500 Miles A Day And Loving It

Topic 1581 | Page 1

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PR aka Road Hog's Comment
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Well, its been while since my last update and so much has happened. I finally picked up an instructor, and man, was he a royal jerk !! But, like Brett and everybody says, that is there job. This guy did EVERYTHING to get under my skin. He was rude, abusive, unhygienic, etc etc. However, after 3 weeks of his shenanigans he says to me, good job. If you can put up with my BS, you can handle anything out here on the road. We still keep in contact, imagine that. He taught me some valuable lessons that will stay with me as long as I drive, and as a bonus I passed my CDL exam on the first try !!!

That really is a bonus too, as here at Prime, if you Trifecta (pass pre trip, backing and road test on first try) they award you with $250! WOO HOO !!

I was out just 3 weeks, gained over 100 hours and 6000 + miles.

Now I am out with a trainer gaining my 30,000 miles to upgrade to an "A" seat as a solo driver. That is truck miles by the way, not just my driving hours.

I have traveled a line from Maine to Texas, over to California, and across to Utah, which is where I am now. Our receiver rejected a load of berries, being too ripe. I am sitting at the yard while claims figures out what we are going to do with the load. Being that its Sunday, probably wont get an answer until tomorrow, but my trainer and I are expecting to take them back to california. This may be. Blessing in disguise, being long runs come out of California (fingers crossed)

I am in need of some home time, (6 weeks out now), and there should be some coming in a few weeks. Probably just shy of my needed mileage. I am hoping to have my truck in mid November, which will be a nice B-day present.

Oh, as a note to folks preparing for school, ignore the items to pack list, as far as how much clothing to take. i have a big ole duffle bag with 7 days worth of clothes, and it mostly sits up on my bunk, in the way of me completely stretching out. If i had it to do ober again, I would bring 3 pr pants, 1 sweats, 2 shorts 3 shirts a knit cap, a hoodie and plenty of socks and underwear. Everything else can wait until I get my own truck. I have a separate bag for my toiletries which i carry into any bathroom to brush my teeth, or the shower.

Depending on your instructor, laundry is about 1 a week, and bring your own detergent. I carry a 1/2 gallon jug and it is more than enough. I also use liquid soap / shampoo and I still have plenty. I have yet to run into a shower where washcloths and towels were not provided. My instructor only bathed once every 5 days (yuck) and a pack of baby wipes was my saving grace. So thanks for that advice.

For what it is worth, I also packed an 8 pack of tp. My instructor laughed at me, but I enjoy certain comforts, and that is one of them. Im glad I did.

Well, I am off to the truck to get something to eat, my trainer has a george foreman grill, a microwave and a fridge, but I still keep to my tuna packs and crackers, pop top cans of fruit, and jugs of water. Do the best you can to shop smart when you get to walmart, as the prices at the fuel stops are outrageous. Bring your own cup, and they let you get all the ice you want in your cup. Also I suggest loading up an account and carrying a debit card, its so much easier than cash, and the only place that doesn't except it is HQ. go figure.

As an idea, of truck stop prices, a quart of milk and a 1/2 gal of milk are both 3.50. Donuts (sunday morning treat) are .99 at the cheap place, and are occasionally fresh. Fountain drinks are nearly $2 for a large, and one truck stop restaurant actually charged me $2.50 for a drink !! Meals are easily $7 and up, and thats for a Bfast platter. Lunch and dinner will run $10+

The best places to eat, so far, is along northern Ohio where they have courtyards with several restaurants, ok, fast food, and sit down eating. They also have free wifi. The best roads , for me anyway, are in Texas, where the speed limit is 75, and flat. The truck maxes out at 65 with cruise control, and eats diesel. 58-62 is better for fuel mileage which can be tough to maintain above 8.25

Oh yea, bring some music cd's to listen to while you are driving, not all trainers or instructors opt for the $17/mo satellite stations.

Well, thats all for now, i need to hop in the bunk and get some rack hours, I'm due to drive first, whenever we get the word to roll.

Peace

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.
ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Sounds like you are doing well. Just make sure to take it slow and easy if you feel you need to. No load is worth getting in a hurry over.

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
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Sounds like you are doing well. Just make sure to take it slow and easy if you feel you need to. No load is worth getting in a hurry over.

Actually that is one thing my instructor and trainer both insist on. Especially through curves, turns and downhill. Slow down, slow down slow down. It was my instructors mantra, and I took it to heart. In fact, he was fond of saying, you can go as slow as you want down a hill or through a curve as many times as you want, but only ONE time too fast.

Always stay in control of your vehicle and load

Always

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Yep. And really if you think about it, you are not going to get anywhere faster by going through curves fast. If you are in such a rush that 2 minutes may make or break your delivery... you are trip planning wrong or doing something else wrong.

Mark .'s Comment
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For what it is worth, I also packed an 8 pack of tp. My instructor laughed at me, but I enjoy certain comforts, and that is one of them. Im glad I did.

Do truck stops not provide TP or did you have to do your business in the truck? Not to get too personal here but why are you glad you did?

Woody's Comment
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Do truck stops not provide TP or did you have to do your business in the truck? Not to get too personal here but why are you glad you did?

I would imagine he is referring to the cheap toilet paper that truck stops (and all public restrooms) use.

Thanks for the post Road Hog. Several tips that I will find helpful when my training finally starts.

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Do truck stops not provide TP or did you have to do your business in the truck? Not to get too personal here but why are you glad you did?

double-quotes-end.png

I would imagine he is referring to the cheap toilet paper that truck stops (and all public restrooms) use.

Thanks for the post Road Hog. Several tips that I will find helpful when my training finally starts.

Woody got this one, as a frequent traveler in the past, I quickly learned that public TP generally = cardboard / sandpaper and can quickly cause discomfort. Personally, I am a creature of comfort, and I enjoy my charmin. (:-)

Starcar's Comment
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Congratulations on your success !! Your first trainer really put you thru it...but you had learned from TT that whatever it is, if it isn't unsafe...ya gotta just get thru it... You should be very, very proud,PR !!!

And no, I haven't forgotten your washie....Its in my crochet bag, as we speak, and should go out by Friday...but I'm confused on what name to put on the envelope, seeing as Road Hog probably won't clear the post office...So pm me your name on your mailbox at home...lol...and the blue becomes you....

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
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Thanks Star, and yes, I am proud of my accomplishments. So many of the people I met at school have already washed out for whatever reason, and that just fuels the feeling of accomplishment that much more.

I am SOOOoO thankful for all the words of wisdom I have gained on this site. It really prepared me mentally for what to expect. There was a point there where my trainer was really driving me nuts, and I actually wondered if I wasn't making. Mistake getting into trucking, and thats when the story of the trainer came back into my mind. I think it was trucker Mike's story of the instructor that drove him crazy on purpose, and then at the end, told dispatch what a great driver Mike would make. That is when I realized my instructor was doing the same thing, and I even told my instructor I thought he was just trying to get under my skin, and I wouldn't let him. It made that last week or two bearable, knowing I was going to succeed. Yea, he put me to the test and through the ringer, jacking up my sleep schedule, being abusive and unhygienic, but in the end, I passed the test, passed the exam and am the proud holder of a CDL-A license.

Thanks to all of you for the great stories, the encouragement and the continued support.

Peace

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

I am seriously impressed. You really have your head together. You are hitting the smallest of points with great clarity. Your outlook is refreshing. You are going to be one hell of a driver. Actually, you already are.

Prime better treat you right. Any company would kill to have you on their team.

Look forward to future post.

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