Profile For Philip N.

Philip N.'s Info

  • Location:
    HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    11 months ago

Philip N.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Safe Following Distance

I earned my CDL January 2nd but have been sick with one thing or another since then. One of the things impressed upon me by my instructor while driving on I-95 in Philly was to maintain safe following distance. Although the rule of thumb calls for less he always told me to maintain 8 seconds of distance. Well, driving on the PA turnpike I notice truckers no more than 2 seconds or less than the length of a trailer behind cars and other tractor trailers. This appears to be common. Is it?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I PASSED At Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia

My friend is working for Prime EFS in New Jersey and she pulls Amazon trailers. It's all no touch drop and hook. So far, a month into the job and still training, she said she spends up to 2 hours waiting for a load and there is "lots of down time" in her 12 hour days. Will that change in that type of position? I have applied to hiring company, ShypDirect, and all keep you posted on that decision.

Thanks again for the feedback. It is much appreciated.

Congratulations!

Just a small reality check...

At least a couple of times per month I must perform a parallel in order to dock/unload behind another parked trailer.

It’s a necessary skill, please do not underestimate the challenges you’ll be faced with out here. Old School issued several warnings, I’ll offer one...

Your friend claiming his job was “easy”? Take it with a grain of salt. He hasn’t been out here long enough yet...

Keep your eyes and mind wide open.

Good luck.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I PASSED At Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia

Congratulations on getting your CDL! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Now for a few truths. Alley docking of some sort is how most of your backs will start. Offset is often used to help center yourself in a dock door. Parallel parking is mostly seen in tiny rest areas. All backs end as straight backs. In my opinion, your school did you wrong by not teaching you all the basics. Another advantage of Paid CDL Training Programs, is the one on one training one receives. Good luck. Stay safe. I wish you much success.

THANK YOU

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I PASSED At Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia

I don't understand why people on this site insist, without knowing me or my skill set, and keep telling me I can drive a manual. I had a hard enough time driving a 5-speed Saturn for the 10 years I owned one. No double clutching or splitter involved while watching traffic and anything else going on within 1/4 mile.

I do thank you for your encouragement and feedback.

Now that I know I can handle a truck, in reverse, I think I will be able to learn and manage to do any backing maneuver. The manuevers in the automatic Freighliner I tested in today was smooth as silk. None of the leg shaking required to keep the yard trucks at a slow enough speed.

Thanks again!

Congratulations Phil. dancing-banana.gif

But...

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I "could not" learn to shift a 10 speed. Some people can and some can't. Why go through the difficulty and frustration... manual keeps people from pursuing the life.

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That's simply not true. You can learn to shift gears in a big rig. You decided that you couldn't - WARNING! There's going to be a thousand things about this career that you are going to think you can't learn to do. You're gonna have to dig deeper and believe in yourself or you will get completely washed out in short order.

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Trainco taught maneuvers as one continuous move. Smith & Solomon teach it as 5 movements. After each movement you stop and turn your wheels in the proper direction. Simple and easy.

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WARNING! That method is designed only to help you pass the test. It will never work in the real world.

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instructors have told me the offset backing and parllel parking will never be used in the real world

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WARNING! I use those maneuvers frequently.

Hang in there. The real world isn't so kind, but you can do this.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

I PASSED At Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia

I passed my CDL exam today! I failed to manage the maneuvers at Trainco in July and quit on the last day (two-week course 120 hours total) because I was nowhere near managing the manuevers. I kept going and went through Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia. I qualified on an automatic. I mentioned back in August the I "could not" learn to shift a 10 speed. Some people can and some can't. Why go through the difficulty and frustration when all the companies I am applying to have mostly or all automatics anyway (Werner Enterprises is now 100% auto, Schneider at least 70%, US Xpress either all auto or transitiong their fleet to auto. Werner spenty $500 Million to switch.) Auto is the way of the future. No clutches to replace and manual keeps people from pursuing the life.

Trainco taught maneuvers as one continuous move. Smith & Solomon teach it as 5 movements. After each movement you stop and turn your wheels in the proper direction. Simple and easy. Besides, instructors have told me the offset backing and parllel parking will never be used in the real world even though I see situations where they might. Parallel might be used in areas where truckers park along the side of the road. Trainco teaches alley docking but Smith & Solomon does not. They say the company we hire on with will train us 90 and 45 degree docking.

The instuctors at Trainco were awesome as were most of the trainers at Smith & Solomon (Philadelphia campus). The yard instructor is a bit gruff and not always "instructive." I was doing offset backing and he looked at me from 200 feet away and raised his arms as if to say, "What are you doing." None of us in the cab knew what he wanted. It turns out I had turned the wheels in the wrong direction but we, new students, had to figure that out. He showed me offset once and said, "You got that or you want me to show you again?" Uh, yes please.

Trainco instructors (Perrysburg, OH campus) taught the whole class the straight line and offset backing at the same time. They demonstrated and told us how to do it. Once we mastered those we would ask to be shown parallel parking. At S&S you had to ask to be taught everything. Students were frequently training students, unlike Trainco where instructors made sure we knew that was no legal and they stopped it every time they saw it.

That brings me to a very important point. Trainco has more instructors and they are mostly on hand on the range. (There were times, not often, when only one instructor was covering the range. At S&S there is just one constant yard instructor, previously mentioned as gruff) during the length of the work day (7a-3:30p but ended earlier if he wanted to leave earlier). When I class is not in the classroom (first week) the classroom instructor comes out to the yard. Great guy, lots of fun and easy going and helpful.

I am considering a Werner and a Home Depot Mid-Atlantic regional lane, Roehl, and an Amazon contrator dropping and hooking Amazon trailers in Southeaster, PA, NJ and Delaware. My former classmate works for them and said, "It's so easy." Twelve hour days but easy.

I'll keep you all posted. Phil Nahrgangdancing-banana.gif

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

CDL School Take 2

Today I made plans to attend Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia. This is my second attempt at getting my CDL. In July I did not finish school at Trainco in Ohio. I walked away a few hours from finishing because I had not even gotten parallel parking done with alley docking yet to learn. They would have handed me the paper but I don't believe I would have been ready for testing successfully. I have decided to keep trying.

One important difference here is that Trainco had old Schneider automatics. S&S, like all the other schools I checked, only trains on 10-speeds. So, while I am still anxious about my ability to drive a manual I will give it my best and finish this time.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Outback Truckers on Netflix

I just started watching a show called Outback Truckers. As you might have guessed it's about Australian truckers driving through the wilds of Australia's Outback. One couple runs 24/7 and drives enough miles every six weeks to circle the globe. Check it out.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4345548/

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Reviews of Roadmaster Training

Did you test there and get your CDL?

Went through the Roadmasters school in Orlando.

First couple of days you work on your permit. Then, you learn operation basics, then you start backing.

Schoolwork was typically in the morning, driving in the afternoon.

Instructors are friendly enough.

Trucks are worn out.

Two weeks in, recruiters come by to pitch.

Was about five weeks.

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Anyone have anything to say about Roadmaster's training program?

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Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Reviews of Roadmaster Training

Anyone have anything to say about Roadmaster's training program?

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

PRIME, advice and questions

I have completed just about 50% of the course and find it very helpful.

I have started reviewing the High Road CDL and have found it very helpful. I am only around 13% but I find that it is very helpful so far. I am not sure what I have I can sell, but I should figure something out as this is something I really want to do. Even if I fail, at least I tried.

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Here's a tip that will greatly help you prepare for the permit tests. You said...

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I have been studying the manual and trying to gear my self up for the change as it is huge.

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I would ditch that plan and go with studying the High Road CDL Training Program. That will make a huge difference in your ability to grasp and retain all the information you need to know. It will give you a tremendous headstart over the other students and will likely get you connected with your first trainer much quicker.

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Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Trainco Training on Automatic Transmissions

Thank you for all that. Congrats on your CDL. Schneider will not be moving forward with my hiring because I made a really stupid, totally ignorant comment to a classmate. It was a bad joke and she did not think it was funny. Sucks because I don't really want to drive for anyone else. Totally lost my fire for the career, but I am still looking for another paid CDL program. I went to All-State Careers in Lester, PA (next to the Phila airport). They use a dirt lot and tuition for the 6 month course is $10,000. It's 4 days a week, half-days. I won't ne doing that.

Keep us posted on the Schneider career. I'm envious.

Dude. I absolutely feel for you. I was at Trainco may and June and had the exact same experience. I don't think some of these guys realize that in order to go slow enough you need to hold the clutch in and ease it in and out to control your speed. I was close to giving up myself. If you look up my posts from that time I was very discouraged. I failed my CDL test at Trainco on the alley dock, simply because I couldn't do the repetitions I needed to master it. Came back the next week-failed on the exact same thing. I went home to NJ and didn't know what to do. Luckily for me, the local CDL school had a Schneider's rep they dealt with who was able to get me 4(turned out more like 8) and the road test paid for by Schneider. This is on top of the Trainco school they already paid for. I went through it and had to redo all the sections of the test here in NJ. I passed my maneuvers this time, but this time I hit a curb and failed. 😂 It was just a simple mistake, but I was really discouraged and almost gave up again! This time I exhausted my resources, but I came up with the $500 I needed to get my test. I passed this time and right now I'm laying in bed in Carlisle, PA after my first day at Schneider orientation. 😁 You can do it too! Don't give up. Look for a local school and see if they have a Schneider rep there that can get you covered for a little help. If you are anywhere near southern NJ, I'd really recommend Mike's CDL school in Clayton. Their range trucks (except 1) have hydraulic clutches so it won't kill your knee. I don't think they have any automatic trucks though so consider that as well. Best of luck to you.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Took my test today

Congratulations!

And...I PASSED! 😁 First thing I did was stop at the DMV and I picked up my CDL. I'm estatic! I called Schneider today and they're scheduling me for orientation. Thanks for all the help and support from all of you. It's been a tough road, but I got one of the brass rings.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

Thank you for all your feed back. I totally agree the bad attitude has got to go. I was so excited and positive at Trainco. I'd struggle but keep on trying. I think I was afraid I would fail the test and end up paying for the school. There was almost no chance that, on the very last day in the last few hours that I was going to get parallel parking and alley docking down well enough to pass. I hadn't even learned alley docking at the point. Prime is not .12cpm or $700.

Is that training pay??? Primes in team training is 14cpm or $700 whichever is greater.

and to answer your question... many people in the south can live on that, or certain areas of the country. they have a national fleet who does. especially if you live on the truck. Many CRE drivers are second chancers with background issues who were given a chance other companies wouldn't offer. They appreciate the investment, despite the fact that they are an insurance high risk.

However, i seriously think you need to do some deep thinking. Get rid of all the negativity. the " i cant drive a manual, i need an automatic, i cant back.. i had to leave the one school and now im going to bash a company that others enjoy after one email" crappy attitude.

if a company is not for you, then move on to researching another. But please, the bad attitude has to go.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

I was just feeling ****ed off about a comment. I do appreciate all the feedback I get here. Thanks!

"No replies needed."

Posted on a discussion forum....

Hmmm...

'Red rag to a bull' methinks...

Why do you post questions on a forum if you don't want answers? Or ask for advice if you're not willing to consider said advice once it is given?

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Sorry...couldn't resist! lol

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

Each driver is doing 3000/week, 6000 total? That's half of $960 or $480.

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That's $960/2 or $480 a week for 70 hours of driving a week. That's $6.85 an hour.

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Phillip, can you live on $960 dollars per week?

If you and your co-driver are getting it done like you should, that's what your gross pay would be. If a team runs 6,000 miles a week at that rate, each driver makes $960 dollars.

Now the question becomes, "Can I get out there and be that productive?" You're asking all the wrong questions.

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You may need to check your math......

6000 miles x 0.16c per mile = $960.00 not $480.00.

Just sayin' .....

😜lol

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

USA Truck is now 100% automatics according to a recruiter I spoke with today. CR England is only buying automatics according to one of their recruiters who I spoke to today. Schneider is going automatic and are currently 65-70 percent automatic. SWIFT and many other companies are also buying more automatics. And no, I CAN'T drive a manual because I have arthritis in my knees. All the clutch work, especially in the winter, would be bad for me over time. Besidwes, I've had a hard enough time driving a 5 speed car because I can never seem to find that spot where the clutch engages where you let off the gas. I was always burning rubber, especially on wet roads. The automatic Schneider gave Trainco was sweet. I can handle that just fine.

No replies needed. Thanks!

Is that training pay??? Primes in team training is 14cpm or $700 whichever is greater.

and to answer your question... many people in the south can live on that, or certain areas of the country. they have a national fleet who does. especially if you live on the truck. Many CRE drivers are second chancers with background issues who were given a chance other companies wouldn't offer. They appreciate the investment, despite the fact that they are an insurance high risk.

However, i seriously think you need to do some deep thinking. Get rid of all the negativity. the " i cant drive a manual, i need an automatic, i cant back.. i had to leave the one school and now im going to bash a company that others enjoy after one email" crappy attitude.

if a company is not for you, then move on to researching another. But please, the bad attitude has to go.

Is that training pay??? Primes in team training is 14cpm or $700 whichever is greater.

and to answer your question... many people in the south can live on that, or certain areas of the country. they have a national fleet who does. especially if you live on the truck. Many CRE drivers are second chancers with background issues who were given a chance other companies wouldn't offer. They appreciate the investment, despite the fact that they are an insurance high risk.

However, i seriously think you need to do some deep thinking. Get rid of all the negativity. the " i cant drive a manual, i need an automatic, i cant back.. i had to leave the one school and now im going to bash a company that others enjoy after one email" crappy attitude.

if a company is not for you, then move on to researching another. But please, the bad attitude has to go.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

That's $960/2 or $480 a week for 70 hours of driving a week. That's $6.85 an hour.

Phillip, can you live on $960 dollars per week?

If you and your co-driver are getting it done like you should, that's what your gross pay would be. If a team runs 6,000 miles a week at that rate, each driver makes $960 dollars.

Now the question becomes, "Can I get out there and be that productive?" You're asking all the wrong questions.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

CR ENGLAND 16cpm

I received an email from CR England with their pay scale for new drivers who go their school. 32cpm split between 2 drivers and your state's minimum wage for on duty time you're not driving. Who can live on that?

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Options Other Than CDL School

Yes, I completely agree with you which is why I intend to contact different schools today.

Thanks for your very valuable feedback.

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Does anyone know of other options, other than going to another school for the full course, for me to learn the backing skills? My friend insists there must be a way.

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Who is this friend? What kind of authority on becoming a successful truck driver are they?

Philip, have you ever noticed how often we talk about the Commitment required to get this career started? Now, think about how you are racking your brain to try and figure out some other way to get yourself behind the wheel of a big rig.

I think it's time for you to realize that you need to make a commitment to this and apply to one of the Paid CDL Training Programs. No one will hire you without an official training certificate. That certificate carries more weight than a CDL when you're a newbie just trying to enter the job market as a rookie driver.

You either need to figure out a way to finish what you started at Trainco, or start over at another school. Surely you want to get this started right don't you? It's a pretty serious responsiblity being out here commandeering an 80,000 pound monstrosity on wheels. We are all wanting you to get it right. I hope you feel that same responsibility to play by the rules.

Look, we understand your dilemma. Not everybody learns this stuff at the same pace. When you started this it probably caught you completely off guard that others were advancing quicker than you. That's not a big deal. What is a big deal is that you are now wanting to cut corners with your own solutions based on some random friend's suggestion. That's a bad approach.

Get it settled in your mind that you want to do this right. Taking the proper steps to success is one sure way of assuring you have a chance of achieving your goals. Cutting corners at the onset of your career is a sure fire way to establish yourself as someone who will surely fall short when the going gets tough.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Options Other Than CDL School

I've posted elsewhere that I went through a two-week training at Trainco in Ohio. I left last Tuesday before making up the time I missed the previous week. I have also posted elsewhere that I walked away because I could parallel park to save my live and I only had a few hours left, never mind moving on to alley docking.

I have inquired with Trainco to see if I can come back and finish. Mike, the owner, said I could when I left. I know I'll need more than the remaining time in my training because I have other things to make up beside the range time.

Does anyone know of other options, other than going to another school for the full course, for me to learn the backing skills? My friend insists there must be a way. All I have found is expensive rentals and a licensed driver would need to make the rental.

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