My First Week With Danny Herman Trucking

Topic 23217 | Page 1

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Adrian N.'s Comment
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So last Sunday August 12th started my journey with Danny Herman Trucking. I went and picked up a really nice rental car Sunday morning that they got for me to go down to El Paso and start the 3 day orientation Monday am. Got to my hotel and checked in and arranged to have a shuttle take me to the terminal Monday morning. Room was not the greatest but it would do. At least I didn't have a room mate.

Woke up in the morning and took the shuttle to terminal to start orientation. It was me and 3 other people. One guy was fresh out of truck driving school and actually deaf. I had alot of respect for him attempting to get into trucking. Danny Herman was the only company that would take him on. They have a trainer who's mom is deaf so he's fluent in sign language. He sat in the class with him to interpret for him and later to go out with him and train him. So the first day was spent filling out a lot of paperwork, going and getting a physical if you needed one, drug test, and road test. I was a little worried about road test but it was incredibly easy! Basically just drove around the block. We tested in a standard and one guy couldn't drive a stick to save his life! We drove back to the yard and took out an automatic truck for him to retake his test which he was then able to pass.

The next 2 days were really long and boring. Watched some videos and had video conferences with a bunch of different people in the corporate office. Really dry boring stuff but I got through it and by Wednesday afternoon I was officially an employee. Since I had to go out with a trainer for 2 weeks I was told to go back to my hotel and come back Thursday morning and my trainer would come by the terminal and pick me up. The other 2 got assigned trucks and were waiting to be dispatched. The deaf guy left right away with his trainer to start his 6 weeks of training.

Thursday morning I show up early enough to do some laundry and wait to meet my trainer. He shows up. We sit and talk for awhile and get to know each other for a bit. Seems like a really nice guy, and I think we'll get along just fine. We then load all my stuff up and hit the road for Calexico, California to deliver a load of Kenworth parts. He drives for a couple of hours then let's me take over. He sees that I know what I'm doing and goes to bed telling me to wake him up when we get to Calexico. It went good. I hooked up my iPod and kept the volume down so I don't wake him and down the road we go. Before we get to our destination we get a pre-plan for our next load. Deadhead to a Toyota plant in Ontario, California and pick up a load going to Laredo, TX. So we dropped our trailer in Calexico, pick up an empty and we're off to Ontario, then on to Laredo.

At Laredo we get a load of water heaters headed for Detroit. The plumbing warehouses dock in Detroit was something else! We had to get our truck into this little parking lot with low hanging wires everywhere and then back up to this dock that was down an incline and inside this dark warehouse. Barely enough room above and to the sides to fit the truck! A seriously tight squeeze! It takes several hours to get unloaded and meanwhile we don't have a pre-plan for our next load. We get empty then dead head through Detroit to the nearest truck stop to hang out and wait for our next load. We wait, and wait and nothing comes over the Qualcomm. We call our DM about getting us a load and he says sorry that freight is slow out of Michigan right now. That he'll get us layover pay for the day and get us a load asap.

We finally get a load. It just doesn't pick up until the next day in the afternoon. We are deadheading to Lafayette, Indiana, getting loaded and heading back down to Laredo TX. Laredo again! Joy! The good news is well be camping out in this truck stop and I'll finally be able to get some real sleep! Driving teams is incredibly difficult for me. It's almost impossible for me to sleep in a moving bouncing truck! I'm relieved that tonight we'll be still and I can finally get some decent sleep! Tomorrow the adventure continues.

It's been a challenging, difficult and sleep deprived first week. I will be so glad when this refresher is over, I get my own truck and get some home time! I miss my home and my family terribly. Most nights when I talk to my wife she starts crying because she misses me so much! I need to make this work so I can support her while she finishes nursing school. A year from now she'll be done and I'll have the much needed recent experience I need to find a good paying local job. I just hope my marriage survives this difficult time apart! I love trucking but it sure is hard on relationships! I wish I would have done this when I was younger and still single! I will write about my second week when I have time. Until then be safe and keep the shiny side up!

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Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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dancing-banana.gif

Congratulations

Will H.'s Comment
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Stay strong and keep in regular touch with your wife. My marriage stayed strong even after 7 deployments with little more than emails and phone calls once in the blue moon when we got to into a port. Remember keep it as much about her as you can, but also shar with her how your day went. Keep the close calls to your self ie a dumb 4 wheeler who almost suicide by cutting you off

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