Comments By Dan B.

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  • Dan B.
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 6 months ago
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Posted:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

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:  8 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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:  8 years, 6 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.

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