Profile For Michael A.

Michael A.'s Info

  • Location:
    Fleming Island, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 9 months ago

Michael A.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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How long did they last in trucking?

There's no way to know by numbers of course. I look at this site a lot but I mostly lurk even though I haven't driven in a few months. I will say for myself, I gave it a year at Werner like many suggested here and between trying both OTR and regional dedicated I just didn't enjoy the lifestyle after several months. OTR became a grind very quickly as my dispatchers/load planners sent me to the same places over and over with the very occasional run to a small facility or somewhere I didn't usually go. I personally saw a LOT of Ohio and Pennsylvania which was quite boring after a while. The pay was slightly better once I went dedicated on a Coca-Cola account, staying in the northeast and being home every week made things easier but I still didn't have much of a life outside of work and was still quite homesick. So I found I would personally rather work less hours and sacrifice some money to have more time at home. I am glad I tried it though.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Be careful in the northeast in the next few days!

Was scheduled to return from home time tomorrow, but it looks like I'll be staying home another day, lol. Oh well. Hope everybody who must shut down stays warm!

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Game: describe your first solo load experience

I remember my first solo load very well, since it was just under a month ago lol. Anyway I was assigned to my truck (2015 Freightliner Cascadia with the classic Werner blue paint scheme) the previous day at our terminal in Atlanta. Bobtailed 30 miles to the Clorox DC in Fairburn, hooked up and was on my way to Aberdeen, MD, to another Clorox DC. 707 miles. As soon as I got on to I-85 I was greeted with traffic and that took at least an hour out of my day. It was kind of late when I started and felt sleepy after 5 hours so I shut down at the Welcome Center/Rest area in Kings Mountain, NC. Now these Clorox loads in my experience were always heavy and we are required to scale those loads but in my excitement to get going I had completely forgotten. Luckily all the scales were closed so nothing happened, but that was a big blunder on my part. So the next morning I headed to the nearest Love's and scaled, and the load was a bit under 40k but I knew something was off as it felt heavier. The drives were very heavy so I was able to slide the tandems forward and it felt better, which was necessary because my trip plan had me going through I-81...which was another mistake. I wanted to avoid traffic on I-95 but in hindsight I was a bit too heavy and should have considered that route more. Anyway I made it to Maryland on time with no other issues, but that was a nerve wracking trip! I remember thinking I would feel nervous with nobody to help me, but it was quite relaxing actually despite my mistakes.

Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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Frustrations with Werner Enterprises, I'm finished with them

Interesting story. I was hired by Werner a few days after you (Dec. 16th) and also did orientation at Allentown, I believe I may have met you briefly there as I recognize your initials. I can understand the frustration of being stuck at the hotel for so long since I was there (not consecutively) for 2 weeks waiting for a trainer myself. But my experience with them so far has been OK. I think some of the things you stated are not specific to Werner or even large carriers in general, like for example the feeling that you didn't get enough training. I can tell you that even with 250 hours myself I also didn't feel ready but that seems to be normal. I've been solo for a few weeks now and once you're on your own that feeling goes away quickly. I'm glad I had the long training process, I've read of other companies where the training was only a week or less, and I know now I would NOT have been ready in 1 week! Also my trainer and I were dispatched as a solo truck and not as a team truck which made things much easier during that process, you could've asked for a trainer that did it that way. Anyway I hope you find success at your next company.

Posted:  7 years, 5 months ago

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Game: who is where today?

Started in Arkansas near I-55, nasty thunderstorms and flooding there. Dropped the load in Memphis and currently on my way to Ohio following a short deadhead.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Dedicated route possibility, for a beginner: how uncommon?

Michael A wrote:

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I don't think a dedicated account for a new driver I'd unusual. I'm currently training with Werner and they have lots of dedicated runs for newbs and actually encourage it for their solo drivers. This account you're being offered sounds like a decent run and you shouldn't hesitate to do it if that's what you want.

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Okay, based on what? The limited information he currently has. Sorry Michael, I respectfully disagree with your opinion.

The operative word in your response is "training". The OP may or may not know how his prospective employer intends to road-train him. Until he can establish a definitive answer to that question and where/how he will be making deliveries he needs to exercise some caution with this.

Yes, some Dedicated Accounts are great for entry level drivers fresh off their trainer's truck. Others best attempted after a few months of experience. I have been running Walmart Dedicated for over four years and at times train drivers on the account for 2-3 days...it's very difficult for a novice driver to adjust. Although they will except drivers with only road-training experience on the account, it has become the exception for the very reasons I previously mentioned. Dollar General or other Dollar account? Under no circumstances would I recommend these for a rookie.

Most Dedicated accounts have Service Level Agreements (SLA) in place that define how the contracted carrier is paid and evaluated. The SLA is usually very demanding and doesn't compensate for high failure rates.

Well of course he should do his own research, I wasn't suggesting to just jump right in, that would be dumb. Also I was not talking about the dollar accounts and I am aware many dedicated positions require experience.

Posted:  7 years, 6 months ago

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Dedicated route possibility, for a beginner: how uncommon?

I don't think a dedicated account for a new driver I'd unusual. I'm currently training with Werner and they have lots of dedicated runs for newbs and actually encourage it for their solo drivers. This account you're being offered sounds like a decent run and you shouldn't hesitate to do it if that's what you want.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I haven't ever had a "real" job before this. I didn't go to college because I didn't want to put my parents further into debt only to have a difficult time finding work for any decent amount of time/money like my sister did. I did work at UPS, first as a driver helper, and then as a package handler, but I didn't like it at all and the hours and pay were crap. They would not offer CDL training to me so I left and asked my parents for the money for the school and I'm glad I did.

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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CDT School in West Babylon, NY

Thanks! It's really not a difficult test as long as you take your time to remember what you're doing. I missed a few repeated items on the outside pre trip but the point is simply to show that you know what to look for so if you do it once but forget the next time, they might be more forgiving. On the driving part you simply have to show that you're in control of the truck by being somewhat aggressive with your decision making and not babying the truck basically.

Apparently I got lucky with my timing of the course because I was told starting next year they're going to change the nationwide standards to include more highway driving and more backing maneuvers, so it should be harder to pass then.

I'll post some bananas for you: dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifthank-you.gif

Posted:  7 years, 7 months ago

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CDT School in West Babylon, NY

Day 26: The big day is here finally. We started with a mock road test. Nailed the pre trip both inside and out and the road driving. I was reminded to get out and look before I started my straight back, so technically I “failed” the mock road test but my instructor said I did good regardless. We went back to the yard early as a recruiter from a company was expected to come but she couldn’t make it...so I left early to relax.

The road test was in the afternoon. I met up with an instructor from the school that I hadn’t actually met before and he went over what to do. Everything he went over was what I already knew, although he was a bit of a ball buster, but a nice guy nonetheless. Classic Long Island. Suddenly the examiner showed up and we went right into the pre trip. I messed up on the outside a bit but did okay there, nailed the in cab pre trip. When I pulled out to begin the road portion my view was blocked a bit by a pole and I made a bad decision to pull out with a car coming about 500 feet away or so. I believe that was my first 10 points off right there. The rest of the driving portion went okay actually, I didn’t stall, curb the trailer, or any nonsense like that. It was pretty short, I think we were only out for about 10 minutes or so of driving. We went back to the site where the test starts and I nailed the straight backing and parallel parking. That was it. The examiner went over what I did wrong first, which was related to that bad decision to pull out mostly. But…

I passed!!! Those were the only 10 points I accumulated on the test. She handed me the receipt and I simply said “thank you very much,” and that was it. Honestly I could probably name about a dozen different things I did wrong on the whole test if I thought hard about it, but she seemed to be somewhat lenient so maybe I got lucky. Either way, I passed the road test on my first try and I will pick up my temporary license on Tuesday, then off to orientation for Werner on Friday!

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