Hi All, I Am New To This Forum And TruckingTruth

Topic 14820 | Page 1

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akkamaan's Comment
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Hi all! I am new to this forum. I retired from trucking about two years ago, after a 13-year trucking career. After going through Western Pacific Truck School (Thank you Michael Darling) I was offered a position and started 2001 for Gordon Trucking when I lived in Sacramento CA. I was very happy with Gordon, and they, over time, let me develop into the type of driver I wanted to be. A local driver that sleep at home most nights. In 2004 my wife wanted to move back to Port Angeles WA where she had most of her family. At the time, Gordon could not provide a local job for me out of Port Angeles, and I was sad to leave them. Instead, I got hired by a local smaller company that was the main carrier for the local Nippon Papermill. I worked for Atlas trucking for almost 10 years, hauling heavy haul on 8 axle rigs, hauling wood chips, containers to the ports, big paper rolls, ONP, and other supplies to the mill. Coming from Gordon with "1700" trucks in their fleet compared to Atlas with some "20-ish" trucks, was like two different worlds. Both in a good way and in a not so good way. At Gordon, everything was dialed down to a science. I remember especially the to the first introduction class after I was "hired". A lady walked around before the class and laid down a brand new tire pressure gauge in front of each "student driver". Nothing more was said about that tire gauge. It was a gift. I was just a natural thing for Gordon that every driver ever should have a chance to excuse lacking of tire checks because they didn't have a tire gauge. It took me a few years at Atlas Trucking before I fully understood the importance of that tire gauge. After a year or two, I had learned at Atlas that not every driver, or to say no other driver, ever used their own tire gauge. That caused a lot of frustration when I picked up a loaded trail at 1.30 am in the morning and had after 250 miles of driving a 7 am non-negotiable delivery appointment in Portland OR the same day. Most other drivers didn't even "kick" the trailers they dropped for preloading the afternoon before. Even less they post-tripped the air brakes, and if they did pre-trip or post-trip the brake system, they only assumed they knew how to do it. Even shop guys at Atlas failed to figure out an air leak in the service line on the trailer because they didn't know how to do it. They just thought they knew. It all followed the same pattern with weight management, drop axles etc. Atlas really cared about drivers being perfect, but the problem was that ownership did not have any personal driving experience, so they did not know how to address technical issues. Atlas did not have a training coordinator for That's why I am here, to be able to share some of my experiences I learned from 13 years of OTR and local trucking, many of them rarely mentioned in training classes, "manuals" or even forums.

I have been browsing through Bretts CDL training program and it looks really good. Everything a new driver need to know, they can read and learn there. What differs a rookie driver from an experienced driver is....just the additional stuff and tricks we learned from experience. All the small details and tricks that make your day shorter and more productive. I think I have a few things to mention, and I am also still eager to learn stuff that I never thought about before.

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.

OTR:

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.

akkamaan's Comment
member avatar

I still try to figure out the tagging system for topic areas. Seems like you have to post in general discussions and the mention the topic tag words listed in "All Topics By Tag". Seems pretty clear and simple now dancing-banana.gif

Is there a way to add more topic tags? smile.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to reading your contributions.

akkamaan's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to reading your contributions.

Thank you G-town! I do not have anything that will turn trucking industry upside down or inside out. But small little details that can prevent or solve a problem or two...

Per A.

Swampfox's Comment
member avatar

I'm getting ready to get my CDL and go to a local training school PIA here. What are some tips you could give me for driving and how to pick a company to work for

double-quotes-start.png

Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to reading your contributions.

double-quotes-end.png

Thank you G-town! I do not have anything that will turn trucking industry upside down or inside out. But small little details that can prevent or solve a problem or two...

Per A.

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.
Bucket's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you may some new info. I'm sure learning to drive a truck is a big job. I just finished a 240 hour truck training, and drove a bit over six hundred highway miles. Half those were loaded miles and another hundred was at night. With all the research I've done I haven't found, or read any school that does that much training. Only two students to a truck. The highway miles required me to drive through OKC, across DOT scale, leave a divided highway with posted 20 mph with clover leaf, then immediately exit to reverse direction so I could make a left turn, at a traffic light. That left turn led to an active railroad crossing. Only enough space between light an track for one truck and trailer. Plenty of space but if a truck is there you can't turn until light and space are both available. The drives also required two lane through small towns with traffic lights, and some four-way stops. Then after these accomplishes I can pass pre-trip inspection , skills that involved alley dock, straight back, and driver plus passenger side off-set. But have been denied the cdl. The school instructors are giving me the good driver grade. Grade is poor, fair, good. I've driven with five different instructors. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
But have been denied the cdl.

Bucket, that's an odd statement.

You either pass the road test, or you fail it. They don't just randomly deny people their CDL.

Schools don't issue the CDL , the state does that. Have you tested yet? If you failed then you should already know what you did wrong.

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.
Keith D(guitarzan)'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you may some new info. I'm sure learning to drive a truck is a big job. I just finished a 240 hour truck training, and drove a bit over six hundred highway miles. Half those were loaded miles and another hundred was at night. With all the research I've done I haven't found, or read any school that does that much training. Only two students to a truck. The highway miles required me to drive through OKC, across DOT scale, leave a divided highway with posted 20 mph with clover leaf, then immediately exit to reverse direction so I could make a left turn, at a traffic light. That left turn led to an active railroad crossing. Only enough space between light an track for one truck and trailer. Plenty of space but if a truck is there you can't turn until light and space are both available. The drives also required two lane through small towns with traffic lights, and some four-way stops. Then after these accomplishes I can pass pre-trip inspection , skills that involved alley dock, straight back, and driver plus passenger side off-set. But have been denied the cdl. The school instructors are giving me the good driver grade. Grade is poor, fair, good. I've driven with five different instructors. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

Am I the only one completely mystified by "THIS" post !? ( sorry disregard my previous incoherent fumble of a post !)

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.
Bucket's Comment
member avatar

Sorry old school, I was able to bank the pre-trip! Passed the skills 90, passenger off-set, but needed 70 for road trip got 68. Then re-test got the 90 again driver off-set, but didn't pass road test. Examiner said I impeded traffic! I was telling all the driving I did for the school not the drive for cdl test. I was surprised I couldn't pass a 15 mile drive after all the miles I drove during training. My shifting is good, I signal, know the sign I just passed, didn't pull out with any traffic within quarter mile, performed an emergency stop. I test again July 13!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Don't let it rattle you. Hang in there and keep at it. Two or three failures don't really mean anything. All that matters is the one you pass.

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