Profile For OldRookie

OldRookie's Info

  • Location:
    VA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 3 months ago

OldRookie's Bio

Mid-50s guy... attended Millis CDL school - Eden, NC . Currently a solo OTR driver for Millis.

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Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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OTR: Paying your dues to land a regional gig?

My company, Millis, will run you Regional (5 out, 2 home) straight out of school/training.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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Mentor Problems

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Well, I guess I'll have to hang up my boots then. I am one of those people who can't go back to sleep when awoken

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Trucking takes an incredible amount of flexibility and tolerance and patience. It's rare that someone with rigid views or stringent requirements can tolerate the OTR lifestyle. It kind of sounds like this whole thing might be more than you had bargained for. If you're looking for a lifestyle of consistency, trucking will be a nightmare. You can't really make trucking conform to your preferences. It just isn't that type of job or lifestyle. You have to learn to work within the system, work with the schedules you're given, deal with the traffic and weather and breakdowns, and get the job done day in and day out no matter what it takes.

That's why the failure rate for new drivers is so high. Only a small percentage of people who make an attempt at this industry make it more than a few months. In fact, at company-sponsored programs fewer than half of the people they bring in even manage to get their CDL, and that's the easiest part of the whole journey.

And by the way, you can adapt to these things. Like the whole "I can't go back to sleep once I wake up". Well then you're not tired enough if that's the case! It's something you learn to do. Anyone can do it.

I always tell people that I "sleep like a trucker" because I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere and wake up anytime, anywhere and be at full speed in a matter of minutes. That's one of the things you really have to learn to do if you're going to perform at a high level out there. You have to be an opportunist. You make the most of every opportunity, whether that means grabbing a quick nap in the middle of the afternoon, throwing in a load of laundry in the middle of the night, or grabbing a quick sandwich while you're getting repairs done. You do what you have to do.

Hang in there and give it more time. Remember, this is the toughest time in your trucking career. Once you get to the one year mark you'll have ironed out most of the problems and you'll have adapted to the lifestyle. In the beginning it's really tough for most people. You don't want to quit during the hard part. At least wait until you've been out there long enough to get decent at the job before you decide if it's for you or not.

Re Brett's comment above that fewer than half of company-sponsored training program "students" achieve even the minimum amount of success, i.e. only half succeed in getting their CDL... I believe that speaks much more about the quality of the programs than it does about the students.

Think about it... what other training program, school, educational environment, etc. could have that dismal a record and yet continue to operate without being redesigned? The simple fact of the matter is either the program's design is seriously flawed, its implementation is horrible and/or the admissions process is admitting people that are not suitable to/for the program.

Some percentage of failure is to be expected and is typically, perfectly, acceptable in any endeavor. But, fifty percent!... come now, certainly this industry can do better than that. So... Why don't they?

Why hasn't/doesn't the industry correct the situation? Well, it seems to me, there are only two possibilities. One... they are not capable of recognizing and correcting the problems, i.e. they are just plain stupid. Or two, the companies believe it makes more business sense to live with the failures, than to make the necessary adjustments to improve the situation.

No one can make the case that the trucking industry's major players are just plain stupid. So, it must be that a simple business decision has been made to accept the status-quo.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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How many and for how long?

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Drove with CRST for less than 22,000 miles in about four months. Team driving isn't for me. Drove for Roehl for almost a year. Max effort and miles on my end equaled one, two cent raise on their end. Had three dispatchers there that I could not trust. Been at Millis since March. 70,000 miles, 35% more net pay, faster truck, love my dispatcher, fridge, Direct TV, two bunks, I can idle the truck, no reefer loads, lots of bonus options.

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Packrat... Looks like you've had an interesting couple of years. I'm glad you're happy at Millis... as Amy I.

Typo correction: as Amy I = as am I

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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How many and for how long?

Brett said: ... I ran regional where I was home on weekends for a couple of years and I loved it...

Brett... You drove for 12 years? How many different companies?

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

How many and for how long?

Drove with CRST for less than 22,000 miles in about four months. Team driving isn't for me. Drove for Roehl for almost a year. Max effort and miles on my end equaled one, two cent raise on their end. Had three dispatchers there that I could not trust. Been at Millis since March. 70,000 miles, 35% more net pay, faster truck, love my dispatcher, fridge, Direct TV, two bunks, I can idle the truck, no reefer loads, lots of bonus options.

Packrat... Looks like you've had an interesting couple of years. I'm glad you're happy at Millis... as Amy I.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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How many and for how long?

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So are you staying with Millis or looking to change?

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Big Scott... I don't have any plans to leave Millis.

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ME either!

Packrat... I'm glad you're happy at Millis. Based on your profile, it looks like Millis is not your first rodeo. Care to elaborate?

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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How many and for how long?

Stayed at my first company for six months. Moved on to much, much greener pastures. Don't ever plan on leaving where I'm at now. Been driving for almost a year.

ACO476... Good for you... I'm glad it worked out. Based on your experience, what advice, if any, can you offer to others that may help them to select the 'right company for them, to start with,' and avoid having to make a change later?

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

How many and for how long?

I'll stick with OldRookie's original question, without reading in any additional motives.

I went to Swift's Driving Academy, and have been with them coming up on 3 years. No reason for me to switch. In my first year I took on three driving assignments: OTR, regional dedicated and daily shuttle.

It's a good idea to see just how many people went for the so-called greener grass.

Errol... Thanks. Your experience at Swift demonstrates one advantage of working for one of the largest companies out here... i. e. three different positions, one company. Also, I agree it will be interesting/informative to hear about/learn from the experiences of others.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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How many and for how long?

I drive for H. O Wolding. Been here 11 months. I was considering changing companies to doing a little different type of freight. But all things considered I will probably stay.

Patrick... I can certainly understand why one may decide to switch types of freight. Going in, as a rookie, it's hard to REALLY know which type of work/freight you will be happy/most productive with.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

How many and for how long?

So are you staying with Millis or looking to change?

Big Scott... I don't have any plans to leave Millis.

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