Profile For Steven N. (aka Wilson)

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Info

  • Location:
    Waaaaaay Dayown Sayowth, AL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    5 years ago

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Bio

Retired military recently moved from Germany to start this career. I haven't even finished unpacking all the boxes yet.

The day has finally arrived and I have been given the keys to my very own assigned truckl!!!

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Photo Gallery Group 1 of 2

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Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Con-way Update: There's Hope

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If anyone can find a break somewhere, you can.

-HM

brand new blue melton truck tractor-trailer

Thank you. The difficulty will be in finding the right uniform as I'm ...well ...blue.

-mountain girl

Did you say blue???

Dare I suggest.....

brand new blue melton truck tractor-trailer

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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I got sent home by Con-way Freight

MG, it's their loss. You will find the right company with no problem, I'm sure.

They accused you of floating a gear??!? What is the sin in that? At Melton's orientation, the instructor introduced the students in my class to floating gears. I found it wonderful. I rarely use the clutch any more. The learning curve for me has been steep. I have made so many mistakes since I have started I think I would have been sent home before you had I received the same scrutiny. No one is a perfect driver either at the beginning or otherwise. With your attitude, you will succeed; especially with your military work ethic!

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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How many hours do you really drive??

I was driving my third week close to the limit. At the end of the week, my 70-hour clock ran out. embarrassed.gif Next week, I am going to attempt to drive 9 - 9.5 per day to keep my 70-hour clock stocked with hours everyday. I think it is called running on recap? I don't want to miss a delivery appointment again because I ran out of hours. It was really frustrating, too. I was in position to make it on time, but the 70-hour rule peed on my parade! I still have a lot to learn in time management.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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CDL Permit Passed Yeah!

Oh, I forgot to mention. I did well on my permit because of the High Road Training program.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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CDL Permit Passed Yeah!

Gratz on the permit! Nice feeling, isn't it?

When I went, I took all the tests at the same session and walked out with a permit with all the endorsements (save HAZMAT as that is only put on your actual license).

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Trucker/Driving etiquette

I think if you are entering the hwy and a truck moves left to make room for you, you should let them back over afterwards. I did this and there was a truck in front of me going about 61 and I'm governed at 62 and the truck that just entered pulled up beside me so I couldn't get back over and had to proceed to pass the other truck which took awhile and cars and other trucks stacked up behind me.

Now this happened to me today, not only with another truck, but also with 4-wheelers. You see them entering from the on ramp to merge and you know you have to get over to let them in. Then they pull up along side of you and you can't get back over.

About fighting the governor, that is an interesting concept. I may just try that for a week or two to see how it is.

Are there any other instances of trucking etiquette besides passing? Like in the truck stops or other situations?

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Trucker/Driving etiquette

Being a brand-new rookie, I have noticed there are things you do while driving that are considered polite driving practices. The other day, I was driving along minding my own business and I had the truck pegged at the governed speed I could go. Eventually, I come up to another truck that is doing perhaps 2 MPH slower than I was. Well, I didn't want to go slower so I patiently waited for an adequate opening to pass and I started to pass him. It took awhile to pass him, especially with the gentle rolling hills that were present. Once I was past him, I got back over into the right lane and started to mind my own business again when a truck that got behind me at some point passed me and blowing his road horn at me. I am thinking he may have been an O/O since his truck did not seem to be governed. Whether he was an O/O or not, he was very irate at me for taking *too* long to pass.

So I am thinking that I broke some kind of sacred etiquette law or something, shocked.png hence this post.

What are these etiquette laws? I know all of you experienced drivers know them and probably practice them all the time. But I don't know them. Please comment on my passing a slower truck and also please list as many of these etiquette rules as you all can think of. I would like to be in compliance as a rookie.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Free showers

Ooooo! This is good info! smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Paranoia on the road!!!!

I agree. These "jokes" are definitely not funny.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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In cab surviellance?

When I was with TMC I had a driver facing camera (they were just testing, i think less than 200 trucks had them). The camera wasn't always recording, it was just triggered either by a critical event (hard brake, collision) or if the driver pressed the button on the camera. The footage was then sent to a third party to evaluate (making sure it wasn't a false positive) before sending it on to the company. I never had mine record anything. If the camera worked as described above, I would always be fine with it. Any that the employer can just "peek in" for any reason, or no reason at all, I would have a problem with.

This is what I have in my truck. The company has no way of "activating the camera" to see what you are doing. It is event activated (or you can hit the button) and a third party reviews the recording. The company provides the criteria to the third party on what to look for (I think it is three or four different things) and if it doesn't involve any of the criteria, they don't want to see the recording. They told me in orientation that the camera is primarily for litigation. I think if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, there should not be a problem with it. But if you like to fiddle with your phone while driving or have unauthorized riders and such things, sooner or later you will get caught. I like the idea because as a rookie, I feel like I am being protected.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Update on Conway Freight from Mountain Girl

Way to go MG. I know exactly what you mean when you say you are too tired to write down all your adventures. I really had good intentions going through school and orientation. But I just couldn't keep up with it. I have had lots of adventures as I am sure you are having as well. Just let us know when the opportunity arises so we can all be in on what is happening at Conway with you.

Stay safe and watch you trailer! smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Drum roll, please!

Well I am at a receiver with a little time on my hands. They are across the street and I can't unload until tomorrow morning. So I thought I would share just a little about my training time. The new truck we drove had 23 miles on it when we started. When I was dropped off at the terminal at the end of the 3 weeks, there was over 9300 miles that we put on that truck.

Here are the loads that we hauled:

1. Oklahoma to Connecticut - Fencing material.

2. Connecticut to Indiana - Slinky coils.

3. Indiana to Colorado - Aluminum "eye to the sky" coils.

4. Colorado to California - Rebar slinky coils.

Melton flatbed loaded with rebar coils

5. California to Idaho - Scrap copper.

6. Idaho to California - Scrap aluminum.

7. California to Texas - Roofing rolls.

8. Texas to Iowa - Cable spools.

The last load I did not make to the shipper as I was dropped off at the Tulsa terminal en-route to either get a set of keys or a Greyhound bus ticket. You already know I got the keys. smile.gif

So now I have my new ride!

blue Melton flatbed truck and trailernew blue Melton trucknew blue Melton truck

Woohoo!

So now comes the real learning. All on my own and the steep learning curve of being quick on your feet and an effective problem solver.

My very first load was a disaster! shocked.pngembarrassed.gif Thank God it was nothing major. It was all little things. Instead of running through the entire story, I'll just list them as bullets.

- After I found my trailer and hooked up to it, I drove 3/4 ways through the terminal before another driver ran over and stopped me to let me know my tarp box was open. embarrassed.gif

- All I had was a map (atlas). The navigation was not yet turned on in the truck.

- I thought I would be slick and write the directions on the windshield with a dry erase marker. My eyes read I40 and my hand wrote down I44. Needless to say, I "got lost" and was about 45 minutes out of route. It took me awhile to finds an adequate place to pull over and figure things out. Once I was stopped, I used my smart phone to give me a clue on how to get to the shipper from my present location. I didn't look like it was that far away, but an hour later, I was close. I went over the directions they supplied and I was going down gravel roads before I finally found this place!

- I get to the shipper and discovered that the load was already on a trailer! I thought that was nice until she said that once I got it secured and tarped, she wanted my empty trailer in the bay after I take the loaded one out. I cheerfully said, "I can do that!"

- Then there was a problem with the securement and I had to consult with the Melton Safety Dept. Once that was all sorted out, I was able to secure it and tarp it.

- It was raining and it seemed every time I had to do something outside, it involved a mud puddle.

- I dropped my sweat rag in a mud puddle.

- When I was doing all the hooking and unhooking shuffling the trailers around, I backed too far and the kingpin went over the fifth wheel. embarrassed.gif

- When I was ready to roll, there was a message on the Qualcom to just bring the load back to the terminal.

That was my first time out and it seemed like it would never end. But it did and I was able to get another shower at the terminal. The next day, I received my second load. I went to Norman, OK to pick up some air conditioner units to haul them to our terminal in TX. I thought this would be much better than the first load. I found the place pretty easy and got it all secure. They wanted a "smoke tarp" for the front condenser unit to keep the bugs and anything else from getting in the 'radiator' looking thingy.

Melton flatbed loaded with air conditioning units

This one had a successful ending! smile.gif

My current load is going very well. My navigation got turned on so I am a little more comfortable now. I am hauling pipe from our TX terminal to Arkansas.

Here it is all secured ready for the tarp. Melton loaded and strapped flatbed trailer

Here it is all wrapped up like a Christmas present. Melton loaded tarped and strapped flatbed trailer

So that is about as up to date as I can get. It's a whole different world being on your own. There is no one there to say, "Watch your trailer." "Check your mirrors." "Don't forget the 'Load' tab on your status." But even in all of these little things that have happened, I must say that I am having fun!

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Whats wrong with this picture

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Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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What's wrong with this load?

My last load with my trainer was two cable spools: 16.7k pounds each. The shipper laid the dunnage and we had to secure it properly to the trailer. They were laid suicide fashion. We ended up running 5 chains through the arbor hole on each spool to hold them in place. It's hard to tell from the picture what the securement was for sure, other than "inadequate." But I only see one chain and that little strap. Apparently this is a lot like going down the mountain. You can go down as many times as you want too slow but only one time too fast. With securement, you can 'over secure' as many times as you want but only one time with too little.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Drum roll, please!

It has been a very exhausting 3 weeks out with the trainer. He showed me many things. We put over 9300 miles on that new truck of his. We went from OK to CT to IN to CO to CA to ID to CA to TX and back to OK again. What a haul! I learned a lot. Time management was a big area that I was able to grasp. I found out that you really have to manage lines 3 and 4 down to the minute if you want to optimize your money making. As far as load securement and tarping, there were some times I didn't think I was going to make it. This flat bedding is kicking my butt! It's very fast paced and this old man is not in the shape I thought I was. But it is getting a little easier each week.

So I get dropped off at the terminal in Tulsa and the longer story made short, instead of a bus ticket, they handed me the keys to my own assigned truck! Whoopee!!!! I got the truck yesterday and did all the inventorying and inspections, etc. Today, I go on the board and will be getting my first load as a solo rookie driver. I have so many mixed emotions it isn't funny! One of them is that I am scared to death. I just don't want to make a mistake and I know the odds are that I will eventually. I just hope that I will be able to show the abilities that I have learned before anything negative happens and that the mistakes remain minor ones.

We shall see. Thanks to all on the site for your advice and encouragement. You all have helped in more ways than you know. I will be happy when I complete my first load and I look forward to seeing you out there sometime.

Woot!

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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Running With The Big Dogs

Thanks, Old School. You are an example for us n00bs to follow. I am finding flatbedding to be VERY challenging. If I dwell too long on it, I start asking myself "what have I gotten myself into???"

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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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I did it !! Now the real adventure begins !!

Gratz, Jimmy.

Feels good, doesn't it? Now impress those guys at orientation the same way.

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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

Thanks all. I hope to learn as much as I can. I am already preparing my mind for the months following when I get my own truck. I am expecting it to really "suck" at first. But I am also in Melton's support system being at my fingertips to help me along when I have questions and when I get stuck on some of these Rubik's Cube loads.

I can show you my trainer. He appears in this video around 23 seconds into it.

My trainer is in this video.

Melton Truck Lines

Melton Truck Lines Culture And Values

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

Oh my goodness this is great! I can't wait to hear more about your adventures that are coming up!

Thanks.

I hope to keep something going but I am not sure yet how the schedule will go with updates. Hopefully, I'll be able to post something. If the training all goes good, I'll get my own truck in about 21 days!

smile.gif

Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

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I'm in!!! Orientation with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, OK

Just a quick update. I have been too busy to really give a good report on how things are going and what has happened. But.......

I just graduated orientation at Melton.

dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

truck driver who looks like Wilson from Home Improvement Tool Time graduates from trucking school

Tomorrow morning sometime, I get on the trainer's truck and we head out to Connecticut. We would have left today, but the truck had to go to the shop to get something installed. Maintenance had to install a CB radio for the trainer. You may wonder why now. Well, here's why:

brand new melton trainers truck

Your biggest clue is the 5th wheel.

Yup. Brand new truck for the trainer, and I get to go with him and drive this for training!

brand new melton trainers truckbrand new melton trainers truck

Woohoo!!!!!!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

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