Profile For Paul

Paul's Info

  • Location:
    oklahoma city, OK

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Paul On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    10 months, 2 weeks ago

Paul's Bio

Former taxi cab driver/publisher/ordained minister/business owner. Used to take all you fancy truck drivers to and from terminals to and from the big Grey Dog, dreamed of being there myself one day, and now am working toward making that a reality. In Prime PSD program currently.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Life On The Road

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Life On The Road

Those are beautiful! 🙂

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Snow Troubles ❄️

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My trainer has been driving for 38 years and has never had this happen.

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Oh man, I've seen this so many times. When you pick up trailers in parts of the Northeast where there is Lake effect snow you will see a bunch of this. I know in Connecticut they will write you a ticket for ice and snow falling off your trailer onto the road and/or other motorist's vehicles.

Yeah, I suspect senility is creeping up on him. 😁 In all seriousness it seems this should be a pretty common issue.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Truck Mattress

Rainy, any way you can give more info on the mattress place you found In Springfield? With any luck I’ll be upgrading in a couple of weeks and may just buy myself an upgrade present! What were the price ranges?

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Snow Troubles ❄️

I found it odd that this isn’t a more normal occurrence. My trainer has been driving for 38 years and has never had this happen. Both road assist and dispatch had no clue what to do either as they had never seen it.

We ended up driving out of the way to a truck wash that would help. They power sprayed the snow off. Cost 50.00 and a lot of extra time and fuel, but we made our appointment.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Snow Troubles ❄️

Lol...good suggestions!

The truck washes just said it’s a safety issue. Crazy, I know. I found out by trying to get on the turnpike and being turned around as I was too tall. The trailer is above 14’ right now. We bought a rope and pulled from either slide and succeeded in cutting through it. No good. So we are going a different route all the way to Joliet.

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Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Snow Troubles ❄️

So I picked up a load in Hazelton and drove all the way to Youngstown, tried to get on the turnpike and found I was over height! The snow was wet and solidified, now I have a block of ice on my trailer! No washout will get it off due to safety issues. Resolution pending. 😄

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Life On The Road

Recently Old School started a conversation regarding how easy it is to enjoy yourself over the road, and I thought it may be a good idea for those wannabe photographers among us to take some time posting pictures of just that. How do you enjoy yourself on the road? What sights do you see, what fun is there to be had, what food do you eat, and so on. I am in Cheyenne right now, finishing up a Spingfield to LA to Cheyenne trip and here are some of the sights I stopped to enjoy on my journey.

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Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Enjoying Yourself as an Over The Road Driver

This is great, OS! As I’m on a trainer’s truck all I can do in regards to parking is plan for my future solo career, and I have put a lot of thought into how I’m not looking forward to truck stops every night. This gives a great alternative, so I appreciate it. I do enjoy my time out here and take walks as often as possible. We had five hours the other day in a suburb of LA so I took off walking and thoroughly enjoyed myself. My trainer, a 38 year burned out vet, couldn’t for the life of him figure out why I’d do such a thing! 😁 I also love pulling over from time to time and capturing the scenery. Even the most “boring” of places has beauty in it if you look at it the right way.

I am new of course but see no trouble enjoying life out here.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Prime, inc. PSD School

Hey Jay, how’s it going out there? Ready to upgrade yet? 😃

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Decisions, Decisions

I meant to add that the word is driving solo with Prime is going to get you up to the northeast a lot, that the west coast is reserved for teams. Perhaps somebody like Rainy could confirm or deny.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Decisions, Decisions

There are many people on here for more qualified than I to talk about Prime, but shoot I’ll give it a go. Just in training you will earn a guarantee of 700 per week, with a possibility for more during the 30,000 mile TNT phase. I’ve earned a bit more a couple of times, but it’s rare. No driver facing cameras (I’m with you in those, by the way!) and if you go lease which everybody on here will vehemently dissuade you from doing, perhaps rightly so, you can take your pooch for free. If you go company it will cost you $1,000, or a down payment of I believe $300 and the rest take out in installments. You can expect to earn I’d think between $700-$1,000 per week, but as I’m still in the TNT phase (again) I couldn’t speak on that with any sort of confidence.

Prime is an excellent company. I’d highly recommend starting with them.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Eye Candy

After a couple of days hometime I took my wife and kids up with me to SPRIMO to drop me at the terminal. Ran across these beauties in the Petro on I44 in Joplin. 😃

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Posted:  4 months ago

View Topic:

Eye Candy

This is the truck I’ve been driving lately.

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But man I’d love something like this!

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A bonus: really dig this trailer! 🙂

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Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Just Another Trucker Training Diary?

Man, thanks to all of you for the positive reinforcement! It has been helpful to read them the first few days back. I can't say the readjustment period has been easy because it hasn't. The biggest problem? I don't think anybody has talked about this, but it should be discussed. One's behind does not just go into this deal without a fight. It hurts to sit for so long, even in these really nice air-ride seats! After a while I think your butt just gives up and gets used to it, but the struggle is real at first.

I really fell upstairs with my new trainer. He is kind, patient, extremely flexible, hands-off, and yet knowledgeable and always willing to help. Whereas my last trainer would cuss me out just about every time I even accidentally woke him up, Randy will wake up an hour into his sleep shift with a smile if I need anything. One time he saw I bought crappy truck stop coffee and said, "Why didn't you wake me up? I would have made you a pot!"

I had my first taste of winter driving today. I ended my sleep shift just as we pulled into Prime's Pittston terminal with 190 more miles to our 90 in Schenectedty, NY. It was early and just above freezing, and we still had 12 hours before our delivery time. Randy gave me the choice to stay in the terminal until 4 AM or get going and take my time driving up there. 0195873001518095668.jpg As it was above freezing, and knowing at 4 the snow and slush on the ground would be ice, I opted to get going. He promptly went to sleep and I took off. About forty miles in on HWY 81 at exit 219 I found the highway closed, so I headed back to the Flying J a few miles back, sent in a message to dispatch letting them know our predicament, then downloaded the Pennsylvania DOT app --511PA--and found a major wreck had caused the highway to be closed. Three hours later I saw it had finally been cleared, so I set out again. The highway was slick almost all the way there and I took it slow and easy. 0897984001518095503.jpg Four hours later I pulled up into Price Choppers, got a dock and backed the truck in. They unloaded us early and all is well with the world. I have to say I'm not fond of Peterbilts in general due to lack of room compared to the Freightliner, and as this is my first time driving an automated truck I'm really struggling to adjust to the way it reverses. I got it in the hole quickly enough, but for some reason find the truck just doesn't react as I think it should while backing. It'll take some adjustment, but I'll get there. 0412573001518094104.jpg Now, off to Illinois! Y'all have a great day. :-)

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Just Another Trucker Training Diary?

Well, the journey begins again. I got my affairs in order, packed my bags, and headed off to Prime in a beater car a friend gave to me, a 2002 Chevy Tracker. I figured it'd make the 300 mile journey then could sit and be a terminal car. My brother is in training at Prime, so I got him a key and thought it'd be nice when either of us was laid over at the terminal to have a vehicle to scoot around town in. Well, it made it thirty miles out of the city before the radiator sprung a leak! rofl-3.gif So, Plan B--I limped home, parked it and told my wife and kids they were going on a road trip!

So back in the Campus Inn, going through the rehire process. It starts on Tuesday rather than Monday and is fairly easy. You have a 7:00AM class, followed by agility test, drug test, physical (yes you will needs ANOTHER physical with a new med card even if you just got one yesterday), file review and then a bunch of nothing. Somewhere in the next day you'll have a benefits class, a class on the basic operations of Prime, a skills test on the simulator that was super easy, a log class, and a health and wellness class. Don't forget the CBT modules -- there are around 45 of them, almost all of which are videos that last between 4 minutes and 20 minutes.

This was my fourth go-around on CBTs and you better believe I watched every single video. A lot of people skip through the videos and they don't really understand that they are setting themselves up for massive legal repercussions by doing so. Every video is time-stamped. If you get into an accident, even if it's not your fault, there most certainly will be a lawsuit and they most certainly will subpoena your training records. When they see you spent 30 seconds watching a 20 minute video on road safety or what have you, your goose is cooked. Yeah, it took me eight hours, and yeah it sucked. But it's CYA in this business.

So on Thursday I got my badge, gained access to the Millennium Building and much better food, and spoke with my FM. Today my new trainer called me and we had a nice, in-depth chat. If you've read this massively bloated training diary you've seen I've had some...issues...with training. Some of them were my fault, most of them were my old trainer's, and most of them I didn't even mention here. This time around I was determined to make a good choice when agreeing to get on a trainer's truck.

Turns out I didn't have to look far--the first guy who called is a vet, a million-miler, and a generally good guy. From what I could tell on the phone. He said all the right things: "If you have a problem and I'm asleep, you wake me up. Never be afraid to wake me up, I will never get mad, I'm here to help. That goes for backing, of course, but the best thing I can do to help you back is to let you back, to let you work it out and figure the best way to do it. But I will be here if you need me. Sleep on the top bunk? Yeah, no, we don't do that--I put my stuff on one end up there and you put your stuff on the other, the top bunk is for storage. Want to stop at Wal-Mart to stock up on supplies once or twice a week? You bet, no problem at all. If you ever need to stop while on your shift to use the bathroom or what have you, I couldn't care less. Just mind your clock. I have a coffee pot and loads of coffee. Got a fridge too that is always stocked with sandwich fixings...help yourself, I don't care!" And so on.

I'm not holding my breath, but I think this is going to work! So, on the road again tomorrow with 30,000 miles ahead of me. It'll go quick, I'm sure.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

Banks...if you only live 30 minutes north of Pittston PA, then you are about 2 hours from the Walmart terminal I drive out of.

I'd be happy to have you ride along with me for a local out and back day run. Might help take the edges off your concerns...let me know.

Whoa, man, that's a generous offer! Banks, you'd be crazy not to take him up on it. G-Town's the man. :-)

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

Yeah, I apologize for the screwup there, but anyway I don't see you as an antagonist. There has to be a conflict to have an antagonist and I don't think there's a huge conflict here.

I'll be honest, if I had to do it all over again I never would have chosen to leave my family to follow this crazy dream. My wife was on board or I never would have done it, but in the end I chose an adventure (and, sure, a career but let's be honest and say that was secondary) over my family. It is a grand adventure and it absolutely is a good career. But good careers are everywhere if you want one. Good jobs are everywhere. Man, go drive a city bus! Go drive a dump truck. Go drive a concrete mixer. Not the most glamorous, those jobs, but the pay is decent and you're home every day! The reality is, those of us who choose this lifestyle make a choice, at least at first, to leave our families to pursue a dream, a lifestyle, an adventure.

That's okay, but only if you and your family have seriously sat down and decided it was okay. If this is your dream and you and your family have decided you should pursue it, then don't let the variables you have no control over stop you. However, if this is a pipe dream and you're the only one smoking it...let it go and move on.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Explain Trucking To Your Spouse

My wife and I are absolute best friends. We ran a business together for years, went everywhere together, and honestly were only ever apart once for four days in the last twelve years. So, yeah, going OTR was seriously tough on both of us. But I found it had positive effects as well. When I was home we appreciated each other so much more. The time we spent together then was serious quality time. Yes, quantity is always preferred, but quality has its own merits.

This is going to vary depending on what company you go with, where you live and where your trainer lives, but I know for me during the 2 months I was in training last year I saw my family far more often than I anticipated. You may be surprised. However, you should be prepared for the worst of course.

In the end, I never would have begun this journey without my wife's full support. I'd always recommend every decision to be mutual between spouses.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Wife not standing with this

I'm a little confused. You said your wife isn't standing with your decisions, but you also said this would save your marriage. I'm not seeing the logic in that.

I'll just be blunt: If your wife isn't on board and you value your marriage, don't do it. I'll give a little buffer to that: Don't do it YET. Fix your marriage, get it on a solid foundation, before you do this--and then do it. But not if it's a concession she gives you to stop the argument, but rather a shared desire between the two of you.

Maybe my values are outdated, but I've been married twelve years and I can honestly say they have all been incredible years, with absolutely no deep relational issues. Arguments? Sure. Fights? No, not one. We did this in two ways: We agreed from day one that we would never go to bed angry at each other--that we would always rationally talk out our problems rather than letting them simmer on the back burner--and that every single decision in our lives, big or small, would be made mutually or not made at all. Those two principles have been hugely impactful in my marriage. I can only advise based on my own experience, and so based on that my advice would be to stop and focus on your marriage.

Leaving your family to go on the road for such a long period of time is hard on the best of marriages. On marriages that are already shaky, it could be disastrous.

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