All-Star Comments

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Posted By:  Pacific Pearl

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Bored to tears.

One thing to remember - truck driving is a BIG TENT. Whether you just want a temporary vacation from truck driving or a permanent change of scenery you have options. There are plenty of jobs that would value your CDL and driving experience:

Airport Shuttle Bus Driver

I personally know a woman who makes $300-400 A DAY, not in wages (this job starts at $25/hr), but TIPS! Yeah, it's not a, "no touch" freight job, you do load the bags into the bus/van and unload them onto the curb, but it's not unloading 53' of half-ton pallets with a hand truck kind of thing.

Tour Bus Driver

There's not enough money to get me to be the ringmaster about the circus that is a modern Greyhound bus but tour buses are typically retirees and tourists from other countries. They tend to be well behaved and have higher than average incomes.

Incident Response Team Member

Not all CDL jobs are about hauling freight. There are plenty of government jobs with pensions, ridiculous benefits and lots of PAID downtime that require CDL's too.

Concert Tour Drivers

Whether you like the band, the pay or the groupies there of plenty of opportunities in entertainment hauling the performers and their gear. As a driver, you're part of the crew - put up in a hotel, catered food and great pay.

Posted By:  Turtle

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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New to forum; not as new to trucking

No matter how many experienced old timers you invent, it won't change the fact that common sense, and not experience, is all it takes to recognize the life-saving potential of monitoring a CB while you're driving down the road.

It may go unused 99% of the time, but that one time you need it can be the difference between life and death.

You don't need a seatbelt, until that one time you do.

You don't need a fire extinguisher, until that one time you do.

As a professional driver, it shouldn't be a matter of need.

Posted By:  Brett Aquila

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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My Awful experience with Schneider National as rookie.

Schneider hires on 100 new drivers a week knowing that the majority will quit, but its cheaper than giving good wages

Quick question here from a business owner. Why would I pay someone a high wage if they're brand new to trucking? I know they will not be productive for quite a while because they're just learning their trade. I know they're the riskiest drivers on the road, they're completely unproven, and there's a huge chance they'll quit soon, anyway.

Wouldn't it make more sense from a business standpoint to let the good ones prove themselves first and then pay them a good wage based on their level of productivity?

If I paid everyone good wages from day one, would I be able to afford consistent raises to keep my best drivers around, or would I lose many of them because I can't afford consistent raises?

I know in today's world they teach young people to expect rewards all the time just for breathing, but as a business owner, if you reward unproven and unproductive people, you'll take away any incentive they have to become more productive and you'll go broke in a month because you're overpaying their level of productivity.

You need productivity to survive, and brand new drivers can't produce at a high level. So in the beginning you earn less and work your way up the pay scale as you become more productive. I know that's probably a foreign concept to younger people, but they'll understand why it's so critical if they ever decide to run a business.

Posted By:  Brett Aquila

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Red classic

I don't mean to trash UPS because there's nothing wrong with them other than being a mega carrier

This thinking has been pervasive in the industry for decades. Large, successful carriers are no good even though they have:

  • beautiful equipment
  • a wide variety of opportunities
  • a huge support staff
  • nationwide services at the push of a button
  • tons of money behind them
  • contracts with the largest manufacturers in the country
  • nearly infinite amounts of freight
  • great pay and benefits

To many folks, the nation's most successful and elite carriers are no good. That always cracked me up. The small companies all want to be big companies, but they just haven't figured out how to operate at that level. So they struggle and bounce along the bottom, hoping to survive.

I think a lot of people struggled their entire lives with money and have developed an inherent mistrust and bitterness toward anyone who is highly successful. Anyone that has that much money must be terrible. They couldn't have earned it the old-fashioned way by outperforming their competition. They must have lied, cheated, and stolen to get it.

You see this even toward the very largest carriers. Way back in the day, Schneider and JB Hunt were the two biggies, and everyone detested them. Now it's Swift, and everyone detests them.

I spent the last 6 years of my OTR career with US Xpress, even though I could have had any job in the country. The mega carriers have the best of just about everything. I worked at my share of mom-n-pop companies over the years, which is how I discovered that the mega carriers are most often the best jobs you'll find out there.

Posted By:  NaeNaeInNC

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Consistent miles working Part-Time

Honestly, I'd be concerned about your safety habits as a PT driver, and picking up very important needed information that only comes from experience.

I may be still considered a newbie (5/6/21-NOW) but I know for a fact that I would not feel even close to minimally competent without the full time daily grind of OTR. Splitting your attention between two different endeavors is also seriously problematic.

Trucking is one of those industries that you just have to jump in, with both feet, no hesitation. Anything less will set yourself up for an unpleasant and failing experience. That's if you don't kill someone when you mess up too.

Posted By:  PJ

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Owner Operator Woes

I know how he feels!!!

I have seen too many to keep count that drive their equipment into the ground, and don’t put money back. They get good money and think they got it made, for that day.

These days will come at some point. I hate having to get work done on the road. My mechanic does a great job, and I have been very lucky to generally nurse it home. However I keep it up and fix little things before they become big things. At some point we all breakdown.

Posted By:  Greg M.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Red classic

This has to be one of the “truest”statements ever made on Trucking Truth.

If you are changing jobs to keep a MACK ... instead of a solid company & income.... you might want to rethink things!

~ Anne ~

Posted By:  Anne A. (and sometimes Tom)

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Red classic

Ok I am considering a new job. Nothing is official but I pulled into a truck stop a saw 4 red classic trucks 3 of them were Mack anthems! I already got told that I won't get my anthem back at UPS my new truck the Freightliner is a permanent truck. And I honestly prefer my anthem. Even when I was driving the anthem with UPS I never seen anyone else driving a anthem for UPS. UPS doesn't have a lot of anthems and I really want back into a anthem. So my question is do you guys/gals think it would be worth switching jobs over a truck? I honestly loves Mack so much that I really am considering it. Do anyone know anything about red classic?

If you are changing jobs to keep a MACK ... instead of a solid company & income.... you might want to rethink things!

~ Anne ~

Posted By:  George B.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

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Posted By:  G-Town

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Question to Roehl drivers/trainers

Davy wrote:

My biggest gripe with them isnt their data, its the interpretation of their data effecting my safety bonus, but thats just an idiosyncrasy of the company I work for in that even though the camera showed no vehicle or threat in view, my safety manager can not get the points removed so I still potentially loose money.

Knight-Swift has an appeal process your safety manager should be following. I can recall two instances where an event interpretation added points to my score. I contested both of them; terminal safety manager agreed (both very obvious), appealed up the food chain to Safety VP and the points were deducted before the bonus period closed.

Push a little harder Davy..but pick your battles wisely.

As far as the inward camera ideology? That goes both ways.

Your employer is entrusting you with a multi-million dollar liability risk, for the most part as a leap of faith because of limited experience. I’m in favor of outward and inward facing cameras because too many times I see so-called professional drivers conducting their business in an unsafe manner; texting, watching video, eating a bowl of cereal, feet propped up on dash… following too close, really dumb stuff. Maddening and disturbing.

Everyone around us can observe how we drive (like lane control and drifting issues, telltale sign of texting or drowsiness) and what we are doing behind the wheel (especially other truckers)…everyone that is, except our employers. How else can the unsafe drivers be held accountable unless there is documented evidence proving unsafe behavior? No other way… Besides don’t you want them to observe you conducting your business safely? Like I said, works both ways.

And the privacy concern? When parked, pull the curtain to cover the lens. Privacy secured. Simple. Besides when the ignition is off, at least with the camera technology I’m familiar with, the inward facing camera is disabled, only outward facing is enabled. Invasion of privacy is a rather weak argument when considering our every move in public is recorded.

If you do your job safely and adhere to your companies policies, you have nothing to worry about.

Posted By:  Davy A.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Question to Roehl drivers/trainers

I dont know, I see WE all over the west coast and midwest frequently. I have a front facing camera, non driver facing. My safety bonus is contingent upon it. I actually just got my own dashcam and installed it and will likely change it out to driver facing as well so I can dispute issues that come up frequently such as ghost triggers of the mitigation system and false threats from the forward looking radar. (I had 14 hard braking events due to shadows in 4 hours of driving the other night).

From an ideological standpoint, I find driver facing cams installed by the company invasive and repulsive, but thats and ideological viewpoint. I wouldnt choose to drive for a company that employed them based on that, but thats personal choice and ideology. Front facing cameras I can totally understand as long as there is no audio. My biggest gripe with them isnt their data, its the interpretation of their data effecting my safety bonus, but thats just an idiosyncrasy of the company I work for in that even though the camera showed no vehicle or threat in view, my safety manager can not get the points removed so I still potentially loose money.

The camera itself as was mentioned isnt a bad thing, it can and does clear the driver of many if not most events. I dont even know I have one most of the time to be honest, the lights on it were so bright and annoying at night that I put tape over them. I just drive as safe as possible anyway. if records it does, if it doesnt it doesnt.

Posted By:  Larry T.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Navigation for newbies (emphasis on parking lots)

6 weeks until my 1st year anniversary with Schneider on the DG account. I came out of the Schneider Academy in August of last year. It is my first Class A job. I was at Roehl's GYCDL program spring of 2021 but parted ways because I made no improvement with backing. Which makes me chuckle considering what I'm doing currently.

Take your time. GOAL. Take your time. GOAL! The morons who back into the building, light posts, dumpsters, cars, etc are drivers who are careless, don't take the time to GOAL or get effected by cars coming, beeping, drivers getting mad and they rush the back. You're the one with the HUGE tractor trailer, Most are terrified and will stop or get out of your way. The others you control by getting out to GOAL and taking your time slowly backing watching your surroundings like a hawk. First few weeks were rough, A lot of thoughts of who needs this crap, can't wait until 3 month's is up so I can transfer. Then by the end of month two I loved it.

I would venture it's the actual job of unloading is why people quit. You have to be a hard worker busting your butt to earn the wages I feel is deserved doing DG.

I had about a 6 week learning curve before I was making decent money. My first 12 month's I'm on pace for 90k. Year to date is 57k, so I'm looking at breaking 100k this calendar year. Not bad for a rookie Trucker? lol.

I just finished my 3rd week at CDL school. I currently have a conditional job offer from Schneider for a Dollar General dedicated account. I decided to do some more research on this job position and found that it's not exactly friendly to new drivers. I have 10 years in warehousing, so I can handle moving freight. I guess it's because of the parking lots you have to navigate? The only navigation training I've been given is reading an atlas to go from one major city to another. I want to get down to brass tacks here and learn how to navigate these parking lots, which apparently can be the most perilous part of a truck driver's journey.

I will give examples of stores in my area and it would be great if experienced drivers could give feedback on how they would navigate them and avoid getting into an accident.

1. 5155 E Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89156 -This is a Dollar General location. This store two entrances and this one seems one of the easiest to navigate in my area. I think the best way to get into unloading area (south of the store) would be to take a right from Meikle Ln going Westbound and alley dock. The unloading area is long enough so you wouldn't be blocking traffic. Exiting the unloading area looks very easy too.

2. 3325 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89115 -This is a Dollar General location. This store only has one entrance. When I looked at Google Street View, I saw two tractor-trailers in the parking lot near the unloading area pointing towards the street entrance. I'm guessing the drivers took a right from Las Vegas Blvd, turned left going along the South side of the store and alley docked along the West side. My question is how you avoid backing into traffic during that alley dock? Do you get the store manager to come out and help you?

3. 6371 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 -This is a Target in a very busy parking lot. I saw a tractor-trailer going southbound on Decatur Blvd today trying to get into the entrance directly South of El Pollo Loco. They blocked the right lane and waited to turn. It looks like you can pull forward through the parking lot and get turned around behind the store (North side).

4. 6455 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131 -This is a Best Buy in another very busy parking lot. I think the easiest way to get to the dock would be to go down Thom Blvd and take a left, but that way is blocked with a locked metal gate... Can the store manager open up something like that or would you have to go through the parking out? You would apparently have to pull into the dock area from the West side, because I don't see how you could turn around.

More examples of pain-in-the-*ss parking lots and how to safely navigate them would be much appreciated.

Posted By:  Stevo Reno

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Bumpy ride?

Think of this, more weight on the tandems than the drives, will make the kingpin/front of the trailer kinda ride slightly up higher, causing the bounce effect.....Because there's not enough weight load on the tractor. (if any this makes sense to ya) Why it's good to get the balance of drives/tandems, as close to equal as ya possibly can....

Posted By:  IDMtnGal

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Fuel pump failure

Anyone think that the new CEO will be an improvement?!?!? I mean, she IS female and all ... ya know! Bigger, better ideas? Thinking outside the box?!? There IS Kearsey & Laura... ya know. Groundbreakers in their own ways!

~ Anne & Tom ~

The only way she should have gotten that position, is if she is qualified for it. NO woman should get a position or jobs based on the fact that they are female.

My brainpan is not geared to think outside of the box. I learn by doing or example and I stick with that, that's what is safe for me to do.

Laura

Posted By:  Drew D.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Need advice on manual vs automatic

You will here alot of grumbling on this topic.

I got my CDL in a 10 speed. I trained with my company on a 13 speed. I am now solo in an automatic.

I am grateful and happy I learned how to float gears well. That said, unless I have no choice, I will stick to an automatic. At least for now and for reasons you described. I am still learning how to track and manipulate my trailer safely. I would rather the whole of my focus go toward that.

Although I will say, backing in a standard transmission is nicer than an auto in my opinion.

Posted By:  Rob T.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Question to Roehl drivers/trainers

My company has started installing forward facing cameras (no audio) in trucks that the primary driver has volunteered to have put in. I don't yet have an assigned truck so somedays I have a camera some days I don't. It doesn't bother me either way.

The way our cameras work is a little different than most carriers. Most carriers everything is always recorded but it records on a 10 second loop overwriting previous data. The only time it's actually saved is when there's a critical event (hard brake, taking a corner too fast, etc). My company has one that will register the hard event and they can go back at review video. They also have the ability to watch your camera in real time. In our drivers meetings we're often showed videos that drivers were able to avoid accidents because they anticipated the hazard or maintained their lane rather than swerving for deer. They're used for training purposes and it's also cleared multiple drivers of any wrong doing including head on collisions. It eliminates the he said she said factor and there's no disputing what actually transpired. Management and your DM have far more important things to do even if they didn't there's so many drivers the likelihood of being randomly selected is low. I get it, many people hate being watched and that's your choice. It's also your employers choice to record to protect their assests. With the amount of people driving around with mounted dashcams or their cellphones in hand you're likely going to be caught on camera if you do something stupid anyways.

With the constant increases in insurance premiums due to outrageous lawsuits cameras aren't going anywhere. Just 2 years ago I was talking to a manager and he told me we'd never have cameras in trucks because so many drivers are opposed to it. Currently we're technically in a "trial" period with them but they praise them every chance they get. I think it was already decided they're putting them in all company vehicles (even regular cars) they're just trying to make sure they're satisfied with the brand before sinking more money into it. Oh yeah, all I've heard from a majority of drivers is they'll quit if the company even considers cameras. Same exact crap I heard when they retired our last manuals. Guess what, all those people are still employed driving their autos that I'm guessing will have a camera in the next year.

Posted By:  Rob T.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Disqualification help?

Have you requested the police report? In regards to being labeled fatal that could be a mistake when it got entered in and the police report would clear that up. Typically to be charged with hit and run you'd have done something that shows you know you hit the vehicle and made the decision to take off rather than owning up to it.

For future reference fight every ticket. As long as you're at court on the date on your citation its not considered late. Have you tried reaching out to your DMV to see what needs to be done to get reinstated? You best be aware of what's going on around you. First hit and run in a CMV is a minimum 1 year disqualification, Second results in a lifetime ban.

Posted By:  Gaz

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Special needs dad going into trucking

Thanks Graybeard. It appears that formal references are the key. I’m glad you were able to get your license as well as take care of your daughter. Kudos to you. Being a special needs parent isn’t easy but it’s made everything else in my life easy work in comparison. Best of luck to you.

Welcome to TT:

Wow, you sound like me a few years ago. I came from a similar situation. I have a teen ASD daughter. I, Also, was the primary caregiver for 10 years. Before that, I was in Accounts Payable for a North American Distributor of Postal Equipment and Software support Company.

Anne is right about what worked in my situation. I applied at Swift Transportation and was accepted in their training program. I had letters from my daughter's support teachers, Girl Scout Troop leader, and volunteer work.

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend Swift's academy because COVID. This is when schools were on and off about in person and online learning. I did get my CDL B last year and have been driving Buses. Though, I plan go after my A in 2023.

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Anne: Thank you for the links. I will certainly read through them this weekend. Yes, I’ve got plenty of doctors, therapists, and educators that could provide references for me. Plus, community members and personal references. I will look into getting them gathered and notarized. I have never claimed any type of SSDI benefit for my son as yet though.

Bob: Thanks, I’ll get to work gathering references.

Laura: Thanks for the detailed reply and I’m sorry for your loss. You made me feel a lot better about getting over this barrier coming from someone that has faced this themself. Appreciate it.

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Posted By:  Old School

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Need advice on manual vs automatic

I think you guys are a little too hard on JJ.

Rookie drivers think a lot of things that the old hands realize aren't necessarily rational. As newbies we are easily distracted by the details. We want to get everything right, but there seems like so many things going on at once. We're thinking about RPMs, road speed, proper rhythm and timing for the shift. It's overwhelming for some. The old hands can hear the way the engine sounds and shift easily without much thought. It's basically muscle memory for them. For new drivers it's stressful trying to put all those things together without being distracted from the myriad other things they are processing.

I don't think it's necessarily rational for a newbie to think he can go backwards better with one type transmission or the other. As PackRat says the geometry is the same. But... there is that clutch which is a distraction. It shouldn't be, but it still is. I've watched newbies wear out their knee when backing. Why? I don't know why they keep wanting to feather the clutch. Engage it and go - that's the way it should be done. For most new folks it's another distraction leading to additional stress.

As far as removing the restriction goes, there will be very few drivers who ever need it removed. Even Old Dominion has started ordering auto shift trucks now. The few who need to get it removed will certainly be able to get it done. It may be a little easier in some states, but each state will have a process to get it done. There will be schools and employers willing to take people through the process. Employers will do it because they need drivers, and schools will do it as a source of revenue.

Posted By:  G-Town

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Navigation for newbies (emphasis on parking lots)

Having backed a semi well over 10,000 times, I’d highly recommend NOT entering this type of account as a rookie. Commingling with 4-wheelers in tight parking lots is a precarious undertaking for experienced drivers, let alone rookies. Although there are exceptions (PapaPig), it just compounds an already difficult learning curve. Give yourself a fighting chance… many other opportunities that are more suitable for entry level drivers.

Good luck!

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