Moe's May Trucking Journal

Topic 29938 | Page 2

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Moe's Comment
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May orientation day 3 - I did not post on day number because I simply did not have time to do so, not because I didn't want to or forgot beleive me! :) I find writing a daily or almost daily , as the case may be , journal is therapeutic for me and a fun way to share my thoughts. It also helps to hold me accountable as we often tend to reveal ourselves without realizing it (our thoughts , fears, attitudes etc).

Anyway -Day #2 consisted of more paperwork in the early AM, disclosures and whatnot and some basic review of general policies, we watched a Trucker's against trafficking video as well as one pertaining to illicit substances and alcohol use etc. Both were short under 30 minutes each, we also did a general review of Qualcomm and hours of service. Most of the day was spent on the skills course. I learned the MAY way of coupling and uncomplicated the trailers. Coupling is lining up the tractor and getting the wheels center under the front of the trialer , we then stop and set the brake, get out verify height of trailer in relation to fifth wheel and the continue backing under until we hear the CLICK of the jaws engaging around the king pin.

We then hook up blue line, green electrical and the red line. Check connecting of fifth wheel (jaws around king pin properly) and ensure no space between the apron and the fifth wheel. Then raise the landing gear. Next we do a pretrip of combination vehicle , axle position, lights, tires and treads etc - the usual stuff.

We also were shown how to adjust tandems and apply our chains for winter travel.

Next we did more backing - we were delayed due a leaking radiator in our skills truck, so that had to be swapped out, about 45 minutes while they found a replacement unit for us to use. After that was settled and the trailer reconnected, we played a simulated backing game, which was really pretty fun! We had to do a 90 alley dock maneuver around a barrel with a line of other barrels on the blind side. The "alley" was just wide enough for a trialer to fit in and was supposed to simulate a narrow back in a real world scenario (ie- those blindside barrels could in real life be a parked semi(s), cars or other fixed objects). It was to simulate that not all backs in the real world are ideal, nor are all shippers/receivers set up to be backing friendly.

I got some help my first try and second try got it in by myself im proud to say. The fact that there was not a points pressure like the dmv test, made it much easier. I did have to reset like 3 times, but my instructor was like "I dont care how many times you have to reset your backs when you solo out, just don't hit anything".

So not toot my own horn, but I've done alot to show MAY that I am an attentive driver. What really gets them mad is when a new hire prospect keeps backing when they aren't sure if they can see anything in their mirrors, we almost had a guy sent home Monday for hitting a barrel twice.

Day 3 - More paperwork, got my EFS card today, some more consent forms etc. Most of today was spent on hours of service rules and going over the split sleeper rules. I was brain fried during class today frankly, learning all that stuff. My biggest struggle i have is in APPLICATION. Our mentor/instructor has beaten the words, I thought, I assumed or I forgot out of us. We know it, we just don't apply it the ways we need to.

Frankly I found the recap, and splits to be confusing and fail to see how we get proper rest and life balance while using them. It seems like an awful lot of running. This IS trucking and I get that, but my brain has been trained for a 34 after 70 hours, the idea of how we get our hours back and how we can keep running etc, boggles my mind. Im not complaining , at least I hope not, but I am seeing that I need to change my mindset on what work is, that's the biggest challenge and a whole new level of game for me.

I'll get the HOS , I know I will, I eventually learn things, backing took me longer than I would have preferred, but I got it. Ill get this too.

And speaking of games, ive chosen to give up video games while I am OTR until I get my routine going and I prove to be a productive driver. For me I think having video games along in the truck would be a distraction number 1 and number would set the wrong first impression until I have proven myself capable.

So its podcasts, the Bible and a book. I did keep the Disney plus subscription to stream this weeks episode of falcon and winter soldier, its 45 minutes long, I know I'll have 45 minutes at some point to stretch and relax with it, we are human after all.

In the meantime I'm treating this like boot camp and striving to put what I knew or thought I knew out of my brain and do things MAYS way, once I become confident and competent in the routine, everything falls into place.

Its 2210 and I have to be up at 6 at the latest, time to sign off and get some rest.

Night yall, be safe out there.



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.


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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.


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 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".


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.


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.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Confidence will come Moe...reps, reps and more reps...


Persistence overcomes Resistance.

Good luck!

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