Profile For Mike O.

Mike O.'s Info

  • Location:
    Allenton, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 6 months ago

Mike O.'s Bio

From MI, married, age 37.

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Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

I guess it's update time- I'm still with the same company & been solo for a little over 7 months now. I do like my job for the most part. Just feels like sometimes I can never get out of there (I usually start @ 1:30pm & go to 11pm, midnight, or later). A nice thing is everything is getting easier for me; shifting, backing up, turns, etc. I think I've been to all or most of the plants / suppliers we deal with also - definitely helps when you know where you're going.

I've had a few mis-haps too, such as backing into a trailer at our terminal... (& denting the corner of it slightly). I'll admit I bumped more than a few, but I think I only caused damage the one time. Then there's the drop yard where I caused the most damage. Reason(s) for the following are they were re-paving the parking lot & I had to enter a different way I had never gone. Within 5 minutes of my arrival, I managed to scrape a fence/gate post with my trailer. (Thank God for dual rub rails...). Right after that I stopped at a guard shack to check in & drop a trailer. It didn't occur to me that I was turned differently than every other time I had been there. I got my paperwork & went to pull away when I heard a crunch, followed by 2 guards running out telling me to stop. I hit the corner of the roof of the shack with my trailer. No damage to the trailer, but folded in the metal corner of the shack & felt like an idiot. They were cool about it & didn't want to report it or anything. Now every time I go there, I see the damage I caused & remind myself to be careful.

Something else that's good is I have a friend that I went to orientation & school with that works at the same place. So we talk all the time, help each other out, see how the other is doing, call the other & vent from time to time. The dispatchers are all pretty nice too. I usually don't really say too much to them because they seem like they're stressed most of the time, & beating on the keyboard. Don't want to bug them.

That's about it for now I think!

Posted:  5 years, 12 months ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

No problem, i understand where you're coming from. I'm on day 6 I think of being solo. I worked overnight a few times, all weekend, etc. I'm definitely learning. My very first run was I guess a nightmare. I bumped some metal crates with my trailer (No damage, just loud). & the person at the sign in shack was a complete... well use your own words. & not even because of the crates. Can't wait to never go back there. I mentioned this info to my dispatcher & seems like I'm not the only one who has had run ins with this guy. Back to some stories.... I broke down south of Findlay, OH @ 1:30am Saturday morning I believe? My gas pedal went limp, gauges went crazy. But luckily I coasted into a rest area. Turns out the ecm went out. At 6:30am a wrecker showed up with another truck & towed the other. That was a long night. Just yesterday I went to the wrong ford plant & dropped a load off. As I got everything straight...I thought... I went down the wrong drive & ended up aat basically a dead end. 40 mins of turning, backing etc later. I freed myself. Yes i got mad....but I fixed it & moved on. As I type this I'm waiting to get unloaded... most of the time I'm pretty happy, but here & there, i have my moments lol

Posted:  6 years ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

Mike please click on this link:

Do You Have the Right Temperament For This Job

Unfortunately you represent the perfect archetype that motivated me to write the article found in the link.

The primary problem with your training is you. Chronic impatience, argumentative communication and a hot-headed temper are all behaviors uncharacteristic of a successful and safe truck driver. It seems you might be better suited for a different line of work.

Actually I think I'm a pretty easy person to get along with. Impatience, that, I do have a problem with now & then. I wouldn't say hot-headed, however when I have a trainer that is just flat out lying (I'm referring to the mirror thing I mentioned), that I have a problem with. I really don't like arguing or confronting people at all. Maybe you're right about my attitude, maybe you're not. You're entitled to your opinion either way.

Here is a training update. I did my 2 weeks of OTR with a different trainer. I got along pretty well with this trainer almost the whole time. I was also back in a 10 speed which I hadn't driven in quite a few weeks. I had to remember all that again. We started off in MI, drove to Kansas City, then back to Evansville, IN, from there onto Georgia, NE Tennessee, Louisville, KY, Walton, KY, back to Louisville, then back to MI where I had the weekend off. During this week, I couldn't believe how much I missed home. I really didn't sleep well in the truck the last few days of that week. My trainer had a headset & was on a party line (I guess) just about every night with a few of his friends that also worked for the company. Just overhearing some of these conversations, I had to restrain myself from bursting out laughing. Every now & then I'd look over & laugh. As far as driving that week, I had to drive through a bit of a snow storm Monday night. I just slowed down & everything went OK. When we got to Kansas City, we dropped our trailer & went to pick another one up. So I backed in front of the next one & went to hook it up when I heard an odd kind of thud. I got out & looked & the trailer was almost in the cab...yeah I high-hitched it...ugh....thought my trainer was going to kill me. We got it straightened out & hooked up, & off we went. Throughout the week this trainer REALLY helped me with my setups for backing up & actually showing me what I was doing wrong & needed to do while I did it. I feel better about backing up now. I drove in the mountains in NC / TN & you really have no idea what a struggle it is to get up a few of these inclines....usually in about 8th gear, pedal floored, hazards on @ about 40mph. Fast forward to week 2...back in the truck for a nearly identical route. Our trailer was about 3 hrs late + traffic leaving MI, so my trainer drove first & told me to try & get some sleep so I could drive later. I - tried- to go to sleep but once I'm up & it's about 5pm, I can't just go to sleep (wish I could sometimes). I took over later & drove until about 2am. I could barely keep my eyes open as we had already been delayed & had to deal with an accident on I-69 which forced us off the road & in traffic for another 45 mins or so. Not long after that, we stopped to take a nap & I got back up & drove until about 6am. WE stopped again & I slept some more & was able to drive that night again. It was nice to enjoy some 70 degree weather also! & I was feeling better than last week with less stomach issues. The last couple days were...strange. My trainer had kind of stopped talking although we hadn't argued or anything like that. He kept his headset on most of the time & would just tell me to downshift or get in whichever lane. I thought OK, the guy didn't get to go home & I did, so he's been in the truck 10-12 days straight. I pretty much kept quiet & didn't really say anything Thursday night before we stopped. Friday morning we got up & rolling around 8am from Louisville & headed back to near Detroit. It was a pretty quiet trip, I just did what I was told & probably didn't say any more than 5-10 words for the 6-7 hour ride. We got back to the yard & I had to drop the trailer. He (thought) he lined me up with 1 space but I was too far out, so we tried another. All the while an owner operator was waiting. Guess I rushed backing in & wasn't as close as I thought to my side while trying to 90 the trailer in. I bumped the trailer next to me with my trailer. Trainer said to go get a different spot (I thought really? now that I'm 1/2 in this one? lol) I pulled out, let the owner op drop his, then pulled into my spot with a pull up or 2. I stopped in at the office where they asked if I had my hazmat yet, I said no, I missed it by 1 question twice. They said I need to get that, (I got it today). I didn't really say much to my trainer as he had another load to get & I didn't want to hold him up. He was by far the better trainer of the 2. I called the office today & have yet to hear back about when I go in next. Or what to do.

Posted:  6 years ago

View Topic:

Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

That "S" you mentioned has helped- thank you! I figured I would update this again also. Monday I called in 2 hrs. before I was supposed to show up as I didn't feel good. Later that day one of my bosses called & asked me why I called in, so I told him. Then he asked me if I called in because my trainer & I had an argument the Friday before. & that since I called in when I did, that it was 2 points or something on my record & that I didn't call in at least 4 hours before my start time. Sorry. 4 hours before my start time was 2am & I was asleep. (Maybe I should call in & say I'll be sick......sometime...)... Tuesday I had an evaluation sheet I had to sign, so I knew what to work on. I had problems backing up almost all week. Some of these docks are really unforgiving & / or crooked (I'm told) which adds to the frustration sometimes. Hitting things isn't fun either...I hit a curb on a tighter turn with the trailer, immediately followed by my trainer saying "What did you do?". Also somehow backed over a wheel chock with the trailer. Friday I nearly rear-ended an Expedition because it had NO brake lights at all. On my evaluation it noted I needed to check my mirrors more. So I began doing it more, or just whenever I thought of it. As we're driving along Friday I'm scanning my mirrors, doing what I'm supposed to do (I think). I get off of a 6-8 lane state road & onto a freeway. My trainer mentions to me "You know, you haven't checked your mirrors in the last 3 miles"... I looked over & said "What are you talking about??" I told him I disagreed & how does he know? Half the time I look over to check my mirrors, he's looking out the window (funny how I know this?). He says he's watching everything, & can see everything, blah blah blah. I know when I look in my mirrors. Just wondered why he's just making stuff up like this...like he's just looking for something to complain about. I just can't wait to get this crap over with. Between the trainer I don't really like, getting up when I do, getting there at 6am, then sitting in the truck at the dock until 8am when the load is ready (&I could be at home sleeping)....I don't even want to LOOK at a truck. My OTR training is after this, or next week, so I'm looking forward to that just so I can get out of the local stuff I'm doing now.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

This past week was my first in training with the company. I decided to do local training first. I honestly can't wait until it's over with. My day starts with getting up at about 4:30am, driving about 45 minutes to get to work, then we usually get on the road just before 6am. I am NOT a morning person, so, this takes some getting used to. My trainer is an older gentleman who's been with the company over 20 years. At first we didn't say too much to each other, day 2 he was on my ass about pretty much everything it seemed....which was frustrating. At the same time he'd tell me it was my 1st or 2nd day (depending on what day it was) & I'm learning. Yet he'd still be on my ass about something. I couldn't even keep my gloves on the floor between the seats because he thought it'd be easier if I didn't have to reach down in that direction (ok???)... so I kept them on top of the fire extinguisher between my seat & the door... The 3rd day (yesterday) was good. I thought I finally got him figured out & we were talking & laughing & joking around for most of the day.

Then today happened.

It started off OK. We joked a little bit, then it came time for me to back into a dock. Which I'm not great at...when I do my "loop" to position myself to back in, the trailer is often off at an angle. (I have been fighting this for a while). I usually end up doing a 90 to get into the dock. As I was trying to re-position the truck, I had the trailer crooked & had to do a couple of pull-ups. & I guess we both got mad. He started getting kind of loud with me, so I got loud back. I told him I was starting to get P***ed off. But he kept prying, so I got out of the truck & told him that he could move it & I'm not driving it accompanied by a few other descriptive 4 letter words. I walked into the plant we were at to cool off a little & went & bought a Pepsi...took a few minutes & went back out to see him drop the trailer. I put the gear down & unhooked the lines. Then he parked in front of the trailer we were picking up & shut the truck off. Then came toward me. I have to admit I was starting to get ready for a fight.

He asked me if I was going to drive the truck, I said No, I can't drive for s___ (obviously), & I'll ask for a different trainer on Monday & if they don't have or won't give me one, then I'll just quit. & I told him I was sick of him bi**hing at me & I can't do anything right. He looked pretty surprised. So I started walking away. I was going to go to a shopping center next door & call a cab to go to the yard to pick my Ram up & go home. Then he called me, so I turned around & we kind of went back & forth arguing. Nothing violent, just some raised voices. He also asked why I pulled way up in the space in front of the dock. I said, "YOU told me that if there is space...use it!" His reply was "I'm trying to make it easier", etc. He tried telling me he had complemented me 3 times today on backing up. I said "What truck were you in?" Not that I'm looking for complements but I never heard any of that. About 10 minutes later we were back in the truck & I was behind the wheel again. Though I didn't want to be. The last 2 hours or so of the day was fairly quiet. he tried a few times to talk to me about a few things, but, I was still kind of mad & not having it & just drove & answered any questions as simply as I could.

Then we got to our next plant & pulled into another dock. This one is easier than the other, so I backed in & he reminded me about sliding the tandems & the doors which I had forgotten about since I was concentrating on backing up. He laughed & said he didn't want to de-rail me. OK. Fair enough. After I did that, I backed in without much problem, so I got out to drop the trailer. He asked me "Are you coming back on Monday?" I said "I don't know", got out & finished the drop.

Eventually we drove back to the yard. The whole way, he was being nicer than usual, but I still wasn't really having it. We went into dispatch, turned in out sheets, & he asked me again if he'd see me Monday. I said "you never know", turned around & walked to my truck & left. I can't imagine he's too happy with me. The company probably doesn't know about any of this (yet)..& if they do, well, they do. I told my wife about the whole incident too & she's not happy with me either & won't talk to me. I'm really batting 1.000 today... Will I go back? Probably. I don't mind the driving, but the main holdup is I'd have to pay the company $5000 back for school fees if I quit. If that wasn't an issue, I'd probably go work somewhere else.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

Another update - I haven't driven in... 10? days or more. I had been waiting on my company to call - which was fine as I was battling a cold anyways. But we finally got down there last Thursday & had to do another (post?) orientation with the same safety videos, etc. as the very first orientation. Then they explained the Qualcomm, & we had to pick Local or OTR training (we get 2 weeks of each). I went with Local. The company emailed me back with my local driver's name # (& also the OTR one I'll have). Also in the email was a link to a website with MORE training / videos.

Not doing great on the Endorsement tests either... Hazmat I've taken twice (I need this one), both times I failed it.... I believe by 1 question each time. This is frustrating because the only "hazardous" things we haul are airbags & car batteries. So you have to know the WHOLE thing & it's confusing (to me). & I've read my state's CDL manual I don't know how many times about it. Also took the Tanker endorsement test. It's all of 2-3 pages in my state's manual. Failed that too, got 70% (you need 80% to pass). This one I read up on once, maybe twice. Doubles & Triples I actually passed. I really didn't read up on it much either.

A classmate actually encouraged me to get the endorsements. It made sense as you don't have to pay for the endorsement UNTIL you pass it. Also if I ever need the other endorsements, I'll have them & I won't have to spend time waiting at the DMV. Plus I'm already there at the DMV anyways (I drive an hour or so to one out in the sticks where there's hardly ever any lines).

That's it for now... I have to call my trainer & I'm assuming I'll be starting on Monday!

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

Thank you, the in cab was (for me) the hardest part. Here you have to take the test in order; pre-trip, maneuvers, road test. So if you fail the pre-trip (like I did), you're screwed & can't take the other 2 parts. Once you get that down, the rest of the test is pretty easy.

Congratulations. My test is the day after tomorrow. I'm about as ready as I can be, but I've still got some anxiety. Glad it all worked out for you.

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

Thank you! Glad it's over with, & all the waiting / stress is gone.

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Big congratulations!! 👍

Great feeling, ain't it? 😀

And; Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Simon

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

I have to say this week was better than last week. The weather has been really annoying & not helping things much. Anyways, Thursday I had my 2nd CDL test. Finally scraped by on my pre-trip; the in-cab I had issues with near the end. I'm going to sum it up to nerves, but I did NOT forget my air loss test this time lol. For the next part of my test, it was on to maneuvers. Easy enough, straight line backed fine, did fine on the offset, then I went to do my alley dock (90). You're allowed 2 get-outs so I backed it in...a little crooked so I got out & looked where I was. I continued & at some point got out again, knocked over 1 cone with the front bumper & got into position....after I think 3 pull-ups. I finally backed in & heard the tester say "pull forward". So I assumed we were going to the road test portion. & I pulled forward about 10 feet until the tester asked me where I was going. I said "I thought we were going on the road next?" He informed me that my bumper was just over the cones & that he was trying to tell me to pull up just a little because I was 'out of bounds'. After my pull ups & bumping the cone & being so far off, I failed my 90 & end of test again. I re-scheduled my 3rd test for Saturday......could I just pass already?! Out of my class of 3, I was the only one left who hadn't passed. My other friend from class went after me & passed everything on his first try. I came back the next day to practice again. It had snowed overnight & they weren't expecting me to show up. No driving that day. Saturday came & my test was at 11am. I was the only one there with one of my trainers. I did maneuvers & a few 90s, then we drove around for about 20 minutes. I came back & started my 3rd CDL test. Maneuvers went fine & no screw up on the 90 this time. Then came the road test. I thought I did pretty good. We went on the freeway, surface streets, turns, checked bridge heights, lane changes, all the basic stuff. near the end of the road test, I realized I was going to be going down a steeper hill & back up (I had driven on it once). I made the light at the bottom of the hill & decided to leave it in the same gear going down as up as I was moving along fine & decided not to rock the boat... Then we got back & parked the truck. I nervously asked how I did. The tester said "Well you failed..." I was about to say "How in the....??". & he continued his sentence & said "to fail..." (You failed to fail). FINALLY! I passed & got my certificate. We shook hands & he congratulated me. After that, my trainer drove up & I told him I passed. He opened his door & gave me a fist bump, then got up/out, shook my hand & gave me a hug. (Wasn't really expecting that!). I thanked him for all his help. I got back in the truck, parked it & drove back home. I showed my wife the certificate when she got home (we said hi to each other, & talked a little before I showed her). She was happier than I was & started crying... didn't really want her to cry, but...lol. So this part is DONE. Now I have to go to the DMV Tuesday & turn in my certificate & get my endorsement. & I have to take the hazmat test...which I am not looking forward to... some of it might as well be in Greek. Thanks for reading!

Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

It happens... all you can do is roll with the punches I guess.

Sorry for your run of bad luck. Unforseen things happen every day in this job, so perhaps this is good training for this. I'd be wanting to pass it on the next opportunity as well.good-luck.gif

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