Accepted My First Job

Topic 2022 | Page 1

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Troy V.'s Comment
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Just a little update. I ended up choosing Modular Transportation. The Benefits package was to hard to pass up, 100% paid by the company. It is the flatbed job so that will be interesting.

I went there yesterday and took my road test. That went better then I expected. All I was use to were the older trucks that the CDL school had. For my road test I drove a 2012 Freight-liner. The drive went great. He had me do a pretrip as well and also hook up a trailer. They had me pick up a tarp and strap it to the flatbed to. I kinda had no clue how to do the strapping but they knew that and gave me the run down on the do's and dont's of strapping stuff down. I also had to unhook the trailer when we were done. He said I did great and sent me on my way to get a drug test and officially hired me.

I start on December 4th which is a Wednesday. Wednesday and Thursday are orientation days filling out paperwork and all that good stuff. Friday they send me to Marshall, Michigan for skid training. They told me its wild but Ill learn valuable information there and they actually have you in a truck that jackknifes and teach you how to recover from it.

Anyway thats about it for now. Ill definitely keep you guys updated. I was nervous at first but now Im getting excited to get my new career going.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Hey man - I totally hear ya. But I promise you - flatbedding is not that big of a deal. Strapping stuff down isn't rocket science. It takes some time to get the hang of it. You'll find ways to make things easier and faster as time goes on but it's not that bad. The actual work involved with the tarps, straps, and chains might get old to you. Some people love it, some don't. But I think the flatbedders we have here in the forum - and they'll be here soon - would agree with me - the worst thing that might happen is that one day you'll decide that flatbedding is a pain and you'd rather haul dry van or refrigerated. No biggie.

But you almost certainly won't find it too difficult or too stressful or unbearable in any way. You might think it's more trouble than it's worth, but that would probably be the worst case scenario. I think the experience will be priceless whether or not you decide to stick with it for the long term. So don't sweat it. It will work out just fine one way or another.

smile.gif

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
Great Answer!

Troy, Brett is right, this stuff isn't exactly rocket science. You'll have your moments at first where you'll be doubting yourself, but for the most part it will start coming together for you real soon. I felt I had some really great training on this stuff and if you ever have any questions I'd be glad to help you.

If you like math there are some fairly easy ways to calculate your working load weight and your working load limits of your straps, chains, and binders. This stuff helps you make sure you've got on there what the D.O.T. requires. If they don't teach you these things, and you want to know, I'd be glad to help you out. But really, after doing it for a few weeks I wasn't thinking in terms of the calculations anymore, because I had done enough of it to know what I needed without doing the math in my head.

One more thing, you're gonna feel like you are really slow at the securement and tarping thing at the beginning, everyone does. Just keep at it, and soon enough you will develop your own ways and methods of doing things that you are comfortable with, and it will start moving along at a much faster pace. Of course you are starting right in the winter months which always makes our job interesting, but at least you'll find out if this is the direction you want to take. And if it's not, you can always change after you've gotten a little bit of experience under your belt. I've found that flat-bed experience is respected no matter where you go and apply at later on.

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Well today was the end of day 2 with my trainer. Let me first say I lucked out and got an awesome trainer. A little back info. We don't run as a team. We stay at a hotel everynight. Anyway.

Day 1 I meet him at the terminal and its starting to snow. We have to pick up 55, 000 lbs of Ibeams and take them all the way to northern Michigan in Onaway. About 30 min from the Mackinac bridge. The weather was horrible so needless to say I didn't drive at all on day 1 which was completely fine with me. I wanted to sit and just watch and ask questions which is exactly what I did lol. We made it to Gaylord MI and shut down for the day at about 4 pm. We couldn't deliver after 3 pm so no need to rush. We got the hotel and went to Burger King to grab a bite to eat then went back to the hotel. He showed me how to fill out my log book by showing me his and explaining it. After that we crashed because the weather was horrible and they were expecting and got about 6 inches of snow. It was also very bitter cold.

Day 2 It was 3 degrees with a wind chill of -14 when we got up at 5 am. Went out to warm the truck up and it didn't want to but slowly turned over and fired up. We head out after our pretrip and he is driving because the roads are all snow covered. We make it to Onaway in about an hour and we had another driver from Modular there to get unloaded as well. They get us both unloaded and now Modular wants us to switch trailers with each other. We had a 45' one and he had a 48'. Now with that all done we find out we are heading to Clair Mi to pick up a 9500 lb load of very small pipes. We not but 4' long. We get that strapped and tarped and off we go to Lansing Mi to pick up an oversized load. Its one freakin plate that hangs over each side of the deck by like 4-5" lol my trainer couldn't believe it was only 1. It weighed about 2400lbs. So now we got that loaded and strapped and tarped, now we have to put all the oversize warnings on the truck so he showes me how to hang the banners, pop the middle light out of the trailer to hook up the warning lights. We get all that set up with the nice orange flags and we are ready to rock. We have 2 loads on the truck so the first one which is the pipes we picked up in Clair Mi are going to Ft Wayne IN. The oversize load goes to Harrison OH. We are now done for the night in Angola IN.

The weather go a lot better while in Lansing so I was getting more eager to drive. We were at where 69 and 94 meet and we stopped at the TA truck stop on 94 to fuel up and so he could pull money off the comdata card to pay for the hotel for the rest of the week. We fuel up and he shows me how to do that and we go inside and I fill up my 64 oz mug with some good ole Mt Dew. He then says to me "you ready to drive?" I'm like hell yea lets do this. He got a kick outta that so here we go the nerves are really ramped up. My first drive is with an oversize load although it wasn't that much of an oversize. I only had about 40 min of driving to do because I guess with oversize you cant drive in the dark. So here we are now in Angola and I'm ready to get back behind that wheel tomorrow. It makes a world of difference having a great trainer.

I will keep you all updated. Oh and Tarping sucks lol but I can get use to it. Also if there are any typos I'm sorry , I'm on my phone.

TroyD

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

You are self analyzing yourself to death!

Confidence! Confidence!

Troy, you are doing great! I can feel it! I have been reading your thread. I only subscribe to a few. I wish I had more time right now to elaborate more. Just so busy these days. All I can do is read from my phone all the great post.

Failure is a part of life. The mistake most people make is they let those failures break them down instead of using them to lift them up. You will make mistakes. We all have and still do.

Troy, you are a Truck Driver now! Be proud! Be determined! Be Yourself! You got this thing whipped. Relax and enjoy the ride. Remember, that trainer was sitting in the same seat you are now and some point in his life. He puts on his pants just like you do. You have come all this way! Do as he said, relax!

We are all proud of what you have accomplished. Your posts have been great. You are learning and have a great attitude. Let the humility you feel become humbleness for life. Let the spirit which dwells in your heart shine forth.

Merry Christmas, Truck Driver!dancing-dog.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

You guys are right confidence is what my trainer is preaching as well.

A little recap of week 2 with my trainer. Im am still having a lot of confidence issues. He tells my Im a great driver and I just need to build my confidence and control my anxiety. I drive just fine but put me in a lot of traffic and tight areas and I just kinda lose it. Not to the point where I cant get the job done. More to the point Ill have a death grip on the steering wheel and start messing up my shifting. Yesterday I started to question whether I could really do this or not. My trainer tells me I can and Im gonna be a great driver but that feeling I have deep inside is like dude what are you doing. Stupid simple mistakes is what it is and why am I not fixing them? Why is my brain not letting me get these little things down. Granted its better then having big problems driving but by the end of the day those situations have me dead tired.

Anyway on to the week. It actually went very well Monday and Tuesday. Just normal driving stuff and it all went well. Still the nerves were on during traffic and stuff but really nothing big went down those days. Had a delivery at Alro in Grand Rapids Monday morning and got lucky and was able to pick up at the same spot with a load of Ibeams to head up to Onaway Michigan. This week started out like my first week did lol. I drove and the further north we got the worst the roads got and I started to use my death grip again driving over some of the snow. It wasnt fully covered roads as the sun was out but there was still some of that crap on spots of the roads. We get up there and deliver and then head back to the Alro in Lansing. Pick up a load there and head to Butler Indiana to deliver there and pick up another load as well. We head down to southern Indiana to drop off. Then they tell us they dont have anything quite yet for us but go ahead and make our way to Gary Indiana and they should have something by then. My trainer is like sweet dead head pay. We get paid anything deadhead that is over 150 miles. Its like $125. We are about 30 min away from Gary and they call saying they have a pick up for us in Monooka Illinois. Yippie its my first stand up coil. It will be a two stop load. One going to Toledo Ohio and the other to Dayton Ohio. Lots of good drive time for me. Everything was going great we get to Toledo and deliver and now on our way to Dayton. We are southbound on I75 cruising along and all the sudden traffic comes to a complete stop and we are at mile marker 130. I turn the CB up and find out a semi had hit a cement barricade and made a complete mess of the highway taking out a car with it. Pulled the parking break and we sat there for 2.5 hours. My trainer pulled out his laptop and put a movie on. Finally it started moving again and got to where we had to be in Dayton. With the traffic problem we had we were running out of hours now and lucky for us we got to stay in a hotel in the lovely city of Dayton. Let me tell you that was the worst hotel I have ever seen. We get up in the morning and I felt dirty as hell. My trainer was gonna shower first and of course NO HOT WATER!!!! Are you freaking kidding me. Me along with my trainer were pretty ****ed about that.

On Friday we got to do a peddle run for Alro Grand Rapids in a ****ty ice filled roads day. We thought it would be easy. Well nope it wasnt. We were gonna be done by about noon and get to head home for the weekend. Sounds to good to be true right? Yep it was. Of course we get a little ice storm up here in Grand Rapids on Thursday overnight. Its ice on all the side streets and parking lots and everything. My trainer drove this day. We finally got going and had 12 stops to make. We are on our way to our first stop and we are almost there and he goes to turn right onto a street that had a little bit of a downgrade to it and as he started to turn we both kinda went ohhhhh ****! The street was a complete sheet of ice and the min we hit the ice it was all she wrote on trying to stop. The weight of the load pushed us into a snow bank and broke the front bumper and we had to call a wrecker to get us out. Before the wrecker got there my trainer got us out of the snow bank but was not about to try to get down the road. The wrecker got there and was like **** I cant even get up the slight hill. He had us slowly ride the curb which was somewhat snow covered down to the bottom of the hill. That worked out pretty good. Now we tried to make our left hand turn where we needed to and wheel went all the way to the left but that did not work. Truck didnt wanna turn because of the sheet of ice we were on. So the wrecker hooked up the the front of us and he was on the street we needed to turn on and he pulled the front of the truck around so we could make our turn. That worked out and we were on out way again after a 2 hour delay. Anyway we get done with all our deliveries around 3pm. We think we are done and here is Modular calling as we were on our way to Alro Grand Rapids to drop their truck off. They want us to go to White Cloud Michigan and pick up a load and its already pushing 330. Its an hour drive from where we were and we wouldnt get started on that until 430ish because he had to drop the Alro truck off and get in our truck and head back to the terminal and pick up a trailer. My trainer is ****ed and Im ****ed because we thought and were told.....Cont

Deadhead:

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

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.
Chief's Comment
member avatar

Hey that's great Troy. Congratulations. I sure would like a chance to do some skid training someday.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

Good deal. Congrats. Like Chief said, would like to be able to do skid training sometime. That would be very valuable training to have should one day I get in a situation that would require those skills. Hope never to be, but never know.

Ernie

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TailGunner (Ken M)'s Comment
member avatar

Oh yeah, the MCDD, that's a fun course, sliding around in a big truck! That's Michigan Center for Decision Driving. I went there twice, both a while ago. The school I went to sent us there, and then Tandem Transport sent all their new drivers there.

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".

TWIC:

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Skid Training...is that anything like the road course at BPST (police training)..that was a HOOT !!! it was almost as much fun as driving demolition derbys...ahhh the memories...Kids think they invented drifting....they didn't grow up in the era of TRUE muscle cars...MOPARS RULE !!!!!

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah its going to be wild for sure. Looking forward to learning a lot from that.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

That's great news. Skid control training in any vehicle is great to have. Star for 12 years I taught law enforcement driver training. Both pursuit and skid car. They actually paid me to drive that way. I always loved that job!!!!

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

AMC's were good for drifting back in the days too. I had a Javelen. Man was that a blast. shocked.png

Sounds like you made a good choice Troy. That is some good training you are getting. Wish I was able to try that before I hit the road. I learned the hard way. It's a strange feeling to look out your driver side window and see your back door.wtf.gif FIRST YOU SAY IT, THEN YOU DO IT!

Congradulations. Please do let us know how the skid training goes. You will have valuable information for us all.

Traveling mercies!

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Well it all becomes real this week. On Friday I got the welcome package in the mail. In it was all the insurance papers I have to fill out and a welcome letter. I have orientation on Wednesday and need to bring all that good stuff in with me filled out. Wednesday and Thursday is mainly some classroom type stuff learning company policy and also learning about log books and fun stuff like that. This company doesn't have elogs and said they don't plan on it until they are forced to lol.

Im getting real nervous now that its getting closer. Just cant wait to get out with my trainer and start this journey.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok so this begins tomorrow and Im freaking out a little bit. Is flatbedding what I really wanna do???? Im so confused and maybe the reality of it tomorrow will help me but man Im really hoping Im making the right choice here. Such a great company but Im not 100% sold on the flatbed thing. Maybe after i learn and see how its done my thoughts might ease some but the thought of not strapping something on right or whatever is starting to get to me.

TroyD

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