Donald picked me up at the Lowe's I used to work at today. We ended up not being able to move for about 45 min as he wanted to make sure I got paid. For that to happen I have to be assigned to his truck. After 5 different phone calls, someone was able to take care of it.

As we were sitting there he went over everything again with me. Even though he pays for the truck, etc., I am to treat it as though it is mine. I am responsible for everything that has to do with the Qualcomm from this point forward. He is also only going to drive about 200 miles a day. I will be driving 500 a day, maybe 600 if I am up to it. He plans his trips at 500 miles a day though. He told me if I stick to that schedule, I will never run out of hours and I will never be late for a delivery.

I am taking mental notes like you wouldn't believe. Hell, I never took notes like this in high school. Which probably explains some of the grades I brought home. Anywho, he has been driving truck for 30 years this Sept and the last 17 has been with Swift.

One of the first things he did was asked to see my log. As I suspected I am illegal as hell. I knew from the first day with Greg that something wasn't right the way he had me doing things. However, I couldn't do much as mine had to coincide with his. Donald told me today that Greg and him are cool personally, but he doesn't think Greg is mentor material. So, since I have already scanned those logs in, Donald is going to wait for me to get the message that I have log violations and than help me fix them. He totally understood it wasn't my fault and I was just doing as I was told.

Before I continue, I gotta tell you about the truck. It's a Kenworth T2000, with an 11 speed Eaton transmission. Luckily it's the same gear pattern as I am used to. This baby is LOADED too. Leather seats, TV, refrigerator w/ freezer, and a kick ass stereo.

Speaking of stereo, he said when he is driving the truck he listens to what he wants. When I am driving the truck, I listen to what I want. HELL YEAH!!! Lucky for him he doesn't have satellite radio as I would 80's him to death. 🙂

Another huge piece of advice he gave me is about my home time. He told me that ANYTIME I get a load that goes within 50 miles of home, I better plan accordingly. He went on to say that he only requests home time if it is something big. All the other times, he plans it to where his 10 hour break is at home. For example if I make a run from Gary to Laredo and back, I would be home once a week. Granted it's only for 10 hours, but is better than being out two to three weeks and only home 2 days. He looked me straight in the eye n said I don't care how much that cute little thing that dropped you off loves you, if you drive through town n tell her you don't have time to stop, you aren't going to doing this long. HOLY SHIT!!! If I learn nothing else during my time with him, that little nugget of info is worth it's weight in gold.

Than he talked about when I get released to solo, I need to get Angie on the truck as soon as possible. That way she can experience everything that goes into this. He said that his wife, high school sweetheart, rides with him every chance she gets. In fact, they plan things around it and have Swift pay for the transportation. They go to shows, casinos, sight seeing, etc. He said the reason he is able to do that is because he plans his trips and stops accordingly.

I asked him about being an O/O too. He said right now, he wouldn't recommend it unless I have a substantial savings. Basically, the way the economy and freight is right now I would be making just enough to pay for the truck and keep it running. Once it picks up though, he said it is something to consider. He said last year was a slow year and he made 189 grand. I asked if that was take home and he said he took home just over 100 grand! HOLY SAMOLIANS BATMAN!!

We stopped at the Petro in Joplin, MO for the night. Not sure what time we are awaking in the morning, put I will be doing the pre trip inspection, sending in our hours for today, and than driving 5-600 miles. his truck isn't governed, but he expects me to keep it between 63 and 65. FINE BY ME!! Hell, going 70 down a hill makes me hold the seat tight….and my hands are still on the steering wheel. That is also where he gets the best mpg. About 7 to 7.5 with 46K lbs on the back.

Sent on the Now Network from my Sprint® BlackBerry

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