Profile For Nathan S.

Nathan S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Algonac, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 months ago

Nathan S.'s Bio

Born and raised in Michigan. Looking forward to a new career in trucking.

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Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Finisher training first-week recap

So yeah...I've been awol for a few days. All I have been doing is driving, eating, sleeping..lol Little to no wifi makes updating this more frequently very difficult. But here is some of what has gone on since my last update.

I can't believe how many ups and downs I've been through. In full disclosure, I was 90% done on day 4. This is by far the hardest thing I've ever attempted in my life. Living on the road, with a stranger, trying to drive for 11 hours a day, and being awake for FAR longer than that is INSANE!!! The stress of going to businesses with a 70 ft truck and having NOWHERE to maneuver and then failing to be able to get into the dock broke me. My first two deliveries were at Tractor Supply Comp and both those locations had the "space" but filled that space with hundreds and hundreds of pallets that weren't being picked up. I tried and tried on both but couldn't figure out how to work around the available space and ended up having the trainer finish them for me.

I haven't been this homesick and lonely ever. I miss my daughter and family so much. I knew this would be difficult and I KNOW it will get easier but man everything is attacking my brain all at once.

I spent the first 3-4 days absolutely drenched in Mississippi and Louisiana. Water up over my boots kind of drenched. But the clouds broke yesterday. Literally and figuratively. We finally got away from the constant TSC and Waco, TX distribution center cycle we were stuck in. They routed us back to Joplin and got a load to Kent, WA which is just outside of Seattle. I'm currently done with my first of a four-day drive. We are in Odessa, Nebraska and tomorrow hope to hit Salt Lake City, but I don't know if we will make it that far. As long as I hit 500 miles per day we should make our Monday morning delivery.

I feel a lot better today. I've had numerous successful backs now and even though I haven't had to do anything super difficult, having a few successful ones make me feel better. More like I might actually belong out here. I know that there will be tough days ahead, and I know that more challenges await me, but I have to stay strong and positive. Enjoy the road ahead and look forward to home time when it comes around. I don't want to make it sound like I'm whining or can't handle this but the mental fatigue and stress are messing with me harder than I was prepared for. It's a day-to-day situation but I fully plan on pushing through and going to make this work!!

Thank you to all the people that have supported me and encouraged me along the way!

Have a great night and stay safe everyone.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Start Of Driving Finisher Training Day 1 and 2

Man, I can't believe what a whirlwind the last few days have been. So I didn't get that extra in-between day I was expecting. My finisher trainer showed up a day ahead of schedule. So to catch everyone up, here is what has been going on.

So Thursday morning at 9:00 AM we signed our paperwork to become CFI official. We all met in the cafeteria and went through the paperwork one page at a time. Very organized and that went really fast. Now, earlier that morning I was informed through text that the trainer was on his way to Joplin and would arrive that day. I didn't know it would literally be by 11 am that he would be at the terminal. I had a load of laundry going and literally all my stuff was in the hotel room a few miles away. So I scrambled as best as I could and got onto his truck by 1 pm. We already had a load headed down to Waco, TX.

Now the ELD (electronic log book) that drivers use to track driving time through the DOT and Federal regulations wouldn't allow me to sign on. It was as if, the computer system didn't know I existed. So we made a bunch of calls and were informed: "they were working on it". So basically I wasn't able to drive at this point. As we headed down through Oklahoma towards Texas we still hadn't heard anything back. So the first day went by with no driving by me. We stopped about 340 miles from Waco for the night.

I will say that being on a truck, and at a truck stop for the first time in my life in a place I didn't know, with a person I didn't know was extremely daunting, to say the least. My first night I can't lie, I asked myself many times what had I gotten myself into? I eventually slipped off to sleep after succumbing to fatigue.

Friday morning (today) we woke up and still no login. Made so many more phone calls and still no resolution. So trainer drove the rest of the way to Waco, TX for our delivery which was due at 1:30 pm today. We got our trailer dropped and picked up our next run. Now we are headed to 2 locations with this load. First Monroe, LA, and then off to Nechaz, MS (Mississippi) both Tractor Supply Company stores. As we left the pick up still no resolution to the computer system and my trainer had enough. He pulled over on side of the road and raised a little hell with the people at CFI. By 3:00 Pm we had resolution and I was able to log in to the computer system and I, for the first time, pulled us out of a TA rest stop and headed to the Louisianna state line. Pulled us into a Loves around 6:30 pm for the night.

We are only 2 hours away from our first delivery and it isn't due till Sunday morning at 6:30 am. That means we have some time to kill tomorrow. Maybe we'll practice some backing at a truck stop.

Well, I'm pretty tired and now that I'm more comfortable with my surroundings and my trainer, I'm headed off to dreamland.

The next update will be as soon as I can find time and wifi. Have a great night and be safe!

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Day 2 Orientation

I planned this morning to take notes about everything that happened today so I could be as specific as possible but...I didn't and I'm 40 so, I'll do my best to remember everything!! LOL

The shuttle arrived at the hotel around 6:20 AM. One thing to remember for those students following along with this diary, DO NOT BE LATE for class!! They will ride you pretty hard about that. I do not speak from experience because I PROUDLY arrive everywhere early but there have been quite a few late people in the first two days and it wasn't pretty. They say there are only two things a carrier can sell to a customer and they are our safety record and our on-time record. SO being on time is very important around here, even on breaks!

We arrived at the orientation room and had another few hand-outs and booklets. Our lunch menu was the same as yesterday, Domino's. Which wasn't a problem as there are quite a few different options to mix it up.

Lectures happened pretty much all day. We watched a heart-wrenching human trafficking video again. (happens to be the same one I watch a few weeks ago at trucking school.) This one was edited down, which I was thankful for because at 8:00 AM in the morning my emotions were not happy with the content, and all I kept thinking about was my daughter. We then jumped into a video for 8 seconds. It's is a short documentary on a young man who looked at his phone for 8 seconds and drove 63 mph directly into the back of a man's car that was stopped at a red light somewhere in Minnesota a few years ago. He killed the man driving and the video interviewed the truck driver from prison, the man's daughter, and his wife. Between the two videos, I wish I could say I didn't have tears running down my cheeks but I would be lying. It was a rough morning but driving an 80,000 lb truck is very serious business and they know what to show to get the point across!

After that, we moved onto CFI "straight 8" safety initiatives, for lack of a better word. They take safety as priority number one and even say load delivery being on time comes second to safety. We learned about safety while driving and safety while working. There are two quizzes that must be passed after these two lectures. I missed one question and had to re-take that section again but still finished it pretty easily. I'm not trying to brag, trust me, but I take safety extremely seriously and really have taken the danger of driving a semi to heart!!

After these videos and lectures, we went out to the driver's parking lot, and there awaited a tractor and trailer for us. We had to perform a few physical ability tests. They watched us open the trailer doors properly, release the tandems, release the fifth wheel, climb in and out of the trailer, and the tractor. The only thing here that was slightly difficult was getting into and out of the trailer. I have bad knees and had to kneel on them but was able to complete this with little difficulty.

After lunch, we had a coupling and uncoupling video, a short presentation on maintenance and fueling. Then a person from the training department came over and talked with the students in the room about the student training program. Roughly 8 of us are in that group. We went over the rules, expectations, and guidelines for being with our finisher trainers. Attached to the file folder we received were our assigned trainer's phone number, truck number, and name. Mine is due to Joplin on Friday. I called him this evening and left a message, so I don't know exactly when or where the rendezvous point will be yet.

We sign in the morning, which means we will become sort of employed by CFI tomorrow? I guess it's not really official until we upgrade and become solo drivers, but it's the first step to becoming official.

I'm really excited about getting to meet my trainer and hitting the road. I know the 21 days on his truck will go by super fast and there is so much to learn. I just want to be safe, learn as much as humanly possible, and become a sponge to learn all I can from him.

Have a great night and be safe!!

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Advice please

No one knows what company is best for you to start out with except you!! Most people will tell you that the first company doesn't matter much because it's all about getting your first year under your belt and having that year's experience opens so many doors for you down the road.

Don't focus on the CPM (cents per mile) focus on a company that runs the type of trucking you want to do. (dry van, refer, flatbed, etc) Then one that is hiring out of the state you live in. Read some reviews on here, a great idea if they are a company with lots of bad reviews, or a decent company that people seem to like (mostly) Then do it!

My 2 cents, for what it's worth. I can't imagine working for a small company right out of the gate. There are so many decent mega-carriers and larger companies that have more loads than they can handle right now. Go with the company that will keep you moving. Not a place that can disappear overnight.

Hello,

I’ve been following on here for quite a while(sadly after I got my Cdl could have really avoided some headaches if I knew about this place first) and honestly really enjoy the helpful post and everyone who contributes their time to help people like me learn so much.

My question is why are so many small companies messaging me asking me to join talking about their nice new equipment and how great the pay is and everything. Then slip in the oh and it’s 1099 “but that’s a tax break on you. “ What’s with the wanting to 1099 someone over W2? I’ve read the post on here about it and it seems like fraud to me. That’s why I am asking why companies do this? One company said to me that he “has me rent the truck trailer” and that sounds okay for a 1099 but I’m sure I’d need insurance then?

Am I wrong here for not considering a company would wants to 1099 a W2 employee?

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Day 1 Orientation

Just like the email said, the CFI big white bus, showed up at the hotel around 6:15 AM for our 6:30 AM departure. The driver performed roll call right there in the breakfast lounge haha. Many people missing but a good 12-14 of us were there. Most of them still had their rental cars, since Monday was a holiday and the rental places were closed. We were advised to drive ourselves to CFI and later in the day, we'd handle the return of them.

We walked into the orientation room/meeting room, which was bigger and nicer than what I expected. Very warm, professional feel. Even more impressive was the setup at each seat. Waiting for us was a name badge and lanyard, key card for access to the building, a packet of paperwork, lunch order form, hand sanitizer, earbuds, and our own personal laptops for hours and hours of video training that awaited us. It was all laid out so neat and tidy and something about seeing your name on that desk just hit me in my feels. Really cool welcome if you ask me!

So you start with the massive packet of paperwork. Took roughly an hour to get through all the paperwork. Lots of signatures, lots of directions flying at you. Pretty standard stuff tho, nothing crazy. After they get your paperwork, one of the guys (two instructors) will input info into the system which allows them to create a personal log-in for the training program. The whole first day is basically watching various training videos and taking the corresponding quiz. It's a forced pass test situation, but if you don't pay attention and fail the test, you literally have to watch the whole video again to proceed to the quiz. Despite having a few redo's I finished first and was able to leave around 3:00 PM today.

Lunch was domino's and the menu items were really good. I could have ordered myself a whole. medium pizza with 2 toppings. Sadly, I'm trying to lose some weight and eat better so I opted for a salad and water.

The coolest part of the day, aside from the welcome presentation of sway, was the president of CFI. He actually came down and did a small/short presentation for us and took the time to answer any questions that we had. CFI is a large and growing company, and to have the actual president of the company make time to meet the drivers really says a TON about CFI as a company!!

Tomorrow will be all lecture-style class format. Which I like much more than aged poorly produced training video's lol.

Have a great night everybody and be safe!!

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

They said we will get info on our finisher tomorrow afternoon. Really excited for the next step in this process. Obviously, lots of important info at orientation but I already miss being in a truck every day!

Or, Shannon should send you an email with information on your finisher. You can ask her for my number. Scott, truck #52738

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Chris, So happy to have you following along. Since you are out of Michigan (like me) your CDL won't be available through SOS for 5-7 days after you pass your exam. So I called my recruiter on class day 11 to inform her that I wasn't going to have my physical CDL. They were aware that it takes time and will probably recommend your trip to Joplin carry on as normal.

They will ask you to call them after you pass your CDL exam. Over the next 72 hours, MUCH will happen between CFI and yourself. Many emails, phone calls, and arrangements will be made for your arrival for Orientation (the next Monday after you test out) Just reach out to your recruiter to give him/her any updates you have and to touch base.

Good luck, I know you'll do awesome!!

Hey Nathan, hope all is well! When and from whom did you receive info regarding orientation dates as well as travel arrangements to Joplin? I’m just starting my second week, test out on 6/10, and it’s been smooth sailing so far. Just starting to wonder how it goes from here.

I really appreciate your diary here, it’s really helped me manage expectations of what’s to come! Thanks!

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Yaaay I’m glad to have you following along Anne!!

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START OF ORIENTATION DIARY

Orientation Eve.... Welcome back everybody to the next segment of my training diary. Hard to believe that I'm already through trucking school. My day started at 1:00 am as I knew full drive time would be over 12 hours if I didn't stop and everything went perfectly. LOL Since that was NEVER going to happen, I allowed myself a few extra hours on the clock to be here between 3-4 pm. Roughly 850 miles later and waaaaay too many potty breaks I have arrived in Joplin, MO roughly around 3:15 PM.

The hotel is pretty nice, it's a LaQuinta (massive place). The CFI shuttle is due to arrive tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM.

Tonight I plan on just relaxing and sleeping. I'm doing my best to calm my thoughts down. As per usual, I'm a bucket of nerves. Seems like whenever I have to do something new, in a new place, meeting people I don't know, everything gets me a bit rattled. I always warm up quickly to people and make friends pretty easily but it's the initial unknown that gives me anxiety?!

Orientation is set to last Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm assuming at this point that the finisher trainer will pick me up on Thursday but I have no confirmation of this (just an assumption)

I'll make sure to post a full update tomorrow evening.

Have a great night and stay safe everyone.

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I'm right here waiting, AS WELL !!!! KUDOS, you!!!!!!!

~ Anne ~

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

That would be awesome! Drive safe sir!!

I will be there on 6-2-21. Hope I get to meet you.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

START OF ORIENTATION DIARY

Orientation Eve.... Welcome back everybody to the next segment of my training diary. Hard to believe that I'm already through trucking school. My day started at 1:00 am as I knew full drive time would be over 12 hours if I didn't stop and everything went perfectly. LOL Since that was NEVER going to happen, I allowed myself a few extra hours on the clock to be here between 3-4 pm. Roughly 850 miles later and waaaaay too many potty breaks I have arrived in Joplin, MO roughly around 3:15 PM.

The hotel is pretty nice, it's a LaQuinta (massive place). The CFI shuttle is due to arrive tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM.

Tonight I plan on just relaxing and sleeping. I'm doing my best to calm my thoughts down. As per usual, I'm a bucket of nerves. Seems like whenever I have to do something new, in a new place, meeting people I don't know, everything gets me a bit rattled. I always warm up quickly to people and make friends pretty easily but it's the initial unknown that gives me anxiety?!

Orientation is set to last Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm assuming at this point that the finisher trainer will pick me up on Thursday but I have no confirmation of this (just an assumption)

I'll make sure to post a full update tomorrow evening.

Have a great night and stay safe everyone.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI says thank you.

I LOVE this! If this video even translates a little bit too real-life appreciation, I'll be a very lucky new employee! CFI is looking better and better every day.

I love working for a company that truly appreciates drivers. There stood a truck driver.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Test Day

So it's no surprise that how this post is going to end LOL but I thought that I would post today's experience for anyone that is reading this that is about to take the plunge into trucking.

My test was set up with the other two automatic drivers that were in my class with me. I had the middle test at 10:00 am. I arrived around 8:30 am so I could make sure I wasn't late and got into the proper mindset. I decided after much hand wringing that I wasn't going to practice before testing. They do give you the option of doing that but I went with the logic that if I was struggling, it would get in my head. Also, with all the practice on the range, I have had over the last 2 weeks, if I haven't figured it out by now, it ain't happening. LOL

The pre-trip went off without a hitch. I went through the whole in-cab, brake insp, and exterior insp with light check without taking a single point! I'm so happy about this because I put in so much effort to make sure the pre-trip was spot on. In fact, I think having this down perfectly helped me down the road. We then moved into the basic skills maneuvers. I got (life everyone) the straight line back, offset back to the left lane, then sight side parallel back. I went through the straight line with no points, went through the offset with no points but used both my pull-ups and one get out and look. I just couldn't get away from the right side cones and I was afraid I was going to hit them. Come to find out I was lined up perfectly and just had to straight line back through the cones. Lastly, my nemesis the parallel back. Now I have gotten much more comfortable with the parallel over the last week. However, something about this maneuver just gets in my head. I did my approach and after my first maneuver and I'm chasing down the trailer to an "in-line" tractor and trailer approach. The key is to look out your mirror and look for the two outermost cones in the back of the box. All three cones, bad. Less than two cones, bad. I looked and I had NONE!! I completely missed my approach maneuver. So I adjusted twice as I backed slowly to get myself almost two cones. But by this point, I was pretty deep in the box so I quickly moved to bring my tractor into the box. I didn't get my trailer deep enough and I spent 5 pull-ups inching the trailer back and forth into the box. What I should have done was just pull up and reset my approach the first time. Anyway, only took 3 points on the basic skills which is way less than the 12 allowed points.

Off to the road test portion of the test.

Now you would think that getting through the part of the test that I was most scared about would have set my mind at ease. It didn't...I haven't driven in the rain even once in a truck so of course, it starts pouring as we head out to the road. I can't figure out how to increase the speed of the wipers on the Volvo I'm driving. It's approaching lunchtime and our first turn off of the country road the school is on, is to a state highway, with NO TRAFFIC LIGHT!! Car and truck after car and truck. All the inspector keeps telling me is "don't impede traffic". So I'm trying to find a gap. I get one that is "close" but should work. I hit the gas and the truck lurches badly and jumps forward. I pull off the gas and gently retry to accelerate the truck lurches and jumps again. I'm realizing that the truck doesn't have proper traction on the slight incline and significantly wet roadway. She's freaking out thinking I'm slamming on the gas pedal. I apologized profusely and she calmed down some. We chalked it up to poor traction and first time in the rain and she let me continue. The rest of the drive went perfectly. She actually complimented me and informed me that I need to have more confidence because I'm a "good driver"

Overall I took 6 points on the road, 3 in the basic skills test, nothing on pre-trip. So that is a successful CDL test.

It's been a whirlwind and honestly, I met so many great people along the way. The next update will come next week when I start orientation at CFI. Have a great weekend everybody, stay safe, and Happy Memorial Day!!!

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Woohoo Hoooooo!!!

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Congrats!

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Thanks BigScott and John. I'm very excited to get going and start my new adventure.

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Hahahaha Anne, I LOVE the dancing dog even more than the bananas!!!! I can breathe and I'm so excited and can't thank you enough for standing by me through the last few weeks. The real training begins next week.

AWESOME !!!

AMAZING !!!!!! CONGRATS !!!!!

KUDOS !!!!

(Only drivers can give out bananas, sadly . . . but Scott will be along shortly; here's mine : )

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Good for you, man!

~ Anne ~

ps: NOW, "breathe!" LoL....

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Well y’all it’s official I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!! MY GOD ITS OVER!! LOL. At some point I will post a full update on here later with a little humble brag hahahaha But seriously thank you guys and gal!!

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

It was nice to finally meet you as well. Look forward to working with you and maybe we'll cross paths again down the road! Tomorrow will go awesome I know it!! I'm typically a little bit of a worrier by nature but I'm not going to let that get me in my head lol.

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Day 12 End of school....

When I arrived in Perrysburg, OH on May 9th, I didn't know what to expect. I was nervous, excited, hesitant, optimistic, and concerned. Wide range of emotions to say the least. I've never done anything quite like this before. Going out of state, away from friends, family, and my comfort zone. Taking a chance on finding a new career, a new beginning, a chance to find happiness, and let's face it, more money.

I found the last 16 days to be a roller coaster of emotions and success. Learning to drive a truck was actually the easy part. Learning how to control the truck, especially in reverse, well...that's another. All I've learned, all I've seen, heard, and experienced is only the tip of the iceberg. Knowing the learning will not stop or at the very least, slow down for many months to come is both exciting and motivating. It's cool learning a new skill. Knowing that you have a skill set that not everyone does/has. Driving an 80,000 lb truck is nothing to take lightly. My life and those of the ones around me are literally in my hands. I know that I can't take a day off mentally ever again. I must be alert, ready, focused, and engaged at all times when I'm moving down the highway.

I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to go to CFI. The few people I've been in touch with so far are genuinely so kind and welcoming. CFI is taking a chance on me and that is also something I don't take lightly. I look very forward to working hard, and keeping their customers, and property in the best of care!!

Tomorrow is the biggest day in my life that I've had in about 21 years. (when my daughter was born) I'm not going to lie and say that my nerves are settled or that I'm cool, calm, and collected. LOL Do I feel ready? 100% YES!! Do I know what I have to do tomorrow? 100% YES!! All I have to do is execute what I know to do. Seems so simple on my screen, yet...so complex at the same time. I know I have to get out of my own head. I know I have to have the confidence to succeed. I also know that I've done everything I'm going to be asked to do tomorrow, at least 100 times now. So I have to just do it. Plain and simple!!

If you are reading this tonight, I appreciate the prayers. If you are reading this on some other day down the road, I'll still take a prayer HAHA

I will keep posting updates as I move from school to orientation at CFI as well as my finisher/training time with a driver mentor. After all...this isn't the end but rather the beginning of all I have to learn.

Thank you to those that have contributed to these posts. For those who have encouraged me, taking the time to help me. Sincerely, THANK YOU!!! Please do not think I take that for granted. It means the world to me!

Have a wonderful night, stay safe, and here's to a future CDL holder in roughly 16 hours from now!!

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It was nice to have finally met you in person. I’m rooting for you, and will definitely say a prayer for you. You got this, you KNOW this. Time to execute.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Thank you Anne and tell the hubby that I said thank you as well! Can't wait to report the good news tomorrow.

Nathan S.,

Prayers abound from 2.5 hours south of ya, from Anne & the hubby person Tom.

He's actually on his way to Perrysburg with a delivery, NOW!! :)~

I'm ALL UP in your corner, man!!!!!!!!!!

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~ Anne ~

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Day 12 End of school....

When I arrived in Perrysburg, OH on May 9th, I didn't know what to expect. I was nervous, excited, hesitant, optimistic, and concerned. Wide range of emotions to say the least. I've never done anything quite like this before. Going out of state, away from friends, family, and my comfort zone. Taking a chance on finding a new career, a new beginning, a chance to find happiness, and let's face it, more money.

I found the last 16 days to be a roller coaster of emotions and success. Learning to drive a truck was actually the easy part. Learning how to control the truck, especially in reverse, well...that's another. All I've learned, all I've seen, heard, and experienced is only the tip of the iceberg. Knowing the learning will not stop or at the very least, slow down for many months to come is both exciting and motivating. It's cool learning a new skill. Knowing that you have a skill set that not everyone does/has. Driving an 80,000 lb truck is nothing to take lightly. My life and those of the ones around me are literally in my hands. I know that I can't take a day off mentally ever again. I must be alert, ready, focused, and engaged at all times when I'm moving down the highway.

I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to go to CFI. The few people I've been in touch with so far are genuinely so kind and welcoming. CFI is taking a chance on me and that is also something I don't take lightly. I look very forward to working hard, and keeping their customers, and property in the best of care!!

Tomorrow is the biggest day in my life that I've had in about 21 years. (when my daughter was born) I'm not going to lie and say that my nerves are settled or that I'm cool, calm, and collected. LOL Do I feel ready? 100% YES!! Do I know what I have to do tomorrow? 100% YES!! All I have to do is execute what I know to do. Seems so simple on my screen, yet...so complex at the same time. I know I have to get out of my own head. I know I have to have the confidence to succeed. I also know that I've done everything I'm going to be asked to do tomorrow, at least 100 times now. So I have to just do it. Plain and simple!!

If you are reading this tonight, I appreciate the prayers. If you are reading this on some other day down the road, I'll still take a prayer HAHA

I will keep posting updates as I move from school to orientation at CFI as well as my finisher/training time with a driver mentor. After all...this isn't the end but rather the beginning of all I have to learn.

Thank you to those that have contributed to these posts. For those who have encouraged me, taking the time to help me. Sincerely, THANK YOU!!! Please do not think I take that for granted. It means the world to me!

Have a wonderful night, stay safe, and here's to a future CDL holder in roughly 16 hours from now!!

Posted:  3 weeks, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CFI training through Trainco Trucking School

Day 11 Start of the final week

Man does time fly! It literally feels like yesterday when I checked into my hotel room and pondered what lay before me in the coming days and weeks. Here I am, 12 hours away from walking through the doors for my last day of schooling. It's really bittersweet actually. I'm SOOO ready to be done with the training school. I just want to head to Joplin, and get started with CFI. ON the other hand, I've met some really really great guys and I'm gonna miss seeing them. LOL I know it's not super trucker-like to be all in my feels but...I'm kinda built that way.

Today, they threw us a curveball. Instead of heading out on the road, we started on the range/pad for backing practice. I decided that it would be a good idea to start at the beginning and do all the maneuvers that I've learned. So I did a straight-line back. No issue. Followed it up with roughly 5 offset back reverse lane-change maneuvers. Two or three to the right and the same on the left. Not as smooth as I would have liked but I literally haven't done this maneuver since day two of class, 15 days ago. The great thing about today is, I was able to correct and get the trailer into the lane without blowing the whole maneuver. So in short, I have been able to take all I've learned and successfully apply it to fix poor set-ups.

I then moved to my old nemesis the parallel parking maneuver. Started with the box to the driver's side and it was a rocky start. However, after a few attempts, I got it in the box. Very shallow finishing park job, but passing, nonetheless. Did both sides (left and right box) a few times and moved over to the alley dock maneuver. The particular tractor they had in the alley dock spot had these flared out fairing just behind the doors and the mirrors even fully pushed out, did not allow me to see the rear of the trailer. I couldn't even see the rear of the trailer looking out the window. I told them if I were to win the lottery, I'd come back and burn that tractor to the ground and purchase the school a new one!! (extremely frustrating experience) So yes, I got the maneuver done three times but took many pull-ups and even a couple of cones paid the price.

I'm ok with struggling when it's caused by me. I'm ok, knowing I'm new and can't nail every single maneuver with ease. However, I have NO patience for crappy, poorly maintained, and old outdated equipment. That is my number one complaint about this school. The range/pad trucks are absolute garbage. It made everything SO much harder than it needed to be to perform the maneuvers.

I digress....

We did get out on the road today and I almost died at the hands of an amazon prime semi-truck. I was driving down north I-75 in early rush hour traffic. (around 3:30pm) I just merged onto 75 from I think 475? I was working my way over to the right, as the interchange comes in from the left side of the highway. A very nice 4 wheeler let me get over into the right lane as my exit was coming up within a mile or so. Up ahead I noticed a semi on the shoulder with 4 way flasher on. I looked to my driverside mirror there was no way I could get over. This amazon prime truck started rolling down the shoulder and started to merge into my lane roughly 500 feet ahead of me while I was slowing down from 60 mph. He had all his driver's side wheels over the white line when I started to pass him, now I'm pushed into the middle lane with cars on my side. Still braking, now harder than I was before, I desperately was riding between a semi and 4 wheelers who were freaking out about my abrupt lane departure.

I know I probably should have slowed down sooner. I was distracted in my attempt to merge into the right lane and probably noticed the semi later than I should have. I also probably should have blown my horn at the amazon truck in case he didn't see me?? (doubt that was the case) Anyway, no damage done, but much learned about NEVER allowing yourself to become so singularly focused on ONE task on the road that you neglect the ever-constant need to be proactive, and alert to everything else going on around you!!

Ended the day with more pre-trip and in-cab inspection w/ mandatory brake inspection. This I can do, and actually do, in my sleep now. Every night before bed I rehearse the full pre-trip in its entirety before falling asleep.

One last day boys and ladies...then testing on Wednesday. My nerves will probably be the main topic of my post tomorrow night.

Stay safe and have a great night!!!

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

So scared

I'm currently enrolled in a company-sponsored trucking school and you shouldn't be worried about looking silly. We ALL are going to make mistakes during the training period and I'm sure while out in the real world driving. The biggest point of trucking schools (other than obtaining your CDL) is to make sure your mistakes aren't safety mistakes that cause an accident.

I personally have stalled the truck more times than I could count my first week. I've crushed cones and even asked some pretty stupid questions in class LOL (I conveniently left those out of my training diary LOL)

I'm in class with a 42-year-old man that has never looked under the hood of his own car let alone a semi-truck. So he struggled for 5-7 days learning the pre-trip because he had no idea what he was looking at or being able to relate part names to certain parts of the vehicle i.e. suspension, brakes, etc. He overcame that and is now performing the whole pre-trip with passing accuracy.

If this industry excites you and is what you want to do, go for it!!! If it's a passion, you'll succeed!

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