Profile For Howard B.

Howard B.'s Info

  • Location:
    Livermore, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 months, 2 weeks ago

Howard B.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  6 months ago

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Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers

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Looks like Turtle won't be seeing that pay raise now.

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It's ridiculous. Someone agrees to work in specific conditions and under a specific pay agreement, then decides to sue because they see potential for a freebie. I mean, they already pay me $44 a night just to stay in my truck. $44 for sleeping! That's far more than most drivers see.

Just another cash grab...

If I were a driver, I would take money every which way I could get it as long as it is not unlawful or something I could get in trouble for and sleep with a clear conscience. Walmart is the richest corporation in the world I have no sympathy for them when heroic truck drivers literally risking their lives and health every day skim a little of their cream.

Posted:  6 months ago

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New diet. This may take some work!

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Good luck Marc. My wife has talked me into trying the Keto diet. I'm skeptical but will try it for a month.

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YAY! Another convert!

So proud!

Carnivore here.

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie who can’t stand otr training

Training is only temporary. Push through and you'll see how great this career is

"Howard" says:

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The idea of having to bunk with a trainer in the cab seems a little yucky.

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why? This trainer is opening up their home on wheels to help teach you how to handle a rig. It isnt ideal but it's a necessary step in becoming a safe driver. Most companies run training as a team so you'll be sleeping in the bottom bunk (with your sleeping bag) while your trainer drives and vice versa. If you're both sleeping you'll likely be in the top bunk. It's not like you're going to be spooning with your trainer. There are much more "yucky" things about trucking than sleeping in a separate bed than your trainer. Picture a 100 degree day in a truck stop parking lot. The aroma of urine is all over because a driver doesnt want to walk inside so he urinates in the lot or pours a bottle of pee onto the ground. There are also drivers that poop in plastic bags and throw them on the ground.

People, no matter what occupation, who are such disgusting pigs like that should be arrested and put in orange jump suits to scrub the streets with a toothbrush off the sheriff bus. When the law has teeth and there are consequences for doing those kinds of things, people then start to care.

Posted:  6 months ago

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Rookie who can’t stand otr training

Todd asks

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Is the company trainer going to be like a DMV examiner telling you to turn left, turn right, slow down, make a lane change, etc?

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Howard, you may have a trainer that does that but so what? Most of your time will be on the interstate but when you hit local roads I'd like my trainer helping me. You need to remember if you miss a turn you may end up driving 10 miles or more to find a place you can get turned around. You're focusing on the wrong things. Either jump into this or don't. You seem to be trying to create an excuse to justify not making the leap. Truck driving is not for everyone, but you seem to be focusing way too hard on what training is like. Old School and Kearsey (among many others) had bad experiences with their trainers. They haven't allowed that to define how their career turns out. Both of these moderators are a couple of the many drivers here making great money by being top tier drivers. While truck driving isnt a walk in the park once you're experienced enough you wont be so stressed out trying to trip plan or know where youre parking for the night.

Let's take this one step at a time. Read through Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving and see if it interests you. If it does, Apply For Paid CDL Training and see if anybody is willing to give you a shot.

Whenever "driving isn't for everybody" is uttered it gives me the impression of a Marines recruiting campaign poster: The Proud, The Few, The American Truck Drivers...The highways, shippers and receivers are looking for a few good men (or gals).

"Driving isn't for everybody". It's a staple expression in the industry like the dentist's telling the patient to "open big now". But neither is working for a living. Does "driving isn't for everybody" mean "it probably isn't going to be for most" or "the odds are heavily stacked against you should you give this a try"?

One time I tried driving a cab. The company trainer on day one said "it wasn't for everyone" and I only lasted a week. Too much competition in the town I was in and no money was being made on my part. It was a loser except for the company collecting lease payments. Much like a casino: the house always wins on the losses of many. There were way too many cabs in the town competing. This was a little no-name company and not one "everybody knows" like Yellow Cab or Checker. No, it wasn't for me. If any job pays not enough money to make it worth while, then no, it isn't my bag. I was paying daily lease for the cab and for fuel out of my own pocket. I never got enough fares to break even. What this gypsy-run company does is just takes drivers' lease money for profit while drivers are turned over right and left. The owner and his two sons were arrogant arseholes too.

I've come to expect that whenever this cliche (something isn't for everybody) is thrown out it means there is a slim-to-none chance of making it.

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie who can’t stand otr training

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I want to be a truck driver

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Howard, that's actually a profound declaration. We have seen literally thousands of people say that and then give up and quit during the training.

The reason I say it's profound is because very few who say it realize what they are saying. They say it, but they don't mean it.

I said it one day, and I meant it. I had a lot of trouble getting started. I got rejected so many times it was embarrassing. I honestly marvel at the people I see come in here who have their first choice in trucking companies accept them and they go through the orientation and training process and start their career with seeming ease.

I also feel the pain and rejection that others share with us here as they struggle to get started. We've had plenty of those also. Some people seem to hit brick walls unexpectedly. Sometimes it's their own fault, but mostly it's just the common struggles associated with getting this career started.

I was one of those who couldn't seem to catch a break. Everytime I turned around there was some unexpected issue causing me trouble. Starting a trucking career takes a great deal of Commitment.

It appears that commitment gets thrown out by many folks who don't care for the way truck driver training is done. You've got to get a bigger focus. You need to have goals that don't get pushed aside by a few temporary problematic issues that don't sit well with you. One month with a trainer, no matter how uncomfortable, is nothing compared to years of enjoyment on the open road. Success at trucking never comes to shortsighted people.

Make a plan. Have a goal. Take the necessary steps to get there. When people are sick they may take medications that taste terrible or cause them some other issues. They persist in the treatment because being cured is their goal. Get focused on success and realize the realities of how you get there. I had a lousy trainer. Today I have a rewarding career. I took the steps to get here. I had goals (I still set goals). I made them happen.

Success at trucking is a series of choices. Many people fail because they don't understand that principle. They get themselves to a certain point where they have to make a choice to proceed under somewhat difficult circumstances and they blow it. They quit because they weren't prepared to make the right choice. They weren't inspired. They were just wanting to go with the flow as long as the flow was comfortable. It will never come that easy. Determination and tenacity will be required. Settle it now and you'll be able to reach your goals.

Old school, funny you mentioned "comfortable". Some people get into a field and hope they can find a comfort zone and it's just smooth sailing once they find a groove and fall into it. I gather then that trucking is not something conducive for career seekers looking for "an easy chair" to go along for a long ride with hand-holding bosses' telling you everything to do and make all the decisions for you. I once heard a carpenter remark that truck drivers were "lazy". I understand it's tough WORK and not a picnic. Fair enough.

I was a soldier once, and young. I don't really think a month with a civilian trainer in the truck would be half as bad as sleeping with 60 other guys in the same open-bay barracks for eight weeks. I won't dare expect that any (bean-counting) major carrier will pay out of their own pocket for my Holiday Inn Express lodging during the company training period. I once worked for the USPS as a temp letter carrier for the holidays and a guy trained me a couple of days to drive a postal long-life delivery van. He was somewhat pushy but not impossible.

While I was in the army I would have a sergeant in the shotgun seat constantly yell at me to slow down or pick up full speed before hitting a long up grade so the truck wouldn't bog down. I would be told not to ride the clutch and rather use the brake to slow on down grades instead of trying to double clutch for a downshift which I found troublesome on military vehicles with crude 5-spd. manual transmissions. The toughest military driving was tactical field blackout night driving without headlights and sometimes with night vision goggles. The NCO would constantly tell me to tighten up on the bumper of the vehicle ahead of me in the convoy if I fell to far behind or back off if I got too close. It's easy to get disoriented in very dim light and depth perception was a challenge. The army trucks had those dim white double "cat-eye" rear markers to estimate following distance. When the two light marks appeared as one you were farther back: when the markers appeared distinctly as two lights with a gap in between, you were closer.

Is the company trainer going to be like a DMV examiner telling you to turn left, turn right, slow down, make a lane change, etc?

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

Is over-the-road driving in 2020 as bad as this man in the video makes it out to be?

Howard, we are really glad to have you in here. I have noticed that many of your questions seem to arise from your anxiety concerning actually pulling the trigger on this career. You are exposing yourself to a lot of garbage on the internet. You can never get good advice or information on your career from people who are failing at that samw career. You've got to Stop The Fear And Doubt And Focus On Your Own Success.

Where are you at in the process of starting your new trucking career? We can help you and advise you along your way. We love this job and we're making good money at it. This is a great career for the right people. You don't need to be concerning yourself with whether truck drivers in general can make money at this. You need to determine if You've Got What It Takes To Be A Successful Trucker. That's going to be pivotal to your success.

Some people fail at trucking while others excel at it. Some make good money at trucking while others compare it to slavery. Trucking is still a vibrant and fulfilling career for hundreds of thousands of individuals. Seek out those who have made it into a successful career and learn from them. You'll profit nothing from listening to the complaining whining never do well types on YouTube and similar platforms that are designed to garner attention as opposed to actually sharing something of value with you.

Sir, thank you. Glad to have found this wonderful site! I've read both those links to your post. Here's my simple conclusion about driving from what I know so far: YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK. You make it or break it in this game yourself and not by the company you work for nor the people you work around. You are the captain of your own fate. I don't really have any anxiety or apprehension about it. I've heard this thousands of times before and will probably keep hearing it again: "trucking is not for everybody". However, "truck driver" is the single most popular vocation in the US.

About 3.5 million people are employed in the American truck driving workforce. It's not for everybody, just like being a soldier, barber, baker, farmer, doctor, cowboy, fighter pilot, monk or a policeman is not for the masses, but "somebody" has to do this noble and vital service or I will starve to death: no rolling trucks, no food at the supermarket! More Americans drive rigs for a living than work in any other single field. The gypsy life must be popular for a good reason or two. Autonomous vehicles will probably not be implemented seriously within our lifetimes and the guy in that video has a point about job security in this business.

As far as a new trucking career goes, I'm just studying up it some and thinking it over. I'll be sure too keep everybody posted should I make the move to go for it and ask questions along the way should I stumble. God bless you all and God bless America.

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie who can’t stand otr training

Hey Naj,

Forget about the company or the trainers or your experiences so far and let's focus on you for a moment. What is it you really want out of trucking? Why did you want a career in trucking? If you could snap your fingers and do anything you wanted in trucking right now, what would it be?

I'm concerned that if you're so easily disillusioned then you really didn't know what you were getting into or you really didn't want to be there in the first place.

So what goals did you have when you decided to become a truck driver?

If I were to have a trainer, I don't want some arrogant guy to holler in my ear like an army drill sergeant. I want a patient and understanding trainer. The idea of having to bunk with a trainer in the cab seems a little yucky. A complete lack of privacy in the sleeping area. I want to be a truck driver, not a monk.

Posted:  6 months ago

View Topic:

Is over-the-road driving in 2020 as bad as this man in the video makes it out to be?

Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-09nC0zIFsE

The Realities of Being a Truck Driver in 2020 - Is It Still Worth It?

I was curious to see what trucking is like now in this new year and in this new decade. It is the 20's again 100 years later. I hope it will be "The Roaring 20's" for drivers!

The guy in the video says OTR isn't the big money anymore, supposedly.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is your favorite trucking movie?

1. Duel, 1972, Dennis Weaver/Steven Spielberg 2. Smokey and the Bandit, 1977, Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason 3. Hijack, 1973, made for TV ABC movie, David Jannsen, Jeanette Nolan (spoiler: they risked their lives to drive a truckload of sand)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijack_(1973_film)

Have all on DVD.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Couple Questions: How is your holiday season going so far?

Howard, drivers are treated well. There's a bit of a caveat to that statement though. You can easily find drivers complaining all over the internet about their pay, their managers, and just about anything else they can come up with. When you're involved in a competitive environment or a performance based assignment you will always have some people who seem to be doing better than others.

Not every basketball player commands a salary like Lebron James. He works harder than most and he accomplishes more than most. Sports analogies work well in trucking. I end up with considerably more gross pay than some of the other drivers on my account. We may get paid the same rate, but I consistently come out ahead. It's a reality of this job. There's incentive for being productive - that's really the key to succeeding at this. You can't organize productivity. It's an individual's choice and drive that puts him at increased levels of productivity.

Benefits for drivers include insurance for all the things you mentioned. The driver chooses which insurance packages he wants. We do get "PTO" (paid time off). We choose how we want to receive it. I can take a week off if I want and request one week of PTO during that week, or I can just work and request one week of PTO be added to that week's check. Most drivers get one week PTO after a specified amount of service, and it typically will max out at 3 or 4 weeks PTO, depending on the company.

Sometimes we are offered incentive pay for working holidays, but that also depends on company policy or perhaps demand at certain times of the year. This is not a job that makes people wealthy. It's a wonderful career for the right people. A rookie can expect 40 to 50 thousand dollars their first year out here. With a few years experience a high level producer can expect 70 to 80 thousand. There are always a few exceptions - occasionally LTL drivers can break into low six figures, but most OTR drivers are going to top out around 80 to 90 thousand dollars.

Old School, I never expected that a truck driver gets rich like Donald Trump. It does seem common that it puts working-class Americans at the middle-income level, though. I suspect a good career driver will have a nice warm cozy crib and a sweet pooch or two for companionship and a new car in his career eventually. I can't see a successful driver's growing old and dying poor. Some guys claim they do better money-wise in this game than even working an IT career with a bachelor's degree. Some former IT managers even gave up their work to drive.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Couple Questions: How is your holiday season going so far?

Old School, probably not paid vacations or paid leave much either for driving positions? Boy, the golden days of the union! What does the driver bennies package and perks normally include? Bonuses? Teeth? Eyeglasses? Health? Pension? Double time, time and half for working federal holidays? I pray that drivers do get at least fair-market pay and goodies for all they do for our nation. I hope companies all make it worth your while and not a penny less! God bless!

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Why you slow down when you can't see very far ahead

A semi truck driver thinks "regular speed" is okay in fog:
Video captures truck losing control at foggy Texas accident scene, leaving 2 hurt

A basic rule, boys and girls, is Drive what you see. Manage your speed so that you could stop in the distance you see in front of you. For the same reason that you GOAL as you back a trailer, Assume nothing if you can't see it.

I don't even think regular speed is OK for fog in an automobile. Along the coast of California, Highway 35 Skyline Blvd., it was so foggy I had to stop the car on the side of the road and get out to look around to see where the I-280 on-ramp north was in Daly City back in 1992. I put my flashers on slowing to a crawl. I had no fog-lights on my 1988 Firebird Formula.

Posted:  6 months, 1 week ago

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Couple Questions: How is your holiday season going so far?

1. What is Christmastime like for American drivers? Do you folks get the holidays off?

2. Is it snowing where you're driving?

3. Do modern rigs have a temperature gauge (a thermometer) to tell the driver how cold it is outside so as to warn them of freezing conditions?

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a jolly 2020 and stay safe out there!

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