On Board With Knight Transportation, Squire School Started 03/22/21

Topic 29854 | Page 15

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Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Quick updates, well, quick for me anyway.

At months end, Including the load Im on, which was dispatched in June, and I have most of the miles of it in june, Ill call it junes miles, will be 11,687. Total miles for my solo squire (sort of like training miles, in that Im under a DM and DDM that work with newbies. so far are at 15,331. After 30k, I become a full Knight Driving associate and Im pretty sure will go with my permanent DM after that point. My pay has gone from .44 to .46 and .48 on loads. I think the extra 2 cents is the NE runs. So far Im tracking for a hair under 500.00 bonus for the month. They will double the bonuses and pay it out march of next year as well. So thats kind of money in the bank. Meaning Ill still get my monthly bonus, which is production and safety. But next year Ill get a big fat collection of bonus checks as well.

This weeks check was 1487.00 This is pretty lucrative considering its my first 6 weeks of doing this. Ive worked much harder and much more dangerous jobs for less money in my past. I can guarantee you that after 6 weeks total of training and 6 weeks of work, My apprentices would not see that kind of money when I was a contractor. In fact, they wouldnt see that for at least two years most likely.

Where did I leave off? Went from the Walmart DC in Alabama up to the Georgia Pacific plant in Brewton AL. Fun run. Worried about my 70 hour, because I knew I had days coming up that were only 5 or 6 hours due to the trailer debacle. Anyway, cruised the US highways up there, Went down US 31 through the woods, down in through the actual town, pretty tight roads, I was empty so it was pretty easy, very hilly though and some technical sections of road. Definitely tight stuff that requires attention.

Plant is not marked well at all, I drive past it, all my GPS's have been acting up and my Zonar has been really bad, Its not logging my driving, then doubling it, the GPS module in it is shot. Ive got home time coming up and will have it repaired or replaced. I drive past the plant entrance, found an old loop of us 31 that doubles back, Its pretty much one lane, but no one is there, its deserted this time of night. Get to the plant entrance, get redirected to the drop lot. Finally get in there, Get my logs edited to reflect reality (It said I had driven 3000 plus miles in two hours). I have very little time left on all my clocks, and I need my recaps at midnight. Its about 10 pm. My 11 hour has maybe an hour plus left, Its enough time to get the load and go down to the pilot or loves and sleep, also spied a couple empty parking lots too. Well, it takes them a couple hours to even find the preloaded trailer, Im exhausted anyway, I asked the yard guy if he is cool with just getting it in the AM, told him im out of hours. He says yeah, just do your 10 hour reset here. Sounds good. I Got the trailer in the AM. Super cute security gal there in the AM, Im very respectful though and she seems to appreciate it, lets me do all my paperwork and pre trip there before taking off.

From there, up to Fort Smith AR. Live unload, deserted DC. Easy. I head to the Kimberly Clark DC in Jenks. OK from there. Have to do some math with my clocks. My hometime is scheduled for the 1rst to the 5th. My DM gets me a load to Houston and then from Houston to Denver. No way I can get to the points on any of them early. Live unload at 6:00 am on the Houston drop, the pick up wont be ready until 10:30 pm that night. The drop in Denver doesnt open up until 9 am Friday the 2nd. But my DM went out of the way to line this up so I accept, call the Mrs. She is cool with it.

I drive south, from jenks, find a good loves that leaves me 2.5 on my 70, and 2.5 on my 11 hour. Ill get a total of about 11 hours net. I drive down to Dallas and think about shutdown times. If I drive all the way to houston, I wont be able to drive again until 6:00 am, my appointment time. If I shut down, now, at 3:30 pm, I can drive at 1:45 AM including pre trip. Plus 4 hours to get from Dallas yard to Receiver, puts me at 5:30 am, close but better than missing it. Also keeps me safe on my 70. It works out. I get to the receiver at 5:40 AM. Get done unloaded and shut down at our Houston Terminal by 10:00 AM. That means I can drive again at 8:15 PM, plenty of time to get to my 10:30 PM shipper. Its a window any time after 10:30. I get there at 11:00 PM, right as they finish off loading the trailer. Deserted place, easy drop, no other trailers around, yard dog brings me the preload. I drive til 7:00 am, shut it down at a mostly deserted Loves outside of Fort Worth on 287. Again, splitting the day around when my recaps come on, how much I can drive and when to shut down.

I slept a few hours, started driving at 7:30 PM. knowing that I want to keep an hour spare before my recaps hit at midnight. I bring my 70 to 1 hour exactly at midnight. Bam, get my recaps, finish my drive to the TA in Amarillo which is always mostly open for parking. It doesnt disappoint. I have 400 miles and change left to Denver, 9.5 left on my 70, I can drive again tomorrow am at 11:15. Should put me in Dtown about 9 to 10 PM, Ill park at the yard, go home, come back in the morning and then drop at the receiver which is about 10 minutes from our yard. I love playing chess with the clock. Its like a puzzle. The only thing thats bugging me is the Zonar, its very erratic right now and its difficult to get it to accurately compute my 70.

Been a long month.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Made it up to Denver, Slept in the truck at the terminal , The drop turned out to be a live unload. Took several hours for them to get me unloaded. My regular DM is out already for the week. They ask me to go yard a couple trailers from the Coors plant back to the terminal. I really dont want to, Its Friday, I was supposed to be home Weds night. Its also the Friday before a major holiday, traffic is horrible already. I tell him I can do 1 if they get me unloaded quickly enough. I also spoke at length with my DDM about getting my Zonar fixed and just general questions. She is now the terminal manager. She says basically that Im doing a good job, and sets me up with two loads on Tuesday, assuming that they will get the Zonar fixed or replaced at 3:15 pm on a holiday weekend Friday....lol.

I get the truck into the shop on Tuesday, stay in touch with my fill in DM on the loads. They finally get the Zonar fixed at about 6 pm, but I cant drive with it till morning. I keep in contact with him throughout the process, He reschedules the load out to NE, the other one is a short one, he pawns it off to someone else and gives me a nice little fill in from Aurora GE plant up to the Lowes DC in Cheyenne which is where the Shipper is for my NE load.

The first load goes great, smooth sailing, concise backs that went well. efficient in and out. The shipper for the NE load is inside a walmart DC. It takes about 3 hours of literally walking around the place and being sent back and forth between various shipping people to get my trailer (its a preloaded full of pallets). I finally get it, but its pushed me a few hours behind. I let my DM know.

I also get call from who I think will be my permanent DM after squire. He says he has a load for me with good miles and needs someone he can trust to get it done, but that its already behind schedule, Its from Aurora NE out to a Kroger in Layton UT. I tell him no problem, I will do my absolute best to get it on time, that my hours are tight, but Ill use every trick in the book to get it there. We agree to play it by ear and Ill communicate if I cant get it done. (its 900 miles with the empty), delivery appointment is a live unload at 01:30 Saturday morning. I have to drop my current load at 1:00 pm Thursday, go to the shipper and get in at least 300 miles on that to make it the rest of the way on Friday and still have time. Im hoping that they are starting to have confidence in me and noticing that Im safe, on time, easy to work with and communicate well. If there are delays or setbacks I let them know and adjust accordingly. I spend a lot of time thinking about what OS said in regards to setting a foundation for them to rely on a top tier driver.

It feels awkward when there are delays and setbacks like this, I keep thinking that I should somehow prevent them and that its not normal to have them. In this case, the gals just misunderstood what I was trying to get and then it was really confusing. I had to go into the Crete office there, thats inside the repairs shop, that has a Walmart Transportation office inside that just to get referred back to the main dry van shipping lady who then sent me back again, She thought I had a live load, even though I said it should be a preloaded trailer. It all worked out in the end, but it takes some time for me to get used to things like that.

I get the load of pallets out to Omaha NE, Get blessed with a drop and hook instead of live unload. Do some freestyle creative backing and parking. get to the shipper for the Kroger (Mars/Iams pet food in Aurora NE). Get in and out pretty quick. easy back, horseshoe conversion from blindside to sight 45. big space, so I didnt worry about precision. Drove the rest of the evening to Sidney NE and shut it down with 18 mins left on my 11 hour, 10 minutes left on my 14. I have 560 miles left to the receiver tomorrow, Im confident Ill make it earlier than my 1:30 am appointment. I can start shift tomorrow at about 9 am.

Total today 10 3/4 hours driving, 631 miles.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

That Crete terminal office there at the Walmart DC is where I work out of.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

That Crete terminal office there at the Walmart DC is where I work out of.

Cool man, the guys there were super cool and helpful. I told em I'm the dumb new guy from knight lol.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The Knight drivers stand out when they walk through the door, so you don't need to tell anyone. If I'm there next time, I'll give you a Crete cap to wear so you won't feel so ridiculous.

smile.gif

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ill gladly wear it in there lol.

Well, made the 1:30 am appointment fine, In Layton UT. Krogers grociery, live unload. Got there at 1:15 am, they get me unloaded and take forever with the paperwork, I get out at 5:00 AM. First experience with lumpers. Seems like something out of Goodfellas the movie. Guido doesnt take no stinking checks. I call dispatch, explain Im new, get the numbers (PO number and Money code) give it to them and wait some more. I finally get shut down at 5:30 AM. My next shipper is the Proctor and Gamble DC in Corinne. ( I remember it from training). Its about 40 minutes north. Our terminal is 30 minutes south. Its 5:00 AM, I dont feel like gambling looking for a spot at the truck stops by the shipper while at the end of my clock, so I head to the terminal.

Cant drive again til 3:30 PM. I head up and get my load, in and out of P and G fairly quickly. AC starts puking out hot air, its 115 out. I pull over at a rest stop, check fuses, lines, etc. Get it halfway going, Pull over again at a Loves, check the valves, eat, let it sit. Finally have cold air again. All this plus Guidos mob lumper services will put me a couple hours past delivery on the load after this. This one is a 24 hour window, ill be fine. So I need to be in Phoenix at the Wallyword DC by Sunday 11:59pm for this one. (I make it at 7:30 pm). Then pick up from Home Depot DC, deliver in Vegas. hard appointment 11am Monday morning....no way. I calculate drive time and 10 hours off, puts me in Vegas at 2:00 pm best case on Monday. Stressed because I have a hot load out of Vegas that has to be picked up Monday by 6:PM. I call dispatch, let em know delays, cause by receiver on the Kroger load and truck issues.

My DM calls me a half hour before I hit the receiver on the HD load to Vegas. Will have to hit the receiver at 6:30 am tues morning, then go take Edna back to Phoenix for body work repairs and a reset, that he has to take me off the hot load. Im thinking the worst, totally over complicating things and assuming that hes unhappy with me for not hitting the delivery. I do explain to him that it was delayed due to elements out of my control. He says hes not worried about it. I tell him the usual, Whatever he needs me to do Im game, if he has a load, Illl take it. He calls me back after a half hour of me being in my head. (I have a hard time not considering a delay as a failure.)...T call the load I have at our Vegas terminal (2 miles from receiver) and still on the hot load. Cool. all is well. I tell my head to shut up lol.

Im tracking to be early for that hot load, which is fine, Delivery is 9:00 AM Weds. Ill camp out somewhere close tomorrow night. I have 14 hours left on my 70. I get recaps starting Weds. Ran into my trainer Doc at the Phoenix terminal, cool to talk with him. Saw my teachers there. Got to see the area around hoover dam (3 times in two days lol). Backing is progressing. Getting better at ones that dont have enough room for a decent 45 but still slow. Thats ok. I look a lot.

Drive times have varied between 8 to 11 hours. Miles have been 450 to 575 on days with shippers/receivers. Had a best of 649 so far on a driving day. trying to keep it at 8 3/4 hours so I can survive on recaps. Will be just shy of 20,000 solo squire miles on Wed. So about 2/3 of the way through the final leg of training.

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.

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.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, the first experience with the hot load was challenging but rewarding. Lots of learning involved. I made it to Los Alamos at 9 PM the night before my delivery. I documented a good bit of the load here: Hot load from Las Vegas to Los Alamos

I spend a lot of time choosing my routes, planning my clocks, recon of the dock/drop and hook areas, entrance and exit strategies, parking before and after if needed. Perhaps too much time, but it makes me feel better. I hate that sickening feeling when I get into something somewhere that I overlooked in preplanning that might end up being catastrophic.

I checked the routes in, called the hotel and asked if I could park out front. I didnt check the routes too thoroughly though, but it worked out ok. The road in was very steep and tight. (I was puckering coming up it) In talking with the customer in the morning, he said take the other route out as the way I came in is too tight coming back down. I really enjoyed working with him (old general contractor) on getting the load safely into place and he had really on point observations and knowledge. I had called my DM and told him my concerns about safety. He said noted and left it up to me as to how to procede. Ultimately I got it in and done with a satisfied customer and let him know.

After He didnt get me a load and figured I was going to just do a reset. I didnt feel like parking somewhat illegally after a blind corner on top of a mountain for 34 hours. Also, I want to make money not sit around and I had recaps coming at midnight the next day. I expressed that to him. He gives me a load out of Albuquerque NM to Henderson CO. I head down off the mountain, Its still a pucker fest through multiple roundabouts, very steep downhills and tight mountain roads. I grab my load from the shipper after a fairly ungraceful but clean 45 back with not enough room. 16k of white wood for pallets. Im almost out of fuel, have about an hour left on my 70. Its 5 pm. My fuel solution is for the TA on I25 at I 40 in ABQ. Its a mess getting out, multiple accidents, traffic, I miss the exit. I spied an empty rest stop 44 miles north, and a Loves 80 miles after that, I have a bit over quarter tank. about 175 miles range if push comes to shove. I figure Ill call the night dispatch for a new fuel solution when I shut down as they are really cool about it and my DM gets uptight about it, and keep going. I make it to the rest stop with 13 minutes left on my 70. I fall asleep with the truck idling and forget to call for new fuel solution.

This left me almost dead on empty, had to backtrack down 16 miles to an off the wall tribal fuel station and call my DM. He was peeved, said to let him know when I have 20 gallons, not 6 left, and such. I apologized, said I wouldnt let it happen again and made a few errors in judgement. I didnt have a leg to stand on, but Im also not that tore up about it. Made the run up, dropped in mostly empty IFCO pallet yard, real cool lady. Completely mauled a straight back with more room than i could see. Circled around and nailed a textbook 45 in a dirt lot. Slept there, bobtailed out for my next load. Walmart/Sams DC in Loveland CO to Logan Utah. Again, DM offered reset prior to this load, but Im coming into hometime next week and want to keep running.

I check the route suggestion and it shows as truck safe, but it concerns me. US 30 to UT state route 30 to US 89 is all mountain driving. Looks tight (I had no idea it was THAT tight in some spots) But its 50 miles shorter than 80, 84, 15, 89. Im concerned about my 70 and my 11. These loads where Im running on recaps are tight in that the appointment times allow for 1 day of driving, the loaded miles are 514 but there is also empty miles and road variables. Its constantly fighting the clock, but it is what it is. I figure the mountain drive is the lesser of the two times. the state route portion is a very tight uphill and down hill with 8 percent grades, 20 mph turns, no run out and variable pitches, so one cant simply set the jake and forget it. Constant modulation of throttle, jake, service brakes and occasional shifting. Tons of traffic around Bear Lake. and then up 89. this load is 41K on the trailer, so Im heavy. 20 mph up most of 89. Going down is many miles of 35 mph turns with the same jake, throttle, gearing and service brake dance above. A ton of responsibility, there are sport bike riders knee dragging up the hill, sports cars and campers, its packed and Im hyper vigilant on keeping my trailer from off tracking into them on the LH turns, keeping if off the guardrail or cliff on the RH turns and keeping Edna from gaining speed on the steeps. I figure I must have done ok, most of the motorists behind me stayed behind me when given the opportunity to pass in the few passing lane sections. I felt like this was an internal challenge that went on for a few hours. One that I passed and learned from, but man the responsibility that we carry out here impacted me. OS has talked about it a lot, I guess it really hit home on this. The short clocks added to the pressure.

When I got to my Sams club to drop, I just wanted to decompress and settle it out. I didnt have enough time left on my clocks to get anywhere, so I made a deal with the reciever who didnt have any trailers emptied yet.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Continued,

I slept in my tractor in the parking lot, allowing them to empty a trailer overnight. I headed to the SLC terminal for a T call load to Coors in Golden CO. Had to juggle my clocks to get recaps on the road. Ended up pulling into Coors with 13 minutes left on my 11 hour and only 6.5 left on my 70 with no recaps till the following midnight. Found a place to hide the tractor for 10 hours.

I wouldnt be able to drive til 1:30 pm. The next load is to Jackson Hole WY. Im one day away from home time. Im exhausted. after looking at the recon in google maps for the delivery in Jackson Hole (Jackson Hole Distributors) and reading the reviews, I throw in the towel on that load. I call my DM , we had talked about this before hand and knew I possibly would not have enough hours. I tell him I might be able to juggle around time to barely get there, but it would leave me trying to do mission impossible after being up all night. this dock looks to me like it requires a blind side 90 off a busy street into the yard, then pull up into the street, slight blind side back into a recessed dock, partially inside the building with a roofline and building on the side. I think it would be prudent to have assistance spotting traffic and backing.

Im game for expanding my horizons, and constantly learning, but I want to give myself a fighting chance, not work against preventable hardship and my lack of experience stacked against me. I had an out with the hours, so I took it. I will master this dock when it comes up on radar again, but I will do it on my terms and in a safe, calculated manner. I know I possess the skills to get it done, but my instincts tell me it wasnt the right time to attempt it.

With that, Im finally off, and moving the rest of the stuff out of my house, I plan on buying in the next year. Onward and upward.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Im game for expanding my horizons, and constantly learning, but I want to give myself a fighting chance, not work against preventable hardship and my lack of experience stacked against me. I had an out with the hours, so I took it. I will master this dock when it comes up on radar again, but I will do it on my terms and in a safe, calculated manner. I know I possess the skills to get it done, but my instincts tell me it wasnt the right time to attempt it.

I like the way you put that Davy. Sometimes we just have to go with our own gut feelings. You are doing a great job, and are learning new things everyday. There is no reason to put yourself on a hyper-speed course with fate. Keep taking your baby steps and get things settled in your mind and understanding. Your DM will appreciate safety above everything else. You've been expanding your horizons a great deal. Keep it at a pace that works for you.

I like the way your DM is working your loads. It seems to me you got a good one.

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.
Bush Country's Comment
member avatar

I checked the routes in, called the hotel and asked if I could park out front. I didnt check the routes too thoroughly though, but it worked out ok. The road in was very steep and tight. (I was puckering coming up it) In talking with the customer in the morning, he said take the other route out as the way I came in is too tight coming back down. I really enjoyed working with him (old general contractor) on getting the load safely into place and he had really on point observations and knowledge. I had called my DM and told him my concerns about safety. He said noted and left it up to me as to how to procede. Ultimately I got it in and done with a satisfied customer and let him know.

Mrs. Country and I go to Santa Fe once a year for a long weekend. We've driven those same roads around Los Alamos going to Bandelier National Monument as well as Valles Caldera. Fun enough in my pickup. Don't know that I'd enjoy it so much in a truck.

Non-trucking comment - if you are a fan of the show Longmire, the cabin they use for his house is in Valles Caldera. It's a pretty good hike from the visitor's center but worth it for fan girls like my wife.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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