About To Go Solo

Topic 10839 | Page 1

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Hudsonhawk's Comment
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So it's like the title says I'm about to go solo. All the people I went through training with have already upgraded. I fell behind because of life events but I have plenty of miles to be on the next step.

Kinda scared and kinda nervous. I don't feel like I have the experience I should have. But at the moment all the rest of my training consists of just freeway miles on the graveyard shift. I'm not learning anything new and I've just been running interstate 80 back and forth. I wish it was different I wish I had other roads under my belt but this is what it is.

I'm just not seeing any benefit it being cramped in a cubby hole anymore if I'm not learning anything else. My backing is terrible, the TNT portion of the training hasn't allowed much. Just run lots of miles and alot of drop and hooks.

If it doesn't work the worse that'll happen is I'll be destroyed before winter. But it's either get going or don't kinda thing.

I can back but I need to get out alot and some of these recievers and shippers don't make it very easy. Some of it is kinda ridiculous. Well I guess it's hell or high water. Should I be scared or nervous? I've been doing this since July and am just touchy on it.

I have lots of freeway driving is all I feel.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14ยข per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Just take a deep breath, you're going to be fine. Who cares if you get out to check on your surroundings as long as you don't hit anything. You'll see people better than you, you'll see people worse. As long as you're paying attention, you'll pick up on things that will make it easier for you ams in no time flat, those situations you absolutely dread, won't be all that bad.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Congrats on making it man! I have one question for you, if you dont mind. How long did you research truck driving and what made you finally take the jump to drive? I would really like to hear more from you as well since you are fresh outta training. Either way congrats!

Hudsonhawk's Comment
member avatar

I thought about it for at least six months before I jumped the gun. I got tired of excel spreadsheets. But yeah for at least half a year.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hudson, for each step of the way (school test, CDL skills test, company test) most people feel under prepared.

Then you're on your own!

Like Bob the Dragon says, take a deep breath, think of what you were taught, and do that. I survived. My first week story here. You'll make it!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Little Syster (a.k.a. Sun's Comment
member avatar

Not too far ahead of you (just got my truck last week), but you learn really quick and on the fly. I would say that the absolute most important thing is TRIP PLAN. Look up where you need to stop, calculate, look up a satellite image of where you're going to deliver and plan your approach accordingly. Call companies and ask them, if necessary, where/which way they want you to come in. Park as close as you can to where you're going to pick up and deliver so you don't end up burning your clock. Trucker Path is an app that has helped me tremendously because I have to do load checks. Helps with calculating everything out.

Most importantly, take your time. I find myself getting all worked up and I just have to remind myself to breathe. EVERY SINGLE DRIVER OUT THERE HAS BEEN A ROOKIE (sometimes they forget)! Just do the best you can and the rest will come :)

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

There's no way to prepare someone completely before they are set free... Slow and stead wins the race..just use your head and eyes and if it don't look right STOP and GOAL....you will be fine and congrats...

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You got some great advice!

No one's really ready for this when they turn you loose. That's why you often see us refer to the steep learning curve. It is also one of the many reasons we encourage people to stick with their first company for a full year of safe driving. That whole year will be jam packed with lessons learned.

Priority One is... Don't Hit Anything.

Keep that foremost and youll survive all the othet stuff.

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.

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

Priority One is... Don't Hit Anything.

Keep that foremost and youll survive all the othet stuff.

Yep! That was a much more concise way of saying it :) I do all the things I was saying to avoid hitting anything! I already have one strike against me....stupid stop sign ;) The dumb thing about that whole situation is that I saw it coming, hoped I could make it around it so was going really really slowed, touched it with my trailer (left absolutely no sign of damage), backed up, and the dumb thing fell over the opposite way without me being in contact with it! The only reason I was in that intersection was because I didn't do a trip plan for myself and was relying solely on my trainer to get us unlost...

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Hudson, I can give you my number and you can call me if you're ever in a bind with anything and I can help you out. Having an experienced driver in your pocket makes those first few months a lot easier. Up to you sir, but I'm offering my helping hand.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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