Comments By Flathead

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  • Flathead
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 10 months ago
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Posted:  8 years, 4 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:  8 years, 5 months 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:  8 years, 5 months 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:  8 years, 5 months 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:  8 years, 6 months 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:  8 years, 6 months 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:  8 years, 6 months 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:  8 years, 6 months 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:  8 years, 9 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:  8 years, 9 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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