Profile For George A.

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    3 years, 11 months ago

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Posted:  2 years, 4 months 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:  2 years, 9 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:  2 years, 9 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:  2 years, 9 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:  2 years, 9 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:  2 years, 9 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:  3 years, 1 month 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:  3 years, 1 month 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:  3 years, 1 month 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:  3 years, 1 month ago

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I made a choice

Best of luck to you!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Can you say obamacare?

Prior to posting this I did a short search for insurance information and while there was some good stuff I was not able to find what I needed:

I work as a 1099 driver and make say around 55 grand a year...I need to find insurance...mandated......if anyone knows of a CHEAP insurance premium....or a source to research I would love to hear.......

Thanks

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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What do you collect OTR as souvenirs?

I collect bugs....lots of bugs....the grill gets the best ones....of course....then at truck stops I have to compete with the birds that like to pick the good ones out while I am finding a place to park!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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

I wish we had unions....at least when I went to the home terminal and look at a 14 million dollar bs building where the only topic of concern is fat free salad dressing......I see were the money is being taken from the actual drivers who pay for that ego structure. Do not get me started on the companies corporate jet......

I would like a decent wage.....like was said earlier ......decent retirement and decent health care and working conditions....... Right now the trend is team driving....oh and guess what....companies are looking to the south to bring teams that are happy to work splitting 25c per mile.......... So yea....think you are gonna compete with Pedro and Jose????? Sure you are........

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Some observations 7 months in.....

That is very nice to hear about your interactions as a female driver.......glad to know we are not all beasts!!!... dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Crst expedited get OUT

CRST is in the middle of class action lawsuit about sexual harassment and their total lack of appropriate response to female drivers complaints. This is currently in the public domain...and a simple google search will show the latest articles on this particular company, the law suit and the complaints behind this. If she feels unsafe she needs to file a report with the company....and the police department.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Some observations 7 months in.....

Ok as things are slowly getting to be routine in the flatbed world a couple of things emerge........

One is that there are fewer lot lizards than I was led to believe...I talked to one in 7 months....one....lol

Two........IDK what type of problems women drivers encounter with the profession ...but I am thinking it cannot be all positive...although I have personally not seen any issues.....However at a stop in Salt Lake City I encountered a lady in the drivers lounge...she stood a little closer than I usually like.....I am a private person....so I left to go back to my truck........about a half hour later, who comes waltzing by.......very uncomfortable now....then...she comes up to my truck and asks to speak.......here it comes.....I am thinking.....Anyway....I roll done the window and she said please talk to me I am a truck driver not a prostitute....and I drive a tractor that is the same make...I am having trouble with it.....she pointed to her tractor and so I agreed to go take a look....a short while later I got her inverter working and then she told me she shuttles new tractor to their owners....pretty great gig....but it got me thi nking......wow ......she does not get just to chat much do to the perceived ideas..........Then a couple of months later then I saw a lady getting out of her truck....so I though I would just say hi as I was walking by......oh hell no......she did everything to avoid any interaction........lol.....I honestly do not know how to react...I guess I will not say anything unless first approached.......

Three......what is common is the folks that cruise thru the truck stops.......asking for money because their car is outta gas or some such story....I guess drivers are a soft touch 'cause I get hit up every few stops......but since I am a meanie ...I just tell them ...my company only gives me a card...they will not let me carry cash....works great....every time!!! Now if they were starving or truly in distress that might ...might be one thing....but these folks are fat, healthy, and not struggling in their lives........and their car seems to always have fuel...they never want to drive to the pump and have me fill it......lol.....

alrighty then........back to the road and load......

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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6 months in..........ok ....when does the fun start?

I heard of drivers accruing in excess of 70 days.......The spouses travel with them...so.......I guess it just what works for them.........Most take off 3 days at a time.......

btw on a side note....I have lost 15lbs........lol....so I have that going for me......

Right now I am working for Melton......but I always look at the other types of trucks and companies that are on the road with me ....always wondering........

Is the grass greener on the other side.....lol

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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6 months in..........ok ....when does the fun start?

Well now....it has been about 6 months since starting on this adventure called flatbedding!........ There is of course a large learning curve and being flexible is a plus. Now I am pretty stubborn which also is a plus......... I am running over 2k miles a week, I accrue a day off for every week on the road. So far I have not taken any days off but hey....I am older, single and onery! Plus I am saving up for a nice trip to South East Asia for my reward!

No injuries or illnesses so far....:D Yay! Truck had to be put in the shop, and it took a few days to fix it but the company put me up at a hotel...so that was nice plus they do give a daily bone so that we do not go entirely without an income....certainly not what I earn while the hub is turning.

Every load is different......every securement is different so if you like puzzles and sweating then maybe flatbedding is for you!

I have been to most states and enjoy the changing seasons and scenery...yes I keep my eyes on the road and hands on the wheel!

I have seen a few accidents, after they happened ...but not as many as I originally thought I would see......which is nice....a few vehicle fires........marshmallows anyone??

Overall things are getting easier as I learn and of course I am relaxing more and getting more done in less time.

Fun...? Why yes! At times it is great and other times well......that passes ...... So hang in their guys and gals.........you can do it!!!!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Carrying a Weapon in a CMV

Why not Zoidberg????

Wasp spray hits small spots (eyes) to 20 feet plus, cheap, legal in all 50 states and who honestly can question wasps being a tad bit nasty?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbed clothing

Was just at a terminal talking to an older trucker who had a shirt in great condition from 1985. He has been with his company for well over one million miles. He always said that people commented on how clean and neat he looked when picking up or delivering a load. He told me his success was wearing a short sleeve coveralls in the summer and long sleeve in the winter. He wears little underneath...changes when arrives and changes when leaves...never wears his regular clothes. I will say he is a sharp dresser....not in the coveralls but regular like. Also he buys his coveralls at the thrift shop..... Personally if I dress too heavily I sweat like crazy....so I wear very little, just enough to be safe...in the cab while running it is shorts and slippers and a tank........comfort is paramount....My feet get hot easily and sweat too much to wear shoes for too long. I lose lots of boots and tennis shoes to the buildup of funk so bad that flies die at 50 yards.

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