2 Weeks OTR With David

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David's Comment
member avatar

Well after watching Danie B's month of trucking, (good information by the way) I thought it would be a good idea to have another view from a different driver showing the difference between days and drivers. Every day is different for every driver.

12/27 - Day 1

I hate Day 1.. Daniel said the same thing in his thread and I'm saying the same now, Day 1 is the hardest day of your week. Leaving home, watching your kids/wife wave at you as you leave, brings a slight tear to the eye. Depending on your sched you won't be back for at least 10-28 days (2-4 weeks or longer)

I awoke at 0800, wife was still sleeping and my phone was beeping telling me I had a new VM (Voice Mail). I got up, checked my message and found that my next load didn't pick up tell 1500-1800 on 12/27 and had an open delivery tell 2359 on 12/29. I decided to take the extra 4-5 hrs and laid in bed a little longer with my wife and got a little more "cuddle" time. (You'll find yourself taking as much extra time at home for the small things... extra cuddle time is a wonderful thing..)

Wife and I finally got out of bed around 11, I took my shower, and my step father made us waffles with his new waffle maker from xmass. (we live with my parents as CA was too expensive and we pretty much lost our home... long story.. ) anyways, after have the morning with family, my wife was ready for work, so I decided to go to my truck when she went to work.

I arrived at my truck at 1345. I got my gear loaded, everything put away and warmed up the old beast. After my QC (Qualcomm) booted up, I received my pre plan and here's what it said

Load @ Clorox in Spring Hill, KS and Deliver to PetSmart in Ottawa, IL

Pick up time 12/27 @ 1500-1800 drop n hook

Deliver 12/29 @ 2359 drop n hook

Loaded Mi: 500 Empty Mi: 81 Total trip 581

looked pretty good. Had plenty of time to get it delivered. I sent in my macro (macros are pre made short text messages and you enter info to complete the mac) and got dispatched.

I started my clock at 1430 and did my pre-trip. (the FMCSA doesnt state an exact time. Just tell driver is satisfied) I like to do a thorough inspection on my first day (about 30 min) and then I do short (10-15) through the week. I check everything out, including checking my tire air pressure and if needed adding air.. Now you might be thinking, how does one add air to tires without a compressor. Well the answer is your truck and a long air line with a tire filler on the end.

Looks like this:

long air line with tire filler for truckers

hooks up to your red line on the tractor, when you push your red button in cab, you supply air to the line and can air up your tires.. good investment. $32 out the door at most truck stops..

Now I didn't have a trailer on me when I did my inspection so I didn't do a full 30 min like I normally do. I did about 10 min as it was just a tractor inspection.

I completed my pre-trip and was ready to roll at 1440 and had to find an MT trailer. I live 30 miles from our drop yard in KC, MO. I figured I'd check there first as its 5miles out of route to my shipper . I started down the road and got a message on my QC, well i couldn't check it as Im driving, but once I got to our drop yrd, it said,

"D. Please chck kcmo dropyrd for mt. if none proceed to walmart dc-harrisonville,mo for mt#xxxx. thx sir, S."

(the D. is short for David and S. for Scott.. Just how this DM rolles and he's one of the best I've had, he's not my normal DM, more of night/weekend. But always helps me and is quicker then my normal weekday dm.

Luckily there was an MT at our yard. just as I was going into gear, i get another message

"D. can u chck yrd for other MTs n send # please. S."...

Remember, you scratch there back, they scratch yours.. I pull my brakes, hope out with a pen and paper and start writing down all the trailers that are MT. Took 2 mins, sent in what was asked and then left.

I arrived at my shipper around 1645 and got checked in and got informed my load wasn't ready, but if i put my current trailer in a door, they would live load me......SIT AND WAIT!!!! This is why I dont trust the computer systems It tells me its a drop n hook but i get live loaded... someone either entered the info wrong or the shipper is backed up.. I said thanks and headed out to put my trailer in the door. About an hr later I get a knock at my door and was told they finished and to get my paper work.

At this point, I had done 1.5 hrs of driving and it was already 1800. Now I had to decide to either push really hard and get as close to delivery as I can, or take my time. I decided to take my time. I could push through, but Id be pushing tell 2-3am and Im not a fan of driving at night, plus I'd have to search for a safe place to sleep as I know Petsmart has no parking near by. So I chose our terminal yard in Pontoon Beach, IL (out side St. Louis) It's 250 miles away from shipper. If I avg 55 miles with the rolling hills and minor traffic in KC I'd arrive by 2230-2300 and would have no issue finding parking as our yards are pretty large and most of our drivers park at the flying j next door.... works for me.

To be continued

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.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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

David's Comment
member avatar

Continued from 12/27

12/28

I woke up to my alarm at 0800 got up and rather then make my self coffee, I went into the terminal and got free coffee. Saved me time and water. (water is like a bar of gold. You really want as much as you can.) there are so many things that you will need water for other then drinking. Cooking, drinking or a simple clean up with a wash rag. (hobo bath as we call em or sponge bath) never know when you'll miss a shower because your delayed, or no parking at a customer. It happens..

I got my coffee and would have my hours back around 0930. Since I had some time before I'd roll out, I made myself a fruit juice out of apples and orange's. I didn't get a pic but it was delish and that served as my breakfast. I also received a pre plan for after delivering to petsmart.

Load @ Walmart DC in Oswego, IL deliver to Sams Club in Milwaukee, WI

Pick up time 12/28 @ 1400-1800 drop n hook

Deliver 12/28 @ 2100 drop n hook

Loaded Mi: 120 Empty Mi: 41 Total trip 161

Short run but I've still got 250 miles left on the current load so It works out. I'll use most of my hrs for the day..

I started my clock at 0930, did a 15min pre-trip and rolled out the gate by 0945 and drove straight to final. Nothing really major to report other than I saw the sun shine.. lol Got to petsmart around 1300, dropped the trailer, hooked up to my MT and since I knew where I was going next, I started down the road to walmart DC in Oswego.

I arrived at my next stop at 1400. Checked in with the guard and was told to drop my MT and grab my loaded scale out and come back to the shack for bills.. Seamed easy.. HA not.....

I circled the lot twice for a spot to put my MT, after the 2nd time, I stopped the yard driver and asked what he wanted me to do. (I often go to the yard drivers as they pretty much know the yard), he ended up plucking a trailer out and made a hole for me, was very tight with not a ton of turning room, but after a few pull ups, I got it.

I found my loaded on the other side, hooked up, moved my tandems and proceeded to the scale. Scaled out @ Steers -11600, Drives - 29800 and Tandems - 36400.. Im a little over on my tandems. I didn't get a chance to see whats in the trailer or how its loaded, so at this point its a guessing game. My tandems are all the way forward and need to move 2400 lbs to be legal. If each hole on our trailers move 250lbs I would need to slide back 9. 6 holes.. little hard to do a .6 of a hole so I went 10 and scaled out again. Steers 11640, Drives 32200, Tandems - 33880. Now Im legal but still have a bit of weight on my trailer.. I rolled with it like this. The weather was good between Oswego and Milwaukee.

By the time I left Walmart, I had 2 hrs on my clock before I needed to take a break. Now I run the chicago area almost every week, I can pretty much tell when traffic will be bad. If I hurried, Id be able to make it to one of the rest areas on I-294for my 30 min. break.. Thats exactly what I did, made it to the first "Oasis" as they are called on the toll roads in Chicago and had 45min left. phewww. took my break, got some food, and proceeded to my fuel stop which was 45miles away.

Got to my fuel stop, fueled and loaded up my gps with my final address, 28mi way. At this point its 1800, I got to my final at 1830 only to find the store closed at 1800... Completely empty lot with no cars.. What to do?? well I pulled out my phone, looked up the phone number for sams club and gave it a call, security guard answered and told me to wait by doors and someone will be here at 2100.. great, lets sit and wait.... I sat for a good 2.5 hrs and took a small walk.

2100 finally came around, got my paper work signed and trailer dropped, i decided id sleep in their lot tonight as I really didnt want to drive back to my fuel stop in hopes of finding a place to park this late at night..

Here I am now, writing this. lol now Im tired. lol

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.

Tandems:

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".

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".

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.

Mikki 's Comment
member avatar

I was just going to ask about tire gauges pencil or digital. (Yesterday) Anyhoo now you showed the hose thingy today cool. Also what's this 2 week c+++? What happened to month? Jk Stay safe appreciate your time

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was just going to ask about tire gauges pencil or digital. (Yesterday) Anyhoo now you showed the hose thingy today cool. Also what's this 2 week c+++? What happened to month? Jk Stay safe appreciate your time

Im not like Daniel, I won't torture you all for a month. lol

My tire gauge is like a normal car gauge just longer and goes to 150psi.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

12/29

Today was pretty laxed, nothing big other then some back and forth driving and waiting.

I got up around 7:45, started the truck and while it was warming up and my QC was booting up, I started my coffee and get myself dressed and ready for my day. I had set my PTA (projected time of availability. Meaning the time that Im ready to roll for my next load) for 0800. It doesn't take me long to get ready nor get my coffee.

Normally I get pre-planned before my PTA, today that was not the case. By 0830 I hadn't gotten anything, little concerned, I sent in a message asking If anything was being set up for me. It takes my DM 20-30 min to get back to me on a typical day, but that's not the case either. I sat for another hr before I got a message saying the office was down 3 DMs and to use the QC only, no phone. great start to this day..

By about 10 i sent another message that said checking in for a pre-plan... 30 mins later I get a message with my load:

HIGH VAL SERVICE WATCH Load @ Walmart DC in Oswego, IL Pick up 12/29 @ 0800-1700

Deliver to Sams Club in West Allis, WI Deliver 12/29 @ 2200

Loaded Mi: 120 Empty Mi: 128 Total trip 248

This load was not only a high value, but it also had to be delivered on or before 2200 tonight (12/29). Remember, I'm still in Milwaukee as I just delivered to Sams Club there. So now I get to turn around, head back to Oswego (same as last load from yesterday) and then turn around again and head to West Allis, WI which is basically Milwaukee. Just 1 mile on the out skirts.. fun times

Shortly after receiving that load, I get another load sent to me as well

HIGH VAL SERVICE WATCH Load @ Lowes DC in Rockford, IL Pick up 12/30 @ 0401-0731

Deliver to Lowes store in Ballwin, MO Deliver 12/30 @ 1500

Loaded Mi: 315 Empty Mi: 92 Total tripL 407

Now this is a nice load, however its super tight. Provided the shipper has overnight parking, I should have no issues getting this load and deliver on time. Now I've actually been here before, and I know they do have parking, but had I not known that, Google earth is a very good tool. Daniel talks about it a lot in his thread...

I get the loads written down on paper, check my hours ( i know i have enough as I just stated my 70 two days ago. Plenty of hrs, lets get rolling.

By about 1130 Im ready to roll. I start my clock, do my pre-trip and by noon I'm heading down the road. 2 hrs later, I get to Walmart DC, get myself checked in and drop my empty. As Im dropping my empty, the yard driver rolls over and asks if I'd move the trailer over one lane and get it close to others as possible, wasn't to much of a hassle so I agreed. Once I dropped, I proceed to the shipping door and went inside and got my bills. The very first thing I do when I get my bills is check my seal. A seal is a plastic or metal "lock" that goes on the trailer doors.

picture of plastic trucking trailer sealpicture of metal trucking trailer sealpicture of plastic trucking trailer sealpicture of metal trucking trailer seal

Thats what a seal is. They go on the right side door handle.

Anyways, after checking my seal on my trailer I hook up to it, do another inspection and send in my loaded macro and slide my trailer tandems to the 11th hole. Being that I'm in IL, they have a length limit, I believe Daniel said its 12th hole in one of his threads. Its thanks to him that I know this now. I pull trailers from this shipper 3-4 times a week. I pretty much know now. I also know that the only scale I come to is at the 1 mile marker in WI on the I-94, so If i wanted i could set it to 12 or 13 without much worry. Now the bills say Im towing 43333 lbs. I don't trust what the bills say, luckily Walmart has a single axle scale for drivers to use. (A single axle scale is simply that, you scale one set of axles at a time, steers/drivers/tandems. I scaled out on the 11th hole with this load..

Steers 11900 Drives 32200 Tandems 33800

I could again like the last load from last night, slide my tandems back another hole an shift some extra weight to the drives, but I'm okay with this set up. I'm legal, weather is great, I just wanna roll now.

After all this, I finally leave the shipper at 1430 and drive the next 2 hrs to Sams club. I arrive at Sams around 1700 (give or take a few min) get myself lined up with the only available door and then walk to the receiving door and start knocking... The only bad thing here is the actually receiving staff leaves at 1600 every night, so what to do in this situation, call the store. That is exactly what I did. I called, asked for a manager and explained that I was a driver for Gordon and I had a loaded trailer at the back door. 30 min later the manager finally opens the door and signs off my paper work and tells me which empty to take.

By the time I get everything down here, Im ready for a break, i hope over to off duty and park the truck and walk over to subway for a sandwich. 30 mins later my mandatory break is done and I can continue on. At this point the 2nd load I had was dispatched to my truck and Im ready to roll to Lowes.

To be continued....

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.

Tandems:

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".

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".

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David's Comment
member avatar

Continued......

I arrived at Lowes DC around 20:00. I had two options in front of me, check in with the guard and hope my load was ready early, or shut down now, and roll in at 0400.. I figured since I was here why not check in and see. Unfortunately I'm not that lucky, But I did get to drop my empty which was nice. I dropped it, and rolled out and took a short drive to a small Road Ranger Pilot. (its a small truck stop with like 3 parking spots.. Road Ranger is another travel center here in the mid west that does the Pilot/Flying J fuel, you can also use your rewards card for pilot at them and take shower if equipped...this facility was not equipped with showers) I only came here for a bathroom break and to grab a few drinks.

After that I came back to the Lowes DC and shut down. I'm now just sitting here on TT and getting ready for sleep.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

David, I don't usually read diaries or trucking blogs, but I just read through all your entries and enjoyed them. You have a fluid, succinct writing style that makes it easy to just casually read. I like that you add your QC messages.

Since I've been a linehaul driver for about 5 months now, it's really fun to read another driver's OTR experiences. Especially since I've never experienced the world of OTR. Being a linehaul driver, my days are pretty routine, even more so now that I have a scheduled run every night and come home every morning. Even when I was running wild (no set schedule or destination) and staying out a few days at a time, which is the closest I came to the OTR lifestyle, I still didn't have as many unknowns as you guys. When I was wild, I ran the entire NE, so I was more like a regional driver. Based out of Carlisle, PA, I'd go as far north as the upper part of VT, close to the Canadian border. I'd go out west into Ohio, south to Roanoke, VA, and through major metro areas like the 5 NYC boroughs and Jersey City, NJ. My average day was around 500+ miles. Still, I got to the point where I knew how to get everywhere since there's only so many terminals and meet points. Running the NE all the time, I pretty much know where all the terminals and fuel stops are now. I never had to wonder where I could park for a 30 minute break (I just sat in a company terminal), or where to park to sleep (I slept at hotels). I also don't know what it's like to have to deal with a different shipper or receiver for each load, trying to figure out how they like things done. You guys certainly have a lot more to write a story about, that's for sure.

I'll probably drop by here and there to read what you've been up to. I'll live vicariously through your posts. Part of me sometimes wonders what it would've been like going OTR, and part of me wonders what kind of experiences I've missed out on. It'd be nice to have my own assigned truck, and to just crash in the back after a long day of driving. It'd be nice to have the option to not run as hard, as long as the appointment time is honored. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have been happy being away from my family, and I don't at all regret joining my LTL company. I love being a linehaul driver, with the certainty and routine, and knowing that I'm coming home every morning to sleep in my own bed. I don't take it for granted, that's for sure. I have a lot of respect for you OTR drivers and the sacrifices you make for your families. Thanks for creating the thread David.

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.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David's Comment
member avatar

David, I don't usually read diaries or trucking blogs, but I just read through all your entries and enjoyed them. You have a fluid, succinct writing style that makes it easy to just casually read. I like that you add your QC messages.

Since I've been a linehaul driver for about 5 months now, it's really fun to read another driver's OTR experiences. Especially since I've never experienced the world of OTR. Being a linehaul driver, my days are pretty routine, even more so now that I have a scheduled run every night and come home every morning. Even when I was running wild (no set schedule or destination) and staying out a few days at a time, which is the closest I came to the OTR lifestyle, I still didn't have as many unknowns as you guys. When I was wild, I ran the entire NE, so I was more like a regional driver. Based out of Carlisle, PA, I'd go as far north as the upper part of VT, close to the Canadian border. I'd go out west into Ohio, south to Roanoke, VA, and through major metro areas like the 5 NYC boroughs and Jersey City, NJ. My average day was around 500+ miles. Still, I got to the point where I knew how to get everywhere since there's only so many terminals and meet points. Running the NE all the time, I pretty much know where all the terminals and fuel stops are now. I never had to wonder where I could park for a 30 minute break (I just sat in a company terminal), or where to park to sleep (I slept at hotels). I also don't know what it's like to have to deal with a different shipper or receiver for each load, trying to figure out how they like things done. You guys certainly have a lot more to write a story about, that's for sure.

I'll probably drop by here and there to read what you've been up to. I'll live vicariously through your posts. Part of me sometimes wonders what it would've been like going OTR, and part of me wonders what kind of experiences I've missed out on. It'd be nice to have my own assigned truck, and to just crash in the back after a long day of driving. It'd be nice to have the option to not run as hard, as long as the appointment time is honored. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have been happy being away from my family, and I don't at all regret joining my LTL company. I love being a linehaul driver, with the certainty and routine, and knowing that I'm coming home every morning to sleep in my own bed. I don't take it for granted, that's for sure. I have a lot of respect for you OTR drivers and the sacrifices you make for your families. Thanks for creating the thread David.

6 String,

glad you enjoyed the read. Im not one that usually writes like this, but I like the idea of others getting an idea of what different drivers go through.. Daniel and I both drive yes, but our days differ between pick ups/delivering, weather, locations, etc.. I think of it as a finger print, not everyone is the same. =D

happy to do it. =)

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.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David's Comment
member avatar

12/30

Well today was a blast... lets begin shall we

I slept at the Lowes DC last night. Since I knew they had overnight parking, it would be easy to get up, creep inside without starting my clock (sound familiar? little tricks you learn as you gain experiance). This load had a pick up window, between 0401-0731, 3 1/2hr window. simple, but it had a slight tight delivery of 1500 the same day. Giving me 7.5-11hrs to travel 300mi. Seams like plenty of time, but never underestimate traffice, weather, scale houses... Never know when something might happen... :)

I woke up at 4 and felt to comfortable to get up just yest, My hours wouldnt be available until 0745, so I decided to sleep a little more and got out of bed by 0600. I got myself ready to go, and rolled over to the guard shack.

Now unlike Daniel's truck, I can't go 5 min before being switched over to Driving/on duty on my QC, mine switchs me after travling 3/4 of a mile. Kinda of sucky as a lot of shippers have large facilities and doing 3/4 of a mile in their yard isn't hard.

I got my loaded trailer out of the gate and had to wait about 5 min before I could actually start my clock, so I made my coffee. mmmmm love my coffee.

At 0745 my hours became available and I put my self on-duty and put pretirp in my remarks box. (when changing status's on the QC, you can add remarks to why your changing that status, such as on-duty for pre-trip, or sleeper for sleep, you don't need to add a remark for Driving.)

I finished up my pretrip at 0800 and Started rolling. About 30 Miles down the road I get a QC message, it was a pre-plan for after dropping this current load. Sweet dont have to sit around and twiddle my thumbs...Heres the next load I got

Load @ Unilever in Pontoon Beach, IL Pick up 12/30 @ 1800-2359

Deliver to CVS DC in Indianapolis, IN Deliver 12/31 @ 1500

Loaded Mi: 232 Empty Mi: 35 Total trip: 267

Its a short run, but If I have the hours after dropping this current load, I can stop at my Indianapolis terminal for the night. Both loads total approx 550mi. If I push I can do it.

I stopped at a Loves to confirm the load and to use the potty. 34oz of coffee goes right through me.. lol Yes my coffee cup is 34 oz.

By this time I'm halfway to my final and its 1030 and I head off to finish this trip. About an hr down the road, traffic comes to a stop, im 85 mi from final. This can't be good. I turn on the cb and start hearing the news.. I-55s was closed due to a tractor trailer/4-wheeler accident.... remember how I said never to underestimate traffic? hehe

All traffic on the south bound side was being redirected off the interstate and over to Old Route 66. It took me 1.5 hrs to get through to the exit that everyone else was going to. I had a few pictures, but I can't find them on my dash cam, oh well..

after all this, I finally get to the off ramp, turn and head to US-66, and I miss the turn for that.. Well guess I just made rookie of the year mistake... BAHHHHHH no place to turn around, now I have to find a way to get back to the interstate without causing to much of a delay. I pull off on to the side of the road, pull out my old map book and start looking for an alternate route. With that and my GPS and phone, I find a loves truck stop 30 miles up the road off I-70, it delays me by 10 min. Its the safest place to get to and that's where I head too.

By 1330 I finally get to I-70, still on time for my 1500 delivery, but barely. Another delay and Im late. 70miles to go and 1.5hrs to get there. Its gonna be tight, but I made it. I actually pick up 5 min from taking a shortcut around st louis rather then going straight through it. I arrive at final at 1445.

See what i said about having 7-11hrs to get there. took 7hrs to travel 300 miles, all because of an accident. Well by the time I arrive at the final, Im left with an hr on my 8hr clock. Its another 35mi to Pontoon Beach to the next load and I have to go through 20 min of traffic lights. GPS says it'll take 50min and my 8hr clock is winding down. So I "cheat" I left myself on duty long enough to walk inside hand my papers over, once I got back in the truck I switched to Sleeper to start my 30 min break.

When I handed my paperwork over, the receiving guy said Id have to drop my loaded, hook to my empty, move it from the dock, drop it, re connect to my loaded and move it where the empty was. seams easy and a good way to waste 30 mins. =D after I get all that done, Ive got 3 mins to wait before my 30 min break is done. Once that was done, I headed off to my next pick up.

This next pick up issnt suppose to be ready tell 1600. It was 1530 when I left Lowes and about a 50min drive to Unilever. I should get there by about 1630, if all goes well my load should be ready by the time I get there and guess what...... It was. YAY! I get myself checked in, drop my empty, hook to my loaded and set my trailer tandems to the 12th hole. I've come to the conclusion that most of my loads I can set at the 10-12 hole and be pretty safe on weights. I always double check by scaling out, unless the shipper has a scale, in which case they do.

At the time of hitting the scale, I have 3:59 min of driving time left on my 11 clock, and 5hrs on my 14 and Its 1700. If I run hard I can make it to Indianapolis with 2 mins left on my 11. Cutting it very close. I hit the scale before I leave (as its mandatory at this location.) and switch my CB over to scale house's channel.

To be continued....

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.

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.

Tandems:

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".

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".

Interstate:

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

David's Comment
member avatar

12/30

Continued......

Once I switched over the channel, I hear "Gordon driver on scale, trailer number please" well at least they said please.. its the small things....

I replied back my number, and then Im informed something I wasn't wanting.... Im 2000 lbs over my gross weight. If you have studied the Truck Weight and Balance section of the High Road Training Program, or if you don't know, your max gross weight is 80,000lbs (40 Tons). Your allowed 12000 on steers, 34000 on drives and 34000 on trailer tandems , for a total of 80,000. Well I was 82,000..

The lady replyed back to me, "Please move off scale and wait further instructions", this could be awhile. I pull off, and slip out of the way of other drivers. about 20 mins later im given a door. I break the seal on the door, back up and sit and wait.

It doesn't take them long before they start digging away at my trailer. Unfortunately, it takes them an 1.75hrs to get done, and I still have to re-weigh out. At this point in my day, its 1830 and my 14hr clock is now my lowest clock, which means its counting down past my 11. So much for making it to Indianapolis. But there's a silver lining, my terminal is .8 miles away and there's a flying j right next door to my terminal. Plan B and C for a place to sleep.

I pull away from the dock, close my doors and re-seal it, head over to the scale and scale out as legal as I can. 11880- steers, 34120-Drivers, 33940- Tandems. Now your probably thinking, David, your overweight on your Drives... well technically, yes, however, I have a 400lb exemption on my drives.. How? I have an APU on board. The APU adds 400lbs of weight to my truck, so I get 400lbs exempt. I can legally run 80,400 legal. Though there is a downfall, not all states except the exemption. Kentucky, Idaho, are the 2 I know of. I think there's 4 total and 8 that, depending on the weight will let you slide. Since its only about 120lbs over, and I'll burn about 40lbs off in fuel, I'll be fine getting into Indiana. Plus 9/10 times the scale between Illinois and Indiana has been closed.

Now that I'm "legal", I pull out, get my bills and head over to the flying J. This whole fiasco at the shipper put my clock at 2:15 left to drive, not really enough time to do anything. So I grab a spot at the J, get myself a nice HOT shower as I needed it and decided to grab a bite at Dennys as I had a gift card there.

Safe travels everyone, and tell tomorrow. =D

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.

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.

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.

Tandems:

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".

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".

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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