First Week Of Solo Finished With Flubs And All - And There Were Allot Of Flubs! Part I

Topic 25463 | Page 1

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Chris L's Comment
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Part I. Well I made it through my first week solo and boy it was a long week! I did a quick post about my fist day Monday already so I won't rehash that experience. Tuesday morning had me heading to Evendale, Ohio for my first delivery My appointment was at 10:00 A.M. but I was able to get to the distributer by 08:00 A.M. even though I was early they took me in. So I went out to my truck slid the tandems back and started to back up to the dock. First Challenge:Tthey originally wanted me to back up to a dock between a trailer and another truck that was unloading at the time I was having trouble getting lined up into the slot after a couple of tries the guy who was to unload me came out and directed me to another door that has open space around it the guy actually opened up the door so I had a better target to aim for. I got it backed into the door and the unloading began I had 20 pallets of that sparkling water mixed with alcohol (I'm not sure of the brand name) after I was unloaded the guy that unloaded my trailer came out and gave my the signed BOL I apologized to him about taking so long to back up told him I was a learning and I haven't quite got my backing up skills dialed in yet he said "No problem it was better that I could have done"! So I pulled away from the dock and closed the doors and sent in my Macro and headed out to my next assignment. Of course I for got one big thing... I for got to slide my tandems forward before I took off "DOUGH"!!! Yaha I realized that as I drove over the curb leaving the distributers parking lot. So I had to find a safe spot to pull over so I could slide them forward so as I was looking for a safe spot to pull over I found a place on the road side that I should have pulled into but my Tractor and Trailer would have been crooked and I didn't feel comfortable trying slide the tandems forward at that spot so I continued on (Hindsight I should have done it there at that spot off the road) Well I continued on while looking for a place to slide the tandems and find my way back onto the main drag I started to drive up a steeply curved ramp to the right as I was going up there was a driver coming down the ramp with a extra long Low Boy (Three axles on the rear) Crossed over into my lane and I steer myself to the inside of the curve and my tandems brush the guard rail!!! "DOUGH-2"!!! again luck was with me because now one was behind me so I jumped out and check behind me to see if it was clear and I backed the trailer off and swung out to the high side of the curve and got off the ramp. I finally found a Wal-Mart Parking lot where I could safely slide my tandems forward- Oh the only thing I could see was I rubbed the tire on the guard rail luckily I was only going about 10 MPH on the ramp. After I stopped shaking I started off to my next assignment to pick up paper in Wabash, IN I'm currently using the GPS feature on the Qualcom and this thing had me basically running the back roads in both Ohio and Indiana to get to Wabash When I finally got to the paper mill and got loaded (Yes I remembered to slide my tandems forward!) I had about three hours left on my HOS clock to find a place to stop and shut down. So off I go the easiest way to get out from the paper mill and to a truck stop is to head straight up US 24 towards Ft. Wayne easy right? Well Ms. Qualcom has me take a tour of the back roads of Indiana long story short I finally make it to the Loves on 24 with 36 minutes left on my clock. The next day I have to take the load I have back to Baldwinsville, NY and drop it in the yard so I can pick up another load and head back out. I got back to the yard with and hour and a half left on my clock.

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, not too shabby! You did well. You mentioned Ms. Qualcomm . One thing you have to remember is that Ms. Qualcomm is very Bi-Polar. Best to always take a little time to check her route against the truck- route atlas. Unless you enjoy the scenic route on occasion. Lol!

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Great post! The first month solo should be the hardest. Make a list and stick in on the sun visor. Things such as “Duty status, Qualcomm message, padlock removed, slide tandems , paperwork, 4 way flashers, open the doors, wheel chocks, set raiser brakes at dock, turn off all lights in the dock, inspect the trailer after unloading, etc.” I keep a bunch of notes so I can remember things ten minutes from now.

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like a win to me!

Great post, and a great lesson for anyone starting out on their own. Humility can be a great teacher.

Recognizing, admitting, and most importantly learning from an experience will undoubtedly serve you well. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on a successful first week!

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Hobo's Comment
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Chris, I just finished up my first week solo too. You weren't alone when it comes to flubs.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

We've all got stories to tell of screw ups. Those first few weeks are really tough, but they help shape us into the driver we will become.

Hang in there guys. Screw ups are teaching moments, but we have to allow them to help us get better. We're all so stressed and feeling like we really have got to prove something during that first month that we typically end up getting ourselves in a few binds that we could have avoided. If you just focus on not hitting anything you can figure it all a successful journey. That's your number one priority as a newbie. Make that happen and you've still got a future to work on all those other issues.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

We've all got stories to tell of screw ups. Those first few weeks are really tough, but they help shape us into the driver we will become.

Hang in there guys. Screw ups are teaching moments, but we have to allow them to help us get better. We're all so stressed and feeling like we really have got to prove something during that first month that we typically end up getting ourselves in a few binds that we could have avoided. If you just focus on not hitting anything you can figure it all a successful journey. That's your number one priority as a newbie. Make that happen and you've still got a future to work on all those other issues.

If I ever get tome Ill post some more of mine.

I had a tight turn onto a scale today and stopped just short of clipping the post with my trailer. Luckily I was “driving my tandems” and saw it starting, backed off the scale, swung wider and avoided an issue

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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