Profile For Eric K.

Eric K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Chicago, IL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years ago

Eric K.'s Bio

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Posted:  6 years, 6 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:  6 years, 6 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 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:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

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!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Calling all Swifties!

I just upgraded February 1 and while my home terminal was at the time Rochelle IL, we were at Lathrop CA so that's where I was issued my tractor.

It was clean. Not detailed but still much cleaner than I expected as well too had heard the horror stories. The parts department issued me a new mattress - my coordinator told me that they would. I was also issued the lock, gladhand grommets, breakers and wiper blades. The whole permit packet was already stocked as was the folder they give you with info on chaining, kingpin settings, Comchecks and a bunch of other info.

Good luck!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

Yeah, I'm always the optimist - LOL!

By "quickly" I mean "not all day" so it's probably the wrong word.

Hit the dock at 0750 so we'll see what happens.

Walmart does allow parking but my leader says she shows the pickup as pre-loaded so I guess we'll see when I get there. If so, problem solved - "hopefully!"

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

OK, I think I have it figured out.

Leave at 0600 and when I get to the dock, sleeper berth until they're done. Should be by about 0815. Assume 2 hours for load, back on duty and my pickup is right by a Flying J. I'll park there and go back off until 6, then hope they can get me loaded quickly so I can return to that Flying J for the night. If not, I'll gladly pay for a night at a T/A 30 minutes away, if I have to. That'd be the next closest stop.

There is a Walmart but it looks hard for trucks to get in and out of the parking lot.

Thanks!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

I was concerned about both.

If I start pre-trip at 0600 and leave at 0630, I'll get to the receiver and checked in by 0815.

Go to SB as soon as I hit the dock and that stops my driving hours of course but doesn't the 14 hour daily clock keep rolling and with it, eating away at my 70? I was never really good at the logs so maybe I am over thinking it and making it more complicated than it needs to be.

That's why I LOVE this group - so friendly and understanding when it comes to new guys like me.

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

As of right now, I have 3:45 left on my 70 and will gain 6:30 tomorrow and 8:34 Wednesday. I am a full 8 days in.

As far as I know there is no way to load early. I'll check but wanted to see if there was another option that I was overlooking.

I was thinking split-sleeper too but am really confused on that. As I understand it, I can take 2 hours, then work a few hours, then take 8 and it will reset me to when I started the first 2???

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Managing HOS tomorrow seems like an impossibility...

HOS rules exist. I get it. They're in place for safety - the most important reason of all. They are a PITA because of this dilemma I have...

Tomorrow I will wake up with 9:45 left on my 70 and am only 1.5 hours away from my 8 AM delivery. No problem there. Live unload. Ugh. I have my next load at 18:00. Again - live load. It's about 1.5 hours from my delivery.

So, assuming all goes well, I'll leave here at 6 AM, get to my delivery at 8 and if they take 2 hours, I'll be done at 10 - with 4.5 hours off the 70, leaving me 5:15. How on Earth can I make this work? Seems to me that I can't.

Once I get the load I can sit for the night and take off in the morning, but how do I even get there? I don't want to call my DM yet unless there's something that I am missing.

Advice please! You guys have been awesome .

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Really need help on ally docking...

Thanks for all the tips!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Really need help on ally docking...

Man, thanks for those. I've seen most of them and while they show people doing it, they don't explain the "how" and I am a very analytical "how and why" guy. I'll take a look at the ones you listed that I hadn't already seen. Thanks!

double-quotes-end.png

Not sure if this is same as videos but what I do; 1. Come in perpendicular like you said and about 6-8' on left. 2. Go 1 1/2 spots past open dock. 3. Go (slow) hard right (then I count two seconds) and back hard left until trailer bottom is 45 degree in my mirror. Bottom right of mirror to top left. 4. Stop. 5. Cut steering wheel all the way right and start backing. Make adjustments as you go. 6. Get Out And Look as much as needed.

Some lots allow more room than others, but this works great for me.

Also it'll make a difference where your tandems are. The further back they are the longer it takes the trailer to respond.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

OK, that's a start!

Questions...

After Step 2, do I STOP, then turn the wheel hard right?

After Step 4, the back end of the trailer should already be pointed pretty much at the spot, correct?

As I said, I tend to over analyze things, but if I don't know the why all I am doing is memorizing steps and not able to correct on the fly.

Thanks again!

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

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Really need help on ally docking...

We really didn't get much training on it in school. Unfortunately, schools tend to train for the test. I guess the idea is that you will get the rest during mentoring. Problem is, during my mentoring, we really didn't have an opportunity to do it. Once or twice and that was it.

I was at a shipper and they gave me a specific numbered spot they wanted me to drop my trailer. It was just too tight to get a full turn and back straight in. I tried for like half an hour to no avail. I finally gave up and told the guys that I was going to find another spot and drop my trailer where I could fit it. Found a spot and got it in there in the first try. Easy peasy.

This is what I tried - first, came in perpendicular to the spot about 10 feet away from the line for trucks. One my left - not blind side. Went about two spots past it, then put it in reverse and cut the wheel hard right to kick the trailer back left. I kept running out of space and came in too sharp. By the time I went to straighten out, everything was out of whack.

I THINK what should have done is come up to the spot, then when my drives are centered in the spot i want, turn hard right WHILE GOING FORWARD. Then "S" back to the left and get the back of the trailer aimed at the spot I want.

I have been trying to find a good video but reality have only found ones showing it being done and not really explaining HOW it is done. Anyone find a good one that I might be able to use?

What advise do you guys have for a rookie that is pretty lost on this?

Posted:  6 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Homesickness

It is hitting me hard too. Never really had a job where I was this independent either. All of it can seem like too much and overwhelm me at times. I've only been out a month and I find that on bad days, the homesickness hits hardest.

I just pray for guidance and strength and lean on my family with phone calls. It's really all you can do. I am sure it will get better.

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