Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary To Begin Training As A Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Topic 31958 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Trucks that do not have APUs utilize Optimized Idle technology integrated with the thermostat in the bunk. If the temp goes above the setting, the motor automatically kicks on so the AC can run. Once the desired temp is met, it shuts down.

You mentioned about the training is all about passing the CDL test. This is primarily true for every program… although Paid CDL Training Programs tend to include some company policy and procedure in their training. The essence of your learning will occur when on the road with a trainer… this is when you begin to learn about truck driving and all that goes with it.

One step at a time… get that CDL!

Good luck.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

An observation of mine on an APU equipped truck or not:

After five months of having a truck with an APU for the first time, I greatly prefer it over the Optimized Idle or just plain idling the truck to stay cool. When it runs as advertised, it's a great feature for me.

I was either sweating or freezing during the warm weather months with every company Freightliner using the O.I. feature.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Trucks that do not have APUs utilize Optimized Idle technology integrated with the thermostat in the bunk. If the temp goes above the setting, the motor automatically kicks on so the AC can run. Once the desired temp is met, it shuts down.

You mentioned about the training is all about passing the CDL test. This is primarily true for every program… although Paid CDL Training Programs tend to include some company policy and procedure in their training. The essence of your learning will occur when on the road with a trainer… this is when you begin to learn about truck driving and all that goes with it.

One step at a time… get that CDL!

Good luck.

Thanks for the encouragement G-Town! With so many variables in play, it's fantastic to have so many experienced voices provide advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

An observation of mine on an APU equipped truck or not:

After five months of having a truck with an APU for the first time, I greatly prefer it over the Optimized Idle or just plain idling the truck to stay cool. When it runs as advertised, it's a great feature for me.

I was either sweating or freezing during the warm weather months with every company Freightliner using the O.I. feature.

Hi PackRat, Freezing I could deal with! However, my Canadian blood is not well-suited for heat! I'm not opposed to sweating while tarping/strapping etc., but when it comes to sleep, I really struggle with hot temps. As a rookie, I'm prepared to do what it takes to get started in this industry. If I get stuck in a sweat-box, I'll reach out to you veterans to try to figure it out. Hard to believe that just a few decades ago, people lived quite well in the South without AC. Whoever invented AC should have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and every other award for contributing to the well-being of humanity.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

GP Clark, investing in 1 or 2 DC powered fans with alligator clamps will assist in keeping the air moving in the bunk area.

Having dealt with AC problems in the past, running the fan over a small, open container of ice will help keep things cooler.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

"Wind over ice"...My memory wanders back to something like this:

0087542001656266892.jpg

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

I've got one similar to this, and it works on a USB !!

(For the spare room, where we haven't finished building, ergo .. no insulation yet!)

0437716001656294431.jpg

It REALLY works !

~ Anne ~

Paul L.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on hour decision Steve. I've used this site extensively but have never posted until now. I'm now 60 (wow, that sounds old) and I started driving with Paper Transport on 11/7/21 after an 8 week course at Milwaukee area tech college. Best decision I ever made for schooling and driving job. I can't say enough about what a good experience they both have been. At 6 weeks I started applying for jobs and when the responses started rolling in I made up a spread sheet with all of the particulars and made my decision based on MY wants and needs. I think the companies like getting older drivers because of our life experience, work ethic and other intangibles. I work hard, stay between the yellow lines and don't run into anything when I back up. And I don't complain (except if my truck breaks down) and because of the before mentioned I started with a KW with over 500,000 and was given a 2021 Freightliner with 20k 2 months ago. Not bad for a guy with less than 6 months on the job. "Slow is Pro"! And "PTI" goes out of their way to accommodate work schedule changes and such. I could go on Steve, but I will just leave it with this. I thought this out for about 3 years and then took action on it. So far - no regrets. Thanks for reading, Paul

Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on hour decision Steve. I've used this site extensively but have never posted until now. I'm now 60 (wow, that sounds old) and I started driving with Paper Transport on 11/7/21 after an 8 week course at Milwaukee area tech college. Best decision I ever made for schooling and driving job. I can't say enough about what a good experience they both have been. At 6 weeks I started applying for jobs and when the responses started rolling in I made up a spread sheet with all of the particulars and made my decision based on MY wants and needs. I think the companies like getting older drivers because of our life experience, work ethic and other intangibles. I work hard, stay between the yellow lines and don't run into anything when I back up. And I don't complain (except if my truck breaks down) and because of the before mentioned I started with a KW with over 500,000 and was given a 2021 Freightliner with 20k 2 months ago. Not bad for a guy with less than 6 months on the job. "Slow is Pro"! And "PTI" goes out of their way to accommodate work schedule changes and such. I could go on Steve, but I will just leave it with this. I thought this out for about 3 years and then took action on it. So far - no regrets. Thanks for reading, Paul

Thanks for sharing your experiences Paul! It sounds like you carefully thought out your plan and then executed. I'm very happy to hear that it is working out great for you. To start something new at 60 (or 57 in my case) certainly tests one's faith! These past 3-weeks that I have been in training at the local community college have been very interesting. It has been quite some time since I was in a classroom environment with a group of 20-somethings. I am quite obviously the most "seasoned" member of my class, but I've noticed that us older folks look at things a bit different than those in their 20's. We've had several recruiters speak to us over the past weeks and several in our class seem to think it is an insult to be offered .50-.55/per mile...as a rookie! Another student constantly points out how ridiculous it is that you don't get 2-weeks paid vacation to start. I just shake my head and keep my mouth shut as the class seems to agree that starting at $45-60K/year is insulting. I'm not sure what other jobs these people have had but almost all of them seem to think that everyone should be paid 6-figures to start. I'm thankful that my life experiences have educated me and I am hoping that I will make $45K for my rookie year. I started one of my policing jobs at $20K/yr...and had to wear a gun and work permanent midnights for two+years before I even got to see sunlight! The new generation is very technically saavy, but they seem to feel quite entitled when it comes to salary and benefits. Thanks again for your encouragement. I'm loving every minute of this adventure.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grandpa Clark's Comment
member avatar

Week 2 and 3 with Ancora Corporate Training at Central Virginia Community College (Lynchburg, VA) With one week to go until we finish up our course, it's hard to believe how fast it has flown by. There has been drama, truck breakdowns, instructor/student friction, but overall, I'm very pleased with the learning experience. These past two weeks have all been spent on the driving range practicing backing maneuvers and going out on the public roadways to practice in the real world. There have been many complaints from some of the students in our class (we have 9 total), we have had one student drop due to Covid, and I believe there has been a change made at the Director level for this program.

Probably the greatest source of strife between the students and the instructors involves two issues. First, there have been a couple of truck breakdowns (sounds like trucking right?) which has limited our exposure to practice time. With 9 students and only one working truck for several days, we have been waiting for long periods between sessions behind the wheel. This has impacted our class on two different occasions and they finally have brought us a second vehicle from one of the other Community Colleges to replace the one that is broken down. The second source of strife has involved cellphone use on the range and in the classroom. With so much waiting time, it is only natural that the younger students have resorted to using their phones to kill time. That gravitated to inappropriate and offensive videos that were laced with heavy profanity and other inappropriate content that everyone was exposed to. The instructors tried to reign it in and that didn't go very smoothly. These distractions are just that...distractions. While distracted driving is definitely a bad thing, I have to credit our instructors with overcoming many challenges that are beyond their control. I feel like I am learning what I need to know in order to pass the Dept. of Motor Vehicles test and that is what they promised they would teach us to do. After next week, my DMV test will be scheduled and we'll see if I can translate what I have learned into an actual CDL license!

We have had recruiters from TMC and Melton (flatbed) and Englander/Fleetmaster (refrigerated/dry van). The recruiters have been very informative and willingly answered any questions thrown their way. Despite some of our younger students feeling that they deserve far more than $0.50/mile to start, as well as at least 2-weeks paid vacation to start, most of the class has seemed to enjoy the recruiters' presentations. Just a few years ago (about 4-5 years ago if my memory is correct) I was considering signing on with a mega-carrier and going through their training program to get my CDL. At that time, the pay for new graduates was .36 cpm. So, suffice it to say, I've been pretty impressed to see starting pay around $0.50. It seems fair to me for people with no experience who are likely to bend or break a few things as we learn the ropes.

I am thoroughly enjoying my experience thus far and my only regret is that I didn't do this earlier. However, having been mixing with the youngsters in my class for these past three weeks, I now know that my extensive life experiences are going to serve me well in this career. I also have had a lineup of companies give me conditional offers of employment...sight unseen! How amazing is that? As of today, I believe I'm the only person in our class that has any job offer, and I already have 3 (TMC, Melton, and Maverick). I guess you can tell I want to do flatbed to start (while I still can!). I haven't decided yet, but I feel very fortunate to have some options right out of the gate.

When I check in next, I'm praying I'll have a CDL and I hope to have made my decision on where to start my trucking career. Thanks for following along on this journey, and for all the encouraging comments. Sincerely, Steve

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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