Houston Community College CDL School

Topic 22303 | Page 12

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Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Having to be out here for 11 hours with a sore ass throat (at least I dont have those muscle shivers and weakness or else I'd not leave the bed) is something else. Feeling normal feels good. Remember that for when you feel normal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Well I passed the training. There have been three notable times where I felt given up. Not that I was giving up, but that "Well I can't do this so what's going to happen when they release me. I'm not quitting, I'm waiting until they let me go."

But soon after all of those it got immediately better.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Well then,...congratulations!

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Old School's Comment
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There have been three notable times where I felt given up. Not that I was giving up, but that "Well I can't do this so what's going to happen when they release me. I'm not quitting, I'm waiting until they let me go."

But soon after all of those it got immediately better.

Yuuyo, it's been fun following along with your journey in trucking school. There are still so many challenges ahead. I loved how you posted about being sick. It really is miserable to be out on the road and get sick.

I remember one time having flu like symptoms on the road in Connecticut. I got my load delivered and told my dispatcher that I needed a few days off. I went to the nearest hotel with truck parking and got me a hotel room for about three nights. I soaked in hot baths and just lounged around until I felt better. It's miserable feeling really bad when there's nobody that you love nearby to fuss over you, and nurse you along.

Also, this latest post where you spoke about feeling like quitting at times reminded me of the things we try to teach in here concerning The Roller Coaster Of Emotions that most of us go through during the first few months of our new trucking careers.

You've done remarkably well so far. I hope you continue to be successful at this rewarding career.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Wow! Congratulations!!

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Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

What was interesting, Old school, was that the last in class test we did seems like a test of something else in hind sight. I heard one person, whom I didn't notice, walked away from the school or argued with the instructor somewhere and was let go yesterday.

He made basically everyone in the classroom confused and frustrated all while never answering any questions and basically being a hardass like usual the entire time. Making us sit in that state for a good two hours. After the two hours were up, guess what? "Okay just do this this and this and you're done."

I really think they were trying to see if we could handle being upset to all hell without walking off instead of you know, what the literal test was over.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Tomorrow I have to call at 08:15 and then know what to do from there.

Oh my god, I have no clue about how I'm going to do anything on my own.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Summary of today:

Get truck Pre trip the truck - It's spotless. And by that I mean it's free of clean spots. The manual shifter is even twisted at a 30 degree angle, but the only issue I found was low power steering fluid which was easy to find. Move into truck - I didnt know I could move my car onto the lot so in this heat it took an hour. Also the previous driver got a ticket from DOT. Only had trailer defects. Meet dispatcher

Go find an empty trailer.

Ok so I did this and did my trip plan, but forgot to pre trip the trailer. No worries right? Well it started rainig hard and the lot got muddy as hell, and I ended up pre tripping it in the mud an hour later. Whoops half ripped off mudflap and NO WORKING BRAKE LIGHT. I did find that in Louisiana the kingpin restriction is at 41 feet. Also this load is 43,500 lbs. Great.

Go find another empty. Took two tries but I got one. Then coupling was a pain because the landing gear is such a princess to work with on this one. But it was done.

And now it's so late the dispatcher has gone home. Well, I planned to go to the nearby OC for the night to fuel and rest. I have four days on this load so I'm not worried. Oops, the navigation broke on the MCP200 so I'm not trusting myself to get lost with google maps car directions.

Another driver helped me reset the MCP so all is finally good. Then I just decided that I'm going to stay here for the night and start at 07:00 to the HEB, then fuel at the other OC, then go to Louisiana.

It's been a rough day of nothing, and my body is sore too.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Yuuyo has some concern...

Ok so I did this and did my trip plan, but forgot to pre trip the trailer. No worries right? Well it started rainig hard and the lot got muddy as hell, and I ended up pre tripping it in the mud an hour later. Whoops half ripped off mudflap and NO WORKING BRAKE LIGHT. I did find that in Louisiana the kingpin restriction is at 41 feet. Also this load is 43,500 lbs. Great.

No worries Yuuyo, Louisiana does not have any Kingpin law currently in place.

However there is more to this than perhaps you (or others) are aware of, or have experienced thus far. This topic surfaces about once every 4-6 months. Please keep in mind when there is a restriction posted for a particular state, it's a maximum setting, meaning you cannot slide the tandems any further to the rear of the trailer and be compliant with that particular state's law. California is the most restrictive (40' to center of rear axle) when it comes to maximum setting law and they will enforce it. If running from the East to the West coast make sure you know every state's Kingpin Setting law in advance, plan/adjust accordingly to ensure lawful passage.

Something else to understand...there is also a minimum restriction in many of the states (mostly NorthEast) with setting laws in place; allowing an overhang up to no more than 32% (or about 13') of the distance between the kingpin and the maximum allowable setting diagram of 1 or 2. I know...confusing.

For example, when operating a 53' tandem axle trailer in PA (my home state and where I run 50% of the time), they use Diagram 2, requiring the max. setting not to exceed 41' from the kingpin to the center of the tandems (see below for diagrams 1 & 2). The minimum allowable setting is no more than 13.2' to the DOT bumper from the center point between the tandem axles. Thus the min.-max. setting range for unquestionable and lawful operation in PA is 36'-41' measured to the center of the tandem from the kingpin. In all my years of driving, I've never had a need to operate outside of that range in order to maintain legal axle weight. Beware, there are Eastern States that will aggressively enforce the overhang; Maryland and Connecticut are notorious for this money-grab and will use a tape measure. So be mindful of that when running in these states. Loosely translated, running with your tandems set in the first (1) hole of the slide-rail (of conventional length, 18') might get you a ticket in either of those states.

That said, stating that the kingpin restriction is at 41' is only half the equation for factoring Kingpin Restriction law; it depends on the diagram used, either 1 or 2 for the setting law. See the tables below for clarification, in most cases both the setting law and diagram must be used to be within the law. For the states where no diagram is specified, use 2. (of note: West Virginia 37' no diagram specified). Look at the card I am holding, it's a table for the lower 48, if the word NONE appears, there is no law in place; like for Louisiana.

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Tandems:

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".

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".

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for that explanation G-skill. Hopefully my weights are right. This is the same shipment I did with my trainer to the same place and I put it in the hole she did.

My day frankly went terrible, but it's probably average headache to you guys. Start of the day, I headed to HEB at 07:30. Lots of traffic on 610 and 290, accident blocked my exit.

Got there at 09:10. Got lost, got sent to wrong building, got the right building and the bill. I found a pull through to drop my trailer. When I got to my pick up, that thing was so damn low.

At 43,500 lbs I spent a good 45 minutes straining to get it high enough to couple. I'm already tired as hell, but whatever. Then I am to head to the OC to fuel. Okay, but we got a heavy rain warning in this area. I was going to scale but went to fuel instead. Now, when I got there I missed the truck entrance.

Left turn hoping to find a turn around. It's a dead end at a rail yard. They deal with 20 foot trailers. A 53 has no business being here. It's still raining and muddy. One of the guys there thank god was a truck driver and helped do the complicated maneouvers obstructed by poles and signs and ditches to get me pointed out. It took 90 minutes.

I got to the OC, fueled, and spent ages finding a parking spot. I'm still netvous with backing, but I got it there. Now that all took eight hours. My 14 would be up if I tried to make it tonight, so I shut down to collect myself and organise the truck.

Took a shower, did the post trip. Tomorrow I have to scale and oh my god if it's over 80,000 I don't know what.

I guess I just feel under confident about everything at this point.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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