Comments By Sly48

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  • Sly48
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Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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AJ's HazMat Time

"Thanks for the input, Sly....

All the input helps me understand the process more."

No Prob.....It amazes me how something that's federally regulated is so different from state to state in terms of the order of things.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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AJ's HazMat Time

I'm moving on with my HazMat endorsement during my transition week.

So, let's see if I have this correct.

I go to HazPrints.com and get the background stuff out of the way with Homeland Security where I pay around $80.

Then I go to a specific branch for fingerprinting, etc.

I see TWIC mentioned in this process. Will this Hazmat endorsement automatically get me a TWIC card or is this something extra. I also thought I heard at one point that the TWIC card is the one to get , vs another card that I don't remember the name of.

Any guidance through this pinnacle of bureaucracy would be greatly appreciated. :)

I can only speak for Texas, but here you have to take the Hazmat Exam at the DMV 1st, then once you pass they give you a document to take to a local identogo office for background and prints. Typically they will tell you it could take up to 60-90 days to get your Hazmat granted. This is where my TWIC card came in handy. Since I already had my TWIC a large portion of the Federal Background check was already done and TSA/FBI used the info from my TWIC to speed up the process. My Background check passed and the DMV office got my clearance in one week and mailed my new CDL with the new endorsement and received it in about 8-9 days. So I got lucky and the total time from testing to hazmat in hand was only 2 weeks.

I now have ALL endorsements, TWIC and Passport just so it would make me more marketable and hopefully open up more opportunities.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

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I'm now getting back into trucking and this go around I want to give tanker a try for several reasons. 1) It's always fun to lean new things and there are so many types of tanker loads, you will have your fill of learning (I think). 2) No bumping crowded docks with a tanker. 3) No scaling loads and adjusting tandems. 4) Since I already have experience driving a 10 speed, I'd like to see what automatics are like and I've noticed several Tanker Companies use them. 5) With the company I'm hoping to go to work for in the next couple of weeks, they run out of my home town loaded and return empty, so no headed to tank washes while out on the road. Come back to the yard and grab a clean trailer.

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The director of the school thought that tankers was the way to go. If you live in an area where there are oil wells or are willing to spend weeks at a time there, that is where the money is at. Hauling water is apparently very lucrative. I wanted to get other experiences first. I might try that after a period of time.

Agreed. I'm in Houston, so we have many oil refineries within 20 minutes of downtown at the ports, etc. So there are many tanker companies here.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

TxsGent, Sounds like you have it figured out!! that's great and good luck!! Keep us posted!!

I will add this, you said you are 52? I'm 51, 49 when I first went out on the road. I agree with what you said about a dedicated run like Dollar General (I've seen some of those places and they look like a royal pain to maneuver around at. Maybe a dedicated Lowes or Home Depot or the likes wouldn't be too bad....but they small stores are difficult at times plus unloading too. I also didn't want flat bed due to the reasons you listed. I ran reefer before and went to a lot of Walmart DC's and ports and for the most part I did not like those, but you tolerate them because it's all part of the job.

I'm now getting back into trucking and this go around I want to give tanker a try for several reasons. 1) It's always fun to lean new things and there are so many types of tanker loads, you will have your fill of learning (I think). 2) No bumping crowded docks with a tanker. 3) No scaling loads and adjusting tandems. 4) Since I already have experience driving a 10 speed, I'd like to see what automatics are like and I've noticed several Tanker Companies use them. 5) With the company I'm hoping to go to work for in the next couple of weeks, they run out of my home town loaded and return empty, so no headed to tank washes while out on the road. Come back to the yard and grab a clean trailer.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

First trucking company, Prime, Con-way or Werner: pros, cons, favorite, experiences.

I have graduated trucking school and have my certificate in hand. All of the driving training had been pulling a empty van. On the last day, I asked if I could pull a tanker. It is loaded with water. The difference was significant. It will definitely take some getting used to pulling an actual load.

I still haven't decided on which company to pursue. Instead of narrowing it down any I have even added PTL to the mix. I will spend more time talking with the recruiters and see how can woo me their way.

Thanks for all the assistance TT!

Word of advise in terms of recruiters. Only believe about 1/2 of what they say and get as much as possible on an email paper trail. Remember, it's their job to talk to you into picking them. My 1st job out of school was with Prime. I feel they are a great company to start with, but as a company solo driver you will be on the N/NE a ton until you request home time. I see you're in Texas, not sure what part. But a lot of my trips home with Prime was coming in loaded, dropping at a near by Walmart DC, after that dropping my trailer at a drop yard and bob tailing home. When I went back out, they sent me to Laredo to pick up a Mexico load and off I went again.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Schneider or Service Transport? Help

Hey Sly, here's my two cents on your dilemma.

Based on what I know about these companies, I'm gonna say that both are great outfits. Personally, I think that you can make more money than you quoted for Schneider, but I can't say for sure.

If I were you I would go with my gut feeling. If later on you decide you want to try a different company then it's not that big of a deal. You can always move over to a different company when you are an experienced driver. They were needing drivers yesterday, and they will be needing them tomorrow. So, if later on you think you want to make a change you can, but I've got a feeling whichever one you choose you will be happy at it once you get it all down concerning how they operate and do things.

Thanks, I always appreciate and respect your opinions!! :) My gut says Service Transport for a few reasons. One, I spoke with a driver that used to work for them and he was happy, made good $$ and said he very rarely had to load or unload, he said the customers for the most part did not want the driver touching their product, that's great by me..ha! He was out loaded and back to the yard empty. Was home several times a week and slept in his own bed. Second, while I have no problems slammin' gears, they use all automatic transmissions and to me that's a plus. It appears they use mostly Volvo Mid Roofs, Petes, a few International Prostars and some Macks. I was also told all their equipment including trailers are 2012-2015. If I'm hauling HAZMAT I surely want great equipment. They want me to come in and take a short driving test around the yard and then they will let me know. Third, Schneider's training pay (for 28 days) is $80 per day and then out with trainer on the road for 21 days at the same rate. Service Transport is less training time, at $100 per day at the terminal and $125 a day while out with a trainer.

So....unless I hear awful things from people about Service Transport, I'm going to see them soon for a driving test.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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I'm finished with my schooling 😏

Congrats!!! I remember being very nervous.....but the above comments are correct. BREATH!!!! It will be ok. I would recommend knowing your air brake test backwards and forwards. While I did fine, there were a few that failed it and that was it till the next trip to test.

My story, I had to take it twice for one simple and minor mistake the 1st time. I took a right turn and my trailer tires "rubbed" not hit or ran over, just barely rubbed the curb and that was an instant fail from the person that did the testing. But bet your bottom dollar, the 2nd time I did not touch a curb...haha!!

Grinding a few gears really wasn't a factor, I think they expect that to happen. Again, they are looking for safe driving, you're watching road signs, using your signals and let's not forget the parallel parking. As ugly as mine was, I did it and passed that part too, both times...haha!!!

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Schneider or Service Transport? Help

Correction...I put NW and meant to type NM for the Schneider runs.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Schneider or Service Transport? Help

Good Morning Drivers!! More Tanker questions!! I've got conditional pre-hires from both Schneider and Service Transport. Can you drivers please help me choose?

Schneider would be regional (out of Houston) Tx, Ok, La, Al, Ar, Ok with some NW and CO. Out Sunday-Thurs. Probably older equipment. They pay per mile and extra pay for load and unload, etc..etc. and an Extra $50 per load within a 100 miles of Houston and an extra $25 for 101-200 miles from Houston. Probably only an average of $40-$50K a year.

Service Transport runs would be all 48, but I don't know how that can be if they say out and back to Houston every 4-5 days and short runs (LA,OK,AR back same day)? They are out loaded and back empty and they pay is % based. They have new (2012-2015) equipment with automatics. Average yearly pay is advertises $50-$65K per year. Also supposedly a much smaller outfit and more of a family feel.

I'm leaning towards Service Transport.......can y'all help me out with some feedback please!!

Thanks, Sly

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Refresher Course.... or Not?

Sly normally we say don't put your eggs in one basket and one count on one company giving you a job but you are not new to trucking so it's a bit different. If Schneider is willing to train you and then give you a job I say jump on it asap.

You are right except if you plan on going with a more local company driving tanker back home I believe most of them what 2 years of experience. Keep that in mind.

Right on!!! I hope I pass the 28 day orientation/training...haha!!

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Refresher Course.... or Not?

Sounds like you have a plan. That is always a good way to start.

Ernie

Ernie!!!! Great to see you in here again!!! Yep, There's a lot to learn with tankers...but I'm up for it!! :)

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Refresher Course.... or Not?

Just got off the phone with Schneider and they have a Regional Tanker gig running TX,OK,LA,NM and some CO. (I live in Houston). What they told me is....given my credentials and having my Hazmat, TWIC and Tanker already they would send me out with a trainer for 3 weeks. After that bring me back to Houston, Take the driving test and if all goes as planned assign me a truck.

I figure since I want Tanker experience this might be a good move. I've heard their training is very good. After I run for them for a while, If I like it great. If for some reason I don't this will get me my experience with tanker and also get me the year minimum I need and that would then open up other Tanker opportunities to look at.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Refresher Course.... or Not?

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Do you think I should start back out with a company that has refresher course, maybe puts you back with a trainer for a few weeks?

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More than likely, this is going to be your only option.

Thanks!! Just for my own good, I was thinking it might be best. The only thing that bothers me is starting all over again after less than a year and a half. But, if that's what has to happen, so be it. I REALLY REALLY want to go tanker this go around (was reefer before). There is a company here that will let me gp to orientation , but I still worry about the driving test. I wish I had a driver friend that I could spend a week with and get comfy again......but I'm sure insurance regulations would get in the way of that.

Hmmmm? I do have on Owner op friend that "might" be willing to get me in his truck for a bit, but that's a hard thing to ask of someone too.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Refresher Course.... or Not?

Good afternoon Drivers!!

I've been rolling some thoughts around in my head as I search for the next trucking career. As some of you know, I've been out of trucking for 16 months now and I'm a little concerned about just jumping back in a truck after my sabbatical. I sit here and think, Geez, you've been out long enough that you will be a little rusty in terms of my actually driving abilities. Yes, I still remember everything, but actually getting in the truck and picking up right where I left off concerns me.

I really think if I had a couple of days in a truck it would all come right back to me and all would be fine. My concerns are if a company wants me to do a driving test and I don't do to well?

Do you think I should start back out with a company that has refresher course, maybe puts you back with a trainer for a few weeks?

Any insight or opinions would be great!!

Thanks, Sly

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Are twic cards made at area 51?

Thank you sly48. I will give that a shot.

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Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Need Advise on the "next big thing"

Welcome back Sly!

I think you'll get a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to job hunting. Some companies won't care that it's been 16 months since you last drove, some will. The 8 months is enough time to prove you were capable of getting the job done, especially with the nominations and such. One big factor that companies take into consideration is whether or not your former company would be willing to hire you again. So hopefully Prime has you on their rehire list, but it's certainly not a make or break kinda thing.

Just hunt around like crazy for work and pretty much ignore the experience levels companies are requiring. Sometimes they'll say they require 2 or 3 years but often times they'll take people with less experience. A lot of times they say that to keep the call volume down. If they say they hire with little or no experience they'll get 1000 calls from people who never drove a truck or only drove a month or two before being fired.

We of course have an awesome listing of Truck Driving Jobs and you can Apply For Truck Driving Jobs With One Application also. Have a look around there and see what you can find.

Brett, One question regarding companies that might consider a person with less than a years exp. Wouldn't a lot of that henge on their insurance carrier and how they have set up their policies?

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Need Advise on the "next big thing"

Glad to hear he's still running, should tell em to come back and say hi.. Be great to hear from em again.

I called him out.......let's see if he has time to jump on here with an update!!?? :)

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Extremely bad/dangerous weather

I've had one experience with tornadoes on I65 between Greenville and Montgomery, AL.

1st, as a rule I watch the weather (particular doppler) like a hawk during bad weather conditions so I'm more informed as to what routes to take and no take in extreme situations. This particular day I did not and it almost got ugly. Dark blueish skies, pouring rain and winds had picked up fairly strong. the next thing I know it got very dark and then baseball size hail was coming down (I slowed the truck to a crawl as did everyone else). About another mile up the road I see a funnel cloud way to my left ahead of me going N/NW. I'm thinking, GREAT, it's headed away from me!! Next thing I see is another one to the right and it was going to cross my path if I didn't stop. 4 Wheelers were freaking out doing stupid stuff and the truck in front of me was swaying side to side. I then noticed my truck rocking side to side.

Fortunately I had a clear spot to pull over, so I did. Set my brakes, had my flashers on and just waited it out. It did head over I65 and headed N/NW as well.

That was close, but pulling over was all I could think of at the time....so that's what I did!! Not sure if it was right or wrong...but it worked.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Are twic cards made at area 51?

Ok. Sooo. In order to get things done and make myself more valuable as a driver i got my passport and twic card. Well i should have had my twic card. I definatly qualify. So i was patient. I called and made sure how much time they would need to get me one and i made sure i gave them plenty of time. In fact my friend and i went in at the same exact time. He got his like a week later. So here i am, over a month into this and heres what i learned. Universal enrollment is in control of nothing. They can not contact anyone or get answers from twic. Essentially they are the equivalent of a post office. Their answer "we put a ticket in for you" (a week ago) called 3 days later per their request. "We put in a ticket for your ticket" ok. At this point i have only been slightly aggravated. So today i am determined to get to the bottom of this. I call enrollment again. Get no where. They havent got a response from ticket's. They blame tsa. So i call tsa give them ticket # and they say they filed a complaint for me with enrollment. WTF!!! Trust me, they already know i am upset. Sooooo she says that enrollment is at fault and enrollment says tsa is at fault. And no one could tell me where my application is physically other than "they" have it. Who is "they" ? Why dont "they" have a phone #?

Thank you for allowing to vent. And any input would be appreciated.

That sounds about like my story when I requested and paid for a replacement card. After all the waiting and all the calls and all the tickets that were turned in to investigate(over 6 weeks) I finally just drove to the office that it was to be delivered to and low and behold it was there. I walked in, told the person at the front desk my story. She said please have a seat and I will check on it. She called me back to the front desk and said, "Oh, it's here....it's been here".

My point and suggestion is to drive there and ask "in person".

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Need Advise on the "next big thing"

Ahh I remember Steve, haven't heard from him in ages either..

I remember when you joined us too Sly. Welcome back sir. Sorry to hear about your ankle, hope it healed well.

Hi!!! Good to hear from you!!! Yes, Steve is doing very well being an owner/op. I think he is doing mostly intermodal stuff, but he's making $$$$!!!

My ankle is doing fine, thanks!! smile.gif

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