Profile For Keith A.

Keith A.'s Info

  • Location:
    Denver, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 1 month ago

Keith A.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Finally change my status to experienced driver

Well done Junkyard, well done!

I'm almost two years in and it barely feels like I can keep my act together week to week, I don't know when I'd consider myself experienced.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Hazmat Endorsement

There's an open regional spot with Knight running Hazmat back and forth between Kansas City and Denver that I'm considering taking, 4 days on 2 off -- I'm gonna use the High Road stuff to dig into that but also wanted to see if anyone here has any other tidbits that may not be there?

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Tuition reimbursement

If you go through a private CDL school they'll reimburse that $6k over (usually) the course of a year.

We always strongly recommend going through a paid cdl training program though, if they offer one. They do the digging necessary to make sure you can actually *work* for them, meaning you won't get surprised by some medical issue that the private school doesn't care about, but a company may be more restrictive about.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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What Would You Do In This Situation?

Just to preempt the possibility of it happening again, I'd stop before the tracks... even with room and even though I'm not responsible for the stupidity of a driver behind me, no matter how you phrase it we've gotta look out for each other.

Although I've had this happen where then 4 wheelers will slide around me, fill all the space and still block the tracks but I don't see any way around that really, sometimes stupid's just gonna stupid.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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The TruckingTruth Meet Up Thread

If anyone ever happens to be in the Denver area feel free to give me a holler! I'm rather chained by my local spot or I'd be making a concerted effort to meet some of you!

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Getting my CDL on a budget.

These inquiries can spark some responses that might appear harsher or more direct because the readership here is vastly bigger than it appears based off posting rates-- that mean it is very important that misinformation, or questions that can leave a door open gets addressed clearly, thoroughly, and quickly. (like yours would for someone trying to avoid the path of doing their one year OTR, or someone who's maybe already bombed that and is trying to find *any* way in they can)

We're not out to make you feel stupid, there's just a general philosophy of straight answers, no horsing around.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Getting my CDL on a budget.

And the point we all are advocating is why bother having to pay anything off at all? It took me two and a half to three years to pay mine back, and it would have been more efficient to just go through Knight's (paid!) schooling. If you do your research, pick a company that's a good fit for you, and go in committed to the cause that year is going to *fly* by, then you're off free to leave or stay. No mess, no hassle.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Does having a local terminal help with home time?

Personally I've really enjoyed having a terminal close to home, but that's only useful if you plan on still maintaining some sort of life outside the truck -- a very difficult task even when experienced. If you're going to be an OTR driver though, and follow in, say, Old School's footsteps then the local terminal is just a perk-- any productive driver will have the flexibility from his company to get the truck close to home with or without a terminal.

And to note, many companies also rent space as drop yards, so you may not have full terminal amenities, but you'll have somewhere to park-- so I'd say evaluate whether or not a company is going to be a good fit for you, and make terminals lower on that priority list than, say, their *actual* home time policy. (What good is it to have a terminal up the street if your company expects you to be out 4 weeks at a time and off 4 days, for example)

Posted:  2 months ago

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Hours of Service changes

I don't know she'd be very thankful to us for sending her to that pit...

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Getting my CDL on a budget.

I'm just gonna chime in here as someone who was in a position not so dissimilar to yours three and a half years ago (almost four now) (and about your age too, it sounds like! I just turned 25): listen to these people. Find a company that will pay (and pay you) to put you through school. My $6k loan (that my parents put the down payment on) cost me nearly 8k by the time I was done and two years of headaches. I had my A class and got on with a trash company after washing out with Knight 4 months in, and they had *no* incentive to keep me because they hadn't invested in *me.*

The long and short of it: the license is worth nothing without a record to back it up, and barring very rare and risky situations (and suspicious, too! Why would a small company be so desperate to higher someone completely inexperienced? Why can't they find or keep more experienced drivers?), it's only the big companies that can afford to give you a shot without that record. Once you build it up and build it up *well* you've written your own ticket anywhere. That takes at least a year, if not two or three.

So skip the nonsense, and if you're really fed up with warehouse work, start looking at the paid training programs.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Murphy's Law for truckers.

Bingo! Denver you say? Delivering or just passing through?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trucking gadgets, GPS , Telephone headset, Music ???

The biggest issue with the other sites is you're reading reviews and complaints by people who couldn't hack it as OTR drivers-- they're usually customer service nightmares on wheels. They'll refuse loads if they're too short, going the wrong direction, an unfavorable customer... Brett did a podcast about them, we usually refer to them as terminal rats. I can't say for 100% sure but if you're willing to pay your dues OTR you can probably carve out a little niche like you want. They just don't fall off trees.

Even with all your experience this is a new industry and it just makes more sense to listen to the people who *have* made it than the ones who got fired-- and in this industry there's never really a good reason for that. Companies don't want to lose drivers if they're safe, productive, and efficient. And if they are those three things they're not going to be the sort to get fired-- the company will help with training, resources, whatever is necessary to keep you on board. Old School has carved out a very successful spot with Knight, I've done (for my personal goals, if not entirely my wallet) very well by them. We have successful members at Swift (G-Town, 6yr), CFI, CRST, Schneider, and half a dozen other companies besides.

Long story short: put the time and effort in with nearly any of these companies (where you live will have some impact on this, freight available, freight lanes, terminals, etc), but all that aside you can make a name for yourself anywhere with the right work ethic, commitment, and attitude.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trucking gadgets, GPS , Telephone headset, Music ???

Not to hijack the thread, but Dennis, if one wanted to get into working on/around/possibly piloting what sort of paths exist for that?

I'll also just reiterate what G-Town and Brett have said-- I just started a local position with my company after a year and a half OTR and the demands that get placed on A-Class drivers are incredibly difficult to convey verbally. It has to be lived, in your case at least getting through the first year is going to require every last scrap of your attention. It took all of mine, and this was my 2nd attempt to make the cut, I washed out my first time working for Knight after four months.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Switched To A Local Account

Jamie that sounds like one cushy gig o.o good luck!

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Unfortunate Route Change

Honestly I found California in general to be mildly aggravating-- but anytime you're playing in the Los Angeles Basin you'll want to tack on between 1.5 and 2x your usual time estimate to get around locations, and close to the same if you're ever in the Bay Area. Other than that... just trip plan like normal. One thing I'll give Cali is it's not short on places to park trucks.

Posted:  3 months ago

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How Many Times Do You ACTUALLY UNLOAD YOURSELF?

I follow in G-Towns footsteps. Anything that gets me off the dock quicker is a plus in my book, plus I like learning methods for efficient restacking when things like that happen.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Smallest/lightest load you have hauled?

I think my record is about 3500, hauling outdoor cushions from Amarillo, TX to the Lowes DC in Cheyenne, WY

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Congress Introduces 65 MPH Speed Limiter For Trucks

Having just escaped from California again... I think I'm in G-Town's camp here. Installing lower speed limits is a bandaid on the larger issue of people not having anywhere near the awareness necessary for true safe driving. I got cut off /more/ often while driving 55 in Cali than I did at 60. The smaller the disparity the less likely someone felt either (I imagine?) safe enough or aggravated enough by my speed to display it openly.

That being said the lower the speed limit, the slower people are willing to travel above it-- my one and only big concern with the speed limiting being placed like this is that I think it will *significantly* increase bunching and turtle races ... which are a result of unprofessional driving as opposed to the inherent speed of the vehicle. The only reason that bothers me is because it's probably the most aggravating thing I watch happen out here and it does have a *very* real effect on traffic flow.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Waiting patiently, hoping for advice.

I just want to add, as clarification, prior to my returning to Knight, I had scored a license suspension and two tickets inside of about three months (this is early 2016). I put two years in at a trash company with the goal of keeping my nose clean (I don't honestly know what prompted that employee to hire me, at this point in time those two tickets were all less than a month old), and the suspension came about six months later, give or take.

I pulled that off, and came back to Knight January of last year-- they hired me under that three year window, but I'd kept my nose *very* clean in that. Now I'm at three and a half years since anything's been added to my record. It is very doable but you can't play around with it, it is not a game out here. With your record I really think you're looking at two years clean, but imo you should set a goal of three years with *nothing,* not even a defective equipment plea or anything else of the sort. Prove to yourself and the companies you know how to buckle down. Treat that license like a family heirloom handed down six generations.

Best of luck Oz, keep your head about you and you can pull it off.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Waiting patiently, hoping for advice.

You may be stuck until at least August. Most companies have a limit of accidents you can have on your record inside three years.

But more generally... if you get/have your commercial license, and use it as your bread and butter you have *got* to protect it-- you can not, and I speak from very personal experience, afford that kind of carelessness, or you will, at best, ruin some equipment and at worst kill somebody.

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