Wilson Logistics Training: Start Date: 12/13/21. A Librarian Learns Trucking!

Topic 31206 | Page 8

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ArcherTrucker's Comment
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it's been an eventful week! (in a good way)

I finished my required 30,000 training miles. We got them done the day before my trainer was starting vacation, so that was perfect. I had an extra amount of trouble sleeping in the bouncing truck the last couple of days--I think because I was so excited.

Congrats MM!

I reread your entire diary preparing for my onboarding on 3/21.

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Thanks, Dennis! Good luck to you too.

Does Prime have the equivalent of a "solo week," or do you pretty much go right into your own truck after finishing your 30k?

Yeah, I'm eager to get my truck and get dispatched so I can see my daughter. I haven't seen her since early December, when I started all this. Thank goodness for video chats!

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Thanks, ArcherTrucker! I'll probably be bugging out of town just before you get here, unfortunately. But holler if you have any questions!

Mountain Matt's Comment
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It has happened... I'm in my truck...beware!! Lol

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PackRat's Comment
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Awesome!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif good-luck.gif

ArcherTrucker's Comment
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Big congrats Matt!!!!!!

If your trainer was chill and doesn't smoke, I'm wondering if I could talk to him about training me?

The Wilson trucks are really nice looking (one of the reasons I went with Wilson, lol)

I arrived in Springfield last night and Im posted up at the Baymont, so far so good.

Looking forward to training and getting behind the wheel.

way to go Matt!

-Archer out

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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MAJOR CONGRATS, hun!

(Teaches ME to skip a day/week on Facebook, haha!!)

I'm SOOOOO happy for you. Ya really worked for it, man! She's purdy!!! (What did you name her ?!?!?)

Best, going forward .. man!

~ Anne ~

Dennis L's Comment
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Congrats Matt. Nice looking ride. I see a lot of those “Weagles” pulling Prime trailers.

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mountain Matt's Comment
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Thanks, everyone! Yeah, I think the truck is "purdy" too... I haven't named it yet, Anne--I think I'll wait until I get a feel for it first.

Yeah, Dennis, Wilson pretty much exclusively hauls Prime freight these days. I don't mind for the most part, as Prime's trailers are usually in decent shape.

Good luck, Archer! The trainer/trainee relationship is... difficult and complex. Not sure I'd want to be in the role of matchmaker... for either of you!

I've spent the last day or so getting my truck set up, which is a good feeling. New bedding, lots of food, tools, and supplies... I think I'm (mostly) ready to go! I think I'll head out on my first load tomorrow, heading me towards where my daughter lives. I haven't seen her since I began training in December, so it's time!

Mountain Matt's Comment
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Since there seems to be a lot of interest in Wilson these days and people in the Wilson pipeline, I wanted to add a post about "Solo Week," which I just finished Friday. It maybe should be called "Cave Week," since you're not really working alone even though you're driving alone. Or perhaps "Hell Week"--in many ways, it was the most challenging week of the whole process for me.

Wilson has most of their students work the Kraft account for a week, unless the Kraft plant happens to be closed that week for a holiday. Basically, it consists of picking up either dry vans or reefers at the Kraft plant, driving 6 miles across town to the Springfield Underground ("The Caves") and backing the trailer into a door down there. They usually have students work the night shift, which is 5pm-4am. For 7 days straight. So 77 hours... well, minus a half hour every day for your DOT break, so 73.5 hours. You keep track of your hours on paper logs. My last night I was running out of hours on my 70, so I had to come in a few hours late.

The hours are challenging, as is the backing. The Caves have irregular stone columns to dodge; the plant is very busy and it's dark at night of course. As I mentioned before, the tandems on all the trailers are slid all the way back, though perhaps this is offset by the fact that you're driving a daycab? I got exposure to equipment failure as well: leaking airbags, janky landing gear, failing gladhands, trailer doors that make the regular Prime trailers seem wonderful, and an electrical problem with my truck. Though I spent much time and stress dealing with equipment issues, it did teach me how to deal with some of these problems and the importance of a careful pretrip on the trailers.

The good thing about the week is sleeping in a hotel room, and you work with other people, including some of the regulars. They were kind and helpful, and I will genuinely miss some of them. There is a lot of pressure to make sure you don't hit anything (if it's serious, you're likely a goner; if it's not serious, you have to stay on the Kraft account for an additional week). But I must say, that by the end of the week, I had definitely improved my backing skills, as I probably backed 60 trailers. I managed to get into some tricky spots, including doing a 90 around a pillar, where I couldn't see my hole. You definitely learn to G.O.A.L. as much as you need! I also learned that some days or times I can back with the best of them (not really, but decent); other days or times I can hardly find reverse on the truck. It's good to know that at least for now out in the real world, my skills might be uneven, so I have to check myself and always be cautious and look. But I also know I have the skills to do what I need to do, and the week was a big confidence booster in that regard.

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".

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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