Comments By Dan B.

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  • Dan B.
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  • 3 years, 10 months ago
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Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Real World driveing

Its not the drivers...its the WIVES!! lol

Phil

Precisely why I always called it 'Domestic Incarceration'

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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DOD jobs

So being unattached with no commitments, I am always on the look out for decent pay and unusual. Talked with one or two folks who mention working "overseas" in rather hot areas for decent coin. I am a veteran, 11B20c2.....Would like to connect with anyone who might have a lead on how to contact those that provide to those in need. Feel free to give a shout if you have something to say in my direction. Much appreciated.

George, I was in AFG under the LOGCAP Program and made good money in another field. I haven’t had much contact with some of the guys I worked with but it was my understanding they wound down LOGCAP and the jobs that went with them. Those jobs were high pay because they were in a war zone and we used to track what was essentially ‘Danger Pay’ through the DoD or the OPM certification process. You might run a search using that term. Even while I was in AFG, they decertified Iraq and the pay scale plummeted despite the fact it was incredibly dangerous to go there. I’ve been out of it for a few years but I am not aware of any location that has Danger Pay at this time (there may be, I just don’t know). I worked other jobs outside the US and the pay was elevated, but not like it was in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Fluor ran the north of AFG and DynCorp the south. KBR had a role in it but I think mostly logistics. You can check with all 3 to see if they have something still going. I worked with a private company, not any of those 3. I know people with Fluor and they are supposed to be really great to work for. DynCorp is pretty bad. I worked around them and had to deal with them at times and I would want a ‘times 3’ salary just to have to put up with their incompetence. I dealt with KBR personnel and they seemed pretty good. You might check with Fluor and KBR and you can also Google LOGCAP jobs and see what comes up. If you are a Veteran, you probably know the survival rates outside the wire.

Be careful about accepting ANY jobs overseas. I had always wanted to do it and jumped at the chance when I got my first offer (not in a war zone). I accepted a salaried position at my US salary plus 25%. I worked 100 hours a week straight for 8 months. I could have made more money delivering pizzas, and I am not joking about that.

Also, if you quit a trucking job in California and need to get to Maine, you can probably figure out a way to get there and pay for it. I quit one job in the middle of Africa. I think it cost me $3,000 to get back to the US. Good luck and thanks for your service to our country!

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Sage Truck Driving School - Phox

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I will be attending SAGE, in Lexington, SC.

Looking forward to reading about your journey. Have fun, and Stay Safe.

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Apparently they are very well known by a lot of companies... in a good way. roadmasters (at least here in san antonio) has a lot of people fail the driving test... and they cost more. that's what we have been told... how true it is I don't know.

I have talked to Sage and they sounded really good; 1 on 1 driving especially. At least that's what they told me. But I've read comments about them on some forums and they seem to have a good reputation as well.

Roadmasters on the other hand, I'm not sure I would attend any of their programs if they paid me. I don't necessarily buy into everything I read on the internet, but the reviews of that company were so overwhelmingly bad, I would not consider them at all.

I just found the section in this site (Company Sponsored Training Programs) that has reviews on the various companies that provide CDL training in house. What I was never aware of before, is that you can pay them the fee to take their course but take a job elsewhere. I liked the course offered by Roehl and it was far cheaper than Sage anyway. Sage quoted me $4,800 and Roehl is listed in this site at $2,800.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

I'm the same way I can't sleep in anything that's moving but you got to understand that in a plane,car and train you are cramped and sitting up for the most part... I started driving trucks 9 months ago and don't have a problem sleeping in a bed.... You will have enough room in the truck to get comfortable and fall asleep... And you can take sleep aids to help you get use to it

Good point on laying down. Is Crown Royal considered a sleep aid? Seriously, I may have to check into the sleep aids but it would have to be something that would not interfere in my ability to drive.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

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Oh, and Good luck Dan B. from PA. I think sleeping in a moving truck is just a part of how things are. But remember that it, just like being stuck in a small space with a stranger, is only a SMALL part of how things are and it too shall pass. It's only like 6 weeks or so, sometimes less depending on the company you're with. Try to find a way to sleep. Talk to a doctor or something and see if they have any suggestions. If this is something you really want to do you'll figure it out.

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Thanks, but I’ve been in the same body for 50 some years now and I know I will not be able to sleep. I’ve been like this since I was a little kid and can remember probably from the time I was 4 or 5 years old being unable to sleep in a moving vehicle. I’ve flown probably close to 1 million miles and never slept. Probably the same distance in cars, trains, etc.

As far as a doctor, they might be able to give me something to knock me out, but I think that also presents a safety issue. I am definitely interested in driving but I know my limitations and this is an issue I don’t think I can overcome. I’m going to search for something where I can be ‘trained’ on local runs, but if I can’t find that I am not going to waste the time or money on a CDL course.

I’m also wondering ……. if I am being trained, how well am I being trained when the trainer is sleeping?

BTW – my last job was in Afghanistan. I had bullets, RPG’s, and rockets flying over my head. I toughed that job out, but I’m not sure I can make this one happen.

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Dan, when I mentioned a doctor I wasn't necessarily referring to medication. Maybe a doctor might know some tricks you haven't tried. Maybe they can send you to a sleep specialist. Doctors understand the body and how it works. Their job is to find out why a person's body is doing something or behaving in a certain way. If you can't even sleep during a 35 hour flight or after getting hammered, there could be underlying problems. Since you served your country (thank you for that service btw), maybe it's symptoms of ptsd. They might recommend therapy or a different diet or meditation or some new trick the public doesn't know about. I have a friend who used to be an insomniac and hated meds so he refused to take them. He got a different doctor who suggested a sleep number mattress and a Delta Sleep System designed by some guy named Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. It supposedly using sound frequency to do something to your brain's delta waves or something like that. He found out there is a whole science dedicated to sleep and people have many strange conditions that are solved in weird unconventional ways. My friend was able to sleep perfectly after that. I figured if you talked to your doctor he or she may suggest something not involving meds that just might do the trick. It's worth a shot, don't ya think?

I was in Afcrapistan as a civilian but thanks for your comment. I could have left at any time but I stayed. There were a few times when there was so much stuff blowing up around me I think I was one grunt away from crapping my pants, but I stayed on.

I don’t think there are underlying problems, at least not physical. Mentally, well ………….. I am certifiable!! My health has been remarkably good all my life and my sleep pattern has been consistent my entire life. When I was a kid, I slept 5 hours a night. Now that I’m in my 50’s, I sleep 5 ½ hours every night. You can almost set your watch by my sleep pattern.

I’m not sure exactly what my problem is, but given that I only have issues falling asleep in something that is moving, I think a doctor may have a hard time identifying why I am like that. I have fallen asleep in some of the worst places you can imagine (rocky riverbeds, wet concrete etc) but if it is moving, I can’t get to lights out.

I’m going to keep looking for something where I can train on local runs. Something has to be there.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

Dan B. asks a great question:

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I’m also wondering ……. if I am being trained, how well am I being trained when the trainer is sleeping?

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To clarify this, the initial 50 hours (or in some cases more) your trainer observes while you drive and they must do this from the passenger seat. If for any reason the trainer does not believe you are ready for team driving after 50 hours, they can delay that transition for a while but not indefinitely. Also keep in mind that although you and your trainer must take a 10 hour break, specifically your trainer can be off-duty sitting in the passenger seat, continuing to observe while you drive for a couple of hours.

Part of the training is to determine how you handle "running" the truck and all that goes with it while your trainer is sleeping.

I've read about the HOS rule and think (only think) I have a decent handle on the legal restrictions for driving, at least I hope I do. When I first began considering this as a career move, I guess I just didn't understand how the training would play out. But I get your point about the trainer having to watch me constantly during my first 50 hours behind the wheel. If I understand you correctly, he could drive for 12 hours, then he would have to watch me for up to 14 hours if that's how long I drive. That leaves the trainer with no sleep by the time he should be climbing behind the wheel again, at least during my first 50 hours.

The more I think about this, the more I realize there has to be a way to do it on local, shorter runs. I know I've read about jobs where people are driving shorter routes and home every day so I'm not sure why I couldn't find a route like that to train on. That may not be the way the industry works and I'm not familiar with it at all, so that's just a guess. And maybe a hope too. I'm sure it would be a LOT harder to find, but if that is my only option I have to at least look for it.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

Oh, and Good luck Dan B. from PA. I think sleeping in a moving truck is just a part of how things are. But remember that it, just like being stuck in a small space with a stranger, is only a SMALL part of how things are and it too shall pass. It's only like 6 weeks or so, sometimes less depending on the company you're with. Try to find a way to sleep. Talk to a doctor or something and see if they have any suggestions. If this is something you really want to do you'll figure it out.

Thanks, but I’ve been in the same body for 50 some years now and I know I will not be able to sleep. I’ve been like this since I was a little kid and can remember probably from the time I was 4 or 5 years old being unable to sleep in a moving vehicle. I’ve flown probably close to 1 million miles and never slept. Probably the same distance in cars, trains, etc.

As far as a doctor, they might be able to give me something to knock me out, but I think that also presents a safety issue. I am definitely interested in driving but I know my limitations and this is an issue I don’t think I can overcome. I’m going to search for something where I can be ‘trained’ on local runs, but if I can’t find that I am not going to waste the time or money on a CDL course.

I’m also wondering ……. if I am being trained, how well am I being trained when the trainer is sleeping?

BTW – my last job was in Afghanistan. I had bullets, RPG’s, and rockets flying over my head. I toughed that job out, but I’m not sure I can make this one happen.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

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your truck switches to team operation and you're on your own while your mentor is in the sleeper berth.

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I don’t want to steal theLT’s mojo on his thread, but I have a question about that comment. I am still researching on how all of this training will play out so maybe I am missing something, but your comment did cause some concern. You mentioned about the mentor sleeping and I’ve been wondering how some of this OTR would play out during my training.

I have never been able to sleep in anything that is moving; ever, and I’ve been like this since I was a little kid. I have made several long haul flights into Asia where I went without sleep for roughly 40 hours (24 hours in the air and 16 hours on the ground). I also made quite a few long hauls into the Middle East which were 35 hours (19 air, 16 ground). I didn’t get one second of sleep until I arrived at my destination. Same thing coming back into the US, in fact I would not get a rental car until after I slept because I knew I was too tired to drive.

So ………. if I will be expected to be part of a team and ‘sleep’ while someone else is driving, I know right now I will not get any sleep. And if I am too tired to drive safely, I would not drive. I’m afraid now that could become a huge issue for me and I’m hoping someone can clarify how you sleep during training. This may burst my bubble.

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Not speaking for anyone else - but once the training progresses to where the truck is running as a "team operation" - you will get your 10 hour break, while your partner is driving. And the truck will likely be moving while this is going on.

From what I've gathered here - every "training company" (Swift, Prime, etc.) runs the second phase of OTR training like this, so this is something that's likely going to be unavoidable.

So sorry if this "bursts your bubble" - but this is something you're going to have to adjust to.

Rick

I appreciate your answer but I won't drive if I am tired and from the sounds of it, I'd be doing OTR training for a week or so at a time. Not sure if I can find a way to train just doing day runs, but if not, that sticks a fork in the idea.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

Dan B., hoping it ain't so...

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So ………. if I will be expected to be part of a team and ‘sleep’ while someone else is driving, I know right now I will not get any sleep. And if I am too tired to drive safely, I would not drive. I’m afraid now that could become a huge issue for me and I’m hoping someone can clarify how you sleep during training. This may burst my bubble.

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Sorry to say, teaming is exactly that, one driver sleeps while the other one drives. No getting around this with most of the carriers. I have seen some smaller companies that execute training solo, but I do not recall names (maybe someone else can shed light on this). Sleeping on a moving truck is (at least for me) difficult but I was able to do it using ear-plus and two pillows.

Well I even tried getting hammered on one of Asia trips and I still couldn't sleep. It is what it is. I'm not going to give up on the idea entirely but it sounds doubtful that I could find a way to train and still get some sleep.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Swift Orientation/Mentor Phase

your truck switches to team operation and you're on your own while your mentor is in the sleeper berth.

I don’t want to steal theLT’s mojo on his thread, but I have a question about that comment. I am still researching on how all of this training will play out so maybe I am missing something, but your comment did cause some concern. You mentioned about the mentor sleeping and I’ve been wondering how some of this OTR would play out during my training.

I have never been able to sleep in anything that is moving; ever, and I’ve been like this since I was a little kid. I have made several long haul flights into Asia where I went without sleep for roughly 40 hours (24 hours in the air and 16 hours on the ground). I also made quite a few long hauls into the Middle East which were 35 hours (19 air, 16 ground). I didn’t get one second of sleep until I arrived at my destination. Same thing coming back into the US, in fact I would not get a rental car until after I slept because I knew I was too tired to drive.

So ………. if I will be expected to be part of a team and ‘sleep’ while someone else is driving, I know right now I will not get any sleep. And if I am too tired to drive safely, I would not drive. I’m afraid now that could become a huge issue for me and I’m hoping someone can clarify how you sleep during training. This may burst my bubble.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Companies terminals/drop yards

Do keep end mind, google maps isn't 100% and neither are the company websites. Just because you don't see it on their site, doesn't mean they don't have anything. I know when I drove for swift, their Spokane yard wasn't search able on google for some time. Never gave an address and always defaulted to the Sumner terminal. The employee website never listed it either

When I was with GTI, their site never listed the KC drop yard.

It's possible they may have something, but it's not super spectacular. Call a recruiter and see what they say. They can look it up on their system.

I just used google maps because they have a way to estimate miles and driving time. I had no clue how far away I am from Columbus but I have no issues driving my personal vehicle 8 hours round trip to pull a 7 on 7 off. I thought it was ridiculous they would list an OTR job and then tell you that essentially it is too far for you to drive.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Companies terminals/drop yards

Let me give an example: Roehl doesn't have drop yards or terminals anywhere near me, not in New England (according to their website map). Does that mean I cannot work for them? I mean, if a company's terminal is 6 hours+ drive from my home....I suppose that leaves them out? :(

I submitted my info in the Roehl website thinking I could get something back from them and just initiate contact, but when I put my zip code in an hit 'Enter', I don't remember the exact words but it was something to the effect that I live too far away from their facilities and to try again some other time. Google Maps says I am 4 hours away from their Columbus yard. That surprised me for an OTR job.

If you do anything through their website, put their own zip code in the form.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Shedule question

Where is Podunk, PA in relation to a major city? How are are you from, say, Pittsburgh? This can make a big difference. You might be podunk, but if you are close enough to a bigger city, or a good freight lane, it will increase your chances, of finding something,

I'm about halfway between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. There is literally nothing in this area but I have no issue traveling. I’m still not familiar with how the industry coordinates shipping but so far it appears a lot of the runs would either originate or be transferred out of regional hubs. I would have no issue considering being based out of any hub between Jacksonville and somewhere south of Gotham City. If I am running OTR I don’t consider the hub location to be that critical.

For tax purposes, I'd actually prefer Florida as crazy as that sounds.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Shedule question

Roehl has several really good home time options, the one that would probably work best for your situation, being the 7/7 . This would be 7 days on the road, and 7 days home. This would technically be part time work, but you can still make a lot more than a lot of full time, non driving jobs, from what I have seen. You would just need to find someone to help watch your mom while you are out on the 7.

There are also companies that would have you home daily, or a few times each week. These jobs tend to be harder for brand new drivers, though.

Good luck in your search

I’ve only spent about 2 hours looking through ads specifically for schedules that may fit my needs and I agree, the 7 on 7 off is about the best I can hope for, especially just starting out. That’s actually about ‘half’ perfect and acceptable. I did see a few ads for Roehl and they seemed decent as far as schedule and pay. Money is a consideration but second to schedule for me.

One thing that amazes me is the number of ads that mention being ‘home on weekends’. I’d drive 53 weekends a year just to have a few more weekdays at home. I’m hoping my willingness to drive every single weekend may help when and if I begin looking for a driving gig.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Shedule question

Dan, this is highly unlikely. The jobs you see where drivers are home for the weekends are a lot of times flat-bed jobs. The reason these companies can work this out is that most of the type places you deliver to with a flat-bed are only open on weekdays.

It is not impossible to find part time work in this industry, but it is not easy. I wish you the best, and if you find something let us know about it. I would recommend you scour the Craig's list advertisements in your area for driving jobs - you just might get lucky there. A lot of smaller outfits will advertise there, and you may just be able to find something like what you are looking for in there.

Thanks for your comment. I did look on CL and that's kind of how I got on this train of thought about driving. There is literally nothing local, but they have a few hundred ads about the schools.

I know I won't find anything perfect but I'm just trying to be here as much as possible on weekdays. I started creating a spreadsheet to list all the companies, types of runs (OTR or Regional), possible schedules, pay, etc. It may take a few days but should give me all the info on one place for comparison purposes. So far, the best thing I saw was some regional runs that would be 7 on, 7 off. That's about half perfect.

Schedule is more important then money.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Shedule question

I stopped working (not trucking) 4 years ago to help care for my elderly mother. I don’t have kids and my Domestic Incarceration sentence ended about 10 years ago. I had stuffed quite a bit of money in the bank and have been living off that for years, but the reality is I’m going to run out in about another year or so. I need to start putting money back in the bank.

Taking care of my mother is my first priority and I’ll make whatever sacrifices necessary to take care of her. I’ve been looking for a job which would still allow me to take care of her, and getting a CDL and driving actually seems to have some of the best flexibility as far as schedules go. I’m wondering ‘how flexible’ some of these companies may be and am hoping someone here can answer my question.

I have a sister that is off weekends and can care for my mother then. So for me, I’d like as much of my driving time to fall on weekends if possible. From reading through this forum it sounds like a lot of guys (and girls) want to be home on weekends and my preference would be just the opposite. I’m hoping someone can tell me if some of these companies are flexible enough to drive every weekend and get weekdays off when possible.

I wish I could find something local where I could drive all night and be here during the day when she is awake, but there isn’t anything here in Podunk, PA.

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