Wilson Logistics - Missoula MT

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Vicki M.'s Comment
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I guess it's time to get my diary started here. I leave on Saturday (04/17/21) to drive to Missoula and start training on Monday the 19th. I'll start with a little about me and why I decided to do this.

I have been in the casino industry for over 30 years. I was a dealer for years and now you all would probably call me a "pit boss", but my actual title is floor supervisor. I have worked at the same company for 22 years, have free benefits, a salary of over $80k, 5 weeks of paid vacation...it's a really good career. But things change. The pandemic changed a lot, but mostly it changed ME. When we shut down, it was the first extended break I'd had since I was 21 years old. Actually in forever, I have always worked since I was 13. Full service gas stations, office jobs, waitressing... and then dealing. I realized that in the first time in years, I didn't hurt every day. I didn't need all the meds that were prescribed just to keep me standing up 8 hours a day. I realized that I enjoyed people again. I realized that all the fun and enjoyment my career once held was gone. It was eating away at my soul bite by bite. Yes, I met celebrities, sports figures, wealthy people. I long for the day that I can turn on a movie and not judge it by who stars in it (boy that guys really a jerk in real life), or turn on American Greed and not actually KNOW the people in it...time for a change.

I did a lot of research for what an uneducated person can do that makes anywhere near what I make now, plus something I think I'd love...and settled on truck driving. I love to drive, I love to just be on a road, turn up the radio and goooooo. I am sure that all comes from the fact that my parents were nomadic hippies and I lived most of my life in VW vans and tents. I lived in 27 states and went to 21 different schools before I graduated. Nomadic life in general appeals to me, as does the tiny house movement. Trucking seems to envelop all of that in one fashion or another. So I girded my loins, waded into the world of trucker forums and social groups and started learning. I narrowed it down to 3 main choices for my training. I knew that the fact that I had a clean driving record, an extremely solid work history (that requires me to be background researched, fingerprinted and licensed by the state every year) and only 1 misdemeanor in the early 80s, that I could probably pretty much have my pick of starter companies

Because most of the YouTube channels I originally found were from Prime, I was very interested in them. Unfortunately I got a very lazy recruiter. She called me, I returned her call about 6 times and she never called back. Literally about a month later she called back, I talked to her and she sounded excited...and then never returned a call again. That was okay, because by that time, I'd decided that any company that has that bad of communication wasn't for me. My next choice was Pride Transport out of SLC. I would have had to get my CDL privately first, but they were very interested in hiring me once that happened. I talked to a recruiter there several times. But alas, when we did our taxes, the money I had set aside for CDL school needed to go to the IRS. I didn't want to take out student loans and such for school, so I went back to looking at companies that train. Wilson was brought up to me in several of the platforms I was involved in, so they became my next choice. My recruiter has been very active with me, even with some of the delays I have experienced. They seem to have a solid training program, they train in a town I love (and used to live in), they offer regional and OTR , they allow 2 pets of any size....right up my alley.

Last week I got my DOT physical, my CPL, today was my drug test and all the silly harassment training videos etc, answered a questionnaire about vaping etc (probably to team up with a trainer) and once the drug test is back, I pick up a rental car and drive to Missoula. I'll keep you posted!

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.

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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I'll be following your diary, "Vick the Stick"!

good-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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WooooHOOOOO~!!!

Finally, m'lady!! Congrats~!!

I'll be following, as well . . . here & elsewhere! Yay!!!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Vicki M.'s Comment
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Today I made my packing list. I'll pack on Friday, but I'd love some input. My goal is to get it to all fit in 1 duffle, 1 small backpack (that will double as my shower bag) and my travel purse (which is large, but will squish flat if I empty it out) Let me know if I am forgetting something or if you all think I am over packing please!

Duffel: 7 sets of bottoms (jeans, leggings, capris and shorts) 10 tops (long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees, tank tops) 10 undies and 3 bras (2 sport, one regular) 14 pairs of socks (I hate dirty socks, it's a thing for me) light hoody, heavier hoody, heaviest hoody hiking boots, tennis shoes, shower shoes 2 pairs work gloves, rain poncho Several buffs that can be used as masks, headbands, hair ties, etc Vaping items (juice, batteries, etc)

Backpack: Toothbrush, tooth glue (I have dentures), denture cleaner Shampoo, conditioner (in smaller bottles) Body/hair cleanser that is no rinse for those missed shower days no rinse wipes for those days too Alcohol wipes Make up (maybe, still undecided) Facial cleanser wipes/moisturizer Towels (1 large for my chubby body, one small for my hair) Hair brush/hair ties Sunglasses/regular glasses/spare pair of glasses Nail clippers Prescription meds, ibuprofen, allergy nose spray, Excedrin migraine, immodium

Purse Clipboard thingy with all my important papers (med card, permit, etc) and ink pens (the clipboard holds them) Ipad Phone chargers notebook (Wilson said to bring one, sooo) Wallet with cash and a credit card

Sleeping bag, pillow, CPAP machine

I'll also be bringing a swimsuit for the hotel they put us up in (I've stayed before and they have a banging steam room and an indoor pool), but I'll bring an old one that I can leave behind.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Tide Pods, Bounce dryer sheets. These are way too expensive as a truck stop purchase.

Vicki M.'s Comment
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Tide Pods, Bounce dryer sheets. These are way too expensive as a truck stop purchase.

Wow didn't think of that! Thanks! I also just looked at the weather and decided I can leave the shorts and tank tops behind. It might be spring to most, but to this desert rat, that's winter weather! I also just had about 8 inches cut off my hair, so one towel will suffice. I can also leave the swimsuit behind as the steam room and pool are closed because of COVID. I'll probably lighten up more as I go...this is the way it works for me on my backpacking trips too :D

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Tide Pods, Bounce dryer sheets. These are way too expensive as a truck stop purchase.

double-quotes-end.png

Wow didn't think of that! Thanks! I also just looked at the weather and decided I can leave the shorts and tank tops behind. It might be spring to most, but to this desert rat, that's winter weather! I also just had about 8 inches cut off my hair, so one towel will suffice. I can also leave the swimsuit behind as the steam room and pool are closed because of COVID. I'll probably lighten up more as I go...this is the way it works for me on my backpacking trips too :D

I'd STILL bring a pair of to the knee, khaki shorts (or other mocks); the kind with the elastic waist, that 'we' females can often get away with. I wore mine on some 'off' winter days! And of course, an appropriate long (or short!) sleeve Tshirt to go with . . . Carharrt's rock, LoL!

~ Anne ~

So happy for YOU, M'LADY!!

PackRat's Comment
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I would bring the clothes listed, as the weather and temperature can change dramatically during a day. Last year in Washington, I saw it go from 37 degrees to 105 degrees in a single day.

Inside my truck, it's usually between 65 and 70 degrees year round.

One other thing you may consider is an umbrella. I carry one on the truck, and this takes up minimal space.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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I would bring the clothes listed, as the weather and temperature can change dramatically during a day. Last year in Washington, I saw it go from 37 degrees to 105 degrees in a single day.

Inside my truck, it's usually between 65 and 70 degrees year round.

One other thing you may consider is an umbrella. I carry one on the truck, and this takes up minimal space.

Some duffles have a built in mini . . . i sure did forget, for others .. tho ~!!

Good lookin' out, Pack . . . . I'd still stand by stretchy mock shorts. Got mine, lol!

~ Anne ~

Vicki M.'s Comment
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I will definitely pack my shorts and tanks then. I forgot when I wrote that post that I would be gone a minimum of a month the first time. Packrat, I get the WA state thing. Once you drop over Snoqualmie headed east and you hit that desert area, it heats up fast lol I will also bring an umbrella. Goodness knows I have enough. You forget to carry them in the desert and when it rains you buy a new one. Every time :D

Got all the rental car stuff situated yesterday. I won't have a roomie at the hotel, which was good news. I'll like studying with no interruptions. I pick up the rental car at 8am tomorrow, I'll take my son to work at 1000am and just leave from there. After much trip planning, I have decided to take the I15 to the I90 rather than the 93, since they are calling for snow this weekend. I know the freeway gets cleared faster. Every time I head north, it snows. So anyone traveling in western Montana this weekend, be prepared. No matter what the weather man says, it will snow. I plan on leaving Vegas at about 10 am, getting somewhere north of SLC and getting a hotel and bringing it on in on Sunday morning. I'll swing by a grocery store to stock up some stuff for my room for a few days...there aren't many restaurants near the hotel and I will have a fridge and a microwave.

Today will be a busy day. Taking all 4 dogs to get groomed, off to Wally World for some last minute purchases and to stock up the freezer for the boys (men...but whatever lol), get some cash at the bank, mail off my taxes, run to the vape store and then home to do laundry and pack. I'm a lot excited and a little nervous, but this adventure is beginning!

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