My Prime Upgrade / First Month Solo Experience

Topic 31808 | Page 12

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Dennis L's Comment
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6/5/22 - Day 24 Solo

Today started out well, then went downhill.

I made the 275 miles drive to my delivery customer from 00:01 to 05:42. Included two stops totaling 36 minutes.

The D&H went smoothly. This is a nice large facility in Kalamazoo, easy to maneuver in. I departed at 06:36 CDT.

My next assignment was to take the empty to Reed Creek, MI for another load of yogurt going to Murfreesboro, TN.

i arrived at the new 01 shipper at 09:19 CDT. I dropped my empty and picked up my load. Departed at 10:23 CDT to go weigh the load because the Right Weigh system says the trailer axle is too high again!

The CAT scale confirmed the weights:

Steer = 11,580 lbs Drives = 32,280 lbs Trailer = 34,160 lbs

My dispatch tells me to take the trailer back to be reworked. My 14h clock is running low. Dispatch said to drop the trailer and go back for it after my break.

The shipper refuses to do anything. Says it is driver responsibility to take trailer to the plant for rework. I told him my clock is about to expire. He finally tells me to spot the trailer in line. He takes back the BOL and says to have Prime assign a different truck to this trailer that may weigh differently.

I relayed info to dispatch after I had bobtailed to truck stop a block away for my 10h break.

I’ve been removed from that trip and will be assigned another tomorrow when my regular FM is back. The weekend guy didn’t want to make a decision.

So, I’m sitting in Reed Creek, MI. I have 3:10 remaining on my 70h clock for today. My recap tonight is only 4:00 hours. So will be tight running tomorrow.

I’m treating myself to some ice cream tonight. Then bed.

Bobtail:

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

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Fm:

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.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PackRat's Comment
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You couldn't move your trailer tandems back one hole? 160 lbs over, I would have taken it without a second thought if I could not move the tandems any to adjust for 160 lbs.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Dennis L's Comment
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Tandem in 12th hole, which is max back allowed. I was going to take it, but dispatch said to take it back.

I’ve just been assigned another trailer out of here to TN, then they’ll route me to Springfield.

It is another 46k+ load.

What is the penalty for being just slightly over? 160 lbs was likely within the margin of error anyway.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

What is the penalty for being just slightly over? 160 lbs was likely within the margin of error anyway.

Following your company policy is the best thing to do, yes, but I would have rolled with it from MI to TN.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

6/6/22 - Day 25 Solo

I started today at 05:45 CDT putting 26 gal ($150 worth) fuel in the truck so can get to my fill up fuel stop later in the day. I was down to 30 gal.

Drove 3 minutes to the shipper trailer drop yard. Picked up my newly assigned trailer.

The so called “fuel” route that I was given for today from Reed Creek, MI to Huntington, IN was all on US or Indiana state routes for 316 miles.

The Indiana state routes have a king pin restriction that is 7th hole back max for the tandems in this trailer. It just happens that the tandem is already in the 7th hole instead of all the way back. Maybe that was a good sign!

The Right Weigh reading for the trailer axles was 33k and the drives were 33k. Called this one good to roll.

I drove a total of 316 miles in 6h 23m for 49.5 mph avg speed today. On Duty time was 6h 49m. I had 21m remaining on my 70h clock for the day when I stopped.

The drive today was through the northern Indiana Amish country backroads. Seeing something new was fun. A lot of quaint small towns.

Ligonier, IN in particular was very nice. Established in 1835.

I’m parked at a Love’s off I-69 Ext 214 near Pendleton, IN. I’ll be here until after midnight CDT.

My appointment time tomorrow is to Drop by 21:00 CDT.

I’m 345 miles to my receiver customer in Murfreesboro. I’m figuring 7 hrs including a 30m break. This will be interstate the entire way.

Then about 1h to drop & hook.

I have 9h 42m available on 6/7 for my 70h clock.

Will plan the next steps once my next trip assignment comes in with a new Loc 01.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

PS correction. The miles to the Love’s fuel stop in Huntington was 238 miles. I then drove another 78 miles mostly on I-69S to the Love’s at Pendleton reach 316 miles total.

The shower felt good today. I’m tired and ready for a few days off.

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
member avatar

You couldn't move your trailer tandems back one hole? 160 lbs over, I would have taken it without a second thought if I could not move the tandems any to adjust for 160 lbs.

Yep, for sure. Use the 'APU' advantage, even!

PS correction. The miles to the Love’s fuel stop in Huntington was 238 miles. I then drove another 78 miles mostly on I-69S to the Love’s at Pendleton reach 316 miles total.

The shower felt good today. I’m tired and ready for a few days off.

You DEFINITELY deserve a few days off, good sir!!! Enjoy! How soon until ?!?

The 'Back Country/Amish' roads are GORGEOUS this time of year; nsm in the winter, tho!!

Day 25 Solo, incident free. Impressive, man! Great training matters, methinks.

Best always;

~ Anne & Tom ~

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Momma Anne. I won’t say that I’m “incident free”, but nothing too serious.

The next trip assignment after I deliver tomorrow is to route me back to Springfield terminal.

So I’ll take days off after 6/9/22, which is 28 days solo. I earn one day off for every seven days driving. Prime let’s us take 4 days off max at a time unless arrangements have been made to take off longer. At least this is what I’ve heard.

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

6/7/22 - Day 26 Solo

I started driving at 02:00 CDT and arrived at my Loc-90 receiver at 09:06 CDT. This includes a 30 min DOT break.

This was 345 miles to a different Gen. Mills facility than I’m used to going to in Murfreesboro.

I completed the D&H and departed at 10:31 CDT after completing all paperwork and set up next trip assignment.

This is actually an easier location.

My next trip is a D&H in La Vergne, TN about 18 miles away on 6/8 06:00-20:00; then going to Rogers, AR for live unload by 6/10 07:00 CDT. However, if I can arrive by 18:00 on 6/9 can get unloaded early. Total of 525 paid miles. Actual miles ~588.

I drove to the TA to park at I-24 Ext 62. This is 2 miles from my customer.

I arrived here at 10:56 CDT. Another long break to rest up.

The trailer that I picked up was all ready to drop tomorrow. Sweet! First time that has happened.

My 70h clock will be tight next two days. I have 08:07 available for 6/8/22; 06:57 recap for 6/9/22; then 12:19 recap for 6/10/23.

I’ll work up a trip plan after I finish eating some Popeye’s chicken.

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

6/7/22 continues

The load I delivered this morning will be last completed trip for my Week 4 paycheck.

My paid miles for Week 4 (7 days driving, 4 completed trips) will be 2,415.

My total paid miles from 5/13 to 6/7 (26 days), 4 paychecks is 9,640 miles. My actual odometer miles are 10,582 miles. The ratio of actual to paid miles is 1.1.

I drove 942 more miles than I’m paid. I don’t know what is typical.

I’ll watch this metric to try to reduce the ratio. I’m mostly following the recommended “fuel” routes that I’m dispatched. There have been some extra miles to get loads reworked by the shipper in Reed City, MI plus my getting lost a few times.

I think most of the difference is household goods miles zip code to zip code vs odometer miles address to address.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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