Profile For Sushi Boy

Sushi Boy's Info

  • Location:
    LA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 2 months ago

Sushi Boy's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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How old can you be? How long can you drive?

Met a husband/wife team haulin OTR through Port Arthur years ago. He was 75, not sure his wife age but from their story they met in high school. He retired years earlier but his wife got the bug and wanted to travel. She got her CDL soon there after and they were team driving.

Meeting them was one of the major deciding factors for me to pursue trucking at some point in my life.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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My local CDL school shut down.

I don't know, I'm sure Swift had me running some of the easier / shorter routes during my ten days at Walmart dedicated boot camp. But then again I was still running Philadelphia and New Jersey mostly at night in the winter.

I actually liked it after the first couple of days but I got bored rather quickly. I wouldn't mind running Walmart but returning to the same DC every day really isn't what I had in mind at this point.

JJ

I was able to talk to a Walmart driver a couple of days ago and he seemed upbeat about his future with them given the latest competition with Amazon.

So Swift runs for Walmart? I thought most of their drivers were employees.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

Sushi Boy, I went the private school route, but only because my employer at the time offered a scholarship that covered the cost of my CDL school so I only had $200 out of pocket.

I had to share 3 trucks with almost 20 students in 3 different phases of school. It was a nightmare. We attended part time on weekends. Look back and see what I went through. I was determined, knew exactly what to expect, and made it. I don't regret my company choice for my first driving job.. I'm still there and now a trainer for them, BUT for my choice of school, had I not had the unique opportunity of that scholarship, I would have hands down gone the company sponsored training route.

Out of that 20 or so, only 5 of us made it (4 from my class), and only 3 of us are still driving (2 from my class), but the other gal I attended school with had some personal issues she had to resolve.. quit driving for 5 months or so and only recently returned to driving. I am the only driver out of that whole fiasco that immediately went to a company, completed company training, and am still employed by that same company.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND COMPANY SPONSORED SCHOOLS. You'll have a higher chance of success. I only made it because my ex taught me to drive 20 years ago, I knew exactly what I was getting into and was extremely motivated and determined to succeed.

I had my eye on Prime but wanted Regional home weekly, which my current company offers to brand new drivers.. in fact, Midwest Regional is my employers core market. Ironically that home weekly thing went right out of the window because I loved it so much and within 6 months, decided I wanted to go OTR and stay out for 2-3 weeks at a time.

Wow! That definitely sounds like a mess. I have spoken with a school not too far from me that does weekends but I'm sure it would be similar to the situation you described.

After a few calls today it's looking more like company sponsored may be my only option.

Thanks!!

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

Truth time....the horror stories are from people who did not research or talk to us first! Lol they had unrealistic expectations and gave up on the company and bad mouthed them...often to go on to other companies and find the same situation.

Read the links on this site about the trucking lifestyle. You would have spent the money on a local school only to find out that without a year of OTR or regional...local jobs would be slim to none. Regardless of where you get your CDL, you still need extensive training. For insurance reasons smaller companies require at least a year OTR and trust me when I tell you, local, regional and dedicated can be a nightmare for new drivers.

Many of us here started with the "starter" companies and found a home. Sometimes our feathers get ruffled if someone thinks one company is better...cause they are all great... And that creates loyalty. But one will be better for YOU than another.

I went to Prime. Paid $155 up front, signed a contract for $3800 (I think, don't really remember). I paid nothing at all as long as I stayed one year. On the day I tested for my CDL I signed the employment papers and went out with a team trainer. I then started getting paid $700 per week gross until I drove 30,000 TEAM miles. Then went solo. Any money I needed for chains, TWIC card, locks and such were advanced to me which I paid back in weekly payments. The pet deposit for my cat was taken in weekly payments as well.

Advantages of company sponsored school:

Driving in all sorts of weather, downgrades, cities, times of day and night, various traffic.

Think about the fact that in a local school you know the roads. You might be in a flat area and never have driven hills or.mountains. what about in a rural area with no traffic?

With my permit I drove mountains, Atlanta, St Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and all over the Northeast. I switched from day to night and it was all done one on one with a trainer. We left the terminal and didn't come back for three weeks. In that time I drove almost 10,000 miles. I absolutely felt confident I would pass the driving and pretrip but I still sucked at backing. Even with a one on one trainer.

Many local schools have older equipment, and coukd be nothing **** what you will drive once emoloyed. The mega carriers have the best and newest trucks. You are trained on equipment you will.most likely be driving. I was trained on two Cascadias and a Pete. My first truck was a 2015 cascadia, which I put 150,000 miles on then traded it in for a 2016 Cascadia.

Another important advantage for me is that I met a ton of experienced drivers at the terminal---all willing to give out their phone numbers to answer the questions of a rookie in need! We all totally help each other...its awesome.

When comparing my experience to my friend who shared one truck with five students... Who only got to drive two hours a week and back about three tries a class...I know I got a Much better education and experience. Plus, he paid $6500 and I paid $155.

Then guess what..he wanted to find a local job and couldn't. Anything he could find paid so little it wasn't worth leaving his current job for. Now its been so long, his certificate is no good and he will have to start all over again, wasting his time and thousands of dollars.

Something else people don't think about is that schools recruit to.make money. They tell you anything..."that DUI is old and doesn't matter...you haven't worked in 8 years, no big deal...you just got paroled for armed robbery, no worries". All BS.

Companies hire based on their own policies and just because you have a CDL doesn't mean you will get hired with a blemished background. You could. But it night make things much more difficult than you think. Going straight to a company knocks out all those headaches and you find the hurdles right away.

Some will give you the "if I go to a local school I'm a free agent and can go to any company instead of a contract".

True. But jump.from company to company and you say to potential future employers that you won't stay with them either. Have a rookie accident at your first company and if will be forgiven much quicker than at a second or third company who expects you to have experience and past that phase.

Read the CDL diary reviews and the links about the programs.

Definitely a lot to consider. I was leaning towards Prime before I got called back to work but they were only offering reefer at the time. And I'm not opposed to reefer if its my only option but I was planning to go a different route after I finished at this school. I've read many of your posts before and am confident in your opinion of them. Thanks for the advice and feedback.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

Very few local companies will take someone right out of school. No matter where you get your CDL. We recommend getting all of your endorsements. I went with CFI company sponsored training. They require you to get your permit and med card before you go to training. They will reimburse you for your hazmat background check and licence. Once you have your CDL and finish your road training, you only owe one year of service to them. They figure the total owed divided by 12. Every month you drive for them is 1/12th off what's owed. I think you can pay them up front. They only pull dry van. As far as you wanting flatbed or tanker, Prime, Swift and Schnieder all offer those options. I think Rohel offers flatbed. I agree that you should find a company that you think you can stay with for the long term. Good luck.

That's why this whole situation is somewhat bittersweet. Before I left for Texas, I scouted all the local companies that were open to hiring students from this school.

Tomorrow I'm making the rounds to speak with a few of them before switching gears and moving towards company sponsored training.

I guess its possible some of them stopped hiring students which left the school with limited local job placements.

Thanks for the CFI info.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

double-quotes-start.png

I’m worried I’m still going to be on the hook to them somehow/someway.

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Sushi Boy, that's odd. In a Company-Sponsored Training Program, they have committed themselves to you.

They are going to pay for your transportation to their school, they are going to pay for your training, they are providing you a truck to both learn and test in, they are going to pay for your housing while there. They are laying out a lot of cash just to help you get a job. They are taking a huge risk on you, an unproven rookie who is apparently unnerved by commitment.

The beauty of these programs is that all you are committed to is showing up and doing your job like a professional. Who wouldn't want to be willing to keep showing up and doing their job for a year?

I really don't get the fear of commitment that folks express concerning these training programs. The company takes on the greatest risk. They lay out all the money to pay for your new career, while you get to enjoy all the benefits of having a good paying job with a steady paycheck.

I won't lie, SOME of my fear is commitment specific to many of the horror stories I've read. That's why I figured I'd go the private school route like many advised IF you had the means to do so. But most of my thinking centered around having a better chance at driving for somewhere closer to home. I'm not so sure any of that possible if I commit to a mega school.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

Sushi, first try to shake off the "training wheels company" concept. The company that sponsors you for school is expecting to hire you as a driver. True, you'll need to repay the school tuition, and that will happen either the easy way - drive for your company with payroll deduction, or the hard way - you leave the company and you must pay the full amount or they start collection on you.

So your best bet is to choose a company you plan to stay with. Sure you can jump ship after your first year, but you'll find a great many TTers and others stay with the company that hired them.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Expect to pay for the school one way or another.

As to your advantages/ disadvantages question:

Advantages: very little out-of-pocket for you. Mostly your physical and license. You're all but hired when you are accepted in the school.

Disadvantages: you need to work off the tuition. It's not "slave labor" or anything. The company covered the school and you're paying it back. This should be almost painless.

Some schools do have you sign a non-compete clause, and if you quit too soon, you can't drive till they get paid.

Make your choice at the get-go wisely, stick with your first company. You should do well.

Paid CDL Training Programs

I agree. My only reasoning for initially going with the local school was I had a better chance of finding a local company near home that will give me a shot at going tanker or flatbed.

Going the company sponsored route will limit me to only whats available in my area with the given company, which back then, was mostly dry van or reefer.

I still haven't looked into whats available currently, but when I was first looking that was all they would offer. Maybe things have changed since then.

Thanks.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My local CDL school shut down.

I’ve been out in West Texas for past 8 months working to pay off some bills and save enough to enroll in the CDL program at a local community college 5 minutes from home.

Called Friday to find out they haven’t had anyone (they need a minimum of 4-5) enroll in past 6-8 months so the program may be shut down. Guess I should have kept in touch, but for past couple of years there was a flippin waiting list...now nothin.

Now I’m researching my options of paying up front for a company sponsored program. I see many of the company school profiles here give a payout amount associated with the school, but I’m worried I’m still going to be on the hook to them somehow/someway.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of this idea? What is my obligation after completion of the course? I'm guessing most will hold my certificate until I spend some time with them anyway? I’m guessing I need to save up also for room/board as well if I go this route?

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Moving between divisions (flt bd, reefer, van, tank) within a company?

Sushi Boy, you will rarely have any problems switching between divisions within a company once you've proven yourself to be a hard working, safe, and reliable driver. Some divisions they may let you in right away, others will require maybe a year or more experience with the company before they'll let you change over.

With your plan, the first problem you're going to run into is that there are not a lot of flatbed team operations. There are some, but very few. There are a lot more dry van and refrigerated team operations and I would recommend a refrigerated carrier if you're going to run team. Refrigerated freight has the longest average miles per load because there is such a huge amount of produce going from the West Coast to the East Coast, and then of course those trucks need to get back to the West Coast for another run. So there's a lot of coast to coast freight for refrigerated companies.

Dry van companies also have rather extensive team operations but you're going to find more variance in the length of haul and a lot more ups and downs in freight around the holidays.

As a trucker you will not have to worry about economic downturns. There is always plenty of work and plenty of jobs. I know people that got started in trucking in January '09, right at the depth of the "Great Recession" immediately after Christmas. They had no problems finding work and had solid freight to haul. Companies will cut back on the size of their fleets in extremely tough times but the turnover is so high in trucking that they can use turnover to reduce fleet size. You won't see layoffs or anything of the sort.

I'd say your plan is pretty solid but I would recommend a refrigerated carrier for running team with your wife. If you want to get out there first, learn the ropes, and then bring her along after you've been out there for a bit then you can do that. It's a perfectly fine plan.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to companies that have a lot of refrigerated freight but also other divisions would be Prime. Roehl I believe also fits the bill and there are others also. That would give you the refrigerated freight for running team but other options down the line if you so choose.

Roger that. I'm really thinking reefer is probably going to be our best bet as well. I actually dig driving at night and I've grown accustomed to vac trucks, roughnecks and false alarms jacking with my sleep, so I might be OK.

And it's quite possible she's not going to be down with crawling out of a cab in the rain and snow to throw a tarp, but who knows.

But for sure I'm going to have to stick it out for the first year just to give a company the quality assurance needed to evolve us as a team.

I've received some seriously awesome insight into the industry here. It's been invaluable to understand the industry first hand from yourself and all the guys/gals who have taken the time to contribute.

Thanks again to everyone!!

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Moving between divisions (flt bd, reefer, van, tank) within a company?

Ultimately this question (***) centers around the fact that our ultimate goal for a driving career is to become a team. “Our” is referring to myself and my fiancé.

I would be the first to jump in and get my feet wet before she comes along for the ride. As well, I’m planning to capture any/every endorsement to allow for running virtually anything. Once she’s had a taste of OTR life and I’ve clocked a decent amount of miles, I plan to put her through school.

In my mind the best possible way to evolve this plan initially would be to go flatbed, since I have more experience (albeit indirectly) with flatbed loading, securement and tarping from my previous career (oilfield). Then, once I’m covered for riders and/or she is approved to ride, we hit the road together. If during this time I have an opportunity to also run reefer or dry van, that would definitely be an added advantage to making a decision in the future. I also realize the majority of tanker runs would prohibit a rider, so that option would have to wait pending her licensing, endorsements and time.

My thinking on this is basically to gain multi-level experience within one company to not only expose us to the more options for our goal of team driving, but to limit any exposure to economic downturns within the industry. This method of thinking served me very well within the oilfield industry but unfortunately did not run parallel with recent pitfalls of basic supply/demand economics.

***So if I run with a company that has multiple divisions and I have the proper endorsements and desired time on the road, what kind of issues or difficulty can I (we) expect to encounter moving between divisions??***

Thanks for any advice!

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Probably asked a bunch but i need to know

https://www.truckingtruth.com/wiki/topic-50/hair-follicle-vs-urinalysis-breakdown-by-company

And if you're still in doubt call them and ask.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Probably asked a bunch but i need to know

And to add, I've read a thread most recently on other trucker forums where someone claimed to be clean for 5 months and they still were failed. I think it was for Swift.

Nope, not for Swift. Either a mod erased it or I imagined it. My apologies. Will go back to my corner now. lol

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Probably asked a bunch but i need to know

I've taken 4 hair follicle test in 4 years (pre-emp + randoms) while working in oil and gas industry. 3 out of 4 times they didn't even go for my hair.

Sorry, I meant HEAD hair

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Probably asked a bunch but i need to know

I've taken 4 hair follicle test in 4 years (pre-emp + randoms) while working in oil and gas industry. 3 out of 4 times they didn't even go for my hair. Instead they took armpit hair and once took it from my leg.

I've read many talk here (and other forums) about how long it takes to grow 1/2 inch of "head hair", etc...etc... but the testing companies are hip to a lot of the adulterants, washes or "going bald", so they are into areas that take longer to grow.

I've seen many guys take to shaving these areas and they get released due to "evading" the test.

And to add, I've read a thread most recently on other trucker forums where someone claimed to be clean for 5 months and they still were failed. I think it was for Swift.

There are megas that are still UA only for now, but this will change eventually. The list is updated on the site and you can also search reddit for a lot of these updates as well.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Jim Palmer cdl training

Aaron, have really enjoyed reading your experience with JPT. From the start of the thread it looks like you've gone from orientation to A seat in roughly 4 months (including your upcoming solo week). Is that correct? It's difficult to know based on the forums thread dating.

And from A seat you would have the 60 day probate period before you would be allowed riders?

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