Solo Lady Trucker Here, Willing To Help.

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Ahmalia's Comment
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Hey to all the ladies!! I've been a solo driver for about 4 years now. For anyone considering becoming a trucker, or just starting out, feel free to ask any questions you might have, (I know I had a ton of questions when I started) and I'll be happy to answer them if I can. For myself, despite some ups and downs in the beginning, I love my job, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

ProudArmyMom's Comment
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Hey to all the ladies!! I've been a solo driver for about 4 years now. For anyone considering becoming a trucker, or just starting out, feel free to ask any questions you might have, (I know I had a ton of questions when I started) and I'll be happy to answer them if I can. For myself, despite some ups and downs in the beginning, I love my job, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

Ahmalia, what great timing & thanks!!! I have been reading your posts & comments. I am starting Roehl Transport trucking school in WI on March 7. Driving there from ATL.

I got laid off (in Nov) from a job I was at for almost 17 years. My unemployment is running out, so it's do or die for me.

I have been testing on TT like crazy. I have my CDL learner's & passed my DOT Physical. I have an appt next week to submit my fingerprints & background check for HAZMAT.

I'm excited & nervous at the same time. I hope I don't overwhelm you with my questions:

How did you memorize the Pre Trip Inspection? I don't have a mechanical bone in my body.

How did you learn the parking & backing for the CDL? Any tricks of the trade you can share?

This is probably a minor point, but I am so confused w/the Logbooks. I am doing the practice tests on TT to no avail.

Any assistance you can provide would be invaluable to me. From an experienced female trucker? Wow!!! Thanks again 😊

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Ahmalia's Comment
member avatar

Hi, Karen!! I'm excited for you!! After 20 years in clerical/CSR work, being micro-managed, dealing with office drama, and living paycheck to paycheck, I finally had enough, and decided to give trucking a try. Best decision I ever made, I wish I would have thought of this years ago!! In regards to questions, you will ALWAYS have questions out here, there is always something new to learn, and the day you think you know everything is the day you need to hang up your keys, so to speak. So fire away, I'm happy to help!!

How did you memorize the Pre Trip Inspection? I don't have a mechanical bone in my body.

Oh, trust me, I don't either. I tried to memorize the Pre-Trip prior to starting school, and I struggled with it. Trying to learn it with pictures of the various parts just wasn't working for me. But once I got to school, and was actually looking under the hood and at the brakes and so on, it clicked. Repetition is the key here. At my Swift school, we did the Pre-Trip 3 times a day. Always go in the same order, start at the front of the truck and work your way back. I made index cards in different colors for each area, hand writing out each step. That also helped me remember. The point is, don't stress about it too much, by the time you get through school it will be second nature.

How did you learn the parking & backing for the CDL? Any tricks of the trade you can share?

My biggest struggle with parking and backing was a tendency to oversteer. I would turn the wheel too much, or hold the turn too long. Then I would end up so jack-knifed it was next to impossible to fix. Get out and look as often as you want. Turn the wheel, back up a little, notice which way the trailer is turning and how much, watch other drivers as they are practicing, learn from their mistakes. The biggest key to backing and parking is learning to read the trailer. Take your time, and relax. If you are getting stressed out, get out of the driver's seat and let someone else have a turn.

This is probably a minor point, but I am so confused w/the Logbooks. I am doing the practice tests on TT to no avail.

The easiest way to do a log, is to log it when you do it. You'll do logs every day in class, lots of practice for that as well, so don't stress about it too much. And keep practicing on the TT, take advantage of the resources here, because even if you don't have everything down pat prior to starting school, once you get there and start actually doing the tasks, it will all fall into place for you.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

ProudArmyMom's Comment
member avatar

Ahmalia:

Thank you so much for the quick & awesome response. I was trying to study like mad on the pre trip & logbook before I leave. Waiting on the lightbulb to go off lol. Now I'm gonna focus on studying for my endorsements. I will test on those next week.

Thank you so much for your assistance. Just hear those words from someone who has actually been thru it. It hasn't escaped me that it's referred to as Trucking School Boot Camp. I am bound & determined to be a trucker when all is said & done.

I hope you don't mind if you hear from me again. Take care

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Blessed 58's Comment
member avatar

Hi Ahmalia, I. 59 years old completed 23 years in A career in Law Enforcement. It almost killed me I had to learn to walk and talk again amongst alot of other struggles. It's taken me 3 years to regain a fairly normal life again. Nothing is the same since it happened. My memory, my thinking, my motorskills, my strength, and more. I'm determined not to be labeled disabled. I knew that I had to change careers so I attended CDL school, for 10 weeks at a tech college near me. I was blessed that all grants that I applied for paid for every penny of the $1650 costs for a great 10 week course. I researched trucking companies for 2 years while recuperating. And decided to go with Roehl. I attended orientation at the terminal in Conley, Ga. I got issued my truck on Dec 16th, 2015. Make sure you get everything they offer in writing!!! They promised me that I would get between 2100 -2600 miles per week but most weeks I'm lucky if I get 1600. That amounts to nothing to live on. If they won't put it in writing do not trust the.. I was the only lady., in my orientation class of 12 males and I was issued a truck with three cameras in it. And yes you are damn straight I stood my ground on this issue!!!!!! You can do and accomplish anything that you set your mind to. DO NOT LET ANYONE. WALK ON YOU!!! Once you give them an inch they will take a mile. I also was told that I would get 3 home days after 11 days out but if I stayed out 18 days I would get 4 days hometime. Well that's not happening either!!!!!!! So beware and get everything in writing. I'm documenting everything that they wrong me on until they fulfill their commitment to ME.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Lynette O.'s Comment
member avatar

Karen,

Don't worry about not being mechanically inclined. I had "mantras" for the pre trip. Metal, rubber, hoses and a door mantra. Metal was securely mounted, not bent cracked or broken, no missing or loose nuts, bolts or parts (such as pins, potter keys, castle nuts). Rubber Mantra - no abrasions, bulges or cuts. No loose fibers. Not bent, cracked or broken. Rubber Hose Mantra - clamps and fittings are tight, no leaks PLUS the rubber mantra And no leaks. Not rubbing against other parts.

Good luck to you.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

And don't forget to change the blinker fluid once in a while sorry.gif

toonces's Comment
member avatar

Hey to all the ladies!! I've been a solo driver for about 4 years now. For anyone considering becoming a trucker, or just starting out, feel free to ask any questions you might have, (I know I had a ton of questions when I started) and I'll be happy to answer them if I can. For myself, despite some ups and downs in the beginning, I love my job, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

1. What were your trainers like? I'm so worried about getting a guy that makes lewd comments all day. Or even worse, one that hinders my training/completion because I turn down his advances. I know that probably 99% of the trainers out there are nice, normal guys. But knowing my luck, I'll get one of the 1%.

2. Have you ever had times when you didn't feel safe sleeping in your truck at night?

3. Getting exercise seems like it might be difficult while doing this job. Are you ever able to just take a walk? Like if I was at a customer's location, is it ok to leave the truck to walk around while they are loading/unloading the truck?

4. How are the truck stop showers?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

JAZ R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Ahmalia I'm leaving for school on the 7th of march. I'm going to Swift in southern cal. I'm a little nervous I guess. How difficult was the written test? I've been looking over the manual and the practice tests and there's no way I can remember all those names like bulkhead smoothies and all the psi numbers. Is all of that really on the rest! My confidence is waning here help! I think I would be a really Gd driver if i could get past DMV.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
C. S.'s Comment
member avatar
How difficult was the written test? I've been looking over the manual and the practice tests and there's no way I can remember all those names like bulkhead smoothies and all the psi numbers. Is all of that really on the rest! My confidence is waning here help! I think I would be a really Gd driver if i could get past DMV.

Jaz, if you haven't already make sure to complete as much of the High Road Training Program as you can. Less than four days at this point will make it difficult to do all of it, but try. It is a great resource and will leave you very prepared for the written test. Honestly, the exam is not that bad and is usually the easiest part of this road for most people.

1. What were your trainers like? I'm so worried about getting a guy that makes lewd comments all day. Or even worse, one that hinders my training/completion because I turn down his advances. I know that probably 99% of the trainers out there are nice, normal guys. But knowing my luck, I'll get one of the 1%.

Without hijacking Ahmalia's thread, I'd like to answer this as I had a male trainer and before training I had the same fears as you. My trainer, while gruff at times, was nothing but professional and I did not regret accepting a male trainer. I never had any issues or concerns. However, if you are sexually harassed by your trainer in any way, immediately let the company know. Companies are zero tolerance when it comes to this, and trainers know it. With all that said, you can request a female trainer if you like, but the waiting list is usually pretty long. It all depends on what you prefer and how long you can afford to wait.

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.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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