Comments By Banks

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  • Banks
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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Why cant I consistently do the backing maneuvers.

True story...

The day before testing, I completed all 3 backing maneuvers in an amazingly short period of time. On test day, got 3 points because of pull ups.

There are still days where I can't hit the broad side of a barn. While there are days where I can make the hardest of backs look easy. Some time ya got the mojo and others ya don't.

I had the exact opposite experience lol

The day before my test I ran over all of the cones on the right side doing my straight back. I was convinced I was going to fail.

The day of my test I only used one pull-up on the 90.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

You are having ALL the fun!!!! shocked.png

(not jealous)

Believe it or not, I'm having a blast lol

There's nothing like overcoming these challenges and having to figure these things out. In the moment it's frustrating, but when it's done I feel like "f**k yeah, I did it". That feeling makes it all worth it.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Why cant I consistently do the backing maneuvers.

During training I sucked on Monday, did ok on Tuesday, good on Wednesday and great on Thursday. Then the cycle started over again.

The first step to consistency is your setup. It's easy to do this on the pad because of the familiarity. Pick out spots on the pad where you set up and spots to steer. When I did the 90 on my state test I used a GOAL to pick a spot where to stop for my bumper to be in the box. There was a black tar spot that stood out and I said if I stop when my tire is here, my bumper will be in the box. I got out to survey the ground, not the distance.

Watching other people also helped me. It's impossible to steer the same, but you can mimic the setup. The key to the setup is "do I see what I have to see" and understanding that you can't fix it going backwards.

A pull-up can save most errors. Turning towards the danger is what I had issues with because of car habits.

I also talk to myself when I'm backing. "I want the trailer to go left so I turn right". I still do this today because car habits. Practice makes good in this. Nobody is perfect all the time. We all have bad days, it's just a matter of learning from them and understanding how to get better.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

I volunteered for a Thanksgiving run. The run was on Friday and I didn't have anything going on, so I jumped on it. The pay structure for a paid holiday off is exactly the same as it always is. Miles and tasks (,drop, hook, fuel etc), but in addition to that I get paid the 8 hours I would get for staying home.

I had 2 options, go to Ohio (I forget the city) or go to Newburgh, NY to New Haven, CT and back home. I chose the latter. Although it was less miles, I didn't want to drive out west and hit snow. I definitely didn't want to do that with a 600 mile run. I've been to Newburgh a bunch of times, nothing new there and no stories about it.

I've never been to New Haven, not even in a POV. FedEx usually does a good job in giving directions via the handheld. The directions are usually vague, but it lays out the route they want you to take so it'll say something like "take 84E to CT, exit 8 to 95N". Not a lot of info, but enough. Since I've never been to New Haven, I wrote the directions down on a piece of paper and attached it to the sun visor. I left Newburgh and headed up in that direction.

I don't know if I read the directions wrong or if they were just wrong, but on the drive it didn't feel right. That's the only way I can explain it. I felt like I was going the wrong way so I pulled into a text stop (that's what NY calls a rest stop). Fortunately, it was empty. These stops are usually overflowing into the shoulder with trucks. I looked at the map on my phone and I knew I did something wrong somewhere. I had to figure out a new way to get there and so I looked at all the main roads. The only one that made sense to me was exit 10 off of 84 to route 25. That would take me straight to 95.

I got off at exit 10 and my anxiety was through the roof. Palms sweaty and my heart racing, I went for it. Eventually, I hit a roundabout. This had to be the smallest roundabout I've ever seen and to top it off it had a huge light pole right in the middle. I stop to examine it because I'm pulling 2-28 foot trailers and I want to make sure I can get around it. I pull all the way to the right and then swing left talking up the entire road and just squeezing by the pole. A little more luck on my side because there were markings for cars to park but no parked cars.

I take route 25 and my anxiety is still high because I don't know whats ahead of me. I feel better when I see a truck traveling in the opposite direction. Then I see a sign for a 7% downgrade and I know I'm good because there are trucker signs meaning it's ok for me to be here. I take this road straight down about 20 miles and then I finally hit 95.

I get to the New Haven terminal and this place is tiny. It looked like drivers were just dropping trailers wherever all weekend and this is going to suck. I had to break down my set on the street and I dropped my trailers wherever I could in the yard. I have to take empties back and I learned my lesson from last week. I punch the trailer numbers in my handheld first to make sure they're empty. I had to grab each trailer individually and pull them into the street to hook my set. Normally, I don't move my tail. I drop a dolly in front of it and hook it up to my lead. I didn't have the space to do that here and so I had to do it on the street.

I got directions on how to get home on my handheld. It says take 95 S to 80 W. I looked at the traffic overview and decided not to do that. The George Washington Bridge had delays going all the way back to white plains. Instead, I took the tappan zee. It was more miles that I didn't get paid for but a lot faster. My ETA was about 2 hours so I start driving and listening to my podcasts. The first one was an hour long. It finished and I'm still in Connecticut. That's how much traffic there was. Once I made it to the tappen zee, it was smooth sailing.

I got paid for 377 miles and I drove about 440 miles. It was also a 12 hour day. It was one of those days, but I learned a lot. I always try to get as much information as possible about a location I'm going to that I've never been to before, but that's hard to do on a holiday because there's nobody around and I don't want to call people and interrupt their family time.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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CDL B Local

A class B CDL gives you a few options. Bus driver, trash collector and local deliveries. Local deliveries can be furniture/moving services to homes or deliveries to businesses.

Most of these are 12-14 hour days. From what I see most of these jobs pay 18-22 an hour and they require experience.

I can't tell you how the truck would handle. Everybody has different experiences with different vehicles.

Wanting to be alone eliminates bus driver and trash collector. Keep in mind that doing local deliveries means a lot of different bosses. When you make a delivery to a store/home, that person is your boss.

A lot of the answers to your questions depends on where you live. Get on indeed and Craigslist and see what the requirements are. Most companies will include what they're paying and the hours you're likely to work.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Legal Tread depth and condition of trailer tires

The tread of the tire has to have legal tread depth all the way around. That means if there are flat spots any where on that tire, they are not legal because the tread depth in that portion of the tire is not deep enough.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?

This won't last. You can't agree to a per day pay rate in this industry because it's performance based. What if I'm supposed to take a day to drive 400 miles, but now I take 2 or 3?

Also, those you're creating issues for employers by making this public. People assume this all profit and they never consider operating costs. "You're making this much so I should get that much" will be very common here.

i have clients with the Amazon contract and they went from 1 owner operator to 50 within a year.... 

That's a lot of eggs in one basket. I hope it works out for them.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Wondering.

Yes, you can.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

A lot of you reference this Murphy fella and up until this week, I thought he was a myth.

Monday and Tuesday were normal dock days. Wednesday started out the same and then I ran into Murphy.

At 0400 I get called to road dispatch. Nothing abnormal about that. When I get there they say "we need you to go to North Newark and then to West long island. Take this West long island and an empty to Newark. When you get there drop the empty and they're going to give you another West long island trailer".

My response was "it's 4 in the morning, do you know the traffic in going to hit out there". Dispatch said "I know it sucks, but we have some guaranteed shipments we have to get there ASAP". Translation: you don't have a choice, get moving.

I hook up as quick as possible, did a quick pretrip and brake test and head out. On the drive there I'm thinking ahead. I'm hoping that my trailer at Newark is lighter than the lead I have now so I don't have to break down the entire set. When I got there, the trailer I was picking up was heavier and that had to be my lead trailer. I break down my set and put together the new set and take my 30.

I head out to West Long Island and I got a little lucky. I didn't hit any traffic on the George Washington Bridge or the Cross Bronx Expressway. I did hit a ton of traffic on the LIE (I 495). I got to the hub broke down my set and had a spotter put the trailers away. I went into dispatch to find out what I'm taking back and she says 2 empties. I forgot I had my gloves on and pulled the paperwork out of my pocket. They were covered in thick grease and she said to just throw them out. After a million apologies I went back out to hook up another set. I hook up and put the trailer info into my handheld. The handheld says my rear trailer has freight in it. It doesn't because I checked it before hooking it, but the computer won't let me take it. I had to break down this set and do it again. Before hooking I put the trailer info into the handheld to make sure it'll let me take them. I hook up and leave West Long Island with 4 hours left on my 14.

I wasn't so lucky this time around. Usual long island traffic, a break down on the GWB and construction on I80. I made it back to the hub with 45 minutes left on my clock. I post trip, break my set, put the trailers away, fuel and park my tractor. 3 minutes left on my clock. I did a whole 260 miles that day.

After all of this, I had errands to run. Prior engagements that could not be put off. This is the the warning I give everybody getting into this with the thought of being home more. I had a full 14 hour work day and things to take care of after work. I went home, showered and went to bed. I slept 5 hours before having to wake up to go back to work.

Friday I get called into road dispatch. I instantly think to myself "I'm not doing that again" and I head over. They tell me they me to go to Newburgh. Simple enough, 100 miles there and 100 back. No, it's not simple. It took me 3 hours to leave the yard. First I couldn't find my tractor. They issue me a spare that happens to be a manual. I'm spoiled, I'm not taking a manual. I take the manual and drive around the yard to find the tractor I was initially assigned. I find it sitting in a corner. A sweet auto shifting kenworth. Time to hook up. I go grab a dolly, drop in front of my tail and go get my lead. When I go to hook the set, the dolly isn't locking on the kingpin. It goes into the locked position, but it's not locking. Forget it, don't feel comfortable with the dolly. I park my lead and take the dolly to maintenance to put it out of service. I grab another dolly and hook my set. When I go to hook my airlines the entire glad hand connection popped off my lead trailer. I don't have a handheld so I can't start my delay clock. At this point I would go to my hourly rate of pay until this issue is resolved. I go grab a spotter to take the trailer to maintenance and they take about half an hour to fix it. Once it's fixed, I hook up and call Central to get my delay pay. Unfortunately, I tried to insert the delay pay after everything was done and since it was being processed I had to wait so they can edit it. Now it's time to head out. I got to Newburgh with no issues. At Newburgh, I have to park the trailers and then I go to dispatch. They tell me I'm taking empties back. I didn't learn my lesson in long island and I hook up without running the trailer numbers. Sure enough, my tail is coming back as not empty. I just went back in and told dispatch what was going on and they were able to switch the status to empty. I take my 30 and head out.

Driving back it was really windy. Driving with a set of empty doubles in the wind is not fun. I had to slow down considerably and put my hazards on until I got passed it. Once I got passed it, it started raining hard. A drive that's normally 2 hours long took almost 3.

This week was loaded with challenges. There were some mixed love and hate feelings all the way around. I didn't volunteer for runs this weekend because it's supposed to snow. I'll sit that out and enjoy my time at home.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Stupid Question About Doubles & Triples

Thanks all for the clarification. That all makes more sense. So it sounds like doubles always run on one day (night) trips not long haul with multiple overnights is that right? Also, What is a rocky mountain double?

That's not always the case. There are plenty of LTL companies that keep guys out all week and they get home on the weekends. Then there's always the possibility of having to layover in a hotel. I know people that have been trapped in a day cab for 36 hours because a snow storm was worse than expected and they couldn't make it to a hotel.

As for backing doubles, I've tried it a couple of times because I got curious. I can't do it. I've seen people do it, but I lose it almost instantly. It's even hard to back up a trailer with the dolly attached.

Like Bob said, at the busier hubs a spotter will come pick up your rear trailer to make space for trucks coming in. At FedEx, if it's not busy or a smaller hub you're on your own. A couple of days ago I had to go to 2 hubs and return to my domicile hub. I finished the day with around 500 miles and I parked the tractor with 3 minutes left on my 14. With LTL companies you do whatever they need you to do until you build some seniorty. Then you'll have more stability.

Posted:  2 months ago

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WWYD?

You wouldn't see much difference in your net pay in trucking. Honestly, you may see less. Like others have said, getting into this for money is not a good idea. Being smart and a hard-worker doesn't mean you'll be productive. I've seen people that are very smart have a lot of issues backing up. I've seen people that aren't so smart be able to back a trailer seamlessly. It all depends on ability.

Another problem you're having here is you're counting other peoples money. You're going into this expecting to make what a food driver makes or a Walmart driver makes. You asked why would anyone drive for . 38 CPM when Walmart is paying 0.89 CPM. The answer is very simple. Walmart doesn't hire just anybody. They are very selective and would rather be short staffed than have bodies that are incompetent and not productive.

You read all these advertisements and think "how can a truck driver make this much?". There are a lot of answers to this question.

1) the ad says " up to" which means that's what their top performers are earning.

2) they require experience and pay more to lure people in.

3) it's harder than it seems and they have trouble retaining people. There are companies advertising 75-80K a year for specific accounts like dollar general. Hard to get in, hard to get out and a lot of physical work. Also very risky. Getting preventables for hitting things in these tight areas will make you not hirable.

Trucking jobs aren't all the same. They pay differently for different tasks and different skills. Going into this because some guy makes 70k or because an ad says I can make that much isn't a good reason.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Prepaid legal services/insurance plan

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I thought about signing it up for it, but like you I thought I'll just save the money for if/when. I know attorneys are expensive, but I figure how often have I hired a lawyer in my lifetime? A couple of times for some traffic violations a couple long time ago and that's it. If I put money into this fund and I never use it, that's a waste.

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That's my thought exactly. I did a quick search last night and found "legal shield" that is $24.95 a month that covers any reason I'd need an attorney. I'll be 30 next month and need an attorney for the first time in my life. If I would've got a plan when I turned 18 I'd be out a ton of money in comparison to what my current situation is gonna cost me.

Quick math has that at about 3,500 dollars. In my experience a good traffic attorney costs about 500 dollars (at least it did the last time I used one about 5 years ago). I have no idea what it costs when your CDL is involved, but I'm sure it's a lot less.

I'm with the popular vote on this and I believe you'll walk away unscathed. I also know that doesn't make you feel any better and you won't feel any relief until this over with.

Ending up on legal shield tells me you're doing a lot of googling. From my experience, when looking for an attorney avvo works best. You can customize your search, ask questions and get real reviews.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Prepaid legal services/insurance plan

I thought about signing it up for it, but like you I thought I'll just save the money for if/when. I know attorneys are expensive, but I figure how often have I hired a lawyer in my lifetime? A couple of times for some traffic violations a couple long time ago and that's it. If I put money into this fund and I never use it, that's a waste.

If you do consider signing up I'd get all the info first. Is there anything I can't use this for? Do I get to pick my attorney? Is there a limited pool of attorneys or can I pick anybody? What happens to the money if I never use the service? Do I pay upfront and get reimbursed? And anything else you can think of.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Seriously considering CDL A school/training

I am actually fine with it, its the wife thats not

I understand that. Happy wife, happy life. You know what's best for your family and that's what you have to do.

I think you would be a great truck driver. You have made a great decision stopping here to do some research.

Before I landed at FedEx, I applied to roehl, prime, Maverick, TMC and Pam. Roehl, Maverick and Pam said yes, the others said no. FedEx also told me no the first time I applied. They said yes the second time. I got her to agree by going to counseling. That's how bad I wanted this. By the time I was ready to go,I couldn't do it. I felt guilty and selfish.

The nos is what made me decide I wouldn't pay for school. I couldn't drop 5k on an investment that would have no returns. I kept working and saving to go away for training, but by the time I saved up enough to not get a check for a while. I was comfortable and thought about paying for school again. Then I got into a nasty car accident that drained those funds.

By this point a year and half went by with no progress and I just bit the bullet.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

Yard Move - Remarks?

Outside of the normal remarks used for yard moves, if I was to do let's say a post trip, can I note it under the yard move or do I need to change it to on duty, not driving?

I'm still new to using things such as yard moves, PC, etc since it wasnt allowed at my previous company. shocked.png

I use yard moves for finding my trailers and hooking my set. Inspections are on duty, not driving.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Linehaul pay stub

I'm guessing by the hours worked at the bottom that this pay stub is for 2 weeks worth of work? Is this net or gross?

ODFL pays Weekly. Total pay is gross pay on my paystub, probably the same here.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Seriously considering CDL A school/training

I don't know much about A duie Pyle. I know at one point (don't know if they still do) they paid their linehaul guys an hourly rate instead of mileage. I know they require tanker and hazmat endorsements, not sure about doubles and triples but I'd assume they do.

If you want real opinions of the company, you'd have to speak to someone that works there. They're not hard to find. LTL companies aren't like other truck companies. They have company wide rules and each hub operates independently within those rules. A driver from York wouldn't be able to tell you what West Chester is like. They can tell you about benefits and requirements, but they would know very little about another building.

I've gone on runs that require dock work and it's a culture shock when I go somewhere I've never been. It's like my first day allover again because they do things differently. You'd have to speak to someone that works for that hub.

Seniority is the gift and the curse. I can tell you my experiences with it. Bobcat and Auggie can chip in their experiences, I don't get as many hours as I would like. Most of the time I work my 8 and go home. I'll have some good weeks where I run a lot and some where I just do my 40 hours on the dock and some in between. I am on course to make 60k my first year, but that's because I volunteer for weekends. If not for that 45 would be the number.

The senior guys run their clocks. They'll blow through that 70 hour work week in 5 days and have to reset. They're making a lot of money, but they're never home. On the flip side you have guys with seniorty that bid on dock work so they can have a set schedule.

For LTL you will normally get a full 2 days off (unless you have the option to volunteer and you do). I get off of work at 1030 Friday morning and I go back in at 2 am Monday morning. That won't change until the bid coming up in a month or so. The building I work out of gets completely shut down and locked down Saturday at noon and doesn't reopen until midnight Monday morning (Sunday night). My first volunteer run, I forgot my key and had to go back home to get it to gain access to the building.

Linehaul doesn't give you as much driving experience as you think it would. I know guys that have been pulling doubles forever, but I back a 53 foot trailer up better than they do. They go from hub a to hub b. Usually an easy on, easy off from the interstate and you usually have more space than you need at the hub. Running p/d is the risk and it's what builds your skill. I've seen those guys maneuver 53 ft and 48 ft trailers in spaces where I automatically write it off as impossible. It's impressive.

Lastly, don't go into this with fear. There's a chance you can be told that they don't have any linehaul spots open, they only have city. You have to be willing to do it. My advice would be to network and get contact info from as many drivers as possible. Calling people to get info has become part of my pretrip and it removes a lot of uncertainty. Everybody started at the bottom and they've done what you're doing. Why not pick their brain? Majority of the time, they're more than happy to help and offer advice.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Seriously considering CDL A school/training

You're starting out on the same path I did. In fact, you can see my first post here

I went through FedEx Freight's driver apprentice program to get my CDL and be home everyday. While I was home everyday, I wasn't mentally. My mind was consumed by FedEx, trucks and studying. Home and the issues surrounding it were another distraction and obstacle I had to overcome. Money wasn't an issue and I can't imagine how hard it would be to focus on training while worrying about money.

A CDL job (A or B) will most likely require the hours you're working now. You'll still be gone a lot and exhausted.

Here's my main concern about you paying for school, there are no guarantees. Look at the issues Marc is having now. He finally landed a gig with Veriha (I think I spelled it right) after a lot of rejections. There are a lot of stories of people paying for school and being fired for certain preventables or DOT accidents. Do you know what will happen if I hit a low bridge or take out a mailbox? As long as I report it, I get retrained. I'll still have my job and FedEx will invest more money in my training and education. This is normal in company sponsored training.

I don't have any skin in your decision. This is something you have to decide for yourself, but as a family man I would never want a family to go through the hardships of a useless CDL after investing thousands in school. If your wife isn't on board now, imagine that scenario. Explain the pros and cons to her and maybe get her to sign up for the site. There are a few wives on here that explain how they deal with the issues she's afraid of.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

HazMat test question...

This is what I use when determining what placards to use. I'll trust FedEx when they tell me what placards to use, I'm iffy on trusting a shipper.

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

HazMat test question...

This is what I use when determining what placards to use. I'll trust FedEx when they tell me what placards to use, I'm iffy on trusting a shipper.

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