Profile For Whitetail

Whitetail's Info

  • Location:
    OH

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

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  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 5 months ago

Whitetail's Bio

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Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pam/Driver solutions Contract

@Javon W I hope, very sincerely that everything works out for you. I definitely hope that you like your situation at Stevens Transport, and would encourage you to stay for a long time. If you ever decide to go to another company, keep in mind that all trucking companies go back 10 years for employment history. It's perfectly ok to switch jobs a couple times within that period. It is not ok to do it 5 or 6 times. I understand your trepidations about teaming, but in your situation I would have a bigger fear of my employment history.

I just finished school at Millis Transfer and I'm getting picked up by my trainer in the next few days. It's been a great experience with them so far, but I already have plans for my future that do not include staying here beyond my commitment. I know where I'm going and what I'm doing, because I did a ton of research. And who knows? Maybe I'll decide to stay. But if I don't I'll make sure I land in a place I won't be leaving for a very long time. That employment history means everything in this industry. That, and a good safety record!

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Millis training diary

I am most likely going to Millis at the end of June. Eden site. Seems like a great company and what I hear from other drivers they work to get your hometime to the best of their ability. My one concern is 85% of their freight from Eden terminal is Miller cCoors and they are closing by years end.

Just curious, did you end up going? Haven't checked in on this site in a while.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Millis training diary

Acquired my medical card. Word to the wise for those who are considering school...Get your medical card first, then your CDL permit. I got my permit first. After I passed the written test, and before I was issued my permit, I was asked to self certify my trucking category. The options are as follows: 1) Non-exempted interstate (this is the option that most truckers need) 2) Exempted interstate 3) Non-exempted intrastate 4) exempted intrastate

At the time I was issued my CDL permit, I was forced to select option 2 because I had not yet gotten my physical. Now that I have my medical card, I have to go back to the DMV and pay to have it changed. It's only $3.50, but it's extra time and hassle that I could have prevented. So if you are starting this process, or considering a career, save yourself a little time and get your medical card first.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

New DOT Medical Exam Forms - Let's Get EVEN MORE COMPLICATED.

I would assume (perhaps incorrectly) that all certified examiners would have updated forms, right? I just took my DOT physical yesterday and passed. I'd hate to go through the hassle and expense of doing a second test. I do have a signed card from the examiner, which I just emailed to my company. On what grounds would they recall it?

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Millis training diary

I wouldn't sweat it. Apparently there is an overlap with the Virginia plant. They are just streamlining.

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Millis training diary

I am hoping that this helps whoever reads it. I am going to the Trenton, Ohio Millis CDL school on July 5th. I will keep this thread updated as often as possible once school starts. I have acquired my Ohio CPL and I am going to get my DOT physical card later this week. For those who are trying to pick the best company to start, I have this to say... After exhaustive conversations with recruiters from multiple companies, I chose Millis based on my personal needs and goals. Everyone coming into trucking is unique. Your story will be different than mine. Every company has something about them that will stand out for you. If someone tells you that your first company doesn't matter, ignore everything else they say. Don't settle. Your needs are different from anyone else's needs. There are a bunch of really good companies out there that have great track record, and it is a guarantee that one of them will suit your individual needs. Or at least close enough that you can be happy. Pick that company and roll with it. Millis was mine. Prime, Swift, Knight, Celadon, etc might be yours. Don't doubt yourself. There are a lot of negative reviews about the major carriers out there, as well as good ones. The internet is filled with hate and negativity. Every single company out there has pros and cons. Do your research by talking to them, make your decision with your gut. I have discovered that most negative comments are about mileage and home time. I am in a very unique position. I don't care about home time. I am quite sure that anyone in any company will list that as a reason to complain. In a perfect world, I'd love to drive all week and have the weekends at home. But, I am a realist. I want one weekend home a month, that's it. No matter who you choose, availability is what pads your wallet. Even in the lean times.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

Hope you all have a wonderful life. Brett, or and other moderators out there, please delete my profile. I'm not coming back. You have access to my email, please confirm that you have done that, since private messaging is gone.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

To Errol. I am sorry, I didn't fully explain my statement. "Grab and go" was my way of saying that I just need to pick a company and run with it. That way I can focus on everything else that needs to happen. And I have definitely made my choice. I went very deep with 5 companies, spent at least an hour on the phone with each of them. So now, it's all about the study time.

To Brett. Yes sir, I understand that there a lot of things I need to learn. I have every intention of going through your program at least twice, be assured of that. There are differences in companies though. I am very happy that I spent the time to research. The company I chose has a feature that no other company has, and it was the one feature that sold me. It's not the equipment or the truck features or the pay. In fact, I will be making less with them than some other carriers listed here. But that one factor sold me. I am a nobody in this industry, starting from scratch. Every driver I know has told me the same thing. Your first job sucks. But it can be awesome if you spend the time looking and put forth the effort. I feel like I am going home to a family I never met. I have a smile on my face that you would need a crowbar to remove.

To Sue. My dad's been driving for a while, and your comment about the Internationals caught my eye. Apparently they have an engine that's an issue as well. Cat has apparently gotten out of the making semi engines. Someone has piecemealed together a Cat engine with other parts. I think they are just using the Cat block and using different manufacturers for the other parts. It's a junk engine and it's left him and several other of his company drivers stranded. I will call him tonight to verify, but apparently there is a label on the outside of the truck that designates it as a truck that has that engine. I'll keep you posted.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Double clutching is hard :(

Is it to keep from breaking traction? Sorry, I just thought of that, and it's the only thing that I can think would happen in my car if I dropped a gear and dumped the clutch.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Double clutching is hard :(

I completely understand the process of double clutching. I've driven stick all my life, and I've been reading that driving stick 4 wheelers can give you bad habits. So, I started double clutching in my car for practice. Obviously it's completely unnecessary, but why not practice. I have the motion down fast enough that it really doesn't add much time. Here's where I am confused...When I downshift in my car (driving normally), I am doing it for a reason. Either I need to accelerate quickly and therefore get the car out of the sluggish low RPM range, OR...I am trying to slow down and I'm using the higher RPM range to naturally bring my road speed down a little, and coupling it with the brakes. My wife hates it when I do that in her car, but she's never raced so she doesn't understand that it can give you more controlled braking. Anyhow, here's my question. In a car, you just downshift and let the RPMs do what they will. Why is it that in a semi you need to goose the gas pedal while downshifting? I realize that there are no synchro gears in semis but mechanically it seems unnecessary to use the gas pedal. By double clutching you are already lining up the front and rear of the tranny. It seems to me that at that point the engine should behave just fine without the mini boost of RPM that a tap on the gas pedal will provide. I'm unclear on that portion, but otherwise I think I got it.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

First, to Errol. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time researching companies and speaking to recruiters. I went to MATS with my dad to do research there too. MY wife accuses me (and she is completely correct) of spending too much time on research. The only reason I will not list the names is because my brain will explode if I get any more input. I am not trying to be evasive or illusive but I just want to grab and go. If I don't, I'll drive myself nuts. Also, the companies I have contacted are amazing, and any driver here in those companies could sway me and I just wanna go with my gut. Plus, I surely don't want to offend anyone if I don't choose their company. All 3 of them are wonderful.

Second, to Chris. Yeah, man, you caught me. That's where I think I need to go. Submitting my paperwork tomorrow (or the next day) and getting the ball rolling. I already have a spot reserved, and the bonus road time before the CDL test is what has me sold. I had a chance to speak to someone that was in the company for a long time. He bought his own truck and moved on but LOVED that company. You and I are gonna have a beer some day, and it's gonna be on me :)

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

Well, I spoke to the second company, and then a third. I'm sure you guys have heard this a million times, but this is a really tough choice. Pretty sure I'm going to go with my first choice. It has a very "family" feel. All 3 recruiters were extremely nice and well informed. But my first pick still feels like a very comfortable pair of jeans. I might as well just dive in and go for it. So...bottoms up. Thanks for your responses.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

Thanks Brett :)

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

Oh, by the way...I am not looking at this second company because of money. There are a few things I really like about them. I am never going to let starting pay be my deciding factor. I thought I should mention that. I just reread that post, and realized that it looks like my decision is financially based. It's not. Still very happy with my first choice even though the pay is less. It's all about me making the best move now for the future.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Stick vs. auto?

Hello all. I am going to school in a couple months. I chose my company for a couple reasons, both involving licensing. Hopefully you guys can verify or disqualify the info I have. After a little research I have found that almost all states will limit you to an auto-only CDL if you test on an auto. So, how much does that truly matter? I know that a lot of companies are converting to autos. If it's going to be an industry-wide change, that's one thing. But if it's not, I have just pigeonholed myself by training and testing on an auto. My dad just started driving an auto. He hated it at first but is now "warming up to it". In dad terms, that means he really likes it and doesn't want to admit it lol :) The company I chose is slowly converting to all autos, but their OTR fleet is still mostly stick. They also will dispatch me as a solo driver after school which is fantastic. That'll give me behind the wheel training for 4-6 weeks with a trainer before I have to get my CDL. Nice little bonus. With them, I have a guarantee of a trainer in a stick truck. So how important is it really to not have a restricted CDL? I ask this question for a very specific reason. I have not yet committed to the company I chose, and I found another company that I really like. Their entire fleet is auto. So...If I go through them, I will definitely end up with an auto-only CDL. The second company has a very sexy pay scale for both rookies and vets. I'm tempted to switch. But again, worried about the CDL restriction. What do y'all think?

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Millis diary

Don, I have done some research for you, and here's what I've found. I'm doing this for both of us because I have cardiac issues as well, and I have not yet gone for my DOT physical. First, lemme give you a little background info on me. I had a heart attack young, 36. 42 now. Cardiac issues are unfortunately hereditary in my dad's side of the family. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that I'm fit as a fiddle, but....if you saw me in person your jaw would drop. 5'10", 135 pounds. Skinny by anyone's standards. I have a fairly active job, I'm a carpenter. Not sure how your cardiologist operates, but mine is very strict. I have to get an exam from him every 6 months or he will not issue meds. So personally, I am not worried about my DOT exam. Truth be told, my BP isn't perfect but I'm going to see him before my DOT exam anyhow. If he needs to tweak my meds, he will. Here is what I have discovered, and I will pass this on to you. I have a great relationship with my doc. If he felt that I needed a stress test, for anything that was setting off an alarm, he'd let me know. He works for the Cleveland Clinic, which is ranked very highly worldwide for cardiac care. Among cardiac physicians within the Cleveland Clinic, he's on of the best. I got him by chance, kind of an unlucky/lucky lottery. So, with all of that being said, let me ask you this. What else could possibly have triggered that request for a stress test? Was your BP at the time on the high end? If you are on meds to control your BP and it's still higher than it should be, that's probably a flag. If it's been a while since you've seen a cardiologist, that's a flag. In the end, your cardiologist will steer your ship forward for you. Hence the reason I am going to him before the DOT exam. I know for sure that you can get hosed based on people I know that drive trucks have had bad experiences with DOT exams because of several factors. 1) The examiner is jumping to unnecessary conclusions that cost you a ton of money and/or delay your career, and in the end they are being overzealous. 2) The examiner that just passes you through and doesn't care. Be assured, they're out there and that can hurt you too. If anyone does any digging (for whatever reason) your card can be called into question. So I'm shooting for the middle. I found a place that does the exams, won't rake you over the coals for non-trigger issues. If anything gets called into question, my cardiologist will back me up. I would recommend a non-physician for your next exam. They ask the same questions, but they won't have knee-jerk reactions.Sounds like that's what happened to you. Also, there are different levels of stress tests. Some are more involved than others, and that will affect the cost. In the end they all show the same result. Either your heart is good or it isn't. There are hospital satellite hospital facilities and urgent care facilities that offer stress tests as an a la carte outpatient service. 1 doc and a treadmill. $500 bucks. Alright man, hope all this helped. Let me know how it goes.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Millis diary

Yup, try another doctor. I found a chiropractor, believe it or not, that does DOT physicals. I have the same issue, had a heart attack in 2010. I am not getting the impression from that office that it's gonna be as demanding as yours. I also have well controlled high blood pressure, but my numbers are good, so I'm not sweating it. As chance would have it, I already have an appointment with my cardiologist next month. I will let them know what's going on with my upcoming DOT exam. It's a guarantee that he'd waive that stress test for me. For some reason I don't understand, it's a fairly common thing for chiropractors to do DOT physicals. Find someone like that. It'll be a guarantee that if you are on blood pressure meds, you're only gonna get a 1 year card. But it's better than the spot you're in now.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Millis diary

Awesome man! Hopefully we'll run into each other out there some day :)

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Millis diary

Confirmed. You have the option to test immediately after schooling, or do it after you've been on the road with a trainer. I'll be choosing option 2. The pay is the same, irregardless. 25cpm whether you are driving, or whether your trainer is. All miles go towards your check. Per my previous post, I may have to wait a bit before there is a trainer available with a stick truck. For me, there are no repercussions, I can go back to my old job while I wait. Also....with Millis I don't need any endorsements. If I need them later, I'll get them. No TWIC, no passport. See ya soon, Millis :)

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Millis diary

After speaking to a current student and a couple current drivers, I have discovered something unique about Millis. I could be completely wrong about my research, please correct me if I am. From what I am seeing/reading, almost all company-sponsored programs will have you test for your CDL before you hit the road with a trainer. Not the case here. You complete your schooling, and you are dispatched with a trainer as a solo driver. If this is correct, here's why that's a real big plus for choosing Millis. If you are dispatched with a trainer as a solo truck, that trainer will be sitting with you all the time. That means that your permit makes you valid in any situation, because you have a licensed driver right there next to you. Just like having your temps for a car. Here's why that's awesome. You'll get to have real life experience BEFORE you have to test for your CDL. It doesn't last long, but gaining extra experience behind the wheel is a good thing before you have to test. Again, I will confirm this tomorrow when I talk to my recruiter to make sure this information is correct. After your training is completed, you will have to obtain your CDL and then continue on as a solo driver. None of this will make sense or seem beneficial to you if you haven't dug really deep on common practices for company schools. I will update this blog later this week after speaking to my recruiter. Do your research. Seems to me that the hardest part of this job is picking the correct path FOR YOU. This one is mine, and I'm not looking back. But everyone is different, every avenue of life is subjective.

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