Profile For John G.

John G. 's Info

  • Location:
    shumway, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 5 months ago

John G. 's Bio

Army Vet and proud of it! served 7 years as an 88m Motor Transport Operator 2 combat deployments with FSC 2/327 INF RGT 101ST Airborne Iraq & Afghanistan

Ready to get truckin!

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Posted:  9 years, 7 months ago

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Update On My Experience With Boyd

Can't remember the last time I've posted in here, old school you may remember back in December or so I posted on here about getting into flatbed with Boyd.

First of all, before I get into all the details, I LOVE it !!!!!! For those who haven't seen my previous post, I'm a 7 year army vet my MOS was an 88m and trucking has always fascinated me, but I never did want to just be "driving" every day and I wanted to make the big bucks so flatbed was my choice.

I was a small guy startin out, 5'7" 130 lbs and more fit than strong, these 180 pound lumber tarps and 80 lb steel tarps really made it a bit rough for a while. But now, after all these loads and tons of hard work, I'm every bit of 145 pounds and that's all muscle gain in the shoulders, chest and arms! It's nothin now to handle these tarps and work with loads slinging chains around 3 or 4 at a time or puttin a good winch down for tight straps. I think of it as a twice a day crossfit workout.

Ok back to the story lol. January 30th 2014 was my first day on my own, I was assigned a brand spankin new truck with litetally zero miles minus the 278 piggyback miles, which I now have 91,061 on it no problems whatsoever. There I was day 1 a brand new truck, after only 2 weeks with a trainer I was off with my first load, winter time super cold and a lumber load of course so I knew it was gonna be fun taking them off all frozen. Eye opener lol.

Break down, first let me explain how I am and what my work attitude is with this job and why. I do not have a place of my own, a wife, kids, not even a GF. Flatbed trucking is my world. I never get picky about loads, I don't ask to be home, I stay gone for weeks at a time, and I run as hard as I can taking what I can get.

From day 1, that attitude has gotten me to where I am now with the company.

When I first started folks, this guy here was penching pennies, had over 19,000 dollars in debt, thought I was gonna be miserable for years. But I got in this truck, built a solid relationship with those at the company who made my work for me, and did my job to surprise them as much as I could.

Right out of the gate I was on E logs and still running around 2300 to 2600 miles a week in WINTER!!! Did some canada runs here and there, at 40 cents a mile and 20 bucks tarp pay I was loving that. That's the first couple months. The cold slow bitter and harsh times that most fear.

Let me say again I was not picky about loads, I took whatever I could get and didn't demand anything. Constantly told my dispatcher to keep me out keep me movin. Sure there was PLENTY of times I had some garbage complete waste of time loads, but I thought of it all as a test. A test that every time I passed with flying colors to stand there and say I bet you didn't see that comin did ya?

So now the spring months come along, I'm comfortable with the road, excited about gettin movin more, so on so forth. I started gettin between 2,600 and 2,800 miles a week, my work speed picked up with securing/tarping and things became so easy I got greedy. The company started recognizing more and more that I was bringing in some serious revenue and things just kept getting better. Summer months I was nailing 3000 mile weeks no problem and my best being 3,800 miles! And I have all the proof in the world of that. I screenshot every single pay stub I get in my email.

Remember that 19,000 dollars of debt I mentioned? I paid that all off all at once in a matter of 2 hours on the phone. That was only a couple months ago. I still have 16,000 saved up. Priorities folks, you can make awesome money doing this if you just set your mind to it, focus on YOURSELF for a while, and come back to things later. One of my sayings is build a solid foundation, a big one,,, big enough that someday you can build everything else you've ever wanted right on top of it.

Guys if you're new to this, you have to prove yourself. You have to do some crappy runs, you have to do some sittin you have to do some low mile weeks, it's all a test. While you may think they're cutting you down, they're actually sharpening you. Hard work pays off. Lazy work lays off.

At the rate I am making money now, I am planning to throw down a nice down payment on a fitzgerald glider kit spec'd out for flatbed in spring 2016. While I may only put down 50 or 60,000 on it, I'll keep a cushion of 15,000 to 20,000 getting started. Nice low payments, get into it slow, learn the process and reap the benefits. How I wore I'm sure I'll have that thing paid off in less than a year.

Now I'm sure there's folks out there who have nothing but bad things to say about Boyd, but im here to tell ya right now, you get what you put into it. That's with ANY company out there. I'll be here to reply as much as I can I'm sure I left a lot out for discussion. Thanks ! " war machine "

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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On with Boyd, my orientation experience & thoughts.

John, Congratulations!

As far as your dislikes, I think they are legitimate, but don't let it bother you so much just yet. I'm just guessing here, but I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that you'll find out from your trainer that the drivers don't actually do everything exactly like they suggested to you in orientation - just speculation on my part, but check it out and see if I'm right on this. These trucking companies have a tremendous fuel bill and they are constantly trying to figure out ways to trim it if even just a little. The folks that I drive for have about 2500 trucks and spend approximately 140 million dollars annually on fuel - they say that 20 million alone is spent just on getting drivers home for home time. So you can see why they try every angle possible to save on fuel.

As far as shifting up at those very low RPM levels you will actually find that easier to do once you've gotten some more experience under your belt. I shift at much lower RPMs than I did when I first started and it has increased my fuel mileage considerably. You will develop as a driver all along the way and being conscientious of how efficient you are will come naturally as your confidence and skill levels increase. Don't sweat it right now, it will develop over time.

I think Boyd is a great operation and you've made a fine choice. I've helped and been helped by many Boyd Brothers drivers while tarping or un-tarping my loads at various receivers. Maybe we will run across each other out there on the road somewhere.

Thanks old school, it does seem like a lot to try and understand without actually bein behind the wheel for very long, but I'm sure that 2 to 5 weeks with my trainer will help it all clear up, I've always been a hands on learner. I'm sure we will meet up one of these days, my handle is "war machine" and idk what channel everybody runs on these days but I'll be on it, even if I'm just flat out bored I might get some cheap entertainment on 19 right? Lol.

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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On with Boyd, my orientation experience & thoughts.

Editor's Note: See our Review Of Boyd Bros Transportation

First of all, I will say that I am very glad I chose Boyd, they may not have the Pete tractors like TMC but they have a very nice company goin.

I started orientation on the 16th, already heard about Dave and how strict and to the point he was so I knew what to expect lol. I think a lot of people might take him the wrong way or think that he's being "mean" for no reason but he's there and does what he does to help speed up the process and get things done for the day, making sure we soak in as much info as we can. road test was interesting, I trained on a 13 speed, their trucks are all 10 speeds and the shifter was very tight and the clutch was like trying to push a rusted rod through a bucket of bolts..... Not cool. not a fan of the 10 speed at all, OR the tightness of the shifter, and the stiffness of the clutches in their trucks but maybe it was just a mechanical issue idk. I could shift a 13 speed perfectly no issue double clutching. the rest of the week was pretty straight forward, getting us set up, and then a couple days of a basic load securement class. Not anything hard at all. Lot of work, but if you're born to be a flatbedder you'll know it real quick. if ya don't like it right there in orientation you're gonna complain about it and hate it. I had fun with it. overall I give the whole week a 10/10 experience.

now for my dislikes,

I do not like their idea of shifting at 1,000 rpm on the low side and 1250 on the high side. They teach that to save fuel, but here's what I see doin it that way, you'll be in high gear in no time and then be stickin your foot in the pedal tryin to get to highway speed, that to me means more fuel usage, putting all that load on the engine because you shifted from 3rd to 10th so quickly.

now the biggest dislike,,, they do not want you to downshift when slowing down...... so basicly, goin 60 mph gettin off the interstate you want me to stay in 10th gear and feather the brakes all the way to 700 rpm and then clutch,,, and finish the stop?? here's my problem with that and I see it as a huge safety concern,,, being in the PROPER GEAR for your speed, or slowing down,, can help you out bigtime if an emergency situation arises ahead of you or behind you... let the engine work for you slowing down right? Meaning drop a couple doubles and then gradually come to a stop... With their method,,, you're stayin in 10th gear riding your brakes all the way to the stop sign.... their mechanics must really love changing brakes???

other than that, like I said,, solid company and I go out with my trainer on the 2nd and I'm more than ready to start flatbeddin !!!

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Questions about BTI Special Commodities, & Boyd Brothers Transportation

John I posted a reply in your other thread that applies to this, but I just wanted to add that you shouldn't necessarily sit and wait on them to call you. If you are interested in them then let them know after a few days. I had to do this and it gets amazing results. They grease the wheel that squeaks if you know what I mean. Recruiters are sometimes overwhelmed by their workload, and if you are calling them and asking about the status of your application, that brings it back up to the top of the stack. Don't even think that you are bothering them by calling - it shows initiative and they want people like that.

yes sir absolutely, i called them both friday before i applied, and after, just to make sure they got everything, i made sure to include my military time and experience in the discussions on the phone, and tomorrow im going to call them again and check in. they both know the TMC story and they are shocked, and surprisingly its like they felt for me so they both pretty much said yea lets just see about gettin you here because thats just dead wrong what they did to you, i was like alrighty then! lets go haha. tell me to be there in the mornin and i'll be there tonight lol. i'm THAT ready!

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Hello! new member here, army vet and have a serious set of questions and need big help

Hey John, welcome to TT.

I am also an army VET and went through a pre-hire rejection from Millis. It really took the wind out of my sails. But I just let it go and am moving forward in my plans to enter the industry. As soon as I relocate from Germany, I am going to get the ball rolling with school and VA assistance. Many times, I have heard, companies come right to the schools and hire from the graduates. So I know if I am rejected again for whatever reason, there are a lot of other companies out there that I can sign on with. I have my short-list preferences, but I will sign on with anyone just to get my foot in the door and show them what I can do. Once I finish my first year, it will be a buyer's market!

Man, with your military flatbed stories, you almost convince me of going flatbed! It is actually my second choice as which division to drive. You ought to check out the Maverick web site. They look like a really fine flatbed company. They may have what you are looking for, at least as a back up choice.

hey steven, awesome man! heard some good stories about germany haha. so you're gonna be goin into CDL school right? easy as pie lemme tell ya, make sure before you get out, switch your montgomery GI bill over to the post 9/11 bill, that will pay 100% of the cost, AND pay you BAH for the time at the school upon completion. my BAH payment was like 800. nice chunk of change for goin through a fun school and gettin my CDL.

a lot of guys just take their military licence and have it written off to get their CDL, that is so wrong and exactly what you DONT want to do because there is so much you learn in the school that you need to know, and the hours of driving/backing/ and other class hours and tests really pays off in the end.

as for flatbed on the miliatry side, wow man. all of it was a blast and like i said, its a sense of pride. on the civilian side, you'll always get paid more doing flatbed. separates the men from the boys when comes time for nasty weather, cold or hot. thats the thrill im goin for. it is way more work, but so much better than dealin with the ole drop & hook or backin into docks and waitin for hours to get loaded/unloaded.

now as far as maverick, im avoiding them for one reason and one reason only and i know its not really a legitimate reason,, but here it is. they have automatic transmissions. ask many truckers out there how those autos work, theyre annoying, cant pull worth a crap, and have too many problems. in my opinion for most driving a 13 speed is amazing. fun to drive and can get a rig rollin with any common load. heavy haul its obvious you want an 18 speed, but no automatics for sure lol

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Hello! new member here, army vet and have a serious set of questions and need big help

John, I can see that you've got the personality of true flat-bedder. We take a great deal of pride in what we do, and that's one of the things that makes a flat-bedder do the things he does, it's his integrity on the line with each load he hauls.

Listen, you're gonna do fine wherever you land at. Don't let yourself fall into the false premise that there are good companies and bad companies to work for. The companies you've mentioned are great operations, and I could name you a dozen other flat-bed companies that would work just as well.

Here's the deal: wherever you start, make up your mind that you are going to be the best flat-bed driver that they have ever had come through their doors. This business is performance based, and if you prove yourself to be professional and dependable you will always come out on top in this work. I ended up working for a company that I couldn't find anything positive about on the internet, and I love my job and they love me. They treat me with respect and give me all the work I can handle.

I see Boyd Brothers and BTI drivers at all the places I go, and they are all quite happy in their jobs. You will be the one that determines whether the job works for you or not, it's your responsibility to see that the job is working out well, not the company's. I can't stress this enough. It's sad how the internet forums have evolved into portraying such a bogus criteria for searching for trucking jobs.

I think from the little I've read from you that you've got what it takes to make a great flat-bedder. Just get on board somewhere and prove yourself. After you've got at least six months experience if you've got the itch to move on then you will be glad to see that there are a lot more open doors for you.

Best of luck to ya! And I'd really be interested in hearing where you get your start at, so please keep us posted.

thanks again old school! im lookin forward to growing in this forum, and being top notch in the industry, with me bein young, ruthless and so determined to trucking since its in my blood i'm that one young guy that is already on the hunt for 3 million miles or as many as my able body will allow me to handle. i dont let anything get in my way, not married, no kids, no ties. i'm in this for the long haul and everything i have on my plot of land will be the prime example of what success you can achieve in the truckin world.

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Questions about BTI Special Commodities, & Boyd Brothers Transportation

hey folks, as the subject states, im seeking details on BTI, & Boyd Brothers seein as they're both flatbed that is my kind of work and all i know. i'm a new CDL holder, new to the civilian sector of trucking fresh out of the army after 7 years of 88M work.

TMC turned me down unfortunately for some reason still unknown, so i applied for the companies listed above.

just lookin for stories, maybe someone drives for them or knows someone that does, or maybe even just an observation of both. thanks!

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Hello! new member here, army vet and have a serious set of questions and need big help

With that said, is there anybody out there that knows more about BTI, or Boyd Brothers?

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Hello! new member here, army vet and have a serious set of questions and need big help

Thank you guys, the professional & positive feedback is helping me a lot with the situation.

i just dont want to go ruining my solid work history by goin with someone else for 6 months or a year and then calling up TMC again, i am afraid of the consequences.

if it can be done without anybody giving me the hassle, and they give me a 110% go ahead before i hop out of one truck and aboard with them, i will do so because that company was the light in my eyes for a very long time.

tomorrow will be a test of my strength, expecting calls back from the following companies,

BTI Special Commodities

Boyd Brothers Transportation

Schneider National

i would take BTI before boyd, boyd way before schneider, but a 3 way plan cant fail. schneider is not one i have much care for, but they supposively have a really strong repuation with military vets and a decent amount of work to be done.

all in all, i'm all about the flatbedding. i'm a young guy, only 5'7 but i'm a mule, i can work and do things without question above and beyond what most would see me capable of. my 2 deployments in Iraq & Afghanistan consisted mostly driving an M916 with a triple axle hydraulic lowboy, i've chained down & strapped many loads many different ways all without fail and with my own idea. i secured the truck to the load so to speak. as top heavy as some of those loads were, such as blown up MRAPS & other bigger vehicles, or just random assortments of crates, boxes, pallets of water, i have not ever had one load come loose or unsecure.

for me, flatbed is a huge sense of pride. strangely it is a thrill and sort of excitement to get out there and be told to put X on the trailer, tie it down how you know it will hold, and when its all said and done look at the beauty of your work and haul on.

my most frightening load? Kunar Province Afghanistan, had an M1120A4, with a flat rack, trailer and rack on the trailer LOADED with not an inch to spare of HE 155mm artillery rounds to be hauled down south to our bravo company fires section in support of an operation our battalion held to retrieve a british reporter who took it upon herself to go outside the gate, hop in with the ANP, and go for a ride. the vic she was in got nabbed, ANP wiped out and she was dragged west into the mountains by Mujahjadin fighters.

anyways, tarveling 20 miles through turns and tight roads everybody that was loaded up with the artillery rounds knew quite well that if an RPG or anything hit, we would literally be blown through to the other side of the earth lol. so now the fun part, we finally get there and its a turn into a sideways slope to get into the COP, i had the pins in the rack to lock it to the frame of the rig and same for the trailer, we get stopped about halfway in, start taking fire from the mountain west of the entrance. now picture this, 20 tons of HE 155mm artillery rounds in metal crates leaned so far sideways that they are now paralell to the ground, drivers side lean, 4 5,000 lb straps securing each 2 sets of crates, and the only thing keeping the truck from flipping the rest of the way is the pintle hook plate on the truck being stuck, keeping the trailer set all wheels on the ground holding all the weight of the truck, passenger side wheels of the truck all off the ground, a guy has to make a decision right? knowing that rounds are coming in and one is sooner or later bound to be an RPG luck shot, i put in it drive and slammed the pedal and turned hard left, banging that truck down to the ground so hard that it made a huge plume of dust you couldnt even see through, and nothin but squeaks and rattles, unable to see, 5 minutes later it all clears up and i look in the mirrors, not one single crate of artillery rounds fell off, every strap secure, job well done. load securement 101.

i have pictures somewhere i'll try to find and post for everybody from that and the rest of the deployments ive been on. got carried away there lol

Posted:  10 years, 5 months ago

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Hello! new member here, army vet and have a serious set of questions and need big help

Thank you Old School,

i am slowly letting it go but i just can not get past the whole thing about how it all happened. i could completely understand it all if it had been something i did at orientation that shot me down, but for them to be so appreciative and forward to hiring military vets, i wouldve thought for sure i was more than highly qualified for their level of business. but without even goin up there after being told we'll see you on the 9th to start orientation, and this happening i'm simply shell shocked.

what i have done is this, yesterday i filled out an application for Boyd Brothers transportation, to me they seem like a nice flatbed company and also nice equipment with high standards, i'm not seeking absolute perfection, i have family thats been in the industry for many years so i know all about the ups and downs and what to expect and how to push through it, there cant be anything worse in the trucking world than anything i've done overseas or in the army at any point. my mindset is very hardened, dedicated to busting my rear to make good money, careless about home time, just ready to work and drive even harder. i also filled out an application for BTI special commodities & schenider as backups. i would much rather take BTI over Boyd, and boyd over schneider. flatbed is what i really want hands down. the hard work, the pay, and variety of loads never being the same. gettin out there in the nasty weather securing the truck to the load, freezing, being soaking wet, or sweating my clothes soaked, nothing ive been more ready for in my whole life lol.

i will take time here later today to read through your posts sir, i see on here you are a very knowledgeable and well known master of truckin, so i look forward to reading up.

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