Profile For Alexandr S.

Alexandr S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Morongo Basin, CA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year ago

Alexandr S.'s Bio

Career change ... cdl trainee

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Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Tips for minimizing time in training

I will soon be starting OTR orientation and training, where the training time is variable putatively based on demonstrated readiness and performance. Because of my dog, I am trying to finish training ASAP so I do not have to board him for too long.

I am feeling extremely optimistic based on 1. My performance at private CDL school was top notch and I can do the backing maneuvers without losing any points. I did all my skills perfectly when I passed my CDL test. Overall I just feel confident driving the damn thing. Many of my peers not nearly as much. So that gives me optimism. 2. I’ve been absorbing rookie advice materials on forums and YouTube very thoroughly.

On the other hand, my CDL school (as expected) did not teach coupling, qualcom, tandem adjusting, weighing procedure, etc. So all of those things I will learn at orientation and training. I will study up more on these things in the next week to get a better foothold.

Does anyone have other suggestions or materials to study to ensure that I can perform as efficiently as possible at training? What about attitude advice to ensure that that I am deemed “ready” ASAP?

Thanks!

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Typical sampling of run lengths for rookies?

I keep hearing some runs are great, some are frustrating, etc. generally the longer runs are more desirable but won’t happen very often, and so forth.

Here’s something I haven’t gotten a sense of from my trucking research: as an OTR rookie, what is a typical sampling of the kind of “runs” you get? What is considered a great run that we may occasionally get? What is an example of a bad run we can expect? What’s are some typical lengths of loads we can expect first year at a moderately large or large starter company? Thanks!

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Timeline for transitioning to trucking as 180 career change?

Ah yes, but it maybe doesn't feel like work, even when it's even harder work than a regular job? That's how it seems to me. I'm trying to rule out whether I have a case of grass-is-greener, since what's killing me about my profession is its 9-5ness, being inside, working with the public, staying in one place, not being challenged, dealing with meaningless office politics, etc etc. Thanks for the introductory info- this is a great resource.

I am a white collar professional. I was suit-and-tie with a high salary for 3.5 years until six months ago, when I moved to a low COL region and started doing part-time contract work from home (still in my field). I can relate to the frustration with office politics. I saw a trucking school near where I live, and I thought this is the right opportunity. I researched trucking companies, I researched forums online (and found this forum, and the resources on this site, to be exhaustive of everything you need to know). I am in the private CDL school and have a learner's permit. I have a tentative offer from May Trucking.

I think there are two background reasons that made this possible:

1. I get inherent satisfaction from driving, and in the few times in my life I got to drive a large U-Haul, I found that especially satisfying. I generally have good driving skills, reaction instincts, ability to park in tight spaces and navigate routes. (I think this has helped CDL school to be not as frustrating, as I believe my learning curve has been rather good, knock on wood!)

2. I have a strong sense of adventure from traveling.

3. I do not have tangible things holding me back, e.g., no large or demanding family, financial obligations. I am in a long distance relationship, and I now see my partner frequently for great lengths of time (because of my current part-time remote work). I won't be able to see her for as long each time while OTR, but my recruiter (and other recruiters, as well as my trucking school boss) has assured me that I can arrange with my dispatcher to time my loads to allow me to take home time in her city, which is in a major freight corridor.

The only other thing I will add, because you alluded to this, is that I have very few belongings. I've downsized a lot, and I can fit all essential things in a small storage unit (e.g., ill ditch the cheap walmart couch, box up stuff, etc). Not sure if I'll do that, yet, but we'll see. Anyway, if you have a similar instinctual drive toward this type of work (#1 and #2 above), and you do not have strong tangible things that will get in the way (#3 above), this is something you should consider pursuing further. If you hate driving, or if driving gives you great anxiety, etc., that's a different story.

That's my two cents.

Oh and the speed of the transition, that can be really fast. Seriously, you just go ahead fill out an application at a company that does its own in-house CDL training (that will be more involved and will require you to travel to their site, which they will pay for), or you go to a local CDL school and then apply to a company that hires rookies. You will get a call back for a phone interview within a day or two. You can be on the road in no time.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

May Trucking Company pay options: CPM (0.35 for me as a rookie) vs. $105 daily minimum with 90 day extra pay based on miles.

Thanks everyone. This is really helpful and informative. I searched every MTC thread on this forum, and thus far this topic has not been covered. I think your input here will be helpful for others who are researching them in the future.

Susan and Big T - 500 miles per day is not hard, even out of the gate?! That is rather encouraging. With E-Logs strictly tracking the 11 hour daily limit that seemed totally far afield. I was expecting that once I get my feet wet that I wouldn't be able to do more than 350. Doing 500 on most of my days would be pretty awesome.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Help! A Career Change Decision

I think for most meaningful feedback you should provide some additional info as Steve L. has stated. If your only drawbacks really are just the ones that you mentioned ("the long hours, high stress levels and sedentary lifestyle"), I think you gotta go with your heart here. I am in a similar position and in the middle of a career pivot, possibly a full on transition. I am a white collar professional. My CDL school instructor used to be a white collar professional. There's something seductive about trucking. No matter how this turns out for me, if I end up washing out and realizing it's not a right fit -- something I strongly doubt at this point (similar to your "soul" drive so to say) -- I will not say I have regretted trying. I am ready to go to orientation for a trucking company in less than a month and almost done with the CDL.

Of course, if there are more tangible drawbacks re finances/family issues, which you do not mention, that would change the analysis. But based on what you are saying, go get it. Call up recruiters, they will be very responsive and help you find the right fit very quickly, you will be at an orientation before you know it.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

May Trucking Company pay options: CPM (0.35 for me as a rookie) vs. $105 daily minimum with 90 day extra pay based on miles.

I can't believe this is happening. Long story short, I may be at orientation at May by August 14 (this is a delay at my request), and will hopefully have my CDL within a 2-3 weeks of today. It's exciting, but that's for another topic.

Anyway, this is what the recruiter told me (and these terms are accurate based on my clarifying questions, and on what others at my CDL school say and what I've read elsewhere online).

They offer the following compensation options:

1. 0.35 CPM to start, paid weekly, (the starting rookie rate, and obviously with raises after 6 and 12 months, etc.).

OR

2. $105 flat daily rate for each day I am on-duty (also paid weekly), PLUS if I haul more than $105/day worth of miles in a 90 day period, then after each 90 days I will be paid the EXACT difference based the miles I hauled, so my total pay will be equal to what it would be at the regular CPM rate.

At first blush, this seems strange. Why would anyone chose option 1, since option 2 has a guaranteed floor rate? I guess delay is one factor -- under option 2, you have to wait 90 days to be fully compensated for your work. (This factor is not a concern for me.) But the delay seems like a minimum concern, considering that under option 2 you have essentially a free insurance policy guaranteeing a minimum wage regardless of miles.

I am scratching my head about what's May's motive for devising such a plan,

So, $105 flat would mean an average of 285 miles driven on each day on duty (at the 0.35 rookie rate). How does this compare to a "typical" miles per day of a rookie? I've seen numbers all over the place, from 300 to 500. Is it reasonable to infer from this kind of pay scheme that May will have a lot of wait time? I don't know how to make heads or tails of this. I am hoping there's an innocuous (or fair) motivation for May to offer this scheme, and that it's not a "catch" so to say. If any of you have any thoughts on this (or any direct knowledge about this practice at May) can you let me know?

One theory that comes to my mind--and it's pure speculation--is that this will let them reduce the money they have to pay to drivers who was out really, really fast. So, for example, the driver's that inevitably will not last more than a couple of months, will never make long enough to get their full pay (which comes only every 90 days), so they only cost the company $105 flat, which is essentially only a little bit higher than a typical company training rate. I would imagine that drivers who are prone to wash out so fast would also be the ones that are prone to select the more insured-seeming pay scheme, so if they end up hauling a lot more than 285 daily, they will never see the full value of their hauls because they quit before 90 days. (Conversely, this would also be a strong incentive to keep drivers from quitting in the first 90 days, because it motivates them to stick it out to get the bonus pay.)

But are there other explanations than my theories? Should this be a "red flag" about the company in general? Thanks!!

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Pets not allowed during training

I learned I will need to spend a substantial amount of time (2-5 weeks) in OTR training at pretty much all big companies that hire rookies, even after completing thorough training at CDL school.

I have a 45-50lb lab mix. It is going to be exceedingly hard to leave him with others for any more than 1 or 1.5 weeks. I suppose I can try and pay for professional boarding by day for as long as needed, but I really would like to avoid that.

Is there any way to avoid this dilemma? The dog-friendly companies seem to always require me to spend about 2-5 weeks on the road with a trainer before I can bring the dog. Is it ever possible that a trainer may be cool with a dog? Or am I being naive about that? Or are there smaller companies that I can find that will hire me out of CDL school without an super long 1-on-1 OTR training period?

I appreciate your help and your understanding. It's a special relationship I have with this guy, and the daily boarding costs would be really high. Thanks!

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Keeping a remote, part-time job on the side while full-time OTR

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Thanks a lot. This is really useful. I've been lurking this board for a few weeks, and the friendliness and support from you all is really something. I appreciate your welcomes. These are exciting times . . .

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Yeah, this site is awesome. Now just wait til G-Town or Old School bounce some boot leather off your backside for some thing you said or did. Then you'll know you've officially joined the club!
rofl-2.gif

And hopefully soon you'll be welcoming people and sharing your road experiences with them. That's the code, us newbies gotta stick together! 👍

One thing I’d like to add: I just passed my permit with doubles / tankers / hazmat endorsements.

I am now doing some at home prep before I return to my school next week to do the Pre-Trip work. The resources on this site are friggin incredible as to the Pre-Trip. The videos and photo guides make me I actually feel like I am getting it without ever having looked at many of those parts on a real truck before. The pretrip materials dovetail very well conceptually with the CDL testing material I have been learning intensely last week for the permit. The photos and well-curated YouTube videos (esp because how many there are many out there), are what really makes the difference in getting this all to stick. The official DMV handbook is okay but not nearly as digestible. Cannot believe this is a free service. Thanks so much!

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Keeping a remote, part-time job on the side while full-time OTR

Thanks a lot. This is really useful. I've been lurking this board for a few weeks, and the friendliness and support from you all is really something. I appreciate your welcomes. These are exciting times . . .

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

The Benefits Of Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond One Year - article by G-Town

Sorry if this has been answered before, but I have been browsing a lot of internet content and have not come across this factoid before:

Your article says only 1/10 make it to the end of the first year? Is there any more information about this? Burn out rate that high in OTR trucking? I believe I have what it takes, but I am interested in learning more about the circumstances / realizations of people who end up burning out.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Keeping a remote, part-time job on the side while full-time OTR

Hi everyone. This is my first post and I will try to be as concise as possible.

I am in my early 30's and currently work part-time as independent contractor, and the work is entirely on my laptop. In this job, I can accept -- within reason -- as little work I would like. I would like to start doing OTR, but to still keep doing some of my current work, which I would obviously significantly reduce, but I would still probably need to spend 15-20 hours each month on it. Is that feasible? Can I fit in 15-20 hours of side work in a month while doing OTR? I don't have family commitments and can spend my home time anywhere, so that's a plus. Still, I expect that this would likely be very exhausting, since my down time while OTR would be sporadic and unpredictable, or so I imagine.

Any insight? Any of you know of someone doing some flexible work on the side? Is this something that companies would care about?

Thanks!

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