Forever overdue update!

Topic 18388 | Page 1

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Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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Hey all! It's been a few months since I posted, and contrary to popular belief, it was NOT because I was locked in Rainy D's dungeon. (It was actually her basement, but I digress.)

For those that don't know, I'm a company driver for Prime. I run the northeast regional circuit, and I drive a lightweight International ProStar. For a while I was running the Walmart dedicated store loads out of Lewiston, Maine, but I was taken off that route a number of weeks ago. I was running that route REAL hard, every day for weeks on end without a break or any home time. I started to get a little burned out, so my FM (who is seriously the best FM in the whole world) put me on the general NE regional route. Now I end up at the Pittston yard a lot more often, which is super convenient, and I run as far south as North Carolina, so there is at least once a week where I can coordinate my 10 hour break to be at home. So I'm much happier now. But I will say that the Walmart runs really taught me to be a better driver and solidified my backing skills immensely. Also, now that it's winter I'm getting experience driving in those conditions, and even though Prime really pushes us to shut down in severe weather, sometimes you have to drive to where it's safe, and therefore you're driving in those conditions. All in all, my time so far has been superb with Prime, and I couldn't ask for a better company to work for.

The key to a successful career, I have found, is to have an excellent relationship with your fleet manager. I cannot stress enough how important this is! Do what you can to meet them in person and always take assignments without complaint and you will go very far and make a lot of money. My FM knows without a doubt that I'll drive any load she gives me. Often I get loads that she has tried to give to someone else but they got cranky, so she will offer it to me, and sometimes she'll throw in an incentive, like an extra day at home or a super easy run next time. We have an excellent working relationship and we have a lot of fun together.

I will have been at Prime for 1 year exactly at the beginning of May. Feel free to ask me anything about Prime, my route, my truck, or anything else you have questions about!

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Parrothead66's Comment
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Congratulations young lady on a job well done. You've come a long way and are an example of hard work, dedication and determination. You should be very proud of your success.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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You know, I am very proud of what I've been able to accomplish. It's very empowering knowing I can do the things I can do. Let's face it, even though the culture of truck driving is changing in many ways for the better, it's still something of a surprise to see a woman behind the wheel. I get an immense amount of satisfaction when people ask me "you drive that thing???" Of course, there are some days that I can back into a spot other drivers tell me they wouldn't have attempted. And some days I could have 15 spaces open on either side of me and I still won't be able to back in straight. I rather hate those days, and it really affects your psyche when you know people are watching you just muck up like that. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there's extra pressure to be "perfect" at my job simply because I am a woman and there are still a lot of men out there that think we're just not cut out for the job. I try not to think about it too much or let it get to me, but it's a constant thought in the back of my mind. The good thing though is when I do a difficult maneuver without much trouble, I know that they are more impressed simply because I'm a woman. A guy might not get the same respect for the same action. It's a weird thing, but it keeps me on my toes, always trying to make sure I do my best every day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, it's great hearing from you again and I'm really glad to hear things are going great for you!

The key to a successful career, I have found, is to have an excellent relationship with your fleet manager. I cannot stress enough how important this is! Do what you can to meet them in person and always take assignments without complaint and you will go very far and make a lot of money. My FM knows without a doubt that I'll drive any load she gives me. Often I get loads that she has tried to give to someone else but they got cranky, so she will offer it to me, and sometimes she'll throw in an incentive, like an extra day at home or a super easy run next time. We have an excellent working relationship and we have a lot of fun together.

I'm glad you said that. That's one of the biggest lessons we teach and it's impossible to overstate how important your relationship is with your dispatcher. That's one of the reasons I laugh at the idea of people spend months and months of their time researching companies, creating spreadsheets of facts and features, and going to unbelievable lengths to try to pick out that 'diamond in the rough' company. Quite honestly, it's almost all a complete waste of time.

Send me to any company in the nation and I'll be happy to go there as long as I can pick my own dispatcher. Give me a great dispatcher and I'll always have great miles, my fair share of home time, and special favors along the way. Give me a lousy dispatcher and there isn't a company you can send me to that will make up for that. It will be a miserable, frustrating experience on pretty much a daily basis.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to really understand this until you've been out there and experienced it. And of course all of this hinges on whether or not you're an awesome driver who is getting the job done safely and efficiently. A lousy driver will be miserable wherever they go and it won't matter who their dispatcher is.

Miss Miyoshi, help us tell the nice folks here that are getting ready to embark on their trucking career to spend way more time studying the training materials and less time researching companies!

smile.gif

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
You know, I am very proud of what I've been able to accomplish. It's very empowering knowing I can do the things I can do.

Wow, it's hard to even know where to begin with this because it's something that's always been an integral part of my approach to life. We learn from all of our experiences and we grow with each of our accomplishments, and with each of our failures. When you face down challenges and achieve difficult goals it changes the way you see and experience the world.

Just recently in a mountain climbing book I read there was an amazing quote from a French Philosopher, of all things. He said:

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”

That just blew me away because it really sums up why some people endlessly take on risks and challenges, while the majority of people sit on the sidelines wondering, "Why would you live that way? Why not just kick back and take it easy?"

My answer is simple. Climb a mountain and see the view from the top for yourself. Once you know that feeling of accomplishment and the wonder of being in amazing places you will never again want to settle for less. But far greater than that feeling of accomplishment is the endless excitement and hope you have for the future, knowing what you're capable of. When the sky's the limit you jump out of bed every day excited for the opportunities you have. What should I do next? Where should I go? What should I see? Take away personal limitations and you open yourself to experiencing new wonders throughout your life.

smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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Hey Miss Miyoshi,...CONGRATULATIONS on the one year! Great to hear and thanks for checking in.

Pete B.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Miss Miyoshi, help us tell the nice folks here that are getting ready to embark on their trucking career to spend way more time studying the training materials and less time researching companies!

smile.gif

Brett, I for one am following the sage advice of you, your moderators, and well-informed contributors to the forum in that regard... writing the pre-trip inspection process longhand took up 20 pages in my notebook, and I have small handwriting! By the time I get to CDL school, I'll be able to focus mostly on the skills part of the training, as your resources will have me absolutely prepared to pass the written requirements & endorsements, as well as overcome the mental challenges this lifestyle presents. Didn't mean to hijack this thread, but another hearty thanks from a TT convert!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott's Comment
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Great to hear from you. Congratulations for a job well done.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for checking in! I always enjoy your updates. I'm a little jelly about the Walmart dedicated--I totally loved hauling loads for them, but being close to my family was more important, so here I suffer on Target dedicated (just kidding, they treat me well haha).

The key to a successful career, I have found, is to have an excellent relationship with your fleet manager. I cannot stress enough how important this is! Do what you can to meet them in person and always take assignments without complaint and you will go very far and make a lot of money.

Amen! Even on Target dedicated, this has been huge for me. Right now I'm not making much money due to some things that are out of my control, but I never complain and just take anything my driver manager/boss gives me. The first thing I've noticed is that I enjoy my work more when I don't complain, but I've also noticed that my DM always takes care of me. They always make sure I have a consistent paycheck each week, and sometimes they throw in little bonuses along the way. For example, this week I was called in twice on short notice. The first time was to cover a 12 hr shift for someone in the yard, and the second time I had to literally drop was I was doing to go to a meeting they forgot to tell me about until the last minute. Right now I'm salaried for a couple more weeks until we get a backup trained in the yard. Well, they paid me for a whole day when I went into the meeting, even though I was only there and working for like 3 hours, and my boss told me yesterday they decided to put an extra day's worth of pay on my check this week. Sweet! They have also let me use my temporarily assigned daycab for transportation to work and back this week while my car is in the shop. I know it was an inconvenience for them and they had to switch some trucks around to make it happen since we were short on trucks this week. And obviously, yes part of this is me being flexible and all, but I just happen to have two AMAZING bosses. I may not be making as much money as I was before (temporarily), but it is huge to be working for people who really truly care about their drivers.

Thanks for bringing this up!

Dm:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone! Brett, I think, if I had to be TOTALLY honest, I made up my mind to become a truck driver for sure when I was discussing the idea with my mom (who is a very traditional Japanese woman) and she said "Why do you want to do a man's job? You can't do that!" Well, telling me I can't do something pretty much guarantees that I'm at least going to try. I don't always succeed, but I'm super glad I'm succeeding at this so far!

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