Just Hauled The Most Important Load Of My Career!

Topic 4740 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Finally! I can talk about it!

No joke, this load was the most important of my entire career - also the most difficult. A High Value AND Hazmat load. Double-Trouble! The freight was valued at 260,000$!

Prepare yourselves for a long story.

The load picked up in the San Bernardino, CA area and delivered to the Cincinnati area. A nice 2000 mile run.

Rules that I needed to follow:

Cannot park in rest areas, only "secure" parking spots. Walmarts are not allowed either!

Must always back up to a fixed object (pole) or back to back with another trailer. This is to make sure no one can open the doors.

Must follow all the rules with carrying hazardous materials.

Must inform Security of why you are stopped, location, and for how long. They don't want you ever stopping.

Must be aware of all surroundings and avoid any dangers.

Absolutely cannot leave the keys in the ignition.

Cannot stop within 200 miles within the pickup location.

Cannot take load through house.

Must make sure you're not being followed!

Yeah, as if there's not enough on a drivers mind! There's 20 more policies and procedures to deal with.

I arrived at my shipper and all was well. I got a door and backed up to it. Since I look like a preteen, I bet DOT is going to be staring at me down those scales. Needless to say, I'm preparing myself for a DOT Inspection.

My trailer registration paper is a bit crumpled and stained. Some is faded, so I contact the folks at Prime to fax me a new copy just to play it safe. Well, first person I talked to faxed it but the shipper said their machine quit working on them. Figures. They give me an email to send it to then they'll download it and print the attachment.

Well, this entire process took about an hour. Why is it always a pain? Some things never change.

I watch the man on the forklift load me and verify that the pallets are labeled correctly. I do my part with a magnifying glass. I'm going to give this load 110%, I don't want to mess up on a load like this.

Anyhow, I get my paperwork and put up my placards.

corrosive hazmat placard on trailer

I do paperwork and macros and talk to the company, all of this took about 30 minutes because they had to go over a million things with me.

I start driving away. To be honest, I got goosebumps when I put it into gear to take off. I don't think any 22 year old right now has as much on their shoulders as I do right now. Why would Prime give a load like this to a 22 year old in the first place beats me. I guess I'm proving that not every 22 year old is a dumb dumb.

Well, I drive away making sure my placards won't slip out. I keep hearing stories about that happening.

Before Cajon Pass I notice a car behind me. He's behaving strangely. I climbed up that mountain at about 25mph and he stayed behind me, he didn't switch lanes like the typical car would. He was driving an old looking mexican style car that looks like its from GTA. 15 miles later he is still behind me! I actually call my wife to talk to her about this. Make sure I'm not just being paranoid. Well, at 58mph I switch to the center lane when the coast is clear - the car also switches to the center lane. I switch back, he switched back. I continue to drive glancing back at him just observing. The thing is, he was right behind me slightly more towards my passenger side. He positioned himself perfectly so that I really couldn't see him at all, as if he really knew what he was doing. I could only see his shadow most of the time.

By this time I'm pretty much convinced that he's following me. I'll give him one more "test" and if he still follows me I'm calling my DM and the cops (which is what I'm supposed to do).

On the split of I15 and I40 I give him a mafia style test. Three lanes - left lane only I15, center lane both I15 and I40, right lane only I40. I start off in the right lane and need to keep going on I40. I switch to the center lane and keep my left turn signal on. He also switches to the center lane!

I keep the left turn signal on and physically act like I'm going to take I15. At the last moment (obviously not swerving), I take I40 instead of I15. He quickly jerks his steerking wheel, I know this because I was watching his hands and his tires, but then decides to actually take I15 instead of I40.

I slow down to get a glimpse of this guy. I stare left and he starts to pass me on the opposite side of the road. To my surprise, he's driving past me with his eyes completely locked on me! He then follows the creepy stare with a bizarre wave and takes off. It wasn't a "Hello! Nice to see you!" type of wave. It was just a simple 1,2 motion really.

Man, that was creepy. That adds another story to my book of stories!

I move on and cruise in peace, glancing behind me here and there. Glad I didn't have to call my DM because I was about to.

The rest of my day went well. I parked at a truck stop and arrived there at night so obviously no good parking spots left. My backing was a tough one in between two trucks. I got about half a foot from the back of the other guys trailer behind me before I stopped for the day.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 2:

Today was a nice drive through NM, AZ and some TX. I parked in Amarillo, TX for the night. My schedule is wacky and I don't have time to adjust it because I must keep moving at all times. I parked at night but the backing wasn't tough. There's a million parking spots in Amarillo and I simply drove around to find an easy one to back into. My trailer was once again back to back with another trailer.

I'm dying to go to a walmart for some food though. But I can't do that.

Day 3:

On the phone my DM told me to trip plan my load so that I can stop at Springfield for the night since its a safe place. So I went from Amarillo, TX to Springfield, MO. Got to Springfield and parked. My fuel routing actually told me to take US50 into KS out of Tucumcari, NM but I ignored it. Think about it, on US50 there's a million small towns, a thousand stop signs, and safe parking spots are few and far between. So I stuck to the interstates.

I did have to pay a total of 33$ for tolls to go through OK which is just absurd.

Last day on this 2000 mile load and I have roughly 555 miles to do today. But this is when things get interesting, and Daniel B.'s loses his cool like never before.

My last few days have been 550-630 mile days with the end of my days being night driving except yesterday. I'm tired. Imagine doing that many miles going 58mph, I don't do 65mph like the average driver does. Again, I'm really tired.

I am getting my hours back at approximately 0600 in Springfield but there's no reason to start my day that early. The load delivers at 1100 tomorrow and I don't need 27 hours to do 550 miles.

So I planned on sleeping in tonight. I want to drive away at 0730. Planned, a word that doesn't make sense in trucking.

On my 10 hour required DOT break, I get a call from Security at 0400. They want me to move, seriously! They want me to go through the inspection bay and DROP my trailer and then bobtail. What the *bleep*!

Here's a picture of a birds eye view of EXACTLY where I was and where I was told to go.

overhead satellite birds-eye view of facility where truck driver was delivering

You see the RED star? That's where I was.

You see the BLUE star? That's where I was told to go.

Listen, I'm not a complainer and I work with no hours all the time. Every busy trucker does. But to call me at 4AM to tell me to move 50 feet, deal with the folks at the inspection station, drop my trailer. I mean, I'm leaving in 2.5 hours anyways! It makes no sense to wake up a driver and ask him to work when he has no hours on his clock and wake him out of a deep sleep just to move a little.

RED, where I was at, is a secure parking area. It is gated and the gate opens only for somehow who swipes their Comdata card. My trailer doors was facing the building which meant there's a good dozen cameras on me.

So why make me move?

You have a driver who is busting his butt and needs sleep. To make matters worse, he's also hauling hazmat and a high value load and you want to sleep deprive him?

Well, when you wake up like a zombie like I did you just do it so you can go back to sleep. I was nice to the guy on the phone by the way. I did everything and dropped the trailer at BLUE and bobtailed. This took about an hour.

I don't see the point seeing as how I'm leaving soon anyways. Well, I struggled going back to sleep because my body got in the working mood so I really only managed a 40 minute nap.

Again, I rise like a zombie. I'm going to shrug this crap off and just move on.

Bobtail:

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

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Interstate:

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

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Surprise!!!

I finally captured Old School. He was helpless on I44 and had no where to detour around me.

Since I only had 555 miles to do today I really do have some time on my hands and opted to have a short breakfast with the man.

We meet at the TA about 7 miles from the terminal and have breakfast. It was nice to finally meet the guy!

Then I get a call from my DM. He said security went to him because they're wondering why I'm not driving. Seriously...

I told him and he said I need to get down the road right now. My DM is great, but he's just a puppet in this situation.

I'm a liar if I say that I didn't get really ****ed off at this. It cut our breakfast in half, I wasn't even able to finish my plate!

Whatever. I'm angry.

I drive down the road and 4 hours later I need to use the restroom really badly! I can't hold it until the next truck stop. So I quickly stop at a rest area and run inside. This takes me a total of 1 minute and 30 seconds. I timed it.

5 miles down the road I get a message from my DM. Security says you stopped at a rest area, why did you stop?

Umm, why the hell do you think!?

I told them it took a minute and said "they can rest easy".

At this point I completely lose my cool. If I was at home there would be a hole in the wall. Us Russians are temperamental people.

I'm about to call security and tell them to shove something up their ass. But instead I call Guy DeCou to tell him the situation and ask advice from a neutral party. Next I call my wife and rant. Afterwards I call Pat (PJ) and rant to him and ask for his opinion.

I overlooked the fact that that ****head woke me up and told me to work when I had no hours, woke up a driver who is sleeping. Imagine if I had gotten into an accident and I told the investigators my story? That would make the news just like the Walmart accident. Security is ridiculous and honestly I'm thinking about talking to Safety about them.

I drove the rest of the way and luckily I didn't get any more crap from anyone. I've never been so ticked off before in trucking.

I convinced my delivery to take me early so I got that garbage out of my trailer this morning. Done. I hate being micromanaged.

I'm done with it, I can now add that load to my resume when I look for a local job in a few months.

Prime is a great company, this is not a company bashing thread. But every company has bad apples and this is my story of the biggest load I ever hauled.

I do feel proud though. At just 22 years old I've hauled hundreds of loads, survived two winters, and now I can finally say I hauled a load that's worth more than I'll ever have in the bank. I wish they can give me a small cut of that money though so I can buy a Prius.

It was great to finally meet you Old School! I am lucky!! two truck drivers having lunch at a truck-stop

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.

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.
David's Comment
member avatar

Daniel,

To me you did everything you needed to. Like you said every company has bad apples. It happens. Congrats on this load. I was 23 when I got me cool load. 230k in military computers. I know the feeling you had when you completed yours.

Steve C.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, that is no small task to accomplish. Even better that you were able to deal with security without losing it on someone. Do they pay an incentive for high-val loads? I don't know much about that side of the industry, but with flatbed there is usually a bonus for O.D. or Hazmat - so i figure there might be for that?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

Wow, what a test of patience. Good job keeping your cool!

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hard to go pee when you got a High Val load...I did 2 or 3 with my TNT trainer. Not very fun but it's freight

Ken C.

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 14ยข 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.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately Prime does not pay extra for High Value or Haz-Mat loads. Just all the extra BS you have to deal with that Daniel talked about.

By the way Daniel, with a HV load you are required to park in the area that you showed with the blue star. I know, pain in the butt, but required. Been there, done that a time or 2 myself.

Ernie

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Daniel on getting the job done! Now if you had told me you would be in Cincinnati I would have cooked you that home-cooked meal you have been wanting! It might not have been the home cooked meal you want (with your wife) but it would have been good! smile.gif

MidnightCowboy's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on reaching your destination. Good talking with you as you made your way through the Derby City. Thanks for the insight.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Truck Driving Stories
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More