Rookie Solo Adventures Of A Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

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Rob D.'s Comment
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As I posted in my diary, I got my truck in less than 24 hours from the time I put my name on the list. After getting most of the rest of my stuff on the truck, I waited for my first load. And let me tell you, it was a boat load, literally. Two pontoons delivering to two Bass Pro Shops in Tennessee with a total dispatched miles of over 1,500.

These are actually pretty easy. You go to the shipper and pick up the shipper's preloaded trailer. You check that the serial numbers match the bill of lading. Three serial numbers: boat, trailer, motor. You also check for damage. They take a picture of your load and the bills of lading. Then your off. After you unload, you break down the support structure and bring back the empty trailer. Essentially, I had about 750 miles to get to my deliveries and then about the same mileage back to the shipper.

I pushed my clock to get most of the way to the first shipper on Monday. Delivered both loads on Tuesday, then got as far as I could back to the shipper. On Wednesday, I hustled so I could get back about 4:15. Got another boat load. Two pontoons and a bass boat at two different stops. As I said the trailers belong to the shippers. They are kinda low bow type trailers and have 4 X 4 square holes in the rub rail where they put the supports to load the boats. This second load had a newer trailer and something I had never seen or even heard of before: independent landing gear. I hooked up, raised the landing gear, and connected my air and electrical lines. As I'm walking on the passenger side of the trailer I notice the landing gear is down and think to myself I KNOW I raised the landing gear. Well I did, on the driver's side. There is a separate crank for the passenger's side.

This trip is over 1,600 miles. I only had about two hours left on my clock and got as far as I could. I practically made it to the first receiver on Thursday. I delivered first thing in the morning Friday, then headed to the second receiver and delivered there. I called on the way and the lady told me about special instructions. Essentially, if I follow the GPS, I'll get in a place where I can't get out. This receiver in on a rural two lane road, no shoulder, and grass encroaching into the pavement. There are also limbs hanging over the road that are hitting the cab (I hope not the boats). When I get to the receiver, she comes out and tells me that I need to drive a mile and half up the road to turn around "at the Y in the road" and then come back the other way so that I can back underneath the hoist. I had to do a blind side back at the Y in the road. But I did it and got back to the receiver.

I deliver one pontoon and one bass boat. I get as far back as I can on Friday. And then finish up on Saturday, getting into St. Louis about noon. As approved by my FM , I'm taking a 34 hour reset and will drop off the trailer tomorrow (Monday).

So for my first solo week, I got over 3,100 miles and a long 34 hour reset at home.

There were some challenges that I faced, other than the blind side back, but I'll take the 5th as to the rest of the story. But for the most part I'm pretty pleased with my first solo week.

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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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.
GrayBeardinPA's Comment
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Nice!

I would love to do Marine/boat transport one day. I dream of delivering yachts one day.

Rob D.'s Comment
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Nice!

I would love to do Marine/boat transport one day. I dream of delivering yachts one day.

I just lucked into this.

But I hope I get another.

Uncle Rake's Comment
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Thanks for the continuing great reports, Rob. Seems like some provide great training diaries, then stop communicating. Great to hear about your first week, including the supporting images. Look forward to “continuing coverage.”

PackRat's Comment
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If you get any more boat load deliveries this month, your CB handle will be "Skipper".

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

PJ's Comment
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Great to hear Rob!!! Congrats. Doesn’t seem that long ago you were just kickin the tires thinking about getting into the industry. dancing-banana.gif

Kj Bryant's Comment
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Awsome man be safe primate

Turtle's Comment
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Fantastic first week, Rob. Keep that up and you'll make a name for yourself in short order. it sounds like your FM is putting it on you right out of the gate. That's a good thing. Show him he can continue trusting you to get it done. Good stuff.

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.
Dan F.'s Comment
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Wow congratulations, there are not many new drivers that will see 3K plus on the first week. 👍

PackRat's Comment
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