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Jonathan P.'s Comment
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I have about two weeks left before i get ready to test out at Diesel Driving Academy in Shreveport still looking for a company to go with im really interested in flatbedding, i want to do a lil labor work rather than just drop an hook. I have a question for any other recent graduates did your school teach how to drop an hook cause it wasn't mandatory at my school which i thought was kind of odd since thats a crucial part of trucking. Im really interested in Maverick Transportation or Prime Inc because TMC Transport said i wasn't eligible because of a seven yr old felony but i already have a pre hire from Stevens Transport.

Another question would getting experience from a small private owner be just as good as one of these big companies.

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.

Pre Hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Woody's Comment
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My school did little in the way of teaching how to drop and hook a trailer. But don't sweat it, the schools really just get you to the point of getting your license and hopefully some good safety training. The real learning starts when you get with your trainer, you will do plenty of drops and hooks then smile.gif

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I've spoken with a lot of drivers over the years who didn't know the very basics even after going solo. They didn't know how to do things like drop-n-hook trailers, balance out their axle weights, or slide their 5th wheel. So it's not at all unusual to go through schooling without learning some of the things you should be learning.

But as Woody mentioned....once you get out there with a trainer you'll learn a ton. Just ask your trainer a lot of questions.

Also, keep asking yourself, "If I was out here alone, what would my next move be?" Every time you don't know the answer, ask your trainer. Hopefully by the time you're ready to run solo you'll know how to handle the basics really well.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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When I was a trainer for Prime, I tried to explain anything & everything I could think of to my trainee when it came to doing this job. As his training time went on, I would have them do more & more of the planning, etc. The last 2 weeks I was just the 2nd driver, letting them do all the planning for fuel, stops, load/unload, everything. If I did not agree with what they were wanting to do, I would tell them this is what we are going to do & then take the time to explain why. So by the time they got off my truck, they were pretty confident of what was needed when.

I know of lots of trainers that have the trainee for just another log book & did not teach them anything that they needed to do the job. Sad, but true. I tried to not be one of "THOSE TRAINERS".

Hope this might shed some light onto the subject for you.

Also, as had been said before, anything you can think of, ask the questions. The only way you are going to know is to ask. If you don't ask, some trainers will think you know and will not take the time to explain things like I did with my trainee's.

Ernie

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Starcar's Comment
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The most important thing about drop and hook....is REGIME......you figure out a system to do it step by step...learn it and live it....then you won't drive off with the landing gear down...or drive out from under a trailer that doesn't have the landing gear down.....or drive off and rip the air lines off....or TRY to drive off, and the lines aren't connected....or......it goes on and on....

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Drop and hook.... we were taught....

To hook use P.A.L.S. 1. Pin ... you back up to the trailer. You get out and look to ensure the trailer is high enough or low enough for you to back under. Then you back up and "bump" until the kingpin locks. 2. Air lines..... connect your airlines and electrical connection. 3. Landing gear.... raise the landing gear. Store the hand properly. 4. Safety..... check the kingpin by visually looking at it, do the pre trip inspection on the trailer, do your break tug test before pulling away.

To unhook us L.A.P.S. 1. Landing gear down. Return the crank to the stored position. 2. Airlines disconnected. Store your lines properly. 3. Pull the pin. 4. Safety... make sure the pin is unlocked. Pull forward just enough to let it unlock but so the trailer remains on the apron. Get out and look and make sure the landing gear is not sinking in the mud. Make sure everything is disconnected. Pull away.

Hope this helps.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

SafeKing's Comment
member avatar

Don't worry! sounds like you on your way to a great career! Just protect yourself out there... drop and hook dont forget to "pretrip your new trailer everytime!" nobody mentioned that at its only the most important step.. If you get halfway down the road and a door falls off UHH O also i open secure/latch and close the doors just to make sure the chains are there and working sucks if you drive far only to realize your door has no chain to hold it in place ...anyway....whatever system you use just make sure its the same every time i use a series of steps if i havent counted to 5th step i missed somthing Best of luck to you BE safe and Welcome to the greatest job a man can have

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Jonathan P.'s Comment
member avatar

Appreciate the advice from u guys i actually did my first drop a hook at school after bringing up the subject to a trainer it wasn't to bad like i say i test out in a few weeks an was curious wat would be the best take off gear third are fourth, also wats the best turning gear to be in i always take off an turn in fourth gear but i dont want to get nervous an kill the truck trying take off in fourth. I was on a steep incline an almost killed the truck taking off in fourth.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Appreciate the advice from u guys i actually did my first drop a hook at school after bringing up the subject to a trainer it wasn't to bad like i say i test out in a few weeks an was curious wat would be the best take off gear third are fourth, also wats the best turning gear to be in i always take off an turn in fourth gear but i dont want to get nervous an kill the truck trying take off in fourth. I was on a steep incline an almost killed the truck taking off in fourth.

No matter if it's flat ground or on a hill what gear you take off in depends strictly on how much weight you are hauling and your gear ratio of your truck....

I have a straight 10 speed and a DD15 engine turned to 545 horsepower. Under a full load of 79,000 lbs I can start out in 4 gear pretty easily. If i am empty I can start out in 6th gear which is the high side of the transmission.

Jonathan P.'s Comment
member avatar

Our trainers always tell us to take off in 4th but the trucks are so old an raggedy that the safest gear to take off in is 4th an these are empty trailers but the truck we're training in the clutch sticks really bad so we have to raise the rpms to round 20 so the truck wont kill an if we kill the truck on test day thats automatic failure. I figured I'd take off in 3rd on test day just to be on the safe side.

P.S. any maverick drivers on here care to shed any light on the companies training program talk to the recruiter Adam this morning i think im approved for their flatbed division.

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