Profile For Chris L

Chris L's Info

  • Location:
    Gouverneur, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 months, 3 weeks ago

Chris L's Bio

Retired Military 23 Years on Active duty, Former School bus driver, Looking to move up into the field to become a Class "A" Driver.

Page 1 of 3

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  4 days ago

View Topic:

The power of positive reinforcement

Bruce K Wrote

I had a really upbeat experience today. I went into a Schneider OC in Indianapolis late afternoon. I had to drop my trailer for a relay. I did my set up and then backed up near the space I needed to be in. Then I did my GOAL and walked around the right side of the truck to make sure I had enough space to continue chasing the trailer. I noticed a truck waiting for me to get out of the way, but I still took the time needed to be safe. I got backed in and I saw the other truck stop right in front of me and a guy got out of the passenger side and walked up to my window. Turns out he was one of the instructors at that OC. He said that he rarely sees a driver doing everything right and it was a good lesson for his student in the driver’s seat. Plus he said he had my truck number and was going to call my driver leader to commend me.

I’m not posting this to brag because I make plenty of mistakes. All I was doing is what I was taught, nothing more. But the positive reinforcement I got from this kind man who took the time to do what he did is something I will never forget. So remember, commendation is as valuable a tool as criticism, and arguably even more powerful.

Always doing the right thing when no one else is looking is the epitome of a Professional! Besides how many seconds does it take to G.O.A.L maybe 30 seconds to a minute?

Posted:  4 days ago

View Topic:

Heading out on the road tomorrow

I'm getting ready to link up with my trainer tomorrow afternoon and head out for the rest of the week. I'm looking forward to getting out on the road!

Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Failed My CDL road test - Need Advice

I stalled out on my road test also I was stopped at a four way stop and I bumped the selector switch to HI and tried to take off in 8th gear stalled it out good! I corrected the problem and got the truck restarted and made it back to the test area without any more problems. I thought I had failed because I stalled out but the Examiner passed me. I think because I didn't panic and corrected the problem without pausing it helped me. When you completely stop and look at the Examiner for some kind of guidance is when there is a problem. Of course all Examiners differ on how they grade some are by the book no deviations and some give leeway it just depends on the day and the Examiners attitude. Don't worry about no passing the first time I'm in New York and since they state started the Three Part Road Test the first time road test failures had hovered in the high 80's low 90's percentile. Good luck on your re-test.

Posted:  5 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Ken M (Tailgunner) said

Just go to flatbed immediately, you will be way, way happier. It's kind of a whole different world from reefer and dry van.

I would like to start out in flatbed but there are no openings in Baldwinsville, NY location at the moment. So I'm happy to bide my time and drive dry van and get my experience then move up when an opening comes available. The important thing is I found a company that is willing to give me a chance and I'm going to do my best to exceed their expectations.

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Old School Wrote

Congratulations Chris! I think we had another driver start with Gypsum Express years ago, but we never heard much from him. It would be great to hear a little bit of your experiences with them as a new rookie driver. I see their flatbed trucks often when I'm in the Northeast.

That's my plan to upgrade to flatbed as soon as I get some experience under my belt.

Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Well I got the word earlier this evening that I am good to go to start orientation on Monday with Gypsum Express. I can wait to begin.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Made my Choice and Comitted to Gypsum Express

I've finally pulled the trigger and have committed to drive for Gypsum Express which is based in Baldwinsville, NY. They are a regional carrier covering east to mid west with a mix of dry van and flatbed. My plan is to start out in Dry Van then transition over to Flatbed once I get some experience under my belt. As the cadence goes here on TT get out there work hard and get that first year in the books and the trucking world will beat a path to your door! Right now I'm just waiting for my DOT Urinalysis test to come back and I should start orientation this coming Monday the 18th. I'm really looking forward to starting training and getting on the road to my new career.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

OH Slow Roll attracts 40 trucks - “I feel the slow roll went great” says an organizer!

Correct me if I'm wrong. Until the early 70's organized labor pretty much had the trucking industry locked up and a driver had to join a union to work? Independent drivers and Owner Operators pushed for deregulation of the industry which happened in the mid 70's? 80's?. One of the claims that BSM is making is that independent drivers can not organize? Isn't the whole object of being an independent driver right there in the word "Independent" not being tied to a Union or Company! "Due to the ability to hack into the trucks electronic logging device the truck drivers feel that their rights to privacy are being violated,” BSM says. “The federal government is not holding any responsibility to the vulnerabilities in which they are exposing the American truck driver.” How easy is it to hack into an Electronic Log? Is it really a privacy concern or is it an ethics check because some drivers can not run - for lack of a better word - "Outlaw" anymore?

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

I am not confident but company wants me to take the driving test

I failed my School road test for graduation twice! I was not sure if the school was going to let me go and take the state road test that next day. The next day I took another school road test and the instructor had me drive down to the state test site. I passed that one then about an hour later I took the actual state road test and passed it. While I was in training I had allot of trouble with off-set backing when I did it at the road test no problem!- the Examiner set me up so I did the off-set to the drivers side. My box parallel gave me fits when I finally finished I was super crooked- I thought I had blown it but the Examiner passed me on and we headed out on the road test. Again I thought I had bombed it I stalled the tractor at a stop sign I was like "Oh S^&t" I quickly restarted the truck and continued back to the road test site. The Examiner high fived me and told me I had passed. Best advice I can give you is to keep your cool if you screw something up correct it and move on unless you have an unsafe act most Examiner's will give you the benefit of a doubt it's when you freeze is when they have problems.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Company Paid CDL training and state residency requirements to license

Like I said in my earlier post I'm surprised that more states have not followed Illinois lead and make it mandatory for CDL drivers that either reside or plan to reside to re-test! I'm real surprised that my home state of New York has not figured this trick out! At my former place of employment the head mechanic is also a local CDL trainer on the side and he told me that NYS is actually pushing to eliminate the Mom & Pops and make drivers go through a "State Approved / Certified" CDL instruction like going to a CDL School or a Certified Instructor.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Company Paid CDL training and state residency requirements to license

I'm taking a break from reviewing for the NYS Metal Coils endorsement test. I've been following another topic posted here on TT ( Worries regarding Acquiring a CDL) it has been a lively discussion to say the least and it has kind of drifted to CDL School vs Company CDL training. My question is if a person goes the Company CDL route does the driver get a CDL license from the state he /she is currently taking the training at? Most states have residency requirement to be able to obtain a drivers license for that state. So if I went to Prime and trained at the Springfield Missouri HQ I would take the Missouri CDL Road test and passed I would I then have a Missouri CDL "A" License or even though I have a New York State License and I'm not planning to move from New York anytime soon (Yah call me crazy I must have a tolerance for Stupidity.....lol). Or is there some sort reciprocity between some states? I.e. test in Missouri pass show proof in New York get a NY CDL "A" License? There was another thread a couple months ago (Transfer Your Class "A" CDL to Illinois) talked Chitown Mike about transferring his CDL to Illinois from another state and he would have to go through the whole process ( Written, Skills/ Road test) again. Are there more states that conduct this practice or is it just Illinois? I'm actually surprised that New York has not caught on to this to generate more revenue. If more states take up this practice it could impact company CDL training i.e. You train and pass the road test in Missouri but are from Illinois and you have to take the Illinois CDL test all over again it might discourage people from applying to a company and going the local CDL School route.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Worries regarding acquiring a cdl

Brett wrote:

SoI got a little more info on that guy's situation. He's from South Carolina and he went to a school in Georgia. He can't test in Georgia, and the school won't give him another opportunity to test in South Carolina, so right now he's stuck. He graduated from school but doesn't have his CDL and isn't sure how to get it now.

I'm confused why did this guy go to CDL school in Georgia and not in his home state of South Carolina? It would have made better sense for him to go to school in South Carolina. Does South Carolina have a requirement that out of state CDL drivers transferring into the state to live have to retake the written, skills and road test again like Illinois requires?

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

Update: I talked with TMC today but I was a NoGo because of my home locations is outside of their hiring area (The farthest north in NY they will hire from is Watertown- I live 30 miles north.) I told the recruiter to keep me in mind if TMC ever adjusts their hiring area. So I moved onto checking out Roehl talked to a recruiter but they are full up with Inexperienced / CDL graduates going through training at the moment she suggested that I get a couple months experience and re-apply as an experienced driver. So I'm looking at Melton Trucking out of Tulsa I filled out their application and one of their recruiters call me within an hour after I submitted my app. I also found some old threads here on TT and the comments were positive about the company. So Melton is on my short list - I also was contacted by a recruiter from USA Truck he recommended starting out in their dry-van division and get my over the road experience and then move into their flatbed division. I have a couple more applications out - I got a Pre-hire letter from Swift, and Werner also has contacted me I plan on reaching out to them tomorrow and see what they have to offer. Also in a strange turn - back in October I took the New York State Civil Service Exam for Motor Vehicle License Examiner and I received a letter from The DMV asking if I would be interested in a position out in Buffalo (Which is surprising because I scored 85 and I was 684 on the Order of Merit List) So I sent the letter back with a copy of my resume - I doubt anything will come of it since I figure the sate probably sent out letter to everyone on the list. Well I continue on with my job search.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

LDRSHIP wrote:

Wolding also has a VA approved apprenticeship program. I know, I did it, lol.

I looked into Wolding one of the recruiter came to NTTS at the beginning of this month it peaked my interest but I am leaning towards OTR flatbed trucking.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

Coffee wrote

TMC, Schneider, Melton, US Xpress, Werner, Covenant, Maverick, Swift, USA Truck, Roehl, and CFI all have VA approved military apprenticeship programs for eligible veterans. There are other companies I’m leaving out. The benefits from these programs are paid out by the VA, not the company.

You can verify if a company is approved here: https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/onthejob_apprenticeship.asp

Thanks for the link I'm checking it out now.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

Rainy wrote:

What does a "military apprenticeship" entail? Most companies are going to give vets some sort of benefits. Prime has a 9 month contract instwad of 1 year for vets.

But Coffe, you said you are using the GI BIll right? so what are the companoea offering to vets?

Rainy When I talked to the Prime recruiter on Friday he told me that Prime was not enrolled in the "VA Apprenticeship program" and was working towards getting certified to offer the program. Prime is one of my top considerations to drive for I used to be stationed at Ft. Lenardwood every month I would make the Pilgrimage to the "Redneck Holy Land" (Bass Pro Shop....lol) I'd always drive past the Prime HQ and their big electronic billboard right on 44. It reminded me of driving down the Vegas strip! "Drive for Prime...… Steak and Lobster dinner $10.99" lol

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

Chris I’m also looking at companies with a military apprenticeship option. TMC also wouldn’t hire due to me being located in Northern Minnesota. Currently Melton Truck Lines is at the top of my list.

Although not flatbed, I’m also considering Werner as well. They seem to have a lot of different accounts as well as Canada.

Good luck with your search.

I got an email from Melton as well I plan to follow up with them on Monday.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

It's not my fault I failed

I thought I would weigh in on this because Opinions are like A** Holes everyone has one. Is truck driving school the same as Boot Camp / Basic Training? The tenants of training is: Task, Conditions, Standards (Other services insert your perspective training terminology here). The training cycle goes with the Crawl, Walk, Run phases. You don't walk into your prospective school on day 1 and the school hands you the keys to a tractor with a 53' trailer attached to it and say " Be back in Six weeks for your test". They start out with the basic introduction to the tractor and trailer, basic skills mastery and the development of on road driving. Both Basic and Boot Camp set training milestones which the recruit need to meet before progressing to the next phase Driving school is the same - master basic operating skills move onto more challenging tasks. The main intent of Basic / Boot Camp is to put "Steel on Target"! by turning civilians into Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsmen. Trucking school are the same by "Putting Butts in the Seat". By turning civilians into entry level professional drivers that will go forth and power the nation's economic engine. I have to echo G-Towns sentiment about former service members / Veterans washing out of school because they don't take it seriously. In the group that I started in school with there was about 6 of us fellow Veterans most of the were fresh out like a couple of months to a few years (I'm hitting my 9th year since I retired) some are taking it seriously and some are not. One guy (Veteran USAF) actually told the class the only reason he was there was to collect his VA benefits and he had not intention of going into the industry. He actually missed so much class time in the first month that the school's training director (Veteran USMC) told him that if he missed any more class time the school would notify the VA of his lack of attendance and he (USAF guy) would loose his benefits and pay back what he already received. I believe that some of my fellow young Veterans actually believe that when they graduate that they will receive the Diamond Encrusted Platinum truck that runs on Unicorn Farts and get paid $5.00 for every Half mile they drive. Some have gone into this with the attitude of "I know everything I don't need to learn anything" they will all have a rude awakening when they take the NYS Road test I can guarantee that. My back ground is a trainer I had the fortunate opportunity to train Soldiers- (U.S., Iraqi, Afghan), As a School Bus driver trainer, and retired Open Water SCUBA Instructor. I love training and teaching people but when I decided to take this path I didn't put on any airs that I knew more than the instructors at the school I went in with the attitude that I was going to wring out all the knowledge that I could from the school so I would have the best foundation on which to build on to become the best professional driver I can.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Is four weeks really enough?

I have never even seen the inside of a tractor. I've driven a manual vehicle (all my vehicles have been manual), pulled a few trailers (boats and what not, never a 5th wheel). I have my permit and understand the gist of it, but I'm nervous that four weeks of training simply isn't going to be enough to learn.

I just graduated from School this past Wednesday (I went through a 7 week course) the best advice I can give you is get everything you can out of your time at school. You will pick up the basic maneuvers quick - I'm not familiar with Texas requirements for licensing if your school road test will qualify for a state license. If you have to take an actual road test with a Texas state Motor Vehicle License Examiner make sure that you school is covering the testable items that you will need to know to pass that road test (I had to take a Skill & Road test to graduate from school and then another NYS Road test for my license). Also forget about everything you know about driving stick!!! The transmissions in the tractors are not synchronized like in your pickup I had a struggle breaking my old habits the Tachometer and Speedometer will become your best friends. Good luck with school go in with the attituded that you are going to get every bit of knowledge that this school has to offer and you will be successful.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

My Job Search has started

My job search has started I want to drive Flatbed OTR So I have started to focus on companies that will hire recent CDL grads. I filled out the quick application here on TT and I have gotten a couple of responses already. Also the placement director at NTTS had us (my classmates) fill out a generic application which he transcribed to Ten Street and I have personally applied to Swift, Werner, Prime, and Roehl. I also applied to TMC prior to starting at NTTS but I was told I was out of their hiring area ( I live 30 miles north of Watertown). I'm specifically looking at companies that participate in the Veterans Apprenticeship program. So hopefully by next week I'll have a couple of solid prospects.

Page 1 of 3

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