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

Topic 28708 | Page 9

Page 9 of 15 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

1/30/2021 Update; mislabeled multi-drop; trailer malfunction; command decisions to keep rolling

Delivery to the high school in Junction City went well, albeit rather slow. I had to wait for another Prime flatbed to deliver before me. And the forklift operator took his sweet time unloading by ferrying and stacking in a remote location each piece he took off, rather than staging the pieces next to the truck as he unloaded. My next load is a throwback to my early days as a solo flatbedder: boats going to Monroe, Louisiana.

I make it to the boat yard late. Unlike my previous string of boat loads, this one is on a regular Prime flatbed with only one strap per boat. So, I need to add more securement. My fuel stop is the Prime Springfield terminal , so I head there for the night and will roll first thing in the morning to Monroe, Louisiana. I make it there in one day. Nothing eventful, except that my experience so far in Louisiana is that the roads are not designed for trucks. Many sharp turns where I have to deliver. And because the boats are not heavy, the front axle is up on the trailer. It’s a 48’ trailer, but with the front axle lifted the pivot point is all the way at the back of the trailer.

Next load is particle board from Taylorsville, Mississippi to Jackson, Missouri. This particular shipper is pretty organized and professional. You check in, weigh in, then pull around back to the loading area, where they load you pretty quick. Once done loading, they have a tarping machine that lifts the tarps up and over the load. The load was long, but short. So, I used two black steel tarps and my smoke tarp. I know that Turtle is not a fan of the smoke tarp, but it works for me. Pretty uneventful, driving to Jackson, Missouri, but I-55 through Arkansas not the best of roads, to say the least.

After I unload, it’s Thursday midmorning, and I have home time, including an DOT physical appointment in Springfield the next morning, beginning Friday. So, I’m thinking my FM will send me to Springfield. Nope, I get a load from Highland, Illinois to Tulsa Oklahoma and Albuquerque, New Mexico. As I have mentioned before, I am usually under a load when I go home for home time. My FM just pushes the receiver appointments out. Although, with this load, I will deliver Monday in Tulsa, and Tuesday in Albuquerque.

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.

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.

Dm:

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.

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

1/30/2021 Update continued:

Tulsa delivery goes well. But the two drops in Albuquerque are a different story. First, coming into Albuquerque, I run into surprise white conditions. No warning at all, just immediate heavy snow out of nowhere, with maybe 50’ feet visibility which is nerve racking because I’m doing 60 mph. I get slowed down to about 25 mph, which is as fast as I felt semi-comfortable driving. After a while, the snow lets up to where I can see, but I still have to deal with the snow on the ground. I’m going about 45 mph into Albuquerque. The first delivery is a difficult back. I posted the pictures in the Errol’s Backing Practice thread. To back into their very small yard, you need to pull through where this electrical supplier’s customers park. It’s angled parking and mostly work trucks parked there. So, there is really not enough room to pull through with the work trucks parked there. I end up waiting for most of the work trucks to clear out, which they were all very accommodating. Without the work trucks there, it was not that difficult. Except for the low canopy that you have to be careful to avoid. Backing out onto the street was another story. It was essentially an offset right back, but you have very little room for error with the curbs, the work trucks (the parking spaces never completely cleared out), and then the cars on the street. I did fine, not because I’m the best at backing, I just happened to have a good back.

So, I got one box to deliver to my last drop. Or so I think. After I’m pretty much all packed up and getting the forklift operator to sign the bills, he says “I just took off one pallet. The five bundles were not on there.” I remembered that my second drop had five bundles of electrical cable channels: long metal brackets that they apparently use to run electrical cable through. The forklift operator shows me on his packing list. I look at the bill of lading for the second drop and realize that they were not supposed to get those bundles. Even though, they had “2” stickers on them meaning second drop. So, now I have to go back to my second drop to pick up those five bundles of metal cable channels and bring them back. Luckily, it’s only 10 minutes away instead of at my first drop in Tulsa. It also means I have to navigate that parking lot again to back into the receiver. I get them picked up without a hitch for the most part. Except the forklift operator dropped one bundle on the ground. The band on one side broke, but we were able to get it onto the forklift and on the trailer. And in no time, I was back at my last stop, getting the final product unloaded.

Next load is sheet rock going from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Lee’s Summit, Missouri. My FM says that I’m a “work in” meaning I don’t have an appointment and they will work me in. They security guard, who reminds me of Ken Jeong, is quite a character. I was in the truck getting my boots on, and when I come up to guard shack he says “you’re too slow, come back later.” I laugh and he says he is bored because “there were supposed to be 40 trucks here today and I got maybe twelve. Don’t you guys know how to drive in the snow.” Well, I quickly learn that because no one else showed up, I’ll get loaded ASAP. The security guard takes my information and then has me go back to get loaded. This is another good shipper with a pretty good system. They put your tarps on for you. In fact, because they were so slow that day, they threw and hand tightened my straps and put on my edge protectors. All I had to do was tighten the straps with my winch bar and put the rest of the bungees on the tarp. Nice and easy, then I’m rolling toward Kansas City, Missouri. I stay the night in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The next day, I drive US 54 to Kansas, making it to a Pilot in Kansas about an hour from the receiver. Then deliver first thing in the morning Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I figure that I’ll get a “day load” picking up Thursday morning, delivering Friday morning, and then get my “weekend load.” My load assignment is Tamko, so I think shingles, which are heavy. So, I stop at a truck stop on the way there to open my axles, but they won’t open. As reminder, flatbed axles are open or closed. Closed, your weight limit is generally 34k, just like regular tandems. Open, we get 20k per axle. I had problems with getting the axles open on this trailer ever since I picked it up. I thought that I would need to open them for the sheet rock, but it was actually lightweight sheet rock: only 31,000 lbs. Well, at Tamko, I’m not getting shingles. Rather, its composite deck material. Very long pieces and heavy: 46k. So, after I’m loaded I try to open the axles again. The axles on our flatbeds are bolted to a kind of frame that slides back and forth. On both sides of the frame are “slides” that slide back and forth underneath these brackets that support the axle frame and also have the holes for the locking pins. Each time I tried to open the axles, the slide would hit against the bracket instead of sliding underneath it. I was hoping that with more weight on the trailer, it would align better, but no dice.

Based on my scale in the truck for the drive axles, I estimated I’m about 36k on my closed axles. There is really no way to rearrange this load to shift more weight to my drives. So, I have to make the decision to take the load, with the intention to get the trailer fixed, or reject the load and have another truck pick it up. I decide to take the load and get the trailer fixed in route. I send in a road assist request and then start rolling toward my fuel stop. There is a weigh station just before my fuel stop, but it had been closed that morning. On the way, I talk to my road assist advisor and he says that he already has the work order at my fuel stop. And he mentions there is a scale right before the fuel stop. I tell him I’m counting on it being closed.

Well, just as I expected the weigh station was closed. When I get to my fuel stop, I weigh the truck on a CAT Scale. I’m actually 36.7k on my trailer tandems. I check in with the Love’s repair shop and show them the problem with the axles. “Never seen that before.” After discussing several options, they decide they can’t fix it. So, I get on the phone again with road assist and ask them if they want me to got to the Springfield terminal. Yes.

I have to go by another weigh station, which again was closed. I get to the Springfield terminal late, get a work order set up for the trailer shop, take a shower and call it a nigh. A very late night. Next morning, I find the trailer, which still has the axles closed. They did several repairs to it, but didn’t fix the main problem with the axles. So, I take it to the trailer shop and explain, again, the problem. They look at me skeptically and say “go ahead and show me.” So, I open the axles, which again hits the bracket on the back. Same response as the Love’s mechanics: “Never seen that before.” Well, after bringing in “Terry” for the final evaluation they determine that the subframe it bent and decide it cannot be fixed. So, they will need to transfer the load to another trailer. We get the load transferred and then I’m rolling about 11:30 toward Limon, Colorado. I stop in Russell, Kansas for the night. I get to the Flying J here in Limon, Colorado about 13:15 today, Saturday. I can see the receiver from the Flying J parking lot, but I can’t deliver until Monday. So, I got a long 34-hour break.

Had a ribeye steak for dinner tonight and going to make chipotle pepper chili tomorrow in the Instant Pot.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you are doing well Rob.. Congrats sir!!!! I’ve been following along with your journey. Proud of you...

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you are doing well Rob.. Congrats sir!!!! I’ve been following along with your journey. Proud of you...

Thanks PJ.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I can see the receiver from the Flying J parking lot, but I can’t deliver until Monday. So, I got a long 34-hour break.

Enjoy that break - you've earned it!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I can see the receiver from the Flying J parking lot, but I can’t deliver until Monday. So, I got a long 34-hour break.

double-quotes-end.png

Enjoy that break - you've earned it!

Turtle would be out 'geocaching' .. is that still a thing ?!?!?

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
Turtle would be out 'geocaching' .. is that still a thing ?!?!?

It is for me. Never waste an opportunity for adventure, I say :)

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Turtle would be out 'geocaching' .. is that still a thing ?!?!?

double-quotes-end.png

It is for me. Never waste an opportunity for adventure, I say :)

I checked. None anywhere close.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

0864097001612150925.jpg

Just sayin...

Page 9 of 15 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