Rookie Driver

Topic 27541 | Page 1

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John L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello y’all,

Started my first week with a local company on 1/27/20. I must admit I am super super nervous, I’m with a trainer and he’s been making me drive in the really tight areas of LA, today is my second week and I’m still nervous as hell and made a lot of rookie mistakes, like not paying attention to signs, passing the area where your suppose to turn, not knowing how to make a right/left turn and losIng my gears. I have my cdl my my school never really taught me how to make right turns Or to pull in and out of the parking lot, there was just too many students at my school. Anyways the 4th day of training I turned the tractor trailer like a regular car into our terminal yard and I didn’t pay attention to the left front trailer, welp, I bent in the already damaged fence. That was bad but other Than that I haven’t hit anything after :), Other than I came 0.1 inch close to taking out a traffic light because I turned right last minute and not swinging in my truck wide enough. But today has been a little better, even though I stall from time to time because I let go of the clutch and brakes too fast. Is this feeling of being scared and nervous normal for a rookie? I must hand it to my trainer he’s good at backing and has a lot of patience, even though he yelled at me a few times because I never swing “wide enough” I learned how to float gears but certain instances like taking curves and exiting freeways I either go too fast or too slow, there’s always something my trainer keeps correcting me on. I’m a little intimated In driving a big rig.

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.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

SRJ's Comment
member avatar

Rookie Driver - you state in your post “I have my cdl my my school never really taught me how to make right turns Or to pull in and out of the parking lot, there was just too many students at my school.”

I was wondering what you meant when you say your school didn’t teach you how to make right turns or pull into parking lots? How many hours of driving through your school did you get prior to obtaining your CDL?

You mention you hit a fence in your company truck and I was wondering if this was considered an accident and what if any repercussions you faced for this?

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.
Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

G-Town told me when I first started to “Watch your Wagon” , man every turn look in your mirror make sure your trailer is clearing. Take turns slow and easy. Okay u turned into terminal sharp but why didn’t u stop before u hit something? I had only driven a school bus before I got my CDL , I was and still am overwhelmed at the size of my truck . I take every inch of space available. We have automatics so I didn’t have to worry with that. But don’t get side tracked with that and not watch that trailer. U take out a car or something and sorry but your career will be cut short. Not trying to sound mean. Maybe walk around the truck and trailer a couple times till u get the feel of just how long 90 to 93 ‘ is. I’ve only been out one year, and I still have plenty of times I get nervous, I just slow down and make sure I don’t make mistakes.

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.

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.

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

Well it seems like I didn’t face any repercussions since it was barely my 4th day of training, our from entrance is pretty narrow with two yellow poles on each side, I cleared the right pole but failed to notice the pole on my left side which ended up hitting the fence with the left front of my trailer. My trainer said most likely it won’t go on my DAC report, I just wrote an accident report to our terminal manager. I went to a school in El Monte, it was an 80 hour course but we were able to stay a little longer past 80. It’s wierd because at my school every mon- tues it’s only air brakes and pre trip, wed-Thursday is driving, Friday closed and sat sun all day yard skills. The class is divided into 2 hour sessions. Every time I went on wed and Thursday for driving there were so many people that I didn’t get to drive at times, our instructor mainly pulled the truck out for us and parked it then we went on our way. Most of the shifting, turning and backing I learned on my own by watching YouTube. However, when I started training boy oh boy I had ALOT to learn lol, when we were in school my instructor never brought us to tight spaces or even showed us how to pull in the drive ways, most of the time He told us to park on the sidewalk. All he said was “wait till the drive tires clear the sidewalk then turn” We drove a 48 foot trailer but my real job was a 53 foot trailer with the tandems all the way forward.

Rookie Driver - you state in your post “I have my cdl my my school never really taught me how to make right turns Or to pull in and out of the parking lot, there was just too many students at my school.”

I was wondering what you meant when you say your school didn’t teach you how to make right turns or pull into parking lots? How many hours of driving through your school did you get prior to obtaining your CDL?

You mention you hit a fence in your company truck and I was wondering if this was considered an accident and what if any repercussions you faced for this?

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.

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.

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".

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m actually getting the hang of it now! I been driving a 13 speed kenworth t700, my trainer is pretty cool he’s been showing me the ropes and I been learning so much! More than when I was in CDL school, after I hit the fence I been making super wide turns And watch my trailer and my trailer tires till they clear. Even when making right and left turns I use two lanes if the space is tight, I learned my lesson after driving in LA and almost taking out a traffic light. Now I’m extra careful on my turns and driving, I still gotta work on my backing, but other than that I’m doing okay. I’m more comfortable in driving a semi now but I’m Still nervous everyday because I don’t know what to expect.

G-Town told me when I first started to “Watch your Wagon” , man every turn look in your mirror make sure your trailer is clearing. Take turns slow and easy. Okay u turned into terminal sharp but why didn’t u stop before u hit something? I had only driven a school bus before I got my CDL , I was and still am overwhelmed at the size of my truck . I take every inch of space available. We have automatics so I didn’t have to worry with that. But don’t get side tracked with that and not watch that trailer. U take out a car or something and sorry but your career will be cut short. Not trying to sound mean. Maybe walk around the truck and trailer a couple times till u get the feel of just how long 90 to 93 ‘ is. I’ve only been out one year, and I still have plenty of times I get nervous, I just slow down and make sure I don’t make mistakes.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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