Profile For Matt S.

Matt S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Exton, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 8 months ago

Matt S.'s Bio

Tough times are in the past. It is time to build the new road ahead.

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Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Don't Stop When You Are Tired!

If you were to put OTR Drivers on Hourly pay, Store shelves would be empty in a week and they couldn't build enough Truck Stops to warehouse all of the Drivers!

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Hourly pay would be bad!!!! I agree with that. That's why I suggest a base salary of 32K to 35K. Rewards for hard work get paid out in bonuses based on mileage pay. Bottom line is that there is no perfect pay system for truck driving. At this point, as the motoring population increases, we need a safer system.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Don't Stop When You Are Tired!

This is a strong case for doing away with the mileage pay system. Instead, a lower base salary with bonuses in mileage pay. Sure this rewards steering wheel holders but if it makes things safer, I am all for it.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Tractor Mans Tractor Assignment

Matt, I drove from Ontario CA to Phoenix yesterday, my first trip in the automatic. I NEVER want to push in a clutch pedal EVER AGAIN!!!! Work smarter not harder!smile.gif

Almost like driving a big Cadillac, huh?

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Tractor Mans Tractor Assignment

I got my Truck this morning. 2015 Freightliner w/AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION!!!!!!! YAAAAAAYYYYY. 167000 miles. Super clean, I am stoked beyond words. Im on my 30 and on the way to Phoenix. (My home terminal) Then hopefully through the house for some HOMETIME!. More later.

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Sweet!!!!! I'm a huge fan of automatics. Truck driving is challenging enough. I like one more thing to make it a little easier and safer

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

CDL Training

The fear of commitment is understandable, because in this case, it is actually fear of the unknown. Back in November of 2014, I had the same trepidation about going to Swift Academy. Yes, Swift is making a commitment on an unknown quantity but they have vastly more resources to recover from a poor investment, whereas a student could be crushed financially. I realize that life is often unfair but I feel we need to be understanding of both sides of the business transaction. Both company and student have valid fears and concerns. I don't think that the OP necessarily wants something for free because he is too lazy or weak. I cannot fault him for wanting to find the best deal possible; after all, isn't that the American way?

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

No Driving school, but successfully tested & obtained Florida CDL Class A License - What are my options for jobs/companies?

Hello Everyone!

I thank everyone for your replies! I will take all of them into consideration!

Also, if anyone has any more suggestions, I welcome them.

God Bless! Thanks again!

Western Express apparently does not require trucking school. They have a facebook post claiming that all that is necessary is a CDL A to get rolling.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Melton truck lines going full auto?

Having driven both, I am a fan of an automatic transmission, if anything, for safety reasons. Your attention is freed from shifting to being on the road.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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How many years do we have left before autonomous/computerized trucks make us all unemployed?

Unfortunately, right on cue, a fatal wreck just happened when a Tesla car, in 'Autopilot' mode, hit a tractor trailer broadside, killing the driver.

In an article from The Verge titled Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating:

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A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system activated was involved in a fatal crash, the first known fatality in a Tesla where Autopilot was active. The company revealed the crash in a blog post posted today and says it informed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the incident, which is now investigating.

The accident occurred on a divided highway in northern Florida when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither the driver — who Tesla notes is ultimately responsible for the vehicle’s actions, even with Autopilot on — nor the car noticed the big rig or the trailer "against a brightly lit sky" and brakes were not applied.

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In a blog post from Tesla Motors:

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When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. Additionally, every time that Autopilot is engaged, the car reminds the driver to “Always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.” The system also makes frequent checks to ensure that the driver's hands remain on the wheel and provides visual and audible alerts if hands-on is not detected. It then gradually slows down the car until hands-on is detected again.

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Sooooo.....autonomous trucks, anyone? How about not.

It is a bad idea. What if an entire fleet gets compromised by a hacker? Then you have the potential for multiple mass casualty incidents. Given the woeful state of network and computer security, I sure as hell hope the driver does not get replaced.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Inspectors Revive Truck Driver After He Has A Heart Attack Following Level III Inspection

I am glad the driver is still living. I guess the lesson to be taken from this is proper nutrition.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Noise

I am going to try a white noise generator to drown out the foreign sounds. Hopefully that will be the ticket. The one thing I am not looking forward to about going back to semi driving is getting used to sleeping in the truck. I'll make it happen tho

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Why was this trucker carrying a baby doll around with him?

I thought this would be a good story to share that some of you may be able to relate to. We are always getting questions asking how to deal with being away from family and kids. You have to come up with interesting ideas like this trucker did to make those times special. Check out the link for more details and pictures. Enjoy!

Take Your Doll to Work Day: Trucker Dad Babysits Doll, Takes Hilarious Pictures of Her on the Job

"What daddy's little girl wants, she gets — even if it's for her dad to babysit her doll for the day."

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Wow! What a great idea! Something to help with the psychology of loneliness and homesickness. That would be something that I would be unafraid to try. More power to the people admitting to this - it is a courageous admission.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Truck driving for the ex-IT pro

Hi RocketMan! Bringing home $500.00 a week in what is supposed to be a highly skilled, white collar field is very demoralizing. I got sick of the rat-race, the low pay, the periods of time being on call for no additional compensation, etc. I also got sick of having to deal with inferior technology forced upon me with no input whatsoever from me. Ultimately, I think you are right when it comes to IT - it is a race to the bottom. It will never be seen as an asset by the business types, always a liability. In short I wasn't being treated as a professional. That much said, getting started in trucking has not been easy at all and you could say that I am still trying - it takes a completely different way of thinking and mindset. I've always tended to over-analyze problems. I might also add that initially, you may earn less than 500.00 per week in trucking as you learn the ropes. Anyhow, here is my story:

Literally, one day I simply gave my notice to my IT employer and I got escorted out. That was in November of 2014. About a week later, I found myself at The Swift Academy in Richmond, VA. I did very well academically but failed the first test which was straight line backing and I was sent home. I really needed additional time and training because I had never even sat in a big rig, let alone driven anything larger than a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Undeterred, in December of 2014, I plunked down some savings on private schooling at Smith & Solomon in Norristown, PA. The more hands-on approach was really what I needed. After graduation in February of 2015, I had a series of health problems that prevented me from really getting started in the industry. Finally, my health began to improve enough in November of 2015 to begin driving again so I spent the past 6 months driving a class B vehicle, a bus. I've done well at it and I had been looking longingly at the big rigs. Well, 2 weeks ago I called up Western Express and I leave for orientation on Tuesday. The recruiter was really friendly and understanding when I laid it all out to her. She said, "I want to make a home for you at Western." I'll be happily going in as a student and looking forward to the words of wisdom from my mentor.

I recommend trying company-sponsored schooling first. Swift's program at Richmond really is top notch if you are the type of learner that tends to get things fairly quickly. If you're like me and need more time and training, then you can look into private schooling. I wish you the best, man!

Posted:  4 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

Is it a bad time to break into Trucking?

What concerns me is that shippers do not want to pay trucking companies enough money for them to make a reasonable profit. Also, a critical shortage of drivers puts upward pressure on salaries further cutting into profits. Trucking companies are caught between a rock and a hard place. This is all leading towards pressure to automate. Having automation for an aircraft is one thing but a whole different animal for a terrestrial vehicle.

I for one do not want to see self-driving trucks, especially given that computer systems are woefully insecure. Self-driving trucks are all well and good until there is a failure of the on-board computer or the on-board computer gets compromised - then you have a 40+ ton lethal weapon. Imagine a cyber-terrorist attack where an entire fleet's computer systems get compromised, then you have the potential for a serious mass-casualty incident.

Something needs to give and the only way to force prices to rise is really to reduce capacity.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Was in a bad place/Now I am doing better

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I used to live in Exton from 1985 to 2002. We're you driving for Krapf?

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I am just North of Exton in Chester Springs.

The world gets even smaller. I live on Marchwood Rd just off of Route 100.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Fair pay?

Is .13 CPM fair or legal? (Should have read the small text closer) Are there companies that will buy out contracts? Other than the deserved 2x4 over the head, I could really benefit from any advice? Thank you in advance.

wtf.gif That is really awful pay. Does the contract have an exit clause?

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Was in a bad place/Now I am doing better

I used to live in Exton from 1985 to 2002. We're you driving for Krapf?

Yes, I am driving for Krapf. Excellent guess! My last day is this Wednesday. Overall, I had a good experience with them.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Was in a bad place/Now I am doing better

Best of luck Matt.

Small world, I live in Exton, PA.

Posted:  5 years ago

View Topic:

Was in a bad place/Now I am doing better

It's been a while since I have been on this forum. The last time I was on here I was running with TransAm Trucking but had to leave due to some personal issues. I had been suffering from depression and my head was not in the game so I responsibly returned the truck to TransAm and resigned in July of 2015. If my head was not going to be in the game, I knew that I would be a liability so I hung it up. Suffice it to say that I was in a really dark time in my life. Back in November of last year, I was finally ready to begin driving again but I figured I would wade in slowly. I got hired by a bus company so I got my Passenger Endorsement and have driven a bus since. I really love driving, passengers not so much. rofl-2.gif I have been accident and citation free, I have never even triggered the bus' DriveCam system.

It's been a year since I have been behind the wheel of a big rig and I found myself looking longingly at the 18 wheelers that pass me by. I decided to give Western Express a call after chatting with a driver or two while fueling up at a truck stop. I was honest and told them about my history. Unphased, they told me to call up recruiting and that they think I will really like it. One even told me that it is a company that gives second chances to drivers who would be otherwise overlooked and that he was grateful for Western giving him another shot. To me, that sounds like a good company to work for. I called the recruiter and we talked, again I was honest, and she was really understanding. She ran my MVR and said that because I haven't driven a semi in a year, I would need to go out with a mentor for two weeks and I just about danced with joy. She probably expected this to be the end of our conversation. I really don't want to be thrown out into the thick of things without a refresher so I'm actually looking forward to the training period.

I got my initial start a year and a half ago with a lot of credit due to Trucking Truth and the HRT. I am hoping now that I am in a better place that this time I will succeed. Please wish me luck and feel free to offer any advice or council.

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