Profile For S.B.

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    7 years, 3 months ago

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Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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McElroy HQ, Cuba, AL

Yep, they take backing serious. Serpentine (back around 3 barriers and Dock), S curve backing (back down a series of curves), Off set dock, 45 degree back, 90 degree back. Instead of cones it's barriers. They want you to get out and look. Drivers have been known to hit them and even tear bumpers off. The big thing is if you make a mistake to report it and tell the truth. They will work with you to an extent if your honest and trying. They are watching.

Some of the customers places, like small building supplies can be tight to get out of. Backing a split axle flatbed is a big difference, takes getting use to coming from a van. 18 ft reaction, tires slide, can't jack it much loaded. Once you finish backing with McElroy, you should know how to back. Entire days of backing and getting a feel of the trailer. They put you out there on your own, as they figure you got to learn by your own trial and error. Got to pass the road test and backing tests.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Almost time to decide, Maverick or McElroy

Hey S.B.! I live in central Kentucky, south of Lexington. What interested me in McElroy, is getting you home on Fridays, the higher tuition reimbursement, free driver healthcare, being able to park at Lowe's overnight or on home time and pre loaded/tarped loads to mention a few perks. Was reading through the info packet about orientation, if I decided on McElroy, I will have to buy a few collared shirts as I saw were tee shirts were not allowed. No problem though. Thanks for the input, I might have a few more questions for you if you have the time.

You'll need a few collared shirts for orientation, polo or simple button up. Jeans are fine. Nothing fancy, even the trainers wear jeans and plain button up shirts. Many drivers just drive comfortable in t-shirts, then put on their collared shirt on over it when they arrive at the customer. It's about how you present yourself to the customer, and how you look at the terminal when you get out the truck. They really do get you home Friday, if something happens and you are stuck out on the road, they pay you, so they do a good job routing you back near home for a pick-up Thursday or Friday. Being in Kentucky you will likely be able to haul steel, the Tenn Terminal does, which will give more options for loads in the Winter. Realize McElroy is regional runs, so you won't get the long hauls and miles like the over the road guys, you'll have to manage your clock so you can get more loads inorder to make money. A lot of guys complain about the miles and waiting for loads in winter, but this is regional work and they are routing you home every weekend. Usually you will stay within a 500 mile radius of home, occasionally getting a longer haul.

I haven't been on long at all, but If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Almost time to decide, Maverick or McElroy

Happy new year everyone!

Well I test for my CDL 4 January and am down to just deciding which company to start out with. Trying to decide between Maverick and McElroy. Have read the posts on both companies, chatted with drivers from each company, researched each company, and have made a spreadsheet listing each company's benefits. Both are good companies, both offer a couple of things the other does not, my gut tells me Maverick, then it tells me McElroy! The good news is that it is nice to have options and I feel that with either company, staying there a year plus would be easy to do. Not asking you all which company to go with, as I know the answer that is given on this site and that makes total sense to me. This journey started back in June when I decided to get my CDL and phase one of the journey, getting my CDL, will be done, hopefully, next week. Phase two is picking a company and heading off to orientation, is now within site. Phase three will be finishing training and then getting my own truck!!!

Guess I don't really have any questions, just making a post about where I am in this process and wanted to give thanks to all who have posted on this site. Lots of good info to be found here.

Where are you located? I'm new with McElroy. Few weeks under my belt. Us South / North Carolina and Virginia boys run mostly building materials, lumber, sheetrock, Lowes, shingles, ect and it can get slow in the Winter. The sheetrock has been short hauls, but there is a minimum pay depending where you are hauling out of. The guys in Alabama, Tenn, Texas ect run all that and steel, so they have more options in the winter. Out the Pleasant Hill, NC terminal we don't haul any steel or anything requiring chains, we only strap. To haul steel you have to go down to Cuba, Alabama to train. Most the loads such as Lowes and Sheetrock are pre-tarped (Drop and Hook), but you will have to bungee them and fix / tighten straps. Lumber must be tarped, but many places have a tarping machine, a few don't. Lowes runs are great, you pick up a trailer from distribution, run it to a store loaded, then have to take it back to distribution and get paid the same empty miles, which you will learn empty is easy. So if you take it 300 miles, you will turn around and return for 300 empty. This is because these trailers belong to Lowes.

I have been home every weekend, leaving out on Sunday. Holidays I've had good time off. This week I came home on 12-30 and go back out 1-3 Sunday. Had 4 days off for Christmas also. Both slow weeks you will receive the minimal pay, 600 dollars.....if you don't get miles / loads. The company also pays for / gives you free health insurance and free disability / life insurance. I just started and Mr. McElroy sent me a Wal-Mart gift card for Christmas. Seems like a good company in my opinion. That said, they take training very serious, lots of testsing, written open book on policy and backing skills they are big on testing.

Biggest thing to consider, if you live in the Carolinas / Virgina or mid Atlantic, it may get slow in Late December and January, but there is a minimum pay guarantee and lay over ect. From what I'm told Spring and Summer will be booming. Such is the flatbed industry.

Mavrick is Automatics, McElroy runs International Prostars 10 speeds. Oldest trucks I've seen are 2013 and heard Mr McElroy was trying to phase them out, was some issues with the 12 and 13's.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Internet connection - what device do you use?

I've been looking in to getting a wireless internet connection (mifi) for my truck and was wondering if anyone has had any success with verizon's jetpack or their 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice?

The jetpack uses both 3g and 4g LTE techonology (where it will default to 3g in the case that 4g LTE is unavailable). The router only uses 4g LTE which means if you move in to an area where there is no 4g LTE coverage, you lose the internet completely. This may or may not be a problem with a good antenna, I'm not sure. I like the option of the router better because it allows me to plug directly in to the modem (as opposed to losing 20% of my speed by using wireless) AND it gives me 2gigs worth of extra data on my plan per month for the same price.

Does anyone have experience with this? How do you have your internet set up? How well does it work for you? Do you drop internet connectivity when switching between cell towers?

Whether you drop internet connectivity between towers shouldn't matter, as you wouldn't be using the internet driving, you're using it setting still ;) , unless you are using your device for driving assistance type apps, such as finding stops.

To answer the question, no you will not loose data connection, as long as you get a strong enough signal 📶 from the tower it is switching to.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Finding a Job: Location and School Trouble From My first picks.

Crete, Shaffer wont hire if you went to Miller-Motte for truck driving school. It was 160 hrs, and I earned CDL's. Actually more unofficial hours as the instructors often would offer us the opportunity to come in and practice.

TMC (my first choice), Mavrick, Boyd Brothers all said I'm too far east. McElroy also said I'm too far east, but is checking in with higher ups since I'm close to the hiring line, but No GI bill apprenticeship. Heartland is a possibility from talking with the recruiter.

Seems like many flat bed companies cut off from hiring those of us east of I95. I was looking into flat bedding companies for the possibility of being home on Saturday with the kids. I don't mind a little extra work in the weather. I'll do dryvan also, just that Saturdays off like you get with most flatbed companies would have been a nice perk, having kids home from school and me home.

Anyone have recommendation of who to try for Eastern NC / SC ? I'm on the stateline. GI bill apprenticeship would be a huge plus.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Blood Sugar/Diabetes?

I know it's illegal for insulin-dependent diabetics to drive without a waiver, but do the companies test anything in the physicals that would tell them if your blood sugar was abnormally high?

No trucking experience, so I can't tell you what they specifically look for during the dot physical, but I do have Nursing experience. Yes if they run a urinalysis along with the drug testing, it will show high blood sugar. The other way to tell is hemoglobin, which would require them to run a test on your blood called an A1C.

Anything over 200 is seriously dangerous, and from a quick google search, that's also the number if your above, no driving per regulations.

If your urinalysis shows high blood sugar, they will confirm it with an A1C for a diagnosis.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Drug test

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That's the harsh business world of scum companies.

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David, I simply cannot share your cynicism of the business world. All businesses are in place to make a profit, that is what they are for. They cannot do that without good people working hard and sharing in that goal. The idea that some companies are "scum" and basically are organized to treat people poorly and injuriously as they go about their goal of turning a profit is a concept contrived by the ill informed. I hear people use these type of expressions all the time, yet in all my years I have never come across a business owner who ever held to those types of ideas.

It's not cynicism toward the business world. I'm actually a 100% free market pro capitalism, get government out the way conservative, and very libertarian leaning, but I understand business practices of certain minded companies. There's good companies to work for, and bad one's as an employee. Work for the bad one's if you don't have a choice as you have to make a living, but once he clears himself, he's got a choice. That's the beauty of free market capitalism. I'm not saying companies in general are scum, but some do treat employees like scum, that's a fact that can't be ignored. If he was wrongfully fired for a medical condition that wasn't effecting job performance or increasing liability, that was a scum move. If you make the company look bad, as he will have to do for wrongful firing, IF (that's a big if), they fired him wrongfully, they may possibly find a reason to get rid of him in the future once he comes back, based on how they got rid of him to begin with. How they got rid of him to begin with, I surely wouldn't want to work for them long. I did retail MGT while in the Army Reserve, there was a number of times I have been instructed to find reasons to get rid of certain employees for various reasons. Right to work state, and it should be like that in a free market, and I was trying to maximize the companies profits by getting rid of slackers. I'm not saying all businesses are scum, you are interpreting that incorrectly or I'm not expressing myself good enough, my apologizes. I'm saying this business sounds like a scum business based on his account (IF) true. Sounds like they got rid of him because they didn't trust him / thought he was trying to cheat the drug testing by making up an excuse. They may think he is a liability. If he actually has this medical condition and it doesn't effect his performance, he isn't hurting company profits, thus that makes it a scum-full move. No doctor in his right mind that has any ethics, is going to hand out a false diagnoses to cover. If Joe's accounts are accurate about being fired for the first test, the company is wrong, and sounds like a horrible company to be an employee for if you have that type of condition. It was a scum move. Granted it may have been the decision of one individual with that company, but someone else surely should review it within the company and make it right if they prove to be a decent company to work for. A decent company will reprimand the employee who wrongfully fired, as it's hurt's company image and is a liability. Lot's of things to consider.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Drug test

I don't fully understand this situation based on the facts given in the original post, but I do know that "moving on" is not the solution. If one has a refusal to drug test on their record in this industry they will be extremely hard pressed to even find a job as a commercial driver.

Moving on is the eventual best solution in the long run imo, but he has to clear his name, sorry if I was not clear. I didn't mean not fight it and just leave, that's why I say he has a "case" if he didn't refuse a test. A refusal to drug test hurts job outlook in many industries. I would surely clear my name and go back to work when they admit fault for wrongful firing. Then move on later to another company. I wouldn't want to work for such a company that treats individuals like that There is too many job opportunities. When they admit fault for wrongfully firing, he will have a bulls eye on him ( because they sound like a horrible company based on his treatment if he is accurate), and they will look for any reason to get rid of him. That's the harsh business world of scum companies.

I'd clear my name, go back to work, then later find another company and give them a notice if I didn't have any contracts with them. Just my opinion.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Drug test

I'm a bit confused with the over all events.

So the first time you couldn't pee due to an enlarged prostate, and that is a legit medical reason with your diagnoses. The prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra, men with that condition have trouble peeing, and it's a common diagnoses among men! Did you refuse a third test? That sounds like a problem if true. If that is the case, they have grounds to terminate you for a refusal to test, wouldn't matter if the test was the next day after you passed that second test, you have to at least try to do the test anytime they request. Most companies policy is termination for refusal of a drug test.

With your medical records showing a medical diagnoses, good companies (any not just trucking ones), usually make reasonable accommodations, if it doesn't effect job performance or costs. If you just couldn't go the first time, and went the second time, that is not a refusal the first time. If you never refused any testing, you have a case in my opinion. I don't know if I would want to go back to work for such a company. Moving on may be best, as they will certainly have a bulls-eye on you now.

Good Luck.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Cell coverage

Best bet is to just get one of each. Wherever you are, one of them is bound to work.

Good idea. A prepaid At&t go phone or AT&T MVNO like Cricket, and a prepaid Verizon or MVNO that uses Verizon towers / network, like Pageplus would be less than contract with either company. 45 a piece for smart phones with data. 90 dollars for both the biggest networks. 30 dollars if you just want voice and text for an extra coverage / emergency phone. I'm a fan of prepaid, set them for auto draft and don't worry about it, same amount each month and they usually discount for auto draft. You could have both networks for 80 with autodraft.

I heard from relatives that AT&T has improved coverage now in Nebraska. They use to have a lot of holes.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Blood pressure

I'm on 10mg of lisinopril as my only prescribed medication. High BP diagnoses is common, nothing to worry about if it's controlled with meds. I'm 30 and I've been on that med since 26 with normal BP. DOT card is only good for a year, no big deal imo. If you get put on it, I would start it on a day off from driving or any work around heavy machinery. Some people it drops the blood pressure too low, and can causes dizziness as a side effect. For those of us with high BP, it just makes it normal. As mentioned, white coat syndrome, where anxiety causes the BP to rise, sometimes gets diagnosed as high BP, and the doctor sometimes prescribes meds. The problem is if you usually have normal BP, the meds lower it, and you really don't need the BP meds for when BP rises due to anxiety, such as caused by a visit to the Dr.

Usually they don't diagnose it as high blood pressure until you have 3+ trips to the office with high BP. A good doctor will have you come back in just for a nurse to take a BP reading on another day you are available, shouldn't even need an appointment.

I say this from a nursing background ;)........I know from military to nursing to trucking LOL..........Yeah I just hate being stuck somewhere, I like the outside or riding.

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Thanks Trucking Truth!

The training material here is based on the IL manual, so there will be extremely slight differences but like we always say, the differences will never be substantial and should never keep you from getting an impressive score.

Congratulations on all your success sir. There's still a lot of hard work ahead of you so don't stop striving for your goal.

Thanks! And yes, there is no reason someone shouldn't blow the exams out the water given the material here and what was said to focus on.

I'm in a trucking school that also does weekends. 8 weekends total, have completed my first weekend, 7 more to go! Permit out the way, now I can focus on studying the next big obstacle, the pre trip! Lot's to learn!

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

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Thanks Trucking Truth!

Read the SC Book, but studied mostly the material offered here. Passed the Permit Exams on my first go. Great Course and highly recommended! Missed only 2 questions on general, made a 100 on Combinations and Air brakes, no questions missed. Noticed one discrepancy from the material here and the SC book.

Material here says,

"3.1 Inspecting Cargo

As part of your pre-trip inspection , make sure the truck is not overloaded and that the cargo is balanced and secured properly. Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within 25 miles after beginning a trip."

For SC Exam it is 50 miles, and it states within first 50 miles and every 150 there after in the SC book. The tests here at trucking truth beat that inspect within first 25 into my brain, but it's all good! A pass is a pass. All the other practice test questions here are spot on for SC, as are the foot notes on the material that needs to be memorized!

Again thanks for whoever took the time to create this free site!

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