ABF Freight Driver Development Program

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Delco Dave's Comment
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Day 23, 4/6/22

The student that took road/skills test yesterday passed and graduated today. Other guy will test on doubles tomorrow and probably graduate. Being down to just 2 permit students and the new doubles guy, we are getting even more road and maneuver time.

Road trainer took me out for a nice long run this morning to fill the truck at a Pilot. Was raining pretty steady but not hard. Got some local driving in on way to I80. We headed west on 80 towards PA for awhile, my 1st highway time on wet roads. Got off the exit for the Pilot and onto some mountainous roads. Steepest grades I’ve seen so far. Had no problem climbing the hill, the Pilot sits right at the top. We fueled up and got ready to head back. Before leaving the trainer told me he wanted to show me this hill to get back to highway. Said get up to 6th gear on the flat before the hill, then no gas pedal, let gravity pull the truck down the hill and only rev engine to shift into the proper gears for the speed(25mph/7th, 35/8th,etc..). He said I did real well with the intermittent braking to control my speed, apparently a lot of students tend to ride the brake. Got back on 80 and returned to terminal.

Afternoon was all maneuvers. I was doing the parallel and alley dock from all different starting spots/positions to see if I could pull it off, even did a couple blind sides. Got it in most times with no or 1 pull up, few times needed 2. Played around with the 90 degree again as well.

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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Day 24, 4/7/22

Not too much to report today! Other student tested out on doubles and graduated. Took a nice long drive this morning in the hardest rain, worst conditions I’ve driven in so far. The added danger must have sharpened my senses, I shifted and anticipated everything to a T today. Probably my best road trip to date. Even the trainer said I did fantastic.

Afternoon was more parallel and alley dock practice. We were informed that 2 new students will be joining us Monday, things are kind of winding down for me, I will still get my daily roadtrip, pre trip inspection and maneuver practice but next week will be mostly hooking and breaking sets.

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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Day 25, 4/8/22

WOW!!!!! 5 weeks done already, I’m almost there. Another typical day, grab trucks and empties. Myself and the other permit student had full pre trips. Went on a nice run this morning into some more mountainous terrain. Did well with shifting, turns, etc… Did some parallel parks and alley docks from odd starting points to mix things up a bit and be ready for anything come test time.

After lunch we all got to hook and break a set. I have been paying close attention every time another student has done it the entire time I’ve been here. Trainer didn’t have to help me along at all. Went through the hooking process and 13 point inspection then broke them up and put trailers away.

Talked to my manager today, he is working on getting me a truck/trailer, driver and DMV test date upon my completion of training next week. I will also start my dock training either next Sunday night 4/17/22 or early next Monday morning

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

PackRat's Comment
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Another progressive week with great updates from you, Dave. Thank you for taking the time to post these daily.

Dennis L's Comment
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I agree these are great updates. I’ve been following. It is interesting to read how the various companies approach their training.

Good luck with your DMV test next week.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Delco Dave's Comment
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Good luck with your DMV test next week.

Thank you!! Test won’t be next week though. I’m training in New Jersey, unfortunately I can’t test there in the trucks I’ve been driving. Have to test in PA. My manager is trying to secure me a Mack Pinnacle for my test since that is what I’ve been training on. Hoping to test right after Easter in PA.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Good luck with your DMV test next week.

double-quotes-end.png

Thank you!! Test won’t be next week though. I’m training in New Jersey, unfortunately I can’t test there in the trucks I’ve been driving. Have to test in PA. My manager is trying to secure me a Mack Pinnacle for my test since that is what I’ve been training on. Hoping to test right after Easter in PA.

Great truck! That's what G'Town & Tom drive . . . I've too, in the yard! Love'em. Ten speed?

Best wishes, for sure!

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: That's REALLY awesome they are doing that for you; finding you the truck of familiarity. Very thoughtful; says a LOT for the company, to me!

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Yes Anne, 10 speed Pinnacle. I drove a manual freight liner yesterday around the yard, felt totally different. Clutch didn’t respond the same, gear shift was on a funky angle leaning towards me. Fuel pedal was more sensitive. All the muscle memory I’ve built up from driving the Mack did not translate to the freight liner. Was able to work it around the yard but I wouldn’t feel comfortable on road.

If I can’t drive a Mack for my test, I’m gonna need some extra time to adjust my pre trip routine to a different truck and some practice time driving to get used to it. I did use it to put the trailer in the hole for weekend, no problem reversing with it.

Luckily, most of ABF’s trucks are Macks so he should be able to get me one

🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

Delco Dave's Comment
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PS…. The freightliner was a Penski rental, might have just been that truck, looked well used by the interior appearance

Banks's Comment
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You'll be fine. I tested on a truck I'd never driven before and in the moment, that's not what you're paying attention to. You're just focused on passing. I tested on the same day as 2 other students and I had the luck of going last. One of the other guys testing took the truck I was used to and both guys that tested before me passed. Added stress and nerves. You're progressing just fine and you'll be more the than ready on test day.

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