Profile For Matthew H.

Matthew H.'s Info

  • Location:
    Ottawa, KS

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Matthew H. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 6 months ago

Matthew H.'s Bio

I have been around the trucking industry since my birth in 1982. My father has been a trucker since before I was born and still pounds pavement every day and has been with the same "Mega Carrier" since 1988.

I have held and utilized my CDL since 2006. I got my start "on-the-job" as a class B driver with tanker endorsement, working for a municipal utilities department running a vacuum truck and service trucks when I wasn't busy digging ditches for pipeline construction/repair. From there I went on to drive a box van for a moving company before realizing that moving furniture sucks even when you get paid to do it. That lead me to another vac truck (honey wagon) job driving for a sewer and septic service company. Resigned that position after breaking my ankle and becoming uncertain of my future as a professional wheel man. The ankle healed nicely while I worked outside of the trucking industry for one year. I got back behind the wheel in 2013 driving for a company that provided dump trucking (straight trucks/end dumps) and dry bulk tanker services to the construction industry, hopper bottom/grain transportation services, LTL/line haul services as a CSP to FedEx Ground, and which has now shifted to more consistent, year 'round, OTR dry van work.

I started with them in a junk dump truck and progressed from there to become proficient in the operation of every truck type and driving capacity my company has available to include operating in a team rig contracted by FedEx Ground and also serving as a driver trainer for FedEx Ground. I'm oing solo work in one of our trucks leased to JB Hunt for now.

It has been a natural progression for me and I look forward to what is yet to come from my time behind the wheel!

Matthew H.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  5 months ago

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Let's put some faces to names

0504540001524778198.jpg

Posted:  5 months ago

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Who knew I'd be following in the footsteps?

I'm right there with you Turtle! Grandpa (mom's side), my Dad, and me. Uncle's and cousins on the road too. Love it! I told my twin sons that they should consider teaming together when they get to be old enough. Haha!

Posted:  5 months ago

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Moving to JB Hunt

I'm currently running freight for JB Hunt in a hired truck. They've been doing right by me so far and I'm an outsider to their company. As far as how it is to be a company driver for them, I'm of no help.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Show Me The Money! Article by Old School

Many legitimate points made by Old School! Great advice is definitely the "norm" here!

The first few years were rough for me, but I toughed it out because I love the job.

After several years of Class B driving, I upgraded to Class A. I almost broke 40k for that year, which was far better than the Class B work. Lol. A few years later, running Class A and in much the same way as described in this article, I'm earning almost as much as a first year Wal-Mart driver. Haha.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Automated Vehicles Set To take Over Trucking Industry

The time may very well come when drivers are replaced by technology, but only after a lot more research and development takes place. We may never see that day and I would be okay with that because I don't want a "regular" job and I don't want to see autonomous vehicles taking over the highways and byways. I like driving too much to let a computer have all of the fun.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Game

Gauges

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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The Web Of Lies And Misinformation

A great/positive attitude is absolutely essential to being a successful driver for sure! I had a t-shirt as a freshman in high school that said, "Attitude is everything. The choice is yours." It took me awhile to really understand what that meant, but once I did, every aspect of home/work life improved for the better.

The people you see slandering carriers, dispatchers, shippers, recievers, etc...generally have a toxic, negative attitude and when they put their bad energy out into the world, it comes right back to them. When it does, instead of correcting their attitude problem, they do as mentioned...point fingers and blame others.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Another Topic Just For Fun - What was your last load? How much did it weigh? How many miles?

"Finished product" pet food 41,390lbs 721 miles

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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NO HIGH BEAMS!

You wouldn't drive towards oncoming traffic with your high beams on at night so what sense does it make to flash your high beams to signal that a driver has clearance to come back over? To me it makes no sense. I don't like to be bright lighted dog an' amount of time so I refrain from doing it to other drivers. Everyone's eyes adjust differently when bright lighted at night time and as far as I am concerned, it can potentially create a hazard. Especially if the driver that just got an eyeful of high beams already has poor night vision.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Any veteran drivers get your CDL "on the job"?

Thank you all for the input. I like to see what others think about any given topic so it is greatly appreciated. Greg, sounds like you have a good plan in mind!

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I worked a lot of jobs before finally getting my CDL and a job I actually enjoy!

Concrete laborer, pipeline construction, security guard at an American Eagle DC in which I handled inbound/outbound trucks after hours, unloader at a Walmart DC, salesman/ service advisor at a Ford dealership, tree trimmer, two "driving" jobs where there was more manual labor involved than driving, basically a bunch of jobs that just weren't right for me even though I was good at them. I also spent the better part of the last decade booking and promoting shows for death metal bands as a hobby. I loved doing that for the most part but it diverted my time and energy from more important things in my life.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Where to get a Mini refrigerator?

I have been using a 40 quart Coleman electric cooler for almost a year now. Picked it up on sale for around $80 and aside from replacing the fuse once, it has met my needs of keeping ready to eat foods, sandwich fixings, and beverages chilled. When I was running solo pulling a tanker, I had it strapped in to the passenger seat. Since I have been running with a teammate, it sits on the floor in the bunk or between the seats when I am at the helm. The mini fridge my rig is equipped with is to small to be shared so my teammate uses it for his stuff.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Which companies have driver facing cameras?

Fedex Ground will soon require forward AND driver facing cameras in all trucks operated by them and has offered incentives to their contractors (my employer included) to install and utilize them early. While Fedex Ground does not yet require them at this time, they will by years end and many contractors have already installed them.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Any veteran drivers get your CDL "on the job"?

Thank you G-Town.

I look at the current requirements for just getting your foot in the door these days and think to myself that I had it easy. Haha. Granted, it was 2006 when I got my foot in the door and it took me the better part of a decade to get to where I am now and to be teaching others.

The guy I am training now (my new teammate) through the FedEx entry level driver program is straight out of CDL school. Before he can become a "regular driver" he has to log 1000 hours behind the wheel and I have to observe 100 hours of him driving.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Short haul

Being a local driver constitues driving within a limited mileage radius from your home terminal. Any miles driven outside of the local radius must be logged. Sorry I can't recall the exact mileage radius to cite here.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Any veteran drivers get your CDL "on the job"?

Howdy everyone!

I am fairly new to TT and actually came across the site while doing some research on the trucking industry. Very impressive place you have here!

I grew up wanting to drive for a living after spending all of my childhood watching my Dad do just that. I am 35 now and he was rolling coal before I was born and still is to this day.

Anyway, I did a four year stint with the Marines out of high school and afterwards came back to Kansas. At the time, I didn't know much about CDL schools or company sponsored training programs, if I knew anything at all. I did know that I wanted my commercial drivers license and that my only option seemed to be landing a job that would help me get it.

That is exactly what I did. I applied with the city utilities department whose hiring ad stated the candidate must be able to obtain Class B CDL within six months of hire.

At the time I applied for the job I was working as a general laborer on a Wal-Greens build and regularly saw the utility department supervisor. I made sure he knew who I was and landed an interview then subsequently the job.

Four months in to it, I had a commercial drivers license with tanker endorsement, albeit only a class B. But it was the start that lead me to my current employer (four years and counting with them) dump trucking, upgrading to Class A, end dumping, pneumatic tankers, and ultimately my current role pulling for FedEx Ground as a team driver and trainer.

These days, the route I took to get my license looks to be uncommon so I was just curious as to whether or not anyone else here got their CDL in a similar fashion, without formal CDL school training?

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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What would you do

I would run it and plan my route accordingly. Though I picked up some bad habits pulling end dump and dry bulk tank trailers that paid me a percentage of the load. Lol. The risk was worthwhile for me to run heavy.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Advice needed badly

As a solo and team driver for a company who is contracted by FedEx Ground, I find it odd for your employer to have sent you packing after only one week of training. You being fresh out of CDL school does not disqualify you from the Entry Level Driver Training Program. I was just approved to be one of their trainers and my first student/new teammate is joining us straight out of Apex CDL Institute as have other drivers we hired. My thoughts are that your trainer said something to your boss (if it isn't the same person) that prompted your termination or you just hired on with the wrong contractor. If he didn't tell you the specific reason as to why he fired you then all we can do is speculate. I would suggest you consider applying with another FedEx Ground contractor. If you get on with the right one, you will be hard pressed to find an entry level position that pays as well. Regardless of the path you choose, keep the faith and be relentless in your pursuits! Best of luck to you!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Motivation

The power of positive thinking on full display! Awesome posts!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Need to interwiew 2 or 3 drivers for CDL Class, Hoping you can help! Thanks!

Hi Dylan,

Here are my responses to your questions:

1. I drive for Kansas Trucking LLC and KST Inc. Both companies fall under the same umbrella of ownership/management but the former serves the construction industry and the latter is a contracted service provider for FedEx Ground. While I operate on both sides as a company driver, I have been strictly running one of our FedEx rigs since late last year and just got approved to be one of their trainers. I have been with Kansas Trucking for four years.

2. What I like most about the company as a whole is that I have a lot more freedom with them than what I have experienced elsewhere over the years. Boss tells me when and where to be somewhere and that is all I hear form the office unless something comes up. I also earn more money with them than what I had elsewhere.

3. I have been driving commercial vehicles for over ten years. Class A for three.

4. I dislike being stuck out on the road when I am suppose to be home. Doesn't happen very often where I am at thankfully, but it does happen from time to time.

5. A positive attitude along with the ability to safely and proficiently operate a rig can take you far in this industry.

Good luck with your class!

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