Profile For John L.

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    3 years, 6 months ago

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Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

Sorry sir, I will take responsibilities for my actions.

Beinh a rookie has nothing to do with your attitude. Either fix it now and take responsibilty, or you won't last through your "rookie" period.

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Yup, I’m that “rookie” guy.

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I don't see anything funny about running into anything, John. Then you don't report it, either? There is no excuse for either.

You are "That Guy".

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That “Guy” who failed to report damaging company equipment, failed to G.O.A.L. in a tight spit and has yet to offer what lessons(s) were learned.

Yup...that “Guy”.

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Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

Yes sir, I completely agree with you.

Hey John...do you really want honest input?

Cause...professionalism and integrity have nothing to do with being a rookie.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

Yup, I’m that “rookie” guy.

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I don't see anything funny about running into anything, John. Then you don't report it, either? There is no excuse for either.

You are "That Guy".

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That “Guy” who failed to report damaging company equipment, failed to G.O.A.L. in a tight spit and has yet to offer what lessons(s) were learned.

Yup...that “Guy”.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

Thanks for the advice PJ! I just don’t know what happened, I delivered there countless times and I get in no problem, but yesterday was my first time getting the trailer stuck on the wall, there were pallets on my blindside and I was too focused on that side that I failed to notice my driver side. The story of the customer saying don’t worry about it is actually not for me, that pertains to another driver from my company that tore his trailer doors down and hit the wall. The funny thing with my situation was that no one said anything, once I got “unstuck” if that makes sense lol they just proceeded to unload me and said what happened man?! I told them it’s one of those sucky days haha!

John you are very new to this career. What other people do will not generally effect you. What you do will. You made a simple mistake. Companies that hire new drivers know these things will happen. The office staff knows who pulls what trailers. It can be traced back to you if they so choose. Like Bobcat said the failure to report will be the bigger issue.

Never never never listen to a customer in a situation like this. The person who told you no problem likely doesn’t have any authority within the company. If his boss finds out and doesn’t agree guess what. That customer calls your company and things go downhill from there.

I’ll share this with you. There are a couple customers I go to pretty regular. I have got to know the employees fairly well. They have shared with me that they have actually banned a certain carrier from their property because the drivers from that company have hit things too many times. They didn’t ban a driver or two, they banned the company, and it is not a small carrier. We never know what goes on behind the scenes with customers.

Things can and will happen. Follow your company policy and you will generally come out of it ok. Honesty is always the best policy.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

You got a good point there! But the funny thing is that I know some drivers from my company who has done far worst damages to the trailer but never reported it. Like having a huge gash on the trailer, there was This one time 4 people from our company delivered to the same shipper and one of them didn’t pay attention and hit the other drivers trailer, it was damaged pretty bad but they both never reported it, the driver who got hit was like whatever it’s not my trailer. Both are still employed. I know where your coming from though, btw old dominion rocks! I heard they are an excellent company to work for.

You should have reported it, what happens if the next driver takes that trailer and reports it damaged so they come looking for the last guy to pull it?

At OD you wouldn't be in trouble for the minor accident but definitely would be not reporting it.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

One of those bad backing days

Hey y’all, still a rookie here, been driving for 6 months, 2 months with a trainer and 4 solo. Anyways today I was backing into a garage dock, super tight place with pallets everywhere, been there quite a few times and could easily back in. However, today was just a blank backing day, I didn’t pay attention to my driver side and the trailer got stuck and scraped against the pole/wall. Tried a few methods before I could pull myself out, mind you, I was already inside the garage dock. It occurred when I was pulling forward to straightening myself out. The situation taught me how to get out of risky situations. Anyways, left side trailer had yellow scraps and scratches but I decided not to report it to my company, also no one mentioned anything when they were loading my trailer lol so I just left it haha. Another driver from my company also had a blank moment a few years ago backing into the same enclosed dock but he damaged the wall and took out his trailer doors. The owner was super cool about it and said don’t worry about it wall! Man driving and backing in LA is the worst!

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Backing a semi

Ebenezer Scrooge lol

Discouraged? Bah humbug. I left my walmart job of 11 years in May 2008. Went to Prime and went home without testing. Thought life was over. Went to Roehl in October of 2008. Passed test but couldn’t do the practical driving. Thought life was over again. Finally came to swift where i have a year under my belt. You’ll be ok

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Backing a semi

Thanks! But dang only one week of training?! I get 2 full months and I asked for an extra week just to practice more on my backing lol and I still struggle. But like everyone else said, patience is the key to succeeding. I been driving and backing super slow, cars and other trucks can go around me. We’re actually very lucky to get a local job right out of CDL school. You always hear people say “OTR experience 1 year before coming back local” I might do OTR in the near future but as of now I like the local work.

Agree with all of the above. Your number 1 priority is not hitting anything. GOAL as many times as you need.

I took a local job right out of CDL school and had a guy ride with me for a week before setting me loose on my own. My backing was definitely not up to par. However! Once on my own, I just had to figure it out and it really hasn't been an issue ever since. You just start to get a feel for the angles and setup. The greater the challenges and the more times you "fail", the more you learn and the more confidence you will develop. You have the right attitude. Just never get in a rush or lose your patience. If you do, just stop for a minute. It doesn't matter who's getting impatient or watching. Get that truck in safely.

When I occasionally FUBAR a backing, I just tell people I'm applying at Swift. It happens. Some days you'll be a master at it, some days you'll look like a rookie. Even for us guys who get into places a truck was never intended to get into multiple times a day. Just have a sense of humor and don't lose your cool.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Backing a semi

Thanks for the encouraging words! I GOAL a lot due to the fact that I don’t want to hit anything and also I pull up ALOT, for me I don’t care people Judging me, I rather get it in safe than sorry no matter how long it takes! I guess I just have to be patient with everything and it will fall into place.

Hey John, no worries! I've seen ten year veteran drivers struggle with backing at times. It's one aspect of this career that takes a long time to master. Generally you will get anxious about each backing episode for your first six months solo. You certainly won't get good at it during training.

Don't sweat it. While you're solo you'll actually begin to learn how to set up your truck and back it in properly. Being solo will help a lot simply due to the fact that you have nobody else to depend on.

The Backing Range - It's Like Clown Soup For The Soul

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Backing a semi

So I finished CDL school in November 2019, started training with a local company January 27th, 2020. My backing skills hasn’t always been all that great, but my trainer has taught me a lot, some days I do extremely well in backing, others not so much (Ex: losing gears, stalling, crooked backing, can’t aim the trailer correctly, missing the street or exit) I have 2 weeks left in my training (2 months total) and I’m getting pretty nervous, the backing part in tight docks in Los Angeles is getting me extra worried. Like this morning I couldn’t back into a wide open dock because it was dark and raining, but at another customer the dock was very tight and I got it in. How long did it take you guys to get the concept of backing? I’m still confused with backing and getting pretty discouraged about it, especially when I’m going to be out on my own after training.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie driver

I’m actually getting the hang of it now! I been driving a 13 speed kenworth t700, my trainer is pretty cool he’s been showing me the ropes and I been learning so much! More than when I was in CDL school, after I hit the fence I been making super wide turns And watch my trailer and my trailer tires till they clear. Even when making right and left turns I use two lanes if the space is tight, I learned my lesson after driving in LA and almost taking out a traffic light. Now I’m extra careful on my turns and driving, I still gotta work on my backing, but other than that I’m doing okay. I’m more comfortable in driving a semi now but I’m Still nervous everyday because I don’t know what to expect.

G-Town told me when I first started to “Watch your Wagon” , man every turn look in your mirror make sure your trailer is clearing. Take turns slow and easy. Okay u turned into terminal sharp but why didn’t u stop before u hit something? I had only driven a school bus before I got my CDL , I was and still am overwhelmed at the size of my truck . I take every inch of space available. We have automatics so I didn’t have to worry with that. But don’t get side tracked with that and not watch that trailer. U take out a car or something and sorry but your career will be cut short. Not trying to sound mean. Maybe walk around the truck and trailer a couple times till u get the feel of just how long 90 to 93 ‘ is. I’ve only been out one year, and I still have plenty of times I get nervous, I just slow down and make sure I don’t make mistakes.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie driver

Well it seems like I didn’t face any repercussions since it was barely my 4th day of training, our from entrance is pretty narrow with two yellow poles on each side, I cleared the right pole but failed to notice the pole on my left side which ended up hitting the fence with the left front of my trailer. My trainer said most likely it won’t go on my DAC report, I just wrote an accident report to our terminal manager. I went to a school in El Monte, it was an 80 hour course but we were able to stay a little longer past 80. It’s wierd because at my school every mon- tues it’s only air brakes and pre trip, wed-Thursday is driving, Friday closed and sat sun all day yard skills. The class is divided into 2 hour sessions. Every time I went on wed and Thursday for driving there were so many people that I didn’t get to drive at times, our instructor mainly pulled the truck out for us and parked it then we went on our way. Most of the shifting, turning and backing I learned on my own by watching YouTube. However, when I started training boy oh boy I had ALOT to learn lol, when we were in school my instructor never brought us to tight spaces or even showed us how to pull in the drive ways, most of the time He told us to park on the sidewalk. All he said was “wait till the drive tires clear the sidewalk then turn” We drove a 48 foot trailer but my real job was a 53 foot trailer with the tandems all the way forward.

Rookie Driver - you state in your post “I have my cdl my my school never really taught me how to make right turns Or to pull in and out of the parking lot, there was just too many students at my school.”

I was wondering what you meant when you say your school didn’t teach you how to make right turns or pull into parking lots? How many hours of driving through your school did you get prior to obtaining your CDL?

You mention you hit a fence in your company truck and I was wondering if this was considered an accident and what if any repercussions you faced for this?

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Rookie driver

Hello y’all,

Started my first week with a local company on 1/27/20. I must admit I am super super nervous, I’m with a trainer and he’s been making me drive in the really tight areas of LA, today is my second week and I’m still nervous as hell and made a lot of rookie mistakes, like not paying attention to signs, passing the area where your suppose to turn, not knowing how to make a right/left turn and losIng my gears. I have my cdl my my school never really taught me how to make right turns Or to pull in and out of the parking lot, there was just too many students at my school. Anyways the 4th day of training I turned the tractor trailer like a regular car into our terminal yard and I didn’t pay attention to the left front trailer, welp, I bent in the already damaged fence. That was bad but other Than that I haven’t hit anything after :), Other than I came 0.1 inch close to taking out a traffic light because I turned right last minute and not swinging in my truck wide enough. But today has been a little better, even though I stall from time to time because I let go of the clutch and brakes too fast. Is this feeling of being scared and nervous normal for a rookie? I must hand it to my trainer he’s good at backing and has a lot of patience, even though he yelled at me a few times because I never swing “wide enough” I learned how to float gears but certain instances like taking curves and exiting freeways I either go too fast or too slow, there’s always something my trainer keeps correcting me on. I’m a little intimated In driving a big rig.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking with asthma

Hi G Town,

When it comes to work, I am willing to perform the job necessary. I recently switched from working a hospital job where I was constantly on my feet for 8 hours a day to working an office job sitting everyday from 8-5. I also commute 60 miles round trip to my work every day as well so that means I sit over 3 hours of sitting since it takes me 1 1/2 hours to get to work and another 1 1/2 hour home. What I meant to say when I said I "couldn't sit still" was actually referring to getting things done, whether it's chores, work, getting from point a to b. That's why I was leaning more towards flatbed since I can do some physical work tarping and etc.

With all due respect...how do you plan on driving for up to 8 hours straight if you can’t sit still?

“Sitting” is a very large part of what we do...

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking with asthma

Yay! Cheers

It shouldn't be any kind if issue.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking with asthma

Hi Bruce,

it's not necessarily physical exertion, it's just that I like to get things done and I can't keep still, that's why I decided I wanted to go into flatbed because it will get me out of my truck and actually do physical work! haha

John, How does heavy exertion affect your asthma? If it brings it on, you might not want to go flatbed I'm guessing. Anybody know any flatbedders with asthma?

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Newbie here, I am in the process of saving money for CDL school. I currently have a degree in kinesiology, worked as a physical therapist aide for 3 years trying to build my hours to get into physical therapy school. Finally got in the 3rd year and attended the first week then dropped out. I realized I didn't want to owe 250k in student loans after graduation. Got back to my old job and with a kinesiology degree it's very hard to make past $15 an hr! So trucking it is!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Trucking with asthma

So thinking about doing trucking in the next few months. I was born with asthma as my father was a smoker, as a child it was bad but now it seemed to have gone away, I hardly use my albuterol inhaler anymore, maybe use it only once a year now! yay!!! anyways what would the process be when I go get a DOT exam? Would they need medical clearance and records from my primary doctor? or would the DOT doctors test me themselves? Also what would the time span be for the medical card for a person with asthma? I know the time frame is every 2 years for healthy truckers. I was thinking of going local after CDL school but according to people you need OTR experience first! Especially in LA.

Thanks!

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