Comments By Serenity avatar
  • Serenity
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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Need a bit of encouragement today


Hang in there. I went company sponsored and it was awesome.

However, before you leave a job for driving, consider your depression. will the lonliness of being on the truck 20+ hours a day make you worse? many people get home sick.

what about your meds if you are on them. some companies do not allow certain meds.

would you be able to switch meds if a company asked?

how severe is your depression and under control? companies cant have suicidal drivers.

Not everyone gets hired at company orientations so do you have money to get home?

really analyze everything before you make some decisions.


Thank you for that advice. Currently I am not on any medication, my depression is not so severe that I can not function or do daily living or find myself unable to hold a job. Most of my depression stems from life circumstances (previous parental abuse -verbal and physical, peer bullying growing up and a couple of nasty relationship breakups). I really don't want to focus on the negatives of life , I have done that too much. However I am also as you suggest analyzing this and seeing if I am making the right call by doing this. I have never been in a job where it's literally "all on you" - from the waking up (not hard for me), to the trip planning , to the dealing with problems and concerns. Almost all of my jobs have been office gigs with plenty of support staff around and at least one direct supervisor i could always go to if I have questions, concerns or stuck on what decision to make.

I know trucking is truly a resilient , independent lifestyle and a part of all of this is me wondering if I have what it takes to hang with the professionals.

Personally, I don't think it's fair to say that this person is someone with a "victim" mentality. Some of the things they have been through have a HUGE impact on your life...which a lot of people do not understand, and/or do not want to understand. OP, I understand what you mean when it comes to the abuse part because I lived it myself, as a kid and teen. And yes, there are days it can be a little rough.

BUT, to get over that, you need to have more faith in yourself. You need to take the negative and use it as a means to push yourself towards success, because those who did that to you would love nothing more than to see you fail. So never let them see it. I totally get that it can still affect you, but you have to be stronger than "it". There is nothing that you can do to change your past. All that you can do is change your future.

You need to be to yourself what others were not to you when you were growing up. That means that even when it's hard, if it's worth it to you, you will see it through. The old cliche "nothing good ever comes easy", well, it doesn't always come easy. A lot of times it does not come easy.

I'm going to bet that there's a lot of people out there who want to make changes and face the same situation that you do, financially. As others have said, have a company pay for it, serve your year, and then continue on from there. You have enough left over each month to set aside even half of that for your future that only you can pave. No one will pave it for you since you don't appear to have a support system from family.

And you know what, it's okay to put them square in the past where they belong. You'll still have your days, it's okay, push through them and do what you need to do for your life to make it better.

As for doing things alone, well, ask yourself if you want to allow someone else to be in charge of your life, or if you would like to be in charge of your life for a change. Relying on yourself is one of the greatest achievements you can have in your life. You can forever work in a cube, go to your Sup for answers, or you can start to learn how to navigate life using yourself. You will become a much stronger person, you will find that your depression days are not nearly as often, and you know what? Even if you do screw something up, it's okay because all of it is a learning experience. You learn, retain that knowledge, and go on because every situation, every incident, every fail, every success is an opportunity for you to learn and find the strength in yourself. You have it, you're just not used to using it.

Use this forum to start doing for yourself. This forum has so. much. information, take the time to find it.

The next time that you have a question at work, instead of going to your Sup, try to find the answer yourself. Have FAITH that you found the right answer and use the information you found.

Give yourself a little more credit than you are right now.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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No Home Base

Duck walking is typically a company requirement. It is not required my the DOT. The companies that do require it often do it to show you can do a thorough pretrip as you have to climb under the trailer to do so. I definitely suggest NOT crawling on your hands and knees in a parking lot. Despite the pavement being hot/cold, many drivers dispose of their waste onto the asphalt....if you know what I mean

Yeah...I've heard stories. The first thing I'm buying is a pair of gloves.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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No Home Base

Serenity, at Prime there are two tests. Your physical which consists of drug test, eye test, blood pressure, etc. Like your annual physical at your doctor. That’s for your DOT physical card.

Then there’s the agility test, climb up a couple of rungs on a ladder, lifting weights in a milk carton using proper lifting techniques. Just basic things.

If you would like to get an idea of what the pretrip consists of, in the training section there’s a great pdf that Daniel put together. Also, search for Apex driving school pretrip on YouTube which is a step by step guide of the speeches for each part but also their locations.

If you focus on this early before committing to whatever driving training program you decide to go after, you’ll be able to focus on other areas of your training.

Good luck! Oh & remember, Texas, Florida, Tennessee & Oregon are some states that don’t collect state & local income taxes, that I’m aware of. I use a UPS store box as my residence in Florida.

Thank you very much for this information! I like to prepare as much as possible, especially with something like this since they'll be flinging me through school so fast, I won't have time to think. The more I know before going in, the better. I'm going to be nervous enough the very first time they tell me to get in the driver's seat. If I can have all of this other stuff down, like know the parts of the truck, that pre-trip inspection inside and out, know that I can ace that test for CDL, and know this physical stuff, that will be so much that I don't have to worry about remembering when I'm sitting there with my hands on that steering wheel for the first time being told to "drive".

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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Podcast 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

I just got that in email and read it. I have been that person that scoured the internet and found horror story after horror story. These people make the trucking industry sound like a run down, trashy neighborhood filled with filthy people swearing at everyone while their cigarettes dangle out of their mouths. The way they tell it, it's a miracle that anything gets delivered anywhere at all because if they aren't fighting their own company, they're fighting each other. It made me think that going to a truck stop was about the last place I wanted to park and get some sleep.

I decided to just stick to this site, and Allie Knight or whatever her name is that did videos of her adventures in truck driving. Plus sometimes she taught things in her videos. I hope that more potential drivers find this site and stop giving an audience to the angry people because they can easily scare anyone off.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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No Home Base

OH! Forgot to ask: About that duckwalking thing....In 2004, I broke my right ankle and had a metal plate and pins put in. If you have never broken an ankle...don't. While you may get out of the cast in 6 weeks, recovery takes WAY longer. Even with the exercises and things they told me to do, which I did a lot because I was impatient to start walking normally again, it took what felt like forever to able to actually run. Two years after I broke it, I was at the DMV in Miami. The line was horrendously long, and I realized I had forgotten something in my car. I went to run to the car and realized I couldn't run like I used to.

If they require me to walk under a table without falling over...because of that ankle not being as strong as the left one, I might not pass that. Yes, even after all these years, it still is not as strong as it used to be despite my attempts to make it so. Would that mean I couldn't pass the medical because of that? What if I pass everything else, because I know I will based on what you all have said and the links that were provided. Those are no problems. But duck walking under a table....I might fail there.

Or maybe I don't understand the height of the table/trailers? Or what duck walking is...shed some light for me, please?

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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No Home Base

Wow! You guys are amazing with the information. This is exactly the information I was looking for. Right now I live in CA, (do not get me started on how much I hate this state), and do not actually want my home address to be from this state because of a) taxes and b) all their stupid rules that don't make any sense whatsoever to any person with any type of common sense.

I'm getting let's move on.

If I can change my license over to whatever state I go to for school, that would be great. It seems like it may be possible then?

The reason that I wouldn't have a home base is because this apartment complex that I live in has a rule that if you are away for a certain amount of time, even if you're paying the rent, they consider it "abandonment". I actually brought up the idea of going to school back when I started this account. I'd asked my next door neighbor if she would be willing to feed/water the pets while I was gone and she had no issues with that at all. But the landlord informed me of this insipid rule, and that killed my momentum because I'm not dumping my pets in a shelter and leaving.

As for the car - you bring up some good points. And I'm so glad that some of you talk about living in your truck because I kind of thought that's pretty much what I would do, but never said it out loud unless people wanted to tell me that was a dumb idea. I would just work as much as I could until I felt I absolutely had to have a break. I'm not a workaholic, I just really love to drive, and I love to see the country. I guess I would just sell off the car. It has been paid for several years ago, and it's an older KIA so it's not like I would be giving up something like a Mustang.

I like the idea of that Mail Link Plus. I like the fact that they email you with scans so you can tell them, "just throw that away, thank you". That's fantastic! And they forward! That's amazing. And if I'm understanding correctly, I could, literally, choose any location that they have as my "virtual" address? Is that correct? If so, I'M SOLD!

As for what I own, I could literally fit everything I own, (obviously minus the pets) into the trunk of my Kia Rio, so I'm pretty sure it's going to fit in any truck that I get to drive and live in.

I'm relieved to hear about the no age discrimination thing. After I got laid off, while I'm not "old" per say, as I said, I'm not in my 20s, it's been pretty hard to find another job. Apparently in the corporate world, once you're out of your 20s, you're old and they don't want much of anything to do with you.

At some point, I will want a pet again, so I would like to be able to work with a company that allows pets. Good to know what some of them charge for that. I think it's worth it, honestly.

What overwhelms me and makes me very nervous about trucking:

Driving a gigantic vehicle in a place like NYC. Driving a gigantic, heavy vehicle with a gigantic trailer behind it down a mountain pass, especially when there's snow and ice on the roads.

I don't know jack about vehicles. I've heard names of things, I have a vague idea of what they do, but I've never been in the environment that talks about cars, works on their own cars, discusses car parts, etc. Going over the part that shows what we need to know for the pre-trip inspection is a little overwhelming for me right now. I know I will learn it, but right now I still feel like all I see is dirt and metal parts.

Remembering everything.

Where I know I will be just fine: I don't need constant stimulation from other people, and actually prefer to do things alone, so the solitude is something I'm actually looking forward to. My work ethic, time management and organization skills are actually really good - at least I got something out of corporate America. Plus I will be free whenever and love driving. I've never done these things in a truck, but those are not the things that I am nervous about when it comes to driving. I'm just nervous about the fact that those things are so huge.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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No Home Base

I said when I first signed up that I'd been thinking of this change for awhile. I've been thinking about it since. The hardest part is finding new homes for the pets because they are, quite literally, all I have. I was laid off a bit ago, I really don't have anything as it is, I'm not tied to the area I'm in right now, I'm not tied to anything, sans the pets - and I sure don't want to work in a brick and mortar job ever again if I don't have to.

I'm actually ready to tackle this after a long time thinking about it. The last thing that I have to do is figure out what to do with my pets...which is an extremely difficult choice to make, but I would not have a home base where I would return. Once I find them homes, I can go at this.

And that brings up a question: Home base. What do you do? Do you not have to have a home base? Where do they send things to? Do you just get it when you stop by the terminal? Where do you park your car? Did you just have a post office box somewhere, or how did you get mail? And what about insurance for that car if you don't have a home base, per say? What did you do on your days off? Did you rent a car wherever it was that you landed after your last drop off and go from there? Or did you just rent a hotel because you were sick of driving?

I would definitely take advantage of the "stay with us for a full year and your training is free" deals that I see. I have found a few companies that I would not mind working for that have this very thing. They are all in different states than I'm in right now, which, who cares, I don't consider where I'm at right now to be "home" anyway. So, if I go through this training and get the CDL, would it be based on where I came from, even if I don't consider this my 'home', or would I be able to get it from the state I trained in? Would it be based on my DL even if I would not consider myself a "resident" of that state anymore once I started this? How easy would it be to change once I'm done with training, done with my training on the road, and on to solo driving?

What is all involved in the physical? Do I have to be able to lift a certain amount of weight like on some jobs I've had? Do I have to run a mile in a certain amount of time? Or is it just to see that you're not about to keel over any moment? I have found almost everything but that information.

And what about if I'm not in my 20s anymore? Is there a cut off to how old you can be to start this career? Are they picky about age, or does that not even matter?

Thanks in advance.

And...uh...I have some extremely cute pets if anyone was looking for a new family member.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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Arams diary!!

I found this entire thread extremely interesting for the simple fact that the OP made a claim about trucks coming from Mexico and anything illegal on that truck was on them, the driver.

One of my very first posts on this forum was my introduction to everyone here, and my experience with driving for a living (albeit not a truck), doing courier work. I took the jobs up to Canada, and one time had to go in the same inspection line as all the truckers. To make that story as brief as possible, I was told to pull around back, and they went over my entire vehicle with a fine toothed comb. They then approached me and asked me what i was carrying, did I open the contents, and by the way, they needed to swab my driver's license as well, to look for any drug residue.

On that particular delivery, I was not allowed to open the contents, so no, I did not know if what was inside the packages was actually computer parts. I was then informed that drug sellers liked to use unsuspecting couriers to transport their product, and if it was not computer parts, if it was in fact drugs, I was responsible...and in a lot of trouble. I understand the feeling you get when you hear something like that. It was computer parts, Canadian Customs was teaching me a lesson. I was very grateful for that lesson.

But the differences are that 1) I picked my packages up from the airport, and I won't name specific airline names, but the one I picked it up from was notorious for NOT CHECKING the package before they put in on a plane. I presume that truck drivers are allowed to be aware of what is going into their trucks as they don't tend to pick up from airports? And you have to do a full inspection of your vehicle before you drive, each time, is that not correct? My "inspection" of my car was "Do I have enough gas?" because it was my car. 2) I did not turn around and leave the company because drug sellers like to use unsuspecting couriers to transport their product. What I did was discuss what happened with the company I was contracted with. From that point on, at no time did I not know what was going into my car.

Yes, you are responsible for the load, but you also have things that you have to do all the time anyway that should protect you from finding yourself in a situation regardless of whether there is something illegally stowed away somewhere on the truck/trailer or not. As someone who has been through the training and was ready to get out there and start driving, you, OP, should know that.

As I read more, all I could think was: Methinks thou doth protest too much.

If you're so sure that you made the right decision, and you're so sure that you have valid reasons for it, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks, and you certainly wouldn't take it personally.

I do hope you have success. I come to this forum for the good advice that I sure as hell am not finding anywhere else on the internet, the PLETHORA of tools that this place has given us, and to read success stories. Everyone wants you to be successful whether they've been on the road for 30 years, 30 days, or are still working on getting their permits. You knew that, you still know that, and what you also know is that the best thing about this place is: You. Will. Get. The. Truth. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Oh well. When my time comes, I fully expect to be told I've made boneheaded mistakes - and that's okay. You don't learn otherwise. Your success counts on honesty from seasoned drivers, and honesty from yourself to yourself.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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The Web Of Lies And Misinformation

Hey Serenity, listen to this podcast. It will help you understand all of the negativity and where it's coming from. You'll feel a lot better when you realize it's not everyone that's like that and you can safely ignore those who are:

Episode 10: Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers.

By the way, as much as I hate to say it, it's true - truckers are famous complainers. Not all of them, but as a group I've never been around such a bunch of whiny crybabies in my life. That's one of the reasons I created this site. I wanted people to know that there is a group of professionals out there who love what they do and do it with pride. The bad reputation this industry has is unfortunately not entirely undeserved, but there are plenty of top tier drivers out there that don't run to YouTube to draw attention to themselves:

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

Thank you. That was enjoyable to listen to...and it's the same wherever you go. I've had jobs filled with whiners, but I've never seen them take to the internet, as a group, and complain like I have some drivers. When I get to school, I will remember to stay away from the terminal rats. I'll probably crack up, to be honest, when I see a rat's nest, as you said. The good news is, I don't like to do a lot of small talk, so I usually steer clear of that type of thing anyway. But this is also good for people like me who find themselves tripping over rat's nests on the internet. In fact, those nests reach a wider audience and can get people before they even start day one of school.

My work ethic is very strong, so I just need to do my job, not hit anything, and realize the rats for who they are. Thanks again.

Posted:  6 years, 2 months ago

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The Web Of Lies And Misinformation

Oh, and I forgot to mention: I'm a huge fan of that was a nice little treat to read in a trucking article. I know truckers come from all walks of life, but i never thought I'd read of one who enjoyed Ska.

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