A Rookie Truck Driver's First Week

Topic 13996 | Page 1

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ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Well today was day one. Day one of making all my own decisions, day one of no hand holding, and day one of figuring things out on my own.

We spent the night at the terminal last night. I planned on being up at 3 am to be leaving by 4 am. I wanted to get on the road early so I could get as close as possible to my first stop and take a 10.

Last night, night dispatch asked me to bring in the bills for this load so they could verify the reefer setting. So I hunted down the trailer (it was in the shop) to get the bills. No bills on the trailer... So I told dispatch and they said they would take care of it.

At 3:30 this morning I went to get the bills from dispatch. They still didn't have them. So they emailed the shipper to get copies. Then they didn't give me enough copies.

So I finally get out to go hunt down the trailer. It took forever to find it and then forever to hook up. The glad hands are soooo tight I had to get my husband to get the emergency line on. And the landing took forever to go up. It's an old trailer...

So we finally get on the road at 5. I scaled the load in the terminal and headed to my fuel stop down the road. This truck stop is so tiny and the entrance is not labeled. So my husband has to go in and ask how the heck I was supposed to get in! Luckily there was a warehouse nearby where I could turn around.

This place is not built for semis. The scale is directly behind the pumps where you are supposed to pull through. I just barely got in to the pump without scraping the trailer. But once I got in I could not get the hose to reach the reefer tank! So i had to call and tell dispatch that. I had 3/4 tank so they said to just fill it later.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Stopped in Effingham to fuel and grab some pizza. Now we are chilling at a rest area about 30 mins from the reciever and plan to leave around 2 to make my 3 am appointment tomorrow.

Dispatch called and sent messages telling me that the reciever does not have overnight parking so I needed to make sure I got a 10 hour break before my appointment. I got the enjoyment of sending them a message that I had already picked out a place right near the reciever!

Not so excited about going to Bolingbrook tomorrow. My first appointment is in Urbana at 3 am then I have to get to Bolingbrook by 8. Hopefully this works out...

On a side note, apparently TransAm training department called my CDL school yesterday and told them I was one of the best students they had ever had. So I got a big shoutout on Facebook from my school! Pretty cool...

Teddy is running great and looks even more gorgeous now that he had a bath from all the rain today!

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.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Well today was day one. Day one of making all my own decisions, day one of no hand holding, and day one of figuring things out on my own.

We spent the night at the terminal last night. I planned on being up at 3 am to be leaving by 4 am. I wanted to get on the road early so I could get as close as possible to my first stop and take a 10.

Last night, night dispatch asked me to bring in the bills for this load so they could verify the reefer setting. So I hunted down the trailer (it was in the shop) to get the bills. No bills on the trailer... So I told dispatch and they said they would take care of it.

At 3:30 this morning I went to get the bills from dispatch. They still didn't have them. So they emailed the shipper to get copies. Then they didn't give me enough copies.

So I finally get out to go hunt down the trailer. It took forever to find it and then forever to hook up. The glad hands are soooo tight I had to get my husband to get the emergency line on. And the landing took forever to go up. It's an old trailer...

So we finally get on the road at 5. I scaled the load in the terminal and headed to my fuel stop down the road. This truck stop is so tiny and the entrance is not labeled. So my husband has to go in and ask how the heck I was supposed to get in! Luckily there was a warehouse nearby where I could turn around.

This place is not built for semis. The scale is directly behind the pumps where you are supposed to pull through. I just barely got in to the pump without scraping the trailer. But once I got in I could not get the hose to reach the reefer tank! So i had to call and tell dispatch that. I had 3/4 tank so they said to just fill it later.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Stopped in Effingham to fuel and grab some pizza. Now we are chilling at a rest area about 30 mins from the reciever and plan to leave around 2 to make my 3 am appointment tomorrow.

Dispatch called and sent messages telling me that the reciever does not have overnight parking so I needed to make sure I got a 10 hour break before my appointment. I got the enjoyment of sending them a message that I had already picked out a place right near the reciever!

Not so excited about going to Bolingbrook tomorrow. My first appointment is in Urbana at 3 am then I have to get to Bolingbrook by 8. Hopefully this works out...

On a side note, apparently TransAm training department called my CDL school yesterday and told them I was one of the best students they had ever had. So I got a big shoutout on Facebook from my school! Pretty cool...

Teddy is running great and looks even more gorgeous now that he had a bath from all the rain today!

Ahh the first day of solo! nothing ever goes as planned. :)

Kudos for getting it done though.. My first load was picked up in Sac and was beans, up and over Donnor Pass to Sparks, NV... missed the entrance in Sac twice and had one hell of a time turning around.. we all be there.

Good luck

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.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You had to back out after fueling? Never had to deal with a place like that before.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

You had to back out after fueling? Never had to deal with a place like that before.

No the scale was where you would swing out to turn into the pumps. You can't swing out wide enough to get in the stalls straight. There was only two pumps that were accessible for semis because of where the scale is. I was able to pull forward out of the pumps but it was super close on the right side.

Bucket's Comment
member avatar

Another first for CM! Are you ready for a time you can say, "I've done that!"? A couple weeks and I start my first. Wish me luck.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Another first for CM! Are you ready for a time you can say, "I've done that!"? A couple weeks and I start my first. Wish me luck.

In a way I am enjoying the firsts! It's a big adventure. It makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes but still...

Good luck on your journey Bucket!

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

You had to back out after fueling? Never had to deal with a place like that before.

double-quotes-end.png

No the scale was where you would swing out to turn into the pumps. You can't swing out wide enough to get in the stalls straight. There was only two pumps that were accessible for semis because of where the scale is. I was able to pull forward out of the pumps but it was super close on the right side.

If you were able to pull forward though, what was stopping you from fueling up the reefer?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

You had to back out after fueling? Never had to deal with a place like that before.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

No the scale was where you would swing out to turn into the pumps. You can't swing out wide enough to get in the stalls straight. There was only two pumps that were accessible for semis because of where the scale is. I was able to pull forward out of the pumps but it was super close on the right side.

double-quotes-end.png

If you were able to pull forward though, what was stopping you from fueling up the reefer?

The fuel hose was barely long enough to reach my fuel tank. Plus I was crooked in the stall because of the way I had to pull in.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Today was a terrible day. I'm really not wanting to go into a lot of details since I've been up since 0130 but here's the short story.

3 docks bumped. Only nailed one with no problems. Ended up having to blindside at the last one.

Dealt with a shipper and reciever in Chicago (Bolingbrook and Broadview).

Run my 14 down to 7 mins before I found a place to stop.

And to top it all off, I hit another truck in the truck stop. Yes you heard right. My second day and I hit something. It wasn't bad. I just rubbed my tandem tire on his bumper. I have a 2 inch scrape on my rim and he has some tire smudging in his bumper. I had no clue that it had happened. No noise, no camera event. But I got yelled at about a hit and run from a jerk (not the other driver) in the truckstop (we were in the restaurant), talked to the police (no ticket) and had to call risk management. I don't think the other driver would have even said anything except for the jerk yelling about the hit and run. Speaking of which, how is it a hit and run when I'm parked 20 feet away??

So yeah, it's been a terrible day.

But I'm less than 6 hours away from home. So we will be there tomorrow to do some things then maybe going to Oklahoma if they don't relay this load off me to get it there in time.

Best part of the day? I picked up 27000 pounds of COOKIES in Chicago! That place smelled AMAZING even outside! I didn't want to leave....

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Code Red NV's Comment
member avatar

Everyone is telling me it gets easier, so I'm assuming it must, lol! Sorry about the hit, that's a drag. Keep rocking it, you and I will get through these early days!

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