Safety Million Mile Goals

Topic 16044 | Page 1

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Alexander D.'s Comment
member avatar

Funding may have been freed up in this State of IL for me to attend Truckin' school. Finally might be attending 160 in Late October and so I need to study ,focus and pass those exams. Then do my research and find a job. I'm supposing I think of that first year of OTR Big Riggin' as the gauntlet. Been some talk about dings and people get fired ect.......Some where between experience, instinct and confidence I trust in God and want to make it through the first year with a gold star. So what I think is stick to 'tried and true' standard of operations, communicate often with DM , always take it slow and cautious. Always communicate intent with DM. What is some principles to adopt to make it through your first year with a %100 safety rating of OTR Rigging?

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Alexander has wisdom beyond his years of driving (which = 0 at the moment):

Instinct and confidence I trust in God and want to make it through the first year with a gold star. So what I think is stick to 'tried and true' standard of operations, communicate often with DM , always take it slow and cautious. Always communicate intent with DM. What is some principles to adopt to make it through your first year with a %100 safety rating of OTR Rigging?

This is a gold star itself! Many of the people you say "get fired" either do not pay attention to all the classes and road training they are offered, or bring their own ideas into the mix. These are the ones who get washed out then post on forums about how bad their experience was. And, if you think about it, the "failures" are really a small proportion of all the new-hires and rookies out on the road. These people are the reason Old School started the This Is How We Roll! topic - written by people who got through that gauntlet (as in "Gauntlet? What gauntlet was that?") and are now turning miles every day.

Keep that attitude, Alex, and you will be well on your way to your million miles by the time you first step SOLO into your cab.

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.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The biggest mistake rookie drivers make is getting in a hurry, especially in parking lots. They get nervous backing into a spot because they're holding people up and try to go too fast. Or maybe they're working their way around a parking lot and they're looking for open spots and they forget to check their mirrors and clip another truck as they come around the turn.

Take it slow! That's the biggie right there. Don't get in a hurry. Don't get flustered if people are waiting on you. Just relax, watch your mirrors, and move as slowly as you need to in order to get the job done safely.

On the highway the key to safety is following distance and knowing what is on all sides of you. Always keep plenty of distance in front of you and try to keep from riding alongside people as often as possible. Not only do you need enough time to get stopped if something happens in front of you but you want to keep room on either side of you so you can move over if something happens alongside you.

Rookies rarely get in big wrecks because they tend to be pretty cautious on the highways. They take the curves and the mountains slowly and they keep plenty of following distance. I'd bet 80% or more of rookie incidents happen in parking lots, and 75% of those involve backing into something.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Remind yourself of these guiding principles every day AFTER you start driving. I say that, because it is easy to get "comfortable" and let some of these things slip down the priority list. I've seen statistics that show drivers with a little more experience are involved in a significant number of accidents.

Your faith is good to lean on in difficult times and remember to give thanks in good times. Just the other day I pulled into a truck stop where there was one, yes one, parking spot left. And there were no other truck stops within the time I had left to drive.

Keep it up, Alexander. You'll do well.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I've seen statistics that show drivers with a little more experience are involved in a significant number of accidents.

That is an excellent point. People do indeed begin to get too comfortable and too confident after a little time on the road. Another fact is that a huge percentage of really bad accidents happen on clear, sunny days in nice weather and relatively light traffic. In both cases the problem is that people let their guard down.

You have to remain vigilant at all times.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Right along the lines of what Brett said, I did have an accident before I'd been solo for a full six months. Yep, it was in a truckstop and yep, I was backing. The interesting part is that I didn't actually hit anything with my trailer. I was a pretty good backer, or so I thought. I made a careless mistake and hit another truck with my front fender on my side of the truck. I was so focused on the trailer that I didn't look all around me. I was tired and in a hurry when I had the accident. Thankfully, it was pretty minor, but it still counts unfortunately. I imagine I'm not too unusual in that, when I start to build up my skill in something, like driving and backing, I start to get more confident. Unfortunately, like many others before me, as I became more confident I also grew more careless. That was my biggest mistake.

Now, whenever I am in a truckstop, terminal , customer lot, or other close quarters situation, I tell myself out loud, "Remember, you are in a high risk situation." Watch your clearances, go slow, use extra caution.

Never drive tired and don't be in a hurry. And don't be careless.

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.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I've seen statistics that show drivers with a little more experience are involved in a significant number of accidents.

double-quotes-end.png

That is an excellent point. People do indeed begin to get too comfortable and too confident after a little time on the road. Another fact is that a huge percentage of really bad accidents happen on clear, sunny days in nice weather and relatively light traffic. In both cases the problem is that people let their guard down.

You have to remain vigilant at all times.

Brett you beat me to it haha.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

It is an interesting statistic that shows the more experienced drivers being involved in the more serious accidents. I can't even tell you how many truck stop backing accidents that I have witnessed - all of them rookie drivers - this is a very common phenomenon.

Here's some photos I took this week while at a Knight terminal for some service on my truck. Here is a truck that was T-boned. I don't know if the driver was at fault, but one reason, besides over confidence, that more experienced drivers are found in that serious accident statistic is simply due to the increased percentage of exposure to the liability of it.

20160826_185701_zpsaexztzcw.jpg

Look here a little closer at what is on the side of this truck:

20160826_185712_zpsy5fvuit6.jpg

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.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Take your time in doing things. Like has been said rookies tend to panic and make things worse. If I miss a turn and am lost, no big deal. I'll pull to the side and figure things out. My first few months out I would panic and blindly follow GPS and get myself into worse situations. Same thing backing. You see traffic around you getting backed up, as a new driver you start getting anxious and frustrated and the possibility of making a big mistake increases exponentially. Now, no problem I get out and look and take my time. Everyone else can wait.

Reduce your exposure to risk whenever possible. Windy mountain road or construction zone and some idiot wants to hang out next to you, back off the throttle and get behind them. Drive defensively and anticipate what other people are going to do.

Stay vigilant, as OS posted even for a million miler it can all change tomorrow. As people get more experience they tend to let their guard down as their self-confidence increases. Self-confidence is good, and every aspect of this job gets easier with experience, but don't become complacent.

It still takes a bit of luck. I'm sure everyone that drives long enough will have close calls. Sometimes things just don't go your way.

I'll bet some of those million milers would have a story or two to tell if you got them drunk enough.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

It's good to have goals, but don't be too hard on yourself if you do hit something in the beginning. One girl from my class was so determined for the million miles that 4 mos solo when she scraped a trailer... and I mean no breach of reefer... road assist told her to put duct tape on it and get going.... she freaked and said she can't do this and ruined her chances for the million miles.

That to me was pointless.. and we are kinda expected to screw up the first year. If it was easy they would expect us to handle everything in a couple days or weeks.

My point is to set new goals when you mess up. I was told I had the best driving score the week of my test, yet my first month solo... I hit something.. at a truck stop... not turning wide enough and got distracted.

The other thing is that so many people come into trucking and decide it isn't for them or don't want the OTR time away from home. Getting a million miles is gonna take what.. 8 to 10 years depending on you average miles? Are u in the same place you were 10 years ago?

Good luck. I just don't want people to get disappointed in themselevs . Good attitude is great and will get u everywhere.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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