Profile For James P.

James P.'s Info

  • Location:
    GA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 6 months ago

James P.'s Bio

Male; 35; Single;

Obtained my CDL thru Central Refrigerated in 2012. I drove for them for about 3 months before leasing, which I never should've done. I was an O/O with Central for about 4 months before inexperience, and unpreparedness got the best of me. I got off the road for about 1 year and 2 months. I then went to drive for Southern Refrigerated Transport (SRT) in 2014. I wish I had known about this site before I started with them. I drove for SRT for about 4 months before I had enough (now I know things that I should've done differently to have had a better experience). I have near about 10 to 11 months OTR experience total. Currently employed driving a hotel desk at night. I'm thinking about returning to trucking. Doing better homework this time before going back on the road.

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Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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On my own again

I've a couple of runs in Wa and OR. I just delivered in CA. I now sit in CA waiting on breakdown since a airbreak chamber sprung a leak on my way to my next pick up. I hope to be home next weekend for some much needed home time.

I'd say so far I'm pretty satisfied with Decker, and I'd highly recommend them for anyone coming out of school, or that already has time in the seat.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Charitable donation of trucking services?

Let us know if they allow it, or not.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Truck Stop Parking Fail

Yikes...

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Jim Palmer Trucking based in Montana

Gerard A,

I agree with you that this company does really look like an amazing company and yes I was drooling over the brand new equipment. Personally I'm hoping to get the Peterbilt 579 since from what I can see it looks like the sleeper cabin on it is a bit larger and the mattress looks bigger. Anyone out there that knows if this is true or not please let me know? I'm a big and tall guy at 6'4 so larger sleeper cabin is very important to me, as is also a thicker more sturdy mattress that would better hold mh weight since a good night's sleep makes me a safe driver.

I currently drive a 2014 579 for Decker Truck Lines. It's like an in between the 386 and the 586. So I'd say it's slightly roomier than a 386, but less so than the 586.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Ghetto shut down locations

Passing by, the TA looked full. Honestly I didn't think it would be that much better. On the up side though, I've seen a security truck pass through a few times.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Ghetto shut down locations

Sapp Bros in Denver, CO. I-70 exit 278. There is a xxx shop between the truck stop, and the parking lot. There is also a massage parlor in the back of their tire shop that is plainly visible if you walk around back, or are parked near it (like I am tonight).

I figured I made bad decision trying to get as close to my shipper as I could, but I didn't have time to relocate. I only had 8 hours and 20 minutes of my 70 left for the day, and Walmart in Cheyenne ate up 4.5 of it. By the time I got here I only had an hour left.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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On my own again

I just got issued my own truck Friday after after being on the road with a mentor for 3 weeks.

I wasn't as rusty as I thought since I didn't leave the transmission on the side of the road, but we didn't have any tough backs except for a place in NJ which my mentor handled since I not comfortable in the NE anymore.

My first load has taken me from IA to OR. I deliver in the morning. The rest of the day is for some much needed rest.

Keep the shiney side up.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Training time

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Get out and start your pre trip before you start your clock, that way if you find a major problem that requires repairs, you wont burn up your clock for the day waiting on repairs. Plus you wont be rushing through to get rolling.

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That right there is a very good tip. This is always the way I do it. I learned this as a rookie one day when I put my clock on duty and then started my pre-trip only to discover that I had a nail in a steer tire and it had leaked down about half way through the night as I slept. I wasn't about to drive on the highway with that thing in there and when I called break down it turned out that I was in an area where there just wasn't hardly anybody nearby with a service truck to come out and take care of my tire issue. I ended up waiting almost three hours before they showed up, and I had burned up that time on my clock when I was doing nothing but resting and waiting on a service truck. Technically if that would have happened while I was on the road and I had to wait for repairs I should be on duty, but since I was just starting my day I could have left myself off duty util they got me fixed up and ready to go, and then I could have completed my pre-trip and gotten going without burning up a good portion of my fourteen hour clock.

Thanks y'all. I was basically concerned because in orientation we were asked how long a proper pre-trip took, and the instructor had made mention that if 15 min was all we logged, and we happened to get pulled into a coop for inspection, that it would really suck if the DOT officer wanted to see that 15 min inspection.

I was logging 15 min the first two times I was driving, but after finding this site and y'all, and being motivated to drive again, I wanted to makes sure I do things right this time and try not to get too lazy again.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Training time

I'm at the end of my 2nd week with my trainer. I only have one week left then I get my own truck. I'm rather pleased so far. My trainer has been in the game for 26 years, is pretty laid back, and is always happy to help and answer questions. I'm also not quite as rusty as I thought I'd be.

Things are coming back, but being with a trainer usually makes things seem easy. The fun starts when you're in your own truck.

There is one thing I'd like y'alls opinion on. He's pretty adament that I only log 15 min for pre-trip and then get rolling because if I log 30 to 45 min, which is about as long as it takes me to pre-trip, I'll run out my hours too fast and won't be able to run as hard and make as much money. He also says that 15 min is legal and I wouldn't get dinged for it if I get DOT inspected.

I know that you have to show at least 15 min for pre-trip, but I'm also concerned that should I at some point get a DOT inspection, and the officer sees that I only log 15 min that he/she will want to see my 15 min pre-trip. What say y'all? Log 15, 30 to 45, or mix it up (15 min some days, 30 to 45 on others)?

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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How is the weather where you are?

46* and dern windy in Burns, WY.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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What are your opinions on floating gears?

I think what we need to convey is "when done correctly." If your timing is good, it should come out of gear than go into the next as smooth as butter on a hot biscuit. If you jam the gears, than you'll damage the transmission.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Truck Fleets with automatics transmissions

I'm at orientation for Decker Truck Line, and it was mentioned that they currently have a mix of 13 speeds and autos, but all the new trucks they are getting are autos.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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One of these days...

I'm interested. If nothing else, a series of articles touching on the subjects you notice that give people the most trouble (time management, HoS management, trip planning, attitude, discipline, etc.) would be great. I would love to tap the fount of wisdom of top drivers.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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13 speed transmission

I learned on a 13 speed, and I love them. I'm not much of a fan of 10 speeds, but others prefer them. It's not that bad. 13 speed is like a 9 speed with a splitter for high gears so you can get a little more out of them. If the side splitter seems like too much, you could always shift it like a regular 9 speed I'm sure.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Sage in Lexington, SC.

I got to do a road drive today. Maaaaan was it fugly! I could've sworn I never drove a day in my life. I think I also sweated enough bullets to stock the Marines in Iraq. They didn't have me test out on anything, but I have my certificate of completion for my 40 hour refresher, and come Monday I can email my recruiter and get set up for orientation. I just need to remember to keep my cool, and not let the frustration get to me. Hopefully my road test at orientation will go smoother.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Passed!!

Congrats man!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Sage in Lexington, SC.

Day 4, hour 32 in the books now. Whew! Trying to relearn pre-trip after it ran off screaming from my memory 2 years or more ago, relearning parallel, and the school method of offset has my brain about fried at this point. I'm still excited about driving again. I'm trying not to let frustration get the best of me when it tries to set in. I keep telling myself that I have to learn this stuff because I don't want to hit the fleet a substandard driver, and fall into bad habits again. It'll take time and practice, but I'll get there. Tomorrow is my last day. First half of the day I'll be working on my skills again, and after lunch it's drive time. I'll be nervous getting out in a rig again after so long, but I'd rather get my confidence back now so I can pass my drive test when I go to orientation. Nervous, excited, and tuckered out! Y'all get it in the barn shiny side up, and I'll catch you on the flip flop.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Sage in Lexington, SC.

James, sorry I thought you were a newbie. I am with you Man...learning parallel is a royal pain.

No worries. I got my CDL-A in 2012 when I went through Central Refrigerated's company sponsored training. I drove company for about 3 months before foolishly leasing. A classmate that got a million-mile trainer, and picked his brain for all it was worth was going to lease, and he made it sound stupid easy. He wasn't trying to convince me, but was simply telling me his plans. I accompanied him to the O/O div., and of course they did sell it to me. I lasted about 4 months before I realized how over my head I was. I took a year and two months off than drove about 4 months for SRT. They weren't a good fit for me, and I knew I should've left in orientation. Until recently I was one of those guys that blames the company for everything and never looked into the mirror to see what I could fix myself, do to fix myself, or both.

Having found this site a little over 2 months ago, it has really opened my eyes and now I'm looking to drive again. This time I actually started to research companies. In that process one instantly shone above the rest for me and that is Decker Truck Lines. Since I've been out of a truck since June or July 2014 they want me to take a refresher. I'm all too happy to do so because I know I'm as rusty as a bolt that's been submerged in water for ages. I want to show up in the best condition that I can so I can make the best of the training period I'll have there. I want to start on the right foot this time, and hopefully make one full year straight. I also plan to pick y'alls brains and vent from time to time when I get my own truck. I look forward to y'all keeping me straight and honest. That's what I love most about this site. Y'all shoot straight and don't hide anything. Just what I need.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Sage in Lexington, SC.

Day 3 of my 40 hour refresher course is now in the books. Parallel is starting to click, but it's aggrivating still. I figure I can pass my skills test anyway. I'm trying to get it down the best I can, because even though I never ran into a situation that required it when I was on the road before doesn't mean I won't this time around. Now to study the junk out of pre-trip.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Sage in Lexington, SC.

So... Today was "interesting." Started with some classroom time going over pre-trip, then we went to the range with our pre-trip papers. The instructor walked us through just the outside, and engine portions before breaking us up into study groups. That was the good part of the day. The bad part is when getting back from lunch I got to practice my skills. Parallel parking can die in a fire. I don't know who thinks it's still useful to know, but I want to kick them in the shin and throw their stapler across the room. I did do better at the awkward way they have me do the offset though. Parallel can still die in a fire.

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