Profile For Villain

Villain's Info

  • Location:
    Newnan, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 8 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:  1 month, 1 week 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 5¢ 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:  1 month, 3 weeks 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:  2 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:  2 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:  2 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:  2 months, 2 weeks 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:  2 months, 3 weeks 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:  2 months, 3 weeks 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:  2 months, 3 weeks 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:  3 months, 2 weeks 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!

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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I'm Back! I Missed You Guys.

Well I am back behind the wheel after about a year off. I left Tommy Freight. I told them that I was willing to drive 650 miles per day. Even told them I could do without the 34s. That wasn't good enough for them. I was burnt out. I gave TransAm a try. 1 week, 2 trucks, 2 breakdowns and 270 miles. I thought it was time to do something else.

Settled in rural Georgia. Unless I was willing to commute 2 hours each way the jobs were hard to come by. Made a living for 3 months playing underground poker games until the state took umbrage. But all this time I never got rid of the itch to be back on the road.

Now I've been with PTL for about 3 weeks. What a night and day difference! I actually enjoy my job. The routes are plotted at 50mph. After what I went through with Tommy, it feels like a part time job.

I hope everyone is doing well. Brett, PackRat, Old School, G-Town, Susan D., Errol, Rainy D, and others. You guys were my mentors and trainers. I will always appreciate you guys getting me through the beginning. I hope to continue to learn from you. :)

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Taking the Dog with you OTR

LMAO! I thought I was the only one confused about who this Dan guy was always quoting but never commenting. I looked at several posts and there's Dan smiling and quoting but never commenting. I thought he was trolling rofl-2.gif

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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One Foot Out of the Door

@ Rainy: I didn't pay for the mechanic. The boss' 1st plan after Freightliner said it would be tomorrow was to have another driver 2 hours away come & help me do the repair (my hard line hose in the coolant system). So I was going to do a repair that came out to $354 on the house, or so he thought.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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One Foot Out of the Door

My company has about 10 trucks I believe. As far as the elog, some guy back at the office alters them however they want. I work EVERY day no 34 restart. They only worry about the elog when I'm in the Western States (OR, WA, etc.) I sat in the truck outside the Freightliner Service Center in SLC waiting for the mobile mechanic because Freightliner couldn't service the truck until tomorrow. I didn't have the option to leave the truck & do anything else. I'm with a small company because it was the only opportunity that came my eay due to my felony record.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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One Foot Out of the Door

I don't know if what I'm about to describe is just the normal stuff that goes on in most small companies & I just need to get over it. But things have gotten to the point that telling myself over and over again to just make it through 1 year at this company isn't working. It was only my 1st or 2nd week solo. I was coming from Yakima, WA to Carlisle, PA. My boss calls & tells me that the appt time has been moved from 5am Sun to 5am Sat. Means that I have to drive about 1100 miles in one sitting. What's worse is that while I'm driving, he texts me a trip sheet for a pickup at 11am Saturday. Thank God that when I got to the destination the original appt time was the correct time. This hasn't been the only time that I've driven over 1000 miles in one sitting. I'm at the Goodyear Tire Center. My boss calls me over to show me a steer tire that was finally being replaced. Tells me that it was ready to blow out at any moment & that it was important that I do a daily PTI, implying that I wasn't doing them (I PTI daily, perform a walk around & thump test every time I stop, & inspect every post shift) . I reminded him that I had informed him 3 times that most of my tires where bad, the 1st time being the morning after he dropped me off at the truck for the 1st time. His response then was lets get on the road & make some money & then "we'll" replace the tires. Yesterday wasn't the worst day but it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I had a pick up in Syracuse, UT 11am delivering to Keller, TX (1239 miles) at 7pm Sun, It was 7am & I was unloading at SLC. After loading taking I80W, the truck decided it had had enough. I spent 6 hrs on break down not earning a cent, at 1point was told that another driver was on the way to help me play at truck mechanic for free, replacing the hard line hose beneath the driver's wheel well. That never happened but the bill from the mobile mechanic was $354. My boss must think I'm a hell of a generous guy. I love the job, despise my employer. I'm ready to drive to my terminal in Chicago and hand the keys in. Only thing stopping me from including a punch or two to the jaw is I'd like to get my last check.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Podcasts

I use Podcast Republic on my Android phone to listen to all of my favorite ESPN Radio Shows. The app has a large selection of podcasts to subscribe to.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Descending steep downgrades in an automatic

Okay, I've looked at this post several times and didn't feel comfortable replying because of my lack of experience. But the comments about taking the descent in auto mode when the weather is good begs the question : if you don't learn how to descend in manual mode in good weather, then what happens in bad weather? Learn on the fly? I always descend in manual mode. It seems that the Descent Mode in my truck is faulty. Tried it twice and the damn thing upshifts like I was on a flat road & wanted to accelerate. I couldn't find the page to provide a link, but these newer transmissions are made to rev above 2k rpm on a descent.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Dog & Idling

I started driving in April when daytime temps were cool. Never noticed how many places have a sign at the entrance that states No Idling. I don't know how many enforce that policy, I was at a Wal-Mart DC with a No Idling Sign and was told don't worry about it we don't expect you to bake in the truck. About 2 weeks ago I had a security guard knock on my door and tell me I couldn't idle. This is the only issue that would make me walk away from trucking. I don't see myself sitting in a 100+ degree truck for hours waiting to load/unload. And I live & die with the split sleeper birth provision. But if I'm not actually able to sleep then what's the point.

Told my boss/owner about being told to shut off truck. He said the solution is simple : get a dog, places don't care if you bake to death but tell them you have a dog and they will let you idle. Is this true? I know some places no idling is a matter of the law. But in the cases when it's just company policy, does having a dog get me a pass? I'm thinking of ordering one of those service dog harnesses for better effect.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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What does Independence Day (4th of July) mean to you all and how do you celebrate it each year?

Well I'm going to be the killjoy. Just celebrated my 47th birthday. Means I'm one year closer to my last breath, same holds true for this great experiment in self rule and determination that we call The United States of America. Can't point to a day on the calendar and say yep that's when it started, but government stopped being of the people, for the people, and by the people. Read a book, Empire by Orson Scott Card written in 2006. Twelve years later the Afterword is more appropriate than ever. Haven't heard the words "Social Contract" in two decades. People wait on the next IPhone or next Pokémon Go while things are falling apart around us. Countless people made the ultimate sacrifice for America and yet here we are like a spoiled kid that blows his inheritance on prostitutes and drugs.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

How long did it take you to get good at backing?

Choosing to back in at the truck stops instead of pulling through is good advice. 2 1/2 months in and the only time I pull through is when I'm making a bee line to the bathroom. Funny thing is that I have more problems at the docks when it's wide open! One thing that really helped me understand steer/counter steer : until I'm straight, I'm not counter steering I'm just steering less and less. Example, I'm 45° to the trailer, that's how much turn I still have left until I'm straight. Don't know if I did a terrible job of explaining what I mean. Also try not to stop, you'll get a better feel of how the trailer reacts to your steering and it makes it easier to project its path.

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