Performance

Topic 27293 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
DMF's Comment
member avatar

Performance:

As not to high-jack a previous thread, the idea that in order to achieve “top-tier” driver status or to become a “go-to” driver, performance speaks.

Performance based is thrown out a great deal here, and I suppose I should know, so my apologies for not. In an effort to hone in on the aspects of what performance is for a newbie trucker, I would love advice. From the outside looking in, if I were a DM this is what I would think to expect from a driver. Please correct me and add as needed.

1. Safely arrive on time. 2. Proper pre-trip inspection: avoid/anticipate problems. 3. Manage time within parameters of load requirements. 4. Remain healthy: Eat/sleep/exercise properly. 5. Communication: Read instructions throughly, twice if necessary. Ask only after all personal research is completed. Remain professional. 6. Maintain paper-work especially if Hazmat. 7. Plan route with attention to weather and arrival times in areas of high congestion (rush hour in large metro areas) Again, time management/anticipation.

I am still at home preparing to start, but the window in now within 21 days, there are so many areas of concern. My top three are:

1. Management of time. 2. Mountain driving ... have never done this, they say “appropriate speed” but coming from an area that is relatively flat, the idea that weather will change as I climb is a new concept! I may be a snail :) I have hauled enough livestock in my youth to know weight and movement is a serious issue, but I am afraid Illinois is not an adequate teacher for a true mountain. 3. Changing lanes, or driving within city limits. I do not have a “feel” for how long this rig is, nor an idea of the space it will require.

I am old enough to know that anticipation of the unknown can be an enemy but also a great motivator. Once I am “in it” I do trust myself, just not there yet.

As always, thank you all for your time and advise.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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

Dm:

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.

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

I just completed company paid CDL training. So, I'm not an expert. I can relay to you what we were told though. If you; take the loads you're assigned without complaint. Deliver on time consistently. Stay in communication with your FM and finally, don't hit anything. you will automatically be in the top 25% of drivers. Another thing that'll help a ton is a strong work ethic. Just keep the left door closed. In other words, Don't make unnecessary stops and don't stretch out your breaks. a 10 hour break means you're ready to drive at 10 hours not getting up and into the shower then getting on the road at hour 12.

As for your other concerns,

Time management - Not sure how other companies work it. At my company we're given destination, route, fuel stops and appointment time. The only thing we need to decide is where and when to stop for our 30 minute in route break/inspection and 10 hour break.

Mountain driving - Haven't experienced that one yet. What I k now so far is to use the engine brake and gears to your advantage and don't out-drive the conditions. When in doubt, slow it down.

Changing lanes and city conditions - You will get used to the size of the unit and spacing needs through school. Between following the tracking of the turns and the backing drills, you will get very comfortable with the way things look in the mirrors and how much room you have. City driving has some extra challenges like pedestrians, frequent intersections etc, but as you are forced to do the speed limit, you'll find your following distances automatically spread out and your awareness becomes heightened.

Bottom line, you will learn about all of the things you're worried about either during CDL training or on the road driver training. I'm not saying you'll be an expert when you're done with training. But you will be competent enough to be safe and efficient on your own if you work hard at it. Like any new skill, you'll get better every day but will still be learning for years to come.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

1. Time Management - if you’ve done it before, you’ll do it here. It’s just different tasks.

2. Mountain Driving - you can go down too slow a gazillion times; you’ll only go down too fast ONE time.

3. City driving - you’ll get trained on some of it, but it’ll take some getting used to.

It’s much like flying a plane in that, cruising down the road is easy. It’s the take-off & landing that are tricky.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

If you haven't read this article by Old School yet, you should. I think it sums up what your FM is looking for in a top tier driver. What it takes to be a top tier driver

Fm:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

This is a great question/subject.

Recently Dave S made this remark in one of the training diaries. It summed up the subject well. He said...

Things to remember, independent of who you drive for, drive safe, be courteous, don't hit anything, be on time and don't be a butthead.

I laughed when I first saw it, but it was the cold hard truth. Following his simple advice will put you head and shoulders above most drivers. There are little nuances that you'll develop as you gain experience.

Communication is key. I always let my dispatcher know when I will be available for my next load. I send him an email before I even leave with the current load. That puts things in motion that keep me moving. You have to develop a relationship of trust with your dispatcher. That is done by flawless execution of your responsibilities. If I tell him on Friday morning that I'll be empty Monday at 0800 then I have got to make that happen. If for any reason I see that it's not going to happen I need to update him ASAP.

When we talk about performance we are stressing reliability and dependability. Those two attributes will keep you at the top of your dispatcher's list of drivers he counts on.

SAP:

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

You'll discover a lot about yourself out here driving that you did not know about before.

When you first start, it will be a lot to take in. This may last well past the first few weeks or months.

Eventually, you'll know when to push yourself and when to hold back.

DMF's Comment
member avatar

Gentlemen, thank you. It appears I will need to pull from my youth; 8-10hrs in a field was common. Wild Bill, I love your “keep the left door closed” I will carry that thought with me. I am older, so holding my water is a bit different now. I’ll figure it out.

I did read the link from Old School. Points well taken. For myself, I hope I find a “family” feel. From there, a limit does not exist. ... Old School, would love to share a conversation some day. ... We still own the farm, but have not personally worked it for years. Livestock has all been replaced with grain. Given time, I wish to change that. I will lose that fight, but wish to keep livestock an option.

Finding my limits ... I will grant you I have found a “comfort” zone in my life. Just not ready to retire just yet. Typically enjoy work too much, but that is why I have Michelle. She will pull me to some social event, I do love that woman.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More