Break In Employment - Prepping For Paid CDL Interview/acceptance.

Topic 24015 | Page 2

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Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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My glasses are transition, however not the kind that work in the car. I bought some clip on shades that I found in the truck stop. Sun in the truck can be more than a car.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I have frames with magnetic sunglasses. There are little magnets at the temples and the sunglasses have matching magnets. The sunglasses just pop on and the magnets hold them together. Works great.

Like these

Jason's Comment
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I got a pass. Recruiter got the supervisor's approval to spend the money to do the 'real' background check. Should find out in a few days/week if my past is what I think it is. I may have mentioned running my own background check and coming up short. I gave them the dirt anyway- curious to see if they find it in the system.

I'm thinking January 21st to start. Gives me a little time to get new glasses and a teeth cleaning (and a crown fixed) that I'm over due for. It's minimum 4 months (one month to get CDL and officially hired then 90 days waiting period) before Prime's insurance will kick in.

Really enjoying TruckerMike's blog posts, etc. Lots of tidbits to pick up.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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When I first applied to Jim Palmer I was denied also, I was kinda bummed out. But as usual Old School told me how many times he was denied and I was determined to get this accomplished no matter what. If you are serious, and have the determination you will prevail. There were many of the trucking companies who will not hire from Commiefornia. So, I tightened my belt and dove right into the next employer, and then the next. DON'T GIVE UP! Just remember, all companies have their certain requirements that another company may not have. It's not the company logo on the door that matters as much as you putting all misconceptions out the window and strive to do the job in a safe and efficient way. Show determination when you talk to the recruiters. Hesitation will not show the confidence that you will need to do this adventure. I tried many a company, most didn't hire from here. Prime, CFI, Jim Palmer, HO Wolding, Averite but I kept coming out with more determination to get on with anyone. The reason it doesn't matter is that they all have been in business for years, they see rookies come and go. But they are still in business. I won't say that I wasn't disappointed, 'cause that would be lying. Just don't give up!

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.

Jason's Comment
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Application cleared. Locking in January 21. Got a month (less with holidays) to get my stuff squared away for a long absence.

Anything in particular I should take that's not on the usual list?

Old School's Comment
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Anything in particular I should take that's not on the usual list?

I'm pulling an old quote from our archives to answer your question. It's really just for fun, but it makes a lot of sense...

Okay, here's the things that I think are important for a rookie to have with them when they are just starting out:

1) Make sure you have a great attitude packed away somewhere - you're gonna need it for sure.

2) Plenty of humility - yeah, you're gonna need plenty of that also.

3) A big can of whoop-ass - there are gonna be problems you are going to have to face - and you need to be able to "whoop" em.

4) A "can do" spirit. It's really tough being a new rookie driver out here, you'll need this two or three times a day.

5) A big dose of Independence - You're all by yourself out here - the last thing your dispatcher needs is you ringing his phone off the wall.

6) Lots of confidence - everyday you will be challenged by things you've never faced before - some confidence will go a long ways to help you.

7) A willingness to learn - I'm still learning stuff about how to succeed in this career everyday - if you stop learning you need to hang up your keys.

8) A willingness to help others - I do this everyday - there are a lot of clueless newbies out here - try to lend a hand when you see someone in need.

9) A Motor Carriers Atlas - I hope I don't need top explain that one.

10) A Merle Haggard C.D. - no self-respecting truck driver hits the road without taking the Mighty Merle along for the ride!

Dispatcher:

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.
Jason's Comment
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10 days and counting until I leave for Springfield, MO and Prime Orientation.

I'm starting to put together my travel kit and it's kinda ugly. I'm a tall, big guy- so all my stuff together makes a big package; add in sleeping bag and pillow and ugh!

Do I take the duffel bag with wheels or try to cram it all into two smaller, malleable bags?

Read somewhere I'll have to share bunk space with whatever I take?

Do I need steel-toe boots specifically?

Better to take too much and plan on mailing some of it home?

Is there a locker or storage at the Millinium building for overflow?

Sure there's a list of stuff to bring; but there's reality of how much space that's going to take vs how much I can expect to have...

Rainy 's Comment
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10 days and counting until I leave for Springfield, MO and Prime Orientation.

Congrats

I'm starting to put together my travel kit and it's kinda ugly. I'm a tall, big guy- so all my stuff together makes a big package; add in sleeping bag and pillow and ugh!

Do I take the duffel bag with wheels or try to cram it all into two smaller, malleable bags?

duffle bag probably easier

Read somewhere I'll have to share bunk space with whatever I take?

Trucks have bunk beds basically. Your stuff will be with you on your bunk due to limited cabinet space and the trainers stuff. Its our home meaning cooking supplies food, clothing for all weather, tools etc

Do I need steel-toe boots specifically?

no

Better to take too much and plan on mailing some of it home?

nope. it will cost a lot and unless you mail it from the terminal , theres nowhere OTR to do so. Walmart is next door and most trainers will make walmart runs from time to time. ask them.

Is there a locker or storage at the Millinium building for overflow?

there is for drivers but it must be out in 60 days or they throw it out. Not recommended for trainees.

Sure there's a list of stuff to bring; but there's reality of how much space that's going to take vs how much I can expect to have...

Imagine you and a twin bed. how much stuff can yiu fit on the bed with you?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

The Boss's Comment
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I have been around for a while and the “gap” is really the least of your concerns. Be honest about what you were doing and leave it at that. Be more concerned with making sure you really want to drive versus helping your aging parents. I figure if you drive you will be pretty unavailable to help them out so if helping them is a priority then don’t drive. If you do decide to drive you should focus more on passing the DOT physical, exams, driving skills and adjusting to a new lifestyle.

Been doing the research of the various companies and providing a comprehensive 3 year work history seems to be the standard.

I have a clear break for about a year after I left my last job of 10 years. I need to know what I should prep or expect to cover the gap...or is it even possible?

I was in IT and the work morphed from support to sales at which point I bit off more than I could chew and finally had to bow out. (I am NOT a salesman!) I gave 2 weeks notice. I just took a long break; spent a lot of time helping my aging folks on their 'farm' (200 acres). So much so that I ended up moving back in. Crazy at my age, but it made sense. I've been out of the loop long enough now, retraining in IT would cost almost as much as going to truck driving school (which I can't afford) and I still may not find work. Let's all IT plan B.

Will corporate take into account the fact I was with last 'big' employer for ~10 years before taking a long break? (I assume recruiters would say yes, but it's that face to face interview that really matters.) What proof should I prepare? Note from parents sounds pretty cheesy. Should I just gloss over getting in over my head and just focus on helping out my medically challenged folks in their time of need?

I'm heading to the DMV tomorrow to take my 3 tests and get my CLP. Just need to sort this out and I can start applying. Shooting for middle of January if I can. I'm still working full time at a Factory now. Planning on applying Jim Palmer, Prime, and then I'm not sure.

Got some other questions- but need to sort this out first. Thanks in advance for your attention.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Turtle's Comment
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Congrats Jason, and welcome to Prime. It's about to get real. Let us know if you have any questions. Good luck

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