With A Mentor And Abs Trailer Light Has Been On All Day.

Topic 30873 | Page 1

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Zack A.'s Comment
member avatar

Been with my mentor for four days. Me and the other mentee have pointed out that abs light for the trailer is on. He told us if it stays on for days he will get it fixed. Is this right? I feel like he just wants to run us for the miles. I had to brake hard earlier today and I think that’s when the abs light popped on so he’s blaming me for it. I’ve also been having issues with him. Today he made me switch to the left lane to avoid a bunch of traffic then wanted me to turn my right signal on and try to cut into the traffic to make our exit. We ended up missing the exit and he got mad at me. I’m not sure how other people feel but I hate when someone leaves the crowded lane the. Try’s to cut back in and cut others off semis included. That was my reasoning for refusing to do so. Earlier today leaving a truck stop he wanted me to. Cut off two waiting semis and just blow past them. I told him you want me to just cut these guys off? He didn’t reply. Do I have a bad trainer? Or am I just over thinking/not listening like I should be.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Since I wasn't there to see it first hand its kinda hard to Judge. However Remember you hold the steering wheel not your trainer, if he is telling you to drive like an ass don't. It's your license on the line should something happen, don't let him pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with.

As for the ABS light, try unplugging it from your tractor for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in, a lot of the times that will reset the light. If not push a little more to get it looked at, it's probably not extremely urgent however it should be addressed especially if you are headed for bad weather.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The amber indicator light on the rear corner of the trailer, the warning symbol on the dash or both?

Zack A.'s Comment
member avatar

The amber indicator light on the rear corner of the trailer, the warning symbol on the dash or both?

Both the trailer abs light on the dash and the trailer.

Zack A.'s Comment
member avatar

That’s understandable I try not to let him pressure me. I was very tired last night when I wrote this up. The whole situation just had me stressed. Me and the other new guy are currently driving on our permits we havnt been to our home state to get our hard copy cdl yet. I’m not sure if that matters or not when it comes to getting pulled over.

Since I wasn't there to see it first hand its kinda hard to Judge. However Remember you hold the steering wheel not your trainer, if he is telling you to drive like an ass don't. It's your license on the line should something happen, don't let him pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with.

As for the ABS light, try unplugging it from your tractor for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in, a lot of the times that will reset the light. If not push a little more to get it looked at, it's probably not extremely urgent however it should be addressed especially if you are headed for bad weather.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Well, as Bobcat wrote, try disconnecting the power cord to the trailer, then cycle the key between Off and Accessory a few times. If both lights stay on afterwards, you have an ABS issue on the trailer braking circuit. If after cycling the ignition and you still have the indicator on the dash (with the trailer cable unplugged), you then have an ABS issue with the tractor AND trailer. If you do, then I would having a look at the ABS fuse.

Hard copy or paper CDL matters not. You are the driver.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Zack, congratulations for getting started with your new trucking career!

Let's look at the bigger picture here. You have only been with this mentor for four days. Everything is new to you, and when we are brand new at this we sometimes have expectations that are not always exactly as they should be. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is perfectly normal. Training is a time of pressure for us as newbies. You do well to question yourself like you did when you asked...

am I just over thinking?

I like your attitude and your approach to this.

By looking at the big picture I would ask myself things like...

  • Am I learning the things I need to know?
  • Am I getting plenty of practice behind the wheel?
  • Am I becoming more confident with my driving?
  • Are the experiences I am going through helping me understand how to do this on my own?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then you are doing okay with your trainer, and you can keep with it and expect to be in your own truck in a few weeks. Training is difficult for all of us. Sometimes our trainers are not the greatest teachers. Sometimes they have their own selfish motives. I had a terrible trainer, so I know the frustration. I did learn a great deal during my time with my trainer, but most of it was self learned due to the exposure I got while driving.

Trucking has a lot of grey areas. Experienced drivers may take advantage of some of those areas more willingly than a newbie would. An ABS light would be one of those grey areas I am talking about. Each of us may deal with it differently. For now let your trainer be the one who decides what to do with it. If you get stopped you can explain that you are in training and your trainer told you to continue driving. That may not stop you from getting some sort of warning or citation, but it really is all the power you have in your situation. You don't want to refuse to drive unless there is a blatant safety issue going on. An ABS light does not qualify as that to me. It is merely a warning that there is something not right that needs to be tended to as soon as it is conveniently possible.

Remember, when you are put in your own truck you can manage it just as you want. You will be the captain of your own ship. For now follow your trainer's lead unless he is trying to get you to do things that are blatantly unsafe or illegal. You can still learn a great deal during training even if your trainer is not the best they have to offer. Keep that big picture in mind. You will still be learning things for the next several years. This training portion of your learning curve is short lived and over with in a few weeks. You have much more learning to do on your own without your trainer there by your side. Here's an article I wrote about my time with a trainer who was definitely not one of the best. I hope you will take the time to read it and decide for yourself if you are okay with your current situation.

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks and yes I’ll read it.

Hey Zack, congratulations for getting started with your new trucking career!

Let's look at the bigger picture here. You have only been with this mentor for four days. Everything is new to you, and when we are brand new at this we sometimes have expectations that are not always exactly as they should be. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is perfectly normal. Training is a time of pressure for us as newbies. You do well to question yourself like you did when you asked...

double-quotes-start.png

am I just over thinking?

double-quotes-end.png

I like your attitude and your approach to this.

By looking at the big picture I would ask myself things like...

  • Am I learning the things I need to know?
  • Am I getting plenty of practice behind the wheel?
  • Am I becoming more confident with my driving?
  • Are the experiences I am going through helping me understand how to do this on my own?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then you are doing okay with your trainer, and you can keep with it and expect to be in your own truck in a few weeks. Training is difficult for all of us. Sometimes our trainers are not the greatest teachers. Sometimes they have their own selfish motives. I had a terrible trainer, so I know the frustration. I did learn a great deal during my time with my trainer, but most of it was self learned due to the exposure I got while driving.

Trucking has a lot of grey areas. Experienced drivers may take advantage of some of those areas more willingly than a newbie would. An ABS light would be one of those grey areas I am talking about. Each of us may deal with it differently. For now let your trainer be the one who decides what to do with it. If you get stopped you can explain that you are in training and your trainer told you to continue driving. That may not stop you from getting some sort of warning or citation, but it really is all the power you have in your situation. You don't want to refuse to drive unless there is a blatant safety issue going on. An ABS light does not qualify as that to me. It is merely a warning that there is something not right that needs to be tended to as soon as it is conveniently possible.

Remember, when you are put in your own truck you can manage it just as you want. You will be the captain of your own ship. For now follow your trainer's lead unless he is trying to get you to things that are blatantly unsafe or illegal. You can still learn a great deal during training even if your trainer is not the best they have to offer. Keep that big picture in mind. You will still be learning things for the next several years. This training portion of your learning curve is short lived and over with in a few weeks. You have much more learning to do on your own without your trainer there by your side. Here's a article I wrote about my time with a trainer who was definitely not one of the best. I hope you will take the time to read it and decide for yourself if you are okay with your current situation.

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

"Do I have a bad trainer? Or am I just over thinking/not listening like I should be."

I would have to lean towards a yes, looks like you have a bad trainer.

If your trainer doesn't respect other truckers at any location, whether it's waiting on line at a truck stop or a shipper/receiver; and he doesn't understand or respect the rules of the road on the freeway, he's not worth his salt. That's the kind of guy that will end up in a collision, eventually.

Don't let him pressure you to do what he does. Follow not only the laws pertaining to truck driving, but also the unwritten rules of the road, if you care about safety and respect, as well as your own stress level.

Having said that, there absolutely WILL be times when traffic—whether freeway or city/surface street driving— will not cooperate with your clock or your scheduled appointments. You will have to get around traffic jams, and sometimes you'll just have to find a way to cut back into traffic at a less-than-perfect spot. It's going to happen.

And you'll **** people off. Just wave a thank you out your window once you get over. Remain calm and courteous, and you'll find your stress level will remain lower.

Smart clock management and good routing is almost always taught, but few Trucking trainers will teach about managing stress. Truck driving can be extremely stressful, if you let it.

It's up to you to find ways to get things done, occasionally bending the rules of the road to get into a particular lane or to make an appointment on time. Just don't be like your trainer, and act like you own the whole road, or think you can bully people with your big truck. That's straight BS, and it will eventually land you in an accident.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

1st off an ABS light on can simply be dirt/rust between wheel sensor and drum contact. Possibly from sitting, so driving a bit it "might" go off, or not if sensor just plain ole wore out. bad connector at plug possible. Your brakes will work fine as it does in your car with same issue. Just won't have the anti-lock action. If the lights on, after you try the key, on/off thing etc, might need to have it checked/fixed at fuel stop shop.

DOT is really all you need to worry about, IF pulled in for inspection. Been plenty of time we had this problem too, it either fixed itself, or we rolled with it as is (Only inspected 2 x in 2 years) passed each. The trailer plug could be an issue, but highly unlikely.

1 Fed-Ex trailer we picked up at their terminal , once we got 5 miles down the road the ABS came on. So we back tracked to have THEM fix it, since it was their trailer. Said problem was in the controller box, after they ran a scan, said controller box was the problem. We can wait to get things transferred to a different trailer... NOT ! They just unplugged the light, and on we rolled. Wasn't waiting for a cross load to a different trailer pfffft we got schedule to keep boys, we had no problems....

If you're driving,,,, I'd say "Look dude, I am at the wheel, it's MY CDL , not yours to protect" You said, you and another trainee? so I'm guessing you're with CRE ? lol 3 to a truck. So he is in it for the extra bucks. Believe me, if you have a problem with DOT or whoever, he will most likely throw you under the bus in a heartbeat, to cover his own butt!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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