Officially Solo :)

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Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
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First trip started on Wednesday! Load delivers on Monday. So happy :) So tired... Will post more later :)

Drove across Montana yesterday and today and thought about all of you who run out there a lot. Wish we could have met up for lunch or something :)

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

Having read your journey, this awesome to hear! I'm so happy for you. I know you have earned it. congrats sunshine and have fun and be safe.good-luck.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

Thank you! My first day out, I crossed 4th of July, Lookout, and Continental Divide. Scared myself half to death when I went to downshift, read my speed and tach wrong and missed my gear. It all happened too fast to panick, so I hit the brakes as gently as possible to get slowed down, slammed it back into 10th, got myself slowed down a little more and skipped into 8th before the 35mph change. Troopers were crawling everywhere and I really didn't want a ticket my first day. Got situated, and downshifted into 7th before hitting the 25mph posted limit. I pulled over at the bottom to do a load check and I was shaking so bad I almost peed. I laughed instead rofl-3.gif

Thanks Errol for reminding me about that tracker! I'm all updated :) Will be headed into Wichita, KS tomorrow night.

Old School, you would have gotten a kick out of watching my secure and tarp my very first load like a big girl :) I got my truck at 2p on Weds and was sent a load assignment for to pick ups that had to be done by 3:30p (according to the assignment). Still had to get all my stuff on boarded, pick up a trailer, fuel, and figure out where the hell I was going. I called my DM and let him know that I would try my hardest but the second stop should be given a heads up that I would most likely be running behind depending on how long the shipper took to load. Oh, and it was raining :) Ha! So there I am, trying to get backed into the tightest bay I've ever seen. Took about 10 pull-ups but I did it. They got me loaded and I pulled out to get the stack secured the rest of the way. Got back in the truck, soaking wet and hauled over to my next stop. Got there, raced across the parking lot, got to the door and realized that in my hurry I forgot to grab the pick-up number off the Qualcomm. Went sprinting back across the parking lot...I felt like a chicken with no head. Got all checked in and the woman was like, "Catch your breath, girl! We load until 6p!"

WHEW!

Made it over to the loading area and pulled through (thank goodness I didn't have to back up again) the warehouse. Had to undo all my straps because the first stack was 6" too far back. No worries, though! It happens :) At least I was out of the rain! Forklift operator had already been informed that this was my first load and helped me feel better by saying that he drove for 17 years and still remembers his first. I love the solidarity in this community :) We got everything all loaded and I started the fun part. 2.5 hrs, half a roll of visquine, 15 straps, 30 edge protectors, two tarps, and the Good Lord only knows how many bungees later, I got the job done. My feet were screaming, my shoulders were burning, and I was covered from head to toe in wet, black tarp sludge...and I had the biggest, proudest smile on my face :)

Brett, just out of curiousity, did you ever get really tight feet the first few months? I get out of bed in the morning (it's really a pathetic scene) and my first steps are pure agony. Feet are so tight my calves almost cramp up! Any suggestions?

Anywhoooo...I made it into Denver last night with enough time on my clock to get home for a day. So today is an errand/scavenging day. Errands for the mama and scavenging tools and etc for me before I hop back in and hit it tomorrow :)

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Paul C., Rubber Duckey's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

smile.gif

WOW SUNSHINE now don't take this wrong

Going from a nube kicking rocks cause u couldnt lift a tarp to pass the company physical.....to running loads across mountain passes I myself recently ran for the first time, ever in a big rig, I am truly impressed.

You are an inspiration for anyone male, female, short, tall, scrawny, buff, thick, young or old who wants to be a CMV Operator. I've read your posts since your first stumble and have been inspired myself to roll on and push through my own personal struggles in an attempt to match your enthusiasm and willingness to take that extra step to succeed.

Keep on Rollin GIRL. Congrats and safe drivin!!

dancing-dog.gifgood-luck.gif

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Lil Syster/Sunshine/Melly, Whatever name you go by, don't leave Trucking Truth behind. You write well, and have a SMILE that shines through your writing. Keep us updated with your adventures, and drop off some advice as needed. We appreciate you!

Thank you Errol :) My name is Melody. But my mom always called me "Sunshine" and my family calls me "Melly". "Little Syster" came from my orientation at System (The spelling was actually The Persian Conversion's idea, if I remember right). I've always been the smallest (height, not width ;) ) and one day I was joking about being like the annoying little sister. It stuck :) I'm glad that you all like my posts. Sometimes I don't feel like I write well, but it's usually when I'm tired. I have more stories to share that I'll post about once I get out from under this load and have a minute to creatively compose :)

Grats Sunshine, so cool to hear your stories! Keep it up!

I do have a question for you, though. Are you glad you went straight to Flatbedding? I know I would love to do it, or possibly Tanker, but I keep thinking I should drive van or Reefer first. I should be starting in Feb or March, just need to narrow down all the particulars. Thanks!

Thanks Magoo! Good question - I was going to do the same thing you're thinking about doing. I'm just not a very patient person, so I jumped in head first. I really, really like flatbed. It's truly exhausting though and, if I'm honest, frustrating. The exhaustion comes from the physical work, in part. But since I'm so new, it's also making sure you do your securement in the right order, trip plan so you know approximately where each load check needs to happen, being constantly vigilant that nothing is coming loose or that any of your securement equipment is damaged, etc. I can see where there would be a lot of cross-over between driving other types, but I think with flatbed the physical aspect is the real kicker. And I'm soooooooo slooooooowwwww right now with securement. That's the frustrating part. Well that and being a rookie. I constantly feel like I'm making rookie mistakes. It takes me about 2 - 2.5 hrs to properly and aesthetically secure and tarp a load. And by the end of it I'm completely drenched in sweat. And then I have to drive...like right away. Sitting in my sweaty dirty clothes because every minute counts. I shower daily even though the loads I've had aren't same day deliveries so I'm not a big ball of gross every day. But would I trade it? Go back? Switch? Nah. I'm too stubborn and I need a type of work that will meet me, greet me, shake my hand, maybe even smack me across the face a little. Then I smirk and whisper...

"Challenge Accepted"

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Matt W.'s Comment
member avatar

Having read your journey, this awesome to hear! I'm so happy for you. I know you have earned it. congrats sunshine and have fun and be safe.good-luck.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

It's great you're enjoying your new career!

Have you checked out Trucking Truth's Trucker Tracker? I noticed you aren't listed for some reason. But you can check to see who's nearby or look them up by name.

Hey Brett - how about a Tracker link on the "Links on Trucking Truth" tab?

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Starting to think Brett has a fire house alarm go off every time someone types his name lol... Its cool he's very active on this forum... Now just gotta get the Facebook page active...

Old School's Comment
member avatar

dancing-banana.gif Woo-Hoo! dancing-banana.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
So happy :) So tired...

That's how 95% of the days will finish out there. So happy.....so tired. Half the time I would wake up in the morning and could barely remember even going to bed. By the time the day is finally done out there you kinda pass out before your head hits the pillow.

Now just gotta get the Facebook page active...

I abandoned that a long time ago and built basically the same features into this website.

Hey Brett - how about a Tracker link on the "Links on Trucking Truth" tab?

Yeah, I definitely have to update those links. We have some new stuff I need to put in there.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Having read your journey, this awesome to hear! I'm so happy for you. I know you have earned it. congrats sunshine and have fun and be safe.good-luck.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

Thank you! My first day out, I crossed 4th of July, Lookout, and Continental Divide. Scared myself half to death when I went to downshift, read my speed and tach wrong and missed my gear. It all happened too fast to panick, so I hit the brakes as gently as possible to get slowed down, slammed it back into 10th, got myself slowed down a little more and skipped into 8th before the 35mph change. Troopers were crawling everywhere and I really didn't want a ticket my first day. Got situated, and downshifted into 7th before hitting the 25mph posted limit. I pulled over at the bottom to do a load check and I was shaking so bad I almost peed. I laughed instead rofl-3.gif

Thanks Errol for reminding me about that tracker! I'm all updated :) Will be headed into Wichita, KS tomorrow night.

Old School, you would have gotten a kick out of watching my secure and tarp my very first load like a big girl :) I got my truck at 2p on Weds and was sent a load assignment for to pick ups that had to be done by 3:30p (according to the assignment). Still had to get all my stuff on boarded, pick up a trailer, fuel, and figure out where the hell I was going. I called my DM and let him know that I would try my hardest but the second stop should be given a heads up that I would most likely be running behind depending on how long the shipper took to load. Oh, and it was raining :) Ha! So there I am, trying to get backed into the tightest bay I've ever seen. Took about 10 pull-ups but I did it. They got me loaded and I pulled out to get the stack secured the rest of the way. Got back in the truck, soaking wet and hauled over to my next stop. Got there, raced across the parking lot, got to the door and realized that in my hurry I forgot to grab the pick-up number off the Qualcomm. Went sprinting back across the parking lot...I felt like a chicken with no head. Got all checked in and the woman was like, "Catch your breath, girl! We load until 6p!"

WHEW!

Made it over to the loading area and pulled through (thank goodness I didn't have to back up again) the warehouse. Had to undo all my straps because the first stack was 6" too far back. No worries, though! It happens :) At least I was out of the rain! Forklift operator had already been informed that this was my first load and helped me feel better by saying that he drove for 17 years and still remembers his first. I love the solidarity in this community :) We got everything all loaded and I started the fun part. 2.5 hrs, half a roll of visquine, 15 straps, 30 edge protectors, two tarps, and the Good Lord only knows how many bungees later, I got the job done. My feet were screaming, my shoulders were burning, and I was covered from head to toe in wet, black tarp sludge...and I had the biggest, proudest smile on my face :)

Brett, just out of curiousity, did you ever get really tight feet the first few months? I get out of bed in the morning (it's really a pathetic scene) and my first steps are pure agony. Feet are so tight my calves almost cramp up! Any suggestions?

Anywhoooo...I made it into Denver last night with enough time on my clock to get home for a day. So today is an errand/scavenging day. Errands for the mama and scavenging tools and etc for me before I hop back in and hit it tomorrow :)

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on the first day going so well! I'm crossing those same passes today, heading for Knoxville. Looks like we just missed each other lol!

I got lucky on my first day, I got to take a preloaded trailer from the yard and drove for 3 days before my first solo unload. That was nice, a smooth and easy transition into the world of OTR.

Keep up the good work out there!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on the first day going so well! I'm crossing those same passes today, heading for Knoxville. Looks like we just missed each other lol!

I got lucky on my first day, I got to take a preloaded trailer from the yard and drove for 3 days before my first solo unload. That was nice, a smooth and easy transition into the world of OTR.

Keep up the good work out there!

Thanks TPC! I was going to say if you ran across 70 we could meet and grab lunch but we might just miss each other by a day. Keep me posted though. From KS they'll probably send my to OK or TX.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations! Really proud of you for being brave enough to flatbed. My heart would never be in flatbedding. . Heck, I don't even wanna deal with a reefer , although they used to humm me to sleep.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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