Need Advise On The "next Big Thing"

Topic 5485 | Page 1

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Sly48's Comment
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Greetings Drivers , future drivers and moderators!! I doubt many will remember me, but I was here a lot 2 years ago, made some great friends and still keep in touch with a few. I used the High Road Training here to pass all my tests and endorsements and really appreciate all Brett did to set this up.

I went through a school here in Houston, graduated and started my driving career with Prime Inc in Sept. of 2012. Went out with my trainer (42K miles), learned a lot. Went back to Springfield, MO and tested out and got into my 2013 Lightweight Cascadia and away I went. I Drove through the winter of 2012/2013 solo. Learned 1st hand how to handle 80K in the rain, snow, ice, tornadoes and even hurricane Sandy while my trainer and I sat at the Paulsboro T/A in NJ to wait it out.

May 1st 2013 I was at the port in Galveston, Tx getting a load of pineapples, stepped down out of the truck and did not see a chunk of concrete missing on the lot the size of a football and twisted and cracked my left ankle. I reported the indecent to my FM and he ask if I could make the load and even though I was in pain, I delivered the load in TN. After I got unloaded, I sent a message to my FM stating I'd like to go see a Dr. to get it looked at. Low and behold, I had a hairline fracture and was pulled of the road. During this time they gave my truck to another driver and he ran it out of the Walmart DC in Shelbyville, TN. I went through PT in Murfreesboro, TN and the Dr. recommended I go home to finish up my PT. Back in Houston I was offered a great job (not trucking) and I took it, gave my notice to Prime while on workers comp. and started my new career on June 3rd of 2013.

I was recently let go of this job (along with 6 others) due to corp. downsizing and the company supposedly struggling financially. I'm now thinking of going back on the road. But this time, local or regional and preferable intermodal or tanker.

My big issue is experience....I DID NOT finish a whole year with Prime. I have 8 months but it's been 16 months ago. While at Prime I had a 100% Safety record, 100% on time deliveries, nominated for driver of the month one month and always got my fuel bonus.

Will I have a hard time finding work with only 8 months exp. with a "good" company?

I am PTDI Certified if that even matters. I have my Tanker, Doubles/Triples and Hazmat endorsements along with a TWIC Card and Passport.

Thanks for letting me ramble!!!

Sly

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

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.

Fm:

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.

ButtonUp's Comment
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My opinion would be start calling some recruiters for companies you're interested in to get started. You've already been through the process so you got a good idea of what to do. It doesn't sound like you owe Prime any money for loans or anything so the issue is the 8 months? I started with my company as a qualified driver with 4 months experience! I think you'll find more options than one might expect.

Sly48's Comment
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My opinion would be start calling some recruiters for companies you're interested in to get started. You've already been through the process so you got a good idea of what to do. It doesn't sound like you owe Prime any money for loansarrow-10x10.png or anything so the issue is the 8 months? I started with my company as a qualified driver with 4 months experience! I think you'll find more options than one might expect.

Thanks!!! I think I want to go Tanker this go around for a few selfish reasons..ha!! No scaling loads, no docks to bump and they have regional work that will get me home on a regular basis and the pay is good. I've found 2 that I think will take me (will contact soon). Both state they will take me with less than the year since I graduated from an accredited school and PTDI certified. I'm actually waiting on my background check to get back to the DMV and get my Hazmat in hand before applying. I took the test and passed and have been fingerprinted....just waiting now. I did get good news and that's the turn around time would be a lot faster since I've already been there done that when I got my TWIC card.

Oh and one other reason I've picked these 2 companies.......and I bet I get slammed for saying this, but they run autoshifts. I learned on a10 speed and have no problems bangin' gears....but would like to try an automatic to see if I like it.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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.

ButtonUp's Comment
member avatar

Cool!

I've never driven an automatic, and the one chance I had to use one as a loaner I turned it down. Although a few drivers have said they like them ok, most seem to tell me that they don't like the lack of control, that it doesn't seem to shift at the right time, and is kind of awkward. But, like I said, I don't have any personal experience with them. I am sure they would be nice once one gets used to them.

Sly48's Comment
member avatar

Cool!

I've never driven an automatic, and the one chance I had to use one as a loaner I turned it down. Although a few drivers have said they like them ok, most seem to tell me that they don't like the lack of control, that it doesn't seem to shift at the right time, and is kind of awkward. But, like I said, I don't have any personal experience with them. I am sure they would be nice once one gets used to them.

My buddy Steve Marshall that was a big contributor here at one point went to Prime with me and left them and now owns his own truck ( International ProStar with an autoshift) and he loves his. I just spoke with him this morning and ask him again to make sure. But, I know there are many drivers that DON'T like them. I have noticed there are several "Tanker Companies" that run auto's and my best guess is due to the surge and slosh of the tanks the autoshift might be smoother? But I have to say, floating gears for me was smooth as well.

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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I remember you Sly!!!! Yep, I'm still here!

Sly48's Comment
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I remember you Sly!!!! Yep, I'm still here!

Daniel!!! How ya been? How are things? Company? Lease? Trainer?

Old School's Comment
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I remember you also, it's great to hear from you!

Sly48's Comment
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I remember you also, it's great to hear from you!

Old School!!!! How the heck are you? Good to hear from ya!!

Old School's Comment
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I'm good, still tearing up the highways, and loving every minute of it!

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