My First 3 Weeks Running Solo Report

Topic 24392 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all, I just got back for my first home time as a solo OTR driver with Schneider. Out almost 3 full weeks of non stop pickups, delivery's and, of course, lot's of driving. It was a great adventure with a few harrowing moments thrown in. I'm happy to report that I made it through my first stint with no mishaps or damaged equipment (both mine and others) and I made every pickup and delivery on time and in good condition. I actually out ran my 70 hour clock twice and had to take 34 hr resets. I hate resets already. Mostly the company routed me through the south, from the Atlantic coast of Georgia west to Laredo, TX. Then I got sent up north through snow and ice in the Ozarks, to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and then back home through Chicago back to Wisconsin where I get 3 days of home time. There were two equipment related incidents. One of my air lines broke and that required me to bobtail to a nearby Operating Center to get it fixed. Then my trailer brakes froze in North Canton, Ohio. The company had to send a service truck to me and free up the brakes. Now I know what to do to prevent this from happening again. Drag the brakes to dry them out in wet conditions and then use just the tractor brakes when on level ground. Don't set the trailer brakes. And I could have freed up the brakes myself if I had a metal rod with me to tap the brake shoe webbing and break them loose from the drum. Next time out a rod will be in my side compartment. And I'm also putting a automotive creeper in my under bunk storage for use when I have to go under the trailer. My number one goal going out solo for the first time was to be safe on the roads and everywhere else I was sent. I guess I could have run faster, but why? I still out paced my DOT clocks. And the only trucks I passed were a few Prime trucks. My number two goal was to pick up and deliver on time and I was able to do that without much anxiety. Well, I have plenty of stories to relate from my first trip. I guess I'll save them for later. Stay SAFE out there, everybody!

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Bruce, you did well - you didn't hit anything - that's good!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I slide under a trailer on one of those cheap dollar store windshield screens.. ya know the ones that are silver, shiny and have those insulation "bubbles"? When it's slick or snowy they'll glide right under.. better than a sled.. folds nice and small, lightweight and easier to store than a creeper. Just a thought.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Glad you had a great first 3 weeks. As a suggestion, I never set the trailer brakes unless I'm in a dock, or dropping the trailer. Another thing that can work for laying on under that trailer is one of those silver windshield covers that are used to block out the sun. They fold up very small, too.good-luck.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good job Bruce. Keep it up and you got it licked.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I think Susan D. beat me to it. Sorry.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Based on my first time out solo, I have a question for the experienced drivers: If you are out OTR for over 2 weeks at a time, how do you manage your 70 hr. clock? Do you limit your driving per day to avoid a 34 hr reset? Or do you like to take the reset? I had 2 resets my first time out, and even though I had books to read, I hated them. Any advice for me moving ahead?

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I personally prefer to reset though it kills me to sit lol. Planning your reset in a place that offers plenty of interesting things to do sure helps.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

My ideal week would be 6 days of hard running, followed by a reset. That day of sitting gives me a chance to recharge, relax, go for a walk, Uber or bobtail somewhere interesting etc.

In reality though, every week will be different depending on your loads or appt times. I prefer to work when I can and rest when I must, because I never know when an unexpected delay will slow me down. Taking advantage of any opportunity to get work done is what I feel keeps me ahead of the game.

How do I manage my 70? That's tough to answer, but basically I'm always looking for what advantage can be gained in every little thing I do. In every situation I give myself options A, B, and C, then decide which option gives me an edge.

In a nutshell, I take advantage of every minute I have, because I never know when I won't have those minutes.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More