Profile For B_Dawg

B_Dawg's Info

  • Location:
    Glendora, NJ

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 12 months ago

B_Dawg's Bio

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Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Endorsements: from day 1, or later?

I got all my endorsements at once, and that's what I recommend. all the information is fresh in your mind and even though you may not need them, it's good to have them.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Followed GPS onto Frozen Lake

There was a driver who drove onto the Boardwalk in Atlantic City because he was following the GPS...so those of you who have been there can just start picturing how many red flags he ignored accomplishing that little feat.

I try not to rely on GPS. I use it mainly for the highways and interstates, and I'll cross-reference with Google maps for the shipper/receiver locations and any areas I'm not sure of...especially when I'm forced to detour. I've had two trainers and neither of them used anything other than GPS and neither had time or desire to teach me the atlas, so I had to teach myself and admittedly, I really need to get better at using it. I also call the shipper/receiver because there's just too many times where the address on file is the OFFICE address and the warehouse is 2 miles away. when I call, I always ask for someone from shipping/receiving because office people and security may very well know the area like the back of their hand, but the directions they give don't necessarily take into account the fact you're in a 70' truck.

bottom line, using multiple sources is awesome but no matter how many tools you use, if you ain't got no common sense to react to what your eyes are telling you then you shouldn't be driving.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Just Got Accepted Into CDL School

Congrats!

best advice, stay patient. truck driving is 99% mental. most driving mistakes happen when people try to go too fast. don't be afraid to slow down. you're not there to impress anyone. don't let other students be a distraction.

the unfortunate problem with many CDL schools is getting seat time. at my school, we spent most of the time watching while we waited for our turn. don't get frustrated and don't let that time go to waste. leave your cell phone in your car. when it's your turn, listen to your instructor and focus on what you need to do. when your turn is over, watch! you can learn a lot thru observation. if there is an open truck on the lot, don't be afraid to ask your instructor if you can go over and practice your pre-trip.

the truck can be intimidating, but remember it's just a machine. it will do exactly what you tell it to, so you need to develop a feel for how it responds to your controls. learn to tune out distractions and focus on what you need to do and you'll be fine!

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Seeking advice from drivers dealing with asthma and sleep apnea

Really appreciate the input!

@Susan, it's complicated. My lab study indicated I have sleep apnea. When I was sent for the calibration test to see how much pressure the mask needs to apply, that is what the insurance denied. Apparently, it's mild enough they want to "treat it with weight loss" and my doctor agreed. He didn't even recommend an APAP. My appeal is still under review, so we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I have an appointment with an ENT on Friday and I'm going to see what he says. If I do get the green light from my company, I may check into getting a portable nebulizer for emergencies.

@Rainy, I have tried pillows like that before and they didn't help much. I can't sleep on my back, so I end up on my side with my arm under the pillow...which is probably why my right shoulder makes the strange noises it does.

As for my asthma, I have an Advair inhaler that I take twice a day and an albuterol inhaler I take as needed. At night, I take Singulair before bed, which also helps for allergies. Thankfully, my asthma is also mild but it's triggered by the standard things you'd expect such as dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, etc. and it's worst in the fall, which I'm told is because of the bacteria that breaks down leaves after they fall.

I have taken Zyrtec for allergies. I'll be sure to check with my company to see if it's allowed.

I'm still waiting for a decision from my company's review board, but I'm hoping for an approval. I've lost 17 lbs since January and I think most of that is from pacing back and forth. I'll keep y'all posted.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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I made the grade today!

Awesome man! congrats! don't sweat not passing on the first try. lots of people don't. I didn't (failed parallel). the important thing is you got back to work and got it done. one of the proudest moments in my life when I walked up to my instructor and he said: "nice job, DRIVER!" and I still remember the look on his face. some advice: when things happen out there on the road, and those moments hit where you're wondering what the h*ll you got yourself into, remember that feeling. remember what motivated you to go for your CDL and all the work it took and all the sacrifice your wife made to support you. it will help get you thru those days. best of luck to you out there!

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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It's not my fault I failed

Well, I ain't no trainer but I was a student ;). I certainly don't envy you those next 100 hours but I do applaud you from being professional and accepting the challenge. many trainers I am sure would request a new student. I always took responsibility for my mistakes. as far as I'm concerned, if you aren't prepared for the responsibility then don't even get in the seat, because once you grab that wheel that's exactly what you are doing...accepting responsibility. if you don't succeed, if you make mistakes, it's not anyone's fault but you. you are the driver.

the thing is, the "test" doesn't end. drivers are tested everyday by any number and combination of 1000 different things. if that dude is throwing a tantrum now, over a failed test, then how is he ever going to handle real situations when he's out there on his own? failure is an excellent teacher if we're willing to learn from it so we don't repeat the same mistakes.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Seeking advice from drivers dealing with asthma and sleep apnea

So, brief backstory I have been off the road for about 6 months having asthma and sleep apnea checked out. My apnea is apparently very minor and I don't require a mask, at least at this time. My asthma is mild and infrequent. I have an albuterol inhaler that I use only in emergencies. I take Breo/Advair in the morning and Singulair at night before bed to manage the condition. My doctor has given me clearance to return to work, and I feel I can do so without limitation. I submitted the return to work forms to my company to review and I expect they will want a new physical and possibly a second opinion from their doctors...so this could very well be rendered moot depending what the review board decides.

I know there are drivers out there, including flatbedders, who function perfectly fine with asthma and allergies that are much more severe than what I have. I'm curious to hear any advice or tips. What precautions do you take to avoid triggers and prevent an attack? Situations drivers have to deal with everyday like being stuck in gridlock or being parked at truck stops and shippers/receivers or dealing with hot weather, etc when your limited in what you can do to avoid triggers. I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of. Your experiences are welcome!

Obviously, I won't know for sure how my body will respond until I get back out on the road and am actually in those situations. If my condition worsens in any way or I can't keep it under control then I'll need to find a new career, and I can accept that. I worked hard for the opportunity to be a truck driver, and if my doctor sees no reason to pull me off the road then I'm darn sure going to try and make it work!

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

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Making a change

Starting Monday I will begin orientation and securement training for Swift. nothing against dry van or reefer, just always wanted to run flatbed. so, we'll see how this goes.

wish me luck!

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

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Werner Vs CRST

Well, I have no personal experience with CRST but I began my career with Werner right out of CDL school. My time with them was brief, but I feel they are a solid company. Everything that was told to me up front is how things were when I got there. As long as you do your part, they will do theirs. They don't micromanage as long as you do what is asked and make your deliveries on time. I would go with them again as well as recommend them to new drivers.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Put your phone down and help!

I didn't say help. I said don't stand there and laugh. and if you can prevent an accident by shouting a warning, why wouldn't you? it may not be your responsibility, but it would be the decent thing to do.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Put your phone down and help!

This might rub some the wrong way, seeing how I'm still a rookie, but nothing about this job bothers me more than seeing a driver struggle to maneuver or park at a truck stop and there will be at least a few "fellow drivers" standing around, laughing and making jokes or recording it on their phones so they can post it to YouTube. the thought of actually helping the guy don't even enter their mind. they're just waiting for something bad to happen.

where's the respect? we all started out the same. we've all had our bad days. we've all done dumb things with the truck. I'm not saying run over and help, but dang it you should at the very least not allow the situation to get any worse. if you see the guy about to get stuck, or hit something, maybe another truck, then do something! give a shout, wave your arms or tug your horn. why would you stand there and watch instead of making an effort to prevent an accident? what if it were your truck that got hit while a bunch of damn idiots stood around laughing? I know if it were mine, I'd be just as mad at your dumb ass as the guy driving.

just my opinion, but it disgusts me how many drivers out there just seem to take pleasure in seeing other drivers struggle and fail. this isn't an easy lifestyle. showing a little respect and supporting each other in times of need would go a long, long way.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Passed my test!

Thanks G-Town. I hadn't thought of gloves for fueling, since I never had to worry about that in school, but I imagine that crap can do some damage if you don't wash it off. all I have is a pair of old chain saw gloves I was using for pre-trip and a leather pair I use for yard work. so I'll make sure to get a pair of neoprenes as soon as I can.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Passed my road test!

Grats man! I passed my test today also. feels goooooooood don't it?

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Passed my test!

I'm now a CDL holder! excuse me while I take a few seconds to look at it again...I have a day or two to relax then I'm headed over to Werner for orientation on Monday. I'll be running their TCU Mexico division (NJ to Laredo) but that doesn't mean I'll get a trainer on that run. training is estimated 6 weeks or so, which would bring me into Dec. trying to pack as light as possible, so right now all I plan on taking for cold weather gear is 1 sweatshirt, a heavy lined hoody, gloves and hat. I have about 8 t-shirts, 2 pair jeans, 2 pair of shorts, about a weeks worth of undies/socks and a pair of steel toes just in case. any suggestions as far as clothing? I have the gear (flashlight, atlas, calculator, etc) and might bring some dry snacks in case I don't get room to store food. advice is appreciated!

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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What are my options

Hey Uriah. I'm still in school, but I know 3 classmates that went to TMC. One of them was sent home for a hernia but he had it repaired and they welcomed him back. They told us about the "stay off the grass" sign and confirmed that people were sent home for disobeying it. From what I've been told yes they are very strict and when they tell you something they meant it to the letter. As Old School said, you are under constant evaluation. However, I've heard nothing but positive feedback if you can adhere to their policies.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Failed my test...

Appreciate the replies. not the first time this ol' dog's been knocked down won't be the last. I'll come back stronger!

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Failed my test...

my own dumb fault. botched a blind-side parallel. so mad at myself right now! but, tomorrow I'll be back at school getting my work in and in 2 weeks...I WILL PASS!!!

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL test...SET!

well, I'm all set. test date is MONDAY! got all my endorsements (except passenger) and TWIC. all I have to do now is pass the test. I've got my pre-trip down pretty good. I can do my maneuvers pretty well and my shifting is decent. got some extra work in today since it's my last chance before the test. if my nerves don't bite me I should be good.

wish me luck!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Werner TCU Mexico??

My CDL test is scheduled for 9/26. Trying to decide between running OTR flatbed with Western Express, OTR 48 reefer with May, OTR 48 dry with Werner, or Werner's TCU Mexico run from Laredo to NJ (where I live).

Does anyone have info on Werner's TCU Mexico run?

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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GoCool 12v ac unit

Hey guys, was checking this out on Amazon (along with other units like it) for about $439. Anybody on here know if they are any good? I don't know of any truckers who use them so I'm looking for some input.

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