My CDL Training Diary With Prime Inc

Topic 19116 | Page 7

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Paul F. 's Comment
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Thanks Anthony, be safe out there,

Han Solo Cup's Comment
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These "Paul" replies always throw me for a loop. My name is Paul and I'm always reading these like "When did I mention that? Oh wait, there's two other Pauls in the forum." Haha

Paul F. 's Comment
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I've been approved for upgrade. We finish this load, then go from Ohio to Connecticut, then (I hope) deadhead to pitston so I can upgrade on Sunday

I got a critical event yesterday it was a hard braking event. I got off the highway and had to move to the left lane. I signaled, checked my mirrors, and when I looked up the light was yellow so I stopped hard. I'll have to speak to safety about it, but after speaking with my DM , was approved for upgrade. I was told I may have to endure additional training as a result but that's not the case thankfully. If I had to, it would have left a very bad taste in my mouth. It would mean they valued avoiding critical events more than safe driving. The roads were dry, and I felt (without thinking, just driving instinct) it was safer to stop than to continue through a yellow light with a 70 foot vehicle, that I was uncertain how long it had been yellow. My trainer told me I had handlers itroperly. I explained myself, without being belligerent or confrontational. I prayed I was not going to be given an additional 10,000 miles ESPECIALLY since it occurred after I achieved enough miles, but due to timing she was unable to get me to upgrade before the weekend, so we got additional loads.

My next post in all likelihood will be from a "rookie solo driver".

Woot woot!!!🎉🎊🎂🎼🎉🎊🎂😂


To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.


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.
Paul F. 's Comment
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Thank you all for your motivational comments. I hope I can be as good a citizen here, that most have proven to be.

I've read most of the articles and the weekend dispatch email links.

This site has helped me to get where I am in this process.

Thank you Brett.

My only beef is that you took down my "nickname/handle" regarding sitting apparatus royalty 😜

Paul F. 's Comment
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I'm on my first solo dispatch

G-Town's Comment
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I'm on my first solo dispatch


Best wishes for success and safe travels.

Paul F. 's Comment
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Thank you g town.

Today did not go as well as planned, but it could've been far worse.

The day started with me locking my keys in my truck. Luckily I was at the terminal and they had one for me. Then they didn't have a trailer for me so I had to bobtail 40 miles in the opposite direction to pick one up. (And 40 back to square one). The trailer I picked up was in a dirt lot so there's now dirt from my feet on the floor of my freshly detailed truck. I had to find a washout, because of course the trailer was filthy. I got there and had to wait over 30 minutes because they had one Bay and the truck in front of me had flower leaves and paler fragments galore. Sweep, pressure wash all sooooooo slowly. Unneventfull drive to the shipper BUT when I got my used truck I was pleased to see 2 load locks I now don't have to buy them. I dropped my trailer then hooked up to the loaded one. Went inside the trailer to put up the load locks, BUT THEY WERE BOTH BROKEN. The guy said it was ok if I assumed responsibility for the celery, I did not so I had to unhook, bobtail to the pilot (thankfully it was less than a mile, and buy 2. (Cheaper than the company store, but by now even my off duty was eating into my drive time. I have to drive from Schenectady to elasabeth NJ in 3:09. I can make it, it's about 180 miles.

I made it to the receiver violating my clock by 9 minutes. Now there's about 7003 trucks there so I have to wait. I'll get some sleep, unload off duty, and can roll again by about 10:00 am.

I said it could have been worse, but I had hoped it would go better.

Rinse and repeat

Oh, I got into a fight with my wife on the phone too. Stupid 💩, but ain't it always?


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


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.


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.

Paul F. 's Comment
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But before I slep I have to take the plastic off the granite hard mattress, make up my bunk, and try to sleep with dozens of trucks idling around me. Waiting for the call from them to tell me they're ready.

Paul F. 's Comment
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I’ve been lax keeping up with this diary, but I’ve been busy.

Holy cow what a whirlwind it’s been.

If anyone doubts what the people here say about trucking, DONT. The things I’ve been told are spot on 100% accurate.

I’ve learned more about trucking AFTER I went solo than I ever did in school.

After I went solo, I thought I’d not had enough practice backing, and was nervous every time. Now I have no one to advise me on how to set myself up for backing in. So I look, think, and when I can, watch the other experienced drivers do the thing when I feel uncertain. However that uncertainty is far less common now than when I first started. I look at it and are backing in without having those OMG moments. I look at it and think to myself I got this. I’m not saying this from arrogance, but from newly found confidence. I’ve backed into some very tight places since going solo, and every time I do, I let out a breath, and think to myself, “ok, I CAN do this job”. I’m still, and expect I always will, utilize the GOAL option. I’ve done the GOAL even when I’m CERTIAN I’m good, and often enough, my certainty was wrong and had I backed 6 more inches, I’d have backed into something I didn’t want to.

I’ve made some mistakes. I did damage 2 trailers slightly, and someone else’s truck, and frankly I hate that I did that BUT I’ve learned from those mistakes and have not repeated them. So they were good mistakes, because I learned. I’ve made wrong turns and had to figure out a way to turn around, once in a construction site where they were building condos. WHYBTHE HECK IS A REFER COMING DOWN A DIRT ROAD INTO A CONSTRUCTION SITE?!?! I got that bad boy turned around and got myself outa there, only losing about 20 min of my clock, and a little pride.

I’ve learned that a phone call to the receiver can make a world of difference, I’ve learned that my dispatcher , although I don’t feel he’s the best one out there, and has made some mistakes with me. Is doing his job, and we get along well, and if I ask for time, I can get it. Partly because he is a good guy and partly because I’m flexible. He’s changed my dispach in the middle and I had to change my home time to accommodate it. I did, he appreciated it. And we work together to get this thing done. I’ve also never been late, due to my actions. (A couple of 5 minute late deliveries due to unexpected traffic, or a wrong turn but that’s it.) if I’m late, it’s because they load me late, not my fault. And I keep the lines of communication open with him.

“Glenn, if they don’t have my loaded in an hour or so, I won’t be able to make my appointment time.” Pretty easy, then I go to my bunk and nap until loaded.

I once got a run where I had to tell him I didn’t feel I had enough clock to do it. We discussed it and he found some inefficiencies in my logging and we got back enough time to make the run. (Still learning that part too, I’m not too bad but without a doubt could be better).

My trip planning game is going to have to step up in December. We lost the dedicated account I’ve been doing, so I don’t know where I’ll be almost every night anymore. I’ve come so far in a relatively short time, I know I’ll get the other things too, sure I’ll make mistakes, but not twice the same mistake.

I’ll conclude sort of where I started.

The advice and knowledge I’ve gotten here had been spot on perfect, and 100% accurate, and I’d like to thank you all for sharing that with all of us noobs, rookie solo drivers, and students.

Bravo to you all for keeping this place, somewhere we can go to comfortably ask a question, knowing we will not be mocked or made to feel inadequate because of our ignorance, and know we will get a good answer, or several, to our questions.

Thank you.


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.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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Paul offers this observation:

I’ve learned more about trucking AFTER I went solo than I ever did in school.

Totally 100% true and the reason why the first year is all about learning how to operate efficiently and safely.

Best wishes for continued success.

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