Profile For Lunchbox

Lunchbox's Info

  • Location:
    DFW Metroplex, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 8 months ago

Lunchbox's Bio

Grew up a Military Kid, moved all over US. When my Dad "retired" from the Marines our family settled in Hesperia, MI. I lived in that rural town for the longest stretch of my life (from 1997-2009). I got married, had a couple of kids, got divorced and moved to Texas with my daughter. Found the Love of My Life and settled down north of Dallas. My wife and I have always talked about driving a truck when we got older and had no kids. After working in Manufacturing since High School, I was promoted to an office position, I do not belong behind a desk. We decided there is no better time than the present to start chasing our dreams and felt that it would be a good time to make the jump. I am going to test the waters first so that when we are ready to head out together we know what's waiting for us.

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Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Testing out of Phase 2 @ Roehl Gary terminal

Just finished up my time in a trainer's truck with Roehl and waiting to take my exam to be sent off as a rookie solo driver. Dropping a line here to let everyone know I am still alive and still moving forward with this lifestyle change. Will update as time allows.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Finished GYCDL with Roehl.....Waiting for a Trainer

Well, I got my CDL last Monday. A copy was sent to Safety the same day and after a week of waiting still no trainer. Wouldn't be a problem except for income. I have NO special requests and told them I would be willing to drive to whatever terminal they need me to if they will just put me in a truck. Frustrating to say the least. My FTM (Fleet Training Manager) has a bit of a memory issue and keeps forgetting to follow up with me. Sitting tight waiting but man I don't wanna get super rusty before jumping back into a truck (weekend rust was bad enough through GYCDL much less a week of sitting around). Maybe I am a bit impatient, but I just wanna be able to provide for my Family is all and I can't do that sitting at home.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Game: Any funny trucking dreams/nightmares lately?

I had my CDL test today, and all weekend long I was dreaming of pre-trips and Backing Maneuvers. I must have parallel parked a truck about 1000 times... Needless to say I passed today and got my Class A!!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Day 4:

Arrived at 0645 Pre-Trip @ 0700 Drove 50 Miles through city traffic and some highway mileage Took a break at QT after fueling up (15 Minutes) back to the yard Lunch @1200 Straight Line backing Break Straight line Backing and Offset Backing Post Trip Inspection and de-couple the trailer Left the Yard at 1730

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Day 3:

PTI at 0800, left the yard for some bobtail driving and drove for about 2 hours working on shifting and situational awareness. Got back to the yard at 1000 and finished up some safety videos. Took a break and came back to grade the JJ Keller quizzes. out of all the questions in the 33 chapters I only missed 19, which is pretty good since there are a total of 495 questions to answer.

Broke for lunch at 1200 and came back at 1300. Coupled the loaded trailer and headed out for another hour and a half of driving. THAT was an experience. Turning for the first time with a 53' trailer is insane. The ride was much smoother though with the weight in the back, up and down shifting was much smoother with the gravity effect you get pulling a Trailer. I bumped one curb while turning today out of about 15 or 16 turns we made. The instructor said that was less than he expected and told me not to worry about it that much. He seems surprised that I am catching on so quickly. I told it was simply that I was truly listening to what he was saying and not just hearing it.

1430 we got back to the yard and took a 15 minute break, grabbed some water and then worked on straight backs. I was quite crooked the first few times, but after about 4 or 5 attempts with help I was able to start putting it in the hole pretty consistently. For my final back the instructor had me back the ENTIRE length of the yard into the spot and gave me NO HELP. I parked it perfectly straight and got some unexpected praise even from the student who is finishing up his 3rd week. Class is going well and I am getting plenty of time behind the wheel.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Day 2:

Arrive at 0645, filled out lunch order and then proceeded to finish up my J.J. Keller book questions (have all the chapters done now). After that, we went out and did a full pre-trip inspection on the truck. I am still working off the checklist but didn't need to look at it for a few of the items needed to check. After our pre-trips we went out for a ride with a student and instructor for the class that started two weeks ago. I was able to watch the student and see what i have to look forward to when my time comes (he was pulling a "loaded" trailer while we were out).

Got back to the yard at 1130 and the instructors left to get our lunches so we worked on studying the pre-trip checklist until they got back. Lunch at 1200 (like clockwork I am told).

At 1230 we finished lunch and got our logs caught back up, I was brought out to watch the others do some backing while my instructor explained some of the theory behind what they were doing and how things should line up. Once the backing was done we went back out for another ride with the loaded trailor. My instructor had to go with another previous student to do his driving test, so when we got back to the yard I was told that the other instructor would take care of me for the rest of the day.

1445, we get back to the yard, uncouple the trailer and get back inside the cab. This time the instructor took the wheel and we headed back out onto the road. We went to a very large and empty parking lot where the instructor had me come up to the passenger seat and he explained what he was doing and the route we would be taking. At that point he unbuckled, got out and told me to take the reins.

I have never been more nervous or excited in my entire life, but there I was, double clutching, shifting up, shifting down and did a pretty decent job. Decent enough in fact that after about 20 minutes of up-shifting, down-shifting and turning around, the instructor had me set the parking breaks and the other student took the wheel. We drove a few minutes and the Instructor said to go ahead and make an emergency stop, which he did, and told me to come back up into the driver seat. I then instructed to drive around a 1x2 block area (traffic was VERY light where we were) making stops, turns, up and down shifting (I was getting up to about 7th gear). BOY DID I START MAKING MISTAKES. There were plenty of times where I would grind the gears a bit and have to recover, bring the tractor to a complete stop to get it back into gear because I would miss the shift and get flustered, but overall the instructor said I actually did a brilliant job for my first time in a Truck. We agreed, though, that he would tell my instructor that I did Terribly and that he is going to have his hands full this month just to see how he reacted in the morning.

1715 we get back into the yard and do a post trip inspection, get our things together and head home. Overall, I have to say, it was a pretty amazing day. I did pretty well today and am confident that this is DEFINITELY something I can do. I have a lot to learn and freely admit that, in fact, that's part of the reason I wanted my instructor to be told that I didn't do as well as I actually did. I want to absorb as much information from these guys as possible while I have that resource close at hand. Class finished up at 1730 and we all headed out.

Day 2 is in the books and I am totally looking forward to Day 3.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Day 1:

Arrived at 0630, and filled out lunch request, I am indeed the only person for my training class (it's going to be a long 4 weeks). Did the Pre-Work Screening (blood pressure, resting heart rate, lift weights from waist to overhead, push 80 lbs, pull 100 lbs, squat and duck walk to the center line of the trailer behind the tandems and stay squatted for 20 seconds, then repeat). Gave the trainer my documents (medical cert card, long form, Social Security Card, CLP, and Birth Certificate.) After all of that I filled out my new hire paperwork and received FMCSR book, Haz Mat book, Truck Stop Directory, and JJ Keller Training manual. We watched 2 safety videos (construction zones and entering/exiting the truck/trailer safely).

After that we broke for lunch at 1200. After lunch we went over Hours of Service and filled out a paper log book.

Once we had the first day mapped out on the paper logs, I was treated to a 45 minute video on Pre-Trip Inspection (not being sarcastic as it was a detailed and very involved instruction of the full Pre-Trip Inspection explaining what to look for and why we look for it) I was then tasked with working through the JJ Keller book (Thank you High Road Training for preparing me) and was able to knock out the first 22 chapters worth of quizzes rather quickly.

To finish off the day, my Trainer and I went out to one of the Trucks and he had me read off the entire Pre-Trip Inspection while walking through it. This is where being the only student is both a blessing and curse, we don't have anyone else to split it up with so I will be in charge of the full pre-trip every time we go through it. Did a little bit of shifting Choreography and I was informed that tomorrow morning as soon as I get in at 0700 (I will of course be there by 0645) we will run through the Pre-Trip again and then head off to do some bobtail driving.

Class was dismissed at 1715 and what was a 40 minute drive to get there was an hour and a half to get home (due to rush hour Traffic here in the DFW area)

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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My Journey Starts Tomorrow!!!!!

Starting out Dry Van National for a bit to get acclimated to the lifestyle but I am VERY interested in their Flatbed division. From what my trainer told me today it won't be hard to make the switch when I am ready.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Good news everyone!

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Congrats Reaper!!!

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Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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My Journey Starts Tomorrow!!!!!

Starting my Training for Roehl TOMORROW!!!! I am sooo excited as well as anxious (the true meaning of anxious btw). I will be sure to document everything when I get Home at night (the training terminal is about 34 miles from my house) and hopefully get some good feedback from the guys and gals here. As of Friday I was the only student signed up at the Dallas Terminal for training which can Definitely be a double edged sword. I won't have anyone else there to make mistakes I can learn from. It will all be on me. I should get PLENTY of time behind the wheel and be able to get things down before the driving test. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE HERE for all of your wisdom, questions, answers and banter as you have been an integral part in helping me do the research, learn a lot of the Theory (High Road Training Program) and the overall commitment needed to not only survive in this industry but to Thrive in it. I look forward to being able to help provide insight to others as well once I get rolling.

Again, Thank you Bret for creating this site. It is a beacon of light in a sea of darkness (the ONLY site that is 99% positive or constructive information in regards to researching companies, helping others to know what they are getting into, and what to expect in trucking.) Because of the WONDERFUL and INSIGHTFUL people here I am confident that this is a life-style that I am ready to start living and can be a part of.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Got a call from the Recruiter today just to verify my travel arrangements. Not much to verify as the terminal is about 34 miles from my home. I found out that at this time (5 days before class starts) that I am the only person signed up for the class. This is going to be interesting. I will have 4 weeks of training where I will be the only one learning. It will be good as I will get A LOT more 1 on 1 time with the trainer and loads more time behind the wheel.

The excitement is real at this point...I took this week to get my Honey Do's finished around the house and have been getting a lot done. I have been studying and trying to get as much of the Theory down as I can before class starts so that when it comes to the practical part I will be ready to go.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Roehl Transport: Get Your CDL Diary

Sorry to hear that, I am looking forward to the continuation of your training Diary. I was following along with anticipation as I start my training with Roehl in TX here on Monday. Good Luck, I hope you get everything sorted.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making Life decisions over here!

Take it for what's it worth (only my own decision) but i am leaving a job that pays 18.56 an hour for Truck Driving. Chase your dreams and provide for that boy....the insurance alone is a big deal...and once you get established...he is going to totally LOVE riding with daddy on summer vacation.

But bear in mind, depending on the company, you will have ALOT less time with him in person. But, if you feel you can better provide for him and he's okay with it...GO FOR IT! You have to do what you feel is best for your family.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Making Life decisions over here!

Take it for what's it worth (only my own decision) but i am leaving a job that pays 18.56 an hour for Truck Driving. Chase your dreams and provide for that boy....the insurance alone is a big deal...and once you get established...he is going to totally LOVE riding with daddy on summer vacation.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

Finished up my last day as a Document Control Specialist. Just got home from my farewell Happy Hour. From here on out it's Trucking for me baby!!! One week for getting my affairs in order (that honey do list the wife has been getting for me while i have a week off.) Then it's time to start my training a Roehl. Can't wait. The anticipation is just murder. I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

One quick question though: The FMCSA is supposed to be putting out guidance on hair testing which it hasnt done yet (or is using some form of witch craft to hide it from all of my search queries) that said, did Roehl collect hair samples or Urine? I ask because afghanistan left me bald, and if I gotta hair test I need to start growing out my hair now (and start looking like friar tuck haha)

Roehl has you do the DOT Urine test (part of the DOT Physical) and they pay for their own Hair Follicle test. Depending on who you go with I would ask the recruiter with the Carrier you are planning to drive for about what tests you will need to take.

FMCSA sets the guidelines and like with any industry that's the loosest anyone can go...Individual Companies are allowed to tighten their controls as much as they want. For example, FDA guidelines requires a medical device to be properly labeled indicating the type and contents. The company can go even further and label for the most restrictive items in that container (the Surgery Kit includes implants and instruments, instruments can be reused but implants cannot. The Surgical Kit can then be labeled as do not reuse as they are labeling for the most restrictive even though the instruments CAN be reused.)

Does that make sense?

The FMCSA regulations are the bare minimum that companies and ME's are required to do but they can be more restrictive at their own discretion (hence the big hulabaloo about Sleep Apnea, No official ruling, but an ME can categorize it under a respiratory ailment.)

The hair on your head isn't the only hair they will take. They will take hair from wherever they can get it. Facial, Pubic, Arm, Leg, anything they can cut enough of to get a good sample (about the size of a cotton ball is needed.)

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Healthier and cheaper alternatives for caffeine

The best and only way to overcome your fatigue is sleep. While some of these are good things to perk you up in the morning (after a full night's rest). I personally wouldn't recommend to use them to overcome your body's natural request for rest. Instead, I would say, cut out that movie before bed, or those chapters you were going to read. Don't hang out in the lounge and play games on your computer, use that extra time to get some more sleep. A 20 minute Power Nap on your 30 minute break can give you more energy than a "BFC" of Monster or whatever stimulant you normally go for.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Monday Starts my Last Week in a Cubicle

Awesome! Glad to hear it!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Monday Starts my Last Week in a Cubicle

Starting Roehl on March 13th, My final day at the office is March 3rd. Getting closer and closer to achieving my dreams. Thank you TT for all your information and advice. I am so excited to be starting this Journey, and glad to know I got you guys here to bounce questions off of.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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Lunchbox's Little Adventure

I am getting ready to start my final week at my current job before getting everything situated. I had mentioned in a earlier post about giving some background and I guess I never did so here goes:

The past 5 years I have been working for a Medical Device Company in Lewisville, Texas. The company I work for manufactures Spinal Implants, External Fixation Devices and Bone Growth Stimulators (if you want a run down of the specifics hit me up and I will chew your ear off for days about some of the cooler stuff we make.) I started as a Quality Inspector, working with optical comparators, Visual Measurement Machines, and other technical measuring devices (yes micrometers and calipers are in there as well but they aren't as cool as the ones I mentioned.) After working there for the first 4 years they "Promoted" me to Document Control where they sat me behind a desk and had me work on the Labeling end of things. Labeling Medical devices is a completely different animal as far as all of the FDA Regulations that must be followed in order to create a label that is legal to put on any given device. It was in this position that I realized something VERY IMPORTANT... I am not a people person. I can interact with people on a limited basis, but when it comes to people who either can't or won't do their job properly or to the letter, it really gets me going. I grew up in a Military Family, and as such, I take responsibility very seriously. If I am told that something needs to be done a specific way by a specific time, by God it will happen. Unfortunately for me, my deadlines never took into account the fact that other people needed to weigh in or even take over part of my work. And once that happened, all hell broke loose. My deadlines weren't met at times because people wouldn't get their stuff done so I could finish my work, or they just thought it was too complicated and gave up.

This is why I am drawn so heavily towards Trucking. My deadlines will be My Deadlines. I can't stand life in a cubicle. I prefer to be responsible for my work and only my work.

This final week will be the longest week of my life it seems...40 hours left in the cubicle (which is bare now) and then I will spend a week at home getting some unfinished projects taken care of before starting my CDL training and taking off on a new adventure. The anticipation for a move like this is both exciting as well a nerve racking. It's the stepping into the unknown that is the scary part, but on that same coin that's what is so exciting. The High Road Training here has been INVALUABLE and all of the people here at TT have given so much advice and information that I honestly feel as though I have a better than decent picture of what is to come.

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