Profile For Big Red (Mike)

Big Red (Mike)'s Info

  • Location:
    Joplin, MO

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 months, 2 weeks ago

Big Red (Mike)'s Bio

Full time RV'er, Retired Military, Restless Wanderer

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Posted:  5 months ago

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Game: Vent & Brag

Brag: Got this message today.

0882322001545070548.jpg

Vent: I totally forgot to order the holiday gifts for the kids and now they won't be there in time. I'm an idiot.

Scott, I went on that tour. Too bad I didn’t see you. It was great of Neil to set it up. My son and I were suitably impressed with CFI and they are now our first choice. If all works out, we will start orientation on Jan 3rd.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Why you should always check your fifth wheel.

One of the things I tell my students is right or wrong you have to do your job better because people are always watching for a Swift driver to screw up.

double-quotes-end.png

I'm showing my inexperience here, but why is there so much animosity towards Swift? I see and hear it in a lot of different places.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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I have my CDL permit. Does this give me a leg up at a company CDL school

Rainy, when I went to Springfield in Sept, Oct. 2018 We were told that Missouri DOT put a stop to that "temporary resident" loophole. They said there were a couple companies that would still do it but they weren't supposed to and would be stopped. Prime wasn't specifically mentioned. Not claiming to know the law in all states, just what I was told while in Missouri by C-1. We had a guy in class from Arkansas that brought his paper saying he passed the permit test but he forgot to get the actual permit. He asked about that and that was what he was told by the boss man there. He was sent home to Arkansas.

I'm in a private Missouri school and just got my permit last week. I had a Texas license when I got there. The DMV required my TX DL, birth certificate, medical card, and a letter from the school that attested to my attendance and temporary residence. I took all the permit tests and, after passing, received the paper that showed I passed. I took that paper and everything else to another window where they issued me a temporary Missouri license, a CDL permit, and punched "VOID" into my TX license before returning it to me. Upon successful completion of the CDL practical exam, I will be issued a Missouri CDL (short duration, I presume) which I take to TX to get my TX license restored with CDL-A privileges and all applicable endorsements. No issues at all. BTW, the school does not own the motel I am in. (It's really sad they sent a student home because of incorrect information).

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Prime Inc. Solo Company Driver Pay 2018/w Checkstubs

The one thing that has always bothered me is how many of these companies do Per Diem.. This is good example.. It is stated up above that per diem is .08 cpm.. The national per diem allowed is $63 per day non taxed.. So some basic math here..

lets say you run an average of 600 miles a day for 5 days at .45 cpm.. 600x5=3000x.45=$1350 .08x3000=$240 of that is non taxable.. But same millage and days if used $63x5=$315 non taxable.. So basically the companies that offer the cpm for per diem is screwing the drivers by not giving them full $63.. And if you look at the bigger picture and say you run 50 weeks out of the year with same average, then your loosing $3,750 that should have not have ever been taxed.. Those of you who make per diem with cpm I invite you to look at your check.. Check what you made for each paid day out.. Then put against the $63 per day and see which one averages out more.. And see if your company matches up to it..

Preface: I am NOT a CPA or Attorney.

I think we all need to take a harder look at the Per Diem issue. As I understand it, the new tax law ("tax cut") eliminates the per Diem deduction for individuals. That would mean that O/O and anyone else who files a Schedule C (as a business) can claim the $63/day (actual only 80% of it) but company drivers who file as individuals (not businesses) can NOT. Therefore, company-offered per Diem may be the only way for company drivers to get the tax advantage from per Diem deductions.

Here's a quote from this (https://www.freightwaves.com/news/2018/1/16/ending-the-confusion-over-per-diem) website: "According to Rutherford, owner-operators (and leased drivers) will be able to continue using the per diem and deducting it on their taxes through Schedule C or on their corporate return. For a driver on the road 250 days a year, that’s $15,750 of potential deductions. Combined with other business expense deductions, and the new 20% deduction on pass-through corporations (if your business is structured this way), there are still plenty of tax benefits.

For company drivers, though, the situation is a bit cloudier. They have lost that $63 deduction, but individual (or married) tax filers receive the larger standard deductions ($12,000 for individuals, $24,000 for married filing jointly) now available. Will those deductions be enough to offset the loss of the per diem? That depends on the individual tax situation of each driver."

Also, Schneider has a detailed post that explains per Diem: https://schneiderjobs.com/blog/driver/2018-truck-driver-per-diem-pay

The one thing that has always bothered me is how many of these companies do Per Diem.. This is good example.. It is stated up above that per diem is .08 cpm.. The national per diem allowed is $63 per day non taxed.. So some basic math here..

lets say you run an average of 600 miles a day for 5 days at .45 cpm.. 600x5=3000x.45=$1350 .08x3000=$240 of that is non taxable.. But same millage and days if used $63x5=$315 non taxable.. So basically the companies that offer the cpm for per diem is screwing the drivers by not giving them full $63.. And if you look at the bigger picture and say you run 50 weeks out of the year with same average, then your loosing $3,750 that should have not have ever been taxed.. Those of you who make per diem with cpm I invite you to look at your check.. Check what you made for each paid day out.. Then put against the $63 per day and see which one averages out more.. And see if your company matches up to it..

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Truck Delivery Driveaway

Too cool, Errol! I was just remarking to my wife about how many of those setups we saw on I-40 in Arkansas last week. I kept calling them "truck-humpers"...she wasn't amused. 😂😂😂

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Five Month Professional Driver Program??

...reading the information on the Trucking Truth website with a “healthy dose of skepticism” is neither necessary or prudent. Here is a healthy dose of reality Mike; how on earth can you evaluate the relevance and fact-check what is written here without any first-hand experience? You can’t. What is your base of knowledge needed to evaluate the truth and accuracy of our work and contributions? It’s a rhetorical question...

You claim to thirst for knowledge about this business, etc. That's great, but highly unlikely to be part of any truck driving school’s curriculum.

The absolute best place to find and ingest all of the information you mentioned, is here, on the Trucking Truth website. Invest several hours here before rendering further judgement..,

G-town, I apologize if I offended any of the moderators on this site. I've lurked on this site for many, many hours, read all the articles you linked, started the high-road training course and LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT! This is by far the best industry-prep site I have ever seen. (BTW, that last sentence is the first judgement I have rendered in any of my posts.)

I certainly don't discount the information and advice provided herein from whatever or whoever the source may be. But I also won't blindly follow any of it either. As Brett said in his earlier reply to Eggman, this is a very individual experience so I think it behooves every new, old and aspiring trucker to keep an open mind to all experiences and advice offered. I'm, as you noted, in no position to fact-check anything you say but I am not looking for facts. I look to you and your peers for advice, experiences, tips and other things you've learned throughout the years. I can find the facts in numerous other places, I can't seem to find as much quality advice as I find on TT anywhere else.

Thanks for the time you all put into this site. It is much appreciated.

P.S. If I didn't think critically and challenge different information sources, I'd be a sucker for the terminal rats, lol.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl 2018 Training: My Blog, by Professor X

Thanks PX. You bring up a great point about the value of understanding the background or "why" behind a certain task. I clearly remember learning to drive a stick-shift with my mom who told me to "slowly let up on the clutch until it starts to engage then start applying the gas pedal." I would sit there for what seemed like 5 minutes SLOWLY letting up on the clutch and then applying gas with the result being an uncomfortable lurch, a stall or a roller-coaster of engine rpm changes. I finally got it, though. In the following years when I learned more about auto mechanics, I wished my mom would have been able to explain how the clutch worked so I could have saved some time and wear and tear. Fast forward to me teaching my kids to drive: I explained each of the systems first before giving them hands-on and (as G-town wisely suggested) it appeared to have gone in one ear and out the other. However, after a few "false starts" of hands-on, I re-explained the system and the lightbulb came on.

There's tons of research on different learning styles and how some people respond to visual, others auditory, and others hands-on. I think a good instructor has a repertoire of different approaches that he can pull out as he reacts to each student's learning style. The problem is often that there isn't time or capacity (think high-school) to teach each person individually according to their learning style. That's the balance between efficiency and effectiveness that every learning institution has to struggle with. Sadly, some people will get weeded-out even though they may have become excellent truckers/doctors/engineers/pilots, etc. if there was a little more time or resources to try a different approach to teaching. But...that's business and you have to draw a line somewhere.

Personally, I like repetition, repetition but with a background of "why" because the real world rarely looks like school so I need to be able to adjust my actions to each situation. Otherwise we'd all be watching self-driving trucks do the job, right?

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Five Month Professional Driver Program??

I guess I should follow that up with a question, as I really am here to learn. Is there really any negatives to pursuing an artificially lengthened program? What I mean is does it really matter? Won't I come out of this class exactly the same as anyone opting for a 4-week program?

Eggman, is there any way you could post an overview (screenshot, photo?) of your school's 5 month curriculum? It would be interesting to compare it, side-by-side with the standard "160 hour" programs that are out there.

Thanks and thank you for your service to our country. I mean it. Veteran's Day isn't just about days off and discounts. :-)

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Five Month Professional Driver Program??

I've read, re-read and read again the OP's first post and subsequent reply. I find him to be professional, articulate, helpful and humble. I perceived no disrespect nor did I discern any sense of entitlement or unearned expertise. I do not know the curriculum for the course he is attending so I would never presume to critique it or provide any negative or positive impressions. Instead, I intend to read his diary (if he is still willing to publish it) and compare it to the myriad experiences of others on this site.

I am fascinated by this profession and eager to learn all the different aspects. The more I learn about the larger corporate objectives, challenges of maintenance managers, nuances of internal and external logistics, the juggling requirements of a FM/DMs, and other industry areas, the more comfortable I will be feeling like I am maxing out my side of the equation. I won't get the majority of this information in my 4-week course or even in 20 years of service if I don't seek it out. And, at the same time, I dont need most of it to be successful. To me, it is more than just money. It's a pretty cool experience in a relatively short lifetime. To others, it may just be a job. That's ok.

Write on, Eggman! As a newbie, I will certainly let you know when I think you are trying to force me in any particular direction. Until then, I will continue to read all TT posts with a healthy dose of skepticism and conduct my own due diligence.

Mike

Posted:  8 months, 1 week ago

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CDL Residence

Now for my question: Once I have my CDL with the address of the home I am selling, after the house sells can I change my address to a mail forwarding service (popular with full time RV'ers) in the state of Florida with just a cell phone bill and CCW permit without any CDL issues? That being said, what if down the road I wanted to transfer my Florida CDL to a South Dakota mail forwarding service?

Hey Brad, good question. I am currently a full-time RV'er looking to start CDL training in Jan 2019. We use a mailing service called "Escapees" right now (I'm guessing it might be the one you are referring to) with TX as our state of residence. Although we don't spend much time in Texas we do several things to justify it as our domicile: Driver's Licenses, Concealed Carry Permits, Voting, Updated Wills, Jury Duty (though amazingly easy to defer when I was away from the state and got the summons), Bank Account, etc. Although TX has no state income tax, paying tax to a state will certainly help solidify your legal residence. Money talks!

I recommend you go the the Escapees website and search for "domicile." The club/site are supported (owned?) by a legal firm that specializes in issues of domicile. Besides that, their mail service is awesome! They toss out all my junk mail and scan the other envelopes so I can decide if I want them forwarded, tossed, or opened and the contents scanned. **BTW, I receive NO compensation or reward for mentioning Escapees. Just a happy customer.**

Hope this helps, Mike

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