Comments By Matthew K.

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Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Did I Make the Right Decision?

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I would have done the same. Us 160 is a tough one, especially in the winter. You drove by my stomping grounds on i25, I have been through raton pass countless times to go to Wal-Mart in Trinidad.

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Glad I made the right choice. First time being out this way, so very unfamiliar with the area. Beautiful scenery though, glad I was able to get out here before it got too late in the year.

Lucky you. Me and my TE are up in PA, OH, IN running in circles for my week out OTR training. Weather is nice and the leaves are starting to change, but I'd like to get out west this time of year eventually.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Another Possible Old School Sighting?

I70 EB in Indianapolis at 16:20 EST

All I saw was an empty flatbed and a red tractor with Old School written across the back of the tractor. I havent found evidence of his tractor having that, but something tells me its likely.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Two right turn lanes....

Someone took a leak in G-Towns Cheerios. Dude's been spitting venom all week.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Bed in the truck

I believe Rainey is the reigning queen

I c wut u did there

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Backing in CDL school

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second, sticking your "coconut" out the window is a likely fail during the actual test. I don't recommend doing that.

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It wasn't a fail for the state test, and I can't possibly imagine a company telling their instructors to fail drivers for using all available resources. If you can't look at what you're doing, how are you supposed to do it? Here at Schneider we can't crack the door to play with the mirrors because if the door is open without the brakes set the horn starts going off.

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Interesting. Using all available resources? Like the Schneider trainer telling you not to think when backing?

For the PA test they don't want your head out the window when backing. At Swift's Academy, they do not allow a driver to stick their head out the window when backward.

You can see without sticking your head out the window by using mirrors and looking over your shoulder. I do it all the time. And I never suggested opening the door to back.

I still don't recommend it.

I'm not sure if we're on the same page here. Isn't looking over your shoulder the same thing as sticking your head out the window? And perhaps the dont think about it reference was a little strong; more like pay attention to what's happening and it will make sense, as opposed to just shutting down all thought processes.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Backing in CDL school

second, sticking your "coconut" out the window is a likely fail during the actual test. I don't recommend doing that.

It wasn't a fail for the state test, and I can't possibly imagine a company telling their instructors to fail drivers for using all available resources. If you can't look at what you're doing, how are you supposed to do it? Here at Schneider we can't crack the door to play with the mirrors because if the door is open without the brakes set the horn starts going off.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Backing in CDL school

I'll share something with you that I was told today at Schneider: Don't think about it, just put it in the hole.

The second you start trying to think about what you're doing when backing it up, that's when your mind starts spinning in circles and getting you bent all out of shape. As my teacher during school liked to say, "Stick your coconut out the window," and your eyes will tell your hands what to do.

Don't stress over slamming it home perfectly. Get it in the hole without ripping anyone's bumper off, then fix it if you need to be a little straighter or further over to one side. Don't worry about what other people think if you have to set your brakes and hop out to take a look around the truck. It's over 60 feet long; sometimes you need to verify that you're coming in correctly.

Above all else, just practice. I didnt even start hitting the hole on the first reverse attempt until about my 20th try. Its hard, but just let your body do the work. If you over think it, its going to be even harder.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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The Right Strategy For Earning More Miles And Better Pay

Basically, Wheaton's Law. Do your best not to make yourself look like a total a** and be a decent human being, and good things -should- follow.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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SCHNEIDER DEDICATED OR OTR

And when you go to their OC for orientation it will be 18 days worth, you get paid each day and your second week is when you go out with your trainer with is usually 5-6 days and my trainer drove for a Lowes dedicated account which i occasionally run if our loads get slow for the week. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Did you get paid for day 1? They told us the first day (paperwork, etc.) was a freebie.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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SCHNEIDER DEDICATED OR OTR

I'm in Charlotte for day 2 of Schneider orientation. I love it so far. They already have us paired up in small groups with an instructor, and we drove around town today for them to get a baseline. Everyone is super nice here, havent had a problem with a single person yet.

Just a heads up, their pre-work screen (agility test) is semi-intensive if you're out of shape. I'm a big guy, I was really pushing the limit on maximum heart rate.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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The Nerves Are Hitting

Thanks so much for setting up this site, Brett. You and the other vets have been so helpful on my quest to become a driver. I'll do my best to remain confident in my abilities.

Unholy, I see you went with Schneider as well. Stupid question, its mostly pointless, but I still want to ask: Do all the rookies get a white truck? For some reason I really want an orange one. (Favorite color, would make me feel totally cool cruising down the roads in a bright orange tractor.)

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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The Nerves Are Hitting

I leave for Charlotte, NC tomorrow for my first driving job, and my nerves are all jacked up. Its the first job I've ever driven more than an hour for (made house calls as an HVAC tech) and I've never been to Charlotte before.

I'm scared of what could go wrong, but also optimistic about what the future holds as a "professional driver." I guess I'm just looking for some last second confirmations that I've made a good choice, to help calm myself down.

I'm pumped guys and gals! This is gonna be fun! -nervous laughter-

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Looking For Opinion Based Advice on Where to Start My Career

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Matthew, let me ask you something. What do you mean by "a respectable length of training?" Why do you say that? At TruckingTruth we always give a nice list of ways to compare companies to each other so you can pick the one that's right for you, but we never recommend looking at the length of the training to determine where you should work. I think your answer to this question is important because I want to know your approach and your mindset right now.

And by the way, Schneider has one of the shortest training periods of any of the major companies. When I started driving I graduated from a private school and only went out with a trainer for two weeks before going solo and I was fine with that.

So I'm curious about your take.

Besides that, I don't think anyone's personal experience should matter when it comes to you choosing the right company for yourself. You can do great with any of the major companies. That goal should be to pick the company that you feel suits your goals and lifestyle. Look for:

  • Pay & Benefits
  • Home time opportunities available
  • Types of freight they haul
  • Type of equipment they have
  • Areas of the country they run
  • Opportunities they may have available down the road

It sounds to me like you've been surfing around the Net and reading some scary stories. Now you want reassurance from someone who's recently started with a company so you won't choose a bad company. Is that the concern?

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I looked at all of this, and wound up going with Schneider. Even with the short training, their equipment, area of operations, and freight are the way I wanted to go. Ive also -lightly- checked up on the benefits and they don't seem bad.

I should be able to kick myself into high gear during that short training span, and in a few years here I'll be hauling 40 tons like a pro.

Forgot to mention: Orientation is in Charlotte on Tuesday :)

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Looking For Opinion Based Advice on Where to Start My Career

Matthew, let me ask you something. What do you mean by "a respectable length of training?" Why do you say that? At TruckingTruth we always give a nice list of ways to compare companies to each other so you can pick the one that's right for you, but we never recommend looking at the length of the training to determine where you should work. I think your answer to this question is important because I want to know your approach and your mindset right now.

And by the way, Schneider has one of the shortest training periods of any of the major companies. When I started driving I graduated from a private school and only went out with a trainer for two weeks before going solo and I was fine with that.

So I'm curious about your take.

Besides that, I don't think anyone's personal experience should matter when it comes to you choosing the right company for yourself. You can do great with any of the major companies. That goal should be to pick the company that you feel suits your goals and lifestyle. Look for:

  • Pay & Benefits
  • Home time opportunities available
  • Types of freight they haul
  • Type of equipment they have
  • Areas of the country they run
  • Opportunities they may have available down the road

It sounds to me like you've been surfing around the Net and reading some scary stories. Now you want reassurance from someone who's recently started with a company so you won't choose a bad company. Is that the concern?

I looked at all of this, and wound up going with Schneider. Even with the short training, their equipment, area of operations, and freight are the way I wanted to go. Ive also -lightly- checked up on the benefits and they don't seem bad.

I should be able to kick myself into high gear during that short training span, and in a few years here I'll be hauling 40 tons like a pro.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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Looking For Opinion Based Advice on Where to Start My Career

I've talked to recruiters, I've read what a lot of the companies SAY they do, but I still want to get some information directly from people who started their careers with these companies, namely Swift, Schneider, and US Express, but any company works.

I have standing offers from Schneider (conditional) and US Express (invitation to orientation) and I'm debating where to go. I got my CDL officially on Monday, and I specifically want to go d a company that has a respectable length of training time.

Does anyone have personal experience to share from starting your life as a truck driver with one of these companies?

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Who loves a good steak occasionally on the road?

A little off topic, but I never noticed how much of a staple Mexican food was in my life until I started driving. To be honest I would kill just for a bowl of beans with a tortilla on the side haha.

On another note my cheapo self usually gets a chopped steak with eggs, became my new staple. Gotta slow down though, it's costing me haha.

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The Petro in Sparks, NV has a restaurant that isn't your garden variety Iron Skillet. Their porterhouse is simply to die for. It's spendy, but oh GAWD is it worth the money.

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I love that petro. Our yard is next door.

If you like good queso, there's a Moe's at the Pilot in Flatwoods, WV. Never been through in a truck, I just live close enough to go there every now and then.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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CDL TESTING

I am scheduled to test on Tuesday and although the school KNOWS I cant pass the pad maneuvers they are forcing me to go. I apparently have become confused. I was told by another classmate that if I cant get the parallels or ally dock that I could do my 2 pull ups and 2 get outs, when it came time for those and blow the horn, knowing I couldnt get them. Depending on passing both straight back and offset without any points, I would still pass the pad test. Does anyone know if thats the truth or is it considered auto fail, when I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pass to begin with. Not being on the negative side, but I just can't learn from watching those before me, when I watch for 20-30 mins of a mess. Unfortunately I have been there too long and they want me out, as I believe they have overbooked and the one chance a day we get just doesnt seem to be enough. Any opinions?

I tested today, and I contemplated doing that when I pulled alley dock. However, according to our teacher, if you try to cut corners on our examiner, he's going to be looking extra hard for ways to fail you because you dodged something you were told to do. So in the end, I dealt with it and took 7 points on my alley dock (1 encroachment, 5 extra pull ups.)

Is it a case of more practice needed? Our class had a guy that couldn't grasp the concept of how a trailer moves in reverse. He's scheduled for retraining, but if he hasnt got the basic idea down after 2 weeks I just don't see it happening for him.

I'd say to just give it your best shot, and don't quit if you think it's not going in.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Oops, messed up on a delivery! [Gas Tanker Edition]

So just out of curiosity, what does the station do about that? Do they pump out the tank, or just figure that no one's going to notice if they get a tank full with the wrong additives? Does anyone ever make a mistake and mix gas and diesel, or are there different connectors or something?

From when I worked at a gas station: For mixing two (marginally) different types of diesel, I believe it depends on how mad the two companies get about it not technically being THEIR diesel, and how one essentially paid to fill the other's tank. Odds are its getting pumped and tossed, likely at the expense of the shipper. For mixing gas and diesel, it is entirely possible, the hookups are the same, and yes it has happened (not when I was there though.)

Either way, somone is shelling out money to pump it out and dispose of it.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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I Passed!

Success!

It was ugly, a lot uglier than I would have hoped, but as of this moment I am a CDL holder!

The examiner said I still need lots of practice on my clutchwork (I expected this, but it's still a lot better than when I started.) I also came about 6 inches of failing on the last turn back into the lot, I missed 5th gear and lost track of the trailer while trying to catch it, but the trailer stayed off the curb.

I know I'm not ready for 40 tons, but with the right training program at an employer, I'll be ready to hit the road.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Learning is fun!

Doubling up cannot possibly be good, can it? Down I understand, if you need to slow it down quick you can brake down from 45 to 25 and hop it from 9th to 7th. But jumping a gear when going up? Wouldn't that have to be a pretty beefy 4th gear to get you going fast enough for 6th?

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