Profile For Mr. Curmudgeon

Mr. Curmudgeon's Info

  • Location:
    Cordes Junction, AZ

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years 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 and profanity aren't really marketable skills in the private sector, but DRIVING? That I did pretty much all day, every day. 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 for 32 hours (add in one hour each way to terminal). 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.

The outfit I work for is G&D Integrated, based in Morton, IL with terminals in Joliet, Morton, Champaign, Decatur, and Montgomery, Illinois, with additional footprints in Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina. No job or outfit is perfect, but I've been with these folks for long enough to know it's where I will finish out my career, as they're a good outfit.

After about 8 years in the driver seat, I was forced to retire from driving. Three titanium spacers where disks used to rest and a sensitivity to vertical vibration resulting in gradually increasing nerve pain in the left arm resulted in my Neurosurgeon telling me I should find something else to do, as the vibration was going to hasten the degeneration of the other disks in my cervical spine. Paralyzed / lack of control of the arms vs. doing what I really like to do? I opted to give Mrs. Curmudgeon her due - and not intentionally cause injury to myself so that I could keep driving.

We moved out of Illinois to Arizona, and are happy living in the country.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 3

Page 1 of 19

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Giant thank you!

Donna, hang tough, Lady!!!

Mine trucking (FULL time anyway) ended after triple cervical spinal fusion, recouperation, and recommencing for a few months.

Follow, religiously, the advice of your medics. Follow the clues your body and your common sense give you. Youve been driving long enough that you must have some common sense (not to mention you didnt deny what was happening and keep going!).

Keep us posted, as you care to. Im back to looking for part timr local work. I miss the road.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is my wife being discriminated against?

Jeremy H., i do think Scott and others are correct tho. Give Prime a chance to make this work, I would advise your wife to stick it out until she sees what resolutions Prime comes up with. Sometimes personalities, idiosyncrasies, and perspectives can make the training situation miserable. Addressing those, and getting a trainer that has different pip's, is often what is needed for a succesful start or restart. A hasty exit could result in an inability to thrive in the profession.

This is not an easy thing, to let someone into your mobile office for weeks at a time. Some folks aren't, or stop being, right for it. Wishing you and Your Beloved well in this.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Is my wife being discriminated against?

Scott, gotta respecrfully disagree with you. There are a ****load of families that have to survive on two working parents, with kids of all ages. Many of those families have a parent (dad OR mom) living in a ****box country in a GP Medium, surrounded by sand and people that wanna kill them.

I was a cop for 28 years, and had to listen to similar commentary from old dogs and newbs as well (especially directed at women in the job). It never flew with me then, and shouldn't fly anywhere. We can't in one breath laud the benefits of the driving profession with recommendation to OTR to learn, and in the next breath tell ANYONE that they should stay home to raise the kids. My dad traveled 5 nights a week when I was growing up. Ya, it sucked. My mother, however, grabbed the bulls by the balls (all three of us boys) and managed the household. Gid Bless the OP for giving his wife the latitude to run with her goal.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

3rd year not a great start.

If you have been with your outfit for 2 years, have a decent driving record, and no prior failed inspections, you will probably get and oh poop letter in your file, have to get some remedial training, and you will have that on your CSA score for three years. That is if you have proven yourself to be a valued employee. 10 above the limit isn't great, but it is not the worst it could be. Good luck.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

Okay, Jonathan. Like a school bus filled with kids, stopped atop an active rail Crossing with a BNSF mixed-mode rolling in it 45 miles per hour, full emergency stop engaged, all the horns of Hell shouting out for your attention, you have managed to keep us riveted. Even though we know we should look away, we just cannot.

I keep reading your responses and have gotten more and more disgusted with your behavior. Sorry. According to your profile you have been a member here for not one or two, but OVER FOUR years. In that four-plus years, you have not made any posts, you have not contributed any photographs, commentary, or, for that matter given any indication that you were even alive. Ya, I looked. Maybe it was deleted by someone. The evil Werner cabal, perhaps?

Instead of coming to the forums to ask questions, like many others have done, you enter a job for which you allege you were not properly trained, you took an assignment for which you were apparently not prepared, you ignored the four pesky little letters on both of your mirrors, and when sh** went south (as often happens to those who are unprepared, either intentionally, willingly, or through ignorance) you get fired.

Then you wander in here to make your debut posting, griping about how you were a victim, you weren't trained, the sun was in your eyes, and a rock was in your way, it wasn't your fault, expecting us to "Oh, Jake" for you. And in your debut posting, you abjectly fail to acknowledge that you ignored a resource that you had available to you for over four years. Four years. You, sir, are no victim. You are complicit in your failure.

How long ago did Werner fire you? What did you do in the time between Werner and bus school? What was the overall time it took you to complete the bus driving training, coursework and all? When did you take the bus driving practical examination? Did you pass it the first time? What feedback did the dot examiner give you upon completion of the exam?

I ask these questions because I suspect you're a sad lonely miscreant who needs the attention generated by the ongoing drama you wish to spin for us. You should simply stop trying to convince us that you are the victim of someone else's negligence/malfeasance, and get on with life. Any life.

If I cared to give up any more minutes of my life which I shan't ever recover, I would ask to see a photo of your CDL-A with the passenger endorsement. However, even if you have one, you will never be satisfied until everyone kneels at the altar of "Jonathan is, certainly, the most victimized ever to sit in a CMV driver's seat."

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

So you're not driving a school bus?

confused.gif

wtf-2.gif

I give up.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Tool reccomendation

Not sure where you're based, but I have a pair of cutters that I bought at Menards that did the job perfectly as well. Yes, these are a made in chynah item, but they have a lifetime warranty - if the blades stop working take them back and they'll give you a replacement. Used mine for five years cutting cable seals off of intermodal containers, never had an issue. And they're ten bucks vs. forty.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

(Sorry, ran out of characters)

which is another long story that I'll get more into.

Jonathon, why is it necessary to belabor this? Why must you try to convince everyone that 1) Truck driving in the worst job choice in the universe 2) Werner is the worst outfit in the world 3) Dollar Accounts are the worst job in the nation and 4) You were woefully set upon by fate and circumstance?

Dude, staying angry about stuff that has happened in the past will only turn you into the school bus driver I had when I was 9 years old, Mr. Schillinger. Les was an angry man, and getting onto his bus morning and afternoon was NOT a pleasant experience. I'm over 60 now, and still remember him. On the other hand, I do also remember Mrs. Schoger - Bobbi was so short she had to have blocks of 2x4 bolted to the pedals so she could clutch, brake, and accelerate. She was one of the most cheerful bus drivers I ever had, and being a country kid I rode the bus from third grade all the way through high school. Never a care in the world, even with the cheaters. I hope that your apparent dwelling on the past isn't making you a Les, and that instead you are a Bobbi.

Accept the past. Learn from it, or ignore it as you choose. But you won't change it, and to be brutally honest, you're starting to sound like a you-tube denizen seeking clicks for spewing anger, frustration, and self-proclaimed victimization. I could be wrong. I usually am, if one were to ask The Beloved.

I wish you some kind of peace in your career moving forward. You're hauling our Nation's kids to school. Be a force for good. We need that.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Fed-up With the Trucking Industry

Jonathan, sorry that freight transportation didn't turn out to be as lucrative or enjoyable as you obviously hoped and believed it would be. Is it a tough, sometimes crappy, oftentimes frustrating job? Yep. Does it take a year or longer to figure it out? Yep. Did you have the opportunity to read and study the information that is contained here on TT before you took on the dollar account? Seems like either you might have known about TT (since you've been affiliated here for over four years), or you may have seen the site but didn't realize the depth of honest input you'd receive here.

In either case, you are here now. There are downsides to EVERY industry, as a previous response reflects. If you're happy driving a school bus, then by golly be the absolute best school bus driver you have the ability to be. Wishing you every success in your chosen profession, don't let it be a job but make it a profession. That will make all the difference in the long run.

You obviously have grievances with your choices and their outcomes. The bottom line to me, and what many considering this profession as their career should consider taking away from this discussion is "There are challenges in this job. There are a bunch of people on here, moderators and non-moderators alike, that want people to be FULLY informed before they start driving. Trucking Truth is a decent place to get informed before the challenges overwhelm. I should take the time to ask the questions that I have, and see what information lands in my toolbox."

Many years back, in a previous life, there was a sign posted on the wall in the cleaning area at PTI in Champaign, IL: "Every person owes some portion of their income to improving their skill in their profession" or words to that effect. Taking the time in the beginning to spend that personal capital to explore, learn and prepare for the profession will move anew driver light-years forward in being prepared for the challenges that exist.

Wishing you great success and satisfaction moving forward. Peace.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Before I waste my time...

Another possibility, costly but possibly feasible, is to contact an attorney to seek an expungement, or to bring that ticket back up and change your plea. You may be able to pay an attorney to reactivate the case and enter into a plea agreement with the state to change the charge from reckless driving to failure to reduce speed, or following too closely. In 28 years as a cop, I saw those kind of shenanigans happened in court quite frequently. It's not wrong, it's just using the system to your advantage.

You will still have a weight in front of you, quite likely. It just would not be as long as having a blind plea Reckless on your record.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Paid CDL Training for IL Resident

Morris is a good facility to go to. I typically would drive from Plainfield out to Plano. People were always nice and they take CARE of cdl drivers rather than brush them off. Plus, my fave gun shop and the Rural King are all right near there, too.

West Chicago is the only burb location that offered the driving component, iirc.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Paid CDL Training for IL Resident

Matt, you may remember a guy named George. A family named Willis. A mini-van in flames in Wisconsin.

George Ryan and his merry band of misfits at IL-SOS, if I remember correctly, were the catalyst for many of the rather odd CDL rules that now exist in IL. That is what I was told a decade or more ago when I first started looking into retiring from one job and starting the driving job.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Suggestions for company sponsored training

Seth, you are in the perfect situation to go OTR and thrive in it. You say your long term goal is a food service job - do you mean driving trucks that deliver food products (Sysco, DOT, US Foods, etc) or are you referring to being a restaurant worker / manager? If the former, go OTR for a year and learn what it really takes to drive safely, manage your time, and get into and out of tight spots (you'll have a ton of them!). If, on the other hand, you're planning on driving a truck to save up enough $$$ to move to WA or OR, so you can quit and take a restaurant job, give some thought to that. If you are not committed to making driving, whether OTR, local, etc, your life's work for a good long time, you'll always be looking for the easy way out. That is true of ANY career. Driving a truck. Preparing food for others. Being a cop or a firefighter or a medic. That is my opinion, based on over 30 years of working in a couple of those careers.

As for a dating and social life, being local driver is likely to limit your social / dating options to friday nights (likely late), Saturdays, and Sundays. The local work for many of us is a 12 - 13 hour day, not including commute. You probably will have a set start time, and you'll likely work many a 12 hour day, and a 14 isn't unlikely. You might even get a 16 tossed in there as well. You'll hopefully get good money, but you're going to run long days and short nights. And you still need to factor in food, hygiene and commute.

I can't speak to the challenges you may face with Prime or Schneider. I have, however, worked local and OTR. I actually preferred OTR, but I was on a five day out, two days home rotation. That schedule option is not difficult to locate once you have a year's experience, just start looking around and you will likely find an outfit that can provide that as an option - I did (and got hourly pay as well, started around $19/hr and worked some weeks right up to my 70hr limit, most weeks upper 50 to low 60 hrs). This is a field that is relatively easy to enter, but challenging field to succeed and excel in. That said, however, at your age with no definitive responsibilities or dependents, you could easily become your driver manager's rockstar peformer.

If you're willing to.

Good luck in your decision!

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

A new turn on my winding road

<. But if you go to youtube, it is just wow :-)

Youtube is where the perpetually offended garner support for their self-declared victim status.

I also could not find work (private school on my own and a stale CDL). One outfit gave me a shot, and no one else would. I won't badmouth them to this day, i left after 13 or 14 months to go a different direction. They had a different business model than I wanted to work on, and that's okay. Taking the job with Western Express is your opportunity to continue to learn, to improve your skills, and prove to the company that you ride for the brand. Glad that you landed on your feet with a new outfit, good luck!

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Queen of the Road winners named by REAL Women in Trucking

From the day I first logged into TT and started reading the posts by other drivers, it was readily apparent that Rainy was the real deal. The handle may have changed, but the Excellence has not. Well deserved, Kearsey, WELL deserved! Sending out a tip o' the bowler to you!

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Real Drivers vs Fake Drivers - a recruiter speaks

Tammy, your company shop will have your power unit on a PM or Preventive Maintenance schedule. It will also have a sticker affixed to the side that is an Annual Inspection certification. Generally, however, shop staff are busy as get out, and wont have time for routine inspections. You, believe it or not, become the professional inspector on a daily basis. All of the comments here, especially the oil on the back of the cab, are examples of something that looked wrong. Thats what a cop will often start from in determining how involved to make an inspection. Did something look wrong. I did coppery for 28 years, I understand the thought processes. They would rather, generally, inspect something they suspect is in NEED of a Level3 than L3 a unit that is going to have no defects. They want to "Get Rid Of Road Rex". Great thread you opened with your questions though!!

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Western Express 3-4 weeks training sufficient?

You need to be careful with earbuds while driving. Many states, for certain ILL, oulaw the use of "headset receivers" defined as inputs to both ears simultaneously while driving. Your blueparrot etc are ok because only one ear is affected.

Would that trooper know? Probably not. Only if you get in a wreck and they do a forensic reconstruction of what was going on with your electronic device at the time and leading up to impact.

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Western Express 3-4 weeks training sufficient?

Garrett, you just articulated the "Hey, Man. I'm a bit short on cash, and the Evil DB's I work for won't give me another advance on my pay while I sit here and play video poker waiting for my next load. I have a couple of these binders and chain sets that I don't use any more since I'm working reefer. Can you buy them from me so I can get a sixer, some roller grill dee-lites, and a pack of squares to get me through the next couple days?" reasoning for many of the things we see companies do. smile.gif

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Big T Checking In from Memphis

Big T, that is an awesome thing! My favorite part of driving (well, one of them anyway) was being tapped by my DM to help with the guys or gals that need a bit of extra coaching. It's a great thing to see the light bulb come on and the performance improve.

I was an anomaly in the way I trained - I used a technique taught by Coach Bruce Sokolove at Field Training Associates (ya, that kind of field training) "what did you do correctly or approximately correctly" after each significant portion of the work day. It was a throw off for some that were used to being chewed on for mistakes. They usually knew the mistakes, and if not, the follow up question was "what, if anything, would you do differently next time?" They get to self identify error, and then I could come in and prompt recollection of anything else. I got a couple of "thanks and good luck" text messages from some of my formers when I left the outfit in April. That was reward in and of itself.

Good luck on DOT Examiner training. You'll never be out of work!!!

Posted:  3 months ago

View Topic:

Real Drivers vs Fake Drivers - a recruiter speaks

Fighting the data stream issues that seem to plague 'rural' residential locations, so I can't watch his video at this time. If Errol says it's good, I'm certain it's worth watching.

Tammy A. you asked about knowing how to tell if the brakes are ok. That is a great question! Depending on where you get your training, you'll either learn by reciting, or you will learn by doing and seeing. I have posted some photos before of brakes that are DEFINITELY not safe, but you have to get down on the ground and look underneath the equipment, upward and inside the wheel drums to see the conditions of the S-cams, the brake push rods, and the brake lines and shoes/linings before you'll really know. The big failing that many drivers have is a resistance to getting down on the ground and looking. Much like the US Secret Service training agents to identify counterfeit money - they never show them bad bills, only the real thing. You should see the right thing over, and over, and over, every day a couple of times a day for weeks, and when something is wrong, if you actually look, you'll spot it pretty quickly.

Broken brake shoes, with chunks of lining missing. S-cam brackets missing hardware or with loose hardware (grab it and pull/push/jiggle). Brake lines rubbing on frame components. Push rods that are over or under the 90 degree angle (think finger gun if you're not sure what a 90 is - met some guys from CPS that had no clue what a 90 was, but they knew that they were supposed to look for one because is what their trainer told them and missed a bunch until I got to crawl under a container chassis with them). Front bell of the brake housing rotted out, with brake spring visible through the holes. Broken brake springs inside the front housing under that rubber cap (broken spring means no braking impulse on that wheel set if the pressure drops out). Lots of things that will look wrong, but you first have to be down there to look at them. The time it takes to inspect these may add four of five minutes to your pre-trip. But not going to prison for a fatal that involved brakes on YOUR equipment is worth that five minutes. In what The Beloved calls "Mr. Curmudgeon's World", anyway.

End of my "Do the Pre-Trip and Post-Trip!" rant.

Good Luck to you as you move forward!

0475291001626307708.jpg

Page 1 of 19

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More