Comments By toonces

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  • toonces
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  • 3 years, 5 months ago
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Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Just a lil update!

Hey I was just wondering how you were doing Flatie. Good to hear you're out on the road now! I Google'd that truck and the sleeper looks awesome!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Woman who was driving while praying with her eyes closed hits house

Was anyone else expecting a much older women when reading this story?

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Just One of the Many Perks of OTR

This is exactly the kind of stuff that I'm looking forward to once I get out on the road. Everything doesn't have to be a trip to a national park or historical landmark. Just unique little spots like this in different parts of the country. Very cool, thanks for posting!

So yesterday afternoon I showed up to the delivery in Hanover, Maryland to discover the customer was closed. Appointment wasn't until today at 0800 so I parked in the lot and let dispatch know what was going on. Then we grabbed an Uber up to this cool little restaurant called Crabtowne, USA. All you can eat snow crab and shrimp, plus they have close to a hundred classic arcade games and pinball machines. If you're ever in the Baltimore area (they're in Glen Burnie) and have a little extra time, check it out!

Posting because I often see people ask here how much you really get to do/see OTR. This is just one of many things we've done since becoming drivers. Sometimes I just can't believe we get paid as much as we do to basically go on a neverending vacation. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Failed CDL Skills Test For 3rd Time - What Now?

Toonces, I too was embarrassed to announce on here that I failed the backing (alley dock) three times, but there is really no need to be. I had to wait 1-2 weeks in between re-tests with no practice and 30 days after the third time. For me I re-injured my knee, so I have to wait awhile after knee surgery to take it a 4th time. Just because I can't practice and I have to wait awhile to re-test, I called around, and to answer your question if a company paid cdl program will accept you if you didn't pass a private school, the answer is yes. I talked with Knight and Jim Palmer and explained everything to them and they told me that it would not be an issue. I wish you the best, and it sounds like they will let you re-test a 4th time, I am sure you will nail it.

Thanks for telling me that Jeff. That puts my mind at ease if for some reason I don't pass the 4th time.

Bucket, sorry I forgot to post my update:

Late Thursday afternoon I was called into the director's office and was told DPS said no to the re-test of the 3rd try. So, I am now home waiting my 30 days for the 4th try. The school is allowing me to go back to practice on 8/1, and I will re-test on 8/10. They let me come back a couple of days earlier than they usually let people because I'm going to commute from Tulsa and won't need housing in Drumright. That will give me 7 days of practice. If I randomly get the alley dock again for the FOURTH time, I've decided the universe is definitely against me. Just kidding. Kind of. :)

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Failed CDL Skills Test For 3rd Time - What Now?

Thank you all for the replies. I thought that I would be sorta "blacklisted" after this and not be able to get on at a company-sponsored training program. It's good to hear that I probably have options. And the words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. I was pretty depressed earlier today and reading your comments definitely lifted my mood.

After I posted this I got a phone call from the school director and he asked me to come to his office. He had heard that I had failed the 90 and asked what examiner I had. Turns out, the examiner that another student and I had gave us incorrect instructions on this particular back. While I was in his office, he called someone at the Department of Public Safety and told him what happened and that he thought I should be re-tested because of the faulty testing. So, the guy at DPS is going to check and get back with him tomorrow. I don't want to go into detail about what the examiner said (in case they happen to read this) but the director said they've been having this problem for awhile. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. But the director said even if they don't let me re-test, he's going to let me come back for my 4th try! He also told me to stay in my motel room and come to school tomorrow like normal. This made my day! I just wish I knew someone that drives so I could practice, in the event that I do have to go home and wait the 30 days. But in any case, I'm so lucky for the 4th try.

But like I said before, even if god forbid I fail for the 4th time, it's great to know that I can most likely get on with a company-sponsored program.

Oh and Bucket, I guess I will be seeing you tomorrow!

Posted:  3 years, 1 month ago

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Failed CDL Skills Test For 3rd Time - What Now?

I'm embarrassed to post this but today I failed the backing portion of my cdl test for the third time. I can do the straight back, offset & parallel with no pull ups, but on each test I timed out on the alley dock. I practiced it as often as I could but still struggled. I don't know if it's like this in every state, but in OK you will get a straight back, an offset, and then you are randomly assigned either a parallel or 90 degree alley dock. Well lucky me, I've gotten the alley dock all 3 times. I obviously haven't gotten to do the road test yet, but after my last practice drive yesterday the instructor said my driving was good and I should have no problem passing the driving portion. So the alley dock is really the only thing holding me back right now.

So, now I have to wait 30 days before I can retest.

My school used to let people come back and practice for a few days and then make their 4th attempt, but the director told me that there has been a "policy change". He suggested I use a truck rental place. I can't afford that right now since I haven't been working for the past 6 weeks during school.

I'm wondering if I could get accepted to a company-sponsored training program. Is it likely that one will accept me, knowing that I didn't make it through a cdl school? I tried searching the forums and couldn't find anything on this. Thanks for any advice.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Oh and thanks to whoever fixed my typo in the subject line!

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Uriah, I made a separate post about Central Tech in the General forum. Hope that helps. Say hi if you see me. I'm white, brown hair, glasses, chubby. And one of a handful of girls here.

Hi Toonces, another Okie here. I will be starting with Central Tech on June 22, maybe we will run into each other? You graduate on the 27th right? How are classes going? What do you think of Central Tech so far?

That's crazy Bucket, how did you figure out I was the one from Antiques & More?? Sorry to hear about your 3rd test. Of course I hope I'm not still here when you come back, but I might be since I'm having trouble with backing. My first test is one week from today. We'll see.

Toonces, wish I had known you were on here when we had lunch at the antiques and more cafe! .

Mike, I just made a post about Central Tech in the General forum. Hope that helps.

Hello toonces. Another okie here! I plan on attending Central Tech in August. It looks like a great school. First, it's less than an hour from the house. Second, their PTDI certified and meet the 160 hour requirement. Looks like a great school and have heard a lot of good things about the course and instructors. If you get a chance can you tell us a little bit how everything works. How's the housing they offer?

Thanks Mike

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Central Tech Drumright OK

I've been asked by a couple of people for information on Central Tech so I thought I would put it in one place so that it could be found if someone has a question in the future. I don't have time to commit to a training diary so I'm just putting it here in General Discussion.

From what I can tell, the school is top-notch. A couple of the recruiters said they come here specifically because they know the students come out of the school extremely well-prepared. Another one (I think TMC) said it's one of the top 5 in the country. Take that with a grain of salt though since he was trying to get us to work for his company. It's a state school, so you know they're not just trying to get your money like some private schools. The in-state tuition is $4,000 or $4,500 if you want to attend the permit prep class. The tuition includes your housing in Drumright. Because of advice I read here on TT, I applied for a WIA grant for my tuition and was approved quickly. 20160615_184129_zps7mh8v4ms.jpg

For the first few days, you will be learning in a classroom and have homework. There are lots of tests, which you need to make at least an 80 on or you will be given a written warning. The first time you see your truck is the first day you do a pre-trip. You will do a pre-trip every day. You will have a partner in class, who changes every day.

There are 2 students per truck. When we are about to learn a new skill, first our instructor will demonstrate it. Then we all go to our trucks to attempt the skill. While we are doing this, there are about 4 or 5 other instructors driving around the range in golf carts. They will stop and help you if they see you need it. They all have cb's so if we need someone, we can just call them over. They keep a close eye on you. You'll never just be stuck not knowing what to do.

The equipment is very new. 2013-2015 Freightliner Cascadias. All 10 speed manual transmissions.

After you start being on the range all day, you will still have homework every night. It's a lot to keep up with. After class is over for the day, you will basically have time to eat dinner for an hour, then you will spend most of the remaining evening reading and doing homework, studying the pre-trip and for tests.

The housing for men is mostly 4 or 5 bedroom houses that you will share with other male students. You'll have your own room and a housekeeper. The women are housed separately in different areas. I'm at a motel called the Drumright Inn with a couple of other female students. From what I've heard from the guys in my class, their housing is pretty good. This motel is ok, but the showers and beds are pretty awful.

The town is TINY. There's not even a Wal-mart or McDonald's here, so that tells you something about the size. There's a little grocery store and basically about 5 places to get lunch. You'll get to know these places well! if you need something that the grocery store doesn't carry, there is a Wal-mart in Cushing, which is about 10 miles away. I know most people outside of OK probably think of us as mostly rural, but I'm definitely a city girl. I could never live in this town. But it almost works to your advantage for school because there are few distractions.

Overall, I feel lucky to be at this school. Out of like 8 or so instructors, there's not one jerk. Every instructor has been kind and helpful. They don't tolerate screwing around though, so keep that in mind. I forgot to mention their experience. I think the least experienced one has 10 years. One man drove for 34 years. My instructor drove for 21.

Besides the obvious advice of keeping up with reading and homework, I would advise to start memorizing your pre-trip as soon as you get the book. I wish I had done this sooner. Also, you will be given a schedule of the entire training. Always glance ahead a few days because my instructor didn't always remind us when we had a skill test the following day. It sneaked up on some people. And if you're fair-skinned like me, wear a hat and suncreen. These are blacktop roads in 95 degree heat right now, and it's only going to get worse in the next couple of months.

Another good thing about the school is that if you fail your first 2 CDL test attempts, they will allow you to stay on for further practice at no additional cost. And if you fail the third try, after you wait the 30 days, they will let you come back and practice for a few days before you re-test. Oh, and I forgot to mention the examiners come here to our range to do the backing tests. I heard this may change because DPS has said it gives us an unfair advantage over other students (which I have to agree with) but hey, they are doing it now so take advantage.

I posted a pic of our range too.

I hope this is enough info. If anyone has questions, I'll be happy to answer. It may just take a few days; this school keeps me busy.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Offset Backing is Killing Me

Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm just going to try to chill, try to memorize what my instructor is telling me to do, and hopefully replicate that later. I know I shouldn't let my emotions get in the way or compare myself to other drivers, but it's so much easier said than done for me :)

And Blue Hotel, that was incredibly nice of you to take the time to make those images for me. I'm going to read over them a few times tonight and hopefully it will help tomorrow.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Offset Backing is Killing Me

So today I was out on my school's driving range trying to do the offset back. I had done it once last week with an instructor hanging on the door the entire time. Then tried a couple of times today and I just wasn't getting it. I got so frustrated with myself that I started crying. And then I got mad at myself for crying, so of course that made me cry more. (It doesn't help that It was like 95 outside and the sun was blazing.) I was wearing sunglasses so I'm hoping my instructor and partner just thought I was sweating since it was so hot. I was so exasperated that I just had to get out of the truck and let my partner take a turn. Another instructor came over to help me later and I did a couple with his help. But the thing is, I still can't do one without someone right there telling me what to do. I'm just so frustrated that I can't get this. Everyone else in my class seemed to pick it up so easily. This back just has my brain in knots. I get confused and turned around. By the time I'm in the middle of it, I can't even tell you where I'm trying to go or where I am! The thing is, when the instructor is telling me when & where to turn, I don't understand *why* I need to do that. I don't get the overall picture. I've been trying to watch my partner do it, and at the same time trying to think, "ok, he's turning this way now until he gets here.." etc. And I even bought a toy truck to see if that would help, and it's just not. On other skills, like the double clutching or the straight backing, I'm still very rusty, but I understand *why* I'm doing what I'm doing during the maneuver. On those, I can feel that I will get better with practice. Not with the offset though! I'll tell ya, these guys in my class are some rough, country dudes and I cannot let them see me cry! I'm the only girl out of 16 and because of that, they really pay attention to everything I do. I was seriously so upset today that I almost just left school and went back to my motel room. Please someone lie to me and tell me that you were this confused and that you are now and awesome offset-backer. :)

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Hi Uriah,

We probably will run into each other! I officially started on 6/1 and I believe my graduation date is 7/1. I'll elaborate more this weekend when I have more time, but it's a great school. Newer trucks, great range, 2 students per truck, very experienced and patient instructors. But, be prepared to put in a lot of work. Because it's PTDI, there is independent instruction required. So in addition to trying to memorize your pre-trip and other processes, you have a couple of chapters of reading and homework questions each night. We began straight backing yesterday and I still don't have it completely down. Everyone else seemed to pick it up much quicker. Standing out in the blazing hot sun all day doesn't help :) I got sunburned even though I put on sunscreen. And of course since I'm the only girl out of 16, everyone pays a lot of attention to how I'm doing :( But honestly, I feel very lucky to be learning at this school. The range seriously looks like a golf course! There is probably an aerial shot of it on their website if you want to check it out. I'll post more this weekend!

Hi Toonces, another Okie here. I will be starting with Central Tech on June 22, maybe we will run into each other? You graduate on the 27th right? How are classes going? What do you think of Central Tech so far?

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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I messed up

Great tip Old School. I am going to remember this one when I start.

Here's a tip for you and for all newbies - when backing up into a dock or a parking lot, always roll your windows down, turn off any radios that could be distracting you. This way you will always hear the dreadful scraping noise if you start to make contact with something. I witnessed once at a truck stop a guy backing his truck and slowly continuing to crush the front end of another truck that was blowing his air horn at the guy to try and warn him. The driver was a young guy with his windows rolled up and loud music going. I could hear his music and see him bobbing his head to the beat as he kept on moving in reverse despite the fact that he had already made contact with the truck that was blowing their air horn - It was almost surreal to witness.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Haha. I had to Google that.

I think you mean Beau Geste: the-last-remake-of-beau-geste-9.png

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Calling all rookies.....

I may not post a lot, but I've read a TON of old posts and the same names kept coming up: Errol, G-town, Brett, Daniel and of course, Old School. I think rookies on this site would be lost without these wonderful guys. The information and advice has been so helpful to me and has had a direct effect on the choices I've made so far. And I know after I start school next week I will probably be on here posting "help me" messages.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Hello fellow Okies, Bolt & Mindfreak!

Errol, every time I see your photo, for some reason I think it looks like what Beau Bridges would have looked like as a teen.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Help! I'm starting to regret picking this school, not sure what to do

Like CS said, I've also heard it's easier to learn when you've never driven a manual. One of the instructors at my upcoming school told me this. Which has me kinda worried because all I've ever driven were manual cars, so at this point it's kind of like I'm on auto-pilot. So I will probably have to really concentrate to get the double clutching down. Good thing you haven't started that Class B class yet!

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Introduction & Starting CDL School

Hi Trucking Truth!

I wanted to formally say hello to everyone and thank you for the great site. I've been lurking for a couple of months, but haven't had to post much because I was able to answer most of my questions by just searching old posts.

Also I wanted to share how I found my way to Trucking Truth. A few months ago I got the idea to become a driver and started doing research. My first concern was what challenges I would face entering such a male-dominated industry. So, I did some searching on female drivers and first came across this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO1Un0V_UaI by a trucker named Desiree. She talked about how cdl schools are ripoffs and how many trucking companies don't take complaints of sexual harassment seriously, and gave a list of companies to avoid. So then, I found the blog post she mentioned in the video, where she tells her story of first starting out as a driver. As I read through it, it just sounded awful! She was attacked by one driver, other co-drivers didn't help her do the driving, another one sprayed bleach on her, lots of bad stuff. I started seriously questioning my decision to become a trucker. But by the 5th bad trainer she said she had, I started to wonder how likely it was that one person would get so many bad trainers or co-drivers in a row.

So, I did some more searching about female drivers and ended up here on Trucking Truth. I read old posts here for weeks and never ran across a woman saying she had experienced anything like what Desiree said. I was so happy to find a group of informed, helpful, nice people! The funny thing is, Desiree warned against working for Prime. And then I end up here on TT and learn that Prime is probably one of the best companies that a rookie could started with.

I just wanted to share all of that because if I hadn't found TT, and had just based my decision on what Desiree said, I probably wouldn't have pursued a trucking career. After reading many posts here about the trucking lifestyle, and watching some of Allie Knight's videos, my mind was made up.

I started saving so that I would have enough money to pay bills for 2 months, which I figured would be enough time to get me through cdl school and get hired. I had been planning on applying to a company-sponsored training program, like Prime. But at the last minute, I applied for a WIA grant and was approved in only a week! I took my cdl permit test yesterday and passed on the first try, thanks to the High Road Training program.

I will be starting school June 1st at a place called Central Tech, which is in a small town about 45 miles away from me. I could only find a few mentions of it online, but what I read was positive. It's been there for more than 40 years and it's PTDI certified, so I think those are good signs. Plus, it's on Crete's approved school list, another good sign. From what I've read, Crete is my 1st choice for employment, but honestly I will be happy to get on with anyone that will take me!

I can't wait to get started!

Thanks for reading my long-winded post! :)

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Celebrating my graduation today!!

Way to go Flatie! Hope to see you out there sometime!

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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Frustrated with alleydock ;(

Thank you all for the encouragement! Oh I forgot to mention 6 students quit in the class coz they got frustrated and said they couldn't do it!!!

Way to go! That's gotta make you feel good that you were able to stick with it while others quit.

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