Profile For Old J.

Old J.'s Info

  • Location:
    Lexington, KY

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 2 months ago

Old J.'s Bio

Jeweler, Shop foreman, Shade tree mechanic. Master of my domain.

Old J.'s Photo Gallery

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

2-24-2022 Thursday

04:40 the alarm goes off, get up eat breakfast and get on the shuttle by 05:45. Class starts at 06:30. Today was an HOS test after a VERY brief review in the morning. I'm fairly sure everyone passed it.

After a break at 8 am we gather back in the classroom and go over the TMC cellphone policy. Which is essentially: don't ever touch your cell phone when your driving. No hands free device and no headsets either. That conversation goes right into the next hour. It's alot of videos that tmc captured from their dash cams. Some are accidents that were unavoidable, but most are drivers doing egregiously unsafe things behind the wheel. One guy even gets up out of his seat and walks back to the sleeper while going 64 mph down a rural route. I should mention that he crashed the truck since his model doesn't have auto pilot. rofl-2.gif rofl-2.gif

After an hour of dashcam footage load securment class starts. It's all theory at this point because we're still in a classroom and not in the maintenance bay yet. Slideshow lasts for about an hour. The instructors have really lightened up compared to Monday. They are still very serious about safety and making sure you do everything their way. But they aren't trying to scare anyone off anymore. They're trying to scare you strait. They are super focused on making sure your successful with their company.

After the load securment they start to break us up into groups of 4. Some of us are going to head into the simulators (my personal favorite), and the rest of us are finally going to get into a real truck and start backing practice. This is it, the real deal! My first time behind the wheel.

However it's been snowing hard for the last 3 hours and they decide to call it a day early. I was crestfallen, I didn't get any simulator time and never made it out to a truck. All the students pack their things and we all stuff into the shuttle back to the hotel.

However, there's some good news when I get back to my room. I got an email from tmc with a receipt from my first "paycheck", $450! Its not a big check, but it's a big emotional win for me.

I'm starting to really enjoy it here. Everyone is super nice and the instructors are easy to talk to. I went from feeling like a lost child in the woods to relaxed to excited in the span of about 4 days. I pray that my abilities improve and I succeed with TMC. I can really see myself working here for many years to come.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

2-23-2022 Wednesday

Up at 0500. Would have slept until 0600 but someone was dragging something that sounded like a steel tool box across the asphalt parking lot. Breakfast, shower, read the news. then we gather at the south entrance to get on the shuttle at 0645. Class starts at 0730. One of the instructors (George) is out today so my class of newbie cdl students is mixed in with the students who are green but have cdls from a school. Today's lesson is hours of service which lasts until lunch. After lunch there are some HOS logs that we get to take a practice test with.

So far the classroom stuff is very basic. I wish I had more trucking related topics to discuss here but that won't be for at least another day. Tomorrow is load securment and my personal favorite: more truck simulator time!

At the end of the day today my class hasn't lost anymore students but the experienced driver class lost 1 more driver. Every phone call or office personnel who comes in to the classroom makes all of us nervous. You can hear a pin drop when the instructor answers the phone during class.

The apprehension is starting to dissappear as a routine sets in. I'm not going to say I'm feeling confident because I've not done anything difficult as of yet. But I am optimistically moving forward. I'm very excited to just be able to get near the trucks. Excitement builds.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

This is the only thing I took a picture of on day one. Although it was the only thing i did that was worth a picture. It's late already and I have an early day tomorrow. It's difficult to find time to make entries into a journal when your busy 14 hours a day. More to come later.

0879917001645591769.jpg

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

2-21-2022 Monday

Day one is alot of activity. Mostly paperwork. Got on a bus at 7am and it was completely full. The driver took everyone's temperature and have us a covid questionnaire. The standard questions most everyone asks. After we arrived at the training center we're divided into 3 groups. Experienced drivers, people with a cdl but no experience, and those of us who have our permit but no cdl (my group).

I was told by my recruiter the first thing you do is pee in a cup. Which is a half truth. I started the morning getting breakfast at 6 and drinking about a quart of water, thinking I would need to provide a sample sometime around 730am. It turns out the first thing you do is overview what your life will be like for the next 19 days. Class schedule and the like. Then about a half out later you like up outside. Wait for a bus. Then you drive to a clinic where your only asked to go in 5 at a time and you get your dot physical and med card.

By the time I was allowed in it was close to 10 am. I was about to pop, thankfully I made it.

After the ride back to the training yard were directed over to the maintenance bay where the agility test is administered. Nothing to strenuous but the physical therapist is going to monitor you to see if your capable of being a flatbed driver. We balanced on each foot for 30 seconds each. One guy couldn't balance so he was sent home. Next was the tarp lift. You have to be able to lift the 120 lb lumber tarp put it on the trailer get up on the trailer, then lift the tarp on to a steel cool and get it off the trailer. One guy was so flush by the time he got on the trailer he looked like he was in deaths door. He didn't get to finish the test and was sent home.

After the tarps you climb a ladder on top of a steel box on the back of a trailer. Here they want to see if you can climb a ladder and walk on top of a load that's 13' 6". All of us remaining compete this with relative ease.

Then lunch. Nothing special here.

Before lunch was over we found out that one guy brought in some "outside" urine and refused to provide another sample, needless to say he got **** canned.

After lunch we filled out lots of consent forms, paperwork, and more paperwork. Then there's study modules. Cdl practice test review, combination vehicle review, basic math tests. Also lots of videos to watch. There's about 6 hours worth of video modules to watch before Thursday. During this time the instructor revives a few calls on his cell phone that all go something like this

"Hey boss..... yeah.... uh huh...... yeah we're good here.......okay.......hmmm... alright. Okay"

2 minutes later he calls someone name (the names have been changed to protect the innocent).

"Phillips! You need to go see Mr walker in his office.... down the hall past the bathrooms in the right."

Phillips comes back 5 minutes later, quietly grabs his things and is never seen again.

This happened twice. Now every time the instructors phone rings the whole class gets tense wondering who's next on the choping block.

Around 4pm the simulator training begins. This is a blast. Your sent to a room with 4 seriously nice simulators. They let you 'play' for about 20 minutes. So far this is the best thing to happen to me. I'm a huge American truck simulator fan. This setup blows mine out of the water. After the fun is back to the classroom for more study and video modules. Right before we get ready to leave for the day one guy just flat out quit. Class ended at 8pm. By the end of the day my class was whittled down to 13 people. 6 down in one day.

This day was alot of them seeing who is up to this challenge. I feel like there's alot of cage rattling. It's full of what I like to call "**** tests". They wanted us to do a 50 question test about regulations in the fmcsa booklet. Not because they want you know the intricate subsections of the handbook, but because they want to see if they can give you very explicit instructing that you will follow regardless of if you think it makes sense or not. Can we trust you with a $400k worth of vehicle and trailer and $300k worth of a customer's inventory. Will you pay attention to the details they know are important, but you the newbie, are unaware of.

I stay humble and keep my head down. Yes sir is the best answer you can give in most scenarios so far.

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

Here's the shed I found.

0054263001645393929.jpg

Posted:  9 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

TMC CDL training in Des Moines

Starting training at TMC in Des Moines tomorrow morning. Arrived at the hotel last night and spent most of my day today walking the property. Not much to report.

There's no food here on the weekends so if you want something to eat other than pizza that delivers, your going to have to walk about 4 miles down a state route to the nearest town (which I did). Ate some mexican food that was pretty good. Found a small whitetail shed on the way there.

Everyone is very friendly. Which I suppose is necessary when it's asses and elbows in a hotel. The parking lot was completely full and all the rooms are double occupancy. My roommate from last night left early this morning, and from what the front desk says another is on his way this evening.

Excited to start in the morning. I find myself progressively more nervous as the training gets closer. It's wheels up at 7am so I'm going to do more walking in hopes of getting a good night sleep.

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

I move forward with anticipation.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Took one for the team!!

Wondering why the word Attorney appeared in this thread....

.WTF

This might be more bizzare the the Rolling Roadblocks thread

This one for sure garnered much more attention than the other one. I feel like we all read the roadblock thread and said "now back out of the room slowly, don't make eye contact. I think their vision is based on movement."

This one started out weird, then it was funny, then it got uncomfortable. Now its funny again.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Took one for the team!!

Between this thread, and one a couple of days ago about "the cultists in the rolling roadblocks", Methinks the medical examiners should start asking simple questions before they Issue the DOT Med Cert.

"how long has it been since you jumped on the hood of a moving vehicle and shouted obscenities at the driver?"

"when was the last time you saw devilish cultists roaming the streets trying to ruin peoples lives?"

"how often are you getting involved in loud altercations with strangers?"

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Questions about the CDL permit test and endorsements

Hello Old J,

I am glad to see that you are looking at getting all of your endorsements when you go for your permit. I personally would wait on getting your HAZ-MAT endorsement until AFTER you get your CDL. As a former instructor at a school in CT, we always recommended this to our students. The reason being is that the inspector/state test proctor for your road test can, and most likely, test you on every endorsement you have on your permit. We had a student who had their HAZ-MAT endorsement on his test paperwork, and while on the way back, the inspector noticed it on the paperwork and brought the student out over a railroad crossing.... needless to say the student failed because they did not come to a complete stop at the required distance (white stop line) before the railroad crossing.... the student did the rest of the test perfectly up to and after that one sot on the test.

My suggestion, and it is only a suggestion, is to wait until you go and turn in your paperwork and get your CDL and then do the paperwork for your HAZ-MAT endorsement. You will also have enough on your proverbial plate learning how to handle a commercial vehicle, hours of service, etc...

Also, unless you are planning on strictly doing HAZ-MAT loads, or doing a majority of your loads as HAZ-MAT, it is not worth what most major carriers pay for HAZ-MAT loads (my former carrier paid about 5 yo 10 cents a mile while actually hauling HAZ-MAT loads) which barely covered the cost of the fees for the endorsement....

Also, if you want to get the endorsement, look for local companies hauling gas, propane, medical waste, or chemical companies like simonize.....

Chris you make a very good point. Perhaps it will be in my best interest to wait a while and acquire a little bit of experience before jumping in on that part of the endorsements. This way I can focus more of my study time on other parts of the permit test (my AirGas delivery driver says airbrakes was always the tough part of the test for him). I appreciate all the responses I get from you helpful folks. Hopefully soon I will be able to contribute more to this forum instead of always asking simple questions.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Questions about the CDL permit test and endorsements

Hello all. Jay here with another possibly stupid question:

I’m getting ready to take my cdl permit (written) test and was planning on getting all the endorsements that are in the high road training program (passengers, D&T, Hazmat). Does anyone know if you can take the written hazmat (endorsement) test before doing the background check and fingerprinting process? Does one have to be done before the other? I’ve looked up guides on the internet and no one really mentions a specific order, or anything about the permit test in particular. Most are just mentioning how to get a hazmat cert after one already has a cdl. I’m based in Kentucky if that makes any difference.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Hello! New here.

As a fellow newbie to TT here I can attest to the thoroughness of the High Road CDL Training Program that thing has done wonders for me. I've compared it to the CDL manual that Kentucky offers on their cdl application website and its almost exactly word for word the same thing. So no need to print your own 13 chapter, 100 some page book, and carry it around like I did. Since you've already had your cdl you might not need to study it as long as I did but its truly a great study aid.

Welcome to the fold!

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Does one need a résumé

My work history shouldn't be to tough. I've had the same job for the last 12 years. Ill keep the résumé up to date though. It never hurts to have it.

As far as the reading goes, I've been spending all of my spare time at home one the High Road CDL Training Program

That thing is thorough. probably got another 45 or 50 hours of study on that before I'm even close to 100 percent completion. Sitting at a meager 12% completion as of right now.

also spent some time (but not enough) on the

I know what im going to be doing this Christmas break.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Does one need a résumé

Thanks for the replies. It's always good to hear from someone who's "been there". I appreciate everything you guys (and gals) do here.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Does one need a résumé

This might be a stupid question, or at least one with a fairly obvious answer to all the seasoned pros out there. Does one need to have a résumé when applying for a job with a mega carrier (or any trucking company for that matter)? I'm going through the process of getting all my ducks in a row to start my career change, and I'm wondering if I should spend some time updating the old résumé? I realize trucking is a completely different beast compared to a corporate office job.

Just looking for some advice, anecdotes, short stories? or perhaps things you wrote (or didn't write) on your résumé?

Much Obliged

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Hello all! Nervous Newbie with questions.

My concern isn't that a prospective employer will find out, because I'm sure they will (what with the police report and all). My concern is that me being involved in an accident that was not my fault will prevent me from being hired by a trucking company.

Especially since the accident just happened and I was hoping to be hired on in the next 2 to 3 months.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Hello all! Nervous Newbie with questions.

If you are wanting flatbed, you might consider Melton. They only do flatbed.

I'll probably throw an application their direction as well. Like I said I'll jump in to any company that will have me. Do they offer CDL training? For some reason I thought they required previous experience? Perhaps that was one of the Martin's? So many company's it's tough to keep them all straight sometimes.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Hello all! Nervous Newbie with questions.

Thanks for the replies. I was hoping I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. It's nice to get some reassurance from those more experienced than I.

Much Appreciated - Jay

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Hello all! Nervous Newbie with questions.

Hey all! First time poster, long time lurker.

First I’d like to say I’m a big fan of what you guys have here. It’s nice to have a community of great people with an open mind and a fount of knowledge of all things trucking. Over the last 10 months I’ve read almost every post, thread, diary, and article on here. I’ve learned much, but hope to learn much more in the next couple of months (and hopefully years to come).

After months of research and consideration, Ive done what I see lots of newbies do on this website. I’ve picked several starter mega carriers that I would like to begin my career with. In no particular order they are: TMC, Prime Inc, and Schneider (hoping to do flat bedding, but would take anything I can get). Ive been doing research and have been getting all my ducks in a row to transition to my new career after the end of the December holidays.

I wish my first post / questions was under better circumstances but unfortunately it’s not. I was driving to work the other morning and was T Boned. The driver was making a left turn out of a parking lot and didn’t even look in my direction or stop as she was entering the road. She nailed me pretty good right in the center of my vehicle on the passenger side. There were no injuries but we did file a police report and I got my insurance involved since the side of my vehicle is pretty banged up. (of course the offending drivers vehicle is essentially spotless ). There were no citations issued, no tow trucks. Just a simple police report.

The $64,000 question is this: is my chance at getting approved for company sponsored training from any of these mega carries completely shot because of this? My driving record up until Monday morning was essentially spotless. No speeding tickets, no previous accidents ever, no moving violations of any kind (I did get a parking ticket when I was going to college back in 2006). I’m worried that this will be a black spot that will keep any of these starter companies from touching me for a few more years. Thus preventing my end of the year plans to transition to a new career.

My insurance company is still in the investigation stages of my claim at the moment, but my agent said this was the other drivers fault and their filling the damages on THEIR claim not mine.

Sorry for the wall of text, if your still reading Congratulations! Any advice for this hopeful newbie who has since turned into a nervous wreck? Much obliged

-Jay

Page 1 of 1

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More