Went Left When I Had To Go Right

Topic 28147 | Page 1

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Banks's Comment
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I had to run linehaul for FedEx ground over the weekend. I was dispatched to South Philadelphia. I'd never been there, but I didn't like the sound of it. Typically, when I get runs I go to areas that I would consider busy suburbs. This is the first time I've had to go to a "Philadelphia" type of city. I'm already thinking about smaller streets, cars parked curbside and more aggressive drivers on the road.

I prep like I always do. Put the address in the GPS and compare it to the directions FedEx gives me and make them match. After doing all of that, I'm on way to Philly.

I follow my GPS and it says the building is here at the orange dot. I'm the blue line.

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Turns out the FedEx terminal is the red mark. This happens a lot so I pay it no mind. Usually the terminal is a couple of hundred feet further up. I drive and drive and all I see is airports and planes. I see some FedEx planes, that was pretty cool but it didn't make me feel any better.

Then I saw the sign "No Thru Traffic". I'm pulling doubles down a street big enough for 2 four wheelers on either side. My stomach dropped and I felt sick. I had no choice so I kept going. Not that far up I see

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I stopped the truck. I have no choice now. There's no where to turn around and I can't go forward anymore. There's an intercom so I press the button and it starts ringing.

"Security"

"Hey, I think I made a wrong turn somewhere and I'm stuck. Would you be willing to open this gate and let me in so I can turn around in the parking lot"

"Sure buddy, have at it"

And the gate goes up. These gates are as wide as a toll lane. The difference is, I'm confident going through a toll lane because I know they're built with trucks in mind. I didn't have that confidence here. I go by at about 5 MPH glancing forward and at the mirrors and I finally clear the gate. Now, the hard part is turning around in this lot designed for cars.

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I go in and make the left. The parking lot is empty, I'm guessing because of travel restrictions. I have the whole thing to myself the only problem is the cement barriers with stop signs. I pull up as far as possible and make the left i need to make to get into the parking area. My first trailer clears and now I see my rear trailer getting really close to the stop sign. In turn all the way right and clear the stop sign, but I jump the curb. This is scary with doubles because a curb that's high enough can roll your rear and take the rest of you with it. Luckily, that wasn't case. I figure it would probably be best to try and exit at angle so my rear trailer is as far away from the stop sign as I can get it. That worked great.

Before I exit the parking lot I put "FedEx ground Philadelphia" in Google maps so it can take me the rest of way.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Great learning experience you didn't panic and hit anything you didn't need a tow truck or spotter to come drag you backwards. Pretty successful trip if you ask me.

My trainer said the week before I started training with him his usual route was closed for construction so he tried to turn around in a warehouse and couldn't for so he had to break the set and maneuver the trailer individually.

I do the same thing and make my phone match the company direction and on my 2nd day solo my phone recalculated the route to a terminal with out me noticing and I ended up taking the senic route got a call from the terminal dispatcher asking where I was going.

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.

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.
000's Comment
member avatar

"My stomach dropped and I felt sick." This is the absolute worst feeling out here with these giants. When I was in training, we had decided to not follow the GPS at a certain point cause it looked really sketchy when trip planning. What did I do? Totally forgot about not following the GPS & got off the highway an exit before the one we had agreed upon. When I got that same feeling in the pit of my stomach it was too late. No where to turn around. Ended up on an incline that 5th/6th gear was the highest I can go with a caravan of cars behind me. 🤬 if I had stayed on the highway, the next exit was right next to the DC 🤯

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Viking's Comment
member avatar

Wow I bet you needed a new pair of pants when you finally got where you wanted to be! Haha

No matter how prepared you are there are always curve balls thrown at you.

One thing I learned the hard way is to always attempt to use Google Street view to familiarize yourself with the shipper/receiver during trip planning. GPS has a tendency to get you into this bind.. or the classic problem of being given the address for the car entrance and the truck entrance is half a mile away around the corner.

Learn new things everyday.

Glad you made it out of this situation unscathed.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

It's a good learning experience, great job getting out of it without creating damage. Just imagine if the parking lot was full shocked.png Our ELD is an android tablet that uses Google for GPS which isnt good but atleast I can see the satellite view. I only started doing that after it randomly saying I arrived despite being half a mile away.

When I was waiting on my load this morning another of our drivers was talking about picking up a backhaul near Columbia MO in some amish community and the GPS took him to a random USPS big blue mailbox. He said it was hell trying to find somewhere to turn around.

Banks's Comment
member avatar
Great learning experience you didn't panic 

I absolutely did panic, but I managed to contain it lol

My trainer said the week before I started training with him his usual route was closed for construction so he tried to turn around in a warehouse and couldn't for so he had to break the set and maneuver the trailer individually.

I've heard a bunch of those stories. I'm usually able to call somebody and get info on a terminal before I go, but not too many of us have run for ground so that isn't really an option. Breaking down a set is a plan B I hope I never have to use, but in this instance it wasn't an option because that road wasn't big enough for me to turn a single around. Making a u turn bobtailing would've been a PITA.

"My stomach dropped and I felt sick." This is the absolute worst feeling out here with these giants.

It definitely is and if I ever feel it again, it'll be too soon.

Wow I bet you needed a new pair of pants when you finally got where you wanted to be! 

The worst part is the terminal was closed so I couldn't use the bathroom wtf-2.gifrofl-2.gif

One thing I learned the hard way is to always attempt to use Google Street view to familiarize yourself with the shipper/receiver during trip planning. 

With FedEx, it's not uncommon for the address and entrance to be at different places, that's why I didn't think much of it initially. I'll definitely be better prepared on the next one.

It's a good learning experience, great job getting out of it without creating damage. Just imagine if the parking lot was full 

I would've been SOL if the parking lot was full and security may have denied me access if it was. I'm glad it was empty and security was cool about letting me turn around.

He said it was hell trying to find somewhere to turn around.

I usually go places where I can make a u turn with a set with little to no issues, especially since I go out at night. This was something completely new to me.

Bobtail:

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

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This time I went right, when I should've went left. I had to go to Pittsburgh, the directions were take 80 to PA28 to I76. Sounded simple enough. It was not. I didn't know that I had to be on PA 28 for about 50 miles and that it was a regular street with 2 lanes, 2 directions of travel, speed limits ranging from 25 to 55 and a lot of hills.

When I reached my exit on PA 28 to get on I76, turns out I76 was to the left and I turned right. I blindly followed a detour sign and I paid for it by going through a lot of small streets. I got lucky again with light traffic and I was able to take up the entire road, but I know one day that luck will run out. I realized I made the wrong turn when I left the destination terminal and got back to the same intersection.

The hills of 28 were also stressful. I had my first experience with spongy smoking brakes. I was given an international tractor. I've never driven an international, so I wasn't familiar with it. I couldn't use engine retarders because it was raining heavily and I didn't know how to downshift that truck. I had to rely on stab braking and it was becoming less and less effective. When I started smelling burning rubber, I pulled over on the side of the us28 to check it out. It was light smoke. I decided to take my 30 on the side of the road to let the brakes cool and to figure out downshifting an international.

I figured it out and it wasn't as responsive as a KW. I decided to use the engine retarders on the lightest setting and maintain my speed 5 MPH under the limit. The drive back wasn't as bad because I learned from my mistakes on the drive there. I downshifted and used light engine retarders without depending on it exclusively. I used light braking with it to make sure it worked the way it was supposed to. Since I was driving back with different trailers, the brakes started out cool as could be and that put my mind at ease.

I ended the day with 590 miles and 30 minutes of drivetime on my clock.

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.

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