Profile For Ryan B.

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    5 years, 8 months ago

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Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Well, got through the first week! actually went pretty good, been getting pretty good at back, don't have to do many pull ups, tried to use the tach to gauge where my shifts would be, but the trucks are so worn down that it wasn't helpful at all, I though it was just me but today I quit looking at the tach and just listened to the engine and felt lightly around for the gears, and it shouldn't take long to get it down, had the fifth wheel pin fail on me which cause me to lose the trailer, luckily the only damage done was to the power supply cord

all in all I seem to be picking it all up pretty well- no where near professional yet- but it all comes in time, plus the company just gave me a 1.00/hr raise so now pay is a little better, and I get to learn without having to pay to go to school, hopefully I will be able to pursue it further later down the road, especially if I can get some otr runs a couple days a week and yard horse the other days, I think im mainly excited that today I had a truck that didn't have an insanely stiff clutch, most of the other trucks, are so bad that at the end of the day it feels like I was pushing the trailers off the truck with my foot

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Thanks for all the replies, this site has been a great help, I know this path is kind of a long one to get the cdl-a but, it keeps cash coming in and I see my kids every night, and if I break the equipment, its far from new and already falling apart anyway, I felt bad about the gears grinding until I heard then lead driver grinding them in the same truck, so led me to believe it was mostly the truck, im sure the rpms will come to me in time as has been said a couple times here, again thanks for the replies, a very good site for any info about trucking, may not always be what you want to hear but will always be honest, and put as kindly as possible

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Ok so the time had finally come this morning for me to see how it was going to go with the yard horse position , they took me around the entire property, which is actually much larger than I originally thought, then, I rode around with another driver most of the day, he had a Volvo with a 10 speed tranny, so I studied his every move all morning long, trying to learn as much as I could, I noticed he NEVER used his clutch but I also paid attention to hooking the trailers and we spent most of the morning unfreezing brake lines on pretty much every trailer we picked

they said after lunch he would have me drive the Volvo for about an hour to see if I was capable of driving,

well, about an hour and a half before it was time to go they put me with someone else to drive with- in a raggety old beat up sterling 7 speed- so now it is a whole different truck and I had no chance to learn the truck I just got thrown into it, so for about 15 minutes I pretty much drive in big circles around different trailer aisles, I actually picked it up for the most part right away (haven't stalled it yet)

after that he said to hook up to a trailer that he pointed out (53ft), so I backed into it and hooked everything up without any issues pulled away a little jumpy but not horrible, actually almost smooth, so pulled it out of the spot and went to the other side of the lot toward the building, with would equal to about 5 blocks, shifting was a little hard to get the hang of, especially since i was told i did not have to clutch, although i still kept clutching, it was especially difficult to learn to increase the rpms in order to get into gear, so as i got to the building he then told me to back the trailer into a dock between 2 other trailers, well that took about 6 attempts which i feel was pretty decent being i had been driving for about 25 or so minutes, in something i had never driven before

after i got the trailer docked, i then had to bring it back to the slot i had gotten it from, which took about 10 attempts, i went from freezing and shivering this morning with 4 layers on to having 1 on and sweating, by the end of the day, but had to continue on and grab another trailer and practice driving around with it, and back it into a dock, then another dock, when i returned the trailer to its original spot again, i then had to grab yet another trailer, which happened to be a 28ft trailer, and LOADED, got it out of the slot no problem although it was in a diagonal row with no room to pull out since there was a good 4 or 5ft snow-covered ditch straight ahead, but got it out and headed to the docks and attempted backing it in, this was my nightmare, also where i killed it for the first time and surprisingly only time for the day, but finally got the trailer into the dock, trainer had an electric cigarette which im sure had to be about dead by then, got the trailer back to the row it came from and took about 1000 attempts to put it back

and grabbed a loaded 53ft trailer and repeated whole process, then got called to the office, and had to put the trailer back and head to the office, once i got there they spoke with the trainer for a couple minutes, then called me in, and offered me the transfer, which will official as of tomorrow,

all in all it went ok since all of the driving on my part had been done in about and hour and a half I picked it up fairly well, definitely will need more training but at least i will have the chance to learn, also found out that the company does in time offer slip seating, which would be great but quite a ways away, and finished up the day seeing an amazing Peterbilt 379 ext hd, which just so happens to be the truck that first caught my eye many years ago, and the truck that sparked the interest in driving from the very beginning

was a very long day, and will be even longer one tomorrow, but I guess it is possible to learn the basics in an hour or so, my trainer was very impressed, especially since i have never pulled a trailer of any kind in my life until today

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Ok according to the other yard horse, the fords are 9 speeds and the sterlings he said are not, which would likely verify the city tractor idea, he also said, the likelihood of having me in a sterling is very slim, he was a yard horse for over a year and got to have a sterling once, and he also said they have some Volvo single axle, also no chance of driving that one either, those are the nice trucks, the fords are junk and some don't even have heaters (feel bad for those drivers when it was -50 here a couple weeks ago), I will likely have a ford for over a year

also Daniel stated about the good drivers for low pay, I couldn't agree more, if the drivers had a lot of experience they would never drive for such low pay, I know this is not a glamorous position, but I gotta start somewhere, and I cant afford the schooling, and with having 3 kids I don't really want to go over the road for a year to get the schooling paid for

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Daniel, thanks for the reply, the majority of what you stated is right along the lines of what I was thinking all day today, I did speak with a former yard horse, he said the trucks ARE 9 speeds, and also he feels the manager most likely made it seem like he would expect more of me than he really would just to see if he could scare me away, I know there is no way I would be able to just jump in and take off without an issue, but I do know I will give it my absolute best shot, and will definitely refuse anything that I feel would be unsafe

the braking/clutching makes a lot more sense now that you verified what I was thinking on it, Im just not sure if I should apply the accelerator as I let the clutch out, or would the truck begin to move slightly and then I apply the accelerator, I know I don't want too little rpms but also not too much either

Im sure I wont be running a trailer right away, probably mostly showing I can learn to take off and shift gears, as far as shifting goes, from what ive come to learn so far is: I would upshift at about 1500 rpm, which I would double clutch or at least not FULLY apply the clutch so as to not damage the clutch brake, and for downshifting Im a little confused :shift at around 1000-1200 rpms, but when in neutral bring rpms to 1500 before shift into the next gear?: or something like that kinda lost there

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

IF the truck IS a 9 speed, I would start out in FIRST with no trailer right?, and I would depress the clutch fully, apply the brake, and release the park brake, then I would let off the brake and slowly release the clutch, then would I give it some throttle, or would I wait until truck begins to move a little before pressing the accelerator?

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

They didn't tell me anything about the truck the 9 speed part even is a guess, another reason the guy made me feel like he didn't really want to even give me the chance to begin with, but I guess my confidence/arrogance made him decide to give me the chance and make It as difficult as possible, he wants "only the best" working for him, I do understand him wanting good employees but on the other hand its not like this is the worlds greatest job, ill actually take a pay LOSS due to the fact that its the same pay per hour (11.55) but I will lose the fact that I get paid per pallet, at .40 per pallet I average 75.00-85.00 per week in pallet bonus, I know I work harder than most others, there are only 2 people in sortation that make more me and they have been there more than years each, so the numbers show I work hard, and will work even harder to get the experience I need,

I guess im really just diving head first into this and its all or nothing, problem is im going in pretty blind and it'll be sink or swim, and probably one of the hardest things ive ever done in my life, and to add to it all, the roads are very slick so i'll be in some of the worst conditions, I know they will make it as much of a nightmare as possible, but they also wont be able to allow me to hurt myself or others, or damage the equipment, so they'll have to give me at least some training, it's nerve racking but I will not just give up, plus I'm sure where they'll have me the worst thing I can do is hit a snow bank

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

But also no matter what they unless I absolutely CANNOT drive the truck I am not going to give up, I have wanted my cdl for awhile now, but cant afford the training, and have three kids so don't want to go over the road right away until I have a better feel of how it will work for me, also I have heard "talk" of them assisting with cdl after a year, and they have otr positions within the company where I would be home every couple night and even many times nightly, so they are going to have to do everything they can to make me fail, but I will fight that every second

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

Basically got it right, but mostly I think the guy is gonna have me prove I will be able to learn the take off, and shifting, stopping and all that, but I also have the feeling he's going to make it as hard as possible for me, I'm sure they wont allow for any safety concerns, as they almost suspended me for three days for not reporting a small cardboard cut due to being a tiny cut, and being extremely busy,

I really don't think they will give me much as far as pointers, probably mostly give me the worst truck they have, and make me give them a reason to train me, but once I can give them the reason im sure they would provide good training from there out, also im sure there wont be anything around for me to damage (at first)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

What did i get myself into (learn to drive a truck in an hour?)

ok so I applied at my current job about 4 months ago, because they placed an ad in the paper stating, "cdl training provided, no cdl or experience required" sounds great right? (of course its a yard horse position)

well after the interview was over I ended up in the warehouse stacking pallets due to -"NOT HAVING EXPERIENCE"- oh well so I have been stacking pallets for about 4 months now, and after the manager that hired me got demoted and the new manager noticed that I had applied for the yard horse position and got me interview with the manager of that department

well manager in that department not exactly the friendliest guy ive ever met, and pretty much wrote me off immediately, but after some negotiating (exaggerating as well) I get a chance to prove myself Monday, and from the sound of it I have to show him I will be able to drive what I believe is a 9 speed, but I know their trucks are single axle ford, and sterling trucks ( old and very beat up)

ONE PROBLEM!!!.... never driven a tractor before, much less with a trailer

any tips on take off and/or shifting given it is a 9 speed

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Knight or Swift?

Well it's good that you've at least had some exposure to the cold climates, and thanks for the link brett ill look into that, and I also have had similar experiences as you have pete, everytime I go to take the jump I get offered better money where I am, just as now I am looking into it again, I applied as a yard horse at my current job, but they put me in the warehouse stacking pallets,but I needed the job so I took it, but now that I am looking to leave I am just about to get an extra 1.10 per hour, plus .01 per box, which adds up quite nicely, but all things considered, I have three kids and possibly a 4th on the way, I don't want to leave them for days and weeks at a time but in the end after a year or so I will have a cdl and a experience, so I would be able to get a more local job, everywhere you look there are trucks with ads on the back looking for drivers, if you hold a cdl you can always have a job,

this is definitely a career better suited for someone without kids and a wife, but I am tired of the struggle and am ready for a career, people do it married with kids all the time,

I also just saw that northern florida is even going to be seeing windchills in the single digits, this is a very crazy time for weather and I pray that all on the road make it through this cold front, as a child I idolized many people as we all do, but what most people don't realize is that truckers are some of the toughest people on the planet, they go through the worst of weather, deal with the worst of drivers, worst of bosses, the list goes on but I guess that's why people always "keep on truckin" when things get hard in life

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Knight or Swift?

Also not sure if you came across this or not but a good read about company-paid training

The Boot Camp Known As Company-Sponsored Training

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Knight or Swift?

I have been reading this post a couple days now, I am also looking into knight, so came across this, which has been very helpful, definitely a lot of info being passed, I didn't even know where to begin looking at companies until this post

I saw somewhere that knight has a 7/7 option? if this is true then im definitely a lot more interested,

it is great to see people so ambitious and/or dedicated to the career, Pete looks like so far you have found a pretty good match, hopefully you've spent at least SOME time out of Florida, I live in Wisconsin but came up from Arizona, and wow the cold weather is brutal, I saw -6 for Monday on here, they actually already cancelled my kids' school here due to it being a projected temp of -22 with up to -52 with windchill, so that is another thing that will be hard to prepare yourself for,, well try to anyway nothing really prepares you,

as far as the cold weather one thing I like to do is use the hand warmers, and attach them to my kidneys, since the kidney filter your blood if you keep heat on them, they will act like a hot water heater and spread warmer blood through your body, even sometimes all the way to your fingers

well good luck to all out on the road (new and seasoned) -stay safe-

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Conflicted (to drive or not to drive)

Ha! found it nevermind last post

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Conflicted (to drive or not to drive)

Also a little off subject, but is there any way to get this western star off as my pick and put a nice truck up there, I noticed that thing on there and about died lol

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Conflicted (to drive or not to drive)

Thanks Old School, these are things that have been keeping me a little distant from the profession, I work at a distribution center at the moment, and previously as well, my current job is ten hour days, which is not too bad, the previous one was mandatory 72 hr weeks, which was hard enough, but I switched jobs as I was told I would be hired as yard horse, where the training is provided, and no cdl is requires as the company owns all surrounding roads except, which I would not be allowed to cross, but instead they put me in the warehouse, stacking pallets, the current position is great workout but nowhere near the position I applied for, this is very discouraging to me and also another reason for resparking my interest in the career, I DEFINATELY want my cdl and if I have to take an otr job for a year as you stated to get it paid for I would have very little choice in the matter, then get a job at one of the sand mines or concrete truck or similar, I have experience with towtrucks firetrucks and boxtrucks, but when you hold a cdl the job market is much much higher, and I am just very tired of just scraping by and not having the means to give them what they want in life

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Conflicted (to drive or not to drive)

Ok so I have been rolling this over in my head for years now, and realize that the longer I don't get on the road the more I kick myself for it, I love to drive, I have always loved to drive, all my life if there was something that I had an opportunity to drive I HAD to drive it, I have always loved the peterbilt 379 extended hood with the round headlights and dreamt of driving one for a living, I have driven many many different types of vehicles, only to go back to not just wanting but itching to drive the real deal,

unfortunately life doesn't make things as easy as just go to the school and do it, not only I there the financial dilemma, BUT I am now 26 years old and have 3 kids, 1 turning 10 soon, 1 is 6, and 1 is turning 3 soon, and might even possibly have the 4th on the way,

from what I have seen there are several companies with the option to get the financial part taken care one way or another, the hard part is- are there any companies that have a reasonable amount of hometime? again funds are an issue to work in as well, but mainly I have not been away from my 3yr old for more than 2 days ever

any input would be great thank you very much in advance

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Gun in the truck?

I am glad someone posted this already, I am in a serious conflict on whether or not I would like to be otr, I know for sure I want my cdl, but have carried a gun most of my life, and was curious about the subject as well, this is bad news for me as I have already been put in the unfortunate situation where if I had not been armed I would not be here today, there are thos times in life where unfortunately a tire thumper just wont work when they have 12 of them and only one of you, but the wasp spray I have heard before, my wife (gun hater) likes this alternative, and I have seen news postings where it has been very effective in the past, so I would recommend this as the next best thing

also tasers are illegal in many places, in Wisconsin the charge for an unlawful taser is a class c felony, where unlawful conceal carry is class b misdemeanor,

whatever you have to do to defend yourselves out there be safe, and always alert, it's hard enough out there for you guys, hopefully you never have the added situation of needing a gun in order to see tomorrow

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