On My Own & Driving Solo

Topic 16523 | Page 1

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Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

And not just a little afraid.

My husband has to stay home due to yet another family emergency. Everytime we get things settled at home, something else happens, and it's never something that can be handled from the road. The first time, our daughter was abandoned by her guardian, this last time his brother was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Broken collar bone, 2 broken ribs, and when we came home Friday he wasn't breathing well so we took him right to the ER. They kept him in, did some tests, and found a blood clot in his lung. Needless to say, we are afraid to leave him alone, so Daryl is staying home until it's safe to do so.

And I'm going solo.

I still can't back the truck. It's getting cold in the mountains and I'm terrified of hitting ice, especially at night. I know I can do this, and maybe I'll finally learn to back up, but I'm honestly scared.

Since I prefer to face fears, I called my DM this morning to let him choose whether to wait for us to be able to go out as a team, team me with another driver for a few weeks, or run me solo. He chose solo and I had a run ten minutes later. No running away now lol. I leave tomorrow morning to pick up in Lodi, and drop in Kokomo on Monday morning.

Pray for the others on the road lol.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Hey Phoenix, those are great loads you're getting! You can't do those kind of loads on eight and half hour days. Just run 'em as hard as you can and if it screws up your re-caps, take a well deserved 34 hour break somewhere. Running solo is just different and you'll have to figure out what works best for you.

Here's a tip that will help both you and your dispatcher. Try your best to keep up with how your hours are being used. Learn to realize a few days ahead when you will be out of hours. That way you can give your dispatcher a "heads up" message a few days in advance of needing to take your 34 hour break. This will help your dispatcher know how to plan properly for you.

I pretty much run like that and I'll catch up on much needed rest and undone tasks like laundry or grocery shopping while on my 34.

It helps at first to write down in a notebook how many on duty/driving hours you've used up at the end of your shift each day. Keep a running total going and count ahead so that you know when you're going to run out of legal driving hours. That way you can tell your driver manager a day or two in advance, "Hey, when I MT out this load I need to find a good truck stop so that I can take a 34 hour break and reset my clock. I'll send you an updated PTA once I get settled in for my break."

I also run on re-caps at times, but as a solo driver getting long hauls with tight time frames you have to manage your clock in a way that may include taking those 34 hour resets at times.

I actually prefer running full steam ahead and getting in a 34 hour break each week. I enjoy the break, catch up on things that need to be done, and it keeps me fresh to really work hard when I'm working.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Phoenix, you can do this! I have every confidence in you.

Just remember when you are backing to take it very slow, and remember there is no shame in Getting out to look. Don't let others rush you. I'll bet you are going to do better than you thought you would.

Try to focus and not let the things that are happening at home be too much of a distraction for you. They are depending on you now, and you've got to take care of your business so that they can have some financial support from you, and so that you can take care of your contract with C.R. England. It's time to pull up those big girl pants and show everybody what you're made of. We are all your friends here, and we will do what ever we can to help you. Don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out to us if you need some help.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Stay safe, be careful. Take your time. Hope all gets well at home quickly.

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Just remember if it's bad outside snow, ice or just raining and wet.....slow things down a little, give yourself bigger cushion between vehicles, especially in front. Back up sloooowly with small wheel adjustments at a time. GOAL a minimum 3 times. You can achieve this

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

If its snow go real slow...if its ice no dice. Shut it down.

When backing go slow GOAL and even ask other drivers for guidance. Don't let anyone rush you.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I never hesitated to ask other drivers to help spot me when i was a brand new solo driver.

Go slow, goal as much as necessary. I also found it helpful to slide my tandems back first, providing there was enough room to do so because your trailer wont swing so much and youll have more control over where it goes. I also lean out the window and watch where im headed directly because the mirrors can distort things.

You can do this!

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".

Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

What i did when i was starting out was to take loads as early as i could in the morning at 4 or 5 am. that way you shut down when parking lots aren't full.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

You got this!

Old School hit the nail on the head, as usual:

Try to focus and not let the things that are happening at home be too much of a distraction for you.

A couple months ago when I was so stressed out and tired, I had to distance myself from some issues I was having at home. Once I did that, I really started to improve mentally and physically and perform better at work.

Everyone here knows you're going to do great!

good-luck.gif

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Thank you, everyone! I'm pretty big on safety, even taught my daughters 1st rule of play is safety first.

My embarrassment/shame lies in not being a proficient backer upper after seven months driving. My husband likes to spoil me. Now I face the consequences of allowing him to do so. *Shrug* kinda serves me right.

It's comforting to know I have support here, though. At least when I have service haha. So again...thank you. Y'all are truly the greatest!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

An uneventful first day solo. Haven't had to back up yet though. :-) Almost to WY and thankfully the weather has been pleasant.

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