Profile For Chris aka Shep

Chris aka Shep's Info

  • Location:
    Atlanta, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 1 month ago

Chris aka Shep's Bio

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Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Is PAM a good choice for female

Hey Ms.Donna. I work for PAM now and you have nothing to worry about. Me and my girlfriend have been team driving for them since September of 2014. Like any company people have things they like about it and things they don't and for the most part the things we like outweigh the things we don't like and the things we don't like might not necessarily be a problem for you.

As for them charging you out of route miles for missing an exit is horse crap. They will charge you out of route miles for instance if you're excessively over for instance of upwards of 250-300 miles or more but they will call you first to see what's going on. I've seen people get charged for quitting and taking the truck home instead of taking it back to the terminal and then taking the bus.

We get upwards of 4500 miles a week and that's on a bad week. We usually average between 5800 and 6200 miles a week which isn't bad. Yes they do have deductions from your check but if you're working and running like you should you won't even realize it was gone. They take out the company insurance if you choose to get it, the weekly payment to pay back the amount for your schooling and they take out for an escrow account that's pretty much a deposit on the truck they give you incase you return it all messed up. You'll get that back once you turn your truck back in if nothing's badly wrong with it that they have to repair.

Our deductions come to around 127.50 and we still have money to do plenty. Yea they might take money for the first year but they have several bonus opportunities you can take advantage of also like $500 for getting your hazmat endorsement and another $500 for just keeping your hazmat for 90 days, $200 dollars for finishing school, they have a $1000 dollar team bonus if you chose to do so for the first 6 months and $10,000 split bonus if you decide to team for a year after your first initial 6 month team contract is up.

Half of our checks goes to savings and a 1/4 toward any bills we owe and the other 1/4 toward whatever we want to do while we're out on the road. First it can be a little nerve wracking getting on your own for the first time going solo but eventually you will get the hang of it and be on your way to being a seasoned veteran in no time.

Everyone we have went to trucking school with have already quit the company because they weren't patient enough to wait till things got better and they aren't in much better shape than they were while they were here at Pam. I keep in contact with quite a few of them and they might be getting better pay but they aren't getting the miles. They go hand and hand. We work closely with our DM and that is the key to being happy and having success out here in your first year. We run hard back to back runs for about 2 weeks nearly running out of hours and our third week we take it easy by getting loads that have several days to get to its destination and we stop to see and do things along our route like stopping at a mall, flea market or a movie or even a bar from time to time to entertain ourselves. Our DM usually always have our next destination and pickup time planned out so we aren't sitting around wasting time waiting on a load.

If you and your DM don't get along try to work it out but if you can't request to get someone else. The DM'S are getting new drivers on the schedule board every week so it might take a week or two for them to get you into a rotation and see what you're capable of. They aren't going to give a driver the 1000 plus mile time sensitive loads if they have a habit of being late.

So far PAM has treated us well they gave us a brand new 2015 international with an apu and we've already put over 180,000 miles on it .

MS Donna I think you will be a great driver for PAM or any trucking company because you seem to have the right attitude and I think you will enjoy yourself once you get started. We have been from Laredo,TX to California and from California to Miami Florida then from Miami Florida to Laredo then Laredo to Detroit Michigan so we have literally been from coast to coast and border to border within one week. It's an awesome experience. You will make mistakes and see things that will make you want to crap your pants but if you can make it through it the day the next day is always better. I hope things work out with you and your decision and if you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Starter trucking companies?

Hey Kazi, there are quite a few starter companies that's out there but I drive for Pam Transport and I don't have many complaints about them and the ones I do, you would probably find at any other trucking company out there. They have all fairly new and well maintained freightliner's and internationals. They do have some dedicated lanes and accounts but it depends on where you stay if you can get them or not. With you only having your license for only week or so you might have to go though new hire orientation and 2 weeks over the road with a trainer then you would get your own truck or they might send you through new hire orientation then give you your own truck depending on how much driving experience you had while you was at swift. I've seen them do it both ways when I was going through orientation. You would get 300 a week until you get your own truck and even then the least you would make is 500 for the first 5 weeks even if you drive 0 miles. They try to work with you if your having problems with anything and they've gotten me to my destination on "home time" everytime I've requested even if wasn't my actual home.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Companies That Offer Dock Work While Training

I know Con-Way does it and so does the Fed-Ex freight division. I used to be an operations manager for the Fed-Ex Smartpost and Fed-Ex Ground divisions and I tried to get in through the freight division to become a driver but it's extremely hard to get into and when positions open for them to train they fill up really quick. With Con-Way you should be to apply on their website and with FedEx you can also apply through their website through careers tab and search for "driver apprentice". Hope this helps.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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New driver getting ready to head to school

Hey Richard I was curious to know if you had started training with CRST on the 21. I actually started training with CRST myself on the 21 in cedar rapids, IA. Studying some for the permit tests tomorrow, I have no doubt that I'll past.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Husband & Wife Lookin' For Advice

I'm glad things worked out for you guys, I'd love to see how things go for you in training separate from each other. Keep us posted, out must be cool trucking with your spouse.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Another Concern about Passing the DOT Physical

Hey Tim, I might be able to help you out with this. I had to take a physical with prime and when I had to see the doctor he made us squat and take about 4 steps forward, walk like a duck I'm 6'3" 235lbs and had no problem doing this. There was no test around a truck or anything. Our physical was done in 2 steps. When you fill out your paperwork you see the nurses where you take the drug test, then they test your eyesight by reading the eye board, right eye, left eye, both eyes. Then they tell tell you to distinguish colors on a board. They test your hearing by telling you to turn your head and they whisper words like January, November, and you have to repeat what they say. Then they hold two.small poles in their hands and have you pull on them. After that they have you bend over and pick up a tote of weights with about 50-60lbs in it. Then they check your blood pressure. After that we had to return to a different office later that day to see the official doctor. When he came in you had to have your shoes, socks and shirt off. He checks your eyes, ears, listens to your breathing with the stethoscope. He hits your knee to test your reflexes He holds out his hands and tell you to press down on them. Then squat and walk like a duck. After that it's the good Ole hernia check where you drop your drawers, he cuffs your boys and you cough. After that is over he'll tell you whether your qualified or not depending on your medical history. Usually 2 years if your fit for duty, maybe less if you have any blood pressure or health issues, or maybe not at all depending on if your on disqualifying medicines or you need to be cleared of something first. I hope this helps.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Hard To Find Topics Here On TruckingTruth?

Hey Brett, I've always wondered how different it is in other types of trucking such as over sized heavy haul, car hauling, ice road trucking and oil field trucking than it is from your normal vans,flatbeds and tankers. I read your book and it covered the latter 3 and dump trucks. How much different is pay in these areas and what qualifications would you need to have to get into these type of jobs since they are much more specialized and more risk are taken. I'm still trying to get into regular trucking first but I thought I'd ask any way just encase there may be others wondering the same thing.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Brain Tumor - May Not Get My Medical Card and CDL

Hello Bobby, you can check out this website to get more info. FMCSA Rules & Regulations. I searched this site thoroughly to see if my medical condition would disqualify me. I didn't see anything about brain tumors disqualifying anyone unless it would cause epilepsy episodes. I'm not sure of your whole health background but I saw that you could get exemptions by filing a waiver on certain issues but you have to certify every 3 months instead of every 2 years. I hours this helps.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Lost license to child support will this be an issue to get hired

Hey Jason, I can attest that a suspension will hurt you and haunt you if your trying to get a job trucking. At the company I'm going to training at you have to have 12 months with a valid license with no suspensions to be considered for hire and I'm sure it's similar at other companies. My license got suspended a couple years ago for failure to pay a ticket. I took care of it as soon as I found out but unfortunately I was pulled over by a cop and found out the hard way. Even though he didn't take me to jail he gave me a couple more tickets on top of it. They grilled me several times about my suspension and I had to explain it thoroughly to several different people but they gave me a shot. I have to be very careful though because I'm at the limit of tickets I can have on my record without getting into trouble with the company.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Question About Starting New Life on the Road

Hey Tim, I'm in a similar boat as yourself and I'm just getting started in trying to get into the industry of trucking. I can tell you how I got my stuff set up and maybe this will help. I'm 30 single, and no kids. I gave up my place of residence and have my things in storage in the basement at my brothers house in Atlanta. As far as my car I will driving it to MS to let my mother drive it, her car is starting to be on the fritz, and my motorcycle I will be keeping at my brothers house in his garage. So if I take home time in either of those places I have something to get around town. As my place of residence I have my brothers address on my license but my important mail for bills and such I've routed to my moms home in MS so she can open it and tell me whats going on if any issues should arise. I've already talked to the people within the company I'm trying to drive for and they say it shouldn't be an issue to take home time at a location other than the place I call home. Before I considered getting into the industry, my previous job I was always off on weekends and I would travel to see certain friends in different states, so in these places I have what I call "To Go" bags which are basically just overnight bags where I would change clothes and wash n dry the old ones and put them back in the "TO Go" bag and leave them there for the next time I come through. I have about 12 of these sorted in 5 different states. Everyone on the site is always saying that the first year is always the roughest so I figure what better way to relieve some stress and tension of the job by taking a few days off in a resort in Fl and going to an amusement park or in Vegas or any other spot I choose to hit the reset button before I get back out there and get truckin. I hope this helps.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Freightliner and peterbuilt company trucks

Hey guys and girls I was just wondering if any of you know of any companies that still use freightliner classics or Peterbuilt 379's as their equipment. The Kenworth w900 is nice also. I've always been fond of those models growing up and was always interested in driving one. I'm looking to start my career soon once I finished with my medical with prime inc.. I've noticed that most companies don't use equipment more than 3 years old and most use the freightliner Cascadia and Peterbuilt 579 models, which I'm guessing they use because they are more aerodynamic which would help save on fuel costs. I know that they stopped making classics in 07 or 08 I think but freightliner has the Coronado model that looks just like it. The only company I've found so far that uses the latest equipment that looks similar is TMC. Its not a deciding factor as to who I will drive for but one day down the road after I get my career started it would be an option to drive for a company for a Lil while that uses that type of equipment. The only guys I really see driving the Classics or Peterbuilts now are owner operators and I'm not really trying to go that route just to drive a truck, but they do look awesome especially when they have the chrome visor and all the running lights along the sides and bottom.

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

My time at PRIME.

Thanks Roadkill, I already have my appointment scheduled and having my meds switched isn't going to be a problem because I talked to my Doc about it before I decided to go for it and he told me upfront that if they had any problems with it he would switch it, I'm just waiting on him to come back from vacation. I have a lot more info I can tell from just my 4 days there so if you have any questions just ask. I would have loved to have written more but I was only allowed to use 5,500 characters to type it out. It's a fast paced program and after they go over the paper work with you and how they want it filled out, your're pretty much on your own after that. They give you a schedule on your first day on what you need to do and they suggest to you on how to go about it and after that first orientation meeting your on your own as far as getting things done in the amount of given time. I wish you the best of luck in getting your career underway.

Posted:  6 years, 12 months ago

View Topic:

My time at PRIME.

Hello all. I'm back again, I posted in the forum earlier with questions about the equipment in the trucks, and my condition of having sickle cell and driving, and having home-time in different areas other than your home location. Thanks for all the replies on the information. I meant to reply with a thanks but have been quite busy since then. I have been considering a career in trucking for sometime now but for some reason just have never gone through with it. I have a decent job working at Fed-Ex as an operations manager but for various reasons I'm no longer happy working there so I've decided to pursue a career in trucking and this is how it's gone so far. I've done research on several different company-sponsored programs and have put in several different applications and I decided to go with Prime Inc. for several reasons. There program is free and the only out of pocket expense is 150.00 which turned out only to be 132.50. 100.00 non-refundable due at the time of your interview and 32.50 for your permit. They have several different divisions Reefer, Flatbed, and Tanker. So if I get bored with one I have another division to earn more knowledge and experience and if freight gets slow in one area I could switch to get more miles in another. I tend to get bored easily if I'm not challenged or get into the same ole thing day in and day out which was my predicament at my previous job. They have one of the highest paying cpm starting out which I also thought was a nice incentive. I talked with a recruiter and my class started May 21. I had everything pretty much packed and ready to go on the Sunday I'm supposed to leave on the "hound" bound for Springfield, MO. but things didn't go as planned. We had a bad storm come through Atlanta that weekend and it was really bad that Sunday morning, the power went out around 9am but I figured no biggie my bus wasn't scheduled to leave until 7:30 pm arriving in Springfield Mon. afternoon around 1pm. I had everything already squared away and ready to go but Because of the bad storm we had trees and power lines down everywhere and my ride couldn't get to me to pick me up so we had one heck of a time trying to get to the bus station. I get to the bus station around 7:40 and what do you know I MISSED my bus. I didn't panic I simply talked to the women behind the counter and told her my situation and told her I absolutely had to be in Springfield by 7 am Tues. morning and she rerouted my ticket and had me leaving on another bus later that night arriving in Springfield around 1030 that night. Whew,Crisis solved. When I arrived in Springfield there were about 10 other guys and 1 female there that had got off the bus for Prime and we called for the shuttle. We got to the hotel the "Campus INN" and the clerk got all of our names and asked if we were smokers or non-smokers and then he preceded to give us our room assignments along with a yellow book that we had to fill out for orientation the next morning. The book has paperwork such as a paper application, which is longer than the online application, work history, they want you to go back at least 5 years 10 if you can, release forms, emergency contacts, personal references and background check information. Orientation started bright and early at 7:00 and DO NOT BE LATE. They go over the information in the yellow packet, then a nurse comes in and gives you paperwork to fill out for physical. Then security comes in and have you fill out paperwork for an FBI background check and they fingerprint you. They also give you a schedule of what your going to be doing for the rest of the week and its divided up into to sections, the ones with their CDL permit already and the ones without. After that you take your yellow packet to the office where you will have an interview and pay your 100.00 then you take your physical. Please make sure you have your medical forms filled out before you get there or you will be sent to the back of the line. They give you a meal card that you punch out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After the physical you either go study for your permit test or you start you Computer Based Training modules or CBT's as they call them. Even though I didn't have my permit yet I went ahead to the computer lab and started my CBT's and finished them within a couple of hours and tried to start my simulator training but the instructor said I couldn't until I had my permit so off to the room I go to look over the CDL manual. Wednesday I took my permit test and passed with flying colors with scores of 95,100,and 96 I was also ready to take the doubles/triples, tanker and Hazmat but I would have to wait until I got my CDL because those endorsements wouldn't transfer to my home state. I referred several people that were having trouble with there test to truckingtruth and told them about the high roads training program and they said it helped them a lot. I got a call from the doctors office for me to come see them and when I did the nurse told me that the doctor said I was medically disqualified because of the pain medicine I was on for my Sickle Cell. They said I would have to talk to my doctor and get him to change my pain medicine to a different one that I could drive with and be off of my current medicine for 30 days. After that I would be able to return and finish the program and be sent off with an instructor for OTR training to test for my CDL. I'll keep you guys updated on how everything else go.

Posted:  7 years, 1 month ago

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A few questions I'm curious about that I couldn't find in other post.

I have a few questions about the trucking industry that I would like answers to before I embark on a career changing move. Right now I'm an Operations Manager with Fed-Ex Smartpost here in Atlanta. I've always thought about trucking since I was kid but I've just never gone through with it. I've tried talking with the HR representative at my hub about how I would go about getting my CDL and getting the company to pay for it. I've had no such luck so far so I've started researching myself and found out that Fed-Ex freight has a driver apprentice program but to be get hired I would already have to have my CDL or CDL permit from the state for the position I'm applying. I've been looking for openings with this program but none have opened up even remotely close to my area. I've looked into getting into CDL school here in the area and paying out of pocket and Fed-Ex pays for some of your school with tuition re-imburstment if it's in an area that will help your career. I talked to the my boss about it and she told me that she is not likely to change my schedule so I could attend school or approve me for tuition re-imburstment. I have 3 yrs and 8 months with this company and only 1 year and 4 months until I'm vested and I was looking to doing this while still employed under the Fed-Ex network but my possibilities for that are starting to look slim. I was wondering if any drivers know of any other program out there that could help me get my CDL without having to quit my current job. I also put in an application with Prime Inc. I've been talking to a recruiter and she called me Friday saying that I had been approved and asked me when would I like to start orientation. I have lot going through my mind right now. I was wondering since she wants for me to come to orientation, is it a guarantee hire if I pass my exams and get my CDL. I would hate to quit my job only to find out that I do not actually get hired on with them. Another question that I have is I was wondering if Sickle Cell Anemia automatically disqualifies you from trucking. I've been researching it and it's not on the list of automatic disqualifiers. For those who don't know sickle cell is a blood disease where your blood cells are shaped like crescent moon and your body receives less oxygen than normal. It's never been an issue with any jobs I've had in the past. Sometimes the cells may get hung together and cause pain sometimes. Most of the times the pain can be managed by pain meds which I have prescription for if needed. I plan on talking to my doctor about this starting next week but I would like your opinion on it. How does getting a DOT physical work. Can I get one from my own doctor or do I have to use the doctor that the company provides. I hear a lot of drivers talking about home time. I'm a 30yr old male who's single with no kids. But I have a ton of friends who are kind of all over the place now. Is there an option if I get hired with a company to where I can select home time in different cities and hang-out there for a few days without me having to actually come home and then go to the destination I'm trying to go. Another thing, how are the bunks usually set up in company trucks. Do most of them have a small fridge or T.V. in them or will you be able to add these things when you get your own truck if they aren't equipped with them. What are rules as far as adding things to the truck like maybe a small grill for cooking or a game console for a little entertainment or movies in your down time if it does have a T.V. Sorry this post is so long but to sum up my main question I have for now. 1. Does anyone know of a program to get your CDL within the Fed-Ex network. 2 Does getting invited to company orientation guarantee you a job if you pass you physical and exams and obtain your CDL. 3 Does sickle cell anemia automatically disqualify you to drive trucks. 4. May I obtain a DOT physical from my own physician or do I have to go to the one provided by the school. (5) Can you take home-time in another place or than the place you call home. (6) What type of equipment do bunks usually come with and can you add equipment such as t.v., game console, or fridge to the truck if it doesn't come equipped. Thanks for you help in advance.

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