Regrets

Topic 24967 | Page 4

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Minnis B.'s Comment
member avatar

Kim, if you're in the Charleston area my company is always looking for drivers. We are home daily. It's 100% dump trucks though mostly hauling coal from the numerous mines or gravel from Saint Albans. We have several ladies currently working for us as well. I've been with them for 15 months now and couldn't be happier. You'd most likely start in a tri axle dump truck and move into a tractor trailer once you've proven yourself reliable and safe. I was moved into a tractor about a month ago myself. I'd recommend like everyone else that you spend a year OTR then go local. It's not the path I took but thankfully it worked out in the end. Just another option for you to consider. Feel free to email me at any time if you have any questions. My email is minnisb22@gmail.com

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.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, you’re right, I was jumping back and forth between two very different careers. The law firm is financial security, trucking is a lifelong dream. I knew going in that the first year in trucking is hard financially because you are learning the ropes and getting settled into this very new and very different career. However, I didn’t give myself time to learn. I gave up. That is completely on me. I own what I did.

Here are my honest thoughts on my training. Don’t get me wrong, I am not putting blame on anyone but myself. These are my opinions on my own training. In TNT we are running team. Did I need my trainer in the passenger seat while I was driving at all times? No. But, if I am in a sticky situation and need immediate help I need that help right then. At times it was hard to wake her up. And if I had to wake her up several times then she would not be rested for her shift and that put us both in danger...so I didn’t try to wake her up a lot. Also, driving team you didn’t have to worry about finding parking for the night very often. We did not do much trip planning because we didn’t have to find places to park. I think I was on the phone with Ernie every day talking about this stuff. The truck was run as a team truck. I was not taught the little nuances needed to run a solo truck. Yes, I had several drivers that gave me awesome advice and I appreciated that more than they will ever know. In a team truck I didn’t have to back into a busy, packed truck stop.

I KNOW all of that comes with time and experience. I know this. But as a new driver the aggravation and frustration of what I didn’t know was daunting. I know I can do the job. But at the time I didn’t have enough faith in myself.

Minnis, thank you. I will keep that in mind.

Jeremy, I agree. Not all training is successful for every person. Everyone learns differently. I have an opportunity to go with another company. Since I upgraded to my own truck in December, I would go with a trainer so they can see what I do know as far as running solo and what I need to learn then they would take it from there.

Like I said, I own my mistakes and giving up. I blame no one but myself.

Anyway, I need to get back to cleaning house (Ugh!).

Thank you drivers and have a great day!

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

Kim I can only add what I’ve learned in my eight weeks out. First as a company driver I’m pretty much based out of Georgia. I run Atlanta at least twice a week. Atlanta Petro is my home away from home. I’ve had one trip to Illinois and picked up a load coming back to Atlanta. I’ve learned the roads, routes and shippers. I started keeping a log on best places to stop at . Like tonight I’m going to mebane nc this will be my fourth time to this Walmart. It will be about 22:00 when I get done so I reserved a parking spot at the pilot on that exit. A few days out and with Rainy’s constant “be prepared “. I got the hang of it. Home time is different as well. Last week I was home two days yesterday I stopped by and had lunch with my kids. Company solo is nonething like tnt or teaming. In a few weeks of being out here u fell so much more comfortable with all of it. Couple nights ago I was in Kissimmee a six hour unload. Kissimmee is a resort area not truck friendly I sent fm a message gonna have to drive at least 50 miles for a truckstop do u have a preplan ? 5 minutes I had a preplan so I was gonna head to Tampa Petro stopped at first rest area two spots left was set for night. Having a plan takes the stress out of it. If I can do this you can. Remember I was the last person that wanted to go solo and now I won’t go back . Do I still have problems and struggle with backing heck yea but that’s trucking right?

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar
with Rainy’s constant “be prepared “.

omg i sound like such a nag!!! lol

Im so proud and happy for you Donna!!! You have come a long way.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Hi Kim, I've been reading your posts about the nagging question of regret. I am just completing my 1st year at Prime & will only add this as my perspective to give you an idea of what it was like for me.

I started this same time last year and had very little seat time driving in inclement weather. I can deal with the rain & wind because the weather apps are great resources to help aid the decision making process. The snow however is a whole different beast all together.

I had to chain 2.5 times in Oregon in one day to.get my load in on time & get that money for my Bill's that week. I had to chain both times I went to MI just to get out of parking lots that became ice rinks. I almost lost traction as I merged from I80 east to I39 north because my tractor tires were nearly bald & tire guys made me wait until the tread was down to nothing. My steers were facing in the curve direction, my drives were going sideways, all while dragging a busted empty trailer that needed th be serviced at a TA.

I was chased from the west 4 times by winter storms. Having to run out my clock every day to stay ahead of getting shut down with the crazy snowfalls that they dumped. I got shutdown in Springfield, Ill then had to wait for all the truckers to move to get out of my spot cause they just parked in the driving lanes.

The constant flipping of my schedule depending on load appointment times. Not being able to sleep cause I just slept so full 8-10 hrs to get the load in but the next assignment needs to get picked up but this receiver is taking his sweet time off loading & sorting.

There are little things too but you get the idea. I live by the motto that I'm exactly where I need to be because that's the reality that's in front of me at the time. Dont get me wrong either. I faced those challenges & got it done but at what cost? Working 25+ days straight to get 4 days off per month? Running crazy hours day & night? Nah!

From our brief conversation I feel you did make the right decision based on your personal needs & your ability to do well with either decision. You have a steady income but find it boring? Find other ways to break up that boredom. Volunteer at legal clinics or any other organization that serves others in the way you find rewarding. Use your days off to maximize your "recharging" potential. You have options!

If you find a trucking opportunity that you find balances the rigors of the job with the down time at home then go for it. I'm working on doing the same myself. Have a few leads but my rookie mishaps are an obstacle for now. Just need to get 100K accident free miles under my belt.

From my research, mega carriers that have regional gigs, in my area, but often pay significantly less than what I'm making now. On the flipside, there are a few niche companies that pay more & still give you great home time. I'm still sorting my options & looking at what works for me.

I wish you all the best in whatever decision unfolds for you. At least you know you have the wearwithall to do well with whatever comes your way, be it legal or trucking, you got this.

Take care,

Rey

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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