Profile For Don

Don's Info

  • Location:
    Wooster, OH

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 1 month ago

Don's Bio

Daycab driver hauling corrugated boxes in Ohio, plus PA, NY and IN.

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Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Should I become a truck driver or keep working as a nurse ?

I was a Nurse for 32 years. I KNEW it was time to get out. No one can - nor should they - tell you what you "should do" when considering changing careers. We have no idea your likes, interests, skills, aptitudes, etc.. Stating that, I am glad I changed careers, but I did so for my own reasons. I enjoy what I do now. Regarding your differences in income between Nursing and truck driving. If you are making $30.00/hr for a 40 hour week ( you probably work more than that), $1200/week as a beginning driver may be a reach. There are many variables that can affect your weekly pay driving a truck, which you have no control over. Truck breaking down, delays at a shipper or consignee, weather causing slow downs and delays, waiting for loads. All of these can affect your pay for a week.

You need to consider one thing regarding your Nursing license. If you do start the procedure of a trucking career, you will need to deactivate your Nursing license, since you will not be practicing. At least in Ohio, we do. Depending on how long you continue in your new career and remain out of Nursing, if you decide you don't like it and want to go back to Nursing, your State board of Nursing will no doubt require you to take refresher courses It's possible they could even require you to repeat your education. If you have not done so, you should check with your State's board of nursing about their guidelines/requirements on deactivating your license. Your State may have a grace period where you do not have to make it inactive until after a period of time you have not practiced. That way, if you decide to go to school to attempt to get your CDL, and either do not complete the training or decide you do not want to continue, you could jump right back into another nursing job.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Getting hired with a 15+ over the limit ticket.

Breezie, being that you have been driving for 15-plus years, I would assume you have experienced dry spells in the past and learned how to deal with dispatch and/or management on how to rectify them. Is there a slow down in the demand for what WE ships? Are other WE drivers in your region experiencing the same lack of miles? Maybe there are issues occurring at WE that you are not aware of, that are contributing to why your loads and/or miles are low? If none of the above, then you need to find out why you are not getting loads. PJ's replies make complete sense, both in general, and in particular to the driver/management relationship. I am sure with your experience, you already know that your condition may not change until you have a heart to heart with management and/or your driver manager. Having not done so due to being with Western Express for such a short time and "not wanting to rock the boat", could certainly be understandable. Yet, you will be the one that suffers If you do not discuss your concerns with them. Consider PJ's suggestions. If not, your current situation may not change.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Do you carry a jug of engine oil?

We charge oil, coolant or washer fluid on our comdata card as needed. Other purchases require approval.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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High hooked another trailer today...... Had to do the Crank of Shame

I have high hoojed one time during my first weeks with CFI, at night. What a PITA. I learned real wuick not to be in a hurry and to watch my 5th wheel in relation to the trailer height. I try to have the top of my 5th wheel touching the bottom of the trailer when I have backed underneath just a couple of inches. I try not to be so close that I shear off my 5th wheel grease though. Lol. Our company uses a dirt lot, so you can imagine the trailers sinking in very wet weather. Luckily we have air dumps on our Macks.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Im really tired of this, this week...

Forgot to mention that at our lot, someone (wink..wink..) has left some 2x6's to use under the landing gear to help keep the landing gear more stable and not sink into the mud. Hopefully, someone doesn't find my "stash" and take it.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Im really tired of this, this week...

Victor, it is unfortunate that you have had difficult periods in your life. You may feel differently, but I guarantee there are thousands if not millions who have probably had worse struggles in life than you. Being new to the trucking industry, we typically imagine the minor things we experience as being major problems. I would believe that every driver in this forum have thought, "I'm getting tired of this" when facing situations. In the particular case of your trailer being in that mud hole, I don't really see a huge issue. You should see the lot where our company parks their trailers! Drivers have literally gotten stuck after hooking up to their trailers, and had to be pulled out. Just as many others, I have dealt with this exact situation.

You may already know what to do in this situation, but when the trailer was too low to get the fifth wheel under it after lowering the airbags, what I have done is: I lower the airbags (if you have them) and thus, the chassis, back the tractor chassis ONLY under the trailer and raise the airbags. Then crank the trailer landing gear down to support the trailer. Then, again lower the airbags and back fully under the trailer, hooking the fifth wheel to complete my hookup. If the landing gear has only further sunk into the mud when lowered them, then I raise the landing gear just enough and PUSH the trailer BACK just enough to get onto more solid ground, then drop the landing gear and continue as previously mentioned. This beats repeatedly slamming the 5th wheel against the trailer headboard, trying to force the 5th wheel under the trailer when it is way too low. I have seen this be attempted, SMH and thinking to myself "explain that damage to the boss." Not quite sure what the issue was with the gladhand on the trailer. As you gain valuable experience these "major", stress inducing events will become minor or trivial issues. Oh, you will always deal with irritating situations, but also will learn how to deal with them. I am still fairly new (<2years), and still become irritated when a new situation arises, but have become much more adapt in dealing with them. I also think to myself: "Well, do you want to go back to what you were doing before (uhh, no, not really) or do you want to take a deep breath or two, deal with this, and then move on?" "It" will get better for you. Hang in there.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Ghosting Your Company

You ( the OP) have ghosted one company and are going to do the same with SWIFT? After two weeks? Why? Because of the account you are on? Speak with your managers about going to another account. You may find you will settle in. Also, I can understand if you have come to the realization that trucking as a whole "isn"t for you", but do the mature and responsible thing and notify SWIFT of your intention of leaving. You are only hurting yourself and future prospects of employment if you follow through with your idea.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Boil it down -- what do you LOVE about trucking?

1.The office view (yes, even in Winter). 2. The solitude I gain spending the majority of my day with 3 people only - me, myself and I. 3. The simplicity of what my duties are. Get a load, deliver that load, return to base (or other) for next load. Yeah, I know there is much more involved, but as it's basis, that's what we do. 4. Knowing others are counting on me to get their product to them on time. Now, if they would only clear the ice from their declining docks, so I can leave after delivery.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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You cant makey money saying no

Being a "local" driver driving a day cab is a different animal from Around the Clock OTR, I am comparing apples to oranges. Knowing that, declining a load because it is "too short" isn't an option. Besides, I cannot "refuse a load", unless it will put me over my 14 before getting back to home base. Doing so will get me shown the door. I will get a 2-3 mile run within Wooster, or an 8 mile run to a customer in a nearby town, unload or drop and return to base for my next load. The only saving grace is our mileage rate is on a sliding scale. Thankfully, I don't get these types of runs often. Give me a nice 500 mile round trip to Buffalo or Dunkirk, NY and I will be happy every time, of course. Well, except when there is bad Winter weather along I-90E.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Well this sucks :( Sent home from Prime

Ugh, I wish I would use the quote button correctly!

This is true.

When you land a job, give them everything you've got for a minimum of one year. After one year your career will be on solid footing, you'll understand the industry much better, and then you can make a move if you really want tobut chances are you won't want to. Once a person gets a great reputation, builds strong relationships, and understands how their company operates, they're making excellent money and they're happy right where they are.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Well this sucks :( Sent home from Prime

This is true.

When you land a job, give them everything you've got for a minimum of one year. After one year your career will be on solid footing, you'll understand the industry much better, and then you can make a move if you really want tobut chances are you won't want to. Once a person gets a great reputation, builds strong relationships, and understands how their company operates, they're making excellent money and they're happy right where they are.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Etiquette to other drivers at shippers/receivers?

My comments are based on the "dedicated" consignees my employer delivers to. Some of our consignees are appointment times, so they dicate who are unloaded first based on those times. But stating that, if you arrive at 0915 for a 0900 appt., but someone with a 1000 appt is already there and has checked in, that driver is getting unloaded first. BE ON TIME! lol. Others have no appointment times and are "first come, first serve." To them, that means if you are first to the office and checking in (not to drive on the premises), then you are going to be unloaded next. Knowing this about our consignees, I am not screwing around waiting on other drivers who want to stand around chit-chatting before checking in. This does not mean I am advocating acting in a rude or unprofessional manner towards other drivers. If they are first to the check-in window, then they deserve to go first. No whining and having hissy fits about appointment times or arriving on site "first." I have experienced twice a driver who arrived first with a full trailer and when I mention I have two or so pallets, or running short of hours, they offer to let me go first. I have done the same. I have also seen the opposite with drivers *****ing because they "were there first" (but hadn't checked in). I see enough disrespect towards other drivers at the fuel isles at Pilot/Flying j. Don't need to be a-holes at a consignee also.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Trying to narrow down schools

I agree. I would without reservation, recommend CFI's CDL school in Joplin MO. In my experience, CFI's CDL training was great, both during school at Crowder College in Joplin, MO, and during my time OTR with the trainer. The training cost (not to mention the rooms and the very good quality all you can eat cafeteria meals included in the total cost) is LOW. One caveat; I heard CFI recently went to 3 weeks and are using automatics during training now. If so, that would be a shame. The 4 weeks training I experienced in Joplin was just enough to get me competent to actually drive a tractor-trailer safely, and not having an automatic-only restriction is a bonus. Maybe a very recent grad can confirm or deny if this is true? Although I left CFI after a couple months, that is no reflection on CFI whatsoever as a training company. If I have anything I hated about my experience at CFI, it would be that damn horrible experience I had traveling on Greyhound to get from Ohio to Joplin and back during training. I am not exaggerating when I state that was an absolute freaking nightmare! Not the actual traveling on the bus, but Greyhounds terrible logistics and performance as a carrier. Waiting 12 hours in St. Louis, 9 hours in Joplin, 10 in Columbus, OH. All due to Greyhounds screw ups. If you can afford doing so in any way, rent a car or car-pool!

Shameless plug!

CFI goes all 48 and Canada, too!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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High-hooking a trailer

When I back under a trailer I ensure that no more than half of my 5th wheel is under the trailer. If that trailer hasn't risen, I am getting out to check my height. I high hooked one time with CFI, and it was a PITA to fix. Not going through that again, especially in the cold. As others do. recommend visually checking that the latch is locked around the king pin and to always do a tug test. Call me paranoid, but mechanical failures can occur, especially in the cold weather or where mechanical parts can get mucked up with grease, snow, ice, slush, etc..

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Fired from an accident

What was the nature/severity of your accident? If no one is hiring you, I would assume it wasn't due to a minor fender crumpling.

Sorry for the delay in a response, but I've been busy trying to find work any type of work at this point. To answer your questions:

How many miles per week are you averaging? Over the road I was averaging 2500 to 3000 miles a week.

How long have you been with this company? I went from a company I was with for 4.5 years to a local company. I had the accident at the new company during my probationary period.

How's your on time delivery performance? Well before the boss fired me he said I was actually doing really well and out of the 3 of us that were going through the training at the same time he said I was the best one. So I was actually doing really well. I know how to do time management and I apply myself the best that I can. When I left previous employer I was put on the rehire list. I'm still on the rehire list but because of the accident with new employer they now can't bring me back because of insurance purposes. I was told that after a year of the accident they can work with me again and bring me back, but only after a year from the accident. So there is hope there.

How's your relationship with your dispatcher? Was a local company so it really didn't matter what my relationship was with him. I was home daily and typically had 2 off.

Were you OTR? I was for 5 years and then went local

How did you start your career? I started my career in 2013 doing reefer. I've only worked for 3 trucking companies and the 3rd one unfortunately I had an accident with. I went from doing reefer to fuel tanker.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Greenhorn and trying to make sure I don't get in too deep

Wow! Logic, based on your initial post, I would say with 100% absolute confidence, trucking is not for you. I won't even point out the numerous false expectations you have. or your personal ideas of what you cannot or will not do, as stated by yourself. I will caution you to really do some thorough and complete research on what driving a truck as a career entails.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Reassigned to older truck

This has happened to me also. I'll be in a great tractor, then out of the blue it is gone. When I ask what happened to it, I am told "It was taken to IP- Streetsboro, or PCA Ashland. In it's place, IP-Wooster gets "Old Betsy" who has seen it's better days. As long as "Old Betsy" gets me from A to B, doesn't break down and will pass ODOT, etc., then I am good to go. Admittedly, I have not had any major issues on any tractor I have been assigned. Some of the company tractors could be older, but they are maintained well. Now, if I could say the same about our trailers!

I have terrible luck when it comes to my assigned trucks, I get one I like for a few weeks and it gets sent to another terminal or something else happens and ots gone for what ever reason.

But in my opinion the truck has the company name on the door not mine, so as long as I have something to drive it doesnt really matter. I've driven trucks with less than 20 miles all the way up to 900k miles and they all pay the same.

Remember trainers no matter the company always get priority when it comes to truck assignments.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Rookie who can’t stand otr training

Agreed. Although some "local" companies - including the one I work for - will hire you right out of CDL school, I can only assume most all require experience. I enjoyed the few months I was OTR, but admit I am in as perfect a situation for my needs, driving daycab for my employer. Naj should drive OTR, Regional, etc., to gain experience and skills, but could be researching those local companies in his/her locale. That way, when an opportunity arises, apply and see if you meet their requirements.

Rick C gets lucky:

double-quotes-start.png

I picked up a local job, hauling aggregate, right out of CDL school, with no experience.

double-quotes-end.png

PackRat stays realistic:

double-quotes-start.png

You will not immediately get into your wanted regional job driving right off the bat with no experience.

double-quotes-end.png

Both comments here are not contradictory. It all depends on a company's needs at the moment. Naj, you certainly might find the job you want. I started out driving for Swift as OTR because that's what they do. Within a few months I was offered a line haul assignment where I was home every day (and had 4 days on, 2 days off "work weeks" as well!

The trainer issue you need to work out as others have explained. But your best bet for any job assignment is most commonly through driving at least a few months OTR.

Patience and perseverance will get you whatever kind of work you are looking for.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Rand mcnally or garmin

I like my Garmin. Although I drive to the same customers in Ohio, PA or NY, and don't really need to use it, I continue to do so, along with Google Maps. I think at this point, it's just to hear someone talking to me, and to remind me "hey dummy, don't forget this turn coming up!"

Posted:  3 months ago

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Hah! I screw up when quoting someone all the time. I see you are more active here on TTT. Hope you and the hubby have a terrific New Year!

I had a feeling I messed that up; my 'reply' is within Don's quote.. SORRY~~!!

Thanks again, all y'all.

Anne (and Tom)

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