You have completed orientation. You have been assigned your truck. You are ready to hit the road and are waiting for that first load. STOP!
Right about now, you have a million emotions going on. Your excited, and maybe even a bit nervous. Its okay. That's what this post is for. We want to make sure that you are ready and not going to get out there and realize that there was more that needed to be done before you left. Dispatch might even be asking if you are ready to go and pushing you to go get that first load. Again, STOP!
My biggest piece of advise to you is going to be to tell them that you will be ready first thing in the morning. Next, We will walk you through the things that you did not even think of and make sure that you are well rested, your truck is in order and, and that you can be productive for dispatch and for your business.
After Orientation Step By Step
Let dispatch know that you will be available for dispatch first thing in the morning. Spend tonight getting to know your truck. Get things put away in your truck where you want them. Get a good night sleep. You might not feel tired but you have just had a lot of information thrown at you over the past day or two. While you have not been physically active your mind has been working overtime. Slow down for an evening.
Go through your permit book. Be familiar with what is in there. You may be asked by DOT to show proof of insurance or your vehicle registration. Do you know what it looks like? Check the dates to see when these things expire.
Hook up any electronics that you might have, If you are using a tablet or phone for your GPS, do you have those programs downloaded and ready to go. Go check out our post on APPS THAT WE USE. Is there anything you need to download?
Grab your Qualcomm. Make sure the sound and lighting is where you want it. Be sure that you and your co-driver are signed in. Become familiar with the QC. If you have questions, now is the time to ask Phil to come out to your truck and help you. Sometimes the QC needs to be reset when new drivers are added. Be sure to check with Phil. Change your duty status to different statuses and make sure the QC takes it. Se nd a test message to dispatch and ask them to reply. Make sure you know what canned messages or macros we use and how to read or send them.
Grab your keys and walk around the truck. Make sure all keys work and that all locks work. You don't want to get to a shipper on your first load and realize that you have the wrong key for the lock on the back of the truck.
In the bunk, make sure you know how the power inverter works and how to use it. Turn on your APU and make sure that it works and the overhead sleeper AC unit works. Check bunk heat/AC and check that the Espar works and you know how to use it. Check to make sure your refrigerator works. Check the AirMax fan on the roof.
If you have never driven a large truck like this before, ask how the three stage engine brake works. Ask when to do a manual downshift. Ask about pulling hills and going down mountains. You can not drive these trucks just like a car.
Do a walk around of your truck. Open the hood. If there is any part you are not familiar with, now is the time to ask.
On the drivers side side box, make sure you have emergency triangles, spare fuses, and that you know how to fill the water tank. Now might be the time to make a trip to Wal-Mart and get an RV hose or water filters. Check out our post on water filters for your truck
Ask Thomas to show you how to load the truck. You are always going to want to load heavy on the rear end. Ask how to use the drop axel and when to use it. Where is the area between the axels marked in the box of the truck and where should you set load bars at?
Make sure you have snow chains or tire socks on the truck. If you have never used them before, pull them out and search out videos on how to put chains on your truck. You do not want to be on the side of the road freezing, trying to figure out how to put on chains, Learn it now.
Make sure that you have extra motor oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. We have these at the yard and it will save you a trip if you need them.
Make sure that you have extra windshield wipers and air cabin filters on your truck.
Call your "New Driver Coach" and introduce yourself. Make sure you put their number in your phone. This is your lifeline and the person you will call when you have questions about anything from dispatch, to maintenance, fueling, payroll, or just need someone to talk to. Chances are they know the answer and your not waiting on hold to talk to someone at the office. Plus, your coach has been with Davnic long enough to have relationships with everyone, they will know who to contact and when. If they do not have the answer, they know where to get it.
Read over all the post in the forum. Chances are many questions you have can be answered there or you might read something that you never even thought of.
Get a good nights sleep and be ready to roll tomorrow.