About To Start Training With Roehl

Topic 19945 | Page 2

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Dart's Comment
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Day 4 done.

As with every day, the day started with going out to the truck to do our pre-trip. Once complete, we hit the road with the trailer connected this time. Each of us got about 30-45 minutes behind the wheel driving in a warehouse district and on busy access roads. Once we were done driving, back to the yard for lunch.

After lunch, our truck was in the shop getting its AC fixed, so we shared the other truck with the student on his 3rd week and all took turns doing straight line backing and offset backing in the yard.

Also squeaked in were a few videos on proper following distance and close quarters backing.

All in all, a much better day than yesterday. I was much more comfortable behind the wheel today than I was yesterday.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dart's Comment
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Week 1 is now complete.

My class's truck was in the shop for the first few hours of the morning getting it's AC worked on, so we did our pre-trip on the other class's truck (the 1 student remaining in that class went to the DMV to pay his fees for his skills tests next week). Once the pre-trip was done, we did a couple of offset backs, then our truck was ready. We hooked it up, did the pre-trip on it, and hit the road.

We did drove our usual roads around the nearby warehouses and on the access roads. I also got to drive the truck on the freeway. After our morning drives, we went back to the yard for lunch.

After lunch, we watched a video on basic HAZMAT and did an atlas and trip planning class.

Now we're off for the weekend.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Dart's Comment
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Week 2 Day 1 (Monday):

One of our instructors is on vacation this week, so we have an instructor from Wisconsin filling in his place. His teaching style is very different from our normal instructor, and has taken a couple of days for me to get used to. He has helped my learning a great deal, and having a different perspective on driver training is nice, even though some things are made a bit more difficult.

After pre-trip, we did several offset backs in the morning. After lunch we drove a bit over our usual routes, and came back for some classroom training before leaving for the day.

Week 2 Day 2 (Tuesday, Today):

As per usual, the day started with the pre trip. Afterwards, we brushed up on offset backs and started parallel parking (that was...fun to put it nicely). After lunch, we did a couple more parallel parks and drove our usual routes. I'm steadily getting more comfortable with driving the truck, as well as better at it.

Once we returned, I backed the truck into its parking space, and we took a break. After our break, I did another offset back before we went over our post trip inspection. This was one of my best backs so far. I made it in with 1 get out and look and 0 pull ups. To wrap up the day, we did some classroom work.

Dart's Comment
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Week 2 Day 3 complete.

At this point, our days are pretty much repetition of previous days. My driving and backing is getting better every day.

Nate W's Comment
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loving the daily posts. Its really calming my nerves to know what's in store for me when I start this coming Monday. Keep em coming and I will try to start my own diary as well.

Week 2 Day 3 complete.

At this point, our days are pretty much repetition of previous days. My driving and backing is getting better every day.

Dart's Comment
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Thank you, I'm glad that my posts are able to help.

Just to give you a heads up, the Appleton terminal's schedule and backing maneuvers will be a bit different.

Here in Grand Prairie, we go from 7am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday and are off Saturday and Sunday. I've been told that the schedule at other terminals is 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday, go for half a day on Saturday, and are off the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday.

As for training, you most likely won't be doing parallel parking. Texas is one of the few states that require it. Our instructor that came down from Marshfield for the week hasn't taught it in a while. I think states that do not do parallel parking to 45 and 90 degree backs instead.

I think that Appleton's class sizes are also a bit larger, but I believe that they still maintain the 3 to 1 ratio of students per instructor.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Nate W's Comment
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everything you've said matches up with what I've read and been told so its good to know things are consistent and I shouldn't be surprised with something

Thank you, I'm glad that my posts are able to help.

Just to give you a heads up, the Appleton terminal's schedule and backing maneuvers will be a bit different.

Here in Grand Prairie, we go from 7am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday and are off Saturday and Sunday. I've been told that the schedule at other terminals is 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday, go for half a day on Saturday, and are off the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday.

As for training, you most likely won't be doing parallel parking. Texas is one of the few states that require it. Our instructor that came down from Marshfield for the week hasn't taught it in a while. I think states that do not do parallel parking to 45 and 90 degree backs instead.

I think that Appleton's class sizes are also a bit larger, but I believe that they still maintain the 3 to 1 ratio of students per instructor.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dart's Comment
member avatar

Week 2 Day 4:

As with every day this week, we started with pre trip and backing, followed by lunch and road driving with a little classroom work in between, then finished up with the post trip inspection.

I'm doing well with the offset backing, but struggling with parallel parking. My road driving is improved considerably from where I was this time last week. The vast majority of the conversations between my instructor and I are about which way to turn next.

It's a lot to take in and do all at once, but more and more of it is becoming second nature with each day I drive. I'm still brushing curbs, mainly on the tighter turns, and missing some shifts, which my recovery shifting is getting better as well. RPM management has much improved, but still over revving occasionally. Roehl teaches progressive shifting, which is shifting early to conserve fuel (we typically shift about 1,000 rpm for low range, or 1st through 5th - starting anywhere from 2nd to 4th depending on the situation, and 1,000-1,200 rpm in high range, or 6th through 7th).

The student that was starting his 3rd week when we arrived has received his CDL and left today to spend some time at home before going out with his over the road trainer (phase 2). Another class is set to start on Monday. Tomorrow or Monday we'll be swapping out trailers. The class starting next week will use the trailer we've been using (after a couple of days driving bobtail), and we'll start using the trailer that the other student was using. We've been using a trailer with a 15,000 lb slab of concrete in the back, which we cannot test with. We'll be swapping it for a regular 53' trailer that we'll use next week, during week 4, and for our CDL tests, which will be during the 4th week.

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Over The Road:

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.

Dart's Comment
member avatar

Week 2 Complete:

Sorry I didn't post an update yesterday. I was pretty tired when I got back to the room.

Friday was a pretty light day. We did our pre trip (which I'm getting better at every day, I'm now doing the vast majority of it from memory...still missing a few items, but I'm getting most of it) and went for about a 45 minute drive each that included freeway driving in addition to our normal routes. After we got back, we mostly did classroom training, including TruckPC, city driving, detention pay, and CSA (that was a REALLY long class). Since a new class will be starting with the other instructor next week and we'll be swapping trailers (and that our truck was in the shop all morning and some of the afternoon getting it's AC fixed), we did the preparations for that. I unhooked the trailer from the next classes truck (this is the truck we had been driving the last couple of days due to our truck being in the shop), hooked it up to the trailer that we have been using for most of our training so far and the next class will start training with, and moved the truck and trailer to a spot where it wouldn't be in the way of our backing practice on Monday.

Dropping that trailer for the first time and hooking up to another for the first time made me a bit nervous. I guess I was worried about dropping the trailer on the ground (even though I had properly lowered the landing gear) then getting the truck off kilter when backing to the other trailer and damaging the kingpin. I really didn't have anything to be nervous about. I didn't really have any issues doing it and got the truck/trailer alignment correct on the first attempt.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Dart's Comment
member avatar

Week 3 Day 1:

Started the day as usual with the pre-trip inspection. Afterwards we did a couple of straight line backs, a few offset backs, and parallel parking. After lunch, we did an abbreviated pre trip and drove a new route to a new area for about an hour each. On our return, we took a break and got back to parallel parking for the remainder of the afternoon before doing a post trip and calling it a day.

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.

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