Lesson Learned From 20 Hour Day

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Bravo Zulu's Comment
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On day 1 my trainer made it very clear that when I do something it needs to be done the exact same way, in the same order, every single time. He said "Doing it the same way will be a blessing when you are dog ass tired and it's poring down rain and you just want to go to sleep."

Fast forward 3 weeks and I am 19.5 hours into a 20 Hour Day and I am uncoupling the trailer. He comes up behind me and yells "Hey" at the top of his lungs and I don't even flinch. I finish disconnecting the glad hands and electrical and just turned and looked at him. He said, "this is what I was talking about. You walked straight past those air lines and put that landing gear down first, because that's the way we do it every time!"

There's a big difference between knowing something intellectually vs. actually living it. I'm extremely grateful to have this cantankerous old school trainer with 35 years of OTR experience. He ain't easy, but I'm learning a ton and I know I'll be ready when it's time to go solo.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Routine is paramount to safety. Unless I missed it, I haven't seen a post on the importance of routine in a while.

I pull doubles and have more connections and possible problems to worry about compared with pulling a van. Right after I was hired, I remember my linehaul manager telling me to establish a routine ASAP when hooking up and breaking down a set of doubles.

You touched on a very important step - always lower that landing gear first so as to not make the mistake of dropping a trailer.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Pianoman's Comment
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You touched on a very important step - always lower that landing gear first so as to not make the mistake of dropping a trailer.

Interesting. I do it the opposite way. Disconnect my lines, lower the landing gear, then pull the fifth wheel. If I don't pull my air lines first I tend to forget about them. On our trailers the landing gear crank and fifth wheel release are both on the passenger side so it's easy to remember to do those together.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anchorman's Comment
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If I don't pull my air lines first I tend to forget about them.

If I had to forget about one or the other, I would chose air lines. I think I would much rather snap some air lines than drop a trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bill F.'s Comment
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Would you please explain the 20 hour day?

Rick S.'s Comment
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Would you please explain the 20 hour day?

I was going to ask about that - but I didn't want to divert from the importance of the "repetition & routine becomes automatic" message.

Rick

Old School's Comment
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I can explain the 20 hour day... He's a truck driver!

LDRSHIP's Comment
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The 20hr day was my first day. I got both barrels, lol. My trainer is big on routine as well. When picking up it is gear, air lines, check 5th wheel, pre trip. When dropping off it is air lines, landing gear, 5th wheel, post trip the trailer.

I hope you have smoother days ahead Gladhand.

Tractor Man's Comment
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I can explain the 20 hour day... He's a truck driver!

And there's your answer!

rofl-3.gifsmile.gif

LDRSHIP's Comment
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Sorry I mean Bravo Zulu. That is what I get for not having coffee in the morning. The only thing I hate about sleeping at a shipper

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.

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