First Time Out Was Challenging.

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Nasim W.'s Comment
member avatar

So where to begin. I decided to go onboard with Knight Transportation. Orientation was 4 days long and boring. I was matched up with a trainer afterwards and I couldn't have asked for a better person to train me. They call him Buddy and he showed me allot. He was very patient and always willing to answer questions and help. The only problem was that while I was with him everything went as smooth as butter. One other thing. The terminal that I am out of in Lakeland Florida also runs pretty good as far as getting repairs on the trucks done. Well here is where my story begins.

My first solo run. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I also have a great dispatcher so I was ready to take whatever job was thrown my way. First job. Had to bobtail from the terminal to Georgia Pacific in FL. About a 2hr drive. Being that they don't allow you to bobtail in my dispatcher had sent an e-mail to them and all was good. So off I go. When I got there the guard turned me away because I was bobtailing. I told him about the e-mail but it was never communicated to him. I let my dispatcher know and he sends me to a Wal-Mart warehouse near Jacksonville to get an empty trailer. Well the three trailers that were supposed to be empty all had seals on them from the shipper. My dispatcher said no worries, head back to the terminal, we do it again tomorrow. Next day I pick up an empty at the yard, finally get my load, and off I go to C&S wholesale in PA. The trip was great! Got to see the beauty of this country that I had no idea waited. Truly makes me appreciate my country more. So, so far so good right? Not so fast. Going through the small mountains in PA the truck over heated on me. I pulled over, out out my triangles, and let it cool down for about 30 minutes. I had let my dispatcher know what was going on but that I was going to try to keep going. Well after 30 minutes she started right up and for some odd reason never over heated again. So I get to the consignee about an hour early, get in a line up for a live unload, and go check in. Great so far I'm still running ahead of schedule. Well again not so fast. After checking in I made my way back to the truck and realized stupid me LOCKED THE KEYS IN THE TRUCK! I called my dispatcher let him know. He actually took it pretty lightly but I was nervous. I then called or breakdown department and they sent someone to open the truck. Took them an hour and a half to get there. I ended up losing my turn in the line up for my live unload and needed to wait an additional 2hrs before they got to me again. Finally got me unloaded and I'm glad it was over.

I know it's allot of writing but I really want to let you guys know how it went. I will be back in a few for part 2 lol.

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.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Bobtail:

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

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.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your first solo run! Sounds like a typical run with the exception of the keys. You just have to go with the flow and communicate the issues, which is exactly what you did. You kept your cool and persevered to the end. Keep that up and you will be well liked by your DM and find you're getting taken care of as a result.

Looking forward to more in your adventures.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Sounds good Nasim!

I can tell you're gonna be alright. I love that you included the story about locking the keys inside. That's the one thing that almost every rookie driver does at least once or twice during his first few months. We live and learn, some of us slower than our counterparts. You've got the right attitude and your doing a great job of communicating issues with your DM. Keep it up! We are looking forward to hearing more from you.

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.

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.

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

Great job.

Not the first story I have heard of a driver locking his/her keys in the truck. And it won't be the last.

Both my trainer's, almost from day one, told me when I get my own truck, make some spare keys. Put one in my pocket to carry at all times. And if I wanted, get one of those magnet holders and put on on the frame somewhere. Just don't let anyone see where. And if you have to get it out in a loaded lots and people see you, when you put it back, wait till you are alone and put it somewhere else.

There are a million places on a truck to hide a key box. And if you do both of those, you will never lock yourself out. You might lock your keys in your truck, but you won't be locked out. LOL

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own. Joe S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Nasim, you should have a fan switch on your control panel that will let you turn the cooling fan on for pulling up hills to keep the engine from overheating. It stays on until you turn the switch back off. I guess I am just going by my company trucks I've had. Others may not spec that option, but look for it or ask another driver from your company.

Nasim W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys lol. Yeah already made a spare key and I put it on my ID badge that I hang around my neck. The metal magnetic box is not a bad idea either. As far as the overheating thing. The truck has a belt driven fan and a fan clutch. I really don't know why it overheated. The uphill portions were not very steep and it actually overheated starting to go downhill. Also I only had a 9060lb load. Pretty light I think.

Well here is the second part of my story. After my 1st job was done I headed to the terminal we have in Carlisle PA. The next did a small local run that went without a problem and headed back to the PA terminal. I had bobtailed in and noticed when I got out of the truck I was missing a mud flap. The shop was already closed so I woke up at 8am when they opened and I let the shop manager know. Well this is when I found out that all terminals are not created equal. At about 9am I get a message on the Qualcomm. Job to be picked up at 2pm. OK no problem, I figured I had plenty of time and how long can a mud flap really take. Either way I did let my DM know that I was waiting on a mud flap. By 11am I went to the shop manager and said "is there anyway you can just give me the mud flap and I will put it on myself"? His response was no way no how. I let him know that I was under a load and I needed to get going. By 12pm I let my DM know what was going on and he told me not to worry that he would find me another run. Ok I felt a little better but was still frustrated that it was taking so long for just a mud flap. At 2pm the shop manager comes out hands me the mud flap and asks me if I knew how to install it. I looked at him like really? After you told me I can't do it myself. But I looked at him and said very politely but a little sarcastically that yes I knew how. For me it was hard to not go off on him and just bite my tongue. But I figured blowing up would get me nowhere fast. So I install my mud flap which took all of 2 minutes and again I let my DM know what had happened. I tell you what, I have a great DM he called me on the phone expressed his disbelief and then told me "I sent you another job". So off go to pick up an empty, get loaded and deliver to four different Office Max stores in Minneapolis Minnesota. That run went without a hitch. The only thing is since it was my first time driving there I was nervous. The roads were so narrow and that's when I started seeing a lot of NO THRU TRUCKS signs. But I figured it out and completed the job. Funny thing is the guy at the last stop tells me "you better get going before the snow comes in later today". I chuckled and figured cool I haven't seen snow in 23 years. I thought the first snow of the season was going to be a little flurry.

Bobtail:

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

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the stories, it's great to hear from other new drivers about how things are going. And well played on the repair shop. You showed a ton of discipline and handled that better than a lot of drivers would have.

About every driver I have talked to has said they locked their keys in the truck, most did it early on like you did. Since you admitted to it I will share my story with you, and I'm not even in a truck yet lol.

I was in cdl school the last few weeks. My morning routine was to stop at the gas station beside my motel for coffee then off to school. First I need to say that I am anal about my keys. Normally can't lock my truck until my hand is on the keys in my pocket and i usually have an extra key in my pocket for all my vehicles. But my personal truck has a keypad, so I often lock it and let it run to warm up while I get my morning beverage. Well you guessed it, I go out to get in my truck and the key pad won't work!

Luckily a police officer pulls up about 10 minutes later. He doesn't have time to help me (off duty going to appointment) but gives me the number to the local office and they send someone out within 5 minutes. He opened my truck and I was on my way. About 20 minutes late to class, and frustrated, but at least I wouldn't have to make up a day.

It wasn't till the following day that I realized I had turned a couple numbers around. It was early, I was tired and stressed and had been trying to enter the wrong code rofl-3.gif

I never fessed up to that part of it in school.

Woody

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nasim W.'s Comment
member avatar

So after the Minneapolis job I let my DM know that I was headed to the nearest truck stop for the night. Never told him about snow cuz I figured it would be no big deal and I really was not listening to news or weather reports on the radio either. First snow of the year how bad can it be right? Well when I got to the truck stop at about 3pm I noticed a light snow starting to fall. By 4:30pm I was done taking a shower and I bought a bite to eat. As I sat in the truck looking at the snow I noticed it was not sticking and basically just kinda looked like a typical rainy day in FL. I still figured no big deal. By 6:30 when I fell asleep it was just wet roads and I still figured no big deal. When I woke up the next morning and looked out the window I was in a panic. Everything was white and the snow was coming down a lot heavier. Holy crap I haven't seen snow in 23yrs and I never ever drove in it let alone a big rig. Are you kidding me!!!! That's what I thought to myself at that moment lol. So I send my DM a message "it's snowing, I never drove in snow, get me out of here". He told me not to worry he would start making my way back home on time for Thanksgiving. I called my wife and she wasn't much help saying things like "oh my god you don't know how to drive in snow" and "please be careful come home alive". I thought how am I going to drive in this but I did notice the truck was slowly getting empty and trucks were heading out. So I get my job and I have to deliver just outside of Chicago. I started checking the weather on the radio and on my cell phone. After a little debate in my own head off I went. An empty trailer, snow, and high winds made for a hairy ride but I made it to the shipper in one piece. By the time I got into Illinois with my load it was just a light snow again. By the time I got to the consignee it was no longer snowing. Great I was ahead of the snow. On my way to our terminal in Joliet IL I noticed the ABS light on the dash came on. Looked in my mirror and it was also on on the trailer. I thought oh boy I hope the terminal in IL is better than the one in PA. I got there, the garage was closed, so I put in my work order for the next day in the drop bin. There was only one other driver ahead of me. So the next morning I check in with the shop manager he said it's going to take a while. So long story short I was finally out of there at about 4pm with a local run. Due to all the delays it was all my DM could get me. It was a short run took about 4hrs total and I was back at the terminal in Joliet. At around 8am the next morning I get a message from my DM to hook up to a loaded trailer in the Joliet terminal that needs to go to PA. I hook up and the landing gear on the trailer was not working. One side went up the other side didn't. I let my DM know and he imediatly found me another load going to WV. By this time it was snowing again and was trying to stay a step ahead of the snow. TO BE CONTINUED LOL.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Woody's Comment
member avatar

"oh my god you don't know how to drive in snow"

I hope this doesn't come out wrong, but that really made me LOL rofl-3.gif

On the bright side it seems like your DM really tries to get you something to haul even around the mechanical delays. That's a plus.

Woody

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I cracked up at the part about your wife too. Women sure know how to keep ya calm and confident in a crisis don't they??? rofl-3.gif

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