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Swift Fontana 4/11

Topic 19108 | Page 1

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K.R.'s Comment
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Well, here goes.

Got from where I was staying Sunday night in Whittier to the motel, got checked in, got things settled. Motel staff were very nice and helpful— although they gave their last accessible room earlier today before I got here, they'll move me when one opens up (as although I don't require an accessible shower it makes a helluva difference in the overall and every little bit helps).

Got my stuff as settled as I need to given that.

Given that the shuttle is at five in the morning I think I'll simply be taking my own car over to class tomorrow. For now, now that I've posted here and checked in with the people who needed to know that I arrived safely, I'm going to head back down and out and go find dinner and then get some simple grocery shopping done so that most of the time I'm not eating dinner out.

I'm excited, and admittedly also a little bit nervous. It's been just over a month of unemployment since I've driven anything big, and I know that it'll be another few days of classroom and other bureaucratic necessity before we're actually driving.

I really appreciate all the support that I've gotten from this forum so far— it's been incredible in making the decision to move in this direction with my career. So thanks, and here's to tomorrow.

Kianan

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.
K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

I had a lovely dinner at the Indian restaurant down the block. Number of folks there from a number of companies, nice conversation across a few tables. Admittedly, this will probably be the only time I eat at that restaurant for the rest of the time as it's not in my budget, but I definitely don't regret it, very good food and a nice way to start out the whole experience of coming to trucking school feeling positive about it.

After that, I went grocery shopping at the Stater Bros, got water and some fruit to have for breakfasts and some yoghurt, and such.

I got my clothing all set for tomorrow, my backpack ready (some things like the power strip and such that I brought for the hotel room that I don't need to be bringing with me), and I'm working on winding down and getting some sleep because I know that tomorrow is going to be a long day and an early start, even if it isn't as early as it would be if I were taking the shuttle. But honestly, I'm just excited and pretty wound up at the moment and it doesn't feel like sleep is happening quite yet.

(If I'm still wound up in ten-fifteen minutes, I'm going to go down and soak in the jacuzzi for a while and hope that that helps me settle down. So glad I brought my bathing suit!)

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Good luck Kianan.

Big T's Comment
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Sounds like a good start to the week. See you in class. Good luck.

Han Solo Cup's Comment
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Kianan, keep us posted. I love reading the CDL Training Diaries and living vicariously through you guys/gals.

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.
K.R.'s Comment
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Kianan, keep us posted. I love reading the CDL Training Diaries and living vicariously through you guys/gals.

You could vicariously get my splitting headache, too. That'd be fun.

Today was just paperwork and such things and a few videos. No big deal. Unfortunately for me between the travel and the adjustments to my sleep schedule including getting up far earlier than I necessarily needed to this morning— and probably also from not drinking enough water today— I have a splitting headache. Other than that the first day was fine. I'm enjoying the dynamic of the various people in my class and the conversations that I'm having, even if being around so many people smoking makes me kind of want a cigarette (despite that I do not currently smoke and have no plans of picking it up again).

Going to drink more water, take a nap, and then figure out dinner or something like that.

And I think that spending some time in the jacuzzi to relax the stress out is warranted too. It was very nice last night and seems like a good way to wind down the day.

And of course at some point I'll get around to reading the various handouts we received today, on things such as the pre-trip and the air brake test. I'm kind of surprised that it seems that on the rigs the air brake test is somewhat simpler than the one which we had on the buses. Mostly the same except that since it's not a passenger vehicle it doesn't have all of the interlocks that passenger buses have. Anyway. Now to get some rest (without going to sleep too early because that would feck up my sleep schedule as well).

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.

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.

K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

Pre-trips, pre-trips, pre-trips… what can I say other than that it's the part of driving that we all love to hate?

Swift does a mock pre-trip test that I believe is this weekend, basically to prepare us for the pre-trip section of our license test. Not so bad, right? 70 points minimum on the mock test, and 67 for the actual test, and of course getting more points is better than getting less.

For me at the moment it's just a matter of getting a hang of the verbiage— I've always found the verbosity required by the dmv pretrip section to be kind of a thing that trips me up. Currently I'm working on narrowing it down into a numbered list of steps in order, so that I can get a better handle on the additional parts of the pre-trip from it being a combination vehicle.

And tomorrow it continues.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

Passed my pre-trip mock no problem at all. Definitely looking forward to skills on Monday, although I'll admit that after all of my experience being with vehicles with an automatic transmission I'm nervous about the manual transmission. Anyway, time to get some rest tonight and tomorrow so that I'm well-rested for Monday.

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.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

How is it going?

K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

How is it going?

It's going pretty damn well.

I'm still having some problems with the clutch and my knee, because that's definitely a lot more than I was necessarily expecting and with my knees it's taking some time to adjust. But it's getting better every day, and I think I'm actually starting to understand how shifting works— whereas yesterday with road time I was just pressing the clutch when the road instructor told me to and having a lot of help with shifting.

My legs are still sore enough that I'm relying a lot on my crutches at the end of the day, but I'm really a lot more confident than I was at the beginning of this week. Not less tired, though. This is the first day in a few days that I've done more than just get back to the motel room, lay down and go to sleep. I'm also really glad that I'm doing my road time in the morning and skills in the afternoon because it's the skills backing that's getting my knee the worst.

I went to the library over in Upland, got myself a library card, and checked myself out two books, because one of the things that is being constantly told to me is that I need to relax, and one of the best ways for me to relax is to read a book or get my mind a little bit off of the training. There's only so much I can study before I start going in circles and feeling like it's counterproductive.

I've pretty much got straight line backing down, and offset backing, but no matter how much I tried today I couldn't quite get the knack of parallel parking. More practise on it tomorrow, driver's side, and then after I get that it'll be on to conventional/blind side parallel.

Anyway, onwards. Time to go read my book.

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