First Week Driving Solo

Topic 24135 | Page 1

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Stephanie K.'s Comment
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Well, it's been interesting. No time to shower or a breather. Thank God for Burt's Bees wipes. Taking time to back up, etc... Has cut into all extra time needed for hygiene issues. Being a newbie and all. As soon as I dropped a load I had another one. Everything was going fine until I get to NJ. Qualcomm says Anheiser Busch is on the left so I take the only left there is. End up heading to the arrival ramp at Newark airport. See a sign that says 8 1/2 feet with cars anround my truck like locuts. I pull my brakes, slap on my flashers and call 911. The police man that escorted me back to the highway was very nice. Get back on 1 &9 and spend an hour driving in circles till Google helps me figure out that my 01 is on the right. Get there on time only to forget to slide my tandems forward on the trailer I picked up before I make the tight turn onto their outgoing scale. Popped a trailer tire. Lessons learned the hard way!!! We shall see what this week brings!!! Stay safe out there everyone. Just got told I am heading to Toledo!!! Gotta go!!!

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on surviving your first week, as a word of advice check the satellite view on Google maps for your destination it can help you see which side of the road your destination is on, also things like tight truns, where entrances are, and such like.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Stephanie, thanks for the update!

It sounds like you're doing an awesome job to me. Those first few weeks are always full of mishaps and lessons learned. Hang in there and don't let the stress wear you down. Take it all in as learning experiences and it will soon smooth out and become an exciting adventure with new twists and turns each new day.

good-luck.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Stephanie-

I'm glad you have taken a minute to update us on your adventures. You have this girl. Don't let a little set back curtail you to being the best you can be. Sounds as if they are giving you the loads. Sounds like a good company that they trust you enough to get the job done.

Best of luck to you! You will get this down. Just think back when you were in training and nothing seemed to go right? You conquered it and you can conquer what ever challenges they throw at you. Keep us all appraised of what ever is going on. I like good stories of challenges that are overcome.

good-luck.gif

Raptor

CK's Comment
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Thanks for sharing! You got this!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Ive been to that Busch plant several times and i get lost everytime. i too called 911 on myself....and i blew a tire on the scale.because there is a piece of metal on the scale rail sticking out. i swear the tire repair guy there is a brother of the security guy. the next time i took a hammer a d banged that rail flat before i got on it lol shocked the guard.

Hang in there it gets better.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you are doing OK to me. You had a couple of mishaps, but it sounds like you kept your cool and did the right thing. Learn from your mistakes, and soon it will seem like you have been doing this all your life.

Mik D.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, it's been interesting. No time to shower or a breather. Thank God for Burt's Bees wipes. Taking time to back up, etc... Has cut into all extra time needed for hygiene issues. Being a newbie and all. As soon as I dropped a load I had another one. Everything was going fine until I get to NJ. Qualcomm says Anheiser Busch is on the left so I take the only left there is. End up heading to the arrival ramp at Newark airport. See a sign that says 8 1/2 feet with cars anround my truck like locuts. I pull my brakes, slap on my flashers and call 911. The police man that escorted me back to the highway was very nice. Get back on 1 &9 and spend an hour driving in circles till Google helps me figure out that my 01 is on the right. Get there on time only to forget to slide my tandems forward on the trailer I picked up before I make the tight turn onto their outgoing scale. Popped a trailer tire. Lessons learned the hard way!!! We shall see what this week brings!!! Stay safe out there everyone. Just got told I am heading to Toledo!!! Gotta go!!!

My first week I had my only accident, turning right onto a single lane bridge my direction, Clipped rear passenger side tandem tire..they had to torch the rim off..and I was on my way...

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

You're doing well. It will get easier and you'll become more efficient and be able to get more break time. I too used to eat up all my spare time because I was slow at doing things, taking my time until I naturally became faster at it. By the end of my drive shift, I was often too exhausted to eat or shower. I'd immediately sleep, then wake up super early and grab a quick shower before there was a wait line for them, grab some quick snacks, things I could eat on the go. Love's fruit or veggie cups we're a mainstay, as were nuts, etc that kept me powered during the day.

It will get easier. Oh, one thing I impress upon my trainers.. written directions may usually aren't custom tailored to you and your location and may need to be adjusted somewhat. In my company's system, directions are from our nearest terminal or drop yard that typically goes to that customer location. Until our new drivers get used to where the terminals and yards are, our directions can be problematic. Google satellite viewing of the location, in advance of arrival (i.e. during your break) will be your friend and save time and potential embarrassment.

Yes, 911 is our friend. Call for help when you need it to get yourself out of a bind safely.

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.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I remember my first week as it wasn't to long ago, I cracked my front bumper while backing at a loves in NJ, hit a rock piller they have blocking a certain area, but it's in the worst location.

I also made a wrong turn, it was about 2am I turned down a road that had a sign(very dark letters and no lights) that said no semi turn around. I contacted the local police nonemergency number.

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