Not Having A Ton Of Fun This Week

Topic 27786 | Page 1

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Wild-Bill's Comment
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I've only been out solo for a little over a month now. When things are going well, this has been a great experience. I enjoy the drive time. I'm challenging myself to race the HOS clock. Docking and drop and hooks are becoming more efficient. BUT, the last couple weeks have really tested my patience and at times made me question my sanity. It seems like the moon and stars are aligned against me. I don't know if it's me just adapting to the industry and lifestyle, or perhaps I picked the wrong company or division, or perhaps my FM is too new to help, or, or, or...

I launched out last Tuesday and got a series of 2-300 mile loads with either live load or live unload or both. Those seemed to eat up my clock. I think I ended up with detention pay 3 out of the 5 days I was out last week. I ended up with only 1400 miles for the week. But, I did get a nice 900 mile run that took me over the weekend which should help this week. My longer run delivered at 19:00. OK, No problem, I planned my start time accordingly. What I didn't plan for was a 9 hour unload. I didn't get parked until 5:00 am, which, pretty well shot the next day as I couldn't start until 3 in the afternoon. Once I got on the road on Monday, I ran into a traffic jam from a rollover accident. Took me over 2 hours to go 5 miles. They have me running on recaps (Which isn't ideal) and I only had 7 hours available for the day. So, My day fell behind quickly. With recaps only giving me back 6-7 hours for the next couple days, it took me until Thursday morning to deliver the load coming back, which is a day longer than it should have if i had a full 70 to work with. I did end Wednesday with a nice pre-plan for a load going from Chicago to near Boston; D&H Thursday & Deliver Friday evening. I thought nice, I'll take this 1,000 mile load and get another one back over the weekend, so, I'll have a good week this week and a head-start on next week. If only it were that easy..

Now to cap off the week, after delivering the load this morning, I got back to the Gary terminal around 6:30 for the relay, but found out the relay wasn't there yet. Ok, no problem, I had to get rolling at 2:00 to deliver this load, so, I'll get a shower, take a nap and be ready to go by 10:00 and still have plenty of time to drive. I sent a message to get an ETA, and was told they're 30 miles out. I waited until noon and called in to see what's going on. My FM was on another line, So I got someone else. He checked on it and found the relay driver was still in Appleton, WI Which in case you don't own a map is a long ways from the 30 minutes out I was quoted two hours prior. They ended up canceling the good run I had and put me on a 500 mile trip to Ohio. Which isn't bad for tomorrow, but in the mean time I burned up my entire 14 hour clock today and only have 200 miles to show for it. Between Sunday and Thursday I've had to wait twice for more than 8 hours for something to happen so I could get rolling. I'm used to making stuff happen not waiting around for things to happen to me.

To wrap up the whining, here's my questions/concerns. My leap of faith into trucking was partially based on the math of averaging a minimum of 2400 miles per week. I'm ok with weekly fluctuations, but I need over a three week period to average around 2400. That seems reasonable. Ideally, I'd like to get closer to 3,000 and I'm willing to run hard to get that kind of mileage. Am I just stuck in rookie mode for now and the miles are going to be tough to get for a while? How long does it take to prove myself willing and able to be safe and on time so I can start getting more miles?

I've only been with my current FM since last week. Up until last then, I was working with a training FM who only handles drivers for the first month out of the CDL training. So, I'm trying to establish a rapport with my new FM. With that in mind I've tried to "sit down, shut up and do what you're told" thinking that would be the best way to get a good reputation and show I'm willing to do what's needed. In talking to my FM today, I found out she's only been in the industry for a few months as well. Is that going to hold me back from being the top performer I want to be? Should I challenge her on the misquoted ETA for the relay today? (that really torqued me off) so far I stayed away from that because I want to try to get our relationship going in the right direction. Challenging her on it when I was already fired up couldn't have led to anything good coming out of the conversation. Is it too early (only a week) to call her and let her know my expectations and needs or, do I let my attitude and work ethic do the talking for me and assume it will get better and this is just a temporary setback?

All this has me really down today. the waiting around and burning up the clock are killing me. Detention pay is no where near what I can make with the wheels rolling. If I cant figure out a way to get things stabilized soon, I'm not sure I can financially make this thing work out. Like I said, I enjoy the time on the road. I feel more comfortable every day with the maneuvering etc. But at the end of the day, I need to be able to make a living at it. I knew the adjustment was going to be hard. and it has been, but I didn't anticipate the issues with mileage and waiting around while burning up my clock to impact me so much.

Thanks for letting me vent and ramble.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

Look into a dedicated fleet. The miles fluctuate. Last pay check sucked and had less than a 1000 miles on it. Because I picked up. Load on Wednesday and delivered 1800 miles away on Monday. But I got a 2000 mile load coming back that delivers tomorrow on Friday. So I'm looking at a 3800 mile paycheck with lumber tarp pay for both. Just hang in there. You've gone from a dispatcher with like 10 drivers to worry about to one that has over 100 to keep track of every day.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
What I didn't plan for was a 9 hour unload. I didn't get parked until 5:00 am, which, pretty well shot the next day as I couldn't start until 3 in the afternoon.

how are you logging time spent at a shipper/receiver? After 8 hours sleeper your 14 clock goes back to what you had when you went in. You could have rolled out then, or waited an extra hour until you had 10 hours then rolled out at roughly 6am with a full clock. I can't elaborate too much on HOS for an OTR driver because I haven't done it, however it doesnt make sense why you'd be out of hours (70 clock) or running recaps off 1400 miles.

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.

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.
Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Great question, I log time in the dock as sleeper berth. Here’s a copy of my log maybe someone can see something there I can do better. I’m open to any feedback. Yes, there are some decent days in there. It’s the 2-300 mile days that get to me. keep in mind also that the 7th and 8th rolled into this week.

0479319001584061964.jpg

Unfortunately Roehl doesn’t want us to use 8/10 split. There was no overnight parking available at the consignee and the dock folks were pushing me to roll out of the dock before I could even finish my workflow. (I told them after waiting that long to unload they could spot me the 10 minutes for paperwork) So, no chance to stretch it to a 10 hour break.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Are you flatbed?

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

I run 2700 to 3000 per week on 70 hours . I reset when I go home about every 6 weeks. The thing to remember about recaps is , yes u only get x hours today but u have 14 hours to use that. Take the load that u spent the extra day on. If u would have started at 18:00 drove to 24:00 got your recap u could of drove 5 more hours all in one night. I’m not even sure this makes sense to anyone else.

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

Why do u have so much on duty time?

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Short loads are pary of the game even for OTR. you need to learn to manage your time better. Roehl requires permission to use PC, but using that to get rhe 10.break would have been better than wasting thay 9 hours of sitting. And as Donna says you 70 is being eaten up by on duty time.

You said you are SB while in the dock... are you logging an hour for PTI or something?

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Great questions and comments about on duty time. Hopefully, you can help me learn some efficiency. What should my on duty time be in an average day? How much time do other refer drivers use checking in/out and docking? In training I thought I understood that somewhere around An hour on duty is average in a day.

I start the day with a15 min PTI. After that there is typically 1/2 hour or so per stop for check in/our, yard move etc. the delivery I’m in now is very typical. Stop at guard, switch to on customer check in. 15 minutes for guard and move to receiving office. 10 minutes in Receiving office then move to staging area 7 minutes to backed in there. Get called to a door 7 more minutes to move to and back into door. So about 40 minutes total on duty time for the process. Luckily at this location, I was able to creep over to the staging area and dock, and I stayed in sleeper while checking in at receiving office so, only used the 15 minutes from guard shack to parking near the office. The rest u was able to log as sleeper.

If I’m doing a load, unload and load on new workflow in the same day, the time seems to add up to well over an hour. Even a drop and hook this morning took 15 minutes of clock time with check in and yard move.

Then there’s fuel stops and scaling but I usually log those as break To try to conserve time even though we’re told to log them as on duty

Donna had a good point about the short day, I’ll need to think about how to take advantage of that next time I’m short on available hours

As to the 9 hour unload and PC time. I’m not sure there was a way to stretch that out to a 10 hour break. Roehl has us Log on duty then break as a time stamp before starting PC. then on duty for post trip as a time stamp when done. Yes the PC time is off duty but the on duty punch negates the opportunity for the break. Like I said, the dock folks were Pushing me out. There’s no way I could have stayed the extra hour as much as I wanted to get rolling.

Let me know what you see in my on duty explanation, I’d love to read what others are doing differently to reduce on duty time.

By the way my Two preplans for tomorrow are 200 miles followed by 70 miles with live load and unload on each. I have a feeling I’m going to burn up my 14 again with waiting around.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

One way I've found to avoid burning up my clock is to sleep at the consignees or shippers. Then I can work 18 20 hours a day. Works wonders. I'll google earth the place and figure out if I can sneak in and park for the night. Or ill find a place on the street to park. I'm lucky though I get to go to the same 1000 places all the time so I got a good lay of the land. I'm also lucky to have some old heads to let me know about places. Keep an eye out for that million mile driver at your company you keep running into and make him your new best friend.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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