Profile For Mark C.

Mark C.'s Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark C.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Bad experience or am I the problem?

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did 732 miles in 10 hrs 40 mins

Laura

Does your truck have a governor?

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Andrey,

Yes I do...75 mph on the pedal. If this was my truck (as an OO), I'd still drive this fast...I've always driven fast in good weather. Plus, the wide open spaces out west allow for higher speeds.

Laura

Jealous. I'm governed at 64, 62 on the pedal. Still managed 681 miles on my best day, but had 7 minutes left on my clock. should have been 14 but lost 7 with construction and the weigh station. Blessed with an 8 hr bladder.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

OS, I never learned as much as a student as I have as a teacher.

Like you, I often feel compelled to share...

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Thanks OS for the reply. I hold no grudge and I've come to learn it's just your writing style. I confess a kneejerk feeling when a reply casts me as someone who failed to consider answers for myself.

"The answer is more complicated than you realize."

Could perhaps be better written

"The answer is more complicated than many realize."

It's said we don't remember words or events apart from the feelings they evoke. I reckon it would be better if your worthy advice were remembered as uplifting. I truly believe you intend it that way.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Bad experience or am I the problem?

What is your question again? I lost track after reading that novel.

Like school on Christmas...

Is couth not a requirement for moderator?

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Most were grossing, maybe, an extra $200/month.

Thanks for that, and yes, there are challenges when going from business owner to employee.

I'm at PAM, there's a $5k (per driver) sign on bonus that equates to $400/month by itself. PAM isn't very competitive for solo drivers, they are pushing the biggest incentives towards teaming.

I'm afraid I'll expand into every corner of the cab if I don't get my teammate soon, then I'll have no room for him.embarrassed.gif

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

You yourself felt "stranded" and stuck at a company drop yard with no accommodations.

Perhaps I was unclear. I was stranded. I was given a truck and keys, my mentor left, I was then told that something was missing and I couldn't be assigned to the truck until Monday. I had not a single coin in my pockets. I had a truck to sleep in, but couldn't drive it to the store as it was unassigned.

I don't hold grudges, but this is a formative experience as it pertains to expectations. I am a positive person, and I'm positive that the only person who is concerned about my career, in this company and probably industry, is me. That's not unique to trucking.

As for being productive, my first 6 day stretch was 3407 miles. My best day since was 681 miles. I've been on time or early on every load. I ran in the top 20% for fuel economy and never deviated from the fuel solutions. I'll do my part.

OS, most of what you say is applicable to any industry. I've taught the same class you're giving in times past. It's valuable to say, I just wish you'd say it without presuming I'm completely ignorant. I know there's a broader audience, so don't stop teaching it.... just sayin'

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Yes, it is really difficult to get someone on the phone, especially on the weekends. They can communicate more effectively and quickly through emails.

I was asked to take a load 20 miles down the road since I was going to reset at the yard. I had a few hours left so I was glad to help. There was some missing information in the ticket and I needed to speak with someone to get the correct information, I had 3 hours on my 14 when this started, I had only two when I got answers. In the end, I hit the yard with a single minute on my clock. That hour mattered and the email produced no answers quickly.

Perhaps I was expecting too much, perhaps I shouldn't have agreed to be helpful, or perhaps this is all just normal. Again, understanding what's normal helps me decide these things. I can't imagine getting an HOS violation in my first month is good for my reputation, but I could be wrong there too.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

So it's normal... ok. Thanks for the replies.

You can show me all the math you like. You can never convince me that the money is better to be part of a team.

OS, I'm hoping that's true once my rookie year is up. Until then it's a 40% increase for me. Also, I'm told teams are dispatched on longer runs which equates to more miles as well. Once I've paid these rookie dues I'll be looking for a better balance of home time and income, probably dedicated or local.

I'm not inclined to trust others to value my interests. When I got my MBA I was taught the 'proper' way to think about labor, it's really dehumanizing. Knowing the industry norms will help me know when to push for myself and when to let things slide. Like I said, just managing expectations.

And yes, I really can understand how complicated it is. I also know there are people like the girl in the guard shack the other day who let me sit there with her feet up playing on her phone, until I left my cab and knocked on her window. There are times when it helps everyone to give a push.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Serious question on OTR trainers ....

Even not so great trainers can be good people.... My trainer was a good guy, I still call him, though mostly to ask him questions he didn't answer while training, but we text often enough.

My training was only two weeks, that made it easier too. I think he had one shower in those two weeks, did all the 'paperwork' himself, gave a play-by-play every time I backed, and got grumpy if I disagreed with him. But he was a very good driver and I respected that. I understood him and earned his respect in return. I didn't run and complain that he smelled bad or talked too much. And no matter what he said, I didn't hit every bump on I-10.

I would train very differently than I was trained, but there are far more disgruntled (and bad) students out there than there are bad trainers. A good student will learn from even a poor trainer.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

So I've completed my entire two weeks of training, and have been cruising Texas to the Carolinas for a few weeks. I signed on to be a team driver, but driving solo until they find a teammate from my area. I've benefitted from my solo time, learning that it's not a good idea to try parking after 6pm, and never drive until 10pm unless you want to stop on an on-ramp. I've learned that 14 hr clock stops for nothing. I finally get to back up without a play-by-play, and that ally-dock is different with a 53'. If the money were as good, I'd stay solo.

Where I'm struggling is with a lack of communication, particularly with the weekend crew. I "upgraded" on a friday afternoon. That meant I was left stranded at a drop yard for the entire weekend with only the vending machines in the driver's lounge (and no cash). If I hadn't had my own resources (a cab to Walmart) it would have been a very unpleasant (and hungry) weekend. Not much for first impressions.

I have moved on, it's just a backdrop.

Last week another driver from near my home upgraded looking to drive team. We were introduced and we've agreed to work together. It seems no two planners/DM's know what the others are doing. My planner sent me from Laredo to Dallas (to t-call my load to TN) to wait for him, his planner sent him (from TN on his 34) to AZ. Of course it seemed to us that had I simply taken my load directly to TN I could have reached him as his 34 ended, but what do we know?

It's impossible to see the big picture from the driver's seat. I want to trust the planners to be doing their best by both the company and the drivers, but it's getting tough as I'm far outside the loop, and the loop looks disorganized from out here.

My question comes down to no communication. Is that normal? It has taken up to 45 minutes to even get someone to pick up the phone to put me on hold, particularly on the weekend. Is it usually this hard to speak with someone? With the huge push for teams, is it normal to make connecting a team such a feat? Maybe it is normal, but when no connection is made, and no explanation is given, I'm left to question the commitment to me as a driver. I don't expect love notes and flowers, but being let in on the plan, and keeping to the plan, would be nice.

Again, not asking for a solution. Just want to know if this is industry standard.

For those who can't abide posts that are critical of employers, please don't reply. I'm just trying to manage my expectations; much easier to stay positive that way.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

CB Antenna for a Peterbuilt with plastic mirrors

What attaches the mirror to the truck?

thick plastic mounts. Had similar on my Silverado.

Looks like I'll have to use the factory mount on the back of the cab, was thinking I'd rather not take off the factory antenna but I reckon it will store under the bunk.

I've been looking into tuning a CB. should be home tomorrow so I'll get to fiddle with it.

thanks.

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

CB Antenna for a Peterbuilt with plastic mirrors

So I upgraded on Friday, or started upgrading to first seat on Friday anyway. Someone forgot to finish the job giving me an entire weekend in the yard to scrub down the inside of the truck, take a cab to walmart for a tv and microwave and food, and shop for what I want on the truck at Amazon.

Among the list of things I ordered is a CB radio. The 2019 Peterbuilt I was assigned has a factory antenna, but I'm told it only has about a one mile range. I haven't spoken on a CB since I was a kid and Smokey & the Bandit was cool, but I'm thinking a better antenna would be nice to pull in info from further out. Not sure where I'd mount it though.

Most after market antenna I've found mount to the mirror brackets. That's fine if you have the tube steel type, but I've got the big plastic bracket like I had on my old Silverado. I can't find a bracket made for these, possibly cuz i'm using the wrong search terms. Or perhaps theres a better place to mount one. I'm not thinking zip ties and duct tape is a company authorized modification to the truck.

Anyone seen a solution to this?

Posted:  2 months ago

View Topic:

What is a Good, Safe Universal Speed

I reckon it's 64 on cruise and 62 with your foot....

OK, I'm just goofing a little on my company's trucks being governed at 64 AND 62 depending on whether you're using cruise control. I just finished my mentor phase and since his truck was "D" rated for something or other, I got excited if I could pass another truck going uphill. Usually meant we had an empty. It took 3 days before passing my first truck. Passed by hundreds.

I did find myself asking the same question while driving through NM with wind gusts pushing me all over the road. I was never so glad to have 40k lbs in the back. I found myself watching how the wind was affecting the trucks that passed me by (they weren't concerned at all) and realized that even though it felt at times I was 20deg off vertical, I'd be ok. wind was a steady 29 mph. I slowed enough to ensure I was comfortable with my reaction times keeping my lane.

I have to agree that there is no universal safe speed, but knowing what the truck can do helps you/me define that comfort zone. Each load gives me a different feel on the brakes and I-10 going into TX (westbound) makes me want to crawl. So even the condition of the road matters to me.

I know it's nothing new, but I thought I'd let you know you're not the only one asking yourself how fast you should go.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

COVID May Be Forcing Me Into A Trucking Career

Yes, necessity drove me to this industry. I recently graduated and while there I met many who's businesses or industry were shut down. Even a helicopter pilot from the tourist sector. People in their 50's and 60's for whom a new career wasn't on the horizon just a year ago. 2020 brought lot of things I didn't think I'd see.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

but I truly would have liked to known qaulcom trip planning and time management a lot more

This is interesting, when I think of sponsored or self-pay school, i'm only thinking of the school to get the CDL. You're still stuck with zero experience so you're bound for a big starter company, which all have their training programs. Even if I took the private route and went to work with PAM, I'd have to complete their training program with a mentor. I assume the same with Prime, Swift, Werner, etc. I've got a cdl, but have never hooked or unhooked a trailer. I had an hour class on keeping logs and zero instruction on elogs. I'm getting all that from my mentor in the true "paid" part of training, where I'm paid to be there.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

You noticed i said USUALLY.

yes I did.

Argue all you want

Ok, but we're not really arguing since I agreed with you in principle.

Anecdotal evidence is the least reliable, so I'm not trying to say you're wrong.

MY evidence is also anecdotal. You've nothing to prove to me. There is no tone font so if you think I'm being crass, it's not my intent. If driving or medical history is the main reason people don't get jobs after school, then maybe focus on that instead of who paid for the school.

I went to, what I would call, a bad school. It was company sponsored. It was bad based on simple academic standards not my personal test result.(yes, I did have a state teaching certificate and feel qualified to make that statement) It's also one of many schools contracted by driver's solutions so it can't be assumed to be the rule. I'm really having a hard time with the idea that paid training is universally superior to self-pay. While not worthless, your experiences on this forum are not statistically significant enough to make claims for the industry, for that claim I rely on my statistics classes. its complicated.

In the end, we have always agreed that the individual circumstances dictate which is the best route. Personally, I'd say focus on helping define criteria for making that decision over steering generically towards one or the other. And if we disagree, don't take it personally. I ain't mad.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

rofl-3.gif Old School, is it bad that I was thinking you too could do some editing too??

My on again/off again freelance work was in web development. Usually mods have some admin tools to move things around, this site looks custom coded with an old grid style css, but I can only see the html.

And I'm prone to a meandering conversation.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

Old School, I think this is a really good topic that's evolved into more than trucking school, and I've plenty to say, but I'm as opinionated as you and no less prone to defending my my words, and I can match your wordcount ;) As much fun as it would be, I don't want to fill this thread with such a back and forth. The proper thing to do would be to move our entire exchange to its own thread, or delete it and let sleeping dogs lie. The one thing this forum lacks is the ability for creators to edit their content, making poor grammar and misunderstandings stand for all time.

Godspeed

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

Company paid usually helps more than local schools who could charge you additional fees to retest after failing or for extra practice.

Drivers Solutions requires retest fees be paid by the student. Six students, two who were among the best, failed their tests. Those who retested paid the fee.

Anecdotal evidence is the least reliable, so I'm not trying to say you're wrong. What I am saying is the "woulda/coulda's" can apply to either path. The best advice I've seen on this thread is pick the job first, then the best way to achieve it, be that paid or private. Then never quit going forward.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Going to Private School Instead

Old School, I believe you that you want the best for people just starting out. I think your experience gives color to the phrase I used which I don't perceive the same. I expect there will be folks who read it the way you did, and other how I would. It's my opinion that no one should make that decision based solely on a single forum post anyway, and I think I've said as much.

We will continue to disagree on the value of a self-paid cdl class and the meaning of free agent, but I don't have a problem with that. Anyone thinking of trucking should weigh the pro's and con's of each according to their own needs, not what we think anyway. Hiding one perspective does no one any good, but by all means make your strongest argument for what you hold true. I'll do the same, likely we'll agree far more often than not.

Very few things in life are one size fits all. I've got a wardrobe to prove it since age and chocolate have taken their toll. The best value you, or I, can offer future readers is the full range of perspective. Never presuming our own experience will be that of another, even under similar circumstances. As they say, past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

So I wish you well and hope you get to know me, we share the same passion for helping others. Sometimes that means backing up and letting them choose. Tough love is great, but "tough" is just the adjective, the real power is in the love.

Safe travels,

Mark

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