The Little Syster Diaries

Topic 10158 | Page 1

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Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Whew!

I thought I would be able to start this on Monday....silly me.

So far, the training has been going wonderfully! My trainer and me have similar senses of humor, so when we're not focusing on "business" we can laugh at similar things and get along just great. The first three days have gone just fine and I'm honestly looking forward to the next 4-6+ weeks.

The first day, I went down to the Denver yard and loaded my stuff up into the truck. We had about 30 minutes to get to the shipper's yard, so we were in a bit of a time crunch with traffic being as heavy as it was. We made it to the shipper's and got loaded.

Rewind in time - At orientation we ended up practicing throwing straps over 14' box. I tried and tried but could NOT get that strap over! Ugh. It was so frustrating, but a few of the guys assured me that with the region I was running I would never have to throw straps that high (they were trying to make me feel better) and that I would get strong and be able to do it eventually. Well, when I saw that first load, I just had go laugh...

Woman truck driver standing by her blue System Transport flatbed loaded and strapped

Needless to say, I will be practicing different techniques to make this happen. My poor trainer threw all 14 straps and I managed to get a whopping ZERO over the load. Four throws came two inches from getting over though, so that's already higher than I was throwing at orientation ;)

Anyways, we took our 10 at a stop in WYO. We were supposed to deliver first thing in the morning on Tuesday but there was a mix-up and we ended up waiting for 6 hours before getting unloaded. Not awesome, but certainly not the worst thing in the world. We're all just humans and to err is human. Stuff happens...Can't always get all worked up about other people's mistakes. Can't just let it slide and wait forever either, but patience and compassion go a long way. Lord knows, I'll be requiring patience and compassion, too, from other people ;) Besides, even bad days are good days! I'm just thankful I woke up this morning :) Anyways, we got unloaded safely and hit the road.

I finally got to experience the magic of floating gears! I thought I liked double clutching. I'm forever ruined :) I love floating!

Today, I'm hanging out with "Nana," my trainer's grandma, before we get our next load assignment. He had some personal stuff to take care of in town before we headed out. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting the whole family last night. It was so much fun! Got to watch a beautiful sunset too :)

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great day!

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, here is a method of throwing straps that gives more oompf.

Sergei is CDN, and was a flatbedder, now he is a heavy hauler (yeah it's flatbed too, now he just specializes in hauling equipment). He's been making youtube videos for years.

How To Throw Flatbed Straps Higher

This video shows a technique for making a flatbed strap into a sling in order to throw it higher and farther over a tall load.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, those are great photos Little Syster! And I'm really glad to hear you're getting along with your trainer. That really makes a huge difference.

Keep the updates and photos comin!

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tyler Durden's Comment
member avatar

Hope things are going good for you. Can't wait to hear what you been up to

Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Today marks two weeks into my training period. I'm still absolutely in love with my choice to drive truck. Even the crappy days are amazing because it's something new, different, and challenges me both mentally and physically.

The first week and over Labor Day weekend there were a lot of the infamous "hurry up and wait" moments and days. Between the 8 hr wait time to get a steer tire changed, waiting overnight for oversized permits to come through, having to reverse our drop orders because the load had to be loaded in reverse, etc, my patience muscle was given a workout. But, you know what? There's only so much you can do to mitigate these circumstances before you just have to let it go. It is what it is and I always pack an umbrella to the parade :)

I think that what the first two weeks has taught me is that my reaction is the only thing I can control. As long as I don't let tough stuff get me down, I can make space for really awesome things to happen! For instance, we were under a load that couldn't be delivered until Tuesday after Labor Day. So instead of being all bummed, my trainer called some family in Roseburg, OR, and we went on a day of exploration! Which lead to jumping off a cliff where the North Umpqua and Little River meet:

264F71AF-3DF1-49FE-9CB6-278BF3052322_zpsEF234A95-442B-4DEF-81A1-BFD6AC187F43_zpsC27B0AFE-DA54-4AA4-B00A-4B72A546DE37_zps1C25FD10-5063-40F0-946B-C4AF52937EB8_zps

It took me a minute to work up the nerve to actually jump. But I did it :) What a great way to spend a Monday!

So, all in all it's be fantastic. I got a plug-in cooler to try to save some money. My trainer eats out twice a day and I didn't realize how much it was costing until I added up the whopping $435 I dropped on food. Yowza!

We had this weekend off because my trainer needed a 34 reset. I got to spend some quality time with my mom, dogs, and a couple friends. My pups were sure happy to see me but were sad to watch me go this morning.

B0BE7A2B-2D89-45FC-A822-E40D70E45DB5_zps

I am happy to be back on the road though! I missed it :) Driving home in my tiny Toyota Matrix was terrifying! So, back in the truck it is :)

Until next time!

And thanks so much for the advice on straps Michael and for the encouragement Brett and Tyler :)

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Oh and floating gears is getting much easier :)

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Gladiator 76's Comment
member avatar

It looks like you had a blast out on the river. I've spent quite a bit of time in the Roseburg area and it's a great place, especially during the summer! It sounds like you've got a great trainer. Enjoy the rest of your training.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sunshine, it's all in the attitude:

Anyways, we took our 10 at a stop in WYO. We were supposed to deliver first thing in the morning on Tuesday but there was a mix-up and we ended up waiting for 6 hours before getting unloaded. Not awesome, but certainly not the worst thing in the world. We're all just humans and to err is human. Stuff happens...Can't always get all worked up about other people's mistakes. Can't just let it slide and wait forever either, but patience and compassion go a long way. Lord knows, I'll be requiring patience and compassion, too, from other people ;) Besides, even bad days are good days! I'm just thankful I woke up this morning :) Anyways, we got unloaded safely and hit the road.

This passage is a great example for us - even it it's not really our mistake, we all need to live with it and/or shrug it off, and move on. So many people blame everything on someone else, get mad and stomp off. ... as if that helps anything. You will need this kind of understanding and patience in your truck driving career.

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