Profile For Carlos O.

Carlos O.'s Info

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    5 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Looking for a mid-size to small company

Hi everyone: I am currently working for a very large trucking company and I think I would like a smaller company, but I'm not sure who to contact. What size of fleet is considered mid size or small for a trucking company? Does anyone work for a midsize or small company that they like and would recommend? I am in the state of Washington.

thanks! Carlos

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Qualcomm vs other GPS systems

Question: I have the Qualcomm that my company provides in the truck I drive, but I am considering getting my own Truck Navigation Device (Garmin? Rand McNally?) and I am wondering if anyone thinks it would be more beneficial to have my own system. Qualcomm seems pretty limited in what it does so far. I am a rookie driver just trying to find the best way of doing things. You guys have been great about giving advice and comments. Thank you again.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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GPS systems for Truckers

What is the best GPS device to get for truckers? I have heard that Rand McNally is good, but that the newest version has problems. Any recommendations?

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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What is recapping hours -- having hard time understanding

First off: thank you for all the input, encouragement and information while going through the first phase of trucking school and being on the road with a trainer. It has been a long journey just to get to this point, but I am now beginning (first week) as a solo driver with my CDL from Washington state. I realize that I still have a lot to learn about the details of trucking on my own, and there were a lot of things that were never explained to me: one thing that was never explained to me is "recapping" hours.

I understand the 11 hour rule, the 14 hour rule, and the 70 hour rule. The way I understood it, after 70 hours you HAVE to reset for 34 hours. Now I hear about "recapping" hours from 8 days ago, and that was never explained to me. Does anyone know of a resource (printed, YouTube, etc.) for a good explanation on that?

I have already looked at several YouTube videos talking about whether recapping or re-setting is better, but they don't really explain why or how recapping works or is even available if you have to reset after 70 hours? How is 70 hours a rule if you can keep adding to it?

My company fleet manager has offered to let me do short runs (which I've now heard referred to as "crappy" loads) for the holiday season until I get more comfortable. But I am only getting offered 150-200 mile runs, and then deadheading back to the home yard. My first run was on the day before Thanksgiving, and it took 10 hours to go about 350 miles! It was a pretty stressful day because of traffic, backing on my own without my mentor (I miss him!) etc. I thought I had to reset 34 hours after 8 days or 70 hours, but I have seen that is not true, except no one ever explained that to me.

My mentor had a lot of experience (3 million miles), but he did all the Qualcomm issues and would tell me what we were doing without explaining how all that worked. Over all, though, he was a very good guy. So my question is: how to best utilize my clock for the short runs they are offering me? What is recapping? Should I just ask for long haul loads because these short runs mean a lot work for few miles paid, and a lot of waiting around. Any help or comments would be appreciated. Thank you Carlos

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Requesting Advice/Input on this CDL school

Thank you for the comments.

Part of my frustration is, the reason I paid my own way and did as much as I could to get the CDL permit on my own before starting the school, rather than go with a company-paid program, was that in the end I wanted to have more choices as to what company I was going to work for once I had the CDL. I would love to get more training for as long as it takes. I know I can't get the experience I need by myself. I wasn't trying to skip a step...

G-Town: I have asked for more time to work on skills and I get answers like, "You don't know what you need, we are the professionals." Or suggestions like going and renting a U-Haul trailer and practicing pulling it with my pickup truck on my own. (What am I paying them for?) All I need is a few more hours of skill practice and I think I could pass the CDL test.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Requesting Advice/Input on this CDL school

Well, my experience at the private truck driving school has been less than easy to say the least. I am paying my own way. I got my CDL permit on my own before applying to the driving school (in So. Calif). I am now starting my 5th week at the school. Whatever teaching or training I receive each day is decided on that same day, and it goes like this... I get a text from the director (he may also be the owner) saying, "today will meet at the yard at 0930 hours" or "Training today at 1400 hours - air brakes training" or "Off for today".

In the last 4 weeks, I have had (5) days of either watching an out-of-date video for an hour and that's it, or having the whole day called off (this has happened 3 times). Last night he texted me at 10:23 PM, "Off tomorrow".

It's been like that for 4 weeks, with no consistent hours and no plan of training. The last time I worked on my backing and parallel parking skills was 10 days ago. Before that, I had about 5 hours of actual skills practice. I now have had about 8 hours of on-the-road driving.

Last Thursday I drove for about 3 hours, sharing that time with another student. The secretary/recruiter mentioned to me that the next week (meaning this week) we would probably be going to the DMV to test. I said great, and we were dismissed for the day. That same night I received a text from the director saying, "Congratulations, you have been scheduled for your DMV test. Please meet @ 0500 hours @ the yard tomorrow Friday". That really rattled me, because I wasn't expecting it to be the next day, but I just replied "thank you", and did as I was told. I passed the Pretrip Inspection and Airbrakes part of the test, but I didn't pass the skills test. I couldn't get oriented or something. I did good on the straight line first test, but after that I was a mess. I feel like I haven't been given enough time to practice the skills, and now today we are off again.

I haven't written or blogged on my daily progress in training because I didn't want to sound whiny, but I sure could've said something on every day of this "training". Today on another "off" day I feel stuck and with no end to this experience. I just want to get my CDL. I'm trying not to make this a personal thing against the Director/trainer/controller (whatever he is) but it is sure getting to me

Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Getting Enough Practice Time in Private CDL School

Thanks for all of your suggestions! I will try to keep a positive attitude, and will report back on how things are going in my second week. Thanks again to everyone for your input....

Posted:  5 years, 2 months ago

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Getting Enough Practice Time in Private CDL School

I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they resolved it: I am just finishing up my first week of CDL school-- it is a private school in CA, I am paying my own way, and when I started I already had my permit and endorsements, so I am mostly concerned with learning the driving skills. So far, after 4 days, I have only gotten about 4 hours of actual practice behind the wheel. Each day of practice/learning lasts only about 3-4 hours and I share that time with 2 other students. My question is, how to improve my driving skills? I am working on straight and off-set backing and am struggling with getting it. Any suggestions with how to improve faster or better? I know I need practice but are there any other resources that people have used? This school does not have simulators.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Mobile phone service

Which (personal) mobile phone service do you recommend for truckers? I have TMobile right now, but there are certain areas it doesn't cover, so I am looking to change carriers.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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Trucking Companies in the Northwest

I am getting my CDL in California, but I am moving soon to the Seattle area. Does anyone have a trucking company they like/recommend in that area. I'm looking to do long-haul.

Posted:  5 years, 3 months ago

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CDL school - 160 hours

I am 61, starting a new career, going to go to a CDL school in California; I am planning to pay my own way, and I already have my CDL Permit, all the endorsements, DOT card, and TWIC. I am looking at a particular school (California Truck Driving Academy) who said that I can do it in three weeks instead of 4 since I don't need to get my permit On their website they say the course for Class A license is 160 hours, however, they told me they will train me to get the license, and as soon as they feel I am ready, I can take the test, even if that is less than 160 hours. In other words the 160 hours includes prep for the permit test, which I don't need. My question is, how important is it that I have 160 hours of instruction (even if I may not need that much)? Obviously, if I need that much I would do it. I have heard that 160 hours of school is very important, but I'm not sure why, as long as I can pass the CDL driving test. Does any one know if not having 160 hours on a certificate is going to end up being a problem for getting employment? Any insights would be appreciated.

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