Profile For Feanor K.

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    2 years, 11 months ago

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Aha! There's one less that I'll have to ask about, not understanding that esoteric trucker terminology....

This is advanced stuff, had me stumped too confused.gif

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Was reading and couldn't help notice this.

Got up at the TA, --> pro-trump<--, then rolling around 2315. Rolled about a half mile to get fuel across the freeway at the Love's.

Was that intentional, or a hilarious auto-correct ??

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Rookie who can’t stand otr training

Naj, I'm going to second something Old School said earlier. Training is not at all the same thing as solo.

IMO training is the most stressful, difficult part of the process. I and many many others had a miserable time in training, and if that's all there was to it, we would probably not be working in this industry anymore.

But training is only temporary. Things WILL get better, if you stick it out. Treat it like a jail sentence if you must. Just get through the tough part, and you can be captain of your own ship.

I came VERY close to quitting a couple times during my training, but I knew that if I did, I would be closing the door on trucking for good, I would never work up the motivation and nerve to go through it all again. So I stuck to it, just to give it a real shot if nothing else, and experience all aspects before I gave it up. I am very thankful I did. I now have a fantastic job with all the home-time I could want, good pay, satisfying work, and increased confidence in myself.

I would advise that you stick it out. You don't have to commit to anything more than a day and a week at a time. Wait until a good day, if you still feel like quitting on a good day, then go for it, but if you quit when you are demoralized and down on yourself, you may miss out on seeing how great this job can be.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Rookie Solo Adventure, thoughts, questions, vent, and ramble.

Interesting I was just on the Kitsap Peninsula this last week. Beautiful place, but has some tight spots. Sounds like you did a great job. You have a great attitude for this, and if you are willing to grind through the rough times and endure, I think you will be very happy with your decision.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Survey: Your biggest worries and most important questions

For me it was:

1: Money. How much is in my control and could I make enough to make it worth it.

2: Big cities and trying to navigate them in a truck.

3: Could I maintain my projects/hobbies while on the road.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Railroad Work

Thanks for the info guys, just something I always been curious about

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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What is winter driving like in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana?

PNW Winters can be difficult, but the year makes a lot of difference. My first year driving out of North Idaho I only had to chain up once, going into Montana. Made up for by the beautiful scenery and generally good parking (larger cities like Seattle/ Portland still suck) in my opinion.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Railroad Work

I have always wondered what it is like operating cargo trains. I noticed a member commented in another thread they had worked in that business (I believe), so rather than derail that thread I thought I'd start one.

So anyone got any insights into what it is like working with/ driving those beasts and how it compares to the trucking lifestyle/pay id love to know!

Posted:  6 months ago

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The secrets to flatbed.

Securement and tarping/untarping efficiency is important. Many other factors you can't control - speed-limit and traffic + hours of service.

The factor you can influence is how quickly you get in and out of a customer, and Flatbed usually has a lot more power in this than say a dry-van. This is because a large portion of your load/unload time is your own securement/tarping. It's the hardest work you will do, but if you bust your butt and get it done, you will have many hours to relax in the driver's seat as reward.

Good flatbedders have this down to a science. The key is to aim for 0 wasted time. This means throwing straps, edge protectors and sometimes even beginning tarping while the forklift driver is still loading you, or making sure you have all of your tarps/straps/edges rolled and put away before you are fully unloaded.

The difference here can be very substantial. An average driver might take an hour to an hour and a half to get at a customer, while a great driver could get the same load secured and tarped and be on their way in 30 minutes. This really adds up, especially in regional driving.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Newbie problems with trip planning..

I second Steve. Trucker's Path can be an absolute godsend for a rookie driver. It is free, easy to use and will show you every parking area available on your route ( not just truckstops and rest areas but scales, restaurants and other areas that provide truck parking) as well as parking predictions that can be very helpful.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Trucking as a new career.

Don't sweat it Bernard, shifting is one of the most difficult things for a rookie to learn, and it's important to remember that it takes time and that you will not be able (or expected) to master it in your short schooling.

CDL testers expect there to be gear grinding and won't usually even mention it unless it is extreme or you stall the truck in traffic. Try to do the best you can, but don't set the expectations too high. It's nothing to beat yourself up over - that's a waste of time.

Personally I struggled with shifting not just in CDL school, but through over a month of on-road training as well. I didn't really get it down until I was solo. I still passed the CDL test and upgrade test to go solo without issue.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Want to lose weight? Try flatbed

You definitely get in some physical work running flatbed, but like with any exercise plan your body will simply ask for more food, so unless you had some kind of limit on your diet you would likely just be hungrier, eat more and stay about the same.

I did lose some weight in flatbed but that was just because I was too busy to eat a lot of times! Skipped a lot of breakfasts and a few dinners to stay ahead of the clock.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Your favorite thing about driving a truck.

I love the views. This may seem like a small thing or something that would grow boring eventually, but honestly, it doesn't for me. Watching the mountains and forests and rivers of the Northwest go by is something I enjoy every day. And the solitude allows for some truly deep thinking, or better yet, practice NOT thinking and just experiencing :)

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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First Year Earnings Question

Ahhhhhh, the eternal question with no definitive answer.

First off welcome to the site! You've found the best source of info on this profession the internet has to offer. There are a bunch of great articles covering your question as well as many others which I don't have the links handy for but I'm sure someone will supply shortly.

I will give my answer based on my own experience.

The standard response here on TT is 40-50k for a solo driver. Trucking play is setup to be performance based, so depending on your own ability/ dedication this number could be higher or lower. OTR will typically pay somewhat better than regional but this is not always the case. The type of freight you haul is also a factor.

If you are running team with both driving it should naturally double, and more, because the nature of team driving is more efficient. I have not driven team so others may have better info.

Here is a link to a thread I made detailing my own first year wages.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Realistic beginner driver pay for regional drivers

That comment was bound to get backlash John, given the people who were advising you are some of the most successful and experienced drivers around and donate a ton of time and effort herefor free, but I also understand that you are new here and didn't know anything about them, so it's understandable imo.

I made a thread a while back precisely for people in your position that I will link. Hope it helps!

My Rookie Year Wages (Flatbed)

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Struggling With Making The Big Decision

Go for it mate. I am of a similar mindset on a lot of points (introverted, dislike talking on phones, bad at networking, gamer) and trucking was one of the biggest, most difficult, and most rewarding choices of my life.

Before I started I trucking 2 years ago, I was making $11/hr busting butt from 4am in a bakery, I had hardly been out of my home state, never driven a manual vehicle, and was nervous just going to the small-medium sized city 20 miles away.

Now I make twice in a week what I used to every 2 weeks, while most work days consist of taking in the beautiful scenery of the Northwest while listening to my favourite music and audio books and doing some deep thinking on my projects and life in general. I have been to every state (minus a couple), about half of Canada, almost every major city in a 10speed truck over 60ft long.

The whole experience has expanded my mind, my confidence, and my wallet, and is truly a unique job experience that will likely change the way you think about work.

I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it is worth it. Despite the first 6 months of my career being some of the must stressful and challenging I can remember, I consider it a small price for what you can gain sticking with it.

Posted:  7 months ago

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How old were you when you started driving truck?


Posted:  10 months ago

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Not 100% on this but I believe CRST has a Train- your- partner program.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Surgery Tomorrow. (Positive thoughts and prayers appreciated).

Good luck to you! You are in my prayers.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Should I become a truck driver or stay with my present career?...need help

Hello and welcome Aby. I will do my best to answer based on my own experience.

1: 71k for 3 days per week sounds pretty nice. But I understand your reasons for wanting out. You can definitely work your way up to that kind of money trucking IF you are willing to work hard, consistently and stay safe. We have a number of folks on this forum who are making that much or more. Had I finished out my first year I was on pace for about 60k. It's quite possible to reach 70+ within a few years if you got the work ethic for it.

3: stress can be very high in trucking, especially that first year. My first 6 months were some of the most stressful of my life. I think it's a bit different kind of stress than what you have talked about though. There is some paperwork and a lot of regulations, but it's just you in your truck and you are following these things to save yourself tickets and avoid trouble, not just 'cause corporate said so. '

5: I think introverts do well in trucking. Just gotta get through that training phase. A month in tight cab with a stranger can be rough.

7: You will not find much encouragement for going O/O here, ESPECIALLY as a rookie. I have not looked into it much personally, but we have some very experienced and successful drivers on here who have, and the consensus is that it is not worth it after the numbers have been crunched. Little to no gain in money for a lot more stress and risk.

9: There are many stress factors. Tight deadlines are the norm, limited parking especially at night, big city traffic frequently, sleep schedule can be erratic (I never had issues with this in flatbedding), driving in all weather conditions imaginable, time away from loved ones (even as an introvert this can get tough. Trust me.) And more besides. You won't have to deal with people in the same way as your other job though, just get along with your dispatch and do a good job and you will pretty much be left alone.

10: Long hours driving are the norm, but you will never do 11 straight. There is a mandatory 30 minute break every 8 hours, and even running hard you should be able to find time for another stop or 2 throughout the day.

11: Trucking may not be viewed as the most prestigious job, in fact it gets a bad name to a lot people, but among people who know what it takes, there's plenty of respect, and it is a very satisfying and rewarding job to succeed at!

In the end it is a highly performance- based job, so your results will be directly correlated to your effort and willingness to sacrifice. Be honest with yourself about how much you are willing to endure and put forth. If you still want to go through with it, then I encourage you!

One of the major reasons I got into trucking was to push out of my comfort zone, and it was DEFINITELY successful in that respect. It is a great way to travel, expand your horizons, build confidence and push your limits.

If you go for it, Just remember that it is challenging, steep learning curve, and there WILL be times you want to quit, just stay strong and take it one day and one week at a time.

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