New Job Is Exhausting

Topic 31600 | Page 1

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Matthew P.'s Comment
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So I started as a flat bedder. Working for one of the medium sized companies and enjoying. 2 week going into the third with a driver trainer. Hey, I've been blessed. The guy is great in teaching me what I need to know to drive safe and haul cargo safely. We start doing teams this week and that should be interesting. More on my own now with route planning and all of that. Adds a little stress but is another skill I look forward to picking up.

I came home for a reset and man I am gassed. Just now starting to feel a little energetic Sunday evening. At least enough to do laundry, shop for some food and get ready for next week. Would be out again now but he has something to do so we aren't leaving until tomorrow. Then we are off for another full week but doing team driving. I am sure we're going to have some pretty long runs for this part of my training.

Biggest question. Does the fatigue get a little better? I honestly don't know if I can keep this tempo up feeling the way I have the last two weekends. Just hoping it is a new guy thing and I start to get more used to it.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

I can't tell from your post what loads you're hauling or what type of team hours you're running. So it's kind of hard to say whether the fatigue wiil get better.

I can tell you that when I was in TNT training with Prime it was absolutely brutal because I had many very very long days in addition to the physical demands of securing loads.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Truck driving is very tiring. I’m not a flatbedder, but my job gets me very tired. I can imagine how doing flatbed would be even more tiring.

People generally seem to think that driving is easy. Just sit in a nice seat and rest your arms on the steering wheel all day, right? Wrong! If it’s not the physical activity involved, it’s the stress and tension. Being on high alert for 10 or so hours a day is exhausting to the mind and body. I consider the tiredness to be a blessing because I sleep like a rock during my 10 hour DOT breaks.

If you will be doing team driving, embrace the exhaustion. When it’s your bunk time you want to sleep soundly to reset yourself for your next shift. Just make sure the work/sleep pattern is working for you so you aren’t driving fatigued.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

Some easy some difficult. Lumber, shingles, drywall, insulation etc. Steel here and there. Not too difficult but damn there are some long hours. Securement then driving. Lot of tarping right now with Lumber tarps. Those guys are pretty heavy. Throwing chains is no joke either. I get a big smile when I pull up to a place that has a tarping crane. It is the little things in life :-)

I really do like the work. It is fun. Just damned tiring right now for an old man. Giving it all I have though and we'll see where this goes. Hope next week I feel just a little bit better during my weekend reset. All I did this weekend was either sit or sleep.

Thanks for the reply. Encouraging to hear someone else validate that this is some tough work. Somehow that makes it just a little bit better. I am 58 years old and this isn't easy for me. Sure is fun though and satisfying when you know you've got that load tied down well and it isn't going anywhere. Same thing with the tarp. I feel good whenever I get it in place and know it will protect the load and it looks good strapped down.

I can't tell from your post what loads you're hauling or what type of team hours you're running. So it's kind of hard to say whether the fatigue wiil get better.

I can tell you that when I was in TNT training with Prime it was absolutely brutal because I had many very very long days in addition to the physical demands of securing loads.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I can't speak on the additional labor for flatbeds, but I know I was very tired when I first started.

Everything was new and stressful in the sense that driving and backing was challenging even for simple things so I was very keyed up, which burns a tremendous amount of fuel (carbs and protein) both mentally and physically, all your muscles are in a constant state of readiness.

Over time my stamina increased and my comfort level. I'm still cautious, but relaxed. It will come in time. I found that adequate nutrition and rest were essential as well as setting up good habits for both. I eat small amounts of food throughout the day rather than big meals so I don't get a food coma as well as hydrate well.

Sleep is another whole ballgame, but for when I like to sleep, I have a pretty workable schedule most of the time. I say this as I'm waiting for my receiver to open up at 2:30 AM. My time of day,

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

You are not alone, Matthew.

I started out in flatbed, and those seven weeks of training found me in a zombie-esque state much of the time. I drove the night shift of our team, but also assisted with securement during the day in order to learn. This left me exhausted.

I encourage you to sleep as much as you can, whenever you can. There is precious little time for anything else during training. You'll get past it, and things will get a whole lot better.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys. I appreciate the encouraging words. Helps to hear that it isn't unusual to be feeling this worn out. Looking forward to a new week and some great learning experiences. Thank you again all for the support

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

When you begin teaming; sleep will take on a whole new meaning. Many drivers (including me) have a tough time sleeping in the bunk while the truck is moving. Only suggestion? Ear plugs. They helped me to blockout some of the sound and vibration.

Good luck.

Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm one of those folks that sleeps like a baby even on a C 130. Just wish I didn't feel like I was in a paint shaker trying to rest. :-). Thanks for your comments all. We'll see how this week goes! Feeling good about more learning.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

Been one hell of a week. Had to do some climbing on a load Friday. Twice. Windy. Tarps were flapping all over the place. I was pretty damn scared. Once this training thing is over I am getting a ladder and carrying it in the belly pan. Lot safer staying on something a little more solid. Greasy pipe isn't fun to crawl around on. Told my trainer I wasn't scared of heights. I was scared of falling. Stuff breaks easier at my age.

Throwing a lumber tarp x 2 and putting on 30 plus bungees isn't easy work. That is the part that gets me really tired. You get it done, deliver break everything down the next day and do it again. Over a five day period, that is a hell of a lot of work. I didn't expect that kind of physical intensity going into this. Real eye opener. That being said......I am hanging in there and trying to let my body adjust. It takes time. Not letting negativity creep in either. Staying positive and learning as much as I am able. Doing the best I can too.

Hope this week goes well. Off to the doctor for a look at a minor problem. Crossing my fingers that it can be treated quickly and I can resume training. I sure would like to get this done and get out on my own. Trainer is a great guy. Just don't like him enough to want to keep bunking up in a small space. :-)

Happy Monday everyone. Hopefully at the end of the week I will be able to come back and say I am feeling better about all of this and not so exhausted.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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