Comments By Fire-Man avatar

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Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Bad Endings

You really do have to remain vigilant when it comes to keeping a great attitude and not letting the little things get to you. That's why so many veteran drivers are either pleasant as a monk or a bundle of frustration. Over time you either learn to focus on the positives and get better at enjoying each moment out there or you let the negatives pile up and you become miserable and frustrated all the time. I hope people understand that this really is a choice you make each moment of your life. It's not a personality trait you're born with and must live with.

So have fun out there and never stop appreciating how nice you have it. Because a quick swap of lives with almost anyone in the world would be a stunning revelation in how much of a paradise our lives our in this great country and these great times. We're rich, fat, and happy because of all of the struggles and sacrifices the generations that came before us made. Two world wars, a great depression, a holocaust, and a drought of biblical proportions just in the first half of the 20th century alone. And that's what awaited many people who just came off the boats from oversees, broke, unable to communicate, and clueless about how to make it in this land.

I think the better you understand History, even just American History, the more you'll appreciate how lucky we are. The odds of being born a healthy, happy human being in the United States in the 21st century are infinitely small. The opportunity should be enjoyed and appreciated immensely.


Truer words have rarely been spoken!

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Truck vs Motorcycle riding... just curious!

Each require their own kind of concentration, but I think you already answered your own question. Driving a commercial truck carries way more responsibility, and requires more concentration - it's also a different kind of concentration. When riding my motorcycle, I'm aware and concerned enough to make sure somebody doesn't kill ME - it's more self-preservation, from other motorists and even those blasted small animals crossing a country road that could send you airborne if you hit them right. With a commercial truck, you're concerned about others' safety, your own safety, and the responsibility of handling your company's load - not to mention being sure to obey all the numerous laws that come with handling a commercial vehicle.

Riding a bike requires you to be more aware than probably other motorists, so on that note, you may already be at least more conscientious than your typical steering wheel holder.

I wholeheartedly agree with the above. Driving a truck requires far more concentration, and overall skill, than riding a bike. You can generally get out of, or stay out of, trouble on a bike than you can in a truck. This alone reduces the stress and concentration required while riding. When riding I am, as previously mentioned, more concerned with things that can hurt me rather than what my actions or inattentiveness can do to myself and others. I will say that riding, IMHO, safer for me than driving a car... far fewer distractions.

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Slight change in plans

I personally think things happen for a reason and I admire the fact you are conscientious enough to not leave others in a difficult position. It shows much about your character and professionalism and Prime will be lucky to have you when you do start!

I'll second that...not many people show that amount of maturity and intestinal fortitude. Great job and good luck!

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Roehl driver training from start to end.....


Great the responses you have received you have a train full of interested followers. You have certainly caught the essence, in words, of your world, as a student and rookie driver. That takes talent and in your circumstances - extraordinary effort. If you choose to continue down this road you will certainly find that your train of followers will continue to grow as we wait with baited breath ;-) for the next installment. I wish you continued success on your journey!



Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

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Interview with TWT

I was wondering if anyone has current information on TWT? If hired, I would be working out of the Gaston, SC terminal.

Thanks in advance,


Posted:  5 years, 12 months ago

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Broke Down In The Hammer Lane

It's funny you mentioned how angry people were. When that happened I had been driving for many years and I knew people were going to freak out. It's a Friday, people are more anxious than ever to get home, and I've got em blocked up entirely. So what I did immediately when it happened was climb out of the truck, lock it, and walked just a short distance away to a group of people that didn't see me get out. So they had no idea I was the driver. I sat around complaining with the mob about how my evening was going to be ruined if they didn't get that stupid truck out of the way!

Now that is funny...thanks for the belly laugh!rofl-2.gif

Posted:  7 years ago

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I need some advice on how to handle this........

alright here's my story in a nutshell. I went to swift academy in Tennessee , everything went great passed all my test, got hired on and was out with my mentor entering into my second week with him. Previously several months ago when I filled out my application, under the question have u ever smoked marijuana I replied no. Later while with my mentor I made a remark (jokingly) that I wish I had some weed to settle my nerves while driving ( it was a joke, and I was new..there big trucks people) The next day my mentor told our driver manager about the remark and she told the terminal manager, and they pulled me in the office to ask me about it. While talking to the tm I was also on a conference call from someone from corporate and they asked me if I had ever in my life smoked marijuana and I told them the truth yeah I have. They asked if id b willing to take a **** test and have my belonging searched and I consented and said that was fine. After deciding to have me not take the test or have me searched they ended up firing me for falsifying my application. This all happened last week, and since than I have filled out numerous applications for a new job, but when I tell them what happened at swift they all tell me they cant help me. Can anyone please tell me what to do next, I don't do drugs, I don't even know why I would put that I hadn't ( other than its not something I like to brag about) but I did. What can I do from here on out I have three little girls to take care of, and now these companies think of me as a pile of **** for this... Idk what to do help me out someone thanks and God Bless

Pardner, you might be up the proverbial creek without a paddle but stick with the truth. I would seek smaller companies or a loading dock job to prove yourself to an employer. Maybe from there you can re-launch the driving career.

Good Luck

Posted:  7 years ago

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Refer, Van, Flat,???

I'm a flat bed fan myself. I've pulled tankers and flatbeds in the Army but prefer flatbed. The scenery changes; in the rear view, its not a box or cylinder on wheels; and out the front window you are not always headed into a yard with docks. <<<< important if repetition does not do it for you. :-)

But really, why do I prefer flats; its about the variety of loads and the challenge of doing different things in different places. dancing-banana.gif

Posted:  7 years ago

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Well, I did it.....

Please wish me luck, I really need to find a night job and it's going to be tough enough as it is, if anyone has any ideas feel free to post them I don't know how to private message on here yet

good-luck.gif and stay off that end of Broadway at night...too early in your new career to find out there are Lot Lizards there as well.


Posted:  7 years ago

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Question about South Carolina CDL

Just got back from the DMV.. and yes I have to do school here. I got signed up for TDI in Richburg and WIA and unemployment is paying for it. I really enjoyed my time in INDY however maybe this might be better suited for me.. I have to do what is required of me.

I live in SC by the way :-)

Anyways, you are telling me, of course anything here is possible, that if someone transplanted here with a valid CDL they have merely have to do a little paperwork and pay the fee. Yet, a resident that comes back home with a valid CDL must go through training before they can get an SC CDL? Something sounds off here -but of course we are in SC.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Question about South Carolina CDL

Little Carolina -

Here is what I found. Hope it helps.

After establishing residency in South Carolina, you must apply to transfer your CDL license within 30 days.

When you apply for a commercial driver's license, SCDMV will run automatic checks against the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) databases to check your prior driving history in other states. The checks are performed when a customer applies for an original credential, renews a credential, is reexamined or moves from a beginner permit to a license. They are designed to insure drivers have only one valid license at a time.

You will be required to surrender your out-of-state license before a South Carolina commercial driver's license can be issued.

To transfer a CDL from another state to South Carolina, the following are required: 1.You must be 21 years of age for interstate driving.

2.Certify that you have read and understand, and meet the qualification requirements under 49 CFR, Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

3.Complete Form DL-405A to self-certify the type of commerce for which you intend to operate. You must also provide a valid medical certification for any type of commerce that requires it. (See Frequently Asked Questions regarding form DL-405A.) SCDMV will collect the driver’s certification information and add it to the national Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) record. All commercial driver’s license and beginner permit holders must self-certify by January 30, 2014 or risk losing his or her driving privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Commercial driver’s license and beginner permit holders must comply each time they apply for a new credential, renew or upgrade their credential

4.If required, show your valid DOT long form or valid DOT medical pocket card to meet the requirement of providing proof that you are medically qualified pursuant to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 CFR, part 391. South Carolina requires that you maintain a valid medical Examiner's Certificate to obtain and/or retain a commercial driver instruction permit or commercial driver's license. DMV will not accept a medical certificate if it expires within 30 days from the date it is presented.

5.Provide proof of identity using Accepted Forms of Identification.

6.Complete Form 447-CDL, Application for a Commercial Driver's License or Beginner's Permit (there is a $15.00 application fee).

7.Complete Form DL-402 Affidavit of Previous Driver's License and provide information regarding any previous out-of-state drivers' licenses and disqualifying offenses. 8.Pass a vision test.

9.Surrender the actual commercial driver's license you have in your possession at the time you apply.

10.Applicants with hazardous materials (Hazmat) endorsement must also pass the hazardous materials knowledge test to maintain the endorsement (each knowledge test is $2.00) and complete TSA fingerprinting and background check ($75.50 fee)..

11.Pay the $12.50 license fee.

12.Provide Automobile liability insurance information (SC Code Section 56-1-80(C). Insurance company must be licensed to do business in the state of South Carolina.

Note that Section 23-3-460 of the SC Code of Laws states that a person who has been convicted anywhere of an offense listed in 23-3-430 must register with the county sheriff within 10 days of establishing residency in South Carolina. A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request.

BTW - if your situation is unique; after working through the issues it would be nice to hear that and the remedy in case someone else falls into the same situation.


Posted:  7 years ago

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Guardians of the Highway

A number of times I've heard of drivers having medical issues while going down the road and they wind up being very disoriented and such - bad reactions to medications, diabetic episodes - things like that. It's definitely a good possibility here.

Well said Brett; we don't know everything going on it that truck. Its easy to believe the worst but that is not always the case. I actually pulled a driver from the cab who was a diabetic. His blood sugar was all outa whack and as such his driving resembled that of a drunk according to witnesses. Thankfully everything for this driver and others around him turned out for the good as he was able to get the rig safely pulled over and stopped.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Driving Into a Fog Bank or Smoke Cloud

You have to watch though - pulling off and stopping might be ten times as dangerous as continuing on slowly. I've never once pulled off onto the shoulder because of fog, but I've gone 10 mph at times because of it. You'll want to exit off the highway if it's that bad, but don't stop on the shoulder if you can help it.

LOUDLY AND CLEARLY - I hope I have your attention. Unless there is absolutely no other viable option NEVER pull off onto the shoulder of a highway. Drivers, 4 wheel and otherwise, do not give enough; are too preoccupied; are in too much of a hurry; will be distracted by your vehicle sitting over there; or just plain do not give a damn. It is not worth a firefighter I see it close up and believe me when I tell you working on the highway when we cannot shut it completely down is the most dangerous incident we work.

IMHO, it is best to slow down, get right, exit at next ramp, and find some place safe to park it. Anything else is asking for a wreck and if you are in a wreck as the result of driving in these extremely poor and limited conditions I do believe they should be "at fault" unless of course you are the one being hit.

Posted:  7 years ago

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Celadon/Quality Drivers Im so Ready for this!!

So take advantage of the time and resources you have available. Keep practicing, keep learning, and stay positive. You'll be out there before you know it.

Well said Brett!

Little Carolina,

Attitude, attitude, and did I say attitude? Everything else; how people respond to you, how you react to them, and the results are always influenced by your own attitude. Stay positive, stay focused, take advantage of the fact you have some time on your hands to learn before being confronted with it out on the road.

Hang in there and good luck.


Posted:  7 years ago

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17(+2)/88/107 - UPDATE & fleet option change

Slip seat - YES, you're sharing the truck with someone else. I'll have to commute from my house to a drop yard where there are others who are also on the 7/7. Not sure how far/close you need to be to a drop yard or terminal for this to work. There is also a 7/4,7/3 option. What I have been running is National and it was 11/3 or around that. Of course, at each of these levels there will be more cash that can be made so a person need to think about that. Being on the 7/7 I'm thinking right now that I'll be at the bottom of what a person can make. However, for me the trade off is worth it because of my family.

Average miles for the 7days is 3000. What the Fleet manager/dispatch is going to be doing is keeping you running hard for 7days and working hard to burn up ever bit of your 70hrs. A person has to be ok with putting in long days and driving long miles.

First the question which is being begged to be asked along the line of guyjax was referring to. What is the pay per mile or what can you expect to average for your week of driving to the limit? How do your benefits with the company change? i.e. do you pay more for insurance/s? Longevity raises etc…


Maintenance - 1) being in an organization where equipment is shared I know the issues involved i.e. there being a bit less ownership for the truck therefore it is rarely in the condition that a single operator truck would be; 2) are there back-up rigs in case of serious shop time or do you just suck it up if its your week; 3) are they smoke free; 4)how is clean out handled; ....

Coming on duty are there any specific limitations, other than those for any driver, on activities? i.e. must have x number of hours of sleep; cannot be employed elsewhere within so many hours of going on duty?

As always thanks for the information and keep it coming...


Posted:  7 years ago

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17(+2)/88/107 - UPDATE & fleet option change

Hey, that's a fantastic update Steve and congrats on getting into the 7/7 fleet!


One of the reasons I chose the company I chose is to eventually switch my home time option or get something local after putting in the time needed (1yr - right Brett?)


That's right! Sounds like you've paid your dues and now you'll be getting home a lot more often.

What are the terms and expectations for the 7/7 fleet? Slip seating I would presume. Do you have to live near a terminal to qualify for that fleet? What are the average weekly mileage expectations?

Steve, the more details you can provide on your home time option would certainly be appreciated by myself and the wider audience I am certain. Thanks for the post and the opportunity to gain valuable information from your experiences.


aka Fire-Man

Posted:  7 years ago

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Good riddance, Texas!!!!

Same here, everytime I go into Texas it's always trouble. It's so hot over there one time my mudflap melted onto my drive tires and popped it. : D my first trucker story :))

You sure that wasn't your rendition of the Texas Two-step? dancing.gif

Posted:  7 years ago

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Good riddance, Texas!!!!

Every time I go to Texas, something seems to go wrong.

Sometimes its the state of mind not the State. Just saying! good-luck.gif

Posted:  7 years ago

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Hours of Service Question (Time at Shipper/Reciever)


Thanks for your website; it’s very down to earth, insightful, entertaining, and very informative. You aught to be receiving a consulting fee, from the motor carriers, for drumming up the profession for them. Your dedication to the profession is as refreshing as it is apparent.

Though I have plenty of practical experience I have not had to deal with FMCSA because my time flat-bedding was all in the military. So I have a question regarding HOS as I am looking to move into the cab before to long.

How are your hours counted while at the shipper/receiver? Reading the following I take it that while at the shipper/receiver your hours are counted on-duty. Others on another forum disagree. Can you help me out or point me in the right direction please?

On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.

Excerpt from:

Hours of service of drivers

§ 395.2Definitions.

On-duty time shall include:

(1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;

(2) All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time;

(3) All driving time as defined in the term driving time;

(4) All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle, other than:

(i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in §397.5 of this subchapter;

(ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; or

(iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth;

(5) All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded;

(6) All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;

(7) All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required by part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier;

(8) Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of, a motor carrier; and

(9) Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

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