Comments By David John avatar
  • David John
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Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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N00b Questions You (Probably) Have But Were Afraid To Ask!

Regarding this post, now long ago ... PlanB ...


I wanted to point out that the breaking technique used by PlanB, apparently in complete conflict with his training, is exactly what the CDL manual (today) says should be done.

This is the way we are being taught in driver training.

High Road Training, page 47

Proper Braking Technique
Remember, the use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low gear, the following is the proper braking technique:

- Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.

- When your speed has been reduced to approximately 5 mph below your “safe” speed, release the brakes.
(This brake application should last about 3 seconds.)

- When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat the first two steps.

For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph, you would not apply the brakes until your speed reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often as necessary until you have reached the end of the downgrade.

This Proper Braking technique is the correct approach to use for down hill. Jake braking should be used, but only when road conditions are good.

PlanB chose a safe driving speed, 15 mph. He applied brake pressure until slowing 5 mph below the safe speed, then released and repeated the process when the safe speed was again reached. This technique helps to prevent overheating.

It is also interesting that this Proper Breaking technique might now be well understood by the science community but less understood by drivers (?), or perhaps by some older drivers?
I know that the technique used for downhill breaking was taught differently in the past, and that some teachers and old videos incorrectly taught that riding the brakes all the way down the hill was best.

During my recent CDL training one OLD video stated that lightly holding the brakes ALL the way down the mountain was the BEST way to break inorder to prevent overheating. As is now understood, riding the breaks will cause overheating and possibly fire, even in freezing conditions.

I'd like to ask for any advice or tips on a situation that almost turned catastrophic on me a few weeks ago.

I am a new driver in Primes team driving (TnT) phase of training. I was traveling West bound on I-80 West of Cheyenne WY. Road conditions quickly deteriorated after I passed Cheyenne. High winds started blowing snow across the road. Temperature was below freezing and black ice warnings started flashing on highway signs. ...

- PlanB

It might also be noted that current training says that in the event the drive wheels lock up and slide, we should release the brakes and coast, steering as appropriate. Training indicates we should not tap/punch the accelerator to get the drive tires rolling.

I will admit the tap is intuitive, for me, however experience doing this in a Toyota 4Runner, Colorado high-country, once put me in the ditch. Experience in very different vehicle, I know, but enough for me.

In slowing in a coast, the breaks should release and the tires should roll without help. The tap can add forward motion and compound the skid.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Million pound load

An interesting story...

First I wondered, “What is it?


Then I wondered why they could not ship the components separately and complete construction on-site.

I suspect the “transformer” they are shipping will serve a field of windmills rather than just one, but in that windy part of the country, it could be just one Very Large Windmill. 🙂

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Question about High Road Training

Thank you Brett!

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Question about High Road Training

I have a sense that the score for a given page will change over time as you repeat that page, perhaps also changing over time as questions for the page are used as review questions for other pages.

I have repeated page 103 - 3 times and found the dashboard reporting 70%, 77% and now 81%.

It appears you can improve your scores without a complete reset.

I have not yet attempted a reset, as I am concerned it would reset scores for all pages. I am hoping to complete the test once before a reset and restart.

Is it possible to reset individual pages (only) or reset individual sections (Log Book only) of the test? Or does the reset only perform a complete test reset?


Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Question about High Road Training

Hi Brendan,

When answering the questions, if the question itself is a REVIEW question, obvious by the fact a yellow band is highlighted below the question, you will find information about the answer by clicking the yellow band.

When the question is from the specific page you are currently reading, the content of the page itself can be found by scrolling to the top of the web page. I sort of stumbled on this at some point. Having the material there is helpful, as you would imagine.

If you are interested in reviewing the material for a specific section or specific page within that section, for example Log Book or General Knowledge, etc. I always start at the dashboard for High Road Training. From the dashboard you can pick the section and then select a page, either one completed or another. Doing this will immediately show the material for that page of the training.

When reviewing a page of material or answering questions, you can scroll to the area below the question and move to previous page or next page material by clicking the appropriate button.

Have Fun.

Note... this training goes much better when you are reading or skimming the material and carefully answering the questions. I find that working on it when I am in a hurry is somewhat counter productive, for me...

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Split Sleeper Birth Question

I understand your desire for a routine. I was the same way, and that's kind of why I chose flatbed. It tends to be the most routine of all the divisions, I think. However, you can never count on anything being routine in this business.
— Turtle

I just wanna second this really quick. I've done refrigerated, dry van, and now flatbed. I have definitely found flatbed to be more prone to some semblance of "routine" regarding day-night cycles at least.
— Chris M.

Old School has mentioned his appreciation for flatbed as well.

Flatbed is definitely under consideration. I am also interested in tanker, prefrably non-hazmat, this based on comments Brett has made and also the comments and feelings of a number of my instructors (all long term drivers with time pulling a wide variety of trailers).

I will begin with dry van or refer both because Brett recommends this and because this is the path my company has me on at present. This door opened a step or two back and the path is clear, as it were. The other options will be there when I’ve had a chance to experience this first step.

The input is great!
It is fun, or funny, trying to figure out all of the pieces as early as possible while knowing it really will be, and must be, a process while on the road.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Split Sleeper Birth Question

Thank you Old School & Turtle!

The reality of time being driven by production rather than ‘routine’ is becoming more clear.

Turtle, your note regarding the reset after #3 revealed my mistake. I was trying to take the 8+2 to reset at the end of #3, and that is not the way the HOS regulations work. It is a reset at the end of the 1st break of the two breaks (ie. at #2) as you made clear.

Old School’s comment about more than 12 hours in one day did result in a ‘head slap’ moment for me.
As you mention the 13.5 hours, I was realizing this and also 7 on either side of the 10 could achieve the complete 14 in a day. In some sense I see this as borrowing from the days before/after, but truly the limiting factor, if one is able to push that hard for many days in a row, seems to be the 70 hour in 8 days.

Thank you for the input!

In your scenario, and using your reference #s 1, 2, & 3.

Upon completing #2, your 14/11 would reset at the end of #1.

Upon completion of #3, your 14\11 would reset at the end of #2.

The 14/11 wouldn't reset after #3 unless you complete yet another 8 hour break in- sleeper.

Like OS said above, with a 10-hour break in your day you can legally drive up to 13.5 hrs in a 24 hr period. Ex. Start at midnight. Drive till 5 and take a half-hour break. Finish your 11 driving at 11:30. Take your 10 hour break and start driving again at 9:30pm till midnight again = 13.5 hrs driving that day.

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Split Sleeper Birth Question

Question - Is this right?

Is it possible, in the scenario as pictured, that a person can drive 12 hours in a 24 hour period using the split sleeper birth rule?

In the scenario pictured, do the FMCSR HOS rules for split sleeper allow a driver to reset the 14/11 clocks at the end of each of the pictured breaks?
That is, if a person takes a 2-hour break, followed by an 8-hour in sleeper break, followed by a 2-hour break, can the 14/11 reset happen at the end of each of these breaks 2, 8 & 2 ?

I am in training, with CDL-A in hand, but yet to complete orientation and drive with the trainer. I have been reading FMCSR HOS rules, working through the High Road Training and simply constructing HOS situations and trip plans for thought. This is one.

In life, I have had the sense that ‘routine’ is a good thing for the body and mind. From what I am reading, I am expecting ‘routine’ to be the exception rather than the rule in the life of a truck driver, but having a sense for an ‘ideal’ to look toward seems to have merit.
I have been thinking that it would be nice if I could sleep between 8pm-4am, drive 4hrs, off 8am-10am, drive-4hrs, off 2pm-4pm, drive 4hrs, sleep 8pm-4am
This as an ideal ‘routine’, if/when possible.

It would appear, if I am correct, that the split sleeper HOS rules allow for this, 2 off, 8 sleep, 2 off, model with 4 hours of driving between each break. (And I am sure these 4hrs also include pre-trip and fuel and ... of on-duty not driving, but I’m simplifying by considering all on-duty as driving).
And if the HOS rules allow for this, it appears that at the beginning of each break a driver would have a minimum of 4 hrs/3 hrs remaining on their clocks if additional driving time was required to make it to a destination.

Is this correct?
It is very possible I am confusing the details, or that elog devices would not allow this option, or ...

Perhaps another question would be simply - Do you as a driver look toward a ‘routine’ in your driving day/times, or do you go with the flow and drive when able and take time off when at loading/unloading locations?

Input on the question is much appreciated. Input and thoughts on the routine of driving as well.

Thank you!


Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...

Thanks G-Town!

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Thank you All!

I have just started this adventure, Driving Truck, and I want to tell you all how much I appreciate your discussions, your advice and all that is happening here.

I would like to think my nature lends itself toward following the advice I continually see being offered. And perhaps I would like to say that my plan when entering this new phase, be it patience, the plan to accept what comes, are leading the way to the peace I feel with the new things coming.

But I really feel that it is much more a result of all of the discussion and input I see on this site.

I successfully tested through the CDL permit, largely as a result of the High Road Training on this site. During Truck Driver Training my instructor occassionally joked when I recited FMCSR details where he (as an examiner) would accept less precise answers. (Play in belt less than ... , Steering Wheel turns less than ... ) The High Road Training process, questions and review mechanism have drilled the details in deep. And the additional information, Log Book, Weight & Balance, Cargo, though not necessary for the written test add to that foundation.
It is nice!

I had a discussion with my recruiter today. And found her talking about miles and miles the company hopes to provide and the rookie driver’s miles vs experienced driver miles. I mentioned to her that I expected the company had more loads and more miles than they had drivers to successfully move them and that this, for me, is really an issue of figuring out how I could safely drive as many miles as possible to help the company, and myself.
The recruiter confirmed that they do generally have more miles and loads than drivers. And she stepped back and complimented me on my attitude, my perspective.
In thinking about it, (and wishing to take all of the credit myself... [of course I’m such a wonderful person... ])

I came away realizing just how much this site is shaping me and shaping the way I am thinking. Many of the things my recruiter and I discussed today were directly related to things I have read on this site. New Drivers, Orientation, Training, Miles, Pay, and more. I find that I have few questions for the recruiter as I have heard and seen how the process works, through this website. I tend to ask general questions that confirm my understanding is correct, but because of the discussions here I have an underlying sense that I can wait and let the process play out as it will. I have come in to a belief that all is well and there are not many (if any) surprises up ahead.

All of this has made life much easier on my recruiter and truly much easier on me as well.

I have seen others, who I would generally consider rather easy going, much more uncertain and much less patient with the process. Perhaps entirely because they are not reading TruckingTruth.
And Yes, I am telling many whom I speak with that they must connect with this website.

Thank you all for the wonderful advice and discussions. It is so very timely and entlightening!


Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...


It is definitely a significant weight off of the shoulders!!! I know the feeling.

There was never a question I (and I’m sure we) would pass eventually. For me it was just a question of the level of perfection. I could not perform all of the maneuvers and on-road driving as well in the Truck as I can/could in my Car. (Truth be told, in some ways I drive my Car better now. Added benefits of Truck Driver Training) 4-weeks of training limited the amount of improvement.

Having completed that step and moving on to orientation and time with the trainer, into the first year and beyond. Much to learn. Improvements to be made. Experiences to help us develop our creativity and tool set.

Great news. Congratulations on your Success!

Thanks again for the Congratulations you offered me!

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...

Congrats!! I am currently in CDL school and scheduled to test on Monday. I have had all of the same thoughts you have had. Certainly much more to learn, but celebrate this big step as well. Simply knowing that there is a ton more to learn is a huge strength in our development.

So huge congrats to you, and I wish you the best as you continue your journey!

Best of Luck today Jeramy!

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Split log question

PlanB, thank you for that clarification.
— David John

And here is the High Road CDL Training page (p95), within the Log Book section, that details the split sleeper reset. And details, as you describe, the point where I was mistaken.
This posted perhaps more for my future benefit/reference.

Trucking Truth High Road Training: HOS Split Sleeper Details

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...

This includes a number of articles Old School has written that I stepped through after reading the “Commencement Speech For Truck Driving School Graduates”, which he referenced. This post is perhaps primarily for my future reference and review.
Note: Old School has written many interesting articles, all available via his link (Old School).

Commencement Speech For Truck Driving School Graduates

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

According To Dispatch, 1 Out Of 5 Drivers Does A Great Job

“Trucking Is A Competition Between Drivers. Can You Hang With The Big Dogs?”

And Brett’s Book as well...

The Competition for Freight. Chapter 13, p68 Brett Aquila - On the Hyper-Competitive Trucking Industry

“As an employee of any company, you should be aware of the fact that what's good for the company is often times good for you, and visa-versa. Not always of course, but if you want to keep your job you should be doing what you can to promote the well being of both yourself and your company.” — Brett Aquila

On competition...

“Let's get more specific. Let's say that today your company has 2100 drivers that will need a new load but only 1950 new loads available. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure you're NOT one of those 150 drivers that aren't going to make any money today. It starts from day one at your first company and will be a never ending process throughout your entire career. Let's take a look at how this works and some of the things you can do.” — Brett Aquila

Old School

Brett Aquila

Posted:  1 year, 9 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...

Thank you Jeramy & Old School!

Old School, I am really enjoying the articles you‘ve posted. For myself and All, who are coming to Trucking Truth, Thank You! Thank you for the articles and Thank you for the frequent posts and guidance. It is a great benefit to us all!

Jeramy, I believe we both stand with one foot firmly planted in the proper perspective ...

“Simply knowing that there is a ton more to learn is a huge strength in our development.” — Jeramy H

A number of the articles Old School has written provide for something similar ...

“Most of us realize that we are just as green as can be and we are looking forward to having an old hand at all this stuff to teach us how to handle that rig in all kinds of situations and road conditions.” — Old School

“Truck Driving School Is Only The Beginning Of Your CDL Training. Driving School does not prepare you to be, or magically transform you into, a truck driver. It is merely a means to getting your CDL license. Yes, truck driving school is definitely part of the learning process, but it's more like taking your first baby steps. I'm sure my experience isn't exactly normal, but it has taught me that it takes a tough skin, a humble attitude, a willingness to learn from someone who may not be the best at teaching, and a tenacious attitude that looks forward to new challenges and learning experiences every day.” — Old School

I share this perspective as well. And I have found a great deal of excitement in the fact that the opportunities to learn will never end.

“I'm really looking forward to jumping into the next learning curve that lies ahead ... “ — Old School

I most certainly am looking forward to jumping in ...

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Split log question

PlanB, thank you for that clarification.

I was wondering about that period after the 8hr / 2hr and how that reset worked. The way I described seemed a bit too generous.

Your explanation clears that up well!

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Split log question

Please understand I am a new rookie also.

I have been studying the rules and reading about this specifically in an attempt to learn. I will explain my understanding here and state that I am hoping Old School or another will confirm and/or correct if I am mistaken.

Perhaps this will be something to compare to your understanding.

If you go on sleeper at 10:00 and remain in the sleeper for 8 hours, that is until 18:00 (6pm) you will have “frozen” your clock from the time you went on sleeper. Now when you come on duty at 18:00 you will resume your clock from the point it was frozen. As you stated, you will have 14hrs - 90minutes and 11 hours - 90 minutes (or - actual drive time prior).

Now I believe, you have the additional benefit, after you begin the clock again, that after a 2 hour off-duty period (8hr+2hr) you will completely reset your 14/11 hour clocks.

So in this case, after your 8hr sleeper you will have 12:30 on-duty and 9:30 drive time. If during that period you take a 2 hour off-duty break you will completely reset your 14 hour, 11 hour clocks.

Thank you all for comments, input, correction and in general for educating us on this aspect of the FMCSR.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Retired and starting over.

At the end of the day, I feel I agree with your position on paid training. The driver benefits, the company is invested in the process. I will have to re-read your links to verify that I have followed your advice, I thought I had.

What I did not realize, if that is what you are suggesting, is that you hold a position in which a new driver should only choose a company that can and will do 100% of the driver training in-house.

In my case the company has some driver training performed by a third party.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

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Training: First step complete... Many next steps to come...

I am happy to say I have completed the 160 hour course and have passed the driving tests, Pre-Trip, Range and Driving.

I now have a commercial license.

With this step complete I feel as though I have accomplished something, but I still feel there is so much more to learn.


Having put in quite a bit of effort, I found the pre-trip relatively easy. But the process and the actual “performance” generally challenge me. It seems that in doing a thorough pre-trip one must do so much more than what we are asked to explain/demonstrate for the examiner. While explaining we point but do not touch. While doing the actual pre-trip, it seems, we will want to touch and pull and check and truly have a sense for what is “normal” for the truck/trailer so “ab-normal” will be more easily recognized. Much to learn, from real-world experience.


The work backing and parking on the driving range came a bit easier than I expected. I have had the good fortune of driving and backing trailers of various sizes. It seems this experience helped somewhat in the exercise. From the first day I had a sense of what/how to maneuver the Truck. It is a concern, however, the methods used to prepare for and perform the routine that becomes the backing test.

The methods used, turn the wheel hard right, back until you see the landing gear line up with..., turn the wheel hard left, back until you see the landing gear line up with..., turn the wheel hard right, back until you are straight... Within the range I could find points of reference on the ground, in back, in front. I could use these to ‘help’ with the maneuvers.

The first step was to follow the recipe, prescribed sequence of turns/picture steps, but it seemed the next step was much more important. That being gaining a very real understanding of how the tractor and trailer move as the result of various inputs and movements.

It seems to me that life within the real world will be much different.

Sliding 5th wheels, Sliding trailer wheels, adjustments in length, weight. Docks that are angled, raised, lowered... dark. The range environment can be so well learned, and the specific truck understood within this “recipe” but in the real world... when each situation is different.

So much to learn.


The driving was enjoyable and the test very interesting. Traffic, construction, crossing 3+ railroad tracks, passing under bridges. A UPS double driver making rather interesting maneuvers as a result of construction confusion. “Change lanes left then right”, repeated on quite a few roads.

A bridge clearance sign became visible and awakened/reminded me that they would ask of this. I jumped in and mentioned the height of the bridge and the height of the vehicle. Well it is the point of the instructor to also check a question that confirms you are paying attention to signs in general, not just the bridge in particular. If I had not mentioned the bridge clearance sign myself, perhaps (likely) he would have asked about the clearance. However, wanting to verify I have been watching signs, he simply asks about another... “How far did the sign say we are to 51st Ave?” I was uncertain of this answer, if only I had waited... I guessed...

For me the greatest difficulty was shifting. Double clutch on a 10-speed. I have driven many manual transmission cars. The 10-speed is similar, and not. It was mentioned that experience driving a manual transmission car can pose challenges in the transition. At first the 10-speed shift “picture” was not firmly planted in my head. Then shift placement, missing the hard wall or soft wall, consistent select lever position in the down-shift transition 6-to-lower... correctly placing the lever when shifting into 4th. Initially all missed shifts seem to be one problem, but in truth they were the product of a few.

Once the puzzle pieces were in place, I simply needed time to continue to drive and to become proficient. Time to improve the timing and improve the consistency. Time to become confident in the down-shift. Time to become confident in the ‘process’ of fixing a missed shift. Time in learning the short-cuts. And all of this focused on double clutch shifting when the method used by most professional drivers is float shifting. Unfortunately, for me, the road driving time available during the coarse was not enough for me to feel I have truly become proficient at 10-speed shifting. More practice is needed. Not sure yet if/how the additional practice will come. I believe I will be driving automatic vehicles, so additional training may not come.

I do see value in the way the DMV requires a new student to perform. Double shifting requires a level of coordination that is not easy to master. When working to master this skill, understand the shift pattern and timing and speed and RPM and ... if you can do these things all at once and not drive yourself into a ditch or over a curb or onto another car ... if you can do all of this and still recognize railroads and read signs... then you can likely be a safe driver.

I am happy to say I have completed the first step.

With that I have an incredible appreciation for how much more there is to learn to truly become a proficient and capable driver.

Posted:  1 year, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Retired and starting over.

With reference to the comment, “This is a marketing gimmick...”, I am happy to say that for the school I am attending this was not sold to me as a benefit beforehand, nor is this method used by the school itself.

The school I am attending does not charge hiring companies a fee. The full time employee that maintains contact with hiring companies does in fact provide interested students with a multi-page spreadsheet of all hiring companies and the specific recruiter with phone and email contact information. The ‘alumni’ is free to contact the recruiter themselves and/or work with her in contacting. The school receives no financial benefit from placement of the student/alum.

I am happy this is the case. I believe schools that are seeking a finders fee have lost sight of their true mission in their search for greater income. In seeking a finders fee these schools will create a barrier for companies who wish to hire their students. Top Tier drivers will be aware of what other companies would pay, so working with the school to find a position would either cost the hiring company more for the driver or result in lower pay or reduced sign-on bonus, not to the benefit of the drive, this would likely result in the driver going elsewhere.

Schools who are training well will have companies interested in hiring their drivers. Success in placing students will result in an ability to attract new students. In addition, success in teaching and certifying students can result in companies sending their students to the school or approaching the school and asking the school to have their instructors train their students.

The school I am attending has instructors teaching students in trucking companies all around Phoenix, classroom, range and driving in the actual company vehicles.

I was asked to take my training at this school by the national carrier I chose. I followed the advice I have read. I chose a national carrier. I plan to drive with them for one year. I am trusting them and doing as they ask. This carrier does train their drivers in-house, however, they prefer having the student complete the first few hurdles, including the CDL-A license, before in-house training begins.

As I have read, I believe the Top Tier OTR driver with 1+ years of experience will have many OTR opportunities and options. But understanding that many people may wish to drive local or regional, 16 of the 19 people in my class were hoping to find a local position, I believe that training with a company that has contacts within the region may be of benefit. Some companies may have a limited number of positions. A driver who wishes to fill a specific position in a specific company may have an advantage where their school has been used by the company to train its students in the past.

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