Profile For Tweak

Tweak's Info

  • Location:
    Arlington, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:
    Tweak On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 2 months ago

Tweak's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Tweak's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Got Accepted at Prime

Well, I guess it's official. Put in my application a few days ago, got a call back almost immediately from the same recruiter I've been talking to. I report for training on the 31st. They offered a Greyhound ticket, but screw that noise, I'm flying. I'm studying the Texas-specific info for my CDL permit, since I have to have that now. I test on Monday.

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous. I mean, I used to drive tanks, so I'm used to big vehicles, but in a tank, if you hit something it was a minor chewing out from your platoon sergeant about scuffed paint. Here, it could mean the end of my career. Plus, I can't read a map for nothing. Add to that the whole time management angle, and it feels like one mistake puts you on the crap-list at the company, and two means you're out.

But still, I'm ready and eager. I'm willing to learn, put my ego aside and take my licks, and take in everything I can. I want this job, for at least a year while I figure out a more permanent plan, but who knows? It may grab me and turn into a career. It's an odd feeling of freedom for me, having been told what to do and when to do it my entire life(joined the Army right out of high school).

I'm raring to go, anyway. Les do dis...

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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What Do You Do For Minor Maintenence Issues?

Okay. Say you're doing your pre-trip, and one of your slack adjusters moves more than an inch, or something similar. I don't know if you can fix that yourself. So, what if you were at a truckstop in the middle of nowhere and you find one thing wrong in the pre-trip? DO you not roll? How would you get that fixed? Does the company send out a maintenance truck? Just curious. Thanks!

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Question About Pre-trip

Okay, so I've been reading a lot on here, and I have a question for y'all. It concerns the "Field Expedient Method."

If you don't know what that is, basically it's a process or procedure chopped down to its most essential bits to save time. For example, Boresighting a tank—basically aligning your sights, making sure that the gun is aiming where the sight is. By the book, it takes about 30-45 minutes, but an experienced tank commander and gunner can get it done to standard in 15.

I've been studying The High Road and the Missouri CDL manual, focusing on pre-trip. I want to have it down pat so I can first-time go the exam. But looking at it, it seems it would take a decent amount of time to do the entire thing "by the book," done every day, at the start of every trip. I know that after a while, it would be quicker, but still.

I know safety is paramount, and I'm not asking permission or anything, I'm just curious: do you guys and gals do the entire thing every time, or do you use the F.E.M. and do a quicker version? If so, what do you check, what do you skip over?

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Getting there!

So, I've been studying the High Road for a few weeks now, and I think I'm getting the hang of this stuff! I've been taking every practice test I can find, including redoing thew modules on THR, and I'm getting around a 90% pass rate. I gonna keep on keeping on, and I think I'll be ready for my Texas Permit test next month! Thanks so much to those that put this together.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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I was told there would be dancing bananas

You only get the Dancing Bananas when you eat a Peanut Butter Jelly...

Eh, just kidding!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Congrats, dude!

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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O&S Trucking?

Hey, all! Does anyone know anything about a company called O&S Trucking? I checked the company listings on this site and I didn't see it. I read on another website that they also run a CDL training program, and according to their website, it seems very comparable to Prime's. However, I didn't see anything about things like pet policies, home times, where they run, etc. I'm trying to gather all info I can before I pick a company, so any comments or info would be greatly appreciated!

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Truck Crash Compilations

SO, I was on YouTube and I saw this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzkWTcDZFH0

Like the title says, it's a compilation of trucks crashing. As I was watching, I noticed something. I used to watch these videos and laugh at stupid people, but now that I've been getting involved with the trucking community and set my career course, I find myself getting mad. I watch and I'm like:

"... following too closely."

"... turned too fast."

"... tried to pass without proper room."

Most of these videos happened outside the US, which means likely in countries without as many regulations as the US and Canada, but still. They're putting people's lives in danger, and for what? A few less minutes of travel time? I guess I can see these now as "examples of what not to do." There's a couple of real bad ones in that video I linked, and I can't stop myself from saying, "What were they thinking?"

Not sure why I am posting this. Just musing, I guess. I'm going in to the business with a healthy respect and a slight dose of fear for the equipment I'll be driving. Not so much that I'd get hurt, but more afraid that I'd hurt someone else. I'm slowly getting the idea that tractor-trailers are a lot like the tanks I used to work on. My old Tank Commander once said, "Tanks do two things: they break, and they kill. They don't care when they break, and they don't care who they kill." I know that's a bit hyperbolic, so forgive me, but the concept is kind of similar. Without proper use and adherence to the rules, rigs can easily hurt or kill someone.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Just another low bridge strike after following GPS

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I plan on using a truck GPS, because I'm absolute rubbish with maps.

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Tweak, Using a map IS NOT Rocket Science. If you know your alphabet and can count to 100, you can read a map. Get a Motor Carriers Atlas and open it up. DO NOT rely ONLY on a GPS unit. Maps do not need batteries, they will always work! Always have a back up plan, write down directions, especially turn by turn to your destination. That extra 10 minutes could save you hours, or worse!

smile.gif

Thanks for the tip, brother.

I don't know about maps being easy. The Army's been trying to teach me map reading for 13 years, and I STILL need a refresher every time we do Land Nav. Hell, when I was a Drill Sergeant, I always made sure the other Drills would teach Land Nav, because I sure as crap couldn't!

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Just another low bridge strike after following GPS

See, I don't get this. I mean, I plan on using a truck GPS, because I'm absolute rubbish with maps. Looking at the Rand McNally one, the latest model. Heh, I hope my driver trainer at Prime doesn't mind...

But anyway, even when using my phone GPS in my truck(little truck, Silverado) I know to be aware of my surroundings. Guess it's that whole "720° security" thing from my deployments, but still. It seems common sense ain't so common these days.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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What does Prime check before approving you for orientation?

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I actually had a question on this topic. I had a minor accident last month, but there was no police report filed. Would that still show up in a background check? I ask because it already cost me a job at Jim Palmer because I openly put it on the application, thinking it would be no biggie. Apparently, they won't hire someone with even a minor rear-end collision in the past year.

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If there was no police report and nothing was reported to any insurance companies then it won't show up anywhere.

Damn. Insurance did get involved. Crap, I hope this doesn't mean I can't get a trucking job for a year...

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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What does Prime check before approving you for orientation?

I actually had a question on this topic. I had a minor accident last month, but there was no police report filed. Would that still show up in a background check? I ask because it already cost me a job at Jim Palmer because I openly put it on the application, thinking it would be no biggie. Apparently, they won't hire someone with even a minor rear-end collision in the past year.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

frabz-Trucker-What-my-friends-think-I-do

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

13912701_1098437876905210_45654333349128

Yeah. Also, fresh out of Chemlight batteries, grid squares, and I need to take an exhaust sample. Let me check my ID10-T to find the right requisition number...

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Medication/disqualifying medical conditions question

Just got an update from the recruiters at Prime. They said I'm good to go with a note from my doctor detailing no side effects! I know Rick said some people were sent home even with that, but I'm taking this as a good sign. Woo! I was freaking out all week waiting for that phone call, afraid my trucking career was over before it even began.

Also, Big Grumpy, they said the Welbutrin is okay, same as above, with a note from your doc.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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What Do You Eat On the Road?

Being in the Army, I'm a decently fit guy, and I'd like to stay that way. I'm already researching different types of exercise programs that I can use in the field: bringing a set of dumbbells, go for a run/jog during my 30 minute break if time permits, utilizing the gyms at some terminals, etc.

However, one thing that worries me is eating right. I've read plenty of horror stories about the price—both monetary and caloric—of truck stop food, and how easy it is to fall into the Fast Food Rhythm. So, my question is what do y'all eat while under way? What do you stock up on, where do you get healthy food on the road, how difficult is it yo eat healthy?

Thanks for the info!

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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My Prime PSD experience

Rainy, thank you so much for chronicling your journeys at Prime. I have decided on them and will be shipping out sometime this November, once I'm good and retired, and your assurances and stories have me convinced I'm making the right choice.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Trailer graffitied!

That sucks, brother. Good on you for not letting it ruin your day!

Reminds me of a funny story from Iraq. We were guarding this gas station—the only working gas station in all of Sadr City—so we were sitting all day. Intel said there was a possible sniper in the area, so our tank was completely closed hatches. If you've never been inside a tank, that means your field of view is severely limited, especially in the areas right around the tank. So, we sat all day until our relief arrived. As we pulled away, we hear a call over the radio:

"Hey, Blue 2, this is Blue 4. Love the new paint job, over."

Say whut?

Yup. Apparently, while we were sitting there, some punk spray painted the words, "Love Live Muqtada"—as in Muqtada al Sadir, the main man behind the insurgents in Sadr City—in Arabic in big ol' black letters all over the left side of our tank. Man, the entire FOB was laughing at us as we pulled on base, all the way to the fuel point and back to the motor pool. Since we were in country, all we could do was cover it up in black paint. So, for the rest of the deployment, our tank had this huge scribbled out mark on the side, like a 1st grader made a mistake in crayon.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Troops 2 Transportation

Ah.

Posted:  2 years, 2 months ago

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Troops 2 Transportation

Howdy, all!

So no crap, there I was, all set to head to Prime Inc. for their training program. I had done my research on different companies, CDL schools, and other options, and found myself deciding on Prime...

Until I found out about a fantastic program offered to veterans. It's called Troops Into Transportation. Basically, they work with an accredited CDL school and, using your Post 9/11 GI Bill, pay for your schooling, testing, everything. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, it gets even better. They work with 16 different trucking companies, and at the outset, they "sell you" to the companies. That way, by the time you're done with school, you have around 6-7 job offers waiting for you, and YOU get to decide which is best for you.

This way, I won't be locked into a single company for a year, paying back tuition. AND, depending on the company, I could be authorized to enter an apprenticeship program. Since it's OTJ training, I would be collecting money from my GI bill for a year, at the same rate as a full-time college student.

So, yeah! I'm pretty stoked. And if any of you know any vets who are down on their luck, lost as to what to do now that they've left active service, feeling down and getting into a bad way, tell them about the program. It just might save their life. Their website can be found here.

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