Profile For Errol V.

Errol V.'s Info

  • Location:
    Olive Branch, MS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years ago

Errol V.'s Bio

A school teacher for eleven years. Now I'm getting out of the classroom!!

A trucker for three years. The Oops! I'm become a Driving Instructor! ... Now I'm back in the classroom!!

Errol V.'s Photo Gallery Group 1 of 16

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Posted:  18 hours, 6 minutes ago

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Recap Question

Yes, those 10 hours will pop in at midnight. Just to clarify, you still need to stay within the 11 hours driving per shift and the ol' 14 hour rules.

Posted:  4 days, 23 hours ago

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I really need advice about my future

Matt, we practice "Tough Love" on this forum. Meaning if you don't "get" the Straight Dope® we lay out for you, you won't learn anything. Please stick around and learn something.

I'll start with

Being out months on end and getting only 9 days home... No, couldn't do it.

I hope you heard and understood the hometime your recruiter mentioned, if he did. Most OTR driving is exactly like you experienced - gone up to a month, and only four or so days home at a time. It something like that. (You earn one day at home for every week your out driving.)

Also it may not have been made clear how to ask for your hometime.

Now for the big flashing red light (on this forum):

Five months with Melton then you bailed. We recommend staying at least 12 months with your first company. Anything less will indicate you might be a job hopper, which most companies will frown upon. Also, you didn't mention it but if Melton helped you finance your truck school, they'll want their money back. Quickly.

I know that people don't retain everything they learn in truck school, and another driver reminded you about checking the kingpin coupling. The first several months that you are on the road by yourself are still a learning experience for you. Stick to it and keep studying.

Posted:  6 days, 8 hours ago

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Pre trip- what is the DOT requirement

Besides the federal law mandating your daily pretrip inspection, there's the main reason you need to check out your rig. To find problems before they become problems. I wrote a topic for years ago about this: Why Do A Pretrip?

And remember you don't really need to measure brake linings (1/4") or scan the frame for illegal welds and such on a daily basis. But belts do get wear, tire sides might get cut, power steering hoses could develop a bulge.

Do you think this could happen and you didn't notice? (You don't feel/ hear things back on those tandems.)

0759349001557939360.jpg

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Pre trip- what is the DOT requirement

Keep this in mind: your daily pretrip does not include all the talk you did for your CDL test - "This is my alternator securely mounted no dents bends or breaks no broken wires blah blah". That verbal pretrip will take neatly 45 minutes or more.

Your real, daily pretrip will be you mostly visually checking all those things, and you don't have to babble on, just make sure everything is good to go. (And that nobody has pulled your trailer release overnight!) This will fit into the 15 minute block.

Also, if you do make this a habit, it makes a nice mediation/ "constitutional" walk to start your day.

(Thanks for the reference, G-Town).

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Surviving my 1st year

#1: With a truck fridge you have it made. To stay healthy, try "salad kits" - yep, all the fixings in one bag. I found they are tasty, and sort of healthy. If you can eat the same thing for a few days, check them out. Keep a large plastic bowl and a metal fork (so you won't toss it away). Wash them off in the truck stop restroom.

#2: I figured out a simple way to heat canned goods - soup, chili and such. Find the bunk heater vent, probably on the floor. Get a can-size box. Put your can dinner in the box and set this open end toward the hot breeze from the heater. Dinner in ten minutes.

#3: Be sure to call your honey every evening. You know the rest of this.

#4: Check with your DM, see if there's any regional, dedicated or line haul jobs at your local terminal. These drivers often get home weekly.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Solo

Ok, good luck Eric!

It looks like you have "worries" similar to a rookie driver - trip planning, finding parking, and so on. You'll soon get over it.

A hint from me: use a truck stop locator like Trucker Path. Then first look for non-chain stops (NOT Petro, T/A, etc.) And plan to pull in earlier rather than later. You shouldn't have trouble finding parking this way. Don't forget that if you stop early you should leave early.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Pre trip- what is the DOT requirement

Short answer: enough time to properly inspect your vehicle. A written report, the Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) needs to be signed off by the driver at the end of a shift, and by the next day's driver. The regs go into detail about what needs to be inspected. In reality a good inspection probably does take half an hour.

I've heard (this phrase needs several grains of salt taken with it) that a court judge can ask a driver to actually complete a pre-trip in the 5 minutes the driver logged.

Section § 396.11: Driver vehicle inspection report(s)

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Weather: When to shut down?

Between you and your trainer (who you called so I know he wasn't there) who's the expert on road conditions where you are now?

In your own judgment, would you feel comfortable continuing on down the road in your current conditions?

The person to make the go/no go decision is the person holding the steering wheel. That would be you. Stop in a safe place and call your DM. No one should tell you to continue. Also generally speaking, weather delays are understandable and don't come back to bite you.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Precision Sleep Solutions / Continuous Wireless Compliance

I've set up my CPAP in the evening when it's bedtime, and packed it away not long after I get up. I've done this for months. And it's a wireless one similar to yours.

I don't have Precision Sleep Solutions monitoring me (mine goes to the VA) but the data gets sent, probably during the night. My guess is you may not have to worry, as long as you use it regularly.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

My first 45 days as a truck driver

This is a good read. Similar to my diary I wrote out 5 years ago. All these problems!!!

Funny thing is, after a while there are not really so many problems anymore. Good luck, Grumpy!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Company vs Paying for your own Cdl

Not to worry, P.E., the starting pay for first year hovers around $38-40,000 per year. You're on road most of the time. Going to a Paid CDL Training Program will get you financed by your company. Also, you are all but hired when they let you into their training program. Generally, you pay off your training over your first year.

It looks like you should start reading here:

You'll still be putting in something like 12 hour days. But remember you get paid for miles driven, not hours on a clock.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Going from a school bus driver to a tractor trailer driver

Short answer is NO. Driving combination vehicles with manual transmissions is a totally different animal from driving a school bus.

Take it from me. I owned a 48' RV/Bus for a number of years. Tractor trailer is 100% different.

Rick

Well, my first CDL, was for School Bus. (In the district I grew up in, and I believe I drove a coach I may have ridden in as a student. I did drive the very same route once.) I drove the kiddies for about six months then I started college. That was in the 1970's and that's where I learned double clutch.

40 years later, I learned to drive 18 wheelers. The double clutch "click-click" never left me. True, as I noted above, a 45' bus is not a 70' semi. But the clutching will work. The coordination of shifting in a big truck is a Level Boss for many diving students. I had no problem.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Going from a school bus driver to a tractor trailer driver

I’ve been a school bus driver, in upstate New York, for several years. Now I’m thinking of getting my CDL-A. If I attend a company sponsored training program, will the training be any shorter/easier since I already have a CDL-B?

Thanx,

Bob

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Bob! There are a few differences both in the written test and in basic driving. If you have the Air Brakes done that in the bag. Click on the three-bar menu on the top left of this screen. Select "CDL Training Materials", then "High Road CDL Training Program" (our free test study/ preparation program), and you'll see the list of study sections. The ones noted with "(Permit)" are the ones required for the CDL-A permit.

As for driving, you know semi-trucks are "bent" between the tractor and the trailer so they are a different animal in the driving and skills department.

It can be done! Good luck!

Here's out "starter kit" reading for newbies:

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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I Have a Rollover. I’m looking for a company that will accept me.

PackRat coaches:

That’s not windy! Get both sides off the ground and that’s an adventure.rofl-1.gif

There are warning signs for big cross winds. You just have to be sensitive to them:

0975137001554844880.jpg

(I've had this photo for a while, I just needed a good topic to add it to.)

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Permit question.

In other schools you need that permit, your medical card and your license to even get a seat in class.

When are you scheduled to start? Once you've studied up for your training program (see High Road CDL Training Program to study), you could conceivably get the papers done in a day or two.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Got To Get A Sleep Study Done

It's something you'll get used to, like sleeping in the bunk in back. As for the hose, it usually doesn't cause a problem, like Rainy says. At home, I have a "bookcase" headboard, and put my machine on the top. Then the hose drops down onto my pillow. I'll tell you, coming in from above, I never roll onto it or otherwise get "tangled" up!

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl Transport & Forced Dispatch - New CDL graduate needs more information

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Eric! We have "tons" of information for new drivers here.

On the top left of the page there is a three bar menu drop down. Click there and follow things that look interesting or informative. Also there's a search box right below the menu button. If you put "forced dispatch" in there you will get a list like this.

Specifically, "forced dispatch" means your next trip is not optional. For most drivers, heading to Savannah, GA, or Las Cruces, NM, is no big deal. But many drivers really don't want to go to the old and crowded roads around Boston and New York. In some companies, if you get a trip to New Haven, CT, you can turn it down. But somebody has to do it! So, this time it's you! "Forced Dispatch".

Keep this in mind: the DMs know these destinations are unpopular, and just might get you a "good" run later. Also, if you get picky about where you are willing to go, your DM might not waste the time getting you any run at all for a few days!

Bottom line, I'd not worry about being forced to go somewhere. You will probably never have to do this: Truck Making Tight Turn on Residential Street

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Looking for new position

Chad, what company were you with? I was caught in the exact same way while I was with Swift (checking my cellphone GPS when the driver cam caught me). I got a finger-wag warning from my DM that went into my company file and I got back in the road.

You might try the Apply For Truck Driving Jobs app here. And BTW, change your member status from "Preparing for school". With 3 1/2 years' experience you've skipped the rookie stage.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

DOT physical turns ugly

Bruce, the "requirements" for a sleep study do not include your own judgement on sleeping ("like a rock"). Your DOT doctor considers height, weight, even your neck size. Here is the TT Wiki article on Sleep Apnea For Truck Drivers - The Complete Guide.

I also felt I was a "rock-like" sleeper. Still do. But I had a sleep test just over a year ago and I got my CPAP machine . You know, in some ways I like what it has done for me. One thing is that you are required to have that machine with you on the road. So ... your company might install an APU in your truck just for the CPAP. And you get all the benefits that having an APU bring.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Hey Brett

There's a work around for posting a video LINK here. The Link box in the message composer doesn't like YouTube URLs. So, use "www.google.com" for the Link Address. Then Submit. When you get the HTML stuff, look for www.google.com in quotes. It looks like this:

a href="www.google.com">My video link

Now Copy the video link, then highlight the Google address inside the quotes and paste right onto it. You'll get something that looks like this:

a href="https://youtu.be/rk7l44EmcVQ">My video link

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