Profile For Blair

Blair's Info

  • Location:
    Phoenix, AZ

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 10 months ago

Blair's Bio

43-year old husband and father looking for change. I have been lurking on TT for many years and will be entering the CDL lifestyle very soon. I love quality conversation and supporting people in different walks of life.

Blair's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Is there a top 5 or top 10 list of the best trucking companies “to start” with?

Nick, there are many wise members on this forum. I surfed for years before making a CDL commitment and am positive TT set my expectations for success.

"Starter" companies can easily be a career stay if you invest in learning the trade and develop relationships. I started with Swift 3 months ago, 2 months solo and have zero complaints. I am always pre-planned and have a great support network. On the "big picture" side, inquire about benefits beyond simple CPM (cents per mile). Swift offers an opportunity to earn free bachelor's degree from SNHU after 6 months full-time driving online. Free education that can open doors of opportunity is more valuable than an extra $.04 each mile.

As stated above, paid CDL is the way to go. Turnover is crazy high, especially in the first few months. Invest in a company that will invest in you. Take your time to gather info and pull the trigger. Good luck!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Views From the Office Window (Post Yours Please!)

Take 2

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Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Views From the Office Window (Post Yours Please!)

I70 in Salina, Utah.

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Kearny NJ trip time

Lessons learned this week...

When delivering to either coast, consider waiting until just before dawn to roll out. This will help basic navigation in unfamiliar settings. I ended up rolling around 330 am, got lost getting out of Jersey, but did see the butt side of the Statue of Liberty!

rofl-2.gif

One of Old School's 5 keys to success is relationship building. Admitting this was my first trip into Jersey, some of the dock workers were very helpful directing traffic as I parked. I ended up with a run to Vegas afterward and that was an awesome carrot for a metro run. Stay safe everyone!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Is Your Rig Safe At A Truck Stop?

In my short career I have not experienced issues leaving my truck at a walmart or truck stop for a few hours.

I try to get in early, never park on the end, and keep my nose further behind people on either side. If I can park with only 1 space on my side, even better. I have only had to honk once. I find pulling sleeper curtains minimizes anxiety watching other people park next to me. I know my skills are very green and there are drivers of all capabilities out here.

Get yourself an attack Chihuahua for protection if necessary rofl-2.gif

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Kearny NJ trip time

Hi Packrat. My training diary got away from me but I did survive. We pulled Wal-Mart DC loads between Corrine, UT and Vegas to finish my hours.

Thus far, what sticks out in my mind are some essential techniques TT has echoed for years... YOU have to make the wheels of progress (and earnings) turn. No one is going to give you anything. Time mgmt is the set up for success. Drive within a few miles of your pickup or drop off. Especially in congested areas like L.A., a few miles. Be humble... Admit right up front you are new and this is a first time for nearly every adventure. I have been the recipient of some very kind gestures simply by acknowledging I am green. Lastly, 500 backs of all angles are a starting point to understand the process... smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Kearny NJ trip time

Afternoon everyone! I have survived 6 weeks solo with Swift, made rookie errors in abundance, and am enjoying the steep learning curve. All that being said I am enjoying the OTR life thus far. Here is my question...

I am slated for a drop in Kearny, New Jersey 8am local time Monday morning. My goal is to leave from the TA in Bloomsbury, NJ. I am not sure what time to allow. The drive is I78 to I95, with my drop less than 2 miles from the Hudson Correctional exit which is approximately 54 miles. Is 2 hours adequate? Is 3 more realistic?

Blair

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Bullitt's New Journey

Bullit,

I just finished the PHX Swift academy 4 weeks ago and am in the mentoring phase. I'd be happy to share any knowledge if you end up out this way.

-Blair

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Week one swift student

Mike, Thank you for the encouragement. I live in PHX where many terminals and logistics offices are. I had been lurking here for years, and have two friends that successfully drive for CR england. My homework really clarified most "starter" companies are very very very similar in pay and overall benefit packages.

Criteria for me was fairly straight forward: Swift offers an evening traininf program in PHX, so you can continue to work if necessary. Swift offers free undergrad programs, and has a ton of opportunities along with various incentives. I wanted to look beyond just CPM for overall compensation. In my opinion, CPM doesnt tell the whole story. I would gladly take a few less CPM for a degree with unlimited earning potential. Each person will have different priorities.

Overall Swift has current equipment, good trainers, and wants people to be safe. At least those are the rose-coloroed glasses I have on right now. Ask me again after pulling Walmart DC freight for the rest of my mentor training. rofl-2.gif

-Blair

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Week one swift student

Greetings TT! My first 70 hours after over and I am on my 34. Days 1, 2, and 3 were quite a shock having to attack cabbage hill, chain up in snow, and generally adjust to a new lifestyle. Here's some general stats and observations...

Solo miles driven 3179. Yeah, nearly 3200 solo miles. 61.59 hours of driving in my 70. Showers taken 4. States visited Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington. Truck accidents 1. We passed by after a truck had gone around a corner to fast. Backing skills experience 8, mostly alley dock. Now we are going to team and run Walmart dedicated until my hours stre finished. Wish me luck!

- Blair

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