Troops Into Transportation

Topic 27403 | Page 2

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Papa Pig's Comment
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Learning about weights, axle weights , how to adjust tandems and 5th wheel. Definitely my favorite class so far. New instructor is making it interesting. Really enjoying the whole experience.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Turtle's Comment
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Interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

good-luck.gif

Papa Pig's Comment
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Well, today was the first day of backing and driving. We started the morning at 0600, rain and 40 degrees with pre trip, coupling and uncoupling. Simple enough.

After we all Go a chance to couple we broke into groups of 4 and started on our straight line backing. First time I got it in there but after that I started over thinking. I somehow kept getting my drives too close to the cones. I think I know what my problem was. I’m not the first and won’t be the last.

We took a break for lunch and had a us express recruiter brief, they gave us dominoes and told us what they had to offer. (I’m sure they are a fine company but they want you to team with another rookie after your upgrade off the trainer truck for a few months. Not currently the type of driving I am looking for)

Back to the range (luckily the rain had stopped) more straight line backing and an instructor took us in a truck to drive through fort Benning. I’m this school they take you out on an automatic to get you used to the truck and trailer and how it turns in an automatic instead of manual to get you used to how the truck reacts before introducing the shifting aspect. The backing was done on the manual trucks.

My turn came and I feel I did ok. I learned a few things very quickly 1. the brakes are suuuuper sensitive. 2 know I know why they have been telling us to practice looking in each mirror every few seconds on the way home. 3. Everything I “thought “ I knew about turning I can throw out the window and start from scratch. 4. See above 5. Watch my tandems . 6. Watch my damn tandems 😂 If you have never been on main post in Fort Benning it has a suprising amount of traffic and tight turns for an army post on your average afternoon.

Finished my route , got some helpful critique from my instructor and went back to the range. By this time everyone was finished backing and was moving in to Pretrip again. I was able to complete the incab/breaks. And feel pretty confident I can nail it after some practice.

Overall a very rewarding and challenging day. Some things to take home to digest ,rest and refit for tomorrow . It was a cold /wet day and was lucky my wife had chicken n dumplings on the stove to warm me up!! Bless her.looking forward to finding some gears tomorrow. Stay tuned gang.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dean R.'s Comment
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You and I must be using a similar training syllabus! We did almost the exact same training over the last couple of days.

Papa Pig's Comment
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Dean that wouldn’t surprise me.

Today we showed up at the range at 0700 and were told to pretrip the trucks. We were about done when one of the instructors pulled me and 4 others out and told us to hop in for road training in the 10 speed manual. (Yesterday we did it in the automatic to get the feel of the trailer)

I went second and we were on some back roads with a lot of rolling hills. The first time I went , up shifting went well and down shifting needed a lot of work. Also starting and stopping on a hill was an eye opener. And you guessed it, needed a lot of work.

When my second time came around upshifting was better and down shifting was much improved as well. I was used to the truck and had learned from watching the critique/instruction of the other guys. The hill was not nearly as bad. He even felt comfortable enough to let me get some in traffic driving and a “small “ traffic circle.

Once we got back to the range it was time for lunch and we had a recruiter briefing. Swift recruiter and tbh was one of the better briefings we had received. He had a very tempting offer for a dedicated home every night position in my area that they were willing to put rookies on (something with Walmart)But I want to get my otr experience before trying that just so I can have more options for jobs later on.

After lunch we started backing again. Still on straight line. I had a few issues yesterday and thought I had it figured. (I did not) made the same mistake . Almost got frustrated but calmed myself , went to the range instructor and let him know I was struggling and could he watch. (I am not the guy that’s too proud to ask for help. No shame in my game) he gave me a correction which should have been obvious to me (i was waaaay under correcting) After getting it in with no problem after his corrections. I went to every different truck we had going on the range. My confidence was up and did really well the rest of the day.

They have all different sizes of trailers from the 20 footers, 40s, and 53. I had no clue a 20 would be more challenging than a full size but you can get in trouble with those pretty quick if it gets out of control on you.

The rest was spent on the pretrip. Spent a lot of time on incab/breaks.

The thing I will take out of today is to ask an instructor for help before you get super frustrated. Sometimes they are busy helping other students and may not see you struggling and are more than willing to help you through your problem.

So 0700 to 1800 . Tired but happy. Ready to hit it again in the AM

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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Proceed with extreme caution if any recruiter comes in talking about how great it would be to make big bucks, be home every night, and run a dedicated account for any company, especially one that has the word, "Dollar" attached to it....Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General. These are not good for a rookie because they involve very tight areas to maneuver, which can lead to accidents in a hurry. These are mostly driver hand unloading, too, so lots of opportunities to be injured on this account. These will make you an old man (like me) in a hurry.

This site never recommends these for new drivers.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Packrat. That is good advice and I agree with it. I understand how recruiters work. They sweet tales me into the army 23 yrs ago 😂 Wasn’t one of the dollar accounts. Said it was complete no touch for Walmart. I see a lot of their trailers around.

But like I said, I know I need quite a bit of otr before I would consider anything local. And I know I do not want to fingerprint freight lol.

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.

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Today one of our instructors gave us a class on offset backing and set up a few lanes. After we were checked individually to see if we were proficient at straight line backing we were clear to progress to the off set maneuver. Those who needed extra instruction got it.

the guys who hadn’t been out shifting got a chance today.

I was suprised that the full size trailers were much easier to offset than the 20 foot pup trailers. If you let that trailer get away from you it can play hell getting her back. Lol. I did great at the offset on the larger trailers. Figured out the 20 footer and got her in the hole.

We had 5 trucks and trailers going and generally i would do one, move to a different combo to get a feel for all the different vehicles. So overall a productive day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Those short, 20' shipping container trailers are a chore to back. I've always been entertained at a receiver when someone in a long nosed Peterbilt shows up dragging one of those, then has to back it into a dock. Fun for me, but not so for most of those drivers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Ratpack you ain’t lying for sure. After I tried the 2 20 foot trailers a a few times and went back to the big boys they were soooooo much easier. I had “mistakenly” thought they would be easier. Huge surprise lol

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