Comments By Renae S. (Angel)

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Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Officers Search Semi Truck Because Driver’s Clothes Were Too Clean. This Is What They Found.

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Sounds like they were tipped off and not wanting to disclose it.

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Probably a woman tipped them off. Right? It's always a woman.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Driving south on 35 in Texas, I spotted 5 police cars blocking shoulder and right lane. Thought it was an accident. Nope, 1 hispanic young man was standing at the back of nondescript white semi with trailer, casually speaking to no less than 6 officers.

Wonder what they were talking about.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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I just got my cdl

Congartulations! Exciting and a bit anticlimactic isn't it? Lol you'll do great. Attitude is everything.

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Getting Started with CR England

If you're still following me, I will try to give you a rundown of my training.

I arrived in salt lake city and had a huge culture shock. Getting from the bus station to the end school, we crammed 7 passengers plus the driver and copious quantities of luggage into a smalll shuttle minivan. I was the only female. Can you say SARDINE? I knew you could.

We arrived safely. Which shocked me. Checked into the facility's driver and student hotel. Students were given bunk-style accommodation. 8 bunk beds. No joke. Really! I was early enough in the day to only have one roommate while I unpacked. Super nice lady walked me and another woman through the place and showed us where everything was.

More people showed up throughout the day and on into the night. Monday morning bright and early, we filed into a large classroom where we we separated into on groups. Some people needed their permit, some were upgrading, some were testing, some were getting hired, and some were like me. I just needed the driving training, practice, and test. Yeah "just".

We filled out paperwork for the office, listened to lectures, and read and quizzed and tested. That was just the morning. During all of this, they sent us to medical for physical evaluation, drug tests, and dot physicals. I already had my dot medical card so that was good, but some people had to redo them because they weren't filled out correctly.

The physical consisted of walking under a trailer and touching the fence on the other side and then back again, climbing into the back of a trailer and getting back down, and lifting a 30 lb metal box from the ground to overhead to the ground three times. Not too difficult but you had to avoid touching the trailer or the ground, not fall out of or off of the back of the trailer, and not drop the wright on your head. I witnessed all of these things happen, including one guy who smacked himself in the face with the weight, another slip off the dot bar, and another whack his head under the trailer.

Then, a large group of very neon colored people started coming in. No, they weren't neon. They were wearing a lot of neon shirts and vests with neon. Hmmm? Who are all these guys?

They were our Road Instructors and Backing Instructors.

Our names were called by the different instructors in groups ranging from 2 to 4 people per instructor. Shortly after that we were directed to the backing range to meet our instructors and go driving.

Yes, I said driving. Three men and myself drove out to the "shifting range" and were instructed on double clutching, rpm and speed, and general control of the truck. I did okay, one guy couldn't get it at all, another was about the same as me, and the last guy shifted like it was a race to get to the highest gear. No one died. We visited salt lake and took a break at a gift shop inside a concert arena that looked like a sultan's address.

They let us go about 5. After starting at 6. It was a long day.

Each day was classroom, driving, and finding time to eat, sleep, and study. I have to admit, I didn't study too hard except for the pretrip and in cab inspections.

Day 2 with the road instructor was turning. 3 was advanced turns, liitle narrow streets, etc. 4 was supposed to be mountain, but we worked on shifting and then mountain driving. Gotta say that was an adventure.

One of my group scared me so bad I refused to come back into the truck going down the mountain if he was driving. We got to where the instructor wanted to turn around and demanded a break. I got out cussing and crying. I'm not a bad passenger. But some people I just don't trust behind the wheel. I'd been a passenger with him for several days and knew I couldn't trust him not to get me killed.

You want to know what he was doing? Okay. Let's speed up coming to a stop sign. Let's slow down entering the highway. Let's not find any gear at any time. Let's not look in mirrors. Lets drive down the middle, crowd corners, posts, and other vehicles, and last but not least, let's not listen to the guy in the jump seat trying to teach you.

Now, let's repeat every mistake every day. Repeatedly. Honestly, he had a language issue but the biggest problem was being 21, male, and arrogant. I flat out told him he was 21 and male which equalled stupid. I don't like being mean or discouraging but I think he just made me mad and scared me. That's a bad thing. Normally, I would say I regretted saying something like that, but not in this case.

Fortunately, he didn't make it through training.

That covers the first 4 days of training. See? Pretty cut and dried.

During down time we sat around talking to other studenrts, drivers, and school staff, went shopping, eating, and sleeping.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we trudged in 95+degree temperatures to the backing range where we were given instruction doing 3 different kinds of backing, straight line, parallel, and offset.

Monday, we were tested on what we learned. Some people passed the first time, others, like me made a stupid mistake which became a bigger mistake, and had to be retested. I took my 2nd test on Thursday and passed. Friday, I was hired and went through orientation.

Now, to get a trainer, get to my home staye dmv for my license, and spend 180 hours of paid training. And the adventure really begins!

Posted:  8 years, 8 months ago

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Getting Started with CR England

Wow! What can I say? Or should that be what can't I say?

I apologize for the long delay since posting. I didnt have a phone or tablet, laptop or computer available since beginning my schooling.

What?! No internet? How could you survive? Other than not being able to communicate except through phone calls to family, I did fairly well, after I did my technology detox. Withdrawal sucked!

The reason for the technology blackout was because the school blocks alot of sites. Of course if you have the mobile tech you're still covered, but I'm me, so of course it took this long to get it. Still learning so please bear with me.

My adventures in salt lake city at the cr england school were fairly mild actually, but I have to admit that I don't think I have been so busy and tired since I was a teenager.

One surprise was elevation-related swelling. The clinic doctor evaluated me after I tried everything I could think of and finally gave me some water pills. I'm still holding on to a week's worth just in case.

Another surprise to me personally was how outspoken I became. I made a lot of friends and talked with strangers. That was my original childhood personality but school and life ground that part of me into the dust. It was good to see that person again.

I'll cover my training ups and downs in the next post. Stay tuned.

Happily driving a big rig,

Renae

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Getting Started with CR England

7-17-15

Pins and needles. Going to try to sleep for a while. I can almost guarantee a night of tossing and turning, but occasionally I do surprise myself.

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Beginning my journey with Roehl.

Donnie, Hope your training is not near the SWIFT teminal in Phoenix. I worked across the street for Maricopa Parks and Rec. Dept. back in 2007. There is a dog food factory near by as well a landfill. Ahh enjoy the scent and brown cloud of Phoenix. Hope to meet up some time. See you in the Flatbed division sometime.

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I live in a pulp and paper mill town. There's also a landfill, garbage dump, and a lovely company next door that makes fertilizer from manure and yard waste.

All my life I hear people asking the same question, "Oh God! What is that smell?!"

My answer? "What smell?" rofl-1.gif

Good luck Donnie!

Renae (Angel)

AND the SWIFT terminal and school shares space with the LCSC college truck driving range. All of it is right in the middle of the perfect storm of aromatic Hell!

LOL

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Beginning my journey with Roehl.

Donnie, Hope your training is not near the SWIFT teminal in Phoenix. I worked across the street for Maricopa Parks and Rec. Dept. back in 2007. There is a dog food factory near by as well a landfill. Ahh enjoy the scent and brown cloud of Phoenix. Hope to meet up some time. See you in the Flatbed division sometime.

rofl-3.gif

I live in a pulp and paper mill town. There's also a landfill, garbage dump, and a lovely company next door that makes fertilizer from manure and yard waste.

All my life I hear people asking the same question, "Oh God! What is that smell?!"

My answer? "What smell?" rofl-1.gif

Good luck Donnie!

Renae (Angel)

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Medical issue during 1st wk of school!

Wow! I'm so sorry that happened to you.

My recruiter sent me to a DOT physical before they even enrolled me in class. That and my instruction permit before I got my enrollment paperwork. Enrollment paperwork before I got a bus ticket. My very first phone call included asking me about medications. I had taken pain meds about 2 months previously, which I explained to her. She told me she'd have their doctor call me. I was still on the house phone with her when he called.

Did I just get a good recruiter who was paying attention?

I hope that your doctor can clear everything for you or get you on a medication that DOT will approve. Good luck!

Renae (Angel)

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Deflated - Celadon, Knight, Roehl Won't Take Me & Pushing Roadmasters

Just an addendum. CR England has a school in Florida. I'm not sure about anybody else.

Posted:  8 years, 11 months ago

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Deflated - Celadon, Knight, Roehl Won't Take Me & Pushing Roadmasters

I don't have a problem with driving for 6 months, 8 months, or a year to repay a company for their trust and their generosity. I have a stellar driving record and plan to keep it that way. What I'm worried about is getting myself into deeper financial water than I'm in.

Hi Debra!

I really feel for you. I'm in Idaho so I didn't have the trouble getting a school to accept me. I can't even imagine that frustration. The financial stuff, boy howdy do I feel that!

I also worried about getting myself deeper financially and then I REALLY thought about it. Am I serious about making this change in my life? Am I going to have options and opportunities after my training and company commitment is completed that I wouldn't have otherwise? Do I think or do I KNOW I can handle the training and at least the 9 months to a year of company commitment? Do I want to try to get a loan with my credit history? Or do I want to get a job that will automatically pay back the loan as long as I hold up my end?

I leave for CR England tomorrow morning. As long as I do the training well and get my CDL, I've got a job. Yes, if something goes horribly wrong I'm financially committed to repaying the company. But, if I look at every WHAT IF that can happen, I'll be paralyzed by indecision and nothing in my life will change. It will never be better because I didn't take the chance.

Limits, restrictions, and what if thinking are for when you're already set up and not worried about the things like food, rent, and electricity. Letting what ifs paralyze me would put me behind the counter as a gas station attendant, AGAIN. I'm worth the time and effort. My future is waiting for me to arrive. You're worth the time and effort anything that you really want will require from you.

So I've got dues to pay and a lot of learning to do. That's okay. Nothing new about that. I've been knocked down so many times I should have myself permanently encased in bubble wrap. Silly me, I wobble to my hands and knees. Then, I groan my way to my knees. Then, one foot lands solid. Dang, it's so hard but the other foot plants itself and suddenly I'm standing. Still bent over with tears in my eyes, but by God I'm up. A few deep breaths, a heartfelt curse and a groan later and I'm fully upright. Wow! The view is so pretty over there. Okay, we're up. Let's take that first step. Suddenly, upright becomes mobile and that view I spotted in the distance is that much closer.

Renae (Angel)

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