Profile For Rockin' Rick

Rockin' Rick's Info

  • Location:
    SC

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 3 months ago

Rockin' Rick's Bio

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

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Posted:  7 years, 9 months ago

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Going back on the road

Greetings!

I popped in here a few times over the last couple of years. I started with Roehl, and since then I officially have 9 jobs in the last three years. My experience now tells me...that track record has kept me from getting back on the road as soon as I'd have liked to. Companies I've worked for won't take me back because of the number, and companies I'd like to work for won't touch me with a ten foot cargo lock.

I chased jobs trying to get closer to a girlfriend....no that didn't work out. And I tried the L/P route, and didn't get the miles to pay me enough to buy soup. I drove teams for a FedEx contractor. I couldn't sleep Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, I couldn't stay awake. Decent money...too exhausted for my girlfriend.

I've had fun with medical issues and being rejected. As a type 2 diabetic, I take tablets, not insulin. One of the tablets channels extra sugar into the bladder. A company I really wanted to work for because of sugar in my urine. The medical examiner's hands were tied...he knew about the meds but company policy said "no-go at this station".

A couple of companies want six of the last twelve months OTR. Having left the road at the end of last August, that got a few replies of "we're not moving forward on your application at this time". Companies can be choosey, and will be when it comes to their insurance mandates concerning the definitions of experienced drivers.

Having my hands tied, and wallet thin, I chose to go back to guarding the thin blue line. In most places, that job does not pay well; although, its getting better. Getting kicked to the curb and supporting two households has brought me right back to where I was in the beginning of 2014 when I decided to go to TDI: time to get paid.

So, through Brett's awesome site here, and scrubbing the net for facts, I've concluded I'm going to give it another go. My choices are limited, but the small group of companies is solid. Thanks, Brett... If I'm not rejected again, I'll start a new diary.

Happy Independence Day, Rick

Posted:  10 years ago

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Starting TDI Tomorrow

So,the CDL school portion of this new adventure is behind me. I head to Roehl's Ellenwood terminal via rental car in a few hours for Phase 1 of dry van training. It's taken more time to get to this point than I had anticipated, and can normally tolerate. I'm going to enjoy this drive...

Posted:  10 years ago

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Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Very cool, WT!

I head to Ellenwood today to start Phase 1. Roehl doesn't have any flatbed ops here in FL, but, I'm sticking with them.

Posted:  10 years ago

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Knight Transportation Training in Phoenix Arizona

I was contacted by the first school I went to, TDI, and they offered me refresher training to help me get my CDL. That worked out and now I'm free to look at all the companies again. The people at Knight are good folks. I may go with a different company though, one that offers VA bennies through an OJT program....after being out of work for a couple of months, I need every dime I can muster.

Posted:  10 years ago

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Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Jim,

Check with your local state workforce, aka unemployment office. They have a program some of the guys in my school used called WIA. Not everyone qualifies for it, but it's worth checking out if you haven't already.

Rick

Posted:  10 years ago

View Topic:

Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Congrats, WT!

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Day 12 training continued.....

Then I glitched out. Two huge yellow signs that I had just read that stated the expressway was about to end. I have passed those signs 50 times in the past week. The tester asked what sign did you just pass? I drew a blank. DUH! That was another point. Still, I was doing well. Nothing too bad had happened. He asked me to do an emergency stop. I got dinged a point. After completing the stop when I pulled back out into traffic, I signaled my left turn signal,checked my left mirror, and then put my hazards on until I got up to speed. The tester said I got a point because I did not check the right side mirror. Really? Ol well. So, here is where it got sketchy. I was going through a downtown area. This is an area the instructors were not allowed to take us but the tester is. Lots of intersections. The tester said, "When it is safe and legal to do so, make a lane change to the left and then one back to the right." I did the left. Then a car shoots out from a side street as I am making the change to the left. They come flying past my right side. They cut me off inches from my bumper and then turn on their left turn signal and slam on the breaks. I almost had to lock my breaks to stop on time. The tester was like, "Wow what an idiot!" They turned and I went to go. Well, guess what? I forgot to flip my switch back down to low gear. Thinking I was in third gear, I was really in 6th. The truck stalled. #%^%$%.... I quickly got the truck started and rolling down the road. I was so scared. Kevin had told us yesterday if we stalled the truck, it was an automatic fail. The last 15 minutes of my test and some jackass cutting me off is going to cause me to fail. The tester can not say anything while the test is going on. I settled down and did the rest of the test fine. I knew I had already failed so I was pretty relaxed. We got back to the yard. The tester sat in the seat after I parked and wrote on the form. It seemed like it was 4 hours sitting there. It was really like 4 minutes. Then he said, "Very nice job. You demonstrated that you can operate this vehicle safely." I said, " I passed?" He said, "You did great." He said that the stall is not an automatic fail. PHEW! He went over where I lost points. We could miss up 30 points and still pass. I only got 8.

The big test is complete! Not only did I pass but I did with the best score in the class. No more stress because the hard part is out of the way. Sadly, two guys in out class did not pass. I was feeling so bad for them. It was hard to be happy in front of them so I tried hard to not mention passing. So, after all the doubts and fear and apprehension, it is done. I made it. It is real now.... I am on the way to being a true american trucker!

Congrats, WT!

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Go get 'em, WT!

Will you operate out of Ellenwood or Gary?

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Roehl driver training from start to end.....

Go get 'em, WT!

Will you operate out of Ellenwood or Gary?

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

School or Company Sponsored Training?

What Anchorman said, and there is also a program called WIA that paid for the school for a few of my classmates...

The benefit of paying for an independent school is that you can pick which company you want to work for and already have your CDL and start working for them without any contractual obligation. On the other hand, as WT pointed out, if you already know which company you want to work for and they have a CDL school you'll learn quite a bit about your future employer every day.

Best of luck, have fun, and be safe!

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