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I need a hat, a chain for my wallet & a can of snuff.

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by dpkimmel2001, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Graduated my CDL training today!

    I was part of a mass lay-off the end of last November. This after 25 years at that particular job. 10 years in the same field prior to that. One thing that I found over those 35 years is that I was no longer qualified for the job that I had been doing in today's world. Technology passed me by. In my daily job search, one thing that I saw repeatably were CDL driver jobs. I did a little research and found that as a part of a mass lay-off I was entitled to grant money to further education. Long story short. I got the money and took the course setting a new career path. Not what I really wanted to do but I'll be back in business soon. The CDL demand is high and I'm ready to take advantage of it.

    I think I'm going to hold off on the tat though. :D
     
    kkfan91, be9ak7ts16, 2 Sweet and 11 others like this.
  2. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Congratulations. :cheers:
    I have a friend that's a UPS driver. He said that the start up salary is $28 an hour 40 hours a week. Off on Saturday, Sunday and holiday's. If you can get a rural route close to home that would be cool.
     
    LewTheShoe, Greg and dpkimmel2001 like this.
  3. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    I'll thinking I might go the 'Tanker' route. Hazmat. There's some money to be made there. I have a hub about 15 minutes from home. I'm on a 10 year plan so that I can retire and have a little bit of fun before checking out.

    I studied for and got my endorsements for Class A CDL, air brakes, combination, doubles, triples and Hazmat. The only thing that would have been left is school bus or passenger transportation. I might just go ahead and do that at a later date.
     
    be9ak7ts16, Magnethead, DUN24 and 2 others like this.
  4. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    Congratulations! Good luck on your job search.
     
    Greg, Johali and dpkimmel2001 like this.
  5. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    Way to go dp, you stayed with it did not let the lay off get you down and proceeded to get on with it, well done and good luck with the new direction.

    Oh yeah, don't let the lot lizards get ya at the truck stops.:D
     
  6. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Mrs @dpkimmel2001 has a very big headknocker. She'll take care of'em. :D
     
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  7. TexasRaceLady

    TexasRaceLady Plank Owner Contributor

    That would probably be a wise choice. LOL
     
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  8. DUN24

    DUN24 Skeptical of the Spectacle

    Congratulations!

    You oughta try and spend some time hauling race cars like @Nitro Dude ;)
     
    dpkimmel2001 likes this.
  9. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    Welcome to my world dpk. I hope you find a deal that you really enjoy. I have been rolling the highway since 1975 right after I got out of high school and I have never had a chain wallet, tattoo or a can of snuff...hell I don't even smoke or drink coffee.:) We just finished loading the hauler today so that I can leave for Florida on Thur.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  10. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    She won't need the headknocker...I haven't seen a lot lizard in a truck stop in the past 7 years.:)
     
  11. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I don't have those types of connections though.
     
  12. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Yeah, that was kind of a charactercher description. Take no offense.

    In my short time learning enough to be given the opportunity to obtain simplified skills, I've really grown to appreciate what you guys/gals do. There is way more to this than meets the uninformed eye. I had no idea.

    I worked with a real good team of trainers that got me to the point where I felt extremely confident going into yesterday's final testing. So much so that I thought that maybe I was over confident.

    It was about 5 degrees yesterday morning when my pre trip inspection part of the test started. The tester didn't want to be standing out there any more than I did. We only went through the PTI to the point where I gained enough points to pass that part so I was done by the rear suspension. Pretty much the same with the air brake test. I think it was obvious enough to him that I knew the procedure so he cut me short on that too. It was then on to the straight line, off set, & parallel parking tests. It hit each of those first time without hitting a line setting it in the box. Why parallel though? Is that ever actually done? Then, on to the road test. I think all my years of towing my 5er helped me out with tight turns and the like. No curbs, cars or pedestrians hit so I was golden. A couple un-meshed gears during my travel but he didn't seem to concerned so I wasn't either. The rest was some give and take on questions while driving and I feel that I got all the answers right. We got back and he told me I passed. I asked to have the license expedited. Within an hour I had my email from the state directing me to go to the DMV to pick up my new license. About an hour and a half there waiting on my number to be called and I'm now a holder of a shiny new CDL license with endorsements out the a$$.

    I don't have any issues with my driving history so everyone wants me. That's an awesome position to be in. No worries about drug testing and the like either. I've been talking to many recruiters from several companies. They continue to call me daily for positions. I pretty much have my pick. Right now I am leaning on a local, to me, tanker division. Good reviews. Decent home time as they don't load on weekends. Able to do dedicated, regional or OTR runs. Can switch up between the three any time I'd like. They seem to be doing something right as their employees tend to stick with them for the long haul.

    Overall I am pretty excited for this new chapter. It was a helluva lot to learn in a short period of time but now the real learning is about to begin. Can't wait for this new challenge.
     
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  13. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Thanks.

    The first month I felt like someone punched me in the gut. I've never been without work in my life. A very uneasy feeling. It doesn't take long to learn that there are a lot of options out there though.

    No lot lizard worries. There's only one woman that turns my head these past 25 years.
     
    Nitro Dude, Johali and sdj like this.
  14. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Thanks.

    They are all calling me so that's a good sign. :cool:
     
  15. Whizzer

    Whizzer Retired entrepreneur

    Good news, DPK!! Smart move and quick as well to get going on something after a mid-life interruption. Hope it all works out well for you but feel it will as I'm a believer in, "we make our own luck", at least in the majority of the time. You took the initiative and now are in the enviable position of being sought after.
     
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  16. Whizzer

    Whizzer Retired entrepreneur

    The year was 1957, I was working tearing down greenhouse and the job had run its course so I was looking. One morning I was sitting in the local diner having coffee with a friend who drove tractor-trailer hauling steel from Dravosburg, PA, to Wallingford, Connecticut and he mentioned a rig owner who was looking for a driver. I went and spoke to the guy and the "interview" went something like this; "Okay, I need a driver but have you ever driven a rig before?" I said, "no", to which he replied, "Well, that's okay. You'll learn." He then told me he expected three trips a week, how much I would get paid -and I do not recall how much I was paid - and before I knew it, I was a truck driver.

    At the time the only major road traversing Pennsylvania was Route 22 and the PA Turnpike and Route 22 was the road we took. I learned real quick how sparse rest stops were, how few eating and rest rooms were were available and how narrow Route 22 could be in with exceptionally narrow highways, long gear dropping climbs - both up and down - and plenty sharp curves, meeting coal hauling rigs coming at you fast and crowding the center line, if there was one.

    The first load I picked up required backing down a long shed type building to a loading dock and with no experience it was a difficult task for the uninitiated. Finally, one of the drivers we traveled with - there were three trucks traveling together - backed down the barn in my stead. I was throughly embarrassed to say the least.

    Anyway, the return trip seemed long and arduous but after dropping the load of coiled steel in Connecticut, and arriving back in my home town, I was totally beat physically and mentally but had something to do before calling it the end of my trip. I knew of a large area where I drove and practiced backing up until I was partially satisfied I could back up. Then it was home to a hot cooked meal, a shower, sleep for eight hours and on the road, again.

    Know this was at a time when sleeper cabs were nearly non-existent, I drove a 1956 Diamond T with a duplex transmission, no a/c, no jake brake, the engine and road noise so loud you could barely hear the radio but a.m. stations were in and out as it was almost all mountainous terrain making radio reception suck. The truck had two single seats so sleeping in a prone position was nearly impossible. I do not recall if the truck had power steering or not but seem to recall it did not. Comfort was not a big ticket item at the time.

    Anyway, after three months of that grind I decided I was not cut out to be an over-the-road trucker and left for what I thought might be greener pastures but it was an experience and adventure I am glad I had.
     
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  17. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    A friend that hauls for UPS says that they all work by CB radio and cell phones now. He said that a few years ago one got his number somehow and he eventually had to change it.
     
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  18. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    The only time I parallel park is when I'm parking between trucks next to a curb on the outer edge of a truck stop. If you have a choice don't park on the end of a row because that is where I have seen more trucks turn to short and take off a fender. They use to just mess up the fender but sine the ELD was mandated a lot of drivers drive so damn fast in the parking lot that they will take the fender and hood off your truck. Because a race hauler can cost around a half a million dollars I try not to park where another truck has to blind side next to me and I try to park between 2 trucks that are going to be there longer then I am so that no one is going to back in next to me. If I have a choice I park as far away from everyone else as I can but because of the number of trucks now days it is getting harder to do. When you want to know where the good buffets are I can hook you up.:dpepsi:
     
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  19. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    It must be more by cell phone because the CB is just about extinct in trucking. I can go all the way from the west coast to the Midwest and the only time I hear anything on the CB is usually at a truck stop and that is usually a driver telling another driver to slow down in the parking lot or 2 drivers just talking a lot of BS.:) There is usually more chatter on the radio the further east and south I go though.
     
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  20. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    So, a quick update on recent developments.....

    Have an interview scheduled for today with Schneider Trucking. I've been speaking with them for more than a month about employment. There are a lot of opportunities with them but none that seem to give me the home time that I'm going to be looking for. In any event, interviews are good practice.

    Have a 2nd interview scheduled for 9AM next Monday with a distributor service in Pittsburgh. They deliver beer/wine around western PA. It would be a M-F job. I'd be able to start a route around 6AM and be done early afternoon. No weekends. It would probably be the type of thing I'm looking for but the commute would be about 1 hour 20 minutes to/from. That's a lot of extra driving. About 13-14 extra driver hours a week. The pay is supposed to be good and there'd be lots of stops to break up the day so who knows. Will find out more Monday and another practice at interviewing.

    Have a 3rd interview scheduled for 4pm next Monday at the local tanker carrier that I mentioned earlier. It's only about a 15 minute commute one way. Could be home most every day and I believe it to be no weekends. Would probably make the most at this location of these three options. The tanker configuration is to be one of the more difficult to drive but I think I could master it with attention to detail.

    I'll have some more updates as they become available.

    I understand that the beer/wine place also has a great discount on product. I like beer. There's that. ;)
     
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  21. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    :D
     
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  22. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    Don't want to sound like Atilla the hun, but these have been my experiences.
    Recruters are like car salesman. If it isn't in writing they are liable to say just about anything to get you to sign on. Two days off can mean, Monday and Thursday. Great home time can mean 4 weeks out or more. Schnider is one of the largest has a decent training program, and where you live there are good freight lanes in that area back n forth and up and down. After some time there their truck lease program with click n go freight is pretty good. You could run the short game freight with click n go and make it work for decent home time, but it would take some experience to work up to that. Short run freight is just that, it pays more per mile and after you learned where the good shippers are in the area and know when they post loads you could do pretty good
    Most local jobs that involve being home usually require much manual labor and involve a route or commission on loads pay. They are usually always shorthanded.
    On long haul, your dispatcher is the CEO of your company. They get paid for their drivers running the miles. Some companies respect home time, some don't, but their idea of two days off and yours are two different things.
    The only way to run like you want is to own your own truck n trailer, have your own authorities, and to book your own loads. It takes a businessman with skills to make it work though. A lot of companies are hiring drivers as what they call lease operators these days. They lease you a truck and you are responsible for making the payment, insurance, maintenance and upkeep but they still own it until you make the last payment. If you are going long haul at first I would try to find a company that doesn't do that until you have an idea of what you are doing. .
     
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  23. Magnethead

    Magnethead Admin & Resident Techie Staff Member

    Technically, Dad and I should have a CDL for our rig because we are rated at 28. But we rarely scale over 15.
     
  24. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    There was one job in particular that I was looking at with Schneider. It was a flatbed, no tarp position out of Pittsburgh delivering building supplies. I know someone that already makes those runs and they like what they do. Problem is, that job fills quickly when positions become available. Home time each weekend and occasionally during the week.

    Again, though, for me it would be over an hour commute each way. That can be a lot of extra driving and not getting paid just to get to/from work. I don't really know that I am interested in that at this stage of my life. I did a similar commute for 20+ years and that adds up to a lot of unpaid wasted time.

    I'm really looking forward to Monday afternoon's interview. I've heard a lot of good things about the particular company and especially the local terminal. Great reputation, equipment, service, & longevity. If I can get in there, I think I'll be a good fit. If not, I'm not too worried as I've got a ton of backup plans. The tables are turned somewhat in this profession right now. It's almost as though I'm going to be interviewing them. Drivers are in need right now just about everywhere.
     
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  25. MAGICMILER

    MAGICMILER Bristol Baby

    Congrats DP !!! I myself drove and I can tell 'ya, It's a different time now....
    Good luck to you !!!
     
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  26. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Quick update.....

    Did the Monday morning interview with the south western PA's distributor of beer products. Too many products to mention. Went well. The place looks great, sounds great and overall is great. Union job. Great benefits and pay but location, location, location. If it weren't such a long drive just to get there. Was an hour twenty minutes yesterday in light traffic each way. Did a normal type interview from the start with their HR person. Then, I went out to 'pre-trip' the truck and head out into the city for a driving test of sorts. It went real well. It was only about a 35ft trailer. Definitely turns different than the 53ft'r. 10 speed double clutching Peterbuilt. Rev-limiter was kind of a surprise making the experience a new one. Backing went awesome. First time, every time, every situation. No pull-ups. Was my day I guess. Anyhow, everything went well. They've got to run my license history and background check but there's nothing to find there, so I'd be good to go. All of their deliveries are within the zone where no drivers log would be required. Weekends off. Home every night. All things that are appealing.

    Yesterday afternoon's interview with the local tanker company also went well. It's less than a 9 mile drive to their location. Also weekend's off. Can switch between local, regional or OTR at will. Lot's of money to be made at this location. Great benefits, great equipment, great reputation & great location. Seems like it could be my destination place. They are currently running the license and background check on me. I'm waiting on a call to get their DOT Physical, drug testing and dexterity testing. I hope that can all be scheduled this week.

    Cancelled the Waste Management interview for this morning. I don't think they'd compare.

    More to come as new info is available.....
     
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  27. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Sounds good. I think that I'd take the beer job and uproot the family and move to Philly. NOT. :D
     
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  28. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    A beer job almost sounds like a dream to me. What could be better than getting paid to drive a beer truck? Maybe getting paid to drink it would be better but heck, they even got rid of the Most Interesting Man in the World so even that job isn't stable.
     
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  29. Whizzer

    Whizzer Retired entrepreneur

    It is nice to have companies that need your skillset chasing after you. In the end, we know you will do what is right for you. Go gett'em.
     
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  30. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    Is the beer company job a palletized load from dock to dock or do you have to wheel the product into the store? Usually the top seniority drivers get the dock to dock loads and the less seniority drivers have to wheel the product into the stores and they end up with a lot of leg muscle and back injuries. That is the biggest problem I know of with and drink deliveries.
     
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  31. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    It would be the latter. To start. probably take a while to get the good loads. I really want to go the tanker route instead.
     
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  32. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    Maybe a tanker load of beer.:cheers:
     
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  33. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Awesome thought! You really think outside the box. A tanker of beer..... My life might then be complete. :pbjtime:
     
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  34. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Still waiting on feedback from the license and background check. I think I mentioned earlier that it could take 24-48 hours. The next steps are to be another DOT physical and some dexterity testing. For those that don't know, the DOT physical is a CDL requirement. After completion of the physical you're issued a card that is valid for up to 2 years. Being as I am on blood pressure medicine, mine can only go as long as 1 year out. Even though I just completed a DOT physical in January and hold a 1 year card, it will have to be done again as part of the hiring process.

    Another part of the hiring process would be a 'road test'. They're going to want to make sure that I can drive one of these things. It would be with an empty trailer. They also want to make sure that I can preform the 'Pre-trip' & 'Air Brake' inspection process. Both of these things are a requirement when a day of driving starts. Safety is key and responsibility is high if you're going to drive one of these things.

    A Pre-trip inspection process is basically a complete look at the tractor and trailer from the top down, side to side & front to back. If you can see it, you need to inspect it. During my testing last week, the Pre-trip was the first of 4 tests. The tester was holding a clipboard with 90+ items that needed to be referenced/inspected. There was a lot to learn. It was a lengthy process at first but will become more of a routine as time goes on.

    An Air Brake inspection is kind of a common sense thing to do. At least it should be. For those that don't know, the tractor and trailer have 2 separate air brake systems. One is the service side. That's the one when you apply brakes with a pedal. The other is the emergency side. That's the one that will apply should air pressure be lost due to some sort of issue. I won't bore you more with the details but there is a specific way to test these systems that needs to be followed.

    Finally, the next part would be the road test to make sure that I could drive one of these things. During the interview, they told me that this would be part of the hiring process and gave me an idea of the route I'd take. I don't want to make any mistakes during any of these phases. There's certainly the obvious. Don't hit anyone or anything. Then, maybe the not so obvious. RR crossings, steep grades, school zones, emergency pull overs hazard lights, not hazard lights. Lot's and lot's of rules that need to be observed that we kind of take for granted in everyday driving. I started thinking last night that it may be a good idea to kind of pre-trip the route. I mapped it out this morning. 71 miles in about 1 hour 34 minutes. Several RR crossings & a few steep grades. Also four schools that will be in session. Going to head out this morning to take mental note of items so that nothing comes as a surprise and is accidentally missed.

    Today's plan in a nutshell. Well, that and some yard work.
     
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  35. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

  36. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Nothing new yet. Waiting on results of the license and background check. Then should come the DOT physical and drug testing. Also a dexterity test. Hopefully something new soon. I'll be sure and post the progress.
     
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  37. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    A dexterity test? What does that entail?
     
  38. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Hand eye coridnation tests and tests simply with your hands. Things like putting together brass fittings, gears and other small items in a timed test. I don't know why they are required. I've done them before. I don't exactly know what these ones will entail but I'll post about it after I've taken them.
     
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  39. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Got the call to schedule a road test. It's next Monday afternoon. Can't wait.
     
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  40. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Will you have to do ride along's for the first year or go out solo cold?
     

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