From My Experience So Far As A Rookie

Topic 12037 | Page 1

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:
Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

Its been great so far, though I am single with not even a dog to feed. I have been on home time three times since I started in April , once when my training was done, once for thanksgiving and now for Christmas. All home times I visited my parents . My training consisted of two weeks out with a trainer or 5000 miles, then 40,000 miles with other trainee. I actually spent over 50,000 out with three different partners which was painstaking as far as compatibility, though one can make large paychecks if they find a compatible partner and keep the truck running non-stop. The reason I was out longer was to get the third partner finished so we could come in to be assigned first seat positions.

My company expects there over the road drivers to be out at least three weeks at a time before home time and state it in there advertisement. The longest you can normally take off is four days or they need the truck back.

The most miles I have gotten in one week was 3674 while the least was 1400 due to time off. I once averaged ten weeks and was somewhere around 2700-2800 a week. I have gotten city and hold over pay. Driver support told me one month that I averaged 25% more miles than their average driver and he wished he could clone me. At the same time I know of a driver who was one of my training partners who was pulled out of his truck and terminated for not driving enough miles and being difficult about his home time. I have heard countless complaints about not getting enough mileage. I sometimes worry and hope I don't get pulled out of the truck I am driving, at least not within the first year. They are concerned with the trucks running, not with who is driving it. They have such a turn over with drivers changing companies or quitting that it is common place. It is just the nature of the beast in a sense, the same beast they all work for also. The non-drivers that is.

When driving start your off duty walk around at the end of your ten hour break, you will need to be in sleeper berth to do this. Take off as soon as the ten hour break is over, don't sit. Try to deliver early, plus get to the location as soon as possible, you never know if you might have tire or mechanical issues that might slow you down. When you pull in to fuel and you are stuck in the bay longer than the time you must record start your thirty minute break so you can shorten you drive day, by not having to take it down the road. Don't stop all the time, the sooner you can get somewhere or run the miles down the sooner you can start your ten hour reset, the sooner you can drive again. Some hot load this will be fatal, every minute will count. It is even possible to do eight shifts in seven days on those weeks where everything runs right.

You should not have problems so much with FM's or load managers as much the problem could and can be time management. Sometimes it is just circumstance like breakdowns or slow weeks. Only a small amount of truckers are civil and a lot of them act like they think they are alpha-males when it is not the case. There are great guys and girls out there driving, just be careful. Use a CB but be ready to turn it off at times. You will understand later. Good luck, Don't Quit , be careful.

Over The Road:

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.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Jeff wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

Get up slowly, take time to check out everything, just do not sit past the end of a ten hour break

double-quotes-end.png

What don't you get?

This is bad advice. I give up...do what you want but keep it to yourself because you are misleading people into thinking this is an OK thing to do. It's not and will eventually catch up with you.

Just to clarify, for all the newbies (and Jeff if you care to listen), the correct thing to do is when you reach the 10th hour of your break, put yourself on-duty and at least record 15 minutes for your pre-trip before driving. I don' recommend performing the pre-trip while off-duty for the simple reason if you get injured crawling around your truck and you are off-duty, you might be fired or suspended for performing work when not logged in as "on-duty".

Jetguy's Comment
member avatar

What is your CPM? What is your truck governed at? Would you explain the city and holdover pay, and amount you get?

Why are so many guys quitting?

You said guys are complaining for lack of miles. Would you say their problem is themself, rather than the company is the problem? That they need to change and learn the basics? You have mentioned many good things like time management and running hard.

Great post. Please keep posting.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jeff L. wrote:

When driving start your off duty walk around at the end of your ten hour break, you will need to be in sleeper berth to do this. Take off as soon as the ten hour break is over, don't sit. Try to deliver early, plus get to the location as soon as possible, you never know if you might have tire or mechanical issues that might slow you down.

Jeff, A serious word of caution here to you and any "newbie" reading your post. When I read what you wrote above (in bold) the DOT alarm bells went off, all of them. I assume by the walk-around you are referring to the pre-trip. You must be logged "on-duty" when performing the pre-trip or walk-around as you called it, no exceptions. To be legal, when performing the pre-trip you must show a minimum of 30 minutes of on-duty time with a notation of "pre-trip" on your logs. This 30 minutes of on-duty must be logged before you can begin driving, again no exceptions. Continuing to perform the pre-trip as off-duty, in the sleeper, will eventually get you a hefty ticket if DOT pulls you in for an inspection. Your e-logs is the first thing DOT will review. You are making it too easy for them to write you a ticket.

I definitely understand your point about making the most of your time, but please believe me, you are clearly in violation of current HOS rules. Furthermore if your company audits your logs, they will also see this and may require you to take a log class (taking you away from driving). Remember if you are cited for a log violation it not only effects your safety record but also your employer's safety record.

Safe travels.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yea the off-duty thing is a major no-no, however there is no official regulation for the duration of the inspection, only that it exists. At my company you only need a 10 minute on-duty pre-trip with electronic logs , 15 with paper. The 15 is only because it's the minimum increment.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

Jeff L. wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

When driving start your off duty walk around at the end of your ten hour break, you will need to be in sleeper berth to do this. Take off as soon as the ten hour break is over, don't sit. Try to deliver early, plus get to the location as soon as possible, you never know if you might have tire or mechanical issues that might slow you down.

double-quotes-end.png

Jeff, A serious word of caution here to you and any "newbie" reading your post. When I read what you wrote above (in bold) the DOT alarm bells went off, all of them. I assume by the walk-around you are referring to the pre-trip. You must be logged "on-duty" when performing the pre-trip or walk-around as you called it, no exceptions. To be legal, when performing the pre-trip you must show a minimum of 30 minutes of on-duty time with a notation of "pre-trip" on your logs. This 30 minutes of on-duty must be logged before you can begin driving, again no exceptions. Continuing to perform the pre-trip as off-duty, in the sleeper, will eventually get you a hefty ticket if DOT pulls you in for an inspection. Your e-logs is the first thing DOT will review. You are making it too easy for them to write you a ticket.

I definitely understand your point about making the most of your time, but please believe me, you are clearly in violation of current HOS rules. Furthermore if your company audits your logs, they will also see this and may require you to take a log class (taking you away from driving). Remember if you are cited for a log violation it not only effects your safety record but also your employer's safety record.

Safe travels.

Are company expects a off duty walk around of nine minutes or less, Usually five to seven minutes. At the end of the day a 15 minute on duty PTI recorded on-duty. I actually look over the tractor and trailer and then record it usually. If I am at truck stop and need to wash windows or fill air, I cheat and sneak up to the fuel bay, take care of business, then start off-duty walk around. I normally check air with gage at bay during fueling since there is a chance a stem make react badly and start bleeding out. Need to around air if this happens. I check tires by site and shove them to t see how they react when not in bay and have had some sitting on the rim loose that move freely when picking up trailer. We only have to record 15 minutes unloading or loading, 20 minutes for drop and hook , 10 minutes fueling.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thats a pretty shady practice your company is doing. They're trying to move the on duty time to the end of the day so you get more time on your clock. Is it a large company?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

James R. wrote:

Yea the off-duty thing is a major no-no, however there is no official regulation for the duration of the inspection, only that it exists. At my company you only need a 10 minute on-duty pre-trip with electronic logs , 15 with paper. The 15 is only because it's the minimum increment.

Ok, no official regulation on duration. However a DOT cop knows that a proper pre-inspection requires more than 10-15 minutes to complete. I still think you are risking a ticket less than 30 minutes. I got pulled in late last summer and the first thing the DOT cop said about the logs was that he noticed ample time taken to complete the pre-trip. I can only go by my experience, but had I only recorded 15 minutes for each pre-trip for the prior weeks work, he might have kept me in the inspection pit longer. Another point if you ever get into an accident with another vehicle (especially a 4 wheeler) a good accident attorney will call out the fact that the pre-trip was abbreviated.

Besides, I actually do my pre-trip, can't say I check oil every time, but I look over everything before I begin my day and it usually takes me 30 minutes or more if I am pulling an older wagon. Since I am now slip-seating in and out of different trucks, I am not going to rely on someone else's lack of attention to detail cause me a problem.

Just my perspective.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jeff replied:

Are company expects a off duty walk around of nine minutes or less, Usually five to seven minutes. At the end of the day a 15 minute on duty PTI recorded on-duty. I actually look over the tractor and trailer and then record it usually. If I am at truck stop and need to wash windows or fill air, I cheat and sneak up to the fuel bay, take care of business, then start off-duty walk around. I normally check air with gage at bay during fueling since there is a chance a stem make react badly and start bleeding out. Need to around air if this happens. I check tires by site and shove them to t see how they react when not in bay and have had some sitting on the rim loose that move freely when picking up trailer. We only have to record 15 minutes unloading or loading, 20 minutes for drop and hook , 10 minutes fueling.

I agree with James, this is really shady, not on the level. They really don't care about your personal safety, their vehicle, or their safety record. Have you ever been inspected by DOT? If they cite you, you will be paying the ticket, not your employer.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

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.

Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

What is your CPM? What is your truck governed at? Would you explain the city and holdover pay, and amount you get?

Why are so many guys quitting?

You said guys are complaining for lack of miles. Would you say their problem is themself, rather than the company is the problem? That they need to change and learn the basics? You have mentioned many good things like time management and running hard.

Great post. Please keep posting.

I don't really like to use the term running hard, since I am governed 63 mph foot on the floor and 65 with cruise. I would say use your time wisely and do not sit. Every minute you record on a Qualcom system counts. For instance the farthest I have driven in a day(one shift) was 667 miles from Baton Rouge area to Florida. Traveling at early morning , in perfect weather and almost no construction. I stopped with ten and a half hours of driving. I drove smoothly and used time wisely. Get up slowly, take time to check out everything, just do not sit past the end of a ten hour break. Even if you have extra time, it is best to leave and get in position. You never know about traffic, weather, breakdowns or you may even need to swap loads. I believe some guys get bad attitudes or just don't use time wisely. They also may end up in breakdown status. To get miles you have to be able to get back on the horse when knocked off and start all over without complaint. The load managers pass the loads out to the trucks that are running close to their eta and appointment times. If you show up late your just in that place in line. Stuff happens and being able to move on without a bad attitude. Some quit for many reasons. Mostly personal such as families and girlfriends. Some just get frustrated and feel mistreated. Just don't ever get out of your truck unless at their site. I garuntee you if you ask them to route you in so you can turn in the truck, they will get you a load heading in without even asking you why. Some one else will climb into that tractor within moment that you clear out and will set a pta and probably deliver a load long before The Dirty Dog gets you home. Stick it out and keep trying. Use time to your advantage, but above all be safe.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jeff wrote:

Get up slowly, take time to check out everything, just do not sit past the end of a ten hour break

What don't you get?

This is bad advice. I give up...do what you want but keep it to yourself because you are misleading people into thinking this is an OK thing to do. It's not and will eventually catch up with you.

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Driver Responsibilities Hours Of Service Logbook Questions Pre-trip inspection (PTI) Trailers Understanding The Laws
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More