Profile For George A.

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    8 years, 9 months ago

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Posted:  7 years, 1 month ago

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CDL schools with on-site driving tests

Nevada Truck Driving school in Reno Nevada is a good one...I went there....friendly folks and very helpful and took my CDL driving test there.......Still had to go to DMV for the written ....which is done on a computer.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Flatbed really interests me but is it a bad idea for a greenhorn?

You judge my experience and how they operate as a rant? Based on what? Me telling you how they operated? Did I not just say they trained me well and that they are a good option to be trained? I work for a small company because of other factors I did not bring up. Which btw is a corporation. I will in the near future, with more driving time/experience be working for a larger corporation that has a different "corporate" approach. Be safe out there, driver.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Flatbed really interests me but is it a bad idea for a greenhorn?

BTW TMC is a good company ..........They will train you well.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Flatbed really interests me but is it a bad idea for a greenhorn?

Lol.....Really not cut out/meant for it?? lol Out of a fleet of over 1200 flatbedders I never ranked lower than 128th.....and usually hit it around 25-35. My average mileage a day is anywhere in the upper fives to the lower 700.....(My truck is unrestricted) I have already driven over 120,000 miles in less than a year. Also the old company blows up my phone weekly asking me to return. I try and be honest with my reply and tell it like it is.....if I did not enjoy what I do, I would be doing something else. I chose to leave the "company" culture that was prevalent there. I also talk with many of my fellow flatbedders in other large companies as well as gypo's (A logger's term) The other large companies have a 6 month retention rate around the same 2%. I did ask a few that were in the position to know how they could afford to train 15-30 drivers every week, paying for their hotel, food etc. and have such losses. Guess what, they get federal funds that pays for that. It cost them very little and that is their approach. Don't tell new drivers that they also hire dispatchers that have never been in a truck before and would not know a Volvo from a Western Star. When you tell them you cannot drive a 180 miles in 2 hours for a pick up and they get insulted and insist you try.....all because they forget to send you the reload info on time. Or they send you across the border to pick up a load and then when you try and reenter you find that the green dispatcher "forgot" to file any paperwork and now you are stuck in upper Detroit with customs, begging for the use of fax machines and having to go through x-raying the truck, visual inspection of a tarped load, the wasting of 7 hours of my "time" because of a company that cares. Now these are not life enders nor do I lose sleep over it but this is what happens. That is the reality. Here is one....it is midnight, raining I finish strapping and tarping a load, 3 tarp, 53' bed 8 foot off the deck. A driver (different company) comes up to me and asks how to strap and tarp this type of load because he had only a brief introduction to it in his orientation. So yes, I did help and teach him and encourage him telling him this is probably one of the worst loads you can start as a new driver with. I know because this type of load was my very first one.

The photo is realistic and THAT is why I pointed it out.....but the weather does not bother me .......it seems to bother others...Tomorrow when I unload my copper...in the blowing, wet snow...I will have a smile on my face..... Not resilient? Really? That has brought a huge smile to my face. Learning how to adjust your brakes, use safe practices and taking care of oneself is not only prudent but it is necessary for a driver. I want my rig to stop when I need it. I need working lights on my truck. I want to stay healthy so I can work, I want decent equipment and pointing out the super "slicks" as a hazard is not a complaint and anyone who has driven on them knows that they are a different animal and not nearly as safe as duals. Having health insurance is a a good hedge against life interrupters. And learning how DOT works does not have to be done by having your wallet emptied. But go ahead, tell these folks that a "company" will put your interest before theirs.

Now unlike a lot of drivers I never have driven a box or reefer......is it easier? That I cannot tell you ....but I do know how to drive a flatbed and have never been late or had a load rejected.

The gentleman who wrote the initial inquiry seems like a realistic sort of fellow. And if he wants to try his hand at flatbedding, well great......He can do it! I know because at 58 years of age I can do it. I will be on the road and when someone asks my help to unfreeze their trailer brakes or needs a tug start.....yea....I do that.....But I will not lie to someone nor will I play favorites. I leave that to the "corporate" types.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Flatbed really interests me but is it a bad idea for a greenhorn?

One more thing....look at Old School's picture, you will have days like these......

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Flatbed really interests me but is it a bad idea for a greenhorn?

Well now.....I am a flatbed driver and am nearing my one year mark. I started with one of the flatbed companies, Melton, and they did a good job in teaching me the basics.......but after six months I parted ways.........Realize that all flatbed companies that hire greenhorns and experienced drivers have an approximately 2% retention rate after six months. This applies to drivers with experience and newly minted CDL holders. TMC, Melton, and the others all run their programs from the same playbook. The pay is generally around .41 cents to start and goes up from there.....They offer insurance, retirement and other benefits. Currently I work for a small company (2 trucks) and have no benefits from them but I get 35% of the rate. I belong to TVC Pro Driver Inc......they will insure you for $49 dollars a month which includes your spouse......not too shabby for the "bronze" package, other insurance companies wanted close to $800 a month...ouch! They also will fight your tickets and scale violations unlike your parent company. They have other benefits you can check it out on your own........I am not selling them I am just telling you what I did so that I could afford health insurance....as mandated by the government..........You need to protect yourself because sure a shiat your parent company will gladly sacrifice you for themselves.......If I worked at a large company I would take their insurance as well as TVC....just my two cents.

The work can be difficult, and the learning curve steep...I have found that when I got into trouble that other flatbed drivers were willing to help....including the remarks...lol.....ok not all will, but most will, if you have the spirit of helping others then it will demonstrate what trucking is all about.

What I wish I had when I started:...my own truck GPS, (Qualcomms not always good plus a back up is nice when stuff goes wrong), a smart phone with blue tooth headset, A back up light for my cab.......why you may ask?....well when you are backing up into a dark bay with an inch of clearance on either side...and you cannot see ....,....the sun is shining in you eyes .....it is truly blind backing and I have seen drivers come in crooked and pop tires and what not......absolutely stupid when companies pay lip service to safety and will not equip a truck with a cab back up light....Yes, you will learn how to do it but every time is an adventure one can live without. Learn how to adjust your own brakes...it is easy and if you do it right your trailer brakes engage before your drives and your steers engage last....very safe that way........, You will have to buy your own spare fuses, bulbs and minor tools.......but in a pinch it beats sitting on the road for 3 hours waiting for someone to come along and get you going....plus the safety thing once again rears its head. BTW, if your headlamp goes out while you are driving and you do not stop and replace it, you can and will be stopped and ticketed even tho you were going to change it out at the next load check......DOT are not your friends.......a technique I have used it to drive with my hazards on until I could get to a place to do a change out. Flashlights, bring 3 or four of them.....they go bad easy, multiple pairs of gloves, coveralls, other things you will choose as you progress...........Another thing I would definitely consider in choosing a company is this....truck companies have come out with, in my opinion the most unsafe feature.....It is called a super single tire.......so instead of duals on the drives they use a single tire.......when the tire blow you damage the rim and tire.......the handling quality suffers. In wet, slick weather they are the worst...Duals are much safer and easier to control if you blow a tire....and yes you will blow a tire.....

If you like driving and working on a load...each one is different you will enjoy flatbed.....but be careful...do not hurry and hurt you back or shoulders etc........play safe and you will have a great adventure.....I know I have......

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Unions ...... Good or bad??

As a last aside...it is cheaper for the big companies to have the revolving door of hires than it is to pay appropriately. They hire only the finest bean counters in the land .....they follow the profit.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Can you say obamacare?

I would say thank you but unfortunately......I have not had a chance to use your "help". Actually I am very happy that I do not need a doc.....but I do need coverage or Uncle Sammy will "penalize" me

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Unions ...... Good or bad??

Ok the Pedro and Jose comment were out of ......there...

Teams are continuing to be pushed........I told a company I would not do teams.....they are not interested in solo drivers, although their "employment" ad stated different.

I would love to make the equivalent wages that were in the 70's. "Blue collar" workers like plumbers and electricians seemed to have progressed. I hear the oft quoted shortage of drivers.......Actually according to the law of supply and demand......drivers should be making more not less. The reason why companies hire all the time is because the majority of drivers get tired of the companies low wages, benefits and are treated like .....well treated poorly. Myself, I left to drive for a smaller two truck company because that owner is interested in how the truck is running, how I am doing and what can he do to make things work. At this company I am much happier than I was before. Less stress and someone has my back! I have no plans for changing.

There are a few companies that are not hiring.....gee I wonder why? They pay above average, the drivers are generally pretty happy with the company.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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I made a choice

Best of luck to you!

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