ABF Freight Driver Development Program

Topic 31553 | Page 4

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Delco Dave's Comment
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Thanks Bob cat! I appreciate your input.

Day 9 3/17/22

Today was almost identical to yesterday except today, no empties. We just hooked to loaded 53’s to work on pre trips. It was pouring rain all morning, gotta love a full pre trip in the rain. I had no problems, nailed mine and then helped the new guy with his when he had questions or forgot something.

After finishing pre trips we just bobtailed around the terminal shifting up 1-5, down 5-1. Around 10:30 or so some empties came in so we scooped them up for maneuvers. Trainers decided no road today due to poor driving conditions. Spent the rest of the day doing straight back, offsets and parallel park. I did well today, not sure how many times I did each backing exercise but only needed 2 pull-ups all day. I am now comfortable with how the steering moves the truck, how trailer reacts to it and have a better feel for when to turn and how much. Was even given the go head to put the trailer in a hole and drop it for the day. Set myself up for a straight back and put that puppy away! Tomorrow morning if empties are available, everyones going out on road, then backing rest of day

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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All excellent diary posts that I follow each day.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Thank you Packrat!!!!

I will take this post to give a little advice to anyone reading this who is thinking about or getting ready for training. Do yourself a huge favor, study the pre trip and pretty much know it before you get there. If you already have that terminology down, you can put most of your focus on learning to drive and reverse these trucks. Trust me, that is exhausting in itself. If your not familiar with engine, suspension, brake parts, etc… watch the videos provided here on TT so you know what they look like and study Daniel’s pre trip checklist until you can recite most, if not all of it from memory.

A few of my fellow students are still working on mastering their pre trip inspections while learning everything else and are now pressured to get it down as their road tests are getting close. I studied the pre trip extensively before hand and that part of the test is the least of my worries

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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All excellent diary posts that I follow each day.

Tempted to hop in a day cab now?

Good work Dave I sent this to my dad not sure if he has read it yet or not!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

PackRat's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

All excellent diary posts that I follow each day.

double-quotes-end.png

Tempted to hop in a day cab now?

I'd be tempted more to jump into an active lava flow.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Day 10, 3/18/22

Another really good day. Weather was great, low 70’s and sunny. We all got our morning road trips, no industrial park for me anymore. Trainer said I did very well for my 1st time in live traffic start to finish. As crazy as it sounds, being under the pressure of live traffic calmed me down and I just drove. I only missed 1 shift but reved the engine and recovered.

After lunch was all maneuvers. We set up all the cones and the trainers told us to just go from one exercise to the next, stay at whatever one you felt you needed the most work with for a bit then move on. The students who put off their pre trips worked on them a bit, I did the straight back/offset to start off. Needed a pull-up on my 1st go round but started nailing them smoothly. I then moved to the parallel, my weak spot so far. I like to keep the trailer moving when backing to see where it is going, I’m getting it in the parking box but it ain't pretty. Not hitting cones but park job is UGLY!! Trainer told me to make to complete stops while articulating the trailer, then keep moving when pushing it in and straighten it in the box. They started looking much better after that.

Haven’t gotten into alley dock yet. The one student tests next week and thats his weak spot so we let him have at it all afternoon. Other guy who tests soon nails all the maneuvers and myself and the other student have 4-5 weeks left to get them down.

Packing up and heading home for weekend! Can’t wait till Monday

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Packing up and heading home for weekend! Can’t wait till Monday!!

Totally awesome, DD. (DD in the DD program, I 'like' that !!)

Enjoy your weekend; we'll be here Monday (and evermore!) to follow.

Stay safe;

~ Anne & Tom ~

Delco Dave's Comment
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Totally awesome, DD. (DD in the DD program, I 'like' that !!)

Enjoy your weekend; we'll be here Monday (and evermore!) to follow.

Stay safe;

~ Anne & Tom ~

Thanks Anne. Everything is all coming together, I’m comfortable and not nervous at all in the truck and having so much fun learning how to control it. At the end of the day yesterday, the trainers told us we all improved more this week then they had expected and are proud of us. Of course we told them we wouldn’t be where we are without their patience and stellar instruction.

Can’t find the words to properly express how good these trainers and training program are. It is truly top notch!!!

Delco Dave's Comment
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Day 11, 3/21/22

Not too much to report today! Started the day off with full pre trip inspections. Then set up cones for backing drills. Offset, parallel, and alley dock. Started off with offset right and left to get into the groove. Needed a pull-up on my left. Swung the right offset smoothly in. Then moved onto to parallel. This one is haunting me, I’m either too steep going in or too shallow most times. Still haven’t found that sweet spot. Not hitting any cones but encroach the line when steep and just barely get it in box when shallow. They got better after a few runs but still need more work there.

Took a break from the parallel and moved onto the alley dock. Trainer told me how to set it up and I took some runs at it. Surprisingly, I did well with it. Needed a pull up each time to straighten out and bury it but it clicked for me right away. I’m getting much better judging the length of the trailer for set ups and stopping in the 3ft box to complete the offsets and alley docks.

After lunch I took a couple more runs at the parallel, a little improvement but still not where I want to be. Trainer wanted the 2nd week student to spend rest of day doing the offsets so I joined him and we switched in and out working on them. I dont usually need pull ups with them, if I over steer a little I can usually recover before the trailer is too far gone. No one went out on road today due to being down a trainer, he will be back tomorrow and we will all get out

Banks's Comment
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Following along Dave.... Are you testing in PA or NJ?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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