Profile For Flathead

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    4 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Week 3 of 4 driving with a less than good trainer

Oops. please delete the above post. i wasnt aware that my previous posts are visible until now.

thanks

Posted:  3 years, 9 months ago

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Week 3 of 4 driving with a less than good trainer

My trainer's last four trainees walked from his truck. He tells me it's bc they were not cut out for the job. Now, I'm pretty sure it was bc he's filthy, and more than a little bit racist. I've heard the N word in the last few weeks more than I have in the last decade. I've also been told from the get go that the company sucks and that he's going to quit soon. He's been with this company about seven years.

Some things that make him less than a good trainer:

1) routinely tells me to speed on country roads marked 45 mph. I just say "okay," and keep the legal speed limit. Also, wants me to speed through construction zones when no workers are present. Again, I keep the legal speed.

2) expects me to memorize the way to shippers and customers while driving and with zero trip planning. Actually gets bothered when I'm driving and ask what hwys we'll be taking and how long we'll be on such and such hwy. All the while, he sits with his phone GPS only announcing turns RIGHT before the turn.

3) Not one PTI has been done, not one tire check, nothing.

4) Gets visibly upset when we are off duty if I speak or help another driver.

5) passive aggressive threats of firing me after he learned that I don't stand for "in your face yelling and tantrums." He mentioned that he would drive once we stopped at a rest stop. After he went in to pee, I jumped in the passenger seat. He started throwing a fit saying, "did i f...ing say I was driving!" etc. I just looked at him in the eyes and asked if he was alright and if there's was a problem, while remaining very calm. That threw him for a loop.

6) Spends more time on the phone with friends than pointing out different procedures, etc. Example, I haven't been allowed to touch the Qualcom once since starting with this guy.

Anyway, I'm going to see this through until I get to the main terminal, take my final tests and get in my own truck. thanks for letting me vent

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Even a Not guilty of DUI can harm your future

Try Mabe. There's a guy from my class with a 3 year old DUI and a few 5 year old felonies and he just got on with them. No one else would even look at him (except Carolina Cargo). Pay is average; you run solo, etc.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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A mixture of emotions as orientation date approaches....

Heading to orientation Sunday night! According to my trucking school instructors, it's just a really thorough training. It can be overwhelming. Just have to stick it out, listen to the trainers, and stay positive.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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How large of an LED TV can fit in a typical sleeper? Can Sprint wifi tether stream over a smart tv?

The Pro Star has a digital tv antenna built in, so you won't need to worry about channels, you'd be amazed how many you can pick up. I run to some pretty rural areas and can tell you that Sprint works pretty well for me. Is Verizon a little better? Yes, but not for the price imho.

Thanks! That's very helpful info.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Overwhelmed

In order to get a driving permit to start a company sponsored CDL training program will I need to completely understand all sections of the High Road training program? I see there are several sections such as Hazmat, Doubles/triples, Tankers, etc. or do I only need certain sections for a permit? Any advice would be welcome

my state required air brakes, general knowledge, and combinations for the permit. The other stuff is just endorsements that you can pick up at your own pace.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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How large of an LED TV can fit in a typical sleeper? Can Sprint wifi tether stream over a smart tv?

I know Verizon is the best carrier but before I knew that, I signed my life away to Sprint for two years.

I just have to suck it up and make the best of the situation.

I'll more than likely be parking and delivering in rural areas (flatbed). So, I'll be investing in one of those cheap HDTV air channel antennas for nights with no Sprint service.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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TMC vs McElroy

So here I go I am starting school on the 8th and am looking to flatbed I live in Murfreesboro Tennessee and am looking specifically at TMC and McElroy I'm just looking for any drivers for both companies to let me know a little more about a rookie driver coming into either place what to expect and what not any and all information will be great thank

I've spoken with a few mcelroy drivers in my area and they are fairly satisfied with the company. One guy said the hardest part is living on $400+-/week for seven weeks until you get in your own truck.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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How large of an LED TV can fit in a typical sleeper? Can Sprint wifi tether stream over a smart tv?

Anticipating being put in a 2013-74 prostar.

At home, I use a smart tv and wifi to watch Netflix, etc. I'm hoping make my truck as homelike as possible. I'm wondering if most trucks will accomodate a 32" led. Also wondering if it's worth paying Sprint 19.95/month for the ability to use my phone as a wifi hotspot and i wonder if that hotspot would even be strong enough to stream netflix to a tv.

Any ideas?

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Clothing suggestions for winter

I've been putting together my clothing for flatbed orientation.

I have synthetic thermal longjohns, short sleeve polo type shirts (company requires collared shirts), heavy sweatshirts, a few fleece pullovers, and a Colombia medium weight jacket.

Shoes: tennis shoes and a pair of steel toed boots. Pretty sure I won't be able to drive in the steel toes so after the first week of orientation, I'll grab some waterproof hiking boots, if needed. Several pairs of wool socks.

Head: dog-ear G.I. helmet liner paired with a synthetic wool blend cap for cold, wind, and rain. If I need a heavier coat, I'll grab a Carhart off brand heavy work type coat with a hood.

I'm about the layers. I need to be able to rip off all the fleece and coats in order to be comfortable driving. But I need to be able to pile on the layers to secure the loads.

This company stays in the southeast so I don't think I'll need a Canada Goose -30F puffy coat (hopefully).

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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McElroy Truck Lines

Hey there everybody. Just wanted to add my 2cents about McElroy if I can. I am in Emporia VA now and just finished my first day of Orientation. So far all I can say is its very laud back and easy going. Brent is a great guy and who you will meet first in this location. Rooms at the best Western are really nice compared to alot I've been in and very clean for the most part. Microwave and Fridge. TV with cable. Continental breakfast in the morning. There is a fair amount of paper work to begin with and even some homework lol. Class is very small. Only 2 here today and that's including myself LOL. But I'm not complaining because I'm sure we will get lots of hands on and one on one training. If I can be any assistance to anyone looking at McElroy I'll try and answer questions also. Yall have a good night ! Got to be there at 7 in the morning.

How was orientation?

I'm heading to Pleasant Hill in a week. The drivers I've talked with are pretty happy with MTL. They both run dedicated routes. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing regional unless a dedicated opens up in my area.

Looking forward to learning and getting to work!

Posted:  4 years ago

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Company DOT physical

Whoa. Just came across this and noticed someone has the same username as me.

I guess there are more than one Michael M. out there.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Best companies for a new driver with passport and TWIC to go with?

Just wondering out loud where I should focus on the job search. I'm a student located in NC. CDL-A should be in hand first week in January. I have HAZMAT, doubles/trips, and tankers. When I go get fingerprinted for the HAZMAT, I'm going to apply for the TWIC.

Any suggestions on where I can go to get the most money with the endorsements, passport, and TWIC? Or are first year drivers pretty much all in the same boat with the big companies?

Of course I want to be home often but realistically, I am prepared to go over the road for the first six months or more with limited home time. I figure the sacrifice now will pay off in spades later provided no accidents, tickets, etc.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Seriously Looking at PTL: ummm, why are they not on the list of companies here?

I read through a PTL diary here and it went through the process from orientation to solo. Everything, good and bad, that I read in the diary seemed like something that I can put up with in order to get my time in and either stay or go with a better company.

Is PTL a less than desirable company? If so, why?

I'm prepared to stick with my first company a year so I can get something local.

Any reason not to do my first year with PTL?

Reasons I like PTL:

1) short orientation: 3 days 2) short training: 5,000 miles? 3) short teaming: 40,000 miles?

then solo.

What am I missing?

Posted:  4 years ago

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Just passed my tankers, triples/doubles, and HAZMAT at the DMV!

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I studied each section all last night and double studied the HAZMAT while waiting at the DMV and passed them all the first time. I did not add them to my permit. I'm going to just wait and have them put on to my license once I get through school. I also need to pay for the HAZMAT background check and wait for the clearance. I may go ahead and apply for my TWIC when I'm at the office.

The practice tests on here were a great confidence booster and helped a lot.

Now to hunker down on my pre-trip and go into school Monday and start out on the lot with the trucks.

In the mean time, I've been watching youtube videos on log books, coupling and uncoupling, sliding rear tandems and moving the fifth wheel.

I should have my license by the first week of December if I can get used to the backing.

Wish me luck.

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G'luck. But with that kind of drive, you'll be fine. Luck won't help. Attitude and drive will.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I am pretty determined. And, I like to move to get things done.

Posted:  4 years ago

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100% committed to becoming a professional commercial MV driver

Thanks for the info.

I've received a pre-hire from Covenant and USA Truck. PTL is in the works. I just have to give them some old tax forms so they can verify some past employment.

I have a good 4 weeks before I get my CDL and I will feel out a couple more companies. Right now, I'm reading the posts about the different companies. Both Covenant and PTL have good threads going.

Then, there's the woman who runs my school. She knows some small local companies who hire and train. Pay is not that great but home time looks fantastic. One leaves out once a week and goes from my home state on the east coast to California and back.

Whoever I go with, I'm not expecting any wine or roses for the first year. I will tough it out. Hell, I spent the last decade overseas. I know how to deal with adversity.

Let me just get my training out of the way and start earning money and time OTR so I can make myself more attractive to the great companies.

Posted:  4 years ago

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Just passed my tankers, triples/doubles, and HAZMAT at the DMV!

I studied each section all last night and double studied the HAZMAT while waiting at the DMV and passed them all the first time. I did not add them to my permit. I'm going to just wait and have them put on to my license once I get through school. I also need to pay for the HAZMAT background check and wait for the clearance. I may go ahead and apply for my TWIC when I'm at the office.

The practice tests on here were a great confidence booster and helped a lot.

Now to hunker down on my pre-trip and go into school Monday and start out on the lot with the trucks.

In the mean time, I've been watching youtube videos on log books, coupling and uncoupling, sliding rear tandems and moving the fifth wheel.

I should have my license by the first week of December if I can get used to the backing.

Wish me luck.

Posted:  4 years ago

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100% committed to becoming a professional commercial MV driver

Back in July, I signed up for a CDL school (not going to say which one), and attended a week of classes before being hit with their financing proposal. The financing interest was a bit high for me. I couldn't stomach it and drove back home.

Back at home, I took my permit tests and got my DOT physical. I passed all.

I then secured a job so that I could pay rent and feed my family.

By November 1, I had found a local CDL school for exactly half price of the original one. This school has no financing, no company sponsors, etc. So, I gave notice, took the cash I had saved from my job and signed on.

Having paid upfront, I am now 100% all in. In my mind, there is no alternative to completing the academy, getting my CDL, signing on with a carrier and going over the road. It just has to happen or my world will be upside down.

^ That's a lot of pressure for a family man.

Now, I'm studying the CDL manual in order to memorize the pre-trip. I've written it out at least five times in the last 3 hours. In the morning, my wife is going to video me practicing it (without the truck). This week, the school is closed so I have a lot of time to study stuff here that I would normally have to do at the school; this is a BONUS.

Can't wait for next week so I can practice on the equipment- touching and seeing everything. Then the following week- driving. Happy to be going into this with my permit so I can skip a lot of the classroom videos and stuff.

I'm super excited. I'm a 43 y.o. former teacher who has been overseas for the past decade and I've always wanted to drive a TT.

Wish me luck. I am shooting for flatbed, after school . My CDL should happen by January. Nothing better than flatbedding in the winter, right?

Just a little background: In my formal life, I was an American English teacher in Asia. Had to come back to the great USA for several reasons: the first being my daughter reached kindergarten age. There are others, but the list is too long. Don't get me wrong. I loved my time abroad. In fact, I've lived abroad about 25% of my life.

And, without a doubt, there is no better place to be than here in the USA.

Alright, so I will try to keep this thread going from here until I'm OTR.

Thanks for reading.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Went to truck drivers school and all I got was a few pens and a ruler

Attended my first week of school and learned a lot more than I imagined. Took the permit tests for GK/AB/C at the NC DMV today and passed. (didn't notice until tonight that they put an air brake restriction on my permit even though I passed all three tests. It seems this is a glitch in the NC DMV system and I will sort it out tomorrow.)

My experience at the school was great. The instructor I had was great.

Werner rep came in the classroom and was on point (sales wise). He had everyone drooling. Home time when you want it, and no one will mind. The best gadgets in the industry and it's all at the company's expense because they love drivers. Sign me up!

Covenant came in and woo'd me with his lucky charms. (I know. he's not Irish.)

Had to bow out because I can't afford school, right this week. I'm trying to get my money together. (anybody have knowledge about back to work programs or the like? I'm just back in the US and have been unemployed for 2.5 months.)

I really hope I can go back next week and get my CDL-A. If not, I will try to get back within the month. The permit lasts 6 months but only two permits are allowed within a two year period. So, I need to get my CDL-A ASAP.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

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Driving School Lodging: Roadmaster

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Would you drive two hours each way to avoid the extra cost?

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depends on where i live.... is that 2 hours total or two hours each way and is that 2 hours sitting in stop n go rush hour traffic or just 2 hours cruising down the freeway. It also depends on if the gas to drive is cheaper than lodging. depending on your vehicle it might. look at extended stay hotels (both that brand name and the concept... so extended stay, studio 6, etc). if you drive one of those giant pick ups getting barely 20 mpg a hotel nearby might be cheaper at an extended stay rate. I lived in a studio 6 for about 6 months at one point... once I became tax exempt (from staying for 2+ weeks... it's a texas thing) my rate was $214 a week all utilities covered, just had to pay for food and hotel. say you're looking at a 3 weeks that's $642 for lodging. Since you said it's 2 hours driving each way I'm going to assume about 100 miles (that's to account for slower than 60 mph speed limits, heck you might be driving 75 in 60mph zones i don't know), depending on fuel economy that could be 10 gallons a day in gas. In TX that'll run you about $25. so now that makes 150 in gas per week (6 days a week is what it seems most schools are) so that's $450 for the 3 weeks. so you can spend $450 in gas or $642 for lodging. but you also need to account for the fact you gotta get up earlier than everyone else and you'll get home later. can you handle waking up super early?

I would rather spend the extra $192 and just live nearby the school if I could afford it, but that's just me. waking up 3 hours earlier to save a couple hundred doesn't appeal to me because with that earlier wake up you have to factor in your attention span, you're not going to get 8 hours of sleep, probably not even 6, 5 if you're lucky and pick up fast food for dinner on the way home.

yeah i'm pretty decent at crunching numbers for things like this.

I crunch numbers the same way and staying at the hotel for $40/ night is the better choice.

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