Profile For Renae S. (Angel)

Renae S. (Angel)'s Info

  • Location:
    Lewiston, ID

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 3 months ago

Renae S. (Angel)'s Bio

44, single mother of 2 adults (finally) with 1 beautiful grandbaby.

Worked at different jobs over the years; sometimes 2 or 3 jobs at a time just to try to survive on my own. Jobs ranged from transcription, receptionist, billing, x-ray technician, cashier x's 3, baker, cake decorator, nail technician, fish and game access site cleaner (scrubbed toilets and hauled garbage), sales associate/manager x's 2, housekeeping. The jobs I loved the most were the most difficult and physically demanding (baker and fish and game access site cleaner.) When I looked back at everything, that surprised me.

I've always loved driving and alone time. The older I get the more alone time I want and need. Trucks don't care how old I am. I'm still healthy, if a bit more round than I should be. (I'm working on that. Lost 5 lbs in 7 days already. 20 lbs in 3 months gone. Yay!)

My kids don't need me to take care of them and it's time to do what I want.

ALWAYS wanted to learn to drive a truck and go over the road. Kids and 2 ex-husbands put the brakes on that until now. Maybe I can earn a living, see the country, AND make my kids lives easier than I had it.

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Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My CDL Training Diary With Prime Inc

I can't comment on the medical issues, except that they may ask for a cardiac approval in addition to the regular dot physical in order to be hired. Expect the unexpected from any company.

That said, trucking does have peak seasons, but it actually never stops. A lot of drivers take off the winter months or take vacations in the summer. Depending. The company, the type of products hauled, and driver availability may actually help keep you moving.

Good luck!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Not sure i was made for trucking

I have never experienced "boot-camp training." I do know that trainers without the ability to maintain control of their own emotions and expecting expert behavior or knowledge from a student aren't worthy of the position.

Ask him if this is his usual method of training and what he is expecting you to get from it. If he can explain what he's doing and willing to hear your concerns, great. Otherwise, go over his head. He is not helping you become a driver if you are afraid of tripping his buttons instead of learning the skills you need.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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😩😳

Panic is pretty normal. There will always be something to learn, practice, and master. The great thing is you will get there. Some will come easy and others not so easy. Your determination and ability to face your fears will determine where you are in 3 months, 6 months, a year.

You know how Facebook has those "from a year ago" posts? Find a way to look back every once in a while. You'll be amazed at what you've been able to do!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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I'm on my way!

Congratulations! Trucking isn't a one-trick pony. Options will open up. Especially, talk to other drivers working the seasonal jobs. They'll give great advice because they face the same issues you will.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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I want my CDL but feel intimidated by the horror tales

Your fiancé will have a harder time getting qualified than you will. It will depend on how long ago his felonies happened and what he's done since.

The trucking industry runs the gammit when it comes to the physical requirements. It depends on what YOU CHOOSE.

The most physically taxing thing I have ever had to deal with was fighting the landing gear. Sometimes the gear gets a little bent and it makes it hard to turn the handle. Usually persistence and a sweat rag are all I need.

I climb in and out of the trailer to place loadlocks or straps and sweep. Pretrips involve pulling the hood open and closing it again and observing or wiggling parts of the truck to check fluids, connections, and wear. Otherwise, it's observation from all sides, including underneath the trailer.

By the way, I turned 46 in January. I have arthritis in multiple joints including knees, neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, ankles, wrists and fingers. (Most is from injuries.) I won't work anywhere that requires freight loading or unloading. No flatbeds, no tankers.

I will not say there are no horror stories. This industry is 95% male. However, I've heard horror stories perpetrated by women too. One was female student who took pictures of her male trainer then claimed he harassed her. He was covered and the curtain was closed. (Seriously? How did she take a picture?) The perception is always the male is the problem. It's not true.

Use your common sense and reasonable precautions. Most men may look, but unless you invite closer consideration, they leave you alone. You've dealt with men your whole working life. Be polite. Be professional. Be gracious. Many men still hold the door, offer extra muscle, and offer advice and assistance. Accept or decline according to your need.

When I first started out I had a heck of a time weighing the loads and adjusting the tandems. I'd play ring around the scale several times before approaching someone or someone approaching me. Not once was I given attitude or bad advice.

That being said, guys will be guys. I have a cb. I have heard men talking about me on the radio. I have heard men talking trash about women. I have also heard prostitutes advertising their services. (Nevada is interesting.) Most of the time I chuckle and keep my mouth shut. Occasionally, I bring the trash talk to a screeching halt by questioning the abilities of their favored body parts. Occasionally, it has the opposite effect. Lol. I just laugh and tell them my name is Bertha!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Clothing

Well, here goes!

I start Swift academy in Fontana tomorrow morning.

Congratulations and good luck out there!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Podcast #13: Three Problems Rookie Drivers Struggle To Overcome

Brett, you really nail so many issues on the head. We're lucky to have you.

I have been absent here for quite a while but I have not been absent on the road. I've been spending my time in the last couple years learning the job, the road, and adjusting to my new life. I have gone through many ups and downs on the way.

The company I started with is labeled a "training" company because of the number of students they run out on the road. My class started with over 70 people and passed 7 or 8. This was just the first week. Many came to the school with disqualifying conditions; such as not passing the physical or legal disqualifications. Others decided the fast pace was too much. Others, (a lot of others) left because of pressures and circumstances at home.

A few couldn't handle the trucks.

Of the people who got out on the road with trainers, many got on the truck with bad attitudes and unrealistic expectations. They didn't last very long. I watched a lot of people who made it this far leave because of more pressures from home.

As a student, you need to enter with an open mind, a good attitude, and the willingness to work. Without those qualities, it's too easy to self-sabotage.

Home life is an incredibly huge factor in success or failure in training. Even if you're doing exactly what was agreed to, they can't see or touch you. You become unreal. They're used to you being there to lean on and suddenly you're not. They feel abandoned and you feel like a loser who can't take care of anything because you're not there. Communicate, but everyone needs to know that without this phase there won't be a payoff at the end. Drivers are in demand everywhere. The options become open only by going through the training phase and the rookie phase.

Expect hardship. Expect to run your tail off in between being stuck in one place. Expect to be required to constantly train and retrain. Expect other drivers to either ignore you, treat you like a bug, or fill your ears with so much garbage fact and fiction become interchangeable. Expect isolation. Expect pay fluctuations. (By a lot!) Expect stress. Expect to feel and be stupid on occasion (mistakes do happen.)

Expect every day to be different. Expect every day to see something incredible. Expect every day to feel amazed. Expect every day to be amazing!

Most of all, expect to feel proud of the job, yourself. You literally learned something that feeds, clothes, and houses the entire country and the world! How amazing is that?

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Tired of being a stepping stone.....

You never know who you'll meet during training and once you're on the road. It's a lifestyle. You hear and see that a lot when talking to drivers or researching truck driving.

I started out with nothing in July of last year. I had to borrow money just to eat my first month. I'm now earning better than any other job I've had, but I also am able to save, and dream of things I didn't believe I'd ever have.

That being said, it's a shocking adjustment. The first few months you'll run into situations that you can't imagine. Like stopping at a major chain truck stop to take a shower and do laundry. There's 3 washers and 5 dryers. Awesome! 2 of the washers and 3 of the dryers have out of order signs. The washer that works had a wet load that you patiently wait for over an hour for the owner to claim. As soon as you load and put in your money it promptly quits working.

Good luck finding a regular laundromat where you can park a tractor and trailer, much less actually have the spare time anyway. Gotta keep the wheels turning pot your income blows away.

Banking? Don't make me giggle. Shopping? Wal-Mart anyone? Doctor appointments? Good luck with that.

Sounds like I'm complaining right?

Now...ask me the important question.

Do you like what you do?

No! I LOVE what I do!

Posted:  2 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Getting Started with CR England

I wrote an update last night and my wifi disconnected. Grr.

The long and short is it took 3 driver managers, 3 training coordinators, 4 trainers, and 2 months from when I was hired to get my cdl.

No, it's not an exaggeration. One trainer quit, one was so allergic to cigarettes I couldn't stay in the truck even with daily showers, clean clothes, and smoking far away from the truck on breezy days. I refused to get back on his truck for medical reasons.

Out of those two months I only drove with trainers for half. The other half was waiting for trainers to be assigned. I finally got to the idaho dmv and was told everything was great but they needed to clear my permits and class d off my state record.

The next thing i heard was, "How long will the system be down? "

Posted:  2 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Getting Started with CR England

So far I covered going through the course at slc. I have to say that after visiting other cr england facilities and schools, they're is set up differently at each one. The basics are the same but every person does have a different experience.

The school's main goal is to get you familiar with the truck, driving, and getting your cdl. They require 180 hours of training on the road. After school a trainer is chosen for you or they choose to take you as a student. I know that sounds confusing, but it really is like that.

I was talking with a trainer who had just dropped off his latest student. My friend was ready to go on the road and they were still looking for a trainer for him. I introduced them to each other and that day they were on the road.

My experience was different. I didn't find a trainer I was able to go with, so they found one for me. It took about a week. I was only with her for 10 days and I got a call saying I needed to get back to idaho for my regular license. So, 5 minutes later, my trainer was given a new student and I was wondering how to get to my state. They pulled me without having a solid plan. That turned out to be good and bad.

Posted:  2 years, 12 months ago

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Officers Search Semi Truck Because Driver’s Clothes Were Too Clean. This Is What They Found.

double-quotes-start.png

Sounds like they were tipped off and not wanting to disclose it.

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Probably a woman tipped them off. Right? It's always a woman.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Driving south on 35 in Texas, I spotted 5 police cars blocking shoulder and right lane. Thought it was an accident. Nope, 1 hispanic young man was standing at the back of nondescript white semi with trailer, casually speaking to no less than 6 officers.

Wonder what they were talking about.

Posted:  3 years ago

View Topic:

I just got my cdl

Congartulations! Exciting and a bit anticlimactic isn't it? Lol you'll do great. Attitude is everything.

Posted:  3 years ago

View Topic:

Getting Started with CR England

If you're still following me, I will try to give you a rundown of my training.

I arrived in salt lake city and had a huge culture shock. Getting from the bus station to the end school, we crammed 7 passengers plus the driver and copious quantities of luggage into a smalll shuttle minivan. I was the only female. Can you say SARDINE? I knew you could.

We arrived safely. Which shocked me. Checked into the facility's driver and student hotel. Students were given bunk-style accommodation. 8 bunk beds. No joke. Really! I was early enough in the day to only have one roommate while I unpacked. Super nice lady walked me and another woman through the place and showed us where everything was.

More people showed up throughout the day and on into the night. Monday morning bright and early, we filed into a large classroom where we we separated into on groups. Some people needed their permit, some were upgrading, some were testing, some were getting hired, and some were like me. I just needed the driving training, practice, and test. Yeah "just".

We filled out paperwork for the office, listened to lectures, and read and quizzed and tested. That was just the morning. During all of this, they sent us to medical for physical evaluation, drug tests, and dot physicals. I already had my dot medical card so that was good, but some people had to redo them because they weren't filled out correctly.

The physical consisted of walking under a trailer and touching the fence on the other side and then back again, climbing into the back of a trailer and getting back down, and lifting a 30 lb metal box from the ground to overhead to the ground three times. Not too difficult but you had to avoid touching the trailer or the ground, not fall out of or off of the back of the trailer, and not drop the wright on your head. I witnessed all of these things happen, including one guy who smacked himself in the face with the weight, another slip off the dot bar, and another whack his head under the trailer.

Then, a large group of very neon colored people started coming in. No, they weren't neon. They were wearing a lot of neon shirts and vests with neon. Hmmm? Who are all these guys?

They were our Road Instructors and Backing Instructors.

Our names were called by the different instructors in groups ranging from 2 to 4 people per instructor. Shortly after that we were directed to the backing range to meet our instructors and go driving.

Yes, I said driving. Three men and myself drove out to the "shifting range" and were instructed on double clutching, rpm and speed, and general control of the truck. I did okay, one guy couldn't get it at all, another was about the same as me, and the last guy shifted like it was a race to get to the highest gear. No one died. We visited salt lake and took a break at a gift shop inside a concert arena that looked like a sultan's address.

They let us go about 5. After starting at 6. It was a long day.

Each day was classroom, driving, and finding time to eat, sleep, and study. I have to admit, I didn't study too hard except for the pretrip and in cab inspections.

Day 2 with the road instructor was turning. 3 was advanced turns, liitle narrow streets, etc. 4 was supposed to be mountain, but we worked on shifting and then mountain driving. Gotta say that was an adventure.

One of my group scared me so bad I refused to come back into the truck going down the mountain if he was driving. We got to where the instructor wanted to turn around and demanded a break. I got out cussing and crying. I'm not a bad passenger. But some people I just don't trust behind the wheel. I'd been a passenger with him for several days and knew I couldn't trust him not to get me killed.

You want to know what he was doing? Okay. Let's speed up coming to a stop sign. Let's slow down entering the highway. Let's not find any gear at any time. Let's not look in mirrors. Lets drive down the middle, crowd corners, posts, and other vehicles, and last but not least, let's not listen to the guy in the jump seat trying to teach you.

Now, let's repeat every mistake every day. Repeatedly. Honestly, he had a language issue but the biggest problem was being 21, male, and arrogant. I flat out told him he was 21 and male which equalled stupid. I don't like being mean or discouraging but I think he just made me mad and scared me. That's a bad thing. Normally, I would say I regretted saying something like that, but not in this case.

Fortunately, he didn't make it through training.

That covers the first 4 days of training. See? Pretty cut and dried.

During down time we sat around talking to other studenrts, drivers, and school staff, went shopping, eating, and sleeping.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we trudged in 95+degree temperatures to the backing range where we were given instruction doing 3 different kinds of backing, straight line, parallel, and offset.

Monday, we were tested on what we learned. Some people passed the first time, others, like me made a stupid mistake which became a bigger mistake, and had to be retested. I took my 2nd test on Thursday and passed. Friday, I was hired and went through orientation.

Now, to get a trainer, get to my home staye dmv for my license, and spend 180 hours of paid training. And the adventure really begins!

Posted:  3 years ago

View Topic:

Getting Started with CR England

Wow! What can I say? Or should that be what can't I say?

I apologize for the long delay since posting. I didnt have a phone or tablet, laptop or computer available since beginning my schooling.

What?! No internet? How could you survive? Other than not being able to communicate except through phone calls to family, I did fairly well, after I did my technology detox. Withdrawal sucked!

The reason for the technology blackout was because the school blocks alot of sites. Of course if you have the mobile tech you're still covered, but I'm me, so of course it took this long to get it. Still learning so please bear with me.

My adventures in salt lake city at the cr england school were fairly mild actually, but I have to admit that I don't think I have been so busy and tired since I was a teenager.

One surprise was elevation-related swelling. The clinic doctor evaluated me after I tried everything I could think of and finally gave me some water pills. I'm still holding on to a week's worth just in case.

Another surprise to me personally was how outspoken I became. I made a lot of friends and talked with strangers. That was my original childhood personality but school and life ground that part of me into the dust. It was good to see that person again.

I'll cover my training ups and downs in the next post. Stay tuned.

Happily driving a big rig,

Renae

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Getting Started with CR England

7-17-15

Pins and needles. Going to try to sleep for a while. I can almost guarantee a night of tossing and turning, but occasionally I do surprise myself.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Beginning my journey with Roehl.

Donnie, Hope your training is not near the SWIFT teminal in Phoenix. I worked across the street for Maricopa Parks and Rec. Dept. back in 2007. There is a dog food factory near by as well a landfill. Ahh enjoy the scent and brown cloud of Phoenix. Hope to meet up some time. See you in the Flatbed division sometime.

rofl-3.gif

I live in a pulp and paper mill town. There's also a landfill, garbage dump, and a lovely company next door that makes fertilizer from manure and yard waste.

All my life I hear people asking the same question, "Oh God! What is that smell?!"

My answer? "What smell?" rofl-1.gif

Good luck Donnie!

Renae (Angel)

AND the SWIFT terminal and school shares space with the LCSC college truck driving range. All of it is right in the middle of the perfect storm of aromatic Hell!

LOL

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Beginning my journey with Roehl.

Donnie, Hope your training is not near the SWIFT teminal in Phoenix. I worked across the street for Maricopa Parks and Rec. Dept. back in 2007. There is a dog food factory near by as well a landfill. Ahh enjoy the scent and brown cloud of Phoenix. Hope to meet up some time. See you in the Flatbed division sometime.

rofl-3.gif

I live in a pulp and paper mill town. There's also a landfill, garbage dump, and a lovely company next door that makes fertilizer from manure and yard waste.

All my life I hear people asking the same question, "Oh God! What is that smell?!"

My answer? "What smell?" rofl-1.gif

Good luck Donnie!

Renae (Angel)

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Medical issue during 1st wk of school!

Wow! I'm so sorry that happened to you.

My recruiter sent me to a DOT physical before they even enrolled me in class. That and my instruction permit before I got my enrollment paperwork. Enrollment paperwork before I got a bus ticket. My very first phone call included asking me about medications. I had taken pain meds about 2 months previously, which I explained to her. She told me she'd have their doctor call me. I was still on the house phone with her when he called.

Did I just get a good recruiter who was paying attention?

I hope that your doctor can clear everything for you or get you on a medication that DOT will approve. Good luck!

Renae (Angel)

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Deflated - Celadon, Knight, Roehl Won't Take Me & Pushing Roadmasters

Just an addendum. CR England has a school in Florida. I'm not sure about anybody else.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Deflated - Celadon, Knight, Roehl Won't Take Me & Pushing Roadmasters

I don't have a problem with driving for 6 months, 8 months, or a year to repay a company for their trust and their generosity. I have a stellar driving record and plan to keep it that way. What I'm worried about is getting myself into deeper financial water than I'm in.

Hi Debra!

I really feel for you. I'm in Idaho so I didn't have the trouble getting a school to accept me. I can't even imagine that frustration. The financial stuff, boy howdy do I feel that!

I also worried about getting myself deeper financially and then I REALLY thought about it. Am I serious about making this change in my life? Am I going to have options and opportunities after my training and company commitment is completed that I wouldn't have otherwise? Do I think or do I KNOW I can handle the training and at least the 9 months to a year of company commitment? Do I want to try to get a loan with my credit history? Or do I want to get a job that will automatically pay back the loan as long as I hold up my end?

I leave for CR England tomorrow morning. As long as I do the training well and get my CDL, I've got a job. Yes, if something goes horribly wrong I'm financially committed to repaying the company. But, if I look at every WHAT IF that can happen, I'll be paralyzed by indecision and nothing in my life will change. It will never be better because I didn't take the chance.

Limits, restrictions, and what if thinking are for when you're already set up and not worried about the things like food, rent, and electricity. Letting what ifs paralyze me would put me behind the counter as a gas station attendant, AGAIN. I'm worth the time and effort. My future is waiting for me to arrive. You're worth the time and effort anything that you really want will require from you.

So I've got dues to pay and a lot of learning to do. That's okay. Nothing new about that. I've been knocked down so many times I should have myself permanently encased in bubble wrap. Silly me, I wobble to my hands and knees. Then, I groan my way to my knees. Then, one foot lands solid. Dang, it's so hard but the other foot plants itself and suddenly I'm standing. Still bent over with tears in my eyes, but by God I'm up. A few deep breaths, a heartfelt curse and a groan later and I'm fully upright. Wow! The view is so pretty over there. Okay, we're up. Let's take that first step. Suddenly, upright becomes mobile and that view I spotted in the distance is that much closer.

Renae (Angel)

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