Beginning New Career With PTL. (A Diary)

Topic 3152 | Page 2

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Scott B.'s Comment
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I can't complain but sometimes I still do.

-Joe Walsh-

Scott B.'s Comment
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Got trainer today(3-28-14) about 1130. Name is Billy and seems to a pretty good guy. Waiting on an oil change and CSA inspection then it's bye bye Murray Ky. for a while. Btw, if anyone really cares about the lunch menu after day 3 of orientation just refer back in the thread. It starts repeating after that. Hope you like mashed potatoes.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Jim M.'s Comment
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Guyjax,

Yeah I knew why, it's been years of filling out seemingly meaningless paperwork. But thanks for the clarification anyway.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Vegas baby Vegas. Rolled into Vegas about 1900 for an 0700 delivery tomorrow. For some reason my company routed me a little out of the way. I have done about 75% of the driving this far though for some reason trainer wanted to do the entire state of Nebraska. So I've done all of Wyoming on the 80 including some decent size hills. Then I did the entire state of Utah which was absolutely gorgeous. Parley summit wasn't too bad. There was a small snowstorm south of Provo which put about 7 cars in the ditch so there was a small delay. I was able to hold it in here despite the 40 mph crosswind that desperately wanted me in the left lane. The weather cleared up as we dropped latitude and elevation and I thought it was smooth sailing from here on out. However, 15 runs through a small part of Arizona which must be part of the Grand Canyon. This part had several lane closures and 10' lanes in the middle of 6% downgrades. It was definitely 2 hands on the steering wheel time for me. After that, we rolled into a casino with truck parking about 10 miles outside of Vegas. So now I'm sitting here feeding hard earned cash into a slot machine. Pretty tired really. Gonna get some sleep soon and be prepared to deliver my first load safe and on time. 2000 miles later I really do have sense of accomplishment and know that not too many trainees have had to deal with ice and mountains on their first run.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Wow....talk about hitting the ground running!!!! Straight into the snow and mountains, down I-15 which is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery anywhere in the country, and straight into Vegas???? Now that's how you get your trucking career underway, eh???

dancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

Listen....to anyone getting ready to start their career....look at how quickly things change in this industry. I talk all the time about the ups and downs you'll experience. Scott went from total boredom and no sense of direction sitting in a hotel room waiting for days on a trainer and then BAM!!!.....he's in heavy snow, beautiful scenery, and Vegas baby!!!!

Things happen fast in this industry. Change is constant. Sometimes you'll sit all day doing nothing. Sometimes you'll go dead through the center of several of the largest cities in this country in an 8 hour stretch. It's a roller coaster ride and it's most severe in the first few months of your career. Enjoy it when times are good and know that it's only temporary when times are bad. It's just like the weather. Nobody lives in thunderstorms and snowstorms every day of their lives. In fact, most of the time the worst storms are followed by the clearest most wonderful weather imaginable. You just have to roll with it out there.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Yeah Brett I'm lovin it out here so far. I - 15 was certainly beautiful but my butt certainly had a firm grip on the seat thru that 20 mile stretch of Arizona with all the construction. I've already delivered that load (with a blind side back that took me 20 mins) and am waiting to get loaded in Vegas (ez mode dock this time) for a run to Memphis. Load can't deliver until Friday so I'm hoping they have me drop it at Memphis terminal on Wednesday instead of sitting on it.

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.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Taking a 30 at a casino outside OKC. Have been told to take load to Memphis drop yard but don't know if I can drop it there yet. Should get there late tonight so it looks like I'm spending the night at drop yard with fingers crossed.

Rico's Comment
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Sounds like you're off to a good start even though you had to wait a few days extra. I talked with PTL just today, so keep up the posts if you can. It would be nice to hear what it's like with them from someone who's going through it. Stay safe out there.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Sure thing Rico. We'll the 30 at casino turned into 2.5 hrs (trainer gambled, I snoozed). So we stopped about 100 mi short of Memphis and I'm doing some much needed washing. Total cost: 11 bucks for 2 loads of clothes. Still no message about what to do with this load. Sure hope I don't have to sit on it. Still have yet to actually go thru a scale. Getting green light every time.

By the way, if anyone is thinking about PTL, all the trucks are governed at 62 on the pedal and 65 on cruise. So your "hamma" , such as it is, is a button on the steering wheel and not a pedal on the floor. All trucks are also equipped with thermo king tri-PAC APUs and 1500w inverters.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Load is dropped in Memphis and we have one going to philly. 1000 miles. Will give us a total of 4508 for the 1 st week. I'm freakin exhausted though. Been awake trying to learn procedures for dropping, picking up, transflo, and all the Qualcomm stuff. Need to try to get some bunk time. Thank god I'm out of Arkansas I-40 (aka Ho Chi Minh trail),

Qualcomm:

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.
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