Almost There, But...

Topic 19184 | Page 1

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Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

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.
John P.'s Comment
member avatar

NOT sure if it the correct thing to do but if it your last week keep your head Down, an wen your on your own do what you Think is best for you an the Company your with ,,

I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

You do just what you're doing. Stay the course, learn what you can from your trainer, and then you can be captain of your own 40 ton land yacht when you're done with the training.

That is just the way it works out here. It frustrates every new person coming into this industry, including myself. The time period where you will learn the most about this career, and about yourself is fast approaching. Your first three months solo are going to feel like a crash course in reality, and there will be days when you want to crawl in a corner and break down crying. This is the real test of your resolve and your ability to make it out here. I know it seems convoluted but I'm convinced that if it's not by design, then it is by an evolutionary process that has successfully resulted in separating out the folks who have the right approach and temperament for this lifestyle.

Hang in there, the best training is yet to come, and it will be self induced!

Best of luck to ya Kirk! If you made it this far, you've got this!

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

Yea well that's my plan so far, just keep my head down and get through it and then when I get my own truck I'll be perfectly content. I think maybe it's my military mindset that's getting the best of me, being told how to do something and then doing it exactly that way pretty much all the time, ya know? And then being told that I should do it this way instead when not even a week ago at orientation they told me a different way to do something just kind of blew my mind lol, but it's ok. I'll make it, just kind of wanted to share my experience with you guys and see what you think and thanks for your input!

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

Just a few more days? You got this!! Do your best to just roll with the punches and get through your training so you can get your own truck. Don't worry if you don't know how to do everything when you get out on your own--none of us did.

As far as the different driving methods and techniques you've been taught so far, do what is safe above all else. For example, if your trainer wants you to tailgate before passing someone, don't do it because it's not safe. As far as coasting through turns...eh...let's just say there's more than one way to skin a cat. Personally, I don't like to coast through turns and technically you really should be in gear, but that's not a huge safety issue in my opinion as long as you are in control of the vehicle. The argument is that if you aren't in gear, you aren't in control of your vehicle. So, if you're going to coast around turns, that's fine, but don't put her in neutral--leave the truck in gear and push in the clutch to coast. Again, the main thing here is to control the vehicle--whatever you have to do to achieve control, even if it's not "conventional," is the safe and proper way to do things.

You also mentioned logging. The right and proper way to log is to log what you do. That said, "being awake" does not consititute being On Duty. Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but when team driving I believe you can legally sit up in the front Off Duty for two consecutive hours immediately following or preceding eight consecutive hours in the sleeper. Technically the rest of has to be On Duty. Not gonna lie, I broke this rule all the time in training because I enjoyed sitting in the front watching the scenery when my trainer was driving. Also when driving otr , I usually logged 10-15 minutes On Duty when I arrived at a customer and switched to Sleeper until about 10-15 minutes before I was going to leave. If I had stayed in the sleeper the whole time I was at the customer this would have been totally legal, but in reality I was actually backing into docks and taking paperwork in, planning my next trip, etc. So yeah, I "worked the clock" alot.

The important thing to remember is that the clock is there for your protection and for the protection of others on the road. If your trainer is requiring you to get up several hours before you drive and then having you drive a full shift, go ahead and log On Duty. That way you start your 14 hr clock so you don't still have available hours way past the point where you're tired. Once you're out of hours, you can't legally drive and no one can make you. If you're required to observe or study before you start driving, technically you should be logged On Duty for that. On the flip side, if you are getting up way before your driving shift starts just because you want to and then complaining you are falling asleep at the wheel, you simply need to manage your time better and not get up until it's almost time to drive.

Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I'm on my last week of riding with my trainer but I've got to say it's been pretty frustrating.

Here's why...

Go to CDL School and learn how to drive

Go to orientation with my company and get told a slightly different way to drive and how to tarp and strap loads (flatbed)

Get with trainer and throw everything out the window and get told another way to drive and use straps etc.

Like being told to coast through turns in neutral and select a gear afterwards which I know is wrong. Or being put on the clock later in the day after I've been up for hours, which I'm pretty sure he does so I can drive after he can't and in order to get to our receivers faster or earlier and get more loads. Or the few loads that were suppose to be tarped but we didn't tarp. What's a trainee, fresh to a company to do? A few more days and I'm done...any thoughts?

double-quotes-end.png

Just a few more days? You got this!! Do your best to just roll with the punches and get through your training so you can get your own truck. Don't worry if you don't know how to do everything when you get out on your own--none of us did.

As far as the different driving methods and techniques you've been taught so far, do what is safe above all else. For example, if your trainer wants you to tailgate before passing someone, don't do it because it's not safe. As far as coasting through turns...eh...let's just say there's more than one way to skin a cat. Personally, I don't like to coast through turns and technically you really should be in gear, but that's not a huge safety issue in my opinion as long as you are in control of the vehicle. The argument is that if you aren't in gear, you aren't in control of your vehicle. So, if you're going to coast around turns, that's fine, but don't put her in neutral--leave the truck in gear and push in the clutch to coast. Again, the main thing here is to control the vehicle--whatever you have to do to achieve control, even if it's not "conventional," is the safe and proper way to do things.

You also mentioned logging. The right and proper way to log is to log what you do. That said, "being awake" does not consititute being On Duty. Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but when team driving I believe you can legally sit up in the front Off Duty for two consecutive hours immediately following or preceding eight consecutive hours in the sleeper. Technically the rest of has to be On Duty. Not gonna lie, I broke this rule all the time in training because I enjoyed sitting in the front watching the scenery when my trainer was driving. Also when driving otr , I usually logged 10-15 minutes On Duty when I arrived at a customer and switched to Sleeper until about 10-15 minutes before I was going to leave. If I had stayed in the sleeper the whole time I was at the customer this would have been totally legal, but in reality I was actually backing into docks and taking paperwork in, planning my next trip, etc. So yeah, I "worked the clock" alot.

The important thing to remember is that the clock is there for your protection and for the protection of others on the road. If your trainer is requiring you to get up several hours before you drive and then having you drive a full shift, go ahead and log On Duty. That way you start your 14 hr clock so you don't still have available hours way past the point where you're tired. Once you're out of hours, you can't legally drive and no one can make you. If you're required to observe or study before you start driving, technically you should be logged On Duty for that. On the flip side, if you are getting up way before your driving shift starts just because you want to and then complaining you are falling asleep at the wheel, you simply need to manage your time better and not get up until it's almost time to drive.

Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck

I get what you're saying, but the thing is we are not suppose to be opperating as a team. We should both be on and off at the same times. But I'll give you today as an example. Both wake up at around 7 and he drives a few miles down to the shipper and we get loaded for an hour or so, he drives us to the receiver about 3 hours or so away and we unload for an hour or so. It's about noon and then he switches me over to on duty not driving so my 14 hour clock is now ticking. We go to get our next load took a couple of hours with strapping and tarping and we start heading towards our next drop which is about 7 hours, he drove one of those hours and then we switched and I drove the rest which was about 6 hours, get into the truck stop at about 11:30 at night. So I was basically up and working, learning, training for 16 to 17 hours on duty, but only drove 6 hours.

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.

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.

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

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar
I get what you're saying, but the thing is we are not suppose to be opperating as a team. We should both be on and off at the same times. But I'll give you today as an example. Both wake up at around 7 and he drives a few miles down to the shipper and we get loaded for an hour or so, he drives us to the receiver about 3 hours or so away and we unload for an hour or so. It's about noon and then he switches me over to on duty not driving so my 14 hour clock is now ticking. We go to get our next load took a couple of hours with strapping and tarping and we start heading towards our next drop which is about 7 hours, he drove one of those hours and then we switched and I drove the rest which was about 6 hours, get into the truck stop at about 11:30 at night. So I was basically up and working, learning, training for 16 to 17 hours on duty, but only drove 6 hours.

I see--wasn't aware you weren't officially teaming. In your case, if you aren't "allowed" to go in the sleeper but are supposed to be up observing the whole time, you should be On Duty. He shouldn't be changing your logs for you, either. It's only a few more days of this, but you can still let him know that you need him to stop doing your logs for you and that you are going to start logging properly. You can tell him you don't want to fight with him, but you need to change the way you're doing this because you are afraid of falling asleep at the wheel and hurting someone. Or something along those lines.

It shouldn't be that big of a deal to change the way you're doing things so you can get proper sleep. If nothing else, maybe he'll be ok with you spending some extra time in the sleeper so you don't have to start your clock so soon.

Either way, it's almost over. Good luck and keep your eye on the prize.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Kirk, like Old School said, "You got this." Yes, your trainer is screwing you on your hours, but as he and Pianoman and you have said, you're almost done. Days away. Even if he becomes the most extreme corn hole in the world, just hold it in… a few more days… and you'll be off on your own. I imagine this is just one of the many aspects of the trucking lifestyle you encounter that will be disagreeable to you, so overcome this and move on, and you'll be the better driver for it. Chickiemonster posted a thread several days ago (Ta-Da) where she mentioned the peaks and valleys of her first year, the highlight of which was she couldn't be happier after her first year driving. That could be you; in our year you'll look back on this as just one of the many obstacles you overcame and are happy and proud to be a trucker. Drive safe!

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

Kirk, like Old School said, "You got this." Yes, your trainer is screwing you on your hours, but as he and Pianoman and you have said, you're almost done. Days away. Even if he becomes the most extreme corn hole in the world, just hold it in… a few more days… and you'll be off on your own. I imagine this is just one of the many aspects of the trucking lifestyle you encounter that will be disagreeable to you, so overcome this and move on, and you'll be the better driver for it. Chickiemonster posted a thread several days ago (Ta-Da) where she mentioned the peaks and valleys of her first year, the highlight of which was she couldn't be happier after her first year driving. That could be you; in our year you'll look back on this as just one of the many obstacles you overcame and are happy and proud to be a trucker. Drive safe!

Yea, I totally agree, 2 more days now and I'm home free! The good thing is though, my trainer isn't a ******* or anything like that, pretty laid back guy and I've learned a ton. I just wanted to see what you guys had to say, thanks for all of the replies. And I will continue to update my progress and ask questions in the forums!

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