Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Plainfield, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 month ago

Mr. Curmudgeon's Bio

I joined this profession after 28 years in another profession. Knew it was getting time to retire, and started a skills assessment. What did I do daily that I could do when I grew up? Well, sarcasm isn't a marketable skill in the private sector, but DRIVING? That I could do. Didn't hurt that I had a brother doing this for over a decade that said "Hey, you could always drive a truck. I mean, if I can do it... "

Worked about a year and a half doing OTR regional, home every weekend. Learned, a lot. Missed my family, a lot. Got paid by the mile, NOT a lot. Ended up finding a gig with a company that hired me for local driving, home every day, paid by the hour, tractor and trailer shop on site for prompt and effective repairs. Jumped at the chance and haven't looked back. After two years of local work, I climbed back into a sleeper, and am running OTR Regional Midwest pulling intermodal and dry van loads. Happy as a clam again.

I do dabble a bit in training drivers that come over to our company, as a polisher / finisher for folks that need some extra one on one training time to get them fully smoothed out and ready for solo.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

School date set for November 12th.

Sorry - the link isn't formatting correctly - use a search engine, enter TSA Hazmat and look for the ".gov" site. There are a ton of places that will take your money to help you apply. Just follow the directions on the TSA site and you'll work through it pretty easy.

https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/hazmat-endorsement

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

School date set for November 12th.

How do I start the process? I'm not too worried about the $85, they will either reimburse me, or it will be an investment in my future.

Grumpy, this link takes you to the starting point of the process. You will have to pay $85 to proceed into it, but it's easy breezy if you have the documents. https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/hazmat-endorsement

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

School date set for November 12th.

Grumpy, the TSA check doesn't take too long to complete. If you start now, you should be approved by the time you complete CDL school. If you opt out of driving for any reason, you will still likely get TSA Pre-Check status any time you fly, based on your TSA clearance for Haz. Check with Wolding, however, to see if they will assist and possibly cover the $85 or so it costs to get fingerprinted.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Legal purposes for doing both a Pre-trip and Post-trip

That sticker attests to the fact that you do things right. Congratulations!!!

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Maybe I'm jumping the gun.....but I have this fascination with heavy-haul equipment.

My cousin is co-owner of an outfit that relocates aircraft, military relics and modern commercial units. Most of their loads while not O/W, are definitely O/S. They dissemble the aircraft into their major components and secure them on trailers. It's a skill that each of their drivers develops over time, with extensive and rigorous one on one training. "Incidents" are not an acceptable outcome, so it has to be done right the first time, every time. When Errol says it's specialized, he is absolutely correct. I spent a day behind the flight line at WPAFB in Columbus, watching them secure a Cold-war era supersonic nuke dropper onto a trailer for a move to a California. It was an informative, and oh-so-very cool experience. And one that confirmed, for me, that Specialized is a cool way to go.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

So, what are the practical advantages of flatbedding for all it's hardships?

Advantages? I don't run flatbeds, although I've been trying to get a slot with our company. To me, one of the biggest advantages would be working the puzzle, if you will, of tarping and securement.

Oh, and, maybe getting a job with this outfit....

0590919001539101878.jpg0391630001539101907.jpg

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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This place is always a challenge

Are you expected to dock in the area just 'west' of the grade crossing (blue tractor), or do you travel past. That parked stuff there looks like it makes for a pretty tight right turn, especially with the Jersey wall on the left side of the tracks... Yowzah...

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Maybe I'm jumping the gun.....but I have this fascination with heavy-haul equipment.

1) I've been browsing Google lately

2) Speaking of intermodal, does anybody here drive in the intermodal division of this industry? What do you think of hauling intermodal loads?

Responses: 1) Stop that! rofl-3.gif

2) Yes, I drive intermodal and dry van. It depends on the day and the mission. I/M is just like every other part of trucking, only different. If you are considering I/M, my recommendation is get with an outfit that is paying you hourly. If you want more information, I will try to answer your questions about it. I've been doing I/M for about 4 years, in the Chicago metro area and find it a challenge some days, other days easy-breezy...

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Motion sickness and training

I can empathize with you 40&Life - if i am a passenger, I cannot do anything but look out the window (or sleep). I need to maintain an actual horizon, and any task that requires I lose the horizon (reading, map use, logging, writing etc,) triggers a massive headache first, followed shortly after by nausea. Simulators are rough for me, and I no longer can do video games that have a scrolling component (nope - no more Call of Duty with the kids...). When you get to driving sessions in CDL school, you'll likely seated be in a sleeper with several others, but you will probably be working at low speeds in and around town. I found that opening the side vents for good airflow, and keeping a forward perspective was helpful. Good luck!

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Halvor Lines Info Please?

Marc, congrats on finding a spot to land! If it counts for anything, every single one of the Halvor units I've seen (mostly WI, MN along the 90-94 corridor) has been in fabulous shape. Power units clean, no rusted trailer wheels, flatbed load curtain sides always intact not torn, and their drivers have always been "share the road respectful". In my experience, if drivers care enough to keep the equipment in good condition and appearance, their company is probably doing something right in the treatment of the drivers. Only 50% reimbursement for schooling seems a bit light, but that would not be a deal breaker for me if the rest of the package seemed top shelf.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Motion sickness and training

and at least to the recruiter and her manager's knowledge, most new hires drop mid-way through their program due to issues with motion sickness.

The only way I can see this happening is someone goes "Full-on Flounder" and throws up ON Dean Wormer...

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Motion sickness and training

You will still need to get trained by a trainer, in the real world of customers / traffic / weather / route planning for some duration, unless you have significant driving experience. Take a look at Trucking Company Reviews to get some idea of one-on-one training durations for a number of outfits. You're still likely to be out for several weeks in a driver / rider capacity.

Most of the companies will have you doing most of the driving after the first day or so. You learn a bit by watching, but way more by doing...

Is there a medication that is FMCSA approved to help you with the motion sickness?

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Swift or Western Express?

A big thank you to all of you for taking the time out to reply.. and long replies at that. Yeah, I was one of those spreadsheet guys right after CDL training back in 2015.

Light, I'm not sure, but it sounds like you're debating between going through the driver training again, paid by Western Express in exchange for a year with them, vs. going right into driving with a trainer with Swift? My $.02 worth is that retraining on a stale, non-driven, CDL is a good thing. I was out for just over a year before I got my driving job, and it was difficult to find an outfit that would take me on a stale CDL. Granted, freight volumes were significantly lower then than now, but still it was a struggle. I got a second chance from a small-ish (less than 100 units) carrier, and made it work.

That said, going directly into driving with Swift could work. If you pass your driving test, they will put you with a qualified trainer and get you up to speed swiftly. Even without the contract, however, staying the course with them for a full year, riding the ups and downs with a solid work ethic and a woosh-ha attitude may convince you to stay with them...

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

New license

What are her chances of getting hired in June as a couple W her new license anyone have advise

Kwesi, most on here would recommend that you get your CDL training through one of the carriers that offers initial training. Paid CDL Training ProgramsApply For Paid CDL Training

are a couple links that will help to guide you both as you start this process. Given that your partner driver has license issues in her past, seeking the company training route could benefit you both, in that you won't be out money if she is unemployable due to those issues.

Good luck to you as you start this process.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

First Layover

It's refreshing to find customers that allow parking for drivers to take their 10. Many of our deliveries and shippers don't allow it (manufacturing / industrial locations), so we have to get creative. Glad it worked out as detention rather than a forced sit out for you!

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Legal purposes for doing both a Pre-trip and Post-trip

This is going to sound like a pat answer, and maybe overly insensitive, but (with a nod to G-Town) if the statute says do it, why not just go ahead and do it? If you've never had an equipment failure pop up overnight while you're out of your tractor, consider yourself lucky. If you've never had squirrels or mice chew on your wiring in their nice warm comfy protected from the elements bed while you've been sleeping in your own bed, consider yourself lucky. I've had both. Pretrip even though no one drives your unit. Post-trip because it's respectful to the next person running the equipment.

And... because the regs say to... :)

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

The Struggle Is Real

Carla, my first outfit was on paper logs and bending the space time continuum occurred on a fairly frequent basis. When I started with my new outfit, it took me some time to get the hang of managing my hours to meet the finite 00:00:00 limit on the e--log, but once I relearned how to do that, it is nice. You truly are in control of your time, and if you manage it well your dispatcher will know you're rolling and scoring, and will help you increase the load values.

Good luck on the relearn curve though!!!

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

For Patrick C.

Congrats!!!

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Is there an official 'Ten Commandments of Trucking Safety'?

1: Don't hit anything. 2: Don't hit anything. 3: Don't hit anything. 4: Don't hit anything. 5: Don't hit anything. 6: Don't hit anything. 7: Don't hit anything. 8: Don't hit anything. 9: Don't hit anything. 10: Don't hit anything.

smile.gif

I fully agree. Except, at #9, I would put in GETYERBUTTOUTANDLOOK, then back to #10 as written...

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

How hard is it for a vet with only 11 months of recent work history to get into the trucking industrty?

So in regards to my drivers license, do I actually need to be driving a car around for a year? I have no desire to own a car or to drive one. I prefer biking and longboarding as my mode of transportation. Can I just hold a license and sit on it for a year?

Christopher, unless you've been sliding under the radar and operating a vehicle without a license, you haven't likely driven ANYTHING on wheels since you got out of the military. If you comply with the one year requirement but don't operate a vehicle for that year, when you go to Orientation and training your lack of basic operator skills will likely stand out. In a less than positive way. You will likely find yourself very pretty far behind the eightball on getting a handle on basic operation of a motor vehicle. To the point where your employer may opt not to continue your employment, citing unfamiliarity with driving. This doesn't mean you won't be successful, it's just that there are so many other challenges that you will face during the first month or two that you'll have a serious uphill climb.

My recommendation, for what it's worth, is get your class D (operator license), team up with friends and drive their autos. Get some wheel time in so that the first time you drive isn't at your first day of orientation.

Good luck to you!

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