Noticed Something

Topic 18980 | Page 1

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Gladhand's Comment
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I am noticing my stress levels drop when I make a mistake. It's easy as a rookie to freak about something small such as missing a turn or messing up a back. It's so easy to get stressed but as I got more experience I dont get bothered by little mistakes. As long as I didn't hit anybody or anything I am doing ok.

Same with running loads, when I am calm and don't worry I am always on time. When I try to rush it always leads to me getting myself into some trouble.

A word of advice to new drivers that cannot be stressed enough is to take your time. We are delivering freight not heart transplants. If you are late do your part and let the company know. Be safe and keep the shiny side up!

Ryan R.'s Comment
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Taking the wrong turn is actually something that worries me a lot. For example, I was driving through a new area a few weeks ago, and my GPS was telling me to turn left at some specific street, but I had to dedicate to the left turn before I, or anyone, could see the signs that labeled the streets. (It's great dimwits design roads.) So I took a left into the left turning lane, and got stuck in a solid white line, only to discover that it was a left turn into a school.

I realized the dilemma I'd be in if I were in a tractor trailer. At that point I'd either have to break the law and cross over a solid line, or take the left turn and get stuck in school, where there is no way I'd fit in the turn about.

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

I am noticing my stress levels drop when I make a mistake. It's easy as a rookie to freak about something small such as missing a turn or messing up a back. It's so easy to get stressed but as I got more experience I dont get bothered by little mistakes. As long as I didn't hit anybody or anything I am doing ok.

Same with running loads, when I am calm and don't worry I am always on time. When I try to rush it always leads to me getting myself into some trouble.

A word of advice to new drivers that cannot be stressed enough is to take your time. We are delivering freight not heart transplants. If you are late do your part and let the company know. Be safe and keep the shiny side up!

I know exactly what you mean. That's good advice. I used to get mad at myself and stress over things, especially if i was just staying on schedule. Now i tell myself that there's nothing to do except continue to drive safely and get there when i get there.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Very well said Gladhand.

As long as I didn't hit anybody or anything I am doing ok.

That's exactly it. That's our "Golden Rule" for rookies right there - don't hit anything. That should always be the primary focus. Everything else is mostly trivial details.

And think about it, if you never moved any faster than 1 mph in a parking lot and you never backed up more than 10 feet at a time without getting out to look, who would ever hit anything in a parking lot? It would almost never happen.

And that's where most rookies make their mistakes. Rookies don't tend to be the ones involved in these gigantic, fiery wrecks that leave truck parts and body parts all over the highway. Rookies tend to take it slow, keep a lot of room around them, and be conservative on the highway.

It's in parking lots where they get nervous and start rushing things. Now they have the eyes of all of the other truckers on them while they're trying to get backed into a spot at a truck stop or distribution center. And no one wants to hold anyone else up or look like a clumsy knucklehead in front of their peers. So we tend to get rushed, make a few assumptions, get distracted by the wrong things, and bump into something while backing up or coming around a tight corner in a tight parking lot.

Take your time and don't hit anything. It sounds obvious, and it is, but at the same time what isn't obvious is how easily we can get distracted by other things that suddenly become the focus of our attention instead.

It's tough. You really have to swallow your pride, accept that you're going to look like a clumsy rookie getting backed into tight spots or trying to maneuver around tight places, and accept it. That's perfectly fine. Every last one of us has endured it. No one gets a free pass, no one 'just knows' how to drive a truck.

As long as you don't hit anything you'll be ok. Everyone repeat that 100 times each morning when you wake up, and ten times more whenever you're pulling into a parking lot.

smile.gif

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Another one that worries me a lot is the idea of getting stuck where I can't fit under a bridge or low hanging wires, with a ton of traffic behind me, so I can't even back up. It seems very plausible, just like being forced into being dedicated to a wrong turn before I can identify what the turn is.

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Proper trip planning and scouting on satellite views avoids a lot of that. Rest assured, you will miss a turn or "get lost" at some point though.

New folks tend to panic and stop making good decisions. With more experience you will have a good idea what to do, or at least the self-confidence to pull the brake, hit the four ways, and figure out your next move. People honking doesn't bother me anymore.

Bob H.'s Comment
member avatar
Same with running loads, when I am calm and don't worry I am always on time. When I try to rush it always leads to me getting myself into some trouble.

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

― Lewis Carroll

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Taking the wrong turn is actually something that worries me a lot. For example, I was driving through a new area a few weeks ago, and my GPS was telling me to turn left at some specific street, but I had to dedicate to the left turn before I, or anyone, could see the signs that labeled the streets. (It's great dimwits design roads.) So I took a left into the left turning lane, and got stuck in a solid white line, only to discover that it was a left turn into a school.

I realized the dilemma I'd be in if I were in a tractor trailer. At that point I'd either have to break the law and cross over a solid line, or take the left turn and get stuck in school, where there is no way I'd fit in the turn about.

It happens...you may have planned your route out so well you even know what lane you're supposed be in at all times, and then you end up having to take a detour because of a huge wreck blocking traffic. But most of the time wrong turns are pretty easy to avoid by just good trip planning. If you do get stuck, like Matt said, just put on your flashers and pull the brake. It's obviously better to pull over first if you can, but there have been a few times I've had to stop right where I was in the middle of the road blocking traffic. If you're really stuck just call the police--it may seem embarrassing but it's much less embarrassing than getting caught on wires and taking down some telephone poles.

Personally, if I had to make a choice between turning in to the school or crossing the solid white line, I'd definitely cross the solid white line. Sometimes it's just what you have to do.

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