About To Start Training With Roehl

Topic 19945 | Page 8

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PackRat's Comment
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A great way to start November!

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations! Best of luck during training. Safe travels.


Dart's Comment
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Thank you.

Just wrapped up my first day of solo driving. Not very productive, but one of my most stressful days yet.

Let me back track a bit. I upgraded on Monday in Greer, SC and was sent by Greyhound to Rochelle, IL to pick up my truck (2018 Freightliner Cascadia 125 with an automatic...it's not one of the new style Cascadias). After getting on the bus and hopping in a cab to the terminal , the truck was locked and the keys were in a lock box where I was unable to get them until this morning. Stayed in the hotel last night and took the 10:30am shuttle to the terminal. BTW...no sooner did I walk into the terminal last night, and I already had a preplan for the load I'm on now.

Getting the truck was pretty uneventful except for having to get with maintenance and parts to get a few items for the truck. Pre tripped the truck, found an empty, got it aattached to me, and I was on my way.

The drive started fairly uneventful until I left the truck stop a few miles from the shipper. There was construction in front of the truck stop and I didn't see the no left turn sign until I was driving to the exit. So I take the right and watch for signs of how to get back to the interstate. I saw a sign with 3 flashing arrows to the left, looking like they were pointing me down a service road to go back an exit to get on the interstate. As I go down the road, tthere's a "no outlet" sign before an intersection.

There wasn't much traffic, so I decide to go straight to get a better look at the road. I figured that since there was almost no traffic I could just straight back to make the turn on the road that intersected the one I was on or back onto that road to turn around. As Newton's law states, if something can go wrong, it will. I see that the road I'm on dead ends into a gated lot. I only went about a truck length or 2 down the road. I bakc up SLOWLY, watching for traffic as I do so. Right as I get to the intersection, someone opened the flood gates and traffic started pouring off of this road. Fortunately, a passing motorist was kind enough to assist in blocking traffic and getting me on the road.

So I make the turn and start looking at the map on the GPS for roads leading back to the main road. All of the roads in this area were dead ends.

There was an ungated area where there were trucks coming out of, so I make that turn to ask if I could use the yard to turn around. There were do not enter signs all over the place. I ask a guy standing by the gate if I could go in there to turn around despite the signs, assuming he worked there (we all know what that means). He said yeah, go ahead. I pulled in and make a turn where it looked like I could turn around. A yard worker stopped me and started griping at me. I explained the situation and he helped me get the truck backed out and turned around.

I get out of there and make my pick up. The pick up was the easiest I've had thus far. I just had to check in, drop the empty, grab the loaded, do my Qualcomm work, and off I went. No need to check out.

Since the load doesn't deliver until Friday morning, and it's less than 400 miles, I figured I'd push it to near the delivery and take tomorrow off since I have family near there. Then it hit me "it's almost 5pm and I'm going to have to go through the Chicago/Gary area. If I push it too hard, I'm going to run out of hours around midnight and be stuck with nowhere to park." I decided to start looking for a place to shut down, knowing that it was going to take ages to find a spot. Not only that, traffic was horrendous and it started raining pretty hard. I went on for a couple of hours and couldn't find anything, so I took a fuel island 30 (ensuring not to block anyone).

After my 30, I continued my search for a parking spot. Traffic finally cleared up on I90 east, but the rain picked up. After a couple of hours and several botched parking attempts, I found a pull through at a truck only rest area.

I only have about 3 hours of driving to final, so I'll be able to get up tomorrow and find a better parking spot closer to my final with more amenities. Maybe even get to see my aunt tomorrow evening.


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.


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.


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.


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


Operating While Intoxicated

Dart's Comment
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Dah...I realized after I got on the road this morning I made a mistake in my previous post. Murphy's law, not Newton's law as I had posted.

Tracy H.'s Comment
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Dart - Tracy here - just checking in on you - how you doing?

Dart's Comment
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Good to hear from you, Tracy.

I'm doing well at Swift. About to finish up my 2nd month solo. They keep me running pretty well, as I usually don't have to sit more than a few hours without a load. If I do, a quick call to dispatch and I've got a load.

So far it's been the best job I've had since I left the military in 2012. As I get better, the job gets better.

How about you?

mikemotorbike's Comment
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Awesome story Dart, congrats on the start of your new life in a successful career and dream! Thank-you for showing how it's done. Telling your story candidly as you do and revealing how you successfully surmount challenges offers insight into how we can persevere through unanticipated events.


Operating While Intoxicated

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