Profile For Villain

Villain's Info

  • Location:
    Newnan, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 2 months ago

Villain's Bio

I love to drive! Went to the local community college and enrolled in their CDL Program... in 2005! Unfortunately no one bothered to tell me that with a felony record, the odds of me getting hired were long indeed. Fast forward 13 years. A friend of a friend that became a truck driver said he would put in a word for me with his company. Now (Mar 31, 2018) I am packing to move to Chicago and start my dream of 13 years ago!

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Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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No, They Aren't All The Same

So I just read the post by Brett about being less harsh. I decided to make this post that may run against the grain.

After reading several (many?) posts about what company to start with, the consensus seems to be: most are the same, the important thing is to put a year in and then look at your options. I beg to differ. Yes I have limited experience. I started with a small (10 unit) outfit that flaunted many rules. I tried to make it work at TransAm. This year I am with PTL.

The difference between PTL and TransAm is night and day. At TransAm from the moment orientation started, the lease program was shoved down our throat. The pay was $1.05/mile (minus 5ยข for taxes?). You can do the math and see what a terrible deal that is. After the 3rd day when the lease sign up period was over, there was a noticeable difference in how those of us that declined were treated. At PTL the lease program was never mentioned. I only know we have one because I saw what looked like a 10 year old poster on the wall in the driver's lounge!

At TransAm I had 2 trucks and spent 6 out of 10 days broken down/waiting for repairs. I spent hours both times waiting for a response from the DM when I broke down without receiving a response. At PTL I can contact Road Maintenance directly. I have an older truck that's had some issues. Every time that I've called RM they have been there for me.

At PTL when I drive into the main terminal, I have to go through the inspection station. Guy asks me about any issues. Then he gets on a crawler and goes under from the back of the trailer to the front of the truck! Then it's on to the truck wash. All before I can park. Nothing like that at TransAm.

Even though PTL to me is head and shoulders above TransAm I still wouldn't recommend them for someone without experience. The training consists of going with a trainer for 10,000 miles (phase 1). Then they put you as a team with someone else that's only been with a trainer for another 7,500 miles (phase 2). So two people who know next to nothing together. As Winter settles in, I wonder how that works out.

Sorry for the long post. The point is that there have to be companies that are much better than others to start your career with. And there have to be red flags that someone can look for.

Two that I would look for: 1-how many drivers are company vs lease (TransAm states that 70% of the drivers are lease)? 2-how long(short) is the training?

A company like Prime where I've read that the training period is 40,000 miles sounds like a better place to get a foundation than a company that gives you a few weeks with a trainer then hands you the keys and says "good luck".

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Is This a HAZMAT Load

I am at Awesome Products in West Memphis. My load is 4,416 gallons of ammonia-based cleaner in 1 gallon containers.

Google Search is fighting me. I can't find the right resource. Is this a load requiring HAZMAT Endorsement? I'm still waiting to hear back from FM.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Weather apps

I like to use the National Weather Service Website - www.weather.gov

Driving in some parts of the country, first thing I would check was wind speed.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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What do you miss?

I miss being able to watch whatever game is on that night. I especially miss my wife's southern cooking.

BTW sitting on my 34,I've watched a driver break out the jump rope and the usual walkers doing laps around the lot (which the wife is reminding me that I'm supposed to start doing). I remember seeing those rubber band things that you can use to work out with in limited space.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Driver shortage still the top issue for truckload carriers - ATRI

Grunch.

Reading the forum last year comments that stated there isn't a driver shortage so much as a shortage of quality drivers. IMO the fact that there's a shortage of qualified drivers proves that there's a driver shortage. I have never seen/experienced such uncivilized and dangerous behavior as I have in trucking.

My trips are planned at 50mph. Picked up Sep 20 in Dallas heading to Pennsylvania. Miles =1,390. Appointment is the 25th! 5 1/2 days for a 2 1/2 trip! I spent 60hrs off duty because the appointment couldn't be rescheduled!

My company seems to be happy if they get 400 miles a day from a driver. To me that's like a part time job if the majority of the loads are drop and hook.

Poor drivers affect the bottom line of companies and drivers. I don't know what the solution is, but most of the problems in trucking start and end with the driver shortage.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Installing A TV

I'm not handy at all. The wife is coming with me OTR. I bought a 32" TV. I'm on home time. Where can I go to have it installed?

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Tools needed?

My number 1 must have tool is the leaf blower. What a difference over a push broom from cleaning the trailer. Can't recommend one enough.

Number 2. Am I the only one that has a 50ft air hose and chuck? I'm a bit anal about my tires. With my own air hose I never worry about finding one that works!

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Newbie problems with trip planning..

Just like when you're driving, anticipation is important for planning.

Say you're going to come off of your 10 and have a dispatch already. It's 60 miles to the Shipper. Review the route. Where do you anticipate to scale if needed after loading? Where do you anticipate taking your 30? Can you combine the 30 with your fuel stop? At your fuel stop where do you expect to take your 10? Do you expect to be close to your 10 during peak parking times? If yes what alternate locations are available (Walmart, rest areas with bathrooms)?

I used to write my plan down. Now I just keep in mind the next stop or 2 and what time of day that stop will be.

I remember when I first started using this forum. I believe it was Old School that wrote about planning and being a master of the clock. This is critical to maximizing your earnings.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Questions About Recap Hours

I went off duty today with 1.5 hours left on my 70. I have 5 hours coming back tomorrow and 10.5 the next day.

1. Do the 5 hours get credited at 12:01am?

2. If I start my shift tomorrow at 5:30pm and pull over a few minutes before midnight, will I have more hours at 12:01am to continue driving?

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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New cdl driver with fresh felony conviction

Wow this thread looks like it would be more at home on truckersreport or whatever it's called.

OP as long as you understand and accept that your first job doesn't have to be your last job there are a few companies that will hire you. Carolina Cargo hires anyone that's breathing. Spoke with one of their former drivers a couple of months ago. 20cpm and only teams. Then there's TransAm. 90% of orientation will be about pushing lease purchase down your throat (don't do it). Finally there's Paschall Trucking Lines (PTL). They hire felons and no experience. I've been with them for about 3 weeks and I'm happy to drive for them. Good luck!

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