Profile For OldGrizzlyBear

OldGrizzlyBear's Info

  • Location:
    Clarksburg, WV

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 5 months ago

OldGrizzlyBear's Bio

Father of 3 Young men...Ages 19 , 17 and 15 I enjoy hunting and fishing along with cooking out on my charcoal grill Getting back in the Driver seat after 5 plus years....gonna be a long road but I am willing to get it done !!!

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

I passed and got my CDL Permit on Friday !!!

thank-you.gif to those who was / is involved in the making of the High Road CDL Training program

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

You guys are awesome !!!

Well I took my CDL Permit test on Friday... I failed but not that too bad.

GK - 100% AB - Failed Combination - cannot take

I know where I messed up on the Air Brake part , it wasn't the "trick" questions that got me either, I had a few on parts that got me and one on a pre "some year" and I got both the "leaking psi per minute on Straight Trucks and Combination screwed up. So, I may or maynot see any of those questions that I missed , so , I am studying that part of the book with hopes that I will pass that part that part as well as Combination when I retest on Friday morning.

You all be safe and thanks for the comments , some was VERY straight to the point and I am thankful for those as well as all the others.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

Well...well...well....

Where to begin or shall I say start , not to give anyone a increased ego or not (LOL) , but , after some really harsh and detailed "digging" by my awesome wife while I was studying my CDL book , she put it in front of me the "pros" and "cons" of Stevens Transport as well as Careers World Wide (CWW) in Keensburg, CO . She used this site to start her research then followed up with Google reviews , Indeed Reviews , and YouTube Vids as well. She looked over their websites as well and if they have a facebook page , she looked that over also. Basically , she left no stone unturned and took notes. I'm not going to go into the details here because everyone's "good and bad" might be a bit different for schooling.

She did note that Stevens Transport has interesting label on them "starter company" by a good deal of peoples reviews , even the good ones as well called them a good starter company. So, what makes a company a "good starter company"...that is a very good question....

She also found out that if you do go thru CWW via Stevens you will be repaying the "loan" to Stevens for the school , however , it is NOT a one year deal. Its only guaranteed interest free for the first year just as long as you stay with Stevens. The remaining balance after one year is subject to interest (not sure of the rate) for the remaining time employed at Stevens. For the most part , it seems that it takes roughly 2 or 3 years to fully pay off the school from what she read and doing some simple math.

So, needless to say , "happy wife = happy life" wins in this event , so , I called the recruiter at Stevens and told them that they need to remove me off their list and give my spot to someone else. I also contacted Careers world wide and did the same thing.

To be completely honest here , I was too overly aggressive plus foolish in my searching as well as not using the resources that I had available to me. For those who are reading this that have yet entered into this industry , please do yourself a HUGE favor , S_L_O_W_L_Y and I really mean slowly review all the Carriers and what they have to offer. Use the resourses here on this site , plus do your own digging,

For me , this is not the end , but , only the beginning , for I have the WV CDL book and I have The High Road CDL Training Course , so , I will continue my studies and who knows , if I feel ready enough then I will take the CDL Permit test without any schooling or maybe I will still go thru schooling , but , I just need to stay the course and stay true to getting my CDL on either case. I'm not even gonna worry myself about which carrier to go with at this time , I just need to focus all my effort in getting the CDL Permit. Besides , my wife wanted to help so , she is reviewing all the carriers that is listed here while I study.

~ keep it between the lines and keep in mind if ya gotta chain up , then its time to call it a day , be safe out there !!!!

Mike

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Contemplating a Career Change

I might be able to shed a little bit a light on this subject for ya.

back in 2003 , I started my career into truck driving , mind you , I had 3 small boys (ages 4 , 3 and 8 months). I lasted only 2 years as a OTR driver with 2 different companies (Werner the JB Hunt) before I hung the OTR up and started as a delivery driver for Lowes. Also during this time , social media was not as good as it was , the internet while was solid it was not strong like now a days. Heck, if I recall , Werner was the only company at that time running elogs.

Fast forward to today , with FB and FB messenger , you can set up "face time" with your family, this if you plan it good , you can have a few hours during your 10 hour break to "see and talk" to your family. Also, with a internet app, you can set up that tracks your movement in real time called: Goggle Map APRS , all your loved ones have to do once you set it up is to go on the app and in REAL time they can find you via a call sign you set up and see if your moving or not. This might be something fun for the youngsters to do as a game. "Find where Daddy is" type game.

Now that my kids are way older (20 , 18 and 16) , I have decided to head back out on the open road and become a driver once again. Do yourself a HUGE favor , if you ever elect to stop driving completely , DO NOT EVER surrender your CDL for a standard license because if you do , then for the most part you will have to start back over at square one.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on your thought process in this matter.

Best Wishes !!!

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

That is my intentions , I figure being a rookie (again) that should pretty much give me good miles per week (3,000 +/-) and if I make all my deliveries and pick ups on time with no safety issues then my dispatcher should keep me running.

Well I did find out something rather interesting , well , for me awesome to know , careers world wide in Keensburg, CO trains all students in manual 12 speed transmissions so they willnot have that exception or whatever its called on their CDL. I have to keep myself "seated" cause I am wanting to "hurry up " and get to the driving part of my training :)

I will be heading to my 2 local truckstops probably this weekend and chatting with different drivers, to me its a cool thing to do , especially if I get a chance to chat with a "old timer" over a slice of pie and coffee. I did this before and enjoyed the conversation tremendously !!

Pilot Flying J truckstop - exit 146 on I-79N (Morgantown,WV) TA Wheeling - exit 11 on I70W (Wheeling, WV)

maybe I will catch up with someone that reads this !!!

Listen, sweating a few CPM here and there isn't going to help. You're just getting back into the swing of things. How hard you run and how well you perform is going to make a profound difference in your earnings. If you're one of the top dogs your dispatcher is going to throw a ton of freight at you and give you extra perks the other drivers won't get. You'll start at 39 CPM but they'll give you raises during the year, also. Starting at that rate you should be able to make $50,000 - $55,000 in your first year. That's solid dough.

Get through that first year and then decide what you want to do. If you're making a killing and you're happy where you're at - fantastic. If you see bigger opportunities elsewhere then go for it. But you have to establish your career again on solid ground. Make all of your appointments on time, run as hard as anyone out there, and you'll make great money. 39 CPM is solid coming right out of school. Your previous experience should allow you to catch on immediately and really impress them. You'll get tons of freight and raises once you can do that.

If I thought you'd be better off elsewhere I'd say so. I think you'll do great right where you're at.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

Brett,

when it comes to pay, Stevens seemed to be lower , 39 cents per mile and this was after all the training was done and I am solo. I am thinking that this is more on the lower end of the "cent per mile" , but , then again I could be wrong. I know from what little experience that I do have (2003 to 2005) that Werner was paying 34 cent per mile at the time and JB Hunt was paying 36 cents per mile at that time for solo OTR drivers. Thoughts ?

I'm just "fishing" for straight answers and not answers from recruiters when it comes to cents per mile. I also heard and I think I read somewhere that some companies pay on a "sliding scale" of sorts to where as the longer the haul the less your pay is per mile , is there any truth in that ? if so, which companies are you aware of that does this ?

Thanks !!!

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

I sure will

Good luck at training in Colorado, Old GrizzlyBear! Let us know how things are going for you afterwards at Steven's, too.

good-luck.gif

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

With all due respect Brett.

why are you a bit surprised by my choice in Stevens Transport ? see, I could have picked Roehl or Prime, for example of the trucking companies that had paid CDL training. My choices was limited cause of a few factors :

1.) I didnot qualify for WOIA program that paid for my schooling 2.) I don't have the 4K or better money on hand to directly pay for my schooling 3.) ALL the CDL schools in my state don't do grants so getting financial aid was completely out the question 4.) Most schools across the nation dont do grants anyways unless they have classes for CDL that are 600 hours and those classes are about 10K

So, as you see driver, my choices was very limited for not only companies but also schools. I now wish I would have never surrendered my CDL because all I would of had to do was a simple refresher course and be done !!! Live and learn my mistakes in life.

As per safety , I went with indeed , goggle , and a few other job review sites for my research. Stevens "won" hands down when it comes to the reviews on safety basically 3 to 1 for the most part. Also, not to mention that their fleet is newer and in some of the reviews newbees was put in brand new 2020 trucks, this appealed to me. Also on safety, you and I know that all trucking companies have safety standards , and we both know that some are higher than others, so , to argue which one is the best or which one is worse , would be more of a personal opinion and not factual due to the limited research on this subject.

The "herding" comment , well driver for me it don't make any sense to me to have 100 plus people in one class trying to get their CDL within a 3 or 4 weeks span, what can be learned ? what is the success rate ? is this type of "business" good for the industry ? The reviews on this across the board was very low and the main issues was not enough equipment , computers , and overcrowded in the living space. For me this was a turn off completely and hopefully those companies will change this sooner rather than later. This is why I am going to a sponsored CDL school because of the "less folks" and higher chances of learning.

The only thing with Stevens was their pay , it seems more on the low end to me but I wasn't too sure if 39 cent per mile as a new driver was low or not. I do think that most companies has some type of scale they use and it depends on which coast and where in the 48 states. I know that after 1 year of driving then I will have more choices of different companies that offer higher pay and such. My end game will be to try to get into one of these companies that pay a percentage of the load instead of cents per mile , but , I have a lot of research to do on this subject later on . You know got to learn to crawl before I run.

Hopefully, this better informs you to what I am dealing with.

Mike

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

I'm gonna be packing my hunting coat and overalls, it should be good enough for the cold mornings and snow...I might get some thermal socks also. Thanks for the insight !!

I started at Careers World Wide myself a few years ago myself. Make sure you take lots of warm clothing with you, as you'll be outside six days each week for a month.

good-luck.gif

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

First of folks , I know I was suppose to head to Swift then maybe to Prime due to my earlier post (over 1 yr ago), however I had some family issues (2 Aunt's died and my mom had to have heart surgery) so, I had to back down really fast from getting back on the road. Fast forward to roughly November of last year , I lost my job as assistant manager at a local restaurant due to "management restructuring", it was either take a $3.00 demotion or quit, well , I took my bags and went to the house. After reopening my 3 ring binder full of research and going over what I was doing before, I elected to start over from scratch and take my time in finding out more for each company. For the most part , it seemed that that any of the big , huge or in Swift's case , super huge , the CDL sponsored schooling is roughly all the same across the board, roughly 240 total hours , which is broke down into 2 or 3 different areas (Physical/drug test , Studying/Taking CDL test , yard work / final test ). Well, as I looked over and watched some YouTube Vids from different drivers , I stayed away from all the ones that was negative towards this company or that for this or that reason. I want to give a special shout to to the following channels that I have subscribed to and continue to view when new material is posted :

Stephan Harz - Swift Transportation - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_11YeshWcSMeA1S8TwQVWA Scottied67 - John Christner Trucking - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBYGB7ww88lnDP9Fkv0m2GA Duke City Devil Dog - Stevens Transport - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP7gWQUD4gHv6SGmp7D8Hyg

I know there is others , if you want to suggest then please post them below , now back to the subject, lol.

So, here is the plan , I leave my house here in Clarksburg,WV via Greyhound bus to Denver, CO roughly on the 24th or 25th of this month to start my training with Careers World Wide in Keensburg,CO then if all goes well, I will head to Dallas,TX and start my training with Stevens Transport. For the most part, I felt that Stevens isnot "herding like cattle" folks into and out of training just to get them into seats of a truck. I do like their very high standards for safety , to me this was a huge appeal. The only down fall that I felt that could have been better was the pay per mile , this was kind of on the low end compared to other companies but not too too bad.

All on all, I am studying hard and taking different online test for CDL and watching vids on pre-trip inspections , backing and such. I also have a good deal of downtime because I am unemployed, so ,I can focus on getting my CDL and Trucking Industry as a whole and I do take breaks and goof off on the PS4, I do have my own YouTube channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAQqpbMemapr52jXk5DImA , with this channel , I plan on giving updates there as well as different things like music reviews and maybe so live streaming thru twitch when I goof off on PS4. With that being said , please go to my channel and subscribe and turn the notifications on. If you have a channel, I will do the same.

Until our paths meet on the open road

Respectfully, Mike

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Let the process begin!

Well after everything going great so far on the road and in the backing pad with my trainer, today was kind of a rough one. Even though I've got my pre trips streamlined, memorized and confident performing them out loud by myself or with another student, as soon as I try to do it in front of my trainer I get examiner anxiety and I stumble badly(not a new thing, have had public speaking issues all my life) Got a lot of good advice to implement from people here and from family and friends. Just need to turn this issue around and overcome it. I WILL SUCCEED!

Try to take a deep breath before you start in order to "relax" at bit. Also of people try to do different types of relaxing breathing exercises in order to "quell" the nerves. You got this !!!!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Just getting started after 5 plus years of doing other jobs

Well, Ladies and Gents !!!

A quick update, I'm still sitting at my house in WV , I am waiting for Prime to contact me back because I have been approved to join their "family". I know at first Swift was where I wanted to go however , I considered it might be a bit wiser to go with a smaller company with high hopes of not just being a a number but rather a name. By the looks of things I will be heading to Springfield, MO because their other place in PA is fully loaded till March timeframe...The only thing that bothers me is the bus ride , I am hoping for good weather and no delays for the trip BUT.....mid -Feb weather, the chances are not in my favor too much but we will see soon enough. I have read a few post on Prime and the hustle during orientation, it would seem to me that they need to slow down instead of "cattle herding" people , idk...maybe they have a heck of a system in place that allows them to process people in this fashion. I just hope I don't get lost in the shuffle and I am able to keep up with the pace that will be in place.

I also was hearing something about a contract that Prime has the students sign that are in their CDL schooling ? is there anyone that would like to chime in on this ? I also heard that part of this contract is that if you dont fulfill your end then your not allowed to work in the same dedicated line (ie...Flatbed , tanker , or refrigerated lines) with any other company for "XX" amount of time. It that a BS statement or is that factual ?

Thanks for your time Drivers !!!

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Just getting started after 5 plus years of doing other jobs

Welcome to the forum OldGrizzlyBear!

I trained with Swift at their Richmond Academy. I’ve been with them for almost 6 years now, running on a Dedicated Walmart grocery account with a North East Regional territory. No regrets about my decision. Happy to answer any questions about Swift.

The below link will help with the studying:

High Road CDL Training Program

Good luck and enjoy the holiday season!

Thanks and I will contact you either here or some other means because I want to make sure everything is spot on. Oh, btw, do you know anything about the mentor program and such ? I am hoping for a "spot on" mentor and not someone who just wants the extra money.

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

Just getting started after 5 plus years of doing other jobs

Hello Big Truck Drivers !!!!

Well first off , a little history is needed from me , like the subject line states and you all can figure , I use to be a OTR Driver ( 2003 - 2005 ) Started out with Werner making 23 cents per mile then moved to JB Hunt making 28 cents per mile , a delivery driver for a window company (2005-2006) and a Delivery Driver for Lowes (2006 - 2013). After that I didnot reup my CDL when it was set to expire (stupid mistake) , so , by the state laws (West Virginia) , I have to retake the entire CDL test and of course get a physical. From 2013 till current , I became a licenced Electrician and I'm currently working as a cook. My biggest reason why I left the OTR world was the lack of hometime , my boys was 5 , 3 and 1 at the time , so , you can only imagine all that I missed and such. Now , my boys are 19 , 17 and 15 , so , things will be alot less "painful" because they will be more understanding.

I have been in contact with Swift and their recruiter Veronica, tbh , she is very straight forward and honest with me. It helps that I told her not to beat around the bush with me cause I ain't no "newbie" to this industry. She has me set up to do the Swift Academy in Columbus, Ohio sometime in January 2019 and out with a mentor there after. I'm looking to go back to OTR to start then maybe regional or dedicated.

Currently, I am at my home studying to take the written test , taking practice test after practice test in high hopes that I pass on the first try. From my understanding the industry has changed a bit over the years , some good and some bad , but , there still a driver shortage across the board.

I appreciate any feedback , thoughts , suggestions that you all might have.

Thanks and keep it between the lines driver !!!!

V/R, Mike

Page 1 of 1

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