FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Topic 25933 | Page 11

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Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Sounds like you are doing a good job!

I should have mentioned always take the trailer on the end. If you need two empties I like to put my dolly on the one on the left when facing them and hook the one to the right as the lead, so the rear will have more access to legs ( depending on what side your handles are on).

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you are doing a good job!

I should have mentioned always take the trailer on the end. If you need two empties I like to put my dolly on the one on the left when facing them and hook the one to the right as the lead, so the rear will have more access to legs ( depending on what side your handles are on).

Growing pains, Bob. I learn more everyday and I feel I had a pretty decent headstart from the knowledge I've gained from here.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I had a run to the ports today. Less than 100 miles so it paid hourly. The plan was simple. Bobtal three and bring back a multimodal trailer. Simple enough, and those are always the most complicated.

I got to the port and had no idea where I was supposed to go. I saw another driver come in and I realized I went the wrong way. Luckily, I'm bobtailing so I just backed up and went the right way. I come up to a screen that's asking for a driver id. I don't have one so I pick up the phone attached and the lady tells me to go inside. I went inside, she takes my license and paperwork and she gives me my ID information. This is my ID for life whenever I go to the ports. It's what I use to gain access to the port. She grabs a map and draws out the directions to where my trainer might be. That's right, might be. I head over there and no trailer. The area designated for FedEx is flooded with JB Hunt and Swift trailers. I spent an hour and a half driving up and down lanes until I found my trailer. And of course, it's parallel parked with another trailer inches away from the bulkhead. I had to go find a yard dog to pull it out for me. Once he pulls it out I hook up and pretrip.

Normally, I would just head back because I had enough time on my 8 hour clock, but since I'm not on a linehaul run, I'm on a punch in clock, I have to take a break between my 4th and 6th hour which means I have an hour left. I take my 30 and call Central dispatch to let them know I'm on my way back. When I go from hub to hub I don't have to call because they're notified once I pass a certain boundary with the equipment.

I head out and I hit a red light so I stop. When I hit the service brake I hear a loud hissing noise and my air gauge is dropping. I pulled over hoping it's something simple like the glad hands coming loose or a grommet is bent. I pull the tractor protection valve push in the trailer protection valve and lock down the trolley brake. The glad hand connector on my emergency line is busted and leaking fast. I'm about 10 minutes away from the port so I decide to head back. Being afraid to hit your service brake is a horrible feeling. The speed limit is 35 so I put in manual 7th gear so I can keep the pedal floored, the RPMs up and the compressor running.

When I got back to the port I told the lady in the office that the chassis was leaking air and I need another one. She calls a security guard and he tells me to follow him. We got to the machine that lifts the trailers and they swapped out my chassis. I had to call dispatch to notify them of the equipment change and the delay.

The drive back was uneventful and quiet, just how I like it. What was supposed to be a 4-5 hour run took 9 hours. Hopefully, next time goes smoother.

Bobtail:

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

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Any day you complete without breaking or damaging anything is a success in my book.

Try not to rush when your running behindfru it's how you forget to roll down trailer legs, or forget to remove airlines from your rear trailer.

Your experience at the rail yard is exactly why I want nothing to do with them. Especially when I see some of these chassis rolling down the road with no light, a wheel shaking or a air leak.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Any day you complete without breaking or damaging anything is a success in my book.

Try not to rush when your running behindfru it's how you forget to roll down trailer legs, or forget to remove airlines from your rear trailer.

Your experience at the rail yard is exactly why I want nothing to do with them. Especially when I see some of these chassis rolling down the road with no light, a wheel shaking or a air leak.

I have a pattern for landing gear and airlines, so I never forget. Before I leave I pick up my PAL (Pin, Airlines, Landing gear). At the end of the day, I get a LAP dance ( Landing gear, Airlines and Pin). Always in that order and I always double check.

I agree with you about the rail yard. I'd like to avoid it, but I don't think that's possible at this stage.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I went on a run last night. It was one I've been on before, nothing new. The difference this time was the time I left that hub. I pulled out of there at around 5 AM and I was traveling east. I experienced my first trucker sunrise. I saw that pink/orange hue on the horizon and I thought "holy s**t, I did it. I'm a truck driver. It was a surreal moment. It sucks I couldn't take a picture, but the moment is embedded in my brain.

Old School's Comment
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I pulled out of there at around 5 AM and I was traveling east. I experienced my first trucker sunrise. I saw that pink/orange hue on the horizon and I thought "holy s**t, I did it. I'm a truck driver. It was a surreal moment.

That's great Banks! Every one of us who've been out here for a while understand what you're saying. Sometimes you get those moments where you just think, "This is what I was destined for - I'm loving this lifestyle."

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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How's it been going?

Banks's Comment
member avatar

How's it been going?

It's going well. I can't complain, but things have slowed down a bit so I'm not getting any drive time. I asked dispatch if I could run 2 empties and bring 2 empties back. They didn't think that was funny.

I did just get back from Harrisburg. All new hires have to do this, but every terminal handles it differently. At my terminal, I had to come in at noon on Monday and work until 2030. Then I came in at noon on Tuesday and I worked until 1600 and took a 30 minute break. At 1630 we left to Harrisburg. Upon arrival we checked into the hotel and went out for dinner. You have options on getting to Harrisburg.

1) You can use your personal vehicle and get paid CPM. They check your mileage when you leave the terminal and when you arrive. You get reimbursed for every mile you drove until you got back.

2) You can rent a car and get reimbursed for the rental and fuel. No CPM with this option.

3) FedEx can rent a car for you and reimburse fuel. No CPM here either.

I drove my personal vehicle. The next day we reported to class at 0800. Went thorough the dreaded "introduce yourself" routine. Not a fan of that. And then we began learning. We were taught the proper way to do paperwork, how much damage freight costs the company and how to deal with angry customers. Proper pickup and delivery procedures and various what if scenarios were brought up. We learned how to handle these situations. Class ended at 1630 and we went back to the hotel to change out of our uniforms and we went out to dinner. Wearing uniforms outside of work isn't not allowed, but public perception is very important. If you're not on company time, it's best to not have it on.

We had class again the following day at 0800 and that day we learned all about hazmat. What's hazmat , what to do with a spill (don't taste it), how to placard and how to handle emergency situations. I learned a lot this day. Being honest, I would always just use the suggested placards part to placard my trailer. I know better now. Class ended at 1530. We went out for dinner and drove back to the terminal to document miles. The people that had more than a 3 hour drive back spent another night at the hotel.

Breakfast was provided by the hotel, lunch was catered in class and you paid for dinner out of pocket. Turn in your receipts and get reimbursed up to 40 dollars, gratuity included up to 20%. For the trip on Tuesday we got paid for an entire 8 hour day even though it was only a 6 hour day. On the return trip we get paid up until the time we get home. That was an 11 hour day.

On Friday report to dock work from 1200 to 2030.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

That sounds good at least it was productive! I think we have those kinds of meeting for P&D but being linehaul they do not let us out in daylight so we get to skip most meetings.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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