Comments By MB007

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  • MB007
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  • 2 years, 9 months ago
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Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Any drivers occasionally camping out in tent in isolated area, campgrounds?

I love to camp, or worse, go backpacking. In two years, I've stopped at only one place that I could consider "campable".

80 foot trucks and campgrounds are incompatible. For your 10 hour break, I'd say forgetaboutit. You probably have the ability to choose your "home time" location. That's when you can think National Forest or State Park. For a 34, or longer, park at a truck stop, grab your pack and call Uber.

Thanks Errol. What about allowing those without a trailer? Bobtailing, maybe?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Any drivers occasionally camping out in tent in isolated area, campgrounds?

Do any of you keep a tent with you and set it up outside (presumably during nice weather) and spend the night outside of your truck? Maybe you know of a campground that allows trucks to park? Maybe you have been able to park your truck in a way so others don't easily see your tent. I was wondering because being outdoors is something I enjoy. I'd hate to be stuck inside a truck every single night if there was a peaceful and unpolluted area where I could sleep outside once in awhile.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Differences between and uses of drop yards and terminals

Mister B Be sure and let us know how you get along with Roehl. It's in the top tier of companies that I am interested in. The fact they have a drop yard in my hometown is pushing me towards them. I am willing to bet it might make the trip from my last stop until home time a paying trip every now and again. That and the fact you're a paid employee from day one might just make them edge out Prime.

One thing I did notice in your post is you never mentioned The High Road training aid for your permit. You do know at Roehl you need that before you show up? That is unless I am confusing them with a different company. Search for Roehl on TT reviews of company sponsored schools to confirm that.

Thanks Bill, I am using HighRoad daily. I already passed my Permit test last week (yes, Roehl requires that permit). So the learning must continue. There are many rules I want to have memorized before I start training. I read that their training is intense and I don't want to be too "green" about the terminology. I'm making a transition from a completely different career with no transportation experience. So I'm taking all of this very seriously and am grateful they are taking a chance with me. I'm also in my 40's with a family that needs me to make this new career successful. I'm hoping to create a "training diary" here when I start. I'll be in Gary, IN on the National dry van fleet.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Differences between and uses of drop yards and terminals

That really helps. Thanks Steve.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Differences between and uses of drop yards and terminals

Well, I just signed my hiring letter to join Roehl's Get Your CDL Program. I'm scheduled to start on the 27th of February. So I'm doing some intense study of the company, CDL rules, Brett's book about trucking, etc. until I start. One thing that I'm not clear about is Drop Yards (versus Terminals). I have a vague idea about the difference between drop yards and terminals. I would like to know why a company needs Drop Yards versus terminals and what the differences are. I presume terminals are where your managers and dispatchers work. You can do administrative things there and have your truck worked on.

But Drop Yards? From what I've found in discussions, you just drop off your truck there. Possibly for home-time?

According to TT, Roehl has Drop Yards in the following cities:

Kansas City, MO South St. Paul, MN Prentice, WI Madison, WI Oak Creek, WI St. Louis, MO Bensalem, PA Springfield, MA West Memphis, AR Dayton, OH Cincinnati, OH Mogadore, OH Darlington, SC Jacksonville, FL

Terminals are located in: Fontana, CA Phoenix, AZ Iron Mountain, MI Marshfield, WI Appleton, WI Gary, IN Atlanta, GA Dallas, TX

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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New Podcast From "The Road Home" - Why Is CDL Training Done In Such A Rush?

OK Brett. That's solid advice. Indeed, that High Road program is fundamental for mental preparation. I have committed to getting 100% on one lesson per day (at least) while I am getting ready for paid CDL school at Roehl. Reading your work—and that of the others—is very helpful. I found some other sites and youtube channels too. Big changes in life require lots of preparation to handle the unpredictable challenges. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Benji. That avatar is unforgettable!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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New Podcast From "The Road Home" - Why Is CDL Training Done In Such A Rush?

Thanks for the heads up on training. Are there any simulator programs, games, we can use to practice backing, unhooking trailers, etc? Maybe even something we can do with a real car?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Induction burner: Experience, suggestions, recommendations

Thanks everyone. Lots of great information.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Induction burner: Experience, suggestions, recommendations

I've been scouring the forums about cooking while OTR and it seems an induction burner plugged into a 1500 watt inverter might be the best way to cook and heat up food (It appears that an electric pressure cooker and portable frying pan comes in second-place). For any of you drivers out there with an induction burner: Please tell me what brand and experiences you have. Thanks.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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New Podcast From "The Road Home" - Why Stick With Your First Company One Full Year?

Thanks for the insight. Good podcast. Sounds like a little like seniority districts in the railroad industry. Am hungry for more.

So for you or anyone else out there, what are some examples of "leftover" jobs/runs that are given to beginners and lower performers? Also any stories of unfair treatment. Just curious.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Dashcam video of truck accident in Montana: Analysis anyone?

Thanks everyone. Would it be safe to assume the driver was probably fired? If so, do you think he/she would be able to drive trucks again?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Dashcam video of truck accident in Montana: Analysis anyone?

Accuweather posted this dashcam video of a truck sliding on the ice and ending up at the bottom of an embankment: http://bcove.me/u54mmdkl

I am curious about what any experienced drivers think about this. It seems a sunny day after a storm with plowed roads can be very deceptive.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Terrible news about a truck blown off of the Ches. Bay Bridge Tunnel

This particular bridge-tunnel system is unique in that it traverses the Chesapeake Bay, where you of course are traveling over wide-open water, and the shoreline on both sides is completely flat for miles inland... no obstructions whatsoever anywhere to buffer the wind. If there are any wind restrictions at all that might be a warning to just not cross, even if you are legally allowed to.

The article mentions a Level 2 and Level 1 wind advisories. I don't remember from years ago if they have signs that post those warnings. Do they exist?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Getting a Permit at the Elk Grove Village, Illinois CDL Facility

As Brett and the others have been so generous with their expertise and wisdom, I thought I would give back a little. Although I'm barely a beginner in the industry, I thought I'd share some tips if you should need to get your CDL Permit. I got mine after a conditional hire for CDL training and job. Specifically, this was based on my experience at the Elk Grove Village state CDL testing facility February, 2017. Specifically my permit covered General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles and Airbrakes.

1. Get there when they open (8 am as of this writing). No appointment. Just walk in. If you get there later, keep in mind they shut off the computers at 5pm sharp. I was told this. So if you are in the middle of a test, you'll need to come back the next day to finish. Also, you will need 10-15 minutes minimum to do a test section.

2. Plan to be there ALL day until 5 pm closing. Not that you'll be in line all that time. But if you struggle getting 80% or higher on any of the tests and you believe you can fill in the gaps of questions you missed, you have a total of 3 tries for each test. However, you also have the freedom to leave, go home, study more and come back in a few days to week (or more?). But I learned that you are given time to retry. You don't have to retry the same day. During my stay, I would walk outside, think, get to the car, check my phone and go back. Be sure to leave your phone off and hidden if you enter. Those are the rules.

3. The test is on touchscreens. All have earphones which allow you to hear the computer read the question and text on screen. I unplugged mine. It was very distracting for me. Plug it back in when you're done if you take it out (I kept forgetting to plug mine back in). There is no timer. Go slow. Stand up. Sit down. Stretch your arms. Try to be calm. But if you're early and you don't plan to come back like me, don't be too slow. You'll have 2 more chances to cram if you blow the first.

4. The questions include photos. Be careful looking at them. They don't always seem completely relevant and if you unfamiliar with tractor trailer dashboards, it can be distracting. Focus on the question. Look out for trick questions such as "Which one is NOT an example of..."

5. As many on this forum suggest, use the "Skip" button at ANY hint of doubt. You won't lose points for skipping; only for getting questions wrong. There is also a "status" button which supposedly tells you how you are scoring. I never used it as I was too nervous to press anything else. You only get 3 consecutive skips before you must answer the question. If you correctly answer then it seems to give you more skip chances (seemed a bit unpredictable to me).

6. Make sure you have the latest state rulebook and keep it with you in the facility. Just shove it in a closed backpack or briefcase when you sit at the test machine. As of this writing the latest one has August 2016 printed inside. Use it to study while waiting in various queues. You'll go through 3 stations—and repeat the process if you retest the same day.

7. Make sure you have ALL proper ID. Drivers' license is not enough. I brought my DL and Passport. Also bring a check, cash or credit card to pay. Check this: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/CDL/cdl.html

8. The staff is overworked and underpaid. The State of Illinois is in a multi-year budget crisis and the place is rundown. Just speak clearly, respectfully and with a smile. Yes ma'am. No sir. Etc. They are not perfect and I don't think they are out to make your life hard. They just must follow the laws and put on a tough face. If one is very helpful, consider asking to talk to a manager and offer that employee's name with a positive remark. For me, one of them actually encouraged me to take more time to study in the waiting area. I would've just kept going like a robot, hitting my head on the wall. I think he really saved the day for me. So I made sure I found the manager and offered a compliment after I passed.

9. Bring a small container of water, tea, coffee and/or snack. The water fountain there is broken. Vending machines seemed to work.

10. Pay close attention to questions you get wrong. The screen pauses and shows you the correct answer! It will likely come up again if you take it. I tried to remember them and re-studied them in the rulebook. When I got them again, it was no problem. 1975, no handbrakes, bobtail, air pressure rates, etc. These seemed to be my weak points.

11. Final advice: Review the entire rulebook review questions sections (in a box at the end of each section). Be confident in answering them. Also, complete the entire Highroad program here. Focus all of your study time there. You must put in many hours each day for at least a week to get through it! Don't mess around with practice tests. You'll get pumped up with 100% scores, but you'll mess up (I know!).

This was the hardest test of my life. I never cared about test like this one. When I first failed, I cried. But I knew I couldn't quit. I had to keep trying, even if it meant I had to forgo food and work to cram the info. Even though I was sick, with stuffy head, dizziness and sore nose. I kept going. I had to try my best. My journey toward a CDL is serious business and definitely a modern rite-of-passage.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Terrible news about a truck blown off of the Ches. Bay Bridge Tunnel

I was within 10 miles of the CBBT when that accident happened. I did park it today early because when it was gusting at near 40 mph, there was no way I was going to be caught dragging an empty trailer 100 miles from Suffolk, VA back to Hopewell, VA. I cannot guess how high the wind was where that truck crashed, but I will guess the wind played a factor. He was alive when they initially retrieved him from the water, but unfortunately passed away en route to the hospital.

This makes me wonder if there is any way we can get real time wind speed readings while in a truck. Or if there is any technique to "plan" for potential high wind spots?

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Illinois Permit Test is Different from what I studied

Hey Mister B., can I ask if there is any particular reason why you need to go back the very next day to try again? There were a few students in my school who didn't pass on their first attempt, but I know that they didn't necessarily attempt to take it again the very next day. I have no idea what the guidelines are for that but perhaps spending a bit more time studying would be useful.

I also highly suggest taking advantage of the "Skip" feature during your tests. You are not penalized for skipping a question. Granted, if you get enough other questions wrong, those skipped questions will indeed be presented to you again, but you may not need them because once you reach enough questions to pass the test, the test ends right then and there.

Thanks Nacho. My family depends on my successful transition into this career ASAP. Basically, if I didn't make it this week, I wouldn't have another 30 days to reset the process as they would be in a worse situation. So whether I was going to blow all three chances in 2 days or not, I had no option but to "live" in the facility, studying the rulebook and retrying. Also, it was not explained to me that I had a choice to come back at another day (Many, many things about the facility were not explained, including the details of the skipped questions). I was just told I could come back the next day and try again. By the way, another user at TT mentioned that "Skip" feature. Yes, that thing really helped.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Illinois Permit Test is Different from what I studied

Awesome congratulations!

Thanks Matt!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Illinois Permit Test is Different from what I studied

Yes, it seems the OP spent too much time in the Big Chair and studying for "a couple of seconds". It takes several weeks for "a couple of HOURS" per day to learn this stuff. We were trying to impress that upon him. Not laughing at you at all!

smile.gif

No, that is not true. I take this endeavor very seriously to the degree that I barely did any work and no personal activity studying for 7 days straight. But I was studying improperly. Case in point: While I was "sure" I would pass from the 100% scores of the various CDL practice tests here, on Roehl's site and the book, I went ahead and studied all the endorsements too (getting 100% on them as well). But I was very wrong in that High Road should have been my only focus (as evidenced by my dabbling in HighRoad). I made up for all the "missing" details by trying, re-studying (the rulebook) and re-taking my tests at the testing facility. I wrote "missing" because nothing was missing except my focus on the proper study resource.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Illinois Permit Test is Different from what I studied

I wanted to share an update to this thread to state 2 important things:

1. I did not properly understand how to use the learning materials--especially HIghRoad--and relied mostly on the TT CDL Practice Tests and Roehl's practice tests. I incorrectly assumed TT's CDL Practice Test were directly related to HighRoad. I now understand these are 2 very different tools. I also understand that although the Illinois Rulebook has changed slightly, it does not mean HighRoad is inadequate. Again, I apologize for the statements.

2. From 11 am to 3pm I made myself stay, study, re-study and re-test at the driving facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. On the final try, I made 94% on General. On the second try, I got 92% on Combination and on the first try, 94% on Airbrakes. So I am now officially going into the training ranks for OTR driver. I was determined to do it and not give up.

Thank you to Brett and everyone here for sharing and helping so selflessly. If I am successful with training and get on the road, I hope to meet all of you in person some day.

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

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Illinois Permit Test is Different from what I studied

double-quotes-start.png

Again, I apologize. It just seems like a Reply button. I have been using the study guides here heavily (https://www.truckingtruth.com/cdl-test/). But apparently, not Highroad. From what I have deduced they are two very different study guides.

double-quotes-end.png

This is The High Road Training Program.

What you linked to is another generic CDL practice quiz.

The High Road Training Program, takes you through each subsection of knowledge with review questions from previous sections, and keeps hitting you with questions you miss. It's designed to reinforce previous sections while adding new information. If you keep drilling it - until your proficiency is above 90% - there is NO WAY YOU CAN FAIL any DMV's test - even if they throw you a curveball or two question that isn't covered in the HRTP.

Rick

Thanks Rick. That explains alot. I was focusing on the quizzes and judging my progress on the Highroad score chart as I stumbled around in Highroad. But I am a still a little concerned that the Aug 2016 rulebook is organized differently from the Highroad section descriptions and there seems to be additional rules (as I cited in an earlier response). The Highroad sections match fine for the 2009 rulebook.

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