New Swift Driver Wanting To Switch

Topic 25783 | Page 3

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Auggie69's Comment
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Yeah I'm experiencing this...working til the last minute almost, then having to use off duty driving to get to a rest stop after my delivery

My first dispatch I had to do two uturns...learning not to trust Qualcomm...was so embarrassed when it happened I almost cried

Glad it was a Sunday and not busy

Thought I'd have to call on road to pull me out of a gravel yard...thought thr skirt was gonna rip off when I was backing out to do an "three-point" uturn in an elevated gravel pit then thought I was screwed when the road was closed due to flooding in Illinois and I had to back up to do a uturn

I've read stories of how other's first day were so I don't feel as bad. Backing is somewhat getting easier but I had to have someone fix my back twice at a load drop off...a bit embarrassing, got chased out before I could send my empty call and it just had me so flustered

Almost gave up once because it took over 2 hours to get my weights legal. I'm glad a veteran driver stopped to help else I'd have been screwed

Three years ago when I started Local P&D I would drive with my cheeks clenched.

Having survived this long I can handle it much better.

Came out of an industrial park yesterday and took a left. About 500ft down the road was a low bridge - 12'6". I stopped, cursed, pulled into some guy's driveway and backed out to turn around (hope he wasn't ****ed).

Point is I was more annoyed than scared. You'll reach that point.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

The job is really hard and so much harder than we thought going in. It gets easier man. It’s not you. This stuff happens to everyone. Legs shaking gut wrenching stuff we do.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Craig asked

how do you get your weights legal? Is there something that needs adjusted?

the trailer tires (tandems)are on a rail that allow you to slide them forward or backwards to help move shift weight to a different axle. As you move the tandems you're moving between 300 and 600 pounds per hole to the other axles. If you move tandems toward the rear of the trailer more weight will be on your drives, move the tandems forward and more weight will be on the trailer tires axle. Your truck tires (drives) and trailer tires (tandem axles) can not exceed 34k. That is why many of the large truck stops have CAT scales , to make sure you're weights are legal. It sounds more complicated than it really is, the trainers will help you understand. It just takes some math, and sometimes a hammer to get the locking pins to release. If you get frustrated its bound to be more difficult.

Ray I'd suggest still using people net or whatever device you guys use so there's a paper trail. I believe it was Turtle who was told he had a service failure (late to deliver) when in reality someone didn't update system when he informed them of a delay. He was able to get the service failure removed by showing them the message he sent informing them. That can't be done with a phone call. I only use Google maps for satellite view to see beforehand what the shipper setup is and how the turns look getting to them. Less surprises that way. I wouldn't follow the navigation on it as it assumes your in a car and eventually will take you to low bridges or send you into a residential neighborhood, or even tell you whip a u turn when there is no space to do so.

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.

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".

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Cat Scales:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I personally do not use a truck GPS. Because even they will give you bad directions. Talk to the CRST driver that drove down the Atlantic City boardwalk.

I use my Atlas and Apple maps. But the most important things I use: my eyes and my brain. Apple maps is mainly for traffic alerts. I plan my route out using my Atlas, then I follow what my eyes tell me.

As far as axle weights go. Remember, slide your trailer tandems TOWARDS the problem. If you drives are overweight, slide your trailer tandems forward. If your trailer tandems are overweight, slide your trailer tandems rearward.

When it comes to sliding your 5th wheel, you move it AWAY from the problem.

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".

Craig L.'s Comment
member avatar

I personally do not use a truck GPS. Because even they will give you bad directions. Talk to the CRST driver that drove down the Atlantic City boardwalk.

I use my Atlas and Apple maps. But the most important things I use: my eyes and my brain. Apple maps is mainly for traffic alerts. I plan my route out using my Atlas, then I follow what my eyes tell me.

As far as axle weights go. Remember, slide your trailer tandems TOWARDS the problem. If you drives are overweight, slide your trailer tandems forward. If your trailer tandems are overweight, slide your trailer tandems rearward.

When it comes to sliding your 5th wheel, you move it AWAY from the problem.

Good info here but can you explain how fix the weight problem in a bit more detail. If this ever comes up I wanted to be prepared to handle it.

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".

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
Good info here but can you explain how fix the weight problem in a bit more detail. If this ever comes up I wanted to be prepared to handle it.

It was just explained in great detail. Obviously you are not driving yet. Weights will need to be adjusted on most loads exceeding 30000-35000 pounds. If not for legal axle weights, at least for balance. You will learn this in school and from your trainer. Nothing to even concern yourself with now. If you want, Google "Adjusting axle weights on a tractor trailer"

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Craig, when you're in company training, your trainer should teach you how to scale and balance a load. Its much easier to actually see it being done, to understand it better. Basically you'll weigh at a scale, if not legal then figure out which way you need to move tandems or 5th wheel (very rare), make your adjustments, scale again to make sure you're good to go.

Some trailers have an air release and others have a manual release that will unlock (retract) the pins so you can move the tandems . When you move tandems, you are actually keeping the tandems (trailer wheels) in place, while you MOVE the TRUCK and TRAILER backward or forward as the tandems stay put. The tandems are on a set of slide rails attached underneath the trailer. These rails have evenly spaced holes in them. The holes are where the pins lock in. The spacing between the holes gives you an idea of how much weight per hole you're actually moving. When the wheels are where you need them to be to get weight legal, you lock the pins back in and then rescale the load to confirm that you're legal.

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".

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

When you make mistakes just take a moment to relax and think about a way to fix it. Just yesterday I made a turn that ended up being a non-truck route, just stopped and thought it through. Simply fixed it by turning down one of the roads, lucky was big enough for me to do so, and backed up across the intersection and turned back where I came from and went on my way.

Greg H.'s Comment
member avatar

I personally like the Counter button. Someone has already mentioned it. Of course, I'm probably a little more picky than some people. I'll counter until I get one that I feel comfortable with. I've rejected a few too. I usually never hear anything about it. You have to remember that the times you're originally given are computer generated, and they usually do not include enough *actual* time to pick up and deliver. So, yeh, you really need to use your own good judgment.

A good preplan will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

I'll get out a pen and pad and sit there and right down everything if I have to. This will include time to fuel, scale, take a 30 minute break, traffic (California can sometimes mean adding an extra 2 hours), and so forth and so on. Anything you need, write it down, figure it up, and then counter a load with your own times. Forget the computer generated times.

Getting in a hurry, or thinking that you *have to* will only get you into trouble.

Be a good and safe driver. Keep a strong head on your shoulders

And remember, no one knows everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

I am sure smarter people than I can point to the post that someone posted some pictures of sliding tandems to get weights adjusted, I just don't remember who posted that. It was within the last 3 weeks maybe.

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".

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