CDS Tractor Trailer Training Winchester

Topic 13438 | Page 1

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Harry the hat's Comment
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Placeholder, started today, weekends. Will post later

Harry the hat's Comment
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Day 1

This is a weekend only class, by CDS, Workforce, and Lord Fairfax Community College. They offer a 4 week full time m-for class also. Started at 8 am, class size of ten. We will be alternating weekends between classroom and outside. They have five trucks, 48, 53 ft vans, and a flatbed, but haven't seen this yet. They are at a separately location in Front Royal Virginia. They took us one by one to do our paperwork, but had some computer problems. Didn't phase us at all, as the instructors kept us entertained. They gave us an overview of the entire course, what they expect of us and what we should expect of them. Gave their own backgrounds, and of success stories of the school. They definitely gave us confidence and showed that there are going to be mistakes made. They answered a lot of our questions which of course as you know on first day there are too many. For the textbook they Supply but you need to leave it there at the end of the day. The book is from the JJ Keller group. We covered for different chapters today and took the small little quizzes in the back the kind of evaluate where we stand. And of course all classes need to be DMV approved and documented for auditing purposes. Overall, good feeling.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Harry the hat's Comment
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A little PostScript you do not need a CDL permit to start the class. It is best that you get that and your DOT physical done first. I am a West Virginia resident so I need 2 sending stuff to the state capitol in order to get my test card to get my permit. From there I will have 3 tries, and a seven day wait period between failures. A bit about myself I'm 36 years old and looking to start a new career to support my family. I would have opted to go through the full-time classes but my wife is a stay-at-home mom at the time so we kind of need that money coming in. After being a lurker on this page for a very long time I am very excited to be doing this. I'm hoping to stay local semi Regional we like 2 or 3 days out per week at the most. If not I believe my wife will be killing me and you are all mine now Witnesses LOL

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Harry the hat's Comment
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Day 2

Yesterday we covered the orientation of the class backing the vehicle basic controls of a truck. Today we covered a little bit more on backing shifting and coupling and uncoupling. We watched a few videos and asked questions of the instructor. It's great watching him get excited about some of the questions we have. Think of it like watching a kid talk about Christmas morning. Learned a lot about how each truck is the different animal altogether.

Again this is a weekend-only course so I won't have any updates until next Saturday night. We will be heading down to the yard at Front Royal Virginia for the Yard part of our class. You'll be getting to know the two Volvo day cab and I believe 2 Internationals. Hopefully myself and the others will have their permits soon so we can really get onto the road after getting acquainted with the trucks.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Harry the hat's Comment
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Day 3

First day in the field. This takes place on an empty lot in Front Royal Virginia. Trucks were a Volvo day cab with a flatbed, and a freightliner Columbia with a 53 ft van. We stated with introductions and sign in, three instructors, one who happens to be my next door neighbor's dad. Again, lots of experience and they share it all. Started with a pretrip intro, where the question bombs went off. We have a ton of info, but that never stops inquisitive minds. Following that, we stated getting familiar with the trucks, individually with the instructors. Then into straight line backing. Reverse and first, no throttle allowed. They start you off with a line if cones down the driver side, take a few turns then start moving in cones on the right side, few more, then close to the 12 ft width. We all did ok, a few of us a bit better or faster learning than some. Because of a freak nor'easter that came in, we had rain and snow, and the school shut us down around 230pm. All in all, good first field day. I believe we had one drop out so far too. I also have to say, I have read this line I am about to write numerous times here and it is law in my mind. Don't sit around, stabs by the fire barrel, and jibber jab the day away! !! I saw a few guys doing this, or on the phone. There's time for that later or at lunch, you're there to learn a new profession. If you're not in the truck, talk about the truck, ask the instructor that's free some questions, watch what the other people are doing while driving, practice your pretrip, etc. The list goes on.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Harry the hat's Comment
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Day 4

Started on our pretrip on two trucks, split the group and worked together. Kind of more familiarizing and such. Lost another one, not sure, but keep on going ourselves. Pop quizzed us on pretrip individually, did alright. We then started learning the procedures for coupling and uncoupling. Watched, learned, then executed it one by one. We are a bunch of fast learners. On to some more straight backing in the opposite trucks we were on yesterday. Today is a freightliner Columbia w/53 ft van. After lunch, one of the instructors took a three of us to learn offsetting. I gotta let off the oversteer! But practice makes prefect.

Got my permit test card in the mail, so I'm going to take my test tomorrow. Feel very confident.

We'll be off for Easter weekend, so I have tons of time to study and start looking at companies.

Harry the hat's Comment
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Sorry its been a while. I'll catch ya up. Home someone other than me is reading this.

Day 5 We had a weekend off for Easter, school was shut down. Came back to the class room for days 5 and 6, to find we have a different teacher. Went over some more stuff like railroad crossings, etc. Lots of book time.

Day 6 Another day in class. More videos and books.

Day 7 Yard day. Did an extensive overview of the pretrip outside again, tested each other with the instructors watching but quiet. They pointed out what we missed, how to say it, etc. I get the feeling its more on what we need to say to the testers more than anything, but the instructors do go over a bit more to get you to understand what and why you are checking it. We also worked on straight and offset backing. Some are getting there, others aren't, but the feedback is positve.

Day 8 Yard again. More pretrip, inside cab and brake tests. Learned a great deal, and same as the day before, tested each other and with instructors. Started parallel backing and aced that! My backing procedures are getting better, but I get a lil frustrated when I don't make it. End of day, told we need to have our permits next yard day to do road driving, or we can just stay home.

Went to take my permit test at the DMV. Second time, as the first was on Good Friday, and I psyched myself out and panicked on some simple questions. Aced it, took a terrible picture, and ready to go this time out!

Day 9 More class, more videos. Day 10 You guessed it. Now, the class time isn't just that simple. They go by participation and test scores on who they will test out with the dmv first. You sit there, and play on your phone in class, or smoke a pack and a half at the burn barrel in the yard, then you might as well find something else to do.

Again, anyquestions, I'd be more than happy to tell ya about it.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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