Profile For Kieran

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    6 months ago

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Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Schneier Adventure. The day before.

Day 9 : Thursday. We finished up the last bit of the Qualcomm activity and then for the afternoon went out in the yard. It was supposed to thunderstorm so we weren't sure if we were going to go out and drive. We were asked what we wanted to do and when I said "whatever's on the test", was looked at strangely. "What do you mean? You passed on Monday". WHAT?? Apparently they gave us our exams early on in the week and I had passed without knowing haha. It honestly felt like any other day, drove like I was told and followed the instructions I was given when backing. I was floored I had passed because I thought they were going to make a big official "Today is test day" type of announcement, I had spent part of the morning looking up backing maneuvers and set-ups lol. We worked on more backing and then finished with an uncouple and post trip and then headed back to the hotel.

Day 10: Friday. Friday we were given tablets which were supposed to take over the Qualcomm devices so I'm not too sure which we are going to use while on the road. We were told Schneider is in the middle of a transition period so we'll see what my trainer tell me to us. Speaking of, we were given our trainers information and what they expect of us and what we should expect of them while out on the road. My trainer is apparently a million miler so I think I'm in good hands. We had all our instructors come in and were given a diploma and little ceremony of graduation. We were told a lot of last minute safety information and how it was ok to be nervous, scared, how we were going to get lost, and to not panic. Only 60% of the class graduated, but we were given statistics that only around 6 people had failed the mentor part of orientation out of about 170 so the odds are with us to pass.

Overall, I believe as long as we do what we are told and listen to our mentors feedback, by this time next week, I should be getting set up in my own truck. Compared to how I felt 2 weeks ago, I'm feeling way more confident in being able to do things. I'm looking forward to the backing situations I'll find myself in next week and can't wait to start driving. Instead of driving an hour or two, I'm going to have the full 11 hour clock. I don't know how other companies do the orientation, but I'm glad I chose Schneider so far. The instructors went above and beyond what I had imagined they would as far as helping us, training us, and making us feel like this is something we're capable of doing. For now I'm off till Tuesday, so I'll update again when I have my first drive with an instructor!

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Schneier Adventure. The day before.

Well guys, I was sent home....on some home time before I go out with my mentor on Monday! I have nothing but good things to say about my experience. I'll give a rough day by day experience up until this point.

Day 2: Was a Wednesday and they took us out into their training yard to show us how to do a pre trip, how to get in the trailer safely, do a post trip, brake test, couple, uncouple, slide tandems & fifth wheel. We were basically shown how to do things the Schneider way. After demonstrations was over we went back inside for some more slides and presentations. We were given homework which was just read this chapter in the book and answer these questions.

Day 3: I believe Thursday was a map reading day and how to navigate using only a road atlas. In the afternoon they also us on the road! This was the part I was nervous about but my instructor made everything super simple. He took us out with him driving first to show us what he expected us to do, then we parked and he let us take over. We read out speed limit signs, bridge heights, verbally announced when we were checking our mirrors every 8 or so seconds and we mostly navigated around the city. The automatic didn't take long to get used to, We were taught how to buttonhook turns, and what to look out for when turning and just driving in the city. Once we were done we headed back to the OC and did some backing work. It was mostly, alley docking / 45 degree backing combination where we drive perpendicular to were we want to back in, go 1 and 1/2 spaces past it, turn all the way right to 12 o'clock, then turn all the way left to 9 o'clock and then slowly get it in the parking space. Again the instructor made it super simple and told us that officially on test day, the limit was 15, but he'd want us to get it in half that time, which we did! My fellow classmate and I both did it a few times in different spots then called it a day and did a post trip and went back to the hotel.

Day 4: Friday was another day that basically mirrored Thursday. I believe we went over more Schneider terms and safety rules. And then we went out driving again. I was given a real life example of what crazy people do out in the streets. I was making a left hand turn and some guy just walked into the lane and would not move. He was stomping the ground and acting like he was gonna charge at the truck and I just stopped. I was still behind the light so I was just looking at him, looking back to my instructor, and then looking back at the light. Repeat for about a minute. My instructor said to just make my turn slowly, and he'd move out of the way. And...he did, I was prepared to wait him out but I guess when faced with a monster that could run you over, you move over lol. This was the day I was also taught never to panic when facing a yellow light mid turn. It does no one good if you stop past the white line, so just finish your turn CALMLY and SAFELY. Other than those little scares, it was really nice driving a truck again, after 30 or so minutes I calm down and go into 'truck mode' were I scan the the road, look at my mirrors, check that I'm in the lane, and repeat without being as nervous as I thought I was going to be. We went back to the OC and did some more backing at got my record time of 4 minutes and 50 seconds. I believe this was the day we had someone from the experienced class move over to our inexperience class because

Day 5: Saturday was completely in the classroom working on a myriad of computer based training assignments. Basically just watch this video, and then answer these questions. Sexual harassment, what do to if theres an active shooter, and strangely enough, something to do with spotted butterflies and to kill them whenever we see them. It was an early day so they let us go whenever we were done. I packed up and drove home for some nice home time. I later learned that we had one student quit because of the amount of computer related things we were learning about.

Day 6: Monday I woke up around 4 and made the drive back to the OC which was 30 minutes faster since there was really no traffic on i80/294/290. This day we each had an instructor and the entire day was spent in the truck. A lot of city driving and then back to the OC for lunch, then out again in the city. Only backed a couple of times. Pre trip, post trip, coupling and uncoupling. Was given things I needed to work on, which was speed on entry of exit lanes and speed on the highway. Was told to slow down on turns and keep it under 10 which requires the faintest of touch on the pedal.

Day 7: Tuesday. Was a repeat of Monday, worked on things I need to work on, was hoping to do more backing but most of the day was spent on the road. We actually went through a 'slow maneuvering course' which were a bunch of trailers stuck end to end that you had to navigate at first gear super slow. I swear you moved even the slightest bit right or left and your mirror was inches away from the trailer next to you. After that it was weaving between some poles and a straight back through tight objects.

Day 8: Wednesday. We spent the entire day inside working on the Qualcomm and how to navigate and accepting pre assignments, looking at the details and making them active, etc. Still a bit iffy on certain things but I'm hoping to learn more when I'm on the road with an instructor next week.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Schneier Adventure. The day before.

So today marks the day were I can officially say Day 1

Woke up at 3 a.m and sort of just waited in the dark till 5:30. Was a little nervous so didn't eat the complimentary breakfast the hotel offers. Was pleasantly surprised to find a friend who took the same course to get our CDL with at the hotel! We talked a bit and he drove me over to the terminal and told me some re assuring tips. Found out the Schneider facility in Gary, Indiana has mostly Automatics, and that's what we were going to be training on for the next couple of days. Finally finding out what I was going to be driving on was a relief and a load off my mind.

Class started around 6:30 and we were met with a 10 question exam upon sitting down. It was surprising and I started thinking of things they could ask, but upon starting it, realized that it was mostly a reading comprehension exam. You read a passage and then answer a question that has everything in the passage. There were only 5 of us, 1 left after being told that if we had to miss a day, it was better to start next week as there were too many things to catch up on. He left and we are now down to 4. We were told we were only allowed being late 2 times because "If you can't show up to class, you might also be late delivering loads". We then did our urine and hair follicle drug test, and our physical. Was told there was no need for a sleep apnea test, and was given a medical card for 2 years. Surprisingly we didn't have to do a fitness test which I read we were going to take, that consisted of a step test, lifting test, an agility test in which they monitored our heart rate / blood pressure. So that was another relief.

A majority of the day was paperwork, i-9 forms, Schneider policies and PowerPoints. Some Computer work that was just more Schneider policies and hitting ' I agree' after reading it. At 12 we were given vouchers for a meal at the terminal's kitchen. And then it was back to class for more PowerPoints. A lot of it was review of the HoS rules, how to fill out log books manually, how to work an automatic, the collision mitigation systems that are placed in the trucks, and were then given some 40 question packet of homework that's like the exam in the beginning, mostly reading comprehension. Everyone was kind and welcoming and said that as long as we make an active effort to learn, they'll make an active effort to teach us, which makes sense, no one wants to waste time and money on training an employee only for them to fail, right? Still get emotional thinking about home, but it's definitely a better way for me to help my parents & save up.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Schneier Adventure. The day before.

Well guys, it was only an hour and a half of driving but I made it to the hotel provided by Schneider in Gary, Indiana. Saw a lot of trucks along the way which brought my confidence up some. In my family kids don't really leave the house until they're ready, be it financially or are moving in with a significant other, there's never any pressure. So you can guess it was a pretty emotional departure. Always lose my hunger when it comes to these emotional things. There's a fridge so I might pick up some stuff from the Walmart nearby later in the evening. Waiting for my roommate to arrive while I go over some materials I brought from school as a little last day refresher. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll update with Day 1 tomorrow.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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"Refresher" course / "buying seat time" - good idea or silly?

Bruce K: I'm driving to the hotel in Gary, In tomorrow. Believe me, goofing off is that last thing on my mind. With it being shorter than other companies training period I'm going to try and absorb as much as I can.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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"Refresher" course / "buying seat time" - good idea or silly?

Marc, just saw your post. I totally agree with everybody else, if you want to waste $600 please let me send you a pre-addressed, postage paid envelope for you to send me a check! Lol.

Don't fret about Schneider's training. They are leaders in the industry for training; they cherry pick their trainers not only for their experience and skill, but also for their ability to be patient and teach. That's just my opinion and observation. I would think they would put you through their basic, starting course like I went through, but maybe you were told differently. Anyway, I really enjoyed my training up in the Frozen Tundra. You will be treated well and taught well. Just R-E-L-A-X.

They will probably put you in an auto tranny truck to train. If not, request one. Schneider will soon be all auto tranny and it takes a lot of pressure off of you when you do road training.

I start next week at Schneider as well and all the advice I'm reading is really helping the nerves haha.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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2 Day's Before Orientation At Scheneider, School Experience and Current Thoughts.

Hello all, after reading so many people's thoughts and experiences on their adventure into trucking. I've read so many threads I've started remembering certain peoples usernames lol. I figure it's time I finally start documenting my own.

Graduated from a 3 1/2 month long, 4 day's a week, 5 hours a day school in early May. Road time wasn't much unfortunately, it was about 45 minutes or so 3 days a week, the final one being time in a simulator going over potential hazards. The last 2 weeks they stopped taking us to the simulator and we had extra time on the road, in preparation for the state exam. The instructors were great, though it was hard at first trying to combine 5 different instructors way's of teaching into my own. They each had they're own way of what RPM to upshift, downshift and noticed if you weren't using the way they taught. I wasn't at the top of the class but I was also not at the bottom due to seeing how others handled our last couple of days. Backing was a different beast, we only had 2 days or so on 45 / 90 degree backing each We built up to it by going in increments of 15 and were usually restricted to 2 or 3 pull ups, otherwise we had maneuver back to our starting position. I usually got it in by the 2nd day but I can imagine doing it between 2 trailers being on a completely different level. Fortunately, by the end of the class I had a better handle on my skills, skipping shifts, and not hearing that grinding noise which was embedded into my head. 10 > 9 > 7 > 5 > stop, is what I ended up liking when downshifting.

We were trained on I believe 2004 Freightliner Cascadias at the start, and for the final 2 weeks they let us use the newer International's they acquired and good lord could you tell the difference. Getting inside and starting it up I couldn't believe how quiet it was compared to the Cascadia's we were using. It threw me off and I found myself going up to 1600-1800 RPM's without even noticing because I was so used to going off of the noise to do my shifts. The shifter was also much nicer, when I mentioned it being so much easier to shift to the instructor he went "That's cause no one's had a chance to grind the living **** out of them" lmao.

Test day I came in and sat down and started going over my pre trip but was called ahead of my other classmates so I was on edge, but I passed it all on the first try. I missed a gear going from 6th to 5th but recovered in 4th, and as I was making my turn into the street the building was at, the examiner said "Why are you taking up so much room?" due to me taking a wide turn. I just said it was because I wanted enough room for my trailer to pass through. I asked if we were turning into the lot and was met with "Hey Hey, I, decide where we turn". Parked kinda crooked and he made note of that but just said "sign here" and went inside. My instructors looked at me with thumbs up asking if I had passed but I shrugged, I honestly didn't know. Fortunately he called my name and handed me my license! Such a relief off my shoulders. I actually stayed to wait for one of my classmates who we were all worried about, he had a really tough time throughout the class and stalled the engine 3 days before the exam. It was honestly scary riding along with him. I was in the truck with him multiple times while the instructors, at their wits end, were raising their voices trying to get through to him as I just sat there in the back awkwardly listening. AND HE PASSED! He tells us "I got an automatic waiting for me at my job" and the class laughed.

2 months later......

You may be asking yourself, "Why did you wait so long?". And my answer to that would be I kind of got comfortable at my job, knowing I had a "back up", knowing I could be let go and go someplace else, even though the work was taking a toll on me physically. Did I make just enough to pay the bills? Sure, but not a lot of leftover to build up a comfy savings. I could work Friday, and still feel pain on Sunday.

2 weeks ago I decided enough was enough and put my 2 weeks notice in at work after having sent out a couple of applications. Schneider was one that had been on my radar for quiet some time before / during/ and after receiving my CDL, based on the comments everyone makes about their training. I've been going through my pre trip inspection the past couple of day's and can still recite it like I did on test day, but maaan is the driving portion making me a little nervous. I've been playing a truck simulator with the shifter/ pedals I have just going through the motions. Watching TONS of videos, like RPM / backing, diaries. I know a lot of it is first job jitters, but man do I have a habit of thinking of worse case scenarios. Maybe I don't pick it up immediately and get sent home, etc. The recruiter said they were 75% automatic but couldn't really answer what the trucks would be during orientation as "every terminal is different" so I guess I'll find out Tuesday lol. But even if it doesn't work out, I'll be taking what training I receive, and use it as I head to the next job. I'm nervous, but I was nervous when I took the exam as well so nothing else to do but do it. I constantly hear school teaches you to pass the test, you learn how to drive at your first job. I can't believe how long this has taken, I'm nearing the character limit. I'll try to condense it somewhat more when I write about how orientation goes, thanks to those who read it! I'll take any and all advice you give!

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