And So It Begins...

Topic 30783 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

I agree with IDMtnGal. I never know any difference in freight volume with the various seasons. I stay just as busy in the winter as I do in the spring and summer. I have heard rumors about flatbed freight being slower in the winter, but I have never experienced any sort of slow down during that time of year.

Dm:

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.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

In regards to a mystery thing getting you sent home, at Knight, you are actually hired prior to starting school, they do all the background checking, drug testing and MVR checks prior to you going to school. If you are honest and don't leave out details, you will be hired, if not you won't. I saw two people drop out when I was there. One got the boot for not showing up and being late. The other voluntarily dropped out for medical reasons.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Theoretically, winter conditions could slow things down if you get stuck in a blizzard for several days and the roads are closed.

You could also be running across I-10 from Florida to California for several consecutive loads in January.

When is the best time for winter driving training? During the winter.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

As it relates to winter driving, how difficult is it to chain up? How long, on average, does it take to chain up one pair of drive wheels?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

A crappy road shoulder, or slushy chain up area in the dark can maybe double the time. I would say the first time a driver does it plan on at least 45 minutes.

I think the best thing to do is plan ahead. Have your winter "dirty work" gear ready: Coveralls, gloves, headlamp, boots, etc. Have your chains separated, inspected, and stowed correctly now. I put a colored door seal on each chain along with zip ties to keep it together. This lets me know "this is one chain", not a tangled mess hanging on the chain rack.

I highly recommend both doing some practice chain installation before cold weather, and also watching several YT videos on how to install them.

Remember that it's usually best to stop and park if possible if chains are required. It's one of those things that will require your own safety consideration. Some chain, while some don't have the experience yet to safely navigate on snow. No company worth driving for will second guess a driver for shutting down.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

While at Prime I never noticed a slow down of freight during winter. The only slow downs would be weather related, such as I80 across Wyoming shutting down. Its important to get some training during winter while you have an experienced driver with you.

As for chains, make sure to practice putting your chains on routinely in dry conditions. Do not throw them on once and then put them away forever. You'll regret it if you ever have to put them on in the dark during a blizzard.

That being said, If the weather was bad enough for chains to be required or appropriate, I would always park my truck until the conditions improve. No load is worth me risking my life or livelihood. Remember you don't just have to worry about your own winter driving skills and judgement, but the skills and judgement of every driver on the road around you. All it takes is one drivers error to cause a major pileup in poor road conditions.

After you first major storm out west, take notice of how many cars & trucks are overturned or otherwise wrecked on the side of the road. Personally I never wanted to be on the same road at the same time as they were.

Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

Some Great Advice and Info! I want to thank you all for answering my concerns and questions. I think I can honestly say there will be no Private CDL Training in my future, with the great advice I received here it makes more since to go company sponsored. So based on the comments here the Stevens Acceptance to cdl school in Colorado is pretty much a done deal as long as nothing pops up (and it wont what you read is it). Not that I'm going there I wanna weigh my options elsewhere as mentioned here. I'm learning the process, is that how it works for the most part?

I put the app in with Prime and Stevens in Aug. before I realized I had a couple medical snags I had to get resolved thus the Acceptance to school with Stevens and the Denial with Prime. No further applications will be put in until Dec1 so I have plenty of time to Nail down my plan, right now I'm studying for Permit to be ready for that when I get Physical and take permit test in November.

I got to say I'm impressed with the CDL Prep on this site, I plan to take the tests offered here once I feel I'm ready. Have a question on 1 of the Companies I'm considering... Can anyone tell me if Wilson Logistics runs much East Coast Freight, I would imagine if not it would be hard to get hired in my area...I live a mile off of 81 in West Va.

I see their trucks occasionally but not often at all, I kind of wanna cover all 48 the 1st yr at least and they offer a lot of stuff out west but nothing here. As far as Winter training...it has always been a necessity in this endeavor, would much rather be with an experienced trainer during a snow storm the 1st time, although I have plenty of experience hauling that travel trailer up to hunt camp here in West VA in the Snow! No comparison I'm sure. Well gang I'm gonna jump off here for now, again I appreciate everyone's response and advice. Be Safe and Goodnight!

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I would keep applying to various companies. Prime and Steven's Transport are only two companies that offer training, so why limit yourself?

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

As it relates to winter driving, how difficult is it to chain up? How long, on average, does it take to chain up one pair of drive wheels?

If I, a short old lady that was 69.5 and chained up 3 times this past spring, throwing on 6 chains in about an hour, I'm sure once you get used to it, you can do it a bit faster.

0379349001632073011.jpg

Had to readjust the front set before pulling out. This was in a rest area before going over Snoqualmie Pass. Since I helped another guy to chain up, the Pass was closed before I left and ended up taking them off the next day when the Pass opened. This was 6 weeks after having emergency gallbladder surgery.

Laura

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to thank all who gave some great advice on this Topic and a few others. I feel i am already at an advantage on this new career due to your tips. As stated earlier I am currently on a project at my present employer which will now conclude sometime in Dec (as opposed to Nov), upon completion I will really kick this in the backside. I will return to this topic when the time comes and update everyone on my journey. Last question for now....the cdl training on this site is pretty good, I have taken 2 Chapter tests so far and scored an 86% without looking up answers. I can only imagine how I do when I study. Which leads to my question, Is this cdl prep tool taken from all states CDL study guides or is it just a general study guide not state specific. The reason I ask is because the Stevens School (CWW in Colorado) stated to study the Colorado DMV book because things are different from state to state, Any input appreciated. Until next time, Be Safe and.....if your a Fed Ex driver that travels 81 from Hagerstown Md to points south...Get the Hell outta the left lane and quit holding everyone up...smile.gif

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.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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