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C.R. England CDL Training 11/2016 - 01/2017

Topic 17694 | Page 1

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Danny G.'s Comment
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First, I want to say thanks to Trucking Truth for providing some outstanding tools which have helped me move forward with a career choice I began planning for about a year and a half ago. So, after working through the High Road Training Program and applying to almost every company on the list of Company-Sponsored Training Programs, I made my way to Premier Truck Driving School in Cedar Hill, TX to train for C.R. England. The first week was pretty basic. DOT physical, drug screen and whatnot, along with classroom work to prepare for the "written" exams which weren't a problem since I had been studying well in advance. Those of us who passed everything the first time spent the next day (Fri. Wk 1) learning how to check the air brakes. *I want to go ahead and note that success in the program there depends on ones ability to be self-reliant. Students recieve written materials to study and are expected to learn and execute without much demonstration. After having the weekend off, we began learning pre-trip inspections and backing maneuvers. (Mon. Wk 2) We were shown straight line backing techniques a few times before being unleashed to try it for ourselves. A few days later the process was repeated with the offset parking maneuver. Now, some students had a problem with the lack of "one-on-one teaching" on the backing range but I actually enjoyed being let loose to figure it all out. In fact, a group of us who were comfortable moved on to parallel parking before being "formally instructed" on it. That weekend we were evaluated on our progress and were ready to start driving. I had never driven a big rig before but I had studied the concepts of double-clutching and understood the shifting pattern. Surprisingly, it came quite naturally and after a couple days I felt like I could really do this job. At the end of week 3 I passed my road evaluation and was scheduled to test at the DPS the following Wednesday. This is where my journey picked up some adversity. So I passed pre-trip, straight line and worked my way through offset. My adrenaline was pumping and the parallel box seemed to be shrinking by the second. I could not park that thing in there! After a break for Christmas, I returned to prepare for my retest. This time I used every point necessary to get all 73 feet of Freightliner in the box. I was elated until I rembered I had to go straight to the road test! Although I was confident in my driving I had used so much brain power on the parallel, I got flustered and rolled over a curb early in the route. Instant fail... I would fail again two days later. With only 1 attempt left and everything on the line I returned the next day and earned my Class A CDL. It was a really awesome moment.

Overall, my experience in school was pretty positive. Yes the hotel was crummy and it took about twice as long as what your told (The 17 day program depends on you passing everything on the first try as well as DPS scheduling) and your not being paid until orientation but once you make through, your only debt is time (9 month contract, no payroll deductions).

Bottom line, this company has given me an opportunity and I intend to give them a fair chance and see where it takes me. I'm excited (and a little nervous) to begin OTR training within the next week or so!

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Patrick R.'s Comment
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Congrats on the pass.

Danny G.'s Comment
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Thank you sir!

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations! 👍

Best of luck and success in your road training. Safe travels!!

Big Scott's Comment
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Congratulations on getting your CDL!! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Looking forward to hear about the rest of your training.

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.
Danny G.'s Comment
member avatar

'Preciate it fellas. I'm waiting on my OTR trainer now. I'll start a new topic on that once I get going.

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.

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