Profile For Skywalker

Skywalker's Info

  • Location:
    Richmond, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 5 months ago

Skywalker's Bio

Well... I was a very happily married stay at home dad from San Francisco. Wife wanted to move back home to raise our girls (3~5) in the country Upstate New York Berkshires area. Within 8 months she took the girls and moved in with her Mother and filed for custody and support.

And now wants to fast track divorce... I don't think she is happy...;}

I have a good construction job now but looking at trucking to reboot and retool my life to help me support my girls long term... i.e child support, save for house and start college funds/savings etc...

I am a workaholic and an introvert, always busy doing or fixing something. I love driving, working on my own vehicles and help others whenever I can.

I have been a builder, general contractor and glorified handyman. I can be gregarious at times but usually run solo. I am also a deep thinker, my name is Aristotle after all, and I can pretty well hold my own living up to that birthright... Well at least until I get too cocky, then I drop a few pegs...;} I have an IQ of 127 but haven't used it much. I can see thru a lot of the corporate, social, political and media bs of everyday life but I'm just not interested in playing those games.

I am 48 and looking at trucking as a major career move to help get me past this midlife crisis and on through the next 20 or so years. And from what I have read from the blogs and forums on this site it looks like I'll be in some good company. I'm glad I stumbled onto truckingtruth, it's given me some good insight. And motivation to keep going...

~Ari

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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

I could do that. Trucks hauling trucks... I read in an earlier post somewhere that is a really good gig. I did talk with a Swift driver in Vail a couple of months ago. He had his son on the truck for Summer vacation. Nothing but great things to say about the company, dm's miles and loads. Will have to catch up with him now.

Not looking for a lot of perks or special treatment, I know I'll earn those in time. But in looking at what different companies are offering I was surprised to see what they are throwing in to attract drivers. Direct tv -don' need it Satellite internet -too spotty More home time -less take home money. So I put together my own list and knew if I got those I would have minimal distractions in learning this new trade. And I know there is a heck of a lot to learn...

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

I agree with you both and am putting apps to Swift Roehl and many others now. Does Swift do flatbed? I thinks that's where I would thrive, outdoorsy, getting dirty and such. I think I am just stuck on the fact that in our first convo the employment gap wasn't an issue but now it is. So what changed? I think if I didn't have the name issue I'd have shipped out in March and been upgrading by now.

I tend to do a lot of planning before I jump into something, especially this career change, and I often look for the team effort in the amenities that will help me thrive. What's my backup and what is going to help me be successful in this endeavor. What's going to keep me on the road. For me my list and what I am looking for in a company is: Easy access to Northeast, Albany, NY for home time. Good training pay $500+ Good starting pay .40+ Good trainers On the road training Trucks with APU's for fridge, cooking appliances (Save $$ grocery bill vs fast food bills + healthier) Plenty of freight and mileage Multiple divisions to move up and around in Family oriented and open door policy Professionalism

I made this list back in March and Prime seemed to match everything I wanted. Now I am trying to match other companies

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

Nuts... I don't like rejection. At least not without a logical or explainable reason. I went through my application with a fine tooth comb looking for any discrepancies. Couldn't find anything off, all honest and straightforward. Reworded unemployment during baby years stating reasons why and did supplemental work and could provide proof docs for both. Sent app to Wil-Trans thru TT (like the new banner ads...) and got a call yesterday from WT recruiter. Explained my situ and app and that Prime just rejected me day before. He didn't have a problem with the app but he did say after running it through computer or something it came back as stating 'Better Qualified Applicants Available' which I took to meaning I was put on a gray list for some reason. Bummed and confused... This means that Jim Palmer is out for me too because of their relations.

I do not know what I said to have the Prime guy put me on this list but I know myself pretty well and think I am more than qualified. And in both conversations with him I was very honest straight froward and non-withholding on my situation. I am half tempted to send a letter to the owner of Prime or try and get a second recruiter but I know this guy is just doing his job diligently filtering applicants because he probably had more than a few applicants fail recently and is trying to do a better job filtering...

I think will call him up again and try to get some feedback

I take it as a challenge, will persevere....

Sent app to TMC and Wil-Trans actually left another VM

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

Probably put all my eggs in one basket but amenities do count in a big career move like this... I think I am focused on Prime as I like their training program, training pay and starting pay. I need to hit the ground running with starting pay and $700 a week can't be beat during TNT phase. I like that they have 3 divisions to get experience in, reefer, flatbed and tanker so if I get bored or want to up my game I can switch within same company without starting over. I like that they got good trucks with APU's and I can put a fridge and nuker in them. For me this is essential for saving money and will help keep me on the road for days I would think. The drivers I've talked to on the road and through here all have good things to say about their Prime experiences and weekly pay. And plenty of miles if you have a strong work ethic, of which I do.

Funny... I just got off the phone with Melton. I sent them an application thru TT last night with stay at home dad as second of last four employers. They didn't have a problem with it and wanted to hire but they don't have cdl schooling. 160 hr certificate or experience minimum

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

Thanks guys, I appreciate your input. Is there another way to get in? Could I get another recruiter or someone on the inside? I am not a afraid of the hours of work involved in trucking, I am a workaholic and have always been working even while raising the girls just to supplement our family income. In fact I think trucking might be a cake walk after raising those girls! It was definitely a double time job especially after the second one came 16 months later. Great memories but real work and very little rest.

The thing is when I talked to this guy back in March I was very explicit in my situation, Just moved family across country, put girls in school, got first real job in 6 years but wife just left and now looking for long term career change. I even put stay at home Dad in as employment on the app during those years which we talked about and where he suggested putting apartment manager because it looked better. We had a good conversation and both thought name change on birth certificate was the big issue. So he put my app on hold and told me to call after getting it handled.

After really looking at my situation I saw my career choices were trucking or mailman. I figured working for the postoffice would be a great government job so went through all the tests and interviews, got the job in the town I wanted but after talking to the Postmaster I found it was only 32 hrs week @ $16hr and no hopes of union or benefits for a few years. And though I liked the job I had just gotten, installing solar panels on farm fields, had a great boss, good crew and started to work my way up, I didn't want to be a laborer for the next few years and needed to get out of the toxic situation I was in. I decided on trucking as it looks like a great career choice with multiple options and learning curves where I'd have minimal bills, and get see my girls on a regular basis while saving for their future. So after retaining a lawyer and going through courts to finalize custody and child support issues I decided to moved back to California to get paperwork in order and build a deck for a friend to pad my savings while I go through truck training.

Fast forward 5 months. So now that I finally got all of my paperwork in order, birth certificate SS card CA license Passport and permit all match with full names, I figured everything is in order and I update my application with Prime. I got the same recruiter as I talk to back in March so I figured that was great and I was in like Flynn, he remembered me and we got to catch up with some good conversation. Up until the point where he asked for employment verification for baby years. Well the conversation pretty much stopped and went downhill from there as I reminded him I couldn't prove verification and he kept insisting on it, almost religiously this time. I asked if there was anything else I could do or use besides 1099's or W2's and he said no. I asked what to do now and he said go to C.R. England or Swift and give a call in 6-9 months and we can help you. This really kind of ticked me off because he just knocked both companies down earlier in our conversation while he was saying I made a good choice with Prime. So I understand he wasn't worried about this in March but he is now. My application info hasn't changed so something else has, policy or incident wise maybe. Just surprised about this turn around...

I even texted him back saying I understand your and Primes dilemma about risking training for students as he mentioned that earlier, but what if I paid for the schooling upfront and got reimbursed after proving myself? No response back

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Unverifiable Employment History

I have a little setback. I updated my application for Prime and just got off the phone with a recruiter, same guy I talked to 4 months ago and thought I was set with just having to amend my birth certificate with first and middle names (it just said male plus last name). Well this time he said I am not eligible for Prime cdl training as I cannot show employment history for the 4.5 years (2011-2015) I was a stay at home Dad raising our girls and now he says he needs W-2's or 1099's for those years. When last I talked with him I let him know exactly what my situation was as an at home father doing handyman work and apartment management and he suggested I put down apartment management as work history because it looked better. But we did not talk about 1099s or W2's and I and my application were very clear on no employment history while raising the babies. Not sure where to go from here... I do have traceable employment, unemployment and 1099 history for the prior immediate years and joint married tax returns for those specific years.

I realize recruiters are the gatekeepers and have their place in holding company policy and companies have policies for set reasons (usually insurance and security related) but how does one go about getting around this? Would any company understand a man's choice to staying home raising children?

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Anyone else use a hammock in the truck?

Send a pic! I got to see this setup. I love hammocks

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

Thanks and will do. Mine is myethos@gmail.com name is Aristotle. Should be at prime in mid septemberish... Looks like you'll have the pick of the lot of eager recruits!

Here is a pertinent question: What is the employee status of a recruit after he gets his cdl license for TNT training at Prime? Are they an employee of Prime and get paid training pay by Prime on a company trainer truck? Or if on a lease trainers truck is he/she leased to the trainer (did I read that correctly earlier?)? Is there a legal status for this like a 1099? Not sure just wondering from what I read earlier. Have to do child support and wondering how to declare employment status when the time comes. Also what is the ratio of company to lease trainers at prime and are they incentivized the same? Got me curious now... What makes a trainer

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Headed back to Prime for a new victim.

Can't get there soon enough Brian! But I guess I'll have to trust in the luck of the draw. Been good to me so far. Should be heading to Prime in mid September. Maybe SLC will talk with recruiter and see what's best. Good luck with your next High Road trainee!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Passed CA CDL permit tests

Haven't been this nervous since high school first date... Sweating bullits and ears plugging up! Passed all tests though did have to retake Hazmat and ironically general knowledge which was up for renewal for my car license. When the lady saw that I passed combos air brakes tankers and triples but failed my renewal she chuckled it was prolly a wise choice going into trucking... and I agreed. Tired of 4 wheelin Time to step it up! Next step is DOT physical which shouldn't be a problem as I'm 6'6" and 180 soaking wet. Still slinging 20' lumber

I thank this site and the High Road Training Program for my success but I gotta tell ya the questions and wording on that Cali test were way different hense the sweating bullits from the getgo. But I think the repetition and reviewing that the High Road drilled into me helped me pull it through.

Boom! I'm off to be a trucker!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Chickiemonster, can I pick your brain?

Those are some nice perks!

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$ .30 CPM? As a solo company driver?

That is like - really peanuts in comparison to a lot of the other companies.

CM - was there a compelling reason you went with TA?

Best check of $500 on a best week of 3200 miles? Do you have a lot of deductions being taken out?

Rick

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah I have a few personal deductions.

I went with TA for the automatics, hometime policies and the perks: APU, fridge, TV and DirectTV standard in all their trucks.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

LOOOOOONG Overdue Update

This is the best discussion I have read through in a long time on this site. Was glued to the screen all night catching up. I like Rainy and Brett's ideas put together. Rotate students thru trainer trucks every 7-10 days. Have a minimal set a teaching requirements, backing, city driving, elogs, etc so student can get different perspectives. As a failsafe throw in fellow trainers from different yards or dispatchers or fleet managers to evaluate trainers from a higher corporate level peerspective to make sure minimum standards are set and look for ways to improve. Great debate!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

Remember this I will...

The deer thing: If you hit the deer, as most people say it, you can be charged with a preventable accident. If the deer hit you, then it's non-preventable, and not your fault. I know, it's like saying "the door hit my forehead", but this way makes it non-preventable.

Thanks for this Kanelin, And the trainers should be well paid. Company or lease. A couple drivers I talked to called it a suicide run for the added stresses involved and the prospects they were looking at coming through training. Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. I could relate to what they said from my experience working in the Alaskan Fishing Industry. A lot of people coming through the mill there were ill prepared for the climate, cold, stark conditions etc... At some points the companies were hiring homeless off the street just to fill positions. Not sure if this is the same with trucking but with all the ads for big $$ and shortage of drivers I'm sure a lot of characters are coming through the mill.

Good luck with your PSD and TNT runs

And now from the student side: I am currently sitting in a service area on the Ohio Turnpike after my eighth day out driving with my PSD (pre-CDL) trainer. He is a lease operator for Prime and has been a trainer for quite a while. He has been hard on me when I needed it, and is very strict on safety and my driving habits. He is also teaching me many other things I would never learn in a classroom. He has also been encouraging when I have felt like an idiot and when I have felt like quitting. In short, he isn't just teaching me enough to get me CDL, he is teaching me to be a driver. His aim is to make me into someone he will feel safe sharing the road with. This is the goal of the training department at Prime, as I'm sure it is at all the training companies. Are there bad eggs? Sure there are, but Prime is actively weeding them out.

As for your interview, it is both of you interviewing each other. You are going to be spending a LOT of time together over the next few weeks so It is very important that you are both comfortable with each other.

As far as money goes, yes the trainer gets paid, but he or she gets a hefty bonus if you pass all your skills on the first try. So it is in their best interest to do a good job, no matter if they are company or lease.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

I think I'd want you as my trainer too Brian! What region do you drive or what yard are you close to? I'm planning to start mid to late September. I'm in California now getting paperwork in order and possibly cdl permit as one Prime driver advised to this then go train through the Salt Lake City terminal because it was more laid back and less hectic than Springfield. Not as many people coming thru each week... Then another driver said I'd have a better experience in Springfield. So not sure... Ultimately I'll be taking my hometime, whenever that occurs, near Albany, NY to see my 2 young girls. I know Prime has the Pittston, PA terminal but not sure they train out of there. Big picture for me is to train during winter for adverse weather experience in reefer, then go to flatbed in Spring and then tanker after a couple of years when I get enough experience. This could all change but definitely want to get experience in all 3 divisions and then maybe heavy haul for ****s and giggles. Though my home will be near Albany, NY I'm not sure I'd want to drive Northeast Region until I have a bunch of OTR experience. I know it pays more and there's reasons why, just not sure I want that added stress on the outset. Though .50+ cpm for a rookie in a lightweight running NE Regional is pretty tempting...

Given all this what would you advise?

Sorry Joe at the present time I have a student that passed his TNT phase that wants a little more time behind the wheel before he goes solo so I am not available. I I plan on taking another student sometime in September at the earliest. ( Going to drive solo a few weeks before someone else hops on)

A small foot note I'm happy to inform everyone my students have earned me a 100% graduation rate so far. Knocking on wood right now!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

Thanks for all the replies. Especially from you Brian and Kanelin. Good solid perspectives from a student and an instructor. As with most things I figured the bad cases were 10% or less of the whole story but get the most airtime or most noticed. Brian, that's really good to know about Prime giving one name to instructors. Might show that they are putting a keen eye on the match making service trying to find a best working solution. I don't know about you all but I'd be a little nervous competing for an instructor on the pad or in the halls with other guys. Not sure that's how it's been done, just remembering the stories I read/heard. I'm not a wallflower but not much of a group guy either and usually best one on one anyways. And all about business, in fact you'll probably find me out on the pad crawling thru cabs, engines and carriages inspecting every nook and cranny learning how these machines work and how they can work for me in becoming a professional driver.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

I missed that! Funny!rofl-1.gif

I like how you said the deer jumped out and hit the truck, cause we NEVER hit the deer. Good job sir

double-quotes-start.png

Skywalker, your assumptions about lease owner trainers are close. Of course it all depends on the attitude of your trainer. But a company driver doesn't have the money worries of an owner.

I had a company trainer in a company truck when a deer jumped out and hit the truck. Body damage and all, my trainer basically said, OK, let's bring it in, two days off for body repair. Think what an owner would say if that poor, innocent deer had bashed his front bumper!

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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Company trainers vs lease trainers

Hi Folks, I'm almost ready to set a start date for training at Prime Inc. Just got to add a little more $$ to savings to carry me through. I've read some stories on here and from a couple of rookie drivers that had off experiences with lease driver trainers. So I was wondering if it was possible or appropriate to ask for a company driver as my trainer for PSD and TNT at Prime. I guess the thinking would go some lease ops would be worried about wear and tear on the truck from rookie drivers, grinding gears etc... or making truck payments, getting enough miles to make ends meet, focus on bottom line etc... Whereas a company driver wouldn't have those worries. Is that a legitimate summation? I have nothing against lease and really don't know so I thought I'd put this out there.

So questions: In your experience... Is there a difference between company and lease trainers? What is the ratio of trainers at your company? What do/did you look for in a trainer? Did you have a choice of trainers? And any regrets?

I get that at Prime and possibly others the trainers have the pick of the lot as they mill through the pad and have the upper hand during the interview process (because they already have a cdl and a job) but I got to be interviewing them too making sure we are a right fit for the next few weeks or months right? I'm definitely not one to hold up the bus and will likely take first one but just hope he/she is a good solid million miler...good-luck-2.gif

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Midlife crisis and start of new career

Haha yeah but if I get the house then I'll have a place for the Hemi Dart and a awesome ride for the girls when they turn sweet 16! dancing.gif Thanks for the good advice. Love the big condo's. I'm 6'6" and 180# soaking wet but as long as I don't get scalped I'll be fine. Looking at Roehl too, similar pay package as Prime but longer class training. I do like Prime's fastrak though. One week to pass all tests, get in a truck and go. Think I'd like to do all 48, take the training wheels off and settle into the wolf's den. Gonna be here for awhile so I might as well get use to it...;}

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Midlife crisis and start of new career

Hello, I've been lurking on the site soaking up a lot of information over the last couple of months. I've read the blogs of Rainy D and Daniel B, Truckermike and a few others. I really like the feedback and guidance from Old School, Brett and Errol. Trucking and the Open Road has always been a love of mine and now I think a necessity. So I thought I'd join up and start studying the High Road Training Program while I search for the best starter company and position for me in this new endeavor.

I recently moved my family from San Francisco to Upstate New York to raise and school our daughters (3~5) in the country. But soon found the wife and momster-in-law had other plans and took the kids to her mother's then filed for divorce. So I am going from a stay at home dad to super trucker in a matter of months. I say that lightly but as I'm reading if you use your clock wisely you can keep the miles rolling. And I tell my kids that so they can be excited and not sad that Daddy's away for awhile at a time now. And I basically just want to work work work to save and stack money and experience for 2-3 years to have enough to put down on a house for the girls and get a local regional job.

I am thinking about doing cdl training with Prime, going with the featherweight tractor and North Eastern regional runs for extra pay and maybe taking no home time but doing 34 hour resets with my girls near Albany, NY Springfield, Mass or Hartford, CT as needed. My girls live within 90 min of those cities. That should be pretty doable from a company perspective, no? I was thinking dry van/reefer for this scenario but maybe I could do it as a flat-bedder too.

While I've never considered becoming a trucker I think I may be a natural for it. I love the open road, I love trucks and I just love working and being productive. Plus I think I am more of a Journey Man. Destinations are boring after awhile...;} I am an introvert so the solo time I would relish, especially since I still got my VZ UDP so I can stay connected online. And I like being my own boss, king of my castle so to speak but definitely no lease for me! I'm a company man. Got enough troubles already...;}

I've also looked into Jim Palmer trucking and Wil-Trans as I like the bigger newer trucks with fridges, not sure if the rookies get those though but... and maybe more miles through the western states? not sure Looks like they both have the same student pay and training structure as Prime which I really like. I think proper training is key and the one on one structure I would excel at.

I think my biggest worry is staying on top of child support during training and the first year. I have read of a guy getting sent home during training because he was in arrears by a small amount. I am not in arrears and don't plan to be but how do companies handle this issue?

Thanks to all for your blogs and vlogs here and on youtube. They've definitely given me hope and direction for the next chapter in my life...

~Clear Skies

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Hello, I've been lurking on the site soaking up a lot of information over the last couple of months. I've read the blogs of Rainyd and Daniel B, Truckermike and a few others. I like the feedback and guidance from Old School, Brett and Errol. Trucking and the Open Road has always been a love of mine and now I think a necessity. So I thought I'd join up and start studying the High Road Training Program while I search for the best starter company and position for me in this new endeavor.

I recently moved my family from San Francisco to Upstate New York to raise and school our daughters (3~5) in the country. But soon found the wife and momster-in-law had other plans and took the kids to her mother's then filed for divorce. So I am going from a stay at home dad to super trucker in a matter of months. I say that lightly but as I'm reading if you use your clock wisely you can keep the miles rolling. And I tell my kids that so they can be excited and not sad that Daddy's away for awhile at a time now. And I basically just want to work work work to save and stack money and experience for 2-3 years to have enough to put down on a house for the girls and get a local regional job.

I am thinking about doing cdl training with Prime, going with the featherweight tractor and North Eastern regional runs for extra pay and maybe taking no home time but doing 34 hour resets with my girls near Albany, NY Springfield, Mass or Hartford, CT as needed. My girls live within 90 min of those cities. That should be pretty doable from a company perspective, no? I was thinking dry van/reefer for this scenario but maybe I could do it as a flat-bedder too.

While I've never considered becoming a trucker I think I may be a natural for it. I love the open road, I love trucks and I just love working and being productive. Plus I think I am more of a Journey Man. Destinations are boring after awhile...;} I am an introvert so the solo time I would relish, especially since I still got my VZ UDP so I can stay connected online. And I like being my own boss, king of my castle but definitely no lease for me! I'm a company man. Got enough troubles already...;}

I've also looked into Jim Palmer trucking and Wil-Trans as I like the bigger newer trucks with fridges, not sure if the rookies get those though but... and maybe more miles through the western states? not sure Looks like they both have the same student pay and training structure as Prime which I really like. I think proper training is key and the one on one structure I would excel at.

I think my biggest worry is staying on top of child support during training and the first year. I have read of a guy getting sent home during training because he was in arrears by a small amount. I am not in arrears and don't plan to be but how do companies handle this issue?

Thanks to all for your blogs and vlogs here and on youtube. They've definitely given me hope and direction for the next chapter in my life...

~Clear Skies

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