Profile For Tom The Bacon Pirate

Tom The Bacon Pirate 's Info

  • Location:
    Springdale, AR

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 4 months ago

Tom The Bacon Pirate 's Bio

Retired from the corporate world. I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not cut out to work with people.

Looking forward to the solitude of the open road.

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Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Class B to Class A, in a round about way

Day one of "training" at GCC...

Lots of videoconferencing. Lots of paperwork. At least they bought us a hot lunch and even paid us on the clock during lunch!

We were shown several videos and photos of the horrible wrecks that have happened while driving a mixer truck. 30k pounds of constantly moving slop, constantly altering your center of gravity, in an already top heavy truck. A truck, mind you, that is generally prone to roll-over even at speeds as low as 12 mph, due to the giant spinning drum sitting behind your arse.


The pay scale, especially for a beginner like myself, is pretty darned good, $15 an hour. 8 paid holidays in addition to the PTO you earn each week. Free steel toe boots, free company shirts, and free fancy high-risk winter jacket!

So far I'm impressed.

I'll have an in-the-cab driving instructor for as long as I need it, roughly one to three weeks, before I will go solo.

More paperwork tomorrow... Then maybe out for some road time Thursday!

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Class B to Class A, in a round about way

I've had a Class B CDL for the last three years or so, ( passenger and air brakes) which is all I needed at the time.

I made the mistake of thinking that I could climb the corporate ladder at Walmart. Buhwahahahaha Apparently I was lacking in corporate skills, and overflowing with a tad too much Pirate.

I hated dealing with the children they insisted on hiring at that store anyway.

Moving along, I'm now an apprentice at a local cement company driving a cement truck ( class B) and I'll be working on upgrading to a class A during the next 12 months.

I am envious of those of you who have the time/funding/etc to attend a truck driving school. I happen to be in a situation where I cannot afford to NOT get paid. No savings, and no credit. I have to keep paying bills, and keep a roof over my family's heads.

There happens to be a cement mixer truck job opening about a half mile down the road and they're willing to train me and the pay is decent. $15 an hour to start and plenty of hours.

I plan on working there for at least a year, maybe more if I like it. This should get me valuable experience "behind the wheel", and verifiable hours in the old logbook.

I figure that after 6 months I should be able to upgrade to a Class A, and also I'll be able to see if I am up for real over the road driving. The following 6 months I can spend doing research and see what's what with all the big companies that will hire a Class A with just a little experience.

I'll try to keep everyone updated as this idea of mine progresses, good or bad.

Looking forward to everyone's comments or suggestions!

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Drivers log app, anyone use these?

I'm looking into the Logbook Apps that are available, some are billed as "DOT compliant" and I see the industry standard is going to all digital log books.

I'm looking at two specifically : BigRoad Trucker Log Book, and another called Trucking Logbook by Keep Truckin Inc. Both are on the play store.

Seeing as I've never used a paper log book, and I'm just starting out, does anyone have any opinions??

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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DOT physical Question.........

I understand your frustration and concern, I was not fond of the idea either. Just got mine done last week. Nice lady. There's no groping, although I do feel like she could have at least bought me a drink first lol It only takes about three seconds and it necessary. They are checking for a hernia, something that you would not be able to recognize on your own. The faster you cough, the faster it's over with and done.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Pre Hire Bus/Coach Operator Video?

Public transit is an entirely different animal than moving freight.

Personal experience.

You have to be very attentive to the fact that you have dozens of eyes on you at any time, looking to you to be professional no matter what. You can't get caught cussing the moron that cut you off or slammed on their brakes in front of you.

Customer service is #1. Period.

It doesn't matter if you've had a bad day or not. You gotta bite your tongue and smile anyway.

As for the vehicle ; it don't bend in the middle. Remember that. (assuming you've driven a big truck previously) Also, if you've ever driven a liquid tanker before, real similar. Instead of liquid moving around, you have a couple dozen or so live bodies moving around. This dictates how you stop, how you take off, how you take a corner.... You gotta think a lot, and expect the passengers to do the most ignorant thingsat the worst possible moment.

Ya, that happens.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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The sad realization of my CDL school

Wow, that does suck. Seriously, the *instructor* suggested that you start over somewhere else? That's a bad sign.

Wow indeed!

Prime headquarters is like a few miles from me, I may have to go check them out tomorrow.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Fastest way to go from a Class B to a class A ?

To start with, I'd like to be able to simply drive a dump truck with a trailer on it. Beyond that however, I'm looking towards a future where I might be doing regional or even cross country.

All of the above, from the "lowly" construction equipment driver to the long haul guys and gals, all have get the same license, CDL-A.

I'm starting with a local ready mix company next week, where I can get my feet wet, so to speak. I'd like to work my way up to a full sized semi, and see if it's even something that I'm gonna like before I get tied into a contract with prime and then find out that I'm not cut out for this line of work.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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How large of an LED TV can fit in a typical sleeper? Can Sprint wifi tether stream over a smart tv?

I'm looking into one of those too.

Looking at coverage maps, Verizon seems best.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

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Alley Docking tips and tricks

I'm no expert, but what I found helpful when backing up my 40 ft long 8&1/2 wide 10ft tall gooseneck every day for ten years, was fining a mark.

I typically had to pull just past the alley, and back in, UP HILL, to towards the passenger (blind) side. All you have is your mirror, your gut instinct, and a mark.

A "mark" is any fixed point of reference you can use: a rock, a post, a line, another truck, the wall... It helps to have a natural level of space awareness. After a while, you "know" where the arse end of your trailer is, you can "feel it".

Lastly, if you're not familiar with your surroundings, a good idea is to just get out and walk it, if it's safe for you to do so.

Then, ... Go.... Slow.

A soft Ding is easier to repair than a hard crash.

Posted:  8 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

New 2016 Federal CDL testing guidelines

Any word on what the new rules are in regards to the state of Arkansas?

I'm hoping that these changes will be uniform across the board and not vary from state to state.

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