Game: Rookie Unrealistic Expectations

Topic 20287 | Page 1

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Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

What are some unrealistic expectations that either you had, or you heard from new drivers entering trucking? Things new drivers assume but aren't true.

1). After CDL school one could go solo with a local job

2) A CDL is a meal ticket and will get you a job anywhere right out of CDL school--if the school accepted you all companies will too.

3). No night driving

4) All drop and hooks

5) company paid hotels every night

What are some others we see that just aren't true statements?

I thought about a couple of Brett's blogs and some past unrealistic posters. Here's one link

Guy frustrated with Everything

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

"My CDL school told me I'd never have to open the hood of a truck."

confused.gif

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.
Calkansan's Comment
member avatar

As a former trainer, the first question I asked trainees is, "what are your expectations and your goals in this industry." If I could dispel myths and give them a realistic view of what to expect, I could then help them achieve their goals and become successful drivers. Myth: don't I take a 34 every week to reset my 70 clock?

Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

I never anticipated the amount of waiting around. Docks, waiting for the time to tick by to be legal, resets, none of it. I suppose I figured everything would be drop and hook. Five minutes or so for a customer, then driving. I'll note I don't mind waiting at all, I just didn't realize that was going to be part of it.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

When drivers said "I go home on the weekends" I thought they meant home Friday out Monday. Not a 34 reset of "drive 550 miles to get home by noon Friday...then sleep cause you are exhausted. Then do laundry and shop to stock the truck, sleep some more to drive out by Saturday by 10pm." lol

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Ouch Rainy. For our home time, the day we arrive home doesn't count. Regional home weekly drivers are off either ALL Saturday/Sunday, leaving Monday morning OR off all Friday/Saturday leaving out Sunday. For OTR , we earn 1 day off for each week out. I was home last weekend, will arrive home this coming Friday so will be off Saturday/Sunday. Had I been out 3 weeks (like last time) I wouldn't go back out til Tuesday morning. But I'll be home 8-9 days on this stretch due to paid vacation. My oldest daughter is having a C-section Aug 2nd so I need to be home to help her.

They do like us to take resets so we can run hard all through the week.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Ooohhh congrats Grandma! ;) So happy for you (and her). Its great you get to be there.

True all companies are different. Its good you get the whole weekend. As with everything in trucking..it varies lol

So I'm curious now...after 5 days off the road we are supposed to turn our trucks in unless we get paid vacation after the first year/125,000 in a condo or 85,000 in a lightweight.

At what point do you have to turn in your truck if you come off the road?

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.
Last Shadow's Comment
member avatar

As a rookie, I thought I was going to be able to take showers everyday, I mean my trainer did it right!!, wrong, when I first got my truck solo I felt Like I was in a hurry all the time, I think I took 2 showers my 1st week, learning how to plan is essential, lesson learned.

What are some unrealistic expectations that either you had, or you heard from new drivers entering trucking? Things new drivers assume but aren't true.

1). After CDL school one could go solo with a local job

2) A CDL is a meal ticket and will get you a job anywhere right out of CDL school--if the school accepted you all companies will too.

3). No night driving

4) All drop and hooks

5) company paid hotels every night

What are some others we see that just aren't true statements?

I thought about a couple of Brett's blogs and some past unrealistic posters. Here's one link

Guy frustrated with Everything

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Ferret's Comment
member avatar

I would go the other way and have I had very low expectations from what I was told from my instructors at CDL school. I was told experience is everything and I would have to do at least one year OTR or Food service.

Luckily for me everything is going swell Im home all the time and I never do any hard labor I just hook up a hose.

The only thing is I thought it would be easier to find a place to park(New England) but it hasn't been too bad.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of the things that surprised me was how much time you spend alone in the truck. I knew I'd be traveling amongst strangers all the time, but it never dawned on me that I'd be spending like 20 hours a day completely isolated in the truck.

And this was back in the early nineties when there was no internet. We used to have what we're called bookstores so I went to a used book store and bought a case of books. I would trade them in every so often when I finished a bunch of them.

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