Home Run, Inc.

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Cincybeerhawk's Comment
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This will be a relatively brief (for me) summation of Week 4 of my training with Home Run, Inc. This installment did not go at all as I wanted it to. I will not go into great detail as I am not one to use a social media platform as a means to rant or to air grievances.

I did not drive as much as I wanted/needed to (207 miles) for the week, however I did learn some new stuff (all by watching) as we travelled all over (literally) our great state as we were once again in Strausburg followed by a stop in Milan to pick up shingles, then down to suburban Cincinnati, then across the river into Kentucky for drywall in Silver Grove (no, I had nothing to do with the crash which has closed the Clay Wade Bailey (sp) Bridge), up to Defiance, then to Holiday City for a load from the Menard’s DC which we drove across the state to Athens, then back to Washington Courthouse for a Lowe’s load which was moved to Erie, Pa. and then home.

I will be leaving tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. to meet my trainer for a second (and hopefully final) week with him and the conclusion of my training. We’ll be moving long vinyl sheets from Monroe to upstate New York and then pick up lumber on our backhaul.

I am looking forward to the conclusion of my training and will work very hard this week to earn an assignment to a truck. I am trying very hard to maintain a positive attitude. I may (or may not) have the time to post during the week, but I’ll certainly have a detailed entry at the conclusion of this week.

Thanks for reading.

Cincybeerhawk

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

Slight correction Cincy. It's the Brent Spence Bridge, I71 & I75, that is closed and causing huge issues. The Clay Wade Bailey is the non interstate bridge that carries 42 & 127.

I have been hauling a lot of grain on 753, past the Lowes DC in Washington Courthouse, and it seems like every other truck leaving there is a Home Run. Looks like you will be spending a lot of time there.

Good luck with the final stretch of training.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Cincy,

I have read all your entries, but have just been busy running, so I haven't comments much. I can understand your frustrations, but I will tell you, even after three months solo, I am beginning to feel less overwhelmed and more confident in my abilities. As is preached on here, the learning curve is steep and, especially once you go solo, there will be many things you have to figure out for yourself because you never learned them in training or were taught wrong. I would suggest, and I have to remind myself of this also, to be patient.

Rob. D.

Cincybeerhawk's Comment
member avatar

Tonight I’m typing from the corner booth (literally) in the Subway at the Pilot in Bath, New York. We left yesterday (Sunday) with a load from Deceuninck (yes, I spelled it correctly, Mother!) near Monroe, Ohio and drove it to Clifton Park (near Schenectady, New York) after a stop just east of the Pennsylvania/New York border. Between yesterday and today we’ve logged over 1000 miles and I drove 80% of it.

Greg: I’m super embarrassed that I mis-identified the bridge where the truck crash occurred. I pride myself in my knowledge of the geography and roads of Greater Cincinnati and I absolutely got that wrong on many levels. Thanks for the fix. You are correct about the Lowe’s DC and Home Run’s involvement there. I do not know the boundaries of our involvement as it relates how far west, north, south, and east we drive from them, but I know we go at least as far as Indy to the west and Erie, Pa. on the east. I believe we to as far as Elizabethtown, Kentucky to the south. I have been told that we are attempting to earn a position with Menard’s when their new DC in Washington Courthouse is completed. Time will tell.

Rob D.: Thank you for the words of encouragement. My frustration stems not from a lack of patience as I have a tremendous level of that, rather it is rooted in the method and style of the training I have received. It is way too easy to find folks posting on here about the level, scope, type, and direction of the guidance they have received from various companies, and I will not take this diary in that direction. I know that what you typed about the learning curve and being overwhelmed is true. I do not lack for self confidence and I relish the opportunity to ‘work the problem’ once I am released and on my own.

Tomorrow morning we head to Angelica for a load of treated lumber which we will move to Hamilton, Ohio. The weather forecast is calling for a little bit of show, and I’m looking forward to this new challenge.

Today we/I experienced an inspection (Level 3) courtesy of the New York State Troopers. For those unfamiliar with truck inspections in the Empire State, they are a bit different than in Ohio as NY does not have the traditional ‘weigh station’, rather they utilized rest areas. Every truck is required to pull in, regardless of a company’s CSA score. Some are waved on, some are inspected (Class 1 or Class 3, I guess). My trainer believed that we were selected because I missed a shift and ground the gears when downshifting upon our entry to the site. I made sure to ask the trooper why we were selected and specifically asked if my missed shift was the reason. I was advised that our participation (sic) was entirely random. I was quite glad to hear this as the last thing I wanted was word getting around HR as to the reason for the inspection. The inspection was clean; no violations. I really didn’t care that we were inspected as we had plenty of time on our clock, but I did not want unfounded rumors circulating back at the Mother Ship (capitalization intentional).

I, like most other FNGs (flippin’ new guys/gals) am still mastering the art of backing as it relates to parking at the truck stops. As long as I can get the truck and the trailer straight, I’ll grade out at a solid ‘C’. I do a lot better when I can work through the challenge on my own as opposed to having someone attempt to coach me. Yes; I use many, many GOALs (‘get out and looks’ for those not in the industry) and I really don’t care if I hold others up. I don’t work for them, and they would not have to answer to Leadership if I hit something. Patience is the key. I’ll pull up as many times as I need to in order to complete the operation.

I think I’m tired. We parked at about 7:15 tonight and we’ll want to get a decent start tomorrow in order to drive to the shipper , secure the wood, then make the 6.5 hour drive back to southwestern Ohio.

More later, perhaps tomorrow night.

Thank you again Greg and Rob for your insights.

CBH

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Incidentally, I just read an article that the bridge is scheduled to stay closed for repairs through 23 December. OMG!

Cincybeerhawk's Comment
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Incidentally, I just read an article that the bridge is scheduled to stay closed for repairs through 23 December. OMG!

You are correct, sir! I will not dedicate any of 5500 characters with a lengthy monologue/soliloquy concerning the advantages of the available detours. There are benefits and drawbacks to all of them depending upon the destination and the time of day one may be traveling.

Cincybeerhawk's Comment
member avatar

I am creating this entry as I sit at home here in the 513 after another week of training. Yesterday, upon our return to Xenia, I sat down (literally) with our recruiter/training manager and requested another week with a different instructor. It’s not that I’m not getting ‘it’, it’s that I’ve not had the requisite amount of opportunities to work on and practice our craft. For those football enthusiasts reading along (thanks with sticking with me throughout my journey), it’s sorta like being allowed to be in the huddle, but then being told to stand behind the line of scrimmage and watch while the play is run. I learn best when I perform the action, not while I’m watching it or reading about it. The instructor to whom I was assigned was a ‘shower’ and that greatly retarded my learning.

Fortunately, Home Run has a deep well of training talent and I will be working with a trainer who lives in the Portsmouth, Ohio area but who has a Mississippi (601) area code for a cell number. We talked briefly on the phone yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and the plan is to meet somewhere in the southern Ohio area as soon as we learn where we’re headed on Monday.

The on-boarding with HR has definitely taken longer than I had planned, but I’m not disappointed or frustrated. If I had been told that I was being assigned to a truck beginning on Monday, I would have been ok with it, however my confidence and my abilities will develop to a higher level with another week with a tutor/mentor.

I’ll tip my cap to those in the industry who are trainers. It can’t be an easy job. You’re committing yourself to a partnership with a random stranger (was that redundant? I believe it was) for an unknown period of time. Living with a rookie in the cab of a truck (8X8X8) has got to be a challenge. You are exposed to all sorts of personal quirks, cultures, hygiene practices, and last but certainly not least, driving abilities and work ethics. On behalf of myself and the other FNGs in the industry, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience with us as we work to establish ourselves.

CBH

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.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

I am creating this entry as I sit at home here in the 513 after another week of training. Yesterday, upon our return to Xenia, I sat down (literally) with our recruiter/training manager and requested another week with a different instructor. It’s not that I’m not getting ‘it’, it’s that I’ve not had the requisite amount of opportunities to work on and practice our craft. For those football enthusiasts reading along (thanks with sticking with me throughout my journey), it’s sorta like being allowed to be in the huddle, but then being told to stand behind the line of scrimmage and watch while the play is run. I learn best when I perform the action, not while I’m watching it or reading about it. The instructor to whom I was assigned was a ‘shower’ and that greatly retarded my learning.

Fortunately, Home Run has a deep well of training talent and I will be working with a trainer who lives in the Portsmouth, Ohio area but who has a Mississippi (601) area code for a cell number. We talked briefly on the phone yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and the plan is to meet somewhere in the southern Ohio area as soon as we learn where we’re headed on Monday.

The on-boarding with HR has definitely taken longer than I had planned, but I’m not disappointed or frustrated. If I had been told that I was being assigned to a truck beginning on Monday, I would have been ok with it, however my confidence and my abilities will develop to a higher level with another week with a tutor/mentor.

I’ll tip my cap to those in the industry who are trainers. It can’t be an easy job. You’re committing yourself to a partnership with a random stranger (was that redundant? I believe it was) for an unknown period of time. Living with a rookie in the cab of a truck (8X8X8) has got to be a challenge. You are exposed to all sorts of personal quirks, cultures, hygiene practices, and last but certainly not least, driving abilities and work ethics. On behalf of myself and the other FNGs in the industry, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience with us as we work to establish ourselves.

CBH

I Think You're expecting too much from your training. As I mentioned before, not only was my trainer poor as far as teaching but he even taught wrong things. This is just the condition of the industry. They teach you how to pass the test, they teach you how to drive the truck without hitting anything, and then a little bit about doing the job. But as has been mentioned by Brett and others on this forum the first year learning curve is difficult because you really haven't been prepared to do the job. You have to figure things out as you go along.

For example the other day I showed up the other day to haul coils. During TNT we only hold one baby coil and my trainer did not use any sort of coil mat. However as I was preparing to secure I looked around and I saw what other drivers were doing. One driver had this really confusing and complicated preparation set up that I still don't understand to this day. But the main thing that I observed that people were putting cool mats down and how they were setting up their coil racks. I copied what they did and it worked out. I also had a couple of drivers come over and help me out.

So far in my experience, if you have a good attitude and simply explain to people that you're new and you really don't know what you're doing, they will assist you to get it done. This is where attitude is key. You need to ask humbly to get a favorable response.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Cincybeerhawk's Comment
member avatar

Rob: Thank you for taking the time to construct and share your response. I’ll certainly take it to heart. Perhaps I am expecting too much. After reading your entry I realize that regardless of who trains me or how much instruction I receive, when I’m assigned to a truck I will still be lacking ‘the big E’ — Experience.

I get that, and I’m prepared for it. ‘Work the problem’ is a phrase I’ve adopted ever since I heard it on a television show (Seal Team, I think). I believe each individual learns best in one of three ways: (a) by being shown, (b) by doing/performing the action, or (c) by reading about the action. I’m definitely a ‘doer’, however the trainer I rode with the past two weeks was definitely one who subscribed to the ‘show’ method of instructing. By the time we returned to Xenia on Thursday we were both very frustrated.

I’ll work this week to improve in all aspects and have set as my goal to be assigned to a truck on Monday, December 1.

CBH

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Rob: Thank you for taking the time to construct and share your response. I’ll certainly take it to heart. Perhaps I am expecting too much. After reading your entry I realize that regardless of who trains me or how much instruction I receive, when I’m assigned to a truck I will still be lacking ‘the big E’ — Experience.

I get that, and I’m prepared for it. ‘Work the problem’ is a phrase I’ve adopted ever since I heard it on a television show (Seal Team, I think). I believe each individual learns best in one of three ways: (a) by being shown, (b) by doing/performing the action, or (c) by reading about the action. I’m definitely a ‘doer’, however the trainer I rode with the past two weeks was definitely one who subscribed to the ‘show’ method of instructing. By the time we returned to Xenia on Thursday we were both very frustrated.

I’ll work this week to improve in all aspects and have set as my goal to be assigned to a truck on Monday, December 1.

CBH

I'm still following, CBH. Rob's post said it all, from the eyes of the 'beholden,' per se. Y'all open deck guys are a breed of your own. In the 20 years I've been around this industry, that is ONE part . . . that I will NEVER fully comprehend, yet it always fascinates me.

An extra week of training is meek, yet wise . . . of you.

Let us (me) know of your tractor number when assigned, if you so choose. We criss cross with your T/T's oftentimes!

Best going forward,

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gifthank-you-2.gifthank-you-2.gifgood-luck.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

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