Profile For Eric K.

Eric K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Chicago, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 8 months ago

Eric K.'s Bio

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

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Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Sliding tandems for docking...do you?

That's my thing get too Paul. Easier to move in tight spots. Of course I would slide them back for the safety of the dock workers once I got lined up.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Sliding tandems for docking...do you?

Do you slide your tandems once you've reached your destination to make it easier to dock in tight situations?

If so, do you go forward for quicker turning or back for less tail swing?

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Don't rush

I double and triple and even quadruple check the lines and landing gear. After I think I am all done, I do a walk around and check it all again. I've read too many stories and seen too many pics on Twisted Truckers to end up adding to them.

Thanks for the reminder!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

...you have given me inspiration not for your mistakes but by your determination not to let trucking beat you. I know I have no idea what I am getting myself into. Thanks for posting your your journey so far. Hang tough man hope to see you out there soon

If I can't be an example, at least be a warning, right - LOL!

There are a couple of things that can help you in tight docking situations.

1. Slide the trailer tandems all the way forward. You are there now and don't have to worry about the weights.

2. Slide the 5th wheel as far forward as you can. Be sure to watch the clearance of the mudflaps and landing gear legs. Seen many a mud flap go away because of this.

3. Snow banks. These can be brutal and rip off a fender even. What happens to this soft white fluffy stuff is that it melts and refreezes on the outside basically eventually turning it into a large block of ice that is harder than your bumper.

The tortoise did not beat the hare by being faster.

Never thought about sliding the tandems, but was pretty much told to never move the drives.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

I'm definitely feeling better after hearing from you guys on this!

I used to think I worked pretty independently but NOTHING like this. I feel like I was thrown the keys and told, "Go be a trucker" but not given the knowledge or training I was used to. If that's how it is, learning as you go, with new stuff coming up every day, then I know that now and will just have to adjust my perspective.

"Be safe. Be safe. Be safe."

Thanks a ton. You have really helped talk me off a ledge. Tomorrow's another load and another chance to put distance between me and a bad day and get it right!

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

I love your attitude. I love that you care deeply about doing well out there and that every mistake is upsetting you. And the real biggie in my book is the fact that you haven't blamed anyone for anything whatsoever. That's the kind of guy I would want if I was running a company and I was training brand new drivers. As long as you care deeply about doing a great job, you're giving your best, you're owning your mistakes, and you're learning as you go then that's all anyone can hope for from a new guy. You haven't hit a bridge and you haven't rolled it over on an off ramp. Trust me, things aren't going nearly as badly as you think they are.

Put that stuff behind you and continue moving forward. You can't be worried about what happened in the past or you won't be able to focus properly on the challenges in front of you right now. So relax, focus on being as safe as possible, and keep moving forward. That's all you can do.

I don't blame anyone else at all. It's me for sure. I know I can do this but that day with the dock and snow was a smack in the face. I was never ****y about trucking. I knew it would be hard, but this was still humbling.

If this is what the first months or year is like for everyone, then I guess I didn't expect that to be the case. I will just keep plugging away and learn what I can while being safe and hopefully on time.

Brett, that's the kind of inspiration I needed to hear about now. Thanks for that.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

I've only been solo for 2 weeks. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It is so far out of my previous experiences and being basically left to my own devices is unsettling. My first leader was a jerk and didn't have time for rookie questions. I made the grave error of calling him to introduce myself and that seemed to tick him off, so I did everything else through QC and it really wasn't a lot of questions. One or two a day at most.

He pawned me off to someone else in another fleet. Got moved from Jurupa Valley to a West Valley Utah regional dedicated fleet. New leader seems better but everyone still treats me like I should know more than i do. It's not a case of me being stupid. Trucking is so different that I don't know what I don't know. I don't know enough about what to ask about.

They did move some cars but even if the snow got moved it honestly probably wouldn't have helped that much but I obviously wouldn't have hit it. It was the cherry on top for the day.

I do trip plan for stops but apparently have to do a better job at it.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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Terrible day...near impossible dock and then snowbank accident...

Yesterday was an absolutely brutal day for me. I arrived at the receiver without a problem and on time, as I have always done. The dock was really small but the bigger problem is that the Detroit area had plenty of snow and the place I had to deliver to had piled snow in such a way that it severely cut down on my already limited space. Cars were double parked and cut down on it even more. it took me an hour and a half to wiggle into that dock. I was so embarrassed.

Adding to that, in order to try to get as much room as i could, I got closer to a snowbank than I apparently should have and when I backed, some snow was behind and under the bumper which pulled on it, causing damage. Some plastic from the underside came off and the bumper was damaged. I had to call it in. There was no damage to customer property, the load, or any injuries. I know I could have not reported it, but I also know I would have been caught later, which would have been worse.

I am embarrassed and scared that this, combined with missing a weigh station ticket when I was with my mentor - we both missed it - that I am on a shortlist to get canned. I have 3 QC reviews, one for a hard braking event and two for hitting bumps but those showed me using my phone. I know I wasn't talking on the phone. I don't do that but I must have been either playing music or finding the next rest stop as that is all I ever do when driving. I also had two overspeed warnings on the QC. Not actual speeding but going over 70 downhill. I have no idea how many points Swift is going to give me for all this, but it won't be pretty.

It's been terrible start to my trucking career. I have never wanted to quit something more than I want to quit trucking. I also have never wanted to not let something beat me more than I do now. I am determined to not let this beat me, but it's hard.

Anyone have tips for a dock like that? What if I just can't get in? What do I do? Any thoughts on the points?

Thanks for reading the ramblings of a frustrated driver.

Posted:  8 years, 2 months ago

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10 things I've learned in 4 years of trucking...

Good advice for old and new drivers.

Patience.

Posted:  8 years, 3 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

Well, it wasn't pre-loaded so off to the truck stop 5 miles away to do a 10 hours reset. Not a fan of driving through the night but it is obviously something we have to do occasionally.

Off to get a few hours before pickup. Thanks for all the help guys!

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