Wilson Logistics - Missoula MT

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Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Thanks for taking the time to post your experience! I am weeks out of picking a company and just starting to put the feelers out...running into the same issues with some of the larger companies, but not Wilson.

This Phoenician is not looking forward to fall and winter in Montana, but Wilson leads my pack of options to date!

Here's how Wilson selected m'lady, Vicki ~ >>>Apply For Paid CDL TrainingApply For Paid CDL Training

Wish YOU well in your journey, Mark !!!

(Vicki is the bombdiggity, ikr? Check out her social link & following, haha!)

~ Anne ~

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Following your exciting adventure! I take the written and my DOT physical Tuesday and hopefully will be on a bus to Springfield to start with Wilson next weekend. I'm excited!

Which truck did you get and how old is it?

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I have a 2019 Freightliner. She and I are learning to get along lmao

^^^ ps: As we ( i?!?) await PIX~!!!

XOXO !!!!

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Overdue for another update! I haven't had much to say, things have been going relatively smoothly. I've been on hometime for almost a week, and will head back out on Tuesday. I do have a few "trucker" stories though lol And of course I have learned a few new things.

Lessons learned: 1. If you are not extremely comfortable with back country roads, you may not want to follow your GPS. I was going from Twin Falls ID (where my GPS tried to take my 14' trailer under a 13'9" bridge *sigh) to Bakersfield, CA. It took me down a few state routes that I happened to know from my hiking days. Good road, fun drive. But if you are a city dweller or not used to desert driving, it would have been a bit scary. There were very few places to pull over if needed. No cell service, so my next major purchase will be a CB. Not that it would have helped, I think I saw maybe 20 cars and 4 trucks that whole day. It was awesome actually!

2. A great phone case is a must. I dropped mine, cracked the screen and shattered the back. My new phone should be here tomorrow and I bought a bulletproof case...well maybe not bulletproof but extremely protective. Just a note, Iphones do not like to be dropped on asphalt from the height of a truck...just sayin'

3. Speaking of bulletproof, I don't think trucks are. I went to pick up a load in Stockton. It wasn't ready (even though it was supposed to be), but I was tired and they allowed parking on the street. No big deal. I went out and parked in front of a couple of old motorhomes that had obviously been there a while. As I was eating my dinner, I watched many newer, expensive cars come and go. I am not naive, I knew they were breaking bad back there...but it didn't concern me, so I went to bed. I later woke up to police radios squawking. I figured they were going to make me move (the whole road was marked no parking, but everyone was ignoring the signs). I got up, opened my curtains and there were 3 cops taking cover in front of my truck, guns out! One of the cops motioned me to go back in the sleeper...I know trucks are tough, but if there was a gunfight I wanted to be as low as possible. I grabbed my bedding and my pillow and laid down on the floor. Funny thing, even with all that commotion, I went right back to sleep lmao! I guess they were arresting someone from those motorhomes. I was just happy they didn't make me move or give me a parking ticket lol

4. When you get a gut feeling to slow down, do it. Once it was the most magnificent elk I have ever seen standing in the middle of the road. Since it was the crack of dawn in the middle of Wyoming, I was the only one out on the road. I stopped and that elk and I had a stare down for about 30 seconds. I thought he might charge the truck for a minute. Another time, it was a moose cow, but she meandered off relatively quickly. But the very best one...I was driving down highway 97, speed limit 55. I would never speed (...yeah right lol). There were 4 trucks behind me that were trying to push me down the hill. I came upon a sign that said all CMVs must stop for inspection. Turned the corner and there was a CHP with his little scooter board and step ladder. I pulled over and all you could hear was jake brakes and squealing brakes as the other trucks tried to stop. Once they got over (sort of), the officer walked all the way back to me and said since I stopped first he would usually inspect me and let the others go. Then he stated that since they were a**holes (his words exactly lol), I could go on and that they would be there a while. Ironic thing, about 20 miles later, I had a blow out on my trailer. As I waited about 4 hours for roadside service, only one of those trucks passed me.

5. 1 blowout and 1 flat (both on my trailers) in 6 days. Learned that once roadside is set up, it's a great time to get a nap. The second guy was awesome, he fixed the tire without waking me up :D

I had put in for hometime about 3 weeks before...seems like they forgot. I called to give them a gentle reminder that since I live in suburbia, I have no place to park a truck and asked if they had any ideas. That seemed to remind them, and I have to say their commitment to get me home was top notch. They deadheaded me 350 miles to drop my trailer in our nearest yard and then sent me home bobtail another 250 miles. I don't think they'll forget again lol I put my truck in the shop to get the radar replaced, transferred my CDL back to Nevada and did a bunch of other errands. I'll come home again around Halloween to get one of my dogs and take some hometime that doesn't have as many errands!

Yes Anne, I'll get pics once I get a trailer back on her...and she gets a bath...and the inside is set back up since I stripped everything to get it washed and organized!

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great update Vicki. Glad things are going well for you out here!

good-luck.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I agree with PackRat - that's a great update.

One indicator I find that people are going to do well in this endeavor is that they are always learning things. Your posts always seem to point out the things you are learning. I like that! So many people go into trucking thinking the world owes them a favor and they find out pretty quickly the realities of having to be responsible for their own results. They start playing the blame game and stay completely dissatisfied with every little circumstance that hinders their progress as a new trucker. The ones who are going to succeed tend to face those same problems and take them as lessons learned on how to do things better or at least they figure out a way to avoid them in the future.

You are doing a great job, and it is always a pleasure when we get to hear from you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I'm being patient, my friend!!

Thanks for the update; awesomeness, for sure!

Luvya,

~ Anne ~

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Vicki M.,

What a great diary! As Old School, Pack Rat and Anne have stated you have succeeded because of your commitment to excellence and safety. You are a true professional driver who has the ability to go far in the industry. What a pleasure to read your posts. Good luck and continued success in your career. Always keep us posted and stay safe.

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Time for another update!

When your dispatch asked you to retrieve a load from an impound lot, be prepared to wait for emails on company letterhead, comchecks for fees and general bureaucratic BS. Also, the trailer will be in a spot so tight, you can't imagine how they got it there...or how you will get it out. The heavy rescue tow truck was in the way and the guy who drives it wasn't there. Fun times. I had to pull up and 90 the trailer behind me without hitting 2 trailers or the tow truck. Of course EVERYONE who works there had to come watch. I heard one guy say (in Spanish which he didn't know I understand lol) She'll never get it out, girls can't drive. I did a perfect 90, didn't hit anything and poked my head out the window and said "Not bad for a girl!" He was embarrassed lol I need to hire him to come say that to me every time I back!

Got that load delivered and I was told to grab another load at the yard. I get back to the yard and the other driver was disconnected, but still under the trailer. Curtains pulled. Ugh. I called my dispatch and then took a nap (it was barely 6am). Woke up around 9, the guy had moved...grabbed the load, went to scale it out and it was over by 700 lbs. Had to take it back 100ish miles to have it reworked...of course not in the direction that I was going lol It was recyclables, they took a bale off. Took me 2 hours to get my load balanced (but I did learn to slide a 5th wheel, so that was good). Funny thing, I got it all balanced (as much as possible anyway), after 6 trips across the scale, sliding every thing I could slide, barely legal...A trucker watched me do this for the whole time and when I stopped to take a break and eat, he sent his wife over to see if I was having issues and needed help. Nice thought but you watched me struggle with it for 2 hours first!?!?

Got that load delivered, went to our yard and spent 2 hours cleaning out that trailer. 17 bags of trash. 17. And oh joy, I get a local run I have to pick up at 3am. 100 some odd miles away. I go get that load after about 4 hours of sleep and drag it back up to the store it's going to. Well I try. There are no truck routes that I can find. Every road says NO TRUCKS. Or 15 ton weight limit. I got lost. I finally made my way back to a truck stop and called my dispatch for help...his reply was "we send trucks there all the time, you'll just have to find it". I won't lie, I cried, I was sooo tired and frustrated. I called the receiver, they didn't know either. I asked truckers, they didn't know. Finally I just went. After I delivered, a different guy was there and told me how to get out. The road was still marked as local delivery only, but it didn't have a weight limit...but my GPS kept saying it was no trucks anyway. That was a fun day. Took the returns back to the DC, found a rest area, called my dispatch and told them I needed to sleep and slept. The next load went okay...but the one after....

Got my next load delivered at 7am. The load after didn't pick up until 6pm. It was a drop and hook. I was in an area with very limited truck parking. I had 5 1/2 hours on my 14 and 9 1/2 on my 70 and wasn't getting any time back for a day and a half. They wanted me to go 650 miles in that 9 hours... nope. I called my dispatch and he said I DID have time. So I tried to figure it out. Then I just decided to pick up the load and run with it. But of course, now I can't sleep, trying to figure out how I was going to get this load there in my time frame. They wanted it delivered at 730am in 2 days. I called dispatch and asked since I could only drive 9 hours anyway if I could pick up the load in the morning. I explained that I could drive 5 hours, spend 10 hours on the side of the freeway (because it would be midnight in an area with little parking), then drive 4 more, and then park until I got time back...24 hours or so. OR I could rest, be safe to drive and drive my full 9 tomorrow. It didn't matter, the load wouldn't get there when they wanted it delivered anyway unless they repowered it. Dispatch said go ahead and sleep, it's a drop and hook and I'll get the appointment changed. Ok, off to bed I go. When I wake up around 4am, I change to on duty for my pretrip, and a pretty....rude, I guess, message from another dispatch arrives about why I didn't pick up my load, why am I in the sleeper so long, etc... I guess the other dispatch didn't put it in my notes. So I grab the phone and call MY dispatcher. He apologized and said he'd talk to the person who sent it. I sent a very long and pointed message back on the Qualcomm too, just so it would be there for the record. And my dispatcher changed the appointment time so it was all good.

Delivered that load, grabbed a loaded trailer. Realized the mudflaps were torn off and laying on the ground. And one of the tires was showing cords. Wait, 2 tires. No, make that 3! Dragged that trailer to the yard to be repaired. It took them 3 1/2 hours. They wanted this load 750 miles away by Friday morning (this was Wednesday evening by now). Not happening. But I'll get it as close as I can... with my limited recap hours (though by this time I was getting back decent recaps). I drove until about 1 1/2 hours before my time was up and started looking for parking. None to be had. I broke my clock by 12 mins. That was a call with compliance.

Fortunately my dispatch reset the appointment, I am now 30 miles away and on a 40ish hour break. All that and I still don't want to quit!

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Pics for Anne!!!

This is my truck :) It's like a lot of other trucks. But it's mine for the time being 0928875001633297656.jpg

Passenger area, trying to keep it clear since I'll be picking up my pug next month and that will be her area 0916206001633297783.jpg

My coffee/tea area, or as I like to call it, my kitchen 0187324001633297878.jpg

My bathroom! That camp toilet is the best purchase I made for the truck. It usually has a bag in it, and you buy a powder that gels everything up so it doesn't leak. BEST THING EVER! 0269182001633297988.jpg

The right pillows will make your bunk into a very comfortable lounge area. This is my living room. 0521388001633298152.jpg

And the right foldable desk will make it into a nice office area (or in my case internet play area lol) 0077785001633298239.jpg

Sorry it took me so long girl!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Pics for Anne!!!

This is my truck :) It's like a lot of other trucks. But it's mine for the time being 0928875001633297656.jpg

Passenger area, trying to keep it clear since I'll be picking up my pug next month and that will be her area 0916206001633297783.jpg

My coffee/tea area, or as I like to call it, my kitchen 0187324001633297878.jpg

My bathroom! That camp toilet is the best purchase I made for the truck. It usually has a bag in it, and you buy a powder that gels everything up so it doesn't leak. BEST THING EVER! 0269182001633297988.jpg

The right pillows will make your bunk into a very comfortable lounge area. This is my living room. 0521388001633298152.jpg

And the right foldable desk will make it into a nice office area (or in my case internet play area lol) 0077785001633298239.jpg

Sorry it took me so long girl!

You're FINE! No apologies, omiwow... just read your thread above; at least you've got 'time' on ya!!!

I'm SURE it took you a good minute to 'home' that rig up, as you have!!! How cozy!!!!!!!!

TYSM, m'lady...always following. (Think I need a ride along w/ya, haha!)

Welcome the soon to be pug, also!!!

HUGE KUDOS & HUGS!! XoXo!

:) Anne :)

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Vicki,

Thanks for the post and the pics. Both help give clearer picture of "a day in the life" for you these days. I respect your tenacity in the midst of those challenges and complications!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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