Profile For BardTale

BardTale's Info

  • Location:
    Griffin, GA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

BardTale's Bio

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

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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Toughest day on the road?

Last year at some point, I was loaned over to the Amazon account for my company. The first 5 days, while long, was mostly drive to point A, drop trailer off, pickup trailer B for the return trip, find a place to park for the night. (Drop and hooks). The last day I was to report to the AEC (Amazon Enrichment Center) in Southwest Chicago near Joliet. When I was given my assignment, it was a 12 stop load in and around various points in Chicago. Some drop and hooks (Take loaded trailer to a small distribution warehouse, drive a different empty or loaded back to the AEC).

The last two stops turned out to be live unloads. Both in northern Chicago and both in places that a road truck shouldn't go. I barely managed to scrape by on time for the first of the live unloads, and while waiting for the second to be unloaded, I ran out of time on my 14. (It was close to 1am at this point).

After calling up safety and informing them that I had to violate my HOS to find safe haven, I drove the 45 minutes and stopped at the first place I could find. The O'Hare service plaza. Immediately, I was out like a light.

The next morning after getting a stern talking to from my dispatch for violating my 14 hour the previous night, I went inside to take care of business. Coffee, restroom etc. On getting back to the truck, I realized I had locked my keys inside! (Unlucky for me, I had also left my phone in the truck as well). I walked around and begged to use somebody's phone, and luckily managed to google up a phone number for corporate. (It was an early sunday morning as well).

It took a few tries, but after explaining my situation, I was transferred to road safety and once again explained. We all shared at a laugh at my expense and they sent a locksmith to come open up my door. (There's a lesson to be learned here rookies. Always do your stupid check! Aka, never leave your truck without keys! lol)

The next hour was spent waiting for the locksmith and I huddled in the heated outdoor bathrooms (This particular service plaza was doing construction on the inside bathrooms, so they brought in one of those bathroom trailers for people to use) when nobody was in there. (Last thing to note, it was freezing and I only took a light jacket with me)

After all said and done, I returned the Amazon Trailer to the AEC and bobtailed back to my account DC to get ready to be dispatched on one of my normal loads. I was so ready to get up out of the windy city that day!

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need some help with 90 degree alley dock and offset

I have been practicing the offset and 90 degree alley dock and have successfully completed them but I am just not developing a feel for it. I know it really comes with time and experience but I am getting frustrated that i seem to only be completing the maneuvers by chance than by skill or understanding.

The offset:

Say I have to offset to the right. I turn my wheel all the way to the left and look at my trailer and try to envision when the corner of the drivers side of the trailer is pointing toward the middle set of cones then turn the wheel to straighten the truck to see how I’m angled. 90% of the time the corner of the trailer on the drivers side isn’t even exposing so middle set of cones which means I didn’t cut it enough, or the inverse happens and I’ve cut it too much. Since I don’t have a feel for it I feel like I’m shooting blind and it’s just a 50/50 chance.

Is there anything I can reference or guide to get more consistent so I get my trailer more aligned between the cones?

Now for the 90 degree alley dock:

My main issue is that I am not getting the hang of which maneuver would work best to get the trailer in the set of cones. We are doing the drivers side alley dock so I initially start by cranking the wheel to the right to get a “V” angle then straighten my wheels out. I get the rear of the trailer near the opening of the cones and I need clarification when I should follow the trailer as opposed to keeping the wheel straight.

It seems when I keep the wheels straight the trailer begins to push the trailer on a pivot point. When I follow it the trailer it seems to continue moving backwards and also pivots but does so slowly.

Is there a general sense of when I should use each maneuver: the hard right turn, straight wheel, following the trailer? I feel like that is what is keeping me from successfully doing the 90 consistently.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to list what I was doing so hopefully someone could point what I’m doing wrong.

Thank for the help!

Backing in general can be a rather fustrating experience for new drivers. It's one of the few skills in our toolset that requires experience to be halfway decent at.

However, if you are like myself, using a visual aid may help. Buy a toy truck and practice backing with it. It won't give you the mirror view, but it will give you the idea of how to visualize where the trailer should be and how to manage / maneuver it.

My other common advice is: watch other drivers and notice how they're moving the trailer around with the tractor.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Hit the Driver Appreciation cookout Trifecta.

I think I may of perhaps beaten your record. I delivered into Bolingbrook, IL, attended the account cookout, was told by my safety director that I needed to get new tires, so went to the shop and attended the cookout at Channahon, IL while they replaced 9 out of 10 tractor tires. Went up to the Chicago terminal (cookout) to look for a trailer. Failing to find one, I went back to Bolingbrook to try another DC (Cookout) and not finding one there either, I drove up to Aurora, IL and attended a cookout and found an empty!

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Whats the best Company to start off with. I have no experience.

To be truthful, go with whatever company works for you. The main suspects are all good choices for starting out with

That all said, every company has their ups and downs. But, one thing to consider, no matter which company you choose, most training companies will try to push you for the first year.

That first year is crucial. It sounds harsh, but the trial by fire method (As I like to call it), is there to weed out those who can and those who cannot.

I'm unsure of the numbers, but I'm confident in saying that 3 out of 5 people who make it past truck driving school and the trainer truck , will probably quit before the 6 month mark.

I'm not saying it's a bad experience. But it's certainly not easy either. Especially when somebody isn't used to potentially 14 hour days, 7 days a week with only a a short bit of time to yourself each day plus getting enough sleep.

It's worth it though. And I hope for the best. There are many fine folks in this forum who are more than willing to be your cheerleaders.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Adult

Just going to add my whole 2 cents here. If it makes me sound like a bigot? Well. So be it.

From a guys point of view, most guys go into the bathroom to do one of three things. Urinate, defecate or wash hands. Sometimes all three, sometimes two or just one. In any combination. But regardless of the reason, most guys simply want to get to get in, get out and continue on with the rest of the day.

Most guys don't talk to others in the bathroom. If there is a conversation, it's usually at the sinks and even then, it's kept to a minimum. And nobody really cares who's in there unless the stalls are full and you really have pay homage to the great porcelain throne. I can't speak for the women's bathroom, but if a woman came into the guys, the event wouldn't even hardly register on the weird-o-meter. In my book, it's a non issue.

Only thing I ever ask for anybody, guy or gal. Please don't clog up the toilets/sinks etc with a massive amounts of toilet paper and/or paper towels and PLUS, for the LOVE of everything unholy. PLEASE, flush the damn commode.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Need money who can help.

I lost my bank card and I’m broke on the road. What’s the best way a trucker can have his wife send him money? Is there a way? Thank you.

Most pilot/flying J/TA's have a Western Union. If your credit/bank card is still active and you know the info, you could send the money to yourself online. Or your wife could send money as well. No matter the method, you will be required to call up WU and obtain a "Pin" number to complete and pickup the transfer.

Posted:  11 months ago

View Topic:

7 month update with Jb hunt

Glad to see another JB Driver. I myself started with the company nearly 1 year ago. The experience has been great. I can't speak for any of the other accounts, but I was placed onto the R.R Donnelly account, and the dispatchers over here are 10 kinds of awesome.

When I got back into trucking, I went with C.R England. And while I won't speak bad about the company, it was a miserable experience for me. (I already had my CDL, so I didn't need to go through the school/and or go under contract). Once I met the requirements for J.B Hunt, I politely left the company and came on over here.

From the the first day of orientation to now, I don't think I could ask for anything more from a company. On my specific account, it's got the feel of a small company within the framework of a larger one (Only about 100 or so drivers on the account) and I would suggest it to anybody who doesn't mind hauling 75,000 on average through the midwest and east coast. (Also, frequently visiting USPS facilities) lol.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

New-ish driver looking for advice.

Thank you both for the reply. It's a lot to think on. Though I will also admit, sitting up here while waiting for a truck to be assigned seems soul crushing. (Doesn't help that this entire campus seems to just suck the joy out of life lol)

After I upgraded Friday, one of the ladies in the upstairs offices asked me if I was willing to drive a first phase student home (He just graduated from the school and asked for home time before going out with the trainer)

He lives in Atlanta as well, so I see this as a good opportunity to at least head home to pick up a few things, drop him off and keep on rolling till about the 10th before I request official home time.

The reason for this is mostly because my gf is getting kicked out of her place on the 12th and the plan is for her to come ride with me, and convince her to get her CDL, and eventually, we can drive as a team.

So, hopefully tomorrow I'm getting a truck as none of the office staff here world on the weekend lol

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

New-ish driver looking for advice.

Hello and salutations everybody!

As the title says, I'm hoping to be able to get some advice on my current situation. Also please pardon the brand new account. I just recently found this message board!

Here's the basic gist of my sitation. Years ago, I had originally gotten my CDL (Back in 07 or 08 i think?) And I was hired right out of the school by PAM.

At the time, I had quit after 4 months because I had thought that the career/lifestyle wasn't for me.

Fast forward 10 years give or take, and after paying off the debt years ago, I had decided to reenter the industry as i think i am older and hopefully wiser.

Unlike a lot if people, I had maintained my CDL everyone I renewed my license, even though I was not driving a commercial vehicle.

Prior to the recent events, I would half hearted call up a company to see if they would be willing to hire me (I'd call up the big 6) and each one told me that i would have to retake a certification course for the recent experience needed to be hired.

This would lead to being discouraged as, when I asked about it, the recertification courses offered at the training schools was nearly the price of the cdl classes themselves!

So fast forward until recently, I was looking for work on one of those job finder apps, and saw CR England. Without much thought, I clicked it, put in my info and moved on.

A couple of days later, a recruiter calls me up and I explain everything. The recruiter lady tells me that they'd love to hire me, but I would have to complete between 140-180 hours on a trainer truck then I would upgrade directly into my own assigned truck.

I'm ecstatic of course, thanking her and telling her how grateful I am, but in all that, I ask one very specific question, "Will I be a solo seat?"

I'm assured this is the case, and next week I'm in Atlanta at the Conley yard attending orientation. After 4 days there, I'm officially hired and on a waiting list for a trainer. Though, during the proccess, I kept asking, am I being hired as a solo seat?

Fast forward to today, I have completed the 180 hours on the trainer truck, and after abit of a snafu of scheduling, I take my phase 1 upgrade road and backing test, directly skipping phase 2 altogether and into first seat. So I'm just waiting for a truck to be assigned to me now.

During this time here in salt lake city, I once asked if I was going to be upgraded into a solo seat, and I'm politely informed that CR England is a team driving conpany with little or no solo seat jobs available.

I don't want to seem ungrateful for being hired, but I know that I do not want to train or team drive. May I ask for some advice please?

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