Profile For Wild-Bill

Wild-Bill's Info

  • Location:
    Minnetonka , MN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 10 months 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:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Knee replacement

I had a replacement done at the end of October. I took 8 weeks off. I probably could have gone back in 6 if I really wanted to, but we were closing in on the Holidays so I decided to take a couple extra weeks. Getting in and out of the truck and into and under the trailer are all much easier now. You’ll have a follow up with your doctor at about 6 weeks and will discuss a return to work at that point. Make sure you do the PT rehab stuff at home. I also suggest starting “prehab” (doing the rehab exercises before surgery) as early as you can. It made my rehab much easier.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Need some advice concerning training

Ditto, finish what you started where you started.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Thinking About Making A Move To Another Company - Help!

Thanks for the input so far. Here's some added details about the offers that might help clarify the thought process.

Dart is offering $30/ hour (no OT) and saying their drivers are consistently getting around 60 hours per week. Its Monday through Friday with a 600 or 700 start time. They have two major customers Target & I forget the other 9plus some smaller customers). The job is shuttling loads to those DC's 80% drop & hook and they say they have plenty of work available year round. Not that it matters much but their yard is a nice paved yard with all the amenities of a terminal (fuel island, real bathroom, maintenance) which is much nicer than the mud-pit dirt lot yard I'm working out of now. Health benefits are more spendy, but a really good package. Vacation is 2 weeks off the bat with more in the following year.

Tyton is offering 60cpm (65 on weekends) with a 9:00 launch. They have two main needs. One is P&D shuttling from local plants like My Pillow to the terminal. The other is Linehaul running doubles to several different route (Madison, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Mason City) It's one of those deals where you meet another driver and swap loads at a central location. Health benefits are cheaper, but vacation time is only 1 week/year for the first two years.

Either one seems like it will get me $15-20K more per year than I'm averaging now. I'm not thrilled about doubles but it might something to challenge myself. One other thing, Tyton has room for part time fill in drivers where I could work a couple Saturdays a month to pick up some extra money.

My current thinking is to take the Dart Job and work for Tyton a couple days a month for fun money. I'd be leaving Roehl on good terms and can always go back "home" if things don't line up as advertised. Though I like where I'm at, It's also my first driving experience. I really don't know what kind of experiences I might find elsewhere. I'm sure I develop the same good relationship with dispatch at either place. It seems like a little hard work, being reliable and not complaining about every little thing can distinguish a driver pretty quickly in this world.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Picking my first trucking job

I'll agree with the others

1) Make SURE your family is onboard with this move. whether local or OTR, there WILL be significant lifestyle changes. A 14-16 hour day driving local is no joke. And I'm sure there will be time away from home during your training and orientation.

2) I would strongly recommend a few months OTR before going local. The opportunities for career ending mistakes on a local run are endless, between city traffic, crazy tight docks, blindside backing, tight turns with pedestrians and other obstacles. It's can really cause some "pucker up' moments. It's really good to have some time OTR to understand how your truck and trailer are going to behave in various situations. I bump more docks in a day than I did in any week of OTR. I would have been an absolute mess going directly to a local job without the OTR time.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Driver Pulse

I've never run into that. Maybe someone else has more experience. My guess is that you're right. Recruiters tend to be pretty aggressive when they're interested in you. I would think though they would have sent you an email with a "thanks for applying but.." note.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Driver Pulse

Many companies use it. I would guess that almost every driver on TT has used it at some point. Did you have a question about it?

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

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Thinking About Making A Move To Another Company - Help!

Howdy everyone. First a quick recap. I've been driving for just over two years. for the last 1.5 years I've been local out of Minneapolis. I was on a LOA for a knee replacement through November and December. Sine I've been back, For some reason, Freight seems to have slowed down for us. My FM is truly trying to keep me busy by adding trailer moves etc to keep me rolling. The way my pay is structured though, I don't make nearly as much on a trailer move as I do on a load. But for whatever reason, it's just not paying the bills the way it has been in the past. I'm short $2-300 per week from my average. I know there's freight out there, but for whatever reason, It's not trickling down to my company in my market. We went through something similar last summer and after several conversations and PC notes I finally sent an email to my FM's boss and he things got resolved pretty quickly.

I love the company, I have a great relationship with my FM. She has always worked hard for me and I know I get a lot of leeway that others don't get. With that as a background, I decided that I can't go through repeated periods of slowdown. In frustration last week, I decided I'd update my resume on Indeed and put out a few applications to see what's available. I learned two things in the process.1) Apparently there's some kind of a "Driver Shortage" out there 2) If you aren't serious about making a move, you probably shouldn't put your name out there as looking. I had more contacts than I could count within a couple days of making my resume public. I think I read something here that experienced safe drivers are in demand. I just didn't know how in demand we are.

Ok, so here's where I need help. I ended up with two offers that were so good, I don't see how I can ignore them. I'm wondering if anyone out there has insight on Dart Express or Tyton companies? Dart is based out of Minnesota, Tyton I think is out of Texas and is a Fed-ex contract hauler. I can't find much information on either company other than Dart serves disgusting BBQ sauce with lunch.

Any advice you can give either on the companies or if I'm being irrational by looking for greener pastures would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and sorry for not being more active int he last year or so. I'll try to do better.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Update

Howdy everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve been on TT. I’ve been doing local for Roehl for over a year now and have been enjoying it though I do miss the open road now and again.

I recently took a couple months off for knee replacement surgery and am just getting back to work this week. So far the bionic knee is holding up well to the trucking life.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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I tried for roehl and they declined ?

It’s almost certainly the medication. The primary use for gabapentin is seizure control though they also use it for neuropathy and pain control. I just came off knee surgery and took it for a while for pain control at night. It definitely makes you drowsy. I can see that a company would be apprehensive about it. Apply everywhere and something will come through for you. If you find the medication is holding you back, there are probably alternatives you can talk with your doctor about. Keep us posted

Posted:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years 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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

View Topic:

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

Congrats! Looking forward to seeing your diary

Posted:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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:  2 years ago

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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

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