Profile For Tinker

Tinker's Info

  • Location:
    Albuquerque, NM

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Team Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 6 months ago

Tinker's Bio

I have been working in plumbing for the last 17 years. I currently own a small business. Driving a truck has always been a career goal of mine. When I was 20, a friend of mine and myself were going to go to company sponsored training once I turned 21. Life happened though and I met a girl and fell in love. I didn't go to school, I got married instead. Now 21 years later I finally signed up for classes!

Currently driving for YRC as a team driver.

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Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Introduction

Welcome! Trucking is definitely an adventure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. There are bad days in every occupation, but the perks that come with this one more than make up for it.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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(Late) Introduction!

Welcome to TT! This site is full of good advice, great knowledge, and friendly people. Good luck on your journey.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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CB lingo????

Listen and learn is a good idea. As for your companies policies, best to check with them otherwise you will get 6 different answers to a question with w possible answers. As for how often is it in use? I keep one in my pick up and use it everytime I am on the road in it. In the big trucksb they aren't as common as they used to be, but many truckers still use them and for good reason. Most new trucks do have a place for the radio to ve mounted, some even have built in antenbas and pre wired connections.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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CB for slip seat

I think I am going to get a decent radio that I can try it out with, not top of the line or bottom of the barrel. I was talking to another driver today and he showed me his setup. He uses. a vise-grip mount and his own antenna for better results. His mount looked custom made since it had the cb antenna along with one for xm on a plate welded to the locking pliers. He gad the cobra 29. Seemed pretty happy with it. Thanks for all the advice.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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CB for slip seat

That is the part I am unsure of. I have looked all over the truck and haven't found an antenna anywhere. I suppose it could be hidden.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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CB for slip seat

I was wondering if there are any slip seaters out there that can advise me on a cb radio set up. I run team and am almost always in a Freightliner Cascadia. The tractors we are in have a metal platform on the dash with a strap to hold a radio along with an antenna wire. I don't know if they actually have an antenna though. On the route that I have, we get home every other day, have about 16 hours off, then head back out in a different truck. I've thought about a handheld to simplify things, but those have a very limited range and nay not do well. As for the area I travel, it is I-40 from NM to CA most of the way. We run to LA and back 3 times a week from Albuquerque. Any input?

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

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What's everyone doing for Thanksgiving...

I will be at home with my family recovering from a crash. Since it it only sore muscles, I am hoping to be back on the road by this weekend. My codriver will probably need more recovery time so I will either be running solo or with someone from the extra board until she is ready to get back behind the wheel. I have a lot to be thankful for this year and am glad to be sharing this time with the people that care about me. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted:  7 months ago

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Crashed!

Just a reminder to stay safe out there. My codriver and I were involved in a crash this morning on I40 in California. We were rear ended by another semi when traffic came to a stop. The other semi never slowed down and plowed in to us at full speed. There were no major injuries, thankfully and surprisingly! We are currently stranded at a gas station out here waiting for our company to arrange a ride to the nearest town. My best guess is the other driver was distracted or fatigued and never saw us stop. Stay alert, stay alive.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Sleeping Bag Recommendation

As a team driver, I can tell you that this choice is an important one. Getting good rest is a top priority if you are going to be able to operate the equipment safely. Here are some things to keep in mind: While the cab is normally temperature controlled, breakdowns happen and usually at the worst time. Be prepared to deal with cold. Synrhetic shelled bags do compact smaller and stay very warm, but on some matresses can slide easily which can literally be a pain! Think fast stops, hard turns, winding mountain roads... Avoid the mummy bag. Being able to stretch out makes it easier to sleep and in the event of a need to evacuate the truck, will make your escape faster.

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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CNM graduate looking for work

I am team driving. We run to California alot as well as Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. There are some solo runs to Colorado and Arizona but the senior drivers keep those locked down.

Posted:  8 months, 2 weeks ago

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CNM graduate looking for work

It has been a while since I posted so I thought I would provide a quick update on my journey. After I left the job I posted about earlier in this thread, I took a job driving a school bus just to get some income flowing. It wasn't much, but it was an easy job with lots of time at home. It also convinced my wife to try it out. She loves the job and is one of their top drivers now with no plans to leave. With summer coming up, I knew I had to find a full time job or we would be in a tight spot quickly. I landed a job with a local building supply company driving a flatbed with a piggyback forklift. The work was good, though labor intensive at times. I was home daily and each weekend. The pay was really low by industry standards. It was enough to keep us afloat though, and I gained more experience. This last month (September) I was able to land a job with YRC Freight. I am coming up on one month there. I am not home every night, sometimes out for days at a time. Just days, not weeks. The pay is really good and the benefits are top notch. I think this will be a good fit for my family and me for years to come. It is a good balance between work and home. It is still a bit of an adjustment. This is a union job, there are pros and cons to that which I am not going to get in to here.

Posted:  9 months ago

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Anyone pay for CDL to get local/regional job?

I paid for my schooling in hopes of finding a local job. It can be done, but you have to go in to this with your eyes wide open. Local jobs usually require at least one year experience. Those that don't can present some difficult challenges for a new driver. There are companies that will try to take advantage of the lack of experience and do their best to get that new driver to drive illegally and/or unsafe. Not all companies are like that, but some do exist. Those that do not fit in that category will still have a new driver running out their clock more often than not. Daily home time may be just your 10 hour break, eat sleep repeat. Not to mention that you will always be dealing with heavy city traffic. That in itself can frazzled a veteran driver, for a new driver it can be a nightmare. You may be lucky enough to find a company that fits in its own category, Monday through Friday 8-5. Very rare, but they do exist! The trade off there is usually in pay, as in much lower pay than you would expect.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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A Husband and Wife Trucking Journey

That was a great read! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. My wife and I both got our cdl earlier this year. We plan on going team later on, but our two boys need us for a few more years. I am looking forward to reading your future updates. Stay safe out there.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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CNM graduate looking for work

I know that I shouldn't have driven that truck, and the constant 16-18 hour days put my logs in violation. To put the "home daily" in to perspective for other rookie drivers, let me explain how my home time went. I usually had to be up at 2 am to make it to work on time. Often, I would get home well after a reasonable bed time. This meant that I had time to eat, smile at my kids, kiss the wife, then off to bed. I would have had more time with them had I gone OTR! higher quality time at that. I knew that I had made a bad choice when on one run I actually fell asleep at the wheel. Then all the other things happened. I didn't crash luckily. One of the other rookie drivers did, the same day that I left the company. Now, since he let them push him beyond his physical limits, he has a crash on his record. As much as we would like to blame the company, he made the choice to get behind the wheel. You have to look out for yourself out there, no one else will.

My job search is going well. I have been on a few road tests where I impressed the person testing me. All those miles and excessive hours did hone my skills. At least I got that out of it. I am hoping that by the end of the week I will have a job. Swift doesn't sound too bad and their terminal is close to my home. I am looking at a couple of other options as well. I don't want to say where for fear of jinxing it.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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CNM graduate looking for work

Ok, so some of you may remember my training diary. I graduated from CNM truck driving and started looking for work. My wife and I talked it over and decided that it would be best to find a home daily job, but not an absolute must. As a rookie driver, I can't be too picky about the job. I ended up finding a company that was willing to hire inexperienced drivers for a home daily position. Fuel transport. I accepted the job and began training. At first it seemed like a good fit, but it did not stay that way. I was told that it would be 14 hours a day, 5 days a week. That became 16 hour days 6 days a week pretty quickly. Talk about being way over on HOS! I learned how to "doctor" my logs to appear legal. I though, ok this isn't right but I need to stick this out a while. Then one day when reporting in for work, the night driver showed me what he found on his post trip. One of the brake chambers on the trailer tandems was completely broken off and being held on by wire. I called my dispatcher/manager to let him know. He asked me to try to get the first run done since it was already scheduled and we could get it in to the shop then. Again, red flags going up. Ok, I'll get this first run done. Then he calls me and says, bad news you need to keep driving. Just go easy on the brakes. I drove over 400 miles that day with that chamber dangling from the bottom running mostly mountain passes. What really got my attention was on my way back. I saw a sign on the freeway that scared me. Inspection station ahead. All commercial vehicles must exit. Luckily, the inspection station was closed. I knew that if it had been open, I would have been fined for taking that trailer on the road in that condition knowingly. I made up my mind then, next time I was asked to do something that put me, my license, or my safety at risk would be the end of my employment there. I did not have to wait long. The next day I quit.

So, I am looking for work again. I have a few interviews and a driving test lined up. Hopefully I can find a good company to work for.

Posted:  2 years ago

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Anyone go into Trucking from career burnout?

18 years in the plumbing trade. I never wanted to be a plumber. I used to fix heavy equipment and autos. Way back in the 90's work became hard to come by, I worked some manufacturer in jobs, tried sales, then kind of fell in to a job as a plumber helper. I realized the money was pretty good, and there was plenty of work. I stuck with it. Worked up to foreman running 4 different job sites around the state. From there I became the supervisor for the plumbing department in the local school district. I was not happy there, so after 8 years of that, I left and started my own business. That just ended up taking even more of my time and creating friction between my wife and I. I took some of my own advice and decided to stop investing my life in work that was not making me happy. Went to school, got my cdl, and now drive fuel transport. I am happy, my wife is happy, and life is good.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Big T's Swift Adventure

Hang in there. What helped me with the parallel was the realization that it is just an offset in to a box. Once I stopped freaking myself out about it and just offset the vehicle, it dropped in every time. One student in my class had trouble with every maneuver until an instructor told her, "stop thinking so much and drive the truck! Just put it where you want it!" She got mad, climbed in the truck and nailed the blindside parallel with no points.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Ketogenic diet / Low Carb diet and Trucking

My wife and I are both on the Keto diet. She has lost a lot of weight, as have I. She recently got her medical card, there were no signs of any troubles there. My cholesterol is in the normal range . Honestly, it is probably the best diet we have ever done.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Started Class at CNM for Truck Driving. Hopefully this is the start of a new career!

This will be my final update on this thread. I have accepted a job offer from a local fuel transport company. The job is home daily, 5 days a week, and paid by the loaded mile. It almost seems too perfect. I start on May 22, 2017. Once I get through training and start driving professionally I will start a new thread in the general discussion forum to let you all know how it is going.

Posted:  2 years, 1 month ago

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Started Class at CNM for Truck Driving. Hopefully this is the start of a new career!

I did look in to the private school here as well. There were several reasons that I chose CNM over them. The price difference was primarily the reason I went with CNM. What I have found since is that CNM is a PTDI accredited school and because of this the graduates from that school are hired by more employers. That is mainly because, while the other school teaches you how to pass the CDL exam in 5 weeks or less, CNM spends 15 weeks teaching you all the knowledge and skills you need for the exam and many more. To give some examples, we did a lot of work on trip planning, log books, driving in extreme weather, and many other topics. If you take the evening class, you will spend every weekend backing trucks for the first two sections. The third section is 7-5.5 hour driving shifts at various times. One is the overnight, 9:00-3:30. On that one, you will drive to various docks around town and dock that truck. Real world backing practice. Each of the 7 shifts is one on one with an instructor. Usually a different instructor each time. This gives you the chance to learn different techniques and points of view from people with years of experience. I won't say anything bad about the other school, they do what they say they will. You sign up, you pay, they will get you a cdl if you work at the program. CNM has a more in depth program in my opinion. My wife will be taking the day classes there starting in May.

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