First Week Doing Local End Dump-My Story And Questions

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John G.'s Comment
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Hi all, **if you're a tldr guy, skip to the bottom for a numbered list of questions. If you wanna be Dr. Phil, learn about my background, and hear about my first week driving local end dump, start here!

The past 10 months of my life have been the hardest period of my life. I decided to quit my teaching job of 8 years where I was well-liked, comfortable, had summers off and took (past tense) a lot of anxiety medication to handle the boredom from repetition.

How long can one teach the same subject without going insane? This year the students were less and less engaged in class, while deeply hypnotized by their cell phones. I'm only 30, but I can already feel the age gap widening in communication-I had not experienced this before covid, but I was known as one of the most liked teachers by students. We had engaging discussions, we learned a lot and this disappeared. I was teaching to collect a check and hoped for good interactions and learning moments. Students told me this- I am not bragging.

During this school year, I got my CDL for the second time, but this time was different-I busted my ass prepping for the test with the intention of driving full time when school was over.

Before, I hauled containers during summers for an owner operator , but this was a side hustle with no benefits-I still had benefits from the teaching job.

Except for my trucker friends and girlfriend, I got nothing but flack from parents, since our family values education. Last year when I saw a 15 year teacher makes only 10k more than me, I stopped seeing teaching as an option if I want a comfortable life. I felt immense guilt towards the job (which didn't always treat me well) and my family. But ****, I want to make money and I love trucks, I put my windows down when driving next to them to hear the exhaust. Enough background, let's talk about my first week.

I got hired as an end dump driver at a yard 45 min away from my house. We leave the yard at 5 or 6 am, which means I wake up at 4 to get there.

On my way, I get a big cup of coffee, a bottle of water and healthy snacks (protein cookie) to last me till lunch. During lunch, I get a bigger meal, but not a coma-inducing carb bomb

The trips are about 30-50 min from one site to deposit shale at a concrete facility.

I am on a special meal plan, I am an athlete, and my nutritionist has me eating healthy snacks every 2 hours so I'm not hungry.

I was able to make 6 of 7 loads on my first solo day.

There was one curveball- I took the road test in a tractor trailer. When I got there they told me I will start in a super tandem (fancy dump truck). I had never driven a dump truck before, I have just hauled containers. I am still figuring out the quirks with these, as I've noticed they feel top heavy. I'm not mad about this- the manager told me I will drive a tractor trailer in a month or sooner if I feel comfortable. I got a clean bill of health from my trainer, who only spent two days with me.

A couple things I noticed: -there is not lot of time to jerk off. This isn't a bad thing, but a new feeling for me. It's back and forth with the loads with an occasional stop at a gas station to pee, get a snack and drink. I also don't **** during the day, so as one can imagine I get some nasty gas by the end of the day and all hell brakes loose when I get home. But at least I can stop and pee, and this was one of my biggest fears. The cab has a camera inside, so I can't go in a bottle

-at the end of the day i feel accomplished. I even stayed later than a few other drivers to clean the truck

-I also feel tired, but not bad. My clinical anxiety has almost disappeared, since I work a full 12 hour shift

****TLDR Here are the questions for local drivers.

1. What do you do to motivate yourself to keep going? On m first solo day, I could feel the motivation and hustle to get the **** done. I made less food stops than the day before

2. Good coolers for a small cab? I find cold drinks wake me up well. I also eat a half a small bag of chips, it's enough to get me going

3. How do you handle post lunch fatigue? I pulled over to sleep for 10min, but couldn't sleep so I kept trucking and drank a Starbucks. I want to improve on this

4. What do you do at the end of the day? When I get home I have mixed feelings. I want a good meal- I usually eat my first real meal of the day, I eat gas station snacks throughout the day. I feel tired, but I still have to workout. When I get a rhythm to the new job, will I be able to workout again after work?

5. Entertainment? I have a 4G phone, and I'm wondering if I should upgrade to 5G. I listen to podcasts, audio books and radio shows. I have yet to get bored

6. What do you do for comfort? The seat don't recline in a dump truck and the ride is rough. My back is sore, so I stretch and workout. I'm thinking of trying a purple seat cushion

7. What are handy items to keep in truck? I got cleaning supplies, air fresheners and put a light sunscreen since the windows aren't tinted and I don't want nasty skin, but I'm enjoying my tan!!

8. Bonus question.. Do the older trucks powered by ISX, 60 series or C15 drive better? My truck has a paccar and it's an auto. It feels gutless and I kept getting passed. My truck is auto, the ones passing me were old, mid 2000's manuals. My goal is to be an owner operator in a year and I want an old school truck with a big engine and a good seat

Thank you

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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

John G.,

I've been reading all your posts, from the background. I don't have advice specific, but..

I'm 'just' (atm) a trucker's wife, for 22 years; so.. I DO understand the aesthetics of trucking.

There WAS a nutritionist that was a member of the forum, but ... he's gone; didn't last long. I highly recommend this guy;

Athlean X; he's all about nutrition and fitness. I love him.

As far as your #3, post lunch fatigue, my driver either chews gum, eats life savers, but often gets a cup of crushed ice ex post facto, to chomp on. Has been, for years.

A 'few' people I would REALLY recommend you to look up diaries and/or follow, are:

1.) Errol V. ~ somebody got squirrely and ticked him off, but he's a former teacher turned trucker; was also (or still is?) a trainer of sorts. Excellent posts; take the time and read. Wish he'd show back up.

2.) G'Town . . ~ I know he's been advising you as of late; but PLEASE read some of his earliest posts! He's a wealth of SO MUCH info; almost thought we'd lost him when he moved to DE. (Some of us knew bits of it, but wasn't our place to yap.)

3.) Old School ~ Started with Western Express, and went 'STELLAR' with Knight; pulling flats. If you click his profile, it will link you to a 'blogspot' (on Wordpress perhaps?) that he used to keep up. It's awesome.

4.) Mountain Matt ~ (aka: Mt. Matt, methinks!) He's really new at driving, for Wilson, and he's actually a friend of mine(ours) off forum. He's a librarian turned trucker!!!! Degrees in pocket.

5.) Chief Brody . . . here's Kearsey's interview! Meet Chief Brody! From attorney to flatbed. Counselor to chancellor of the tarps!

6.) Kearsey, herself: Her YouTube videos are NOTHING like Allie Knights: Truckin' Along w/Kearsey!

7.) Turtle! Went from Prime flats to WMPF !!!! Pristine.

I hope this helps. Even a tad bit.

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: If you copy & paste this thread in the GENERAL forum, or even just 'your' part (not mine!) .. You'd get a bunch more replies, besides just 'Momma Anne' and the 'Tomster!'

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