Profile For Pacific Pearl

Pacific Pearl's Info

  • Location:
    Seattle, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    11 months, 1 week ago

Pacific Pearl's Bio

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

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Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Parking does anyone else care?

... I hear others on radio ask what the heck I'm doing and I probably look like a dog spinning circles looking for the perfect place to poop.

While I strongly advise all drivers to have and use a C.B. - that's only while they're going down the road. Use the off button in truck stops and parking lots and you will stop hearing voices.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Not sure what the next step is

One thing I can't emphasize enough - THESE AREN'T NORMAL TIMES! I understand it can be hard to keep up with current events while OTR, so let me give you a few highlights:

22 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last month.

A third of the nation's renters didn't pay rent this month.

More than half (55%) of the people in Los Angeles, CA who had a job a month ago are now on unemployment.

Several US cities have lines at their food banks more than a mile long.

A barrel of oil is selling for -$37 dollars. Not a typo - you take a barrel of oil off their hands and they will pay you $37. Gas in many parts of the country is selling for less than $1.00/gallon.

You don't have to look too far in this forum to find stories about folks unable to start their driving careers because DMV offices in their states are closed completely, truck driving schools are closed or company sponsored training is being delayed. You can do the math to extrapolate on some of these circumstances - ie if they didn't pay rent this month they're probably not going to be able to pay next month either, if they can't afford rent there's a good chance their other bills aren't getting paid either (phone bills, car payments, insurance, etc.), if they don't have enough money to pay their bills they probably aren't buying many knick knacks on Amazon. This all contributes to a drop in freight volumes.

Your next step is simple - wait it out. There isn't much hiring right now and a lot of people wanting jobs. If you try jumping ship now to make more money driving for a grocery store chain you'll be competing with hundreds of drivers with decades of driving experience wanting that job. Intermodal, Department stores (Macys, Nordstrom, JCPenneys, Gap), Energy (oil, fracking sand, LPNG) and a several other industries have laid off most/all their drivers. You'll be competing with them for the jobs that are hiring and won't be eligible for unemployment.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CA, IL & NY issue, "Stay-at-home" orders.

and one idiot who returned from italy 2 days ago and went to work with a horrible cough. she has been sent home for 2 weeks.. they are having a meeting later today.

That's what worries me - idiots.

The college kids who decided drinking and twerking on the beach was more important than not infecting others.

The father In Missouri who was supposed to be in quarantine and went to his daughter's school dance instead.

The designer who flew in from Spain with a fever to attend a wedding in Uruguay. Half of the cases in Uruguay can be traced to him.

The business owners who defy the quarantines and claim government telling them to close is unconstitutional.

There's no shortage of examples.

Since about 1980 it's been out of style to tell anyone, "no" to anything. Few, if any consequences for doing whatever you want whenever you want. It's created generations of entitled individuals who don't know and don't care about anything other than their happiness and gratification. If the world ends, oh well.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CA, IL & NY issue, "Stay-at-home" orders.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Tough times, tough decisions for everone.

Hi Rachel! These are rare and unusual times. The answer to your question about repayment for your schooling can be found in the contract you signed. Look for the section on Force Majeure - a clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, plague, or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. You'll find your answer there.

Yes, Prime can terminate you at any time for any reason. If they don't have cause - you not doing your part performancewise - then you may qualify for unemployment. Prime has to PROVE that you did something wrong and they terminated you for a good reason (absences, theft, alcoholism). If they can't show your state good reason for terminating you it's the same as a layoff. Provided you have enough working weeks paying into your state's unemployment insurance you would qualify for benefits. Of course, once they get notified that they're on the hook for unemployment you may get a call from them asking you to return.

I wouldn't hold it against them. They're just trying to keep their terminal from becoming a WuFlu hotspot. Trust me, these plagues only come around every century or so. Odds are you won't see another one in your lifetime.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CCW Reciprocity for truck drivers now?

....very horrific but also a extremly rare and isolated incident.

Sounds a lot like what we've got going on right now. Literally millions of folks are out of work, aren't supposed to leave their homes, don't know when they'll be able to return to work, have bills due and hungry kids at home. Oh yeah, and there's a lethal virus floating around too. If that's not a recipe for civil unrest, looting, mischief and mayhem I don't know what is.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CCW Reciprocity for truck drivers now?

Alot of folks do not fully understand the legal threshold required for the display and use of a firearm.

This I agree with. At a minimum, take a concealed carry class BEFORE you carry. Laws vary considerably by state. It's pretty easy to commit a felony without even knowing it. In Arizona you can shoot someone to prevent them from committing arson of an occupied structure (no, you don't need to check whether the structure is occupied before shooting). You can shoot someone to prevent a rape, a kidnapping, a child from being molested and to prevent six other things BUT if you get into a fist fight while carrying - even if the other guy started it; even if you never mentioned, displayed, touched or unholstered your weapon - that's a FELONY!

Of course, even if you're in the right it can take years and six-figures in legal fees to convince the judge that someone really needed to be shot. In addition to your struggle with the State you can expect the dead man's estate, his wife, his ex-wife, his girlfriend, his parents, his kids and his dog to all sue you in civil court as well.

It makes me cringe every time a read about some hothead jerking his pistol out because the truck in front of him was taking too long to fuel at the truck stop. Every driver of a certain age has a similar reaction thinking about Reginald Denny. For the young'uns a 36-year-old truck driver stopped at a traffic light in Los Angeles on April 29, 1992 (Los Angeles Riots/Rodney King). At least six men pulled him out of his truck and beat him so severely that he suffered permanent brain damage. After years of rehabilitation he has trouble walking and talking to this day.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CA, IL & NY issue, "Stay-at-home" orders.

I'm not worried about my destination - I've delivered to that dark terminal many times. I'm concerned that when I get to California with my load of essential designer sunglasses the officials at the inspection station will refuse to let me into the state. It doesn't sound like anyone has official guidance on that but with things changing daily and not much rhyme or reason to what's going to happen next I'll be lucky just to get to California. I'll try and post a warning here before they force me to work on a collective marijuana farm in the San Juaquin Valley.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CCW Reciprocity for truck drivers now?

Funny thing about all these, "emergency measures" - they are all about doing what the politicians/special interests wanted to do anyway NOT what's necessarily best for the common man. New Orleans. LA, Sacramento, CA and Champaign, IL among other communities are using their powers to close gun stores and ban the buying and selling of ammo. An armed population is a significant barrier to mass compliance to whatever bizarre, oppressive regulations they dream up next.

I stopped by a local gun store this morning about 10 minutes before they opened. There were 20 people in line ahead of me! Fortunately, my armory is already well-stocked. I pity the folks who waited until the last minute to prepare.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CA, IL & NY issue, "Stay-at-home" orders.

If we're hauling non-essential loads to these states it sounds like no one will be working at the warehouses to unload us. Has anyone heard anything official about what the plan is for the thousands of trucks heading to these states under load?

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Roehl GYCDL program first year numbers (pay and mileage)

A note to the rookies:

See how her numbers grow and become more consistent over time? That's her learning the skills she needs to be an experienced driver. Yeah, she could have posted a sob story about how she quit because she was only earning $300/wk and her recruiter lied and her truck was old/dirty/stinky and she could earn more money on the Dollar Store account, etc. No, SHE STUCK WITH IT and she's consistently averaging a net of >$1,000 a week instead!

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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DACA Recipient

I'm not a lawyer. I do know how to read and where to look for the applicable laws though. Your best bet would be to consult with an attorney. Since you're asking on a trucker forum here's the trucker answer:

There are three routes you can take:

Option #1 Get a CDL

You don't qualify. Per FMCSA ยง383.71

"(9) The person must provide proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residency as specified in Table 1 of this section, or be registered under paragraph (f) of this section."

As Rick said if you get a green card you will become a lawful permanent resident but you don't qualify right now. Green cards can take years to get and can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Option #2 Get a Non-domiciled CDL

States are permitted to issue a CDL to an individual who is not domiciled within its jurisdiction. This works for citizens of most countries but since the US recognizes CDL equivalents from Mexico and Canada natives of these countries are not eligible for this program so this won't work for you.

Option #3 Get a Mexican CDL

Get a Mexican CDL from Secretariat of Communication and Transport ( You can legally drive in all 50 states with a Mexican CDL. You can legally work for a US carrier with a work permit (Form I-766 employment authorization document). This is your best bet. Much quicker and cheaper than getting a green card.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Eating cheap on the road?

Do you want food that's good, cheap or good for you? Now pick two!

I like the hard boiled eggs at Love's ($1.99 for 5). If you don't eat the yolks it's pure protein and an appetite suppressant.

After you've been around awhile you'll learn where the truck stops are that are close to shopping. If you're not willing or able to hike for <20 minutes there's always Lyft/Uber.

Here's a short list to get you started:

Love's in Springville, UT - WalMart on the other side of the overpass

Jubitz in Portland, OR - WalMart about 3/4 of a mile W

Pilot in Kearney, MO - Price Chopper about 1/2 mile to the SE

Flying J/Thorntons in Lincoln, IL - Aldi's about 1/2 mile E, WalMart about 3/4 mile E

Pilot in Minooka, IL - Dollar Store about 1/2 mile S

Love's in Ripon, CA - Safeway about 1/2 mile W

OR I-5 exit 103 a Chevron that wants to be a truckstop. Six parking spaces at best. Grocery outlet 50 yards S.

Heck, you can build your own list by checking what's nearby on Google Maps when you stop for breaks and resets. Explore and discover!

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Turns out I cant go out of state either

Too bad Oregon is making you wait a year. Washington DOESN'T CARE! Good thing you live on the state line. All you need to do is, "move" across town (all of Portland's suburbs to the North are in Washington State). Now, "moving" can mean many things. It's not necessary to buy real estate, plant crops or re-bury your ancestors there - use a friend's address, rent a room for a month or just do whatever you have to. Once your WA license is in your hand call Swift/Schneider/Prime and get the party started. Of course, Washington doesn't have an income tax either.

I saw on another thread where you were worried about making the numbers work. I got two things out of reading that thread. One, you're afraid of the changes you'll face ahead. Two, you're unsure of your future cash flows. It's only human to get comfortable where you are, even if it's miserable, and put off making changes. I can't help you there other than to point out it's a fairly common issue. I can show you a few things about the cash flow part. Conservatively, if you're making 30 cpm and averaging 2,500 miles a week you'll be grossing $750/wk before tax. Most companies pay by the week. After Federal and withholdings you should be looking at ~$500/wk. At $100/wk you should pay off your school loan in about 9 months. Swift's deal requires you to pay about $100/wk your first year. Stick around another year and they pay you the $100/wk back so it's more like they're holding your money for you then giving it back. You'll be paying off your loans and still have around $1200/month for your other bills. Except, you won't. You'll learn to manage your time better and be pulling closer to the 3,800 miles a week an experienced driver can do. You'll also be getting raises on your cpm rate and bonuses for safety, mileage and other bumps.

Yes, $11,000 is a lot of money. If you were spending it on hookers and blow I'd worry but you're creating an asset. Your CDL and some driving experience with a clean record (tickets/accidents) is a proven money maker. With years of experience I clear >$1,500/wk and get weekends off. You won't make that your first year. I didn't either but I wouldn't have the job I have today if I didn't get off the couch and learn the skills I use now. I won't ask where you can get a house in Portland for $11,000 cash down.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?

I've seen quite a few.

This is interesting. I run a long, narrow stretch through the country (Seattle to Washington, D.C.) . I haven't seen any. Just a few questions:

1. Were they working trucks, pulling a Prime branded trailer?

2. What state or interstate did you see them in or on?

3. Did you see them driving down the road, at a truck stop or at distribution center?

4. Were the drivers wearing uniforms or street clothes?

I still see ads from Amazon for owner operators, but the only company driver ads I've seen from them are for 10,000 lb vans paying $15/hr.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?

This won't last. You can't agree to a per day pay rate in this industry because it's performance based. What if I'm supposed to take a day to drive 400 miles, but now I take 2 or 3?

Simple - in Amazon's carrier contracts if you don't show up on time you get NOTHING! The last time I hauled an Amazon load (~3 years ago) that's the deal we had.

Take anything sourced from Business Insider with a grain of salt. They're the same source for the supposed huge day cab order from Volvo & Kenworth. Has anyone seen an Amazon branded day cab? Has anyone seen an ad for Amazon hiring company drivers?

I seriously doubt the rates are as generous as what the article claims. I haven't seen a rate from Amazon > 97 cpm yet. That's about 11 cpm less than I make plus diesel for the truck. DEF, oil, tires and wear and tear not included!

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Sucky part they dont have any trainers available to for weeks. As the Safety & Training department said: I'd be extremely fortunate if I see a trainer in 2 weeks. So they paid for me to get back home. I'm on call. Anything I can do to keep me on my toes with trucking while I wait?

It's that time of year. Most working trucks are busy making Christmas happen. With the weather and holidays there are more delays and scheduling issues than normal. It will all die down in January.

If you have a truck stop near your home you can hang out and watch the other trucks back into parking spaces around sundown. Take note of how they approach the space and how they maneuver to line their trailer up with the slot. If I'm parked for my 30 or 10 I still do that for edutainment. As a rookie driver you'll earn your pay backing. Driving the truck is something thrown in for free like the toy surprise in a box of cereal. If nothing else there's always this.

Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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4th attempt failed. 99 degree strikes again

Oregon CDL examiners take their jobs very seriously. There are no cheats or shortcuts allowed. I know several good drivers who failed their Oregon CDL test.

I know an Oregon driver who failed his CDL test TWICE then he decided to try something different. Like you, he spurned company-paid training. He didn't want to be, "locked in". It's funny because he now works for a company that offers company-paid training. Don't think I don't bring that up every time I see him. He paid a company $300/ a day to get more time driving a truck. He did this for three days. This gave him the familiarity and comfort level he needed to PASS THE TEST on his next try.

Some might say, "He paid an extra $900 he didn't need to". I'm pretty sure if he didn't he wouldn't have gotten his CDL and his $3,500 investment in tuition would have been a total loss. Instead he achieved his goal and now has a better, higher paying job.

What worked for him may or may not be what you need. My point is he identified his problem and did something to fix it. I've got two questions for you:

1) How bad do you want this?

2) What are you going to do differently this time to get a different outcome?

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

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Requirement for european truck drivers

Have you considered Canada? Quebec has a license reciprocity agreement with France. It takes a couple of months for them to verify your driving experience but you can drive for 6 months with your French license as long as you have a work permit. Their only concern is that you have driving experience - they don't care that you got your experience in Europe. There is no residency requirement. You can read more about Quebec Class 1 licenses here:

Once you get a Canadian CDL you can drive trucks in the US as long as you live in Canada.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Question of which job I should take!?

Trust me - you'll earn that extra $100/day. Snoqualmie Pass in winter is no joke. You will throw chains often. You will be sharing the road with suicidal skiers going 70+ mph on icy roads with no concern about what's around the next corner. An inexperienced driver would be lucky to survive their first winter without a major accident.

The other gig's biggest negatives are the waiting and driving in Seattle's traffic. You're getting paid by the hour so who cares? I'd start there get a year under your belt and check out other options that pay better. True, you're not earning much but that experience will open up options you don't have access to right now.

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