Schneider Bulk - Leaving For Training Today!

Topic 702 | Page 2

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Starcar's Comment
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My hat is off to you....I drove enough truck pulling a full tanker trailer of sloppin' water to know I never wanted to do tankers otr.......

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.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Forgot to mention about the guys that didn't pass the pre-work screen. I don't know why, rumor is one of them had a knee issue, and the others we don't know.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Day 3

I drove this morning and did classroom work this afternoon. When we came in my roommate told our instructor that he is withdrawing from training. He said it was more physical than he thought and he felt too unsteady ontop of the tanker. Instructors tried to talk to him and see what the issue was, but he decided to leave. We all wished him good luck. Now I have my own room.

My driving consisted of bobtailing to the tank wash about 10 minutes away. Picking up a clean tanker, pre-tripping it, driving it to the OC. Then we went back to the tankwash, picked another clean tanker, drove it to the OC. Then we did some slow maneuvering in the yard... backing (even straight backing) is a lot harder in a tanker than a dry van! No nice big box in my mirrors to judge distance and angle lol.

Oh... forgot I did all of this stuff, including pre-trip in 90 degree heat in a nice orange jumpsuit (NoMex suit). Wasn't that bad honestly.

Will update more tomorrow.

Bobtail:

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

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Your updates are great. Even after being in trucking for 15 years I'm still curious how they run these training programs, especially a bulk tanker program. So I know people who are considering a career in trucking must be loving the updates!

backing (even straight backing) is a lot harder in a tanker than a dry van! No nice big box in my mirrors to judge distance and angle lol.

If you adjust your mirrors so that you can see the same amount of trailer in the mirror on both sides when the truck is straight, it shouldn't be any different than a dry van. Once you see more trailer in one mirror than the other, you know you're not straight anymore. I realize in training you may not have the time (or it may not be practical) to adjust the mirrors all the time if you're switching trucks and trailers all the time, but once you get your own truck it will be easier.

Also, here's a tip about something that can throw you off. Not all trailers track straight. The alignment can be off and the trailer will be skewed to one side or the other instead of being straight behind you. That can drive you nuts if you have your mirrors adjusted properly and suddenly you're pulling a trailer that doesn't ride straight behind you. You go to do a setup for a straight back and you think the trailer should be straight behind you, but it isn't. It's skewed a bit so when you begin backing it's going to push off to one side right away.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Starcar's Comment
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Dog legged trailers...hate to pull them. The trailer tandems needing alignment really isn't funny. It wears the tires, and costs you in fuel mileage, cuz the straight truck is fighting to pull the crooked trailer. The cause of dog legged trailers? The easy answer is, someone before you spun the trailer around to tight and to fast on the tandems, tweeking the alignment. The fix ?? take it to the shop and have them straighten it out. It will also cause all kinds of headaches trying to slide the tandems, cuz they are in a bind. You'll see drivers in the truck stops all the time, spinnin' a trailer....I always hope they get every dog legged trailer in the fleet...

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Day 4

Arrived at the OC this morning to find out 2 more guys withdrew from the training. They said it just isn't for them. So far no one has been booted out, all have voluntarily withdrawn. We are down to 11 from 16.

I drove this morning. Instructor took me down towards downtown Pittsburgh. There were a few areas where the road got very very narrow and the telephone poles were REALLY close to the curb. I did fine, just had to keep a close eye on the trailer. We also did a few very steep hills so I could practice shifting going uphill. The instructor gave me a quick rundown before we got to the hill. He wasn't kidding when he said you have to shift fast and get back on the fuel FAST after getting into gear.

Then we headed back to the OC and did some slow maneuvering around the yard. Apparently like 90% of accidents happen during slow maneuvering. The instructors stress that knowing how to slow maneuver properly is just as important as knowing how to drive down the highway. We backed the trailer into our spot (I will try what you suggested tomorrow Brett), then post-triped and went inside for classroom stuff.

In classroom we just did HazMat review, Schneider policy about safety, spills, and so on. Few computer based tests on that stuff and we were done. Oh and most of our tankers are smooth bore, so we get to experience the full fun of the surge lol. Like the one I was pulling today.

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Michael K.'s Comment
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What caused the problem for the three that didn't make it through the pre work?

Looking forward to your updates. Keep 'em coming. Good luck!!!!!

Could you please tell me/us what the heck is the pre-work screen? Thanx much, and good luck! Mike

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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The pre-work screen is basicly a little simulation of the work environment. They make you lift some weights, do some squats, walk around on a catwalk, kneel down, and so on. Then they measure your heart rate between all of these to make sure you don't go over whatever the maximum heart rate is for someone of your age and weight.

When you get your confirmation from the recruiter that you are going to training they send you and email with a video showing what the pre-work screen is.

Actually here is a link to a video about Schneider's pre-work screening.

Just put that link into your VLC Player or Windows Media Player. It's about 3 minutes long.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

DoubleCutter's Comment
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Hey Thinks, thanks for the updates. Good to hear that everything is going good for you.

Keep em coming. dancing-banana.gif

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Day 5

Pre-tripped tractor and trailer. Tractor's brakelight bracket fell off and trailer had a broken marker light. I noted this to the instructor and we took them to the garage to have the mechanics fix them. The instructor told me it is real important to treat the mechanics with respect because I will come to rely on them.

Drove with an air ride suspension trailer. It had more surge than anything I have pulled so far, but got use to it. We drove some highway and some very hilly country roads.

On a bad note I regressed in my shifting today... I have no idea what was wrong with me, I got enough sleep, I had breakfast, everything was fine. But for some reason my shifting was horrible, I even forgot to double clutch a few times. I felt embarrassed in front of my instructor especially after he told me yesterday that I was doing above average. And it wasn't even the surge! I missed the slot for 7th 2 or 3 times, I didn't double clutch probably a dozen times, and other stuff I can't even remember.

Just one of those days I guess. I didn't stall or hit anything but I just felt terrible.

This afternoon we did trip-planning in the classroom. Did a few examples with the instructor then got some homework to do on our own.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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