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

Topic 28708 | Page 10

Page 10 of 16 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

2/7/2021 update

On another 34-hour reset at the Prime Salt Lake City terminal. This one is not as leisurely, as I’ll explain below, and I’m pretty tired as I write this.

Delivery of the composite decking went smoothly. Lots of space to back into their building where you untarp, unstrap, and unload.

Next load is Trane air conditioning units out of Pueblo, Colorado. These are typically pretty easy to secure because you thread two chains through the anchor points on each side and then use a snap binder to pull them tight and you’re done. However, in addition to one exceptionally large AC unit, that required four chains, there two chillers wrapped in plastic that required four chains, one per corner, and you have to remove the hooks from the chains because they won’t fit through the anchor points. Took a little longer but at least I didn’t have to tarp it. These are going to Salt Lake City, Utah and San Jose, CA.

The Salt Lake City delivery is to a 5-story medical building. Each unit weighs 10,000 lbs and they have a crane with a long boom, which is difficult to align, as I will find out. The two chillers were loaded on the front and back. When they lift the chiller off the back, it swings forward and bumps the large AC unit in the middle of the trailer. It presses the housing in, but it rebounds just fine. No harm, no foul. When they pull the front one off, it swings forward right up against the ladder on the back of my headache rack and the grab bar on the driver’s side door of the headache rack. The chiller pushes the grab bar in pretty good and one of the guys unloading says “looks like we’re going to owe you a grab bar.” The grab bar mostly rebounds, but it is bent down a little. However, it still works so, again, no harm no foul.

After I get loaded, I head to the Salt Lake City terminal for fuel and then off to San Jose. On the way, it was a really nice sunset, so, I stopped at a rest area to take some pictures. It just so happened that the rest area was next to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The famed land speed record course. I posted those pictures in the Postcards From the Road thread. I spent the night at a very basic Pilot in Battle Mountain, Nevada. No, showers, but I sure could have used one. The next day, lots of nice scenery through Nevada and California. I had gotten the truck washed the last time I was in Springfield. The snow and salt on Donner Pass pretty much ruined my nice clean truck. Going through Sacramento, I saw two interesting things. First, I saw many CHP trucks on the off ramps. Then I saw lots of first responders with American flags on the overpasses. Apparently, I came through right before a funeral procession for a Deputy Sheriff that had been killed in the line of duty. The other interesting thing, that I posted in a separate thread was the last-minute dash to the exit a white car made, but ending up sliding sideways left, then right, then hitting an object on the off ramp, before coming to a stop. I caught it on dash cam.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

2/7/2021 update continued:

The San Jose delivery was a crane company. I have to wait for a while because, this unit weighs over 16,000 lbs so they need one of their bigger cranes.

While I’m waiting (about 2 hours), I get a call from my FM , which I figure is asking about the hold up. Nope. Turns out I got some recognition for my hard work. I made Prime flatbed driver of the month for January. I felt rather surprised, because I have strived to be a good rookie driver, but apparently, I’m performing well even as compared to experienced flatbed drivers. It was nice to hear.

After the BIG crane showed up at the receiver, I get unloaded and then get my next load which is what I call a “day load.” Pick up today, deliver tomorrow. It’s one of these metal buildings, a lot of assembly required, that is one of Prime’s significant customers. Picking up in Atwater, California and going to Banning, California. Just east of Los Angeles. On the way there, I drove through the Almond Groves. Lots of agriculture in that part of California including billboards advertising bee services. Driving through Fresno, I saw a billboard offering “free tacos.” It was a law firm. I had to laugh, that someone would choose an attorney based on free tacos.

Picking up the building went smoothly. This one wasn’t as bad as some that I have had.

After I get rolling, I’m heading south on I-5 at the Grapevine and get pulled into the weight station. Not only do I get pulled in, but as a I approach the scale I get a red light, even before I pulled onto the scale. “Prime, pull around to inspection bay number 1.” Okay. I pull in for my first level 1 inspection. The woman doing the inspection is polite and cordial. But when she goes to check my brakes, she has me push in both my air valves, which I can’t do as this point because I’ve lost so much air. Now, I have had an intermittent issue with a particular elbow valve on many trailers emitting air. It’s not really a leak, to the extent that a line is broke, but there is a release hole in the elbow and sometimes air comes out. Well, it just so happened to do it while I’m getting inspected. When the CHP inspector is almost finished with the inspection, I hear her say “I found your air leak.” She comes up to the tractor to hang on the driver door and has me build the air pressure up, then apply the brakes. The air gauges dip, but then increase again. She tells me that even though I have an air leak, I will not be placed out of service because the air compressor compensates for the air loss. But she says that I will not get a passing sticker for the trailer. I do get a passing sticker for the truck. She also informs me that the violation for the trailer will not go on my CSA record, but it will go on Prime’s CSA record. After the inspection, she has me pull out to park, and then come back for a “sit down” with the officer. I sit in a chair, expecting the “sit down.” The CHP officer comes out, hands me my license, inspection report, and walks away. So much for the “sit down.” In the truck, I look at the report, and the air leak is listed as a violation. It also says that I need to get it fixed before redispatch.

I stay the night at the rest area just a few miles later.

The next day, I call dispatch to let them know about the citation. It’s not my regular FM, but she says she will send a message to my regular FM. I keep rolling to my delivery, which is another interesting story.

With many of the building deliveries, it’s often some place out the in country. I had spoken to the customer the night before, who told me that I will need to turn onto a dirt road, and then turn on his driveway, and to make sure not to pass up his driveway because there is no place to turn around beyond that. He also says that his driveway is a narrow dirt road but assures me that he has had plenty of “heavy machinery” up there. I’m thinking, great, I’m going to get stuck.

I call the customer as soon as I turn on the dirt road so that he can guide me in and the first thing I see, and mention to the customer, is that the bridge (on the dirt road) is out. “Oh yeah, you have to drive through the creek bed.” He guides me to his driveway and then I hang up. It’s like a good Jeep trail. Very narrow with some erosion ruts. But it’s actually not that bad, because it is packed hard. Of course, the truck is bucking left and right with this little semi-off-road adventure. I make it with really no problems.

This is a COD delivery and the check is different than the amount listed on the BOL. So, I have to confirm with dispatch that I am okay to unload, which they do. I have to wait a while for my next load, which is two 23,000 lb coils out of Fontana, California. I head there. But on the way, I call my FM to make sure he got my message about fixing the trailer before redispatch. I explain to him that I actually taped it up, and therefore, I don’t hear or feel any air leaking. Whether the tape worked or the valve stopped discharging air, I don’t know. But, we agree that we have complied with a “fix” prior to redispatch.

I get to the shipper mid-afternoon. Like many of the coil places, it’s a huge industrial site where you check in, drive a mile to your dock, get loaded, including two chains per coil, then back out to the parking lot to tarp. I spend some extra time on my tarp because I have 1,300 miles to cover to New Century, Kansas. Or so I think.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

2/7/2021 update fin:

Well, as soon as I get in the truck, I see the messages that I need to head to Prime’s Salt Lake City terminal to swap loads with another driver, whose student is going to Springfield to upgrade. After speaking with that driver, I realize that he has another load to deliver before he even picks up the load that I am going to be taking to Kent, Washington. I head out and get as far the last rest stop in California. I had wanted to get out of California so that I didn’t have to have the debate as to whether a tape job on a valve was an adequate fix.

I get rolling the next morning and touch base with the other driver. I will get into Prime’s terminal about 17:00. He is supposed to deliver his current load, then go to SAPA to get some sort of aluminum. Don’t know what.

I get in about 16:45 and he is right in front of me at inbound. When we talk, I found out he did not make the delivery for his current load. So, he brought that one back to the yard. And he missed the appointment for the SAPA load. I go ahead and start pulling off my tarp and chains. Normally, you would leave that stuff on instead of resecuring and swap out chains and metal edge protectors, but I have certain special metal edge protectors and chains that are not interchangeable. I pretty much get it done, just the tarp left. He says that he is still waiting to hear back from night dispatch/sales about picking up that night. Finally, he gets an answer about 21:00 that he can go pick it up, but they will have to work him in. I give him my tarps to tarp the load. He heads out, I tarp their load, and lay down for a while until the tractor shop calls me to get my APU fixed. I had also put in a work order for the trailer as well.

I get a call about 0300, that I can bring the truck into the tractor shop. The mechanic tells me that my APU radiator is leaking and that he will replace the fuel filter on the APU, as it seems that it’s starving for fuel when it tries to start. He gets that done, but then says that I need to have my air-dryer cartridge replaced and air filter, which he does both.

It’s about 0530 now and I let the other driver know that I am out of shop and parked back in the lot. He arrives about 0630. We reconcile our equipment and then part our ways. Even though I didn’t sleep much last night, I stay away because I want to make sure that I can sleep tonight, and so that I can get to bed early so that I can get an early start on Monday.

I’ve got 830 miles to the receiver. So, tomorrow is all driving, which will be a nice after getting practically no sleep last night. Then get there first thing in the morning Tuesday.

Thanks for following along.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rob D this is awesome!!!

While I’m waiting (about 2 hours), I get a call from my FM , which I figure is asking about the hold up. Nope. Turns out I got some recognition for my hard work. I made Prime flatbed driver of the month for January. I felt rather surprised, because I have strived to be a good rookie driver, but apparently, I’m performing well even as compared to experienced flatbed drivers. It was nice to hear.

Fantastic! Congratulations.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Rob is being modest. It's a very big deal to win flatbed driver of the month. There are upwards of 1000 flatbedders at Prime, and to win up against experienced drivers while still in his rookie year is truly remarkable.

Congratulations Rob! Outstanding!

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!!!

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Rob. Your killing it out there!!!

smile.gif dancing-dog.gif smile.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I made Prime flatbed driver of the month for January. I felt rather surprised

No surprise here Rob!

I am very impressed - Congratulations my friend!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

Page 10 of 16 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Prime Inc Advice For New Truck Drivers First Solo Months On The Road First Truck Driving Job Flatbed Load Securement Time Management
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More