Funny Rookie Mistakes?

Topic 12393 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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I forgot about this one...

When I first started on the Walmart account, I had about 3 months of OTR experience. A say the least. Since I had never experienced a sloping dock, the likes typical at most retail stores, my first experience dropping and hooking at one of these "down hills" was comical. Most of the Walmart docks have a pronounced crest at the top of the slope, leading away form the dock doors. Going over this crest under a trailer, even an empty one doesn't present any problems. However when bobtailing,...a whole other situation. Long story short, when a bobtailed tractor hits the crest, basically come to a stop, and will drift backwards a tad because the rear most axle (the "active" drive axle), the tires are basically off the ground, unable to maintain any traction, interrupting forward progress. The first time I experienced this, must have been a trip for anyone watching. Gosh I thought,..."what a rookie move".

The best way to get out of the hole is to set the differential lock to "on"; thus activating both drive axles "live" and enabling a "jerk-free" ascension beyond the crest. Something by-the-way, I was never told. Live and learn...

Since I am on the subject of "differential locking", I also set-it to on when I am getting under a heavily loaded wagon. Reason? The torque is evenly applied to two axles, as opposed to one, spreading out the forces required to influence 50,000lbs of load and trailer slightly up, sliding onto the fifth-wheel. I have seen (believe it) several twisted drive-shafts resulting from "not" locking out the differential when getting under a trailer, perhaps set-out a bit low. Dumping the air and reintroducing it after the fifth wheel begins to lift the trailer can also help in a situation like this,...and reduce the risk of a very preventable; "preventable".

Neither of these examples were "taught" or "reviewed" was learned first-hand, the other; by watching others destroy their drive-train and applying some forgotten High School Physics and basic common sense.


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


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.

Kat's Comment
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Here's one.... One of my first few loads, I had a difficult dock to get into. Took me more than 30 minutes, and I was proud of myself for getting it in there without hitting anything. All was good until they sent the yard guy out to tell me I had backed into the wrong door. wtf.gif

Patrick C.'s Comment
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My first trip taking 90 eastbound into Chicago after it merges with 94 I accidentally got in the express lanes. I put the hammer down and hauled butt to the next break in the barriers to merge back into the correct side. I felt like such and idiot. On the positive side I can tell you the overpasses are the same height on both sides, lol.

MC1371's Comment
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I got 2. Very first solo load. After dropping my empty at the shipper went to attach my load. Backed up to that trailer like 8 times. Soft touch, hard slam, nada. The 5th wheel wouldn't engage.. *My locking pin arm on that truck liked to lock prematurely... Swearing, sweating, frustrated.. "What have I gotten into.. it's my first load".. then finally the oh duh moment.

Second one.. Well I think almost everyone does it at least once. Docked without opening the doors.


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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
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Since its been almost 2 years, i will tell my accident story.

i followed a truck into a truck stop. I was solo.for one month. We went in the wrong way and were facing the outbound side of the fuel.pumps. when i attempted to swing around, i got distracted by a sign "Deisel 1". I was wondering what the heck is deisel 1 when THUMP! My trailer axel hit the concrete barrier by the pump. when i tried to back up, the tire went rolling down the street and the manager sent a forklift operator to chase it down the street.

As i backed up, all the other drivers got out and pointed and laughed, walking behind the trailer which i couldnt control due to the wobble of the falling axel. Not to mention I couldnt see them back there. i got out of the truck and yelled to them "obviously im not good at this yet! why would you walk behind me????"

when they saw i am female, they all started telling me their rookie horror stories to cheer me up.

its ok, you can laugh. imagining the forklift chase a tire is funny.

i stayed away from that truck stop for over a year. I went there recently and the pumps are truly narrow. no wonder a rookie hit them!

stay away from Sapp Bros in Council Bluff IA!!!!



Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Rob T.'s Comment
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About 1 month into training I hooked airlines up wrong (interchanged them) as my trainer was always rushing me....ended up calling road assist due to"air leak". That was embarrassing.....

Rob T.'s Comment
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In another thread I also mentioned during pre trip I seen engine coolant level was a little low but decided since my day was so busy id just buy some when I got back to truck stop this particular truck was parked at (I was filling in at another yard, which was the kwik star I80 exit 201 in Iowa). I made it a couple miles down the road before engine died on me. It took 3 hours for me to get back on the road.

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