Profile For Partagas

Partagas's Info

  • Location:
    MN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 10 months ago

Partagas's Bio

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Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Getting Started After Cancer

Michael - I've survived two different cancers in the past ten years, the last one just under 3 years ago now and most likely the same one you're facing. I started with Roehl two months ago and they spent next to no time on the cancer in their physical, so don't let that stop you.

What I will caution you about is the potential discomfort of sitting and driving for hours, day after day, too soon after surgery. It may be 6 months - two years post-op before you'd be comfortable doing that. And, until your three-month check, you may not know if follow up treatments are required and what your monitoring plan is.

Don't let it derail your dreams, but realize it may delay them some. Best wishes as you deal with this, Michael. Don

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Roehl

Details on the Roehl agility test, please.

I just took and passed Roehl's agility test and it has changed. They now use a machine similar to a Cybex or Humac isokinetic dynamometer to measure strength, endurance, and agility. They test both legs/knees individually in flexion and extension, both arms/shoulders individually in flexion and extension, and your back and core muscles and flexibility.

You get one combined score after you test and if it's high enough, you pass. Flatbed requires a higher score than van/reefer. I don't know how the score is calculated. They didn't check pulse or blood pressure during or after the test.

They have a video of the test you have to watch before going to orientation. The recruiters may send it to you if you ask for it. Otherwise, there's lots of videos on the web that will give you an idea of what the testing entails - just search for Cybex or Humac.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Swift Diary

Congrats on passing the test and earning your CDL!! Good luck with the next phase. Great diary, too.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Heading to H.O. Wolding

If I can pickup early I will be doing a reset on Sunday in the area.

Let me know if you're up for a meet and where/when. I'm closest to Monticello and anything in the area works tomorrow.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Heading to H.O. Wolding

I can swing up to St Cloud Monday if that works. Sysco is about 2 miles from the CDL school I attended. What's a good time?

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Heading to H.O. Wolding

Thanks for the info Patrick - any other tips on what to bring/not bring to orientation (Jamie sent me the list), or anything to study or prepare for? Hope to run into you sometime. Don

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Heading to H.O. Wolding

Thanks G-Town & Patrick! Patrick - I have watched the obstacle course video - It looks like a good one! I've read your training diary and other responses and posts you've written about your Wolding experience and both Jamie and Ann have been great to deal with. One question I have is if Wolding has a specific pre-trip they train or follow?

It would be great to meet you as well, Patrick. If you get up my way in the next couple of weeks let me know. I'm close to Rogers, Hasty, or Clearwater on I-94 if any of those stops are on your routes. Don

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Heading to H.O. Wolding

I'm headed to H.O. Wolding for orientation June 13. If all goes well, I'll be driving in their Midwest regional fleet. So, for the next two weeks I'm busy getting hearth and home ready for my initial absence of 4 +/- weeks. It's a daunting task to prepare for such an absence when both the family and I are accustomed to my daily presence and ability to fix stuff as it breaks around the house. The thought of starting a new job, especially one with orientation and training as intense as this promises to be, does give me pause. But, I live to learn and I'm looking forward to the challenge. Thanks to everyone here for sharing their knowledge - I feel about as prepared as I can be at this point.

Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

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Memorial Day

I'm enjoying a beautiful start to Memorial Day 2017 and am thinking about the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted. The freedom to decide what to do on this national holiday, where to go, whom to spend it with. The freedom to travel when and where we wish, to choose a career, to start a business, where to live. The freedom to worship as we choose. The freedom to speak freely. The freedom to choose whether or not to serve in the military. I am mindful of the sacrifices our freedom requires.

To our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and women: thank you for your service and sacrifice. To our Gold Star families, may you find peace. To anyone who has lost a relative, a friend, a neighbor, a battle-buddy, or comrade in military service, today is their day - and today is your day.

From me and my family, may we offer a simple and wholly inadequate, "thank you."

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Semi-Truck Driver Crashes Through Doors at Moonlite Bunny Ranch

I wonder if he logged the trip? At least it doesn't sound like he ran over any HOS

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Anyone go into Trucking from career burnout?

Another one here. After 33 years in law enforcement, I'd had enough. It was more the government piece then the police work for me. Thankfully, I had enough time in to retire. I became a consultant and trainer for public safety agencies, but soon realized I needed a whole new challenge. During my last consulting project, all I could think about was starting CDL school and driving. The challenge of learning something new has re-energized me to the point my friends have noticed a change. Like the great philosopher Bob Seger sings: Here I go, turn the page.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Passed CDL-A Road Test Today

Thanks guys! I have pre-hires from Roehl, Schneider, and H.O. Wolding, all for regional positions. I have a phone interview with Schneider this morning. There are things I like about each one so it's not an easy decision.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Passed CDL-A Road Test Today

Good evening TT'ers! I completed CDL training today and passed my pre-trip/road test this morning (first attempt). Thanks to the High Road and the instructors at TCE in Minnesota, my temporary Class A CDL is safely in my wallet. Now I just have to choose a company to sign on with.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Day 18 - Wednesday - test day.

I arrive at the training yard at 0500 for an 0515 departure. The testing facility is about 75 minutes away in Plymouth, MN, on the west side of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Three of the four of us arrive on time for the trip. One student didn't show up and therefore did not go with us. We took turns driving on the way to the test center. I drove third, which meant I drove into the Twin Cities metro area on I-94/494. Once we arrived, our instructor guided us around the streets commonly used for the test by the examiners. We each took turns driving the area, focusing on tight turns and problem areas.

We checked in at the testing facility at 07:45. I tested first and began about 08:15. The examiner and I introduced ourselves and I began the pre-trip. The examiner directed me to pre-trip the front, engine compartment, coupling area, and trailer. They typically cross out one section to save time and my examiner crossed out the driver cab side area for me. This meant I didn't have to cover the door, battery box, fuel tank, cab, or drive axles areas. The pre-trip went well and fairly quickly. I completed it in about 30 minutes. The in-cab and air brake tests took an additional 10 - 12 minutes. The examiner took a couple of minutes to score the pre-trip and told me I passed and did a good job. He then described the road test. He emphasized that I had allot of time and should proceed carefully and without rushing. The first part of the road test is on the closed course within the testing area. We share the road with lots of people road testing in their cars. Left and right turns, lane changes, uphill and downhill parking, hill-starts, and backing all happen in the closed course. Then, if your test is going well, the examiner directs you out onto city streets for about 5 - 6 miles of city driving, including freeways. My backing went fairly well, but I had a couple of minor encroachments with one each on the off-set left and 90-degree alley dock. I completed all three maneuvers within the 5 minutes allotted for each. I was happy when the examiner directed me to turn out onto city streets. If you've already lost 20 points in the closed course/backing, they will just have you circle around and park and forego the city driving.

The city driving went well. I lost a couple of points when I turned a little tight on a couple of turns. The examiner was very fair and pleasant. He provided adequate advance notice of turns to allow me to position the truck properly. He answered any question I had. Before I knew it, we were back in in the testing facility and he was signing my test record after circling "Pass." He noted the two small encroachments on my backing and the two tight turns, but said I did a good job overall. He congratulated me, I thanked him, and we shook hands. He then explained my test performance to my instructor and I was done!

After a few minutes, I went into the testing center and took the doubles and triples knowledge test. This would allow my CDL to be issued with all endorsements, saving time and fees. Once I passed this test, I turned in all of my paperwork, posed for a new photo, paid my $60, and received my paper Class A with air brakes, tanker, hazmat, and double/triple endorsements. That was a great feeling. I spent the next four hours visiting with my instructor and watching people take their road tests. One of my partners passed his tests, while the other passed his pre-trip but not his road test. We left for home (the training yard) about 3:00 and I drove the whole way back. Tomorrow I'll stop by the school office to pick up my certificate and transcript, stop by the yard to thank the instructors, and I'm done.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Greetings all, these will be the final entries in this thread as I completed training today.

Week 3 (cont.)

Day 15 Friday

Pre-trip, backing and city driving. We drove in the city at the end of the day in late Friday afternoon traffic of the Minnesota fishing opener weekend. Shifting, stop/starts, turns, all the normal stuff - just in more traffic. Day went well. I did my pre-trip out loud and worked behind the other members of my class so I could do a whole inspection. Saying the key words aloud really helps set it in my mind.

Week 4

Day 16 Monday

More backing, pre-trips, and city driving. Worked on smoothing out my shifting. Nothing new, just worked on maneuvers we've already been trained on.

Day 17 Tuesday

More backing, pre-trips, and city driving. We worked with the truck we'll be testing in Wednesday. Day went well and ended with a solid 90 degree back. We also had a detailed overview of the road test process complete with satellite photos of the test center and surrounding area. I went over the whole pre-trip aloud on my own at home Tuesday night. Really work on the key words. Hoses should be free of cracks, cuts, abrasions and should not leak. Lights should be working, securely mounted, not cracked or broken, and clean. Mechanical items (steering box, water pump, etc.) should be securely mounted, not cracked, and not leaking if applicable. Shafts and rods (steering shaft, pitman arm, drag link, and tie rod) should not be cracked, damaged, or bent. Reservoirs (coolant, power steering fluid) should be securely mounted, not cracked, and not leaking. Wiring should not have exposed wires. Anything with air, fluid, oil, or other liquid should not leak (hoses, reservoirs, mechanical devices). Frames and mounts should be straight, not cracked, and secure. All tires should have even wear, no flat spots, and should be properly inflated and not leaking. Reflectors should be clean. Welds should not be cracked. Bolts and nuts should be tight and not missing. These descriptors are important to note for each item to which they apply. Don't just throw key words around. It's not correct to say springs or alternators shouldn't leak. Don't just add "secure" to every item and be careful about using the non-specific term "undamaged" too often. Be specific in describing what damage you're looking for. Also, point to each item so it's clear to the examiner you know what item you're inspecting. These are just a few tips.

I feel ready for the test in the morning. I set the alarm for 0350 a.m., set the coffee maker on delay start, and went to bed.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Week 3 (cont.)

Day 12 Tuesday

Another day, another in-cab. More city driving, more straight line and offset backs, intro to 90 degree/alley dock. Did one OK, a couple not so much. Walked through a pre-trip with my truck partner.

Day 13 Wednesday

More city driving. Doing better on turns. Shifting still somewhat raggedy. For my bonehead of the day move, I shifted as I was crossing a RR industrial spur angling across the road as you approached a right turn. That got my instructor's attention. More 90-degree backing. Fairly inconsistent. Some in the box easily, others more work (pull-ups, encroachments, etc.). I brushed a couple of cones, but nothing bad enough to require notifying the next-of-cone. Our procedure is to get close to all the way in the box and then GOAL before making the final move. If you get it in the back box, so your rear bumper bar is between the back group of four cones, you get full points for the maneuver. If your bumper bar goes beyond the cones, that's an encroachment and you lose points. Minnesota does not separate out the backing exercises from the rest of the road test so your backing points count towards your total points. We do not have to parallel park in MN, just the straight-line, one off-set, and one 90-degree. We get one free pull-up on the 90-degree.

Day 14 Thursday

More city driving. We drove on narrow side streets, up & down hills, and through roundabouts. My instructor took me though left turns followed immediately by right turns. I did hill parking, starting on a fairly steep hill without rolling back, and practiced stab braking to maintain safe speeds on downgrades. Back in the yard, I worked on 90-degree backs for several hours. My truck partner had to miss today so I was alone in the truck. A recent grad came back to help this afternoon. He worked with us on pre-trips and took a few minutes to give me some 90-degree backing tips. Like me, he'd had a longer camping trailer and suggested I focus on the trailer's rear bumper bar rather than the tandems to "steer" the trailer back into the box. When backing a camper such as my 30' fifth-wheel, I really did focus on the wheels. Following his advice, I became much more consistent in the 90-degree backs today. I can now consistently put it in the box either with one move or one pull-up. I worked on my own for nearly 5 hours of backing today. I ended the day on a high note with two good 90-degree backs, and two of the best off-sets I've done yet. Then, I backed the truck in to it's parking spot between other trucks & trailers. All in all a good day. I avoided putting the "dent" in stu-dent today.

Now I'm studying pre-trips and icing my left knee which is a little sore following more clutching in one day than I've ever done in my life. Add to that all of the climbing in and out of the cab for the GOALs, and it all adds up to allot of use on that 54-year old joint. I'm feeling pretty good about my progress and current state of readiness for my road test which should be next Wednesday.

Take care all - Don

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Week 3 / Day 11 (Monday)

We started the day with an in-cab. Those are going fairly well now. We headed into St. Cloud for more city driving. Four students in our truck today. We seemed to have lost a little over the weekend so it was a rough morning. I swung wide on a couple of turns, but did OK on others. Shifting was still a little rough. I did a better job of stopping before crosswalks and stop signs (make sure you can see the cross walk &/or stop line in front of your hood) and left more room between our truck and the car(s) stopped in front of us. I charged into one right turn where a vehicle was stopped in the opposing lane for a red light without setting up properly. The result: dragged my tandems over the curb. Grrrrr! Remember to observe railroad crossings even when the lights and gates aren't active, read all road signs, watch your speed, and cancel your turn signals.

After lunch, three of us split up the pre-trip (one student had to leave early for another commitment). I did the driver's side of the cab and rear of the tractor, including the drive axles. That went OK. Then, out to the backing range for some straight lines and off-sets. I was alone in my truck as my partner had to leave early (he'll have to make up the time, of course). I have trouble setting the truck/trailer up straight for the off-set to the right, but not for the off-set left. For some reason, I always set up crooked - I mean the tractor and trailer are in line, but not parallel to the cones. I thought perhaps I was using the convex mirror, but made sure I was sighting with the west coast mirrors. I may be following the tracks from the last back in the sand, I'll work on that more tomorrow. And, as set-up is critical, I'm struggling with off-set rights. I did several fairly well, but encroached on one and had to pull up on the other. I'm trying to remember to not let the truck roll up at all on the off-set as our instructor cautioned us the examiner could count that as a pull up. Interesting thing - turning our steers while stopped (to avoid using too much real estate while backing) has made some soft spots which our drives sometimes spin in. So, every once in awhile we have to lock the drive axels to get through the soft sand so I've learned how to do that as well.

The day ended on a high note when I received a pre-hire notice by email from H.O. Wolding. Not sure if that's where I'll end up, but I do like what I know about their company - thanks in large part to Patrick.

Take care everyone! Don

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Hey there Traffic Jam - glad you're enjoying the diary! I've completed half the course as of today. It sure has gone fast! Here's the summary of the last two days:

Week 2

Thursday/day 9

My truck partner was out sick today so I was one-on-one with my instructor. After the obligatory in-cab, the morning included more city driving, stoplights, and right and left turns. Speeds from 30 - 60 mph in city traffic. Still jamming some gears and dragging my tandems along curbs here and there. Stalled the truck twice in traffic while trying to downshift in preparation for a turn on a green semaphore. That is so embarrassing!

I began straight line and offset backing in the yard. I did fairly well in the morning, but not so hot in the afternoon.

We watched a full pre-trip demo, a drop and hook demo, and tandem sliding.

Friday/day 10

My truck partner was back today. We started with an in-cab which went well. We then headed into St. Cloud for more city driving. I'm still shifting raggedy at times and still need to work on completing turns without barking curbs and having the trailer land in the proper lane. No stalls today! I did better down-shifting. Watch those speeds and rpms! Brake - downshift, repeat. Accidentally hitting the range selector with your pinky does not make for a good shifting experience, neither does it impress your instructor.

Back in the yard in the afternoon for a full pre-trip and more backing. Several off-sets and a couple straight lines. Toward the end of the day, our instructor complimented my partner and me and told us not to change anything. So, we both changed something of course and had to perform pull-ups to complete our last off-sets of the day and week. Not the best finish to the week, but overall I'm feeling pretty good about my progress overall.

Have a great weekend everybody! Don

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

It's been a busy week at school and with the personal obligations one takes on while at home. We had to travel for the weekend which turned out to be a blessing for my training as I'll explain in a moment.

Week 1

Wednesday/Day 3:

Continued J.J. Keller classroom portion.

Thursday/Day 4:

Completed classroom portion in morning, began driving portion at driving range in the afternoon. Afternoon started with instructor demonstrating in-cab pre-trip. Introduction to driving. This is the first vehicle I've driven that requires double-clutching. I've owned and driven manual transmission cars and pickups, and other than providing a basic knowledge of what a clutch does, it didn't help with double-clutching - it likely made things more difficult. We first worked on up-shifting in low-range (so 1 - 5), then stop and do it again. Four students, one truck, one instructor.

Friday/Day 5:.

Did first in-cab pre-trip using state DMV pre-trip guide and TCE's guide sheet which gives more detail and key words to use for the state exam. Drove on track to continue working on double-clutching with down-shifts added in. Timing was the big challenge. It was frustrating to have issues learning this as I've driven so many different vehicles. I read what I could and watched several utube videos on d-c'ing, but there's no substitute for actually sitting in the seat and doing it. This is where my experience shifting manual shift cars didn't help - I kept single-clutching and jamming the shifter into the next gear. Instructor pointed out this only worked because we were at low speed with an empty truck. I had pre-approval to leave class early for the day to travel to Chicago for a family commitment (I have to make up the time later - they are absolute sticklers for the 160 hours required for the certificate). The instructor offered me the choice of taking a lunch break and coming back for an hour, or to drive over the lunch break and leave once that was done. I chose the later and what a great opportunity that was. I learned to double-clutch in that 45 minutes. Up, down, up, down non-stop on the track for 45 minutes. I wasn't anywhere near flawless, but was definitely able to work the gears up and down, in and out of high range. All of the earlier frustration melted away and I left for the family weekend on a high note.

Week 2

Monday/Day 6: Every day starts with an in-cab pre-trip. We often-times do one after lunch as well. More double-clutching on the track in the morning. The instructors split our group of 4 in half so there was two students and one instructor per truck for the afternoon. The instructors felt one other student and I were ready to take our show on the road (the other two students remained on the track to work on shifting). We worked on county two-lane roads for the afternoon, learning to make right and left turns with our sleeper cabs and 53' trailers. Remember to read those road signs and stop before the stop signs! Always try to know what gear you're in. We have to keep our speeds 5 mph below the limit to reduce the chance of failing the driving test due to speeding. Working with real traffic on two-lane county roads really ups the workload. There's allot of stuff to do driving one of these rigs!

Tuesday/Day 7: Another day, another in-cab pre-trip. This was our introduction to driving in city traffic and making turns on narrow city streets. I did OK (as in didn't crash or stall the truck) for the first time. Remember to start in 3rd gear and cancel your turn signal! We then went out to a truck shop several miles away to drop one trailer and bring another one back from it's annual DOT inspection. We learned how to uncouple and couple. The day ended with a truck company recruiter presentation.

Wednesday/Day 8: Another day, another in-cab pre-trip. We actually discovered an air leak on our leak-down test. One of the glad-hand seals was pinched. We started out with four students in one truck, as the other instructor took a student from the prior class down for his 2nd attempt at the DMV road test (he passed with 100%). Our other two classmates drove on country roads this morning. Once they were done, I got in the seat and drove us back into St. Cloud (pop.+/- 70,000). I drove through the city which meant lots of stoplights, traffic, tight right and left turns, railroad tracks, and small hills. We also made a fuel stop. The instructor had me back the truck to slide the tandems today as well. Watch your trailer, watch your speed, watch traffic, and always, always know what the last traffic sign you passed said. My shifting is improving, but I still grind some and try to jam them once in awhile. Today I struggled with maintaining good separation between our truck and the car in front of us at stoplights and shifting smoothly.

All in all, I'm impressed with our instructors and the training program. The equipment is good and the instructors are patient and know how to train. They're decent guys and share their experience with us. They correct you firmly and directly when it's called for and take their jobs very seriously. They speak sharply when necessary to get your attention, but there's no yelling and they don't get angry. It's hard to imagine anyone doing it better. I'm pleased with my choice of schools.

That's it for today - need to study more pre-trip. I believe we're doing the engine compartment and tractor front, sides, and rear tomorrow.

Posted:  2 years, 6 months ago

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CDL Training at TCE (Transportation Center for Excellence) in Minnesota

Class started yesterday morning at 0700 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. TCE is an easy 25-minute drive from my house so I arrived 15 minutes early. I was greeted by TCE's lead instructor, who started driving professionally when he was 17 years old, nearly 5 decades ago, in Iowa. He has lots of stories to emphasize the points in the Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual by J.J. Keller. The manual along with a logbook, safety vest, and several help sheets were waiting for us when we arrived in the classroom. Iowa's easy-going manner makes for an enjoyable day. I am one of four students in this class. Monday was also the first day for TCE's newest instructor, a former driver and trainer for Werner, who is assigned to our group as an assistant. There are three students in the other class which is in its third week now and who are road testing at the MN testing center in Plymouth, MN tomorrow. The school will begin starting classes every Monday next week, as opposed to every other Monday as they have been. They've added a tractor and instructors over the past several weeks to handle the additional classes.

The class is going quickly so far, and I have a feeling it will continue that way as we're scheduled to test for our CDL's three weeks from tomorrow. If anyone needs an extra week of training before testing, TCE's prepared for that. TCE's trucks are used full-sleeper units in good shape. Their bunks have been removed and replaced with a bench seat for the students who are not driving to sit in and observe. Iowa made it clear that he'll tolerate no back-seat coaching. We are free to ask him questions, but under no circumstances should the rear-seaters offer any suggestions to the student driver. Each tractor is coupled to a 53' dry van as the owner believes we should train and test on a vehicle configuration you'll be working with. He believes in training you for entry into the trucking profession, not just to get your CDL. Assuming you pass your CDL on the first try, there's still 2 - 3 days of training required to reach 160 hours. That leaves time for more backing scenarios, coupling exercises, tandem-sliding, and other skills to prepare us for company training.

All TCE students are required to have a pre-hire letter as well as their CLP (permit), DOT physical, and urine drug test before starting training. TCE has relationships with several companies allowing the school to issue pre-hire letters for them, assuming you meet the qualifications and pass a basic background check. I tested for the CLP and several endorsements, including Hazmat, several weeks ago. The test records are all just sitting in cue waiting for me to pass the CDL test.

I'll do my best to update daily, but may have to lump 2 - 3 days together at times. While it's nice to sleep in my own bed, one downside to training so close to home is there are family obligations in the evenings and weekends competing for my study time. Trucking is my next career, as I just wrapped up 33 years in law enforcement 18 months ago. Well, enough lead in. Here's what we've done this week:

Day 1 (Monday)

We started with introductions. At 54, I'm the oldest student in the class. All three of my classmates are decent guys. One of the other guys looks to be about 40, and has been a professional welder for the past 20 years. We covered several chapters in the manual and took 2 quizzes: one before lunch and one at the end of the day. We covered intro, basic equipment overview, inspections, air-brakes, and shifting. Class ran from 0700 - 1500 and we had one ten-minute break in the morning and 30-minutes for lunch. We were sent home with homework, as we were assigned to read the Hours of Service (HOS) chapter.

Day 2 (Tuesday)

Class started promptly at 0700 again. Iowa had us take out our logbooks and fill out a log for today. We logged our class time as on-duty, not driving. We'll be completing log sheets for each day of our training. We covered several more chapters in the manual and took two more quizzes today. Topics included basic vehicle control, backing, coupling, an overview of trip planning, and a chapter entitled, "Visual Search," which talked about mirrors, scanning gauges, blind spots, and how far to look ahead. TCE provided a pizza lunch today in honor of one of the instructor's birthday. The three students from the other section joined us for lunch and the instructors took the opportunity to cover the CDL testing process the other class will experience tomorrow. Using satellite photos and street views, they showed the testing center (which is a closed course) and pointed out turns, signs, lanes, and such. They also used street views to show the city-driving route the guys will see and pointed out some tight turns and the spots they should try to hit with their front tires to ensure their trailer tandems will not kiss or otherwise get intimate with the curb. Interesting moment when the welder in my class realized his cousin's son was a student in the other section. Small world.

Overall, I'm impressed with the school and the instructors. I'm also grateful for the High Road as it makes most of what we're learning so far a review. That and having the CLP out of the way really helps reduce the stress.

That's about it for tonight - I have some reading to do. We have one more full day in class, then we start driving Thursday afternoon.

Take care all - Don

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