Oh, The Shame!

Topic 25060 | Page 1

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RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

It's hard to do this job without making mistakes. I've made my fair share. At least I could say, "Well, I haven't hit anything yet." Not anymore.

A couple weeks ago I was feeling as high as could be. I transferred to Prime and I couldn't wait to get back OTR; to test myself. To see if I could hit the ground running and use my experience from my previous job, along with advice from drivers on this forum, and apply those lessons to be successful. I was confident - at least as confident as I ever let myself feel - I'd be able to live up to the standards I felt I was capable of achieving.

I decided to go out with a trainer to learn about Prime's way of doing things and to familiarize myself with the Qualcomm. I had to complete 15,000 miles. As of yesterday I had 3,000 miles left. Unfortunately, that's when sh__ hit the fan.

I was stopping at a TA for a 30min break. There was a spot i could pull through between two trucks. Something I've done numerous times. As I made a right turn to pull in between them I was focusing on my trailer clearing the trailer of the truck on my right side. Stupid me was not paying attention to the front edge of my trailer on the left side. I ended up hitting the lights on the a tanker trailer to my left. I didn't hit it hard. Just kind of scraped it on the way by but, it was enough to bend the bar the lights were on.

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My immediate reaction was, "Well that's it for me. I suck! I'm too stupid to be a driver." I had the worst sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. All my hopes for a great start with my new company were smashed!

Now, many hours later, I still feel like a piece of dung but, I know it's not the end of the world. I do have to complete an additional 10,000 miles of training though. Grrr! I'm driving tonight and I'm hoping I'm not going to be overly paranoid. Cautious, yes.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Dude I've been there. I clipped a headlight with my trailer at the end of a long day. Can't believe how I beat myself up over it. Just makes you question everything you do? Be thankful it was a minor incident instead of something major. You will learn from it. Almost had a major accident today. I was coming down an entrance ramp and in my mirror I could see two trucks side by side and the truck in the right lane was trying to get over to let me in. He wasn't able to so I slowed down to let him by. No one was behind him. As I started to pull into the right lane as he passed a truck behind me on the entrance ramp went flying by me... Thank God I saw him slammed on the brakes and I almost hit the guardrail. Thinking back on the incident I was wondering what the hell happened. I concluded that the guy behind me was not paying attention to my breaking and went to the left to keep from hitting from behind. Take nothing for granted and check all sides. If I hadn't looked to the left again after the first truck passed me I never would have seen him. Still can't imagine why the truck behind me was so close? You're coming down a ramp you should expect to have to yield... I expect this Behavior out of cars not 18 wheelers.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

After I finished my TNT & went solo, I was at Pittston terminal and was so wound up about whether I should stay or keep going. Park & eat or take a shower... all these thoughts going on in my head all while setting up to park in the front area for high value trailers. Well I totally forgot to *watch my wagon & hit a parked tractor with my trailer as I was setting to back.

Another time I was in the pilot in Rotterdam, NY. Tightest parking I'd ever tried. Pulling up along the right side of a parked truck to back into a spot on his left. I got so close that when I turned to the right, my trailer kicked left & scraped his deer guard. He had one of those $3K ones. It worked fine, I didn't break it, it was just cosmetic damage but he called the cops to make a report anyway.

Life lessons. You'll be fine so long as you don't beat yourself up over it. Go over it in your head. Make a mental reference point & reminder to learn for the next time. Just keep the wheels turning so you can keep earning.

Good luck & stay safe!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

2 months after going solo I dropped a trailer in the yard, I forgot to roll legs down and pulled out from under it, then 2 days later I was so worried to roll legs down I forgot to disconnect air lines. When I pulled forward and saw them hanging on the front of my rear trailer I though well you are officially done trucking 2 stupid accidents in 2 days. Luckily they just told me to use that week as a learning experience and not make a habit of it.

Learn from it but dont dwell on it.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Hey y'all! Thanks for sharing your stories. Made it to my final without hitting anything. I even had to pull in between two trucks at a PA rest area for a repower...and I didn't hit anything! LOL! I laugh now but, I was extremely cautious while parking and pulling out. I must try to approach every situation as if it's the first time doing it. Danger and stupid mistakes are a constant passenger...

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

.

My immediate reaction was, "Well that's it for me. I suck! I'm too stupid to be a driver." I had the worst sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. All my hopes for a great start with my new company were smashed!

Now, many hours later, I still feel like a piece of dung but, I know it's not the end of the world. I do have to complete an additional 10,000 miles of training though. Grrr! I'm driving tonight and I'm hoping I'm not going to be overly paranoid. Cautious, yes.

Hey RD, If that incident didn't bother you, THEN you would have a problem. Being conscientious is a good thing.

I remember reading a post here a long time ago, I think it was Old School replying to someone who was in school, and he said something like this: "...how are you going to react when you hit something? And believe me, you WILL hit something!" I remember that because I was in school at the time, best that I can remember.

And sure enough, I hit something. And I did it the day before I was scheduled to go in for my 90 day review. Bummer. My humble opinion is that the companies don't worry too much about the conscientious drivers, they worry about the ones with a cavalier attitude.

I feel 100% confident that no one will disagree with me on this; we all know from your posts that you are a great example of a highly professional driver.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I still have youz all beat. i knock an axle.off the trailer. Now i have 3 years accident free whoo hoo!!!

Dont beat yourself.up or you will make it worse

Distractions Can Kill Your Career, Or Worse

Don's Comment
member avatar

I have no doubt that if we are doing this for any length of time, we will all eventually experience being involved in some sort of a fender bender. It may involve another vehicle, or we could be by ourselves while turning, backing, etc.. around objects.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Try not to beat yourself up too much, not dwelling on it and potentially compromising focus. Definitely a minor mistake.

I do want to ask a question though; why did you attempt to pull-through?

I can honestly state I’ve seen far more mishaps and time spent trying to pull through a spot designed to be backed-into, than setting up for the backing maneuver. Countless examples of watching this at the DC and truck stops. Some rather painful to observe. Being totally honest with you...

Yes, you need to execute what you are comfortable doing, in the believe it’s the safest/easiest path. Totally get that. However, unless a parking spot is designed as a pull-through, (angled with ample room to get the tail straightened out) I suggest carefully backing into these spaces, expanding your comfort zone and perhaps confidence.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Try not to beat yourself up too much, not dwelling on it and potentially compromising focus. Definitely a minor mistake.

I do want to ask a question though; why did you attempt to pull-through?

I can honestly state I’ve seen far more mishaps and time spent trying to pull through a spot designed to be backed-into, than setting up for the backing maneuver. Countless examples of watching this at the DC and truck stops. Some rather painful to observe. Being totally honest with you...

Yes, you need to execute what you are comfortable doing, in the believe it’s the safest/easiest path. Totally get that. However, unless a parking spot is designed as a pull-through, (angled with ample room to get the tail straightened out) I suggest carefully backing into these spaces, expanding your comfort zone and perhaps confidence.

I get what you're saying, G-town. It makes a lot of sense. I'd normally back into the spot too. However - picture this - when I was cruising along the row of trucks, the tractors were angled toward me on my right side. I saw the hole and made a right turn around the end of the row. So the trucks were then angled away from me on my right as I pulled into the hole. Yes, I know, even with the angle working for me I messed it up.

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