Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

Topic 21041 | Page 3

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Rob's Comment
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Don't give up. Training is definitely a trying time. My biggest problem that i had is I'm not accustomed to failure. I beat myself up when I was training because I wasn't as good as I hoped and it caused tension between my trainer and I, although I was thankful he was training me so I kept my mouth shut for the most part. Starting out your obviously not as experienced as the trainer is, and unless they are an actual trainer that deals with many new drivers they simply may not understand that CDL school teaches you bare minimum to obtain your license.

It's also only for 2 weeks with this guy, just push through. Regarding not getting the trailer straight when backing. One thing I was told was when you do the "loop" is do a "s" to get the back end moved over to try and get straight. Sometimes space is limited and may not work too well every time but it's helped me (rookie) on the rare occasion of needing to bump a dock

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.
Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

That "S" you mentioned has helped- thank you! I figured I would update this again also. Monday I called in 2 hrs. before I was supposed to show up as I didn't feel good. Later that day one of my bosses called & asked me why I called in, so I told him. Then he asked me if I called in because my trainer & I had an argument the Friday before. & that since I called in when I did, that it was 2 points or something on my record & that I didn't call in at least 4 hours before my start time. Sorry. 4 hours before my start time was 2am & I was asleep. (Maybe I should call in & say I'll be sick......sometime...)... Tuesday I had an evaluation sheet I had to sign, so I knew what to work on. I had problems backing up almost all week. Some of these docks are really unforgiving & / or crooked (I'm told) which adds to the frustration sometimes. Hitting things isn't fun either...I hit a curb on a tighter turn with the trailer, immediately followed by my trainer saying "What did you do?". Also somehow backed over a wheel chock with the trailer. Friday I nearly rear-ended an Expedition because it had NO brake lights at all. On my evaluation it noted I needed to check my mirrors more. So I began doing it more, or just whenever I thought of it. As we're driving along Friday I'm scanning my mirrors, doing what I'm supposed to do (I think). I get off of a 6-8 lane state road & onto a freeway. My trainer mentions to me "You know, you haven't checked your mirrors in the last 3 miles"... I looked over & said "What are you talking about??" I told him I disagreed & how does he know? Half the time I look over to check my mirrors, he's looking out the window (funny how I know this?). He says he's watching everything, & can see everything, blah blah blah. I know when I look in my mirrors. Just wondered why he's just making stuff up like this...like he's just looking for something to complain about. I just can't wait to get this crap over with. Between the trainer I don't really like, getting up when I do, getting there at 6am, then sitting in the truck at the dock until 8am when the load is ready (&I could be at home sleeping)....I don't even want to LOOK at a truck. My OTR training is after this, or next week, so I'm looking forward to that just so I can get out of the local stuff I'm doing now.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Mike please click on this link:

Do You Have the Right Temperament For This Job

Unfortunately you represent the perfect archetype that motivated me to write the article found in the link.

The primary problem with your training is you. Chronic impatience, argumentative communication and a hot-headed temper are all behaviors uncharacteristic of a successful and safe truck driver. It seems you might be better suited for a different line of work.

Rob's Comment
member avatar

How's the training going?

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

Mike please click on this link:

Do You Have the Right Temperament For This Job

Unfortunately you represent the perfect archetype that motivated me to write the article found in the link.

The primary problem with your training is you. Chronic impatience, argumentative communication and a hot-headed temper are all behaviors uncharacteristic of a successful and safe truck driver. It seems you might be better suited for a different line of work.

Actually I think I'm a pretty easy person to get along with. Impatience, that, I do have a problem with now & then. I wouldn't say hot-headed, however when I have a trainer that is just flat out lying (I'm referring to the mirror thing I mentioned), that I have a problem with. I really don't like arguing or confronting people at all. Maybe you're right about my attitude, maybe you're not. You're entitled to your opinion either way.

Here is a training update. I did my 2 weeks of OTR with a different trainer. I got along pretty well with this trainer almost the whole time. I was also back in a 10 speed which I hadn't driven in quite a few weeks. I had to remember all that again. We started off in MI, drove to Kansas City, then back to Evansville, IN, from there onto Georgia, NE Tennessee, Louisville, KY, Walton, KY, back to Louisville, then back to MI where I had the weekend off. During this week, I couldn't believe how much I missed home. I really didn't sleep well in the truck the last few days of that week. My trainer had a headset & was on a party line (I guess) just about every night with a few of his friends that also worked for the company. Just overhearing some of these conversations, I had to restrain myself from bursting out laughing. Every now & then I'd look over & laugh. As far as driving that week, I had to drive through a bit of a snow storm Monday night. I just slowed down & everything went OK. When we got to Kansas City, we dropped our trailer & went to pick another one up. So I backed in front of the next one & went to hook it up when I heard an odd kind of thud. I got out & looked & the trailer was almost in the cab...yeah I high-hitched it...ugh....thought my trainer was going to kill me. We got it straightened out & hooked up, & off we went. Throughout the week this trainer REALLY helped me with my setups for backing up & actually showing me what I was doing wrong & needed to do while I did it. I feel better about backing up now. I drove in the mountains in NC / TN & you really have no idea what a struggle it is to get up a few of these inclines....usually in about 8th gear, pedal floored, hazards on @ about 40mph. Fast forward to week 2...back in the truck for a nearly identical route. Our trailer was about 3 hrs late + traffic leaving MI, so my trainer drove first & told me to try & get some sleep so I could drive later. I - tried- to go to sleep but once I'm up & it's about 5pm, I can't just go to sleep (wish I could sometimes). I took over later & drove until about 2am. I could barely keep my eyes open as we had already been delayed & had to deal with an accident on I-69 which forced us off the road & in traffic for another 45 mins or so. Not long after that, we stopped to take a nap & I got back up & drove until about 6am. WE stopped again & I slept some more & was able to drive that night again. It was nice to enjoy some 70 degree weather also! & I was feeling better than last week with less stomach issues. The last couple days were...strange. My trainer had kind of stopped talking although we hadn't argued or anything like that. He kept his headset on most of the time & would just tell me to downshift or get in whichever lane. I thought OK, the guy didn't get to go home & I did, so he's been in the truck 10-12 days straight. I pretty much kept quiet & didn't really say anything Thursday night before we stopped. Friday morning we got up & rolling around 8am from Louisville & headed back to near Detroit. It was a pretty quiet trip, I just did what I was told & probably didn't say any more than 5-10 words for the 6-7 hour ride. We got back to the yard & I had to drop the trailer. He (thought) he lined me up with 1 space but I was too far out, so we tried another. All the while an owner operator was waiting. Guess I rushed backing in & wasn't as close as I thought to my side while trying to 90 the trailer in. I bumped the trailer next to me with my trailer. Trainer said to go get a different spot (I thought really? now that I'm 1/2 in this one? lol) I pulled out, let the owner op drop his, then pulled into my spot with a pull up or 2. I stopped in at the office where they asked if I had my hazmat yet, I said no, I missed it by 1 question twice. They said I need to get that, (I got it today). I didn't really say much to my trainer as he had another load to get & I didn't want to hold him up. He was by far the better trainer of the 2. I called the office today & have yet to hear back about when I go in next. Or what to do.

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

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Glad you made it through OTR training. You surprised me in a good way.

My assessment of your temper was based purely on what you wrote previously; the emotional responses to things you couldn't control. I don't care if you disagree and don't want to argue with you. There are some things you should work on because things will go wrong out here, expect it. It's how you handle the problems and adjust rationally that many times is the difference between failure and success.

Good luck and thanks for continuing your diary.

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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