Jim Palmer Trucking - Missoula MT

Topic 23012 | Page 4

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Army 's Comment
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Congrats on your progress so far.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Thanks Army!

Time for an update!

Well, I picked up a truck from Peterbilt shop in Cheyenne today for my solo week. It's a 2016 with 450k or so miles on it. It has a manual with an APU , TV but no fridge. She's a little rough around the edges but seems to run good. Interior is fairly clean but could use a once over. I doubt I keep it for very long so I'm not going to invest much time into it.

The past 31k miles has been one heck of an adventure! Fun, stressful and have learned a lot. Not only have I learned about being a truck driver but I've learned a lot about myself. But this is just the start! I'll be getting my first solo load tomorrow and that will be just the beginning.

Somethings I've learned a long the way. GPS is your friend and enemy. Put in the wrong address and you could be doing a u-turn in a cul-de-sac. Yes, that happened in Maryland. North and south make a difference. Who would have thought! Your shortcuts aren't always better then the GPSs shortcuts. Even if it's a US highway because some of them can get dang narrow and no shoulders! Almost dropped a wheel in the ditch that had a good drop off.

Anyway, I'm exhausted and need to get some sleep so take care y'all!

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Well, first week solo is in the bag. What can I say but it has been exciting and exhausting! Picked up the truck Sunday October 28th and sat at the Pilot in Cheyenne until Monday afternoon. Long enough I managed to get a 34 hr reset in. Assignment, repower a load for a Prime driver and take it to Lincoln, NE to meet another Prime driver. Sat until early Tuesday afternoon and I get a call. Take the load to Council Bluffs, IA to meet the driver. Okay, whatever.

We swap trailers at the Council Bluffs TA and as soon as I do the macros I get a new load. Crete NE to Layton UT with a 12:30 pickup, great, I'm already running late. Fuel up the truck and reefer then get me some fuel. All that takes about an hour. Trailer is a little nasty and It's a drop-n-hook in Crete so I better get it washed out. Takes almost 2 hours to get a wash out! Dang it! Day light is burn'n!

Anyway, get to the 01 and grab the trailer. Made it to Sidney NE before stopping for a 10. It's going to be tight making the Thursday 02:00 appointment time in Layton. Some how I get there an hour early! It's a live unload and takes about 2 hours. Now I'm out of hours so I PC to the nearest Pilot and get some sleep.

I hear the QualComm going off about, "You've got a new important message" about 5 minutes after my 10 is up. This one is Kimberly (Twin Falls) Idaho to Wilmington Illinois for a Saturday appointment at 13:00. And it's going to be super tight on time. Off to Idaho we go! Another drop-n-hook at the 01 so no problems right? Wrong, need two load locks. Hey, I got those! Nope, they're paddle locked. $75 and an hour wastes I've got two shiny new load locks that I give away... Anyway, Get the trailer and boogie!

Stop in Rock Spring Wyoming for my 10. This one is gonna be really tight so I don't waste any time. Get to Rawlin and the highway message board is saying something about high winds and I-80 being closed to light and high profile vehicles. CRAP! Find a spot at the AmBest at the Sinclair exit and call dispatch to give my FM the bad news. I get a reschedule for 15:00 Monday but can be there earlier. Long story short, I get around about 3 am to see it SNOWING! It's just snow right? Time to get rolling again about. Takes me about 3 hours to get to Cheyenne. Elk Mountain isn't to bad just really bad visibility but the climb out of Laramie was nasty! 30 MPH nasty!

I'm cruising a long thinking I'm out of the woods. Nope, Mother Nature has other plans. The wind is back but this time in Nebraska. After getting tossed around like a rag doll and almost getting blown off the highway twice I call it quits. Park at Sidney NE and call it in. Get rolling about 20:00 Saturday and stop for my 10 Sunday about 04:00 just short of Des Moines. The 90 starts receiving at 22:00 Sunday nights and I show up 15 minutes early. Hour and half later I'm setting at the TA in Morris IL getting a much needed shower an hot meal. The End! (of the first solo week)

Until next time, stay safe!

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.

Fm:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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That sounds pretty normal for a rookie driver's first week running solo. Just wait till you hit some real issues! rofl-3.gif

Just kidding Dave - it sounds like you did well - hang in there, it might get worse, but it will for sure get better.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Old School thatnks! At least I haven't had to call road side yet! *knocks on wood*

Han Solo Cup's Comment
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I love hearing about your first week and how you dealt with all that was thrown at you! We read a bunch of training diaries but reading a first week or first month or even first year diary offers a nice perspective on the lifestyle you've chosen. I'm glad you found the time to keep us up to date. Good luck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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I'm happy you and everyone else are enjoying this Mr. Han Solo Cup.

Did a calculation of my milage for the pay period. 3205 miles! My first solo week! I'm not quite sure what to say other than "Holy cow chips!" that a lot of miles!

Even after shutting down twice for a total of 24 plus hours because of wind I still managed to crank out a good number! Needless to say, I'm a little stoked!

Until next time, keep the rubber on the road.

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.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Grrr... had this really good post I was working on and hit the wrong thing. Poof, it was gone. So here are the highlights. I have upgraded to A Seat! I'm a rookie solo driver!

Wind in the Columbia Gorge sucks and wind & snow suck in Montana and Wyoming. Took the wrong route in Wyoming (i25 to i80 to i29 instead of i90 to i29) and was held hostage by mother nature in Wyoming for almost 3 days (Friday night to Monday morning).

Stopped in Casper do to poor visibility after a swap around Buffalo on Friday. Wake up to snow. Not a lot but enough to really make a mess. Take off late Saturday afternoon and make it to Wheatland. Stop because it slicker than snot and the wind is picking up. Sunday i25 is closed to light and high profile until 1700 from Cheyenne to mm73. I'm good with that cause those that were lucky enough to make it through said to stay put. Wreck also closed the highway for about 6hrs. Finally rilled out at 0700 Monday and i25 was still stupid slick from mm80 to mm50.

There ya have it. The highlights.

Till next time, be safe!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations! That is fantastic!

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Well done. Best wishes for a bright future and safe passage.

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