Journey With Wilson Logistics - Springfield, MO

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Eugene K.'s Comment
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Andrey that is rich! 😂

Fresh update ... it’s official!

As I’m writing this I’m at on offramp in Ohio on my way back to Springfield to start my solo week. I have my truck number assigned, and, barring any unforeseen maintenance issues, the truck will be mine once I’m solo OTR! (It has a higher issue number then my trainer’s 2020 freightliner, so I wonder if it’s brand new??)

Normally for the Wilson solo week, you check into the hotel your first night back and report to the training center via shuttle the next morning. Then you do a skills test including route planning, paper logs, coupling, backing, road test, and a refresher on pre-trip and 4-stage air brakes. Once that’s done, they issue your keys, and it’s time to move all your belongings into your new home!

Also typical is they assign solo week drivers on local delivery routes on our Kraft Foods account, either in Springfield MO or down in Dallas. However, having spoken to my fleet manager today, he says it’s not set in stone yet but there’s a good chance I’ll just be going right back out on the road like I have been, only by myself and in a probationary week. Though I’ll technically be on the guarantee pay scale, he says he’s never seen a new driver not earn well above the minimum. I could be in my own truck in as little as two days!

I have full confidence in my ability to perform every aspect of the job except for one: backing in between two trailers if it’s anything other than a straight back. My trainer and I did a practice maneuver at our loc 01 this afternoon and it was pretty terrible, so we just abandoned ship and I put it in the hole alongside one of the trailers instead of in between. There is literally NO difference between the two maneuvers. Whether it’s a 45 or a 90, it’s the exact same back. I just get freaked out that I’m going to hit the trailer on my blind side every time, even if I GOAL until the cows come home.

My trainer suggested it can’t hurt to ask my fleet manager for an extra day to practice backing between two trailers out on the pad before I go out solo. That’s not a bad idea, so I’m going to call him tomorrow.

Wish me luck! Next time I post I’ll be a solo driver!

OTR:

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.

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.
Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Eugene!! I have no doubt that you will succeed at anything you put your mind to! This backing issue will be a laughable tale at some point. Just keep at it and from what I read on here from many veterans, this too shall pass..lol

MSgt C.'s Comment
member avatar

Be silently following along, keep a inner dialogue about each backings pros n cons, you'll start forecasting what's gonna happen before it does and then it'll hit. Good luck.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your diary, Eugene, and I hope your solo week is going well! As someone pondering his career options, I appreciate your writing and honesty. Even when you worry you're being "negative," you're not really being very negative at all, lol! And it's nice to see the support and advice from the experienced folks in this community. Specifically, I appreciate your detailed entries about your weeks on the road with your trainers, beyond just the time spent at the school, as I'm interested in what that stage is like too. Also, I'm nowhere near the fitness guru you are, but I am interested in eating healthy on the road, not the least because my gut doesn't handle fast food very well for very long.

Thanks again, and good luck!

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