Profile For Joseph B.

Joseph B.'s Info

  • Location:
    Leander, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years ago

Joseph B.'s Bio

I was in the IT industry for about 10 years before moving to trucking in November 2013. I've driven exclusively reefer for most of the time since then (with the exception of some brief periods driving local...even going so far as to drive city buses for 6 months or so!)

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Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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10-speed vs. Everything else

Old School, thank you so much!

While everyone's answers have been to some extent helpful, once again you've managed to break something down in a way I understand. I always love reading your articles and forum comments because somehow your way of explaining things works perfectly for me. Thanks again!!

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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10-speed vs. Everything else

Huge learning curve since you haven't touched a 10 speed in how long? And it was only for a few week's I'm guessing? So you never really got the chance to get proficient with it.

On the contrary, I drove a 10-speed for a little over four years. I've only been in an automatic for 6 months.

Several people have pointed out that Hurricane is a lease only company. They are not, they have several company divisions (not very large, but they are there). I was looking into both sides of it. Yes I know that leasing is generally terrible and is to be avoided but I still tend to do the research anyway, even if only to demonstrate to myself and my family WHY it should be avoided.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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10-speed vs. Everything else

Are they doing heavy haul?

Nope. As far as I know they just do reefer. Might have some dry van too but no heavy haul.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

10-speed vs. Everything else

I am currently considering moving to a new company (Hurricane Express) and as far as I can tell they use exclusively 18-speed transmissions. I trained on a 10-speed and have driven nothing but that and automatics since getting my CDL. Wanted to know if there's a steep learning curve in making the switch and if there are any tips or tricks I should know.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Companies that Run Southeast-West

KLLM is an absolutely fantastic company, and if you're interested in that sort of thing they have hands-down one of the best lease-purchase programs in the industry. I had VERY few minor complaints in the four and a half years I drove for them. (Took some time off the road...would have gone back but my current company threw a whole bunch of money at me to come drive for them. )

Bear in mind that KLLM, like most companies, still has most of their freight in the east coast area but you do get out west fairly regularly (especially if you have a good relationship with your DM). I can't speak about other companies except Tribe Express (don't go to them except as a company driver. I do fairly well as one. Their lease program isn't terrible but they're not an efficiently-run company and it shows in the settlements).

Also, important to note is that KLLM is a reefer company. They get dry loads but are not a dry van company.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Tourist attractions for break?

1) I love going to the trucking museum at the Iowa 80 in Wolcott. 2) My wife and I like the Twin Arrows Casino on I-40 in Arizona, MM 219. Good food and nice bonuses for truckers 3) If you are interested in NASA, there is a really cool place in MS next to the Welcome Center at the border on I-10, the Infinity Science Center. You can park your truck right there in their parking lot, but I don't think they allow overnight, you would have to get back to the rest area. No biggie, it's right next door! 4) Next door to the Love's in Ellis, KS (I-70 exit 145) is the Cancun Mexican Grille. Hands down and without hyperbole the BEST Mexican food out there 5) The North South Cafe in Robards, KY (US-41) is amazing, for about $10 I had one of the best southern homestyle breakfasts in my life. It is family owned and operated, and the family really knows what they are doing.

Those are just a few off the top of my head...there are lots more, if you have the opportunity be sure to share them!

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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A big thank you

Congratulations! I know how you feel about it, I used the High Road Training Program myself when I got my CDL 3 years ago. I recommend it to everyone who is looking at getting their CDL, it is one of the best training programs for written testing I have ever seen!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Past Medication and Medical Card

I have not experienced this firsthand, so just consider that when reading my answer...the information below is hearsay, stuff that I have discussed with other drivers.

I don't see that this should be an issue. Companies that look to hire you are not looking at your long form, they only want to know that you have a current medical card. If you passed your physical and got the full 2-year card you should be fine. If they ask if you are currently taking medication, you can honestly say "No". Don't be dishonest EVER, but you also don't need to provide unrequested information. I don't think I have ever heard of a driver being asked "have you ever in your life taken medication?" or something of the like.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Need help

A trucking company cannot revoke your CDL. They didn't issue it, and they can't take it away. They can fire you, cut your miles, and do whatever to make your job hell, but your CDL belongs to you and the state that issued it.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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When you hang up the keys, but wish you didn't have to

Steve, I loved it. My first dispatcher had been with the company for 27 years, he knew everything there was to know and could do things a lot of the others couldn't. He always had a preplan load ready for me the day before I delivered the one I was on, I never had to wait around for him. When he retired I got a newer guy who I had to train a little bit, but we worked together really well. I think the pay rate could have been a little higher, it wasn't really matching the market, but it was still pretty good and I brought home plenty of money. They treated me really well and I only once had to fight with them to make sure they got me home when I was scheduled. There was no pressure to lease a truck, they were just as happy having you as a company driver. (I leased a truck anyway, as they have one of the best lease purchase programs in the industry.) All in all, I would say they are a wonderful company to work for, especially for a new driver. They focus on safety and training, instead of just trying to churn out butts in the seats. The only real problem I has was their referral program - I referred a driver and he was poached out of driver school by FFE (KLLM and FFE are both owned by the same group). Turns out you only get the referral bonus if the driver you refer goes with KLLM.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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When you hang up the keys, but wish you didn't have to

Hey everyone...it has been a long time since I posted here but I wanted to check in with everyone. I was posting a couple years ago, but last April I got custody of my two sons that hadn't seen me in 7 years (thanks to their mother). Because of this, last July I hung up the keys so I could be home with them and we could get to know each other again (the last time we saw each other they were only babies). I sure do miss the road though! I think in 2 years of driving I maybe had 2 or 3 days where I really hated my job. I finally found my calling, and I sure can't wait to get back to it. The plan was to be home for a few years, then once the boys are stable and used to being here, get back into it...but it has been less than a year and I miss it every day!

Wanted to open it up for other people to share if they have had experiences like mine. Or maybe I'm just the weirdo of the bunch...either way, I can't wait for the day I can get back out there with all of you. Keep the shiny side up!

Posted:  5 years, 9 months ago

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving to all! This is my first holiday out on the road since I started training on Saturday...really going to miss all the food (and the family too, of course smile.gif)

To all at home, I'm thankful you have the opportunity to be there, and to all on the road, I'm thankful for you keeping it rollin'!

Now off to Denny's for my Thanksgiving dinner away from home ;)

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Stevens Transport. Anyone have experience with them?

Some conversations I have had with other truckers were very favorable toward Stevens Transport. The only reason I didn't choose them were that they do payroll deductions for their CDL school, and although you sign an agreement for one year, you really only pay off the interest in that time. It really takes something like 3 years to fully pay it off. I'm on my phone at the moment do I can't look up the details of that. But all in all they are supposed to be a great company, and as a plus all of their trucks have APUs.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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Proud Moment!

Thanks everyone! Jon, I put in a lot of time studying with The High Road in the 2 months before school, and due to that it was pretty natural.

And just to add on, we went to DPS today and I passed all 5 tests, with a perfect score on 3 of them. Now I can finally start learning how to drive a truck!

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Proud Moment!

I wanted to share something that just made me pat myself on the back today... I am currently attending the FFE Driving Academy (Now KLLM). Today was our final written exam for the school, tomorrow we go take the DPS written tests. Once the class tests were graded, our instructor told me that in the more than two years the school had been open and with all the hundreds of students that had gone through the program, I was the third person EVER to get a perfect score on all 5 written exams.

WOW!

Darn right I'm proud of myself, but I didn't do it alone. I can't express enough how helpful The High Road training program is, and can't thank Brett and TruckingTruth enough for putting it together.

Anyway, like I said, just wanted to pat myself on the back a bit :-) I'm so glad to know that I shouldn't have anything to worry about tomorrow at DPS.

Posted:  5 years, 10 months ago

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FFE Training Academy....My Journey Continues

Brett and Tim, I am one of those people thankful for your experience! I have been following this post for awhile now, and I just started FFE Driver Academy today myself. Of course, we were told that today was the first day that FFE no longer exists, it is now KLLM officially, but it pretty much will remain the same from what we were told. Pay during training will be lower, but starting solo will be higher pay rate than we were originally told. We are staying in a hotel the while time now, no more on site housing. First day was fun, and thanks to the High Road CDL training program I was way ahead of a lot of my class! We take our "final exam" tomorrow, CDL exams at DPS on Wednesday, and get into the trucks on Thursday. I'm so excited I'm drooling a bit...

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

When GPS goes wrong...

I wanted to share a funny story of what happened about a week ago. Backstory: my dad has been driving for Werner for a little over a year now, and I am scheduled for school starting November 4. I went out on the road with my dad last Saturday to check it out and help him a little bit...it won't be the same experience as mine, since he is on a dedicated account and has to unload at all the stores he stops at while I will be driving OTR, but it's better than nothing!

Anyway, we were driving through San Antonio on the way to store #3 for the day. He got started pulling out of the parking lot and I was plugging the next address into his GPS (a nice Garmin model for truckers...not the cheapo 4-wheeler kind). It took a little bit...the address was, according to the paperwork, on "Old Hwy 90". I tried that in many different formats and couldn't find it, so he told me to just try using Hwy 90. For safety's sake, he plugged the address into his Qualcomm too, and it came up with Old Hwy 90 sure enough. They both pointed in the same direction so we felt OK, but he was following the Qualcomm just because it had the right address as far as we knew.

We got about 10 minutes down the road following the Qualcomm, and I took a look just to see if maybe the address was formatted weird, and I did notice something weird...the ZIP code shown on the Qualcomm was not the same ZIP code that was on the Garmin. I grabbed the paperwork and took a look, and sure enough we were headed for an address in a totally different ZIP code. Uh-oh! I told Dad about it, but we were already committed so we crossed our fingers and kept going. A few minutes later it said we were nearing our destination and we started getting nervous because there was no store in sight...we took the final turn and came around a curve and were suddenly slap-bang in the middle of a housing subdivision. Phooey.

OK, no biggie, time for "take 2" as they say in Hollywood. Luckily, the road we were on took us straight back out to a main road, and we started following the address on the Garmin, which was the correct ZIP code but was just regular Hwy 90, not "Old Hwy 90". It looked a little more promising, but as we approached the destination we saw a giant empty field with a little bitty junkyard in the middle of it. Sigh...to move from Hollywood to baseball...strike 2.

He pulled over on the side of the road and was just about to call the store and ask where they were, but I had a hunch...we had passed a road sign for "Old Hwy 90" a couple of miles back, and I knew it had to be in the GPS somehow. So he grabbed it and played with it for a few minutes, and finally found an entry for "Old US-90 Hwy". Gee, why didn't we think of typing it like that. Good grief.

Well, to make a long story longer, that address worked. We got to the store only a couple of hours late, and still made it to the last store of the day and home before his 11 hours ran out. It's great to have 2 GPS units to confirm each other, but sometimes everything goes nuts and you just want to punch the people who programmed them.

I personally am counting down the days till I can bid the cubicle-and-phone world goodbye and head off to school. Until then, safe journeys!

Posted:  5 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

FFE-bound...here we go!

So it's official...I gave notice to my current job yesterday and I leave for school with FFE on November 4. I don't have any delusions that it will be a cakewalk, but I have gone through the High Road Training Program and it made a HUGE difference so I definitely want to thank all of you who put it together. I know I will have a leg up on most of the folks who are in class with me! Also, my dad is a driver for Werner so he has taken me through the pre-trip on his truck a few times and I know that will help as well. I also have to say a HUGE thanks to Tim L for his wonderful description of the FFE academy, it was a great way to know what to expect!

I am so excited to get this new career going I can't see straight, and to Brett, Starcar, Old School, Tim L, Daniel B, and everyone else (please forgive me if I don't remember to mention you!), a thousand thanks for all the help you have provided thus far and all the wisdom you have given. I look forward to more wisdom as my new career takes off!

Posted:  6 years ago

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FFE Buyout - Any drivers with opinions or info?

Thanks Old School! I hadn't even touched on the diaries yet...there is such a massive amount of information on this site, I have been on it every day for the last couple of weeks and feel like I haven't even scratched the surface!

Posted:  6 years ago

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FFE Buyout - Any drivers with opinions or info?

One of the companies I am considering driving for is FFE. I was talking to a driver the other day who told me that FFE was sold off to another company, so I checked and sure enough FFE has been bought out by Duff Brothers (press release here).

I spoke to a recruiter who confirmed it, but she stated that FFE would be keeping their school. Any FFE drivers who can give me advice or info on how this may affect new driver candidates?

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