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

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Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all,

I’m home for some appointments and errands.

I’ve got a few minutes, so I figured I’d dredge up the rest of my week. I left off in Troutdale with a missed shipping appointment. A Murphy lesson was to google my customer if I’m unfamiliar with them. I learned my shipper was closed after I drove to their location. I was in the suicide lane (a good spot for checking the phone) with my hazards on and looking at a locked gate...

My return was uneventful in the morning, other than missing the turn. The hostler had me drop my trailer next to the one I was hooking. He was very cool and professional. After I hooked my load I moved out of his way before sending my macros. He appreciated that small courtesy on my part.

My drive to Auburn, WA was uneventful. My receiver looked like a car dealership, so I missed the turn. I managed to back far enough to make the turn. I parked to visit the office. Another driver suggested that I pull around the building for receiving. I did.

A visit to the office went rather slow. Instructions about back into door # and open my doors. If it wasn’t palletized then I’ll have to move to another dock. They were slightly miffed that I didn’t know if it was palletized or not. It wasn’t. I moved to a less convenient dock that required a blind 90. I proceeded to block traffic in the yard and eventually gave up and repositioned. My plan was to pull around the building and do a sighted 90. While doing my U-turn my dock lined up nicely. I parked accordingly! When I got out to set the chock I patted myself on my shoulder.

Dispatch had me on a load going to Cour Delane (sp?) and Clarkston Costco. On my way to the DC (distribution center) I called to let them know that I would be happy to do the loads, but they would be late due to HOS. They dispatched me.

While dropping my MT at the DC They called to remove the load and dispatch me on one going to Spokane. I picked my trailer and hit the road. I had just under 6 hours on my clock. I made it to the rest area just west of Spokane. I parked for my 10.

I got up a bit before my 10 was done to PC (personal conveyance) to the truck stop. When I started my truck the red and yellow warning lights were blinking and it died. “Very low coolant” I popped the hood and the level was low, very low, not so much. I called dispatch to let them know what was going on. I was stopped on an incline. I added water and got her moving. Unfortunately, when she died in the lane the ELD popped me out of PC and into driving. Yep, messed up my 10!

I’d gained about 6 hours at midnight. I drove to the truck stop (after some loud swearing). Got fuel and coolant. Delivered to Costco uneventfully, but about half and hour late.

With my remaining hours I moved 2 trailers from Costco to the Swift drop yard. The third was a 3 axle heavy reefer which was parked in at Costco. When I was parked in the lane ahead and parallel with the trailer and on the phone with dispatch, 2 cars parked in front. I caught them walking away from their cars! Hello, I’m about to back into that spot, please move your cars. They were polite and moved without argument. There was a pickup and trailer parked parallel to the trailer blocking it in, the occupant was shopping, nothing to be done with that.

The offending trailer was parked quite close to the curb ahead. I had to “corner hook” it. Took several goals and then I figured out the angle and hooked it. While I was messing about the pickup owner moved.

I pulled out and went for my next load. Spokane Seed for 54k of whole peas. It was my birthday! I parked for my 10 hour nap.

I’m going to write more shortly.

Cheers,

G

I don't talk/type much on here, but I sure do read. Tons. Daily. Dang, Brett probably pays a ton for my access, haha! I just want ya to know, I read along (ride along, LoL) with you.

HAPPY (belated?) BIRTHDAY~~!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Seconding the happy birthday wishes, Spoonerist, enjoy this event! and a great opp to let you know, as well, that I greatly enjoy reading your posts... best!

double-quotes-start.png

Hello all,

I’m home for some appointments and errands.

I’ve got a few minutes, so I figured I’d dredge up the rest of my week. I left off in Troutdale with a missed shipping appointment. A Murphy lesson was to google my customer if I’m unfamiliar with them. I learned my shipper was closed after I drove to their location. I was in the suicide lane (a good spot for checking the phone) with my hazards on and looking at a locked gate...

My return was uneventful in the morning, other than missing the turn. The hostler had me drop my trailer next to the one I was hooking. He was very cool and professional. After I hooked my load I moved out of his way before sending my macros. He appreciated that small courtesy on my part.

My drive to Auburn, WA was uneventful. My receiver looked like a car dealership, so I missed the turn. I managed to back far enough to make the turn. I parked to visit the office. Another driver suggested that I pull around the building for receiving. I did.

A visit to the office went rather slow. Instructions about back into door # and open my doors. If it wasn’t palletized then I’ll have to move to another dock. They were slightly miffed that I didn’t know if it was palletized or not. It wasn’t. I moved to a less convenient dock that required a blind 90. I proceeded to block traffic in the yard and eventually gave up and repositioned. My plan was to pull around the building and do a sighted 90. While doing my U-turn my dock lined up nicely. I parked accordingly! When I got out to set the chock I patted myself on my shoulder.

Dispatch had me on a load going to Cour Delane (sp?) and Clarkston Costco. On my way to the DC (distribution center) I called to let them know that I would be happy to do the loads, but they would be late due to HOS. They dispatched me.

While dropping my MT at the DC They called to remove the load and dispatch me on one going to Spokane. I picked my trailer and hit the road. I had just under 6 hours on my clock. I made it to the rest area just west of Spokane. I parked for my 10.

I got up a bit before my 10 was done to PC (personal conveyance) to the truck stop. When I started my truck the red and yellow warning lights were blinking and it died. “Very low coolant” I popped the hood and the level was low, very low, not so much. I called dispatch to let them know what was going on. I was stopped on an incline. I added water and got her moving. Unfortunately, when she died in the lane the ELD popped me out of PC and into driving. Yep, messed up my 10!

I’d gained about 6 hours at midnight. I drove to the truck stop (after some loud swearing). Got fuel and coolant. Delivered to Costco uneventfully, but about half and hour late.

With my remaining hours I moved 2 trailers from Costco to the Swift drop yard. The third was a 3 axle heavy reefer which was parked in at Costco. When I was parked in the lane ahead and parallel with the trailer and on the phone with dispatch, 2 cars parked in front. I caught them walking away from their cars! Hello, I’m about to back into that spot, please move your cars. They were polite and moved without argument. There was a pickup and trailer parked parallel to the trailer blocking it in, the occupant was shopping, nothing to be done with that.

The offending trailer was parked quite close to the curb ahead. I had to “corner hook” it. Took several goals and then I figured out the angle and hooked it. While I was messing about the pickup owner moved.

I pulled out and went for my next load. Spokane Seed for 54k of whole peas. It was my birthday! I parked for my 10 hour nap.

I’m going to write more shortly.

Cheers,

G

double-quotes-end.png

I don't talk/type much on here, but I sure do read. Tons. Daily. Dang, Brett probably pays a ton for my access, haha! I just want ya to know, I read along (ride along, LoL) with you.

HAPPY (belated?) BIRTHDAY~~!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good afternoon,

Let’s see.

I departed Spokane around 2200. A fairly lovely drive, excellent conversations, podcasts, and meditation (driving meditation).

Near Cabin Creek the red and yellow flashing lights started again. I was a little ways from the exit and prayed the truck would make it there before it shut off. I was just off the exit when she died. Steering a 95k truck with no power is challenging... we got as far over as we could.

I called dispatch to let them know what was going on. I added more coolant and limped her in. She (her name is Florence) is being repaired now. I ran some local stuff on a loaner day cab.

I had the “pleasure” of delivering to the source of the Tacoma Aroma... Again Rob T’s post was going through my mind. Park here, call this number, walk to guard shack, watch a video, get ppe, move truck, wait for green light, park... Except the dock... a narrow offset with barely enough room. I see-sawed the trailer into the dock (the first time I’ve driven a day cab , my sight lines and turning references were messed up). I got it in and waited... The “lumper” said pull it out, cut the seal (1/4 bolt), and repark. Ok. Smiling. The bolt cutters were janky and short handled. With the appropriate amount of swearing I managed it. Open doors and repark... More waiting...

Finally he comes to unload it. Wait in a little shed, watching him. He finishes relatively quickly. Takes the BOLs for finishing and I sweep out the trailer (Port Townsend paper mill used a leaf blower). I’m cleaning around the dock when he comes back. He explained how to get out of the yard.

Pull to the right, back up, then hard left. There was another truck behind me. After I closed my doors I went to the other truck to say I’ll be backing up. He said: well, get to it. I did. Follow the road around to the left.

I witnessed the majestic sight of a chip truck getting emptied! Wow!

I turned in the ppe and asked: what was the point of the door strap. She said: no idea, it was new.

When I got back to dispatch I said: wow, what a lot of BS. Another driver said: _____ (company name). We all got a laugh.

My Sunday was moving trailers from the terminal to Costco DC. Moved a trailer out of the fuel island (I don’t understand why other drivers do that) and parked it in the yard. I had to move another messed up parking job to park the fuel island trailer. Whew...

1400, exhausted, I went home.

My truck is still in the shop. I’m heading back tomorrow.

Cheers,

G

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I witnessed the majestic sight of a chip truck getting emptied! Wow!

That's cool isn't it? There was a time when I was hauling huge bales of Municipal Waste out of Long Island, NY to a trash dump in Ohio. We would back our trailer onto "The Tipper" and unhook. Then they'd tip it up high in the sky until those trash bales slid off the trailer into the pit that swallowed them forever. I always enjoyed doing that.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good morning!

I spent some time yesterday coaching a brand new rookie with various stuff. I suggested he read this forum.

Last night I re-read my thread. Holy Moly! I can’t believe it’s only been 2 months. The amount of chaos and learning I’ve done since November is staggering. Things that were stressful during my OTR trip are just routine now.

2 weeks ago I had a dental emergency that required me to return home. Antibiotics, an exam, and referral for a root canal. I went back to work. Quite a bit of my time has been used doing local deliveries. While lucrative and an excellent learning opportunity, it undermined my driver ranking, which is based on miles driven.

I delivered to Clarkston, WA last week and spent my 10 in Lewiston, ID. It was fun visiting the academy.

As soon as I crossed into ID at the top of the hill I hit the thickest fog I’ve ever seen. I slowed to 35 and put my flashers on. It was so thick that all I could see was 1 or 2 left stripes and the side line. I knew the hill and ground down. Towards Lewiston it cleared.

My return was interrupted by fever. I stopped across the river from Vantage, WA (a seriously gorgeous place) and slept. When I woke my fever had spiked. I sent a late macro and slept my 10 and drove back after sunrise.

My load Tcalled in Sumner. I went home for my root canal...

Cheers,

G

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I was thinking about your lack of posts last night, wondering what had happened to you. Glad you're back and hope the surgery repairs your ails.

Spoonerist 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Packrat!

My days had been so jam-packed that when I was done sleep was the only thing on my mind.

Plus, my adventure, while adventurous, is getting routine. I imagine that my philosophical musings will return soon.

I’ve completed and submitted the paperwork for my dad to come for a ride. It’s convenient doing heavy, as I’m at the terminal every other day. Riders need only meet me here. There were some procedural issues with the paperwork, hopefully they’ve been sorted.

I have a “quick” local run to Costco DC for a live unload, then I’m grabbing a full to take to Clarkston.

I came back to work on Tuesday. My trip was to Central Point, OR. That’s one of the longer heavy runs. I was late getting down there. The receiver was polite, but I could tell they were upset by my lateness. I was planned to take a CHEP (Costco pallet load etc) to Gresham, but it wasn’t ready. I pulled around the store and parked for my 10.

I woke to a message from dispatch wondering where I was and why I didn’t grab the chep. It was ready. Ok, why didn’t I send a message? I parked for my 10. But, we could’ve touted you back. Yes, true, but exhausted. After my little fender-bender in OR I’ve learned that when I’m that tired and have a known/safe parking spot I will stay where I’m at.

They initially planned a load for pickup in Wilsonville heading to Sumner, but it was rescheduled. I called dispatch and they got started on planning another load. I cleaned and organized my truck in preparation for a passenger.

So far I’ve done about 200 loads, 100% on time (or with a late macro, which makes them “not late”). I’ve driven around 40k total, 20k ranked. I’m still very much enjoying it.

After I hit 80k I plan to mentor.

Cheers,

G

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

Nice goal, to mentor. In terms of training cred, my impression is that substantial time and miles are regarded most desirable. But for the right reasons - maybe a passion to share - along with a good attitude to impart - that may be a gold standard for a trainer, another impression I have based on the tenuous shape of some otherwise seemingly qualified rookies I read about on here, who have a hard time adjusting.

Happytrails, Spoonerist. Glad you're OK.

Taco Samuelson's Comment
member avatar

Last night I re-read my thread. Holy Moly! I can’t believe it’s only been 2 months. The amount of chaos and learning I’ve done since November is staggering. Things that were stressful during my OTR trip are just routine now.

As someone who is considering the industry, how did you muscle through that first OTR trip? I suppose all jobs have a ~3-6 month curve of hard-learning/learning-the-hard-way... so if you're feeling routine after 2 months that sounds promising! But yeah, was it just kinda a "breathe" and keep positive? Any tips?

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.

Spoonerist 's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Last night I re-read my thread. Holy Moly! I can’t believe it’s only been 2 months. The amount of chaos and learning I’ve done since November is staggering. Things that were stressful during my OTR trip are just routine now.

double-quotes-end.png

As someone who is considering the industry, how did you muscle through that first OTR trip? I suppose all jobs have a ~3-6 month curve of hard-learning/learning-the-hard-way... so if you're feeling routine after 2 months that sounds promising! But yeah, was it just kinda a "breathe" and keep positive? Any tips?

Back burner everything you don’t need to know NOW. You will learn it when you need to.

Be ok with chaos. Laugh as much as possible (without seeming like a psychopath). Humility goes a long way.

Be gentle on yourself. Everything is new. The freight is not as important as your safety.

If you are confused about directions or next load items, rewrite them on a blank sheet of paper. They will make more sense in your hand writing.

When you attend an academy make friends with the other students and keep in touch. There are 4 of us on a group text that message everyday. I talk to 2 of them nearly every day as well.

Get lots of sleep and have fun! Seriously gorgeous scenery in your moving office. Enjoy it!

Cheers,

G

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.

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