Profile For Feanor K.

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    2 years ago

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Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Surgery Tomorrow. (Positive thoughts and prayers appreciated).

Good luck to you! You are in my prayers.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks 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.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Game: How Do You Motivate Yourself?

I should say "your jokes" probably so that is taken in the correct light : P

Posted:  2 months ago

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Game: How Do You Motivate Yourself?

I’m afraid of my driver manager.

Your comments always crack me up. Thanks for that!

Posted:  2 months ago

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Failed My CDL road test - Need Advice

Definitely start lower imo. No harm doing 3rd or even 2nd. I remember I went up a hill in my CDL test, and I took the entire thing in like 5th gear cause I didn't wanna risk stalling. Traffic behind me mighta got a bit annoyed but I didn't stall, and the Examiner didn't say a word.

Posted:  2 months ago

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I am not confident but company wants me to take the driving test

Awesome job man! Personally I never felt ready at any new stage when I was getting started trucking, but if you just go with the attitude that you will do the best you can and take it slow, never failed me

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The photo and opportunity that took almost 7 years to achieve!

Grats man! Nice shot you got

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Starting class tomorrow, anyone else?

Goodluck Spaceman! Just remember that it is a stressful, trying time for everyone in school, and that it is perfectly normal to feel unready at nearly every stage (from your first drive to your CDL test to your first solo load), the key is to just push through and keep going until your mind finally has time to catch up.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Back On The Road

Last July I made the decision to turn in my keys and move on from trucking.

Next Monday, almost 7 months later, I will be assigned a truck and head out on the road again. And I'm excited :)

I honestly didn't expect I would get back into this profession with my criteria, let alone so soon, but the right opportunity came along and here I am.

My company offers home time and a work environment that I never expected, which should allow me the time and energy to work on my projects at home, all with a solid paycheck.

Have to say it's good to be back driving!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Should I risk it?

Awesome job sticking with it! You showed integrity and discipline, and I have no doubt it will continue to pay off

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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My Rookie Year Wages (Flatbed)

Feanor, interesting info Can you lend me a few bucks?

You kidding? I'm a broke *** warehouse worker, atleast until next week. If anyone's getting a buck its me!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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My Rookie Year Wages (Flatbed)

'I no longer drive for Systems, but I talked a lot about my experience with them in this thread.'

Woops! Forgot to provide the link. Link This is the thread I was referring too :P

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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My Rookie Year Wages (Flatbed)

Much obliged Feanor, your effort is not in vain.

For us prospects reading this website daily we appreciate the time you took and will combine the lessons explained here with the evidence yet again put forth that attitude and hard work makes the world turn in this industry.

Happy to help!

I actually have Systems Transport bookmarked for future reference once I have a year of OTR exp under my belt w/ TMC.

How are you liking ST thus far? and do they have a pet policy?

I no longer drive for Systems, but I talked a lot about my experience with them in this thread. The TL;DR is, they treated me fantastically and gave me all the miles I could handle. If you are willing to work hard and earn their appreciation, you will be rewarded. If you are interested in the Regional Heavy-haul Fleet, they run a great outfit, especially if you get Branden as your DM.

As far as pet policy, I honestly don't recall. I don't have any pets so I paid no attention : /

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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My Rookie Year Wages (Flatbed)

Hey TT'ers! Good to see yall again! Well actually I never really stopped lurking here, so I have seen you but... you get the point :P

So I haven't posted on here in a good while, but the last time I did I promised to do a post detailing my first year's earnings for anyone interested. I know when I was starting out I had a really hard time finding any detailed post about actual numbers, especially for Flatbedding. So hopefully this helps someone get a better idea. Keep in mind, trucking pay is very much performance based, so it can vary substantially by the person. That said, if you keep that in mind and use your discernment, I believe real numbers can be very useful to compare and draw your own conclusions!

I worked at System Transport fresh out of CDL school as an OTR Flatbed driver from 9/1/17 - 5/4/2018 and on their NW Heavy-haul Regional Fleet from 5/4/18 - 7/27-18. All said just shy of 11 months total. Out of that time, my first 10 weeks were Training. I have collected screenshots of an overview list, as well as all my stubs from their Driver Portal. It was kind of an awkward process, so be warned they didn't all come out perfect and you may have to zoom in.

I'll link the overview here, but the stubs are like 50 separate images so I will have to find a better way to conglomerate those in another post. Bear in mind, training period checks are included for both OTR and Regional (these are annotated on the stubs, but not the overview.) Anyway here it is!

System Transport: 9/1/2017 - 7/27/2018

My Gross total for the period was: $53,136.21

My Net total for the period was: $36,188.36

Total of 12 weeks training @ $700/wk included.

My mileage pay rate was 43/CPM.

I also received Tuition Reimbursement once per month in $396 chunks. I believe the total amount was $3500. 0097287001551557290.jpg0768616001551557326.jpg

So there it is! I hope this helps give some prospective drivers out there an idea for the kind of money you can make in your first year. Keep in mind, I screwed up a lot early, and as a result spent an extra long time in training (almost 3 months!). I also switched Fleets which came with more downtime and training.

All in all I could have done better in several categories, but this site prepared me amazingly well, and as a result I got some awesome miles and fantastic treatment from my company. By the time I hit my stride I was on pace to make easily 65k + for my second year, and if you run hard, be safe, and keep a good attitude you can expect the same!

In conclusion I hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions I'll be happy to try to answer them!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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I have a problem with keeping my eating out spending low... How can I discipline myself?

One idea would be to cook up a lot of dishes on your home-time (things like rice and chicken or beef-heavy chili/spaghetti are tasty and easy to nuke) and store them in your fridge so all you gotta do is warm them up. Seal them well and they will last a long time. If you got a freezer you could put some in there as well if you are out for long periods, and rotate them to the fridge as it gets low.

I also workout frequently and I know the pain of road spending. Double scoop protein shakes also keep the hunger under control and are very cheap. Personally I load up on protein rich canned food (mostly beans as I'm vegetarian) and Minute rice. Combine and nuke and you have a decent meal in a couple minutes. Add a few slices of bread, maybe some PB and a protein shake and I can easily hit 3200 calories and my protein for the day for dirt cheap.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Plant based eater starting out

I was vegan for most of my year trucking, the exception, unfortunately, was my training period. Funny story, I had my car all loaded up with a month + worth of canned food, protein bars and boxes of oatmeal when I pulled up to my trainers truck. I took one look inside and knew it wasn't gonna work. I managed to fit enough food in there to last me about week, and could have maybe done more with some clever arranging, but as it turned out, I was waaaaay too preoccupied trying to survive that month to make the diet work anyway. Imo the training period is easily the most stressful and demanding time you will spend in a truck. I am not trying to discourage you here, I'm not saying it is not possible by any means, but if you are willing to give up your diet for a month, believe me, you will have more than you can handle without having to try to make extra shopping trips and food prep time.

If that is not an option, than I totally understand and respect it. In that case these are some ways I handled it after going solo. They don't all apply to training but I figured I'd throw them all in here anyway.

1 - If at all possible, get a Microwave and preferably a mini-fridge too. My trainer had both in his truck and was nice enough to share.

2 - Shop in bulk before you leave, and on your home-time. I would do my best to get a full month's worth of food every time I was home. Got some weird looks at Wal-Mart with my cart overflowing but you can fit it in the truck once you are solo, and it can save you a lot of pain in the rear trying to fit in stops at Wal-mart on the road. Not to mention a ridiculous amount of money if you can't make it and have to shop at a truckstop.

3 - Can Opener. Canned food is your friend. The majority of my diet was made up of canned black beans and Minute rice. You can really live on that stuff. Just keep in stock of Soy Sauce, it makes the difference. Throw a can of beans, 1/2c rice and a bit of extra water in a fridge dish, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, let it sit for 5 and you got a good breakfast. Eat it with 3 slices of bread and you got almost 1500 protein-loaded Calories.

4 - Peanut Butter Bagels! These were my lifeline. Can't count how many times I had to skip breakfast to make an appointment and these saved my butt, they are so quick you can throw together a whole meal while you are being unloaded. Did you know 1 bagel is around 250 calories and depending on the brand (get Dave's Killer) up to 12g protein? 2 tbsp of PB is about another 200cals and 8g protein. That's 450 calories and 20 grams protein for a tasty snack that takes 30 seconds to prepare! Eat two of those and you got a solid meal. For real they are amazing!

5 - Protein Shakes/Bars. Most people will probably recommend vegan protein bars, and that is a great idea. They are super easy, loaded with protein and calories and tasty. They can be add up a bit price-wise though in my experience. I also get sick of them really fast. Personally I would recommend Protein Powder higher. You can get really good stuff for a dollar per serving and it will last forever (50 servings for a large size). It is super easy, cheap, space-efficient, and satisfying. All you need to do is get a shaker bottle for $5-$10 at walmart and you are set. I personally used water, to make it even cheaper and easier, but almond milk is even better if you got a mini fridge.

6 - Almond Milk keeps forever even without a fridge! It is true. Most of this isn't even refrigerated at the store, so they will last almost indefinitely un-opened, but what I found out is that they will last a hella long time even once they ARE opened. I've driven around almost a week in Arizona/Cali with a gallon of almond milk open and I finished it before it went sour.

I hope this helps and you have my respect for trying Vegan trucking, it is definitely a challenge! For me personally, it was one thing too many to handle in training, but I hopped right back on the wagon once I was upgraded to solo. I'm sure you can make it work if you really have a mind to, but I would encourage you to put just surviving and getting through training as your #1 priority. It is only a month or so and after that you can have all the time and space you need to do it your own way. That said, if I had the practice I do now with improvising in my own truck, I could probably have made it work. Either way, best of luck to you man, I really hope it all works out and you kick butt out there and get that upgrade!

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Odd question

Maybe I was lazy, but I always cut in between, day or night. I'm that guy you see running to and from the truck-stop like I'm being chased by Michael Myers. You probably thought I was running late or something, truth is just as likely I was in the middle of a 34 reset :P I just hate walking to and from those stops.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Rejection due to unemployment

Great job man! Way to push through and make it happen! I wouldn't worry about the wait, personally. Like OS said, holidays. Those Dispatchers want to get you in a truck as much as you do, I'd bet!

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

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End of a Journey - My year of trucking.

Very interesting. Maybe I should check into barbering haha!

Thanks Will, I do plan to share more stuff soon!

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

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End of a Journey - My year of trucking.

Thanks for the kind words Brett! I'm gonna give it my all, and I'll continue to pop in here, I always enjoy hearing the stories of other drivers, and sharing what bits of help I can. I made this post because I wanted to share my experience with everyone to give a little bit back to this awesome community, without whom I probably would never have made it half as far as I did. It's the absolute least I could do.

A very good read and well put, Feanor. I can relate, but in an opposite manner. I LOVE trucking. I tried Barbering when I first got out of the service. I enjoyed it and appreciated the skill I learned, I took a huge pay cut to go into trucking. Sounds funny huh. I hardly worked and made great money being a barber. I barely worked 3 1/2 days a week and averaged 1,200 a week in my pocket. But, I didn't love doing it. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. So I completely get where you are coming from.

Thanks Patrick! That's crazy though, I had no idea barbers were paid that way! But there is no replacement for doing what you love, eh?

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