My First Solo Load...

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Amanda .'s Comment
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Wasn't really a load... I got re-positioned from El Paso to Laredo good 600 mile run,.. I grab an empty and start on out my trip went good no problems with parking last night ( surprisingly ) I wake up do my pre trip this morning get back on my journey to Laredo I keep hearing people say stay in your terminal don't wonder a lone at night keep your doors locked your on a boarder so things are more dangerous at night in Laredo I am thinking to myself I don't really wonder unless you call walking in and using the bathroom wondering. I always lock my doors and close my curtains even when I was teaming. and I had planned on staying at the terminal anyways.

I finally arrive at my terminal early this evening, parked my trailer ( again did an okay job surprisingly ) did all my macros and my post trip then found a parking spot for my tractor and started cleaning my floors of the truck ( I like to wipe down my tractor every night before bed or else I just can't sleep. I need it to be clean or at least have no shoe prints on my floor) I go in the terminal wash out my rag I used to clean my floors with and come back to the truck. I am so dead tired I just want to crap out at this point.

well I go to my QUALCOMM and was going to put me in the sleeper-birth when I noticed my screen just had lines going across it couldn't touch nothing so I find the kill switch that just kills the entire truck waited an hour while I was waiting for everything to reset I did some more cleaning, wiped my windows down washed my lights off cleaned my dash board the whole nine yards. and some dude comes up to me was starting to ask me a question and then he paused I looked at him said you okay? he said yeah just haven't smelt a nice truck in sometime. I said you mean window cleaner and bleach yes that combo always smells good to me ( I say jokingly ) now really whats up he said I was going to ask you if you had a smoke but with the way your truck smells I bet you don't smoke... I said hmm yes cause everyone who has a nice bleach smelling truck can't ever light one up right as I hand him my last pack. he stood in shock said uh sorry and thanks, I finish putting all my cleaning stuff away and lock my doors go back to wash out my rags again, by this time I am so tired I can't even sleep so I go in and take a shower come out flipped my kill switch back on wait for my truck and QUALCOMM to restart. and finally was able to get it working correctly.

this has been a stressful long day and I am ready to call it a night but I wanted to update y'all first.

good night hope everyone is doing good chat soon.

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.

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.
Starcar's Comment
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I've never had any trouble in Laredo...but i'm like you, I don't wander, and I lock up. Hope your truck/qualcomm fixes itself...electronics are a bother... Stay safe.....motor easy....

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey congrats on being out there solo! Yeah, Laredo - definitely play it safe. My God...one time I got together with a few drivers I met in the truck stop there and we got a cab to go across the border into Mexico. We were there probably about 4 hours. And I'll just say this - I never saw anything like it before or since, I hope I never do, and I don't talk about any of it to anyone ever. So just lay low and play it safe.

I like to wipe down my tractor every night before bed or else I just can't sleep. I need it to be clean or at least have no shoe prints on my floor

...and try not to go OCD on things! rofl-3.gif Life on the road will throw you plenty of challenges. Life out there is mentally exhausting. Every driver has to learn how to relax, go with the flow, and most of all don't sweat the small stuff. Ever heard of that book?

“When you take time, often to reflect on the miracle of life - the miracle that you are even able to read this book - the gift of sight, of love and all the rest, it can help to remind you that many of the things that you think as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff”

-- Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life

That is an awesome book!

Ya know, for every driver out there - new or experienced - the biggest challenge in trucking is being able to handle the stresses of life on the road. We can all steer. We can all shift and back up and follow a GPS. Nobody leaves trucking because they can't drive a truck. They leave because mentally they're getting their *ss kicked by the erratic sleep schedules, tight appointment times, too many or too few miles, heavy traffic, terrible weather, long periods of isolation, long periods of time away from home & family, and having to endure sketchy places like Laredo.

You have to stay positive and learn to conserve your mental energy. You can't be stressing over little things because there will always be a lot of big things to content with out there. You can't sweat everything or you'll burn out after a few months. Sometimes you have to look at a situation and think, "Well, I could care as much as I want to about that. Maybe I just won't worry about it at all".

People are going to cut you off in traffic. Let it go. Turn on the radio and enjoy some tunes.

Dock workers are going to make you sit for three hours just because they hate truck drivers. Oh well. Go enjoy a nice book and a nap. There will be plenty of opportunities to make money.

Amanda, we're cheerin for ya! It's been great seeing you progress through the different stages to get to this point in your career. So let me tell ya - this is probably the very toughest stretch of anyone's trucking career - their first solo months on the road. You're going to make some rookie mistakes. You're going to get in some situations where you feel you're in over your head. You're going to have some bad days mixed in. But be assured of two things:

1) Things are going to get much easier over the next 6 months

2) There is only one golden rule - don't hit anything. That's it. Anything else that happens is only temporary.

So relax and take your time out there with things. Don't get in a hurry in tough situations like tight backing and heavy traffic. Relax. Any situation you're in is only temporary and the craziest ones make for the best stories!! Make sure you keep your thinking and your attitude positive and optimistic and try to enjoy yourself as much as possible. Count your blessings and let the little things slide off your back.

Keep us updated and have fun out there!!!

smile.gif

PJ's Comment
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Congrats Amanda..... You'll settle in soon enough....Bret is so on point with his comments. I too am brand new. I went solo on Friday the 13th of all days!!!!! So I relate to all the things Brett is talking about. I was lucky and kinda fell into a dedicated account this week. My first 2 trips out solo were nerve racking, but not too bad. My 3rd was a disaster from jump. I knew it was my last time out before I went dedicated so I just let it all go. I was frustrated as hell, but I just kept thinking positive and took a lot of deep breaths. If you get flustered that is when bad things will happen. Don't let it. There is no load in the world worth that. You'll do fine!!!!! Be safe

Highway Grunt0311's Comment
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I use to clean my floors a lot. then I got into flatbedding and always out in the mud. so I invested in a air blower that hooks to the seat air controls and a floor mat lol.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Good job! I remember your first thread here not too long ago. Gotta love seeing people go from asking questions to going solo! That's OUR reward.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I invested in a air blower that hooks to the seat air controls

I loved those things! Always had one.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Amanda .'s Comment
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Air blowers- they are very nice tool to have and I was lucky enough to have one already in my truck. I use that in the day time so by night when it comes time to clean my floor it's not as dirty. Makes it easier also helps with the mats I have in my truck.

When I get frustrated I turn on an audible book I just finished "The Help". Makes time go by faster and calms me down. I do on occasion put on the radio but there is lots of dead zones which sucks.

Brett Thanks for the tip on not letting the little things get to me. I just finished delivering my load in la ca of all places tiny narrow streets extra hard to back . But I managed to get it can't say I was completely straight but I was straight enough. People were getting upset cause I had to block off the road to back in. That Sucked the most for me. People are rude as all get out.

Going around you behind you not letting you finish backing granted I'm slow cause I'm new and nervous. But I'm getting it little by little.

Amanda .'s Comment
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Thank you all for your support.

Highway Grunt0311's Comment
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Unfortunately, the drivers code has gone out the window. The idiots that get impatient and act that stupid while in a CMV are just a matter of time till they lose there card. All this industry is, is a GIANT hurry up and wait type of thing. Without patients we'd go insane in all the traffic. Stay strong and ignore idiots.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
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