Training Is Done, Rookie Solo Driver Next Week

Topic 24202 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Today I completed my company training. Two weeks at the training center, two weeks with my OTR trainer. It was a great experience over the past two weeks. We drove almost 5000 miles and I drove about 90% of the time. My road trainer was great, I think I was lucky to get him. Great teacher, great person and he had some great stories. Some of those stories were so funny he better quit telling them because I almost ran off the road laughing. That being said, it was hard for me being cooped up with someone in a small space for 24 hours and 10 days. Glad it's over and I get my truck next week. Then the new LEARNING adventure begins. I'm in the process of writing a journal of all the great advice I received from my trainer. Especially the things he told me I need to work on. After every day we drove, I wrote down all his advice and corrections I could remember and I think this was a good habit. I would encourage all new drivers to do this to reinforce the knowledge received from the trainer. The only bummer is that all my training was in a manual and I got very comfortable with it by the end. After we got back to the training center I was told I'm being assigned an AMT because there wasn't a manual available. I'm a little disappointed because I enjoy the challenge of a manual. How do other drivers like the AMTs?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Today I completed my company training. Two weeks at the training center, two weeks with my OTR trainer. It was a great experience over the past two weeks. We drove almost 5000 miles and I drove about 90% of the time. My road trainer was great, I think I was lucky to get him. Great teacher, great person and he had some great stories. Some of those stories were so funny he better quit telling them because I almost ran off the road laughing. That being said, it was hard for me being cooped up with someone in a small space for 24 hours and 10 days. Glad it's over and I get my truck next week. Then the new LEARNING adventure begins. I'm in the process of writing a journal of all the great advice I received from my trainer. Especially the things he told me I need to work on. After every day we drove, I wrote down all his advice and corrections I could remember and I think this was a good habit. I would encourage all new drivers to do this to reinforce the knowledge received from the trainer. The only bummer is that all my training was in a manual and I got very comfortable with it by the end. After we got back to the training center I was told I'm being assigned an AMT because there wasn't a manual available. I'm a little disappointed because I enjoy the challenge of a manual. How do other drivers like the AMTs?

Congratulations Bruce K..

That's awesome! Can't wait to read about it!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Congratulations Bruce that's a huge accomplishment! Yeah living with a trainer is tough but it sounds like you made the best of it.

Now is the time to really really focus on safety. Starting out solo is such a critical time in any driver's career. Many factors will be pulling you in many directions. Just keep it safe.

Personally I prefer the auto shift. I wager you will too after you get used to it. Good luck driver.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Bruce that's a huge accomplishment! Yeah living with a trainer is tough but it sounds like you made the best of it.

Now is the time to really really focus on safety. Starting out solo is such a critical time in any driver's career. Many factors will be pulling you in many directions. Just keep it safe.

Personally I prefer the auto shift. I wager you will too after you get used to it. Good luck driver.

Thanks Marc and Turtle. And congrats for being named a moderator. As for safety, that is great advice and the number one thing any experienced driver should stress to a new driver like me. My trainer constantly stressed every little detail that had to do with safety. At the end, he strongly advised me to be more aware of trailer management during turns no matter where I was, on the street, in truck stops, etc. I'm just saying this as much for my benefit as anybody else's benefit. Proper use of mirrors, evaluating everything about an intersection, traffic, turn radius before coming to a stop or making a turn. And always watch the trailer tandems and tail all the way around the turn. As time goes on, I'll post things here that I learn as a rookie solo driver. Hopefully I won't learn stuff the hard way, but I'm sure I'll get myself into some pickles that I'll have to figure out how to solve. Experience is a tough teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson afterward.

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".

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce K.

Congratulations on upgrading. I know the feeling about the loss of the manual tyranny. But so G-town doesn't rake me over the coals again about being adamant about wanting a manual I will wait until my training is done. Maybe I will get a manual. Right now my trainer has a super 8 speed. Those of you who doesn't know what that is: Well it's a 8 speed with an extra splitter attached for your 5-8 speeds. It took better part of a day to fully acclimate to it but is cool.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Bruce!

Don't be a stranger - we would really enjoy hearing from you now and then. Keep us posted on how it's going, and if you need any advice we will do our best to help if we can.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, and please do stick around.

You will still need advice for a while, and then you can share your knowledge with the new people coming in. Pay it forward kind of thing.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your success!!! We all have our own preference when it comes to transmissions. I have driven both and they each have their pro’s and con’s. As long as you get a good truck that’s the main thing... And yes even a brand new truck can sometimes be a bad one... Stay safe and Best wishes for you

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

I prefer the AMT, but (for me) the most important thing was mastering the steep downhills in manual mode. It was different, not difficult. And in Atlanta or Chicago traffic, I’ll take the AMT all day everyday.

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