Game: Describe Your First Solo Load Experience

Topic 18658 | Page 1

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Rainy D.'s Comment
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My first load was only 150 miles to the delivery from the terminal. I was so nervous that I left 24 hours early and waited, biting my nails all day. I parked five miles away....and got to the gate three hours before my appt...where an intercom was and no one answered. I kept pressing the button and tried calling. I messaged dispatch three times in 30 min "I'm here early and there is no response. But I swear I'm here. Could I be in the wrong location?"

After what seemed.like an eternity, a guy came to the gate and told me they didn't open for two more hours. He said I could sit at the gate and wait. I was so nervous I sat in the drivers seat the whole time afraid I would fall asleep and miss the time. Lol

Thank God it was an easy backing. While getting unloaded I got a preplan from dispatch and tried to get the routing. I kept sending fuel requests and the QC kept telling me error. I wasn't thinking clearly. The QC said I didn't need fuel cause I was already at my destination. Lol...I had to wait for the one load to be complete before I could get fuel and routing for the next load.

I called dispatch to ask them what I was doing wrong and the guy was like..."you're doing fine, but you're jumping the gun. Just relax." Lol

And CONGRATS to Turtle and Robby for their first loads this week!!!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Auggie69's Comment
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My first load was a single PUP that *HAD* to be there on New Years Eve. I left at 8am and drove three hours to my destination. Once there I walked into the dispatch office and they said, "Who are you ?"

I replied, "I was told you all are waiting on this load."

"We're about ready to go home early for New Years and had no idea you were even coming. Just drop it in the lot and bobtail home."

LOL! Well, so much for feeling important :)

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

C T.'s Comment
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My first solo load was a load of lumber picking up in El Dorado, AR from little rock. It was pouring down raining and a 3hr drive. I remember my trainer telling me be extra careful when empty because there's not as much braking power. I must have gone 50 or 55 the whole way to the destination which included 2 lane highways which I hated at the time. Get there and basically forget how to secure the load and how to tarp. I went over my notes for about 20 minutes before getting started. It was a horrible experience but I got it done and on time.

BQ 's Comment
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After being sent with a group of about 5 others (rental car, fuel and $ for food provided by Prime) to Pittston terminal to pick up our trucks, my first load sent me from PA right back to the caves in Springfield. I arrived and dropped a day early then went to terminal and picked up to get the heck out of there.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

King Pin's Comment
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Payette, ID is where I picked up my truck in Dec. 28th, 2017. 2 ft. snow and -19 temp. Preplain take load to consigned 5 miles from terminal. 15 minutes away.

So nervous, it took me 2 hrs to get there. Got there right at closing time. Boy was there some mad employees. They gave me the third degree.

My 5 mile away dispatch turned into a 45 mile adventure. Went wrong way, got lost, stuck, almost took out telephone post. Slid down an hill, ran over a poor inasent snowman in someone's front yard. Oh, 2 hrs late for appointment. However, made it there safely and not a scratch or dent in my truck.rofl-2.gif

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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My first solo load wasn't that bad. Went from the terminal in Amherst to Waupaca. (30 min drive). Got loaded and headed for Clarksville, TN. They give us 24hrs from pickup time to delivery time. It is 10hr 30 min drive if everything goes right with traffic and you speed in Indiana. It was more like 13 hrs for my first run. Barely got there on time. I think I literally checked in at the front gate at my appointment time.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Diver Driver's Comment
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Thank you everyone for the laughs ! I thought I was the only one that had something crazy for a first solo.

I got my first truck and did the inspection. Everything was A-OK. So I get dispatched to am empty trailer to bring to K.C. I do a vehicle inspection and notice that my tractor headlight is now out. I replace the bulb, but nothing happens. I'm told to bring my truck to the dealership. 10 min later the tech comes out and says "I replaced the burnt light. " (I had replaced the highbeam.. didn't know they were the same size bulb, didn't notice socket location) So off I go, but now road assist wants me to run a part up to Illinois before heading to K.C.

I run the part up to a dealership in Illinois, and by the time I get to K.C. I'm getting the "1hr of drive time message. " I'm freaking out, because I'm moving the trailer around the yard at K.C. and by this time I'm getting the "continuing to drive will put you in violation of driving hours. "

I finally get the trailer dropped and hooked to the loaded trailer, and take my 10hr break. The first thing in the morning I call the log department and start apologizing for violating hrs. of service. It's then explained to me that just moving around the yard won't put you in violation

Vendingdude's Comment
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After being with my Swift trainer for six weeks, I tested out at a terminal somewhere in the Carolinas. I was told I'd pick up a truck at the Houston drop yard and return it to Salt Lake. The driver got injured and couldn't drive and was flown home to recuperate. So off we go to Texas.

The terminal near Dallas (Irvine? can't remember) is where we parted ways. Taxi to DFW, rental car to Houston airport, taxi to dropyard. When I opened the door to "my" truck I was almost knocked back by the toxic waste that rolled forth.

Apparently the driver didn't take the time or care to empty out the ice chest before leaving. Or do laundry. For weeks. The stench of rotten food and soiled clothing was magnified by parking the truck facing south in the May sunshine for God knows how long.

I walked a mile or so to the nearest grocery store for garbage bags, cleaning supplies and air fresheners. I would need them for my own truck later anyway. It took three hours to bag up the trash, porn and crusty panties that abounded. Finally after smelling more like bleach than an outhouse I bobbed over to Shreveport LA. Hooked onto a preload headed to Salt Lake.

When I was done for the day I pulled into a rest area just over the line in Oklahoma. I rolled down the window to further ventilate the cab and enjoyed the cool night breeze in the middle of nowhere. As I sat there catching up my logbook , and contemplating that after all this drama I did it! I'm a real driver now! Then I heard a soft sound outside. In the silkiest smoothest southern drawl she said "y'all need some company honey?". With a smile on my face, and without looking up, I answered "no ma'am, I'm fine. Just fine."

What a weird first day! Kind of funny too that the only time any kind of proposition like that was offered was on that first day.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Pianoman's Comment
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I actually don't really remember my first load that well, which I guess is a good thing. I do remember the beginning of it though. I started at the Swift terminal in Salt Lake and my pickup was just a few miles down the road, preloaded. My trainer had advised me not to get to places too early or there might not be room for me to park, so I left the terminal a little over an hour before the pickup time, thinking that would leave me plenty of time. Well, the terminal didn't have any empties and the first place they sent me, right near the pickup, didn't have any either. Then dispatch sent me to a second place for an empty, like 15-20 miles away. They didn't have an empties either. By this time I'm freaking out because I'm now running late to my very first solo pickup. They let me bobtail to the shipper after I couldn't find empties at the first two places, but I was still like 15 minutes late (at the time I didn't know that Swift only counts it as a late pickup if it's a live load, not preloaded).

I remember circling the building a couple of times in my truck because I didn't know where the driver's entrance was. Hooking up and getting my bills went ok, but my loaded call wouldn't go through on the Qualcomm. Turns out I had forgotten to get dispatched...

Besides taking my turn too wide on the way out of the shipper and almost getting stuck in the mud on the side of the road, the rest of the trip went smoothly. I ended up parking on the street outside a Flying J that night around 1 am. There were a couple open spots that I tried but I was too afraid of hitting the other trucks and really self conscious because I was sure they were in their trucks watching me. Come to think of it, I think that may have been the only time in my first year of driving that I parked on the street outside of the truck stop instead of in the actual truck stop.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

No!! Rainey and you can't make me..😥

But I will tell you this.

My trainer never had me drive off of an interstate while in a city.. ever.

My first load picked up LA, I had waited all night for my first co-driver to show up. It was not fun, not because I was driving in the city or anything but because the CRST terminal in Riverside,CA is so much fun.. No empty trailer... no leave the gate. No empty on the lot... no leave the gate. MY FIRST LOAD SUCKED!!

But afterwards... I was like " this should be easy compared to"

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Interstate:

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

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