Rookie Solo Adventure, Thoughts, Questions, Vent, And Ramble.

Topic 27110 | Page 6

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Spoonerist 's Comment
member avatar

Hello all,

A lovely Xmas with family. I went back to work 12/27 for some local stuff. Ran 4 or 5 loads for the heavy haul planner. Scheduled the A&B service for 0800 Monday. I previously scheduled home time for that Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday I ran some errands then went for a hike and soak in a local hot spring. Sunday I had an appointment that I couldn’t miss. At some point Sumner called me to let me know that my loaner truck will be a heavy haul condo.

Monday morning 0630 I picked up the keys to a ‘17 4-axle heavy. I had a hyper-sensitive load delivering to Tacoma and needed to roll out of the terminal at 0700. I located my new truck, gathered some supplies, pretripped, and went looking for my trailer. Hrrrmph! It was buried behind another in an area not conducive for maneuvering. I hooked the offending trailer (after taking a cya picture in case I was late) and moved it for a “lovely” blind 90. Right as I was getting ready to move the next one a hostler came and took it!

I grabbed my trailer. Pretripped it and went on my way. I made it to my receiver on time! A live unload and load 59,700 for return. Missed my turn getting back on the freeway and had to make a short stop that triggered my camera. I made it safely back to the yard. 2 more local runs wrapped up my Monday. I hit the sack by 1900.

Tuesday I was up early. Checked in with dispatch to see about my trailer for my first load, the paperwork was missing. I went to breakfast and went back to my truck. Dispatch called an asked if I was alright... yes, I’m waiting for the load to arrive so I can get on my way. Some time on hold. He came back and said that I should send a mac 22 if it looks like a load is not going to work with my next load. Lesson learned. He removed the first (it was glitched) and second and assigned another Tacoma delivery.

I hooked the trailer and while pretripping I lowered the tag axle. I pulled out of my spot and realized that I needed the trailer tag axle up for backing. Pushed the button and heard the sound. Went back in the cab and started backing. A hostler came up and said that I need to lift up my axle. I went back and it was hissing with no lifting. I fiddled with the mechanism. No dice. I called dispatch to let them know that I may be late. They directed me to check with the shop. I set all the brakes and checked the axle again on my way to the shop, it decided to come up. I went on my way.

I got very wet delivering that load. It was quite messy. On my way back to the terminal I received a load plan taking a heavy reefer to Wenatchee, curious... I called dispatch and said that I would be happy to do it, but my sleeping stuff is in the other truck. He said keep doing what I was doing and that he was working on something. He messaged me to come to the office when I got back to the terminal.

I met with my DM , he asked me if I would like to keep running heavy? Yes, that sounds great. Ok, move into the new truck. I’ll be running dedicated Costco heavy haul! Very cool! My load delivers 1/2. I went home after moving and cleaning.

Exhausted, my New Year’s Eve ended at 2100. A new truck and gig for the new year!




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.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


A refrigerated trailer.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations! I've heard those Costco gigs are great. Costco is very efficient with their methods of keeping drivers from having long wait times for live loads/unloads. You may be doing drop & hooks, I don't know, but anytime I've spoken with someone doing Costco loads, they were pretty pleased with their efficiency.


Hours Of Service

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

Good morning,

I ran Costco dedicated heavy with my mentor. The load/unload is fantastic, a well oiled machine!

After so much/many 3+ hour loadings I’m excited for the efficient ones?

I’ll be heading back to grab my load soon. I’m hoping Bluitt pass is clear, if not I’ll have to take the longer route.

I’m excited for this adventure!



Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Costco DC in Yorkville, IL is usually about a 50 minute unload for a full 53 footer. Don't even worry about getting there too early, they won't give you a dock assignment until 45 (I think, it has been a while since I delivered there) minutes before your appointment time, and they seldom start to unload until your appt time. You can dock, they just hold pretty tight to the schedule.

I've enjoyed your updates. Keep up the great work!!

Spoonerist 's Comment
member avatar

Good morning all,

I’m near my terminal having breakfast while my truck is in the repair queue.

My first week of dedicated heavy was fun. I took a load to Wenatchee, spent the night and did a drop and hook in the morning with a direct return of pallets. My next load was to Spokane for Costco. Arrived and met a friend for dinner. My unload was 0600 and it took them about 30 minutes!

I had a great conversation with another heavy driver! I dead headed to Moses Lake for a load of recyclables heading to Port Townsend. The recycling center was tiny and had one dock. Apparently they were having technical issues when I arrived and directed me to park out of the way. I took a nap.

When they cleared the dock I started backing towards it. I stopped and talked to the customer. He’d shared what was going on and I explained that’s what I call: jiggery-pokery. We both laughed and he said he’d use it!

I proceeded to have my own jiggery-pokery getting into his dock. It had a ramp for my tag axle that I missed on my first attempt. Got loaded with 54k net and went to scale.

On my way out of the truck stop I saw the other heavy driver getting scaled and noticed she was driving the first truck I drove during my mentorship. “Hey, that’s my truck!” Lol.

Snoqualmie was clear. I stopped at the terminal for a shower and then headed to Port Townsend. During rush hour... the idiots were out in force. The peninsula was lovely and quite wet. I missed my turn turn towards PT and had to reroute. All good. Got to my receiver and called their number. I explained that I was there for a delivery the next morning. They said they unload 24/7 and gave me instructions for their dock.

There was a great deal of pulp shmoo on the ground and it was slick and goopy and the whole place stank, but the guys were awesome and we had great laughter!

I have family in PT and I’d reached out to them. They gave me permission to park on their land and we made arrangements to have coffee in the morning. I parked and was winding down and received a knock on my door. Security: am I delivering in the morning? No, but I’m parked with permission of the land owner (gave his name). He said he was going to check on it. Ok. He didn’t come back.

I woke to an amazing sunrise over the harbor! Met my family, they were the first to take a “tour” of my truck.

The company dead headed me to Sumner to pick up a dry load going back to Spokane. The clouds looked dark and ominous. I knew that we were in for heavy rain and snow shortly. I made an emergency (bio) pit stop and noticed that my drop axle was pretty hot.

After cresting the pass and my speed got over 50 my drop axle started slamming back and forth laterally. I nearly had to stop to make it stop shaking and when I got back up to 50 it started shaking again. Thankfully, I was on the phone with a close friend that has 40+ years of driving experience. He said: sounds like your drop axle just failed. You need to report that ASAP. I did and was directed to Ellensburg to get repowered. I was planning to get fuel and take my 30 there. I wound up lifting my axle and limping in.

The other driver was parking when I rolled in. We swapped and he left. I finished my break, got fuel, and coffee and went back over Snoqualmie. I was very snowy. I’m grateful for my OTR experience with snow. While generally unsafe, it no longer terrifies me. I got back to Sumner and put my truck in the repair queue. Took a nap and headed home.

And here I am, breakfast done and I want a nap... Life is good. I’m enjoying this job very much!




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.


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.


Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Spoonerist 's Comment
member avatar

Good evening all,

I attempted an update the other day, but it didn’t load...

Let’s try again. I’m sitting near mile post 70 on Eastbound 90. Apparently there are some jackknives ahead near exit 73.

This is the start of my third week in heavy haul. I’m very much enjoying it. Last week was exhausting with much learning and a wee scrape.

A week ago Monday I learned a hard lesson. Follow my intuition and find a place to sleep before I really need it. I delivered in Bend and discovered there’s a dearth of sleeping spots. I had planned on the Westbound weigh station, but was lured into PS Ogden rest area.

While finding a decent spot my trailer clipped another. My very long day got longer. Little damage to the other trailer and I tore the hulu skirt off mine. The other driver was very professional and a gentleman.

I lost my platinum rank.

The rest of that week I hauled loads from Troutdale to Bend. Many drivers refusing to chain meant that I was the one grinding back and forth on HWY 26 chaining both directions.

My first attempt took 2.5 hours and was quite miserable. Each successive chaining took less time and I learned the nuances and discovered muscles I didn’t know about...

My last chain up took 36 minutes! Chain removal was 18.

I’m not overly fond of snow driving, but it no longer freaks me out.

My last run, last week was a dead head from Bend to Salem. I chained near Sisters and removed them near Gates. Took me 4.5 hours to drive that leg. Blowing snow and mighty drifts.

While getting blinded by high-beams I decided to start a PSA. “Consider who you are blinding” my computer art skills have dropped off in the 3 years since I used them, but I hope to have a draft done the next time I’m home.

2 tons vs 50 tons and they blind us usually at the worst time. The apex of corners on 2 lanes. It’s their lives they save.

Back to waiting...




Operating While Intoxicated

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