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time, sweet time
I have had an amazing summer so far, filled with meeting and making great new friends and falling in love.  However, I haven't felt like I had much time to document it much, save the occasional photo.  I've been so busy living it, or working, or sleeping that there hasn't been much time for writing about it and there have been so many things.  After completing stormodacentury's training in late June, I took some time off from my role as a trainer, in part to take a break from it, but also so that queenkatieett could come ride with me for a couple of weeks.  Then welfy decided she wanted to come along for a truck ride as well.  Taking this break has provided me the opportunity to do these things, but at the same time, I've had to do all the work; no days spent riding idly in the passenger seat with my laptop in front of me writing about the things I do. 

Today I picked-up Jim in Indianapolis.  After getting settled into the truck this morning I drove for a bit as I normally do, just so I can talk and get to know my new truckmate.  He's in his late 30's/early 40's and has spent the last 15 years managing a tavern in Rockland, Illinois.  I mentioned that he already had 61 hours of his training completed the other day.  It turns out that his first trainer became ill and had to go home.  His second trainer had him for a couple of days then quit working for my company to take a better offer with another.  Jim has told me that both trainers told him he was a natural.  After about 30 minutes, I stopped so we could swtich seats and see what he could do, see what kind of work I had ahead of me.

Turns out he is a natural.  With respect to driving, the three biggest problems for new drivers are lane control, gear shifting (particularly downshifting), and turn execution.  His first three turns to get us back onto the highway were excellent and few minutes laters I could ascertain that his lane control was not an issue, either.  I'll have to see a lot more of his turns before I'm completely comfortable with him driving anywhere while I'm not up front with him, but already I wouldn't think twice about crawling back into the bunk for a nap while he's driving on the open road.  About an hour later we arrived at our exit which gave me the first chance to see him downshift.  It was a little rough but nothing of concern. I'm content to chalk that up to him being in a Pete - he learned on a Century Freightliner and his two previous trainers had Classic Freightliners.

He's still on curfew, meaning my company won't allow him to drive between midnight and 6am for the first two weeks of training, but given his time into the training process, that should only be a matter of days.  It won't take long for me to be completely comfortable with his driving.  I love guys like this.  It makes my life so much easier.  You can expect some historical entries from the summer in the very near future.

This will only make sense to those of you who have worked in the industry and I don't feel inclined to give a run down of Hours-of-Service for the uninitiated:

Apparently the FMCSA has finally revised the new HOS rules since being asked-to by Congress last year.  The big change?  Split-breaks can now only be comprised of 8+2 and the 2 can be off-duty or sleeper berth but the 8 must be sleeper berth.  I see the logic in the rule, but I guess in my mind it kinda defeats the purpose of splitting breaks.  Why have split breaks at all, then? Just get rid of line 2 and require full line 1 breaks if you're gonna do this.

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Man, that's going to be annoying. But it does make sense, for what they're trying to accomplish, sort of.

Glad to hear you got another ringer. But man, you're going to be totally hosed when Jason II climbs in there...

the curfew thing seems backward to me. between midnight and 6 am is when i'd WANT cuckoo new drivers on the road...when i am NOT. :)

The idea is that the most accidents occur then, due to driver fatigue. It's really hard getting used to the schedule, and in particular overnight driving.

The company I work for doesn't allow me to split break any way. It kind of sucks. They started monitoring the trucks, and if the truck is not still for the full 10 hours the people in offices get upset. On their reports it will not show the D.O.T. break unless you sit still for at least 10 hours. So much for fudging the paperwork. This '06 Freightliner is nice and all, but I kind of want my '99 back. I could work the log book with out the Qualcomm ratting me out.

heh, well i've been dealing with that since day one. with the paperless logs, the qualcomm detects truck movement and will automagically move you to line 4 if the truck beings moving for an extended period of time. if it starts movign at a high rate of speed for a long time, i will move you to line 3.

did you guys go paperless? i heard the pilot program was over and the fmcsa has authorized other companies to begin using the technology which Werner and Qualcomm devised together. i assume all the large companies will institute in a matter of time.

We still use paper logs. I hope we don't go paperless. On a paper log I can make a 5 min break last 15 or 30, and keep on driving. That helps a lot when you drive a castrated truck. This little girl cant compete with a big ol pete.

we're governed at 65 my 62.5 mph friend. paper logs aren't so bad. it's definitely a lot less headache than keeping a paper one.

I was gonna be all "only those of us who've worked in the industry", eh?

But then I read it and realised that after all of your explaining, I still have no idea how your hours work.

It's not terribly complicated, just not easily retained unless you implement it on a daily basis. Kinda like learning a foregin language. ;-)

Well this is the 3rd time Ive heard of this in the past week, time to pay attention I guess
I use the 2 hrs nap to extend my 11 hrs...but I agree why not just do away with the line one ...like any of us use it anyway

I use the split break to stop my 14 hour clock usually, otherwise, I typically take full 10's.

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