Profile For Paul Sol

Paul Sol's Info

  • Location:
    NJ

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 5 months ago

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Posted:  7 months ago

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Steering a 2023 Mack Anthem at Highway Speeds

I can credit truckingtruth.com for helping me finally, after years of dragging my feet, to get my CDL. Thank you. I have so far stayed with my employer as a dock worker; once I got my CDL my employer put me into 'the company' training program. So, here I am, got my cdl class a, hazmat etc, and been an active driver for 6 months to date as a P&D driver in a major metropolitan area. Trafffic is insane. Backing is equally insane if not more so, given that people park/double/triple park anywhere, docks are clearly designed for short truck bodies perhaps what was most common in the 1950's, backing a 53' trailer into a dock designed for a 22' box truck - insane!

So, I was in a freightliner for the first 8 months of my employment as a CDL driver, then a dozen new Mack Anthems appeared in the yard, opposite the dozen or so Freightliner cabs we currently use.

Turns out I became the new guinea pig. So a few days ago i report to work, and I am assigned a different trailer, AND a different tractor. I was assigned a new Mack Anthem. I was not assigned a new EZpass key so i got to figure that out on my own. Other things such as the key itself, was not ironed out. I was out of my comfort zone.

BUT, one I had the keys, it fired right up. I did the pre trip extensive version, it passed. I got under way, it seemed ok overall.

It was not until I approached highway speed that i said to myself, OMG the front end is all over the place!!

it really scared me. I spent the rest of my first day with this tractor, being afraid of it.

Tomorrow is my 2nd day, with this assigned tractor.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Steering a 2023 Mack Anthem at Highway Speeds

I can credit truckingtruth.com for helping me finally, after years of dragging my feet, to get my CDL. Thank you. I have so far stayed with my employer as a dock worker; once I got my CDL my employer put me into 'the company' training program. So, here I am, got my cdl class a, hazmat etc, and been an active driver for 6 months to date as a P&D driver in a major metropolitan area. Trafffic is insane. Backing is equally insane if not more so, given that people park/double/triple park anywhere, docks are clearly designed for short truck bodies perhaps what was most common in the 1950's, backing a 53' trailer into a dock designed for a 22' box truck - insane!

I seem to have missed my own point. So my employer put me into a brand new, day cab, Mack Anthem. A bit tighter than the freight liners I had gotten used to, granted maybe a bit nervous because it is brand spanking new, common knowledge knows i ripped up the trim of more than one freightliner over the last few months, lol.

anyway.

So i move in, get my gear set up, put the plates on, yes, make sure all my paper is in order, get my route for the day, and off I go after a very extensive pre-trip.

On the interstate, approaching 50mph, the front end starts moving to the left, to the right, OMFG its all over the place.

long story short, my first day out with this mack anthen day cab, the steering is all over the place, starting at 40mph pm a 2 lane road, very dangerous, ... and on the interstates? i did 20mph UNDER the speed limit, and still did not feel safe.

What is wrong with the steering on the Mack Anthem 2023? that I am literally afraid to report to work in the morning?

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Steering a 2023 Mack Anthem at Highway Speeds

I can credit truckingtruth.com for helping me finally, after years of dragging my feet, to get my CDL. Thank you. I have so far stayed with my employer as a dock worker; once I got my CDL my employer put me into 'the company' training program. So, here I am, got my cdl class a, hazmat etc, and been an active driver for 6 months to date as a P&D driver in a major metropolitan area. Trafffic is insane. Backing is equally insane if not more so, given that people park/double/triple park anywhere, docks are clearly designed for short truck bodies perhaps what was most common in the 1950's, backing a 53' trailer into a dock designed for a 22' box truck - insane!

Posted:  1 year ago

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Gravel Lot OR Asphalt?

I'll tell you how it worked out. I had such a hard time getting the backing maneuvers correct on the maybe not even squarely positioned few cones on the pot holey gravel lot, so i practiced over and over determined to get it right. However, at the dmv test area, where it was of course paved striped AND cones galore, the backing maneuvers were a breeze for me, took all of a few minutes to complete them all then off to the road portion of the test. So lesson learned is paved lot or not, just keep practicing til you get it right.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Currently Going to Truck Driving School But the School isn't so great

I am an older mature adult who decided to pursue a cdl, however, any "school" I considered worth attending had a full time schedule, where thereby prevented me from attending since I had to work full time, and did not have nearly enough vacation time to cover the school programs. So, I did the next best thing. I looked at the 'schools' that offered flexible part time arrangements. A couple hours this week, a couple hours next week, etc. I found lots of those in my area, most of which used pup trailers with older tractors. All well and good but I had a hang up about that so I finally settled on a place that offered this type training but used 40-48 foot trailers, a little more like what I'd be using with my (existing, I was a dockworker) employer. They spent a LOT of time on the pre-trip. The argument was that if you fail the pre-trip your test is over. So, they are not training you to succeed as a driver, they are training you to pass the CDL road test which is comprised of the inspection pass/fail, if pass then the parking maneuvers pass/fail, if pass, then you get the actual road test. Soak it all up, get your CDL, then go from there. If like me you cannot afford for whatever reason to attend a full time program, take EVERYTHING you can from the program you end up in, and ensure you pass your test and get the CDL.

I remember complaining about the program I settled on, but in hindsight, the instructors were very helpful, and I learned a lot of good stuff that is helping me regularly now as a daily delivery driver of a 48 footer in the greater NYC area.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Alley Dock in Action

I realize this original post was 6+ years ago but I felt like I had to reply. This is not that hard of a back. I have recently gotten my cdl, and today I had a delivery in upstate NJ similar to this one - I pulled partly onto the curb prior to the entry of the 'lot', set the brake & flashers and got out to take a look. I saw an S shaped single lane at best with a high concrete wall on the right follow around the back of the commercial property, with a tractor in sight down the way. Mistakenly I took the sight of the tractor as a sign that I was not driving into a place I cannot get out of. So I proceeded forward into my grave, as it seemed at the time. I pulled in past a tractor trailer that had been there since 5am (I later found out) set the brakes, got out and realized the ONLY way out of this was to back into the one spot currently occupied by a tractor trailer since BEFORE there were any other obstacles. I panicked initially..... but not really having a choice I went inside, found the relevant people, got the 2 TT's behind me backed up and the guy backed in but empty outside, to leave. I managed to back in, beside myself, I have no idea how I did it, I unloaded, they checked me out and I left.

In the photo of the "difficult" back, for this thread, there is clearly 35-40 feet in front of the front bumper of the docked tractor trailer. Exactly as in the photo, I also had to back around the docked ~26 foot straight trucks. Where I was today, with less than 2 weeks on my own, AFTER docking, in front of my bumper, there was maybe 20 feet to spare before a gravel incline that rose to a 10 foot concrete wall quickly, allowing no more than a couple feet of extra space.

I really surprised myself that I got into this spot. How did I? I was very frazzled over the situation, and yet, I got in there.

This all leads me to ask, since I was never good at any advanced math, how much forward space is required, at minimum? cab size, trailer size, tandem location & kingpin position is all relevant to the question, but say a standard day cab w/ a 48 foot trailer, tandems all the way forward? Is there a minimum space required?

Is there some sort of formula to answer this, or must we all just "eyeball" it?

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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M-F Home Nightly Jobs For Newly licensed 55+ Male Class A Driver

Am I dreaming if I require M-F home nightly, in the nyc area for a newly licensed 55+ Male Class A Driver? My employer managed to start the ball rolling on my desire for a CDL-A after 5 years of procrastination, but now "they" are the ones that are telling me maybe I shouldn't have done that and that I should be happy just being a dockworker, especially given all the overtime, currently. I'd really, really, like to stay with my employer, my co-workers, the general environment - I've been a dock worker for 10 years for this company, but I"m not getting any younger and I was older when I started working here. If my company backs out of a verbal agreement to hire me on as a driver and put me into their driver training program ( my company currently is having really bad labor problems for warehouse workers such as myself, on all 3 shifts), I may have to look for alternatives, if there are any. Are there any?

I am in Central NJ, newly licensed Class A, looking for M-F, weekends optional, home nightly, or very close to that. Any additional endorsement I do not have already, I will obtain as required. I will willingly work up to the max of the book for weekly logged in hours.

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Training on Gravel vs. Paved Lot

I do appreciate the replies thanks, they made me pause, I am probably going with the paved training yard at a training co. that's been around for decades, they are very flexible. Several CDL "schools" in my area use single axle trailers that seem 40ft (at best) or less, I presume that makes parking maneuvers easier for newbies, is this true or does DMV make adjustments on backing skills testing proportional to the trailer you bring to the test?

Also I've come across most places that are "certain" the FMCSA requires 160 hours now, but a couple who agree with me which is contrary, which works for me because I cannot find that much time even though I wish I could.

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Thanks

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

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Training on Gravel vs. Paved Lot

I work and just do not have the time to go to a full CDL school course, I don't have 4 or more weeks off so I find myself limited to the smaller mom/pop training places that charge by the hour, some of which are on Gravel lots. In preparing for the CDL State range/road test, is there any difference practicing backing on a gravel lot as opposed to a paved lot? When weighing the pros & cons of training in my area, I find myself worried that a better instructor on a pot-holey gravel lot may not be any better than an average instructor on a paved lot, or how does it even matter?

Any thoughts?

Posted:  1 year, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Gravel Lot OR Asphalt?

Regarding preparing for the CDL State range/road test, is there any difference practicing backing on a gravel lot as opposed to a paved lot? When weighing the pros & cons of training in my area, I find myself worried that a better instructor on a pot-holey gravel lot may not be any better than an average instructor on a properly coned, paved lot.

Any thoughts?

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