Comments By Anthony R.

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  • Anthony R.
  • Joined:
  • 8 years, 2 months ago
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Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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And I thought choosing my first company was hard!

I chose Prime for similar reasons-the pay is very good. Am upgrading to solo this week-maybe Ill get to meet you some day. There is a disadvantage in the home time but that can be worked out in time. Since I am single that is not a factor with me. I was actually given the choice of a dedicated run in Maine where I am from but chose to stay nationwide. Hope it all works out well for you.

Posted:  8 years ago

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So I get to a shipper...

You are not alone-recently took a load from Miami to Wichita KS, Denver Co, and Colorado Springs-load had 8 stops-drove from N. Florida to Birmingham-from midnight till next morning-trainer took over in Birmingham-he drove to terminal in Missouri-I took over and left about 1 am and drove to first two stops in Wichita-had to unload by hand-arrived about 8am-got done and drove on to Hays KS where my trainer took over-early afternoon. After about 5 or 6 hours got to Denver-assisted trainer in unloading then-I took over and drove to Colorado Springs-by then was about 6am-we did the three stops there under icy cold conditions-was done by about 1pm-was going to get some rest but then got another dispatch right back to Kansas to pick up next load-drove from Col. sprgs. to Syracuse KS-so was awake from 6pm till about 5pm the following day-unloaded six stops by hand-drove for about 7 hrs. during that time frame. So I hear you on that.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Calming My Nerves (in school)

There were times I thought I would never catch on to shifting-I was dropped by a trainer because I couldnt shift after two hours-another trainer got me going-had doubts then-then on first run with trainer came to a dead stop on the first couple of inclines going up-however-after a couple of weeks,was driving through traffic jams and city traffic with no problem-it will come with time and practice-I found that when slowing down-drop it to eighth right from 10th when you get down to 30mph-then to 6th when it gets to 15mph or so-then do your turn in 6th-if you have to come to a complete stop-then you can drop it to 4th before you get going again. Shifting up-shift when you feel the acceleration drop off-to the next highest gear-these are things that helped me. Go right from 4th to 6th when shifting up-I find that works. Avoid beating up on yourself too much if you grind a lot in the beginning.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

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Well I know what I'm doing after my first year of solo driving!

I am very happy with Prime. Am out with my trainer and I was fortunate to get a good one. Will be testing for cdl in less than a week. Am in Utah heading for wyoming as soon as I get my time back-you will do well with Prime. I am thinking of going with that type of truck also.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Schooling Expereince at CR England

Go for it-be prepared to tough it out in the beginning especially-they make it that way to test you in the beginning-I knew that, but many there didnt-lots of moaning and groaning-dont let that deter you-roll with it. I didnt continue only because I did not pass the vision test. My biggest worry that caused me not to go back after getting vision corrected was the low starting pay and the pressure to lease. Be wary of that-but again you only have a nine month commitment. My experience with Prime very positive-aced 3 out of the five exams I took and got a 95 and 96 on the others. My blood pressure a tad high and have to retake it in the morning-even if I fail-I will get it corrected and go back to Prime. A lot of the credit goes to the studying on this site.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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It's a good day in Springfield, MO

I am also in Springfield-there is a wal mart right near me, but you must be at the other one across from Lowes.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Flatbed agility test, what does it entail?

The test I took was you had to crouch and walk under a trailer-then climb up into the back and jump down-not much to it at all-you should pass if youre not a cripple.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Will trucking companies hire you with controlled high blood presure

According to the DOT requirements-there are varying degrees of high blood pressure-there are 3 different levels of hypertension-with a less severe form-they will give you the medical card that will expire after one year rather than 2 as would normally be the case. If it is worse you can still get a card for 3 months-but you would have to get it within range in that 3 months-then be issued a card good for I believe a year. If it is worse than that you would have to get it corrected before passing the exam at all-if I had the manual with me I could tell you what the exact readings have to be for each level of hypertension. Under certain circumstances-a person may have to renew their medical card every 6 months-I will have to go back to the manual later and will post the exact figures.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Age Sensative

If you can pass the DOT physical-youre not too old.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Schooling Expereince at CR England

Anthony R

I jumped out of bed when I remembered to ask you this question:

What school/company did you choose to go with after this CR England mess?

I am going with my original first choice which is Prime Inc. out of Springfield MO. That company is all about the driver-this is coming from people who actually drive for the company-the facilities which I have already toured are top notch. I will be beginning next week. Am positive that this will be a much better experience for me. I fully realize the difficulties of being a driver and that school will not be easy-would have toughed it out and fulfilled my committment to CR England if I passed the vision test. But I view that failure as a blessing in disguise and move on to a company that I know without a doubt is all about their drivers.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Schooling Expereince at CR England

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I was just there-will give you an unbiased assessment of what it was like-I got kicked out for having 20-50 vision in one eye-the chart they recommended to test your eyes was not very accurate. Was only there for not even a day as a result of that-but can tell you my impression of it the short time I was there and let you be the judge. You get there to Gary IN-the place is a slum-at the bus station-they load you on a shuttle bus-they want you at the school as soon as you arrive-the bus will take you to the school and you will immediately be asked to start your physical-before your arrival at the room-be prepared for that-did not get to my room till close to midnight-next morning have to be up to catch shuttle back to school-it is a good half hour from motel to school-not much around motel in terms of places to eat-most are more than a mile away. You will not be given an opportunity to eat anything before you go-be prepared for that-have some snacks handy. School begins at 630am sharp-whatever you do dont miss the shuttle in the morning and be late-it left at 5 am. I can only tell you about the first morning-make sure you have all the required documents with you-make sure you are ready for the written exams before you arrive as you will likely be too wiped out to study for it there. A lot of paperwork involved. Make sure your vision is up to par as well as blood pressure or you will immediately be sent home. The inprocessing instructor was on the ball. I did get my vision corrected that very day at a mall 10 miles away-but decided not to return. I am telling to you like it is-this is what I genuinely experienced a mere 2 days ago. I spent the night at a motel and got a bus ticket to another school which is likely going to accept me with my corrected vision. That was done at my own expense as well as getting the eye exam and glasses. That brings me to my next point-make sure you have enough funds because they will not cover your food expenses and like what happened to me unexpected things could come up. I hope I dont sound like I am bashing it-I just want to share with you what my impression was of it. I wouldnt go back there.

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God I hope my experience with them is better. They are sending me to Cedar hill TX. I have talked to quite a few companies and unfortunately coming off ssdi after 2 years for psychological reasons everyone else seems to be afraid to take me. On top of that i have my CDL but haven't driven in 16 years. SO Simply put I am the mutt nobody wants to take! They are the ONLY takers... hope I dont regret going with them...

If that is your only option-go for it-you can always move on after the initial 9 months if you dont like it there. I would have toughed it out with them if I did not fail the vision part of the test-I was studied up and fully prepared for all the written exams etc. I only posted my experience to warn others as to what they might be up against for the first couple of days. It was not to bash the company or blame anyone else for what happened. What I described was an absolutely accurate description of what happened and not at all a fabrication. I do believe after this experience that not all companies are the same-some do treat and value their employees better than others do. But it is good to talk to the actual drivers-dont base your decision solely on what I say.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Schooling Expereince at CR England

Yet, I do not want to discourage you either-your experience may be different than mine-just a heads up for you on what you may be faced with when you arrive there.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Schooling Expereince at CR England

I was just there-will give you an unbiased assessment of what it was like-I got kicked out for having 20-50 vision in one eye-the chart they recommended to test your eyes was not very accurate. Was only there for not even a day as a result of that-but can tell you my impression of it the short time I was there and let you be the judge. You get there to Gary IN-the place is a slum-at the bus station-they load you on a shuttle bus-they want you at the school as soon as you arrive-the bus will take you to the school and you will immediately be asked to start your physical-before your arrival at the room-be prepared for that-did not get to my room till close to midnight-next morning have to be up to catch shuttle back to school-it is a good half hour from motel to school-not much around motel in terms of places to eat-most are more than a mile away. You will not be given an opportunity to eat anything before you go-be prepared for that-have some snacks handy. School begins at 630am sharp-whatever you do dont miss the shuttle in the morning and be late-it left at 5 am. I can only tell you about the first morning-make sure you have all the required documents with you-make sure you are ready for the written exams before you arrive as you will likely be too wiped out to study for it there. A lot of paperwork involved. Make sure your vision is up to par as well as blood pressure or you will immediately be sent home. The inprocessing instructor was on the ball. I did get my vision corrected that very day at a mall 10 miles away-but decided not to return. I am telling to you like it is-this is what I genuinely experienced a mere 2 days ago. I spent the night at a motel and got a bus ticket to another school which is likely going to accept me with my corrected vision. That was done at my own expense as well as getting the eye exam and glasses. That brings me to my next point-make sure you have enough funds because they will not cover your food expenses and like what happened to me unexpected things could come up. I hope I dont sound like I am bashing it-I just want to share with you what my impression was of it. I wouldnt go back there.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Where do I go from here

England is 4-6 weeks of training.

Prime is roughly 3 months.

You are right about 4-6 wks with England-for phase 1-then you go out for phase 2 which is 8 more weeks-with either a contracted or company driver-as a second seat driver. Then after that they claim to give you a choice, but from what Ive heard-it isnt much of a choice-lease or we dont have a truck for you-dont know that 100 percent-but have heard from two different people that they do that to people. May be accepted into Prime next week-will know for sure by tomorrow but nothing in my background that should pose any problem. Am heading to Springfield MO and have a place to stay lined up. Will keep you posted.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Where do I go from here

England does require 3 months with a trainer. I realize that it is a necessary evil in the process, but am prepared for that. Three months is insignificant and will likely go by quickly and I will do my best to learn as much as possible during that period and use it to my advantage. I would go with Roehl, but the only thing holding me back with them is that I would have to go all the way back home to get my cdl permit and come all the way back-if it wasnt for that they are in Wisconsin and I am near Chicago right now. Pam is not hiring out of my area. So Prime looks to be the best option at least at the moment.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Where do I go from here

Another point I forgot to mention is that I do have some breathing room in a financial sense-my back is not up against the wall-I have funds to work with-my job would be given back to me if I returned home. But I enjoy driving and going to different places-I am doing this because I would really enjoy it once I get past the training part-not for the money or my back being up against the wall.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Where do I go from here

In my opinion, you'll have a tough time finishing the schooling if you wre unsure about the program from the beginnng. Once you get going you'll get a lot more stress which will will build upon already shaking confidence. This will be a lot to handle while trying to get used to everything else in the schooling. I'd go somewhere you have confidence in from the start.

I just started at Prime a few weeks ago and its been tough. Theres a lot thrown at you that you have to digest and it takes its toll. I've heard England is a very fast paced program and push the lease hard. If you aren't comfortable, don't do it. Find a program you're comfortable with so you don't have as much stress from the start.

I detailed my full first week in a post on the cdl diaries section of the forum if you want to see whar Prime is like. You cwn also private message me with questions as well about getting started here.

Its a big decision, don't rush into it. You may feel the need to rush due to money or other concerns but think about the long term before jumping in.

I do like Prime-that was the other school I applied to and I also know someone who has a husband that has worked as a driver for them for 15 yrs. The only reason I went with England is because they were prompt in getting me started and call backs whereas Prime was not-but in retrospect should have called them back myself. My fear with England was going through the whole 3 months of training and then at the end being held to the scenerio I described in my last post and then being forced to lease or quit and having to owe them that tuition. Then there was the loan sheet which was not mentioned when I asked them about it before coming as this site warned about it. I asked the recruiter about it and she denied that there was any such arrangement-yet this site warns about it. The only thing about the trainig itself that really bothers me is being around people too much all the time-but I know thats a temporary thing. I studied the high road program and should be able to pass the written exams and am not too stressed about that. I want to be a solo company driver-I do not want to lease or team up with anyone. Prime was hesitant about considering me due to my location, but I explained to them that hometime was not a big player with me. The person whom I know spoke with the fleet manager at Prime yesterday-they never got back to her-I was so busy scrambling around here with no set of wheels to find an eyeglass place that would take meon the spot that I did not have a chance to get the ball rolling with Prime or anyone else.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Where do I go from here

I am new to this site-here is my situation-am from Maine-took a 36 hr bus ride to Burns Harbor IN to attend CR Englands program. Studied my brains out only to be sent home after just 3 hrs. due to failure on eye exam-vision was 20-50 in one eye and 20-30 in the other. Maybe Im jumping the gun but was not all that impressed with their school. Did not go home today but got an eye exam here and got glasses and am ready to roll again and am still in nw indiana in a motel. I was thinking about trying other schools such as Prime or Werner and getting on the next bus to them instead of taking an eternal bus ride back. Or should I just go back to CR England in spite of not being that impressed with them.Another thing that worries me about CR England is that they will force a person to lease by denying them a truck if they dont and only giving them a choice of being a second seat driver or leasing. At least several different people have acknowledged that. They dont pay all that great either-I have no desire at all to lease or go as a second driver-I am solo-am a loner and have noone or nothing to go back home to. Already quit my job and have no bills and money saved to get me by for some time. The sound of the traffic on nearby i 65 is beckoning me to get back out there and finish up my training even if it means going elsewhere.

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