Profile For Pacific Pearl

Pacific Pearl's Info

  • Location:
    Seattle, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 1 month ago

Pacific Pearl's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

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Is it possible to take a shower at least a few times a week?

It's possible to shower every day! It's a question of priorities and preparation. I have a heated shower in my truck:

Just stand in a storage tote from Costco while bathing (get the rubbery one, the hard plastic ones crack and break too easily). When you're done, dump the water out and let it dry out on top of your bunk. Store the shower unit inside the tote with clean towels and toss it under your bunk when not in use. Not my everyday option but 10,000% better than wipes or going without when truck stop showers aren't available.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

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Having difficulty starting a driving career. Need advice please

CRST doesn't require ANY experience. If you have your CDL, it should be a walk in the park. BUT You do realize they are mainly a TEAM driver company? The Only "Solo" Regional is with their sister company they bought out in 2016-17, "Gardners"...

No. CRST Expedited, the division you drive for, is only one part of a much larger company, CRST International. The parent company has several other divisions that are all run very differently.

CRST Malone CRST's flatbed division. They don't train drivers because they don't employ drivers. All Malone drivers are owner ops or lease ops.

CRST Dedicated Requires a minimum of 6 months OTR experience. They do drive teams (and solo). Due to CRST's anti-poaching rules you're not allowed to go directly from Expedited to Dedicated UNLESS the dedicated account specifically requests you by name. This is rare and usually only happens if your FM is the FM for a dedicated account and gradually works you into it. Been around since '93, so they predate the Gardner acquisition by a couple of decades.

CRST Specialized Transport Basically, a 53' trailer with a lift gate. Experienced drivers only. Handles freight in residential, retail or anyplace that doesn't have a loading dock.

CRST is a large and diverse company. Those are just the their three largest other divisions, there are others. Here's a text I received from them a few days ago that best sums it up.

"Did you know? The 'New CRST' has MORE to offer YOU * Yes * SOLO * Dedicated * Increased PAY * Home Weekly ...More than OTR Teams!"

As far as the OP's issues with his CRST recruiter. It sounds like he got a new recruiter. They hire telephone sales/customer service reps for those positions NOT CDL drivers. As you can imagine that's quite a learning curve.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Florida CDL Permit Questions

If not, do you have any advice?

I have a lot of advice, but the more important question is, "What are you trying to do?". A CDL permit doesn't exist in a vacuum. Are you wanting to got to CDL school in Arizona? Have you been accepted to a CDL training program in a third state that requires you to show up with a permit in hand? If we know your situation we can give advice that best fits you instead of just answering random questions about residency that may (or may not) apply to your situation.

My next question is; can I take the Florida CDL permit test online at home or somewhere here in Arizona instead of flying back to Florida to take the test?

No. All states require you to take the permit test IN PERSON at the DMV - cuts down on cheating.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Damaged load - drivers fault

Can someone get fired the first time for something significant?

Yes. A driver and regular poster here was fired 8 months ago when his load shifted and rolled his truck.

Career-ending Accident; Don't Let This Be You.

"I filled an appeal with Schneider but was told that even if all the above are true, I had a chance to inspect the load and took it so if a cargo shift was the problem that was my fault anyway."

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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A CFI update 2021

So... out of curiosity, will this new TForce name still be a part of UPS?... Or is it a spin off, or something?

The story on UPS Freight is that in 2005 UPS (the world's largest package delivery service) entered the LTL market when they bought Overnite for $1.25 Billion. They rebranded Overnite as UPS Freight because their business plan in LTL was to charge extra for LTL freight because of the UPS name. That's like if Nordstrom bought a chain of gas stations and starting $10/gallon for gas. Freight is a commodity - no one pays extra for anything. UPS lost millions figuring that out. They had been trying to sell off their LTL assets for years but things didn't work out for one reason or another. XPO, CRST and a few others were all named as in negotiations to buy UPS Freight.

In January, TransForce (Canada's largest LTL carrier) acquired UPS Freight for $800 million. The $450 million dollar markdown was due to the run-down condition of their equipment, limited history of profitability and UPS's desire to exit LTL. TransForce can't use the TransForce name in the US because a US company is already using it. They settled on calling their US operations TForce Freight. TransForce is probably the best buyer UPS Freight employees could have hoped for. They have experience in buying troubled companies and turning them around as well as working with unions.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Fly control and ice making

To make the ice last I use a vacuum-insulated growler. You put the ice in the growler then put the growler in the fridge - you'll have ice for days. If you're that dependent on ice why not just get an ice maker? For less than $100 you can make up to 26 pounds of ice a day!

The reason you see more flies at a dump than at a hospital is because they're attracted to scents - both smells you can smell and pheromones you can't. My truck isn't spotless but I do give it a good cleaning quarterly. It's rare a fly tries to stowaway on my truck but when they do they're easily evicted with my dust buster.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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What/Where/How do I buy stuff for the training portion?

1. Pack light. There's a lot of schlepping around in the training experience. Whether it's transferring to a new bus at the Greyhound terminal, moving into your dorm, moving out of your dorm or moving onto your trainer's truck you have to carry everything you bring. I managed to fit everything I needed into two GI duffel bags. Makes it easier to move and to watch over (things sometimes disappear in Greyhound terminals). As a bonus you can put a padlock on them to make sure everything you packed makes it to your destination.

2. There's a lot of standing around outside at truck school. You're going to Missouri in the fall it can get cold and wet. 59 degrees and rain on the 11th and colder in the following weeks. Pack a waterproof hat, a warm coat (waterproof), A good pair of waterproof boots, wool socks, waterproof gloves.

3. You're going to want a sleeping bag that's warmer than you think you need. I like this one. It has a cloth cover that you can use as a layer between your pillow and the mattress. Why a 0 degree rated bag? Doesn't the truck have a heater? Yes, but if you're broke down or involved in an accident your heater may not be working and it may take HOURS for a tow truck to come get you.

4. You're probably going to want internet for your 10's and 34's. I use Visible. $40/mo. gets you unlimited, unthrottled, uncapped internet anyplace you can get a Verizon signal. You can link one device to your phone with a cable or bluetooth. Depending on your needs that device can be an iPad or a wi-fi router. I use the Xfinity app on my iPad to use it as a TV on the road. It gives me all the channels and movies I get at home.

5. You're going to want to stock up on cables and 12v adapters. The cables wear out so bring spares. You can pick them up at truck stops, but they're about 5x what you'd pay online.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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I live in a rain forest. Umbrellas are pretty rare here even outside of truck country. The combination of expensive, delicate and taking up space that could be storing something else are probably why you don't see them on trucks. I do keep a waterproof hat in my shower bag for when the weather get wet. Rolls up tiny, fits in one of the many pockets in the shower bag and never breaks. I've had it 10 years and it still looks new. I have the luxury of weekends off so I can rotate the truck's inventory of clothes and jackets as the seasons change. A light, waterproof jacket for spring and summer; a heavy, insulated, waterproof coat for winters and heavy flannel shirts as needed.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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How Hard Is It To Get A CDL?

But what exactly are we talking here? I mean rocket science level stuff or something else?

Typically, 4 weeks of school to get your CDL and then another 28 days on a trainer's truck before your first employer will turn you loose with a truck of your own.

The highlights:

Get your CDL permit - written tests at the DMV (practice tests here, more practice tests FREE for Android and iTunes)

Practice backing the truck for 3 weeks

Drive the truck on the road for a week

Perform a pre-trip inspection (there are plenty of youtube videos on this) with an inspector.

Perform backing maneuvers in the truck with an inspector.

Take the truck for a road trip with an inspector.

Take the inspector's evaluation to the DMV to pick up your temporary, paper, CDL!

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Team driving starting up

...Is that during training?

YES! There are two types of training - training to get your CDL and training to drive for your company.

Training to get your CDL usually involves staying in dorms or a hotel if you go with company training. You have an 8-5 type of schedule for 4 weeks. A little classroom training, some driving and a lot of watching others drive while you wait for your next turn to drive the truck. This teaches you to pass the DMV tests to get your CDL. Important things like how to fuel the truck, make a trip plan or put on snow chains aren't covered.

Training to drive for your company is usually 28 days driving on a truck with a trainer AFTER you have your CDL. What, you thought they were just going to turn you loose with a $200,000 truck and $1 million + cargo right out of school? You'll learn trip planning, fueling the truck, how to shower at a truck stop, how to use the QualComm, how to use the ELD and other vital skills. They don't charge you to stay on the truck.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Team driving starting up

Covenant Transport:

Family Plan & Buddy Plan Training: Covenant can train husband and wife teams together, and our Buddy Plan allows friends and/or other family members to train together. A qualified spouse may train the other while running team freight.

Effective June 14, 2021, the student and mentee pay at Covenant is increasing to $700 per week for non-hazmat and $725 per week for hazmat. This gives students the opportunity to make more than $90,000 annually by the time they reach one year of experience!

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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Considering a Career in Trucking

....I'm taking my driver's license test on October 8. Does my inexperience as a driver affect my ability to obtain a CDL?

You can get your CDL but most companies will want one year of driving history in a car BEFORE they will consider you for a CDL driving job. I'd recommend finishing your year with a car first. If you get your CDL now you may have to wait a year to actually use it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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I'm a newbie with a DUI

Some will, some won't. How many DUI's and how long ago are the deciding factors.

Gratuitous link:

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With DUI

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

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I hate Jeans

It's all about options and flexibility - especially in the spring or fall where weather changes can happen quickly. T-shirts are great because they give you something to wear on a warm day and can act as a base layer for cold days. With a t-shirt, a flannel shirt and a good waterproof jacket you'll never be cold. You're probably going to want a warm, waterproof hat and a good pair of insulated gloves.

I usually wear shorts with cargo pockets. They take up less space on the truck and you're generally not standing around outside long enough to get too uncomfortable. I keep a pair of insulated coveralls on the truck in the winter in case I have to throw chains. I would NEVER do that at school though. There's A LOT of standing around outdoors at truck school. Today's high in Marinette is 67 degrees. The forecast only shows one day over 70 degrees in the next week, but two days of rain. Three weeks from now it will be colder and wetter than it is now. I'd go with the cargo pants - there's a lot of crouching and mud at truck school.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Intermodal driving

Intermodal is based at a rail yard or a port. They usually have a 150 mile delivery radius. Drivers are at the mercy of the railroad or port and they don't care about how long it takes you to get loaded. Time is always tight because at the end of the day if they drop an empty at the railyard/port and only have 3 hours left on their clock that day they have to shut down because they won't have enough time to make a delivery and return an empty. That can be the difference between a $200 day or a $300 day so they tend to drive aggressively and make some unsafe choices. The scariest drivers in my neck of the woods (in order):

1. Log trucks 2. Intermodal drivers 3. Amazon

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Paths To Making GOOD money as a truck driver?

Early on, I identified what I did and didn't like about the job. Fortunately, "driving a truck" is a large, inclusive job description. You want to be home every night? You want weekends off? You want to drive 70 hours a week? You want to drive days only? You want to bring your dog with you? There are jobs that can meet your needs but it's up to YOU to figure out what your needs are then find a job that's the best fit.

One of the things that really bothered me on my first job was all the unpaid time (waiting at a shipper/receiver, hunting for an empty, broke down in the middle of nowhere) so I looked for a job where I could sell 60+ hours a week and get paid for all my time. For me the answer was dedicated. I get paid by the hour (overtime over 40) and all the unpaid tasks either disappeared or are now paid.

The people making less are turning fewer miles or aren't getting paid for their time. That can because their gig just doesn't have the miles, but usually they chose another path because they wanted to bring their dog, work days, go home every night or made a choice that means they work less than 70 hours a week.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Advice Needed on Career Change

Anxiety and PTSD don't mix well with life on the road. Being away from your family for weeks at a time; trying to get a load where it's going when weather, breakdowns, construction, accidents and millions of 4-wheelers are doing whatever they can to keep that from happening and just the swings of the freight market in general require the ability to roll with the punches and make the best of your opportunities. You often have to make tough choices in high stress environments.

Then there's the bit about wanting to start a business in an industry you know nothing about. I wouldn't recommend anyone try their hand at becoming an owner/operator without at least 5 years of experience in the industry. The odds aren't good - about 80% of the folks who enroll in a CDL school actually earn a CDL and more than 90% of them have left the industry 12 months later. Out of my class 30 truckers earned their CDLs and 8 months later 2 of us were still on the road.

My other career choice is that I have an interview next Friday with Procter and Gamble for a plant job. I currently work there as a temp.

Stick with P&G.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Becoming inactive pros and cons

In Washington you can downgrade your license to Intrastate-only so they won't downgrade your CDL to a class C license because you don't have a valid medical certificate. When you're ready to go interstate at some future date just present a current medical certificate and *VOILA* your license will automatically become a fully functional CDL.

As others have already pointed out - your CDL isn't a Twinkie that you can just put on a shelf and come back to years later. With so little experience you're looking at having to take a refresher course just to drive now. Wait a few years and most employers will require you to downgrade your license to class C and start over again if you want to drive a CMV.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Living in truck with no physical address


Unless things have changed recently you have to have a physical address for your CDL, they won't allow po boxes.


Laws vary by state. That's probably why escapees only offers addresses in Florida, South Dakota and Texas. Texas has notoriously lax standards for residency. George HW Bush famously claimed Texas residency by staying in a Houston hotel a few nights a year, even thought he owned no home in Texas and lived in his 2.2 million dollar mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine 300+ nights a year.

From the Escapees FAQ:

Can I use my Escapees mail service address for my driver's license, voter registration, etc.?

Yes, you can use your Escapees Mail Service address in Texas, Florida or South Dakota as your residence address for driver’s licensing, vehicle titles, voter registration and other legal purposes. Please see our information on domicile for more details.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Got to love people who park where they please

The problem isn't the 4-wheelers - they're parked legally. The problem is Walmart. Obviously, someone didn't put a lot of thought into how trucks will get into and out of that store. Sadly, they probably won't address the issue UNTIL a less skilled driver (or two, or three) hits some of those legally parked cars with their trailer trying to get out of there.

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