ABF Freight Driver Development Program

Topic 31553 | Page 5

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

After I complete my 6 weeks training here I will return home and test in PA. Hopefully early the following week. Dont want to have too long a break, want to get it over with while everything is fresh in my head and well practiced!!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
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You are making progress.

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

Delco Dave's Comment
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Thanks G! I’m getting there little by little. Just a a little frustrated that the parallel is beating me. I will find my steering spots and conquer it.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Got the day rolling as usual, fire up trucks and hook some empties. We all had full pre-trips today so 1 truck and the head trainer stayed at the terminal to test us all. The other trainer took each of us out for an hour of road time on local streets. I did pretty good on the road today, trainer said my shifting was good and I’m turning the truck properly and watching my mirrors as I should. Signaling and down shifting at the right time for stops and turns, staying centered in my lane, ETC…. Tomorrow I will get my 1st run on the highway.

After lunch was my turn for pre-trip. Nailed the in cab and outside. Only thing input trainer had for me was wording a few minor things differently. For example, when doing the trailer I address the front placards separately from the side placards. He said since I I’m standing on an angle and addressing the front and side of trailer, I didn’t need to do the side placards again when moving down the trailer. Also to wait until I get back near trailer tires to address the air/electric lines hanging at least 18 inches off ground. All minor stuff that wouldn’t fail me.

Rest of afternoon we worked on offsets, the other side of terminal where we usually do the parallel and alley dock was busy with trucks coming in and out so we stayed out the way. Getting more used to how the truck moves with my steering movements. Out of 10 or so offset rights, 10 lefts, I only needed a few pull ups. Most runs were 1 shot smoothies, I’m definitely better with the right then left for whatever reason but if it were the actual test, no points would have been scored against me so thats a great day

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.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Day 13, 3/23/22

Got my road time 1st thing this morning, ran a few local roads on way to highway. Spent about 15-20 minutes heading north on I 287, then got off exit, looped around to head back southbound. Was totally comfortable on the highway. Still working on when to start down shifting and how low to go but I’m getting there. Doing the quick speed math to determine the gear is much easier now that my head isn’t just thinking about shifting. The more road time I get, the more 2nd nature it will become. The road trainer is an easy going, one joke after the other kind of guy, but very straight forward with you when it comes to driving the truck at the same time. He said I haven’t made him nervous on the road at all.

When we got back we found out the mechanic grabbed the other truck to fix a few things as the parts had just come in. We set up all the cones for maneuvers and shared the 1 truck around the terminal. I worked on my parallel and alley dock. I finally found my groove with the parallel and am putting it in the box nice and straight. Doing ok with the alley dock, haven’t buried it in 1 shot yet, need a pull up each time. With some more work, I’m sure I’ll get my steering right and start getting them in smooth as well.

When I think back to day one, and remember how intimidating everything was, It’s amazing how far along I’ve come in a short time. Again, I can’t give my trainers enough credit. They are great

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Thanks G! I’m getting there little by little. Just a a little frustrated that the parallel is beating me. I will find my steering spots and conquer it.

Still following here too, DD~!!

Just think.... if you are mainly pulling doubles in your 'day to day' ... you won't much be NEEDING that blasted 'parallel' maneuver, LoL!

You sound like you are doing AWESOME, man. So happy for you.

I'm still really excited for you, that you MADE this quantum leap, good sir!

Best wishes, always.

~ Anne ~

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Delco Dave's Comment
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Just think.... if you are mainly pulling doubles in your 'day to day' ... you won't much be NEEDING that blasted 'parallel' maneuver, LoL!

You sound like you are doing AWESOME, man. So happy for you.

Thank you Anne!!! I don’t know about awesome but everything is getting a little easier/smoother each day. The trainers have said we are a great group of students, no cones have been hit at all. We are all improving each day and we’re not stressing them out. They tell us something and we absorb it, put it into practice.

As far as pulling doubles all the time, who knows? ABF is Union and the next bids are April 1st. I will miss that bid and most likely be on call, filling in where ever needed for call outs and vacations unless there happens to be an unclaimed bid. My terminal is short drivers so I may fall right into a set schedule until next bid comes around, if not, I’m game for whatever they need me for.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Day14, 3/24/22

Had a nice long run on local streets this morning, lots of stops, turns, and shifting. Almost a perfect run, had one miss shift but recovered. Trainer took me on a route with some hills to get used to shifting on inclines and declines, not steep ones, but enough for gravity to make you adjust your rpm shifting points.

Rest of day we worked on maneuvers. One student had his road testing today so we had 2 trucks for 3 people. We took full advantage of the extra wheel time. I again focused on the parallel and alley dock. I can now make adjustments on the fly if needed with the parallel, don't have to start over due to an over/under steer. Finally buried the alley dock in one shot, did it twice. Other attempts required a pull up but got it in.

Road trainer informed me I will be going with him on an actual run with a 53 footer after training one day next week. It will be a drop and hook , I will drive back with the empty to get a feel for driving with the longer trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

GrayBeardinPA's Comment
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Dave:

Glad to see you progressing! If you ever get out to the Oaks Hub, LMK! My run goes right by there.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Road trainer informed me I will be going with him on an actual run with a 53 footer after training one day next week. It will be a drop and hook , I will drive back with the empty to get a feel for driving with the longer trailer.

That long box will look like it is a mile long in the mirror compared to a pup lol.

Just watch your trailer off tracking in the turns and tail swing. You'll do fine I'm sure!

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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