I Really Need Advice About My Future

Topic 25590 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Matt K.'s Comment
member avatar

All right here it is... I don't think I'm cut out for trucking... I've only been driving for a year and I don't know what happened...

So, I started with Melton truck lines and when I was driving for them, thing were great! I was already building myself to be a legend with the company... Except... I hated the home time... I stayed with them for only 5 months. Being out months on end and getting only 9 days home... No, couldn't do it. However, exemplary record! No problems! Almost as if I was meant for it...

After leaving Melton I went to my current employer of whom I will not mention... I blew up! Every mistake one can make I have made under this company. The only thing I haven't done is hit anyone... GOD PLEASE DON'T LET ME HIT ANYONE!!!

To give you an idea (I'm 31 by the way)... My entire life I never even so, much as been pulled over by the police... About a month ago, Got a speeding ticket in New York (17 miles over the speed limit)... Yikes!

Dropped trailers twice both times because I didn't back underneath the trailer hard enough... (So, the fifth wheel didn't fully engage) I fixed that problem... After the second one which happened in a yard and was told by an experienced driver what I did wrong, I'm confident that's not an issue anymore. I was over the road when the first one happened... In a peterbilt parking lot...

Even, worse... God forbid if I lose my job... I've driven nothing but, automatics since joining the fleet. My license says I can drive manual but, I can't...

I don't know anymore... I know nothing... My anxiety and stress is increasing and it seems like as my anxiety goes up so, is my likelihood of making mistakes...

Over The Road:

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.

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.

NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

The problem with the dropping trailers thing is totally avoidable. Just check those looking jaws every single time.

Just like you said, the more flustered you get, the more mistakes happen. I have the same problem myself. I get all worked up about something and it tumbles out of control. You just have to stop, take a step back, and reassess the situation. Is part of the problem maybe your ego letting you get too comfortable? You said it yourself, you were built for this. Maybe you are, but you can't get complacent. There is a lit of things that can go wrong out here. Focus your mind, button down, face your mistakes like a man, and get through the struggle.

That speeding ticket is definitely a big no-no. But it's just that an a dropped trailer? Your career can survive it I believe. Just move on. Pay attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sometimes mistakes happen in bunches. You just have to push through and have no regrets.

Speeding ticket is bad. Real bad.

As far as the tug test, when i do mine I pull hard and i don't stop until I begin to drag the trailer tires.

Keep your head up and watch your speed.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

Dropped trailers twice both times because I didn't back underneath the trailer hard enough... (So, the fifth wheel didn't fully engage) I fixed that problem.

You will fix that problem when you fully realize you didn’t drop the trailer from not backing under it hard enough. You dropped it because you didn’t do a tug test/ check the release handle was in all the way and look with a flash light that the jaws were wrapped completely around the shank of the king pin. This is the only way to prevent It from happening again.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Matt K said: I was already building myself to be a legend with the company...

Matt, what you said about becoming a "legend", might say more than anything about what became your problem. Sounds like overconfidence morphed into carelessness and sloppy habits.

You can fix this, but you need to somehow go back to the beginning and get re-trained or re-train yourself. Right now, you are a danger to yourself and everybody else on the road. Maybe you can start fresh with a major company that has very strict training standards, if you want to salvage your career. Somehow, your training didn't "take". Not too late to figure out a way to get effective training and a better attitude.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Matt, we practice "Tough Love" on this forum. Meaning if you don't "get" the Straight Dope® we lay out for you, you won't learn anything. Please stick around and learn something.

I'll start with

Being out months on end and getting only 9 days home... No, couldn't do it.

I hope you heard and understood the hometime your recruiter mentioned, if he did. Most OTR driving is exactly like you experienced - gone up to a month, and only four or so days home at a time. It something like that. (You earn one day at home for every week your out driving.)

Also it may not have been made clear how to ask for your hometime.

Now for the big flashing red light (on this forum):

Five months with Melton then you bailed. We recommend staying at least 12 months with your first company. Anything less will indicate you might be a job hopper, which most companies will frown upon. Also, you didn't mention it but if Melton helped you finance your truck school, they'll want their money back. Quickly.

I know that people don't retain everything they learn in truck school, and another driver reminded you about checking the kingpin coupling. The first several months that you are on the road by yourself are still a learning experience for you. Stick to it and keep studying.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Bruce replied to Matt...

Matt K said: I was already building myself to be a legend with the company...

Matt, what you said about becoming a "legend", might say more than anything about what became your problem. Sounds like overconfidence morphed into carelessness and sloppy habits.

You can fix this, but you need to somehow go back to the beginning and get re-trained or re-train yourself. Right now, you are a danger to yourself and everybody else on the road. Maybe you can start fresh with a major company that has very strict training standards, if you want to salvage your career. Somehow, your training didn't "take". Not too late to figure out a way to get effective training and a better attitude.

Spot-on Bruce.

Agree with all of it.

Don’t quit Matt...focus and exercise more care. A lot more care...

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Get a grip man! Pay attention to the details. No excuse for dropping a trailer due to a bad hook up. Twice? Seriously? Then a 17 mph over the limit speeding ticket? Totally inexcusable under any circumstance. You need to get your head in the game, get the bad and unnecessary crap out of it. Things like “on my way to legendary status”. What a joke! You’re on your way to being labeled as unhireable PDQ if you don’t do a 180 IMMEDIATELY! Not next week. Not tomorrow. NOW. You don’t know nothing yet about being a professional driver. I won’t even get into jumping ship with Melton because Errol already covered that. If you want to actually be a success as a driver, change your ways, or change careers.

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.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

When I back under a trailer the first thing I do when I connect is put it in drive and pull. Before I get out of the truck, before I raise the landing gear that way if it's not fully connected I will just drive out and nothing drops. Checking the kingpin connection should be part of the inspection you do on every trailer you connect to. You should also check that connection EVERY time you have left your truck and EVERY time before you take off after your 10s/34s to make sure no joker pulled your pin release. Write a checklist to read and follow if needed or so you dont forget or overlook any steps toward safe operation of your truck.

I mention the checklist simply because of the anxiety causing mistakes. The best way to control the anxiety mistakes is to get into a solid routine and I think a written list for every action can help by eliminating the ability to forget steps. Best of luck to you as you figure out what to do.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Since we're on the topic of making secure tractor/trailer connections, I'd like to mention one little thing about the tug test. Before doing a tug test, raise the landing gear up a few inches. Your going to have to raise it all the way anyhow. That way if you tug and you drag the trailer forward a little bit, you won't damage the landing gear. But should you mess up and drop the trailer, it will only drop a few inches.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

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