Profile For James H.

James H.'s Info

  • Location:
    NJ

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 6 months ago

James H.'s Bio

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Posted:  1 day, 13 hours ago

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Revenue generated through forum

I thought the OP wasn't asking whether the site pays anyone, but what the site's sources of revenue are. We see that company-sponsored training programs buy banner ads here, but does the site receive a commission, for example, when applicants enroll through this link.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Why did you get started in trucking, and what were your biggest concerns?

Why did you decide to become a truck driver? What did you hope to get from it?

I thought it might be a fun retirement hobby. It is.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Worst Interstates for truckers

I-78 Pennsylvania from Allentown and eastward! The lanes are narrow, there is always construction, nobody obeys the truck lane restriction in construction zones

Can you explain why trucks are restricted to the left lane through there? That one has me baffled.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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A PhD student want to join the world of Trucking --any advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc.

You're the only one who can answer if it is the right move for you. However, you won't be the first overeducated person to end up in this line of work, and your career earnings as a truck driver will almost certainly be better than you'll do as a humanities professor, given how long the odds are of getting tenure these days.

One good think about trucking is that, although there's a steep learning curve, it's very short. Within a few months you'll probably learn enough about yourself, the work, and the industry to have a sense of whether it's going to be a good fit for you. It's not like devoting many years and dollars to an advanced degree only to realize it doesn't lead where you hoped it would.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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After 3 months, I’m quitting

It’s indeed a special talent.

Honestly, it's not. Backing is a learnable skill for pretty much anyone, and you just haven't found a teaching method that works with your individual learning style. Ultimately we're all doing the same things, even though the words and concepts we use to describe them might be different. So it's a matter of finding a way of thinking about it that makes sense for you, and that you feel confident with.

I had been driving Class A CMVs for nearly a year, and backing well enough to get by, when I stumbled across this guy's videos. For whatever reason, his approach and concepts really clicked for me, and actually made me look forward to chances to apply them for myself. https://www.ltlmentor.com/

There's nothing wrong with walking away from this profession and pursuing something else, but if you do still have the itch, I'd encourage you to poke around youtube until you find something that resonates with you, and then see whether you want to give it another try.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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What was your first CDL Job?

Local LTL linehaul, 5 nights a week, ~12 hours a night. Found the job on indeed. My home terminal was 10 minutes from my house, which was a major consideration. Shifts were long enough without adding significant commuting time.

I actually found the dock work - loading and unloading trailers via forklift on a very crowded, busy dock, trying to safely unload freight that hadn't been properly secured and had shifted during transit, etc. - to be a lot more challenging than the truck driving. Pups are typically loaded for linehaul using racks, so there are two levels of freight (picture below).

I enjoyed the work, felt very well supported by the company and my coworkers.

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Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Getting My First CDL Job

There are companies that don't discriminate based on a dog's size or breed, but I'm not aware of any company that will let you bring him along from Day 1. You'll have to go through training and at least a couple months solo before you're allowed to have a rider, either human or canine. As far as part-time jobs, the ones I've seen all require at least six months' experience, some want a year. And part-time will just mean fewer days, but your shifts can still be ten hours or more.

Entry-level local jobs are out there, but again you're likely looking at shifts of 10-12 hours, possibly more. If you have a reliable dog-walker, this could work. And even with local, there's always the possibility that a break-down or other delay will result in you exhausting your Hours of Service, and you'll have to sit until you get your ten hours off duty and can drive again. Again, a reliable support system back home will be essential.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Training on Gravel vs. Paved Lot

Here's where you find schools that are approved training providers: Training Provider Registry

FWIW, the school I attended is on this list, and I didn't get anything like 160 hours of supervised training. They had me watch videos and read material on my own until I felt comfortable with those aspects, and my 'on the clock' time consisted of showing the instructor I could do a pretrip, and then it was all 1-on-1 training in the truck on backing maneuvers and road driving. They were very flexible, working around my and the instructor's schedules. I don't know if they've made changes to the curriculum since the new ELDT regulations went into effect, though.

I think the most important thing is to find out if the training you receive will help you toward your goals. Ask the school where their graduates get hired. See if they'll put you in touch with these graduates, so you can ask them how well they feel the school prepared them for the next step in their career.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Per Diem Pay Again - Actual Example from Michael's 2021 Pay/Taxes

I am actually considering advising Michael to reduce his 401k contributions and increasing his non-qualified savings/investments.

double-quotes-end.png

Most companies allow you to make Roth contributions to your 401K, so you invest with after-tax income, but then the withdrawals in retirement aren't taxed. If you are currently in a low marginal tax bracket and expect to be in a higher bracket when you retire, and/or can afford to pay taxes on money you won't see for years, this may be a good option. If your company does a 401K match, the match will be in a conventional (taxable upon withdrawal) account, regardless of whether your employee contributions are traditional or Roth. In that case you'll be building up both tax-deferred and non-taxable retirement money.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Thoughts? DOT Eyes Plan for Oral Fluid Drug Testing

Given that a sizeable majority of Americans live in states where marijuana is legal, I think the trucking industry, and law enforcement, would benefit from a test that, like BAC, correlates closely with the degree of impairment. I haven't smoked weed in forty years and am confident I never will again, so I don't have any direct stake in this. But if a driver wants to indulge when off duty, I don't particularly care as long as she's sober and well-rested when it's time to go back on duty.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Samuel Clemens / Mark Twain revisited

No outfits here, despite their crocodile tears clamoring for bodies to fill the ohsoveryimaginary truck driver shortage, will even consider anything less than a full five or six days - gotta be off only a 34.

Around here, the opportunities for part-time driving are mostly with USPS contactors like 10RoadsExpress and Midwest Transport, and Amazon's 'freight partners.' But yes, it seems that while a lot of local managers are open to the idea just because they have freight they need to move, their hands are tied by company policy, which I assume means what their insurance carrier will allow.

Posted:  3 months ago

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What to do about the driver shortage?

I agree with many of the suggestions here, but the CEO of that company is going to have to define "dramatically altering their budgets."

He means a greater percentage of the value the business generates would go to employee pay rather than to executive compensation and shareholders. In other words, the exact opposite of the economic trends of the last fifty years or so.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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I want to stay local for training but don't want to be contracted. Please help!

You might be able to find a local CDL school that can accommodate the schedule of your great-paying job. That's basically what I did, but it could just be dumb luck that things have worked out for me - YMMV. But before you go that route, find out where they place their graduates, and preferably verify this from the other side - check with companies that interest you, to see if their safety division accepts new drivers with that school's completion certificate. Many companies will reimburse you for the cost of private CDL school, but this payout comes after you've been there six or twelve months. Not exactly a contract, but if you walk away early, you still have to eat the cost of your training.

Otherwise, I agree with Banks that Option #3 might be your best choice to train and work local.

If you've read some of the threads here, you'll know that even local jobs tend to be long hours, and linehaul, which in my opinion is the most suitable local job for a new driver, is typically overnight. If your teenage kid is reasonably responsible and self-sufficient, that kind of schedule might work, but like the rest of us, you need to balance your obligations at home against the demands of the job.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Become city bus driver with very little class c experience , should I do it?

James, would you like to put your kids on a city bus going across town with Roda as the driver? I hold nothing against Roda. The lack of driving experience is an incredible liability for a position like this. Roda needs some experience on the road as a driver.

Roda says

this company will train you to become a good bus driver. If you don't pass training , they will not let you become bus driver.

If Roda's lack of experience driving a passenger vehicle is a problem, it should become apparent very quickly in training.

Personally, I believe I learned more about managing traffic safely by riding a bicycle in urban areas than I did behind the wheel.

And to answer your question, it never occurred to me to investigate the MTA's hiring standards before my kids started traveling by bus and subway. So I checked, and as far as I can see, there's a six- to eight-week training process, but no formal education or experience requirements. https://new.mta.info/careers/bus-operator

Posted:  4 months ago

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Become city bus driver with very little class c experience , should I do it?

the job ask, Must have been a licensed driver for at least three (3) continuous years

The rule of thumb is to answer truthfully, but don't volunteer information. If you've held a license for over three years, the answer is YES. They didn't ask how much you've driven in that time. The truck driver jobs I've seen often want to know how many miles you've driven with various equipment (53-foot van, doubles, etc.), so companies want to know, they'll ask This company chose not to, so you have no reason to provide that information.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Glad hand problem

Blue left, red right. It's crazy, but it works.

That works at the front of the trailer, but not when you're connecting your dolly lines to the back of your lead.

I use red-road. The red line is closer to the road, the blue is closer to the curb.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

How to gain experience when I have none

The only place I can think of that offer part time local work is FedEx ground contractors, but at bare minimum they require 6 months experience with an accredited school.

Same with the Amazon contractors around here. You can work as few as two or three days a week for them, but they (or more likely their insurance carrier) also require 12 months experience, or 6 plus an accredited school.

My question is why you're looking for part time work. Do you already have a job, and want to do driving as a side gig? That would be tough given Hours of Service regulations. Any work done for pay, even if it's not driving, counts as being on duty, so it's not like you can go directly from one job to another. They'd pretty much have to be on different days, so they're separated by 10 hours off-duty. Plus, gaining the skills and experience to be a safe, productive driver takes a while even when you're doing it 60+ hours a week. I question whether it's possible doing it just a few hours here and there.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Running Doubles

Hey Anne, take a closer look, when moving the dolly with a tractor, there is no need to attach the chains, electrical and airlines. They are all hung on the dolly. Just hook it and move it.

I always hooked one of the chains when moving a dolly. Maybe overcautious, but a loose dolly rolling across the yard might not have a happy ending.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Running Doubles

Not on ours. The dolly has 2 electrical lines at FedEx freight. One to connect to the lead and the other connects to the tail.

Good to know. Also that you call the rear trailer the tail, but for us it's the kite. BTW my better half thought it was hysterical that I was going to spend my nights playing with pups, dollies, and kites.

Posted:  5 months ago

View Topic:

Running Doubles

Is there ever a problem with excessive ice buildup on the lines between the two trailers, ie pulling these apart?

Just to be precise, there are two sets of airlines, one from the lead trailer to the dolly, and another from the dolly to the kite (what we call the rear trailer). There's a single electric line that goes from trailer to trailer, although you plug it into the dolly to activate its lights if there's no trailer behind it.

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