Prime Inc. CDL training. Springfield, Missouri

Topic 17418 | Page 12

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Turtle's Comment
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And thanks again to everyone for the kind words.

I'm glad someone is reading this rambling :)

Patrick R.'s Comment
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I think a lot of us are still reading :P im enjoying it for sure

Tim E.'s Comment
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Yep!!! Turtle kinda slacken!!!

Mike M's Comment
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I think this is one of the best posts that I have seen. Turtle I am looking in going to school in the very near future, so keep posting and I will keep reading. There is a school here in Colorado Springs, CO that I have heard good things about and I don't have leave to my home state.

Diver Driver's Comment
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I had the same experience. My shift was 3pm - 3am. Now keep in mind, that was in Feb. Maine was awesome....all the darkness of it. All I could see were the tree on the side of the road, and from what the Navigation system showed, it looked like there were a few lakes I passed.

The reason for putting you on nights is 2 fold. 1, keeps you out of most traffic. And 2, since you're in training, there are things that go on during business hours that you can't answer and would have to wake up the trainer for.

My trainer put me on day shift for my last 3 weeks. MUCH BETTER!!!! Way easier to stay alert too.

Turtle's Comment
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02/11/2017 2255hrs Greensboro, GA

So we were at a shipper near Houston, and one of the yard workers pointed over to a dog and said a Prime driver "forgot" him here a few days prior. He's been wandering the yard ever since, refusing to leave. He was a Pitt bull, younger than a year I'd guess, and appeared to be well fed, but extremely skittish when approached. Still, I took a sub out of the fridge and let him have it. He wasn't skittish enough to turn that down.

Being a dog lover, I was appalled that someone could leave any animal behind in such a callous fashion. The A-hole probably thought it would be cool to have a status dog, then when he couldn't handle a rambunctious puppy, he just dumped him.

Yet this pup stayed there, loyally waiting for an owner that will never be coming back. That was just so sad. I wanted to punch the guy, and I wanted to cry for the dog.

In the end, we got loaded, strapped, and tarped. The little guy was laying over in the lot under an empty trailer. We had to drive away, both of us angered and saddened by this. To make ourselves feel better, we came up with the scenario that the dog probably actually belonged to the yard worker, and this was his way of getting his dog fed for free....

I really miss my dog Opus. He's the one in my profile pic. I actually have my wife hold the phone up for him to see and hear me when we Facetime lol. Yeah it's crazy I know, but it breaks my heart to know he may be wondering if I abandoned him too.

I finally got my first taste of driving through snow. We were on I90 heading to extreme upstate NY when it first started coming down. Being a NY vet, at first I wasn't phased. But soon it really started coming down, almost creating whiteout conditions. The few of us who were on the road slowed to a crawl of 20mph at best. When it became too much for my nerves, I picked out the Pilot 5 miles ahead for a stop.

Those were perhaps the longest 5 miles of my life. The truck felt good and secure under me, but I was gripped by the unknown. Having no experience at snow in a big truck, I didn't know when the traction may let go, or when my trailer may try to pass me. My hands were sweating to the point I kept having to wipe them off on my jeans. By now there was several inches of snow covering the road. Just a bit further......

I remembered to lock in the differentials, so I had that in my pocket. When I finally reached the 90/81 intersection, I started up the off-ramp. That's when the drive tires let go.....

It was only for a second, enough to kick the rear end over a foot or so before I lifted and regained traction. But in that second I learned alot about how my truck grabs. Now, because the off ramp is uphill, curved, and sloped, I'm worried about the trailer kicking out and dragging me down the hill with it. I'm thinking Great, I've had my license a month and I'm gonna mark it up already.

But keeping momentum, I made it up the ramp with only a couple more slips, through the tolls, and on to the Pilot. Once there, I changed my drawers and called the wife lol. Once again, my trainer slept through the whole thing. I waited about an hour and a half for the little storm to blow through before continuing on my way.

Next was the wind. Lake Ontario was just to the west of me, and the wind coming off the lake was brutal, with no obstructions to slow it down. The right hand lane of the interstate was sloped away from the wind, and the sudden gusts scared the bejeezus out of me every so often. So I got in the left lane, which was pitched into the wind, and felt much safer. Still, I backed it down to 50 or so. Maybe I worried a bit much, but I'm alive and not in a ditch! Made it to the receiver with time to spare.

One more step on my journey. Loving it so far.

Peace

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Great share on the snow experience Turtle. Shutting down was the absolute right thing to do.

But I gotta tell yah,...you handled the wind like a seasoned driver, adjusting correctly. Great instincts and common sense. Impressed.

Safe travels.

Lynn H.'s Comment
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Ugh, I love dogs. I rescued my cattle dog from a high kill shelter. He'd been confiscated from drug dealers. It took him about two years to relax, but now he's happy. I wonder if a local pit bull rescue could go check out that yard.

Turtle's Comment
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02/20/017 1923hrs Warroad, Minnesota

This Godforsaken place is about the farthest point north one can get in the US. We're at the Marvin Windows production facility, killing time before our 0600 delivery appt. This town wouldn't even be here, were it not for this company. I'm sure the vast majority of the townsfolk are employed by Marvin.

This past week or so has been especially slow, with alot of time on each load. I went from nearly running out of hours last week, to now having several 34s within the last week.

My trainer likes to say it's just because freight is slow right now. But I'm more inclined to believe it's a result of his near constant complaining to our FM. Seriously, it seems Brian has something to complain about on every load lately. Either it doesn't pay well, or it's in a bad area for return freight, or any of several other reasons. Rather than just suck it up and do his job, he has to cry about it and ask for better loads. Then we sit until the dispatcher comes back with another option, which Brian will find something wrong with it as well. If I were the FM , I'd be really tired of hearing his whining.

I firmly believe that's why we're getting these crap loads lately. As a L/O, Brian does have the right to refuse loads, but the FM still holds all the cards, and he's showing it now.

I plan on being the kind of driver a FM loves. No complaints, no bs, no whining. I'm here to get a job done, and I recognize that sometimes the job will be less than desireable. But it still needs to get done. My career as a contractor taught me to accept ALL jobs, big or small. As a result, I climbed to the top of my field, in my given area. I see this new endeavor as no less of a challenge. Give it to me, I'll get it done. Period.

On another note, because of the time we had on this latest run, I was able to go home for a day and a half in between pickup & delivery. On the way from Maine to Minnesota, we stopped in Albany, NY so my wife could pick my behind up. I invited Brian home with us, but he opted to get a room in Albany so he could chill for the night with a couple cold ones.

It had been exactly 2 months since I left home for orientation. It actually felt a little surreal being back home, it had been so long. It was great to see my home, my granddaughter, my dog, my porch, my bed lol. Know what I mean? It was HOME. Nothing can replace it.

I ended up getting to spend 2 nights at home, and I got to see my family and spend some time with my good neighbors. It felt good. Real good.

But crazy as it sounds, I was ready to hit the road again. Part of that is because I'm so close to completing my required 30k training miles and getting my own truck. I just want to get this done. That's why I haven't taken any hometime. But I also miss the road because I actually ENJOY it! I simply can't wait till I have my truck, so my wife can join me and we can experience this together.

I've often complained of having to drive the night shift, with the lack of scenery that comes with it. But in truth, this will allow us to experience the beauty for the first time, together. Yeah I know this sounds a little sappy coming from a dude. But there you have it.

I don't have much training related info to pass on from this last week. Things have been pretty much business as usual.

We spent a full day of downtime at a TA last week sometime. I forget where it was. In trying to stay up that night, I hung out in the tv lounge and binge watched The Walking Dead for about 8 hrs lol. It was easier than getting up to change the channel. After a few episodes I began getting into the storyline and characters. I'd never even seen it before, but I know alot of folks who are crazy addicted to it! But once 6am hit, the breakfast at the Cracker Barrel across the road was more appealing.

It's the little things that I look forward too :)

Peace

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm just gonna miss you by two days I'm headed there with a load of pine from Vermont that we picked up today. Glad to hear that you are getting close to finishing, I should be done in three weeks

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