Changing Careers

Topic 24023 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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James wrote:

...and I need a bit more road time to help relax and have less tunnel vision while driving.

“Relaxed”.

Interesting topic, arguably over-rated. I think by definition we can never truly relax out here. It’s a job that demands 100%, total attentiveness. Over time you will become more comfortable, adequate, and things you must constantly think-about now will become more intuitive, second nature and how you “roll”. But honestly I never am truly relaxed out here. Never.

I call it “the zone”, a state of calm and cognitive awareness necessary to systematically maintain space management and safe operation. It took about 2 years before this took shape and became part of what I do out here. If this doesn’t make sense,...hit me with questions.

So...the tunnel vision? Yup...learn how to focus ahead, not directly in front. And scan left to right, right to left, never more than 5-10 seconds between mirror checks.

You will learn and eventually develop characteristics and skills that define what your “zone” is.

Solo's Comment
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James wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

...and I need a bit more road time to help relax and have less tunnel vision while driving.

double-quotes-end.png

“Relaxed”.

Interesting topic, arguably over-rated. I think by definition we can never truly relax out here. It’s a job that demands 100%, total attentiveness. Over time you will become more comfortable, adequate, and things you must constantly think-about now will become more intuitive, second nature and how you “roll”. But honestly I never am truly relaxed out here. Never.

I call it “the zone”, a state of calm and cognitive awareness necessary to systematically maintain space management and safe operation. It took about 2 years before this took shape and became part of what I do out here. If this doesn’t make sense,...hit me with questions.

So...the tunnel vision? Yup...learn how to focus ahead, not directly in front. And scan left to right, right to left, never more than 5-10 seconds between mirror checks.

You will learn and eventually develop characteristics and skills that define what your “zone” is.

After watching those videos yesterday...especially the one where the driver was exonerated after a vehicle at the last possible second went from a dead stop in the left lane and then 90 degreed right into the front of the rig.

Told the cop that the driver was tailgating.

Thankfully A) he was doing everything he should have been doing (Safe following distance, speeds appropriate for driving conditions, scanning) per the driver facing cam B ) The driver was issued a ticket by the officer on the scene for following too closely despite never being behind the struck vehicle...but because of the forward facing cam, the ticket was dismissed. The 4-wheelers insurance pursued legal action against the driver, but once TMC's legal sent a copy of the dash cam video footage to the legal rep for the 4-wheeler, within 1-hour the lawsuit was dropped.

You literally can't relax out here. No way. You will blow an intersection or careen into a line of stopped cars at an intersection 5-days after you get issued your first company truck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

James S.'s Comment
member avatar

Ill take your advice and make a point not to relax in a casual manner. As I get more road time I hope to be able to spend less time thinking about individual actions and more time observing the overall situation. Each day gets a little better.

Today I drove for a couple of hours and it went well. Driving in town there was a lot traffic, maybe shift change at the factories. The instructor recommended I call out every intersection to ensure the tester knows I am checking them. Also says i should read significant road signs out loud such as speed limits and school zones. I did make a couple of mistakes, one was stopping before turning at a flashing yellow. I didn’t really see what I needed to do to make that sharp turn soon enough to just drive around it in that traffic so I stopped and shifted into 3rd then made the turn. It went well but he said I should have stayed in 5th for the turn. We also had one of those” slow down, slow down....SLOW DOWN!” Moments coming up on a round about. It went fine but with the snow and ice he just wanted me to idle through it.

After the pretest, maneuvers and driving I was told I would have passed the test and they are going to schedule me to test next week. I spent the rest of the day on the alley dock and offset backing, made it every time and that was nice. Not a bad end to the second week

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
James S.'s Comment
member avatar

A couple of hours of driving today. So far I am doing well but when I rush my self pulling out onto a busy road I rush the shifting and rev to high. Causing problems. I am always able to recover but its something I need to work on.

We also discussed logs books and electronic logs in class. After that we went back out on the range where I did well enough but not as good as the last couple of days.

They have decided I am ready to test so tomorrow at 10 am I will be testing. Ill take an hour in the morning to go over the Pretoria on the truck and trailer I will be using as they are all different. I am a little nerved up but after a good night sleep and a decent breakfast it should go well.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Even-Keel's Comment
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Good luck James! We are all rooting for you!

James S.'s Comment
member avatar

Passed the test this morning. I did make a couple of mistakes, still passed. So that's nice. I am in a trip planning class this afternoon so I will update later.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Congratulations!

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations James!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

PackRat's Comment
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Super job!dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

James S.'s Comment
member avatar

I was cruising through the pre trip with no issues when we came to the trailer suspension....I saw the shock absorber and suddenly didn’t remember mentioning it on the front suspension. So I said something like” i forgot to mention the shock absorber on the front suspension and I would have inspected that as I am doing here”. Turns out i totally skipped the front suspension but because I went over all the other suspension properly and said I would check the front in a similar mannner, it was good enough that it didn’t fail me. I am sure I lost some points there.

The maneuvers all went well. 1 pull up on both offset and alley dock just to be safe, it look good but I didn’t want to chance it when I could pull up once to be sure and not cross a line.

Road test went well enough. I asked for his critique afterwards and he said I need to check intersections better and that I missed a gear when accelerating after a turn onto a busy road. I rushed the shifting again there and somehow didn’t get 8th so I grabbed 7th and proceeded from there.

2 hours and 15 minutes for the entire test, including paperwork at the start and waiting on the sand truck to cover the ice before the backing tests.(the lot was packed snow with a layer of ice)

Happy to have that part finished. Now I will study for the hazmat and take that along with doubles and tanker when I turn in the paperwork to the SOS.

I have a couple of days left at the school and they said I could use the simulator to practice on 13 and 18 speeds, that should be fun.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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