Currently In CDL School

Topic 16891 | Page 1

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Crawdaddy's Comment
member avatar

I have recently started CDL school on Monday. Yesterday I took my test passed and received my permit. Start Pretrip tomorrow through Tuesday and Wednesday starts driving. I have decided that I might be going with Keim TS once I finishing school they seem really hospitable and have seemed really interested in me that just as a driver but as a person. I have wanted to do flat bed or tanker but think I will do flat bed. Look forward to working hard. I hope that I will do as good as what they think I can accomplish. Seem very safety oriented. They are small compared to other companies but I enjoy that type of feel and they seem to have steady freight especially in my area. Terminal is about 2 hours away which isn't bad. Any tips on the best way to earn their trust while working to make more money? Or just tips in general for a new flat bed driver? Thanks!!

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good luck in school. Here's some advance warning I offer to dry van students:

Your "car" is now 60' long. Unless you are simply driving down a highway, do not think you just point the front end and go. You are actually driving the tandems along a safe path, and so you need to watch in the mirrors much more than in a car.

Seem very safety oriented. ... Any tips on the best way to earn their trust while working to make more money?

"Seem safety oriented"? Crawdaddy, start to live safety oriented. You most probably will get into a few minor crunches, that's to be expected. But safety needs to be on your mind from pre-trip to sign off. That will go far in earning trust. Also, simply do your job. In the beginning, do ask questions, but after a while, work to be a "dispatch it and forget it" for your dispatcher.

Good luck out there!

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".

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Crawdaddy!

Make it a priority to go through our load securement sections in the High Road Training Program. It is very important stuff for a flat bedder to learn. Hopefully Keim TS has a good program for teaching load securement, but I am just not familiar with it. I have met several of their drivers who were quite happy with their job over there.

My biggest tip would be one in how to make some money as a flat bed driver. Make sure you get to your deliveries early in the day so you can get yourself on your dispatchers list as "available." Once you start establishing a pattern of doing that they will be looking out for good loads for you each time they are expecting you to get empty. I always manage this little trick by sleeping on my customers property. The first truck in is the first truck out, and that's how you do the Hokey Pokey!

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.

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.
Crawdaddy's Comment
member avatar

Errol its not a dry van its a flatbed. What I meant by seemed is the fact that I do not know there safety policy. I mean for all I know is they could make me run over on my HOS and have me trying to run 2 logbooks. Possibly even not fix the problems that I report on the pre-trip inspection report. I am not saying that I wont live by it ,I was just going off the information I was fed by the company. I always keep safety in mind no matter what I do. I have read about companies that force their drivers do drive over there hours knowing that they are out of hours. This company didn't seem to be that way. Sorry if it sounds as though I am repeating myself. Not trying to be disrespectful either. Thanks

Good luck in school. Here's some advance warning I offer to dry van students:

Your "car" is now 60' long. Unless you are simply driving down a highway, do not think you just point the front end and go. You are actually driving the tandems along a safe path, and so you need to watch in the mirrors much more than in a car.

double-quotes-start.png

Seem very safety oriented. ... Any tips on the best way to earn their trust while working to make more money?

double-quotes-end.png

"Seem safety oriented"? Crawdaddy, start to live safety oriented. You most probably will get into a few minor crunches, that's to be expected. But safety needs to be on your mind from pre-trip to sign off. That will go far in earning trust. Also, simply do your job. In the beginning, do ask questions, but after a while, work to be a "dispatch it and forget it" for your dispatcher.

Good luck out there!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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".

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Crawdaddy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School for this tip! When you say early in the day do you mean like 0500? Is it possible to get 2 loads in a day? When is it the best time to call in dispatch to be available? Should I call like 20 miles from the freight destination to ensure that I receive a new load as soon as I drop off the one that I have, so I can turn and burn? Tell me if I am thinking wrong about this.

My biggest tip would be one in how to make some money as a flat bed driver. Make sure you get to your deliveries early in the day so you can get yourself on your dispatchers list as "available." Once you start establishing a pattern of doing that they will be looking out for good loads for you each time they are expecting you to get empty. I always manage this little trick by sleeping on my customers property. The first truck in is the first truck out, and that's how you do the Hokey Pokey!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Crawdaddy, here is a link to a Former Conversation on this subject. There are many of them in the forum, but this one comes to my memory this morning. I hope you will find it informative and helpful. You'll learn some of this stuff as you go, but as a general rule getting there first always pays off.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
Your "car" is now 60' long.

Actually closer to 73' long

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

C.D. Replies:

Errol its not a dry van its a flatbed. What I meant by seemed is the fact that I do not know there safety policy

I know you're heading for flatbed, not hauling boxes. But at Swift that's what I pull. Safety is pretty much the same, though. And I'm completely igorant about load securement on flatbeds. Old School and others can definitely fill you in on that.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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