I Screwed Up

Topic 23125 | Page 1

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Junkyard Dog's Comment
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Two nights ago I clipped a truck and broke its headlight at a truck stop. Can't tell you how devastated I was. The driver was nowhere to be found. It was about 9:30 at night and he was illegally parked. It was dark but I still took for granted that I was able to clear his truck as I went through the fuel aisle. I waited until midnight for him to show up, but he never did so I put my contact information on his door. Took pictures like my dispatcher told me to do and called my safety manager the next morning. I was waiting to get the Riot Act. But he was very businesslike I sent him the pictures I took and the information about the trucking company Etc. I was waiting for dispatch to send me back to the terminal after I dropped my load off today, but they just dispatched me on a thousand mile run ... talked to my trainer today about that and he said never good to hit someone. When you eventually do get back to the terminal Nick will have a talk with you. I've been turning almost 3,000 miles a week my first 3 weeks. My trainer told me just be careful like you were trained... the thing that really bothers me is the confidence I had achieved during the first few weeks is now gone. I noticed this especially when I was backing the last 2 days.Backing that I was so excited about figuring out finally, now seems like I'm back to clueless. Took me a good ten minutes to do what I did confidently a few days ago...and covered in sweat like the beginning times. Had to drive to Dallas today and it was a nightmare, raining, accidents but I made my delivery on time. I have to tell you every time I saw a brake light I tapped mine. You have no idea how much I wanted to get through my first year without incident. And now that's gone.

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.
Army 's Comment
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Junkyard Dog

Don't beat yourself up too much. We all make mistakes from time to time, and learn from them, whether it is professional or personal. I think the fact that your company has not sent you directly back to the terminal , should give you a little assurance. I know that when I have had close calls with my 4 wheeler, I am always a little more cautious after. So just remember, what you learn from it and stay positive.

Chris

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.

Old School's Comment
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This will probably sound odd to you, but I think this minor incident is gonna help make you a better driver. It's one thing for us to warn new drivers about how easy it is to mess up out here, but it really brings it home when you experience how the slightest little lapse in judgement or attention can really bite you.

You're going to be much more likely to G.O.A.L. now, and probably be paying better attention to your surroundings and mirrors. I know it's devastating, but look on it as a lesson learned. And by the way, when you do have that visit with the safety personnel, they don't want to hear even the slightest excuse (like the fact the other truck was illegally parked). They want to hear that you clearly own your mistake and also what you learned from the experience.

Hang in there, you will get past this and live to have some confidence again. Remember... overconfidence is your greatest enemy out here. It has sidetracked many a trucking career.

Stephanie K.'s Comment
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I remember a boss I worked for had a motto that I try to remind my self of every time I or one of my employees screws up: "There are no mistakes, only opportunities"!!!

Rainy D.'s Comment
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Heck, my first month out, i knocked the front axle off the trailer tandems. The tire rolled down the street and a forklift operator chased after it. everyone laughed and pointed and walked around me as i had to back up.i was fully loaded, had to swap the load onto a good trailer.

the guy at our shop said "we have a trailer rebuild department for a reason. new drivers screw up, that is why i have a job. is there gallons of $3 per gal deisel shooting everywhere from the pump? did you run over a person or injure anyone? well then calm down. you need to go drive later to create revenue for my pay" seriously love that guy.

you will be fine. your dispatcher will be dealing with someone elses accident soon and forget yours. dont let it distract you or you will do worse.

Distractions can kill your career or worse

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".

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.
Junkyard Dog's Comment
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Totally agree with you OS... no excuses in fact it was my second trip through the fuel isle... as I pulled to the first time I saw a truck pull out behind me leaving a parking space so I decide to take another lap see if I could get in there. It was a long day my clock was running out and I lost patience. I saw that truck I hit the first time so there was no excuse. I'm in Amarillo right now and I was down to under an hour on my 14 after setting 4 hours getting loaded today. There are four truck stops Within few miles and I hit the Flying J just to answer a Qualcomm temperature reading on the reefer I had put off... saw an easy spot to park and decided to call it a night instead of pushing it and getting stressed....and making a mistake. Rainy, my trainer told me about the time he saw a guy tear off both tandems and take out a fuel pump and didn't even realize it or was totally clueless. I guess he ended up continuing to drive while dragging the trailer. A couple of drivers waved him to stop and he finally did... explain that to the safety manager?

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".

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

I did the same thing 2 days ago. Was too focused on setting up for backing that I didn’t check my mirror to make sure I cleared a tractor that was parked on the drivers side. I assumed I had swung wide enough to be around him. As I turned in to swing for backing, the trailer went right into his right fender. Very extensive damage to his nose clip.

I can relate about gaining confidence, especially considering how nervous I was during PSD. I even made a comment on another thread about feeling as thought I was “hitting my stride”. What a terrible choice of words!

Let’s eat big chunks of humble pie & learn as the others have stated. Good luck & let’s be extra safe!

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

This is why we talk about that first year so much. You do great, improve on most thinga, then something dumb happens. Admit it and learn from it. Don't make up excuses. i posted a thread a couple years ago talking about how i felt so much better about my backing, then the next day i couldnt get in a door without punching the steering wheel and crying. it is all a learning experience forever!!!

i still.learn every day. just dont give up. i tell.everyone i.mentor "you will do 3 things as a rookie. 1) lock yourself.out 2) jump the 5th wheel 3) hit something. decide now how to prevent these things and how to correct it when it happens."

and btw... i wasted 2 hours at a customer the other day because i jumped a 5th wheel. so there is no time limit on stupid screw ups lol

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.
Don's Comment
member avatar

Well, I got #2) out of the way my second week. I didn't accurately access the space when I backed the 5th wheel towards the trailer. If I had backed up until the 5th wheel was touching the trailer's headboard/apron as I know we should, I would have known the trailer was definitely too high. This was at night and haste made waste, that's for sure. I wear a spare key around my neck just in case I ever do lock myself out. I pray #3) never occurs.

This is why we talk about that first year so much. You do great, improve on most thinga, then something dumb happens. Admit it and learn from it. Don't make up excuses. i posted a thread a couple years ago talking about how i felt so much better about my backing, then the next day i couldnt get in a door without punching the steering wheel and crying. it is all a learning experience forever!!!

i still.learn every day. just dont give up. i tell.everyone i.mentor "you will do 3 things as a rookie. 1) lock yourself.out 2) jump the 5th wheel 3) hit something. decide now how to prevent these things and how to correct it when it happens."

and btw... i wasted 2 hours at a customer the other day because i jumped a 5th wheel. so there is no time limit on stupid screw ups lol

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I wear a spare key around my neck just in case I ever do lock myself .

Yeah so do I. But yet, my 5th week out, I fell asleep at 1500, needing to be at a customer at 1000 the next day. I awoke to a bright sunny day, all.alone in the truck stop except one guy next to me. 0800!!!! OMG!!! i was supposed to be 400 miles away. i jumped from my sleeper frantically twisting my night shirt off and changed shirts while jumping in the driver seat to start the truck to message dispatch. I exposed my bare breast to the guy next to me who gave me a thumbs up, but i was hysterical. then the QC said i was still out of hours. Wait... what??? It was 2000 not 0800 and I couldnt go anywhere. i laughed at my mistake and grabbed my phone to share my stupidity with my friend. Walked into the Flying J to use the restroom and returned to the truck. I reach for my neck and no key. darn, must have taken it off when i switched shirts. i go for my magnet hide a key inside my frame...not there. must have hit a bump and gone. my purse was in the truck so no ID or Comdata card. Night dispatch got a kick out of this story.

$150 taught me to zip tie multiple keys outside the truck.

so no matter how badly you screw up, none of you have ever given another driver a cheap thrill with bare breasts.

rofl-2.gifshocked.png

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