Profile For Errol V.

Errol V.'s Info

  • Location:
    Olive Branch, MS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 6 months 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 15

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Posted:  22 hours, 28 minutes ago

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I'll be driving your brand-new truck before you do!

Sorry, Susan, I don't use sticky crap. It wasn't me.


Posted:  1 day, 3 hours ago

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Truck Delivery Driveaway

I'm going to start a training diary about the truck delivery niche in the trucking world. I knew almost nothing about this business until a friend turned me on to it.

If you look around YouTube, you'll find the TDD-A is a slice of the CDL delivery-ferry business - moving someone's else's rolling stock, like dump truck frames, school buses, and RVs from A to B. Though there are companies that have drivers, it is a world of independent contractors, owner operators and such. Hot shot drivers with their F-350s & Ram 3500s are here.

I'm an independent contractor, getting a 1099 at the end of the year, not a W-2. There's enough written here on Trucking Truth about the good & bad of the question, so I'm not going to debate it here. Remember, I won't own any of the trucks I'm driving so I can't take up Brett's Owner Operator Challenge.

I'm flying from Memphis to Laredo TX today to meet my mentor tomorrow. I'll be learning of course how to handle brand new trucks, and how to "undeck" then at delivery. Since I'll pull up to four tractors at a time (one powered and three piggy back) I needed a Triples T endorsement. Once again, a tip of the hat to Brett and the High Road CDL Training Program.

Tomorrow I'll update the first day at the Laredo terminal.

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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I'll be driving your brand-new truck before you do!

Ernie bursts in:

Hate to burst your bubble, but most of the trucks I've been assigned to since I started 7 years ago have been new.

Remember the first truck does the pulling, the trailer" trucks' front axle (where the odometer reads) is off the ground, and of course the engine isn't running. So your new-truck mileage should be in low single digits. Also, I watched a long company video stressing to leave the truck clean as new. We can't sleep on the plastic covered mattress or have ride-alongs, and of course no smoking even with the window rolled down.

Finally that topic name was just click-bait anyway. rofl-3.gif

Posted:  1 day, 15 hours ago

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I'll be driving your brand-new truck before you do!

I have been an instructor at Swift's Academy in Memphis, TN, for the last ten months. For my own reasons I've decided to get back into OTR driving, but this time with a twist: today I start with a company that moves brand new trucks from the factory to dealers & other buyers.

You may have seen a "triple" made up of three or four tractors mounted piggy back going down a highway. These are called "decks". I'll make one way trips to the consignee, then travel, often by flying, back to the factory for another load.

My first trip I'll fly today from Memphis to Laredo, TX, to meet my mentor and drive a deck to somewhere in the USA.

To answer some obvious questions:

  • The pay is by miles, and I'll be an independent contractor (1099).
  • As an independent contractor I'll have to buy my own fuel and handle some of my own travel but the company buys the plane ticket to the pickup point.
  • I had to buy about $600 of specialized tools because I need to do the unhooking of the trucks, which also often involves a large tow truck to lift one tractor off the other.
  • Yes, I get paid enough to cover these expenses as well as some money for myself

Obviously this is not a job for newbies. It looks to be similar to flatbed work in that I'll be working outside in all kinds of weather getting these trucks apart. But it's different!

Posted:  1 day, 15 hours ago

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Best Coast-to-Coast Companies

Wanderlost's Daddy said:

My boyfriend is the driver and I’d be a rider for now. I always wanted to drive but my father squashed that. “Trucking is no place for a woman!” *eyeball roll* So I went into nursing instead.

Just wait till Rainy wakes up! There are many women holding that steering wheel. All "types". It's not a matter of gender but it is up to each person to know and understand the trucking lifestyle. In some ways it's not easy, but many will agree with this:

Some say it’s a fine trade to shun;
Maybe; but there’s some as would trade it
For no job on earth—and I’m one.

Modified from a poem: The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service

But anyway, my "heads up" for pairs of drivers who want to team: The Good news is you'll be together a lot. The Bad news is you'll be together a lot!

Posted:  4 days, 1 hour ago

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Out of retirement.

Phil, a lot has changed in the last TEN years, not to speak of since the last century. (Hint: Nobody there days knows what an ICC is. Now it's spelled FMCSA.)

You'll have to do the whole nine yards. The good part is you should still remember how to back up. Age is not an issue. Your DOT medical exam is.

This will help get you up to speed:

Try the CDL Practice tests first, to see what you remember (or never heard of).

Posted:  4 days, 7 hours ago

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In the beginning...


Jo Anne commenting on Grumpy’s suggestion...



I think you would be better off watching some videos on shifting a 10 speed transmission, then learning at school.



I do not agree with the above statement if taken at total face-value.

Watching videos on shifting is only going to provide a conceptual overview and approach. Although it’s a good supplement, it is not a replacement for learning how-to shift under the watchful eye of an instructor like Errol.

There is no shortcut or substitute for practice and repetition. Experience is the best and most consistent teacher. Same holds true for learning PTI, backing, and highway operation.

Even the good videos are not a substitute for hands-on instruction.


Oh, absolutely, I meant before she goes to school or training, just to have an idea of the process, not as a replacement for proper training.

To clarify, as G-Town and Grumpy say, the videos can show you how things work, and you get the idea of the rhythm needed.

Then it's up to you to build the middle memory, and the best place to do that is in a truck.

Posted:  4 days, 12 hours ago

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2019 Kenworth T680

Bobcat Bob thinks big:

... increase the distance a little our Freightliners let us do it.

Nothing stops you from increasing the following distance, you just cut off the Cruise Control. But if you're lazy like me (and want the sophisticated computer controls to do all the work) just pay attention to what the vehicle ahead of you is doing.

I really got spoiled with the "Adaptive Cruise Control" which does control that following distance as well as automatically bring in the Jakes on downhill grades. Sigh ... 😞

Posted:  4 days, 13 hours ago

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2019 Kenworth T680

Your following distance and cruise speed are probably set by your company. You'll need to hack into the system, which could cost you a job when you take the Kenny in for B service.

I drove a 2016 T680 a year or so ago. If you don't see it on the little menu, you can't change it.

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

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Double tax for truck driver

If you're talking about income taxes, you should be taxed only for state you live in. You know truck drivers certainly go all over place, but you'll only be paying taxes in Delaware.

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

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How did you learn to drive

Well, Jerry, you'll find that "learning on your own" will be a waste of time. You can certainly get your CDL with your step dad's help, but trucking companies of any size won't talk to you without a certificate from a commercial driving course.

Have you seen these Trucking Truth links?

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

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In the beginning...

Grumps is right: there is little in common between shifting a 4 wheeler and an 18 wheel big rig. True, though, watching some videos can help you see what's going on. (WARNING Will Robinson!! Do not do anything with "floating" gears where you don't use the clutch all. This a common practice with truck drivers but it isn't allowed in training or in your CDL drive test.)

Here's a decent video for you:

[Tutorial] 10 Speed Shifting Tips by CDL College

Posted:  5 days, 21 hours ago

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I need HELP: Just got my CDL.

Hello Nick! Welcome to Trucking Truth! And Happy Birthday 🎈🎂🎈!

Consider that a truck driver is responsible for maybe $250,000 of equipment, thousands of dollars of freight, and needs to get the through all kinds of traffic and roads. Doing this safely and legally to boot.

Trucking companies do pay attention to an applicant's past because of course that's the best they have to predict what kind of driver you might be.

Don't give up just yet. There's lots you need to find out about this business. I'm not clear on this: I think you don't have a CDL yet, right? Trucking Truth had some stuff that will help you out.

Take a look at this stuff:

The first two things can help fill in your information about this industry. The second, especially the High Road program will get you set up to pass the CDL written test.

But with there's more. Assuming you need the CDL license, here's some more reading:

Truck Driving School Listings

Paid CDL Training Programs

And finally, here's a way to get your application to a whole bunch of companies looking for drivers:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

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Practice test

Jerry, the core of the test manuals for each state are almost word-for-word the same. The first section will be written by each state, and the last sections can be different. But in between the content will be exactly the same.

Also, after you get your state permit, if you go from Texas to a school in Missouri, for example, it's possible to complete the driving portion in Missouri to qualify for you're Texas CDL. This just makes it easier for trucking schools to get stuff done.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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The Benefits Of Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond One Year - article by G-Town

RealDiehl wonders:

Hey, G (or anyone with an opinion),

What are your thoughts on bouncing around to different positions within the same company. For example, moving from an OTR position to a dedicated position, then going back to OTR or regional? Any drawbacks to doing this? Or...could it be seen as something positive in that you're gaining experience doing different types of driving?

Great article by the way. I enjoyed reading it and all the replies.

I did just that with Swift. My first 5 months were classic OTR. I was asked to move to shuttle (their term for line-haul), and I did. After about 4 months pulling trailers back and forth between Memphis and St. Louis (4 1/2 hrs one way), I moved to a GP dedicated run. About two years ago, moved back to shuttle. (Easier to take time off when the 2018 eclipse happened, among other things.) No one worried about "job hopping" then. Just remember to clear the move with the DM you are leaving.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Be warned about Automatic/Manual CDL

Brian states:

Supposedly they are shooting for the trucks to have a range of 500 miles and to take no more than an hour to charge.

You are using "supposedly" to back up a statement of fact. But this "fact" is like saying you can fill up an Olympic size pool in ten minutes. I'll just say you can't load that many electrons into the truck battery so quickly.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Be warned about Automatic/Manual CDL

Scratch2win's "facts":

They are only limited due to the charging station's. Same was true for the electric cars less then a decade ago. now we have cars going 300+ miles between charges.

I've been munching on this popcorn for a while now. I feel I need to pop in. "now we have cars going 300+ miles between charges." Do you know what a truck driver will say if they have to stop every 5-6 hours to recharge their truck? "****** ***** **** ** ******* *****!" You might consider electric trucks would be on the road far sooner than auto-drive trucks. But only 300 miles at a time in a truck dispatched 2,500 miles ain't going to fly. Any truck that can hold batteries for a longer trip will certainly have a smaller maximum load. Another non-fly idea.

We have been moving away from internal combustion that's nothing new.

And so turbine power, atomic power (yes it was considered at one time), steam long ago. It has taken us over 100 years to get this far with internal combustion. What's next?

As for "petro dollar system", what is that? How does that "slow down" progress? Yes, oil is bought and sold internationally with US dollars, but the search for something more efficient than four stroke diesel on the large scale is nowhere in sight.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Doubles Endorsement

I just studied (and passed on the first time out) the T Doubles/ Triples endorsement. Of course I used the High Road.

JuiceBox is right, the old questions come back to haunt you. But remember you just might get another go at the General Knowledge part. Test review can't be all bad.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Check this Trucking Truth article out:

Trucking Companies That Will Hire Felons

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Frustrated and Took a break (going on 6 months)

Ronald, I have written descriptions about how to do an Alley Dock twice - in two different ways - on the forum here. Use the search box up at the top and search for "Alley Dock". You'll get several viewpoints on it.

As Brett emphasized, learning any move in a truck is all on you - you need to learn the motor skills, and how to read the trailer as it bends.

You should find a trainer that is interested in training instead of "slave labor" and extra miles. However, I wouldn't make such a request with the training scheduler - trainers should be more interested in teaching than getting free miles. The trainer has that job because they are supposed to get new drivers up to speed for their company. If a trainer asks how much you know, just say "I need more practice in alley docking".

Lastly, you seem to have a dim view of team driving with a trainer. You say driving long distances is easy. So do you need training while you are sitting in the driver seat and holding the steering wheel? Your trainer expects you to handle the Interstate part easily. They should then be available at terminals and shippers/ receivers to watch and train you in the backing maneuvers that are hard for most people. Team driving with a trainer is the best way to get the rough edges of your newly learned abilities smoothed out.

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