First Week Of Solo-ing Out.

Topic 14305 | Page 1

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18 Wheels of Steel's Comment
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I've just got home after my first week on the road solo. Even though the company is switching over to automatics, I managed to get my hands on a 13 speed, and a relatively new one at that. It'll likely be awhile before they pull it from service, at which point I can lease it. Despite what I have heard, shifting really doesn't get old, even in traffic jams, at least not yet.

The first few days were kind of rough, and had me questioning if I was cut out for this line of work. Backing is a whole different monster when it's other trucks and trailers that are the obstacles, instead of little orange cones. But I am getting better, and haven't managed to hit anything. It may take 10 get out and looks at times, but if that's what it takes, then that's what I will have to do.

A big piece of advice. Don't trust the GPS. It is a handy tool, but it will totally get you turned around if you depend on it. My first solo pick up was in Atlanta, and that thing had me turned around so many times. My atlas, and google maps with satellite view and street view have been invaluable.

I'd say the directions on the Qualcomm are also useful, but mine has been down ever since I seated on my own truck. So I'm in like solo hard mode right now. Once I get off of home time, I will no doubt be routed out west so I can stop at one of the main terminals to get that fixed. Until then, using street view along with calling the shipper/consignee for directions for the final approach have made a tough situation much easier.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Lightside N.'s Comment
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Have you been having to do paper logs then? Is that pretty easy to pick up? I only got limited experience at the truck school I attended.

18 Wheels of Steel's Comment
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Yeah, I've been doing paper logs. not a big deal for me since they drilled that into us in school, which was like 20 weeks.

The only real problem I've had is when I had to swap trailers with another driver to get home. I basically got all my directions and info at the terminal , then left for the spot to make the swap. Another dispatcher tried to send me a message saying the swap spot had been moved, but obviously I couldn't read it, so I sat there for like a day waiting for this guy.

Finally, I called corporate and played a little phone tag to find out where the new spot was. Still made it to my delivery on time, but I'll be glad when I finally get this thing fixed.

Have you been having to do paper logs then? Is that pretty easy to pick up? I only got limited experience at the truck school I attended.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Rob S.'s Comment
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Hats off to you for running without a Qualcomm. Personally, I wouldn't do it. It's as crucial to the modern driver as the rest of the machine. Before everyone goes crazy, I know there was life before electronics, I was there. But $.37 per mile doesn't buy that much of my dedication.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hats off to you for running without a Qualcomm. Personally, I wouldn't do it. It's as crucial to the modern driver as the rest of the machine. Before everyone goes crazy, I know there was life before electronics, I was there. But $.37 per mile doesn't buy that much of my dedication.

Are you a rookie driver and saying .37 cpm isn't worth your dedication. Hmmm!

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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