Profile For BassPlaya

BassPlaya's Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 3 months ago

BassPlaya's Bio

Since I was able to crawl, Ive been a BigRig fan. Always wanted to drive, but after HighSchool life went in another direction. Now I'm at a point in my life to go back to what I should've been doing a long time ago, so here I am in CDL school, preparing to start my new career in Trucking. Cant wait!!!!

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Posted:  2 years, 11 months ago

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H.O. Wolding

You picked a great company to work for. Things will smooth out with experience, youll figure out the tricks. Always try to sleep at shipper for apt if possible, though sounds like you are running multiple stops throughout the day, also, Rest Areas are your friend!! Lots of craziness at truckstops at night, with everyone trying to find a place to park. Get in early if possible. Good, blog too.. safe travels

As I am sitting here at the Loves watching people park for the night, I am actually amazed we don't hit more stuff. Nearly everyone misses each other by inches. Every single trailer rear corner is missing a truck's mirror by no more than 4 or 5 inches. Kinda scary and yet amazing. I know that they all are not rookies like me. Earlier 2 people parking at an angle across from each other appeared to have both trucks dancing to each other. As they both mirrored each other getting into their respective slots.

Sorry, sometimes it is the little things that get me.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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A Big Thanks for the High Road Training Program !!!

Bradford Union Tech College Starke,Fl

Which school? Where at?

Rick

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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

Something that helped me was, with my initial setup having the end of my trailer lined up with the entrance to the parallel, turn wheel 1/2 a turn, (doesnt seem like enough, i know), as you start turning, keep an eye on your trailer landing gear! When you are nearing the 1/2 way point on your landing gear ( youll be watching for this in your mirrors, blindside will be in your small convex mirror, harder to see but concentrate on it) your trailer tandems should be crossing the line. Straighten up, and back in slowly, as your trailer tandems reach midway in the box, countersteer all the way back, once your tractor tandems reach almost 1/2 way in the box, countersteer quickly in opposite direction. Then just slowly walk it all in. I know this may sound complicated but if you set your reference points that should help a lot. Good luck, and while doing these practices remember the path your tires are making. Another thing that may help is once the tractor trailer is in the parallel box , pull it out and see observe how your turning to get it out. Its just theopposite to backing in then. Also , your offsets are basically the same paths as parallel, you just have more room to manuever. You always want to have tractor-trailer straight and see both cones to the entrances in your mirrors, then its basically a straight line back with a little angle in it. Wow, im sure ive made this sound hard, but its not, just keep track of what ur doing and correct it. Good luck :)

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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And we're off!

Awesome Chickie!!! Glad you are finally on the road, enjoy the drive and Be Safe!!!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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The High Road CDL Program Study Course

Congrats on your exams!! Yep, High Road is awesome and TT has helped me more than anything else. Tons of excellent information, and will put you ahead of others. Good Luck on your journey!

Well, I studied for about two weeks primarily with TruckingTruth.com. I made it through the entire High Road course (up to the log book section) in a week and averaged a score of 94%.

This program utilizes a very effective memorization technique known as stacking. You memorize the general knowledge section and then go on to the next section. While memorizing the second section you're taking quizzes on the previous section along with quizzes on the new section, thus stacking new information you're memorizing onto information you've already memorized. Before you know it, you come to the end of the course and have memorized all the information for general knowledge and all endorsements.

I passed general knowledge and hazmat, combination, doubles and triples, and tanker endorsements on my first take of these tests, with a screaming toddler in the room (I already have air brake, passenger, and school bus).

The one DMV employee said to me, "You've been studying, haven't you?" I said yes. He said, "Yes, I can tell."

I say all this to make a point. TruckingTruth has comment after comment listed on this site from people who have used the High Road CDL program proclaiming how effective the course is and that they, too, got high test scores and have heard comments just like I heard at the DMV that day. The High Road is very effective, and it's absolutely true as listed about this program. I highly recommend it.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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A Big Thanks for the High Road Training Program !!!

Well just a quick update, Week 4 has come to an end. Its going by very quickly, and having a great time. Passed my pretrip exam last week, only missed a couple of thing (fire extinguisher (DUH!!), checking my ABS light on trailer, and windshield wipers for dry rot or torn blades) but overall pretty happy with it. Got lots of backing practice in, and took my backing exam and aced it. 0 points!! Was very happy with that and was gonna treat myself to some Chinese dinner, but was too tired to go get it , and just wanted to relax and enjoy being done with it. LOL Only have a road test still, and I scheduled that for next week. 4 weeks left in school, and I will use that time to continue backing, coupling, and finish logging my 1000 miles driving. This school is awesome, the instructors are great on how they teach. Reading tons of these forums on TT prior to starting school has made a huge difference for me, and wish more people would use it as well. Ive told several classmates how awesome this site is, so hopefully they'll use it too. I cant tell you what an advantage it gives you, well maybe I just did :) Thanks TT!!!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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A Big Thanks for the High Road Training Program !!!

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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TransAm Orientation

Thanks Chickie, Ill let you know what happens for sure. TA is processing my app, all should be fine, I have a few other apps out there as well, and after months of researching companies, its come down to a handful. I do like the equipment TA has, others may not be able to match that, but offer other pros, however I would definitely work for TA if available. I,ve heard all the negatives about TA , but feel if you do your job, and be honest with them, things should be fine. I tend to not get caught up in all the bs , and just make things work to my advantage. Fortunately I can deal with the pay they offer, and hope to prove myself to them, and gain the experience I need. Who knows, maybe could stay awhile, not into the job hopping thing. As far as school, I aced my backing exam last week, was very happy about that, and have already gotten 200 of my 1000 road miles I need. 3 of us are well ahead of everyone else ( that's because weve been serious about it, and not leaving school early etc...) 4 weeks left till graduation, could prolly finish in 2, but I will stay and use that time to continue backing. So, my question is, coming in w a cdl already, what kinda training, driving are they going to look at before we go out w a trainer? I'm hoping they really care, like you say they do. Awesome job on all your training, it feels great overcoming all these tests and such. So much to absorb:) Love your blog, keep us posted please, and be safe out there, and good luck w ur trainer, hope all goes well. TY

Hi Bass! Great to hear I will have a TA buddy now! If you are coming to Kansas, give me a shout when you are gonna be at the terminal for orientation and such and if I'm around I'll come say hi!

In spite of the struggles I had, I think TA is a good starter company. Their trucks are amazing! The automatics rock! The trainers I have met truly want their students to succeed and put alot of effort into the short time they have with them.

Be warned though: they will push the lease hard! The best advice I can give is to just say you are gonna be a company driver and don't get sucked into it. We lost all but two of our class to the lease program.

Hopefully your class won't be as big as ours. 12! But be ready to stand around outside. It's very windy in Kansas and sunny so bring sunscreen and Chapstick. Also, save up a little cash because you provide dinner. But there are plenty of options within walking distance of the hotel.

Let me know how everything goes for you! Good luck in school! Your program sounds awesome by the way.

Posted:  3 years, 6 months ago

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TransAm Orientation

Really enjoy your posts here, hope everything works out well with your training, as these are very exciting times. I'm currently in cdl school and will finish up at the beginning of May. Passed PTI last week, and am scheduled for my backing tests this Tuesday. Should go well, as we get tons of practice in, basically we get to practice all day long. I'm in a local college cdl program, 8 students, 6 trucks, so yea, ALL DAY backing up!!! I was actually worn out at the end of the day , made me wonder how driving forward all day will be like? LOL I've already talked with and applied to TA and am looking forward to driving for them in May. Keep up the great posts, and info THX safe travels....

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MO is the cheapest place in the country to buy smokes lol. If you go thru there often stock up especially if your heading to ny or Wisconsin. I about had a heart attack paying 7 bucks for a pack of pall malls in Wisconsin lol. Good to hear how well things are working out for you.

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I live in mo so I only pay about 3 bucks for pall malls. I nearly died paying over 5 for them in Kansas!

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5 is about average for a pack of pall malls. Wi and ny are about 7 so yeah stock up on home time. I always buy at least 1 carton on my way thru mo

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I am quitting when I get on my trainers truck. I've been saying I was going to quit for two years so now I'm going to push myself to do it. Don't know how well it's gonna work out but I'm definitely gonna try!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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CDL School Update and Offset Backing Question

Oh, maybe aiming points is the term I was looking for. I think I'm getting the hang of the concept. I needed almost no instructor prompting by the end of the day. And I keep forgetting I get 2 pull ups and not to be afraid to use them. It's coming along.

Im also in cdl class working on backing, with offset they showed us to start with one full turn of the wheel (opposite direction of where u want ur trailer to go of course) and watch your landing gear on your trailer. When your tractor tandems are aligned with the center of ur landing gear u turn in the oposite direction till ur tractor trailer are straight (alligned with each other) you will be at an angle to where u wanna back into, but its basically a straightline back up from there. They had yellow tape on the center crossbar on our landing gear so that helped us to see it. Anticipate your turning as u start getting close to the center of ur landing gear. Without a refernce point like that ,your kinda guessing when to turn. Hope this helps , of course practice makes perfect, and it helped me immensley. Also works great on ur blindside offset, but youll have to look hard in your little convex mirror on passenger side to see landing gear,, everything else is hidden. Its a bit challenging , and this was on a 53 van trailer so i hope this helps u out. Good luck, its a great feeling to be passing these test, and with ur pretrip test, just go slow and talk about every part u see , cuz basically theyre having us know everypart , seems overwhelming, but just go step by stepp. I was tested yesterday and passed, missed a few things like the big red object with the white label on it at ur seat inside. Yea, the extinguisher, i looked at it as i was getting inside to do my in cab, but cuz i only was tested on coupling and my trailer, i just looked at it and thought, no, thats part of the front of the truck. Lol. So yea, go slow and talk about everything. This wound up being much longer post than i expected:) Good Luck!!!!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

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A Big Thanks for the High Road Training Program !!!

Well, week one is in the books, started with 7 in the class, on the 2nd day we lost 1 and gained 2 on the third day. So we have 8 now, and 3 instructors, pretty good ratio. Watched fmcsa vids and logging vids etc first couple of days , then pretrip vids Wed morning and hands on pretrip walkaround from the teacher , then after lunch we all just worked together ,helping each other learn. By Thursday afternoon, quite a few of us were pretty good with pretripping and our in cab brake testing. We have to have prettip test down by week 5, but i think next week many of us are going to try testing out. That just gives us more driving time. We have a 2 mile course we can practice driving and a seperate backing pad area, and are allowed to drive as much as we want, so pretty cool. We will also have 1000 miles otr driving we will be doing. So far, pretty exciting and am glad i chose this school. Its a local vo tech college. Ill update as progress is made.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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A Big Thanks for the High Road Training Program !!!

Well another newbie here, though I've been on here often gaining much insight and information. Thanks to Brett for the program, I passed all 3 tests today for my CDL permit, have my 2yr DOT card and school is paid for and I start in March at the local college. From what I've researched, its supposed to be the best and one of the oldest schools in Florida. Its always been a dream of mine to drive, and like others here have posted, life happened and then 20 years went by, and next thing you know your in the perfect situation to fulfill your dream. As I've been preparing for almost a year now to start on this new chapter in my life, it is bittersweet, as I'm self employed and have wonderful customers, I've had to let them all know that I'll be leaving to start a new career. They have all been keeping me so busy, it has taken awhile for me to wind things down, and set a date to start. So with that, as I've enjoyed other posts, and have gained a lot of info, maybe someone will enjoy reading my journey and I can help document some valuable info, and help others in their journey. Thanks again Brett for this website, it has been and continues to be Awesome!!

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

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A Week in the Life of ... ErrolV driving GP dedicated

Lots of Black Bears in them there woods, going through Ocala National Forest, I live just North of Ocala, and we go hunting out there, not for bears:)

I've been driving for Swift for about 1 year now. A couple months ago I got hooked into the Georgia Pacific dedicated group. My area is Georgia Pacific business basically from Oklahoma - Texas east to the Carolinas and Florida. I want to put down a Trucking Truth Diary of a typical week of my GP dedicated route and see where it goes.

Monday. 453 miles, 9 hr driving, 11 hr total on duty. One pick-up.

St Petersburg, FL (start) - Palakta, FL (Pick up) - Ashburn, GA (stop)

I started this week in St Petersburg, FL. I had made a delivery to a Walmart DC close by and Saturday I started my 34 hour break.

Monday I had a delivery in Palatka, FL, about 180 miles from St Pete, with a 1000-1200 window. I figured an average speed of 50 MPH so 180/50= 3.6. Add a half an hour for pre trip, so the show started at 7 a.m.   The GPS brought me through Ocala, and then through Ocala National Forest. The forest was a beautiful ride on 2-lane highway, mostly trees of course. I got to the GP plant just after 10 a.m. I had never been here before so at one point I went down the wrong road in the plant, found a turn around, and went on to drop the empty trailer. My loaded trailer was on the other side of the plant so another few minutes at 10 mph.   I pre tripped the trailer and noticed the trailer ABS light was on. I double checked the connection, my air tank is full, and the light was still on. I called Swift On Road office and they said I should go back to the Ocala terminal for the repair. But that was 1 hour / 50 miles in the wrong direction! (I was supposed to head north for Atlanta.)

Drove the 50 miles back to Ocala terminal. (The ABS light was out like it's supposed to be!) Talked to the trailer repair tech, who checked out the light and found nothing wrong! A loss of 2 hours!   So nothing left to do but head north on I-75 and see how far I can get with my remaining 5 hours drive time. On the way up I kept my eye on how much time to my destination in Austell GA (north west of Atlanta.).

I stopped at a truckstop 170 miles short of my goal. I figured 170/55=3 (55 this time because it's almost all interstate). Add 1 hour because I have to go through Atlanta morning traffic = 4 hours drive time. Appointment time is 0900, so I start at 0500. Getting up at 0415 to start my pre trip. This appointment is for a live unload, so I should be maybe just a little bit early but certainly not too late.

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

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Swift School Diary (Memphis) starting 11/2

Congrats on your CDL!!! I'm in Florida and seriously thinking about Swift school. I could do the local college but I'm thinking if I'm gonna be with the same company for a year anyways, why not save my cash and just go through Swifts academy? I really want to go OTR and out west, and it seems they have the lanes I'm looking for, maybe not the equipment but that's ok. Looks like ill be attending the Memphis location too. I may rent a car to get there, I just don't wanna ride bus that far, as I would also never Team drive, hehe:) Enjoyed following your diaries here and Good Luck out on the road DRIVER!! dancing.gifdancing.gif

FINAL UPDATE

Ok, so I got my CDL yesterday, and I finally graduated from the academy, so I'm going to take a few minutes to give my impressions on the program as a whole for those of you who are considering applying for it.

So overall, I had an enjoyable time here. I never felt that I was ever under too much pressure, and I passed the majority of my evaluations the first time around.

Classroom time was nicely paced and they did a good job of instructing you on (probably) most of the things that they shouldn't trust your mentor to teach you. The tests were never too challenging, and you never felt that you were going too long without a break.

As for the skills range, this is where I have the most criticisms. By the time we made it to the range, we still had about 40 people left in the class. For those first few days, you only have 1 instructor with your class. The way they 'teach' here is that they give you a demonstration of a skill and then it is up to you to have the natural aptitude to pick up the skill on your own before it is time to evaluate on it. Very seldom would I see an instructor go up to someone who who was having a hard time to give them some pointers. The only time I would see instructors really trying to help students was just before they re-evaluate on a skill they failed the previous day. In the case of most of my classmates, the help came too little, too late. I'm not saying this is the instructor's fault. Swift certainly has the capacity to put more instructors on that range or reduce the class sizes so struggling students can get the extra help they need. The range can have upwards of 80 students on it at one time with only 3 instructor. It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

Road Training, however, was an entirely different experience. Here's the only spot where I'll mention a name, but my road instructor, Doug was, without a doubt, the best part of the entire program for me. As we learned shifting, cornering, up though the final day, he was completely engaged with us through every hour of those long days. He'd give us plenty of praise when he noticed us doing well at something that we were having trouble with, and he was always able to laugh it off if we happened to make a silly mistake. And when we had our breaks, he was always just fun to have around and talk to. He was genuinely confident in our abilities going to the DMV to test for our CDL.

However, our mediocre experience at the backing range would be our group's downfall. On testing day at the DMV, 5 of us went to go test. I was the only one to pass that day. 3 of them failed on their 90 degree back, and 1 failed because of an unsafe act during his road test. I almost failed the 90, gaining 9 points (12 is the max). On the range for my evaluation, I took 0 points. I feel pretty good about my classmates chances though. They get 2 more chances at the test, but It'll be a few more weeks without a paycheck for them.

So that's pretty much how it all went down. Would I recommend the program who is 100% new to the idea of trucking? I'm not sure. Quite frankly, I would recommend that you look into the idea of attending one of the many private Truck Driving Schools that does job placement afterward. You may spend more time there, but, realistically, your chances may be better. As for myself, I've been on this forum reading and using the High Road Training Program for nearly year and have been playing around with a simulator for several months. So if you're like me in this regard, Swift can get you there and can do so quickly.

So that's pretty much all I have to say about that. If anyone has any questions, I'll check back at this topic once in awhile and answer those as best I can.

But for now, orientation for me will start in a week, and I'll be starting a new topic to blog about the mentorship experience through December.

Thanks for the well wishes everybody!

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