Comments By BuckeyeCowboy

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Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Church Services

I will be getting my CDL soon and will be starting my career as a long haul trucker. I am so excited, but one of the hardest things I have been struggling with is my church. I have been a Christian for over 15 years and I love going to church every Sunday. How do truckers attend church on Sundays? I heard of truck stops having services? Any info you all could provide would be much appreciated. God speed.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Looking for company-sponsored training

I can assist with that because that has been my biggest thing too....Here are the companies to check out that will allow her to go from day 1 after you get out of training, get your cdl and then get your own truck:

Central Refrigerated

Swift

Crete Carriers (dry vans)/Shaffer refers

Boyd Brothers (flatbeds)

Werner

USA Truck

Navajo Express

TMC (after 90 days, but they try to get you home 46 of the 52 weekends)

There are others, but I am drawing a mind blank. I am going with the 3rd one, but Werner isn't a bad choice either. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Looking for company-sponsored training

Roehl is a great company. I was looking at them. Only reason I didn't go with them is I want to take my wife with me right out of training and they require a 90 waiting period. That is personal preference for me though, so don't let that sway your opinion. I do see a lot of their trucks on 71 and 75 when I have the occasion to travel those interstates.

Yeah you can call the JFS office. What I did, and how I found out about it is I found a local private company here and went to talk to them and they told me about the program and made sure that I had everything I needed to get set up. They even faxed any needed documents to me. So, that would be something to consider trying too. Good luck.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Looking for company-sponsored training

Jerry, I too reside in Ohio, but a bit further south than you in the Cincinnati area. I am the same as you. I have been married since 2009 and we are having the same financial issues as everyone else. I can tell you that from my personal experience, no matter how bad it gets, don't let them get the best of you and keep your head up.

As far as schools, you actually have a couple options. What I did, since I was considered low income is I went through the WIA program. Each county in Ohio has this. They will pay for everything including permits and schooling and gas to and from the school for any private institution you want to attend. You can't have made more than 33k between you and your wife last year. The advantage to this is that your school will more than likely have recruiters coming in from different companies to try and get you to work for them, so you can choose what company you want to go with. That is what I am doing.

Option B or 2 whatever you want to label it is the schooling that you were asking about. There is one here in Cincinnati, Millis Transfer, they have been around forever, they seem to have a good program. Werner will also have training in Springfield, Ohio and they are my backup company in case something goes wrong with the carrier that I have selected. Also, they get a bad wrap on other sites, which I would not listen too, but Swift has a good program as far as I can tell. I would start there. Good luck in your search. God speed.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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A different type of question this time. LOL

Starcar that was really funny. My wife cracked up at it. My wife is going to go with me once I get out of training. She is going to be with me all the time, so it should be interesting. One thing that we thought might help, with us, is my wife is going to take online classes. So, that will give her something to do when we are on those long boring stretches of I-75 running the same states that we have already been in. She has been through more states than me, so she will have less to see, but we should still have fun none the less. God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Starting School on July 8.

Rolling Thunder, great to hear that school is going well and that you like it. I have been there with the mistakes too my friend. All you can do is laugh and learn from it and take the ribbing and move on. I have forgotten to pop the breaks before trying to get out and forgot to take it out of gear and having it jump all over the place. Ah the rookie mistakes that we all make. I drove yesterday and was shaking so bad going on country back roads that had so many hills. I was so focused that I didn't realize I was shaking. You will get better at this. You have all our support. Good luck. God speed.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

Wow. Sorry guys and gals, I know it has been a while and I am sorry. I am getting close to graduating. My graduation date is Monday, but since I have missed a few days of school for illness, I am required to make those days up. Which, to me, is not a big deal. I am scheduled to test on August 6th. My school still allows us to come and in practice up to the date of the test. Which I plan on taking full advantage of.

I have been on the road for a total of 5 hours. I went out with the same instructor twice. Once for an hour and a half and the other for time for 3 and a half hours. He told me that I need a bit more work, but it is just to put the finishing touches on. I still have a bit of trouble with turns and downshifting. I will get there though. It has been a long and arduous journey, but one I would not trade it for the world.

Oh and I got to drive some really cool trucks to. I think the neatest one has been an old 1995 Ford Aeromax. It isn't road worthy anymore, but she makes a great truck to straight line back in, and her transmission is in great shape too. It has the best shifting of all the trucks on the pad. I asked them the chances of getting that thing road worthy to take my test in, you know old trucker style, but they won't do it. Oh well, I guess I will just have to stick with the International daycab that they have designated as the state truck. God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

I could have misunderstood. Like I said when their recruiter came he talked about everuthing but the company. So, Friday was our last day in class. Today we started with oreintation on the range. We have a female instructor. She is very nice. She is leading us thru pretrip. One great thing about working with her is besides being an ex driver and company trainer she is a former cdl examiner for ohio. So she knows everything the state is looking for.

We saw Covenant Transportation. Good company, especially for teams. They claim to be christian based. Not looking for teams. They have solo operations but make on like .23 cpm and that won't work for me. Tomorrow U.S. Express is in for new class. I have already saw them. We also have ISupply in tomorrow. Dont know much about them. But we wilm see what they have tomorrow. Night and God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

Over the last couple of days we have been studying log booking and the Smith System. I got both of them down pretty well. We started pretrip today in preperation for going on range next week to get in the trucks. Tomorrow is final exam day and then we are going to learn about taxes and a few minor things.

Yesterday morning we were suprised with a local flatbed company, NLX. Seems alright but I dont want to do local. NTB was impressive but they only run 8 states. Schneider brought their A game but OTR is kept in Eastern half of US and that is not what I am looking for. Today was another local flatbed company. Dont remember their name. Tomorrow is Sewell and Prime. I like Prime but you have to team for 8 months or more and dont want to do that. Off to bed.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Talk about a nightmare. .....

Wow. That was crazy. I took my pickup truck to one of these oil change in 20 minutes places. Keep in mind my truck at the time only had about 60k miles on it at the time and a full tank of gas. I take it, and I have been here before, so I trusted them. Hand them the keys. They put it up on the rack and do the oil change. I was kinda watching them, but kinda focused on the ballgame on the tv. I am the only vehicle getting worked on. They try to start my truck and it wont start. So, that got my attention right away.

I go out there and ask what the issue is. They said that they don't know that it won't start. I just look at them. I am highly upset because I have only had small minor issues with it not working (plug wire kept falling off). I told them to check that, they did. It was fine. The lights were working so wasn't the altenator or battery, they keep checking things and kept saying it is not getting any gas to it. So, they are wanting to tow it to a shop and have them fix it and not sure if they are going to pay for it or not because they claim that they didn't do it.

At this point I am flipping out. Come to find out they are not ASE certified. I was getting really hot and needed to cool down. I couldn't handle it, so I called my dad and he came up. They are wanting to tow it, but it is like 5 pm and all the shops were closed. Both my wife and I had to work the next day, so I needed my truck. They are not comitting to anything and are not working with us at all and are on the phone with the tow company to come to it, so we call the cops to come to prevent them from towing it. Officer shows up and tells them they are not towing it. As we are trying to figure a solution I calm down and remember my father-in-law is a mechanic. So, I call him up and he comes up and in 5 minutes he had it running. They hit the racks so hard and the bump was so severe that it tripped the fuel shut off switch which cuts fuel to the engine in case of an accident. He had to show them how he fixed it, in case of next time.

So, I feel your pain. I am sorry that you had that ordeal. I wouldn't go back to that place ever again. Hope things are getting better. God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Starting School on July 8.

Rolling Thunder: Good luck in school. Tell your wife we said thanks for her brave service to our country. She had the guts to so something I couldn't do, so it is much appreicated. I am a student right now in week two in Cincinnati. Like Brett recommended, start studying the High Road Series now. I did and I was so much further in my understanding than most people in the class. Good luck in class. God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

LOL Brett, real funny. LOL J/K.

Today was a day off of school. Being where I am in Cincinnati, we have some students from over the river in Kentucky. Kentucky has their own rules and those applying for cdl permits can only test on Tuesdays. I don't know why, but that is how it works. So, us Buckeyes had the day off, assuming we passed General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combinations. We had to go test this morning, and for those who didn't pass they had to be at school this afternoon. Seeing as I passed everything but Doubles/Triples on Saturday, I didn't have to go in, but still was required to test for that one only. I did and I passed it. I missed one question. If you check my status, Brett, you will see that I did that section on the High Road Series before I tested. So, I have my permit. I then had to drive 30 miles in the other direction to get fingerprinted for my HAZMAT Endorsement so they can start the background check and have it ready by the time I get my CDL. So, while I wasn't in school I did get a lot accomplished.

Yesterday, Werner and TMC came in. They were my other two choices, and I got to say I am impressed with both of their companies. Werner lets you choose if you want a Kenworth, Peterbilt, Frieghliner, or International. Assuming they have one available you can have whatever you want. Me, personally, there is nothing better that a Peterbilt with a CAT. However, they have over 300 different pay options based on the company account you haul for. Too confusing. TMC's trucks come fully equipped with cbs, satellite radio, chains, hardhat, etc...all the bells and whistles, but they have the percentage pay and milage pay, and a sliding scale quarterly, where if you had a bad month you could slide back down to less than you were making before. Don't like that idea.

Tomorrow, is NTB (National Truck Brokers)....Not heard a lot about them and Schneider. Schneider will be impressive too, but just not for me. Though, the $8,000 sign on bonus for tankers is tempting. But reading Brett's book he says never start career with tankers, and I agree so I am not going to do that, though I could use the money.

Been keeping in contact with the Shaffer recruiter. They seem to have high standards, which I like because I like to be pushed. When I did my application originally, I wasn't sure if I had told them about my diabetes, and so I called to tell them. They are fine with it, as long as I can pass a DOT phyiscal, and I have passed two so far, so I should be good. But if not, I have ten other prehires to take advantage of. Only one other student, out of 17 in my class, already have a job lined up out of school. That shocks me. I don't know about them, but I need the money, so I want to get to work asap. Plus, once i finish training with Shaffer I will be on my own begining of October. I would like to get at least a small bit of time getting used to the truck before snow and ice. Well, off to bed, thanks for reading. God bless America and God bless the American (and Canadian) truck driver.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Dot physical

I am diabetic with good blood pressure. I take a pill everyday for my diabetes and one for chlorestrol. I don't have the cpap or sleeping disorder, and I was able to pass two dot physicals, and I have a one year DOT card. Not sure if company physicals will be more stringent, but I think you should be fine.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Problem with Driving School....

I know with my school, they work with certain companies, and while we were encouraged to work with the companies they do, we were also told that we could find our own company, if we wanted. So, that sounds a bit fishy to me, but each school is different.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Unfortunately

Lawrence, I don't know if you are a man of faith. If you are, search your heart. If this is something you really want, and God is okay with it, then He will make a way. If its not, then He won't. Just please don't give up without seeking His guidence first. If you are not a man of faith then really search your heart. Find out what makes you happy and do it. Don't let anyone stand in your way. Brett is right, if this is something you really want, you will find a way. I work a part time job after going to school all day and my wife is working a fulltime job and a part time job to help me realize my dreams. I am on the verge of loosing it all just to follow this dream. I don't know what will happen, and not sure I will make it. Good Lord willing I will. But don't go down without fighting. The great British poet, Dylan Thomas, said: "Do not go gentle into that good night, rage! rage! aganist the dying of the light." Don't give up. Vince Lombardi once said, "The difference between successful people and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will." This just doesn't go for truck driving, but all of life. Figure out what makes you truly happy, and go after it with all your heart and never give up. Just something to think about. Oh, not sure if you thought of it, but a yard sale might get you to your goal too. Take care and God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

I have like 9 or 10 pre-hires sitting in my folder. My backup options are Werner and TMC. But I don't think that I will need one. I really hope that Shaffer works out. They have a program that as long as your kids (which I have none, but hope to someday) as long as they make A's and B's in college Shaffer will give them a full ride to the University of Nebraska. That is amazing. I have never heard of any other company doing that.

I took my permit tests yesterday. Of the six tests that I took, I passed five. I failed doubles/triples. Ironically, that is the only one I had not had time to study on the High Road Series. I take the test again Tuesday, which I will fully expect to pass. I just finished studying that section. Found out orientation will be 3 days in Lenior City, TN then on the road with trainer for 4 weeks as pat one of training. You will drive half and trainer drives half. You will drive 26 states during this time. Then home 3 to 4 days, then back out for 4 more weeks in which you will be running the truck as your own for most of the time. In this part you will be seeing 39 states. So, Shaffer doesn't play around. They will run you hard and expect you to step up to meet the challenge, which I will do. Then I have to go to Omaha, Nebraska for three days at headquarters to tour the facility and meet everyone and learn how the dispatching end works and I will also be assigned my truck at that point and be given a load that will take me near the house so I can get my stuff and my wife.

So, now that all that is in place all I have to do is focus and study and get my cdl. Once I will do that I should be off an running.

Oh, btw, you never read anything negative on Shaffer. I went to Trckersreport, rip-off report, and other sites and there is not one bad thing written. That means the company is running their drivers, and that the drivers don't have time to get on the computer and complain about anything, so that is good. Thanks for reading, take care, and God speed.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

I know I will not see my recruiter again. But I come from a sales background so I judge all sales people on professionalism etc. I know it doesnt reflect on the company. Just something I am "trained" to notice.

We had Atlantic Foods come in today. Extremely small company. 25 tractors. Local food company out of Cincinnati. Seems like a great company. Have straight trucks and day cabs, but for me. I want OTR. Kept getting practice tests all day in preperation for permit test on Saturday.

Got a call from Crete/Shafer my application had been processed and they said they have a job offer for me. I qm so eleated. From what I read on their website they are an amazing company. Debt free for 75 years so they know how to truck. Tomorrow starts my favorite thing. Trip planning. Ever since I was a child I have been obsessed with maps. I have a collection of road maps from each state. I can tell you what major interstates run through each city. I used to listen to the late night truckers radio program out of Cincinnnati, still do, back then was trucking bozo, now americas trucking network. When truckers would talk about where they were I would find it on the map and dream about what it was like. That wad high school. I am 31. I still do it at times. Can you say obsessed. Lol. Just getting a chance to live my dream. I will say this. There are better drivers than me, but you would be hardpressed to find someone who wants this as bad as me.

Sorry for rambling. Good night and Godspeed. Via con dios.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

Studying and working is hard, but so worth it. I commited to Shaffer/Crete today. I have an app in right now. They are processing it. If everything goes right I will be headed to Knoxville, TN when I get my cdl for orientation. I wanted to get the decision out of the way so I could learn the material and not have it hanging over my head. I am amazed at the professionalism I have received from the Shaffer recruiters. They have gone above sales pitches including thinking enough of me to call me once a week just to check on me. No other company has done that.

I test Saturday for my permit. 6 tests. General Knowledge, Air brakes, Combos, hazmat, doubles/triples, and tankers. In Ohio you have to pas General Knowledge first before any other tests. We have been testing in class all week and studying and I have been doing the High Road Series so I should be fine. Thanks for reading. Good luck and Godspeed.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Napier Truck Driving Training....Hamilton, OH

Brett, I know what you mean. I have visted the TruckersReport there and you would think that there is not one happy driver in all of America the way that they talk.

Today was a good day, tested on Air Brakes and HAZMAT and scored pretty well. I can always do better, but missed 3 on Air Brakes and 4 on HAZMAT. Tomorrow is doubles/triples, combinations, and tankers. Thanks to the High Road Series, I am prepared for whatever they throw at me.

I was really interested to see that the recruiters from U.S. Express and Averitt were so different then the one from Maverick that came yesterday. The U.S. Express lady seemed to be rude and crass, while the Averitt one didn't seem to care if he was there or not. Tomorrow we have BST, Shaffer/Crete, and one other company and it has slipped my mind.

I really wanted to ask this...the U.S. Express lady recommeneded that we pick two companies, sign up for both orientations and then when we make a final decision, call and back out of the other one (nicely, of course, without burning bridges). That seems a bit rude to me, but is that something you all would reccomend that people do, or should I just pick a company, and God forbid it doesn't work then take my pre-hire to the next company? What do you all think.

I have narrowed my final two companies to Crete/Shaffer and Werner. Both are great companies, and both have been around a long time. Shaffer has been around since 1933, before being bought out by Crete, and Werner has been around since the 50's. After comparing and contrasting the two, they are both so similar and offer a lot of the same things, with slight variances. For instance, Shaffer offers the deal where you can pick your load from a list of three and they have great pay. Werner's pay is on a sliding scale (which worries me), but they have a sign on bonus, and first to implement electronic log books, so you know they are on top of innovation. Benefits both start at 30 days. Crete/Shaffer pays more for orientation pay and training, but Werner has the sign on bonus. Hometime is the same within a day or two (something not interested in). Both will let me take my wife from day one, year round, while Shaffer's is free, Werner there is a small fee. Shaffer's benefits are really expensive, not sure about Werner's. With all that being said, how do I choose a company between these too, when they are so similar? Any ideas? I know you cant give recommendations, but any help or something I missed, please point out. Thanks and God bless.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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For those considereing driving for PAM as a new driver (going thru Driver Solutions)

Daniel, Prime, in my experience is a great company as well. They require you to team up as well. I forget how long it is, but they do. They have a lot to offer drivers. With teaming, what I have found is that there are some companies that will only pay you for what you drove, while most will pay you miles based on how many miles the truck ran all together. Obviously, you make more money under the second scenerio. Just a thought. Good luck in your search.

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