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My First Days On The Road With A Trainer

by JakeCat22

Well, after going home from orientation I was looking forward to some relaxation with the family. We were told that when we left orientation, that we should be getting a call from our trainer over the weekend to set up a place and time to meet to move on to the next portion of our training. They also warned us that if we did not receive a call this weekend, not to panic, they have a lot of students right now and not enough trainers. Well, as my luck would have it, I would not have to wait! My trainer called the next day, introduced himself, and basically answered all my questions before I had a chance to ask them, so I was relieved. I was to meet him the next day about an hour from where I live in the afternoon and we would go from there.

Meeting Bob The Trainer

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The next day, I packed my things and headed out for training. I met my trainer "Bob" near where he parks his truck. I also met, again, my room mate from orientation. It seems the company gave Bob two people to train, my room mate and myself, and I was wondering how that was going to work with their being only two bunks! Bob quickly explained that he was on a dedicated account that got him home every night, so the other student and myself would sleep in the truck every night. We would trade off on the driving duties and we would be with him for two weeks, but we'd get to go home on the weekend if we wanted to.

We quickly got to his truck, jumped in, and bobtailed to where his pick up was, which happened to be 45 minutes in the direction from where I just came, right down the road from my house! Needless to say I was a little miffed. I could have met him there, but what is done is done. The other student drove the truck bobtail to the pick up, we got our papers, coupled up, and I was told to drive back. So I drove the load back to where we just came from, and shut it down for the night. Bob explained that his account had 3 stops with exact drop off times, so we had to shut it down to get our 10 hour break in so we could get up and do our pre-trip inspection at 2:30 am and be on the road by 3:30 to make our first appointment time at 6:00 am.

Sleeping In The Truck

Now, I have never slept in a truck, so I did not know what to expect. Honestly I didn't think it was bad, certainly not worse than some places I slept when I was in the army. I only had one beef, which was more of an annoyance. It was hot outside, and our company does not have apu's in their trucks, so the only way to get AC was to idle the truck. An APU is an auxiliary power unit. It's a small engine which provides heat & A/C when the main engine is turned off. Well, Bob explained that he did not want us idling the truck, because it went against his fuel bonus. If it got to be unbearably hot, he would understand if we wanted to idle the truck, but requested that we please let him know if we were going to. Well, it got hot, real hot, so we idled the truck for about 30 minutes to cool it off and then shut it down. I did not get a great night's sleep, but it could have been worse.

Time for our first load delivery......keep looking for new updates to see how it went!

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.

Bobtail:

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

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

by Brett Aquila

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