Profile For toonces

toonces's Info

  • Location:
    Tulsa, OK

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

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  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Best States to be a Truck Driver

I too had many drunken 2am breakfasts at Waffle House. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

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plus the Waffle House.

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Haha! Yes, you definitely want to choose a state to live in that has a Waffle house nearby your domicile.

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When i moved to Florida from Minnesota, i had to see what what is so great about waffle house. Maybe it was just the location i went to but I was not impressed at all.

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Waffle House is best at 2am after an evening of drunken debauchery!! Nothing like grease and starch to settle a stomach upset from alcohol.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Help with alley dock

I feel your pain. I recently passed my cdl test after failing 3 times because I timed out on the alley dock every time. I was the same as you. My setup and approach were fine, then I got totally lost. The instructors worked with me and would tell me the same thing Errol said, that the trailer takes 8-10 feet to react, but I was just wasn't getting it. I had to wait 30 days to re-test and when I got back to school I got my own truck to practice in. This is when I finally figured out the alley dock.

When I was sharing a truck, I would always let my partner re-position the truck for a setup after a backing maneuver. I didn't realize it at the time but this handicapped me. It caused me to not have a good feel for how I could control the trailer and how/when it would react to my streering adjustments. When I was on my own and had to do all of my own re-positioning, I started getting a feel for how the truck would react.

Suddenly, I could do the alley dock. And it was all because of my practice re-positioning after *other* backing maneuvers.

I don't know what your training setup is, but if possible, maybe practice backing around cones or into lanes from different angles? It's frustrating at first but it causes you to get a feel for the way the trailer handles. Once you get a good feel, then you'll know how to work the trailer into an alley dock.

For specific tips, here are some things that helped me. Stop every couple of feet and picture where the trailer needs to go and which way you need to turn to get it there. If you get it close but you're too much to the left or too much to the right, stop and think about what that means. You either didn't wait long enough or too long before starting your turn. Also, make small adjustments. A little left, a little right, usually gets it in there.

I hope this helps. I really do understand your frustration.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Should I Ask for a New Trainer?

I think my real issue with the pre-trip is that she never does one and I think that says something about how concerned she is with safety.

And I'm not a confrontational person, that's why I'm so conflicted over this. I want to be respectful of her; she is the one with experience. But I also want to be safe and follow what I've been taught. It's very stressful having these 2 things pulling me in opposite directions.

Like I said, I'm going to do what feels safe to me on following distance, obeying posted signs , etc. And if she gets mad I think I will use the excuse "just trying to be safe because I will be the one getting the ticket". Hopefully this won't cause too much friction. I'll let you guys know.

Paul, Crete does 8 week training with the trainer in the passenger seat the first 4 weeks.

And thank you everyone for your advice. It's so nice to have varied points of view. And somewhere to vent!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Should I Ask for a New Trainer?

Yes I learned how to do a pretrip. But there are things they use that I'm not familiar with, like the self-inflating tires and other things, that would be good if someone just went over once with me. I can live with that though, it's the driving things that bother me. Yesterday when someone crossed into my Iane in front of me, I began to decrease speed to 55 to increase following distance. She freaked out and said 150 ft was a safe following distance for the interstate. I told her that wasn't what I learned in school or Crete orientation and she said she didn't remember hearing that. And she told me to ignore the signs that say Engine Brake Prohibited.

I'm going to try following Brett's advice and drive the way I'm comfortable even when she tells me to do something else. I'll see how that goes.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Should I Ask for a New Trainer?

I've been trying to stick it out but I think I might be missing a lot by staying with her.

There are safety issues I think. We've been driving since Friday and today was the first time we've done a pretrip and it was only because I asked. Last night she told me to be ready at 6:15 this morning and I was. 6:45 comes and she's still in bed but awake. I say "I'm ready when you are" and she tells me I can go ahead and do the pretrip. I said I haven't done one on a Crete truck yet and would like to have a trainer show me at least the first time. She said "Yes you have. You know when we went around and thumped the tires, that was your pretrip." Well we only did that once and that was all we did in the way of a pretrip. She told me I could do a more in - depth pretrip on my own if I wanted. I again said, I would like you to show me at least the first time, I don't feel comfortable doing it by myself. So she did one but was really condescending and kept asking "Do you feel safe now? Are you comfortable now?" I asked about what to check on the self-inflating tires on the trailer since I have never seen those, and she said "Nothing. Breakdown doesn't even know anything about those" And we didn't do an air brakes test or check the the tire depth or tractor lights. She keeps giving me a hard time when I slow down around curves and when someone comes in front of me to increase me following distance. It's only my 4th day of driving in training, of course I'm going slow! And there are things she tells me to do that I think are DOT violations but I can't be sure because when I ask her she just says "only if a DOT official is around" or "just don't get caught". Like going off-duty at a shipper, after 30 minutes, is that ok if we're still driving around? Or going off-duty at a truck stop but driving, is that ok? I could look this stuff up in my school textbook but I left it at home to save space. And she blew her air horn at a guy because he cut her off.

And there are other things like she pees outside behind the truck at truck stops because she doesn't want to walk "all the way inside". And she told me I'm going to have to get used to peeing outside so we don't have to stop much. I told her I really don't feel comfortable with that. And she told me I was hurting her feelings because I wasn't talking to her enough while I was driving. I told her I was trying to concentrate and she just said "well you're always going to have distractions." And she keeps asking my opinion on really I inappropriate things like politics and homosexuality. This stuff I can deal with but not the safety things.

Am I overreacting? I know the advice on her is almost always to try to stick it out. What should I do? Should I just stick it out and hope I can figure some stuff out on my own?

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Messed up my driving record before starting trucking school.

I agree. We've all made mistakes, it's just that some of us didn't get caught. 6 string, I'm just curious, do you think he could get hired if the charge were reduced to reckless driving and he pleaded guilty to that instead? I have a friend who got a dui and did that with a lawyer. Because of the nature of her job, she couldn't have any alcohol-related offenses on her record. Granted it wasn't a driving job. Cost her about 12 grand though.

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I stand by my comment. Drinking and driving the day before starting Truck Driving School, in my opinoin, and I'm sure many others, exhibits poor judgement. Particularly when you are aware of the dire consequences to your chosen career.

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Again, that's stating the obvious, like I said. I think your sentiment would be everybody's opinion, and it's not even an opinion, it's an obvious example of poor judgement, i.e. it's a fact. What I'm suggesting to you is that making such a statement isn't helpful or constructive. People can mistakes, accept responsibility, and move on.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Crete carrier and shaffer trucking

Shaffer

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Crete carrier and shaffer trucking

I just went through orientation with Crete/Shaffer in Wilmer, TX last week. I'm on my third day of the 8-week training.

Most of the people in my orientation class were experienced. The only ones that had to do the full 8 weeks were me and another girl that were both fresh Cdl school graduates. The others had to do only 4 weeks of training.

Even with the training though, it's still great pay, like the others mentioned. My trainer seems a little nuts but overall it seems like a good company.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Just another update!

Glad to hear you're doing well Flatie!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Crete Carrier Training

Day 3, Wednesday: Today we were officially hired! We got our employee ID numbers and signed more documents. The instructor talked about fuel stops, load assignments, trip info, hazmat, breakdowns, Qualcomm and tolls. Fried chicken was brought in for lunch. Another Denny's gift card for dinner.

I was given my trainer's phone number so I called her to see when she would be coming to the terminal. She said she'll be getting here Friday morning. She seemed nice but a couple of people kind of made a face when I told them who my trainer was, and that scared me a little. My instructor said she's very "direct". I just hope she's a good driver and a good teacher.

The trainer told me to make sure to have a blanket because she's going through menopause and will probably freeze me out, lol. So another girl from class gave me a ride to TJ Maxx and I bought a nice, thick blanket.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Crete Carrier Training

I think I worded that poorly. I meant only 2 out of 16 in the orientation class were new cdl holders. Everybody else was experienced.

About half of the class had to do the defensive driving class. They said there were several factors, like accidents or your previous employer's Csa score, that could cause you to take the class.

But yes, I am trying to absorb as much as possible.

Toonces wrote:

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We found out that about half of the class has to come Thursday for defensive driving. They said there are different reasons they require this; I'm required because I have no experience. I was surprised to learn that there are only 2 of us in this group that are brand new cdl-holders.

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It's quite possible that some of those drivers are there due to a mishap; accident, citation, critical event, over-speeding, etc. If you are comfortable with it, talk to some of them,...find out why they are there. You might learn something from the conversation; something you can tuck away for future reference that could perhaps save you from making the same mistake.

Good luck! Be the sponge and absorb everything.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Crete Carrier Training

Hi guys! Thought I would post a training diary about Crete since it doesn't look like one has been done about this company in awhile.

Sunday, day before training began: The company rented a car for me to drive from Tulsa to the Dallas, TX area for orientation. I got a late start and didn't end up arriving at the hotel until about 9:30pm. The hotel is a La Quinta Inn and is pretty decent. Oddly is in Mesquite, which is about 20 miles away from the terminal in Wilmer.

Day 1, Monday: Got up about 5:15am, got ready and went downstairs for breakfast that the hotel provides. It was biscuits, sausage and eggs. Decent especially for free breakfast, but the coffee sucks. I loooove coffee so this was a bummer :)

Left for the terminal at 6:15 in the rental car. There were 15 others on the class, including not one but 2 other girls! We had an instructor and 2 human resources people that verified application information and had us sign paperwork. About 7 of us that had rental cars drove them back then took a shuttle back to the terminal. Took a urine drug test. Had a road test. We were given $5 McDonald's gift cards for lunch. We then shuttled to a doctor's office for Dot physicals and also had a hair drug test there. Then shuttled back to the hotel.

I had a sandwich for dinner and went to bed early.

Day 2, Tuesday: Got up same time, had breakfast, shuttled to terminal.

Today was a lot of videos and listening to the instructor. He talked about safety policies, workplace harassment, truck maintenance info, hours of service and some benefits stuff. We had Chinese food brought in for lunch. More paperwork and verifying info. We found out that about half of the class has to come Thursday for defensive driving. They said there are different reasons they require this; I'm required because I have no experience. I was surprised to learn that there are only 2 of us in this group that are brand new cdl-holders. They gave us a $10 gift card for dinner at Dennys. We got out of class at 4 but had to wait until 5 for the shuttle back to the hotel.

That is a lot to type on my phone so I will end for now.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Fourth Time is a Charm

Thanks Uriah!

There were 7 from Davis's class testing yesterday also. I went first so I didn't get to see how everyone did. But I ran into a one guy at the tag agency who passed. I remember he said he wasn't 21 yet because he can only drive in-state. Amy was the blonde that was held back a week right? If that's her, she didn't pass. She said she timed out on the parallel.

So where did you end up going to work?

Congratulations, I was so glad when one of the instructors told me they were giving you another chance, and I am so glad you passed smile.gif

P.S. Did you happen to notice how Mr. Davis' class did on the tests? What about Amy?

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Fourth Time is a Charm

I got the blind side. I don't remember Kathy unfortunately. I'm so excited to work there. They are paying for a rental car to go to orientation, so no awful Greyhound ride. And they pay .48/mile after 6 months.

I have to say a big Thank You to Trucking Truth. A lot of my decision to go to Crete was based on things I've read here. I chose reefer because I want the chance for more coast to coast runs. I don't think the waiting to be loaded/unloaded will bother me. They will allow me to bring me cat. They allow or already have inverters on the trucks, which hopefully will allow me to cook to save money. And they offer one of the highest starting pays for any Carrier that I could find.

I did find out today that in addition to the pet deposit you have to pay, Crete pays you half a cent less per mile. The recruiter didn't tell me that when I asked about pets but it's not a big deal. I did the math and it will be about $50 less a month with a 2500 mile/week average. So my dang cat better start cleaning out her own litter box to start earning her keep!!! :)

Yea!! I knew you would! Isn't that a great feeling when you park on the apron, knowing you did good, but still a bit nervious waiting. Which parallel did you get? You know Kathy that was in my class went to Crete. Her sister drives for Crete and they plan to team. Well good luck and let us know how after school training goes.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Fourth Time is a Charm

Hi all, just thought I'd post an update. I posted a little while back about failing my first 3 test attempts because I timed out during the 90 degree alley dock each time. I went back to my school to practice last week and finally, the alley dock maneuver started to click. I wasn't great at it but pretty decent. Plus the extra time at the school really helped my shifting. It's much smoother now with hardly any missed gears or grinding. So I had my 4th attempt today and passed!!!! And wouldn't you know it, now that I know how to do the 90, I got a parallel.

Anyway, I leave for Crete/Shaffer on Sunday. I feel really lucky to get on with this company. Sooooo excited!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Pre trip pre trip pre trip HELP ASAP!!!!!

If you want to make your own flash cards with the materials you got from your school, there's a great app called Anki that you can use for your phone. I used it to study for my pre-trip. You can create the cards on their website (faster than creating them on your phone) and then just download them to your phone. The great thing about these cards is the way it handles your review. Instead of just going through an entire stack of cards every time, it will keep track of which ones you miss and how often you miss them. Then, it will repeat those most missed questions. And if you keep getting the same ones right, you might not be asked it for a long time. You can set the time increments. If you did Brett's High Road Training Program, it's very similar to the review mode you go into when you miss something.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Running dedicated is where it's at!

Also, didn't it used to be that it couldn't be shipped east of the Mississippi? I'm having Smokey and the Bandit plot flashbacks...

There was a time when Coors Beer was brewed, shipped, and stored cold. Never was at room temperature, let alone back of a big box down the highway in July temperature!

Your trivia for the day.

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Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Failed CDL Skills Test For 3rd Time - What Now?

Jeff B. - Do you happen to know who you talked to at Jim Palmer? I just talked with a recruiter there and she told me that since I went through a school & didn't pass, I couldn't attend their company-sponsored training.

I also checked with Prime and was told the same thing.

Hopefully I will pass my test on Aug 10 and won't need to go through a company sponsored training program. But I thought I should start checking just in case. I can't afford to go much longer without income. I'm going to keep checking other companies and hopefully I'll find one that will take me. Trying not to get discouraged...

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Information on Crete trucks

I talked to a Crete recruiter that came to my school a couple of weeks ago. He said all of their new trucks come with 1500 watt inverters. Once they phase out all of the old trucks, every Crete truck will have an inverter. On the old trucks, you can use an inverter up to 400 watts, I believe. He made it sound like it would be unlikely to get one of the older trucks, though. He didn't say anything about having to pay for a specific fridge.

I'm looking to join Crete and I have been told if I want a fridge that I have to pay them 500-600 for that and if there is not an invertor I also need to pay for that.. Is this normal for most carriers? Also was told the single deductible for insurance is 1000 is this true?

Posted:  2 years ago

View Topic:

Truckers Take The Wheel In Effort To Halt Sex Trafficking

I had just read this story before seeing your post. Thanks for sharing, Errol!

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