Profile For Mike B.

Mike B.'s Info

  • Location:
    Las Vegas, NV

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 12 months ago

Mike B.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Just learned something interesting about retired people who want to get into trucking.

I was retired for 3 plus years when I applied at Werner. They accepted my tax returns for the last 3 years as proof of my status.

I'm took retirement from my IT job of 27 years, I'm 55.

I have my permit and health card (no criminal or driving offenses) and was going to go to a self paid CDL school but thought maybe I'd look into Prime and just go with them so I could save my money for home emergencies and such.

But the recruiter (after filling out a lengthy application) said that because I don't show employment for the last 1.5 years I am disqualified even though I'm retired.

Ain't that a kick in the pants...

I'm emailing others to see if that is their policy also.

Cheers.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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Backing Practiceâ„¢ - The Return

Looking forward to the series.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Passed my state Exam

Congratulations!

It feels great when you get that accomplished doesn't it. I remember watching others when I went through truck driving school. Everyone just stresses out over that final driving test and pre-trip. Part of the problem is that in reality we lack the skills at that point to be very good at it, and we're quite aware of it. There's still a long ways to go for all of us at that point. I still remember my excitement after passing my state finals. It was much the same when I got handed the keys to my first solo truck and got my first load assignment. I was pumped. I was scared. I was proud. I was about to start a great journey. I still get those same feelings almost everytime I crank my diesel engine and put this rig out on the interstate. It's an awesome job we have!

Take care driver. Now, go get that job and show 'em how it's done!

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Old School, your description of finishing school and going solo for the first time is awe-inspiring! I love this site and the wonderful and positive comments from members like you!

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Leased a Truck Through Swift

Thanks for sharing all of that Aaron. You've certainly experienced a lot and learned a lot your first year in the industry. Getting your trucking career underway as a company driver a really steep learning curve. Trying to lease a truck that first year is really throwing a lot of gasoline on the fire.

One thought I had was about this:

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I honestly couldn't see that with them unless I started kissing some butt and I have no interest in that.

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When I started trucking I was 21. I'm Italian, I'm from New York, and I was raised in a family of steelworkers, carpenters, mechanics, and soldiers. We are not quiet, shy people to say the least.

Now I have never worked in an office in my life. I'm used to blue collar jobs and sports locker rooms where people interact in the complete opposite way they do in offices. In the offices people are mostly terrified of upsetting each other. In locker rooms and blue collar jobs it's everyone's favorite pastime to see how much hell they can raise with each other. Nothing is funnier than teasing someone until they flip out and throw a fit or pull a great prank on someone to embarrass the life out of them. If you don't like someone or you don't like something they're doing you tell em that directly to their face. You confront them about it. That's just how it's done.

Well early in my trucking career I did an awesome job as a driver but I ruffled some feathers at first, and to be honest I had no idea what the problem was. I just spoke my mind plainly and the office personnel just seemed to be super sensitive. I felt like I had to speak to them like they were kindergarteners.

I learned quickly that there's a huge paradox in trucking. You spend 95% of your time alone in that truck, but you desperately need the cooperation of those around you to be successful in this industry. We have no authority as drivers. None. We're at the bottom of the totem pole everywhere we go. So we have to learn to get along with people and get them on our side, make them want to do nice things for us. Because let's face it, there are a ton of people out there who can make our lives miserable and cost us a ton of time and money and there isn't anything we can do about it.

When I hear you say you have no interest in kissing butt I think about my own career early on and how I inadvertently made life difficult on myself by not interacting with people the way they expected me to interact with them. When you're at the bottom of the totem pole you don't get to make the rules, you don't get to play on your home turf. When I came across a situation I didn't like it was far more natural for me to give someone the finger and tell em to kiss my (you know what) than it was to have a civil, quiet, easy going conversation because steelworkers, athletes, and soldiers aren't exactly known for their sensitive, compassionate approach to people, ya know what I mean? We don't sit down quietly and discuss our feelings in a politically correct way, to say the least!

You have a lot of freedom to make choices about your trucking career - the type of freight you want to haul, the regions of the country you want to run, how often you get home, etc. The two things you will never have a choice with in this industry is whether or not you're in charge, and whether or not you'll need the cooperation of those around you to make great money. You're not in charge and you will need the people around you to want to cooperate with you. That's a fact.

I'm a super nice guy 99% of the time but I still struggle sometimes with certain types of people and certain situations. To be honest, I don't tolerate BS very well, ya know what I mean? Well unfortunately this is trucking and there's a lot of people who talk a lot of BS and I still lose my cool sometimes.

The better you learn to get along with people the more money you're going to make, the more favors you're going to get, and the easier your life is gonna be. I'm not saying you have to compromise your integrity or crawl around like a worm. I'm just saying you have to learn to keep your cool and keep it professional when you're dealing with people in this industry. It's hard sometimes, trust me I know. But in the end that's just how it is.

Brett, your point about getting along with people and being a team player applies to all industries. Its a lesson I had to learn early in my career as well. I started in a blue collar job and went into a office environment in the latter half of my working years. Getting along with coworkers and management in order to be more successful has nothing to do with "kissing butt" its just smart! Like you said, you don't have to be a worm, but you do have to fit in and get along with others, even people you don't like. Its just common sense, if you're problem for management , they aren't going to go out of their way to help you. And, why should they?

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Mobile login on Android?

Thanks for the info.

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Where do you find the app for a Android?

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It's not an app. Just log in to the we site. It's mobile friendly.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Mobile login on Android?

Where do you find the app for a Android? The only app I can find on "play store" is TruckingTruth CLD quiz only?

Hi Keith G.

I access this site from my Android quite often. Hit the menu button and then scroll down. The login option is near the very bottom.

Stay safe out there, Colin K.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Advice from a rookie...

Suferjohn, that is awesome advice! I know it will help me in the future. I am going to copy and paste it to my phone so I can read it in the future when I am in a jam and/or panicking...thanks again!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Gun Protection while on the road.

There is no law against conceal carry in a CMV. The same carry laws DO apply. You need to make sure your permit covers you in any state you travel into because laws are different in every state. Also, you need to check company policy.

The House of Reps just passed a bill making any Conceal Carry Permit legal in all states. It has to go thru the Senate, then onto the President, I would expect that it makes it thru both with approval. But, if it were me, I'd check with my company to make sure it does not violate company policy...

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Fitness?

There is enough room for that. People walk, ride bikes, use exercise bands, and more.

Ride bikes, are you suggesting they take bikes with them? If yes, where do they store the bikes when traveling? I can't imagine it would be inside the cab? I ride and would love to take my bike.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Huge Thank You!

You're quite welcome!

The harder you prepare ahead of time the better off you'll be. You'll be thanking yourself endlessly for preparing well ahead of time while your classmates stay up all night in a panic trying to cram that information into their brains.

Keep in touch between now and then, ask a lot of questions. We're always happy to help out.

I also want to say thanks to Brett for creating this website and to all those who contribute and help those of us who know nothing about the Trucking Industry. And, I agree with those that say they would never go to CDL school without studying CDL here first, its just too much to try and cram into a week's time! I have to admit, since my wife found this website, I spend more time here than any other site, and love learning about the industry.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Pros and Cons of Traveling With Dog

I just recently brought my dog on the road with me for the first time. He is a mix breed, black lab mixed with something smaller, and he's 28 pounds. Swift allows dogs up to 50 pounds, and no "dangerous" breeds.

My dog is 5 years old. He was a house dog for the first year of his life, and then became an outside dog and was until I brought him on the truck. So he was already house broken, which made one thing I didn't have to worry about. But that would be the first potential "hurdle" I guess you could say. Potty training a dog in the truck could be difficult so if you're bringing a dog that doesn't have that issue, that's a great start.

The next thing, I would say is notion sickness. Some dogs can't handle riding in a vehicle. With mine, I've been taking him on car rides regularly for his whole life, so that was another thing I know he would be OK with.

So I would say those are 2 big considerations to make before you jump right into bringing a dog on your truck.

As far as pros and cons go, these are for me personally:

Pros: -You feel less stupid talking to your dog while driving, than you do talking to yourself

-Exercise. Having a dog that needs to be walked forces you to get out and stretch your legs and walk around more often.

-Companionship is nice. Just having a canine friend in the truck makes you feel less alone on those long days of driving.

Cons: -You have to be more conscious of when you need to stop to take your dog out.

-You have to be careful that your dog is not getting around your feet or blocking your view when driving.

-Food and water can be messy.

For the food and water, I've already tried a few different bowls but I think I've found the winning combo for my dog. He has a habit of trying to cover his food if he doesn't eat it all right away. So if I've gotten out of the truck while he was eating, I have come back to a food/water bowl that was tipped over from him trying to cover it. Not pretty. So what I've got now, is a heavy ceramic dish for his food, and a gallon, square Tupperware dish for his water, that I never fill more than 1/4 of the way. This allows me to keep water in there while I'm driving, without it sloshing out of the bowl.

I hope that gives a little insight, and I'll say I'm really enjoying having my dog with me!

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His name is Jammer and he was mad at me for making him move so I could lay down lol

Very cute doggie! I didn't know Swift allowed pets, that's adds another possible company to work for. Thanks for all helpful information!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Pros and Cons of Traveling With Dog

I am still considering a career as a OTR driver. For those of you that have traveled with your dog, can you please tell me your experiences, both positive and negative. My concern is with my dog and not so much myself. I think she would adapt and be fine with it, but it would really help to hear some real life experiences from current Truck Drivers. Thanks is advance!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Non Dedicated Routes-OTR

I am not yet a driver, but am going to start school in the spring next year, if not sooner. I was just wondering about OTR routes, do you go to the same places all the time or is it totally random based on your company needs. At this point I sort of like the idea of random as the unknown can be exciting as long as you don't have a need to be home on a regular basis which I don't. I'm sure overtime my feelings of not knowing where I'd be headed would get old, but initially, its okay with me...Any help on this will be greatly appreciated.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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2-3 entry training diarys

I agree... Keep one thing in mind...the failure rate in the schools is high. It takes a whole lot of moxie to post a farewell note resulting from some level of failure.

I know exactly what you mean though, 2-3 gung-ho posts, then crickets. My guess,...many became a statistic on the opposite side of success and perhaps to embarrassed to write about it.

Read Paul's Prime diary...his last post, was his last post and left us with the harsh reality of this job.

G-Town, I'm a little confused by your comment " the failure rate in the schools is high". I was under the impression that the failure rate was very low and mostly those that don't put in a tremendous amount of effort and/or don't take this profession seriously are the ones that fail?

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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How To Master Backing Up?

Thanks for the great advice!

From my experience, I think people tend to over-stress when it comes to backing. That seems to be everyone's biggest concern before they get started. Backing a 53 foot trailer is easier than anything you have ever backed in your entire life. It doesn't move around like any other trailer. The biggest problem people have, is by how they set themselves up to start the back. And that is where the practice comes in.

To more directly answer your question, there will absolutely be times where you can practice. As CalKansan said, utilize a few minutes of your breaks if you've got an open area. If you're stopping in the middle of the day for your 30, or even to shut down, there will often times be multiple empty spots where you can take a few minutes to practice.

Ive got 2 pieces of advice that I would give. 1) Start setting up as close to your target as possible. Don't try to back into a spot from 50 feet away when you have limited room. Try to have the back end of your trailer as close to the spot you're backing into as possible when you get setup. 2) When at a truck stop, don't try to impress anyone. You don't necessarily have to back into a tight spot on the front row just because it's close to the building. Unless you're parking late at night, your chances for finding an easier spot in the back are usually pretty high. Of course this is just a general rule and there are some very small truck stops out here that won't apply to that logic. But focus on getting in the spot safely, rather than getting in quickly or worrying about what any other drivers are saying. You will get ribbed at some point for being slow, but that is much easier to take than getting chewed up one side and down the other by an owner op that you just woke up out of his sleeper after you peeled his mirror back.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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How To Master Backing Up?

I am asking this because this seems to be one of the biggest issues for newbies. I'm not a driver yet, still in the process of deciding whether or not becoming a Trucker is right for me and my family, but am strongly leaning towards making the jump. I do have some experience backing up a fifth wheel trailer, it was not easy (I know TT is totally different). Backing up is one of my concerns, how can I become good at it in a short amount of time? Once you earn your solo status and are assigned a truck, can you spend time practicing in an open lot or other safe locations or is this just not realistic due to time constraints and delivery schedules? Why wouldn't the schools allow you extra time for this? I would be wiling to pay extra $$$ for extra practice. I think it would be money well spent and save me a huge amount of time and stress once I become solo. Any tips to help a novice will be greatly appreciated!

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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How to fight fatigue for a new driver?

Thanks for the great advice. The common theme here seems to be "common sense" be safe and rest when you are tired.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Eating Healthy While OTR

Thanks Brett for the very good info. I read your book yesterday, tons of great information! And, thanks for creating this website, I have learned so much in helping my family and I decide if we want to make the jump.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Technology in The Trucks

What type of technology can one typically expect to find with the major carriers and newer trucks. Do they have Wifi, 120 volt charging, GPS, Sirius XM radio or option for me to pay for any of theses items. What about Satellite TV? I know that might be expecting a bit much, but I have seen some mention of the unbelievable technologies available in the newer rigs.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Eating Healthy While OTR

I am a newbie, and still considering whether or not a trucking career is the right thing for me and my family. One of my major concerns is maintaining a healthy weight which will require eating a healthy diet without the benefit of a gym, grocery store and a kitchen to cook my own meals. Do the truck stops have healthy eating options that won't cost you major $$$? After-all, one of the main reason for driving is making a living, and not spending it before I get home...I know I can bring some food along, but after a few days it will be time to restock, and it does seem like one has a lot of time for shopping if you want to keep your delivery time commitments, not to mention where would you park at most stores?

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