New Graduates

Topic 32592 | Page 1

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PJ's Comment
member avatar

I want to share this experience for all the brand new drivers and people not yet through school.

This morning at 0130 hrs I pulled into a scale house in Fl to park for my break, tired and out of my shift hours. As soon as I parked a young man approached me and asked if I could help him and his partner, they were trying to slide the 5th wheel on their tractor, without succuss. I walked over to their truck to try and help. They are a team for a large carrier and both just graduated cdl school with that carrier. They are on their first load. I found that part out after getting them setup correctly.

As I walked over to their truck I saw the axles on the trailer were all the way to the rear. That is wrong for Fl. The second driver was trying to slide the 5th wheel. I asked why. The driver said cause the dot guy said we had to.

The 5th wheel was all the way forward. I asked why. Answer: That’s the way it was when they gave us the truck. It looked like a new cascadia. I taught them how to adjust it properly and it moved without any problem. We set it midway centered over the spring hanger.

They thought they were done and were very happy. Then I asked why the trailer axles were all the way back. Answer: We picked it up that way.

The driver mentioned he got a paper from the dot officer. I asked for it. It was a citation for the trailer axles being over 41’. They also got a information paper showing proper length for Fl. The fine was 100.00. They said the dot officer told them to just pay the fine and it was just between them.

The trailer I’m pulling is marked at 41’. I brought them over and showed them where the 41’ mark is on a 53’ van and how to measure correctly. We then adjusted their axles. I asked if they had a atlas. Blank look. I had an extra, so I gave it to them and showed them pages A14-15 along with how to read tutorial.

They went and told the officer it was now correct and he came out to verify. He took one look and told them they were good to go. Then asked who I was. I told him I guess their instructor for tonight. He looked a little puzzled. I told him I parked and they asked for help, so I helped them get it right. He thanked me for that. He shared they have been getting more and more drivers coming through that really are clueless on HOS and kingpin laws.

All new drivers make sure you have an atlas and know your equipment BEFORE you hit the road. If your trainer doesn’t offer kingpin laws and how to balance a trailer ASK them to.

Also if you get ANY citation or indpection report from any DOT officer send it to your fleet manager. Those records will be sent in and are NEVER just between you and the officer.

These young men learned an expensive lesson.

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Way to go PJ!

After meeting you in Winter Haven and talking with you it is obvious that your professional and personable personality shines through. You will be remembered by that new team for the help that you gave them and probably steered them in the right direction for axle positions in the future. You should be glad that you aren't in Winter Haven now as it looks like almost a direct hit from this Hurricane Nichole here even though it won't be a major hit but 4-5" rain and wind gusts to 70mph are not welcomed. Stay safe and again it was my pleasure to meet you.

Sandman J's Comment
member avatar

PJ, thanks for sharing that story and for all the information/tips. I'm in training at the terminal on Cascadias, which have the 41' mark, and not sure but think they run those and a smaller number of Volvos. I will be sure to have my own atlas and good information on kingpin laws before going out solo in the future.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

0906306001668045948.jpg

We have these on most of the trailers. As PJ posted, it's all in the Truckers Atlas.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Navypoppop your very kind.

Sandman this was something I thought was basic to train new drivers on, but I was informed it isn’t. When I went through school they gave us our first atlas and taught us how to use it. I hate to think such an important tool isn’t being taught.

Packrat that is great they are putting that information on the trailer.

I hadn’t pulled a box in 7 years when I started doing this reefer stuff. I had to dust off alot of old knowledge and give myself a refresher course.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Sandman J's Comment
member avatar

Sandman this was something I thought was basic to train new drivers on, but I was informed it isn’t. When I went through school they gave us our first atlas and taught us how to use it. I hate to think such an important tool isn’t being taught.

PJ it was mentioned in the classroom setting, as well as the importance of having a motor carrier atlas and the multitude of tools to have and utilize but not to rely on any one alone (like a GPS) but I believe it's the goal of my company to spend the first few weeks training you to pass the CDL test, then once with the road trainers you learn how to actually do the job (as much as you can anyways). I'm just speaking from my brief personal experience so far and in no way disparaging or critiquing how this company does things, just saying how it is now where I'm at. I love learning everything I can from the experienced drivers on this site.

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I was taught proper scaling during mentoring (road training). Seems as though that wasn’t the case with your two new friends PJ.

You did a good thing… paid it forward.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Sandman every school and road trainer should in my humble opinion teach new students this stuff. I’m glad the one your in is at least exposing their students to these important topics.

Yes G I feel I have been very blessed in this industry and I firmly believe in paying it forward.

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.
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