driver, I just want one that won't be breaking down more than usual. Everything after that is gravy! lol It's awesome that you remember being so excited and are able to share some of that with us newbies because I would say that my first words of wisdom for someone showing up to training is not to expect an exciting welcome. The trainers and employees at the facilities do this 6 days a week, week in and week out. The other drivers and students here are busy with their stuff and there isn't one person much less a group that will be there at the front door with a smile to say "welcome", or "So great to see you finally". lol They have all been nice enough and as I said we've met a few drivers that have answered some questions for us but it's just another day to them and that's understandable. We've heard a couple disgruntled stories from trainees who are not liking things after their month on the road with trainers but the majority of the stuff we hear is positive. Drivers that have been here anywhere from 3 months to a few years and have very good things to say about the company. That cerainly makes us breath a little easier about our decision. Anyway, so far it's just been hanging out and waiting for the fun to begin on Monday (tomorrow now). The rooms are nothing to brag about but certainly sufficient. After the first week here you are moved to a hotel for your second week of training, I do know that. I guess they want to make sure your going to be around before springing for the hotel room and I can understand that. I'll update tomorrow after the 1st day of training. Oh, very interesting that Gordon, Knight, CR England and Pride are all right here next to eachother along with Central Refrigerated. Pretty crazy!

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Woohoo!!! We landed in Salt Lake City last night, called for a shuttle from Central and stayed our first night in the extravagant facilities in West Valley. The accommodations are simple but definitely adequate. There is a game room/lounge area, vending machines, plenty of showers and my wife and I get to share a small room but the bed is plenty big. I look forward to finally having something to tell you about here in couple of days. All the fun starts Monday! There are a lotg of nice trucks out in the parking lot! Can't wait to start driving one!

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

And the day is fast approaching! My wife's last day of work was Saturday and my last day was yesterday. Today we spent relaxing and packing and just enjoying the anticipation of what's in store for us in the weeks, months and years ahead. The plane tickets are paid for, the storage locker is paid for and most of the packing is done. We head out of New Bern, North Carolina on Friday afternoon and will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday night around 11:00pm. I'll do my best to describe the training and what takes place day to day. I am nervous of course but not nearly as much as I would have been without all the helpful advice from this sight and the wonderful free training that is available. Thanks again Brett and everyone else for all your work and the great comments and stories. By the way, my wife is now 30 days without smoking a cigerette and I am on day 7 of not chewing. I quit for 2 months during basic training in 1989 and haven't gone longer than a couple days without a nice attractive dip of Copenhagen in my mouth since then. Feeling good about ourselves and this new adventure we're about to embark on. Wish us luck and drive safe out there!

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Isn't she pretty...

Congrats! Enjoy your weekend at home and keep up the the good work. Get us all an update every now and then to let us know how it's going!

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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New Android App ready "CDL Practice Questions" - looking for testers

Worked great! Nice and easy, user friendly and much easier to use on my phone than going to the regular sight! Well done once again!

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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New Android App ready "CDL Practice Questions" - looking for testers

I'll volunteer. Going to be testing for real in a couple weeks anyway so it can't hurt!:)

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Two weeks from today and we'll actually have something useful to post about. We are all set to begin with Central Refrigerated on April 8th. I've bugged our recruiter with every question I come up with and I've followed a couple other guys that have posted threads about their recent experiences through Centrals training process. Central will pay for your bus ticket to get to their training facilities but they will also reimburse you for a plane ticket up to the cost of what they would've paid for the bus tickets...so, we've opted to fly. We'll be arriving on Friday, April 5th and have been assured that their shuttle will pick us up and we'll have a place to stay. We are still sxtremely excited and I look forward to sharing our experiences with you.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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"Destination Excellence" or Old School's training experiences at TMC

I second that! You have a fantastic attitude and I wish you nothing but the best! Good luck and keep us posted.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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USA Truck via Driver Solutions

Fantastic stuff! As much as I want to start right now, I'm so happy that I've found this sight and am going through the High Road Training Program first. It sounds like anyone that is able to go through this program will have a HUGE advantage for the permit testing, classroom work and the final written CDL test. It sounds like you are way more prepared than most of your classmates. Good luck on the driving stuff! I hope you continue to do so well.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

It cracked me up that you said something about selling stuff because I just found someone to buy my car from me today so that is going to make things a bit more comfortable! Soooo dang excited to get going!

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Husband and Wife preparing for company sponsored CDL training

Well this kind of sucks because it's still almost a full month until our first day but we are both soooo excited. This is a repeat for some of you but my wife and I are in our early 40's. We met in Saudi Arabia while we were both in the Army, got married young, had two wonderful boys and...fast forward 21 plus years...the boys are both out of high school and we are both completely unsatisfied with our current jobs and ready to hit the road! We are currently renting so we are putting our stuff in storage and just going for it. Going to get through CDL school, endure the 4-5 weeks apart while we are with our respective trainers on the road, get in our truck together and work our butts off to earn our DM's trust! Then, eventually put some money away so we can enjoy the heck out of ourselves when we get our "hometime", wherever that may be! Okay, I know it will be a tad tougher than this makes it sound but that's why I'm so happy to have come across this great sight. Brett has done a phenominal job of pointing out that truckdriving is what you make of it. (He's got a kick ass name as well!) We are both going into this with the attitude that we'll be going through basic training again in many ways. Just do what you're told, learn as much as you can, take the good with the bad and get er done! I don't think there is any doubt in either of our minds that we can do this for at least a year to see if it's something we want to continue with. (I probably sound pretty confident but I'm nervous as hell about a lot it! lol We both drive a manual transmission but neither of us has any experience with a tractor or with a trailer.) Anyway, can't say enough great things about this sight in particular! So much more positive than an of the others and I look forward to checking in every night and seeing what's new. I hope we can add something for someone who is considering doing the same thing. By the way, cudos for the information on the different companies that offer the CDL training at no (up front) cost with a time commitment to work for them. I went through all of them several times and really feel good about our choice right now. Obviously it would be great to stick with one company for as long as we choose to do this but as many of you point out, after a year of driving it looks like there are a ton of choices. Don't want to get ahead of myself. First day is April 8th so I'll try not to write too much until we actually get started! lol I've got one quick question for any of you that have recently gone through company sponsered training. How much money did you need to get you through training for food and stuff. We won't see our first paycheck until after starting with our OTR trainers so we'll probably need enough for 3 1/2 - 4 weeks. Think this can be done with $600 each? Thanks again and I look forward to sharing this new adventure with you and hopefully meeting some of you some day.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Quick question about air pressure in tires.

My wife and I are so dang excited to get on the road! First day of CDL school on April 8th and although that's less than a month away now I want to start tomorrow! Love this sight and appreciate all of you putting up with our giddiness! I bet you experienced drivers get a good laugh from some of our questions and comments sometimes!

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Quick question about air pressure in tires.

It's evidently not super new with "four wheelers", (I love that you guys call a car that! lol) as almost all dealerships and most of the tire shops are going to it. Most newer cars are coming with tire pressure monitoring systems now and as I said, the big thing with Nitrogen is that it is supposed to be more stable in hot and cold temps. Theoretically it sounds like it would be perfect for trucks that are rolling all over the country. Just don't know if it actually works like it's supposed to or if it's just some fancy rhetoric to get extra money tacked on to the price of the car. lol

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Quick question about air pressure in tires.

Okay, thank you sir. Was just curious and I appreciate the speedy reply.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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My miles from day 1 to now!

I appreciate all your input Daniel and my wife and I will be starting with Central Refrigerated in less than a month now. As the veteran drivers have said, you seem to be doing a fantastic job keeping the right attitude about everything. I hope that my wife and I are as successful as you with just going with the flow and proving ourselves without getting caught up in the whole "oh woe is me" syndrome. After reading all this incredibly helpful but honest advice about what driving a truck for a living is really like, I can't believe anyone is actually surprised when things aren't all roses and lollipops! lol I have absolutely no experience yet and I am already starting to be able to tell when someone is griping about the job or their company that there is something they are probably not doing right as well. Anyway, thanks again and best of luck to you. Hope the wife and I run into you and your wife one day soon. We're twice your age but it would be fun to meet and hear some of the stories I'm sure you'll have over the next few months.

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