Profile For Cincybeerhawk

Cincybeerhawk's Info

  • Location:
    Cincinnati, OH

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 8 months ago

Cincybeerhawk's Bio

I’m back! Two years later after returning to the safety of a stable paycheck and the consistency of a Fortune 200 company rooted in the hospitality world forever changed by the pandemic, I am running headlong back to the trucking industry.

No; I didn’t get fired…I had an epiphany and I want to be happy.

Buckeye born and bred. I don’t quit...ever.

I have a front row seat on the ‘struggle bus’ as I attempt to learn how to operate a truck. I need help and that’s why I’m here.

I’m smart enough to utilize the ‘3:1 Rule’ (listen three times as often as you speak).

I’m in the midst of the pre-employment evaluation process with Maverick Transportation. I’m gonna regen my training blog and share what I’ve learned and what I’m seeing.

Page 1 of 7

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Question about the DOT physical

I passed the DOT physical just fine in February (it wasn’t due until May). I thought I was doing myself and The Company a ‘solid’ by being proactive and handling the requirement well before my card was set to expire.

I know that truck driving is way different than any other job out there. I also know that I truly value my ‘home time’. I’m simply not interested in giving up any of my 34 hour reset to go to a pointless appointment when I’ve already satisfied the DOT requirements.

I’m guessing that the company with which I’m partnered is headquartered in a ‘right to work’ state, therefore if they want to separate from me, then they will.

As for submitting the ‘long form’, I gotta wonder when we get into the murky area of my ‘HIPA’ (sic) rights to privacy as it relates to my medical history.

Banks: Great stuff…if it isn’t prohibited, then it’s legal. I can’t argue with that.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Question about the DOT physical

Copy that.

Is there a DOT standard/reg that supports your position? I’m not gonna argue with your answer (we all hate it when someone asks a question, we provide an answer, then the questioner wants to argue with the answer).

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Question about the DOT physical

As a holder of a valid CDL, I know I have a responsibility to ‘sit’ for a DOT physical every two years.

Can my employer dictate the doctor/health care professional used for this exam?

Here’s my position (and I look forward to reading responses from others): My state of residence granted me the CDL. I must meet their standards in order to hold the license. If my state is satisfied that I’ve done that (using a health care professional from DOT’s ‘list’ for my exam), how can my employer compel me to take the exam at an office specified by them?

Back story: my CDL would expire in July, 2024, however I took the DOT physical in February when I was on home time. My state of residence agreed that I satisfied the DOT physical exam requirement as I was able to renew my license. My employer is advising that they will not recognize this as I didn’t visit ‘their’ doctor.

What say you, readers?

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

Today’s entry is being created from the Road Ranger truck stop on I35 north of Gainesville, Texas. An easy-listening station is playing on the speakers as I occupy a two-top by the window at the McDonald’s here in the Lone Star State.

A lot (I’m not sure 5500 characters is enough) has occurred since my last post. Lonnie picked me up in Prattville on Sunday morning and we drove straight through to Buda, Texas to drop off steel bars he had picked up the previous week.

I am checking of the states one by one: Mississippi (I drove through the Magnolia State on my trip to Prattville, then again on the way west), Louisiana, and tomorrow I will see Oklahoma for the first time. I know that I have Arkansas in my near future.

From Buda we dead-headed to Laredo to pick up 47k of Mexican steel. I watched the grass change from the green I am accustomed to back in Ohio to more desert-like growth south of Austin all the way to the border. I saw armadillos (alive and dead) on the side of the highway. I believe that speed limits in Texas are a suggestion more than a requirement. Maverick governs its tractors at 65, so I saw the taillights of many, many pick-ups, sedans, and big rigs. Heading north from the border I experienced my first border patrol checkpoint on I35 as every vehicle was detoured through a weigh-station like facility so that we could be scanned for contraband and illegal aliens.

San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth challenged me with driving as we negotiated accidents and rush hour traffic. We emerged unscathed although I did unattached a mud flap from the trailer when I backed too aggressively into the curb here at the RR. A socket wrench and a crescent wrench soon corrected that mistake.

Yesterday we had a bit of a fright as we arrived at a Love’s truck stop south of Waco. The consignee did not want the load of rectangle steel tubes tarped in order to save on shipping costs. The shipper did not do the best job of banding the bundles together; they were held together with wire, but I guess it could have been tighter. As we exited the highway to make the ‘U’ turn back down to the truck stop, five bars from the front bundle of the load shifted forward and struck the side of the headache rack. We were able to re-place two of the pieces of the steel, but the other three had become bent to the point that an outside agency was employed to cut them so that we could continue our trip this morning. A review of our securement (both at the 50 mile point and again when we changed drivers) did not show any looseness or shifting. Lonnie caucused with Safety who advised us that this was not the first time this situation had occurred. We spent extra time this morning employing belly straps to manage the load the remainder of the trip.

Our guess is that after we drop the load tomorrow we will head east. Tune in next time for more in the saga.

CBH

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

Into every life a little rain must fall. Today I experienced a downpour. When returning the rental car I used to move from Madison, Illinois to Prattville, Alabama I dropped my cell phone and destroyed it. I’m not talking a chip or a cracked screen, I’m typing about a full-on ‘black screen’ event. I am out of luck until I can visit an Apple Store (not likely considering I head out with my trainer tomorrow morning at O-dark-thirty). If not for this iPad I’d be in a total communication black out.

I was able to Facetime a member of the Maverick leadership team in order to get word to my trainer that I coulda not receive his calls (his phone number is in my phone - not on this iPad, so see paragraph one). If information needs to be sent to me from the Mother Ship it’ll need to come by means of email and hopefully there will be wifi nearby as this device does not run on cellular data.

My motto in these situations is ‘work the problem’, so I’ll do that once I graduate to an assigned truck and am driving solo. I don’t know (because I didn’t ask) how we receive our assignments. My limited experience tells me that they come to us through the Qualcomm device in the truck. I hope so, ‘cause otherwise I’m useless until I replace the phone. Regardless, regaining my driving skills and polishing my securement skills are front and center.

I’ll add more when I can.

CBH

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

We ‘Crossed the bridge’ this morning. Tony, Hercules, Caleb, Zach and I all successfully completed the Madison, Illinois-based portion of our training with Maverick and we’re now off to America’s highways with our respective trainers. Tony leaves tomorrow morning for Charolette, North Carolina. Hercules left 30 minutes ago to drive to North Little Rock, Arkansas where he’ll spend the night in Maverick’s hotel before continuing on to Texas on Friday. Caleb followed Hercules out of the parking lot and is headed to Paragould, Arkansas, just west of the Missouri boot heel. Zach will be picked up here in Madison by his trainer. I will leave tomorrow morning for a 580 mile odyssey south through eastern Missouri, around the north and east side of Memphis, dipping ever so briefly into Mississippi before using US 22 toward Birmingham, Alabama where I’ll pick up I65 and end in Prattville, just NW of Montgomery.

I spoke briefly with my trainer who has me scheduled to stay in a Quality Inn until Sunday morning when we leave for Texas. What is on the trailer and where in the Lone Star state it will be delivered has not been revealed to me. My goal is to ensure that I’m rested and ready for tomorrow’s drive.

The transitional phase was very well done. Again, Maverick made use of technology and coupled NLR, NC, and Madison by means of Zoom (?). The ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ were all laid out for us since Maverick is sending us out in rental cars. Placing the responsibility for selecting hotels for us on the shoulders of the trainers is genius. Since most (all?) of us will be staying somewhere near where our trainer lives, the idea of utilizing local knowledge for our billeting is smart.

I have started trip-planning our drive west from Prattville so that if asked I can reply with something other than ‘I don’t know’. I’m looking at my time with my trainer as a great, big exam as he will have a tremendous amount of input on my ability to successfully ‘eval out’ through NLR.

I’m out for now. More later.

CBH

Posted:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

It’s Tuesday night and I and the rest of my class (Caleb, Zack, Tony and Hercules) have one more day of instruction here in Madison. Tomorrow we will take our ‘hands on’ final. Six different stations will be set up for us. Each will display a load on a trailer. The loads will range from ‘Shiny Bar’, to linear steel without blocking, to any form of shotgun coils. Sheet steel, palletized freight, and slinkies may also be present. Our task will be to inspect each set up and identify what errors (if any) have been made when preparing the product for shipment. There can be up to four errors per preparation. It is also possible that the display is perfect - that there are no errors. When we pass this we will then be ready to ‘cross the bridge’ (Maverick-speak for being ready to be assigned to a trainer where we will spend time operating a Maverick tractor and trailer on America’s highways as we become even more assimilated into the ‘Maverick Way’ of flat-bedding.

A lot has happened since my last post. The two remaining members of the class that preceded us were assigned to trainers and are now somewhere in Texas. A class numbering two followed us was seated Sunday morning. That number was cut in half almost immediately when one member tapped out Monday morning.

We have spent the past four days learning many, many different ways to secure products to the back of a 100” wide by 48’ long aluminum platform traveling down the road at 65 mph. Over-center binders, ratchet binders, bungee straps, 4” straps, beveled timbers, and 25’ chains are now our stock in trade. We have learned the proper way to use two points of contact between a stake pocket and a spool so that we can safely use our chains and straps. We know to use a coil block and chain anytime we haul a single shotgun coil. We know the proper number of chains or straps to use based upon the length and weight of our shipment. We can hook a container to our deck and move it down the road.

These and other skills have been developed under the watchful eye of Leon, the instructor charged with preparing us both mentally and physically for the road ahead (pun intended). Each of us was issued a reflective safety vest, a wide-brimmed protective helmet, work gloves and knee pads. We have put all those pieces of PPE to work over the past four days. We’ve been up and down ladders, on our hands and knees on the trailer and in the parking lot as we fastened chains, covered simulated loads, and learned how to fold real tarps.

Some of us have been contacted by our trainers all ready. Tony is headed to North Carolina, Caleb will remain here in the midwest, Hercules is going to Texas and Zach and I have yet to be contacted and notified of our destination. I am not sure as to how long we will be under the guidance of our trainers, but I do know we will end up on North Little Rock at the mother ship (sic) for in order to ‘eval out’.

First things first, though. Pass tomorrow’s final.

More later. Thanks for reading.

CBH

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

This is not a paid/unpaid endorsement for Maverick Transportation. The experiences I’m having are my own. Any similarity to the experiences of others are merely coincidental.

Today (Friday, April 21, 2023) is an ‘off day’ for me and my classmates. We wrapped up our first week yesterday afternoon after spending the majority of the day with Leon in the Training Bay as he set our heads to spinning as we were introduced the vast world of securement. First we learned the proper manner in which to build a coil cradle, then we worked with ‘Eye to the Side’ (suicide) and ‘Eye to the Front’ (shotgun) securement sets. Mixed in were a couple of ‘emergency’ drills at which time we were compelled to report to the safe space within our ‘factory’ as the warning siren of an approaching fork truck or coil crane approached. Before bidding us good bye for the weekend we were presented with homework. We’ll report back at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday with our completed packets of drawings for securing additionally complex shipments to a trailer. Additionally we have several videos to watch and .pdfs to study.

After a careful and studied long-distance conversation with my wife on Wednesday, we decided to modify the benefit package I had chosen after viewing via Zoom (?) the presentation delivered by an HR Generalist (I hesitate to include her name as I do not have a signed release allowing me to do so, but I sure wish I could — her knowledge and organization was that good). I called the Benefits department at this morning, was advised that all changes needed to be made in writing (translated - an email would need to be sent). A short email was developed and delivered. Two hours later I had my response with the requested changes highlighted and a new weekly deduction published. Wow!

I’ll end here. I’m gonna disconnect for the next 40 hours as I reload and recharge for another week as I learn The Maverick Way.

Thanks for reading.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

I passed my Maverick driving test this afternoon. I had not driven a semi in over two years and was terrified that everything I had learned and practice during my nearly six months with Home Run would have melted away like snow on a hot early spring afternoon.

A 2021 Freightliner Cascadia with an automatic transmission is a bit different than a 2006 International equipped with a 10-speed manual. The system for opening the hood was far different than my experience with the big red truck I drove in Xenia. The mirror system in place on the trucks (MirrorEye) is something right out of a video game. Being fully transparent I will admit that I couldn’t figure out where the key was located. Finally, Leon, the instructor from Maverick who drew the short straw and had to give up an hour of his life that he’ll never get back, pointed it out to me down by my left knee. Next, I needed assistance in learning where the transmission was located (on a small stem on the steering column). Third, I struggled with the chugging (I can’t think of a better word) of the engine at low speed as I maneuvered into position in order to hook up to a trailer.

As I worked to maintain the posted 10 mph limit in the Maverick yard ‘things’ came into focus. I remembered that I was driving the trailer, not the truck (sic). Checking my mirrors in a consistent manner snapped back into place. Managing my tail swing and ‘going straight, turning late’ on turns became natural again.

The test itself was not difficult. Our course took us out of the Maverick yard to Illinois 203 and south to I70, then east to Collinsville where we exited, then dipped back onto WB I70 for a return to the complex. I maintained speed (Maverick trucks are governed at 65, so speeding was not an issue), checked my mirrors frequently, and managed the truck on all the exit cloverleafs at a speed about 10 miles lower than posted. My saving grace was that upon the return to base we did a pull-through to drop the trailer rather than backing it in. I thanked Leon and beat a hasty retreat back to the conference room that serves as the classroom in Madison.

I shared my experience with Monica, our instructor, and my four classmates and was overjoyed when she advised me that I had passed. I had not been perfect; I knew that, but I believed that I had performed at a level that was worthy of a passing grade.

After a short break we headed to the second floor of the garage to begin securement training. Maverick issues each student appropriate protective gear: gloves, a helmet, knee pads, a safety vest, and safety glasses. Leon gave us an overview of his domain and demonstrated the proper use of some of the equipment, then assigned us homework consisting of videos to view on two different techniques for securing steel coils and pictures to draw of proper chain placement and then dismissed us for the day.

The remaining two members of the class in front of us had completed their onboarding this morning and had departed to meet up with their trainers. Rumor had it that both are headed to Texas for the next two weeks.

I’m not quite sure how the training process ends. I believe we end up in North Little Rock at the mother ship (sic) to ‘eval out’ at the appropriate time after having spent time refining our techniques under the watchful eye of a trainer. The process after that is a bit muddy in my mind. At some point we’re sent homeward to gather up creature comforts for our trucks. The exact logistics of this will become clearer to me as that day nears. For now I’m going to focus on what is in front of me and that’s mastering the securement of the various loads we’ll be moving.

I’m tapping out for the night. More tomorrow.

Posted:  1 year ago

View Topic:

Back on the road again (almost)…Thank you, Maverick!

I’m writing this from my hotel room at the fabulous Fairfield Inn in beautiful Collinsville, Illinois. I checked in Saturday afternoon about 3:00 p.m. and have been on the go pretty much from the start.

First, gentle reader, I must catch you up with my escapades and shenanigans since last we were together sometime in early January, 2021. I left the trucking industry to return to the safety of the world I knew (or thought I knew) in the hospitality industry where I had been safely ensconced as the Vending (think folks selling soda and beer and hot dogs at a baseball game, not people filling coin-operated snack machines) Manager at Great American Ball Park. Sadly, my job was gone; a victim of the pandemic and decisions made by cake-eaters rather than operators. After two years (almost exactly to the day) of giving everything I had to a job I didn’t want and didn’t like, I finally had the courage to tap out after nearly 42 years in the industry (my first game was on Opening Day, 1982. I sold soda. It snowed. I made $5.27).

I knew that I had a marketable skill: driving a truck, and I had made sure to maintain my DOT medical card and my CDL is valid through my birthday in 2024. My TWIC card is current through mid-year in 2025. If you are a returning reader, you know that I drove for nearly six months with the Xenia, Ohio-based flatbed company Home Run from October, 2019 through mid-March, 2020. I knew I wanted to pick up where I left off in the ‘skateboard’ industry, and I knew that I would prioritize a company that valued safety above all else. After careful research I hit ‘send’ on my carefully crafted application to the good people in North Little Rock, Arkansas and hoped for the best. I was quite excited when I received an email from Jeff Bone, a Maverick recruiter, the next day. After several conversations and the submission of the requested data, we set April 16 as my start date. I wanted to wait until after Opening Day before leaving my previous position. If any of you know anything about Cincinnati and baseball, then you know that OD is the biggest day of the year…the city shuts down and celebrates the onset of yet another season by the local nine.

I worked my final day on April 14 (appropriate as that is the Pete Rose’s birthday), umpired a final high school baseball game that afternoon, packed, and then arrived at Greater Cincinnati Airport to pick up a company-provided rental car (an Alfa Romeo SUV if you can believe it!) for the five hour drive to western Illinois where I would begin the onboarding process at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Everything I have experienced in the past nearly 60 hours has been top-shelf. From the patience of our trainer, the effervescent, incredibly patient Monica Williams, to the first rate training materials (all information is presented to us on Samsung tablets), to the video conferences linking all three classes (us, North Carolina, and North Little Rock).

The facility in Madison is spectacular. The classroom/conference room is well lit and roomy. The building has shower facilities for drivers taking their 10 or their 34. There are free laundry facilities (we provide our own detergent, of course). Several training bays for securement instruction. An on-site truck wash (we were advised that the Maverick Way is to wash your truck at least every two weeks) sits at one end of the property. I’m impressed by the little things — all the pavement on the grounds is poured cement…and I haven’t found a single crack in any of the grids. Clearly the drivers using the facility care about the company. A perfect example is the condition of the kitchen area. Normally such a common area would be a mess with left-over food, over-flowing garbage cans, and a dirty sink. Not the case here - every dish was washed and stored, the garbage cans were not half full, and all tables were recently cleaned.

My class is comprised of five applicants. I’m from Cincinnati, two are from the Indianapolis area, one is from greater Detroit, and one is from Portage, Indiana. All five of us have earned CDL’s. I believe tha we’re all slated to be assigned to ‘dedicated regional’ roles near our homes.

Yesterday we provided urine samples at a nearby hospital and cleared the strength and agility portion of the pre-employment process. Admittedly, I was very apprehensive about the physical portion as I’m not in the same shape I was in 10 years ago. I had several ‘conversations’ through the internet with others would had recently joined Maverick’s ranks in order to strategize the best way to complete some of the challenges presented to me. My ‘pre-gaming’ served me well as I completed all the tests.

I must mention again the high priority Maverick places on safety. During our tour of the facility we were shown where to report in the event of a fire. A question on an early test queried us as to where to go in case of a tornado.

Tomorrow I believe we will begin our securement training with Leon. I’ll report back with what I learned after school is out tomorrow afternoon.

Page 1 of 7

Go To Page:    
Next Page

Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training