Approved for truck driving academy. Getting cold feet

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by CK73, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Paddlewagon

    Paddlewagon Light Load Member

    Sep 17, 2017
    Llano Estacado
    Swift taught me how to drive a rig back in '98 (in Phoenix no less) I have not had a problem finding a job since getting my CDL. I went with flat's when I started,did my year and moved on to greener pastures. Roamed the country for 5 or so years and managed to save enough money to get out of debt. Pulled flats,tanks and even danced around in the oilfield for a few years. Today I drag a dry box out of a feed mill every day(sleep in my own bed every night) and don't work weekends. Grossing about $60k a year. Put some wool socks on and get your tail to Phoenix!!!!
  2. Longarm

    Longarm Road Train Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    WesternPlains Thanks this.
  3. tman78

    tman78 Medium Load Member

    Jul 2, 2014
    Apparently there is an art to cooking in a Sleeper Truck. Planning, shopping, cooking int he truck (there are videos on it). etc. ALSO, getting exercise really helps. Of course you many have to put in your one year, to get the experience (but i've heard of less getting it done), to get to a company that will allow you to get this done. When you have that experience, you call the shots. I know guys who stop in the middle of their runs, pull over and excercise (weights, walking etc). NO doubt, ITS A lonely life until you get a local gig. 1yr is the mark.
    Just passing by Thanks this.
  4. AfterShock

    AfterShock Road Train Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Inland Empire, California
    All that glitters is not gold. :biggrin_25512:

    Where a driver is domiciled can make a huge difference as to what they can reasonably expect to encounter, possibly on a daily basis, while performing their local tasks and duties. Daily driving duties in cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles can be, and often are, much more mentally and physically stressful than driving over the road, coast to coast, over purple mountains majesty, from sea to shining sea where the OTR landmarks are replaced with a constant sea of shining cars as far as a Big truck truck driver gone local can see.

    That being said, I'm extremely thankful that there those who are able to tolerate those conditions. If not for them I mighta hadda doit. :Driver: :icon_frown: :hmph: :x

    For those drivers driving local gigs, I remove my antiquated NASCAR cap, stand at attention, and offer up my most snappy salute. :salute:
    Job well done. :headbang: :hello1:
    Carry on. :wave:
    x1Heavy and tman78 Thank this.
  5. CK73

    CK73 Light Load Member

    Dec 19, 2017
    Dallas/Fort Worth traffic is no joke either. I'm glad you made this post because the same line of thought occurred to me.

    A family member is local fedex freight and the poor guy commutes an hour each way in addition to driving 10 or so locally. I asked him about getting me on eventually, and he said, "I wouldn't do that to a family member.."
    AfterShock and x1Heavy Thank this.
  6. AfterShock

    AfterShock Road Train Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Inland Empire, California
    HeY CK73,
    Haven't heard from you for a few days,
    I re-read this thread in review and had a few AfterThoughts to run-up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Green Monster asked back at post #45 ----->
    "Do you enjoy tent camping"?
    And presented an observation, ----->
    "Living out of a truck is a lot like that."
    I think that's a pretty accurate comparison.

    You replied, ----->

    I'm thinkin' GreenMonster's question is worthy of a poll of Big truck truck drivers. Do they feel claustrophobic and/or caged living out of a box? And are they able to get quality rest?
    Do they find their sleeper comfortable, relaxing and inviting? And get quality rest?
    Sounds to me as though you'll adapt well to that environment.
    Lot lizards, bunk bunnies, ladies of the evening, commercial company, all one in the same, participating in the World's oldest profession, even predates Big truck truck drivers.
    Are they still a thing?
    Hmmmmmmm -------
    If by "a thing", you mean popular, or services performed still in demand, which I think you do, --- as opposed to "thing", as in less than human, not worthy of respect, which I don't think you do, the answer would be YeS. Big truck truck drivers have, with them, something most guys in heat don't have behind them to accommodate their sexual desires in privacy, --- a bunk. Saves time and money for a motel room by the hour.

    I don't pass judgement on them or disrespect them. I refrained from displaying the No Lot Lizards decal depicting a lizard within a red circle and a line through the circle. If introduced to many of them somewhere other than a truck stop, when they're Off Duty, it's unlikely their On Duty extra-curricular activities would be obvious.

    They can be irritating when they knock on the door while you're sleeping, or trying to.
    Hi honey.
    Wanna party tonight?
    I'll be your date, sweetie.
    Gets tiring pretty quick.

    I did, however, discover a way to discourage their activity near my Big truck when parked, and did so quite by chance. For the novelty of the object, I obtained a life-size, full color poster of Janet Reno, and propped 'er up on the passenger seat, gazin' out the windshield. Other than freakin' the hail outta me a couple of times upon wakin' up and opening the curtain to greet the day, --- 'till I got used to it.
    If it's wild lot lizard watching that floats one's boat, it's hard to beat West Memphis. .

    That's a great idea.
    I'd highly recommend doing that. Actually, I'd suggest cruising over to a truck stop, --- uhhh, .... I guess I mean Travel Plaza, and spend several hours there talking and observing while getting familiar with the atmosphere. Take a walk around the parking area, talk to drivers, watch 'em doting over their Big truck, --- cleaning painted surfaces and polishing aluminum.
    Take Pride In Your Ride.
    Class Is A Clean Truck.
    Y'all won't get a second chance
    to make a first impression.
    Excellent idea and a great way to increase knowledge. It's amazing how much info gets picked up without even realizing it..

    .While you're digging around the forum you'll probably encounter comments pertaining to the popularity, or lack thereof, that drivers have for recruiters. Recruiters (some), are notorious for telling a wannaBee whatever the wannaBee wants to hear to get 'em to sign the line marked with an X, down at the page bottom.
    When a recruiter guarantees anything, get it in writing. Phones have the ability to record audio, --- just sayin'.

    As long as folks need to eat food, and the food they eat spoils in the heat, refers'll keep running while dry boxes sit. There's pros and cons for runnin' refer. Best way to determine which are what is to experience what it's like and make your decision/choice based on that rather than what Imma Whiner opines.
    Bob (Dillon) was right!
    For the times, they are changin'.
    Something that needs to, but hasn't yet and may never change, is the aggravation, frustration and disgust traditionally encountered at grocery warehouses. Many times a shortage of drivers on a grocery account doesn't indicate too few in number, but rather too few willing to deal with grocery warehouses as a steady diet.
    To her credit, she didn't overly sugar-coat reality. Frustrating, at times?
    Too true.
    If you're told it's No Touch freight for you, that's one of those things to get in writing, --- up front. Believe me, there will always be exceptions. If, for any reason you have to fingerprint the load, ask what the company policy is for hiring lumpers and reimbursing you for the cost, and if you do the labor, how much does the company pay you for that. If a shipper or receiver makes you wait, are you entitled to detention pay?

    Imagination can be good. Believing the imagined is another story. Making the imagined a reality is an option that sometimes pays off. Those who don't balk at the work required to think a thought through to a logical conclusion increase their chances of climbing the ladder to bigger and better gigs. When things run smoother it generally results in higher company profits, and that's what companies are in business to do, --- turn a profit.

    I have a feeling that you could do quite well in the Big truck truckin' industry. I don't get those feelings very often, and when I have, those feelings have turned out to be spot-on correct. You're a thinker and you're curious, --- not to mention adventurous with an ability to be flexible..All combined together makes for a good fit in a simply complex industry like trailer truckin'.
    CK73 and tman78 Thank this.
  7. CK73

    CK73 Light Load Member

    Dec 19, 2017
    Thanks AfterShock, there's a Buckees "travel plaza" not far from here. Fun place to waste time, and they have some really unique products, that may end up being my New Year's day.

    A poll would be fun to look at it, I don't know how that works, if you create one though I would like to see it.

    My cold feet have warmed up, despite the weather, in part because of this board. I will be heading out mid-month to start the OTR journey, and plan to either create a new thread or just post some day to day here specifically regarding Corsicana Swift academy.

    Maybe you can recommend starting the experience as a new thread vs. keeping this one going. As discussed, there is a severe shortage of reports from trainees across the board at school, not just at Swift. It's the least I can do really.

    Thanks again for taking the time, hope you all are doing well and staying warm. This weather is crazy, at least I will be team driving through mid February to March, if I survive, and then pretty much thawed out come solo time in April, God willing. Crossing fingers.
    AfterShock Thanks this.
  8. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I say this.

    Once you "Thaw out" you better be red hot and motivated. April you will get up and RUN. By June you are going to be sick of that dispatch...
  9. CK73

    CK73 Light Load Member

    Dec 19, 2017
    I'm counting on about 9k miles per month, 10 at best, over 13 months, not including the team driving/training second month at .37 pm. The "Up to 50k first year" will probably not happen and I can live with that. It will be fun to look back on this thread if God gives me the strength to make it in this industry that long. If it's under 35k first year from the time of starting solo I will be eating some crow.

    A lot of people, not necessarily here, are screaming 35k gross IF you are lucky. I'm thinking with low fuel prices, demand for drivers, and improved logistics over the past 8 years or so.. 35k is low a estimate for reefer with a large company carrying for large companies these days. But what do I know, nothing but what I've read here for the most part. And my darling recruiter, who sounds like an angel on the phone.
    AfterShock Thanks this.
  10. AfterShock

    AfterShock Road Train Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Inland Empire, California
    I'm relieved to know that your life will go on if you don't reach that 50k carrot they dangle, always, it seems, just out of reach.
    Are those numbers realistically attainable for a newBee? I'd venture to say yes, IF said newBee has years of prior Big truck truckin' experience, but has been away from the industry long enough to require the training adventure necessary for re-entry.
    It's an insurance thing.

    A driver fitting that description could git-er-dun, --- with the assistance of a competent dispatcher. But the probability of a first-year driver reaching that milestone isn't likely. .
    I agree.
    And, as an added bonus, the roads you take during your journey could be quite informative and educational for those researching their options, and who wonder what it's really like, and a good read for those who're seasoned, even well-seasoned drivers.
    No better read than a success story.
    Crow ain't real appetizing, but sometimes a necessary cuisine, --- not so much to satisfy a physical hunger, but rather to better retain the memory of what necessitated the eating of crow to begin with, by leaving a bad taste in one's mouth.

    However, speaking from personal experience, have the chef deep-fry that bird, ... like they do turkeys, in sizzle-hot oil. Garnish with super hot chili pepper salsa, preceded by a few double margaritas.*
    *(can substitute with straight shooters w/ salt and lime optional)
    That won't make it taste or go down any better, but it will help the memory remember, ... better.

    You can hear those screams?
    That's half of what's necessary.
    Are you listening to what a lot of people are screaming?
    That's the other half of necessary.
    Combined, both halves become knowledge, --- gained by experience, even from mistakes made by others willing to share that information and advice so others can avoid making the same mistake.
    Let me ask you this, ..... Just starting out with limited experience and a need to learn, which of the two examples below would you consider to be the better choice, ...... ?

    A. A company that claims to pay more per mile, claims to give you as many miles as you can handle and expects you to handle all the miles they give you, and make all appointments on time, any time, all the time.
    Or, .............
    B. A company that pays a tad less per mile, runs somewhat fewer miles but they're consistent miles with comfortable dispatches, --- not the loads that are hot before they're even picked up. A more relaxed atmosphere that better accommodates the learning experience which becomes the foundation upon which to build a more successful career.

    Driving academies are tasked with training a driver how to properly inspect and operate a Big truck-N-trailer, hopefully safely, while sharing the road with 4-wheeler operators, some expressing their attitude by demonstration, assisted by a vehicle, and an audience to impress, --- in their mind --- in reality they'll demonstrate their self-centered Ignorance.
    You, as a Big truck truck driver, can't change the way other folks drive. But we can recognize a developing situation and, as much as possible, imagine how to avoid being a part of an unexpected reaction.
    Expect the unexpected
    And plan on how to avoid the unexpected, should your intuition be correct.

    Depending on the routes you travel, flat ground, open highway, big city or small, they all have something in common, --- a demand for attention. Yours.
    Seems like such a small thing to demand?
    Flat, open highway driving is much less stressful than big cities.
    Drop-N-hook operations would be better than live-load, live-unload while you wait.
    I-70 through Colorado, west to I-15 in Utah then north to Wyoming can have a pretty high pucker-factor compared to runnin' I-5 from the bottom of the Grapevine on the north side to the outskirts of San Francisco. So straight and flat it can be monotonous and boring to the point of becoming drowsy enough to doze off at the wheel, especially on moonless nights.

    With time and experience, you'll take more things in stride. No problemo.
    But when just starting out all the little things that'll become second-nature with experience, can be more tiring and stressful than one might imagine. Running reasonably hard, solo, --- sometimes during daylight hours and sometimes runnin' at night, all depends. It takes time and experience to acquire an ability to alternate driving schedules to fit the occasion rather than fight a losing battle tryin' to pound a square peg through a round hole tryin' to make reality fit one's personal, preferred schedule Tight fit?
    Don't force it.
    Just use a bigger hammer?

    There are some things that shouldn't be rushed. Time spent learning is one of those things. Driving a Big truck is the easy part. All the knowledge necessary to make the job easier and more productive is achieved through hands-on, personal experience, which requires investing sufficient time. Setting one's expectations too high, too soon, can cause an early burn-out if unreasonable goals aren't met according to one's preferred time schedule.
    Don't fight with it, ~~~ learn how to flow with it.
    Don't work harder, work smarter.
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