Profile For ChosenOne

ChosenOne's Info

  • Location:
    Southern, CA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 9 months ago

ChosenOne's Bio

Laidoff older guy looking for his next line of work. In america anything is possible, was a top paid IT Manager for a Fortune 5 Company, but after being laidoff, no degree, and no certifications I need to find a new line of work.

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Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Do you fear autonomous trucking technology?

But you don't fear human drivers will be replaced by high-tech anytime soon?

I have seen a sign posted at a major UP train yard in Roseville, CA not long ago. It said diesel-electric locomotives can drive around the yard unmanned. The sign warned of trespassing on RR property and that trains can move about unmanned. Still, I have often observed crewmen on those locomotives in that same yard as a train-watcher. They had vests and flashlights at night. They would step on and off the engines to throw switches as needed.

Will it happen some day, yes, in my lifetime, probably not. Tesla admits there should always be a human behind the wheel, even they realize the technology is not there to account for every possible scenario. Science has to be able to find a way to easily take the variables drivers run into everyday, and accurately make the decisions drivers do everyday. Artificial Intelligence, or at least the current version, can't learn on the fly, someone has to find the problem, figure out how to convert it to a binary application, then try and program in every scenario where it may encounter that problem, and take the corrective action needed. Miss 1 variable and guess what, it won't work, and it could cost lives. Try and program in variable wind gusts at a 45 degree angle. Once you find that, then you have to change the parameters, weight, trailer height, in the case of flatbeds and stepdecks, how high is the freight, what is the wind load on the cargo? That is one example, throw in a bunch of 4 wheelers who are so unpredictable.

Did Otto work, yes, but they drove it under ideal controlled conditions, they mapped the roadway out previously, paid the state to repaint the lines just weeks prior. Just think, if someone had forgotten to check the fuel, and en-route Otto needed to make a fuel stop, Otto would have failed, they did not program that in, and someone still has to dispense the product, Otto can't do it. Otto also needed a State Trooper to escort it, and no cars were allowed around it, the cars could have introduced a variable, and produced yet another failure. Technology has a long way to go, and while I think it will happen eventually, completely driverless most likely won't happen in my lifetime.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Do you fear autonomous trucking technology?

An Autonomous car and truck are like apples and oranges. I look at the airline industry, planes can land and take off by themselves, as well as maintain altitude and flight path. Aircraft can fly autonomously today, but if you notice a pilot is still there for those just in case moments, and for those times when conditions are not ideal. When you look at Otto, they use technology already on the truck, as well as an aerial view to figure out where the truck was and make minor adjustments. Now throw in a construction zone where the lanes are not where the aerial map says they are, or a DOT Department that paints lines every blue moon, you have the makings of reading about how an 80,000 pound vehicle crashed and there were x number of fatalities. Technology has evolved, but still fails, as do backup systems, no system is perfect, and there has to be the backup plan. I have a feeling drivers will need to evolve, become trained on the systems as they will need to know how to override them, as well as what they will try to do when they take action.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Hidden Perks

Number one in my book is training first, I need to learn the ropes, and equipment second. I was not so much looking at DirecTV, many recruiters mention if you meet a certain mpg target, deliver on-time with no reschedules, etc. it is free, but I am trying to figure out how much free time could you have starting out to watch TV enough to justify having it in the truck? During the winter, like the one we just had, is it even possible to not have a delivery date slide, or the truck breaks down, there are so many variables that are out of your control. I would spend most of my time starting out making sure I was going to get from point a to point b as safely as possible, and from talking to those in the industry they all said for the first 6 months they were beat at the end of the day, could not wait to get some shuteye. I doubt I would be the exception. I would also probably look at the map a hundred times and the street view and aerial views to try and mitigate any issues from not planning right. I am sure I will still have some planning issues, we are all human. I was not aware Trans Am offered it, and while it may be a recruiting tool, I have not had a recruiter mention it, most have concentrated on their training programs, and why I want to train with them. I get why they call them training companies, none of them have mentioned the after my first year, and they should, I don't want to be a job hopper.

I was surprised some have hotel discounts, which most will rarely take, but it is nice to know if I am on a 34 and want to get out of the truck and relax in a room I can get one with a discount, or if I need some time away from my trainer and we end up on a 34, being with someone you know 24/7 for weeks on end is not easy. Same with rental cars, nice to know they pass a discount onto us should we need one, I would imagine once I am settled in and have some time, I may want to rent one to go see some sights. While the discounts are probably not steep, every penny saved counts.

The spas, had no idea Prime had them, saw it on one of their videos, but thought you had to pay for it, many things these days are not free. I also did not know about the jackets, I assumed you had to buy them yourself. While it is probably not a Columbia Jacket, it is better than nothing, and some starting out have limited funds, so a little warmth is better than freezing. I found out in this thread about the Company Store at Prime, and you could buy a fridge and finance it. I had always thought you had to use a cooler, but it is nice to know there are other options. I think most carriers have stores, or places you can order shirts, etc; but having one at a terminal with immediate access makes it easier, and items other than basic necessities and clothing.

I forget which carrier it is, it is a mega, gives those who make it all the way to going solo a truck GPS they can keep, as a gift for making through training. It is not advertised anywhere they do this, I found out from a driver at the local PFJ, and was confirmed a few days later with a student driver and his Trainer. Would I go to work there for a free GPS, no, but it is nice to know the company recognizes the completion of training. I was thinking the most I would get is an email.

There are other perks I still don't get, once you reach certain milestones where you are solo. I am finding most other carriers have different statuses for their drivers, and with it comes some additional rewards, but you have to earn them, and I am sure they are not easy, or everyone would have them. I like knowing there is yet another bar to reach, and once there, you have to strive to keep it, it is not something you just earn and keep, but you have to keep earning it. Swift for instance, I keep hearing about some grand showers at the terminal when you reach a certain status, not sure what is different about them, but I am sure I will most likely figure it out.

While perks should never be a deciding factor, it is nice to know they are there should you decide to go to the company offering them. The last place I worked at had perks I did not know about, until I left, and never thought to ask. A good example is for GM vehicles we received GM Factory Employee Pricing, and the same with Ford. For Apple products we had a company store that had at least 10% off, you get MS Office for $5 a license. None of those would have been deciding factors to work there, but I wish I knew about them, could have saved me a substantial amount of money over time.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Mobile networks..who's really best?. Or worst?

I use Verizon, switched from Sprint as to this day there is no LTE coverage where I live. I traveled 90% in my last job, and Verizon seemed to be everywhere I went, so I stayed with them. I would image just about every carrier out there has good coverage along the major interstates and highways. The clincher to get me to change is if I found the places I frequented lacked coverage, then I would shop for a new provider. I have buddy who just went to a dedicated port to rail job, he has Verizon, has had it for years, but in his new job the port has a few dead spots, but AT&T has coverage, he is thinking about switching.

Just as an fyi - I am not sure how many Vet's are here, but if you take your DD-214 into Verizon they will give you a 15% Military Discount on the unlimited plan.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Hidden Perks

When searching for a company, many getting bogged down in cpm, fuel and safety bonuses, detention time, etc; I was wondering how many have discovered a hidden perk your company did not advertise or highlight? This could be discounted hotels, cellular providers, satellite TV or radio. Could be anything that adds a little sprinkle to the icing on the cake.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Why the Schneider Hate?

I don't have any hated companies on my list, until I have first hand knowledge how would I know? I had a friend that started at Schneider, was OTR for a 2 years, then moved to intermodel for a few years so he could be home at night when his wife was pregnant with their first child. Now he is car hauling, and when I asked him about Schneider, he said he would do it again, they gave him his first job, there are opportunities once you get some miles under your belt, but he wanted to haul cars and Schneider does not have a car hauling division. He left on good terms and said he would go back if the circumstances were right, ie, a car hauling division.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Got My CDL

Congrats!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey via a Private School

This week has been a week of trial and errors. After struggling with a new truck, the Freightliner shows back up yesterday. I was asked if I wanted to stay in the International, or go back to the Freightliner. I chose to go back to the Freightliner. The good news was, it was not as much of a struggle getting the offset backing and parallel parking back to where I was. I now understand why no one wants to change to a new truck once they get theirs, no 2 are the same. I could have moved on to alley docks, but I was given the option to run back through the straight backing, offset, and parallel parking to make sure I was comfortable in the Ferightliner and we would move on when I was comfortable. The other good news is, the School said while the course is 180 hours, if I need 200 or more, they have no issue with it, and there are no additional charges. They want to make sure I pass on the first attempt, and I can do the test flawlessly.

You are never sure if you chose the right school. After researching schools in the area, probably beating a deadhorse more than once and dragging around to make sure, I am happy I chose the place I did. This morning on the way over I passed my 2nd choice, there were 5 CHP Units there, and a few unmarked cars. Rumor has it the State served a search warrant for their training records, not sure what they are looking for, but the school was closed for the day. It may not be anything, but there is enough stress and strain trying to get through training, I would hate to be going there wondering if the school will be open Monday or not. I hope no one had a DMV Test cancelled on them, it takes weeks to get one. I pray all turns out well for the students.

While I was taking a break and rehydrating, I ran into a driver from Pride Transport out of SLC. I had not heard of them, but they mainly run refer and will take CDL Graduates with zero experience. They do not have a company school. The guy liked Pride, had been there for 7 years, was only making .40 cpm, but every dock you bump is $30, detention is $25 an hour, paid by the quarter hour, and after 2 hours. He said he has no issue getting it, and they have fuel bonuses, and the usual safety bonuses. He is trainer and said you spend 100 hours and do all the driving while he sits on the other side, and if he feels you have enough skills, he will call safety, and you will team. He said the teaming sometimes does not work out as teaming, especially during bad weather, he said anytime you do not feel comfortable, even when teaming you can stop and wait for your trainer to get his clock back and have him/her sit back next to you. This is 300 hours in length, but he said rarely does anyone finish in 300 hours, most go 400 hours or longer. Once you and your trainer are satisfied you can go solo, you are routed back to the terminal and safety then evaluates you. If safety ok's you after a test run, you are upgraded to solo. They also use Trip Pak and from the time you deposit it at a truck stop, it takes 2 days for Pride to process it, and it is deposited in to your account. He said you are paid by the trip, not every Friday. While I have a list of where I want to go, if for whatever reason they decide I don't fit their culture, I am open to other options.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

HOS question/advice

A few comments on ELD's and moving. Most of the time you stay logged in to the device, so anytime you exceed what the company set for the movement parameter, it will trip the device, and they most likely set the number of times you can trip the device to recording before it notifies Safety you have a bad habit of not logging as you should. There are a few settings for ELD's and moving, you can use distance to the tenth of a mile (Speedometer Speed sensor and/or GPS), clock time to the tenth of a second once there is movement sensed (Speedometer Speed sensor and/or GPS), speed (Starting at 1/10 MPH and above), G Sensor (Commonly known as rollover sensor, and hard braking sensor, even if it is non-recordable as the G Force was not sufficient) if equipped, or a combination of any of them together. There is an input on most for the drive by wire (Accelerator input pulse via the ECM), but the 2 places I did some work, neither used it as the simple act of pushing the accelerator would trigger the ELD to record.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey via a Private School

It has been a bit since the last update, and today was not a great day for me. More on than towards the end.

Last Friday I finished my left and right offset parking, able to do it without stopping or any pull-ups consistently. This moved me to Monday, which was parallel parking, left and right. Took me all morning to do get the hang of it, but I was sure I had it.

Today was a bit of a change, I went from a 10 speed Freightliner, which was in for service, to a 7 speed International. shocked.png What a difference the 2 trucks are. I could not offset or parallel to save my life, the truck should not make a difference, but the old saying, it is all in the setup, is 99% right, but using the same truck is 1% of it. The 7 speed only has 1 range in reverse, the 10 has 2, which makes speed more manageable, and I think the FreightShaker is a bit shorter than the International is, so it turns better, or at least I think so.

So today ended with me finally figuring out how to get the International in and out of the hole for the offset, but the parallel parking, I am not sure how much more I will need to do it. Had I started out in the FreightShaker and done the offsets and parallel correctly I would have been off to alley docking. Sometimes it is 2 steps forward and 2 steps back. The other piece of not so good news, the Freightliner most likely won't be back until Thursday or Friday. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new start.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Above the knee amputee wants to drive again

This is the link to the FMCSA Package

The link did not show up on the first post argh. I need to be more careful. Good luck!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Above the knee amputee wants to drive again

It is possible, I know a Vet who drives for Western Express and he is a right leg amputee. I just sent him a text, he said you will need to get a SPE Waiver. He said it was an easy process, and sent me this link, said to tell you to download the "New Driver Application Package". He said it will explain what you need to do. He also said he sees more amputees OTR than he thought he would and you won't be alone.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

60 hour local CDL school, is that enough?

I had an Apnea test 4 years ago, not for a DOT issue, and did not have enough incidents in a night, so it was negative. Scenario here for anyone in the know, let's says Prime gives you the test, comes back you need a CPAP, can you buy one elsewhere or do you have to buy theirs? I am just curious as to how they handle it, I am a shopper, and if I could save a few hundred buying it elsewhere, why wouldn't I?

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Background Worries

How long ago did it happen? Time seems to heal most issues, there are folks who have been convicted for murder, done their time, and are out motoring today.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

Has anyone seen my dead horse?

Yes, let me give it a few more whacks lol. Now that I think about it, there are probably s few hundred thousand drivers out there now, probably close to a 1/2 million trucks on the road at any given time. If violence against truckers were prevalent and rampant, I would think the news would be full of stories. I read one every now and then, but not enough for anyone to M60 on the roof, let alone use it.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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Has anybody here ever considered a position other than driver with a trucking company?

At my last IT employer we sold software to a few trucking carriers. I was offered a position at one of them, but they withdrew their offer when they discovered I did not have a Bachelor's Degree. Like many places, I can work there as long as I am working for a vendor, or as a contractor, but not as a full time employee as I lack the required minimum educational requirement for the position. I did learn a considerable amount about the inner-workings, and how the megas are not affected all that much from the freight fluctuations many blame them for, as well as how a load starts from being signed by sales, through planning, dispatch, to the driver, to billing the shipper. You can also add to it some loads are port-truck-rail-truck-DC-truck, and just about every other combination you can think of. This is where I found out about ELD's, and the information that is available from them, as well as remote engine and performance diagnostics.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

4 car carrier summer job NJ to Florida

I would go look at their CSA Score for starters, see how they stack up. I had a guy come up to me after school last week, he wanted to know if I was interested in a position. They are a 14 tractor operation and lease their trailers. I looked at their CSA Score, they have a 47% OOS rate for inspections. They also have a high percentage of HOS Violations. No thanks, this tells me either the drivers don't care about the equipment, or the owner does not care, either way I am not risking my CDL, and god forbid, my life or someone elses life while I am behind the wheel. While I can refuse to drive unsafe, if I am refusing to move the truck I am not earning money, and who knows what he will say if I leave and he is called by a perspective employer. I should have known the reason why he was outside in the corner of the parking lot was because he probably would not be let in the door.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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This guy says it is usually 'company policy' for dogs to be required to be fixed.

For those who have dogs are more like guard dogs, what is your plan if you are having a medical emergency and incapacitated? Will the dog prevent rescuers from getting close?

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Is it smart to have a CO and smoke detector in your sleeper?

Now that I think about this, and being an RV'er for years, all trucks with sleepers should have them, APU or not. It is odd that RV's are required to have them, yet trucks are not. I guess the extra $50 per unit could break the bank.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What are a truck driver's best defense against possible criminal acts against them while on duty?

I just want to thank the chosen one on his small history lesson, thank you I enjoyed reading your post.

Your welcome. My second job in IT was working at a Law Firm that only handled Constitutional Law. That was one of the best jobs I have had. The Litigators working there were some of the best in their field, and I often found I was allowed to watch mock debates when they were preparing their appeals. These folks lived and breathed the Constitution, and they had the Wall of Amendments, which had a large picture frame for each one, explaining why it was included, and below it the various SCOTUS rulings on why they not absolute.

I learned more there in 2 years than anywhere else I have worked, and it was a pleasure, and privilege to work there.

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