Phew! Made It As A Truck Driver.

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Jenny's Comment
member avatar

I joined, and used the quizzes. I asked one silly question, and I was off to do this thing!

I started school back on January 12, took six weeks to get out of there! I couldn't parallel park that rig for nothin' unless no one was watching lol.

I researched every trucking company that would allow pets, and grilled all the recruiters as they came through the school. All of them I caught in a lie, except for the May Trucking recruiter. So, I signed right up! The way I saw it, there were going to be really crappy days out here as it was, I didn't want to be working for liars as well, because then crappy just gets crappier in my opinion. There are things I don't like, but they told be before I signed on, so I can't *****. But I will complain a little. All these companies are governed, but we are one of the tightest. 61 on cruise, 58 on the pedal. Gets a bit hairy at times going that slow. But what do you do?

So, I got in, and got put with a trainer finally, as a woman, they wanted a woman trainer for me. I also smoke, so they tried to get me with a smoker female, and well, I got a female. She did let me smoke, but not when the truck was parked. I was very grateful. She was great. I learned at MY pace, she didn't freak out, she explained all my "whys" and we got along wonderfully. Something I know I am blessed about, I've heard horror stories!

3.5 weeks and I was solo! What!?! Ok, so I panicked a little. I didn't feel ready, but I passed the road test, pretrip, and skills with the safety dude. (it wasn't at my yard so I can't remember his name) so, I guess I was ready. April 2, was relieved that safety dude was busy for the 1st, cause I didn't need to be an official April fool soloing out.

1st day alone was HELL!!!! I got lost. Twice. I had to have road construction guys move some barrels. I had to make traffic back up at a light because I couldn't turn tight enough, and honestly, they were encroaching in the intersection so I didn't feel too bad about that. One gal didn't see what was going on because she was too busy yapping on the phone. I still laugh...I hit the air horn to get her attention, and the phone went flying! At that moment, I knew this was the job for me. I was going to stick this horrible day...er, week out, just so I could do that again some day lol

S..L..O..W..L..Y.. it has gotten easier, I have learned how to check my gps against my routing, and directions. I don't get lost very often, nor very badly anymore. I realize, I only have myself to depend on, and that is just flat odd to me. I still struggle with energy to do laundry, and even shower sometimes, but I do it. Sometimes, getting somewhere for those things is a struggle, but I'm getting better. Some of the dumbest things get to ya out here. For example, I get free showers at FJ/Pilot because that's where we fuel. So, I am always looking for a stop at one of them. Sometimes its impossible. So, if I get stuck at Petro/T.A. I at least take advantage of the laundry facilities if I need to do laundry. For a while, I din't stop there at all, because I figured no shower, I'd rather be at a rest area, they are quieter, and usually prettier. And the dog can play more :) So, getting over the don't stop at Petro/T.A. was biting me regularly, because, when I did hit the shower stops, I was so friggin tired most times, laundry waited anyway. See, I told you, DUMBEST sort of things....

So, here at almost 2 months solo, I found time to share. Only because, I got stuck on a 34hr reset. In Nashville. At a Pilot. Showers yes. Laundry no. Go figure. Yet, I have never been happier.

I also run my CB, and some of the things I hear about us women drivers! I don't get on them and fight, I just laugh, and think...No wonder your a OTR guy, society won't have you with that sort of attitude. You know, I'm happy, and I'm sorry you aren't.

Gonna run, I hope to stay in touch better!!! Thanks for such a great place to learn and be encouraged!!! May Trucking questions, ask away. Just remember, I'm pretty partial to my honest company.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jenny's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I am very grateful for this site!!! I haven't been surprised by anything out here yet, I took it to heart that it was going to be tough, and that this first year would be the toughest. What I have been surprised by, is my own fortitude. I have only THOUGHT about giving up once. I was in Denver (a place I disliked long ago). This particular trip, I just wanted out of there, send me south to Springs, and I may have quit just to stay...lol Nope, I was in Denver on a clouded in rainy miserable day with rush hour traffic, and no view of the mountains. My DM had me not available until the next morning, and I had 6 hrs on my clock. So the get me outta here! call was made.

He called me back and asked why I wanted out. I just told him what I told you guys, Springs, I love..Just hate Denver. He'd do his best.

Golden. Getting beer, not too hard I thought, and I'll be outta here in a jiffy! Not so much. I got there, without getting lost even, got checked in, and dropped a beautiful trailer, the tandems slid well, the tires were tip top, the glad hands went on and off like a dream, and not a scratch on it. I knew I was going to miss that trailer, but what happened next, makes me sad for that wagon to this day. I found the one I was going to pick up. It didn't look to rough, but a tire was going flat, no big, once I hook up the air it will fill and I'll go from there. Then, the glad hands WOULD NOT go. Spit, tears, muscles and hammers were all required. But, I got em, and the tire started inflating. Lights, check. Tread, check. Push button tandems, check. Breaks, check. Hub oil, a little iffy on one wheel, but still in the perameters. Awesome, good to go right!?!? Nope.

I had to slide those flipping tandems and they weren't having it. The breaks weren't holding the trailer, so the tires rolled. Curb, I need a curb. So, I looked around, and nope, none of those in this lot, at least any I could get to. And did I mention a bunch of guys(other drivers) were standing around watching me fight this? One, was kind enough if you will, to recommend the curb idea. You know, because I'm just a dumb girl and hadn't thought of that and all....

At this point it is starting to rain, so the dirt lot is getting messy. But I have to get out of Denver dang it!!! So, I drive around the lot, hoping someone will pull out a trailer where there is some curb. Someone did. Now, my dog is barking incessantly at EVERYTHING. My head is starting to hurt and the mud is getting deeper. The dog is picking up on my energy and really driving me nuts. Now, I have to pee.

So, I get backed into the slot, and jump behind the curtain use the emergency bucket, and stuff had fallen out of my shelf. So, I just start tossing it, and cant close the cabinet door. SLAM!!! It bounces back and nails me square on the noggin'.....Remember the headache...10x worse now. Whatever!!! I TOLD you I HATE Denver!!! Grr...

I jump back out and hit the button, and the pins don't move. Ok, give it a rock, and they will go. Back in I go, start it up, and bump it. Click. Cool, now I can slide em!!! I back on the curb and move em, halfway, and they stick, so I punch it harder. Slip! Thunk! the tandems are forward and all the stuff in my sleeper is on the floor!! *^%^&$@!!!!! I will fix it later. Gotta get out of here!!!

I get out one more time , because I didn't here the pins, and nope, gotta rock it a bit to get em out. My knee is on fire now, and if it swells any more it is going to explode, I know it! In and out of that cab, I don't know how many times, and then click. YAY!!! Im out of here. 2 hours on my clock now, I think, I can be way down the road in 2 hrs!!

I check out, get it sealed, and the scales are broke.

So, I do my call in, and let the now night DM know I need scales opened, and off I go. I push the button and am asked to hold on at the scale. K, they are busy nothing unusual. Waiting, waiting, waiting, now ready to walk in there and give em a peice of my still throbbing mind! "First weigh or reweigh". First, and I mumble some other unpleasant and unladylike things, then head in for my ticket. It is packed, and there is only one guy trying to run the T.A.!!!!!! My Comdata card isn't working for the scales, so I'll pay cash and get with my DM in the morning..Sigh. I'm over weight on my tandems. So, I go mess with them some, and they won't move back any better than they moved forward. Welp, might as well go see what a shower is going to cost me. I sure need one, 2 days, and the muddy greasy mess of the day. I don't have the points, and can't find parking. Some genuinely nice guy let me know that the reserved spots were still open, so he would move the cones so I could grab one. Well, there went my shower money. I'm broke now. Glad for payday in 2 days.

So I crawled in bed, trying to figure out how to move those tandems, and kept getting up to try. No rest for me tonight, I can't let it go. FINALLY I fall asleep for a couple hours and wake up early enough to get out of there if I can just move those tandems. I drove around the lot 3 times, looking for another curb or ANYTHING...and finally stole a piece of cement and moved em. By then it was 8am. Rush hour. I FRIGGIN QUIT! I HATE THIS!! Boohoo hoo!!, I want my MOMMY!! WAH!

Then I was sliding down the hill out of Denver and there was no traffic, and I love my job again. Grabbed my shower on my 30 and started a fresh new day. That was nearly 6 weeks ago, and no day yet has compared.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jenny's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Apparently, how us ladies pee while on the road is an interesting topic! I find it annoying having to make special arrangements since I was not blessed with the handy, dandy, pee-pee stick that all you boys got! But, I digress, I broke my Peter today....

Ok, so I didn't really break it today, I just happen to have it in the shop today, which allows me some time to hop on here and share this last weeks lovely adventure!

As most of you know, California sucks. I am blaming California for many of my problems as well. DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) is the product of California, without their "need" for this awful idea, I would have had a great week! Ok, a better week than I had.

I got a load from Idaho down to Denver (remember, last time I was in Denver, I wanted to quit!) I'm feeling pretty good about this, I know exactly where I am going, I get to see country I haven't seen yet, and I know where the yard is, so I don't have to pay for parking. YAY! Milk, 33*F. No biggie, 2 days and they will have their moo juice. Off I go feeling confident that I can handle the traffic now, and a little rain never hurt nobody, I've got my trip all planned out with plenty of time to get there. Plan A, B, and C for overnight parking in case I can't make the yard. Awesome! The delivery is 3.2 miles from the yard. YAY!, easy morning, don't deliver until 8:00 even! Happy dance! I get to sleep in!

As an extra bonus, I had enough time to go through the Layton yard and have the guys there fix some minor leaks on my truck before they became major leaks, and change out some shoddy tires. Extra, extra bonus, it was the week that CSA was doing their thing so that meant I got to check my permits at a yard (2 were expired!) and have a quick look over since I was the new kid. So I spent a night there, and hit the road for Denver, happy as could be. I'm legal to the hilt! Pull me in suckas! They didn't. I was ready!! and nope, nothing. I had to show some paperwork and tell Wyoming that I wasn't delivering in their state today and off I went. Pshh..what a waist of time.

I make it to Elk Mountain Rest area. My dash is lit up like a bomb is ticking down with a message that DEF is bad! Get new DEF or risk engine death!!! Alright, that isn't exactly what it said, but that was how important it looked. Pulled in and called my DM , I wasn't suffering from engine derate, so we decided Denver was close, and I'd roll it in, deliver THEN deal with the horrible OTRS guys. Well, the derate showed up on the next hill. So, anyone who followed that May truck down I-25 doing 45 no matter what, well, that was me. I didn't have my CB on because I had nothing nice to share back over the airway.

Ok, keep rolling, get there, it will be fine. Just friggin' get to the Denver yard! Yes, I kept saying that out loud until my dog was ignoring the fact that I was speaking. Dad, calling on a Saturday? Weird, but what the heck, I'm needing something to do besides curse to myself. So we chat until a lighting bolt blasts the signal, and I've only got a couple more miles to go.

I get pulled in, and parked for the night. Next morning, I turn the engine over and STOP!!! Do not pass go!!! The stop engine light is now on. So, I do what it says, and start in with OTRS. Who, proceeds to ask me ME, if I put diesel in the DEF "by accident" Dude, how would that even work? The nozzles are different, and WOW, just WOW...I may be a truck driver!, and I may be a girl!, but I am NOT a booger eating moron!!! I decided to erase that on the Qualcom and send a simple "No". So, they are going to tow it. Um, Hello, I have a load on, of MILK! Lord help us all. So my DM calls, "go see Dude in safety" "oh no! What did I do wrong? Calm down Jenn, you didn't do anything wrong. Oh god, I must of done something wrong", boy, that was a LONG walk. I see Dude leaving, catch him and he says, "go watch a film and pee in a cup I will be back to talk to you after the film". Wait? What? What did I do wrong???? (All inside my head, I was too scared to speak) Come to find out, what I did "wrong" was be employed for 90 days. Sweet! Hit me with another shot of coffee so I can study for that whiz quiz!

All done with that, and I need to move my truck, because the found someone to deliver the milk. He asked why he was taking it the 3.5 miles for me and I told him about the DEF. He askes "They made you do a UA for THAT?" haha

So, finally they get a tech out to work on my truck. It is still under warranty, and Peterbilt has to do the work, so it is around 1 when he rolls in. Rolls right by me standing near the truck waiving at him. Turned out, he wasn't "one of those" that saw girl and figured "naw" next truck, he had been told I was in the corner. OMG!! He was HOT! I got to watch him climb around my truck all afternoon! We had a few laughs, and some comment of dinner was made while on the phone with my OTRS guys, and then it is time for him to go, my truck is fixed. What do I do? Sigh, "Hey man, thank you SOOO much!!! And no offense, but I hope to never see you again." Wait, what? Did that seriously fall out? I would have totally loved dinner, heck, lol, maybe he was good at body work too!! But really, I am not out here for that, so I did the right thing. I hope.

Truck fixed. Robert LA here I come! Texas panhandle, I finally get to see you!! Amarillo for fuel, cool. I can't stop singing "Amarillo by mornin', Amarillo's where I'll be" (even if that is wrong, it wouldn't go away) continued.......

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.

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

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.
Jenny's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

So, I am done fueling, and run as fast as I can with my legs crossed to go to the bathroom. Somehow though, I remembered, for the first time ever, to go log myself as off duty before I ran off. I went potty, browsed the store, and finally wandered back to my truck. Shoot, I only have 12 minutes and my 30 break will be complete. Better get off the fuel islands though. So I pull around next to the scales and wait. A/C feeling good again, and then my dash starts flickering, my CB is going crazy and here comes a black man running at my truck yelling fire! It takes a minute, but I realize it's all directed at me. I shut off the engine, and jump out. The fender light (both a marker and a blinker I think) is on fire! So I climb in to get the extinguisher and by the time I'm ready to pull the pin the fire goes out. Phew!

So, I get a hold of OTRS again, and send pics, bla bla bla, and then I hear nothing. I wake at 6 and send another message. They want me to roll with it! Dude, F.I.R.E. ANYWHERE on the truck is not safe. Not to mention, I can't use my lights. I am not SAFE nor LEGAL...Big words our company uses all of the time. "Can't I just go buy some tape, or electical caps and stop them from crossing?" So, they send me to T.A. who won't touch it because it is under warranty, and I let OTRS know. I also inform them that Peterbilt is 2 blocks away, and opens in 20 minutes. And I wait. And wait. And then do what I am not supposed to do, and went to Peterbilt without permission. they stripped the wires, taped them and sent me on my way. (Duh!)

Delivery went without incident, other than being a day late. Empty call sent, and my marching orders for repairs come in. Baton Rouge. Nice, 30 minutes drive, a couple hours to run a new wiring harness and I should be on my way. Not. 11:30 yesterday I checked in with them, and they tell me that they don't have the part and it will be Wednesday before they can get me going. I tell OTRS, they say "overnight the part, we'll pay the freight". So I tell the shop, and they just chuckle. They can look at my truck the next morning, THEN order the part overnight, and I'll still be out of here Wednesday. So, I slept in my truck (of course) and about 10 minutes before the guy comes and gets me it is down pouring! Great, what am I going to do with the dog now? So, into the showroom she goes! Tries to bite 2 guys, and makes friends with half a dozen more. Then, it hit.

I mean, literally hit! I had just started pushing the door to go smoke, and BAM! The loudest crack I have ever heard, the building shook, and every hair that wasn't standing up straight was ingrown. Lightning hit one of the trucks in the yard! WOW, found my blessing! At least I wasn't driving in it!!! By the time they told me that I would have to get a room, another truck in the yard was struck. Yep, I will GLADLY take a room!

So, here I sit, feeling like I am in some huge apartment with a real bed. Not to shabby these Quality Suites, especially after living in a truck for the last 90 days, sweet 90 days. It has gone by so fast....

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Great entry, Jennifer. I read:

I didn't feel ready, but I passed the road test, pretrip, and skills with the safety dude.

and I thought "wait till she's solo!", then boom!

1st day alone was HELL!!!!

Yup, right on schedule. And I knew this would happen:

S..L..O..W..L..Y.. it has gotten easier,

Great writing! Send more, please!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much for posting this Jennifer!

That's some great stuff, and so typical for any newbie's experience. From the early intrepidation to the silly solo mistakes, and especially the getting lost and making wrong turns during the first few months.

Hang in there girl, it will all come together and you will have a ton of funny stories to tell on yourself.

Jenny's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I am very grateful for this site!!! I haven't been surprised by anything out here yet, I took it to heart that it was going to be tough, and that this first year would be the toughest. What I have been surprised by, is my own fortitude. I have only THOUGHT about giving up once. I was in Denver (a place I disliked long ago). This particular trip, I just wanted out of there, send me south to Springs, and I may have quit just to stay...lol Nope, I was in Denver on a clouded in rainy miserable day with rush hour traffic, and no view of the mountains. My DM had me not available until the next morning, and I had 6 hrs on my clock. So the get me outta here! call was made.

He called me back and asked why I wanted out. I just told him what I told you guys, Springs, I love..Just hate Denver. He'd do his best.

Golden. Getting beer, not too hard I thought, and I'll be outta here in a jiffy! Not so much. I got there, without getting lost even, got checked in, and dropped a beautiful trailer, the tandems slid well, the tires were tip top, the glad hands went on and off like a dream, and not a scratch on it. I knew I was going to miss that trailer, but what happened next, makes me sad for that wagon to this day. I found the one I was going to pick up. It didn't look to rough, but a tire was going flat, no big, once I hook up the air it will fill and I'll go from there. Then, the glad hands WOULD NOT go. Spit, tears, muscles and hammers were all required. But, I got em, and the tire started inflating. Lights, check. Tread, check. Push button tandems, check. Breaks, check. Hub oil, a little iffy on one wheel, but still in the perameters. Awesome, good to go right!?!? Nope.

I had to slide those flipping tandems and they weren't having it. The breaks weren't holding the trailer, so the tires rolled. Curb, I need a curb. So, I looked around, and nope, none of those in this lot, at least any I could get to. And did I mention a bunch of guys(other drivers) were standing around watching me fight this? One, was kind enough if you will, to recommend the curb idea. You know, because I'm just a dumb girl and hadn't thought of that and all....

At this point it is starting to rain, so the dirt lot is getting messy. But I have to get out of Denver dang it!!! So, I drive around the lot, hoping someone will pull out a trailer where there is some curb. Someone did. Now, my dog is barking incessantly at EVERYTHING. My head is starting to hurt and the mud is getting deeper. The dog is picking up on my energy and really driving me nuts. Now, I have to pee.

So, I get backed into the slot, and jump behind the curtain use the emergency bucket, and stuff had fallen out of my shelf. So, I just start tossing it, and cant close the cabinet door. SLAM!!! It bounces back and nails me square on the noggin'.....Remember the headache...10x worse now. Whatever!!! I TOLD you I HATE Denver!!! Grr...

I jump back out and hit the button, and the pins don't move. Ok, give it a rock, and they will go. Back in I go, start it up, and bump it. Click. Cool, now I can slide em!!! I back on the curb and move em, halfway, and they stick, so I punch it harder. Slip! Thunk! the tandems are forward and all the stuff in my sleeper is on the floor!! *^%^&$@!!!!! I will fix it later. Gotta get out of here!!!

I get out one more time , because I didn't here the pins, and nope, gotta rock it a bit to get em out. My knee is on fire now, and if it swells any more it is going to explode, I know it! In and out of that cab, I don't know how many times, and then click. YAY!!! Im out of here. 2 hours on my clock now, I think, I can be way down the road in 2 hrs!!

I check out, get it sealed, and the scales are broke.

So, I do my call in, and let the now night DM know I need scales opened, and off I go. I push the button and am asked to hold on at the scale. K, they are busy nothing unusual. Waiting, waiting, waiting, now ready to walk in there and give em a peice of my still throbbing mind! "First weigh or reweigh". First, and I mumble some other unpleasant and unladylike things, then head in for my ticket. It is packed, and there is only one guy trying to run the T.A.!!!!!! My Comdata card isn't working for the scales, so I'll pay cash and get with my DM in the morning..Sigh. I'm over weight on my tandems. So, I go mess with them some, and they won't move back any better than they moved forward. Welp, might as well go see what a shower is going to cost me. I sure need one, 2 days, and the muddy greasy mess of the day. I don't have the points, and can't find parking. Some genuinely nice guy let me know that the reserved spots were still open, so he would move the cones so I could grab one. Well, there went my shower money. I'm broke now. Glad for payday in 2 days.

So I crawled in bed, trying to figure out how to move those tandems, and kept getting up to try. No rest for me tonight, I can't let it go. FINALLY I fall asleep for a couple hours and wake up early enough to get out of there if I can just move those tandems. I drove around the lot 3 times, looking for another curb or ANYTHING...and finally stole a piece of cement and moved em. By then it was 8am. Rush hour. I FRIGGIN QUIT! I HATE THIS!! Boohoo hoo!!, I want my MOMMY!! WAH!

Then I was sliding down the hill out of Denver and there was no traffic, and I love my job again. Grabbed my shower on my 30 and started a fresh new day. That was nearly 6 weeks ago, and no day yet has compared.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Refreshing writing and true insight. Keep it coming! I suggest an "Adventures of Jenny" diary.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey whenever you need to move your tandems but they're not moving, put a cement brick and that'll do the trick. It acts like a wheel chock and its under .50c! It's especially useful on snow because a brick will go right through the ice and grip the pavement whereas a rubber wheel chock will just slide right on top of the ice.

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".

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

Bleemus, I never really considered a journal/diary what ever. I suppose we will see what time allows. And thanks, I do try to get you guys "out there with me".

Daniel, I kept those cement chunks. They work like a dream when I need them. :D

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Oh, Jenny, reading your experiences is like dejavu to me! Getting lost, stuff falling on my head and the emergency bucket, which I call the kitty litter porta-potty. And the showers, ha! I too prefer rest stops, quieter, and more dog friendly. Oh man, wouldn't it be awesome if the rest stops had showers??

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

Deb, showers at the rest stops would be great! I have thought about a portable camping shower on the catwalkm solar heated and all lol, but I am sure that I'd look down some day and some perve would be laying under my truck shocked.pngshocked.pngshocked.png

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I got a plastic funnel for a dollar that my girlfriend uses in place of a emergency bucket. She just puts it in a empty water bottle. Seems like the least messy situation for the ladies.

Some service plazas in Ohio have free showers just bring your own towel.

Just a couple tips I thought of reading this.

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