Profile For Wild-Bill

Wild-Bill's Info

  • Location:
    Minnetonka , MN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    11 months, 2 weeks ago

Wild-Bill's Bio

After a 30 year career as a retail manager, I've decided its time for a change in career and lifestyle. I've been on the road for much of my career as a District manager covering up to 5 states, so I'm no stranger to being away from home. A combination of burnout, midlife crisis and just plain being tired of relying on others for my success have led me to this move. It's getting tougher and tougher to hire good self motivated people to staff the stores and the competition from the online world has changed everything about the business. I've lived through three companies going out of business and I'm not about to wait around for a fourth one. I've always loved to travel. Every time I get behind the wheel of our motor home I realize how much I love driving that thing down the open road. I cant wait to see what's around the next corner as I put together a strong work ethic, love of travel and passion for excellence into this new career.

Wild-Bill's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 2

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Going local

It’ll be about a half hour from home to truck. They tell me it’ll typically only be 8-10 hours per day. I may see if I can pick up some extra a few times a week to make more.

It sounds like it’ll be mostly picking up at local shippers and bringing it to a yard for an OTR driver to deliver further away, or, picking up a relay from a OTR driver and taking it to a cons in the MSP area. Most runs are 25-50 miles from the yard, so, all in the MSP metro.

They’re keeping me in my current truck for now, they have some day cabs on order as they’re trying to build up the local driver fleets, but they said it’ll be a while before I see a day cab. The ones on order are going to more congested metro areas. Which is nice so that I can keep the fridge stocked.

There are many incidental pay add on’s that will make it less miles and more “other “ pay. I’m used to long days on the road and making money only when rolling, so, The new pay scale and short runs will take a bit of getting used to.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Aspiring Truck Driver with some questions

I’d also recommend company sponsored training. Roehl is the one I went with and it’s been good so far. You’re right in the heart of our main shopping lanes so location is no problem.

As an answer to the paid parking question, we can typically get it covered if we run out of time at the shipper or cons and need to PC out.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Going local

I’m going to take on a local driver opportunity with my same company. It’ll be a little pay bump but the big selling point is home daily and weekends off. If I end up not liking it, they told me I can go back to OTR whenever I say the word. I’m sure it’ll also help me fine tune my backing as I’ll probably bump more docks in a week than I normally would in a month.

Any advice for maximizing time from local drivers? I got pretty used to sleeping at shippers and leveraging detention time time for 10 hour breaks. Any tricks anyone has for maximizing the clock or pay for a local driver would be great.

Doing something local was my long term goal, I’m glad I am able to do it with the same company and much sooner than I thought possible. I’m also glad I started OTR. It taught invaluable lessons in route planning, HOS, backing and maneuvering in traffic in a safer environment.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

I've Been Sick This Week

Wishing you the best. To paraphrase Turtle’s Chuck Norris joke.

Old School came into contact with COVID-19. The virus will now need to be be in quarantine for 14 days.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Ok, it just became official. Off to class Monday.

Congrats! Looking forward to seeing your diary

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Looking for advice

Congrats!!! 🎉🍾🎈

Roehl has been a good choice for me. Not sure how I missed your post earlier. I can tell everything my recruiter told me came to pass. My first couple months solo were fairy slow. But once they learn they can trust you to be safe and on time. They’ll keep you moving.

Best of luck. Keep us posted on your journey.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Tank Wash? Trailer Wash?

I drive a refer. There are a few shippers that require a washout before loading. For the vast majority though a good sweep out is all you need. Sometimes the refer floor will build up a layer of gunk from the moisture of the condensation making the dust and grit stick to the floor. In that case, If I know I’m going somewhere that’s picky I’ll get it washed out. It’s really just a judgment call.

I’ve had a couple loads where a careless forklift driver caused a spill requiring a washout. One was melted ice cream and another was a carton of eggs.

If I’m on the road, I just call maintenance and they’ll direct me to the nearest washout. We have accounts with many of them for direct bill. if not they’ll issue a PO and I’ll write an EFS check. If I was at or near a terminal I would wash it out there myself. Come to think of it, I’ve never had to do that. I wash the outside every time I’m in a terminal, but never had to clean out a trailer there.

I was at a Tyson plant recently that had a washout bay on site that they required you to use wether the trailer was clean or not. That was literally the only thing in that whole place that went smoothly.

Hope that’s helps your curiosity.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Someone's day is always worse

Ouch, that’s rough. Makes me feel better about my day if waiting at ****s though

I know for my company that’s an instant termination. Is that also a trucking career killer or are there companies out there that would overlook a dropped trailer? Just curious.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Prime pay raise & guarantee Team Pay

Keeping up with Rob D. Is almost as hard. First Rob D then Andy Dufresne now Randal McMurphy flying over the coco’s nest. He has almost as many names as Todd

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Online Driver Training Providers

I’m not entirely sure what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to get your CDL with online courses i think that’s a non starter to get hired somewhere. You’ll need a certificate for a minimum of 160 hours of in person, hands on training.

Is school necessary

If you’re looking to study for your CLP (permit) look no further than the High Road training offered right here.

The High Road link

If there’s something else you’re looking for let us know specifically what you’re looking to gain from the online training

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Making My Truck A Secondary Home

You’re right, I think you’re getting way ahead of yourself. Focus on getting your CDL and learning everything you can for now.

As to GPS, I’d recommend getting really good at doing it the old fashioned way first. Use the Motor Carrier Atlas and understand how to plan a legal and safe route. My company GPS died this morning, good thing I had it all written down.

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To answer your question though, here are some discussions that might help. Best purchase for OTR life

What to pack

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Mentoring done ... going solo ... nervous as hell

Anyone that says they were confident about going solo is a big fat liar. We were all nervous to some degree. Take all the time you need. Wether it’s backing or driving, You can do it too slow as many times as you want. You can only do it too fast once. Others might get upset, but they’re not the ones responsible for your truck.

If you make an error stop and calm down before making it worse. Trouble happens when your adrenaline gets going. You’re going to make a wrong turn. What happens after that is all up to whether you panic or slow down and make a calm decision It’s in your control.

Check and recheck your route plan write down turn by turn directions. Have a plan for your next stop and a couple of back up plans. My trainer told me to never release the brakes Without a plan for where you’re stopping next. That’s always stuck with me.

You’ll be fine, keep us posted on how you’re doing.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is your trucking pet peeve?

Ok, two more The slobs that give the rest of us drivers a bad name. I’m tired of truck stops with bags of crap and bottles of **** everywhere. It’s always nice when you pull into a truck stop that’s so new it doesn’t smell like a barnyard yet

Distracted drivers. I nearly had my mirror taken off today by a driver that couldn’t stay between the lines. When he finally passed me he was texting away on his phone. I gave him the horn and he jumped so hard he threw the phone across the cab. Funny thing was his mirror housing on both sides were all broken up. Guess he hasn’t learned to correlate the two things yet. I hope he doesn’t end up killing someone before he figures it out.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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6 month update. Good things are happening for me.

I’ve been solo for about 6 months now and feeling really good about this major career move. I’m really enjoying my time on the road. My stress level is non existent compared to my previous career. The learning curve has been steep and I continue to learn new things every day.

I’ve developed a great relationship with my FM and she has learned a lot And works hard to keep me running. She started about the same time I did. I feel like she’s fighting for me now. I’m getting much better loads with tight timeframes and have been getting over 3,000 miles per week on average. Those first three months were tough to get through with long lead times, but staying on time or ahead of schedule seems to have helped me get a good reputation now.

Last week my FM let me know she put my name in for the Driver Advisory Board. I’m not sure what all that entails, but the recognition is nice.

Last week I also went through Trainer Foundations to become a driver trainer. Now I know you all are gonna give me flack that a 6 month driver has no business training, And you’re probably right. However, I spent the last 30 years managing store managers. Teaching and training operational processes is what I do. I feel like I know enough at this point to help a new driver figure out HOS, trip planning, life on the road, being reliable, building relationships, using resources, basic backing etc. I know I’m not an expert in every situation, but, I can teach how to problem solve our way out of it. If I feel like I’m not adding value, I can always back out. The bottom line is that the company needs trainers that care about developing people and if I can help with that I will.

Lastly, I got a call about an opportunity for a local job with my company. I’ll get more details in the next few days. I’m not sure if it’ll be a benefit for my family to be home for a short break each day and a reset on the weekends or to continue with a long stretch OTR and a nice 5-6 day stretch at home. It’s nice to have the opportunity and I may try it and if I hate it I can always go back to OTR. More to come on that, I’ll probably ask for feedback once I have more details.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is your trucking pet peeve?

I can’t stand bullies. Too many times I see people push their way into another drivers space. A few weeks ago, I ran into two of them. First one, going into a very tight shipper, I had a line behind me, started to make a tight turn into the guard shack with jersey barriers on each side. A yard jockey going home in his personal car pulls right into the space I was turning in to. After waiting a bit for him to back up and give me room, I finally got out to talk with him. He starts yelling at me that there’s plenty of room and I should just cut the turn short and go around him. I may have possibly made the turn cutting it short, but it was 2 am and I had already watched two other drivers get hung up on obstacles in the lot. I finally lied and told him it was my first solo run and I wasn’t moving until I was sure I could make it. If he wanted to go home at some point tonight he was gonna have to back up a bit. I got back into the truck and patiently waited for him to give me some room.

Second one, I’m leaving a different shipper com around a corner to two trucks in a similar standoff. I tried to talk to the drivers to sort it out. One driver had cut into another’s turn space. One could clearly back up and the other was not going to be able to go anywhere until the other moved. But, Instead of helping each other out, They both sat there honking horns at each other blaming the other driver and refusing to move. I finally negotiated a truce and got them to move so the rest of us could get on with our day.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Interesting conversation with a driver

I was just south of Bloomington, Illinois when it blew through. I had parked behind a Walmart to get some provisions for the week. I came out to the massive cloud wall. The difference between the ambient temp and the cold air felt like opening the door on my refer. It was blowing so hard, I lowered the landing gear on my trailer because I thought it would go over standing still. There’s only 12k lbs in the box. Thank god I had pulled over, I’d hate to be on the road for that.

I hope everyone made it through that safely.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Starting at Roehl August 17th

Good luck. What terminal are you training at?

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Electronic Log and 34 Hour Reset

I thought I’d jump in and clarify Roehl’s address to address pay. We used to be paid for city center to city center, which I believe is how most companies calculate their mileage. We’re now paid address to address which more accurately represents the miles driven. We are still paid for all miles loaded or empty. If I drove 400 miles empty got loaded and another 750 loaded miles to the consignee. My pay for that run would be; my CPM x 1150 miles.

In the old city to city plan I would frequently drive more miles than what was listed for the job -like north side of Chicago to south side of Indy. Now the miles I’m paid are nearly identical to what my Co-pilot navigation shows for the route. It might occasionally be off by a few miles here or there from avoiding a toll road or something, but honestly not more than a few miles.

We’re still also compensated for detention, short haul, layover and all the other small things that help smooth out the occasional bad load.

Hope that all makes sense.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Sitting Pain

I had the same thing early on. Mine seemed to be right on my tailbone. Try all the other suggestions as that’ll help. A little Tylenol when it gets bad can’t hurt either. For me it just took a couple months and it eventually just went away. Now I have no problems with a long day in the saddle.

Funny thing, this week I’m in a classroom setting and those regular chairs are killing me.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Game: Hard & Easy

Harder- waiting for load / unload Easier - long 14 hr days.

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