Introduction Followed By Millis Training Institute Diary.(Cartersville, GA)

Topic 24300 | Page 6

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Pete E Pothole's Comment
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The learning continues. Monday, March 11

The plan is to meet with my trainer at 0800, well the wife and daughter both have to be working at 8 so up at 4 am to get me to the terminal and them back home in time for their jobs. The last weekend was kind of hectic, with the "what if I need this or that, should I take this or leave it?" Texting my trainer to double and triple check and asking questions feeling guilty I am interrupting his home time. End up with 2 small bags, 2 duffel bags and a case of water. The second duffel carrying bed stuffs, and also the dirty laundry duffel. I'm sure some of you trainers reading this now are facelpalming, but hopefully like my trainer you let a student toss his crap that wont fit on the bunk with him in the passenger seat at night. Brought a box of nutrigrain bars for breakfast and some microwaveable soups and Compleat meals all in one of the small bags. The other small bag is my shower bag. All in all, while i did have to keep a duffel and the bag with foods in the seat at night I don't feel like I brought more than I needed, and with two weeks of moving stuff around and what I wore I know what I don't need to take back to the truck with me.

Have the wife drop me and my junk off at the terminal, she heads out in time to clock in on time. About an hour later I see my trainer, we chat a bit, tells me where the truck is. I lug my crap out to the truck, we sent the ready for dispatch message and the response is long list but you are on it. Made up my bunk got stuff organized as well as I could living in bags. We sat and chatted quite a bit and got some time to know each other a little better. Turns out we are quite similar and have similar tastes in music.

About 1500 we get our load info and it leaves Tuesday morning from 40 miles away, heading to Plano, IL. Well my first lesson, sometimes you have to sit, just be ready to go when it's time to go. Arrive at shipper just after they open, drop the empty and grab the load and get on our way. Trainer drives a bit, wants to make sure we will get 3k miles on the first week's check every time we leave out and sitting for Monday may have hindered that a bit. No issues for me there as he has no idea how long I will be able to drive as we all have to build stamina. We stop at a Loves off I 24 in Kentucky and he says all right your turn. HELL YEA it's my turn, engage super trainee mode. Climb in drivers seat fasten belt, turn ignition, wait for r2d2 to stop chirping, start engine, apply service brake, push in the tractor parking brake, grab trolley brake and gently ease into the throttle for the tug test. Trainer looks at me deadpan and says you might want to put it in drive. Not sure what shade of red I was but I imagine I quite looked like a burgundy oopma loompa without the colored hair. Welp here we go, now he didn't say so, but if I was in his seat I sure would've been thinking this is about to get interesting. I'm sure it won't be the last of my bonehead moments but from that point forward anytime I did anything extra dumb I would say out loud "You have to put it in drive Pete."

I drove a few hours, we stopped not far from the Consignee , and delivered first thing in the morning. Next load from Streator Illinois to La Crosse WI. Got to shipper had to sit for a live load, but managed to deliver that and get to Neillsville then spend the night at the home office/terminal in Black River Falls. I have got to say Wisconsin surprised me, I was expecting flat windy farmland like most of northern Indiana, northern Illinois and northern Ohio are but was pleased to see the rolling hills. The load from Neillsville went to Walton KY, I drove from Janesville WI around Chicago on 294 to 80 around noonish in some rain on the 14th but the real challenge that day was the wind on I 65 from Merrillville all the way to Indy. It was a challenge we had 13k in the trailer and the wind was rough, there were some moments he later told me he considered shutting it down. Arrived at our Trenton OH terminal that evening for an early morning delivery across the river. After dropping that load Friday morning we got a load to NY that delivers Monday, but we got a preplan for a load out of Baldwinsville to come down to Norcross GA Monday. The wind off the lake was pretty rough Friday night but it was a noticeable difference when the wind smacked me carrying 44k pounds than when it was batting the trailer around loaded with 13k. Drop the load at the Weedsport terminal and head over to Baldwinsville early in the morning to take our weekend drive back to Georgia for an early Monday delivery. Beautiful weather all weekend and riding down the Shenandoah Valley on I 81 sure was nice. Delivery made after waiting a few hours for a load out of north GA again we get a run from Calhoun to Richfield this is our first load to begin the second week. First week miles 3373, I drove roughly two thirds of our total miles. Learning a great deal along the way, I really have to work on my following distance more in heavy traffic. In Richfield we pick up a john deere five stop load with 3 stops in AL and 2 in south GA. Get up super early from trainer to drive through Milwaukee and Chicago traffic before the morning rush hour and manage to beat it. Get to our destination Loves 45 minutes from first receiver, for 7 am Thursday drop, at 1730.

Continued...

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Continuation...

Thursday am up again dark and early, showers done and on the road. First delivery we are at the receiver for less than 20 minutes, pull in back to the dock he unloads and signs and off we go. Second receiver slightly longer there but in and out in less than 30 minutes. Now a 3 hour drive to the next location and it's a doozy not much room here at all. Tandems all the way forward, super tight, in fact had to get them to move some stuff around so we could make a turn to the dock, but it gets done and off we go again. The fourth stop on this trip is a mystery, no directions and satellite view shows a tiny place not far off the interstate in south GA. I pull in and was nervous, this place wasn't designed for a big truck. Take the paperwork in and the man in charge seems shocked he has a delivery. At first I got a sinking feeling like maybe I am at the wrong place but he looks at the paperwork and says all right, Are you in a panel truck and can I get one of my young'ns to ride with you down to the dock and unload it and bring it back?". I explain no don't have room as my trainer is in the cab of the 18 wheeler. At this point I am thinking wait a minute no dock? I meet with the younger man and he says we are gonna take a pickup down the street, just follow us. Getting around the building here was exciting there is a 3 foot concrete wall on the other side of the building creating a fueling lane where there are some fuel tanks. It was close but we got through and here was the tricky part, neither of the driveways for this store were designed with an OTR truck and 53' trailer in mind. The pickup we were following went left and I tried to make that left but it wasn't going to happen the left side of this driveway had an eighteen inch concrete culvert that I would have had to drive over so I backed it back into the lot and the pickup came back and said we can go this way and off to the right we went. Get that load dropped and plan to head out early Friday to get the last stop made and hopefully soon thereafter get our load home. Friday goes smoothly last drop done, have our new load info in 20 minutesish and off to Albany GA we go. Load picked up, I text the wife heading home from Albany leaving now. Traffic yesterday all around Atlanta was crappy all day, we expected to be out of the truck by 1400ish and traffic delayed us a little more than an hour, which considering it's Atlanta is too terrible. It probably felt worse than it was because that was the load home. For the second week out I think we are around the 2200 mile mark, again I drove about two thirds of our miles. I have a lot to learn and work on still. With what I have learned so far Time Management seems to be second to only Safety. Working the clock to avoid rush hour in any major city(especially Atlanta) is a must if at all possible.

It was only two weeks but so far I can't believe I am getting paid for this. We stop at Loves or Millis Terminals each night, showers are everyday and my trainer fuels at loves so he can always have unlimited showers for himself and student. I was concerned initially, because I have dentures and wasn't sure how that was going to work out, can't sleep with them in(as my wife so eloquently put it, my breath smells like a dinosaur crapped in my mouth when I wake up), so finding out there would be a hot shower every morning gave me great relief. Thanks for reading, sorry for the rambling where I rambled and will try to update each home time. Hope to meet some of you some time, be safe out there.

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.

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.

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".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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Great posts! Looks like you’re learning a bunch and getting things done.smile.gif

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Well not home officially yet so no career update but had a good day on the roads and was able to have a nice dinner with the wife and kids. They drove 90 minutes each way to have a 90 minute dinner with dad and it was awesome.

Old School's Comment
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That's really cool that you guys got to meet up like that. I know each of you enjoyed that.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Anything that is a must do/see/eat at Iowa 80?

PackRat's Comment
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Anything that is a must do/see/eat at Iowa 80?

Yes! All of it, just don’t take a lot of money in there. I usually drop at least $500 each time I stop by.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Anything that is a must do/see/eat at Iowa 80?

If the truck museum is open definitely go in there. They have a truck show out there in July, may have some issues parking there for the night as they blocked off most of the parking from the building to just past fuel island but if you're in the area and have time it's worth checking out. One thing I've liked about Iowa 80 is there isn't anywhere near as much trash as most truck stops. It helps that they have so many trash bins but still seen some drivers that are too lazy to walk 10 feet to the trash bin.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Went to Iowa 80, was amazed. Went Ames, got a new load from the same place we delivered and stayed at the pilot across the street from Iowa 80. Got down to Cartersville terminal and met my first TT member that I know of. Will write in more detail this upcoming weekend.

Nice to meet you Mr Noob. Crossing fingers for you tomorrow.

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.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Left out again March 25, the beginning of a great week. From home terminal we are sent to Marion, OH for early appt on Tuesday. Was weird looking down the street where my grandparents house was from the windows of an 18 wheeler. Got there on time and the live unload wasn't too bad, though they are never fast enough. From there we deadheaded to Kalamazoo, MI for some packaging going to the Chobani factory in New Berlin. It's so beautiful there, middle of nowhere but the drive in and out sure are pretty. Now this was one of those unloads that frustrates you and about the time you decide to climb in the sleeper and nod off someone shows up to tell you they are done. Send the ready for dispatch and get routed to Saratoga Springs, NY plan is to drop at the Richfield, WI terminal. Next two loads are pre-planned Random Lake,WI to Cartersville, GA then Cartersville, GA to Columbia City, IN. Was a great week for mileage but ends up making the next week a little short since we are due home on Thursday as my trainer and I both have some separate business to attend to on that day.

Second week, deadheading from Columbia City, IN to Carol Stream, IL delivering in Ames, IA on Tuesday getting a turn around out of same facility heading to Acworth, GA. Worked out perfectly stopped at Iowa 80 Monday night spent a little time looking around and having breakfast. Tuesday night back at the pilot across the street from Iowa 80, and for those of you that don't know, there is a little restaurant there called Gramma's Kitchen next to the Pilot. I loved it, the food was great and will go back again if I get the chance. Leave out in the morning, trainer drives to Williamsburg, IL and I finish up the day getting us into Cartersville, GA at 19:40. Met Mr. Noob and chatted with him a bit. We have about a 40 mile round trip ahead of us, have to get unloaded, but once we are back the week is done and home time begins. Done by 09:00 and have to be back at the truck 08:00 Monday.

I still have several areas I need to improve, unlearning bad driving habits. Not watching mirrors enough and signaling late occasionally being foremost. I've seen the aftermath of a few bad accidents, haven't witnessed any thankfully. It's sobering, the reality, and finality of it, the danger of the job. I can't say it has shaken me, but it really drives home how important safety MUST be in my daily life on the road.

It's mind-blowing to me how many people doing the speed limit or slower slam on their brakes when they see an officer in the median. Not sure what they are feeling guilty about, but I am only doing 66 in a 70 and closing on them. They see a LEO in the median and hit the brakes. Another thing that I don't understand, why don't people try to match the speed limit on the interstate when joining. It shouldn't be a surprise to them they are supposed to be merging into a lane where the speed limit is 70.

My best day so far has been 598 miles, second being 570 I think. Really enjoy the scenery, those rolling hills in Iowa between Walcott and Des Moines remind me of the scenes I have seen on dinner plates. Some hills in the foreground with a farmhouse and old red barn at the back. Still amazed I'm getting paid for this, also quite thankful for my trainer. Couldn't ask for a better guy, similar personality and very considerate.

Thanks for reading, and will post more again when there is more hometime.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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