Had My First (and Hopefully Only) Accident

Topic 14872 | Page 2

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Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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Thanks for all the positive responses, everyone. I really do appreciate it. I'm a perfectionist, and have always been very fast at learning new things. This....not so much. Not sure if it's age or lack of natural propensity for this. It's been harder than I thought, which makes me uber critical of myself. I Balmer my Japanese upbringing. Hah!

I was going slow, and I thought I was watching. I miscalculated how much the rear wheels offtrack and that it really wasn't going to make the turn when I thought I had clearance. I took my eyes off the driver mirrors to check the distance I had in front of me to make sure I would clear the truck that decided to park on the curb when my trailer hit.

I just feel like everything is one step forward, one or two steps back. Every time I think I've finally gotten something down, something happens that proves me wrong.

I'm trying to stay positive.

Thanks again everyone.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

This is a rite of passage for rookies. It does take a while to get used to that extra 60 feet you're dragging behind you.

Yes, Safety will get involved, liability needs to be paid. A mark goes on your record. But as G-Town explained, if it's not serious, life goes on. (Just don't let it happen again ☺)

In close quarter areas, think "Grand Tour". Drive your cab in the longest possible path thorough an area. That means the outside of a curve, big wide turns. Stuff like that.

The most valuable part: be sure this is a learning experience to improve your driving.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Balmer = blame

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Here's a tip..... STOP the truck. Look.. turn the wheel while stopped... u might have to take foot off brake a bit... but not totally. This way you are moving and looking at the same time. If you have to look to the left then stop.. look left and then stop again and look forward then turn wheel while stopped then move.

Stopping and turning will help in tighter spaces.... so I've learned. And believe me... the backing frustrated me sooooo badly... and I posted the same thing.. "just when I feel comfortable I screw up". Guess what... I'm screwing up a whole lot less now. Lessons learned.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

You know how it is. Paige wants me to get out of the habit of stopping whenever I'm turning, especially during backing.

Still no word. Tech came and left without saying anything. Just laughed and kept shaking his head. As if I didn't already feel like a big enough loser.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

My student did the exact same thing, they simply added an additional 15,000 miles of TNT with a conference call with my DM and safety.

He drove better than ever after that accident. Just learn from it and you'll be fine.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

FloridaBuckeye's Comment
member avatar

Miss Miyoshi

I've followed your posts for awhile now and I can't tell you how much respect I have for you. Especially now that this has happened! Sounds like you are going through what seems to be the inevitable growing pains into the driver's seat. Something everyone goes through, and that I will be facing myself down the road. The cool thing is that you help me, and others I'm sure, learn from your experiences.

I gotta think there is a fine line between allowing yourself to grow that necessary confidence, and somehow stay aware that this world is new and different. Kinda like a kid learning to walk. And what do they do when they fall down?

And guess what, it's impossible to learn how to run if you don't fall down when you're learning how to walk.

It's the ONLY way to gain the confidence that keeps you standing upright so you can then run without getting hurt.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Turning radius has definitely been a learning curve with me. Today proves it. Hit it on the driver's side, no less. Blargh. I want a double whiskey Xanax on the rocks with a vodka chaser.

My first response was kinda quick,...I was kinda busy. Sorry this happened to you, but it's better now since you are with a trainer. Have a bit more time so here goes.

Truck stops are one of those places where all kinda things like this happen. Be extra careful and vigilant. Assume that at least half the trucks buzzin around are being driven by someone with less than a year of experience.

If cornering is an area that you think you need extra work then let your trainer known that. It's part of her job to help you with the rough spots. My suggestion of driving the trailer holds true. When you are learning yah gotta think about what the trailer will do based on what you did to the steering wheel. It's not yet instinctive , but at some point it will be.

Try not to dwell on it and allow it to be a distraction.

Good luck and stay safe.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
R0adRa93's Comment
member avatar

@rainyd I am SIX OH NINE THREE THREE SIX SIX OH SIX SIX :-D I am from Hammonton in Atlantic County! What's your Home 20?

Now on to accidents... When i was in training I was in a total of THREE accidents! Seriously, I did EVERYTHING my trainer told me to and every time I hit something! Anyway here is the list:

1) I hit a trailer, the dang thing was leaning so bad it looked like it was going to fall over at any moment. My trainer told me to turn hard left and then turn right so I did JUST that and I hit the trailer next to us, neither of us saw it as it was a pup trailer and I thought i saw a dock in my west coast mirror.

2) I rubbed the mirror on a truck. My trainer was DIRECTING me outside of the truck at a truck stop and we are backing the truck in and I stopped and he said, "Why did you stop for?" I responded, "We are awful close to that truck" He said, "No you aren't you have at least a foot! Keep going!" No sooner did he say that then when he saw the trailer rub up against the mirror. And he says to me, "Why didn't you tell me you were close to the guy's mirror?!" He took the heat for that one.

3) I made a wrong turn in MA and was looking for a spot to safely turn around and my trainer told me to use the U TURN light to turn. I was like, "We aren't allowed are you sure?!" He said, "Just do it!" So, I took the u-turn and a lady lost control of her car and slid under the trailer between the tandem and the ICC Bar. Bent the hell out of the ICC Bar and mud flap but wrecked her car...

I was involved in ONE accident after I started driving on my own. I was parked in a parking spot at a TA and I was 4 hours into my 10 hour and I was sound asleep when I was awoken to my truck a rocking and a shaking. My first thought was 'earthquake' then i heard metal and my next thought was 'OMG I am going to die!' I jumped out of bed opened to the curtain and I saw a trailer rubbing against the front of my truck. I flip the key to the run position and I blew my air horn causing the CR England driver to stop. He wrecked my grill, bendex sensor, hood and bumper. He also wrecked a mount on the cab.

I am still with the company and am given hazmat loads to top it off. I have to admit I am so gun shy when backing that I pull forward to straighten out even though I have plenty of room just because I am so afraid of hitting something else. It took me 10 minutes to back into the spot my truck is currently sitting in. Just saying, accidents happen, yeah I don't want it to happen again but still pretty scary.

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

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".

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.
Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

Don't sweat it ! I hit a parked trailer while backing into a spot. It was REALLY minor. (I posted pics) but they made a huge deal out of it. Charged my trainer 500 bucks for the insurance and all, for a couple of scratches. I WAS DEVASTATED !!!

Just learn from your mistakes ! Mine was GOAL.

It took me a while to figure out what went wrong, and to feel comfortable behind the wheel again. I can only hope that your trainer is like mine.

His philosophy was that as a student, " you're going to be stressed. It does no good for me to be up here yelling and getting all stressed and worked up. It's better for me to be calm and collected. "

Thank you for posting about it. Your mistakes will possibly help someone else

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