Profile For Tom C.

Tom C.'s Info

  • Location:
    Exeter, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 7 months ago

Tom C.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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Anyone have birds hit their windshield?

3 Birds in my 2 years, First was a roof hit when I was driving in Dallas, accelerating wind off a dump truck pushed it over and bounced off the roof extension. 2nd was a few months ago, I 87 northbound in NY, one bird cleared my truck by inches, the second one found my drivers side fairing. Third was when I was taking PA 54 to PA 901 headed to Pottsville (My home location for my new company, Tyson BTW, is just down the road from the WM DC there) from Pittsburgh. 2 birds one slipped between the pillar and mirror of my T680 the second bounced off the lower left corner of the windshield.

Posted:  4 years, 7 months ago

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Update after a year

I appologize for not posting in a year after I finished with my schooling in Philly but the last year has been a little hetic and the mindset of 'Ill post later' had set in. I have finished the first year with my training company PAM Transport and currently am running walmart dedicated out of Smyrna DE and am on a 34 hour reset. after I had finished with school I wound up waiting 3 weeks for PA to send me my CDL via mail and wound up on my mentors truck 4 days after it arrived.

My mentor, a man whom had meen driving for 16 years and someone whom I got along with quiet well was the type whom helped and guided you but having you learn for yourself. he would have you figure it out but would be ready to help if you started floundering or yell for you to stop if you were going to hit something. The first week with him was solo with me driving and him sitting in the passengers seat making sure i didnt screw up and learning the basics. Second week was teaming style but still he came up and helped me when I needed it. The truck was one of the older ones in the fleet, a 16 international with a 10 speed, oh boy did my left leg hurt when it came to backing practice in our yards.

I will skip over orientation as it involved the typical test drive and showing you can bend a truck into a parking spot along with company policies and safety stuff.

Onto the truck with a teammate, my teammate was someone whom I had spent 3 weeks in a hotel room with during training, so I had a decient grasp on whom I would be living with in a tiny rolling metal box (a 19 peterbilt 579 midroof). 6 months, we ran hard had a DM whom would have us preplanned atleast 24 hours in advance of arriving at a reciever. 6 months, Northern jerssey (still hate jersey city and Newark with a passion) to mid florida to sacramento to LA. I wound up becoming the night driver between the two of us because of my tendancy to be a night owl (I still perfer night driving)

After 5 months we had surpassed the reqired milage for teaming (as the reqirement of 60Kmiles or 6 months was in place when we joined the company) I went solo in january. One week after being solo I wound up on another dispatchers' board. Oh boy she loves her phone calls (Previous DM was almost entirely through quallcomm). Raan as hard as Icould and over the last 3 months Ihad wound up being the fill in for dedicated lanes when the driver took time off or needed to be filled untill a new driver for the lane was dropped into the spot. Good steady miles for those lanes and a fixed schedule and once I got used to them I got into a routiene, stop at the same locations for a 30 minute break or a 10 hour break or a 34 if needed. Druing the forst couple of months of being solo I made mistakes. Preventables if Ihad taken the time to properly look. First one I rubbed my trailer against a parked truck while trying to drop the trailer (GOAL and walk all the way around the truck Iwas in a rush and Iburned myself for it). The second one was in a truck I had recovered (The first one had an exhaust leak off of hte downside of the turbo) dropping off a load of glass (live unload) Istupidly tried a 90 degree alley dock off the right side and was more focused on my convex mirror on that side, wound up hooking the left fendor mirror on some empty racks infront of the docks. again I screwed up.

Now I am on a dedicated account out of Smyrna DE wal-mart DC as I had stated at the beginning, Loving it sofar (I get my first pay for the dedicated wendsday night) Been to a couple of other DCs and ran loads out of them more than Smyrna. Sofar, I have to say my backing skills are improving some of those walmart docks are difficult to get into and have passenger traffic to deal with as well and are tight sometimes.

I believe that this first year has tought me alot, but always much more to learn. To those of you getting ready to go to school, there are things out here on the road that will get you angry and impatient, calm down and think, that person that cut you off doesnt know better, that blindside dock around a corner, GOAL and ask for a spotter. That vetran driver that offers advice, atleast listen to what they say. You make the wrong turn and you have a 11 foot bridge infront of you, think things through on how to get off that road and back on route safely, even if you call the cops on yourself to have them guide you back out on the road you were on safely (Glad I havent had this happen to me yet).

So just a update of my last year (and a month or so more) All of you out there stay safe.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Do not ignore that pain

Might have been. It was yesterday that he told me where all I know is what he told me. Its been a frustrating week. Got on the truck after orientation and got jerked around for a week on hometime it's week 5 starting this last Saturday since I got on my mentor's truck so I am Probbibly confusing left from right at this point.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Do not ignore that pain

My teammate was complaining of stomach pains. Like someone punched him right below the ribs on his left side. I was concerned and we went to a local flying j to shut down for a bit because we both are running low on hours. A few hours later while we both are trying to get some sleep he wakes me up and takes me up on the offer I had made earlier of taking him to the hospital.

I asked him if an ambulance would be better and he says yes and I walk into the j and have them call an ambulance. He was walking and talking just in extreme pain. He texts me at around 0800 to let me know what's up. Appendicitis and he's going to get it removed.

So I am sitting here at a j in Kansas City waiting on my teammate to recover enough for me to bobtail over and pick him up to take him home.

Moral of the story is do not ignore that pain it could be something serious.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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Music For The Road

Hmmmmm......

1: Devil in I - Slipknot 2: Freebird - Lynard Skynard 3: Sanatarium - Metallica 4: Night of Fire - Niko 5: Save Me - Leslie Parrish

Trucking song: The Willis Brothers - Give me 40 Acres

I know my music tastes are ALLOVER the place embarrassed.gif

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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Swift Idle

Regen is the process of cleaning out the particulate filter portion of the emissions system, to clean it out the engine has to idle high and increases the exhaust temp bringing the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) up to around 1000 degrees to burn off the particles that would otherwise clog it.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

I forgot to post for the entire week..... And I am a little embarrassed that I did forget. The last week was busy for me, so Ill share an overview, all but Monday I got maneuvers in I had gotten on the road a total of 4 times at the school, And I passed my test on Friday! Only needed one try for each portion of the tests. Most of the week's details I had forgotten. I do remember teaching the new class how to do their pre trip and air brakes.

The AAA School of Trucking out of Philadelphia is a great school, the instructors are top notch. Overbooked but a good school. The Motel 6 we stayed at was..... well it had a lot wrong with it, the internet connection was unstable at best, every room I had seen had repairs that needed to be made, I had found a wolf spider on my pillow, even saw ****roaches, the tubs/showers didn't have the no slip strips in them (wound up falling once) and it was on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River so $5 in tolls every day.

To sum up the last 4 weeks, I had fun, learned a great deal of the basics, (and that is what I learned, just enough to pass the CDL tests) Made a few friends and I wound up with 2 choices for teammates for when I do that 6 months or 65,000 miles of teaming. I look forward to PA sending my new Class A driver's licence and getting on the road with a mentor and learning more.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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I really need some advice ☹️

I will give you the same EXACT advice I gave to a girl at my school taking her test today. Take your time, if you get confused, pause take a few seconds, look at the box, look at your trailer and look at your tractor, close your eyes and visualize what you need to do to steer that trailer where it needs to go.

This girl at school was practicing for the 90 degree, she had done it just fine earlier but her 2nd round of practice went sideways, I didn't tell her what to do I gave her that little piece of advice. When she took her backing tests... she nailed the strait and offset, 3 pull ups for the 90.

Pause, assess, visualize and execute.

Pause: Stop the truck Assess: Look at everything you can, the box, the trailer, the tractor, other reference points ( other cones in other lanes, the fence, buildings, light poles, parked rigs, anything you can get a reference off of ) Visualize: plan what you are going to have to do to get that trailer steered where it needs to go, and how to do it. Execute: use your plan and get that trailer steered into where you want it to go.

That is how I do my backing, steer the trailer.... use the tractor to steer the trailer.

BTW I am ( as of posting this) At the end of my 3rd week of training, about to go into my 4th and my test is coming up this week. I may test Monday or Friday, I will not know until Monday when I get to the yard and am told by an Instructor. You will get it, do not give up, do not get discouraged.

Wait did I make a new acronym? PAVE :)

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Oh sheesh, I forgot to post, been exhausted. I'm spending my weekends at home, so using my actual PC to post. Anyway, the last 3 days have been busy, for me at least. More dragging that rail segment, maneuvers, teaching some people pre trip, and my first shot at the road. Ill focus on Thursday because that is the only major notable event. I have to admit, double clutching is a pain for me, I can float them but the problem comes in with the double clutching which is required for the test. I do have to watch my mirrors more, rubbed a curb with the trailer tires, otherwise... I have no other major issues with driving the rig. I will admit, I was a little frustrated, focusing on the road, and other obsticles with the addition of the instructor telling me what I need to do. I paid attention as closely as possible, I just need more road time and I think Ill get it somewhat quickly.

And coming up on my 4th week I am scheduled sometime this upcoming week. A ( the one that was with me on the road) and G will let me do the yard tests and put the road test on hold if I test Monday, I think they want me to get passed on my first pass on each portion. I... I think that they believe I will do good, it makes me happy they have such confidence in me.

Its just now sinking in that I am really doing this. I was thinking Thursday as I was walking to the restroom, that my test is coming up.... Almost had a panic attack! I was just walking to the restroom to relieve myself and I started to get scared!!!!! Not the inspections or the backing, but the road portion. Then I calmed myself down after a moment and though to myself.... I CAN and WILL do this... just think of W ( the tester ) as being a complete newbie to the yard that has never seen a semi up close before and just TEACH him how its done!

Oh completely random thing..... G got into the truck, acting like a student with the whole 'can I try a 90?!'... he proceeds to pull out and noses the truck in, leans over to the passenger side window and says 'OOOPS I F***** up! letme fix it!' then proceeds to back out, and rotates the trailer on it's tandems and backs it in with a single pull up and then says 'I fixed it'. I nearly wet my pants from laughter, then he has the stones to say hes rusty! Thought I'd share that! G is a wonderful instructor, I care not what any person says, he is my first teacher in the industry, love the guy to bits, A is pretty cool too, very encouraging as well, and he said hes got my mark, hes the one that takes the students out for time on the road. I love the Philly branch of AAA School of Trucking, all the staff there are awesome, and good at their jobs, Only downside is.... they get overbooked.

Okay Ill leave this off for now, I will say this to all of you that has encouraged me here, thank you.

Posted:  5 years, 8 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay today I got my maneuvers in and one pull up each for the offset and alley. As stated before I am confident I will pass all the tests in the yard, still have to get some time on the road to have practice enough to pass that part of the test.

The school uses freightliners to train on bit there is one other truck the school owns, a 1996 international she has had her rear end blown out twice within one week. She's been parked and only the instructors are allowed to 'play' with her, one of the instructors ( ill call him G for now ) calles her his baby. Well G got a 16 foot span of railroad track and uses that track to level the dirt yard, using the international, ( Big Red ) to drag it around. Well I know G trusts me because he had me drag that track segment around for an hour and will be again tomorrow. Gives me practice with the clutch and maybe some low gear shifting too.

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