C1 Driving Academy - Indianapolis, IN... Adventures With Swift

Topic 20696 | Page 4

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∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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10/07/2017

Training day 1 - Location Greer SC

First, some clarification. The DC I am training out of is Johnstown, NY.

Today started at 9pm, yesterday, when my mentor picked me up. We had to pick up a brand new tractor in Greer, and had a JIT load to drop off there too, for a t-call. So we headed for Lockport, to drop an Mt, and pick up a 33k lb load of used tires. When we got there, the trailer was waiting in the parking lot. As it happens, we were supposed to bobtail there, not drop an Mt. So we took the trailer to the drop lot in Cheektowaga, and Bob tailed back. My mentor was driving at this point, Because he had just got up, and I was up all day. When we got back to the pickup, the paperwork was wrong. It had the wrong trailer and seal numbers. Night dispatch, sent the correct numbers, and we were on our way.

I started my drive, just north of Pittsburgh. We are driving a 2014 Cascadia with an 8 speed. I LOVE driving this thing! I gotta tell ya, driving through the Smokey Mountains on my first day, was a crash course in speed control, Jake break usage, with 2 big but pucker moments thrown in. Our trip plan, took us off 79, onto US 91, to I64 to I77, in WVa, and VA. Pucker moment 1, Fancy gap. Moment 2, fancy gap in a dense foggy, rainy, mist. Because it was wet roads I had no use of the Jake breaks. I have driven that stretching a car a few times, I have a brand new respect for it, now. After 559 miles driven I pulled into the Greer terminal , with 4 minutes on my 11 left.

We reported in, dropped the trailer of tires, and then found out that Syracuse FORGOT to send in the tractor trade paperwork! So now, we get to do a reset, and hope it gets cleared up on Monday.

Aside from the "beyond our control" issues, this was a great first day of training.

Stay safe

Bobtail:

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

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.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

10/10/2017

TRAINING DAY 3 - Location - Columbia SC

Mr Murphy can kiss my arse!

If it could go wrong, it did. We grabbed an empty trailer from the Greer lot, and took it to Kimberly Clark. Well, there was a tiny hole that they found, that we didn't, during our inspection. We took the trailer down the road, and the hole was repaired. We then dropped the empty, and picked up 28k lbs of diapers. 3 miles down the road, the trailer abs light comes on, and the trailer brakes die. We pull into the truck stop at 2am, and are advised to wait until the shop opens. We are now sitting at the shop, while they fix the issue. This load is a Hyper Focused load, that will now be ungodly late. We sent in 3 different macro 22's updating our eta. The CSR was able to take the hyper focus designation off, and opened the delivery window.

Due to situations beyond our control, I have been able to experience the pitfalls of this career, in a very short time. I cannot wait to get back to New York, and train on the Walmart dedicated.

So far, I am still enjoying my training,. We will be at the Jonestown, PA terminal sometime tomorrow, to pick up a temporary HUT sticker, so we can get back into New York. This has been quite an experience, in handling crappy situations.

Stay safe

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.

G-Town's Comment
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Well, there was a tiny hole that they found, that we didn't, during our inspection.

A hole that small is difficult to "see" from the outside of the trailer. However, get inside of it during daylight hours, and the hole(s) is/are easy to spot. If the hole is within reach, HVAC grade duct tape (the shiny finish) is a quick fix for something like that. Might have saved you some time...and ag.

Some fun, eh?

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

10/12/2017

Training Day 5 - Location - Raphine, WVa

Last night was a sobering lesson in how dangerous this profession is. On I 77 just North of Fancy Gap, there were 2 bad accidents. The first one, the trailer brakes on a truck caught fire, tandem burnt to the ground. The tractor was saved. And at the I77/I81 interchange was another bad accident. Not sure what happened with that incident. From the moment traffic stopped it too 4hrs to move 15 miles. We crawled in to the White's Service Plaza with seconds left on the clock. That experience makes me more determined to succeed at this, SAFELY.

All in all, training is going well, and I am getting a lot of "what can go wrong" lessons very quickly. I am grateful for it.

I will fill in a more detailed summary, soon.

Stay safe

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Oops, Raphine, Virginia

10/12/2017

Training Day 5 - Location - Raphine, WVa

Last night was a sobering lesson in how dangerous this profession is. On I 77 just North of Fancy Gap, there were 2 bad accidents. The first one, the trailer brakes on a truck caught fire, tandem burnt to the ground. The tractor was saved. And at the I77/I81 interchange was another bad accident. Not sure what happened with that incident. From the moment traffic stopped it too 4hrs to move 15 miles. We crawled in to the White's Service Plaza with seconds left on the clock. That experience makes me more determined to succeed at this, SAFELY.

All in all, training is going well, and I am getting a lot of "what can go wrong" lessons very quickly. I am grateful for it.

I will fill in a more detailed summary, soon.

Stay safe

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

10/15/2017

Training Day 8 - Location - somewhere in New York

We are in Team status now, with a little Super Solo mixed in.

I have to say, the routine of the Walmart dedicated is great, but I am thinking I want to spread my wings on OTR for a little while. Despite all the headaches we encountered, I loved the driving to new places, and the experience of the open road. The backing experience I am getting is awesome, there are some interesting set ups, and I am learning how to better work the trailer where I want it.

Stay safe

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The backing experience is also real world, not practicing in the corner of some TS lot.

I like what you said about setup, that's a great lesson to understand and learn this early in your training.

Great job! Safe travels.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Lots of fun reading this journal. White's in Raphine is my home truck stop. I even used to work there in the 80s.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

10/16/2017

Training Day 9 - Location - New Haven, NY

Today was BUSY! Running team, we were able to do 3 hub runs, with 3 loads on 2 trailers, and 2 on the final. I maxed my 70, which is fine, because my mentor takes his 34 as soon as we get back to the DC. I got to do 4 backings today, and feel like I am getting a really good grasp of steering the trailer. My mentor likes to make me bump the hardest of the available docks. He will often pull back out, and make me do it a few times, with different set ups. I have nicknamed him "Sadist Sammy." He will carry that name proudly, haha. He told his wife that it is new name.

We are currently on our way to our final stop before heading back. I think I might sleep the entire 34! I am starting to see the benefits of this particular account. The area covered is huge. As a solo operator, I would take a full trailer out on day 1, deliver 3 loads turn around and get as close to the DC as I can before I shut down. Finish return trip on day 2, then head back out with a fresh trailer and repeat the process. There is not much down time at all. The loads we took today, are usually done by the day cab drivers.

As G Town said previously, I struck gold, getting trained on this account. Although, I think my gluteous maximus disagrees.

Stay safe

Packard said:

Lots of fun reading this journal. White's in Raphine is my home truck stop. I even used to work there in the 80s.

Thanks 😊 we were parked in the nosebleed section at first, but found a nice you close spot the next morning. It looks like they are making it even bigger!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

UGH, I mean NEW HARTFORD, NY

10/16/2017

Training Day 9 - Location - New Haven, NY

Today was BUSY! Running team, we were able to do 3 hub runs, with 3 loads on 2 trailers, and 2 on the final. I maxed my 70, which is fine, because my mentor takes his 34 as soon as we get back to the DC. I got to do 4 backings today, and feel like I am getting a really good grasp of steering the trailer. My mentor likes to make me bump the hardest of the available docks. He will often pull back out, and make me do it a few times, with different set ups. I have nicknamed him "Sadist Sammy." He will carry that name proudly, haha. He told his wife that it is new name.

We are currently on our way to our final stop before heading back. I think I might sleep the entire 34! I am starting to see the benefits of this particular account. The area covered is huge. As a solo operator, I would take a full trailer out on day 1, deliver 3 loads turn around and get as close to the DC as I can before I shut down. Finish return trip on day 2, then head back out with a fresh trailer and repeat the process. There is not much down time at all. The loads we took today, are usually done by the day cab drivers.

As G Town said previously, I struck gold, getting trained on this account. Although, I think my gluteous maximus disagrees.

Stay safe

Packard said:

double-quotes-start.png

Lots of fun reading this journal. White's in Raphine is my home truck stop. I even used to work there in the 80s.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks 😊 we were parked in the nosebleed section at first, but found a nice you close spot the next morning. It looks like they are making it even bigger!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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