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

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Grandpa Clark's Comment
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Congratulations!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Wow! So many dancing bananas! I'm sure there is a story behind this emoji, perhaps I'm bananas for getting into the trucking industry??

Thanks for all your encouragement and advice PackRat!

Grandpa Clark's Comment
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Congrats from us also!!

Safe travels, Steve. Will be waiting to hear more!!!

~ Anne & Tom ~

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Thanks Anne. I really appreciate all the encouragement and great advice. I'll keep you posted here as my journey continues.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
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Steve;

You are most welcome, and I'm sure I speak for us all.

The dancing bananas . . . that's TT's congratulatory way of welcoming a new DRIVER! When one earns that title, one receives the dancing bananas. Legend and custom has it, however, that the bananas are only given TO a driver, FROM a driver. See, I'm not one yet myself, so . . . I've been (self) relegated (LoL!) to awarding the dancing dogs for now! Means the same KUDOS, however. :)

Go nail this; we await your future, well versed, endeavors!

~ Anne ~

dancing-dog.gif good-luck.gif dancing-dog.gif

G-Town's Comment
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That is fantastic!!! Congratulations!

Grandpa Clark's Comment
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That is fantastic!!! Congratulations!

Thanks G-Town. I appreciate your advice and encouragement. On to the next step!

Grandpa Clark's Comment
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Maverick Student Orientation-Madison, IL Terminal After all the stress and excitement around getting my CDL just three days ago, I'm writing this from the Fairfield Inn, located in Collinsville, IL. Maverick's Madison Terminal is just a few miles away and my roommate and I have just settled in.

It was an early start as I departed Lynchburg's airport on a 5:10 a.m. flight to Charlotte, where I easily made my connection for the flight to St. Louis. I was advised there was another prospective Maverick on the flight, and I played the "Who could it be?" game in the gate area. I saw several possible candidates, but upon my arrival at the Maverick shuttle in St. Louis, my teammate was not someone I had noticed on the flight. He is a NC native and I have enjoyed getting to know him. We got checked into the hotel early and had a welcome packet from Maverick waiting for us. I thought it was interesting that since we are sharing a room, Maverick dictated who got which bed. My packet says "bed by door". I thought that was unusual but then imagined that putting two complete strangers together opens up the possibility of disagreements over just about anything, including who gets which bed. I don't see my rommie and I having any issues getting along for the next 12-days. The packet has basic information on what to bring to our first day (SSN, bank info for direct deposit, CDL, identification (passport/birth certificate, etc., and medical/prescription information), and a pamphlet on Sleep Apnea. We will have breakfast at the hotel, and be served lunch at the Maverick terminal. The shuttle will pick us up at 6:30 a.m. so I envision an early night tonight.

It's been quite the whirlwind of activity since leaving the white-collar cubicles of corporate America just 6-weeks ago. Somehow I sense that the whirlwind is going to continue, and possibly even escalate in intensity over the coming days/weeks. I'm very thankful and more excited than I've been in many years.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
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Steve;

Always following!! Agreed; Maverick is a fine choice.

Indeed, let the REAL whirlwinds begin, good sir!!!

Blessings & the best to you, always;

~ Anne & Tom ~

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OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

George B.'s Comment
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Hows it going driver?

Grandpa Clark's Comment
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Maverick New-Grad Orientation: Madison, IL - Day 1/2 At 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 31, our class of four met in the lobby of the Fairfield Inn for our first ride to the terminal. We are only the second group to come to Madison, as Maverick traditionally trains at their corporate HQ in North Little Rock, AR. This new training location can take a maximum of 8 students at a time, and we have two instructors. One instructor is taking us through our classroom exercises, while the other instructor is in charge of securement training.

Of the four students in my class, one is a returning Maverick driver. The previous class (the first in Madison) also has a driver that is returning to Maverick. I asked my classmate why he was returning to Maverick and he said that he had left to drive locally in the coalfields of WV and after 3-months, he found that the grass definitely wasn't greener. He seems very thankful to be back at Maverick and told me that I had made an excellent choice in picking Maverick to start my career. One of my other classmates has already driven for: Western Express, J.B. Hunt, and Jordan. I asked him why he was coming to Maverick and he said that Maverick's equipment (including the EPU/APU and refrigerator) was a factor in him coming. Both he and the other returning Maverick in our class are attempting to "test out", which means that after week one of orientation this week, they will be tested on their securement skills and if they pass, they will be issued a truck and be gone. If they are both successful that will just leave me and my roommate.

Sunday-7 a.m. we entered the classroom and were issued a Samsung tablet which contains all of the forms, videos, releases etc. that we will be working through. We were also issued a copy of the regulations and a 2022 Rand McNally Motor Carrier Road Atlas. We started filling out the endless stack of forms and releases and were served lunch (provided by Maverick). After lunch we had a tour of the facilities here in Madison. The terminal seems to have everything a driver would need, including a spacious lounge, fitness area, four or five shower rooms, free laundry facilities and a snack area with free coffee and vending machines. There is an outdoor patio with grills and a table. We received a tour of the shop area, were shown the truck wash facility and received instructions on the do's and don't's of life around a Maverick terminal. The remainder of the afternoon we viewed several videos and took tests after each video. You are required to score at least 90% on each test or you have to re-take it. The tests are open-book and not difficult. Class dismissed at 4:20 p.m.

Monday- 7a.m. Today is the day we get our DOT Physicals and drug tests (hair and urine). We were advised not to eat breakfast or drink coffee before coming to class. We did a few videos and a couple of quick tests before 9am, at which time we departed to the medical center about 15-mins from the terminal. The hair sample was taken from my right armpit and I feel slightly unbalanced now! I asked if he needed the left armpit, but he said, no, the right was sufficient. Other students surrendered beard hair, but the armpit was the logical choice for me. The DOT Physical which followed was my third in 3-months. I got one on my own when I was considering going to company-sponsored CDL school. Then I had to get one before my Ancora CDL class at Central Virginia Community College, and now a third. Virginia's DMV is going to think I have a special attraction to DOT Physicals at this rate! All went well and we returned to the terminal by noon.

After lunch, we started the physical abilities tests which are conducted by a Physical Therapist contracted to perform this portion of the testing. As I was going through the extensive stretching, bending, resisting, and pushing motions, it occurred to me that this level of physical examination is much more than I experienced during my two trips through the police academy, once in Canada and another in Virginia. There were simple exercises including lifting, moving, stair-stepping, balancing, climbing on trailers, pulling your body up and walking on a simulated flatbed load, opening the hood of the tractor, lowering it, getting into and out of the cab, etc. It was all explained very clearly and it was all relatively simple, provided one is in at least average to low-average physical condition.

After the physical tests, we returned to the classroom for more videos, some basic route-planning exercises, and a couple more tests. Our class wrapped up at 4:45 p.m. and that was the end of Day 2.

There seems to be a very significant amount of training around managing fatigue, understanding the dangers of sleep-deprived drivers, and a very clear focus on being aware of the potential for human trafficking in the trucking industry. My classmate who attended the North Little Rock (NLR) training center on his last orientation said that we are fortunate to be here in Madison. He said that the classes in NLR are large (15-20 students per class) and that because of the size of the classes, the atmosphere is much less relaxed and there is much more waiting in line. I am thankful to be here and am enjoying every minute of the training. Who knows, maybe after this I'll start shaving my armpits regularly (doubtful).

Feel free to ask any questions. I don't know much, but I'll be happy to answer if I can. On to day 3!!!

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

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.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Cool. Sounds like fun, and a bit stressful in a good way. Good luck! God Bless! Hammer down!

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