My First Day Solo

Topic 30664 | Page 1

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Vicki M.'s Comment
member avatar

Ah so much fun. Y’all are in for some laughs! I was told to let dispatch know what empty I grabbed from the yard. I chose the trailer that I had tested out with. I parked it there. I sat in front of it for a 34…I hook up to it, let them know and then did my pretrip. Everything’s good. Get my assignment (deadhead to Lewiston, get a load, take it to Denver). Ok long deadhead but I’m good. Let’s go! Proceeded to put it in gear and can’t figure out why the trailer doesn’t want to go? And what the is that noise? Yep forgot to raise the landing gear. Good thing I only went a foot or so! Fixed that and off we go.

Did I mention it was raining? After I convinced myself I wouldn’t melt I figured it would be okay, but my new to me truck is as skittish as a cat that’s used up 8 lives. When you go up a hill, she likes to give you the alarm that you are following to closely. Too close to the road?? 8 of them going up Lewiston hill! She also likes to throw on the jake every time you approach a curve. The alarm that tells you something is on your blindside…well she turns it on for every tree and guard rail. Yeah she’s a cantankerous old biddy. Her good point is she doesn’t have a lane departure alert. But after 500 miles without it, she decided that it needs to be fixed. She’s older but gets the job done (kinda like me lol) Yes Anne I’ll take pics when it’s not raining and daylight lol

Don’t even get me started on my new GPS. She’s crazy. I’m an hour from our yard, have close to 2 hours of drive time, on a stretch of the 90 that’s pretty much deserted. She tells me there’s a 4 hour backup 2 miles ahead. There’s no exit so I just slow down, assuming there’s a pile up or a flipped truck or something. Nothing. There were 2 cops on the side of the road, but no debris, no flashy lights, nothing. Guess if she does that every time there’s a cop, it might come in handy lmao

Fun times. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rhino's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on going solo! The trucks I drive to will make sounds when u go over the speed limit or accidentally cross the white line. Gets a little old sometimes lol

Ah so much fun. Y’all are in for some laughs! I was told to let dispatch know what empty I grabbed from the yard. I chose the trailer that I had tested out with. I parked it there. I sat in front of it for a 34…I hook up to it, let them know and then did my pretrip. Everything’s good. Get my assignment (deadhead to Lewiston, get a load, take it to Denver). Ok long deadhead but I’m good. Let’s go! Proceeded to put it in gear and can’t figure out why the trailer doesn’t want to go? And what the is that noise? Yep forgot to raise the landing gear. Good thing I only went a foot or so! Fixed that and off we go.

Did I mention it was raining? After I convinced myself I wouldn’t melt I figured it would be okay, but my new to me truck is as skittish as a cat that’s used up 8 lives. When you go up a hill, she likes to give you the alarm that you are following to closely. Too close to the road?? 8 of them going up Lewiston hill! She also likes to throw on the jake every time you approach a curve. The alarm that tells you something is on your blindside…well she turns it on for every tree and guard rail. Yeah she’s a cantankerous old biddy. Her good point is she doesn’t have a lane departure alert. But after 500 miles without it, she decided that it needs to be fixed. She’s older but gets the job done (kinda like me lol) Yes Anne I’ll take pics when it’s not raining and daylight lol

Don’t even get me started on my new GPS. She’s crazy. I’m an hour from our yard, have close to 2 hours of drive time, on a stretch of the 90 that’s pretty much deserted. She tells me there’s a 4 hour backup 2 miles ahead. There’s no exit so I just slow down, assuming there’s a pile up or a flipped truck or something. Nothing. There were 2 cops on the side of the road, but no debris, no flashy lights, nothing. Guess if she does that every time there’s a cop, it might come in handy lmao

Fun times. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Well Vicki let the fun begin. Those are not just "newbie" things that happen. Even seasoned drivers have done similar things once in awhile. Enjoy every minute, stay focused and keep the diary active because I'm sure everyone who has followed you wishes you the best.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Congratulations!

I too have forgotten to roll up the landing gear it is a good thing you caught it before damaging them. Just remember to take a LAP before driving. L= Legs A= Airlines P= Pin, or "be a PAL" P= Pin A= Airlines L= Legs.

As for the stuff with the radar and blind spot system that is just the way they are unfortunately.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hahaha, I know the feeling Vicki M, my truck is a brand new 2022 freightliner and I'm already sick of the false alarms. Collision warnings when nothing's in front of it beside me, hitting the brakes to keep me from hitting the shadow in front of me, hitting the brakes because it cannot tell the difference between the empty space in front of me and the car on the off ramp. The worst though, it has the passenger side blind spot detection system and it goes red when I change lanes and a car is teo lanes over and when I make a u turn it goes off thinking I'm gonna crash into my own trailer...I know right? I will frequently turn the lane departure system off manually as it is sensitive and will go off a lot if it is a skinny lane.

As for the landing gear, there are 3 things to do for disconnecting or hooking up to a trailer. King pin, drop/raise the landing gear and the air and power lines. ALWAYS do them in the same order and mentally or verbally go over them to assure that you filled them all prior to moving. I do King pin, landing gear, air and power lines always the same order dropping or hooking up. Get in that habit. Same with fueling and making sure you closed fuel and def caps.

Fun times, let's see what tomorrow brings.....lol, that's half the fun of this job!!!

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

I too have forgotten to roll up the landing gear it is a good thing you caught it before damaging them. Just remember to take a LAP before driving. L= Legs A= Airlines P= Pin, or "be a PAL" P= Pin A= Airlines L= Legs.

I do FLLC - Fifth Wheel (visual inspection that the locking jaws are hooked), Landing Gear, Lines, and C can be chock if I'm taking a trailer out of a door, And or connections if I'm hooking to a dolly, to make sure the pintle hook clasp is down and the chains are in place.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Better than forgetting to LOWER the landing gear and uncoupling.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Vicki, congratulations! Good for you, now you can show all the men that trucking needs a woman's touch.

As far as remembering everything you need to do at all the various tasks you perform, it takes time and experience. Before I went solo, I made a list of everything I needed to be sure of at each task. Example: When coupling, when un-coupling, when fueling, when sliding tandems , etc. Then when I thought I was done with a particular task and got back in the cab and before I turned the key, I would take a few minutes to consult my checklist. Several times this saved me from making a rookie mistake. The older I get the more I rely on writing things down and then reviewing the written procedures. I make lots of lists, but many times I can't remember where I put the list.

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".

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats! It will get easier and the mistakes wont way so heavy on you. All the buzzers and alarming....Thats how my Truck got the name Edna...she nags like aunt Edna from National Lampoons Vacation.

Mackerel (Mike D.)'s Comment
member avatar

The Bendix in my truck can't read. It will read the 'advisory' speed limit signs and yell at me that I am going too fast...technology...

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