Rough First Week Solo!

Topic 16487 | Page 1

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Kat's Comment
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I left with my first load out of Springfield headed to McDonough, GA last Saturday. Everything went great except for the fact that I had a really hard time finding a place to park at 4am. When I got to my 90, I had a moment of panic where I set up wrong to back into a parking spot to wait for a door, but thankfully another Prime driver got out and helped me. Once I calmed down, backing into the dock was easy. Left there, dropped my empty in Newnan and headed to Columbus for a day at home. While I was there...Monday...low hanging branches caught my CB antenna and broke it. Thus a message to dispatch and my first accident report. Deemed not preventable, I felt slightly better.

Finished my home time, picked my empty back up and headed toward my next load's 01. Since it was going to be another late night, I decided to give Walmart parking a try. Everything would have been fine had I just pulled in and parked. Instead, I decided that I needed to turn the truck around so that I would be parked facing the way I needed to pull out because it would surely be busier in the morning...right? In the process of doing that and trying not to hit any parked cars, I ran over a small tree in one of the medians with the trailer, scratching it up pretty good and rippling the bottom rail. The worst part is that I didn't feel it and didn't notice, so the next morning, Walmart management woke me up with the news saying they had me on video and there were witnesses. Two hours later, after tears and messages/phone calls to dispatch and safety, it was resolved and I was on my way again...this time back to Springfield to speak to people in person and terrified I was going to be fired.

Everyone was actually really nice about it, much to my relief. My next adventure was bob tailing all the way from Springfield to Aurora, IL to grab an empty and position myself for a decent load. Things were perfect until I stopped for fuel and had all kinds of issues with comdata. Finally got all that to work, fuel up, go to get in my truck...and I'm locked out. My cell phone was inside too. Long story short, the lady inside the Pilot wasn't too keen on being helpful, so I ended up waiting for another Prime driver to come along.

About an hour later, I got lucky and was able to use his QC to contact road assist. Got a locksmith to let me back in my truck and was back on the road. My current load brought me to Edwardsville, IL for a drop/hook at Hershey. Had a 13:30 appt and was early only to be told that Hershey isn't releasing that load until tomorrow morning at the earliest.... So now I sit. I've been here for five hours waiting for Prime to figure out what they want me to do. Last week my paycheck was negative and this week isn't looking much better now that I am stuck.

It's been a really rough rookie start, but I'm still having a good time, trying to laugh at my mishaps and trying not to let my errors get the best of me. On a good note, my backing skills are better than I thought. Had a tight wash out place where you have to pull around the side of the building and then back up into a space to line up with the bay. The guy said I did a great job for a rookie and talked some smack about some CRST drivers that he's had to back their trucks up for. LOL I hope as time goes on things will get a little easier.

Sambo's Comment
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Way to keep your chin up. Just grow with it and be watchful and everything will be fine.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Ouch! Too much to reply to. I can help you with 1 thing. Get an extra key made and use a zip tie and fasten it somewhere under the hood. There are lots of options where it will not be in plain sight. Hell, most drivers I see never open their OWN hood.

shocked.pngrofl-3.gif

Kat's Comment
member avatar

Ouch! Too much to reply to. I can help you with 1 thing. Get an extra key made and use a zip tie and fasten it somewhere under the hood. There are lots of options where it will not be in plain sight. Hell, most drivers I see never open their OWN hood.

shocked.pngrofl-3.gif

That is a GREAT idea, Tractor Man! I do have spare keys and zip ties. Spare keys don't do much good when they are locked in the truck. LOL I felt so sorry for my dispatcher. I hope he knows that I'm really not an idiot, although there is evidence to the contrary. confused.gif

Dispatcher:

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

You will be just fine. One word. FOCUS

smile.gif

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Look on the bright side, you won't do those things again. I think you were just trying to get all your rookie screw ups out of the way quickly. lol. rofl-1.gifrofl-3.gifrofl-2.gif Good luck. Stay safe.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I don't want to admit how many times my hidden key has saved the day.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Kat, maybe everything you did makes you either worry about keeping your job, or at least want to pull your hair out. But that first week terror happens to everybody. I know you'll never ever do the things that caused property damage again. That's one reason the Springfield people were so nice.

Some observations:

You will never feel nor hear the crunches and scrapes caused by the trailer tandems. Use the convex mirrors on each side and watch your tandems as you pull through a turn.

I have three ignition keys. One is always in the ignition, one is on my pocket (or you can tie one to some part of your clothes or shoes), and one is on my own car/house keyring.

Never lock the truck door before you close it. Just don't do that. Since you have a key in the ignition, use your pocket key to lock the door from the outside.

Most large cities do not have good truck parking in the urban core. I get to McDonough often. Forget about finding a spot between there and Atlanta. There's a Petro on Atlanta's west side, on 285, but they want $20 for parking. The best, closest truck stop parking south is in Jackson. (A secret: some of the side streets south of GA-155 have good, quiet street parking. But no restrooms and no coffee till you get to the QT Mart.) Atlanta is my example for you, but any other city will be similar.

All the other little junk, like backing and ComData will come around. Good luck!

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".

Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Keep your eyes on your tandems

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".

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Amen brother

I don't want to admit how many times my hidden key has saved the day.

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.
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