A Dose Of The Real World

Topic 9142 | Page 1

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Papa G's Comment
member avatar

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Romans and Country Men..... I humbly bring to you a dose of the real world.

I recently graduated from CDL school and signed on with one of the big start-up companies. I am into my second week of a four-week program with my trainer, and we are hauling some freight baby! So obvioulsy I am a rookie and as such, speak from a rookies point of view. First and foremost I want to say that while the job is hard, it is also interesting and gratifying... and I am loving it. However, and most of you may already suspect this, the Real World looks much different than the comfy little world of our respective CDL Schools with our kindly and helpful School Marms. For example:

In school we are taught that we should manage our speed based on the posted speed limits and road conditions so as to operate in a safe and responsible manner. In the real world..... HAH! Out here CPM (cents per mile) is King. As best I can tell, I may be the only person out here paying attention to the speed limit. Virtualy everybody is passing me. And sometimes these guys are not pleased that you are following the posted speed limit. Here is an example: "It's 2:00 am and I am travelling East on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It's lightly raining and foggy, and I am passing through a construction zone with two narrow lanes bounded by concrete walls-of-death and a posted 55 MPH. I'm traveling right at the posted speed limit and I see in my mirror a truck coming up behind me. So I hunkered down and focused all of my attention on staying in my narrow little lane so he could pass. This guy, a livestock hauler, comes barreling by me at a speed closely resembling 70 MPH. As soon as the end of his trailer passes my bumper he jacks over into my lane and flips a switch that ignites 3 rear-facing, bright-white spotlights completely blinding me! WTF! I mean... how DARE I be doing the speed limit through a construction zone at night in the rain and fog. What an a-hole.

In school we are taught it is very important to maintain a safe following distance, and that distance should be 1 second for each 10-feet of truck length at speeds below 40 mph (add 1 second for speeds over 40 mph). In the real world.... HAH! Many of the drivers on the road seem much more concerned with cranking as many of those miles as they can per hour, and I understand that. It boils down to making money, which I (and my creditors) am all for. But some guys out here are down right ridiculous, travelling at highway speeds 15 to 20 feet off the bumper of a minivan. What are they thinking...... "Hey, screw that soccer mom and those damn kids! If they wanted to be safe they should have stayed at home! I got money to make! YEEEEEHAW!"

In school we are taught it is very important to conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection at the beginning of your shift. So far, out here in the real world.... HAH! The very first thing my trainer taught me was how to make an e-log entry showing that a pre-trip was done, without actually doing one. Every day I ask my exalted trainer of he would like me to raise the hood and at least check the oil. The answer is typically, no we'll do that later. The weird thing is, this guy is a lease/purchase operator. This means he is working his tail off to eventually own this truck, all the time letting it go to hell in a hand-basket. I suspect, and pray, this guy is not representative of the industry norm when it comes to vehicle maintenance. He is a nice person and I feel lucky to have someone I can get along with, but when I get my own rig I will be running my show a whole lot differently.

So to sum up.... Out here in the real world things work a little differently, but you learn to accept and live with these realizations because overall the job is great. I intend to operate in a safe and responsible manner, and not fall prey to the feeling of "Screw safety! I have to make another $0.32!". In doing so I guess I will be part of the 10% I have been hearing about. Won't you come join us?! Cheers!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar

Lol..must be a schneider graduate. They would recruit all the celadon drivers who wouldnt change gears making a turn,leaving a light. Still makes me laugh.

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar

Empty trailer,start in 4th gear,make your turn,find correct lane,then shift to 5th,while engine is screaming at 1800rpm. Safe drivers lol.🐎

Large Marge's Comment
member avatar

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Romans and Country Men..... I humbly bring to you a dose of the real world.

I recently graduated from CDL school and signed on with one of the big start-up companies. I am into my second week of a four-week program with my trainer, and we are hauling some freight baby! So obvioulsy I am a rookie and as such, speak from a rookies point of view. First and foremost I want to say that while the job is hard, it is also interesting and gratifying... and I am loving it. However, and most of you may already suspect this, the Real World looks much different than the comfy little world of our respective CDL Schools with our kindly and helpful School Marms. For example:

In school we are taught that we should manage our speed based on the posted speed limits and road conditions so as to operate in a safe and responsible manner. In the real world..... HAH! Out here CPM (cents per mile) is King. As best I can tell, I may be the only person out here paying attention to the speed limit. Virtualy everybody is passing me. And sometimes these guys are not pleased that you are following the posted speed limit. Here is an example: "It's 2:00 am and I am travelling East on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It's lightly raining and foggy, and I am passing through a construction zone with two narrow lanes bounded by concrete walls-of-death and a posted 55 MPH. I'm traveling right at the posted speed limit and I see in my mirror a truck coming up behind me. So I hunkered down and focused all of my attention on staying in my narrow little lane so he could pass. This guy, a livestock hauler, comes barreling by me at a speed closely resembling 70 MPH. As soon as the end of his trailer passes my bumper he jacks over into my lane and flips a switch that ignites 3 rear-facing, bright-white spotlights completely blinding me! WTF! I mean... how DARE I be doing the speed limit through a construction zone at night in the rain and fog. What an a-hole.

In school we are taught it is very important to maintain a safe following distance, and that distance should be 1 second for each 10-feet of truck length at speeds below 40 mph (add 1 second for speeds over 40 mph). In the real world.... HAH! Many of the drivers on the road seem much more concerned with cranking as many of those miles as they can per hour, and I understand that. It boils down to making money, which I (and my creditors) am all for. But some guys out here are down right ridiculous, travelling at highway speeds 15 to 20 feet off the bumper of a minivan. What are they thinking...... "Hey, screw that soccer mom and those damn kids! If they wanted to be safe they should have stayed at home! I got money to make! YEEEEEHAW!"

In school we are taught it is very important to conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection at the beginning of your shift. So far, out here in the real world.... HAH! The very first thing my trainer taught me was how to make an e-log entry showing that a pre-trip was done, without actually doing one. Every day I ask my exalted trainer of he would like me to raise the hood and at least check the oil. The answer is typically, no we'll do that later. The weird thing is, this guy is a lease/purchase operator. This means he is working his tail off to eventually own this truck, all the time letting it go to hell in a hand-basket. I suspect, and pray, this guy is not representative of the industry norm when it comes to vehicle maintenance. He is a nice person and I feel lucky to have someone I can get along with, but when I get my own rig I will be running my show a whole lot differently.

So to sum up.... Out here in the real world things work a little differently, but you learn to accept and live with these realizations because overall the job is great. I intend to operate in a safe and responsible manner, and not fall prey to the feeling of "Screw safety! I have to make another $0.32!". In doing so I guess I will be part of the 10% I have been hearing about. Won't you come join us?! Cheers!

I'm new to trucking and I'm about to go solo if the stars align tomorrow. I am very cautious and I intend to follow posted speed limits and slow down as I deem fit. During training trucks sped past me all the time. They can get the tickets. I intend to be safe. Pass me. I don't really care. I'm a defensive driver and I intend to extend this to truck driving.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Large Marge's Comment
member avatar

Empty trailer,start in 4th gear,make your turn,find correct lane,then shift to 5th,while engine is screaming at 1800rpm. Safe drivers lol.🐎

It's a lot to multitask when u r new.

Papa G's Comment
member avatar

The bottom line is to operate at a speed where you, as the driver, feel comfortable. Who knows, maybe after some time behind the wheel that comfort zone will change and you'll be blowing by me at 85 mph, blowing your horn, and flipping me off! LOL!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Papa G's Comment
member avatar

Empty trailer,start in 4th gear,make your turn,find correct lane,then shift to 5th,while engine is screaming at 1800rpm. Safe drivers lol.🐎

Shift? Ooooh..... Shift. I read about those somewhere. The transmissions you have to shift yourself. How quaint. Mines an automatic.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Empty trailer,start in 4th gear,make your turn,find correct lane,then shift to 5th,while engine is screaming at 1800rpm. Safe drivers lol.🐎

double-quotes-end.png

Shift? Ooooh..... Shift. I read about those somewhere. The transmissions you have to shift yourself. How quaint. Mines an automatic.

Yea,they didnt try to recruit me,thank God,his own words,were,"Your a very agressive driver"..you should see me when Im not testing for my Cdl!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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