Profile For Tom C.

Tom C.'s Info

  • Location:
    Exeter, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Team Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 3 months ago

Tom C.'s Bio

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Posted:  3 months ago

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Do not ignore that pain

Might have been. It was yesterday that he told me where all I know is what he told me. Its been a frustrating week. Got on the truck after orientation and got jerked around for a week on hometime it's week 5 starting this last Saturday since I got on my mentor's truck so I am Probbibly confusing left from right at this point.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Do not ignore that pain

My teammate was complaining of stomach pains. Like someone punched him right below the ribs on his left side. I was concerned and we went to a local flying j to shut down for a bit because we both are running low on hours. A few hours later while we both are trying to get some sleep he wakes me up and takes me up on the offer I had made earlier of taking him to the hospital.

I asked him if an ambulance would be better and he says yes and I walk into the j and have them call an ambulance. He was walking and talking just in extreme pain. He texts me at around 0800 to let me know what's up. Appendicitis and he's going to get it removed.

So I am sitting here at a j in Kansas City waiting on my teammate to recover enough for me to bobtail over and pick him up to take him home.

Moral of the story is do not ignore that pain it could be something serious.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Music For The Road

Hmmmmm......

1: Devil in I - Slipknot 2: Freebird - Lynard Skynard 3: Sanatarium - Metallica 4: Night of Fire - Niko 5: Save Me - Leslie Parrish

Trucking song: The Willis Brothers - Give me 40 Acres

I know my music tastes are ALLOVER the place embarrassed.gif

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Swift Idle

Regen is the process of cleaning out the particulate filter portion of the emissions system, to clean it out the engine has to idle high and increases the exhaust temp bringing the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) up to around 1000 degrees to burn off the particles that would otherwise clog it.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

I forgot to post for the entire week..... And I am a little embarrassed that I did forget. The last week was busy for me, so Ill share an overview, all but Monday I got maneuvers in I had gotten on the road a total of 4 times at the school, And I passed my test on Friday! Only needed one try for each portion of the tests. Most of the week's details I had forgotten. I do remember teaching the new class how to do their pre trip and air brakes.

The AAA School of Trucking out of Philadelphia is a great school, the instructors are top notch. Overbooked but a good school. The Motel 6 we stayed at was..... well it had a lot wrong with it, the internet connection was unstable at best, every room I had seen had repairs that needed to be made, I had found a wolf spider on my pillow, even saw ****roaches, the tubs/showers didn't have the no slip strips in them (wound up falling once) and it was on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River so $5 in tolls every day.

To sum up the last 4 weeks, I had fun, learned a great deal of the basics, (and that is what I learned, just enough to pass the CDL tests) Made a few friends and I wound up with 2 choices for teammates for when I do that 6 months or 65,000 miles of teaming. I look forward to PA sending my new Class A driver's licence and getting on the road with a mentor and learning more.

Posted:  5 months ago

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I really need some advice ☹️

I will give you the same EXACT advice I gave to a girl at my school taking her test today. Take your time, if you get confused, pause take a few seconds, look at the box, look at your trailer and look at your tractor, close your eyes and visualize what you need to do to steer that trailer where it needs to go.

This girl at school was practicing for the 90 degree, she had done it just fine earlier but her 2nd round of practice went sideways, I didn't tell her what to do I gave her that little piece of advice. When she took her backing tests... she nailed the strait and offset, 3 pull ups for the 90.

Pause, assess, visualize and execute.

Pause: Stop the truck Assess: Look at everything you can, the box, the trailer, the tractor, other reference points ( other cones in other lanes, the fence, buildings, light poles, parked rigs, anything you can get a reference off of ) Visualize: plan what you are going to have to do to get that trailer steered where it needs to go, and how to do it. Execute: use your plan and get that trailer steered into where you want it to go.

That is how I do my backing, steer the trailer.... use the tractor to steer the trailer.

BTW I am ( as of posting this) At the end of my 3rd week of training, about to go into my 4th and my test is coming up this week. I may test Monday or Friday, I will not know until Monday when I get to the yard and am told by an Instructor. You will get it, do not give up, do not get discouraged.

Wait did I make a new acronym? PAVE :)

Posted:  5 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Oh sheesh, I forgot to post, been exhausted. I'm spending my weekends at home, so using my actual PC to post. Anyway, the last 3 days have been busy, for me at least. More dragging that rail segment, maneuvers, teaching some people pre trip, and my first shot at the road. Ill focus on Thursday because that is the only major notable event. I have to admit, double clutching is a pain for me, I can float them but the problem comes in with the double clutching which is required for the test. I do have to watch my mirrors more, rubbed a curb with the trailer tires, otherwise... I have no other major issues with driving the rig. I will admit, I was a little frustrated, focusing on the road, and other obsticles with the addition of the instructor telling me what I need to do. I paid attention as closely as possible, I just need more road time and I think Ill get it somewhat quickly.

And coming up on my 4th week I am scheduled sometime this upcoming week. A ( the one that was with me on the road) and G will let me do the yard tests and put the road test on hold if I test Monday, I think they want me to get passed on my first pass on each portion. I... I think that they believe I will do good, it makes me happy they have such confidence in me.

Its just now sinking in that I am really doing this. I was thinking Thursday as I was walking to the restroom, that my test is coming up.... Almost had a panic attack! I was just walking to the restroom to relieve myself and I started to get scared!!!!! Not the inspections or the backing, but the road portion. Then I calmed myself down after a moment and though to myself.... I CAN and WILL do this... just think of W ( the tester ) as being a complete newbie to the yard that has never seen a semi up close before and just TEACH him how its done!

Oh completely random thing..... G got into the truck, acting like a student with the whole 'can I try a 90?!'... he proceeds to pull out and noses the truck in, leans over to the passenger side window and says 'OOOPS I F***** up! letme fix it!' then proceeds to back out, and rotates the trailer on it's tandems and backs it in with a single pull up and then says 'I fixed it'. I nearly wet my pants from laughter, then he has the stones to say hes rusty! Thought I'd share that! G is a wonderful instructor, I care not what any person says, he is my first teacher in the industry, love the guy to bits, A is pretty cool too, very encouraging as well, and he said hes got my mark, hes the one that takes the students out for time on the road. I love the Philly branch of AAA School of Trucking, all the staff there are awesome, and good at their jobs, Only downside is.... they get overbooked.

Okay Ill leave this off for now, I will say this to all of you that has encouraged me here, thank you.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay today I got my maneuvers in and one pull up each for the offset and alley. As stated before I am confident I will pass all the tests in the yard, still have to get some time on the road to have practice enough to pass that part of the test.

The school uses freightliners to train on bit there is one other truck the school owns, a 1996 international she has had her rear end blown out twice within one week. She's been parked and only the instructors are allowed to 'play' with her, one of the instructors ( ill call him G for now ) calles her his baby. Well G got a 16 foot span of railroad track and uses that track to level the dirt yard, using the international, ( Big Red ) to drag it around. Well I know G trusts me because he had me drag that track segment around for an hour and will be again tomorrow. Gives me practice with the clutch and maybe some low gear shifting too.

Posted:  5 months ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Monday of week 3. Had to go in for a 2nd drug test, P.A.M. required the second one. I studied hard for it smile.gif

After watching the others do their maneuvers till after lunch I managed to get an offset and an alley dock in. Would have passed those on the skills test.

I think all I really need now is some time on the road. I am happy with my progress thus far.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

And once again, its two days worth of updates owed to you fine people. I am posting from home, the weekends are free and I took the 2.5 hour trip to come home to spend time with my wife. Thursday I did my ritual once more of doing my pre-trip, didn't miss anything, most of the day I was waiting for my turns in the truck, did the offset and alley with 1 and 2 pull ups respectively, 2nd pass I got into the truck with enough time to do both once more, 3 pull ups on the offset and the 90..... I go stuck, dirt yard and students are NOT gentle with the clutch and brakes so the yard is full of pot holes. Trued to rock it out but the power wheels on the drives were off the ground enough not to gain purchase. The trucks we use are freightliners, took me a minute and I reached over and flipped the diff lock, I do know what that does and got it moving and got it in the box, almost perfect with the IC bar between the required cones. as I was getting ready to head out I let the instructors know (it was 5 PM they shut the trucks down at roughly 4:45) And the one who takes the students out on the road told me he needs to get me on the road because my maneuvers are good, color me shocked, not even a full two weeks at the school, with 7 days of being at the range I am getting told I am doing good, I felt.... pride in myself (won't get ****y)

Today was.... interesting, I wound up having to go over to the main office for the school to do a basic competency test to make sure I know how to do math and read. I wound up not getting into the truck unfortunately, but come Monday and after my 2nd drug test, I plan to practice more. I want to pass on the first attempt on everything.

I will make a reminder tomorrow to give my opinions on the program from being in to it for two weeks, the hotel, getting to the school and range, and my opinion on the instructors ( will not name them but give a bit of an overview of them).

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay, once again I have two days to post on. Tuesday I did my daily ritual of doing the pretrip managed to get in one set of maneuvers, offset and alley dock.

Today, much the same except I didn't get time to do the offset just managed the 90 ( alley dock ) with one pull up.

Even with the pack of time in the seat I do believe I can at the moment can pass the pretrip. ( including aibrakes ) and the 3 manuvers. I just really need time on the road and get used to double clutching, floating the gears would be easier I believe.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Oh I know that pull ups are essential, I will need the once I get to hauling freight. I have no doubt I will need both for the alley dock during my test. I just want to learn what I can do in a 'controlled' environment, I am trying to gain as much control over my trailer as possible during this phase of training. If I get somewhat decent control and can manipulate to where I want it to go I think it will make my life easier later on.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Week 2 day 1... Strait to the range like last week starting last Wednesday. Well today I did my pretrip as every other day and waited until after lunch till I could get into the truck again. But I think it was worth it.

Offset went off without a problem, no pull ups needed and then tried the alley dock ( we just call them 90s here) and 2 orb3 pull ups to manage it.... Still I have done all my maneuvers without an instructor talking me through them, this fact has me proud of myself.

More updates to come as long as I am in this school.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Congrats so far and keep up the good work!

Oh trust me I will keep at this, I WANT this. I will not give up. In fact the vehicle I am using I just replaced the brake pads and sway bar links, to make it safer to travel down I-476 from Scranton/Wilkes-barre area to Philly. Most of that is 70 mph, wasn't comfortable with that little blazer doing more than 60 it was so bad.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay I have two days to cover.

Thursday, More going over pre-trip, air brakes and in-cab, more strait line backing, the instructors are focused on the ones getting close to doing their tests. As I said its a small school only 3-4 instructors and a total of 4 trucks at the range. A pair of students that have been there for longer guided us through the inspections and got us doing more strait backing and then I got the chance to try the offset, took a few tries and a mangled cone but I got it in the box.

Friday, I got there early as I normally do, started going over the pre-trip, only missed 3-4 things outside. Eventually another senior student took three of my group ( have one guy thinking he HAS to be trained ONLY by an instructor and the female of our group was at her gandson's graduation) and we went over air brakes and in-cab once more. The three of us took turns doing strait backing and I was asked if I wanted to attempt the offset again, so I went for it, MUCH easier time of it this time, I took my time, watched what I was doing as it was explained to me and had to pull-up three times total to get it in the box!

On a side note, they had a cookout on Friday, grilled burgers hot dogs and chicken. I do like the instructors, great group of guys. Oh and considering I am going to PAM and the bonuses as they are right now, Friday meant I got my first $50 check.

Home for the weekend, took the 2-3 hour trip home to spend the weekend with my wife....... and to do some work on the vehicle I am currently using. Ill be headed back to Philly Sunday evening.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay, I seem to be posting in the mornings about the previous days, I'll keep going with that.

Yesterday my roommate had a family emergency and had to go home, I do hope everything works out for him, he does hope he can return Monday to pick up where he left off.

Anyway I got to the practice yard about an hour early and just watched. On a side note I do have to say AAA cold school in Philly is a little school and not enough instructors or trucks. But they had classes bigger than what they have now and apparently all of that class was successful in getting their cdls.

After lunch the group I was with started pretrip and took video of the airbrakes test to study. And we did a little bit of strait backing, for me it wasn't difficult.

So in a nutshell, other than my growing sunburn, I enjoyed my first day at the range.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Day 2, Had to go to the DMV to get my CLP, passed on the first try, The Highroad system works, best study tool I came across for the knowledge exams. Downside is my PA non-CLD license had less than 6 months on it and I had to renew that before I could get the tests for the CLP done.,

Even with the extra time needed to get money orders, I was still out of there within an hour and a half. 30 minute drive from the DMV to the school, wound up with an hour to spare so, I found myself a parking spot and went to get 'breakfast' (quarter pounder with cheese). Then in class we covered inspection and a few other things in detail with videos and a bit of book work.

Tomorrow we get our first day at the range which is at a separate location.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Okay, yesterday was a long day. Roommate and I woke up extremely early and got to class at AAA CDL school in Philly. Paperwork was what start ed she day off followed by physicals. Last part of the day was going over the written tests, finally went back to the hotel at around 10:30.

Ill post more about the school and hotel in a later post.

Today though my room mate and I will be hitting a dmv to get our clp.

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

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Starting classes tomorrow

Alright, I start classes Monday, June 4th, Headed to Philadelphia for training through Driver Solutions, I live near Scranton PA, about a 2 hour drive and Ill be staying in a hotel on the NJ side, daily $5 toll to get to the PA side where the school is. I am almost finished getting packed and stuff ready for the first week ( will be coming home on the weekends ). I will do my best to keep posting here to let everyone know how it goes and for others behind me to know what to expect.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!

Downloaded to my phone, I am sure it will help me in school.

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