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First week and HOS Headaches

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Richard K.'s Comment
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This is my first week driving for Schneider regional intermodal and it has been HELL trying to figure out why I am running out of hours on runs that only average about 350 miles round trip! A couple of times I had less than 20 minutes left on my 14 hour clock. What am I doing wrong? The first time I thought I was running out because I started my day at 0500 and didn't get on the highway until about 0900. So the next day I get on the highway at 0700 and I still had less than a half hour left. Needless to say that this has been the most nerve racking week of my life. Oh, I forgot to mention that the only stops I make are 30 minute breaks. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

I was just about to ask Brett to repost the time management link. A lot of my clients are truly struggling with the QUALCOMM thing and are still resisting and fighting with tooth and nails against it. But we all know it is a lost battle. I told them that I will get my fam at TT to help break down the science to them.

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.
Richard K.'s Comment
member avatar

I hope you can get Brett to repost it. My manager tells me that these runs are for home daily drivers (I'm regional , 5 out, 2 home) but so far I can't do it.

I was just about to ask Brett to repost the time management link. A lot of my clients are truly struggling with the QUALCOMM thing and are still resisting and fighting with tooth and nails against it. But we all know it is a lost battle. I told them that I will get my fam at TT to help break down the science to them.

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Richard, your job and mine have many similarities. I have 1-2 dispatched loads per day that with very few exceptions I must complete,... and if at all possible make it back to the Walmart DC with time to spare on my 14 so I do not start the next day with a hot clock (negatively effects earning potential). In the beginning I found myself in a similar predicament, running out of time, narrowly avoiding a delivery failure more than once and wondering WTF happened to the 14 hours. At least for me, part of the problem was the pace required to perform my job and probably yours. It's remarkably different than OTR , meaning every minute can count and can come back to bite you in the end. Our job is all about the "14 hour day" and staying ahead of it.

Here is what I did as I learned the art of time management...

I did not start my clock until I had paperwork in-hand and knew the load was in a ready state. I allowed for a 20 minute pre-trip inspection and quickly realized finding the load was paramount considering the surrounding grounds of a million SF DC. Lesson here; don't start your clock unless you know you are going to move and know your surroundings so you are not wasting time finding a load or empty.

Scaling is also a trick,...something I must do before security releases the load at the gate. I learned how to scale a load quickly and efficiently and also developed a sense of the risk of being overweight on an axle by reviewing the invoices and load map.

Knowing exactly how to get to your pickups and deliveries is also important. Any wrong turn wastes time and elevates the stress level. Same holds true for knowing the process at the rail yards (in your case) and learning how to work their system. Be friendly and professional with everyone you come in contact with,...you never know if you are going to need their help.

Last, and definitely for me...efficiently setting up and backing to the dock, getting into and out of the stores safely and quickly because it's regularly executed 6 times per day. Waste 10 minutes trying to get the trailer on the door, multiplies quickly for 6 stop dispatch.

One last thought...you are one week in. If you haven't broken anything yet, you are doing fine. Try not to be hard on yourself while you learn, expect there to be problems. Try not to rush, never allowing the chaos of your moments compromise good, safe judgment. Please realize, nothing is more important than that. Your struggles are to be expected,...learn something new every day (write it down) and in a couple of months you'll look back on this and realize most of it can be chalked up to experience. Hustle and safety...a balancing act you will learn.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Richard K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks G-Town! Is it legal to go off-duty when you are waiting to in-gate or waiting anytime you are not driving? Does that stop your 14 hour clock? If that's possible what would I use as the reason for being off duty?

Richard, your job and mine have many similarities. I have 1-2 dispatched loads per day that with very few exceptions I must complete,... and if at all possible make it back to the Walmart DC with time to spare on my 14 so I do not start the next day with a hot clock (negatively effects earning potential). In the beginning I found myself in a similar predicament, running out of time, narrowly avoiding a delivery failure more than once and wondering WTF happened to the 14 hours. At least for me, part of the problem was the pace required to perform my job and probably yours. It's remarkably different than OTR , meaning every minute can count and can come back to bite you in the end. Our job is all about the "14 hour day" and staying ahead of it.

Here is what I did as I learned the art of time management...

I did not start my clock until I had paperwork in-hand and knew the load was in a ready state. I allowed for a 20 minute pre-trip inspection and quickly realized finding the load was paramount considering the surrounding grounds of a million SF DC. Lesson here; don't start your clock unless you know you are going to move and know your surroundings so you are not wasting time finding a load or empty.

Scaling is also a trick,...something I must do before security releases the load at the gate. I learned how to scale a load quickly and efficiently and also developed a sense of the risk of being overweight on an axle by reviewing the invoices and load map.

Knowing exactly how to get to your pickups and deliveries is also important. Any wrong turn wastes time and elevates the stress level. Same holds true for knowing the process at the rail yards (in your case) and learning how to work their system. Be friendly and professional with everyone you come in contact with,...you never know if you are going to need their help.

Last, and definitely for me...efficiently setting up and backing to the dock, getting into and out of the stores safely and quickly because it's regularly executed 6 times per day. Waste 10 minutes trying to get the trailer on the door, multiplies quickly for 6 stop dispatch.

One last thought...you are one week in. If you haven't broken anything yet, you are doing fine. Try not to be hard on yourself while you learn, expect there to be problems. Try not to rush, never allowing the chaos of your moments compromise good, safe judgment. Please realize, nothing is more important than that. Your struggles are to be expected,...learn something new every day (write it down) and in a couple of months you'll look back on this and realize most of it can be chalked up to experience. Hustle and safety...a balancing act you will learn.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Once you start your clock, and you drive, logging off duty will not stop the 14 from counting down, Off duty does preserve your 70 though.

Richard K.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, thanks for your help. I appreciate it.

Once you start your clock, and you drive, logging off duty will not stop the 14 from counting down, Off duty does preserve your 70 though.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Here's a couple of links that will hopefully help you out a bit:

Richard K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks!

Here's a couple of links that will hopefully help you out a bit:

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

I'll enhance what G said a little bit. "Knowing exactly how to get to your pickups and deliveries."

Google maps is your best friend. Not exactly for the GPS part, but more for the street and satellite view. Though I don't know too much about rail yards, you can use the satellite view to get the layout of your customer and the street view to potentially find the sign pointing towards truck entrances and shipping/receiving offices.

Perfect example. I was doing Home Depot dedicated for the past month making deliveries to stores. Jill would usually take me to the front of the store leaving me confused on where I'm supposed to go or take me to an entrance to where the docks are on my right. So what I would do ahead of time is look at the satellite view and look at which street takes me behind the building in the safest way.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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