Comments By Hobo

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  • Hobo
  • Joined:
  • 4 months, 1 week ago
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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Well I sort of confronted my supervisor

Brian, I have some advice...don't believe the owner. You said in your other thread you had three drivers? That's a small company, I don't believe there's any way she didn't know about it and would be surprised if it wasn't her idea.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Backing Problem With AutoShift Trans

Susan, so is mine. My trainer would have had a fit had I shifted the way my AutoShift does on hills.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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First week of Solo finished with Flubs and all - and there were allot of Flubs! Part I

Chris, I just finished up my first week solo too. You weren't alone when it comes to flubs.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Prime..Do you need your SS card or not???

Ovaltine is a drug? I guess that explains why kids kept shooting their eye out.

On a totally unrelated note I suppose I have some shaving to do, good thing I haven't been hair tested yet.

SmartC, I forgot to ask...how are your slide rule and abacus skills? The trip planning portion of orientation will go much smoother if you bone up on those before you leave.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Prime..Do you need your SS card or not???

I had to get a new SS card. I did it over the internet, they mailed it to me in under 2 weeks. Forget about all that though, I mean proof of identity...who needs it am I right?

Here's what you're really going to need that no one is telling you about...your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, I hope you didn't lose it because if you don't have it they'll send you home and won't pay for the bus ticket. They'll also make you solve the Rubiks Cube before handing you any truck keys.

Get an SS card slacker.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Backing Problem With AutoShift Trans

RealDiehl happy I could help out, lol

And, we have a winner, Matthew was right. Disabling the hill start assist got rid of the lurching. Truck still won't creep so I still have to be careful with the go pedal but at least it's not shaking the cargo now.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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PAM no longer requires new drivers to team. They stopped doing that last summer.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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$150 Rookie Mistake

Bobcat I completely agree. From now on if I'm losing air I'm parking it. Good thing I wasn't city driving.

Tractor Man it wasn't the gladhand. There was a small crack in the plastic service air hose right at the brass fitting that connects to the gladhand.

I found out later that this is a common problem. At least no one got hurt or worse

.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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$150 Rookie Mistake

I was losing 15 psi when I applied the brakes which didn't happen before so I figured I had a leak.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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$150 Rookie Mistake

Driving from Huntington WV to S. Carolina this morning. Brakes were good during the pre-trip but I noticed I was losing too much pressure when braking after I cleared the big hills. PSI never dropped below 120 but I was going to schedule service after my drop which was about 90 minutes away.

6 miles before my drop in BFE, SC a state trooper pulled me over for a random level 2.

Out of service, waiting for the mechanic. Pockets $150 lighter. Won't do that again.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Coming to a complete stop

Use the brake to come to dead stop but push the clutch in before the engine stalls. Brake, then clutch.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Backing Problem With AutoShift Trans

Steve, I've had to resort to that a couple of times on 90 backs. I don't like doing it though, the brakes on this truck are almost as touchy as the accelerator.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Backing Problem With AutoShift Trans

Yep, it's a 2017 International. Today I've been able to control it in a straight line but it still jerks like crazy when I'm bent. I guess it just takes practice, which I'm getting plenty of doing shuttle runs.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Backing Problem With AutoShift Trans

I upgraded after orientation a couple of days ago and the tractor I was assigned has a push button autoshift trans. Today I had to back 4 times, this truck will not creep, when I let my foot off the brake it doesn't move and when I hit the accelerator it lurches big time. There doesn't seem to be any in between with this truck.

Is this normal or do I just not have the right touch with it yet?

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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DriverSolutions/PAM--Suburban Truck Driver Training School, Romulus MI

This will be my last update for at least 2 weeks. I just talked to my trainer and I'm meeting her at the PAM yard in Romulus later this afternoon so I'll be on my way soon. The Fleet Mentor told me yesterday that my trainer does one of the dedicated runs from Detroit to Laredo and back so that sounds like an excellent route to train on, varied terrain and driving conditions. The training is 2 weeks and I have to have 80 hours behind the wheel during those 2 weeks...if there is a safety incident I may have to do an additional week from what I've been told but I'm just going to focus on being safe, and whatever else the trainer tells me to focus on. I'll post something about the training when I get back. Later all.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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DriverSolutions/PAM--Suburban Truck Driver Training School, Romulus MI

You nailed it, excited and a little bit nervous. This is a major life change. I was able to meet with some grads from the school who drive for PAM and it sounds like I'm going to a solid company so that makes this less stressful. I enjoyed the training, we had a really good group of people and it was nice to get a little bit better every day. I know what you mean about the size of the vehicles. I used to drive straight trucks and I thought those were big at first but these combination vehicles are just massive in comparison, they're a different world.

One of the reasons I went with PAM was the fact that the training was shorter than it is at some of the other carriers but now that I'll be in a trainer's truck within a few days it's really starting to hit home that the only real skills I have right now allow me to pass the CDL exam, and that's not saying much, and I'll only be with the trainer for 2 weeks so I need to learn as much as I can about the job and the vehicle from the trainer in those 2 weeks.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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DriverSolutions/PAM--Suburban Truck Driver Training School, Romulus MI

Rainy made some great points and what I wrote about the drug and alcohol testing is misleading so I need to clarify this a wee bit. My initial drug and alcohol screening was done for the school because they needed the results on file for me to be able to operate their vehicles. In my class I was the only student who took the test for the school, everyone else took their drug and alcohol screen as part of their DOT physical. Three other students also had their DOT cards but they had to re-certify. I received my 2 year card a week and a half before school started so I didn't have to retake the physical but my situation was not common and failing the school test would have been just as bad as failing the test for the physical.

As Rainy correctly pointed out a failed drug test has consequences whether you're in trucking or not so there's more to it than just not being able to continue the training program. If you can't pass the drug and alcohol screens it's best you don't waste everyone's time and money and damage your career prospects.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Cleaning Truck Floor

Jamie wasn't kidding about being parked in a bad area. Looking at the pictures you can see someone got right up in there and stole the gear shift and the clutch pedal.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Trip down to Cedar Rapids

If it were me I'd call them and ask for their thoughts before showing up unannounced.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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DriverSolutions/PAM--Suburban Truck Driver Training School, Romulus MI

I forgot to mention a couple of things. As a PAM/DS student you will be required to take a pre-graduation drug and alcohol test. I don't know if there's a set time for it but it can happen anytime after you come off the road. This test is different than the first one. The first test is for the school, you can refuse to take it or even fail it and the worst that happens is you're out of the school. The pre-graduation test is for PAM and full DOT rules apply: You have two hours to appear at the testing station and if you don't then you're a no show. If you fail this test it goes on your record and there are repercussions to deal with so don't be late and don't fail it. Some students were tested more than twice. I don't know the particulars but be aware it's a possibility.

Once you pass your CDL test you go back to the school, they make a copy of your certificate and then you go to the Secretary of State and get your CDL. Once that's done you go back to the school, they make some more copies, then they give you a T-shirt and take your picture. They will also hand you an envelope with a Comdata card (I think that's what it's called, I've been told it's important)and you'll be given a phone number and told to call and tell them you graduated and have your CDL. You'll be asked for the number on the card and another call will be set up for you for a couple of days later. This call once I had my CDL was my first direct contact with PAM. So here I am, tomorrow (Monday) I have to call someone else at PAM and hopefully my trainer picks me up sometime this week. After my time in the trainer's truck I'll make another post about how that went.

Driver Solutions. There's some nasty stuff written online about them. My take on them is they're all business. Don't lie to them about your background, it's really that simple, there were guys in my class who were bounced out of school because they lied about their backgrounds. On the other hand I know two students who had PAM pull their offers of employment and DS had them hooked up with new carriers within two days. You treat DS right and they'll treat you right, you play games and screw around with them and they're not going to play nice with you.

I want to avoid giving a lot of advice about how to do certain things, that's what the instructors are for, but I do want to talk a little bit about confidence because that seems to affect a lot of students. Some people had a lack of confidence in their backing skills. Don't sweat it, if that ends up being you just remember you're probably better than you think you are. An example: Student A just "gets it" right away and can back right into the box and doesn't have to ride the clutch, pull up, or get out and look. Student B goes into the box crooked on his first approach, has to get out and look more than once, uses two pull ups and then has the vehicle straight in the box. You know what the difference is between these two students? Absolutely nothing, they both just passed the test. No one expects you to be perfect and they don't give style points on those maneuvers. Just be safe.

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