Rookie Solo Driving Diary

Topic 27681 | Page 2

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Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 6 2/29

My pickup is at 11 am in Carol Stream about a half hour away and theyre relatively strict on appts but from past experiences theyll take me a few hours early. I start my pretrip at 0730 after finding no issues i roll out to the disaster of a drop lot.

Got to the lot at 0750 and the guards gone. Sign says back in 15 min so i figure ill slide my tandems now before they ask me too. She shows up and I explain i dropped an empty here yesterday and need to swap it with this one for a picky shipper. Head over to our dropped trailers and its gone! Someone dropped overnight and grabbed my empty. I message dispatch and they find me another nearby at a furniture DC. I slide my tandems back and head out to hurry up and grab the new trailer. Get to the guard shack and am told i need to get the yard pass filled out by the shipping office. I tried to explain i didnt do anything... I didnt drop any trailers, didnt pickup any loads its like i wasnt there. So now i have to back up 300 yards down a two lane road and turn back into the yard and drive to the office to tell them im here to drive around your yard and leave please sign my permission slip (in my head i was thinking this). I get up to thhe window and a angry gentlemen tells me he wont speak to me until i put on a reflective vest. Awesome. No signs in the yard anywhere about this but there is one in the window, didnt need one yesterday but i keep that to myself. Luckily im wearing a high vis tshirt under my jacket so i take the jacket off and stand there. He just stares at me so i read the sign and it says vest or clothing. I point at the sign and ask if we're good? Explained my issue and he told me i just should have left, if I didnt move any trailers there is no reason to let them know and security should have let me go. I get my permission slip back and head out again talk to security and leave.

I drive to the roomplace dc in romeoville il and find an acceptable trailer, hook to it and do an inspection and sweep out the trailer and head to my shipper.

Arrived at the shipper in Carol Stream at 0945 for my 1100 appt. Go check in and theres only two shipping docks and theyre full so i wait for one to open.

0654652001583027524.jpg

Wierd dock area. You have to drive onto gravel around a light pole then its an eaasy straight back to a door.

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Im loaded at 1200 and pullout and head to the shipping office. The loader comes out takes pictures of the load and seals my trailer and gives me paperwork. 27klbs of empty pasta boxes....pretty light so i slide my tandems up to the 4 hole and send my loaded messages and head for Iowa.

Drove to a rest area on I35 about 20 minutes from my final, which has an appt window of 7am to 2pm. Ill be there at 7am. I have a preplan to La Crosse WI for a drop and hook pickup at a local brewery that delivers in Rochester NY on Tuesday 3/3 with an outbound load going to a distributor in Cincinnati for delivery on 3/4.

6:45 drive time

8:25 on duty time

365 miles driven

Rochester Ny has a crazy tight indoor dock ill take some pics of on Tuesday.

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.

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".

Drop And Hook:

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I gave ya a holler on the CB as I drove past that rest area about 330am. Thought it was my lucky day when I seen Millis on 80 east but after no response it occured to me you would've been going up to I-90 anyways

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 7. 3/1

Woke up at 0600 and started my pretrip at 0630. Rolled out for my 7am window and got to the reciever at 0702.... Right behind another delivery. They only have 1 dock available for deluveries so I have to wait an hour to get a door. Its a pretty small dock area with not a ton of setup room so it takes me awhile to get enough kink in my trailer to get in the hole then pull forward to straighten but i finally manage. Back up and then slide my tandems forward and ease onto the dock and chock my wheels.

2.5 hrs later im empty so i pull forward alide my tandems back up send all my messages and go to the back to see how messy the trailer is. Its a mess i walk up front and get my blower and close one door and blow everything to the corner and sweep it up into a bag and toss it in their dumpster. Lock my tandems in and check to see my messages with my preplanned load.

Got a fuel solution of a pilot in clear lake iowa so i hop out and check my tandem pins to make sure theyre out and open my trailer tails and head north on I 35.

After fueling i finally reach LaCrosse at 0300 and park across the street and head in to check in with shipping. Get my trailer number and fill out the paperwork and go to the drop yard. Drop my empty after sliding the tandems back and hook up to my loaded trailer. Break the seal and put in two load bars and a strap to secure the load and slide my tandems up the to 7th hole because its loaded pretty far back for a beer load at 44klbs. Send in my messages for being loaded and head to the outbound scale to see how I did. Weights look good so i make my way back to I90 east. Stopped briefly at a Loves to scale and im legal so rolled on. I originally wanted to make indiana but the slow unloading has eaten into my 14hr clock so i had to settle for the Loves in Hampshire Il on I90. Stopped for the day at 20:00.

8.44 hrs drive time

9.14 on duty

495 miles driven.

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".

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 8. 3/2

I only have 9hrs left on my 70 so ill only be able to get within 3 hours or so from my 6am wednesday final in Rochester Ny. Im shooting for Erie Pa at the TA. Wake up at 515am and start my pretrip as my 10hr break ends at 0601. Kinda disappointed at the late start because now Ill hit chciago rush hour morning commute.

Luckily traffic wasnt too bad i make it through Chicago and fuel up the the flying j in Lake station indiana and hop on the toll road. Stopped at the middlebury east bound truck only parking lot for my 30 min break and did some paperwork i was lagging behind on and hit the road again.

Made it to Erie Pa at 1700 about 3 hrs from my final which will be super tight getting there when my 10hr break is over at 0300.

8.44 driving time

8.57 on duty

517 miles driven.

Here is a link to a video of the dock im going to tomorrow.

Cant put the link in for some reason.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g0IyR0A5B6Q&t=548s

Copy and paster will work i guess.

Ill have some pics tomorrow.

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.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Got up at 215 and did my pretrip. Everything looked good so staryed Rolling at 3am. Got about 30 miles and BOOM!

0411531001583226429.jpg

Trailer tire blew. Sitting on the side of the road on 90 east waiting on roadside.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Roadside finally showed up and replaced the tire aftr 3 hours, rim was still good so thats a bonus. Scared the hell outta me.

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Got to the reciever at 0940 and after waiting for 2 other drivers to back in i hit the dock at 1011am after my own dismal backing display.

Next load picks up in the same industrial park with another tight indoor dock!

Yay me.

dancing.gif

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

This place wasnt anywhere near as busy but i did have some trepidation about the. Yellow stair rail.

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Of course with my luck they put me in the dock with inches of clearance of the guard rail.... With these stupid tails making it even tighter.

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Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

Good job man! The luck you have with folks cracks me up, if it weren't for bad luck you wouldn't have any at all.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Good job man! The luck you have with folks cracks me up, if it weren't for bad luck you wouldn't have any at all.

I know! I dont like to dwell on the bad luck but it can drag a man down slowly. Thank god for hometime its a light at then end of the tunnel sometimes when going through a rough patch. On the bright side i was actually unloaded and reloaded up at Rochester really quickly for a change. Have you been there yet Pete? I know Packrats been there Id like to here his thoughts.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 9 continued....

I actually reloaded in about 20 minutes. Got the call from the shipping department and bobtailed back over to hook back up to the trailer. (The docks are so tight you have to unhook so others can back in otherwise its impossible.) I had almost 4 hours left on my clock so i headed out south to get back to I90 and head east. Made it to Austinburg Ohio and stayed at the Flying J on the North side of 90.

Long rough day with not alot of miles.

7.40 hrs on duty time

7hrs drive time

367 miles

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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