Profile For John C.

John C.'s Info

  • Location:
    San Marcos, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 months ago

John C.'s Bio

Seriously thinking about going to trucking school this summer. I'm currently a freelance product designer in my mid 50's. I have fun with whatever I'm doing, and really get into my work.

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Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Companies that will train me if I obtain cdl permit on my own?

Some of the companies actually require you to get your permit before entering their programs, others do not. Check out this link. There is a lot of info to be found here:

company sponsored schools

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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I'm officially hired!

Awesome! Congratulations!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

Oscar, Rainy is totally correct, no BS...I actually had a similar response queued-up but she was quicker than I (there is an "Old Guy" joke in there somewhere...LOL).

Anyway, although the truck is doing most of the work, at times I will drop n' hook a total of four times throughout the course of my day. 15-20 minutes each time, outside in 90+ degrees and high humidity soaks my shirt (and it's made from Coolmax). If I was not in good health I would have a very difficult time performing this work.

Play this out in your head Oscar...you have a load going to Phoenix Arizona with a delivery time of 1400 in mid-summer heat. There is a 100 yard walk to the receiving office from the parking area, there is a line in the office and the AC is barely holding the temp at 82'F. It takes 15 minutes for you to get to the window. Oh nuts, you forgot your paperwork (it happens), repeat same walk going back to your truck to fetch your paperwork, then retracing your steps back to the office only to stand in line another 5 minutes enduring the heat. Once you get your door number, your work is just beginning. Receiver requires the tandems slid all the way to the rear before docking (most do), so for most trailers this requires you to unlock the tandems by pulling a long bar on the tandems (outside in the heat after a 60' walk), walk back to the tractor to move/re-position the tandems to the rear and get out again to release the bar, setting the pin-locks. Walk back to the tractor to slightly move the trailer, snapping the pins into their holes on the sub frame. Get out again to make sure all four pins are properly in place in their respective holes and positively engaged. Also keep in mind pin-locks can be sticky, the bar might require additional muscle to release properly. Once that is complete, pop your lock, open the trailer doors and retrieve your load locks. Then "back" to the dock; get out in the heat, stow your service lines, raise your landing gear (oh, really old gear, difficult to turn) and release the kingpin lock on your fifth wheel. You are not done yet...climb back into the tractor to get out from under the load. You now bobtail to the receiver's drop yard and find an empty to drive away with. Unless they assigned you an empty number, you might need to check more than one trailer because at times loads and empties are mixed within the same drop area. Hooking to the empty requires the reverse process of dropping a trailer but includes an inspection (walking around and checking under the trailer), potential for adjusting the landing gear up or down if not aligned with fifth-wheel height, and likely moving the tandems back to a road setting legal in the state you are in. And one last thing, crawling under the trailer to ensure you have a positive 'hook" of your trailer by checking the lock is across your king-pin and the puller is flush with the side of the fifth wheel.

How do you think you will feel after all that...knowing you have 7-8 hours of driving ahead of you? In the summer time I go through towels and water like there is no tomorrow, at times dousing my head with water, then drying off before driving. I am fairly quick dropping and hooking trailers, "done and gone" in less than 20 minutes including a trailer inspection. As a rookie driver, it will take you longer, so you'll be in the elements, longer. And what goes around, comes around, things are equally harsh in the winter. Not trying to dissuade you, although hypothetical, this is a reality you will likely be dealing with several times per week, perhaps more often if on a Dedicated Account.

This is why I love this site! Thanks for the realistic view! I'm in my mid 50's but in great shape (cardio workouts every day), with low body fat, no health problems, and use to the southern CA sun. That drop and hook sounds like a real challenge to me...

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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How To Put Your Career Into Overdrive

I have some advantages as a dedicated driver. While I am still pretty much running over the road, I am often times delivering to customers, and in parts of the country, that I am familiar with.

As far as your question as to how many months it took me to get this "super power" of punctuality down? I'd say the answer would need to be in terms of years. After a couple of years at this I began to get good at being able to guesstimate travel times fairly accurately.

I still screw it up occasionally, I just don't tell you guys about it! smile.gif

Thanks, I was hoping you would say a few months, but it is what it is. I see how non-dedicated would take longer to get wired due to the variety.

I won't tell anyone about your occasional screw-ups. Oh wait you just did! rofl-3.gif

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

I think you're being unrealistic on the miles and speed.

By my estimates, 2500 miles per week would be the most to expect for an average as a rookie driver. Taking it slow, learning the ropes and being a safe driver seems to be the key to the first year.

Most company trucks will be governed at 62 miles per hour max. I think some are governed at 60 mph.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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How To Put Your Career Into Overdrive

Old school, Thanks for these great tips! Communication is one of the keys to success in any business, and you're a natural at it.

I have a somewhat related question: You seem to have it down as to who long it will take you to get anywhere. How many months of driving did it take you to get this wired?

I ask this because I can picture me coming up with the same solutions, making the calls, than being off on my time, and screwing up on the new appointment times. Three appointments near each other seems fairly easy, but I've read your accounts of doing the same thing with the appointments hundreds of miles apart. How do you pull it off consistently?

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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The High Road Online CDL Training Program - PDF Offline?

Thanks again Brett,

I picked 2 copies from the local DMV today. One for home, and one for the day backpack I keep in my car. I will go through the High Road program, these are for use when I'm not on my computer.

Between work & personal projects, I get too much screen time these days, and my favorite hiking trail has the perfect tree to sit under and read! smile.gif

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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The High Road Online CDL Training Program - PDF Offline?

My apologies for asking in the first place. I should have thought of getting a hard copy of California handbook myself. This site is so helpful, I forgot my local resources.

This brought up a curiosity question though. Which state is the High road program based on? And will there be many differences from other states such as California?

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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The High Road Online CDL Training Program - PDF Offline?

I understand, Thank you both for the quick response!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

The High Road Online CDL Training Program - PDF Offline?

Brett,

Thanks for making this great, helpful training program!

Is it possible to create a PDF of the text from the High Road program? It would be awesome if we could print and study the program offline while away from the computer in addition to online. I'm thinking just the text, not the test questions. We could study offline, then go online and go through the program with the test questions.

It would be a great help to me to be able to study at night when I don't want to use my computer, and when I'm out hiking, sitting under a tree, reading while in nature when I prefer to get away from electronics. I'm getting very far online...too many distractions. My bad, I know, but I'm trying to spend less time in front of my computer, and more time outside.

I would try myself, but it's really not place to alter your material, and you created a way better PDF then I did for the Pre-trip inspection guide. I'll give it a try if you don't have the time. I'd prefer to have your permission first.

Thanks!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Exciting Announcement! Four people in our forum have been promoted today!

Congratulations, and thanks for all the great info. Looking forward to learning more! thank-you.gif

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Best company in Phoenix for a newbie?

If you read enough posts on this site, I think you will find the experienced drivers here are very, very helpful, taking their time to answer questions as best they can. They also tend to frown on the kind of negativity you posted.

You will also find that there are many of us here with degrees and very successful careers who are trying to learn everything we can from those experienced drivers. That said, I have to ask:

Why would you think a career in front of a computer, a degree in a field unrelated to trucking, or being certified in anything in your spare time would ENTITLE you to greater pay than anyone else starting out?

The reality is that's just NOT how it works. I think expecting special treatment or extra pay from companies based on your unrelated past will only set yourself up for disappointment and failure.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Hot Stuff!

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do you ever get a change to tour the facilities where you deliver?

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Yes, John I do get to look around sometimes. I came from a thirty year background in custom manufacturing before I started driving a truck, so I am quite enthralled with the whole manufacturing process of the materials that I haul around the country. I find the manufacturing business and the trucking business to be very intriguing.

Same here, it's all intriguing. For me the opportunity to see something manufactured into a real object (as opposed to a computer model that I've designed) is the best part of my job. I can see where transporting raw goods to mfg. plants would be a good fit. I've learned enough here to know I probably should start with dry van or refer, but that part of the reason I'm so interested in flatbed when my career progresses. Thanks!

I'm seriously considering applying to Knight, and their sponsored training. I wonder if they realize that you're a recruiting asset?

sigh: I still need to figure out how to use and edit the quote function properly.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Hot Stuff!

Thanks OS!

Great advice and a good read, as always!

As a side note, I've designed dies for aluminum extrusion. Those hydraulic presses are a real impressive to watch. I know you're always focused on your task, and then the next load, but do you ever get a change to tour the facilities where you deliver?

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!

Sorry for the omission.

THANKS Daniel!!!!!! thank-you.gif

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!

Wow, this is way better than my hack job PDF!

Thanks Brett!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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How Do Truck Drivers Deal with Insomnia?

I sometimes use melatonin. I'm sorry it wont help you tonight, but it's the best thing for insomnia. It's a naturally occurring hormone, so it should not be on any "do not take" list. You can find it any store that sells natural vitamins.

Here is a link with some info.

WebMD melatonin link

Tonight, try counting. The old adage does work. You don't have to count sheep, count anything. It's the mundane repetition that helps. Hope it helps.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Go Ahead And Brake Check Me!

Yeah, I imagine that whitelist would be huge unless on a dedicated rout!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Go Ahead And Brake Check Me!

Thanks G-Town. My old van would have been unkind to his car, but he probably would have been okay...but still rude, I'm sure.

I've become a better, safer driver (more aware) from reading this site. It was not my habit to leave room, and check my rear view a few months ago. That kids car was literally saved from what I've learned here.

I agree, hands free can be safe, and a necessity. I checked out the cellcontrol site, and the app seems to be very flexible.

Here is a quote from the site:

DrivePROTECTâ„¢ Cellcontrol's award-winning DrivePROTECTâ„¢ platform comes ready to stop all mobile device distractions, including texts, phone calls, emails and web browsing. Emergency calls (i.e. 911) are always allowed through the platform, and fleet administrators can decide which mobile functions to allow in safe mode (i.e. allowing navigation apps while blocking texts and hand-held calls).

It looks like they are trying to make a app that will be useful, and not hinder the driver from doing their job.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Go Ahead And Brake Check Me!

A free copy of the article Cornelios posted is here if anyone is interested. http://www.programbusiness.com/News/Americas-Truckers-Embrace-Monitoring-Technology-After-Costing-Insurers-Millions?utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=DNF_List_060517&utm_campaign=Daily_NewsFlash2017

They reference Cellcontrol which is customizable. You can choose which apps to block, and "whitelist" certain numbers.

As side note, I was almost rear-ended by a kid on his phone while on my way to work last week. I slipped onto the shoulder to give him room to stop, and he stopped inches behind the car that was in front of me. He also flipped me off as I got back into the traffic lane. The kind you guys deal with all the time, I'm sure.

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