Toughest Day On The Road?

Topic 26626 | Page 1

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Joel D.'s Comment
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Would love to hear some stories from you guys about how you handled those days that just seem to never end and there’s just curve ball after curve being thrown at you. Days when you just want to throw the towel in, but ultimately you persevere and carry on.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bre The Newbie 's Comment
member avatar

I know i have many more days to come since im a brand new solo driver, my toughest day would have to be my first day out. I had a 3 stop live unloads, with my final stop being in South San Francisco. The general area of the location where i delivered too was not 53ft trailer friendly. After having to maneuver my way into the parking lot, the dock was really small so i had to dock my trailer at 90° angle and after i was done i had to back into the street because there was no place for me to turn around. I was sweating bullets all day.

Joel D.'s Comment
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Thanks bre. Did you have to wait long in the yard? Or did they get it done quickly?

Army 's Comment
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Bre, are you doing Dollar Store or similar account as a new driver?

RealDiehl's Comment
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You know, I've had several days where I remember thinking, "F this b.s.!" Usually because of something that didn't go according to plan or because of equipment that didn't want to work the way it was supposed to. I never really considered walking away but, I was frustrated enough to think some negative thoughts. The strange thing is I can't remember many specifics. I suppose that's a good thing because it means I'm not dwelling on the negatives too much.

That's actually out of character for me. I used to enjoy reliving bad situations. Like prodding a sore tooth even though it hurts. Driving though...it's easy to leave the past where it belongs...in the past. There is always something to keep you focused on the present or future.

Joel D.'s Comment
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Thanks for the reply real diehl. Whatever you’re doing out there is working well for you, so that’s good.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Mine is going to be a little different than what you're looking for but what the heck, I'll share anyways.

I began my career as a local foodservice driver, unloading a 28' pup trailer using a 2 wheel dolly. The job was brutal enough but the day that had me ready to quit the most was a run I had to Omaha and Lincoln NE. I'm based out of des moines which is about a 430 mile round trip run. Not only did I need to drive that and unload 12 stops totalling 18,000 pounds of food if I recall correctly, this particular day I dealt with a winter storm as well. It was exhausting driving that far in slick roads and even more exhausting pushing my dolly through unplowed parking lots into the restaurants. I unloaded my truck and barely made it back into Iowa (council bluffs). I ended up losing out on a day of work because they couldnt have me run another route when I got back the next day as I wouldn't have enough hours to complete it. Being a local driver that was the first night I'd been away from my very young family and it was hard. I give a ton of respect for the men and women who are OTR drivers and able to make the family life work. Anyways, the next week when I had that run again there was a blizzard that shut down I80 from omaha to lincoln so I couldnt complete the run. I laid over at the same hotel i had the week prior and the following morning finished the route before coming home. After having to layover twice on that route they took it back to having their extra drivers from the terminal run it as they needed to rent a truck for the route out of my domicile yard as we didnt have any spare trucks. There were many times during my year and a half I was ready to throw in the towel, whether it be physically exhausted, or trying to wheel my load across icy parking lots. There were also many times I couldnt even climb into my trailer to unload, instead I had to pull my ramp out halfway and use that as a platform to stand on. What kept me going?knowing my family depends on me, as I'm the only one working in my household. I also knew that I needed to atleast get 1 year of safe driving and doors would open to other opportunities that suited what I was looking for better. Shortly after I had a year I had a few companies call me that I never applied to (no clue how they got my number) , and then ultimately applied, and got hired by where I'm currently at delivering to grocery stores in iowa and the 7 surrounding states home nearly every day. If I only worked the 4 days a week I'm scheduled I'd make about 80k. Had I thrown in the towel and bounced around because I'd had a bad day it's highly unlikely I would've been given this opportunity. For me, I feel like this is perfect and where I'd love to spend the rest of my career. I can't recall which of the wise moderators here say it, but never make a big decision without giving it a ton of thought and time. Whatever you do, when you get behind the wheel ALWAYS put the negativity out of your head. If you're too focused on anything other than your driving you're bound to have an accident. We've seen numerous times where somebody is too focused on a minor backing accident that happened and within the next couple days have another, more serious accident.

I went against the advice of the moderators here and was lucky to make it unscathed, many others aren't as LUCKY as I was. Shameless plug to My diary (its 23 pages) if you're interested. Again, my route is quite risky and very short sighted. Had I been in numerous accidents it's likely I'd have been out of a job and driving altogether. We've seen it several times throughout the years I've been on this forum.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bre The Newbie 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks bre. Did you have to wait long in the yard? Or did they get it done quickly?

Yeah i had to wait a long time Only because the load was delivered late (not my fault customer requested monday delivery and i was dispatched on the load wednesday) and the dock worker took his time on "lunch". Once he got to it he unloaded me super quick.

Bre The Newbie 's Comment
member avatar

Bre, are you doing Dollar Store or similar account as a new driver?

No accounts. Im just Reefer OTR.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

BardTale's Comment
member avatar

Last year at some point, I was loaned over to the Amazon account for my company. The first 5 days, while long, was mostly drive to point A, drop trailer off, pickup trailer B for the return trip, find a place to park for the night. (Drop and hooks). The last day I was to report to the AEC (Amazon Enrichment Center) in Southwest Chicago near Joliet. When I was given my assignment, it was a 12 stop load in and around various points in Chicago. Some drop and hooks (Take loaded trailer to a small distribution warehouse, drive a different empty or loaded back to the AEC).

The last two stops turned out to be live unloads. Both in northern Chicago and both in places that a road truck shouldn't go. I barely managed to scrape by on time for the first of the live unloads, and while waiting for the second to be unloaded, I ran out of time on my 14. (It was close to 1am at this point).

After calling up safety and informing them that I had to violate my HOS to find safe haven, I drove the 45 minutes and stopped at the first place I could find. The O'Hare service plaza. Immediately, I was out like a light.

The next morning after getting a stern talking to from my dispatch for violating my 14 hour the previous night, I went inside to take care of business. Coffee, restroom etc. On getting back to the truck, I realized I had locked my keys inside! (Unlucky for me, I had also left my phone in the truck as well). I walked around and begged to use somebody's phone, and luckily managed to google up a phone number for corporate. (It was an early sunday morning as well).

It took a few tries, but after explaining my situation, I was transferred to road safety and once again explained. We all shared at a laugh at my expense and they sent a locksmith to come open up my door. (There's a lesson to be learned here rookies. Always do your stupid check! Aka, never leave your truck without keys! lol)

The next hour was spent waiting for the locksmith and I huddled in the heated outdoor bathrooms (This particular service plaza was doing construction on the inside bathrooms, so they brought in one of those bathroom trailers for people to use) when nobody was in there. (Last thing to note, it was freezing and I only took a light jacket with me)

After all said and done, I returned the Amazon Trailer to the AEC and bobtailed back to my account DC to get ready to be dispatched on one of my normal loads. I was so ready to get up out of the windy city that day!

Bobtail:

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

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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