My Life As A Rookie Driver

Topic 547 | Page 3

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Dave, everything you're going through it totally par for the course. You're living the school of hard knocks - "Life as a rookie driver 101". All you can do is continue to focus on safety at all times and learn from every single experience.

But there's no such thing as a new driver who "just gets it" those first 6-12 months out there. Certainly some people are just knuckleheads and they'll make more mistakes than other people. But there's no such thing as a rookie driver who seems like a veteran. There's just too much to learn and because it's stuff you really have to learn on the job, everyone learns a lot of lessons the hard way that first year.

The most important thing you can do is stay in very close contact with dispatch. Keep them updated on everything - your hours available, your ETA to customers, and things like that. Immediately notify them anytime your status changes. The toughest problem to solve is one you don't know exists. If dispatch knows you're running late or running short on hours then they have time to do something about it. But if they don't know there's an issue, they can't take action. So even when things aren't going according to plan, you want to try to minimize the damage, and that starts with great communication.

Nothing is worse for dispatch than to think everything is going along well and then finding out after the fact that there was a problem. For instance, don't tell them at 9:00 that you're going to be late for your 8:00 appointment. That kind of stuff drives em nuts. Seems obvious, right? Well believe me, that kind of stuff happens at big companies seven days a week. Tell them the very moment you realize there's an issue to deal with so they can get on it right away.

You're obviously running hard, putting safety first, and doing your best out there. That's key. As long as they know you're putting in your best effort and you're learning more every day then they'll be patient with you. If you're simply not interested in doing a great job or you're not showing any signs of improvement after 6-12 months then they're going to start putting you on the back burner and giving the freight to other drivers. But from what I've learned about you in the time you've been here, you'll be just fine.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stormlover's Comment
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I think Brett said it well....Its the dispatcher that can make or break a driver...

Dispatcher:

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.
Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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Well I put in a delay last night, and I just sent a free form message. The freight isn't due until 2200, and I am about four hours out. The problem is I am at three hours on my 70. Now, if I could get four extra hours, I could deliver tomorrow morning at around two. Heck, a relay would be great. It's the NOT knowing that gets me.

Dave

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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Tomorrow I head home for some home time. I am supposed to do a relay, but they didn't send it in yet.

Dave

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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Well, I received my relay at around eight last night. I decided to wait and get my 34 hour reset before running back home. Since my delivery is in the same county as my "home time," do I see if I can deliver today or deliver on time tomorrow.

Dave

Brett Aquila's Comment
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It never hurts to call ahead and see if you can get it delivered early. I did it regularly for years. Not only did it get me home earlier sometimes, but it definitely made me a lot more money than I would have otherwise. Why wait around to make a delivery if you can get it unloaded early, grab another load, and keep on truckin? smile.gif

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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It never hurts to call ahead and see if you can get it delivered early. I did it regularly for years. Not only did it get me home earlier sometimes, but it definitely made me a lot more money than I would have otherwise. Why wait around to make a delivery if you can get it unloaded early, grab another load, and keep on truckin? smile.gif

True, but I just called TWICE this morning. I'll try again this afternoon.

Dave

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

HOMETIME - I spend a little hometime with my mom, and end up driving over what could loosely be called a "pot hole." End result was a Ford Fusion with two flat tires on the passenger side. Well, I get in my truck tomorrow.

Dave

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Whoa!!!! Not good. Must have been an unbelievable pot hole!

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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Whoa!!!! Not good. Must have been an unbelievable pot hole!

Tell me about it. All the way down to the sand bed below the concrete. About half a car length and half the lane wide. I took pictures.

Dave

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