3 Strikes, I Guess I'm Out

Topic 15546 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Matthew T's Comment
member avatar

Well, folks, I've done myself in. I don't really know what the differences are between "incidents" and "accidents" but in the last 3 months I've had 3 of them.

The first during training I got the trailer high-centered on an embankment by cutting the corner too sharply.

The second was taking out a sign on the corner coming out of a shipper maybe a month ago. The third just occurred the other night as I was backing into a dock and I dinged the fender of a tractor scratching the paint on my fender but causing no other perceivable damage.

So thats it. 3 strikes and dispatch routes me back to the home terminal I assume for the last time. Someone else on here talked about being followed by a "black cloud". My nemesis is Murphy himself and his cruddy Law. There always seems to be a perfect storm of problems thrown in my path that turns something seemingly simple into a massive cluster*%#&!

But I do take full responsibility for it and can describe in detail each event. The blame squarely rests on me for each one and my inattentiveness to the situations when they occurred. I need make no excuses for it, that's all it was.

So as this is probably my last night at a truckstop and my last delivery tonight, I thought I'd give a few final updates before retiring from the "truckers" forum.

First off I wanna thank you for providing this place on the web to support such a great community. From what I've seen of other sites online this place is a haven for rookies to come and get honest advice, pep talks and stern guidance when things get tough out here, which they will.

The training materials are top-notch and helped me get through my testing with flying colors. The times I've vented on here were replied to by honest people who instead of insulting me gave me advice and propped me up through a time or two that I just wanted to park this rig and go home for good. Thank you all for your concern and words of encouragement.

Alright, enough of that before I get anymore bleary-eyed!😉

In the last 4 or 5 months I've had so many ups and downs that I feel like I've been on a rollercoaster almost daily.

My tally of good vs bad days in my short stint as a driver have been overwhelmingly bad. Maybe thats just me, as many on here will attest, trucking isn't a job for everyone and I think I fall into that category. I keep dwelling on the past, my mind saying "maybe if I'd just done this" or "if only I hadn't done that". Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

I know it doesn't matter anymore. Ah well, whaddaya gonna do?

I was told there may be 2 outcomes for me, either I would be fired or, if they deem it worth their time, they may send me back out with a trainer for another 30 or 40k miles.

At this point I'm honestly not sure if I would go back out training again. I dunno.

Anyways, just wanted to check in with you all and tell you my drama. I'll continue to update this thread the next few days for anyone interested in the outcome.

Good luck, have fun and stay safe!

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.

Maurice R.'s Comment
member avatar

It's not over yet don't throw yourself away! We all mess up and I'm not a driver yet but I do know that with that attitude about the whole situation, it will turn out so much better than you expect especially with your honesty on the situation and the fact that you admit your wrongs, trust the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. There's a perfect reason for it all! Though you may not be able to Perceive it right now! I'll be praying! Thanks for involving us in your life!

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.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Hey Matthew, man you gotta stop beating yourself up! Lol. I think it's pretty awesome that you admit full responsibility for your mistakes. It's really refreshing. Obviously you have the choice not to go back out with a trainer if they give you that option, but that would be a golden opportunity if they did. Depending on how many months you've been out and what your dmv driving record is like, even if this company lets you go, you've probably got other options than to quit.

Truth is, if you stick with it and get past this initial learning curve, it will really start to get easier. I know we all say that, but it's totally true. By the way, something that has helped me is to remind myself that I am in a high risk situation whenever I am in close quarters. Ironically, I tend to let my guard down in truck stops and small places although I am much more likely to have an accident in those situations!

Good luck man, and I really encourage you to take them up on any offer they give you.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Your response to your company is a BIG factor, determining their final decision.

Most likely, you will sit down with Safety, and they will have a nice chat, about how you can do things better. Your infractions, from what I have seen, are not necessarily going to get you fired. The fact that you are admitting, and taking responsibility will go a long ways.

Keep your head up.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

People total trailers and do serious damage. I would imagine they are going to put you back in training or even make you do sims to "watch the trailer". Do you think a shorter trailer could work for you? Maybe look local for shorter truck

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Don't give up yet. I haven't had the greatest start to my career either but I've been able to stay in the industry. Just relax and take it a day at a time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree with everyone above - hang in there! The only way to describe the learning curve in trucking is "steep and brutal" - it is for everyone. There's no such thing as being a natural at this. It's just a really difficult job that takes a long time to learn.

How many bridges did you hit? None.

How many trucks did you roll? None.

How many people have you sent to the hospital? None.

You're not doing it perfectly, but considering the scope of your troubles you're doing fine. Much better than a lot of drivers their first few months.

Obviously you're feeling dejected and your future at that company is uncertain. But I hope you'll find it within yourself to fight tooth and nail to continue forward with your career whether it's at your current company or not. Obviously the best thing you can do is walk into the safety manager's office and explain how desperately you'd love to remain with the company and that you'll do whatever it takes to get better. Hopefully that will work. If not, there's always plenty of options available.

Seriously, I love to point out Abraham Lincoln's life because most people only know him as one of the most famous presidents in history. The truth is that the man failed repeatedly at almost everything he ever attempted, he lost loved ones, he had a nervous breakdown, and he lost as many elections as he won.

Seriously, look at this - Abraham Lincoln's Successes and Failures

In comparison to his long list of failures, breakdowns, and heartaches now look at yourself - you scratched a fender. I mean, come on man! Hang in there! This journey is just beginning for you and all of this, no matter what direction your career goes in at this point, will simply make for some encouraging stories for others to hear someday when they're struggling and you're a top notch experienced driver.

You'll be fine. As hard as this is right now it will simply make it all that much sweeter down the line.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Matt, the open secret about rookie drivers is not "if" you have an accident, it's "when". You say these are little dings. Even catching the trailer isn't a biggie. Like Brett asks, how many light poles have you knocked over? None.

Sit with the Safety person, explain your are trying, and that you learned more from each accident. Then we'll all see you tomorrow.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

What ever you do, do not make light of any of the incidents. Like it was only a scratch or just a sign. Be humble and sincere.

Matthew T's Comment
member avatar

Update: So I'm back at campus after retaking the safety class and getting re-certified. All of you were right about the situation and I wanna thank you all for propping me up the last few days, I was feeling pretty low. I followed all of your advice and just accepted the consequences in good faith with a positive and serious attitude. All went well. I will be sent out for an additional 15-20k miles training as part of my penance with a 2-million-miler with zero accidents. While the team driving thing is a punishment (cuz I loathe it) I am actually looking forward to get out with this guy and learn some of his tricks of the trade and pick his brain about the multitude of questions that have been plaguing me since I started this nutty odyssey.😉 I also feel I can be an asset to him since alot of the daily stuff I have been doing on my own is what these guys normally have to train guys to do, (Quallcom, tandems , paperwork, etc.) so I feel I have something to offer. This is the most positive I've felt about this career choice since I left my student training and I'm ready to give it my all and prove I can be a safe, conscientious driver over the long haul.

p.s. - I even get to stay on the truckers forum here! Lol.

Tandems:

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".

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".

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Becoming A Truck Driver First Solo Months On The Road Hard Lessons Learned Trucking Accidents
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More