Profile For JoJack

JoJack's Info

  • Location:
    Pullman, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    JoJack On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 1 month ago

JoJack's Bio

I graduated WAZZU a thousand years ago. I've hosted radio morning shows in Seattle and Houston for CBS as well as some afternoon shows. I ran a rock station on Maui for a couple years...right into the ground. I wrote and hosted a few tv shows for Mark Cuban out of Dallas and I waited tables all over the country for a good 9 straight years. Then I bought a condo. I do not recommend buying a condo, or anything else, as a career waiter. Trucking has been on my mind for 4 years and I'm pulling the trigger. I pray to God that I have what it takes and to do a good, safe job of it.

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Excellent point, Old School. Safety is always on my mind. I'm still not over how huge these trucks are. I had a real easy back into my dock... Thank the good Lord. I'm still at the dock waiting to be loaded. Hope you have a great day and until next time, safe travels. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

I had a two day break that wraps up tonight but they gave me my first 2 runs to make it home for the break. I hauled a load of beer from Payette, ID to Portland, OR then a home depot run from Salem, OR to Lewiston, ID. I live about a half hour from Lewiston in Washington State and I'm out in the middle of a bunch of rolling wheat fields so they let me take the truck and trailer home. Convenient and awesome. I already made some mistakes. Same mistakes that I've already read from others but I went ahead and made them anyway. I accidentally went off route in the Kennewick, WA area and into a residential area around midnight. I made it out without incident but I was sweating and praying. I passed my truck route in Lewiston but found a turnaround. I've been getting lucky and I'll take luck any day. Now the exciting part... I've been dispatched from Quincy, WA to Coxsackie, NY. Over 2,700 miles. WhoaTalk about a rookie run. It's right on the Hudson River and by satellite the area looks gorgeous so I'm excited to see upstate New York for the first time. I've planned it out and it's doable for me because it starts early tomorrow and ends late on the 28th at 23:30. Working for May means you are governed way lower than most, I'm at 61mph and so it just takes longer to get to places. Everybody passes May Trucking. On my break I was able to pick up a fridge and microwave and my dog, Bettie. She's a black German Shepherd and I love her so I hope this goes well for her. She travels well but she's never made it past the big D. I plan to buy some collapsible steps for her but haven't yet. I'm not sure when I'll actually be able to get my fridge and microwave set up. I'm gonna leave it to the pros in the shop. I'm rambling like a fool I know but I'm excited and nervous. Rookie nerves ya know. I'll probably stop in Post Falls, Idaho tomorrow or maybe Haugan, Montana. Next night, probably Billings, Montana followed by Bismarck, ND or just passed. Gee, this is my first time where I've really had to do some planning on my own. I better work on getting some sleep. I'll let you know how it goes. God bless y'all. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

PakRat... Thanks man I made it. Now I gotta get to trucking. I was talking to friend that has been solo for the last two weeks. He talked about the stress he has endured in such a short time. I can only imagine that I'll experience the same thing but that things will get better with experience. Persevere, baby.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Thank you Old School

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Thanks MomCat... They actually tested me today and I passed. I PASSED Crazy ! Wow I'm going nuts with the idea that I can't think of another job with such serious responsibility. To be safe. Don't crash and very important... Don't hurt anybody I'll try my best to never let those ideas escape me. I'm off my mentors truck and in my own. They've misplaced my permit book so perhaps I'll get ahold of it tomorrow. I haven't talked with my driver manager yet but tomorrow I will. I was given a choice between 11 western and all 48 and I took all 48. My head, honestly, is kinda spinning with excitement and a definite overwhelmed feeling. I believe PakRat told me to expect that emotion and he's spot on. I need to chill, like that scene in "Say Anything." ??? "You Must Chill." I'll probably get my first run tomorrow to get me close to home to get my things, but I'm only guessing. Thanks for y'all's support and I'll keep you updated on my first run for sure. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

I made it to Gary, IN then down to Joliet, ILL, Kansas City and now Denver. Probably make it to Layton, Utah tomorrow before getting kicked out of my mentor's truck in Payette, ID. I will solo test there this Friday. My mentor and I have had our share of issues but we've both worked through them and I've learned from him. Mostly I learned trip planning from him and I appreciate it, it will help immensely. I wanted to learn backing from him but he's not that good at it himself, admittedly, and he's been trucking for a good decade. So from that I learned you don't have to be a great backer, you just need to get out and look, and not crash the truck. Don't hit anything and don't be intimidated. If it takes 10, 15, 20 minutes longer to get to that dock, so be it. Get loaded and on to the delivery. Then do it again. For new students, as you get to the point of hopping in your trainers truck, it won't be perfect but make it work. There may very well be some tense times for you both... Maybe you won't get along but find a way to respect each other and learn. Don't waste that time. Get something out of it and be grateful for it. I'll let you know how the solo test goes. Have a great day. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Always remember to be grateful, no doubt. Great advice and it's strange how I'll forget but it works every time. I hope it's going well for you, Andy. It's 05:20 mountain time and we're on the road to Cheyenne from American Falls, ID. So far so good and thank God for that overnight reset button.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

My mentor flew off the handle at me again today. I backed into a dock, it's probably the easiest place to dock that I'll ever see. I wasn't completely square but it was good enough for the dock workers as one of them gave me a thumbs up, I applied both brakes. My trainer didn't see the dock workers behind him and he just came unglued that I parked like I did. It was an unbelievable display and quite embarrassing. Are you thinking about becoming a trucker? I think it's important to understand that if you are about to become a trucker you are going to, without a doubt, be dealing with some insecure, ego tripping, condescending jerks that aren't so much interested in teaching you what's right as much as just feeling like they are right all the time. I'm almost convinced that my trainer doesn't want me to learn, it would take away from his need to always be right. I've been dealing with it from day one with this guy and I've put up with it because my father always taught me to learn despite my teacher. To not use my teacher as an excuse for not knowing. Somebody might come down on you so hard you'll feel like quitting and I've seen it happen more than once in the past month. Students dropping like flies and, maybe this is done on purpose??? Besides, my instructor told me he's not much of a people person and that he's doing this for a bigger paycheck, so, there you have it. If I can't make it as a trucker I want to personally own it, maybe I don't have the skill set, maybe I do, but I'm not quitting because somebody else beat me down. I want to become better than that guy. With that said I overheard a phone call today and I'll be off his truck in the next couple days for my solo test. I'll be dropped off in Nebraska or Indiana. I'll know better tomorrow. Things are getting real. I'm about to find out what I'm made of and I want to be a trucker. God bless. JoJack

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

If things start to go sideways with your mentor you have to find a way to share your frustration. Don't let it sit there. The truck is too small for all that tension. With that said things are cool and we are now in Twin Falls, Idaho and we deliver tomorrow so we've some time to kill. I'll practice sliding my fifth wheel. Plus we've already been dispatched for our next pick up which will be in American Falls, Idaho to Pennsylvania, about 2,300 miles. This will more than likely be my last run with my mentor. I got blasted by a nice 45 mph wind in Wyoming the other day and that was a new adventure in driving 😁 I tell ya. I still can't back but I learned something very important. My mentor can't back very well either and he's been at this for a few years and still gets the job done. Can't back? Okay... Don't hit anything. Still working out some kinks in trip planning but it's getting better. Side note... If you're trucking through Wyoming they're a spot called Little America, a truck stop etc. Awesome showers there. God bless y'all. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Me and my mentor have been in our Denver terminal since last night about 19:00 after dropping our trailer for a repower. The next driver was here waiting for us so he hooked up and took it to Alabama. That driver wanted some home time and he lives in Pensacola so they gave it to him to finish off the trip to the receiver in Alabama. It's close to Pensacola for home time. We watched some great fireworks last night from the yard but we are still here and it's 1:25 pm on Sunday. Figured they would've already dispatched us to pick up some beer in Golden Colorado but?? Holiday weekend might leave us here until Monday without a dispatch but they won't let us know. We don't see any traffic in or out. It's slow. We sent a message inquiring a couple hours ago but nothing. It's hot in this top bunk. I practiced chaining because you go in the snow when you work for May. Actually, super singles use cables instead of chains so that's what I did. I can cable up... Not sure about chains. I went over the life of the load in more detail with my mentor as I see that being an issue for me. I'll go over it some more. I understand, now, the loneliness involved even with a mentor. I'm used to living alone but lonely still just grabbed ahold of me just a bit ago. I think becoming better at my job will actually help me cure that spell along with some prayers, confidence and keeping my eye on the prize. The prize being saving up for a house down payment 2 or 3 years down the road. Then getting a local gig for a little more home time 😁 My mentor is napping so I'm dreaming. Have a great Sunday. JoJack

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Started the day at our Payette, Idaho terminal and received a pre plan on Qualcom and my mentor had me fill out the paperwork. The bill # order # shipper and receiver (consignee) addresses with pickup and delivery dates and the PO #'s oh yeah and the seal# plus the weight of the load and piece count...aaaand trailer # that we picked up and trailer # we were going to drop. This particular run is a repower, meaning that another driver already picked up the load from the shipper and dropped it at the yard, now we pick it up at the yard to take it to another yard in Denver, so we never went to the shipper and we aren't going to the receiver (consignee). We're just the middle man on this run but we still fill out the paperwork as of we were so everybody knows where it is. We accepted the pre plan and they dispatched us. This is a reefer load and we weighed at 79,600lb so we can't run on a full tank or we'll be over weight. Our reefer is being a bit fussy so now that we've stopped for the night we are letting our over the road support know what's up. It's supposed to be at a continuous -1 degrees but it has quit on us a couple times only to start back up. Right now it's not a major issue but it's probably going to become one. The drive was nice. I always love the drive but it's summer and the weather is great and our country is beautiful so you can't beat it. I still need to do a better job of trip planning but doing that while accounting for the HOS is a decent challenge. Ya know, I also need to remember to change my status when I start to do paperwork, when I hop out of the truck, when I get to a shipper etc. Crazy. As soon as I think I have a grasp on something I am once again humbled. I have a feeling this job will keep me right there, humbled. I recommit daily to persevering. It also helps to remember to be grateful. I'm surprised at my fear, I mean sometimes the job leaves me nervous and wondering...you want me backing that where?? Backing in and out of orange cones, man I miss those days lol. I've been trying not to consider blowing money on a navigator but I'm slowly changing my mind. Anything that can help me remember weigh stations, rest stops, weather etc is probably gonna be a big help for me to start. I remember someone telling me about a navigator that will speak to you for such reminders and upcoming inclement weather. Did I use the word "inclement" properly? And if somebody knows the best nav for a beginner I'll take any suggestions. I have the atlas... So I'm doing my best to learn about it... Honestly, I think I've found a job I'll love and be proud of and so I'll persevere. I'll be in touch. Thanks, Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

PackRat...you bet. I'll keep on. Thank you. I have a chance to shower so I'm taking it and then on the road.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

I've finally hit the road with my mentor as of 7/1, so a couple days ago. We left the Brooks, OR terminal after receiving a pre plan, accepting the preplan, receiving dispatch and routing, then requesting turn by turn instructions, requesting fuel.... Wait a second, don't we just go pick stuff up and drop it off? Haahaaaa, oh man. I've been lost in the Bahamas a few times in the last couple days. My mentor took an empty trailer to come to pick up some smart water. He showed me the routine, at least at this particular distribution center, on how to pick up a load. We dropped it at a drop lot near Portland and picked up a different trailer at the drop lot that was already loaded with smart water, this is called a repower, we hauled that load to a coca cola DC in Fruitland, ID. I drove up the famous "Cabbage Hill" and what a difference between an empty trailer in trucking school and a 75,000lb load. Controlling speed downhill, and the company doesn't want you using breaks, that wastes gas with having to go back to the gas peddle. It's all about focus on traffic and speed and using the auto cruise control and jakes. Auto cruise isn't necessarily auto and the truck will pick up speed so fast. My mentor doesn't stop talking and drinks monsters non stop staring at about 2am after his 2 to 3 hour sleep. He smokes non stop at night right below me on the bunk. I'm lacking sleep and I'm concerned. Seriously. My mentor is a good guy and really wants to help but he's a bit too intense and excitable. I wish he'd relax on the monsters and non stop chatter. He just doesn't ever calm down. I drove the load to the receiver or consignee which was a little different than the last place but I get the point. My first backing attempt into a dock was terrible. My driving was fine but like I've heard, driving is the easy part. I think that once I get the over communication with dispatch down I should feel better. A lot of filling out forms and double checking and phone calls and macro messages just to ship some water. I will say though that once I get that down I can see that it's just routine. But I really need to know how to trip plan so I can let dispatch know my ETA and how many hours I'll legally have available after I deliver so I can get another load and do it again. Pulling in and out of truck stops, hopping on scales, pulling into weigh stations and cruising into towns I've never been to before... It's all pretty big and amazing for this rookie. Will I persevere? I want really bad to put this all together but the truth is that at times I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think I need to give myself a break maybe? It's only been two days and I've heard it here on Truckingtruth that the first year is about survival. I want to survive. This might come easy for some but I know it will be one of the hardest things I'll ever do or accomplish. I'll keep you posted. Jojack

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

My mentor has been delayed again. I've been living in a truck at the Brooks, Oregon terminal since last Thursday. Found out that out of my 5 man class a second guy has already quit. So that's one that quit in the middle of class on the last day and one that quit as soon as or shortly after he returned from his mentorship. Packed up and left without telling a soul. I can't understand but it does make me wonder, "do I have what it takes? I always had confidence before but I must admit, with these guys dropping like flies, doubt had crept in a little. Evil little ******* that doubt. I really want this, I don't care how much of a fool I have to be until I become a pro. I'd rather bypass the foolishness but at worst I can be that dumb rookie that never crashes until I piece it all together. I'm nervous, I'm thinking will my pre trip planning come together. Will I remember all the steps? Will I send all the appropriate macros? Or will I run out of time while searching for parking and a place to sleep? It suddenly feels like there's way more to this than I ever imagined but then again I've been sitting at a terminal with wayyyy too much time on my hands to overthink things. I will look at some more study materials. I will practice some more backing in a few hours. Then hopefully things will begin to fall into place when my mentor picks me up. I haven't even left yet but it's already been an adventure. Regards, Jojack

Posted:  3 months ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Thanks Mark...I hope I have something more for you to read as that will mean I'm still employed. I was supposed to leave with my mentor today but I got a call that he's delayed for 3 more days. Wow. So I'm just camping out in a semi at their main terminal in Brooks, OR. Did laundry and got in a shower. I'm trying to familiarize myself with the Atlas so I can help some with trip planning I'm trying to learn the life of a load and when to send which macro messsgeand where to send it. I've been told that a lot of companies use a system called NAVI-GO and that everything is made simple. The system asks if you've arrived at the shipper, you push yes, it asks if you arrived at the cosignee, you push yes etc... We use Qualcom which puts a little bit more on the driver to be accountable. We have to send quite a few messages throughout the life of the loadI'll get it down eventually and it sure beats having to find a pay phone to communicate, if you remember what that is. Lots for me to remember but it will all become routine, so I'm told. I have all day tomorrow to practice some backing, they told me they'd leave the keys in the truck so that's cool. I should head out Tuesday with my mentor and I'll be sure to keep you posted. This is going to be interesting and for sure, humbling. JoJack

Posted:  3 months ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Heard. Gotcha. Some prayers are better left unanswered. Have a great night.

Posted:  3 months ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Thanks Packrat... Ya know I tried to get on at CFI based on reading your posts but they didn't get back to me. I think it's because of where I live but that's alright. I appreciate your support. I'll let ya know how things are going in 2 or 3 days.

Posted:  3 months ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Day 3... I didn't sleep at all after a pretty disastrous day with failing to perform a 90 around a barrel...today was all classroom. What a relief. It helped me calm down and even better it helped me get back in my instructors good graces. We went over hours of service and Life of a Load and I was prepared. He and another instructor can still be a little brutal in the classroom with their particular style of teaching, but, I guess I can handle it better than others might. I'm not gonna get to Trucking without them--so be it. Day 4...they asked us to check out at 7:30 from our motel and then off to the yard. Good news, checking out means I'm assigned a truck, the truck I'm in right now. In all honesty and I know this gets said a lot about many things but I'm like a kid at Christmas...except I don't want to play with my toy. Being in the truck and having to sleep in it for the next 2 nights before I do my first run on Saturday has upped my adrenaline. I'm not too sure I need anymore. I will purchase my own fridge and microwave and there's a mount on the wall if I want to pick up a tv. Maybe down the road but now tv isn't even on my mind. What I really learned the last two days in the classroom is that I have sooo much to learn. Overwhelmed no doubt. I already know I'm going to have some ridiculous and embarrassing mistakes. It was just that so much was covered and this job isn't a joke. With that said a guy got up and quit in the middle of class today. He couldn't take the heat of the instruction, which is a bit rough and tough but dang. I believe you really gotta keep your eye on the prize and I thought long and hard about it the other night and came to my own understanding which is...these guys are about to give a rookie a $180,000 dollar truck with 2 to $300,000 worth of product to deliver in a humongous vehicle in a bunch of traffic. The whole thing seems kinda crazy but it makes sense that instructors are being very hard and detailed in a way to convince you that this isn't a kids game. But still, I can't believe I'm about to get paid to do this. I do feel stressed already but man do I feel alive in a 2 year old Cascadia with about 200k on it. I was bored outta my mind the first half of this year and I have a feeling the 2nd half is gonna fly by. I'll be in touch with an update on my first load by the end of the weekend. Regards Jojack

Posted:  3 months ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Day 2...PackRat how are ya man? You are correct, sir, sink or swim for sure. My head is above water, barely. Seriously, I got my ass handed to me today. Same deal, picked up at 7:30 and off to the terminal. They give us homework every night so we went over our assignments and then hit the skills area they have set up in the northwest corner of the yard. Guess who was told to go first, yep, me, this always happens. I nailed it, the hardest maneuver they have set up is a 90 around a barrel they put about 15 yards in front of their alley. Instructor was probably both surprised and happy because he let me know "good job." Now, understand, that was my or anybody's first back of the day. I hadn't received any instruction, I got in and nailed it. It all went downhill from there and I don't believe I hit that 90 again for the rest of the day. Whether my set up was off or my mirrors not adjusted properly or starting my pivot too soon/late...I fell apart. These instructors have some sharp tongues and I think I was letting it get to me. Honestly, I have never been so upset or frustrated with myself ever. I'm back at the motel now and the thought of breaking a few things has crossed my mind. At times when I'm out there I'm thinking that they're gonna send me home, my instructor gets so upset and I find myself in panic mode which is doing nothing for my less than professional backing abilities. Seriously, I've got to find a way to relax, like all day relax and drive that trailer. Actually, what I need is to make sense of and apply what is being taught. I have thick skin so condescending remarks/body language etc from a couple brutal instructors isn't going to keep me from coming back for more and I'm not going to snap back. I want this gig, I'm committed but I'm afraid for one of the other guys. I feel like he might not be able to keep his cool and I can feel something coming that might result in him being sent home. They'll have to drag me out kicking and screaming. Listen, my CDL school was a lot about the students teaching themselves. I can't remember getting too much instruction. I'd spend all day doing straight backs, offsets and 90's but unfortunately, I learned how to do them my way. Now I'm being taught with new terminology like, command/pull/push/center and while it does make sense it's all new to me. Before all this training I watched backing videos online but just like CDL school the instruction here is different so I need to unlearn things and breaking a habit ain't easy. I'd never even heard the term button hook turn. Do you know how embarrassing that is? The only good thing about the button hook turn is that even though I didn't know what it is, it's the only thing I can say I have got down with confidence. Showed me once and now I pull that trailer through that alley and around every time. Meditation has never been my thing but it's going down tonight. I want to focus and pinpoint exactly where the errors are and fix them right here in my motel room. I want to get back to that yard and nail that dang 90 every single time. We also worked on some other things like chains, sliding fifth wheel and sliding tandems plus a refer pre-trip. It all made sense but everything's easier than backing. Man o man, I want nothing more than to make my next entry a much more pleasant one. I better get to my homework. Regards, Jojack

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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May Trucking Rookie Pilot Training Program

Showed up in Salem, Oregon last night, Sunday. Didn't sleep well but not so much nerves as much as some noisy neighbors at the Days Inn. Nothing some ear plugs can't solve. I was picked up along with 4 other gentlemen (Idaho, Montana, California, Portland and me, Pullman, WA) at 7:30 this morning and taken to May Trucking's main terminal and offices in Brooks, Oregon. A little bit of in class schooling on backing and some friendly banter about why we want to go OTR. Then the drug test which was immediately followed by skills backing maneuvers and a drive. I'd never been in such a nice truck and this was an automatic 2020 Cascadia. Huge difference from the ancient million plus mile 10 speed I was driving back in school. I was up first, this always happens. It had been about 3.5 weeks since I tested for my CDL so I didn't feel like I was in the swing of things. My instructor is former military and he was letting me have it. "Why aren't you always always using your driver side mirror? It's gonna be much more fun if you can see what your doing." I would hear this a few more times throughout the day. He was also frustrated that I was sticking my head out the window to watch my rear axle tires for steering. He made me roll up my window and he had me use only one hand to steer while backing. Now, this is nothing like I was taught in school. Which is fine if not great once I shake these nerves off. I was feeling the heat because with May you aren't hired until after the first day. They want to know if they feel like keeping you around. I made it through but I was pretty upset with myself. Doesn't matter if it hadn't been a while, I should've done better, that's how I felt. Next, I went on my drive. It went quite well. It was cool using cruise control and hill assist, both firsts and I'd never used a jake before and that was great. The other 4 did the same and they all let me know that they felt as I did. We were all sweating it but, talk about misery loving company, it helped us all relax. Like I was saying they're doing a one week training/mentorship out of this yard in Brooks and I should be doing my first run this Friday. They don't mess around. I've never heard of such a thing but it's new to them as well. I'm not sure about their other May training locations but if you end up in Brooks, Oregon as a new trucker...it's one week and c-ya. I was told my first run will be with a mentor and then they jump ship and it's all you and that truck is yours. I'm nervous about this but I don't mind. I think it's because I really want to make this my last career and take it all the way into the sunset....Side note, a guy showed up at the yard to discuss his employment with the bosses after getting in an accident in his first week solo. Dang. He said he got detoured off the freeway or highway and ended up on tiny roads and a tight turn did him in. He said he hit a car that he absolutely didn't see, said it was a dark green and dirty car in a shady spot and it just blended in. Anyway, I don't think he's employed anymore and I feel bad for the guy. I'll let y'all know what happens tomorrow but it is for sure happening fast. Jojack

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