Comments By Max E.

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  • Max E.
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  • 9 years, 9 months ago
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Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Leasing A Truck: My Journey

So.. for those of you interested in these type of threads this is a thread from a web site that shouldn't be named. I don't really like the truckers report site. but this thread was pretty good. Its about a guy who goes from company driver to a true independent. He has a lot of good numbers and explains everything very well.

I will honestly probably never be an O/O.. just not me. But I still like to read about the business side of things. Its a long thread took me like 2 weeks to read through it. Anyways here you go.

DY thread on truckers report

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Becoming a owner op?

Hahaha you are on the wrong forum to get info about buying your truck. Most of us here are against that idea. There are some on this forum. A majority of us (including myself) are against that idea.

Best of luck to you though.. its a lot to become an O/O. not only a lot on yourself but a lot on your pocket book.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Wifi for the truck

Be careful with Verizon.. They don't cap you and won't slow your speed down but after your allowed data is run out the overage chargers add up fast.. I want to say it was like 15 bucks a gig. And you can easily go threw a gig in 2 days. When I was running the oil fields my plan was the biggest they had at 15 gigs a month.. I would use around 20 a month but for me it was a cost of business and in my opinion Verizon had the best 4g coverage. So I was fine with the extra 50 bucks a month to pay for good coverage.

Now if you want to run Netflix or other video providers you could EASILY be up at 40-50 gigs a month. Never did the satellite internet hook up so I'm no help there.. I read for most of my entertainment. It was actually super nice.. got to read a lot of books I have been wanting to read for years but never got around to. I had the kindle paper white, paid the extra 20 bucks up front to be able to download books without a WiFi hook up. It was awesome.

But I still used around 15-20 gigs a month for what I would consider normal use.. (Email, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, news articles, and very limited video use.)

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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My first run-in with the HOS brick wall

At my previous job we ran paper logs.. I like Brett don't think I had a day where I didn't have to "adjust" my log book. If you do get paper logs.. always use the loose paper logs and a 2/3 ring binder. Makes it easy to remove a page and make a new one.. also make sure you only ever keep 8 days worth of logs. That's all you legally have to hold in your truck. If you get pulled over and DOT finds logs from 3 months ago.. it's free game.

ANYWAYS onto my new point I like Brett also like smaller breaks during the day. Which is why I HATE the 30 minute break with a passion. I like to be able to pull over to a rest area every 2-3 hours for 5 or 10 minutes then hop back in and be on my way. But due to the 30 minute rule this don't work. I still had usually had 30 minutes worth of breaks in 8 hours but its never at 1 time so it don't count. So it makes me push it to drive 6+ hours at once so I don't waste my clock since I am on E logs now. As nice as it is to not have to drive lines anymore.. I miss my paper logs sometimes. Hahaha

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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The new Rand McNally Tablet

So the real time traffic update is a subscription plan?

I hate that. I don't know if they have to pay google to obtain this info.. (I like Brett assume they get it from them). But I just hate how they would charge you for it. This is me personally.. A business is allowed to do what they want. So ill just have to deal with it.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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SWIFT TRAINING NOT SO SWIFT

Most CDL schools both Private and Company's goal is to get you your CDL. Most of the real training doesn't began until you hit the road.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Experinced driver?

Maybe I should learn how to spell experienced driver before I declare myself one.. My bad.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Experinced driver?

So.. I have been a class A CDL driver for over a year now. So I decided to change my "rookie driver" status on my profile. I feel like there should be another option. Since I don't feel Experienced. I feel like I have so much left to learn. Which is a good thing I guess. You can never know it all.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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SWIFT TRAINING NOT SO SWIFT

Drivers that I know personally mentioned how unskilled they have witnessed SWIFT drivers to be. My jaw dropped when the pictures were pointed out to me. I've been talking a lot with other drivers to find which company would have the best training. So far Roehl is in 1st place for a 48 year old single grandma.

Ones again.. going back to the numbers if Swift has 10,000 trucks on the road at any given time and a lot of them being new drivers you will see them do some not so smart things. Its just how it is.

Go to whatever Company works best for you. But as someone who has been on the road for a bit trust me bad drivers are not limited to Swift. Ive seen several owner-operators who a lot of people consider "Cream of the crop" do some stupid things that put a lot of people in danger. Not only that I've seen drivers of Roehl, Prime, Knight, Stevens, or any other company do stupid things.

What I'm trying to say is don't limit the terms of your search to what you see on YouTube or the opinions of "super truckers." A lot of people on this form picked Swift to go to and they licked their pick. I've also meet several great and professional drivers who either drive for Swift, or got their start at swift.

Pick what ever company works best for YOU and only you. You can find bad things about any company. Especially one that hires brand new drivers. The driver is the one holding the wheel and controlling the pedals. Not Swift.

Best of luck in your search! Let us know if we can help you out in anyway!

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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SWIFT TRAINING NOT SO SWIFT

Swift has around 15,000 trucks.. so at any one time they could have what? 8,000-10,000 trucks on the road? They are bound to get into a bad accident.. or several. Its just the law of averages. Rather you go to Swift training or anywhere else you are the one responsible for your truck. Not them.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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I quit the pot, and I want to drive trucks.

At least your willing to quit. I just had a conversation with one of my friends this last weekend about him wanting to get a CDL.. after telling him about the drug testing procedures CDL drivers have to go through with not only Pre-employment but being subjected to random tests he decided he's not ready to give up weed so he will stay at his minimum wage dead end job at Walmart. Made me so mad.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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The myth of having to go OTR!

I talked about this in one of my previous threads CDL.. one year latter .

Can you find a local gig right out of school or with little experience? Yes you can. But take it from me I am not in an ideal job situation for me because of my choices over the first year of having my CDL. To sum it up I had close to 8 months tractor trailer experience in the oil fields, got laid off then while trying to find a local gig I submitted close to 30 applications/resumes before I even got a call back. Even though being in the oil fields taught me to quickly hold my own as a driver companies or insurance didn't want to recognize my experience. I also live in Phoenix, Arizona.. so lack of trucking jobs/freight was not the problem. Now I'm stuck in a non ideal situation gearing up to go OTR this fall/winter to get that experience.

Do you have to go OTR? No. I wouldn't go as far to call it a "Myth." If you pay your dues it will be a lot easier down the road to find that ideal situation. That's what they are getting at. I wish I would have done it a year ago instead of starting my OTR after almost 18 months of having a CDL.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Post your best truck driver safety habits here:

One thing that was beaten into my head in trucking school is always check the release lever that controls the locking jaw around the Shank. Leave your truck for 3 minutes to run in and use the bathroom at a truck stop or rest area? Check it before you jump back in and take off. All it takes is that other driver you may have accidentally cut off pulling into that truck stop to decide to "teach you a lesson" by pulling your lever then next thing you know you have a 60,000 pound trailer fall to the pavement and you are at fault.

I check it anytime I'm away from my truck or been in my sleeper. It saved me one time. 3 weeks into driving I come out and check my lever and someone had pulled it. How terrible would that have been as a brand new driver having to call my boss saying I dropped a trailer? My first truck the lever was on the passenger side to for whatever reason.. it was incredibly annoying but I still checked it. Every dang time. A small thing really.. but it should be done. I can honestly say I have only ever seen one driver do this.. something so simple can save you from a terrible head ache later on.

I also like other people have said have on unhealthy obsession with checking my tires. Almost every time I stop I find myself walking around and checking them. Don't know why.. I just do. Gets me to walk more I guess instead of sitting in my truck for my 30 minute break.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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What Would A Pro Driver Do?

When I was working the oil fields in Pennsylvania it required us to take a lot of back country roads/highways. One of the hardest things about this job was when there was a new well site we had to try and find it. Forget GPS (for the most part) because these things were in the backwoods. Well I got a load for a brand new well site went to the staging area which was about 2 miles away from the well. It was like 2am so it was pitch black outside which makes it harder. The roads were not labeled at all and I missed my turn off. Well.. 53 miles later I found a spot to turn around.

That's one of the hardest things about this job. You can't just make a u turn where ever like a 4 wheeler. It took me 53 MILES to find a spot to turn around. There were some spots before that where I thought I could turn around. I would start to turn around then realize it was to small of an area to turn around instead of forcing it and destroying my truck or a pole or whatever I just pulled out and kept going down that tiny highway or state road. Whatever it was. Until I found a spot 53 miles later.

Moral of the story.. better to be late then sorry. Use the tools you have like GPS. Google maps, and your map book. Try to scout it out before using Google maps so you have an idea. There are plenty of YouTube videos showing a big rig turning around and destroying their truck or something else. Don't be that guy.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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CDL.. one year later.

Well I am 3 days short of having my class A CDL for an entire year! So I thought id post some of my thoughts on the first year and some thing's I may have done differently.

First off I love the fact I got this license. Even if I don't end up becoming a "career truck driver" I have something to "fall back" on. For example 5 years from now I decide to do something else. 5 years after that I get laid off, fired, or am out of employment for whatever reason I have a CDL to go back to. They will always need drivers. So I will still be able to find an income somewhere to support me, or if fate has it by then a family.

I have had a good journey since truck driving school.. but a quick refresher I took off for the oil fields for the "big money", Got laid off after 7-8 months, now I'm driving locally and hopefully will start doing transfer driving for this same company which would be runs to LA or El Paso from Phoenix.

Now.. what I would have done differently. I wish I would have done OTR work for AT LEAST 6 months but preferably that year. Why you may ask when I was making that big money in the oil fields? Well.. experience. After I got laid off I had a rough time finding local work. I probably submitted 25ish applications/resumes to different companies before I found someone that would hire me. Companies, More insurance then the individual company, didn't want to accept my experience in the oil fields. I don't know why that is or if I just was applying to the wrong companies but it wasn't "True OTR" I guess. Combine this with a ticket I received while in ND it was hard to find a company. Plus the OTR lifestyle is a draw for me. I wish I would have done it. I probably will end up going OTR this fall/Winter but now I face having to possibly go through a training program even though I'll have 18 months experience. I am currently in search of a company that has a "reduced training program" or something. Right now I'm leaning towards Watkins Shepard trucking. Anyways, I wish I would have taken the advice of people on this forum and paid my dues on the open road.. cause it has handicapped me now.

Another thing.. as you can see according to my mini bio on the left I have been a member for over 2 years but have only had my class A for one year. That is because 2 years ago I was seriously considering truck driving but then I let the opinions of family/friends get to me. To sum it up if someone my age wants to truck drive most people think that you are just "giving up on life." So I let their opinions get to me and influence me to "stay in school" and so on. Well honestly I was not happy. I hated school, I hated my situation in life and I knew that truck driving would be a much needed change. Like many of you, I have always felt a desire to drive a truck. I needed that change 2 years ago to make me happy, I didn't listen to that urge and spent another year and stayed in the same rut I was in. I finally did it though.. and I am in a much better situation regarding personal happiness than one year ago. I wish I would have started when I fist felt that urge.

This is just a couple of things.. don't want to make this post to long. I may add to this later on.

Hopefully this helps someone who is considering truck driving.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Naive?

For me when picking a truck driving school you want to make sure they have connections with trucking companies or some sort of Job Placement program. Make sure Companies like your Werner, May, Roehl, Western, JBS, and others are willing to hire you out of school.

Truck driving Schools job is to get you a CDL. Nothing much more then that. Those pre hire letters are important because you want a company that will say "Yes once you graduate from this school I will hire you."

So if a truck driving school is able to get you some of these Pre-hire letters and their students seem relatively happy with their pick in a school then I wouldn't worry to much about it. Even if he calls a DAC report a DAX report.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Naive?

And there is no such thing as a DAX report in trucking.. pretty sure that's the German stock exchange. It is defiantly the DAC report he is referring to.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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Naive?

It sounds like your asking if its bad to get to many Pre-hire letters? If this is correct I have never heard of this to be a problem. Maybe someone with more experience can answer this.. but to me you want to get as many pre-hire letters as possible because it provides you with options. It could be the recruiter telling you this so you won't apply somewhere else and pick a different company? Beats me.

I got 5 pre hire letters before trucking school.. (Didn't end up going with any of them because an opportunity in the oil fields presented its self to me.) So getting to many pre hire letters is not an issue. Almost everything I have read you want to get multiple pre hire letters.

Don't worry about it.

Good luck to you!

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

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No APU/No inverters

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Actually I'd like to bring some weights with me as well to stay fit.

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Instead of weights, maybe try a set of these Bodylastics Resistance Bands . They'll weigh a helluva lot less and my set fits into a small case in a duffle bag under my clothes. Very lightweight and effective.

Not to mention.. If something goes wrong while your driving the last thing you want is a pair of 25-50 pound dumbbells flying around the cab. The Resistance bands are the way to go. They can provide you with good strength training.. grab yourself a little yoga mat or something so you can do pushups or sit-ups. You can get a lot of strength training without weights. Ive seen flatbed guys do pull ups on the side of their trailer.

Its hard. But it can be done.

Posted:  7 years, 8 months ago

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How do I keep clean while on the road?

You get credit at truck stops for showers by fueling and buying other things.. typically 50 gallons gets you a free shower (Not hard to get to 50 gallons.. you easy burn threw that in a day if you are running hard.) So you should not really have to worry about paying for a shower. The Showers at most major truck stops are pretty clean to. They want your business.. dirty showers is a real fast way to lose business.

As far as brushing your teeth etc.. I usually brush my teeth next to the catwalk. I'll wake up run into the truck stop go to the bathroom buy anything I may need. (Avoid buying stuff at truck stops if you can.. prices are way high.) after that ill go out to my truck grab my tooth brush a bottle of water walk out in between my truck and trailer and brush my teeth. I don't really like doing it in the public bathroom. Just me.

As far as eating healthy.. it can be done but does require work. It is a lot easier to buy that burger and fries at the truck stop. Eating healthy requires you to go out of your way to buy fruit/vegetables and other things. Some Walmart or other stores will allow you to park your truck there but not many. Most of the times it requires you to walk to a store away from the truck stop. Its work.. especially when you have been going for 14 hours already that day and have to be up at 3am to make your delivery. But it can be done.

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