The B Team Returns To The Road

Topic 20760 | Page 1

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B Team's Comment
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We are a husband/wife team returning to OTR after 30+ years away. Raised two young men and are ready to hit the road again. I am Jeff, Mrs. B is Cheryl. After the 30 year hiatus, we basically are starting over as rookies. We start CDL school tomorrow (9/18) at a local community college (Trenholm State). We have completed the High Road Training course with 98 & 99% scores. Thanks to Brent we'll probably do great in school. We had a dedicated route for a furniture company in the mid 80's while contracted as O/O's with North American. Looking to drive Team as company drivers this time. Have letters of intent from a couple of companies, we'll make a decision before we graduate in December. We'll do our best to keep a training diary so that other interested parties can follow our adventures. Thanks again to Trucking Truth for all the info and encouragement!

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

B Team's Comment
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We would love to hear advice & or recommendations from current husband/wife teams. We are excited to be returning to the trucking biz.

Peter M.'s Comment
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That's great. Can't wait to read your updates.

B Team's Comment
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Day one done. We have a class of ten. Lots of paperwork, set expectations for the class, began studying on general knowledge section. Took a practice test that will be graded tomorrow. We need to go to DMV this week and test for CDP. We're going to try and test for all endorsements (doubles/triples, tank, and Hazmat) as well. Will update again tomorrow.

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

B Team's Comment
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Wow, this has been a busy week. On Tuesday and Wednesday (days 2 & 3) we watched Training videos on general knowledge, combination vehicles, air brakes, doubles & triples, tankers & hazmat. We also took practice tests on all of the above. Our instructor wants everyone to get their CDP before the week is out so that we can get on the practice track. Mrs. B and I went to the DMV today and passed all of the required elements, plus all of the endorsements except school bus, which we decided not to take. We’re now CDP holders! Five of the ten in class now have permits and we started driving the track tonight and got to work on shifting on the 10 speed Internationals. Felt really good after a 30 year break. Excited to be returning to the road as a team in a few weeks. Stay tuned and we’ll keep everyone posted as we keep on trucking!

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

Combination Vehicle:

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

John P.'s Comment
member avatar
Good luck

Wow, this has been a busy week. On Tuesday and Wednesday (days 2 & 3) we watched Training videos on general knowledge, combination vehicles, air brakes, doubles & triples, tankers & hazmat. We also took practice tests on all of the above. Our instructor wants everyone to get their CDP before the week is out so that we can get on the practice track. Mrs. B and I went to the DMV today and passed all of the required elements, plus all of the endorsements except school bus, which we decided not to take. We’re now CDP holders! Five of the ten in class now have permits and we started driving the track tonight and got to work on shifting on the 10 speed Internationals. Felt really good after a 30 year break. Excited to be returning to the road as a team in a few weeks. Stay tuned and we’ll keep everyone posted as we keep on trucking!

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

Combination Vehicle:

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

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

B Team's Comment
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Well, week 2 of CDL training is in the books. Lots of shifting practice on the range, straight line backing, and last night we started learning the 90 degree alley dock. We have a couple of fantastic trainers that are really dedicated to making sure that our class learns how to do things right. We are all getting more comfortable in the drivers seat. Our classroom time has been centered around trip planning. If you are going to be successful in this industry, as we've all read over & over on the TT forum, time management is probably the most important area to learn. Trucking runs on a tight schedule, and the gubment regulations make it tough to get things done efficiently. With Murphy's Law factored in, it can be a challenge. As I said earlier, our instructors do everything that they can to get us up to speed. We have had visits from a couple of recruiters from trucking companies. It's interesting to compare the different approaches as they try to get us to want to join their respective companies. Mrs. B and I are really excited about this lifestyle and career change! We really appreciate your prayers and support. Thanks! Stay tuned, we'll update again soon.

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.
Turtle's Comment
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We would love to hear advice & or recommendations from current husband/wife teams. We are excited to be returning to the trucking biz.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your journey through training.

I'm a company flatbedder for Prime, and my wife rides along with me. She doesn't drive, so we are not a true co-driving team. But we are still a team nonetheless. She helps me a ton on the truck, so it makes our daily routine much easier. Of course it helps that we've been together for 28 years. Living in such close quarters with your significant other can be, shall we say, trying at times. We absolutely love it so far.

Sounds like you two are in for a fun time, best of luck!

B Team's Comment
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Week 3 of CDL training at Trenholm Community College is complete. It's amazing how fast time flies when you're having fun. This week we worked on trip planning, logging, and driving skills. We actually got to take the trucks out on paved streets for the first time; and we finally made right turns! The trip planning required us to create drivers logs from theoretical trip narratives. We had to make sure that we observed all of the 11 hour driving and 14 hour working rules as well as show all of our required pre-trip inspections and breaks. The trips required correct routing to make appointments for loading and unloading on time. We also had to do pre-trip inspections on our school trucks at the beginning of class each day and grade each other. This is one of the more intensive parts of training because you have to memorize this routine and recall it on cue. It's a challenge to learn every part of your tractor and trailer and their respective functions without missing any of them. Daniel B's Pre-trip checklist has helped us tremendously! Once again, Trucking Truth's CDL Training provides a way to help us reach our goal. Thanks to Brett (and Daniel B.)! We have also learned the required backing maneuvers; straight line, offset, and alley dock. We'll keep practicing them daily as we work closer to our final exam. Lots of jack, jack, jack, and chase, chase, chase. Gets easier everytime! Again, kudos to our instructors, Kent & Chuck. These guys really love this business and want every class member to master the skills and knowledge required to be successful truckers. Mrs, B & I promise to keep you up to date on our progress and we appreciate your good wishes and prayers. Seven weeks to go!

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.
B Team's Comment
member avatar

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through with CDL training. Week 4 was an interesting week. We had a visit from a recruiter from Wiley Sanders Truck Lines. He is also a driver, and had a fun and interesting presentation full of stories from the road. We continued our trip planning and logging training. We were given an imaginary tip that started in Montgomery that had a specified time to unload in Huntington, WV. After unloading in Huntington, we deadheaded to pick up a second load at a specific time in Lynchburg, VA. That load was to go to Cleveland, TN. You guessed right, it had a timed appointment as well. After delivering in Cleveland, we picked up another load that brought us back to Montgomery. And yes, it also had a specific time to deliver. We were told that we had to perform pre-trip inspections as required, average 50 mph, take a 1 hour break after every 5 ½ hours of driving, and follow all DOT requirements regarding 14 and 11 hour rules. After figuring out the most efficient routes to make sure that you could make the appointments on time, we had to log the trip on driver logs as if we actually completed the trip. By the way, this was a 5 day run. On Wednesday and Thursday we took the trucks out on road trips. Our class of 10 was divided into two teams of five. Mrs. B and I were in different trucks. (Our instructors want to ensure that we’re still married at graduation time) On Wednesday we drove from the school to exit 79 on I-85. (About 75 miles) We parked at a shopping center, grabbed a fast food supper, and drove back to Montgomery. I drove from exit 64 to exit 79, parked for supper, then drove back to exit 64. Mrs. B drove from exit 64 to exit 26 on the way back. The total trip was about 150 miles. On Thursday we drove from Montgomery to Sylacauga, AL and back on 2-lane rural roads. I got to leave the training facility and drive through Montgomery traffic during rush hour. That will humble you real fast. Mrs. B's turn was from Clanton, AL to Rockford, AL on Alabama Highway 22. That’s like a rollercoaster ride. It’s an adventure in a car, it’s more like a thrill ride in an 18-wheeler. This route was about 225 miles long. It was a great experience and brought some reality to the adventure that we’re about to begin. Friday was spent on the backing range. Lots of practice on the alley dock maneuver. As most of you know, it’s the most challenging backing move, and the one that we’ll probably use the most once we’re on the road. It’s also one of the three required on the road test. Again, we cherish your prayers and good wishes as the big day looms closer and closer. Can’t wait to give you the next update!

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.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

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