Yesterday Was A Long Day!

Topic 17578 | Page 1

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Jay68442's Comment
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So I'm on my 5th week solo and had to drive in whiteout conditions. Every time the snow cleared there were cars or tractor trailers off the road. I drove 10 hours and 53 minutes to arrive at my delivery with 7 minutes to spare. NJ to OH on route 80. This rookie was wiped out last night. Looking forward to spring.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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That's brutal, man, but congrats on getting through it!

Hey, keep something in mind though. Most of the time the worst weather is followed closely by bright, gorgeous sunshine and clear, dry roads. I can't begin to count the number of times I've waited for a snowstorm to pass and the next two days were nothing but bright sunshine and dry roads to make up for lost time.

Stay focused on being safe and making money over the long run. You have the rest of your life to make all the money you'd like to make. Don't get too caught up in squeezing all you can out of the short term or it will bite you in the end.

Congrats on making it through safely though and I'm certainly not saying you made the wrong decision. I couldn't possibly know that without being there. I just wanted to make sure you kept your eye on the prize which is years and years of safe driving and nice paychecks.

Jason G.'s Comment
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I have a question to add to this because I'm about to start training the end of this month and have been thinking about winter driving. So I'm just curious about what happens when you decide not to drive because of weather conditions. I know people woukd rather you be safe and not get in an accident because that's worse than having a late delivery. But as a new driver, what if weather conditions seem unsafe to you but for someone else they might think it's doable, will this affect your standing with a dispatcher as far as them seeing you as dependable or not? Or will it only affect your pocket because you can't drive because of the weather? Because it seems like it's whatever the driver feels comfortable with, like Jay choosing to drive instead of be late. But if he chose to wait it out even though it was something doable, is it something they would look into and think that he could have done it but because he waited it out, they might not jump to give him good load in the future?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

I have a question to add to this because I'm about to start training the end of this month and have been thinking about winter driving. So I'm just curious about what happens when you decide not to drive because of weather conditions. I know people woukd rather you be safe and not get in an accident because that's worse than having a late delivery. But as a new driver, what if weather conditions seem unsafe to you but for someone else they might think it's doable, will this affect your standing with a dispatcher as far as them seeing you as dependable or not? Or will it only affect your pocket because you can't drive because of the weather? Because it seems like it's whatever the driver feels comfortable with, like Jay choosing to drive instead of be late. But if he chose to wait it out even though it was something doable, is it something they would look into and think that he could have done it but because he waited it out, they might not jump to give him good load in the future?

They would rather you pull over if you don't feel safe than to put yourself in a bad situation. I have shutdown for Snow and wind. They didn't think of me any differently. Not one load is worth my life. At swift it's encouraged company wide to shut down when you don't feel safe and even shut down early if the conditions are going to get worse.

"Better to be late with freight, than pitched in a ditch."

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

So I'm on my 5th week solo and had to drive in whiteout conditions. Every time the snow cleared there were cars or tractor trailers off the road. I drove 10 hours and 53 minutes to arrive at my delivery with 7 minutes to spare. NJ to OH on route 80. This rookie was wiped out last night. Looking forward to spring.

Damn dude. I just drove through a really bad snow storm in Montana and Wyoming a few days ago. It was fun but exhausting at the same time. Funny, cause I thought I was done with Wyoming this winter, but while I was at the DC picking up a load to Denver, dispatch called asking if I could take a load to Bozeman, MT. Sure......

smile.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
But as a new driver, what if weather conditions seem unsafe to you but for someone else they might think it's doable, will this affect your standing with a dispatcher as far as them seeing you as dependable or not? Or will it only affect your pocket because you can't drive because of the weather?

Gladhand nailed it. Always shut down when you feel like you should. Trust your instincts, even as a new driver. DO NOT make decisions based upon what others will think of you. Make them based upon protecting yourself, your equipment, the other drivers on the road, and your career.

As you get more experience you'll be able to drive safely through more severe conditions. But you have to get that experience first, and that means playing it extra safe, especially in the beginning.

Now when it comes to dispatch they will normally treat you based upon your performance and your abilities, which is exactly what you want. Sure, we all want to make as much money as possible. But you have to think long term and always put safety first. Dispatch, especially if they have experience, will know your capabilities after a short time. They'll expect to see rookies shut down when experienced veterans do not. They expect you to be late once in a great while where a veteran will almost never be late for appointments if he's worth his salt. This is all normal stuff.

So indeed you will come across situations where other people were given freight that the company wouldn't give you because you don't have the experience and track record that demonstrates you can handle it for sure. But again, that's a good thing. You don't want anyone forcing you into doing things you're not ready to do, and rarely will you find that happening.

Safety first always, and trust your instincts. If you find yourself thinking, "This is getting a bit crazy. I'm not sure if I should be out here at this point" then get the heck off the road and let dispatch know the circumstances. Go get yourself a big steak dinner and read a nice book. The sun will likely be out again in the next 12 - 24 hours so be well rested, get repairs or other work done during the downtime, and be ready to make up for lost time when the sun shines.

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.
Vendingdude's Comment
member avatar

Another perfect answer from the boss. Nothing to add here. Thumbs up!

Jay68442's Comment
member avatar

Shutting down crossed my mind a few times but then the snow would clear and visibility would improve. Then bam whiteout again and then clear. I guess I probably should have parked for a while but the rookie in me said if I stop I will run out of hours. I know my company would understand, they are very safety conscious. I guess I need to learn that I don't always have to meet a deadline. I will say that I drove within my ability and as safely as possible.

Thanks for the insight Brett, I will definitely take your words of wisdom to heart.

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