Profile For J R.

J R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Calhoun, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 11 months ago

J R.'s Bio

Changing careers. Love to travel. Finally going to see if these two can work together for me!

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Posted:  10 months ago

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Direction to go?

How were you able to take the Permit and Endorsement tests before getting your DOT Medical Card? What State do you live in?

I was able to take my permit/endorsement tests prior to getting a DOT Medical Card in GA. I don't think they would actually print them out and give them to me, though. I believe I had to come back with the card before they did that....

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

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What is a good,bad or great pay if you are getting paid percentage pay instead of mileage?

J.R., here is what makes it so confusing for us. The original post says...

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Im about to leave my current company and try somewhere new, one of which offers percentage pay

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We have to assume this person is a company driver. He says, "I'm about to leave my current company." He says nothing about leasing a truck. All he gives us is that one of the companies he is considering "offers percentage pay." There are companies that pay percentage as opposed to mileage pay. Those percentages are much lower than what a lease operator gets. As a lease operator I'd be nuts to work for 28%! As a company driver it might be okay. We didn't have any of the information we needed to help. And then the OP wants to act a little indignant that we are not answering the question. I would want at least 85% if I was on the hook for the bills involved in a lease, but anybody that can do math and understands that trucking companies run a profit of around 5 percent can see the writing on the wall. If I get 85% of the load and the profit margin is 5 percent - guess who is coming out on the short end? The company is getting 15% now that I have accepted 85%. I am losing money and they are making more money that they were before they suckered me in.

Am I making sense to anybody? I would appreciate any confirmation if that makes sense. I have been a business man all my life. I understand numbers, but sometimes I wonder if I explain them well enough. We have an old saying down here in East Texas: "You can't get blood out of a turnip." That's because there is no blood in a turnip. There is no extra money in a lease agreement. There is an average 5% margin in this business. That means the driver needs to get 95% of the load to make it come out right. No company writes a lease agreement like that. They are writing these leases so they can increase their margins somewhere.

So, now that we know what the OP wants to know, we can tell him 95% would be a good percentage. We still haven't helped him though. He simply can't find a lease agreement with those terms. I have two close friends who leased trucks and ran them on the same dedicated account as I at Knight Transportation. We were all hauling flat bed loads for "Hydro." We ran the same loads out of the same plant. We compared notes regularly. I still made approximately twenty thousand dollars per year more than either of them. They had many more years of experience than me - that didn't help them. They seldom ever even went home. You just can't pull rabbits out of a hat in trucking. The company knows the margins. They have planned accordingly. The lease operator thinks he can get lucky, but he's always wrong. Mean averages are there because that's what they are. They don't magically disappear due to someone's optimism.

Thank you for the clarification. Now that I see where you are coming from, it makes more sense.

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

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What is a good,bad or great pay if you are getting paid percentage pay instead of mileage?

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but no one was answering that

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That's because no one can answer that with a solid answer. 77% of a high paying load could be considered a great percentage, where 77% of a crappy low-paying load will be considered a low percentage.

The answer will be completely subjective to whatever load the company gives you.

Given my immediate reaction to your response, I think I may see where the OP's frustration is coming from. I don't see why it would be subjective. If 75% is a good percentage, then it is a good percentage, whether the pay itself is crap or not. 75% of a $10,000 load is a good percentage, as is 75% of a $2 load ... you just don't make much money on the $2 load. All of the other stuff is about the final amount of money one can make, which isn't what the question was about.

Someone did say they wouldn't take less than 28% which was an answer to the question even if a bit of a hedge. It doesn't sound like there is an industry standard, which may have been a better question (and one that Kearsey seemed to address).

Granted, this is coming from a complete newbie who welcomes ALL the other input as well; it just seemed Sean felt people were talking around the question, and I could see why. Perhaps there is something I am not seeing that would alter that perception. (Especially the idea about a percentage of a crappy paying load being considered a crappy percentage as opposed to just crappy pay.)

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting School Soon!

Happily following, J.R. ~!!

That's awesome they've switched you into an auto . . . finally focus on the 'good stuff,' eh?

Wishing you the best of luck on Thursday! << Stay focused .. & you got this!

~ Anne ~

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Yeah, now I don't have to focus on being such a hazard! rofl-3.gif

Thanks for the encouragement for Thursday! It is a little nerve wracking as it is a test, but I am getting lots of practice as the only trainee in my truck now.. They are trying to get me caught up on everything I missed when trying to fruitlessly develop the ability to use that stupid clutch!

Posted:  10 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting School Soon!

Well, the past few days have been a bit of a roller coaster. Friday afternoon they found me an automatic, which has helped my driving tremendously! I probably could have gotten it if they would have done a week of shifting practice/instruction as I hear they used to, but with the shortened time frame, it just wasn't happening.

Switching to the automatic took me from being what was essentially a distracted driver to one who is attuned to everything around me. I am still having issues with my backing, but my road driving has been really good... just need to polish those left turns a bit.

I am not sure what it is about those backs that is killing me, but it appears to be the set up... especially the 90! I can't quite judge where I should be. The distance from the truck/trailer to the box is generally easy, but how far to pull up in front of the box is still somewhat of a mystery. I can't seem to locate any landmarks to judge the correct spot in which to begin. I will try again tomorrow, I suppose.

My strait back is pretty easy as long as I remember not to keep over correcting. The offset is a little troublesome at the moment as well. just more practice I think. I test on Thursday, so I don't have a lot of time to get ready, but it should be enough!

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Companies that don’t use DAC

I still am not clear if OP was still in cdl school or had completed and was with a road trainer. Yes they have camera’s but if he was still in cdl school I don’t know if they have them.

Still more to this story I’m sure.

I am currently training with Roehl, and they do have cams in the cabs. As for training being separate from Roehl, it definitely isn't here, though it appears that it may possibly be the case at the Conley location (when I was looking into it, I was directed to Georgia Driving Academy).

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting School Soon!

Day 8: Tuesday - Week 2.

This morning was my worst drive yet! It was one of those that makes me wonder if I will ever be able to learn to shift and not be a hazard on the road. Missing and grinding gears, stalled twice, coasted more than a couple of times. ... if I were ever going to give up, this would have been the time it would have happened!

Fortunately, I made it to the switch off point, the other trainee drove for an hour, and I was given the choice to drive again or go back to the yard and work on backing. I chose the latter. The trainer demonstrated the off-set back and the 90 degree back and then have me perform them with him walking me through. Not bad at all! I drive better backwards than forward!! That darn clutch and shifting!!!

We then went around the range practicing my shifting a bit and then back out on the road! This time it went a bit better. Still grinding a bit (and a bit of popping the clutch) but no stalls ... AND I haven't hit anything!! smile.gif dancing-banana.gif

We then went back to the yard and practiced 45s just to change things up a bit. Again, not too bad!

Tomorrow will be back out on the road driving forward ... It was suggested I wear lighter shoes in order to be able to feel the clutch better, so I will do that and see if it actually helps. If it does, perhaps I will get my forward movement down as well as my back.... And hopefully be able to do all consistently to pass my test next week (that comes up so fast!!!)

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl GYCDL training

Day 8. I have a feeling that I came to training only yesterday, and yet, it is my second Monday here :-) More city driving today before lunch, including a 45 back up at a gas station next to an older Volvo with a dry van, then more backing up after lunch. My shifting still sucks, but definitely much less.

I think my shifting may be getting better as well. Though, if they don't want to change the clutch soon, I will have to get MUCH better!!! (I was put with a different trainer for "remedial shifting" instruction embarrassed.gif

Posted:  10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Practice test vs online tuts: which is right?

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If you pull a 40 year old trailer for any company, let us know. That's about how long ago the old brake systems where phased out and trailers with ABS were mandated.

The 70s were that long ago? Given the rate at which the government works, those trainings will need to be, in their minds at least, in effect for another 10 at least. Practicality doesn't seem to be on their radar.

Posted:  10 months, 4 weeks ago

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Practice test vs online tuts: which is right?

Thanks, reckon I should have just looked it up in the book. State says connect air lines before locking in the kingpin. Seems they want to ensure there is air to the brakes before pushing on it.

Funny that an instruction video, from a school, missed that. Perhaps it's a new rule that hasn't made its way through yet, or a FL thing.

Thanks again, I'll try not to be lazy in the future and just look things up first.

When I was doing my CLP studying, they specified that this was due to the possibility of older trailers that didn't have spring brakes. I am learning here at training just what others have said: When coupling, PAL -- Pin, Air, Landing gear

(Reading the posts on here is helping with my training!)

Posted:  11 months ago

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Starting School Soon!

Well, I haven't written to update on my training for this first week. These days have been busy, especially with the JJ Keller videos that seem to be never ending. I have finished them today though! While not having class today was a bit of a downer in that I didn't get the chance to make a fool of myself once again with shifting, I was able to use the time to get those videos out of the way so I can really focus on pretripping!

As for the rest of this past week, it has been lots of classroom time for days 1 and 2, and some driving practice for days 3 and 4. We did some backing yesterday, and I think I actually did better on that than on going forward! The shifting is giving me issues due to deep clutching and the occasional forgetting to flip the high/low switch. Focus, focus, focus!! I think I am stalling it a lot less now, though :)

Tomorrow is classroom time, and our day off on Sunday will be taken up by more driving practice which I am REALLY grateful for. I don't know what I was thinking training on a manuel! As if I didn't have enough to learn already. (I know it is about future possibilities, but I can't help but wonder why I always seem to take the more difficult path.)

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Starting School Soon!

Good luck to you. Bring warm clothes. Measuring a balmy 12 degrees currently and I am 30 minutes due north of Milwaukee. Most likely a bit cooler in Marshfield.

Anything above about 5 below is great as long as there is no wind! I don't foresee that being the case, however. Layers it will need to be! Thanks for the weather update ... I almost forgot how cold it got up there!

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Starting School Soon!

Two days until both my birthday and the day that I start out toward WI and my new life. Excitement and anxiety will mark these next couple of days. I know that there are large numbers of people who have successfully completed Roehl's training, so there is no reason I shouldn't succeed as well, but the unknown has always been a bit anxiety producing.

I can't wait!

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Roehl GYCDL training

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Hotel Marshfield it is. I couldn't imagine they would have more than one.

I am enjoying the whole "don't forget your mask" combined with the "You will be sharing a room..." stuff. I understand it, but is just seems like mixed messages, and I can't help but smile at such stuff.

Any idea when you may be rolling in?

I recall someone here mentioned another hotel. Actually, I am surprised that they are putting us in this hotel, would expect something cheaper and simpler, this one has a sauna! Hopefully they will not be too strict on masks, I hate breathing through a mask... I plan to make a stop in Cleveland, it is right in between and only about 600 miles, so most likely I will check in the evening.

My recruiter said that this is a different hotel than they used to use. It is closer to the terminal than they other one, though a little further from town, so going into town takes a little longer. I am also surprised they went with this one given how nice it is, but I definitely am not complaining!

I also hate breathing through a mask. My recruiter said a face covering is required, which could include a bandana, gator neck, or other type of cloth. It sounds like it is fairly strict in that you need something that covers, but not strict in the sense of it being a mask per se.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Roehl GYCDL training

Had a conversation today, and it appears all is still a go!

Same hotel - Marshfield Hotel?

Hotel Marshfield it is. I couldn't imagine they would have more than one.

I am enjoying the whole "don't forget your mask" combined with the "You will be sharing a room..." stuff. I understand it, but is just seems like mixed messages, and I can't help but smile at such stuff.

Any idea when you may be rolling in?

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Roehl GYCDL training

So after a few more conversations, I think I am good to go to Marshfield, WI this weekend, and start school next Monday. Has anyone stayed at Hotel Marshfield? Do they really have a sauna as their website says?

I will keep an eye out for you, assuming nothing bad happens in the process for me. Had a conversation today, and it appears all is still a go!

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Starting School Soon!

Good morning!

I start with Roehl in January. Which terminal you going to?

Good luck!

I will be going to Marshfield, WI. There wasn't room in GA, which would have been much closer (I live in GA now), but getting back up to the northern Midwest will be great as well :)

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting School Soon!

Welcome to Trucking Truth, J.R.~!

Wishing you the best with Roehl . .. excellent choice!

Have you seen all of our awesome links, and pretript tests, and whatnot?

Thank you!

I have been looking over the various resources here and reading the blogs, etc. I have done much of the High Road CDL Training Program. It helped me to pass my tests for my CDL permit including the tanker endorsement. I have seen the pretrip study guide, but I haven't really looked at it yet. I have read Brett's book which was quite interesting.

Right now I am just excited, nervous, and raring to go! I should be getting information on what to bring to training next week, but I have been worrying about it all week! Time to relax and let happen what is going to happen! (That is start looking at a couple of those other resources you linked!)

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Starting School Soon!

Things are in the works for starting GYCDL with Roehl later this month! I have been looking at getting into trucking for sometime and started reading this site for that reason. It has been lots of help thus far, and I am sure it will continue to be as I get into training and beyond!

Thanks for everything so far!

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Roehl GYCDL training

That would be a deal breaker for me. Plenty of companies pay for or provide transportation.

I didn't get my CDL there, but Roehl was the first solo driving job I had in 2016.

It almost was for me. But then I decided that I could either get paid transportation to training or get paid during training. I figure I come out ahead financially this way, and I since I prefer to drive than to have them pay for a bus ticket, this works for me as well.

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