Papa Pigs Zainy Rookie Solo Adventures

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Papa Pig's Comment
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Well I have been out here and solo about a week and a half now. It’s definitely been a ride so far. Started last Tuesday and finished the week Saturday with 4 loads in. I was lucky last week because I was able to get to the next days store that night and all the managers agreed to take their load that night. I went to bed kinda sweaty with a baby wipe or a sink bath but it kept me moving. Load planner and fleet manager was happy tho. It’s definitely been different unloading a trailer by myself than it was with a trainer. Obviously slower but I’m finding new techniques that are making me faster. And there have been a couple of situations where I looked over at the passenger seat for guidance and felt the emptiness and the realization that “oh sh$t It’s all on me now.” Got the call to drive in Monday and and had a pre-plan for Muscle shoals Alabama. When I picked up the bills I noticed it was a mandatory 6 am delivery and a 45 foot trailer. That put the fear of Jesus in me cause if my company gives you a small trailer you know it’s gonna be tight as H*ll! Got to the store around there closing time to park up and yup it was as tight as it looked on google. Took awhile and after many get out and looks and increasingly impatient 4 wheelers I got it in. Next day kinda sucked cause the store had no room for their product so it took a lot longer to deliver the. It needed too. The next store took awhile to drive too bit went ok, and I had to do a sweep way out of the way. Got back to the DC with 2 hours left on my clock, dropped my empty and pretriped my new loaded trailer. Too marker light was missing. By the time maint finished I only had an hour left, and unsure of Birmingham traffic at the time and exhaustion I pulled the plug, went to sleeper and ordered a pizza. Today I had to drive to the first store from the dc. 189 miles . Georgia side of Chattanooga. After a few tight turns through town I got to the store and knowing I was already behind my old ass started putting in work “fast/efficient/ but as safely as possible” Went down a county road in Alabama that was questionable , so much so that I was gazing turnaround spots in case I had to back up to one. It happens🤷🏻‍♂️. Finished that load, then went to a store for a sweep. After a much needed shower at loves (I have been doing so much crazy backing lately it actually took me a few pull-ups to get it in a real truck parking spot I made it back to the Dc and dropped my empty with 5 minutes left on my 14. Qualcomm rebooted and I freaked out. Came back up and I had one minute to go off duty and send in my macros lol. Have a semi local load tomorrow so I’m bobtail waiting to see what tomorrow brings.

Bobtail:

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

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Fleet Manager:

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

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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Nice... isn't it great when you are trying to back and it's JUST not happening... all the while you're thinking "Cmon, Man. Yesterday you backed into XXX, you can do this" which only makes it more frustrating...

Keep us posted, and keep up that attitude. Your load planners will doubtless be taking note of your work ethic!

Tortuga 's Comment
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Liking your zainy adventure Papa Pig! Keep them coming! 😎

Rob D.'s Comment
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Nice thread.

I have the same thought about going solo. Even though I don't feel like I'm learning that much from my trainer, there is still the fear that I will be out there in my own soon.

By the way I had never thought about ordering a pizza to be delivered to my truck at a truck stop.

Rubber Duck's Comment
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I love how you mentioned looking for a way to back out Incase you got to the point you couldn’t go anymore. So funny.

Papa Pig's Comment
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Got “misdirected “ somewhere in Southern Tennessee today. Lol. My Qualcomm Navigo lost signal, and the paper I wrote directions down as a backup had disappeared. Had to wing it and got safely to my destination but it cost me an hour. I still made it on time according to my paperwork but wanted to get there early before the DG parking lot filled up. Also it’s a good way to beat the coke and beer truck. Did 3 stops, and I’m not gonna lie. I am beat. Heat down here is getting rough. Physically I have been holding up just fine for the most part but by Friday I’m worn down. (Anybody thinking about this line of work, it’s a lot of work! ) don’t get me wrong I enjoy it, but it’s go go go, drive, unload,drive unload, fuel up, do we want a shower or get back to the dc cause your 14 gets burned up unloading reeeal quick. Jesus heard my prayers after my second stop! I had a real honest to GOD dock!! I still had to do the unloading but!!!!! I was in ac, and didn’t have to worry about my crappy lift gate! It saved me at least an hour unloading!!!! I was able to get a shower and food on the way back because of this lol. Unfortunately there were 2 holes and I lined up in front of the wrong one. It honestly took me a minute to recall offset cause I haven’t really used it since I passed school but it came back momentarily and it slid right in over. (My last dock I forgot and backed in the hole most of the way forgetting to have the seal broken or open my swing doors. Got back to the dc with 15 min left on my 14 and dropped my trailer. The empty lot wasn’t busy so I picked a tighter spot to drop in. My rookie butt needs the practice. So far did 4 loads this week, didn’t have a preassign and they said to hang tight here tonight and tomorrow morning I would either be used to repower a load or get sent home on a milk run (picking up empty rolltainers from different stores. You still get the paid miles and stop pay but no trailer unload pay. So either way that will be 5 loads which is above the goal of 4 so I consider it winning. I’m really starting to like mom and pop truck stops. Last night the loves in Falkville ,AL was full (I usually just park at stores but only had 30 min left on my clock) but the marathon with a huge free parking lot was only a 1/4 mile away and nearly empty! Heck yes! I’ll take that all day. And they had some good breakfast sammiches.

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Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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I'm enjoying reading your posts. You're doing great!

good-luck.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

Papa Pig's Comment
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Well, got sent home with an empty trailer and they will put the sweeps on me Monday so I should get at least 90-120 in stop pay plus miles so not bad. Made it home early for the fourth and I didn’t have to break a sweat today!

For those of you that don’t know I just retired from the military and had been put out to pasture for the past few years with a desk job. With the desk job and a few surgeries I had put on some weight. Not a lot but more than a soldier should be comfortable with. After a month of training and 2 weeks of being solo in this account the weight is falling off. Gotta head to Wally World and get a new belt and some new work gloves (they last me about a week and I throw them out)if the roll trainers don’t eat them , they will stink out your side box after a week or 2. I have a question for you more seasoned hands. How often do you usually grease your skid plate? Happy 4th to all!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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I apply grease to any spot that shows bare metal, so no set time or hours schedule.

The company shops always throw grease onto them before it backs out of any service bay.

You can never use too much grease.

Turtle's Comment
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They keep a putty knife and pail of grease right in our fuel bay, so I dab some on every couple of weeks, or as needed.

Great thread, keep it up!

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