Comments By James925

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  • James925
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  • 8 years, 10 months ago
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Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Driving in New York

And what's the 2nd toughest city in the country to drive through? This is more up for debate but I would vote Pittsburgh. There are three rivers that converge in the middle of the mountains, creating the need for a maze of steep hills, tight streets, and bridges going in every which direction, many of which are restricted to trucks, that are a nightmare to navigate.

Eeek, I drove through Pittsburgh I think the second month into my career, a tiny little place called Chris' Candies. If any of you Central drivers have been there, or any other drivers, you know how narrow the streets are to get there. The place is down one of the narrowest streets imaginable, right in the heart of a school area, park, church, and old historic buildings. I should have known something was up when I made a wrong turn going there, turned left when my gps told me to go right (clearly couldn't make a right turn or I would have taken out a bunch of cars) so I turned left onto an overpass. Well in my fluster of trying to get to my appointment on time, I didn't realize there was a median on the overpass. Didn't turn wide enough, things were going well when I heard a crrrraaaacccckkkk. Not good. Damn trailer was stuck on the median!confused.gif

Well after the first 30 seconds of that awful realization and seeing my trucking career flash before my eyes, I did what any rookie would do...I kept driving forward and made it worse! Well after about five minutes and I don't know how many gawkers and people laughing and pointing at me, I somehow got the truck loose. (THANK YOU trucking God's!) Went back on the freeway and got off on the same exit and got lost again because my gps told me to turn right again even though I couldn't. Somehow I managed to get on the correct street, get to my delivery (by this time I am literally shaking and sweating like crazy, all the windows down even though it's 45 degrees outside) and I get to the office. They give me a door and I think ok, this shouldn't be a hard back. Another rookie mistake. I am literally backing for 30 minutes, I didn't realize that because of how the dock is set up, you have to pivot the truck at about a 45 degree angle so the trailer is straight. Every time I was straight backing, there was a gap in the trailer and dock about 15 degrees. Or whatever the degrees are.

A local driver comes down the street and sees how much trouble I'm having (by this time I've got about four dock workers and a supervisor outside shouting directions all at once about how to turn the trailer) and the local driver walks up to me and asks if I need help. Well by this time it's about an hour in and all I want to do is get the truck parked so I can unload and sleep. I say yes, he jumps in the truck and wouldn't you know, less than five minutes and a 45 degree angle parked truck later, we're in the door.

Oh but it's not over yet! Well as I am leaving, since the local driver needs to get into the door I'm at, I move my truck and back up. Well people, lets just say they don't say GOAL for nothing. I am backing up and looking in my mirrors and thinking, "I've got room." Rookie. Well as I'm backing up, I see a red car start to shift a few feet to the side. I look up and say "surely that wasn't me!" Get out and investigate, well the damage is done now. I just punched a dent in someone's car in my haste to back up and get out of the way. I am literally livid with myself as I rush to the dock doors and tell one of the workers I hit someone's car. (Hey if it were my car that got hit, I'd want someone to tell me, wouldn't you. No hit and run, and plus, you never know who's watching) They track the guy down and I told him I hit his car, how sorry I am and I am literally prepared to take a punch because this guy looks ****ed. He looks me up and down, and says "This is the third time this has happened, truck drivers always hit my car." I resist the urge to make a smart remark, like "If you know this happens, why in the flying f--k would you continue to park you're car there???" We exchange information, I contact safety and I go into my truck and sit there for about a half hour, wondering if I'm going to have a job when I get back to Salt Lake City for safety training.

Well the moral of the story is that things will happen in trucking, and no matter WHAT kind of day you are having, who is rushing you, the weather, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS get out of your truck and look when you are having second thoughts. Even when you are having good thoughts, it's better to check first and remove all doubts. Since it wasn't a serious accident, I still got to drive a truck, but after that incident, I vowed to always get out and look no matter what the circumstances were, and to never go to Chris' Candies again!smile.gif

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Humbled and frustrated already!

Ahh backing. I still break out in a cold sweat when I think of how those first three months were for me "backing." It was brutal! Some days I would feel like I was starting to get it, others I would literally throw my hands up and look to the sky and say "God please just let it go in!" rofl-3.gif

I was in your situation in training, there was another guy who drove a fire truck in his town before and of course he would back up like a pro. He'd always get it within one shot it seemed, and even if he did miss the mark, he knew what it was and adjusted quickly. Then came my turn to back...10 minutes and 20 pull ups later...wtf.gifwtf.gif

Like was mentioned, it is probably oversteering and nerves. Try not to oversteer (which is easier said than done) and remember that the trailer reacts differently at different speeds. I was the king of oversteering when I learned to back. I'm actually surprised no one gave me that name as a cb handle rofl-2.gif

And don't get mad when you don't get it in on the first time, you're not out there to show your instructor that you're the worlds best backer. Believe me, he/she has seen it all. You just need to back good enough where they feel comfortable giving you a license. And for what it's worth, when you back, try calling out what you need to do when you back up. For example, if you need to turn left, say "turn left." before you start turning. It worked for me the first couple of weeks solo. And if someone is getting it better than you, that's fine, remember your day will come too. I was a lousy backer in training and I got talked about a lot when I went to truck stops on my own, but then one day it just "clicked."

You'll get it, just give it time. good-luck.gif

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Truck School tomorrow.

Oh and Chris good luck out there. I see you're from citrus heights...I had a grandma that lived not too far from there in north highlands.

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Truck School tomorrow.

Haha I just call it fontucky cause I remember that place being out in the sticks and there was nothing around there. And of course at that time I was a little irritated cause had I taken training a week earlier I would have been able to watch the nascar race at california speedway. Figured that would be a good deterrent from training. Oh well...

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Truck School tomorrow.

As a Central Refrigerated Alumni, the classes are very fast paced. But doable. When you get to Fontucky...er Fontana, the real fun starts! Good luck out there and keep us informed of your progress!

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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So this time its real.

How to use the Qualcomm and fill out a com check! I can't tell you how many Central drivers I ran into that didn't know how to use either because of their trainer. But you're a good driver so I'm sure you don't need to be told this!

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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Couple Follows GPS Into Giant Puddle

Ouch. I take pictures of those cars, and they are quite expensive. I wouldn't doubt it if the car was totaled. Guess sometimes people need to learn the hard way...

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

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An in-depth look inside my LW truck (a must see!)

That's called maximizing your space! My first truck at Central was like yours, didn't have cabinets, didn't have two bunks and was very small in the sleeper area. Mine had a front seat, but I couldn't wait to get rid of that truck. I was so happy when I finally got a truck with an overhead bunk and cabinets! But I'm OCD when I pack, I'll bring a book of cd's to drive to the store a mile away. (now that's been replaced with two ipods) and for a weekend trip, I'll pack three bags. I'm getting better at it, but when I had my stuff in the truck, I had way too much in there, but it worked. Good stuff, I always wondered what those LW trucks looked like inside.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Hot dang I'm here.

Good luck! Just remember when you get behind the wheel to take your time, ask questions, and ask questions! And when you get tired of asking questions, ask some more questions! Looking forward to hearing your adventures.

Posted:  8 years ago

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A visit to Love's Truck Stop!

I couldn't stand going to Love's cause they were way too tight. You definitely have to be on top of your backing there. Give me a Flying J or TA, they were always big and had plenty of parking.

As to general public using truck stops, something I have been seeing more of is people parking motor homes in truck stops. That is a minor peeve with me. They can go to RV parks. We cant.

Had that happen to me a few times. You think you're going to pull into a spot, sike! Random motorhome is just chilling right there! And they always park a little further back so you don't know it happens until you pass right by the spot, or are about to set up to back.

Posted:  8 years ago

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Checking In

Hayweird. Yuck. How long are you here? I know it wont be long. I'll message you my number

Posted:  8 years ago

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Checking In

Livermore??? I'm there every day...where at? And yes, it's considered the Bay Area, but not really.

Posted:  8 years ago

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This past week has been insane!

So, just another day in the life huh Daniel? Don't run yourself ragged out there!

Posted:  8 years ago

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Checking In

LA is not a part of CA. We Californians do not associate ourselves with such a crappy city.

LA is a completely different territory. They out to make a wall around it and sell it back to Mexico.

Spoken like a true Northern Californian. I second that. LA, while a great place to visit, is not a place I would like to live. But then again, I'm born and raised in the Bay Area, so we do things a little different up here. Oh and Redgator, if you make it up here to the Bay Area (anywhere in the East Bay to be exact) give me a ring, I can recommend some good food places for you.

Posted:  8 years ago

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New Years

Being that I am no longer a truck driver, I'm staying in this year with friends. But I feel you're pain to the ones who are out there! I once spent a 4th of July at a Shell gas station/truck stop and my dinner that evening was...(drum roll please) chili cheese dogs! If any of you have the "pleasure" of driving tonight, watch out for the drunks and stay safe out there! Happy New Years!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Driving To The West Coast!?

I LOVE California (born and raised) but I absolutely HATED driving a truck through here, especially in the densely populated areas like LA and the Bay Area. The 55 mph speed limit killed me (although I normally hung out at around 58) and having to deal with how some of these four wheelers drove, and the constant construction! Yuck! I did like coming in over the Donner Summit though, came in one time just as the sun came up, seeing a view of pine trees and clear skies was a sight to remember...

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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The Adventures of Daniel B.

Michael, a DM is a driver manager. You'll learn all the shortcuts when you're out there and living and breathing this stuff. Looking forward to hearing you're adventures.

Steven, the Kraft plant is a huge dc (distribution center, and as I remember, wasn't in the most desirable neighborhood) where they literally pack trailers in with inches on either side in their "drop lot." As Daniel mentioned, it can be a pain to get the trailers out, and for me when I went there, with all of two weeks experience, it took me 45 minutes to back in my trailer cause it was so tight there. If the Conway driver wouldn't have helped me, I'd still be there! And as you can see they have problems loading the trailer per Daniels story. It's just a big ball of confusion for any driver, as Daniel has experienced. I went there two times too many!

Daniel, sorry to hear about you're DM getting fired. I don't think that you're DM got fired for just telling drivers about themselves, I'm sure it was for other things that unfortunately just added up. I had a decent dm, and we definitely had a rocky start my first month, but after that, I realized how to deal with him, and we had no problems after that. Good dm's are hard to replace, and by the sound of it, you're not off to a good start! I got a load one time from weekend dispatch, gave me a 200 mile load in Tennessee with three days to get there. Unbelievable. Luckily I got rewarded with a 1900 mile load after.

So keep on rolling man, and know that this will pass. We've been there! Just do you're job professionally like always, and here's hoping you get rewarded with a 2200 mile load and an extra day of hometime.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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The Adventures of Daniel B.

I look at this thread and I just smile and nod, I've had almost every one of these problems when I was out there. I feel your pain! But hey, another day in the life right?

Champaingn IL...I just broke out into a cold sweat. Did they send you to the Kraft plant? I still have nightmares about that place, a rookie with two weeks experience shouldn't be sent there. I think I was being punished!

Posted:  8 years, 3 months ago

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So I stopped by the house...

I took my truck home once, and I took out a few branches along the way...but what a great feeling it was showing it off! Everyone was honking and waving at me, or maybe that was cause I was driving too slowrofl-1.gif

Posted:  8 years, 3 months ago

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Drinking in the Truck.

You would be surprised what truck drivers do in their truck. I've seen guys go back to the truck with 18 packs in hand, and I'm sure they polished them off very quickly. I don't mind a drink every now and then, but I just figured it wasn't a good idea to tempt fate when I was in the truck to have a drink. And there is plenty of downtime for you to get your drink on, if you really wanted to. When I was at Central, they didn't want you to drink while you were in the truck whatsoever. But some guys play by their own rules out here, as you'll find out.

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