Comments By Keith A.

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  • Keith A.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 4 months ago
  • Comments:
  • 261

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Posted:  5 months, 1 week 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:  5 months, 1 week ago

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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:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Murphy's Law for truckers.

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

Posted:  5 months, 4 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:  5 months, 4 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:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Switched To A Local Account

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

Posted:  6 months, 1 week 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:  6 months, 1 week 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:  6 months, 3 weeks 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:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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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:  6 months, 3 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:  6 months, 3 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.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Career advice/direction

Thanks Old School, and thanks Turtle. :D

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Game: What Excites You Now That You Drive?

I always find the act and process of accelerating to speed onto the highway super satisfying.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Career advice/direction

I also have to say that part of being offered that local is thanks to this forum-- I've tried to make myself very valuable and productive and without the information and advice here I don't know if I would have been half as likely to get this spot the way I did.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Career advice/direction

So! A true update! I had gotten a job offer from a trash company, called my terminal manager to give him my two weeks... and got offered a local position that another driver had just quit and vacated. So now I'll be starting that when I return home from this OTR run, and I'll look at starting to take classes this fall or spring.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Congress Introduces 65 MPH Speed Limiter For Trucks

"The trucking industry says limiting truck speeds to 65 would create dangerous speed differentials with faster-traveling cars."

... then why are some of the big companies already limited there?

I'm honestly not a fan of this idea though, I (and we) have probably all seen what happens when trucks get into ****ing matches over speed, and that's bad enough when they're only racing each other, not including the fifteen other trucks that just escaped a lane closure in a work zone.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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52 and getting back into a truck.

I don't have as many years around as you do Rich but I just really want to second what Brett said. Anything you do at home *has* to and will play second fiddle to driving OTR. I had started an organization that fizzled out in part because I started driving for Knight and no one else picked up the slack at home. (which, by the by, I can recommend Knight as (imo) a decent company to go work for.)

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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First Beer Load

I prefer placing them on the front myself because then there's no for the corner to slip out and the shield falling into that triangular space between the straps and the pallets. If you place it front side it's secured by the entire length of the strap across it's width instead of just the corner.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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First Beer Load

Ahahaha yep that should do the trick.

If they have the pallets against each wall is when you need the load bars instead of straps.

Those black plastic shields can also be placed on the front of the pallets, I don't know off the top of my head if they prefer them a certain way, but the important thing is that the corners of the pallets are covered so that the straps don't crumple the boxes

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