Profile For Rob ( A.K.A. CASE)

Rob ( A.K.A. CASE)'s Info

  • Location:
    Des Moines, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 4 months ago

Rob ( A.K.A. CASE)'s Bio

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Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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Progress report and a personal thank you to Daniel B.

Well just a little update for you all on my progress so far.

Hmmm let's see not sure where to start. Oh yeah I GOT MY CDL!!!

Can't tell you how good that feels to say!! I have been documenting my progress in the CDL TRAINING DIARIES section of the forum for anyone that is interested.

But I wantedc to take a minute to thank everyone for all the encouragement they have given me. This website has been an absolute blessing and I really doubt I would be here holding my CDL without this site and without the support I have been blessed with by so many of you.

One person in particular is Daniel B!! Daniel had gone through Centrals training and worked for them and was kind enough to call me and tell me exactly what to expect before I even got to school! I can't tell you how important that was to me because once I didn't get to school I got a different story with every person I talked to, but the reality was exactly like Daniel described it!!

To add icing to the cake as luck or fate would have it, I had the honor of meeting Daniel the day before my final road test this week as he was in town waiting to pick up a load. Daniel went out of his way to come out and meet me and show me his awesome PURPLE truck...yes guys its PURPLE NOT PINK!! And it is awesome. What an awesome human being!

Daniel, you were there with words of encouragement when I needed to hear them and just the right doses of reality when I needed it as well. You have been so generous with your time I just can't tell you how much that means to me. I could not have done this without you and ill never forget it - thank you my friend!!

As for me I am almost done with orientation and will be keeping you all updated so if you want to follow along, once again that thread is in the Truck driving school diaries section. Just a couple more days and I will be able to change my status to "Driver in Training"

Thanks again everyone from the bottom of my heart!!

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Well it all comes down to today - the road rest. The grand finale! Unfortunately it is the one I am fearing the most and the least confident in and the MOST nervous about!

So testing is being run the same as all the other tests so I know I am going to go first. I figure since I am not going to get any practice time in between now and ever I am as good as I am going to get so I might as well get it over with.

We get out of the parking lot and onto the road and I find myself shifting ....perfectly!! We go through an industrial area and a couple stop signs and I manage to have plenty of time to down shift and stop and I do so flawlessly!

" wow what is happening !?" I am thinking to myself. We get out on the city streets and I get nothing but green lights.

The examiner the asks me to get in the left turn lane and get on the freeway and the first sign of trouble comes as I grind my gears horribly the good thing is I figure out my problem pretty quickly - I forget to switch the selector!! But I recover and we begin crushing down the freeway.

I keep reminding myself to keep track of what gear I am in when he asked me to exit. We start heading down a road and he asks me "what did the sign that we just passed say?" I am honest and say "I don't know" the real answer was "I don't know I am trying to concentrate on what gear I am in!!" He says "I appreciate your honesty"

We get to the end of the road and he says "ok take a right up here and we will head back"

I can't believe we could possibly be heading back it feels like I have only been driving for ten minutes but yes we are heading back. And somehow on the way back - all green lights AGAIN!! Even the examiner comments on it.

Before I know it - we are back in the yard and stopped. The examiner tells me " I had to take a point for your gears at the freeway on ramp and for missing the sign so you lost a total of TWO POINTS congratulations YOU PASSED!"

Next step off to the DMV to get my Class A CDL!! I can't even wrap my brain around that! It was not long ago when I first found this site and I had to really jump through some hoops to even get into school but I am now the proud holder of my CDL!!

I have to thank everyone for all their support and I have to say a special and heartfelt thank you to Daniel B. I forgot to mention that I have been talking to Daniel off and on and he's been keeping me sane and telling me what to expect and giving me constant encouragement and as luck would have it I had the great honor of meeting him yesterday as he was in town picking up a load. What a great guy and with all the rumors that you hear in school it was such a blessing to have someone that actually knows what they are talking about and what to expect. Daniel you have been so generous with your time I couldn't have done it without you and ill never forget it - thank you my friend!

And for everyone else that has been cheering me on - again I will never forget the support and encouragement you have given me. What a world!!

Tomorrow I start orientation for Central I will of course keep you all updated with my progress!!

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


So the second part of testing today consists of three backing maneuevers- a straight line back, a parallel back and an offset back. I have managed to get a good amount of practice in with all three of these maneuevers so I am feeling pretty confident in my ability to complete them flawlessly. The one thing that I overlooked was the fact that I practiced every single time using the same truck and my test was going to be on a different truck.

I was hoping this wouldn't have much effect on my success but it did...but not enough to fail me!

I wanted to complete them all without using any pull ups but we were allowed one free pull up for the straight like back and two free pull-ups each for the parallel and the offset. I manage to get close on the parallel but wasn't comfortable with my position so I used one pull up and got into the box perfectly then on the offset I was actually just a little off but decided to just back it in and did so flawlessly I passed all three tests without any points taken off - so technically I would call that PERFECT!!

Two down one to go - road test is tomorrow.

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Well needless to say I didn't sleep very well last night. I thought I had my pre trip down but now for some reason I am starting to panic.

I guess I am one of those people who just freaks out as soon as the word "test" is mentioned! However I try to focus and think about what I need to know

The test on the pre trip inspection is going to be administered first and the 3 way brake test is a mandatory part of that test. Failing the 3 way break test is an automatic failure of the whole pre trip. Unfortunately the 3 way brake test is the ONLY part of the pre trip I am not prepared for. I start to get angry with myself for not being prepared but finally calm myself down and start to focus on the problem. I decide instead of going over and over the entire pre trip I just need to focus on the 3 way brake test since that is the only part that MUST be done perfectly. So I start to memorize the brake test and hope that I have a little time to reinforce it in my head while others are testing.

So they begin to call the names for the five groups they are going to be testing and as my luck would have it I am called to test first in the fifth group!!!

I am nervous as hell as I walk to the truck going over and over the brake test in my head. I am asked to do a form one pre trip and I did the best I could but was not real confident then the brake test comes and somehow I do it flawlessly!

When all is said and done the examiner tells me I scored a 46 out of a possible 47!! Wow what a relief! Bring on the backing test!

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


it's hard to believe an entire week has gone by since I started class here in Utah.

Yesterday we got to see more great examples of how beautiful this state really is. It made me excited to get out on the road an see a whole lot more of this beautiful country of ours.

Today is going to be all about practice we have a good portion of the day to do nothing but practice our backing skills and our pre trip inspections since we will be testing both of those tomorrow with our road test on Monday!!

I am fully confident after going through all of the backing maneucers two more times that I should have no problem passing the test. I am a little less confident in my pre trip inspection especially the brake test so i decide to spend the rest of my time working on that.

As I am getting ready to work on that I notice a couple of my classmates watching another guy struggle on the parallel parking. They say that he is about to take his test for the last time and if he fails he goes home.

I decide to help him because I notice immediately that he is not getting the trailer deep enough in the box for the last part of his approach. I show him how I do it - he is psyched and will go on to pass his test.

I feel pretty good about helping someone out but still need to practice my pre trip .

The last couple hours of the day are spent doing map reading and mock trip planning I am shocked at how many people have no clue how to read a map!

Tomorrow is the first of two test days.

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Training today consisted of some city driving and some mountain driving. I am gradually feeling a little better about shifting and driving in general. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I am gradually feeling a little more comfortable behind the wheel.

My biggest struggle has been with downshifting. Getting those RPM's just right has been a little tricky. Also as I mentioned earlier a lot of years of bad habits in my regular car definitely not helping me now. One of the guys in my group has never driven a clutch in his life and he is definitely picking this up faster than I am.

By the end of the day I am not as confident as I would like to be and our road test is only a couple days away.

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Well we arrive once again at seven in the morning and the head instructor who is also MY instructor comes into the classroom and announces "today we are going to be working on parallel parking"

I immediately laugh at loud because over the past couple days I have really come to appreciate his twisted sense of humor and I completely thought that this must be him being his weird funny self. But the look he gives me tells me somehow he is serious. My mouth instantly goes dry and my legs begin to feel a little weak.

I can't help thinking to myself " a week ago I had never even been inside a semi and now I am going to parallel park one??? And a trailer?!! Wha?? HOW DID I GET HERE??!!!

However the good news is - this is also pretty damn easy. I see several of my classmates struggling to get this but I pick up on it right away. I take it as a pretty good sign that after a couple times of me doing it perfectly, the next two times my instructor says he has to make some phone calls " don't hit anything" he says and leaves me to it! This made up for everything that went wrong yesterday and I even end up helping a few of my classmates get their technique down.

I needed a day like today.

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Well the first part of the day is spent learning how to "offset back"

This is apparently a pretty standard and basic backing maneuver and once the steps are explained it sounds pretty easy and I was pleasantly surprised that it was in fact pretty easy. However doing it consistently right and getting it centered in the box without having to do a "pull up" proved to be a little more difficult.

The offset is performed when trying to back into a space that is roughly a truck width to the side of your vehicle - in this case the drivers side you basically pull up as far as you can past the space to your left. When you are ready you simply turn hard right until you see half your right side landing gear in your drivers side mirror and by half I of course mean vertically. Then you turn the wheel hard left until you see half of your left side landing gear in your passenger side mirror. You then turn hard right again and back up until you are straight at which time you should be roughly centered in the space you are attempting to back into directly behind your vehicle.

The rest of the day is spent driving around an industrial area with a few side streets thrown in. I have to say that two different "me's" drove today. Rob before break drove pretty good and rob after break was a total disaster. Somehow I seemed to have forgotten everything I had learned. I kept forgetting what gear I was in and coasting and grinding and my instructor is not to pleased with my performance.

I have to say a huge thank you to Daniel B. for sending me encouraging words when I texted him I was feeling pretty down but he said it was totally normal and everyone has days like these it totally snapped me out of my funk and gave me hope again because I honestly was starting to doubt if I could ever really do this job.

Tomorrow is a new day

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


Somehow it is already Wednesday and today we will actually be "driving"!!

There is a very long what appears to be some kind of deserted road that central affectionately calls "Rookie Road"! However it is absolutely perfect for today's lesson. We are just learning how to steer, accelerate, stop and the dreaded double clutch and shift.

There are four of us with our instructor barking out instructions. I'm not going to lie it is a little intimidating and we are all a complete disaster and for a minute or two I am thinking "what the hell have I gotten myself into"??!! But by the end of the day I am feeling pretty proud of myself because I can smoothly go from second to fourth with no problem!! Lol.

Then they have to go and throw a wrench into the system by telling us there are MORE GEARS! And you have to "switch" between the high gears and low gears with a little switch on the gear shift. Now I am starting to break into a cold sweat. All those years of bad habits of driving my car and coasting to stop lights with my clutch in are definitely coming back to haunt me.

I'm a little nervous - tomorrow we are going to practice turning!

Posted:  10 years, 3 months ago

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TDA Training Diary - (TDA/ Central Refrigerated Federal Way, WA & Salt Lake City Utah)


So welcome to day two of phase two training.

First of all let me say that Utah is absolutely beautiful. I mean I love Seattle and Washington State is pretty as well but I don't think I've ever been anywhere that is so clean.

Today consists entirely of learning how to drive a tractor in trailer in low gear and back up in a straight line. This all takes place in a giant parking lot with snow covered mountains just off in the distance. Central refrigerated is a actually located in West Valley City, Utah just about 15 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.

It seems to me they are a little short on training at least today. The truck we are learning in is a Volvo and right now there's are about 9 of us taking turns pulling forward and backing up in "lane 1" there is one instructor teaching two groups at the same time in lanes two and three.

I am immediately impressed with how little effort it takes to steer these things a little turn of the wheel and the trailer instantly reacts. It takes very little effort to get the trailer straightened out but also it doesn't take much to get yourself really crooked really fast - I experienced both today!

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