Comments By Oscar Graham III

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Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

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I think as a 53-year-old man I am as fit as any woman driver in her 50's. I am now 282 pounds, 5-10

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Oscar, you will be glad to know that this is my last response to any of your posts. I'm sure you are thinking "good riddance."

It is bad enough that the good folks in here are beating their heads against the wall with you. They have given you countless links to study and learn from, and I can't see any evidence that you have ever looked at any of it. The places you quote from where you are supposedly learning from are not helping you at all.

Now you have got to throw in a sexist remark about your pathetic physique as if even though it is bad, it is as good or better than any woman driver in her 50's!

You are nuts! There I went ahead and said it, and you make it more clear with each conversation you start in here.

The folks in here have been more than patient with you. I haven't, and that is very unusual for me. I guess I just spotted you a long time ago and had no illusions of your seriousness in this pursuit. I get the feeling that you are all over the internet looking into all kinds of careers. Unwilling to make the sacrifices to actually get started in any of them, and more than happy to let the hard working tax payers support you while you make a pretense of interest in getting to work.

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I best learn by DOING, sir!

Should I first get a medical opinion from my doctor about whether trucking is an acceptable line of work for me?

What should I tell my DOCTOR about the possible physical working conditions of American CDL truck driving?

Maybe he might refer me to an occupational specialist to get a more accurate answer.

Might doctor might say something like lose 50 more pounds then ask me for an opinion again.

Ok, I am willing to do that.

Heat sensitivity is most likely attributed to obesity anyway.

Does anybody here think I should wait til I am under 200 pounds before seriously giving trucking a go?

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

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I think as a 53-year-old man I am as fit as any woman driver in her 50's. I am now 282 pounds, 5-10

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Oscar, you will be glad to know that this is my last response to any of your posts. I'm sure you are thinking "good riddance."

It is bad enough that the good folks in here are beating their heads against the wall with you. They have given you countless links to study and learn from, and I can't see any evidence that you have ever looked at any of it. The places you quote from where you are supposedly learning from are not helping you at all.

Now you have got to throw in a sexist remark about your pathetic physique as if even though it is bad, it is as good or better than any woman driver in her 50's!

You are nuts! There I went ahead and said it, and you make it more clear with each conversation you start in here.

The folks in here have been more than patient with you. I haven't, and that is very unusual for me. I guess I just spotted you a long time ago and had no illusions of your seriousness in this pursuit. I get the feeling that you are all over the internet looking into all kinds of careers. Unwilling to make the sacrifices to actually get started in any of them, and more than happy to let the hard working tax payers support you while you make a pretense of interest in getting to work.

I best learn by DOING, sir!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

Oscar imagines:

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I can't imagine a big firm like Swift will require their drivers to drive "off the beaten path" across the nation away from the relative safety and security of the interstate freeway system where there is always emergency help nearby.

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They don't...their customers do.

More than half of the stores I deliver to are in the "sticks', dozens of miles from a major highway, let alone an interstate. Many times I never get near an interstate when going from stop to stop, all challenging country, mountain roads...a hundred miles for any urban center. If you would spend more time injesting the information available on this website (like Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving, and less time posting trivial ramblings, you'd understand this job is full of ups and downs, things we all must expect, be prepared for and overcome.

Like Rainy said and I reinforced, you might have a difficult decision ahead of you. This may not be for you...

I did not read Brett's on-line literature in FULL yet but I DID visit the US Dept. of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics to get a run-down on this job classification. There is not likely to be much HARD LABOR involved in most OTR (long haul positions). Even Brett said that in his own literature, The Raw Truth. This is known to all. I would MOST likely start out as OTR for a HUGE firm so most of what I need to know has to be concentrated in the OTR sector of this field.

Nobody here really knows what I am actually capable of. Just because I am not the world's most competent Internet poster does not mean I could not be a competent "big-rig jockey".

All I can do is roll the dice and try it out...it will either work for me or it won't.

If one company does not fly for me their are plenty of others as well.

A CDL is very transportable.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

Oscar imagines:

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I can't imagine a big firm like Swift will require their drivers to drive "off the beaten path" across the nation away from the relative safety and security of the interstate freeway system where there is always emergency help nearby.

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rofl-3.gif

They don't...their customers do.

More than half of the stores I deliver to are in the "sticks', dozens of miles from a major highway, let alone an interstate. Many times I never get near an interstate when going from stop to stop, all challenging country, mountain roads...a hundred miles for any urban center. If you would spend more time injesting the information available on this website (like Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving, and less time posting trivial ramblings, you'd understand this job is full of ups and downs, things we all must expect, be prepared for and overcome.

Like Rainy said and I reinforced, you might have a difficult decision ahead of you. This may not be for you...

Reading things on line is not going to really tell my BODY how it is going to react to the actual working conditions. I was a soldier for seven years when I was age 24 to age 31 and had managed to survive that. Even field maneuvers in 100+ heat. I can still try to persuade my VOC/REHAB counselor to support CDL training. Only experience will tell my body what it can or can't handle. Many drivers are older WOMEN. I think as a 53-year-old man I am as fit as any woman driver in her 50's. I am now 282 pounds, 5-10, and have lost 45 pounds since last Christmas. My goal is to get down to a paltry 185 pounds in body weight. I have been becoming progressively fitter as I have been ion my doctor-prescribed diet and weight-loss plan. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs and I walk at least two miles a day virtually every day: mostly in weather between 70 and 80 degrees with plenty of shade trees along the avenue during these summer months. Ideally I want to be in the loading docks early in the morning or late in the evening during summer months when it is cooler outside as much as possible. I can handle wintertime by dressing in layers.

Yes, if I were to have to work in bum-fock Arizona in August or July at two in the afternoon, I definitely would have plenty of bottles of water handy to douse myself. Always my cool, straw farmer hat to boot. Whether on a horse in 1885 or in a 2018 modern rig, always have plenty of emergency provisions in the southwestern desert.

I will not work for a company unless I am convinced their equipment is top-notch anyway. I was an army mechanic for 7 years and know better. I refuse to drive some clunker especially in adverse weather. New trucks are too damn expensive to have major mechanical troubles in my book. Still, I can't imagine Swift's having old beaters in their fleet.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

Ok, here is what I found:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-3

Work Environment About this section

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Some truck drivers travel far from home and can be on the road for long periods at a time.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers held about 1.8 million jobs in 2014. The largest employers of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers were as follows:

General freight trucking 33% Specialized freight trucking 13 Wholesale trade 11

Working as a long-haul truck driver is a major lifestyle choice because these drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time. They spend much of this time alone. Driving a truck can be a physically demanding job as well. Driving for many hours in a row can be tiring, and some drivers must load and unload cargo. [Many OTR drivers haul no-touch loads as well, I know.].

Injuries and Illnesses

Because of the potential for traffic accidents, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. [Extreme-weather injuries are not noted in DOL/BLS literature.] [I have had a perfect driving record for a couple decades and don't fear getting hurt in a truck because I am a "bad driver".]

Work Schedules

Most heavy tractor-trailer drivers work full time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the hours that a long-haul truck driver may work. Drivers may not work more than 14 straight hours, comprising up to 11 hours spent driving and the remaining time spent doing other work, such as unloading cargo. Between working periods, drivers must have at least 10 hours off duty. Drivers also are limited to driving no more than 60 hours within 7 days or 70 hours within 8 days; then drivers must take 34 hours off before starting another 7- or 8-day run. Drivers must record their hours in a logbook. Truck drivers often work nights, weekends, and holidays.

[A driver may drive NO MORE THAN 60 HOURS (average of 8.57 hours per day) over a seven-day week period.]

If I were averaging 65 mph over a week period, that would be no more than 3,900 miles driven, about the distance from San Francisco to Maine one way. If truckers are strictly following speed laws, as well as federal motor carrier law, they are probably actually averaging fewer miles per week.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

But had you asked the right questions we could have steered you to company sponsored training where you pay nothing unless you quit before the end of your first year.

Had you discussed this heat stroke thing...we could have told you right away trucking is probably not for you and you will waste the state money. You can go to school and get a CDL, but companies probably would not hire you due to your past heat stroke issues. I just spent three days in CA/AZ in 120 degrees and just walking from the parked truck to the truck stop to use the shower was horrible. So for someone with issues, I'm sure it would be ungodly. cold sensitive? I spent two days in MT this winter in -39 degrees. My bunk heater could barely keep up with the drafts on the truck. With the curtains closed and an electric blanket I was fine in the sleeper, but the front of the truck was so cold my cat's water froze solid! Of course someone will respond "I'd have the company pay for a hotel" but when there is three feet of snow, and the roads are closed...are you walking to that already booked hotel?

And there is no "may have to get a physical to get hired" you WILL get a physical from any company willing to hire you on. But that will only happen if you can get through school or sign on for company sponsored training.

Do you understand the physical requirements for the job? Even with reefer or drive van you have to climb into the truck to secure the load. You need to climb under the trailer for inspection and onto the cat walk. Did you consider any of that?

So all in all, music IS trivial when you just admitted you probably won't be able to handle the lifestyle.

I wish you luck.

Rainy D., I am going to the department of labor web site and review the job requirements for driving commercial trucks. I am sure voc/rehab will check this out anyway.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

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But had you asked the right questions we could have steered you to company sponsored training where you pay nothing unless you quit before the end of your first year.

Had you discussed this heat stroke thing...we could have told you right away trucking is probably not for you and you will waste the state money. You can go to school and get a CDL, but companies probably would not hire you due to your past heat stroke issues. I just spent three days in CA/AZ in 120 degrees and just walking from the parked truck to the truck stop to use the shower was horrible. So for someone with issues, I'm sure it would be ungodly. cold sensitive? I spent two days in MT this winter in -39 degrees. My bunk heater could barely keep up with the drafts on the truck. With the curtains closed and an electric blanket I was fine in the sleeper, but the front of the truck was so cold my cat's water froze solid! Of course someone will respond "I'd have the company pay for a hotel" but when there is three feet of snow, and the roads are closed...are you walking to that already booked hotel?

And there is no "may have to get a physical to get hired" you WILL get a physical from any company willing to hire you on. But that will only happen if you can get through school or sign on for company sponsored training.

Do you understand the physical requirements for the job? Even with reefer or drive van you have to climb into the truck to secure the load. You need to climb under the trailer for inspection and onto the cat walk. Did you consider any of that?

So all in all, music IS trivial when you just admitted you probably won't be able to handle the lifestyle.

I wish you luck.

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You might be working for some mickey-mouse company with broken old-fashioned equipment. I can't imagine biggie outfits' like Swift placing their drivers in any less than late-model rigs with effective and reliable climate controls in any weather. I would stay away from little mom-and-pop outfits myself. A newer, modern truck is going to be a much more safe, comfortable and secure environment than some rig decades old for any long-haul driver. Again a good company will be conscientious about maintaining their equipment.

I can handle walking in the extreme heat for up to about 10 minutes but can't stay out in it too long. I wear a straw hat out in the sun anyway. I am sure the SHORT amount of time it takes to inspect a vehicle on the outside would not put me at any serious risk for an extreme weather injury. I just can't have an occupation that entails spending longer periods of time out of doors in adverse weather conditions.

I can't imagine a big firm like Swift will require their drivers to drive "off the beaten path" across the nation away from the relative safety and security of the interstate freeway system where there is always emergency help nearby. I would only be interested in reefer/dry van/bulk tanks anyway. No liquid tanks or flatbeds for me.

Company-sponsored training?

Well, my FIRST choice would be a PRIVATE school anyway. If I don't have to pay out of my pocket, I don't care if the state taxpayers foot the bill.

Voc/rehab may or may not pay for private school tuition. Time will tell shortly.

Company-sponsored training may be the way to go if push were to come to shove.

There is still hat possibility for me.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

But had you asked the right questions we could have steered you to company sponsored training where you pay nothing unless you quit before the end of your first year.

Had you discussed this heat stroke thing...we could have told you right away trucking is probably not for you and you will waste the state money. You can go to school and get a CDL, but companies probably would not hire you due to your past heat stroke issues. I just spent three days in CA/AZ in 120 degrees and just walking from the parked truck to the truck stop to use the shower was horrible. So for someone with issues, I'm sure it would be ungodly. cold sensitive? I spent two days in MT this winter in -39 degrees. My bunk heater could barely keep up with the drafts on the truck. With the curtains closed and an electric blanket I was fine in the sleeper, but the front of the truck was so cold my cat's water froze solid! Of course someone will respond "I'd have the company pay for a hotel" but when there is three feet of snow, and the roads are closed...are you walking to that already booked hotel?

And there is no "may have to get a physical to get hired" you WILL get a physical from any company willing to hire you on. But that will only happen if you can get through school or sign on for company sponsored training.

Do you understand the physical requirements for the job? Even with reefer or drive van you have to climb into the truck to secure the load. You need to climb under the trailer for inspection and onto the cat walk. Did you consider any of that?

So all in all, music IS trivial when you just admitted you probably won't be able to handle the lifestyle.

I wish you luck.

You might be working for some mickey-mouse company with broken old-fashioned equipment. I can't imagine biggie outfits' like Swift placing their drivers in any less than late-model rigs with effective and reliable climate controls in any weather. I would stay away from little mom-and-pop outfits myself. A newer, modern truck is going to be a much more safe, comfortable and secure environment than some rig decades old for any long-haul driver. Again a good company will be conscientious about maintaining their equipment.

I can handle walking in the extreme heat for up to about 10 minutes but can't stay out in it too long. I wear a straw hat out in the sun anyway. I am sure the SHORT amount of time it takes to inspect a vehicle on the outside would not put me at any serious risk for an extreme weather injury. I just can't have an occupation that entails spending longer periods of time out of doors in adverse weather conditions.

I can't imagine a big firm like Swift will require their drivers to drive "off the beaten path" across the nation away from the relative safety and security of the interstate freeway system where there is always emergency help nearby. I would only be interested in reefer/dry van/bulk tanks anyway. No liquid tanks or flatbeds for me.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

I have too much time on my hands anyway right at this moment. I can't even get employed in trucking until my VOC REHAB counselor APPROVES of it in the first place. It will entail initial costs like driving school, DMV fees and more. Whether I get a CDL or work in trucking will all hinge upon what my VOC REHAB agency approves of and will PAY for. And listening to music on the job is NOT trivial to me at all as long as it does not interfere with job-related tasks. Neither is vehicle climate controls. I am very heat and cold sensitive by nature. I have a history of HEAT STROKE so there are serious MEDICAL implications to what line of work I do. My doctor will have to OK me for this line of work, coming off disability, as well and I may also have to get a physical to be hired. If a truck's A/C system should fail me in the Nevada desert heat when it is 105 and more in August that could be life or death in itself.

I will meet my VOC REHAB counselor for the first time this coming Monday. Right now I am living on limited disability income.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Will I learn everything about every control inside a truck?

Who would teach me everything about every control on the vehicle? The truck-driving school, the employer or the tractor's operator manual (the book)?

I feel I will have to know everything about:

1. every last gauge on the truck's dash 2. every last idiot light on the truck's dash 3. every last pedal, lever and switch in the rig 4. how the heating and air conditioner work's 5. how the truck's radio works 6. how to turn the lights on and off 7. how the power inverters work 8. how to connect the air lines to the trailer 9. how to uncouple the tractor from the trailer 10. how to inspect all the vehicular lights 12. how every last piece of on-board electronic equipment works (if it even does work)

Yes, I have seen pictures at the various web sites of the manufacturer's of the new trucks as Kenworth and International. The pictures make new trucks look like the cockpit of a jet plane inside the cab with all the busy looks of the modern dash! Why does a wingless, humble earth-bound vehicle that can never get off the ground need such hi-tech dashboard wizardry? What are the seemingly hundreds of gauges and switches all about?

Trucks seem more hi-tech these days than ever before. The pictures make operating these things rather daunting but I am a control freak and am fascinated with electronics.

Do truck drivers new to a certain model rig ever have to open the tractor's owner's manual up and actually read it to see how to do important things like adjust the air-conditioner or how the AM/FM radio presets stations into its memory?

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