Western Express Journey

Topic 27016 | Page 1

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Victor C. II's Comment
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Day 1 paper work, Backing, Road Test.

I got the paper work portion done really easily praise the Lord. Then we ate lunch and started the backing and the road test this afternoon. It got really interesting from there. People did good and alright. I did good and Bob was happy, happy, happy. Then came the backing. So I am on my first day of orientation at Western Express and I am really excited!! I just went through the conditional offer of employment. We did our backing and road test and I mean to tell you what. I remembered the words of G-Town and Old School and many moderators, telling me about my underconfidence and my lack of discipline and I took it to heart and mind and remembered how BIG my Almighty God was and is; and I was nervous but I rememered that I needed to be confident in my abilities and my desire for trucking and that God gave me this opportunity. I remembered that it was also very arrogant and proud of me to not trust in God Almighties power to help me do well. I got in the truck and started backing, and it was to my left. I GOALED so many times its not funny and I stopped before continuing to back and I backed very slowely. I got that 53' monster trailer in that lane like YES!!!! I am so happy and so blessed and so amazed by God and his help. You all are also such an inspiration to me too. Praise God Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth! This is what I needed to get me back into the game. God is so, so good even if he did not give me this opportunity he is so, so good. Im satisfied.

smile.gifthank-you.gif

Victor C. II's Comment
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Day 2. Today we finished up. We watched a pretrip movie, a benefits movie, and did some paperwork for the last 7 days of logs since we need to have them for DOT. Connie says that starting out as a van driver then a flatbed driver would be better since they have a all hands on deck policy around the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. It has sort of a slow day. Just got to see when the employement letter comes in. They say its $46 a week for the Blue Cross blue shield of Tennessee for company benefits. I have never had to go to company benefits. I am not sure but Cigna probably has a lower premium with lower deductibles. Bcbst is like 5000 for high coverage and that is a lot. 1000 for low coverage with higher premium. I dont have that sitting around whats your advice? God will guide me and I am going to keep a POSITIVE attitude towards this. Lord willing I can make up my mind soon. smile.gif

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.

Victor C. II's Comment
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I have finished the orientation and preemployement application and what not. I have a excitement and concern. Making sure I can get a great coach. So here I go!

Rob T.'s Comment
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Bcbst is like 5000 for high coverage and that is a lot. 1000 for low coverage with higher premium. I dont have that sitting around whats your advice?

it all depends on how your health and anybody else you're covering is. If you're anticipating being sick, seeing specialists or needing a surgery then it's typically best to pay the lower deductible. Not sure how familiar you are with benefits but the deductible is what is you pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays anything. You will also have an out of pocket maximum that after you pay that much in co-pays and co-insurance you no longer pay any more. One thing to also consider is if your doctor or specialists you see are covered under each insurance plan.

For my employer, we had 3 plans to choose from. The best plan available was a plan that had a $1000 deductible per person with $2000 for family with out of pocket maximum of $2500 for the year. I believe it was $75 a week for family coverage. I opted to NOT take that one despite being the best coverage because it was very limited in doctors we could see. There was also no doctor's outside of Iowa and with us travelling to family in minnesota and wisconsin we decided to spend the extra $20 a week for coverage that fit better with our life. I spend $93 a week for blue cross that has $1500 per person deductible and $3000 family with out of pocket maximum $5000. We're all pretty healthy, the biggest expense is my CPAP supplies every few months. I could have gotten the "catastrophic" plan with premiums only $40 a week with a $7500 deductible for the family but I find it easier to have them take it out of my paycheck before I see it. I'd rather spend the extra money now than have an unexpected health problem that puts me and my family on the brink of financial ruin. For Instance, I've heard that back surgery can cost $300k. With the plan i chose the most I would pay (all year) is $5000. In a way choosing health Insurance is a gamble on yourself. I've worked with a few guys that take the cheapest insurance plan if they're relatively healthy and put that money they're saving into a HSA (health savings account) that way when they do need to pay that higher deductible or out of pocket they have money to do so. At a minimum I'd suggest using a HSA the same way you do a 401k. At a minimum put in what the company matches otherwise you're throwing away free money. My employer will match dollar for dollar what I put into a HSA up to $1000. I have them take out $20 a week and at the end of each quarter they deposit $250 into my HSA.

You're doing great Victor. We may not be replying but I guarantee you have alot of people here cheering you on!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rob T.'s Comment
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If you're still unsure of which plan to choose many employers are now doing their benefit election online and have a questionnaire that can help you choose what plan to choose. It's totally your choice on what you pick so asking anybody in HR for their advice will not yield any results. Every where I've worked if you asked about what benefit plan or what you should claim on taxes all they could tell you was which takes the most or least out of your check and explain the differences in benefits.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the information. So I drove 200 of 250 to Rochester, New Your today and did good. Was nervous. Then we got to our reciever and got unloaded over at Home Depo and then we headed to Red Roof Inn so I can spend it there while he has home time. While he was dropping me off he instructed me that I should go around the building and I did only to find that we could not make it around the building because of trash. Now we are stuck. Hoping we get out very soon.

If you're still unsure of which plan to choose many employers are now doing their benefit election online and have a questionnaire that can help you choose what plan to choose. It's totally your choice on what you pick so asking anybody in HR for their advice will not yield any results. Every where I've worked if you asked about what benefit plan or what you should claim on taxes all they could tell you was which takes the most or least out of your check and explain the differences in benefits.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

So we got out of the snow. Or more like he did. I went into the hotel 3-4 hours before he got it out. Sheesh. I am kind of sad that there is a real possibility that I will miss Thanksgiving. Talking with family makes it better.

My trainer and I had a hard go of it for the first day and that did not help anything; he claims he is still mad with the last trainee so thats why he is so easy to frustrate. Im not sure I buy it, I called the dispatcher of his truck and told her my concerns and that I was not calling to be a complainer but that I wanted to make sure I got trained completely this time so that was the reason I wanted to express my concern.

This is is my account of what I was concerned about. When we got on the truck he had been driving for a while. I ask him how he was and he said he was good kind of quietly. Then I asked if we could go over expectations. Well he said we can do that when we get everything in the truck. So I got everything in the truck not realizing that I had incidently overpacked🙄. So then he told me there is two steps to get in the top bunck. So I did. And then he showed me how to buckle the guard and I did. I was a nervous wreck fearing we would be going to fast and tip the truck. But I survived🙂. Then the real first day came and I was not sure what to expect. The first thing he told me was that we really needed to get up to the consignee and he wanted to get there in the 11-200 window. So he said put the cruise control up to 66 mph. I was not comfortable with it but he still wanted me to go 66mph. I turned it deliberately down to 65 and kept that rig to speed limit.

Well it was calmish until he got up from sleeping which I know he needs sleep but I was still wanting him to stay up. Well, he gets up and when I start getting close he does something with the gps and then stays up the rest of the way. He was on his phone a lot. But another thing that concerned me was his short temper fuse. Like even if I didnt move into a lane fast enough because a car was near me he would get angry. He didnt even really like to talk and when I wanted to make conversation well that was not something he wanted to do and I would ask things like how long you plan on staying in the trucking industry? I realize I like to talk. It is a part of the DNA for me. We did better when we got to the cosignee. Then again maybe not, cause when we went to back in he says put your duty status to On Duty. So I do except I go 5 mph and it throws me to driving so then I had to reput myself on on duty. Then he changes it when the combination of time equaled 15 minutes to off duty. Then we both go to brunch. Well I ordered to eat in the restraunt. He got frustrated with that too. On the way there we spoke on logs which was nice.

Then we go to go out and he says to take the truck in the street on the side and then close the doors and lock the tandems after we moved them back. So after that we went to the hotel and which is one he has never been to and instructs me to drive in the parking lot and go around the building.

Well then we get around the building not before going over ledge cause its a small parking lot. We the go to try and get around the building and find that we cant because they have trash just piled in the edge of the parking lot. So now we have to back the rig up and it took him a real good 50 minutes or more on MY DRIVE TIME. Whats worse is if the police officer looked at the logs he would have seen I was driving that rig when the truck got stuck. I made him change me from driving to inactive but then he puts me on on duty post trip. Well that was the last I was with him cause I got my bags and went into the hotel that I would be staying in until 9:10am on Sunday. He put himself on yard move and kept trying to get unstuck. He put me on the same status that morning of the 15th/ October. We went to get fuel and he didnt even have me do a real good pretrip. He has had no complaints till me.

Thank you for the information. So I drove 200 of 250 to Rochester, New Your today and did good. Was nervous. Then we got to our reciever and got unloaded over at Home Depo and then we headed to Red Roof Inn so I can spend it there while he has home time. While he was dropping me off he instructed me that I should go around the building and I did only to find that we could not make it around the building because of trash. Now we are stuck. Hoping we get out very soon.

double-quotes-start.png

If you're still unsure of which plan to choose many employers are now doing their benefit election online and have a questionnaire that can help you choose what plan to choose. It's totally your choice on what you pick so asking anybody in HR for their advice will not yield any results. Every where I've worked if you asked about what benefit plan or what you should claim on taxes all they could tell you was which takes the most or least out of your check and explain the differences in benefits.

double-quotes-end.png

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Tandems:

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".

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".

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Victor C. II's Comment
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Im not sure what I should do. I have contacted his manager and she said she was going to send a note to him but ask if on Monday I wanted to change trainer and I said I would get back to her on Monday. To me I am not sure why no one has complained about him earlier. I tried calling Connie but she would not pick up and I tried calling Nichole Robinson and she refused to pickup. Connie texted me though the number of the dispatcher as stated before.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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You've got the same topic going in General Section and Training Diaries.

Why?

Pick one.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Im sorry Packrat I did it as to add to my diary but I figured the response to the general topics would be quicker. My bad. Im beginning to think that the pressure really got to me. I have missed family dearly and the added pressure sort of put me at a breaking point. I also was worried about the legality part, cause he was trying to get it unstuck on my time for close to and hour or so.

You've got the same topic going in General Section and Training Diaries.

Why?

Pick one.

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