Comments By Joseph L.

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  • Joseph L.
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  • 2 years, 6 months ago
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Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Living in your rig?

I think it's much easier to live in a truck for a longer amount of time in a truck these days. There are all kinds of of appliances you can buy that plug into twelve volt let's on the truck, a lot of drivers have microwaves and refrigerators on their truck, this cuts down on eating out, because that gets expensive. Pretty much any other goods and services a driver might need can easily be found on the road. There are several super size truck stops/travel centers that have everything you need. Of course there is Walmart and other places that are either truck parking friendly or a short walk or Uber ride, where you can go to for supplies. So far since leaving out I have been on the road five weeks, as of right now I am probably not going home untill the end of November or early December. I think the toughest part for being on the road for an extended amount of time is the psychological toll it takes on some drivers. Being a solo driver Is kind of like a self impose solitary confinement. Sure your moving about. You can stop and park the truck go inside some truck stop and start a conversation with someone if you really wanted. But generally speaking 9-10 hours will be spent behind the wheel, just you, God, your thoughts, the radio and the road and miles and miles of highway. My last and final co driver was someone who wanted to be out on the road four days and home three. Because he felt he needed to be at home to make sure things would get done. He called his wife on a daily basis to give her a list of things that needed to be taking care. He even ran the four days out, three days home idea by our DM and our DM laughed at him. I think he (my former co driver) does local or regional work now and gets home more often.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Introduction with a Life on the Road question.

DMF, Once you start driving and get experience your going to start learning what Walmarts allow trucking park, grocery stores , restaraunts, that are near by truck stops. For example in Ripon California, there is Save Mart grocery store about a five minute walk from the loves travel center and maybe a ten minute walk from the flying J next door. There are several restaurants and a super cuts in the same shopping complex. In Oregon I forget the exit but it's on the I-5 there is a Pacific Pride truck stop with a fairly decent size parking and directly next door is a grocery outlet store, less than a minute away. In Tennessee I stopped for fuel at a loves travel stop and directly across the street was a Dollar General store. In both Texas and Oregon there are a couple of truck stops and directly across the street are little bar b q shacks. As I said with experience your going to start forming a list of places that are trucker friendly. There are also several truck stops/travel centers, which have a small size grocery stores At the White's travel center in Raphine West Virginia (the largest truck stop on the east coast) you can shop for everything there from produce to underwear, after shopping, go get a haircut and then go see a movie all in the same travel center.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Failed my backing...is this the end?

Okay it's been a while since I have been here. Callie S, sorry to hear about your problems with crst and backing. I actually graduate from CRST's Hawkeye school last August. My total time spent backing starting from training to going through testing was roughly 2.5 hours. Two hours training and about thirty minutes to testing and passing So now Callie S after reading that your probably second guessing yourself, wondering why I able to learn it so quickly and pass? I did so because I am a certified awesome super Trucker!!! Callie S if anyone tells you that they are are certified awesome super Trucker, run away very quickly, because the only thing that person is, is a certified idiot. I originally went through CR. England's CDL program and failed because of I could not do the backing. The class I arrive with had 40 students, plus another 5 who arrived the week prior but because various logistical issues they got put on hold. The first day of backing training was a Friday, your also supposed to get training on either Saturday or Sunday. For the day you were not scheduled for training , you could go over to the remedial training course to practice. By the time we got to the backing course our class size was about 30. The instructor I was with had twenty students. Eventually the number grew to twenty five. Twenty five students, one truck, one instructor. The scene was total and complete chaos. First you had the eye candy ladies prancing around in their short shorts and skinny jeans and a size two small shirt flirting with everyone, looking for their next baby daddy (no offense ladies). You had your joker's, the people who wants to be everyone's buddy, was lead to the formation of the "cool club" and rounding out the list are the people who are in love with there own voices. I think I waited nearly two hours before I got to do the straight back. I failed because I didn't understand the mechanics involved, how to adjust, add in the screaming instructor, and people pointing and shouting , it was a mess. Four or five weeks later I tested for the final time. Normally CR England will give 3 or 4 chances to pass backing. Because I stuck with it and was at the backing range every day, I got 5th chance. I failed because according to the tester I had encroach on some white line. Several Students and instructors where standing near by and saw the position of the trailer upon my finishing the final backing maneuver. I got out check, I was in the box, everything looked good. I got thumbs up from the instructors and the students who watched me. I was on cloud nine, until I started to get back in the truck, at which point I got a bad feeling. I was then told about the encroachment which I was later told no one saw, even if I hadn't encroach according to the tester I had lost two many points due to pull ups. Something else that was question. However because of the Seniority of the tester, his relationship with the director and connections within the company, any challenges were pointless. I was absolutely devastated, I was an emotional wreck. I allowed myself maybe an half hour or so of self pity. Then I was mad, I was so mad and I had passed all the stages of anger one could go through and arrived back at a stage of extremely strange and rather disturbing sense of calmness. My first instinct was to arrange a very personal encounter between the tester and a road cone. However I focused my attention on the backing, to me this was a personal assault on my being, it was something I couldn't let go. What did I do? I started calling other trucking companies, I forget how many I called and got rejected before CRST decided to give me a chance. Callie S if this truly something you want to do, then first have faith, second refused to give up! Callie, the hardest thing about this job is the backing, it takes a extremely long time to get good at and experience drivers those worth their weight in gold will tell even they have bad days when it comes to backing still, after five, ten even twenty years years of doing this job. Do not give up!

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Hiring prospects with DUI

@Yamu, I would be up front and honest about it, I would bring it to a potential employers attention right away. I am sure some will say that they can't work with it, but I have a feeling because of the length of time four years that there will be companies willing to give you a chance.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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First year rookie pay OTR

I got hired with CRST in August of this year since getting hired I have had nearly five weeks where I haven't made money because of circumstances. There was the first week where I had to go home handle getting my CDL license and going to the CRST terminal in California to get officially hired. The second week was spent convincing people I was actually in California not Iowarofl-3.gif Because of a computer glitch I kept being listed for cedar rapids. Week 3 was a combination of days during training when we sat because we kept getting rerouted to pick up loads only to be told that the load was cancelled or had been picked up. Week four was waiting for my first co driver. Week 5 was going home for unwanted home time and trying to get a replacement co driver. Now I have been sitting for four days because of mechanical issues that were fixed but also because I don't have a co driver so I am limbo till Monday when I speak with my DM to figure out what to do.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Company Asks For Drug Test While Zero HOS Left

While searching for a replacement co driver I was given the number of another CRST driver who turned out to be a student in week two of training.smile.gif He told me he and his lead had been sitting in California for several days because they had been randomly selected for a drug test which they went and took. He said that they were waiting for a load when their DM call the lead and told them that they needed to go to some other lab to be tested because he and his student both tested positive for meth,wtf.gif the trainer has been with the company for years and has passed all drug test with flying colors. The only thing that they could think of was there was a mixup, lab error.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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(Pre CDL newbie) solo or team?

When I got assigned my first co driver. We realized that where areas we were strong in and others we were weak in. We both needed work on backing, both knew the qalcom I knew it better. He had no clue had to preplan a trip, low clearance, restricted routes he was completely oblivious of these things. His goal was to go solo at the end of his contract, I hadn't decided. But our general consensus was we would work as team figure this trucking thing out and eventually go our separate ways. He turned out to be a hindrance. My replacement co driver turn out to be a little flakey and now I'm a solo driver again So as of right now I have a rather negative out look on team driving

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Why do you want to become a truck driver???

My first career goal was to play for the L.A Lakers, but after decades of waiting for them to call I kinda of decided it was time to move on and so here I am a rookie truck driverthank-you.gif

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Congrats to Donna & Kim!!!!

Congratulations Ladies, wish you both the best as you start your trucking journey.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

Part 2. Okay I started writing this a short time ago and accidentally close out the window. So I ended up waiting from 2:30 am Friday morning till 10:00 am Sunday morning. I sat over 34 hours and reset my 70 hour clock . I finally got my trailer loaded and headed to the CRST terminal over in jurapa valley. It was Sunday with very little traffic. From the shipper to the terminal was about an hour drive. Once at the terminal I found a parking space and got parked. I then went inside to meet my new co driver who was getting off his trainers truck. He had did home town two weeks prior. So I was told that he would be good to go for a few weeks before he went on home time again. I was looking at staying out over four weeks, but I know people want to see their families. I finally meet my co driver (2 .0) we get to talking and I think okay maybe this guy will work out, then he started saying things that started rasing red flags this site I believe calls them terminal rats. Around 4pm we decided to head out. I don't remember where we were going Arkansas or west Virginia. So we head out. I am driving and that's when my co driver tells me, he's been in contact with another company, he could be gone by next weekend or by that Wednesday. Sorry he told me but if it comes down to it you will have to drop me at a bus stationsorry.gif I was what? I am going to drop you where wtf-2.gif No I told him I will be nice and drop you at truck stop somewhere if possible close to Greyhound but I won't go out my way or drive this truck a hundred miles out the way to get you to a bus. He said if he is driving he will. I don't respond. My plan was to report him call the DM and explain what is going on. However by Tuesday or Wednesday he was going to stick around at least till the end of the of year. By Thursday afternoon he was gone and I was solo driver again

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

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You did well. The most important thing for any driver to remember, is when things are Rocky, maintain your cool, take a deep breath and think things through to figure out how to deal with the situation.

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Best advice ever. It can't be said enough.

Could not agree more.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

You did well. The most important thing for any driver to remember, is when things are Rocky, maintain your cool, take a deep breath and think things through to figure out how to deal with the situation.

I once had to attempt to get under a blocked in trailer and I hooked it from the SIDE, pulled it over a bit, unhooked then got in front of the trailer to hook up properly. I couldn't just swing it around from that jackknife hook because I had my satellite dome poking out in the way and would have risked clipping and damaging it.

Thank you. The most important thing for me was to go slow and get out and look. Baby steps. Oh yes staying relax really helped.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

So how did it feel to be doing this solo compared to teaming? Mind you did have an uncomfortable team partner to be with. And even though you had challenges, you stuck to your guns and did it anyway. Congratulations!

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You persevered through a tough situation and got 'er done. So maybe you can convince CRST to keep you solo, who knows? Just food for thought.

To be honest I don't see myself staying with CRST after my contract ends. I have had four nearly five weeks of unwanted down time. My first co driver was a basket case, my second within an hour of meeting them told me that they were going to to another company probably in a few weeks. My first choice is to finish my contract with CRST I don't hold them responsible for the flakey co drivers. But I have a family to support, bills to pay. I am actually enjoying being solo more and more.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It sounds like you’ve already overcome challenges other drivers would’ve never attempted.

Congratulations!

I had no choice. I have bills to pay and I had over stay my welcome at home, it was messing with the schedule my wife has for our daughter. It was a bit scary doing it by myself the first time but I actually enjoyed it

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Anger Management

Back in October we picked up a little a load in the Chicago area to be delivered to somewhere in Tennessee. Our DM and shipper made it clear that the load had to be there by a specific time something like 9pm on a Friday evening. 8pm we arrive. Place is ghost town. I speak with security he tells me where some of the warehouse worker's are. I go meet with a supervisor he checks my paperwork and said man you are the early. I said we can come back in an hour. He said hour??? Heck we weren't sure expecting you till Monday, to be honest it would have been better if you could delivered on Tuesday. He told me where I could drop the load. Later we learned the delivery time and date had changed but we were never informed

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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TomTom Trucker GPS

My trainer had one on his truck. work fairly well. a few times it malfunction once it took us a rather scary ride on this two lane high way through the country, I thought we were in serious trouble until I came around this bend and saw several other trucks on the same route. Overall though it worked fine I am thinking about getting one

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What's everyone doing for Thanksgiving...

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Early this week I was rolling through Texas I think it was Tuesday must have been around 6pm I passed one of those rest areas for trucker's normally the place look like it could park close to 80 trucks maybe a hundred. There had to been less than twenty. I passed by it thinking wtf.gif Where are all the driver's?? As I got into Oklahoma truck stops were empty too then it hit me it was Thanksgiving week

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What's everyone doing for Thanksgiving...

It was all good!

Sorry I can only share a photo with you guys.

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Maybe if the casino I went to would have served old school's roast it wouldn't have been so bad.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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My first solo run part one

Okay okay I know what you're thinking wait aren't you a company driver for CRST and don't they use teams , the answer is yes and no. CRST has three divisions Expedited, regional and dedicated. As for as I know regional and dedicated are generally solo while Expedited is generally teams. However in very extreme circumstances even drivers with the Expedited division can find themselves driving solo. So I was on unwanted home time. Things had gone south with first co driver pretty much to the point I was ready to strangle him. We decided to part company and it seems like he parted ways with the company I will post about that experience later. So I am at home in Las Vegas waiting for a co driver when I learned that I probably won't get another co driver for another week. I am not happy, the wife is very unhappy. I sat down went over all the down time I had since getting hired and found out that since August I had nearly four weeks of not driving. Four weeks of not earning money. I went from unhappy to tick off. I waited for 24 hours and called my DM. I told them that if this was how things were going to be then I would need to persue other options. I was very polite and respectful and explained that this wasn't my first choice. The DM told me he would call me back A few hours later my phone rang and he asked how would I feel about doing a solo run? There was a load going from California to Pennsylvania but the shipper had no available trailers and the only one they could locate just happened to be in Las Vegas. So I said yes empty trailer from Vegas to L.A should be simple. Yeahrofl-3.gif So I get to where this empty trailer is and right away I realized that I was going to have problems. I was convinced that someone had use a crane to lower the bleeping trailer to where it was parked. Not only is there that problem but directly in front of the trailer is a parking area with a one car directly in front of where I need to couple and pull forward to turn out. So first I had to work on getting the trailer to right height so the king pin and 5th wheel would couple correctly. After dealing with that it was time to get out of there. So I got out the truck and walked around figuring out how I would need to pull forward , backup and turn to get out of this tight spot. So over the next forty five minutes I creep forward slowly turn and back up every time I pull forward, back up, turn I get out of the truck and walk around. Finally I get the truck and trailer turn so I can pull out. The next challenge was getting out of Las Vegas which took about another hour with traffic. Finally I am on the road going to California. I stopped in Barstow California for a bathroom break and to recheck the area I was going to. I wanted to be prepared for problems and oh boy there would be problems. So I finally reach the shippers. After checking in I am told to drive around this building and park by the fence. So I enter the yard and even though I had looked at this place using Google maps, it didn't show just how congested this place was. Someone hadn't park trailers there, they had come in and built them and left them in the worst areas possible. The first challenge was getting around the building. I realized that if I didn't want to to hit the building I needed to go around I was going to have to the Left as far as I could, I know that I am going to make contact with this trailer that looks like it has been there for years considering it didn't have tandems and was on the ground it probably had been. So I squeeze slowly by I can see my trailer brush up against the other trailer barely touching it. After I get by i get out to check for damages to my trailer and the other, none. Okay so I continue forward looking for a place to park. I find one but it's not desirable so I continue forward. I come to a dead end and the only way out is to turn around. To accomplish that I am going to have once again do a series of pull ups, back ups and turns to the driver side to get out of this area fifteen minutes I work at this. Finally I get out of this area go back to this other area turn around and get back to the only available spot for my trailer. I am going to have to back between these two trailers that aren't exactly parked straight. This will be my first time actually doing this by myself. Every other time I was with my trainer or co driver. But now I am on my own. I get out look (G.O.A.L-Get Out and look.). Trying to figure out out how I am going to do this. I realized that I am going to slowly be backing and turning at snail speeds to get the trailer into position. For the next thirty minutes maybe closer to an hour I work at this. Just like in Las Vegas I constantly get out and look. Finally I get the trailer park praise Goddancing-banana.gif Now it's time to go to receiving and find out when the load will be ready. I learned that it won't be ready till later in the afternoon, it's 2:30 am. I would end up setting for almost two days.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What's everyone doing for Thanksgiving...

Okay hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving pretty much sucked. So around midnight Thanksgiving morning me and my co driver are at shippers dropping off an empty trailer picking up a load going south to Florida (I am in Pennsylvania). We had problems with the locking jaws on the 5th wheel not locking around the king pin and after having the shippers mechanicans look at it speaking with CRST maintenance and a driver manager we all decided that we couldn't haul a load safely. So our load got sent to someone else and we were told to head for the nearest terminal to have the 5th wheel inspected. Being as it was Thanksgiving chances of getting anything done were slim to none. So we found found a truck stop to park at. We got up around 7am grabbed showers, coffee and headed to the terminal which in Pennsylvania is basically a relay station for CRST with a drivers lounge it's not bad. It's got a showers and a laundry area vending machines and it's in walking distance of restaurants and shopping. No one is here. So my co driver wants to go to some casino for the buffet. So we go drop $30 for this Thanksgiving buffet my co driver loved it I on the other hand was wtf-2.gif When it came to the food. The turkey was dry, the ham was tasteless and there was no prime rib. For $30 there should have been prime rib. So we go back to the truck stop which only had about five other trucks parked there. I decided to go back to sleep while my co driver went inside. He comes back an hour later and said he has to get to Texas family emergency. Three hours later after dealing with Greyhound he's headed to the terminal. We drove close as we could get being as the area where the bus terminal is located is truck friendly even Bobtailing too many low clearance areas. So not only did the load fall through, I had a horrible Thanksgiving meal and before the day was out I was a solo driver. I have actually been sitting long enough that my 70 hour drive clock has reset

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