Trucking School @ TMC Transportation

Topic 20491 | Page 1

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Dash of all Trades's Comment
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Day Zero:

My journey began on Saturday at 4 in the afternoon. I was picked up from my home in Houston, TX by two other TMC potentials- one already had his CDL and the other had just gotten his permit. Me? I wasn't able to get my permit before we left, unfortunately. My recruiter says it's not too big a problem, though, so I still have high hopes!

The drive was long and tiresome and even a bit dangerous at times. We ran into a storm along the way, somewhere in Oklahoma and received some pretty torrential rain. Nonetheless, we pushed forward. I got to know my two car mates, well. One, a military vet who had already gotten his feet wet in the trucking world but didn't have a very pleasant experience. The other, completely new to trucking, just like me.

We stopped to eat dinner at a sit-down restaurant, since we had plenty of time. Well, 16 hours later we arrived at our destination: Des Moines, Iowa- home of TMC Transportation! We were let into our rooms well before check-in, which we were grateful for, after such a long and tiresome drive. As it turns out, TMC owns and operates a hotel out here. We all got roommates; I ended up rooming with one of my driving partners! We checked in at around 11am and spent the day mostly napping and exploring our surroundings.

Day One:

My day started at 5:30am. We had a light breakfast and went to wait for the shuttle to the training center. This is where my day started off on the wrong foot. We were told to be at the shuttle pickup by 6:45 and not a minute later, as the bus would be departing shortly after it arrives and if we miss it, we are responsible for finding our own ride to the training center. Well, 6:30 rolls around and I start to realize that my breakfast wasn't quite sitting well with me. I had to go, but didn't want to miss the incredibly punctual bus, so I decided to wait it out. 6:45 comes and goes and then 7:00. I'm certain that our shuttle is right around the corner! It doesn't arrive until about 7:15.

By the time we arrive at the training center, I have to go! We're told to wait in the cafeteria and our teachers would come out shortly and take us to our rooms. I make a b-line straight for the restroom and by the time I get out, the room is empty. Uh-oh. I ask the closest person wearing the TMC brand and they direct me to my room. I walk in embarrassed to be late and my teacher teases me, in what came off as a playful manner, about showing up late. I apologized & said I was in the restroom with a nervous chuckle under my breath. "Oh yeah, laugh it up!" he says, "showing up late on the first day." I apologize again with another quiet, nervous laugh. "That sh*t's f*cking funny?" He says with a dead-pan look on his face. "You're here for a f*cking job, aren't you?" I'm taken aback. This is my first impression of this person and I have no way of knowing how serious he is. I just lower my head and try to melt into my chair. This was how my first day started; getting chewed out by the teacher.

The rest of the day was better, though tiring. We went and had our physicals done, took an "agility test" where we had to lift a 130 lbs. tarp up, onto our shoulder then onto the flatbed. We then climbed up, lifted it again and placed it onto the load, shimmied across and brought it back down. Our day was long. We started at around 7:30am and finished at 8pm. Tomorrow will be just as long and tomorrow I go for my CLP. I will update tomorrow to let you know how day 2 goes- wish me luck!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

G-Town's Comment
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Although I don't agree or see the need for the expletives, the instructor is absolutely correct and must also set a tone of discipline for other people in the class.

You might want to read this link from the Trucking Truth Blog...highly relevant in your present situation: Trucking Has the Longest Job Interview

Dash of all Trades's Comment
member avatar

Although I don't agree or see the need for the expletives, the instructor is absolutely correct and must also set a tone of discipline for other people in the class.

You're absolutely right. It was just unexpected, is all & I definitely knew it was not a good time to have an upset stomach but there wasn't much that I could do about it. Today was much better. I've definitely been putting my best foot forward and have been soaking up everything that I'm taught and told. I got a new nickname today: Over-achiever, haha! I've breezed through my tests thus far, with an 89% average. I've learned the teacher's personality now & he rips on lots of people in the class. Don't worry, though, I'm not getting a fat head. There's always a lot to learn and I definitely don't know it all. I took a trip in the simulator and grinded gears plenty- even missed a few gears.

I passed my CLP exam and am excited and ready to see where this month will take me. I know this month will be incredibly hard but it will most definitely be worth it. I think it may be one of the most rewarding months of my adult life.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Chalk it up to nerves...you'll be fine. It's all a test...

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