New Trucking Family, New To TT

Topic 3131 | Page 2

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Starcar's Comment
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Homefire...you need to keep this going !!! Theres no one who has documented the "other side" of trucking....You are it, gf !!! I've done both sides...but being able to follow your journey...well it will help alot of women, kids, and truckers when they want to make that important decision...can they "hack" what they have read in your post ?? So keep it up.....

And we are here for you....I've been there...I know the rough spots....

Homefire's Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much for your support Starcar. I was starting to feel a little silly, but typing it all out is helping me...

I am so amazed by all the lady truckers that are here! You Go Girls with your Bad Selves...lol

Doing something different was starting to feel weird, so I am relieved that you think it will be valuable.

Homefire's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Yesterday was such a busy day!

We heard from my soon-to-be before class while the kids were getting ready for school. They were so happy to talk to him in the morning! Got the day off on a good foot.

He studied map reading and trip planning with his class most of the day. They also learned how to do paper logs and got their driver numbers.

He was finally paired with a room-mate. He said he is a nice guy. It was strange trying to talk about his day with a listening ear in the room so I asked him if he could go someplace private to talk. He asked quite simply "Where?". The reality is that he has no real privacy right now and probably won't have much until he finishes training and gets in his own company truck. He will be solo then. So I have to just accept that I won't get the "whole story" until he has some alone time. He is one of only 3 guys that aren't from the local area there so he may be alone over the weekend. Today is the first day they get hands-on with the truck. I am just as excited as he is. No way to know if he can actually do the work until he starts learning those trucks! From what we have read from truckers, there is no classroom setting that can "teach" you to drive. It is all about feeling the girls (trucks) out.

I had housework to do for the first part of the day. Then a meeting at my son's school. Then my 5yr old daughter had a performance with all the kindergartners from her school in the evening. My soon-to-be called after school just minutes before we had to leave to wish her luck (break a leg kid, what daddy? why do you want me to get hurt?...lol). I could tell that it hurt his heart that he couldn't be here for her. She had been practicing for months.

I took video while my son tried to get pictures and she was soooo cute. It broke my heart that he couldn't be there. He always LOVES the kids school programs.

After the performance I had to get dinner cooked (glad when the money starts coming and days like this can be a drive thru dinner), kids bathed, and pets cared for. In the middle of all that activity, my soon-to-be wanted to talk. He was talking, kids were talking, I was trying to get it all done and I felt so bad. He just wanted my attention because he had to miss an important school function and I kept handing him off "Here talk to daddy while I....".

I finally asked him if I could just call him back after all that was out of the way and he said it was fine. I was left wondering if this made him feel excluded.

At last we finished dinner and all and called him back. I spent the rest of the evening uploading videos and pictures for him to our "secret' facebook page. He is really enjoying the constant updates and he said it helps that he can get on there and catch up with the whole day when he has a moment to spare. It is so labor intensive though to get it all out there and I wonder if I can keep up the pace. It has only been a few days and I am already exhausted! We were able to finally connect and talk to each other for a little while, then my 10 yr old was at my bedroom door sobbing. "I miss daddy!". I put him on the phone with her for a few and we talked to her again about why he is doing this.

He is doing it for US! He is doing it to get our family out of poverty because there was no work available locally that paid more than min wage.

She finally calmed down and went on to bed. My son talked to him for a minute (he is autistic and has a real hard time talking to him on the phone) and then my soon-to-be was ready to get off the phone. I felt deflated. Oh well, I thought, back to facebook updates.

I know we are going to have more of these days where we just can't seem to click because of his obligations and mine will often be different. I have to just let is roll off my back and try again.

Thank you so much for listening!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yesterday was such a busy day!

We heard from my soon-to-be before class while the kids were getting ready for school. They were so happy to talk to him in the morning! Got the day off on a good foot.

He studied map reading and trip planning with his class most of the day. They also learned how to do paper logs and got their driver numbers.

He was finally paired with a room-mate. He said he is a nice guy. It was strange trying to talk about his day with a listening ear in the room so I asked him if he could go someplace private to talk. He asked quite simply "Where?". The reality is that he has no real privacy right now and probably won't have much until he finishes training and gets in his own company truck. He will be solo then. So I have to just accept that I won't get the "whole story" until he has some alone time. He is one of only 3 guys that aren't from the local area there so he may be alone over the weekend. Today is the first day they get hands-on with the truck. I am just as excited as he is. No way to know if he can actually do the work until he starts learning those trucks! From what we have read from truckers, there is no classroom setting that can "teach" you to drive. It is all about feeling the girls (trucks) out.

I had housework to do for the first part of the day. Then a meeting at my son's school. Then my 5yr old daughter had a performance with all the kindergartners from her school in the evening. My soon-to-be called after school just minutes before we had to leave to wish her luck (break a leg kid, what daddy? why do you want me to get hurt?...lol). I could tell that it hurt his heart that he couldn't be here for her. She had been practicing for months.

I took video while my son tried to get pictures and she was soooo cute. It broke my heart that he couldn't be there. He always LOVES the kids school programs.

After the performance I had to get dinner cooked (glad when the money starts coming and days like this can be a drive thru dinner), kids bathed, and pets cared for. In the middle of all that activity, my soon-to-be wanted to talk. He was talking, kids were talking, I was trying to get it all done and I felt so bad. He just wanted my attention because he had to miss an important school function and I kept handing him off "Here talk to daddy while I....".

I finally asked him if I could just call him back after all that was out of the way and he said it was fine. I was left wondering if this made him feel excluded.

At last we finished dinner and all and called him back. I spent the rest of the evening uploading videos and pictures for him to our "secret' facebook page. He is really enjoying the constant updates and he said it helps that he can get on there and catch up with the whole day when he has a moment to spare. It is so labor intensive though to get it all out there and I wonder if I can keep up the pace. It has only been a few days and I am already exhausted! We were able to finally connect and talk to each other for a little while, then my 10 yr old was at my bedroom door sobbing. "I miss daddy!". I put him on the phone with her for a few and we talked to her again about why he is doing this.

He is doing it for US! He is doing it to get our family out of poverty because there was no work available locally that paid more than min wage.

She finally calmed down and went on to bed. My son talked to him for a minute (he is autistic and has a real hard time talking to him on the phone) and then my soon-to-be was ready to get off the phone. I felt deflated. Oh well, I thought, back to facebook updates.

I know we are going to have more of these days where we just can't seem to click because of his obligations and mine will often be different. I have to just let is roll off my back and try again.

Thank you so much for listening!

I bet you're hot. You should ditch this bum and hook up with me.

Hahaha

Love you and miss you and the kids a bunch. We'll adjust to this new life. I know how strong and capable you are and we really are a good team. The only thing that separates us is geography.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Homefire's Comment
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I love you too, baby! :)

Homefire's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I believe all of the excitement over the last few days finally got to me yesterday. My motivation was non-existent. I tried to stick to my routine, but found myself avoiding housework and such. My nervous energy expired.

I didn't hear from my soon-to-be in the morning although I was hoping for a call. I made a couple of short videos with the kids for him before they went to school though and posted a few little updates to facebook. There really wasn't much going on so their wasn't much to say. I guess it will be like this, super busy days then boring days with little to report.

I chatted up a friend for a while, then visited my Mother, then came on back home early still feeling wiped out.

I made videos with the kids for my soon-to-be after school so they could tell him about their day. My 10 yr old daughter was feeling depressed about everything and she got grumpy on the video. I posted it as is. Her feelings about this are something we BOTH have to deal with. I also had to have a talk with my 14 yr old son. He was feeling kind of abandoned and I had to explain to him how much he was loved and that this doesn't mean that our soon-to-be doesn't want to be here at home.

He called after he was finished with class, jubilant about having a great time learning to shift the trucks. His mood and my mood didn't match in the least, but I put on my happy face and asked him all about it (one can hear a smile through the phone).

The class spent the first part of the morning with and instructor learning to shift/change gears. They also learned about double clutching , used their paper log books, and logged into the qualcom. The class was divided between three trucks. He fell in love with another girl yesterday. She was a Kenworth...lol.

He said that his room-mate's birthday was coming up (today) and he was going to the lounge with him to buy him a beer then the guys were getting together to hunt down a hot meal. The company will allow them to use the shuttle van for trips out of the hotel. I felt grumpy about him getting to go have a beer and dinner with his new friends (especially because I abstained from the drive-thru to save money when the kids and I had such a busy day). It was reality check time. I bit my tongue. He hadn't had a decent meal all week. He needs to get along with these guys and build friendships so he doesn't get so lonely. Afterwards I was glad I didn't get fussy about it.

He talked to each of the kids before he got off the phone to head out with the guys.

I made dinner and got all the standard evening chores done and waited for him to call again.

He called at 7:30 and it wasn't as awkward a conversation. I think he feels more comfortable with his room-mate now. He talked to all the kids again and got off the phone early. I was glad he had a good meal and a full belly.

Today in class they will work on pre-trip, post trip, and everything in between. He said all the guys dread going back to sit in a classroom all day, but everyone is eager for next week when the focus moves off to driving over the road , or backing.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)

Over The Road:

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Homefire's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

My soon-to-be trucker and his class got a surprise yesterday! They got to go out driving on the road with the trucks instead of doing classroom all day! They flipped the schedule around and he said they had a great time.

My soon to be drove last. When he took over, the truck was parked in a space in a truck-stop so he had to back it out. It was a straight-line back and he says that it went well. He has got a feel for it already! He was the first of his class to back the truck (and got it done like a pro :) ). He got to take the truck all the way to the governor (top speed allowed) on the interstate near his school. AND he had his first "four-wheeler" run in. He said that someone scooted passed him while he was attempting a right hand turn. He stopped the truck without hitting anyone (YAY!) and his instructor just grumbled about the "four-wheeler" so the close call wasn't the result of anything my trucker did.

They will be back in the classroom today covering the rest of the book material. It will likely be Monday before they find out which guys (all guys in this class) are going on the road next week and which are staying around for backing.

Yesterday was my grocery day so I went out and did my shopping. The shopping trip went well. I got all we needed. My Mom called while I was out and asked me to come by so I started to head her way. I was just fine until a song came on the radio. The song got my water-works going and had me missing my man BADLY! One minute I'm driving along be-bopping to the radio and the next I'm trying to keep my tears from pooling up in my sunglasses.

I wiped away the last of the tears pulling into my Mom's drive and decided to keep it to myself. No need to get my Mom all upset about my being upset. We had a quick visit and I went home feeling a little bummed but determined to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

I got my groceries in and took a few pictures of my haul for my man. I found myself talking to the pets like people and wondered f I was cracking up a little...lol. I was deep in thought putting away my groceries when my dog went ballistic barking and growling looking out the window and sniffing under my door. When I looked out my window saw a white van parked in my driveway (driver inside) and a not so nice looking guy walking up to my door. I froze for a second and then walked to look out the small window in the door. I decided to lock my door at the last second. The guy's eyes were on my dog at the other window and he didn't see me standing there yet. I noticed he had some pamphlets in his hand and I assumed he was a meat guy wanting to sell something (or a con man trying to get into peoples houses or see who was home or not, ok I was a little skittish). He looked up and saw me in the window and I smiled politely and said "Sorry, We're not interested." He paused a moment looked back at my dog and walked away. As he got back in the van I realized I was shaking all over and scared to death. I sat down and just sobbed. My reaction scared the dog and she was on alert, slinking around and looking for what was making me so upset. I cried because I got scared (over-reaction). I was all alone. Alone in the house, and some strange man came to my door. I was so grateful I have a BIG dog! It was really no big deal, but at the time all I wanted was my man home with me.

I made sure to check both of my doors (locked) and texted a friend about what happened. I finished putting away my groceries and tried to get over the creeped-out feeling that I wasn't safe. I finally decided to turn on some tunes to cheer me up (70's disco, Who can be sad while listening to boogie fever??) I put my keys in my pocket and kept them there for the afternoon (I have a panic button on my key-fob) just in case and got on with my day.

My girls came home from school a while later and made a video of them getting off the bus and walking into the house, talking about their day like we always do. We have a long weekend (kids home today and Monday) so we talked about sleeping in. I hovered more than I usually do over them. Watched them play a while then decided to take in some TV.

I ended up calling my man before he called me because I was so eager to talk to him. I listened to all the exciting things he had done that day and it cheered me up so much that he did so well and enjoyed it so much. He told me that he read this thread and was concerned that I was upset with him and not saying. We talked it through and I let him know that although I love him, HE is not the audience of this thread...lol. I am writing this for others to see what it is like and to get it all out of my head. I told him if he and I had a problem I would say it to him, not put it in a post on a forum. He let me know that he IS busy (feels bad he isn't posting pics and stuff much), that he still misses us more than anything, and although he is enjoying school he would rather be here with us any day. I let him know that I am not upset with him, I am keeping it together here, and I miss him to pieces too. I let him know all about my day, even my scare, and he talked to the kids as usual.

The kids and made supper and hung out until he called again. We did all the talking and catching up that has become a daily pattern, although his phone wasn't properly charged and he needed to go sooner than usual.

I spent the rest of my evening playing a video game :)

I appreciate being able to share all of this. Thanks for listening.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Ed, you are lucky you said who you are...I was just about to pm Brett and have you booted !!!!! Welcome to TT...and you should be proud of your woman....truckers wives are their very own breed...few and far between. when you get out in your own truck, I'll be helping her with the home stuff...I"m really handy !!!! I can build or tear down, or fix an entire house....altho I hate plumbing...lol But truckers wives need to learn how to do the emergency honey do list....And it is quite gratifying to fix something that the day before, you didn't know how it worked...empowering too !!! The one thing most truckers aren't prepared for is the independent woman that will come out of that Suzy Homemaker cocoon as time passes. You either embrace her transformation and be proud, or you will struggle with it for a long time. Its a fact of trucking. If you can't pay to have it done, you have 2 choices...you wait until your trucker gets home, or you learn to fix it yourself. I've always done the fix it thing. I never wanted my trucker to have to come home from work...and work !!! I did keep a list of stuff, heavy stuff, for TSB to do. He preferred it that way.....But he is proud of his independent truckdriver/ homebody wife...

Homefire's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I got a good belly laugh from your response Starcar! LOL

I'm going to take you up on that advice on how to fix stuff thing...lol. We live in a house that is nearly 100 yrs old and it is always needing a little love <3.

Yesterday, my soon-to-be trucker watched 6 training videos in class. It took all day and he said it was SUPER boring. He did get a few complements from his instructor on his backing the previous day and his ability to avoid an accident with the "four-wheeler". The videos covered vehicle systems, control systems, driving through/ turning at intersections, ect. This was likely the last classroom day and next week the class will split up and get some experience with driving on the road or backing.

He did tell me that they will not be visiting the terminal nearby our home, but instead will be traveling to another when they go on the road. I was a bit disappointed to hear that, but it makes sense that they would travel to different terminals with different classes. I imagine the instructors would be bored to death driving with the students to the same terminal over and over. I will just have to wait for home-time to see him instead of catching a glimpse sooner.

As for my day, the kids were out of school and I woke up grumpy. I improved my mood by getting the kids to go out with me and help with some yard work. They did a great job and we all worked together really well. There is lots to do out there since the seasons have changed. It made me miss my trucker because we were doing some of the things that we would normally do together. I called a friend and chatted with her for a bit and waited for my trucker to call in the afternoon.

I have been keeping up our secret facebook page and posting updates, so I had a few pictures to share of the improvements we made to the yard.

At the usual hour he has been calling, I got a text saying that his room-mate was going home for the weekend and he would call us after he left. I proceeded to make dinner, feeling bummed and missing him. I tried to put on my Bee Gees Pandora station to cheer me up, but Pandora only wanted to play sad love songs from the era. I switched over to a Blues Traveler station and the same thing happened. Finally, I put on a 90's station only to end with the same result. I just turned off the music (Pandora why have you betrayed me!?!).

The kids and I ate dinner and then I veg-ed out with some TV to wait for him to call. I was feeling so bummed about not getting n our "regular" call and felt so impatient. I sent him a text telling him I was missing him and to call soon. He finally called at about 7:45. he has went out in front of the hotel (in the rain!) to call us because his room-mate's girl was running late to pick him up. He talked to our youngest because it was getting close to her bedtime and spoke briefly to the other kids.

He told me that his room-mate's girl had brought a home cooked meal for his room-mates birthday and shared it with him the night before. I was so grateful to this woman I had never met for filling my man's belly with good home-cooked food. I worry about his health with him eating so much canned food and noodle bowls.

He had to get off the phone sooner than I was ready for because he was getting pretty wet outside on the phone. He is trying to be so polite to his room-mate. He didn't want to talk on the phone while he was watching TV and I suspect he feels funny about being over-heard on the phone talking.

I waited and waited for him to call back (it seemed like forever). My 10 yr old daughter came in to my room and looked at me and said with maturity beyond her years "You really miss Daddy a lot don't you?". It was all I could do not to burst into tears because it touched my heart that she was so insightful and aware. I have been keeping my brave face on for my kids, trying to stay positive. I pulled up the pictures and street view from Google to show the kids where his hotel and school.

I finally called him back (it was only an hour later). His room-mate still hadn't left to go home but our other kids were getting ready for bed and I wanted them to be able to talk to him.

He had a really nice conversation with both older kids and even pointed us to a video on youtube a trucker from his company made about the terminal where his school is located. The video also showed the truck that my man has been driving. It was exciting for the kids and I to see.

It definitely made me feel closer to him.

I talked his ear off when it was my turn and kept him on the phone until nearly 11pm. I just didn't want to let him go. We talked a bit about missing each other and adjusting to this new life. I could tell it was really hard for him to talk about and we both agreed that we don't want to dwell on the distance.

I know that missing him (and him missing us) will just be a part of the new routine. The distance makes us step up and really work on our relationship. With him home all the time, our family seemed more like a passive existence. A long distance relationship is more active. We have to put forth more effort to stay connected and include each other in our lives by sharing our experiences.

Today he is the only student that is in the hotel. Everyone else went home for the weekend so he is the lone ranger. More privacy will mean more phone conversations and maybe even some more skyping. We didn't have much luck with skyping earlier in the week.

Thanks so much for listening :)

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.

Homefire's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Good Morning and Happy Easter!

This is the first Holiday our trucker is away and so far everyone seems to be handling it well. We made a "Open on Easter" box for him before he left with a letter from me, drawings from the kids, and some of his favorite candies. The kids got their Easter candy super early this morning and I took a picture for him to see in our private FB group.

Yesterday was a hard day for my man. He was alone in the hotel room with too much time to think about home and nothing to do. To top it off we were having phone problems for a portion of the day and couldn't get through to one another.

He called us in the morning after he slept in. We talked for a long time and he spoke with the children. We got cut off twice while we were trying to talk but we both had a strong signal on our phones and couldn't figure out why.

We had a lazy day here at home. It was raining, so we couldn't go out and do yard work. I decided to play a video game in the middle of the day (very unusual) since I was feeling a little blue and a little bored. The kids were doing their own thing and floated in and out to watch.

During that time I chatted with a friend and tried to call him afterwards. The phone kept going straight to voice-mail. Apparently he was trying to call as well and was getting upset about not being able to reach us.

By the time he got through it was nearly dinner time. He was feeling really sad and lonely and missing us really bad. Yesterday was the first day that he wasn't too busy to dwell on the distance. It hit him hard. On top of it he was trying to save money, so he didn't go anywhere or do anything all day. Eating food from a can, cup, or pouch was also wearing on him.

We talked for a long time and he talked to the kids a long time too. I comforted him the best I could over the phone. It just tore me up inside that he was feeling so sad. When he hurts, I hurt.

Today he admitted that he feels guilty about being happy with his new experiences. He feels guilty about spending money on himself when he knows how tight things are here at home. I let him know that we want him to be happy. We want him to be comfortable and have a good meal when he can. I told him that it doesn't dishonor us here at home if he enjoys himself. I also told him that we are going to be happy here with the new life, we aren't going to feel guilty, and HE SHOULDN'T EITHER. We can't let this new lifestyle be consumed by guilt because we are apart. We have to share all the joys across the miles where-ever we find them. I want him to LOVE this new lifestyle and embrace it.

We did talk about what communication we like to have from one another and talked about what is working and what isn't working. He LOVES the FB group and reading all about our day, seeing all the pics, videos, and other goodies I post. He doesn't like calling in the a.m. because he doesn't have enough time to wake up fully before heading out to school. He said he is staying off of this thread from now on because it hurts too much to read. I told him I like to talk to him right after school even if it is only for a few minutes and again before the kids go to bed. My only complaint was that he hasn't taken many pictures yet and I want to SEE him and see what he sees. He said he would feel silly taking selfies in the mirror. I told him that I didn't care! Just give me something I can look at. So today he posted his first selfie...lol and his breakfast for me. It did my heart so good to actually see my man. Gosh how I miss him.

Today he is taking a different approach. He went to breakfast this morning and had a good hot meal with all the trimmings and he is heading out to do laundry at the terminal. I am so glad that he talked through this rough spot with me. Communication is sooo important! Without it we would drift apart over the miles. Now that we have a clearer view of each other's expectations we can both rest easier. We love each other with all our hearts. Distance means nothing when you have your soul-mate.

I'm sorry these posts are getting so long! I appreciate the outlet and hope that they give some insight into what it is really like to be apart. Thanks for listening :)

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.

TWIC:

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.

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Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

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