Comments By Annee

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  • Annee
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  • 4 years, 1 month ago
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Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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New Proud Owner of a CDL A - Yep, I passed!!

Yes, I passed. So happy!! It's been a frustrating and eye opening experience, had some semi-psyco trainers but in the end I found a good school (Advantage Driving in Shorewood, IL) that were stocked with knowledgeable and patient (most of the time...LOL) trainers.

I would also like to thank this website, I referred to it often and found it helpful and informative. I'll continue to check back here often for the next stage of my career, I know I'll need it. Thanks again folks.

Now off to finding that first truck driving job so I can make some money......

Annee

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Exemployer telling lies to kept me from getting a job

Tracy, could you elaborate?

As a former employer I see no benefit for them by lying about you. What is the situation and how are they spinning it?

My thoughts exactly. I can't see any business person taking the time and effort to lie to keep someone from working, not to mention the chance of the business being sued. There are labor laws that protect against this type of practice.

If this is in fact happening, all one needs to do is call the company and make someone in upper management aware, I can assure you it will stop.

Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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Parallel Parking a Tractor-Trailer/Basic Skills Test

How important is the skill of correctly parallel parking a tractor-trailer? What does it prove? It's the only maneuver on my basic skills that I cant seem to get right. Actually, when I am practicing by myself, I have done it correctly a few times. But every time I get tested on it, it's the only one I consistently fail. Straight backing? No problem. Offset? Not a problem.[I have not been tested on the alley dock maneuver, though I have practiced it]. Is this parallel parking only a one time school thing, or is it something that truck drivers in the real world have to do all the time? Well, I just need more practice, that's all. Thanks for any tips you can give me on this most difficult of all backing maneuvers.

Hi Richard- I feel your pain, believe me....I also had no issue with straight back or offset and although I could do parallel about 50% of the time, definitely no consistency. I pleaded for help on this site and received some very good advise - a huge thank you to all who helped!

I ended up breaking down the parallel by markers (hard right when driver's side drive tire hit the line, etc.) and I paid close attention to (and immediately wrote down) mistakes that I made so not to make them next time. I had it down to a science. I passed the parallel the 2nd time around and although it wasn't pretty, it was in the box. I passed!! Now just waiting to take the driving part.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Annee

Posted:  3 years ago

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Driving a stick shift

I've never driven a stick shift before, will this make training harder for me?

Hi Samuel, I don't think you should worry too much about this, you will get it. I had never drove a manual before and did find it difficult at first - especially down shifting - but once I got the rhythm of double clutching it's become second nature and can be kind of fun. Good luck to you. Annee

Posted:  3 years ago

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Getting ready for PSD program with Prime inc.

My journey to Springfield, Mo starts next Saturday where I begin the Prime CDL program. I'm pumped and anxious at the same time. I've gotten the support from my family and am ready to go. I've never been to Missouri before so it'll be an adventure, and I'm all for adventures! It'll be far outside my comfort zone and I don't know what to expect.

It's a definite roll of the dice, but with the nervousness I also feel great about the opportunity. I feel it's time for a new chapter in my life. I'll finally get to go for my CDL and pursue something that's been on the back burner for a long time. I actually feel better about this decision than I have about any other career choice so far. I'm excited to be able to experience and strive for a future in a career that offers me what I want. It all starts in one week.

Driving over the road will feed my wanderlust and will test me. With the challenges I will face out there and the independence I'll get to enjoy, I will grow to be stronger and will get to finally experience a taste of the dream of spreading my wings and roaming the open road. As some of my family has found their home outside of Florida, I believe that mine is out there as well, waiting for me to find it. This Greyhound ticket out of Florida will start my journey to get to see the beauty this country has the offer. It's a tough road ahead and I look forward to it.

Hi Gypsy, I went through the Prime training in MO and I think you will be impressed with the instructors and the entire program. Like someone else said, 1st thing is to make sure you are NEVER late. "Early is on time, on time is late" (a phrase you will probably hear a lot while there). The simulators are great for learning double clutching & parking maneuvers and you will probably be on them every day (unless they've changed the program since I was there). You should also try the biscuits and gravy in the cafeteria, I had those every morning.....so good.

Good luck to you and keep us informed. Annee

Posted:  3 years ago

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Clutch Neutral- Clutch Gear......... Clutch Neutral- REV - Clutch Gear

If you have been through Driver Training, you know what that means. If not, It is learning to Double Clutch and Shift an Unsynchronized Truck transmission. I won't get into the mechanical details. Suffice it to say, I felt like an incompetent fool this morning learning this "Dance"! I have driven manual transmission vehicles most of my life. I'm now trying to unlearn 40 years of proper shifting habits (for an automobile that is), that are improper shifting habits for a Semi Tractor. I have read on this site and others, that knowing how to operate a manual transmission in an automobile is a liability and not an asset. In my case this is 100% TRUE. If you have only driven cars with an automatic transmission, this will be easier for you to learn. We practiced this for about 3 1/2 hours today, I only began to get the hang of it in the last 30 minutes or so. Back at it again tomorrow!

Now if I could only get rid of this Ear Worm before I go to bed tonight smile.gif

I remember learning to double clutch and wondering if I would ever get the rhythm down, downshifting was the worst for me. But I'm here to say I did learn and in fact I find it kind of fun. You will be fine......

Posted:  3 years ago

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CDL skills testing requirements

Hi! I'm attending a month long CDL course and am almost finished! I test in a week! Here's my question....one of my fellow classmates took her CDL test this morning and did awesome with pre-trip, and range skills testing, but failed the driving portion. Why does she have to re-take everything and not just the driving portion? I was told it is this way nationally....any thoughts?

Hi Dede, In Illinois you do not have to retake any part of testing that you passed. You do however have to take the tests in order (pre-trip 1st, 2nd skills and 3rd driving).

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Desperate for help with left offset and left parallel - PLEASE HELP ME!

Annee, here's a real life observation. This won't necessarily help you now, but it's a view over the hill.

There are truck rest areas genuinely designed for trucks to parallel park. (They don't make them like that any more.) What I've seen there is trucks will pull forward into the curb area. No one does a true parallel park job. You may get into a parallel park situation but they are rare.

Thank you Errol, that's a good idea and I plan on doing just that.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Desperate for help with left offset and left parallel - PLEASE HELP ME!

Hi all you wonderful helpful truckers here on my favorite trucking website.

I'm scheduled to test in about 10 days and I still can't offset or parallel park. I get the concept and others make it look so easy but once I get in the truck I lose it. I have the first part down but turning and straightening up in the boxes isn't working for me. This is killing my confidence and although I have the pre trip and driving down, I'm beginning to feel kind of stupid. Why can't I get this?

I turn the wheel all the way to the right, count out to 3 and turn the wheel to the left and then straighten out - this part I'm fine with. My problem seems to be getting into the boxes correctly. I have even jackknifed trying to parallel. Are there marking points I should use to know when to turn? Can anyone give me step by step instructions? You guys (and gals) have helped me (even though you don't know it) with so many parts of this process up till now, I'm hoping you can help me again.

Thank you once again for any advice you can offer. Annee

I did it today - not once, but 3 times!!! I want to thank all you guys for your advise - It absolutely helped. This website, and all the information and knowledge shared by all you experienced drivers, has gotten me through this sometimes difficult process. I say this in all seriousness: I don't believe I would have made it through without it. I know I'm not through yet, but I'm very close - so thank you again - you people rock!!!!!! Annee

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Desperate for help with left offset and left parallel - PLEASE HELP ME!

Annee,, what you are doing is a classic rookie mistake, don't let it frustrate you excessively, we've all had to learn this backing thing and it is tricky to say the least. You are way over-steering. Now, my advice may not be that much help to you because i never liked those formulas they teach at trucking schools, like hold the wheel turned all the way and count to three and then turn it back the other way, or hold it until you see the center of the landing gear! All that stuff was worthless to me, because it was a short-cut "Jack-leg" way to teach folks to be able to pass the test but it did nothing to prepare them for the real world of parking a truck.

Listen, if you can get it down well enough to pass the test, then hooray for you, but after you get on a trainer's truck ask them to let you practice in an almost empty parking lot at a truck stop. I did this a lot when I first had my own truck. I would set aside some time in the middle of the day when the truck stops were almost empty and practice backing in between the lines. The thing that helped me the most was to watch where my tandems (the wheels on the trailer) were rolling. That showed me exactly where the trailer was going because the trailer went where the wheels were going! Learn to "feel" the relationship between the input you are giving at the steering wheel and how those trailer wheels respond to it. Beware... the response from the wheels is sloooow! That is why you are over-steering... you expect the trailer to be doing what you want, and when it doesn't do it just right you just keep on turning that wheel, and then the next thing you know you are jack-knifed in the total wrong direction of what you were trying to accomplish.

Turn the wheel a little and then let that truck roll for about eight feet... watch what is happening by viewing where those wheels are rolling. If you need them to move over a little more then turn the wheel a little bit more and wait as it rolls along. Less is more - try to remember that little saying when you up turning the wheel in reverse.

Thank you Old School, this helped a lot. I had 4 turns with the skills course today and the first 3 turned out good, the last one I kind of messed up. But I did it - Yea!! I appreciate you taking the time to help.

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Desperate for help with left offset and left parallel - PLEASE HELP ME!

Hi all you wonderful helpful truckers here on my favorite trucking website.

I'm scheduled to test in about 10 days and I still can't offset or parallel park. I get the concept and others make it look so easy but once I get in the truck I lose it. I have the first part down but turning and straightening up in the boxes isn't working for me. This is killing my confidence and although I have the pre trip and driving down, I'm beginning to feel kind of stupid. Why can't I get this?

I turn the wheel all the way to the right, count out to 3 and turn the wheel to the left and then straighten out - this part I'm fine with. My problem seems to be getting into the boxes correctly. I have even jackknifed trying to parallel. Are there marking points I should use to know when to turn? Can anyone give me step by step instructions? You guys (and gals) have helped me (even though you don't know it) with so many parts of this process up till now, I'm hoping you can help me again.

Thank you once again for any advice you can offer. Annee

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Company-Sponsored Program - Day to Day

My test on Monday regarding squatting: First, squat and go under trailer twice for twenty seconds each time. Allowed to touch one knee or one hand on the ground. Next time was back inside. Had to squat and touch one hand to the floor ten times consecutively. Heart rate monitoring after each tasking.

Thanks, Charles, that makes me feel a little better. I can squat as long as I can use a hand to get back up straight and I go under the trailer at school quit a bit so Roehl is still my 1st choice. Appreciate the info. Annee

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Company-Sponsored Program - Day to Day

Ok, thanks for the reply.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Company-Sponsored Program - Day to Day

Regardless of the balance test, you WILL have to pass some type of physical/heart rate test, but it really is not too difficult. You should be fine

Did you have to go through the squat tests? This worries me a little. Thanks, Annee

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Company-Sponsored Program - Day to Day

Day Two(08 Mar 16): 0700 - Waiting in the class room for the instructors to show up. About 5 minutes later, in walked the instructors and informed us we would be working on our turns today. We split back up into our two groups of three and the other group headed out to the truck while mine headed to the simulator. I will be blunt. I absolutely hate that POS simulator. Everything, and I mean everything, feels off. Shifting doesn't feel right, depth perception goes completely out the window, and it will tell you you're hitting a curb even when on the screen you're not. After spending around 30 minutes each on the simulator practicing left and right turns with the trailer, we headed out into the yard to the truck while the other group came inside. For the next 45 minutes everything seemed to go very well. Of course I managed to basically forget everything I had learned about shifting the previous day and managed to bump myself into reverse instead of second as well as mistakenly bumping myself into 9th gear instead of 7th. But after a few minutes everything came back and I began to actually work on my turns. According to my instructor, we all did better than expected. We initially began with just left turns before lunch. Afterward, both groups got into our respective trucks and and began with right turns. Again, my group did well. My instructor felt we were doing well enough that tomorrow we will be hitting the town. In the mean time, after our second break we went out for a "commentary drive" where our instructor drove around town talking us through everything he was doing and looking for. When we returned, we jumped ahead of schedule and the three of us started working on our backing. We did several straight line backs between cones and concrete divider walls with about 3 feet of space on each side of the trailer (don't quote me on the spacing.) After we did much better than expected (again, my trainers words, not mine. I'd never make the claim. Personally I'm still waiting to run myself over while driving.) we moved on to offset backing both left and right. While we were basically walked through this step by step, it was still great practice. Especially getting to practice feathering the clutch. After this it was time to head back to the hotel and grab some chow. All in all, it was nothing short of an amazing day. We are currently a little over a day ahead of schedule. Tomorrow we have, unfortunately, more simulator time planned for backing practices, then we will be taking the trucks onto the roads for some real practice. Time to get some shut eye for what is sure to be an interesting day tomorrow.

As a side note, anyone who comes to Roehls WI location, bring waterproof boots. Currently, both training yards are dirt. And when I say dirt, I mean three inches of mud with small streams running through everywhere. If you ever wanted to know what it was like driving an 18-wheeler in a dirt derby, you'll get to learn.

- Razor

Razor- The medical tests seem pretty heavy with the squats, I'm wondering if that's because you're thinking of driving flatbed or does everyone have to go through that? I'm in CDL school now and hope to test out in 2-3 weeks and Roehl is my 1st choice for employment. I broke my kneecap a few years back and squatting can be tricky for me. After reading your posts I'm a little worried I won't pass this part of the test.

I know you just started and might not know, just thinking you might have noticed others in the class doing different tests depending on what they intend to drive or any other insight you might have.

Is there anyone that works at Roehl on this board that might know? Appreciate any advice given. Thanks, Annee

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Drivers

Annee, forgive me if you think I was mean spirited. It is very frustrating for us when people jump in here like Oliver did. Here's why: he obviously has been doing considerable reading in here since he jumped in on a thread that was one year and five months old. Anybody that has done that much reading in this forum has an idea about the way we approach things. Then on top of that he chose a thread where folks are sharing their positive experiences at Roehl and simply states:

double-quotes-start.png

I don't feel it's a good company.

double-quotes-end.png

Annee, a person can be shy and elaborate just a little in an online forum! How is Oliver's remark even considered helpful at all by anybody? It has no substance, no supportive facts or arguments, just a blatant dig at a company who is not here to defend themselves. And on top of all that it goes against everything we have heard from people who are actually out here proving themselves successful at this after having made their start at Roehl.

Anytime somebody wants to claim that a company is "not a good company" in here, they should be prepared to defend their statement because we will challenge them on it.

I get it Old School, in fact Roehl is on the top of my list of companies I want to start out with which is why I was attracted to the posts. It just seemed he was being ganged up on just because he didn't elaborate. Agreed he should have elaborated and also agree that his post added nothing to the conversation but wouldn't it have been fairer to ask him to elaborate instead of berating him? Sometimes we have no idea what other people are going through.

I'm done preaching....sorry, it must be the mother in me. My 2 cents for whatever it's worth :) Annee

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Over before it started

Thanks guys. As far as Prime knows, I just left. I let the office, and my recruiter know. Got turned down for PAM and they said something on Hire Right was the reason for the denial. I'm going to call tomorrow night to see what's on it.

Request a copy of the report directly from HireRight, they are legally required to supply a copy to you if requested.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Roehl Drivers

Well, I personally am glad Oliver chimed in. After reading all these posts about how well everyone is doing at Roehl, I actually considered it myself. Thank you Oliver, obviously you are right and everyone else must be wrong. Whew, almost blew it.........

Hey Guys, why so mean? Some people are shy or may be a little intimidated...so he didn't elaborate. He wasn't sarcastic, threatening or mean-spirited so why the attack?

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Over before it started

So sorry to hear this Sam! You have such determination and would have done great in this career. Obviously I don't know details but hopefully whatever it was wont keep you down forever. Hopefully you will keep trying and will be successful!

good-luck.gif

Hi Sam- I just wanted to tell you that I also did not make it through Prime. I made it to the PSD stage but couldn't take my trainer yelling at me. My confidence was shot within 1.5 weeks so I made him take me back. I ended up going a different route, going to my local college and it's working out wonderfully, I'm hoping to test out in 2-3 weeks. The trainers are professional, knowledgeable and most important to me, patient. I don't know the details of what happened to you but I would encourage you to try a different route for your CDL if possible. I'm not positive about this but I don't think you are in any database since you didn't have your CDL and never drove so learn from any mistakes and move on. There are many options out there to get your CDL. Just my 2 cents......good luck to you. Annee

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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The sad realization of my CDL school

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Even though you've been attending this school for about a month, the actual hours you have in the truck seems minimal. I'm wondering if you can get a portion of the $6,000 refunded. Do you have a contract with this school?

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Yeah, the hours are pretty paltry, not enough to really master anything. I'm working on getting out of the loan altogether. The loan for the schooling is a signature loan, meaning it didn't go through any lending institution. It's basically a "promise to pay" broken down into monthly payments with interest. So to let me out of that loan all they have to do is tear up the paperwork. (And I'm trying to strong arm them into doing just that.)

This sounds like a small company and it's probably unlikely they would spend the money to go after you legally especially since they certainly haven't fulfilled their part of the bargain.

I've been through the same kind of school, it was a local school contracted by Swift. There were days I never made it into a truck, some days there were 19 people sharing two trucks. What a waste of time. I ended up asking the President to release me, which he did. He was very nice about it and I never heard from them or Swift again. Good luck.

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