Profile For Matthew R.

Matthew R.'s Info

  • Location:
    Taos, NM

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year ago

Matthew R.'s Bio

Grew up in Florida, Moved to New Mexico (it's a state, not a country) when I was 19, was a firefighter and EMT for 4 years, (making terrible money but I loved the job) I have a young daughter who is my whole world, married to my loving wife, and have always been fascinated by trucks. I'm an open book. Have a question, just ask. No such thing as a stupid question! Stay safe!

Matthew R.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  8 months, 3 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Quick update, my trainer and I are currently waiting to pick up a load tonight that gets us routed into Springfield for me to start my solo week. I'm excited but really nervous. My trainer seems to think I'm ready and will do fine. Hope he's right. I'll probably be in Springfield a couple of days at least getting some paperwork and other things out of the way and getting into my own truck. I don't wan to start a debate over what's better, but I'm really hoping to get a Freightliner and not a Peterbuilt. Only reason is I've been in nothing but Freights since I started. But either way, I'll be in my own truck. Stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  9 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Great job, man, and great diary. I too want to go with Jim Palmer and have learned, I believe, from your posts that I can train in Springfield, MO for Jim Palmer instead of going to MT. (I live 90 miles north of Springfield). Do you happen to know if all test-takers get to test in a manual? I do not want the restriction.

Cowboy, I was the only one who tested in a manuel and the only reason was I had been out with my D seat trainer in a 10 speed. They did however tell all the other students that they could redo the test (just the driving test and maybe the backing test) at a later date to get the restriction removed. Hope this helps.

UPDATE!!! Merry Christmas everyone! I am currently home with the family until January 2nd. Once I get back on my trainer's truck I should have approximately 2 weeks or so before returning to Springfield to begin my solo week. Once that is complete, I will be a full fledged company driver. Since my last post, I left out a week before Thanksgiving with my new trainer and we have been running hard until yesterday that we got home for the holidays. I have learned so much in the past month or so and my brain is still trying to process some of it. This truck is an automatic 2018 Freightliner Cascadia as opposed to the 10 speed 2015 Freightliner Cascadia I was in with my previous trainer. Oh, I suppose I should clarify that I got a new trainer not because I was having problems with my first one, but simply because he was offered a job that gets him home to his family every night and he could not pass it up. Going from the 10 speed to an auto is kinda nice cause you dont need to concentrate on shifting, but the jake brake is deffinately something I am struggling to get used to. The transmission has a tendancy to shift wheather you want it to or not, but thats why I'm out training. I am loving the job so far, but I am also super happy to be home and get to spend time with the family. My next update will probably be after I get to Springfield to start my solo week because running as a team doesn't leave me much time as I'm either driving or sleeping. Hope you all are still enjoying the updates. Stay safe everyone, and once again, Merry Christmas to you all! Matt

Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

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Posted:  10 months, 3 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Being home for a few days is amazing. Missed the family so much. Especially this little one. :-) stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  10 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Starting on my path to a career in trucking!

As someone who also has experience (though not as much as yours) in fire/EMS (4 years with countless MVSs, tons of med calls, and 23 working structure fires (two of them commercial buildings), you will do fine. Not sure if you went through the EMT course but that test was a heck of a lot more stressful to me than my CDL test. I took it yesterday and did pretty well. I opted for Wilson Logistics and have loved my choice. That being said, your company was also on my short list. I very interested in seeing how it goes for you. Everyone on here will tell you the same thing. Take your time, relax, enjoy it, and listen to the trainers. You're going to do fine brother. Also, don't break the #1 rule of trucking, "Don't hit s***." Unless your one of the trainers i had who (jokingly of course) said, "Just back up till it sounds expensive." Lol stay safe brother.

Posted:  10 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Hey guys. So... I passed!!! Drew the full pre-trip and the 90° alley dock. Got 87 out of a possible 90 right on the pre-trip, didn't get any points taken off on the backing, and took 20 points driving because of a couple bad habits that I will be working on. Oh, and I tested in a 10 speed so I don't have the restriction. I'm getting ready to bus back to NM till probably early next week so I can get my license and then my new trainer will be picking me up and we will start teaming. My examiner told me after I tested that h would team with me any day if he was still OTR so that gave me a nice confidence boost. Love that I'm going to get some home time and see my wife and our 3 year old little girl. But I'm going to get everything ready to go home. Everyone stay safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Thanks Army!

Sorry again for the delay. Haha I'm in Springfield again. Testing tomorrow. S far everyone seems to think that I'm going to pass on the for try. I feel pretty good about it, so unless I make a boneheaded mistake or screw up royally, I think I'm ok. And on the plus side, i am getting to test in a 10 speed! Super happy about that. Really didn't want the restriction. Wen out on the "this may or may not be the driving course you will yes on." with the main boss of training and he said I have to work on some minor things, but that I'm ready as far as my driving and air brakes tests go. So as long as I nail my backing, and pre-trip too I think I'll be golden. Wish me luck everyone. Also Bubb Rubb as he is testing tomorrow as well. He's got it pretty nailed down. Stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Hey guys. Sorry for the delay I updates. We got out of the shop Monday and got a load Tuesday going to Compton stopped in ABQ two nights to fix my license and for me to practice shifting. Headed out an made California Thursday night and delivered Friday. Yesterday we got a load heading east and are now waiting for the next load. My trainer says I'm doing good so far. My shifting is improving and my backing is a lot better. We are hoping to get back to Springfield fir my test date Wednesday. I've been nailing my pre-trips too so I'm confident I can do this now. I'll try to keep the updates coming. Stay safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

What up Brian! Haha

Ok. So Friday we had gotten a load to take us through NM. Stopped for fuel in South East Colorado before picking up in Texas, and as soon as we get back on the interstate, BAM!!! A binder comes off a flatbed semi and takes out our hub seal. So we pulled off, roadside put a new hub seal but wanted to get us in the shop to do a full damage assessment. Ok. So they found damage on the hub assembly so they got a new one Friday and w would have been good to go on Saturday, but the threads that holds the hub nut on to the steering knuckle are messed up. So it is currently early Monday morning and we are still in the shop. They ordered the part and it should be in today, we are hoping to get underway this afternoon and get into NM so I can fix my license and start driving. So yeah, start of week #3 and things are not going my way, but nothing I can do about it except keep my head up and continue on because as we all know, S*** happens and a lot of it's out of our control. Stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Week 2, day 3: should be back I New Mexico pretty soon to get my license fixed so I can start driving. My pre-trip inspection is coming along nicely. In cab and air brakes are what I need the most work on. Trainer seems to think I've already got it down pretty well, but the way I see it, it could always be better. My goal is to pass on the first try to earn him that bonus. Also the faster I pass, the faster we can get back out there and I can start actually making some money. Good luck to anyone else coming in. You've picked an awesome company. Stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

I probably saw you, but briefly. Haha me and my trainer are halfway to Denver right now.

So yeah, Week 2, day 2: out with my trainer. Unfortunately I can't drive till w go to New Mexico and I have the MVD put the corrective lenses restriction on my license so it matches my permit and physical... They ****ed up when I first got my NM drivers license 7 or so years ago, so I'm kinda upset. Ok. My trainer is awesome, we seem to get along pretty well and have a lot in common, so that should make this pretty easy. His (our) truck is a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia. And it's a 10 speed manual which we did not get a chance to train on last week, but Monday I did a little on the simulator and my trainer said it wasn't bad so that's good. Just can't wait to start driving. I'll keep you posted. Stay safe.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Day 6: Got to spend all day on the training pad where we worked on parallel (both sides) and 90 degree ally docking. Took me a few tries with the ally dock but I finally got it figured out. The instructor helped us out a lot. It's down to just two of us waiting on our trainers now. It's crazy to think that just a week ago I had never been behind the wheel of anything bigger than a pumper with the fire department and now I'm gonna be heading out on the road with a trainer. Short update today. If anything happens tomorrow I'll let you know, otherwise it'll be Monday. Stay safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Day 5: Today was more time on the pad, but no time on an actual road. Little nervous but I think I'll be ok. Been doing pretty good so I'm more excited than anything. After lunch we also had a training on chaining up the tires which I'm sure I'll need to do at some point this winter so that's good. Met my fleet manager today. Seems like a cool guy. Found out from him that my trainer just got married and back from his honeymoon. I'm interested to meet my trainer Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Can't wait to get on the road heading home. I'm sure he's gonna want at least a day or two with his wife if we're going to be back in New Mexico so I'll probably get a couple days at home too. Tomorrow we get to practice pretty much all day so that should be pretty good. The more I can get in the more confident I'll be when out on the road.

We are (supposedly) going to NM right away because I have to renew my drivers license and get them to put the restriction for corrective lenses on it so it matches my CDL permit and DOT card.

I'll try to keep you and in the loop. May skip Sunday if nothing really happens. Hope y'all enjoy it. Stay safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

First off, to anyone who has commented, thank you all for the comments, advice, and well wishes. They are greatly appreciated. Day 4: Wheel time!!! Well sort of. Started out on the pad today. Got to do some straight backing then they had us all pre-triping till the rain started. The we went inside and took a quiz on the Rand-McNally Trucker's Atlas and had lunch. After lunch we went back out on the pad and practiced backing more. This time offsets, both sides and we each did it twice. Then had to go meet with Compliance and go over our information and stuff. Word of advice, if you have had any accidents in the last few years, bring the accident report with you. Luckily I found a copy of the one I had in my email. Isn't necessarily a deal breaker, by it's one less thing to have to take care of at home I you forget it. That being said it was a pretty good day. Ended up going out for dinner with a group from class and a couple guys who are already drivers and a guy who's going into the western 10 fleet. Six of us split the Uber so wasn't bad. We were all going over pre-triping while we waited for our food. Another tip, utilize the other students around you and study it with them. Itt helped me out a lot. I know I still have plenty of time before I have to test, but by the time I'm back I want to make sure I pass on my first attempt. Anyway, hope you are all still reading and enjoying these updates. I will say this. If you have a group of sveral companies that you are looking into and Wilson is in it, I highly recommend them. Most companies preach safety and how they are safety oriented, but Wilson lives it. They e en go as far as giving drivers cones that they wan the drivers to out out in front of their trucks on either side to help prevent other drivers from hitting their trucks. They get on your case for stuff like failing to use 3 points of contact getting in and out. They make it clear that if you don't feel comfortable with road conditions that I is 100% the drivers call and they don't force you to continue. They treat you like family. We will see what happens once I'm out with my trainer, but so far, this is a great company. One old timer told me he was laid up for a while in the hospital, and the company paid for and put his two small dogs in a 5 star dog kennel till he got out and D. W. (Darrell Wilson) the owner/CEO o the company personally called his wife to check on her and ask I she needed anything. That doesn't happen in just any company and it appears to be the norm here. D. W. Likes to meet all the drivers from what I hear and I look forward to meeting him at some point. Hope you like the updates. Say safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Day 3: Well today started with more simulator. Did ok. Not gonna worry to much. Then we started going over pre-triping and had lunch then more pre-triping. Kept us busy till we left. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain pretty good so not sure what the plan is, but I'm hoping we get some wheel time. My roommate is already leaving tomorrow morning with his trainer so he's pretty nervous since the only wheel time we've had so far is the simulator. I guess that's how it goes sometimes though. Will try to keep the updates coming as much as possible. Hope y'all enjoy them. Stay safe. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Day 2: Today was a fun day. Spent most of it on the simulator. Did pretty good for my first time. Instructors said I did pretty good. I took a downhill curve a little fast, but was able to recover and continue. The backing wasn't too hard for me either. Found out we won't be getting to use a manual transmission but can retest late to get rid of the restriction. Not too worried since the will be putting me in an automatic anyway. I'm excited to get on the training pad soon. Want to see how much the simulator translates over to real world. Hope you enjoy the updates. Gonna crash out and be ready for whatever tomorrow will bring. Stay safe everyone. Matt

Posted:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Day 1: Today started with an intro presentation and a tour of the terminal. Got to meet my recruiter. Then they took us for our drug tests. After we got back to the terminal we got a little time (about 5 minutes or so each) on the simulator which went pretty well. They had it in automatic mode so no shifting yet. Basically it was a scenario where there are different potential hazards on the shoulders of the road and you have to change lanes, then exit the highway, make a wide right turn and come to a stop. The instructor said I didn't do too bad. Took the turn a little fast and had one spot where I saw an animal carcass ahead on the right should so I sarted moving to the left lane. About halfway through the lane change a car ahead in the left lane started slowing down and pulled onto the left shoulder. So I had to decide between trying to change back (rather quickly) to the right lane or continue to the left. My head told me to go right, but I opted to stay left anyways so as to not make a quick move. Instructor told me ideally the right would have been best, but since I was already heading left and committed that you just have to go with your gut and avoid quick maneuvers. I felt overall it was not bad for my first time with a tractor trailer even if it was just a simulation. After that we watched some videos and had lunch, followed by a PowerPoint presentation on a bunch of stuff like how the training program works, pay scale, and hours of service. Pretty basic. Then the contract signing saying we will stay a year or pay back $$$ for the training. All in all a pretty good day. I'm more convinced than ever I've made a good choice by coming here to this company. Great people and it seems like they care about their drivers. I like the small class size (6 people in my class) and we all seem to be getting along so that's always good. But anyways. I'm going to try and get some shut-eye. Hope you all like the updates. I'll keep them coming daily this week. Stay safe.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Thank you Anne. I am starting to think so as well.

Dang bro, that sucks. I’m headed up to Wilson Springfield Missouri October 12... greyhound estimated 38 hour trip from South Florida. I might just rent a car....

Where at in South Florida? I grew up on the west coast in Sarasota before moving to New Mexico. Best of luck man. Maybe we will run into each other.

Posted:  12 months ago

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My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Update time. So my 18.5 hour bus ride as turned into what will end up being at least a 28.5 hour bus ride. I border the bus yesterday at 11:15 MST, broke down two hours after we left Albuquerque. Stuck for 4 hours waiting on a rescue bus. Made it through Amarillo and Oklahoma City, then got stuck in Tulsa for 6 hours because Greyhound had to fly in a driver for our bus. Only 3 hours from Springfield and I waited 6! Oh well. S*** happens. Looking forward to starting my training officially tomorrow. Will post updates as I can. Everyone stay safe. Matt

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

My journey with Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Phantom, I appreciate the reply and after reading your thread, I'm more sure than ever that I've made the right choice. As for my nerves... Let me let you in on a secret... First responders (Fire, EMS, and LEO's) all can appear rock steady in the face of insurmountable odds, but inside they are nervous as F***!!! We literally train ourselves to not show any emotion. It's something that drives my wife mad sometimes, like when I didn't cry the day my daughter was born. (Proudest day of my life by the way.) As for the instructors, I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out. I respect that you don't name names. (Also something drilled into us in the academy. haha) I'm honestly not too worried about it. I think the hardest thing for me will be the down shifting. But I guess we will see next week!

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