Can Only Get Better

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RealDiehl's Comment
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It's been a rough couple weeks to the start of my solo career. After upgrading, I took a rental to Alabama from TX to pick up a "recovery". Basically, the former driver quit and left his truck at a Dollar General location. The truck was a mess: open bags of food, bottles of who knows what, trash and filth all over the place. Also, paperwork, clothes, and other personal items. Spent all day cleaning the truck. Check engine light was on, bumper was cracked, bunk heater didn't work and driver tech computer's GPS didn't work either (no navigation, and I had to manually enter my location for every change of status).

Told Fleet Manager about all the issues. She asked me to pick up a load and she'd get me to a terminal for repairs.

Wheels were locked up when I went to leave. Finally got moving. By this time I'd been up 40 hours straight. Picked up my load, which was only a few miles away, and headed for the terminal. Got a message asking me to take load to it's destination, then go to a terminal. I agreed since I'm new and refusal wouldn't look good.

Slept on an exit ramp that night. Pulled into a Loves the following morning and noticed the fairing over the passenger side fuel tank was hanging off on one end. Called breakdown. They asked me to secure it temporarily until I could get to a shop. Secured it, went to the shop on a Saturday, and was told they wouldn't be able to look at it until Monday. On Monday, they temporarily fixed the fairing - with zip ties! - and sent me on my way. None of the other problems were addressed.

Finally got less than a mile from my destination and turned onto a truck restricted road. Got pulled over and given a ticket.

After dropping that load I was given another trip. What about getting to a terminal for repairs? Nope. I was sent from Ohio to Texas. Then from Texas to Kentucky. Then to Tennessee back to Kentucky. And here I sit waiting for breakdown to come and check what this low coolant level indicator is all about. I have plenty of coolant and no leaks. Been here waiting for 5 hours now. Things can only get better...I hope.

Fleet Manager says to go to a terminal in Tunnel Hill Georgia after I deliver my current load. Maybe I'll finally get those repairs done.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Superlejera's Comment
member avatar

The same thing happen to me when I got my truck for 3 week every day something new happen .i was going to quit but a lot of people Here was giving me the support that you need to hear when you are doing something new .you only going thru a season Everything will get better with time

Charlie Mac's Comment
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I know all about "toughing it out", but I'd take issue with sleeping on some other guys mattress.

You want me to do a recovery? Fine. Deliver the load? okay. Clean his truck? That's iffy...I'd have to see it. Sleep on his mattress? No way.

You're a braver man than I.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Thank, Superlajera. It helps to know that other people have to go through difficult periods too. That's the main reason I posted. So others know that "stuff" happens. Just gotta stick it out.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Lol, Charlie. I was given a new mattress to take with me to Alabama. I would have insisted on it!

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
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I think the hard and fast of the deal is we (drivers) are simply an extension of the equipment. Of course the "equipment" is there to forward freight rain, shine or rattle etc etc... I expect most reputable companies would consider safety related mechanical issues serious as they have a lot to loose ($$$$).. That said, cosmetic and comfort issues will be tabled at times to move that freight!.

If a large company pulled every rig out of service and ran them straight to a terminal due to driver complaints and or minor issues then 1/4 of the trucks on the road would be laid up....

Grin and bear it for awhile unless you feel the problems are truly hazardous.. Then tactfully put the "you owe me" card in your pocket for future use!!..lol.

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.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Everyone, and i mean everyone has issues in the beginning. Not always the same issies, but adjusting is definitely something we all do.

My first month? Knocked a trailer axle off, turned down at least 3 different roads that eventually had low bridges or weight limits. and had to back up to the roads...not because of lack of trip planning or not looking at the atlas, but because i was unfamiliar with service roads and frontage roads...in the dark it was hard to tell which road i was turning onto. Also signs in certain states are confusing. In NJ an arrow to the left means turn here. In OK it could mean turn left after the overpass. totally serious. in the dark you cant tell iyou woukd be turning down a one way street thr wrong way. i also went the wrong way on a frontage road and had to turn into a parking lot not meant for trucks to avoid on coming traffic. That took about 45 min to get out without hitting a tree.

I could keep embarrassing myself if you like. But im sure you are lauvhing by now.

Dont give up. never give up. It gets better. The truck will be fixed. good luck

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

BTW...never park on a ramp. Some companies will automatically fire you for it. Some drivers will tell you exit ramps are more dangerous because the freeway traffic needs to slow down, and entrance ramps safer cause the vehicle passing is already slow and speeding up.

In NJ a couple weeks ago a car didnt see the parked truck (not having marker lights on makes it even more dangerous) and the impact killed the car driver. That is not something i ever want on my head forever.

just a suggestion.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Thanks for your responses and advice, and sharing your own horror stories. Really helps to put things in perspective.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I missed the entrance to my delivery location last night after dark, plus it was raining. Not once, not twice, but three times! Luckily, it was just a matter of four more "rights" to return each time. The fourth time was the charm for me.wtf.gif

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.

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First Solo Months On The Road Hard Lessons Learned
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