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Posted By:  RealDiehl

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

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May need help moving on from Roehl

Just so we're clear I should have no problem with them telling me to go to Appleton to pick up my newly truck assigned truck and when I get there there is no truck?

Just so we're clear I should have no problem with them telling me, after I've gone to Appleton, to go to Marshfield to pick up my newly truck assigned truck and when I get there there is no truck?

I'm not demanding a brand new truck, I do have an expectation that if information is conveyed to me that it be accurate. Apparently it is no big deal that I have bills to pay and other obligations in life that I have to put on hold. It appears that venting my frustration and looking for answers equates to me being entitled.

You are human. You are jumping into a profession that is totally new to you. You are filled with uncertainty and may have certain expectations about the way things are supposed to work.

No...emphatically no. Being frustrated and annoyed that things aren't going smoothly does not mean you are acting entitled. That word is thrown around too often IMO. You have every right to be frustrated. It's the same reaction anyone would have when plans get messed up. It's human nature.

Your challenge now is to manage the frustration, roll with the punches, and do your best to work through any unforseen setbacks that may occur as you begin your career as a driver.

If/when you're faced with another bad situation or setback, and you're not sure how to handle it, post a question on the forum and ask for advice on the best course of action.

But first try to communicate with your fleet manager to clear things up. Good communication skills are essential to becoming a successful driver.

Posted By:  N P.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

CB radio

My advice to folks who are new to CB's is if you're going to invest in one, invest in it. I'd have it P&T right from the start so you're optimized from day one. On the road a cb will never stop giving back, so imo its always money well spent. You don't need the best of the best but one should at least get a moderately decent radio set-up. Also, put some thought and research into your antenna placement and how the wire is ran. It is very relevant to your range and how much interference you will deal with. Once you have a radio set up and working, the next thing I would invest in is an external speaker, and a decent mic (and for the love of god no roger beeps!). Another accessory you will find value in is a decent mic keeper, a retractable one.

When you use a radio for the first time or after making changes it is always good practice to do a radio check...You can just say something like: "Can I get a radio check".. "I just replaced 'x', can someone give me a radio check".. etc.. Then you can ask what their "20" is (20 means location) to get an idea of your range as well as ask for feedback on how you sound to them. Likewise, any time you hear someone else asking for a radio check it is common courtesy to relay back to them that you do hear them, as well as if you notice any distortion or audio issues.

Always be respectful and be mindful of how you're conversating and don't talk to people any way different than you would face-face. We all have our differences, but when it comes down to it we're all in this together and we're all experiencing many of the same problems, stresses, and idiots out here. A lot of folks tend to grow an auxiliary set of balls thinking they're big and bad behind their mic.. they eventually learn the hard way they're not.

Another good rule of thumb.. nobody wants to hear "Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-lam)" distortedly coming through their cb's speaker while they're listening for traffic hazards. Keep your music off the CB, including any background music when you're broadcasting.

A cb is great for getting intel on hazards with time enough to plan for them but CB's don't identify and broadcast these traffic hazards themselves. Try to give back the best you can and identify hazards with their location any time you are able. It's also courteous to thank individuals who relay you information.

Ryan, I hope you don’t mind, but I want to piggyback on your CB topic. I plan on getting a CB soon, but have never used one before.

I’d like to see comments about current CB etiquette for new users. A tutorial would help us new users.

Posted By:  Truckin Along With Kearsey

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Which company to go with for not as experienced driver

One issue most new drivers face is time management. Smaller companies have problems dealing with this because they do not have the spare trailers or additional drivers to relay a load of you are running behind or have mechanical issues. Smaller companies often want more experienced drivers who can deal with time management and weather conditions better

Posted By:  Truckin Along With Kearsey

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

No CFI reviews?

Hey X100.... When you do your job, you get noticed. When you stay at one company for awhile, you get noticed. One thing that makes me laugh is when a driver ridicules me for working for a mega but then tells me he changes companies every 6 months. In 7 years I have not wanted to seriously leave. I contemplated it twice. But after weighing my options made no sense. If that driver was so smart, then why is he not happy where he is?

As with G Town, I have a team in dispatch, road assist, payroll, logs and night/weekend dispatch. They are the same people all the time. My brother laughed recently and said "yep. You are a #... Your number is 10/4 cause that is all dispatch says when you want something."

I know what pistachios and soda my fleet manager consumes, what favorite candies the weekend guys like, one of our techs collects VW bug miniatures. If you take the time to get to know people, they will know you. The owner of my mega hugs and kisses me every time he sees me. He ordered his staff to find me a position that would be flexible when my mother was ill. He approached me in person to thank me for my plight to help women drivers.

My mega is not a trap for me. It got me out of the trap of working as a federal employee. Yay me! 😂

And thanks for complementing my article. You should read my others. I try to hit most of the topics newbies consider.

Posted By:  Rob T.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Which company to go with for not as experienced driver

Did you move the truck while over your hours? Did you PC to the shipper? Did you run without being logged in? Did you accept the ELD edits? Well I'd say you allowed that behavior. I refuse to run over my hours especially if my company was telling me to do it. Why have you chosen to go with smaller companies? Mega carriers get alot of unnecessary flak online but I guarantee whoever was telling you to break the law wouldn't be employed anymore at a mega carrier.

Posted By:  Moe

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

When am I in the clear?

100 percent 💯 grats 🎊 🎉! Follow the advice given you here and you will do well.

On a side note, now that you are accepted, please know you dodged a real bullet with that edible, if even a trace amount had come up in testing that would have been a career killer. Once you get your CDL you will be held to a higher standard and subjected to random testing (both federal and company), don’t let a moment of weakness destroy your chances at a lucrative opportunity.

Personally I would re-evaluate my relationships and limit contact with those who could cause me to get into trouble or use or perhaps seek counseling.

I am not trying to over react , talk down to you or judge, but now especially - you can’t give into temptation- seriously!

Good luck and keep us posted

Moe

Posted By:  Pete B.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Bunk heaters with Schneider Trucks?

Hi Brayson, hope you’re enjoying your time with Schneider. Yes, your bunk heater should work; in fact, now is a good time to run it and make sure that it does work, before cold weather hits. Even in the desert, where it sounds like you spend a good deal of your time, the overnight temps can get a bit chilly. Test it now, don’t wait until it turns cold like everyone else does, when the shops become overwhelmed with broken bunk heaters. Your APU will not blow warm air, that is the function of the bunk heater. And no, Schneider does not disable them. The control panel is very, very small. It should consist of a power button in the middle, with a blue button on its left and a red button to its right. When you press the power button in the middle, the little screen should come on. Ask an experienced driver or shop tech, whichever is more convenient, next chance you get, to walk you through this. The shop techs are *usually* super helpful (just kill them with kindness… or Snickers bars).

*As an aside, Thermo King does manufacture APU’s that do control/put out heat, that is why you see the heat setting on your APU controls, but Schneider does not install those particular APUs in their trucks… they are significantly more expensive, and APUs are already stupidly overpriced.

Posted By:  Old School

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Any true OTR companies??

This is such an interesting conversation to me. I want to share a slightly different perspective. My perspective is based on my own initiation into the OTR lifestyle and career. I started my career at Western Express. The very name of the company indicates it might not be a "true OTR company" as the OP calls this unicorn he's searching for. You really don't need a true OTR company. What you need is to be a true OTR driver.

Let me explain...

As rookies we all have issues that typically do not get resolved to our satisfaction. Look at BK's responses and you'll see a guy who is disgruntled with his first trucking job. His solution is to switch companies. He goes for the usual misguided thinking that says a smaller company with a family atmosphere will be the solution. Nathan is kind of barking up the same tree. He is disgruntled with his current employer and he is convinced he needs to switch companies. I never thought that was a good way to approach this career when I was a rookie. I always questioned everything I was doing and experiencing and tried to find a solution where I could have influence on my situation.

Look at what Nathan complains about...

Not breaking 2,000 miles a week, sitting for hours waiting to be dispatched (4-7 regularly)

Those are legitimate and frustrating things to be experiencing in a trucking job. My question is, "Why do we blame it on our employer?" Do you actually believe they are happy with you only running 2,000 miles a week? I think not.

Every time I encountered issues like this I would ask myself, "Is there something I can do to rectify this situation?" I usually found ample opportunities for me to improve my situation. When I was not getting dispatched quickly I decided it must be because they had no idea when I was going to be available. I resolved to never leave a shipper's location until I had sent in an ETA (estimated time of arrival) and a PTA (projected time of availability) to my dispatcher via the macros the company prefers us to communicate with. Guess what happened? I started being pre-planned on loads in just a few short weeks. They saw that I was accurate with my information and they started acting on it regularly.

Accurate information is vital to the logistics business. If you can't give them accurate estimates you will not be getting dispatched quickly and efficiently. If you are accurate, they will know how to keep you moving.

No driver wants to live on 2,000 miles a week paychecks. No trucking company wants drivers who are only running 2,000 miles per week. My first experience with realizing my miles were low made me look at my time management practices. I discovered I was burning up my 70 hours but not turning enough miles. That meant the problem wasn't my dispatcher or my company. I decided to get a grip on things and learned to be efficient with my time. I always looked to myself for the solution.

One of the biggest problems in our industry is driver churn. Why is that? Drivers always play the blame game and then move on. Nathan claims his company is only a shell of what it used to be. That's funny because the company has grown exponentially in the last few years. Big Scott is doing great there, and so are a host of other drivers.

We've got to learn how to deal with our issues as drivers. We've got to learn how to improve our situation right where we are. I have switched companies one time in my career. I did it reluctantly because I knew I had a good thing where I was. I made the decision based on the fact that I saw some real potential in the opportunity that was being offered me.

My point in this rambling is that we fool ourselves so many times in this career because it is super easy to make a few phone calls and have a new job. That does not mean progress. It just means a new set of circumstances which in most cases will prove to be unsatisfactory to us in a matter of months. How can I predict that? It's easy. Look at the great numbers of people who are constantly switching trucking jobs. They are never satisfied.

I think if you are a true OTR driver you will figure out how to make this career work where you are. You will learn to communicate effectively with your team in the office and you will prove your mettle so that they can depend on you to do what you say you will. Our dispatchers remember us by the last mistake we made. That is how it works. When you screw something up, they pay for it. They don't forget that very easily.

To get the best runs and all the miles you can handle you have to be super legitimate. You have to be like a star player on an athletic team. You have to be able to accept the pressure that says we are going to give the ball to him/her because we know they will score. If you can't play the game like that then you have to settle for being less involved. Don't settle for less. Explore your capabilities and stretch your comfort zone. You guys can do better in this career right where you are. You don't have to find a better company. You just have to be a better player.

Posted By:  NaeNaeInNC

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Backing Tips

I have a mental list of every truckstop that I ever cried in frustration over, that made me question my sanity, question my ability, and question my future. Every time I run across one, I either choose the exact spot that I struggled with (Wytheville VA, TA, Lower lot, first angled sight side) and prove to myself that I can do it. Usually, it sails right in, and I prove to myself that I just needed practice.

We get caught up as humans, in "perfect" when sometimes, all that matters is "good enough."

A successful back-up to me, means that I got it where I needed it, and I didn't tear up any trucks or property. That's it. It doesn't matter how many pull ups and GOALS I needed. It's in the hole, and unscathed.

One of my old school buddies (former Swift Mentor) gave me some sage wisdom.

"Some days, you can back it up a gnats @ss. Other days, you won't be able to get straight in an empty parking lot with double wide spots. Relax."

Posted By:  G-Town

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Backing Tips

Practice, practice and more practice. It’s the best teacher by far! Although our friend Moe backs only when necessary, if you really want to improve, don’t miss an opportunity for additional reps.

About the 6-9 month point of experience, things will get easier and smoother. In the meantime, take your time, GOAL before you commit to a setup and avoid the temptation to over-steer when making adjustments (smaller is better).

I’m of the Turtle School of thought when it comes to backing… all feel. But keep in mind… repetitions, hundreds of them is what it takes to get to that point.

Good luck.

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