Getting Into My Own Company Truck Soon. Equipment Questions.

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Retnaburn's Comment
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First, let me say thank you to everyone for the help over the past several months. I haven't posted before now, but I've been reading, and you guys have helped me get through some frustrating times during my training at Prime.

My questions are about things I plan to purchase before I get my truck so they can be shipped home and waiting for me. I've been researching this for a few hours but can't find complete information, so sorry if it's out there already I just couldn't find it. After reading here, I'm almost sure I'll be going lightweight but I just never know what's going to happen with Prime so I'm trying to get info for regular size too.

First, memory foam mattress. As far as I can tell I should be looking for a twin xl. Do the bed dimensions change depending on the truck and if I get a lightweight or not? Does the thickness matter? Would hate to get a 12 inch depth for comfort and ruin it because it's overflowing out of the bunk or something.

Next, fridge. What size should I be looking for? Will I even be able to fit one in a lightweight without taking out the passenger seat? Do I need to worry about watts and does that change depending on the truck size?

GPS. Is there an obvious best choice? My trainer didn't even use GPS at first, which in this day and age surprised the hell out of me. I kind of influenced her to get one, and it seems ok, though she still doesn't trust it and I don't blame her because once we get off the freeway it's pretty sketchy. It's a garmin.

Lastly, internet. I'm a huge tech guy. Cell phone internet isn't really cutting it. Is there any way to get unlimited internet without the constant dead zones and with decent speed?

Thanks in advance for the help with this. I'm very excited to get to it solo and have my own space. I'm an introvert, and being in a box with someone 24/7 has been draining. Not to sound like a super trucker but I'm ready to work my ass off, I just hope they let me.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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To address some of your issues. Prime does not force you into lightweight. So, if you want full sized, just ask. A GPS should be the least of your worries. Road Atlas, Quailcom directions and Google maps can get you anywhere. People actually traveld the world by air, sea and land before anyone thought of gps. You can do it to. Blindly following a GPS can get you into serious trouble. As far as internet/cell coverage, there currently is not 100% coverage of the USA. I'm sure there are satellite options. Verison has the most coverage. Many items for you truck can be gotten "free" from truck stops. Get the rewards cards and use them every time you fuel. Points will build quickly and you can get free stuff with the points. Fridges are limited by max wattage or amperage your truck can handle. It is possible that your truck could have one. Don't be in a rush to get everything at one time. You will be able to get home about once per month. Good luck. Stay safe.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Retnaburn's Comment
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I know I won't be forced into one but I read that you get offered what is available and if you want something else you're sitting and I can't afford to sit. I also read that it's more profitable to be in a LW so that's what I'm planning for currently.

I realize that I can get around without a GPS and am proficient with maps but it's convienient, and just one of those things I consider a must have. I know not to blindly follow it, I did mention I was tech savy, right? lol I wasn't aware that the Qualcomm had one though, my trainers is like 10 years old so it's lacking some features I'm sure.

I've found AT&T to have better coverage than Verizon. I've had both since starting for a side by side comparison. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a way to link both connections into one for speed and stability but I'm still searching. I was hoping someone might have a miracle answer for that one for me because I'm pretty much addicted to the internet and had hoped to stream to Twitch in my downtime, but the stupid throttling is in my way.

I only plan on stopping home once to pick up the supplies I'm ordering and then back on the road nonstop for the next year. Debt is drowning me and I'm looking forward to getting it taken care of asap.

Thanks for the response bud. Good luck to you too.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
LDRSHIP's Comment
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As I have stated before (you may of missed it). The best 2 options right now for unlimited data (no throttling) are Verizon and Cricket (AT&T owns it). Verizon is a little more expensive, but you get tethering. Cricket turns off Mobile hot spot with the unlimited plan.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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As for mattress size... The dimensions are different from truck to truck. I have a twin xl 17 or maybe 18 inch in the Cascadia combo. Fits perfectly. Miss Myoshi ordered one for her International LW and it didn't fit. I think she then had to special order it online from a truckers mattress shop. When you get assigned the truck you can call the detail shop and ask for the dimensions.

As for waiting for a truck. Yeah they tell you that if you refuse a truck you have to pay your hotel until yours comes in. My first condo was overnight and i didn't pay. My second condo was also overnight and I didn't pay. The LW are .05 per mile more. But I recommend you go look inside the ones on the lot behind the detail shop. There is no room for a fridge if you don't take out the sit...that is why people do it. Many people don't think the lack of living space is worth it. Although Miss Myoshi's is pretty nice.

Keep in mind, different trucks have different size refrigerators. So a Cascadia fridge won't fit in the Pete if you get one next time.

If you want to buy a fridge from the company store and have it installed, you can get a form from detail, get your FM to sign it, take it to the company store and then to detail with the receipt for them to install the unit. The FM then breaks it up into weekly payments.the prices differ for different truck makes.

I have a Rand McNally 730 which I like, but o never had a GPS before. I didn't want my car telling me I'm an idiot. And the QC does have a "training feature" on it so when your new truck has the new QC with the "NavGo" you can learn how to use it. It will find fuel stops, rest areas, truck stops, CAT scales and more. You can out in the customer codes and it will direct you. But again...this is really important.. Always always check the atlas.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Cat Scales:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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BTW, you can rent a mailbox at prime to order stuff in the future. I have Amazon stuff sent there. Its like $1.50 per week or something.

Sambo's Comment
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In my own opinion, look toward the condo cab. Yes, the extra .05 may sound worth it, but, space is a premium out here.

You'd be surprised how much stuff you collect while on the road. You'll want some creature comforts to make the road more liveable, when you have limited space, you'll find you won't have room for those things.

However, if you can live in a tight space and can do without a few things, then, yeah, I'd go for the extra pay.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Retnaburn's Comment
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Very sorry it took so long to respond to this. My phone broke shortly after posting last and by the time I had it replaced I was back in MO getting upgraded. Thanks again to everyone for the advice!

I ended up going with a full size. After looking at the lightweight, I didn't see a place for anything. Clothes, cpap , pizza maker, nothing.

Verizon really screwed me over. Lied to me, bait and switch, and then refused to make it right. Horrible dishonest scamming unethical company. And I still say ATT has better road coverage anyway. Verizon did throttle my jetpack down to .6 Mbps. Was like using dialup back in the day. I know your heart was in the right place Pat, so not digging against you.

I got the mailbox, and have been using the QC gps, so great tips. Unfortunately they don't want a mattress mailed there, but that's fine.

Again, thank you guys for the advice. Much appreciated.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

You can buy a mattress from the company store, they have samples. Sapp Bros also has decent looking thick ones that look comfy. The ones I saw there and at some of the TA are $200.

When I went home, I paid for the mattress and my brother and I picked it up from a warehouse.

Call yge detail shop and ask if you can have one delivered to the detail shop. They might let you.

And congrats and good luck

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

MC1371's Comment
member avatar

I'll add some to your list since you're interested in power running.

Mattress 10.5in or better avail from Amazon for around 170. **sheets! Look for microfiber, most comfy and stain resistant. Mattress pad* memory foam holds heat this will help with that.

Cooler instead of fridge, Koolatron. Cost a little more, but after issues with 2 Colemans in 6 months worth it.

Lunchbox portable cooker.

XM radio

300w inverter for laptop and TV dvd if you go that route. *differing opinions some like the all in one combo @180. I went with separate Blu-ray and 24" Samsung refurbs 150 combined. If you like movies, TV pawn shops!

Pillows *dumb fact. Twin sets only come with one pillow case.

Hammer. Tandem pin adjustment tool. Vice grips Wire snip. Some shippers use cable load seals.

Torq head key set

CB radio with weather band alert Cobra lx29 is a safe bet.

Cleaning supplies, clorox wipes window cleaner, rags.

Pens, small note pads.

Hula girl, or nodding dog.. If they start talking to you get out of the truck for awhile.

For cell I'm using Verizon unlimited. Still your call on that one. Just no PCSMetro no reception anywhere.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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