My Training Diary....

Topic 19053 | Page 1

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Victor C. II's Comment
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So this will be the beginning of my diary. So I began my orientation, on April 3,2017 and ended on April 5,2017. I learned way more than I thought I would have in 3 days and when they say that you will not remember everything, YOU WILL NOT, REMEMBER! Lol, there is so much info that I could not possibly keep all of that info in without it being reconfirmed by repetition. I learned about logs and how to manage them, I learned about the Qualcomm and that you have lots of macros to put in the Qualcomm to let dispatch know that your loaded, unloaded, going to be late etc. I honestly did not know just how much information was in trucking but thank God for TT.

If it was not for Trucking Truth, I don't know if I would have been prepared. Well I still have a lot to learn and have learned a lot.

Well that's all for right now😁.

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Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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What company are you with?

Pete B.'s Comment
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Big Scott, pretty sure it's Swift; his photo does not appear to be a stock photo, and on the General Forum Victor referenced this diary and "Swift notes;" not sure what they are, but sound like part of the Swift program.

Good luck Victor, looking forward to reading about your success with orientation and getting out there solo!

Victor C. II's Comment
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Thanks Pete B. Yes it is Swift I am employed with. Now I am waiting to get a call from my driver development person to let me know I have a mentor to go out with.

So to answer your question Big Scott, yes I am employed with Swift! Very excited and I can see where they have a great training program. They make it a lot of fun.

G-Town's Comment
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Victor...Let me know if you need any help through your training...I know you are nervous as he** right now. Been there. Couple of thoughts...not to overload you, but I know you have some time on your hands...

Your Driver Development Manager (DDM) is your number one Swift advocate and who you ultimately report to during training. Make sure you have their phone numbers and direct messaging ID accessible through the messaging section (Macros) of the Qualcomm (QC). Call them every day for status of getting your Mentor assignment. Be really nice about it...they are very busy. Don't let them forget about you...it unfortunately does happen.

Your Mentor...try your very best to understand them and their expectations of you. Be respectful and professional, it's their house, their rules. You are there as a guest. In return make sure you clearly articulate your basic expectations of training to them. Write it down ahead of time if need-be. Openly communicate. Test this before you leave the terminal. Don't be chatty, make it an important lead-in discussion. Make an exhaustive effort to work out issues with them before requesting a DDM intervention. Basic stuff, like lack of hygiene and lack of showering should not be tolerated for too long. Insist on a shower every other day. Use body wipes on the off-days. Trust me as the summer approaches, and you go for 3-4 days without a shower, the cows will moo and chase you when you drive by them.

Request that your Mentor correlates your paper-log sheet, with all of the available tabs in the e-log part of the QC system. It will expedite the overall understanding of HOS and e-logs. One gotcha to be aware of...the Load Tab. Understand what it's for and how and when to update it. It's not automatically filled in and updated. Forgettable. A very easy revenue stream for DOT if it is missing or not up-to-date.

Once under dispatch, learn how to "look-ahead" on the route when using Navi-Go, the integrated QC GPS system. This will help you trip-plan and anticipate issues by comparing the electronic route with the RM Road Atlas. Will give you a visual picture of where you are going. Use a yellow sticky note and jot down the route you plan to cover in a given day and post it where you can see it, like the lower edge of the QC. Get into a habit of doing this...and avoid total dependence and reliance on the Navi-Go. I loose telemetry at least once per day for 5-10 minutes. Be prepared.

Never allow anyone or anything to rush you. NEVER! Take your time!

Jake-Brake use...incredibly important for controlling a loaded truck. Every day the Mentor should be re-emphasizing it's use and proper application.

Do not skip or abbreviate the PTI. If your Mentor is rushing you, be firm, but nice, don't allow it. No need to call things out, but 20 minutes is all you should need to get it done visually.

Backing...emphasis should also be placed on the set-up. The set-up if done correctly, should reduce the difficulty of the actual back. My guess, very little time was spent in your school discussing this, or practicing it. Once you understand how-to setup, backing will become second nature to you. I back 1500 times or more per year. I don't think about it much, it clicks. Every setup is key though, and even at the same stores (Walmart & Sam's) I have been delivering to for years, depending on the dock and where trailers are spotted, each setup is somewhat unique. Get the setup wrong and backing suddenly becomes this trial and error pain in the butt, wasting time. Setup at a truck stop (the bane of a rookie's existence) for backing into an open hole, is incredibly important. If you setup right even at a tight truck stop, the backing will be easier and less risky. No kidding, I can tell the difference between a rookie driver and an experienced hand instantly by the way they setup before they even throw the truck in reverse. Begin to learn this skill now.

G.O.A.L. is not just for backing... It applies to any situation requiring a set of eyeballs to confirm safe operation and maneuvering. Including when you are getting under a trailer. One of the top three rookie mistakes; over riding the fifth wheel (trailer too high), or under cutting the fifth-wheel (trailer too low) and dropping a trailer (not positively coupled). Even now I usually GOAL before backing completely under a trailer and will adjust the height up or down to ensure a positive coupling. Sometimes I will dump the airbags lowering the tractor to get under a trailer set too low and re-introduce the air as I am easing under it. Initially don't do this without supervision. Easy to screw it up. Anyway, back under the trailer with your window partially down, you'll hear the lock engage around the king-pin, "ker-thunk". Make 2 quick tugs, set brakes, shut-off the motor. GOAL again to make sure you can see the lock across/behind the kingpin, no gap between the fifth-wheel and upper coupler (bottom of trailer surrounding the kingpin) and the puller bar is recessed and not sticking out. If it doesn't look right, release and pull out. Adjust the trailer height (crank the landing gear) if need be.

Other stuff, but that's enough for now. Own your training Victor. It's your time, make the most of it. Good luck and be safe...!!!

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Big T's Comment
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Solid advice

Victor C. II's Comment
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I will make the most of that advice G-Town and yes I will make sure to come to you for help. I do have a question, what is the load tab? I have only learned about the macros.

Request that your Mentor correlates your paper-log sheet, with all of the available tabs in the e-log part of the QC system.

What does that mean exactly? Sorry I am not the best with definitions. I am sure I will come up with more questions.

So an update really quickly is that I am headed out tomorrow evening. So yeah I will have a lot of time on my hands but I am soooooo excited.shocked.pngsmile.gif

G-Town's Comment
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I will make the most of that advice G-Town and yes I will make sure to come to you for help. I do have a question, what is the load tab? I have only learned about the macros.

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Request that your Mentor correlates your paper-log sheet, with all of the available tabs in the e-log part of the QC system.

double-quotes-end.png

What does that mean exactly? Sorry I am not the best with definitions. I am sure I will come up with more questions.

So an update really quickly is that I am headed out tomorrow evening. So yeah I will have a lot of time on my hands but I am soooooo excited.shocked.pngsmile.gif

E-logs are an electronic version of paper logs. You'll be working with both.

Load tab is basically the electronic version of the top line of the paper log. Trip #, bill of lading and trailer #.

Victor C. II's Comment
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Ok thanks and I will ask that of him. I definitely don't want that to be a revenue for DOT.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

I am on the mentors truck now and I am getting ready to go from Richmond, Virginia to PA and then from there to Hershey PA to Utah! I will be driving from Hershey! Thanks and I will keep you posted!

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