Pegasus Truck School - Northwest WA

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Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Goodness, traumatic brain injury? That must have been so hard for both of you. Is he ok now?

Thanks for calling me youngster! ☺️ At 54 I don’t hear that a lot. Hubby is the same age as you. He’ll be retiring and coming with me, if all goes well.

Nina

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He had two TBIs within 45ish hours of each other. I took care of him for 18 years. In 2014 he was going downhill with dementia (like what Mohammed Ali had) so I started looking for work because once I was no longer taking care of him, the domiciliary care from Workman's Comp would stop.

Not being trained in anything special, most jobs were minimum wage or a little above which wouldn't support me unless I sold my house. That is when my brother encouraged me to get my CDL. When I drove from 88 to 93, you loaded and unloaded your truck and at 63 I couldn't do that. He told me that drivers no longer touched freight and I should be able to do it. So I went to school and then started the process of placing my husband in the nursing home. It was during summer time so it took a bit to get everybody lined up to get the paperwork done. I placed him in the nursing home on permanent daycare while the paperwork was being done. Eight days after placing him in the home, on Labor Day weekend, he fell and broke his hip. He also hit his head near his temple which was never looked at. Friday of that week they called and asked if they could give him a unit of blood because his Labs were low and of course I said sure. The next day I had to make a decision, thinking it was a home with physical therapy, when they explained he had pneumonia, had to be put on a respirator and knocked out for 48 hours while his lungs recuperated or not do heroics. Not what I expected... after talking with the doctor at great length, I decided to make him comfortable. This was without even seeing him. When I went in to see him after calling his family, I found that he had a massive hematoma in that spot that was cut. There was no response from him, so I knew they were doing a CYA and that he was actually gone. He died 2 days later.

You are only 3 yrs older than my first child, so yes you are a youngster as is Anne, who has a birthday soon 😉

Laura

Finally a proper answer. We cook late dinner in this house.

Oh my GOD Laura. That is such a harrowing journey. To have to put your best friend and life-partner in a nursing home, and have him die like that.

My mom nursed my dad until he died from cancer, I'm thinking of that and the enourmous mental and emotional strength you would have had to find in order to make it through this. Mom just turned 76.

But then--to after saying goodbye to your closest companion, the love of your life; and learn you might be homeless. At the very least sell the home which housed all the memories you shared together.

My heart hurts for you that you went through all of that.

I know from my own mom and her journey that the strength it takes is enormous.

I'll take the "youngster" moniker. :)

And I sure hope I get to meet you out on the road someday.

Nina

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Laura how do you like life out on the road? I’m guessing after 8 years you must love it, or you’d be doing something different by now.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reply to me.

Nina

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It's okay.... I ended up having to do a 34-hour reset down here in Rhome TX so I can run the load to SLC for a Monday delivery. Not what I planned, but it's okay. I will still take time off next week because I have an eye appointment at the VA doctor on Tuesday. Then I'm pretty sure I'll get a load of cheese on Thursday and deliver Monday in Greensboro NC.

People don't think I look 70 and most days I don't feel it (no comment from the peanut gallery). When people comment that I'm out here driving at my age, I tell them it's a good paying job for women and old folks and I'm both 😉

My first company was owned by a husband and wife, who weren't really bad to work for. This was before the electronic logs and so while the husband micromanaged us, we were encouraged to fudge our logs. I drove 16 months for them, got off the road for five months to be a manager at a goat dairy. The overall manager and his brother owned trucks, so when he said I was not offered what he offered me, I called his bluff and got fired. The next company I went to encouraged running illegal. Six months after starting with them, DOT shut them down permanently, stranding four of us out on the road. After that I vowed I would never drive for anyone that didn't have electronic logs. I went on with another company and stayed with them 18 months, including running dedicated containers from NE, CO, KS and OK to the port of Oakland. I liked that run, getting 2800 to 3300 miles a week. I left because they needed a favor and I gave up home time. Then they cut into my vacation time. They would normally have deadheaded me from Denver to Idaho, but this time they needed a load delivered. Everything went south and I missed the important part of my event. When I got home that Sunday night, I notice flashing lights in my living room, went outside and saw a fire truck going up the street. There was also cars parked in my driveway out back. I asked what was happening and they were preparing my pasture for the Life Flight. After it landed, nobody seemed to be in a hurry. As it turned out, the neighbor guy who was only 8 months older than me, had died of a massive heart attack. I went back inside and on the FB Marketplace, there was an ad for a driver in my town. I sent a message, got a response and ended up doing a road test. I gave my container company two weeks notice and went with this new place. It was a lease operator who needed somebody to drive his trucks. I told him about the other company that got shut down and told him I don't put up with not getting paid for my work that I do. 11 months later, while sitting in Rochester MN, I looked at my bank statement and a payroll check had bounced. So I called the leasing company, who actually was dispatching me, and asked if they took company drivers. Yes they did and they took me on. I've been with them for three years now and I get the miles along with good pay.

I do like driving and the little perks, like getting to see some of my brothers on occasion or a friend in MN or meeting up with some of the guys from here.

Laura

Wow Laura, WHAT a journey. Running illegal in 2014-15? And here I thought that was over with after the 90's or so. I SO get why the folks on here say to stay away from small operators then.

For that matter, any bad experience I've had with employers in my former industries, were ALL small companies as well. No HR, no systems, no training--and sometimes doing everything the wrong way. I had one file for bankruptcy two weeks after I hired on; and after having turned down other offers to go to them.

The neighbor dying is one of those things that'll wake a person up. I haven't had that, but I've had three girlfriends die over the years, all of them my age or just a few years older. Two of them died as a result of the occupation the three of us shared.

That--and my doc telling me if I don't change occupations I will die is the reason I never turned back in that direction, when I was starting to feel better. This is an open forum so I won't do deeper details--but I'd be happy to in a PM.

And I just love that you are out there, doing your thing. Boy do I hope I get to meet you in person someday.

Anyway - Godspeed, drive safe. <3

Thank you so much for spending time with me here on the forum.

When it comes time, I'd love to pick your brain on all the finer points of driving truck, anytime I'm in a pickle. Like when the landing gear is stuck, what does a scrawny (if fluffy) girl like me do?

Deadhead:

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

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Laura is the real. She's a friend, as I consider. This is a NOPE, imho ... though.

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What if I pay the company for their training lump-sum. I am able to do that. Is that a good idea? In theory at least--it puts me equal (in some ways) to a person who went to private school, in that the school contract is paid. In a way, I'd cost less--because they wouldn't be retraining anything the private school did that they didn't like.

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They'll have NO STAKE in keeping you!

Girl, 'buck up buttercup' .. and pull the bootstraps UPPPPP!

I had my CLP 2x in the early 2000's .. it only lasted 6 months then; now it's a year. (GOOD FOR YOU!) If you do ANY 'preschool' prep; OBTAIN YOUR CDLP ...!

Mountain Matt had his BOUND at Office Max, but he won't sell. Here it is, in the raw:

Some companies mandate it; others don't want you to (read: Prime, unless its changed.)

Here's MY STRONGEST RECOMMENDATION (and I'm sure Ms. Laura would agree....) keep 'One hand in Your Pocket, and the other one PLAYING A PIANO!' Idiom, analogy, as you wish to call it. Piano is not just the 'instrument' .. it's your 'ACE of Spades,' if you will.

(Analogy / song... from a very strong woman!)

When my other half brings the T/T home, I PRACTICE, pre and post . . . bonus!

Best wishes, Nina. Laura IS the bomb.

~ Anne ~

Thank you so much Anne! I see what you are saying about Laura. An amazing, strong person. I'm getting the impression you are too. As well as kind, caring and giving.

Happy Birthday btw! thank-you.gif

I'm starting to get it now.

Take the company's school--owe them money for the full year, don't pay a cent early, that way they will keep you until you got legs under you. And that's the full reason--because you need that full year, and whether the private school is bad / good / great does not make one iota of difference.

Now to find which patient carrier with a school trains a potentially slow learner the best?

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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I'm afraid I'm going to FLUNK and they will throw me OUT. It goes without saying, a good attitude and a great work ethic is essential. I plan on giving 110%. The fear is, what if I'm too dense? What if I cannot learn fast enough and they throw me out?

you would have to be pretty d@mn stupid to be thrown out. I don't think you are all that dense, you are just scared and you're letting it get the better of you.

Let's say this does happen. Company X throws me out, because I'm too slow a learner. Let's also say I was pleasant, with a good work ethic and a good attitude, and had done nothing wrong. I was just SLOW to learn.

I'm on the greyhound / airplane / whatever back home. Now what? Can I just call up one of the other companies I pre-applied with? Am I OUT of the industry?

No, there's a number of 2d chance companies that will give you a chance, even if you screwed up a bit.

Sorry for harping, I just really need to know.

NO YOU DON'T....at least not the way you are thinking! You don't know what you don't know and it's driving you crazy! You need to just stop!

My big fat fear is, first I will flunk the theory (MUCH smaller fear thanks to Brett and the High Road Training), and that I will suck so bad at backing and cornering in heavy traffic that they will get rid of me.

I KNOW I can learn. From what I've read they also need you to learn (and get it) within their timeframe.

Can I just call up the next company then? Say company X sent me home because after two weeks I still suck at backing a 70-foot trailer? Or am I OUT?

see above... There are second chance companies out there.

What if I pay the company for their training lump-sum. I am able to do that. Is that a good idea?

you could I suppose, but why would you and no it wouldn't put you equal to a person who went to a private school. In theory at least--it puts me equal (in some ways) to a person who went to private school, in that the school contract is paid. In a way, I'd cost less--because they wouldn't be retraining anything the private school did that they didn't like.

Would that put me equal--so that they'd can me if I hit something?

you are letting your brainpan run away with you! Now stop it and quit harping on your fears. Your fears are no worse than anybody else's that is entering into a new career. You are overthinking this and worrying more than you should. Just study and read the different links that have been provided and you will be okay.

Again--my two fears; 1) I learn too slow. 2) I've had nightmares about backing 70ft trailers into tight holes since I rode shotgun in a semi on a regular basis in my teens. I KNOW the only cure is practice. I'm afraid they'll want me perfect too soon.

NO they won't want you perfect too soon. These companies know it takes upwards of a year or more to get the hang of backing. A truck and trailer is <70 ft and you're letting that scare you. Just think of the trailer and it's only 53 ft. The longer the trailer, the easier it is to back into a slot. I'll let you back my 16 ft stock trailer...now you can be scared! That thing will jackknife around as quick as a movement of your steering wheel! It took me quite a while to get used to making real tiny movements with it. I'll take a big trailer any day of the week.

I need to know that if I dump the idea of the school that will let me back trailers into tight holes for a year if it takes me that long to learn it, that I won't be thrown head-first out of the industry for not keeping up with the program.

So now you know what I've been hiding. I'm terrified of backing into tight holes. Terrified I'll hit something, or worse, while doing it.

GOAL...Get Out And Look! 3 years ago I was in a hurry, didn't GOAL and dinged a sleeper next to where I was parking, cost the boss $3,000 for repairs....I didn't get fired.

I know between all of you, you probably have a 1000 years of experience, so thank you so much for your time, and please hit me with the good info.

Lil'ScaredOfBackingABigTruck.

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I answered after each of your points.

Laura

Laura,

THANK you. <3 See, it worked. That's why I'm HERE, and not on Layover or any of the other forums.

I can breathe now.

I got the backing fear while riding shotgun in a semi in my teens, during the early 80's. They backed short doubles and sometimes triples. I also got the fever during those long trips. The runs were in northern Europe, in the arctic. No traffic like we have here in the US, but bad roads and often foul weather.

Funny that the mountain passes and weather never scared me. But the backing did..

And here I thought a long trailer was worse.. that'll tell you what I know. HA. NOTHING, that's what.

Big breath. I CAN DO THIS!

I so appreciate you girl. <3 Anne as well. <3

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Oh my God Laura. You've had to weather a lot. I will answer you properly later--just saw this. Holy cow! You're a strong person. RESPECT.

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Laura is the real. She's a friend, as I consider. This is a NOPE, imho ... though.

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What if I pay the company for their training lump-sum. I am able to do that. Is that a good idea? In theory at least--it puts me equal (in some ways) to a person who went to private school, in that the school contract is paid. In a way, I'd cost less--because they wouldn't be retraining anything the private school did that they didn't like.

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They'll have NO STAKE in keeping you!

Girl, 'buck up buttercup' .. and pull the bootstraps UPPPPP!

I had my CLP 2x in the early 2000's .. it only lasted 6 months then; now it's a year. (GOOD FOR YOU!) If you do ANY 'preschool' prep; OBTAIN YOUR CDLP ...!

Mountain Matt had his BOUND at Office Max, but he won't sell. Here it is, in the raw:

Some companies mandate it; others don't want you to (read: Prime, unless its changed.)

Here's MY STRONGEST RECOMMENDATION (and I'm sure Ms. Laura would agree....) keep 'One hand in Your Pocket, and the other one PLAYING A PIANO!' Idiom, analogy, as you wish to call it. Piano is not just the 'instrument' .. it's your 'ACE of Spades,' if you will.

(Analogy / song... from a very strong woman!)

When my other half brings the T/T home, I PRACTICE, pre and post . . . bonus!

Best wishes, Nina. Laura IS the bomb.

~ Anne ~

Getting it bound; now THERE's an idea. I can take it to Kinko's.

Don't blame Matt for hanging tightly onto his. :)

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Laura is the real. She's a friend, as I consider. This is a NOPE, imho ... though.

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What if I pay the company for their training lump-sum. I am able to do that. Is that a good idea? In theory at least--it puts me equal (in some ways) to a person who went to private school, in that the school contract is paid. In a way, I'd cost less--because they wouldn't be retraining anything the private school did that they didn't like.

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They'll have NO STAKE in keeping you!

Girl, 'buck up buttercup' .. and pull the bootstraps UPPPPP!

I had my CLP 2x in the early 2000's .. it only lasted 6 months then; now it's a year. (GOOD FOR YOU!) If you do ANY 'preschool' prep; OBTAIN YOUR CDLP ...!

Mountain Matt had his BOUND at Office Max, but he won't sell. Here it is, in the raw:

Some companies mandate it; others don't want you to (read: Prime, unless its changed.)

Here's MY STRONGEST RECOMMENDATION (and I'm sure Ms. Laura would agree....) keep 'One hand in Your Pocket, and the other one PLAYING A PIANO!' Idiom, analogy, as you wish to call it. Piano is not just the 'instrument' .. it's your 'ACE of Spades,' if you will.

(Analogy / song... from a very strong woman!)

When my other half brings the T/T home, I PRACTICE, pre and post . . . bonus!

Best wishes, Nina. Laura IS the bomb.

~ Anne ~

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Thank you so much Anne! I see what you are saying about Laura. An amazing, strong person. I'm getting the impression you are too. As well as kind, caring and giving.

Happy Birthday btw! thank-you.gif

I'm starting to get it now.

Take the company's school--owe them money for the full year, don't pay a cent early, that way they will keep you until you got legs under you. And that's the full reason--because you need that full year, and whether the private school is bad / good / great does not make one iota of difference.

Now to find which patient carrier with a school trains a potentially slow learner the best?

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I MESSED UP THE QUOTE LOL... Shame on me.. Anne--the answer is in there.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Trucking Company Reviews

Apply and send to many. Then go thru those who respond, whittle down to 3 or 4.

I can say for a fact that Prime will make sure that you get the information and help you go through the different steps. I had a young man of 46 get laid off out of the clear blue sky the week before Thanksgiving because the Rancher ran out of money. My friend is mentally slow, has a bad speech impediment and has been taken advantage of by different bosses. Amazingly, 4 days after he sent out apps to a number of companies, Prime contacted him and he is now in school. He did drive for a few months for C.R. England about 18 years ago, got into lease operator and lost his shirt. He has worked on cattle ranches ever since. So he does have knowledge backing trailers and farm equipment but his memory doesn't remember much of his driving, so he's being treated as a new student. He's not mechanically inclined and was very worried about the pre-trip. Prime has a very good pre-trip and they worked with him and he passed it. That gave his confidence a big boost. Now he's worried about hitting curbs, but I'm sure they will work with him and he will be just fine.

Now I really do have to take a nap.

Laura

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.

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Hi Mountain Matt! Yes I am not leaving a thing to chance this time; --even though life always throws us curveballs and never ends up exactly as planned, I'm planning this one out fully before I make my move or spend a dime.

I was on the oilfield, in the office, working maintenance and construction. It was an out-of-this-world amazing experience. Between the coworkers, the northern lights, frozen air that falls like snow, wildlife that is so tame they come right up to you; 85 below zero wind-chill with -50F ambient, and just Alaska in general, I loved it. My first meeting with it was commercial fishing out of Dutch in the -90's. Dutch Harbor was also something else!

Alaska will spoil you to everywhere else, haha, as you already may have found out.

Please tell me about your experience with Wilson Logistics as you get going. One thing I had been pondering--after I get enough experience to be safe doing it--is heavy haul. Wilson would be a straight path there. And I believe they run in Alaska as well--at least they did.

I'm a little behind you in timing, I plan to be rolling (if at all possible) by late April. I think that is giving myself ample time, while also getting months of solo time before I have to go through the first snow storm.

Very nice to meet you Matt!

-Nina

Good to meet you too, Nina! Yes, my philosophy is to plan everything that can be planned so that I'm prepared to absorb and adapt to the curveballs that come my way. For instance, I had everything planned out and in motion for my move to South Dakota and transition to company training (see my new diary thread), and then the transmission on my car died over in Michigan after Thanksgiving! I was still able to deal with that and work things out because everything else was planned and in motion.

I have heard that Wilson has a heavy haul division out West, which would work for you. I haven't heard of them running up to Alaska (that would be cool!!). I'll let you know if I hear anything further about these when I'm there. I know Ashley Distribution just bought Wilson's western assets, so possibly things may change there (one way or the other).

Your Alaska stories and experiences sound AMAZING! You're right that Alaska spoils you for all else.

It's ok that you have some time... I had a similar length of time, and it was helpful to prepare, continue reading about the industry, study for my CLP , etc.

As to your other comments about fear, I understand, as I'm starting in two days! But I also know that I've prepared for this moment, and I'm 100% in. As one of my favorite novels (now a new movie) says, "Fear is the mind-killer, the little death that brings obliteration." I.e., Don't let fear in. A Navy SEALS podcast I listened to on mental toughness says, "Never let a negative thought complete itself in your mind." Preparation, hard work, mental toughness, and positive self-talk are what I'm relying on. You'll do fine.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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LRRHood... aka Nina ~ Yes, I DID find your reply buried, haha!

I MESSED UP THE QUOTE LOL... Shame on me.. Anne--the answer is in there.

You're fine!

You are spot on; with Ms. Laura & Rainy (aka: Kearsey, lol!) I've yammered with them both; phone & otherwise. When I finally get to start my journey sometime in early 2022 (got the last kid, aging up, and my torn RC shoulder, which is 85% healed,) I'll be with ya!

Regarding the 'other' forums. Let's be candid, we all know TTR is a 'free for all.' Tom & I used to 'play there.' Eons ago. You could read his old posts (some WERE me, jsyk) but everytime we'd try to HELP someone, a 'GOOD OLE BOY BADARSKE' had to bash our attempts.

Garage, Beer, and Offtime thread was the end of the end. YOU'RE HERE NOW, YOU HAVE US!

Keep on keeping on, Nina. I had a permit twice, but never got my full CDL. Pulled tanks with Tom, as a 'student' for a private hauler. Don't follow my lead.

In all honesty, when MY chance arises . . . I may just go with company sponsored, as well. PLEASE imbibe the HRTP here.... and get a laminate of Daniel B.' s pretrip, as mi mano Mt.Matt did. I want to, as well! Do you know... other entities actually USE Brett's HRTP and Daniel's PreTrip in their curriculum?!?!? Yes, Brett's aware. Cool though, eh? Now, we've got G'Town working on a pictorial of LTL stuff! Doubles...pintle hooks and dollies. You probably don't even know what that means, but it's okay. You won't need to, but you'll feel better being out there, and underSTANDING everything. Just. Like. Me.

I really 'admire' your "go getted'ness" (I made that word up, haha! Urban Dictionary, here ya go!) You sound a LOT like me... in your enthusiasm and curiosity, and caring.

HMU anytime; and carry on, be safe!

BEST WISHES MONDAY, Mountain Matt~!

~ Anne & Tom ~

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Fears time again: Because I research, because you kind folks know--and I don't.

My questions surrounding company school isn't that I want to skip town after 3 months to go be a "free agent". And again--I may well go to company school. There are solid reasons for it. Just trying to address all those fears I have.

I'd be happy to sign a contract with an employer to stay with them for a year or more, their school or not.

I'm afraid I'm going to FLUNK and they will throw me OUT. It goes without saying, a good attitude and a great work ethic is essential. I plan on giving 110%. The fear is, what if I'm too dense? What if I cannot learn fast enough and they throw me out?

Let's say this does happen. Company X throws me out, because I'm too slow a learner. Let's also say I was pleasant, with a good work ethic and a good attitude, and had done nothing wrong. I was just SLOW to learn.

I'm on the greyhound / airplane / whatever back home. Now what? Can I just call up one of the other companies I pre-applied with? Am I OUT of the industry?

Sorry for harping, I just really need to know.

My big fat fear is, first I will flunk the theory (MUCH smaller fear thanks to Brett and the High Road Training), and that I will suck so bad at backing & cornering in heavy traffic that they will get rid of me.

I KNOW I can learn. From what I've read they also need you to learn (and get it) within their timeframe.

Can I just call up the next company then? Say company X sent me home because after two weeks I still suck at backing a 70-foot trailer? Or am I OUT?

One more while I'm at it--and I am thankful I have you to help me answer all these stupid questions and get GOOD information so I can put them to rest.

What if I pay the company for their training lump-sum. I am able to do that. Is that a good idea? In theory at least--it puts me equal (in some ways) to a person who went to private school, in that the school contract is paid. In a way, I'd cost less--because they wouldn't be retraining anything the private school did that they didn't like.

Would that put me equal--so that they'd can me if I hit something?

Again--my two fears; 1) I learn too slow. 2) I've had nightmares about backing 70ft trailers into tight holes since I rode shotgun in a semi on a regular basis in my teens. I KNOW the only cure is practice. I'm afraid they'll want me perfect too soon.

I need to know that if I dump the idea of the school that will let me back trailers into tight holes for a year if it takes me that long to learn it, that I won't be thrown head-first out of the industry for not keeping up with the program.

So now you know what I've been hiding. I'm terrified of backing into tight holes. Terrified I'll hit something, or worse, while doing it.

I know between all of you, you probably have a 1000 years of experience, so thank you so much for your time, and please hit me with the good info.

Lil'ScaredOfBackingABigTruck.

I could have written this early this year. In fact I probably did :D Just not all in one post lmao I ended up going with Wilson for their training. I think the only reason they would throw someone out of training is not passing their CDLP test. I failed the first time. Yeah. Nothing like pressure. I sucked at backing. I cried during my CDL test because I couldn't back (It's better now, but still not great.) I demolished the corner of a trailer with my first trainer. I went through 3 trainers. And guess what? I've been out here solo since early September. These companies are more forgiving than you'd think. Don't sweat that stuff. They definitely aren't looking for perfection.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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