Profile For Lil'RedRidingHood

Lil'RedRidingHood's Info

  • Location:
    NW corner, WA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 8 months ago

Lil'RedRidingHood's Bio

Interested 5'2" 54 year old roadtrip addict. I'm also a girl. Been doing research into this industry for some time, never pulled the trigger.

Interested in Tanker / Flatbed / Van... Reading and learning, gearing up for school.

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Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local Carrier Driving Program - Lil'RedRidingHood's CDL School Adventure

Thank you Anne. :)

I'm so glad I got permission as well. I also followed your advice and emailed Brett, who was very supportive. What an amazing man he is, to dedicate his life to helping others like he has.

I did PM you over on the gossip box (FB). It was waaaay late, but I did remember. smile.gif

Yes the school is very different; but I think given what kind of industry I'm entering, this is decidedly a good thing. I also like that they have massive focus on road training. And I don't mean coast around the city block in a quiet industrial area. Once I can actually shift, instead of grinding the thing like it was grandma's porridge casserole, I think that will be great. DO send me a big box of Epipens though dear. I'm ordering a vat of smelling salts from Amazon.

Anyway, I'd better get back to making me some flash-cards for the pretrip inspection.

Lil' Red!!

What an excellent start, to what I'm sure shall be an EXCELLENT diary, m'lady.

I'm so glad G'Town gave you the go ahead, and YES, I'm following! (I haven't been on Meta in a few days, but will try today.)

So happy for you, is an understatement. The school sounds 'onerous' at best, which actually CAN work in one's favor!

Best wishes going forward, gal. TTYS!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local Carrier Driving Program - Lil'RedRidingHood's CDL School Adventure

I tell ya, my state needs a lobotomy. rofl-2.gif (Can I say that here?)

But hey--it's not like me throwing a fit in the governor's office would change anything, except me getting a nice vacation with a cool orange coverall & some nice slippers to go with it, so I just roll with it.

I'm not across the gap yet, I have yet to secure a contract anywhere. But--I do not give up easily. Per the DOT statistics of 2021, there are 813,440 carriers on file with the FMCSA. I'm really cute, so I'm sure one of them will want me.

And they will want you too. I think the key is, when you have a "black eye" like we do--is to show a lot of initiative.

Good luck with your school! good-luck.gif

Glad to hear you got past the gap. I've got 15 years no work and start private school in April. Hoping that me footing the bill for that and having some endorsements, TWIC and passport will present enough value to companies they'll be willing to bite.

Your State requirements sound a bit onerous, I'd probably have borrowed a friend's address in another state 🤣

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local Carrier Driving Program - Lil'RedRidingHood's CDL School Adventure

THE SCHOOL:

It has a flexible schedule, tailored to each student's needs, so that a person can study full-time, part-time, or on the weekends.

The training environment is on-demand; which depending on who you are as a person, can be a good thing or a very bad thing. If you need a lot of structure, this school is definitely not for you. For me--I see it as a positive.

We are heading into an occupation where we are for all intents and purposes the CEO of our little lives. We are entrusted with an expensive tractor and trailer, freight that can be worth a million dollars and more, and the lives of everyone on the road around us. That in itself is a ton of responsibility. On top of that we are entrusted the responsibility to be capable in communicating with shippers and receivers, the DOT, and other people we come across during our day, as REPRESENTATIVES of our employer. We have to be able to set up a schedule, figure out how to get there, communicate when we are available for a new load, any issues that arise, and many many other things.

No-one will hold our hand.

So therefore, for me, on-demand learning is perfect.

The curriculum conforms to WA state guidelines and the FMCSA's minimum guidelines.

160 hours total, which consists of 40 hours of classroom study; which now is required by the state, EVEN if you already have your CLP. If you want Hazmat that's an extra 16 hours, and DOL won't even let you sit for your test until you have finished it, and the state has looked over the results from your class.

For your practicum, you get 50 hours behind the wheel, which consists of 18 hours street driving, 16 hours backing, and 16 hours proficiency development, consisting of backing or driving. In addition, there are 70 hours of combined lab, range, or observation training; so--your on-duty not driving; such as pretrip inspections, coupling, chain installation, weight balancing and so on, and observing other students while driving, backing or pretripping. You also get lab credit for self-study that you do in any of the above.

The tuition comes to about 4K when you factor in drug testing, permit fees, skills testing fees et cetera.

So in this regard the school is probably like all the other ones. The important difference is the on-demand part.

In order to graduate, you must have the above, must pass the school's internal tests, put in an effort and do well. HOW YOU GET THERE, IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU.

You decide when and how often you want to drive, when you want to back, and when you want to pretrip, and so on. Nobody babysits you. You want instruction? You ask--and it is given to you. You can take as little as 4 weeks to get there, or as long as 6 months. It is completely your call. You come and go to the school as you want.

Sounds a bit chaotic? It is. They will give you advice on what you should do first and last, but you ultimately decide.

Now here's the first real drawback. Without a firm schedule set up for everything, equipment may not be available when you want it, except for driving, which has a schedule.

Like I said--if a person craves structure, this is NOT the place.

The owner and the instructors are capable, experienced, kind and helpful people. Every last one I've met. They have a mix of instructor experience levels, from a few years behind the wheel, to 5-millon milers. Some are old-school, some are new-school, but they are all kind.

All the students I have met are also the kindest people, and the students that are further ahead help out the newbies, a lot.

I don't have any more time tonight; so next time I will tell about each day, my utter confusion to start with, and how it is now starting to come together, and the steps I took to ensure I am taken advantage of what is given.

Stay safe out there everyone

Lil'Red

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

The Life, Death, and Resurrection Of My Truck Driving Career

Just WOW.

This story deserves another bump. What a harrowing journey Persian Conversion. God surely had his hand over you on that day. Thank you for being so brave and sharing it. It gives a newbie like me lots to think about, on always remembering to respect the equipment, not being overconfident, not being complacent.

So glad you are still here for your family, and to share your experience with us, so that hopefully we can learn from it.

Thank you so so much.

God Bless.

Lil'Red

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local Carrier Driving Program - Lil'RedRidingHood's CDL School Adventure

...Continued from above:

Beside Prime, I spoke with two other carriers, and several private schools. Because of our life situation--I need to get my CDL and find a job (and be at least mostly through road training) by early fall this year, so waiting was not an option for me. People have mentioned moving, and we may do this--but as homeowners this needs to be right financially. Hell (can I say hell?), the DMV rep in the CDL division even suggested I'd get a PO box in Portland Oregon! But I digress...

So. One carrier school was listed. LUCKY ME! Swift's Idaho location is approved by our state. And here is where the employment gap comes in.

I sent them a quick introductory e-mail with some initial questions, clicked the "send me texts" button on their website, and waited. Couple of days later a gentleman called, unfortunately at a time I was not available. Over the next week he left voicemails, and I left voicemails. We were finally able to connect on the phone, where after a 5 minute conversation he advised me not to apply, due to my very large employment gap. I think perhaps playing phone-tag, trying to set up an appointment also played a role.

Note to self: If the next carrier's recruiter is old school, put him or her in contacts and keep the phone on me 24/7. Lesson learned.

Also, I am guessing that with all the new laws, and the carriers losing masses of trainers, plus the equipment being difficult to get; they want the cream of the crop when they sink thousands of dollars of training into someone. And I don't blame them. If I owned a carrier, I would do the exact same thing.

So... while that might look bleak it is not so bad. Two other carriers wanted me to apply when I got close to graduating from private school, one of them being Prime, and the other a larger carrier in my state, which no longer has their own school (closed it down at the beginning of this year, bummer).

And this is when I enrolled in Private CDL school, and the adventure began. Let me be CLEAR. If you are reading this and think private schools are lollipops and unicorns, READ THIS FORUM. EVEN IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY--read it. If you can get into a paid school at a carrier's location, DO SO.

I am hoping this diary will entertain, inform, inspire, and perhaps at times be a warning.

The school shall remain nameless, as my impressions are forming day by day, some good--some less than good. I would suspect that in many ways they are representative of all the other private schools around the nation.

My next post in this thread starts the diary.

Thank you for following along this far. thank-you.gif

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Local Carrier Driving Program - Lil'RedRidingHood's CDL School Adventure

Hi Everyone, I'll start with a brief introduction. I'm one of those people who always wanted to hit that big road in that big truck, but due to life's various turns just never put it into action. My background is as an office professional in heavy industry. In 2016 I found this forum, and started getting some good information about the industry, in contrast to what can be found in some other locations.

My serious preparation started last fall, and this community has been just GOLD in that process.

I knew I would have to be resourceful, as I have a very long employment gap, which not all carriers are fond of. Sifted through lots of ideas in the process, some good, some bad, and some so bad the Crypt Keeper was crying under his bed.

I looked at carriers that would let you buy into the truck, (not lease or buy)--yes, RUN and run away fast. I looked at buying a truck and doing hotshot. I looked at leasing, from carrier and from leasing company. Looked at employers, tools of the road, training programs, and so forth.

Over time, with the input of so many of the kind folks here, my direction--which looked much like a spaghetti casserole, solidified.

I found some good employers to talk to. It was also time to select a CDL school, and hit the High Road Training app on this forum. It is great by the way.

My nose was pointed in one direction (Prime--which I have a huge girl-crush on), when kind Kearsey alerted me to a wrinkle in my state's CDL school laws I was not aware of. My state must approve the school, and list it. For a long treatise on the finer points of WA DOL Laws--go check out This Thread, and This Thread.

Suffice to say, my options were limited. And I was BUMMED. I wanted to go to Prime for their top notch training.

Continued in next post...

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Thank you so much G-town. Then I will most definitely do one.

Hey Lil’ Red.

Totally cool and okay to write a diary about your pending private school experience.

Best of luck to you! 👍

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Thank you, that is good to know.

Idk if its been mentioned or not, but millis transfer is who i did my training with. Good training, and the accomodstions were nice.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Thanks so much Anne, appreciate it.

I e-mailed Brett and asked him to chime in on this thread. Nailing it? We shall see LOL! I GOT to make those people find me a yard, a parking lot, or SOMETHING. Or I'll need to start inhaling epipens, LOL.

If I do a diary on it I will keep its name confidential. Some things I am happy with, and some things I am not. This is of course the case with any organization we come into contact with, nevertheless I think it is a good, fair policy.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

MORE questions....

1) TT Job application - is it powered by Tenstreet? -- just curious as I am poking around in their website.

2) Has anyone here used a service such as the one provided by Tenstreet to help get gaps or employment dates verified? If so I'd love to hear about it. I like that Tenstreet lets you both apply and get verification. This ought to make things easy for the employer, with Tenstreet doing a lot of the legwork.

Anyway--if you use them or others I'd love to hear about it. I need to get those prehires going soon.

3) I have good employment history if you go back some years, what is the practice in trucking for handing them more than 10 years of history? I know it doesn't count for anything now, except telling them what I used to do. In general, will they like it? Frown on it?

For example, my old industry, as one of the few out there, wanted your work history from high-school or college on, even if said history was 50 years long. I have a friend that is a recruiter in another industry, and in hers they do 5 to 7 years and would toss a resume in the trash if they got 20+ years. It varies. Trying to learn what Logistics companies prefer here in general, while understanding that beyond the industry norm, each corporation will have their own preferences that are unique to them.

4) Is it FOR SURE I am permitted to write a diary from a PRIVATE school? Sorry Anne -- I just don't want to do anything wrong here. If a moderator could chime in I would feel so much better. I will NOT be offended if the answer is no either. I will then just hold off and start at my hire-date with a carrier. The method goes against what everyone on here says, even though I have the best excuse ever.

MY EXCUSE:

My state permits only schools they select, and at present just ONE carrier is on it. And that carrier turned me down flat, in a five minute phone conversation with recruiting. Because of my gap they do not want to admit me to their school, and whether they would hire me is dubious after that.

I am not sad, several of the "WA DOL banned" carriers want me to apply when I am close to passing my drive test, despite knowing about my gap. And should they decide to pass, SOMEONE will want me. I mean--look at me! I'm cute!

If anyone thinks I'm telling tales, here is a link to my state's list. WA DOL APPROVED SCHOOL LIST There should be links to the subject laws (2015 and 2017 respectively) either higher up in this thread or my other thread. Yes I know--messed up, and the only state left in the union who glares at the FMCSA with a suspicious eye, go figure. I'm good--I'm a registered voter and know what to do with those jokers when their term is up. It's not the DOL employees, they are as dumbfounded as anyone else. Dang politicians.

Anyway, this left me with the choice of waiting, the choice of convincing an unapproved training school to take me in, lie to my state and hope I don't get caught, also hope the IRS doesn't decide to charge me income taxes from the state I "lived" in. As it were, the carrier I have a crush on doesn't lie. Not even a little. Of course I did have the choice of legitimately moving out of state; or enrolling in private school. I enrolled.

So thus ends my tale of rule-breaking on this forum. We hope. embarrassed.gif

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Newest girl joining wilson

Hi Marsha, welcome to the forum! :)

I'm kinda new here myself, in CDL school, and 55 years old. I also have heard a lot of great things about Wilson.

You should check out Mountain Matt's diary, he just started with them a couple of months back and is out with a trainer now.

Also, if you're into flatbeds, Old School is a virtual treasure trove of information. And so are a lot of others in here.

Momcat Anne is the welcome wagon, she'll hook you up with all the goodies, but I can't stop before I say be sure to check out Brett's book, The Raw Truth About Truck Driving if you haven't already.

It is free to read on here but well worth the dimes on Amazon. Besides being full of very useful information, the man can really write as well.

I agree this place is really a lifesaver.

Nice to meet you!

Lil'Red

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Where is a greenhorn to go first?

The latest, as we are in the exact same situation. Per WA DOL (on the phone), things are so chaotic with the changing rules they are not even keeping up anymore. Gave me a number to call the FMCSA, which routes back to a DOL answering machine.

It will get worked out, but will take awhile. How long? Who knows. Per WA DOL CDL division, at present they DO NOT KNOW how the CDL rules will shake out. They are getting information on the daily.

They WILL continue to use their list though, and go above and beyond the FMCSA register. What they are doing is updating their list. Many more schools are on it now, and if you that are reading this are still pondering things, keep checking back.

A few people in here got theirs in another state, based on the reciprocity. The laws changed in 2015, and again in 2017. They no longer have to recognize them. HOWEVER--I suspect all of this will soon be out the window anyway, with the new Federal rules.

So--if you can hang back for a few months to a year, you should have options.

SWIFT IS approved on their list right now, as the only carrier as far as I could tell.

Per the Prime recruiter I spoke with (last week I think), management still says no WA students in their school. (W/O a CDL).

Been a month and a half, did you land somewhere Garth?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Hay, Lil'Red; In reply to this (which I missed earlier, sorry!) That's totally up to you. As you'll see IN the diary section, there's at least one active TT member, currently DOING an in school diary. We'd love one that's company specific, later, too!!!

He is doing a private school diary? --If so, I'll totally do that. I think folks can benefit from learning about the school's program & features while researching. I'll follow his suit in listing or leaving out the name.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Thanks Anne. :) For some reason I had not found that one... I see they will help you with it, so that is great news! Better I would think than using a template word doc from the web & amending it. :)

Appreciate it!

double-quotes-start.png

One more question, as I am in private school.

As this is against recommended practice, should I delay starting my diary until I hire on with an employer? Also, if I was to do a school diary and I list the school's name, would that be against the board rules, i.e. advertising?

Thank you all so so much!

Lil'Red.

double-quotes-end.png

Hay, Lil'Red; In reply to this (which I missed earlier, sorry!) That's totally up to you. As you'll see IN the diary section, there's at least one active TT member, currently DOING an in school diary. We'd love one that's company specific, later, too!!!

double-quotes-start.png

One more question: I am doing affidavits for time not covered by W-2's.

Are there templates kicking around online somewhere? I have no clue what I should ask people to write, which format, what it must include etc.

Have been hired off resume since the 90's, and in the 90's & before, either a simple application or just walk in the door & get hired.

Got no problem with app, accounting for time, describing experience, listing references etc. etc. Those affidavits are my only complete unknown.

I have scoured the internet, and found nothing, so my search words are probably off.

Thank you much. :)

double-quotes-end.png

I did some browsing on this for ya, too; here's what I came up with: Employment Gap Affidavit

That was the search terms I actually used, in the hyperlink.

Hope this helps, girl!!

~ Anne ~

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

One more question: I am doing affidavits for time not covered by W-2's.

Are there templates kicking around online somewhere? I have no clue what I should ask people to write, which format, what it must include etc.

Have been hired off resume since the 90's, and in the 90's & before, either a simple application or just walk in the door & get hired.

Got no problem with app, accounting for time, describing experience, listing references etc. etc. Those affidavits are my only complete unknown.

I have scoured the internet, and found nothing, so my search words are probably off.

Thank you much. :)

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Code is always good to know, thanks Anne! :)

Also thanks for the picture of the apps, those will be good to have for sure.

double-quotes-start.png

Number one most essential piece of equipment: A deluxe backscratcher. Don’t leave home without.

CB radio: Do you even need one? You might want to save it for last, if you decide to get one.

You didn’t mention it, but you should get a really good Bluetooth headset. Blue Parrot?

double-quotes-end.png

The back scratcher: (Tom files his on the grinder, sharpish!) Thumbs UP~!! Parrot .. Blue tooth.. indeed. We've been through MANY and, sure wanna see YOURS! In your TRUCK!

Please, Mr. BK ... 'This is how we DO It .....

  • Click 'PHOTO' when you open a new reply ...
  • Blue box says: "Upload A New Photo"
  • Click that button, it will browse your phone or PC or tablet ... search it, select it.
  • "Please Enter a Caption of ... less.... " do so. WILL NOT WORK WITHOUT!!
  • CLICK GO. You will see a thumbnail to the right.
  • ERGO, PIC!

Always 'trying' to help, Mr. BK!

~ Anne ~

ps: Nina!!! Knowing a tad bit'o'code ... hehehe!!

pps: Saved photo courtesy of IDMtnGal (Ms. Laura) ... credits always!

0804560001647402013.jpg

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Thank you so much Bruce. :)

Back scratcher is a good idea lol.

And luckily, I have a Blue Parrot headset already.

Number one most essential piece of equipment: A deluxe backscratcher. Don’t leave home without.

CB radio: Do you even need one? You might want to save it for last, if you decide to get one.

You didn’t mention it, but you should get a really good Bluetooth headset. Blue Parrot?

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

One more question, as I am in private school.

As this is against recommended practice, should I delay starting my diary until I hire on with an employer? Also, if I was to do a school diary and I list the school's name, would that be against the board rules, i.e. advertising?

Thank you all so so much!

Lil'Red.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

Taking you at your word here OP, I'm real sorry to hear what happened to you. They said ingested. Could she have put it in your food? I cannot imagine that you would miss a meth-high though for anything in the world. So that leads to another question. As far as I know, Epinephrine is an ingredient in meth, and this is found in some cold medicines. Do you take cold medicine on a regular basis?

If I were you, I would get the full result sheet from the drug testing company and take it to your doctor. They might be able to enlighten you on cutoff levels, which dosages would show up at which levels, and what it could possibly be.

Your trucking career is shot for the foreseeable future I'm afraid; but you might have recourse against your ex wife.

I did read a book by a felon that started his own hotshot business, you might look into that. Not sure how that would play with a failed drug test on your record though.

Just don't lose hope. I firmly believe that when one door closes, another one opens. There's a path for you out there for sure.

Lil'Red.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Lil'Red Ridinghood's journey into the forest of trucking

Some questions, as I like to have everything lined out ahead of time. dancing-dog.gif It's just how I roll.

Equipment: --That I will need way-way later, but want to know the "what" now.

  • CB Radio: --Which radios are good? I don't need a CB that cooks me dinner & can be heard from space, just a good, solid brand.
  • GPS Units, which ones are good? Again--I just want a good, solid unit. FYI: I will NOT be trip-planning with it. I got my RandMcNally trucker's atlas with laminated pages and dry-erase markers. I do want one though.
  • Dashcam, which ones are good? I know most carriers have one, but I would like to have my own.
  • Trucker's Microwave? Which ones are good? --In case the truck I am assigned does not have one.

Pretty sure there's going to be lots of other things as well, flashlights, seat-covers, coveralls / Carhartt, clothes, cooking utensils & so forth. I'm going to be scouring the forum, and ask about whatever I cannot find. I know there are some "to bring" lists in here.

Thanks a bunch everyone! smile.gif

Lil'Red

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