18 Months In

Topic 22323 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Older Newbie's Comment
member avatar

Hey Everyone,

I have been a little busy and haven't taken the time to give you an update on my driving career in many months. So here goes.

I took your advice and stayed with my first driving job over a year. Glad I did because it was a huge learning experience from the get go. Hauled dry van and then reefers all over the place in every weather and situation one can imagine. Including a couple of hurricanes and a blizzard or two. The last 10 months I hauled reefers and found it to be challenging and frustrating all at the same time. It's the nature of reefers to sit at docks and wait sometimes for hours and for me that was a frustration but one learns to adjust and get over it so it all worked out.

I spent a lot of off hours reading and following this web site so it wasn't a loss as far as I saw it...I was learning the whole time.

I left that company with a great reputation and have been asked to come back several times so I must have done something right. In fact my fleet manager and I have spoken regularly since my departure and if I wanted I could go back there any time.

Starting this January I made a move I have been very happy with.

I have wanted to get into flat bed for a long time with the end goal doing heavy haul. In fact I was recruited by a major flat bed company and went to orientation for them. In the end though that didn't work for reasons I am to this day not sure of. Turned out to be a blessing however as I immediately landed a heavy haul job making lots more than I thought was possible.

I get the physical work that I love and need; I have to think about my load in ways I never did before; it's an intense challenge...which I love...and best of all...I get to see my family more!

After 3 months doing this I'm in better physical shape, better mental shape, a better driver and I get to do something seriously outrageous! Drive a big rig weighing just about 200,000 pounds and total bumper to bumper lengths of almost 200 feet. In some ways I can't believe I'm doing this and in other ways I feel this is what I was meant to do. Haul insane weight and lengths and do it well.

I'm not an expert; not yet anyway, so don't take my statement of "doing well" as bragging. But I'm doing well and learning all the time and having fun at the same time. My boss/dispatcher loves what I'm doing and how I do it so things are working out well. I was given a Peterbilt they were saving for the "right" driver this month so frankly I'm a happy camper!

I would like to add a thank you to Brett and Old School. You two in particular were a great help to me. Your articles and responses to my queries have been a big help.

In the end, I survived my first 18 months...and I plan on sticking with this. It isn't easy. I'm glad of that. But when the day is done and I look back on it, the sense of accomplishment I have felt and feel right now far exceeds the difficulty... and for that... I'm grateful.

Be safe out there drivers and remember; you may be sitting in that cab by yourself...but you're not alone. We...all of us...have been or are, in the place you are.

Hang in there, it really is worth it.

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.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

Thanks for sharing what's happening with you. It sounds like you are having a great time at a job you were born to do. That was an awesome update - Thanks!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great update on your trucking journey. Glad to read everything is working out better than expected for you. Not many posts on here about heavy hauling, so don't be a stranger.smile.gif

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

8 axles... Nice truck too. Congratulations. Keep us updated on interesting loads and experiences so I can live vicariously through you hahaha because I'm not now, and would never want to do what you do, but certainly admire those who can and do those kinds of loads.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I must have missed this, congrats Older Newbie. Nice ride!

Check out Pats "Flatbed Loads" thread, hopefully you'll have time to post some things to it.

Best of luck.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey man, that was an awesome rundown. I'm glad to see you back and it's great to hear things are going so well for ya! I'm sure heavy haul is very interesting and challenging indeed!

We'd sure love to see you participate in some of the conversations if you get the chance. As you know very well, that first year is really tough and people sure do need the advice and encouragement.

Great to hear from ya and congrats on your accomplishments. I'm sure you're going to have many good years ahead!

Older Newbie's Comment
member avatar

Thanks All for the kind words. Yes it has been fun...and scary, challenging, exhilarating and a lot of other adjectives. The thought of pulling a load 3 times longer than a 53 foot trailer can be intimidating to say the least. Strangely though you learn to take it in stride. You slow down, use your brain and think through each move way before you do something. I've got great teachers and mentors around and the team I'm working with has made the transition as painless as possible. We usually work either in pairs or as a group of about 4 to 5 trucks so we try to quite literally keep each other out of the ditch or off telephone poles and signs and other things. As you can imagine turning is ALWAYS interesting! We use steerable trailers, controlled by the driver so the driver behind helps keep you out of trouble. The last truck however in the "convoy" usually has a lot more experience since his extra eyes are the pilot car at the rear and communicating with them is key. I've been at the back a few times now, usually with loads under 140 feet and I can tell you, one feels the pressure of that position big time! The term "city driving" takes on a whole new meaning when you're menuevering 140 to 200 feet through traffic, trying to stay together, and you have cars, motorcycles and other trucks literally zipping around you. It seems your mirrors aren't big enough and your head is moving so fast from mirror to mirror that you feel like a bobble head. We have all joked that we look out to the mirrors as much or more than we look out the front! My first long load; a beam of 140 feet; was into Houston just after the curfew lifted for oversize loads...about 9:30 if I recall. The traffic was insane and I'm sure I must have looked freaked out by the time we got to out job site. Needles to say I survived but the "pucker factor" was way up there. Our lead driver laughed that it took about 5 minutes to get me peeled off the seat when we finally got to our job site. And getting in and out of job sites is often a slow and careful process. One misstep and everything comes to a grinding halt. Ok... enough for now... You all take care and I'll stay in touch.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More