Profile For Dieter

Dieter's Info

  • Location:

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 years, 11 months ago

Dieter's Bio

It's Dieter, the German name. (This is not my real name.) It's not dieter, one who is controlling what they eat in an attempt to lose weight.

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Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

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Compact fridge versus 12 volt cooler

Any idea why my inverter is making a brief chirping noise as the compressor kicks in on the fridge? I'm getting use to it but in the dark silence at night I'd prefer not to hear that.

That is a quirk of inverters. Has to do with the way they're built. Some are better than others, but I doubt you want to replace the thing.

(I used to work at a place that built an inverter type power supply, and when they'd kick on under load during testing, they'd all chirp.)

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Options for new driver Denver Co.

I love driving stick (...) I am horrible at backing up. I fear that not being able to back a trailer will be the death of me.

A truck transmission is somewhat different than a car type transmission. It's good that you like shifting; you'll be doing it a fair amount. It will probably take some doing to get the knack for double-clutching.

Learning to back up seems to take about 3 weeks. This is based on my subjective observation of myself and a fair number of classmates.

As for your friend offering you a job... have him run a background check, and all the usual pre-employment stuff they do. If he's still willing, then start talking about their training program and pay. You're not a burden if he's got freight to move and you're moving it.

And if nothing else works right now, cut all your hair off (now), stay clean and out of trouble for the next year and a half, and try again.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Public school teacher seeking long haul info

could I take the training and work only summers and possibly weekend runs until my full retirement? Would that be acceptable to a company school?

Most of the recruiters I spoke with wanted at least a 1 year commitment of continuous driving for their companies.

They'd be OK with you only doing 2 months of driving for them, but expect they'll be looking for reimbursement for the schooling fees.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider / FVTC

And... Passed the test.

Posted:  6 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider / FVTC

Sorry, haven't had much to post about.

It's mostly the usual stuff you'd expect; a short course on filling out a logbook, a lot of practice driving on the road, a lot of practice backing in the yard (specifically the maneuvers that will be on the CDL skill test). Making friends, learning from direct experience and observing others. Learning to like peanut butter all over again.

The important lessons so far: For any maneuver, forwards or backwards, the setup is more than 50% of the process. Don't neglect the setup, particularly on the 90 degree alley backing maneuver. You get to choose if you want it to be a tight backwards left turn or a wide backwards left turn; everyone I've been working with agrees it is much easier if you start wide. The problems just seem to magically disappear once you get the setup right. If you're making a right turn, hang to the left edge of the lane - it makes the turn easier. If you're making a left turn, hang to the right edge of the lane - it makes the turn easier.

You need a good flashlight. I find when I'm doing pre-trip and coupling inspections, it's usually daytime (and my eyes are adjusted to bright sunlight), so I need to make the shadows almost as brightly lit as the non-shadow areas. On the third flashlight, I finally got one bright enough - 75 lumens seems to be the minimum brightness I need. I don't suggest wasting your money on anything that isn't at least that bright. At about 10 feet away, mine seems to make a bright spot about 1 foot across, and a broader spot about 4 feet across.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

I have two speeding tickets 15 over who will train me for my cdl

How long ago were the tickets?

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Schneider / FVTC

I'm going to try to document my progress through the Schneider program at Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin. Note that this is a different timeline than the general FVTC program (4 week vs 10 week).

This range seems to have a road course (hills, curves, and a number of interesting road features along a narrow scenic path), a skid pad (water / hydroplaning training), and the usual range features.

Day One.

Finished packing up the car last night by 10, so I would be sure to get a good night's sleep. In bed, lights out by not much later.

Awake by 1am. Not nerves or anything, just.. when my body says it's not going to sleep right now, it doesn't. Rested for a few more hours, got up by 3am (on schedule). Hotel room was not available for day-before checkin, due to a football game. The way I see it, if I can't handle a little flexibility in my sleep schedule, what hour the day starts, and getting up well before dawn to drive for hours to someplace I've never been (and I'm not exactly sure where it is), I need to be looking for a different line of work anyway. (Note to other students: this will probably not be your situation. You will probably get a hotel room for the day before, and won't have to drive all night to get to the first day of class... unless it's football season (autumn).)

Didn't do a pre-trip on my load and vehicle before I left in the car. 5 minutes from home, I thought to double check for my flashlights - sure enough, the one I like had fallen out back home. Turned around. Back on the road 15 minutes later.

Ran a few errands on the way to school (a nominal 2 hour drive). Arrived 45 minutes early (early is on time!). Found the building and an appropriate parking lot. Other students started showing up about 20 minutes after I was there.

Found the first minor hiccup - there is no guidance on where new students go. After a few minutes, I found someone to ask, and got to the right place. (This too was a lesson for me. If you don't know where to go, ask until you find out.)

Did about 90 minutes of paperwork and orientation with the lead instructor and the other new students in the program. Quick break, and out to the range to model our new stylish orange vests.

Find our assigned truck with our first instructor. Quick pre-trip and we're off to the road course. (Note: this is a closed course, not a public roadway. Only other traffic is other driving students.) Five minutes later, we're beginning taking turns in a bobtail. A few laps around the course, switch drivers. I found I learned as much from observing and listening to the coaching as I did from driving and being coached. Pretty well everybody got 2 or 3 turns, and everybody was getting better and better.

Lunch. (Note: no utensils. Bring your own.)

New instructor. Smaller student group. New truck. Quick walk-around the tractor, he tossed me the keys and said to go over to a particular trailer and line up to hook. Get out. Check the alignment - not quite right. Pull up, realign, check again. Bang on. Hook the trailer. Switch drivers to other student, he takes us over to the road course again.... and we do laps. And trade off. Lather rinse repeat. Again, learning as much from observation as from driving.

Break. More laps on the road course, then back to the parking yard. Instructor backed the trailer into the parking spot, but made us go through all the uncoupling steps. Realized there are going to be a lot of different models and brands of fifth wheels we'll encounter, with a lot of different mechanisms.

Back to the office to close out our logs for the day.

Off to the hotel to sleep for not enough hours. First dispatch meeting is earlier tomorrow, but now I know where it is.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

How Mouthwash (and some other everyday things) Could Get You Fired

I've been using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash/gargle for years.

It seems to be particularly helpful if a sore throat is coming on.

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