PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

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PackRat's Comment
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I came up with the thought of a daily driving diary a few months ago. We get lots of questions on here about what it's like being an OTR driver all the time. Things like do you get a motel each night, do you unload your trailer at the delivery, do you pay for the fuel, etc. My hope is this will clear up some confusion, unrealistic expectations, stuff people never thought about, and questions people were afraid to ask. If there are any questions, don't be afraid to ask. I may have the answer!

I'm going to try to do an in-depth log each day of my travels so others that are thinking about making the jump into driving can get some idea of "A Day In The Life Of A Company Driver". My plan is to detail my day once I shut down. Some days may be exciting, while others may be less so.

I solo drive a company truck for CFI out of Joplin, MO assigned to their national fleet of the lower 48 states and Canada. Currently I have a red 2019 KW T680, condo sleeper, with 172,000 miles. Her name is, "Hannah". I name all my trucks in alphabetical order. Previously there was "Amanda", "Bernice", "Carla", "Debbie", "Evelyn", "Fred", and "Gladys".

Currently, I'm sitting at a TA truck stop off I-77 in North Canton, Ohio. I've been here since about 1130 on 3 JAN. A long time to wait for a delivery this evening at 2000 at a Sam's Club Distribution Center, about 15 minutes from here. I got in a 34 hour reset (and then some) while waiting, plus $250 for layover pay. Frustrated to sit here so long, but I can't deliver earlier than what is scheduled. Believe it or not, but at some places, an early delivery is classified as a service failure. Bizarre but true! This warehouse was closed all weekend, too, so doing a drop-and-hook wasn't an option, either.

To be continued...


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.


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.

Country boy's Comment
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That's interesting about the early delivery being a service failure...

PackRat's Comment
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That's interesting about the early delivery being a service failure...

Brett almost got fired for this same thing at a company he drove for years ago! It's been going on for awhile.

Country boy's Comment
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I haven't experienced that yet, maybe its different with tankers. They seem to like me being early.... That is crazy though.

RealDiehl's Comment
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I've only come across a possible service failure for delivering early with Walmart. One day I sent my FM a message saying I was going to be delivering early on a drop/hook to Walmart (16:00). I was told i have to wait until after midnight otherwise walmart would issue some kind of penalty fee to Prime for the early delivery. Strange.

Looking forward to reading about PackRat's OTR adventures...


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.


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.
Turtle's Comment
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Great idea for a daily diary, Packrat. That's quite an ambitious undertaking, I'm sure it will help countless potential drivers, as well as entertain some of us old hands too. Looking forward to following along.


Operating While Intoxicated

Spoonerist 's Comment
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Good morning Packrat!

Thank you for doing this! I’m excited to read your adventure.



Big T's Comment
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This could be very useful for new drivers and those coming into the industry. Might be cool if we could get a couple going: different companies, freight, experience levels etc.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Amelia M.'s Comment
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Yeah Wal-Mart/Sam's club has been like that since at least the early 2000's, even with small vendor deliveries like my husband was doing. Very strict about who unloads and when.

Amber L.'s Comment
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So would the guard or office personnel inform you that you shouldn't deliver early? We got a couple notices about not delivering early but when we got there and asked they said it was fine, all d&h not live unloads. Thank you for all the time and energy this will take Packrat!!

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