My Journey With Wilson Logistics/Jim Palmer

Topic 26658 | Page 1

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Matthew R.'s Comment
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So about two weeks ago, I decided to start looking into OTR as a career. I submitted applications all over (I did not have a CDL yet so a training position was what I was seeking) and heard back from several companies the next day. Needless to say, after research, I opted to steer away from certain companies and landed on Wilson/Jim Palmer. I reached out to my recruiter, who asked me a bunch of questions, and when I told her my decision stemmed from a desire to better support my family, she told me that was a very good reason. She explained about training and pay and everything. She also told me to take a couple days or a week and talk things over more in depth with my wife and make sure I was 100% sure that this is something not only I wanted, but that my family was ok with. My wonderful wife supported me and even encouraged me to pursue this career. I called my recruiter back after a few days and told her I was ready. 100% committed. She then told me what my next steps were (CDL Permit and DOT Physical) so I (being the impatient guy I am) rushed right over to the Motor Vehicle Department and took the three tests to acquire my permit. Somehow (I'm still trying to figure out how) I passed on my first try. I then went and shelled out the $$$ for the DOT Physical, ran back to the MVD, and shelled out more $$$, jump through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops and preform like a good circus animal, and BOOM!!! CDL permit the same day! My recruiter almost couldn't believe it when I emailed pics of the documents to her less than 6 hours after her telling me what I had to do. Now in just under a week and a half, I am hopping on a bus for 18 1/2 hours to go to Springfield, MO and begin my journey. Ill try to keep you updated as best I can and bring you all along on what promises to be one h*** of a ride.

Everyone stay safe out there and get back to your loved ones.

Matt

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.

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Tony G.'s Comment
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Good luck Matt, I will look forward to reading about your experiences at "school". I hope to be training at the beginning of the year . Keep us updated.

Thanks Tony G

Matthew R.'s Comment
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Well, two more days and I'm hopping a bus from Albuquerque, NM heading to Springfield, MO. 18.5 hours on a bus. Should be interesting. At least ill be able to sleep on the bus. My time as a firefighter/EMT taught me to sleep anywhere. If I was able to fall asleep in our wildland truck (a converted military deuce and a half) over a washboard road a bus should be easy. My nerves haven't started getting to me yet. I'm not sure it's really sunk in quite yet that I'm about to leave my loved ones behind for an extended period of time. I think that will be my biggest hurdle during this adventure. Wish me luck everyone! I'll do my best to keep you updated at least once a week, but will try to make it more frequent.

Everyone stay safe out there and get back to your loved ones. Matt

Phantom 850's Comment
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Good luck brother. I think you’ll like the company. Given you background, nerves shouldn’t be an issue. That being said, you’re about to meet a colorful cast of characters. The instructors are great, and they don’t bite. Well... not often. If you’ve been reading my thread you’ll see that I didn’t care for one of them much. I just chalked it up to our personalities not meshing, and now that I’m out on the road I don’t have to see him. As always, I won’t name names, but I’ve got a dollar that says you’ll figure out who it is when you get there.

Matthew R.'s Comment
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Phantom, I appreciate the reply and after reading your thread, I'm more sure than ever that I've made the right choice. As for my nerves... Let me let you in on a secret... First responders (Fire, EMS, and LEO's) all can appear rock steady in the face of insurmountable odds, but inside they are nervous as F***!!! We literally train ourselves to not show any emotion. It's something that drives my wife mad sometimes, like when I didn't cry the day my daughter was born. (Proudest day of my life by the way.) As for the instructors, I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out. I respect that you don't name names. (Also something drilled into us in the academy. haha) I'm honestly not too worried about it. I think the hardest thing for me will be the down shifting. But I guess we will see next week!

Phantom 850's Comment
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Phantom, I appreciate the reply and after reading your thread, I'm more sure than ever that I've made the right choice. As for my nerves... Let me let you in on a secret... First responders (Fire, EMS, and LEO's) all can appear rock steady in the face of insurmountable odds, but inside they are nervous as F***!!! We literally train ourselves to not show any emotion. It's something that drives my wife mad sometimes, like when I didn't cry the day my daughter was born. (Proudest day of my life by the way.) As for the instructors, I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out. I respect that you don't name names. (Also something drilled into us in the academy. haha) I'm honestly not too worried about it. I think the hardest thing for me will be the down shifting. But I guess we will see next week!

Fun fact, I’m a retired LEO and a veteran. I had all the training too. (And I cried when both of my girls were born.) There’s just not that much to worry about. Hell, they even let me have a license. You’ll do just fine. As for downshifting, I’ve never even had a chance to drive a manual transmission. There just aren’t that many in the fleet. My trainer has an automated and I didn’t get very much pad time due to trouble getting my medical card. I’m not happy about it, but that’s the way the industry is going. You’ll be fine.

Matthew R.'s Comment
member avatar

Update time. So my 18.5 hour bus ride as turned into what will end up being at least a 28.5 hour bus ride. I border the bus yesterday at 11:15 MST, broke down two hours after we left Albuquerque. Stuck for 4 hours waiting on a rescue bus. Made it through Amarillo and Oklahoma City, then got stuck in Tulsa for 6 hours because Greyhound had to fly in a driver for our bus. Only 3 hours from Springfield and I waited 6! Oh well. S*** happens. Looking forward to starting my training officially tomorrow. Will post updates as I can. Everyone stay safe. Matt

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your eventual arrival, and best wishes, Matt. I really believe (somewhat wantonly) that GreyDog DOES this stuff to y'all CDL trainees on purpose, to test your nerves, stamina, and whatnot, LoL.

Always read; don't comment much.

Best of Luck, Anne

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.
Bubb Rubb's Comment
member avatar

Dang bro, that sucks. I’m headed up to Wilson Springfield Missouri October 12... greyhound estimated 38 hour trip from South Florida. I might just rent a car....

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Dang bro, that sucks. I’m headed up to Wilson Springfield Missouri October 12... greyhound estimated 38 hour trip from South Florida. I might just rent a car....

Estimated 38 hours sounds like an eternity. I would definitely rent a car. Some companies reimburse you up to the price of the bus ticket. I don't know if Wilson does, but it's worth looking into.

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