Training And 2 Months Solo With XPO

Topic 15208 | Page 1

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Buster's Buddy's Comment
member avatar

I've been gone for a while, but I'm back now. I've been running hard most of the time, and resting hard the rest of the time.

My training adventures were many and varied. Highlights include 2 Finishers (XPO's name for Trainers), a blown trailer tire, truck broke down outside Laramie, fixed broken truck before Road Service got around to responding, Qualcomm broke so I got to use paper logs, and truck and trailer towed (separately). And my favorite- with just a few hundred miles to go on my 7500 miles before they bring me to Joplin for upgrading, I'm in Ohio and I get a load to.... Portland. Oregon. 2500 miles in the wrong direction. From Portland they sent me to Seattle. Well, at least the pay checks were good. And when we broke down Friday evening outside Rapid City we were able to visit Mount Rushmore that Sunday. So my projected 3 weeks and 7500 miles of finishing turned into 6 weeks and 12,000 miles. Honestly, aside from missing my dog Buster, it was great. My second Finisher (lost the first one to a family emergency) was great. I can't imagine a better trainer and mentor than JD. He's been driving since 1994, has a great sense of humor and an incredible amount of patience, and is chock full of knowledge which he delights in sharing. I learned so much in that extra time, most of it little tidbits that make life on the road easier.

Once I finally got upgraded and got my 2013 Freightliner 13 speed out of the shop for the 3rd time I was on the road home to pick up Buster. My first few weeks were all about remembering EVERYTHING, or at the very least Rule 1: Don't Hit Anything. I had several Learning Experiences, and I came awfully close a few times, and my ego took some bruises, but I always stopped in time, and GOAL'd bunches and bunches ("thanks!" to the fellow who honked yesterday when I didn't GOAL enough). I also spent a lot of energy getting a semi truck Corgi Friendly. I also set up the top bunk as my kitchen: fridge, microwave, crock pot, and rice cooker.

XPO has been running me hard and I'm loving it. Last week I ran 2284, that was my first week under 2500. I've had 3 weeks over 3200. XPO (formerly Con-Way, formerly CFI) still seems to be a decent company to drive for. Most of the things I'm not thrilled with they are actively in the process of changing (the ancient Qualcomm and Load Planning are my biggest issues). XPO is committed to substantially growing their market share in the next 5 years.

I've now driven in every US State except Hawaii and Delaware. Plus British Columbia, The Yukon, Ontario, and Quebec (note: not all of these in a CMV). I really should figure out in which states I've driven a big rig. In 4 months I've been from New England to every Southern state except Florida, through out the the MidWest, and 10 of the Western 11.

Hey, did you know Quebec is not bilingual? It was quite an experience driving in the dark in the rain through construction and trying to remember enough High School French to figure out if the sign I just passed meant NO THROUGH TRUCKS or NO TRUCKS NEXT EXIT. All with no working phone, text, or internet. Truly a Grand Adventure. I'll be better prepared next time.

All in all I still feel like I'm getting paid for me and my dog Buster to drive all over the place in our 100 sq ft RV. I highly recommend XPO, especially for those like me who want Company Paid Schooling (Crowder is awesome) and a pet friendly environment.

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey that all sounds pretty awesome! Getting started in trucking is indeed a grand adventure. It gets a little easier over time as you learn a lot of little tricks and get more experience handling different types of situations. But you said it - the golden rule is always don't hit anything. Simple as that. Anything else that happens can be easily fixed.

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